Nov 5, 2013

Cauliflower Tots


These kid-friendly cauliflower tots are so good, they won't realize they are eating cauliflower.

If you need a way to get your family to eat more vegetables, give these a try. These kid-friendly cauliflower tots are so good, they won't realize they are eating cauliflower. They are great as a side dish and are easy to make. 


Last year I fell in love with zucchini tots, and since adapted the recipe using cauliflower instead during the colder months when zucchini isn't in season. I also had issues with them sticking to my mini muffin pan, and found making them on a non-stick baking sheet the perfect solution. My older daughter loves these, but my toddler still prefers to eat her vegetables raw (go figure!). I plan in trying these with broccoli next, will let you know how they turn out!

Cauliflower Tots
Skinnytaste.com
Servings: 4 • Size: 8 tots • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 148 • Fat: 5 g • Protein: 10 g • Carb: 16 g • Fiber: 3 g • Sugar: 2 g
Sodium: 397 mg (without salt) • Cholesterol: 47 mg

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked cauliflower florets, finely chopped *see note
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/2 cup onion, minced
  • 3 tbsp minced fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cooking spray

Directions:

*to cook the cauliflower florets, steam a little over 2 cups raw cauliflower florets in a little water covered for for 4 to 5 minutes or until tender but not mushy, then drain well and dry on paper towel, then using a knife finely chop and set 2 cups aside.

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Spray a nonstick cookie sheet with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste.


Spoon 1 tablespoon of mixture in your hands and roll into small ovals. Place on the cookie sheet and bake for 16-18 minutes, turning halfway through cooking until golden.

Makes about 32 - 34 tots

165 comments :

  1. Those look yummy!
    Did you chop the cauliflower in a food processor?

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    1. I've found that it's too easy to turn cauliflower into powder in a food processor. Best to use a knife as Gina suggests.

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    2. I made these last night....so tasty, but not as pretty looking as yours...I kept spraying my tablespoon to help them stay together. Any ideas for next time??

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    3. I couldn't get them to stick either when I was making them. I threw it in my food processor and hit pulse 3 times. They stuck together after that. (Great recipe, Gina!)

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    4. I made these last night as well. They were really tasty. I also found they were a little hard to keep them stuck together. Perhaps I needed to dry the cauliflower a little better before mixing it in. Also I would try a chopper for the onions next time and cook them a little longer.

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    5. I used a muffin pan and they held very well. I used the muffin paper cups.

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    6. I used my cookie scooper and they came out in a nice bite size!

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    7. anyone tried running through a potato ricer?

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    8. These were very good, I also used my cookie scooper to form.

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  2. These sound amazing! Definitely going to make them this weekend!

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  3. I'm so excited to have another option for how to use cauliflower!! Yum! Any ideas for cheese substitutions since I am dairy-free? Or, can I just leave it out without compromising the binding of the tots?

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    1. I haven't tried without, perhaps add another egg and more crumbs? If you try please let us know.

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    2. Daiya cheese is dairy free (vegan) and it might work with this! It melts really well :)

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    3. Or try some nutritional yeast

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    4. I was going to make mashed cauliflower with a little potato mixed in for dinner tonight, but am doing these instead. I use Daiya cheese (good flavor) but not it's too soft to grate, you will just mix in little pieces. Panko is now making seasoned breadcrumbs!

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    5. Like Courtney said, use Daiya. Very good vegan cheese. That is what I plan to use.

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  4. I wonder if we can substitute CarbQuick instead of the breadcrumbs for the low carb peeps?

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    1. Try it, perhaps more cheese to help them bind.

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    2. I was thinking myself how to make these low carb and thought I might use grated Parmesan in place of breadcrumbs.

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    3. I use psyllium husks instead of bread crumbs - they can't be digested, yet hold things like egg and butter. I use them to batter things as well.

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    4. Fantastic idea Anonymous…I actually have some psyllium husks in my pantry..and that sounds like just the ticket for a low-carb/gluten free solution to the bread crumb dilemma!

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    5. Where do you find psyllium husks?

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    6. I have been substituting flax meal (sometimes mixed w/sesame seeds & a little extra seasonings) for bread crumbs to make it Paleo. That's my plan here. I only have Parmesan cheese, so gonna use that for cheddar.

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  5. I'm just curious after only 18 minutes in the oven is the cauliflower still hard?

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    1. The cauliflower is already cooked.

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  6. Cindy, the recipe calls for cooked cauliflower.

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  7. So what's the best way to cook cauliflower?

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    1. Sorry I should have mentioned I steamed it about 5 minutes or until soft but not too mushy

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    2. I just made these tonight - they were really great. I grated the cauliflower on a cheese grater, which made it kind of rice like. You can then microwave it for five minutes and it will be fully cooked. There is so much moisture in it that it does just fine in the microwave. I use this method as a rice substitute all of the time.

