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How to Cook a Light Cauliflower Gratin

author image M.H. Dyer
M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.
How to Cook a Light Cauliflower Gratin
Purchase cream-colored or white cauliflower with bright green leaves.

Cauliflower's subtle flavor blends well with low-fat cheese and yogurt for a creamy but light cauliflower gratin served as an accompaniment to a healthy main course. Cauliflower, related to broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and cabbage, is a low-calorie food with only 21 calories per 1/2-cup serving. Cauliflower is also a good source of fiber, potassium and vitamin C.

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Step 1

Cut or break a head of cauliflower into florets. Fill a large saucepan with water. Bring the water to a boil.

Step 2

Cover the saucepan, then cook the cauliflower for about 8 minutes, or until the florets are firm but slightly tender. Don't overcook, as the cauliflower will finish cooking during baking.

Step 3

Drain the cauliflower, then rinse the flowers in cool water to prevent further cooking. Place the drained cauliflower in a casserole dish coated with nonstick cooking spray.

Step 4

Heat a small amount of canola oil or olive oil in a large saucepan. Saute a chopped onion and one or two minced garlic cloves in the hot oil. You can also substitute chopped shallots or leeks for green onions, as both have a mild flavor similar to onions.

Step 5

Place 1 cup of grated cheese in a mixing bowl. If you prefer cheddar, use a reduced-fat variety. Alternatively, use a lower-fat cheese such as skim milk mozzarella or 2 percent Colby or Monterey Jack cheese or a combination of cheeses.

Step 6

Blend an 8-oz. container of plain, fat-free or reduced-fat yogurt with the grated cheese. Stir in seasonings of your choice, such as cayenne pepper, nutmeg, thyme, freshly ground black pepper, chopped, fresh parsley or chopped, fresh chives.

Step 7

Spread the cheese mixture evenly over the cauliflower in the casserole dish. Sprinkle a small amount of breadcrumbs over the top of the cauliflower gratin. Use whole grain breadcrumbs for extra fiber, vitamins, minerals and protein.

Step 8

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees, then bake the cauliflower gratin for about an hour, or until the gratin is bubbly -- about 10 minutes. If you like, put the cauliflower gratin under a hot broiler for one or two minutes to brown the top of the dish.

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