When I cook for myself or my family, my meals are usually very meat-centric. Since my sister's boyfriend has recently gone vegan, I've been making more of an effort to incorporate vegetables into our meals, especially one of my favourite vegetables, cauliflower. This vegetable has lots of vitamins without many calories, and can improve digestion, balance hormones, and preserve eye health. 

Now that I've picked up a few easy cauliflower recipes, I found myself cooking with cauliflower as the star all the time. The easy cauliflower recipes below are great examples of how versatile cauliflower is.

1. Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

meat, chicken, vegetable, pork, beef, sauce, pepper, barbecue
McKel Hill

My sister's favourite appetizer has always been Buffalo wings, which is a problem because I won't touch them unless they're boneless. Luckily, bones aren't a problem with these. buffalo cauliflower bites pack all the same flavour, with less calories so you're still hungry for your actual meal. 

2. Crock Pot Cauliflower and Cheese

Mac and cheese is one of my go-to comfort foods, but just because it's a comfort food doesn't mean it needs to be unhealthy. This crock pot cauliflower and cheese recipe checks every box on the mac and cheese craving. 

3. Cauliflower Hummus

rice, vegetable, meat, pork
Emma Lally

My dad loves hummus more than anything (possibly even more than me), but variety is the spice of life. By switching between cauliflower hummus and chickpea hummus he gets a larger variety of nutrients. For those who don't like chickpeas, this recipe will finally allow you to join in on the hummus craze.

4. Cauliflower Crust Pizza

pizza, sauce, tomato, meat, cheese, mozzarella
Paige Marie Rodgers

Cauliflower pizza was pretty much the first big cauliflower substitute trend. It tastes so amazing that it inspired a whole new wave of foods with cauliflower as the star. Since you're only using cauliflower for the crust, you can top the pizza any which way you please.

5. Cauliflower Tortillas

sweet, honey, corn
Maris Altieri

Once you have a tortilla, there are pretty much endless recipes you can make from there. Make these cauliflower tortillas ahead of time for a vitamin-packed meal whenever you feel like it. 

6. Cauliflower Nachos

Cauliflower goes great with cheese, so it's already a great set-up for nachos. This technique of cooking the cauliflower gives it a great crunch. If your eyes are closed, you won't be able to tell the two apart. Some great Harissa cheddar sauce and toppings makes these cauliflower nachos even better. 

7. Cauliflower Soup

soup, vegetable, cream, parsley, bread, herb
Maxwell Faucher

There's nothing better during these cold winter months, than a nice bowl of soup. This simple soup is made with just cauliflower, onion, garlic, water, salt, and pepper (plus optional parsley garnish). Although the recipe for this cauliflower soup may be easy, the taste is much more satisfying and complex than it sounds. 

8. Cauliflower Grilled Cheese

meat, sauce, pastry, sweet, cake, grilled cheese sandwich, cheese
Paige Marie Rodgers

Like with pizza, substituting bread with cauliflower is one of the most common hacks when trying to cut back on carbs, especially since it's pretty hard to tell the difference. Because of this, cauliflower grilled cheese is a recipe that will make any kid or adult beg for more. 

9. Cauliflower "Everything" Bagels

Cauliflower can be the star of any meal. These cauliflower "everything" bagels are perfect for getting in loads of nutrients in to start the day off. To make things even better for those trying to cut back, each roll has only 94 calories. They make a great snack as well. 

10. Cauliflower Tater Tots

meat, chicken, sweet, rice
Katie Zizmor

Whether you're having some tater tots on the side or baking them into a tater tot casserole, these cauliflower tater tots will hit the spot. The combination of breadcrumbs and cauliflower rice creates a fascinating texture that I haven't seen done with cauliflower outside of this recipe. 

11. Cauliflower Fritters

These cauliflower fritters are very similar to potato latkes and work great as a light breakfast or as a side dish. If you're serving kids, they won't even be aware that they're eating vegetables. 

12. Cauliflower Fried Rice

vegetable, rice, pepper, onion, meat, risotto
Laura Bailey

I've always gotten terrible chest pains when making rice, so I often try to replace rice in dishes with cauliflower instead. This cauliflower fried rice has all of the flavour as "normal" fried rice, but has more vitamins. You can also eat more before getting full, which is one of the best parts. 

13. Garlic and Onion Mashed Cauliflower

cheese, spinach, parmesan
Alison Weissbrot

Mashed potatoes are one of my biggest vices. This became even more true when I found out that the reason my mom's mashed potatoes are so good is that they're loaded with cream cheese. Garlic and onion mashed cauliflower gives tons of flavour while being a healthier alternative. 

14. Cauliflower Cheesy Breadsticks

Whenever my family orders pizza from Topper's, we end up eating mostly cheesy breadsticks and leave the pizza virtually untouched. These cauliflower cheesy breadsticks bring all of that delicious joy without even having to order out. This is one of the easy cauliflower recipes my family loves the most. 

15. Cauliflower Tacos

tomato, meat, beef, vegetable, tacos, chicken, lettuce, bread, chili, salsa
Angela Kerndl

If you're looking for a great vegan/vegetarian meat replacement for your tacos, the flavouring of the cauliflower in these cauliflower tacos is unbeatable. It packs a lot of flavour and will have your meat-eating friends asking for this recipe instead. 

Whether you're looking to cut out carbs or simply want to find some fun new recipes with vegetables, cauliflower is one of the most versatile foods out there. Replacing some of your go-to foods with these easy cauliflower recipes will bring much more excitement to any meal.