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    3. I use cauliflower for fried rice all the time.(1 head) discard stems and Shred in the food P and then micro for 5 to 7 min. Sounds like I can do the same for this recipe

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  8. Is the cauliflower boiled first? Roasted? I know it says "cooked" but... how?

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    1. Gina clearly states in her recipe to "steam, covered, for 4-5 min. til soft but not mushy".

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  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  10. To cook caulifower - just place in microwave-safe bow, cover with plastic wrap and zap for about 5 min.

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  11. OMG get in my belly now! What a great idea Gina, <3 you!!!!

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  12. How could I make these Gluten free?

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    1. use ground flax seed

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    2. I buy gluten free bread crumb that would be perfect for this recipe...I always use it in my meatballs and they still taste just as good!

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    3. If you're interested, I made g-free them for my blog: http://www.gfreevegetarian.com/cauliflower-tots/

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    4. You can crush Chex cereal for a gluten free breading alternative, too. I like to mix the rice and corn varieties for "fried" chicken (breaded with Chex and baked) and my kids love it. I haven't tried it with this recipe just yet, but it's now in my menu plans. I can't wait to try it!

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  13. Could I make these without a egg? My son has a severe egg allergy.

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    1. I haven't tried it, but it may work

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    2. Yes, you can use egg replacer or put a little flour in your mixture.

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  14. These sound SO amazing! I love finding fun new ways to cook with cauli!

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  15. These look great! Kids are funny when it comes to vegetables. Some veggies I would never eat raw and they do. My kids don't like cooked veggies either.

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    1. Yeah, when I saw my daughter munching on raw radishes, I was baffled!

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    2. Exactly! I dont really prefer radishes but of course eat them with a smile to not oass on the aversion. My 2 and 4 yr olds eat them with lime and a touch of salt! Like candy!

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  16. Why oh why didn't I buy that cauliflower?

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  17. These look soo good and I can't wait to make them. I love your blog!

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  18. I made these tonight and they were great!

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    1. Awesome, so glad you enjoyed them!!

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  19. This looks amazing. And I bet it tastes even better. Thank you for sharing from 3girls1apple.com

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  20. I steamed my cauliflower, used only egg whites and no cheese. They were a little too moist, but still delicious! Might try them as fritters with a spicy aoili too!

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  21. I added some diced jalapenos and chili powder and these made a fantastic appetizer...a de-constructed popper. YUM!

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  22. Not sure why my comment was deleted but I'm just curious if you squeezed the water from the cauliflower after it steamed or just lightly drained it?

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    1. I steamed the fresh cauliflower 4 to 5 minutes until just tender but not mushy, so no need to squeeze. I am going to adjust the recipe above to include how I steamed the cauliflower.

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  23. Genius! I don't even like cauliflowers but I'd eat this any day of the week!

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  24. omg, that looks so freaking delicious! CAn't wait to try this!

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  25. Do you think you could use Panko Bread Crumbs?

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  26. Could one sub in nooch (Nutritional Yeast) for the cheese without sacrificing the binding element?!…Any "additions" to make them bind without dairy or the daiya vegan cheese?…Thanks for any insight!

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    1. I think it would be ok with the egg and crumbs

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  27. What is that sauce next to it? I'd like that recipe too.

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    1. Looks like ketchup to me. That's just a guess though.

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    2. Ketchup for the kiddos, but I don't think they need anything for us adults.

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  28. These look wonderful! I love cauliflower and will have to try this soon.

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  29. I wonder if you could freeze these....

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  30. Wondering about freezing as well.

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  31. Wonderful! I often resist spending 4 points on a snack...unless it's a really decent serving size, and I'm guessing 8 of these tots is a very satisfying serving. I look forward to making these, Gina...and sharing the recipe with my WW class! Keep up the good work. Your recipes are really keeping me motivated!

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    1. I am guessing this was intended as a side dish. If you want a snack size, just have 4 and it's only 2 points! Win Win!

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  32. I'm grain/gluten free...do you think these will stick together ok without the breadcrumbs?

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    1. Oh I see someone suggested ground flaxseed!

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    2. I made these and replaced the bread crumbs with grated Romano cheese (or Parmesan could also work). They held together just fine.

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  33. Did anyone find out if these freeze well? Do the zucchini tots freeze, too?

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    1. I was also wondering, to have on hand like fisjsticks as a non meat meal starter

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  34. What type of Bread Crumbs do you use?

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  35. Also wondering about freezing - I'm a working mom of 2 under 2 and can only prep something like this on the weekends. :)

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  36. I'm going to give freezing these a shot. I'd bet they will be fine. I use Gina's recipe for chicken tenders (the nuggets recipe) and freeze those. I cook them, cool and then freeze on a cookie sheet, and then put in a ziplock. They re-heat perfectly and that way I can give my son real chicken on a moment's notice rather than some yucky packaged kind.

