Who needs all the carbs you find in traditional nachos? We’ll, here’s the solution if you’re watching your carbohydrates. Perfectly roasted cauliflower topped with your favorite nacho toppings. Heck, you don’t even have to be counting carbs to enjoy these nachos. These cauliflower nachos remind me of another low-carb version of a dish: mashed cauliflower. Just like the potato version, but without the carbs. We make them often and always enjoy folk’s reaction when we tell them they aren’t eating mashed potatoes.
Cauliflower is something we make often on the Big Easy. It takes absolutely no time at all to prepare and always comes out perfect. In the past I’ve roasted entire heads of cauliflower in the Big Easy. The only trick to using a whole head of cauliflower is that you have to make sure you buy one that’ll fit into the Big Easy basket. This time (aka Version 2.0) I thought I’d try using florets instead. And for a little color and ‘ahhhhh’ factor, I used a combination of purple and orange cauliflower. Topped with what has become our house-favorite seasoning, Casa Seasoning from AlbuKirky Seasonings, this cauliflower was tender and tasty. Perfect. To keep the florets from failing thru the Big Easy baskets I lined them foil. With the addition of two bunk bed baskets you could easily cook a good-sized head of cauliflower. You can also use this same recipe for making broccoli.
Roasted Cauliflower Version 2.0 on the Char-Broil Big Easy
Recipe type: Side
Serves: 4 servings
Too cook a medium head of cauliflower all at once I used two bunk bed baskets, both lined with foil. You could get by with a single bunk bed basket and then also line the bottom of the Big Easy basket with foil.
1 medium head cauliflower, steamed or boiled until just softened
Note: I prefer to remove the florets from the cauliflower and then steam them. You can also boil them, but steaming them isn't as violent so they tend to stay together. Also, if you are using purple or orange cauliflower boiling tends to remove some of the color.
Fire up your Big Easy.
Lay a single layer of foil inside the basket and/or bunk bed baskets.
Add the cauliflower in a single layer. Try to not over-crowd too much. A little is ok, but stacking them won't result in even roasting.
Lower the basket into the cooker and cook for 10-20 minutes depending on how done you want your cauliflower.
Remove and let cool slightly before seasoning with your favorite seasoning and serving.
As much as I use my Char-Broil Big Easy to cook up fantastic chicken, I also use it just as much for side dishes. This roasted cauliflower came out absolutely delicious. Tender and flavor-packed, with just a hint of smokiness from the bacon. And as with anything I cook on my Big Easy, it was easy to make.
Make sure when you pick out the head of cauliflower at the store that you don’t get a really big one or it won’t fit into the Big Easy. Shoot for one that is about 8″ wide. Or if you prefer, try my recipe for roasted cauliflower florets. For a little kick don’t be afraid to add a few pinches of dried red pepper flake to the chicken broth as you cook the cauliflower. It won’t be overwhelmingly hot, but it’ll give you a slight hint of heat.
You can roast cauliflower in the standard basket that comes with the Big Easy or a bunk bed basket (lined with foil to keep the liquid in), or the Big Easy cooking rack.
So long and goodbye to boring cauliflower. Bring on the spiciness of harissa, a Mediterranean hot chile pepper paste that is so flavorful I’m quickly finding myself using on just about everything. Rubbing the paste on a head of cauliflower and roasting it results in an unbelievably tasty side dish. The heat gets tamed a bit (but it’s still there), leaving you with a wonderful garlicky, earthy bite. Roasted harissa cauliflower is quite possibly the perfect side dish (and it’s low in carbs too!). You can make the cauliflower in the grill too, just place the harissa-covered head directly on a hot grill over indirect heat and cook until tender. Specially when grilled over charcoal, the cauliflower will also get a nice light smoky flavor along with the taste of harissa. And don’t hesitate to make more than one head at a time. The leftovers are just as good as (and maybe a bit better) than the night you make them. The harissa flavors penetrate the cauliflower even more overnight. For a little citrus flavor, squeeze fresh lemon over the roasted cauliflower just before serving.
Since I picked up a cooking rack for my Char-Broil Big Easy I’ve been able to cook all sorts of dishes that I used to have to reserve for indoor cooking. I love being able to cook an entire meal outdoors, and that means sides too. And not just your usual outdoor sides like corn-on-the-cob, or grilled veggies. This bang bang cauliflower dish cooks up in less than 40 minutes. The breading gives the florets just a bit of crunch. And the dipping sauce? Fantastic. Creamy, with just a hint of a spicy kick. Depending on conditions, you may have to rotate the pans in the Big Easy as the cauliflower cooks so that each one cooks evenly. If you don’t have a cooking rack you can use the Bunk Bed Basket from Char-Broil, but you won’t be able to cook quite as much cauliflower at once. Whatever you do, do not over-crowd the florets or they will not cook completely.
I have to admit, I was really surprised about how much I loved this mashed cauliflower. I figured that every food blog that I read saying these mock mashed potatoes were good was stretching the truth. Probably like you’re thinking now. I was wrong. The cauliflower comes out buttery, creamy, and does not have an overwhelming cauliflower flavor. Since I was afraid I’d find the cauliflower lacking in flavor, I made a big batch of my mushroom gravy to top it off. I found that the cauliflower didn’t need the gravy at all, but it did make it seem even more like mashed potatoes. Since making this dish it has now become a regular staple in our house. Cauliflower is available pretty much throughout the year, making for an easy side dish at any time.
I have been on a Buffalo chicken kick lately. I love anything with Buffalo sauce on it. Well, man cannot live on Buffalo chicken alone, or so I am told. So, Buffalo cauliflower bites to the rescue! Yep, that same great Buffalo flavor and cool dressing for dipping, all in a healthy bite. I like to finish the cauliflower off on the grill to get a little char on it, but that’s really not necessary. You can make the entire dish in the oven in no time at all.
This could be the easiest salad I’ve ever made. And it’s so good that I’ve made it 3 times in the last 2 weeks. It has a nice fresh crunch. And a little creaminess. And just enough smoky bacon flavor to make you really happy.
I bake my bacon at 400 F on a foil-lined baking sheet for 20 or so minutes, depending on the thickness and how crunchy I want it to be, turning once. Easy clean up. You can drain off the grease for later use or let it cool and just wrap the foil up and toss it. No mess, no fuss.