Roasted and Crispy Parmesan-Cauliflower Poppers

Cauliflower Poppers | Mimi's Fit Foods

These are a “fun” way to eat your veggies!

I love roasted cauliflower, but I thought this would be a fun and different way to make it as well.  My little munchkin loves to “dip” her food, so I figured she would fall in love with these little “Cauliflower Nuggets” without even thinking twice.  I was totally right!

The panko gives these a nice crispy crunch.  I toasted the panko beforehand because it’s not super awesome to brown itself in the oven.   And, well . . . I think the parmesan cheese is definitely a no-brainer when it comes to cauliflower.  I used egg whites to get the panko to stick and that worked like a charm . . . plus it added a nice protein factor to the end result.

You can serve these with a variety of sauces/dips.  I recommend Simple MarinaraFit Ranch DipSpicy Chipotle White Bean Hummus, or Fresh Garden Salsa.

When you create your “breading station” you’ll find that there will be a little bit of leftover ingredients with each step (flour, eggs, breadcrumbs).  I prefer it this way so that I’m not struggling to get everything coated.  That being said, the nutritional information is based on what I actually used (not what the recipe suggests).

We had these for a snack the other afternoon and we ate them all!  My babe couldn’t even wait for me to finish taking pictures before she started dipping.  Now . . . go surprise yourself and/or your kiddos with these addictive, yes addictive, Cauliflower Poppers!

Eat Cauliflower Poppers | Mimi's Fit Foods

Roasted and Crispy Parmesan-Cauliflower Poppers

12 oz bag cauliflower florets, cut into small, bite-size “popper” pieces
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
pinch paprika
pinch salt
pinch black pepper
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
3 egg whites
cooking spray, optional

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Prepare baking sheet by lightly spraying with cooking spray, or by placing a silicone mat on sheet.

Toast your panko breadcrumbs by heating a medium-sized skillet over medium heat.  Constantly stir breadcrumbs until they start to brown (approximately 3-7 minutes).  Place toasted breadcrumbs in a gallon-sized ziplock bag and add the parmesan, paprika, pepper, and salt.  Set aside.

Continue to set up your breading station by adding the flour to another gallon-sized sip lock bag.  Set aside.  Beat the egg whites in a large bowl and set aside.

To bread, lightly spray cauliflower pieces with cooking spray (this may not be necessary if your pieces are still a little wet from washing).  Add cauliflower pieces to the bag with flour and very gently shake to coat the pieces well.  Next, add the floured pieces to the bowl with the beaten eggs and toss the pieces to coat with egg.  Next, add the pieced to the bag with the panko/parmesan mixture, and again, gently shake to coat the pieces well (I added my egg-coated cauliflower in two phases).  Take the coated pieces out and place on prepared baking sheet in a single layer (no over-lapping).

Place cauliflower in heated oven and roast for 20-25 minutes, or until cauliflower is tender (I roasted mine for 23ish minutes).

Remove from oven and serve with dipping sauce of your choice.  (I recommend Simple Marinara, Fit Ranch Dip, Spicy Chipotle White Bean Hummus, or Fresh Garden Salsa).

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving)
Calories:  123.8
Protein:  8.4g
Carbs:  18.2g
Fat:  2.6g (1.4g = Sat.)
Fiber:  3.4g
Sugars:  0.1g

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