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  37. Wondering about freezing as well!

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  38. Could you use sweet potatoes instead of cauliflower?

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  39. Do you think that using a chopper to "rice" the cauliflower while raw, then popping it in the microwave for a few minutes would work? I wish I was graceful with the knife, but when I chop veggies, little bits end up all over the place so my chopper is my best friend for smaller chopped things. Thanks in advance, can't wait to try!

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  40. I made these last night along with Chicken & Avocado burgers. While the flavor was delicious I had trouble getting them to stay together. I was wondering if I should have processed the cauliflower instead of finely chopping? I did have to add another handful of bread crumbs to help it stick together. I'll definitely make these again. Carol

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  41. I am getting cauliflower in my CSA today and now need to decide between tots and cauliflower mash. :)

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  42. I made these last night and they were delicious. I couldn't get them to stick together like they show in the picture. Any suggestions?

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  43. I don't cook with cauliflower enough. I'm going to try these the next time they are on sale at the store.

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  44. I made these last night and they were delicious! My husband and I are thinking of making them as an appetizer for Thanksgiving.

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  45. Going to make these this weekend for my girls night get together.

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  46. Do you know if these do well after freezing? Would like to make a big batch and use as needed...

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  47. these sound great cant wait to try them. Thanks Gina for the great recipes.

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  48. Thank you so much for all your hard work providing delicious healthy recipes! I'm really trying to get my hubby and I on track and provide great fun tasty snacks for our boy too :)

    xoxo
    Megs

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  49. I don't know if this will help or not those with trouble of things holding together. I haven't tried any of the recipes I've saved to try for Cauliflower tots, but on the site: 'Your Lighter Side' she recommended freezing the tots before baking them. Theory is it holds it together until the outside firms up.

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    1. Interesting as my hubby said next time he makes them he may freeze them first- thanks!

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  50. How is this blog popular.... Cauliflower tots?

    Take it from a portly guy, that sounds awful. I love food. But no.

    I understand we are trying to eat healthy here, but just no.

    Maybe just don't Paula Deen your food: cut back on the butter and oil by half,bake instead of frying, maybe go on a walk from time to time, not need to resort to the scurge of cauliflower tots.

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    1. I think you identified the problem in the intro.
      Some of us actually LIKE vegetables. You haven't made them yet dismiss them; those who have say it's delicious.
      Sooooo.... yeah. You don't win the internet today.

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    2. This blog is popular because Gina has wonderful, delicious recipes. Nothing better to do with your time?

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    3. Why even comment on this blog if you are going to hate. Her recipes are great, and its not just about cutting back on butter and oil, I actually have never in my life cooked with either. I for one hate cauliflower, so am grateful to find a way to get veggies into my diet when I hate them. YOu obviously don't have a toddler either!!!

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    4. Um, try it. They are actually quite awesome!

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    5. Yeah these are really good have had something similar in the past will try this recipe also thanks for the post!

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    6. Hey Tom...don't knock it til you try it!! Amazingly, when cauliflower is cooked it gets a very mild flavor and really you only taste the flavors of what is with it, NOT The cauliflower. My boyfriend hates cauliflower and I made him pizza crust made with cauliflower and he loved it!!!

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  51. would frozen cauliflower work?

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    1. Yes, I made these and used frozen cauliflower and had no issues. I cooked it per the package instructions then chopped it up.

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  52. I have super picky kids. I wonder if they'd eat these. I think I'll try them! Keep the awesome recipes coming.

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  53. I just made these and my boyfriend could NOT stop eating them. He loved them. Thanks! Finally he's eating his veggies LOL.

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  54. Has anyone tried to prepare these and freeze ahead of time? Before or after cooking? Trying for a super quick way to sneak in veggies on a hectic day :-)

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    1. I froze some. I'll let you know how they reheat.

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  55. I used a combo bag of broccoli, carrots and cauliflower. I steamed them and then used the food processor. I also rolled them in bread crumbs after. My 14 month old ate two (mine were a good bit bigger than yours, I think).

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  56. Mmmmm, this looks like a really yummy side dish to change things up. I love new ways to try veggies on my sometimes picky twins. Thanks!

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  57. Such a good idea! Cauliflower is amazing- you can pretty much make anything with it <3

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  58. I made these tonight, but I did half broccoli and half cauliflower. They came out great. My one year chows these down, along with your zucchini tots. So yummy.

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  59. Holy crap these are good. I mean so good my vegetable-hating brother said he could eat them all day long. We had a family friend over for dinner and he said he would have never guessed they were cauliflower. I made a Sriracha Dipping Sauce with them and it was perfect (1/2 c mayo, 1/2 c sour cream, 2tbsp Sriracha) I might just pan fry them in patties next time. The tot part was a bit more time consuming than I wanted it to be but was it ever worth it!

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    1. I ended up giving everyone the recipe! The family friend said he wanted to go home and make them for his wife as a surprise. 40 years of marriage and he can't remember the last time he cooked for her. Now you KNOW you're an inspiration Gina! And my sister-in-law is just pumped to have heard my bro say he *wants* to eat vegetables.

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  60. Thanks Gina !! Love Love your recipes . You inspire me :)

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  61. I'm making these tonight with whole wheat breadcrumbs that I seasoned. It lowered the points to 3!

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  62. Thanks for the recipe Gina!! my husband, who hates cauli, eat them and ask for more!!! yupy!!! after 20 years of marriage he finally eats cauli!!

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  63. Tried these today, and while I do like them, your zucchini tots are still my favorite.

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  64. Is the cauliflower two cups before or after chopped?

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    1. 2 cups after chopping

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  65. Made these and the zucchini tots for a family get together Saturday night. The adults loved them. The 4 and 5 yr old were having too much fun playing and didn't eat much. My daughter asked me to make then again for Thanksgiving. I made them in regular size muffin tins, filled just the bottom, so they looked like little pancakes. I think I will just put them in a casserole dish and cut in squares next time.
    Sheree

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  66. These are amazing! I just pulled them out of the oven and am amazed how good they taste. Thanks for the recipe!

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  67. My husband made these the night this recipe was posted- we loved them! They were even better the 2nd night- which I did not think was possible! Thank you for the great recipes!

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  68. I made these as a side dish for dinner tonight. I made a recipe and a half hoping to pop some in my lunch for tomorrow. My 4 year old just gobbled the remaining tots (I think he ate 8)--no ketchup necessary. Sadly, none left for lunch, but so happy to have a veggie dish the adults and kids love!! I used panko crumbs and liked the extra crunch.

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  69. Do you think these could be made with broccoli? I have some extra broccoli to use and it sounds good with both!

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  70. I made these last night and they were sooo yummy!!! I brought some to work and reheated in the toaster oven and I think they are even better!!! yum!

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  71. I made these a week ago and they were WONDERFUL!!! My husband REALLY LOVED THEM!! I'm getting ready to make another batch right now!! Thanks Gina!!!

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  72. for low carb substitute ground flax for the b crumbs, I would use parm cheese and maybe roll in a seasoned almond flour as a coating before I put in a pan with grape seed il or coconut oil.

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  73. Love this idea. I have made pizza using a cauliflower crust. It was a hit. Will try this next.

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  74. These are baking in my oven right now and smell AMAZING. I used a food processor and threw in the whole cauliflower and big pieces of onion with everything. The mixture was a little wet (I increased the cooking time to 10mins/side to compensate) so next time I'm going to mince the onion before hand because I think the excess water came from that. I also left out the parsley and added garlic powder - delicious!!!!! Thank you SOOOO MUCH for this recipe Gina - you have the BEST ideas!

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  75. I'd like to freeze, should I freeze them before or after baking, for best results? Also thank you so much for Skinnytaste. I found it while doing WeightWatchers, and have learned to cook after 29 years of marriage : )

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  76. I made these with broccoli, sooo good. My toddler loved them, and I have a hard time getting her to eat her veggies. I always find great recipes on your blog!!

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    1. Oooo using the broccoli is a great idea!! I will definitely try that!

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  77. These were great! I did use a food processor but was careful not to pulverize the mix... I'm not patient enough to get a fine mince with a knife :-) I also used two spoons to make the tot shape instead of my hands, to make it less sticky for me. Thanks so much for sharing.

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  78. It has been a skinny taste kinda day! I made pumpkin muffins, cookies, breakfast cookies, refrigerated oatmeal, lime, cilantro cauliflower rice and the cauliflower tots! all were fantastic. I could not be bothered steaming the cauliflower, then chopping as well as doing what was needed for the rice so I combined tasks. I used the food processor to rice the cauliflower, followed the directions for the rice, cooking the cauliflower in the fry pan with onions and garlic. Took out the 2cups needed for the tots, then finished the rice recipe! and all turned out great!

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  79. I want to make these, but I'm a little unclear on the directions for cooking the cauliflower. First it says steam, but then it sounds like you actually put the cauliflower into the boiling water? Not sure if I'm actually steaming or boiling?

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  80. help! I followed directions exactly and they did not even remotely stay put together to make little ovals?

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  81. I really enjoyed this recipe. I made it with no cheese and had no parsley either but used the leaves of a celery as a herb instead.
    1 cauliflower
    2 small eggs
    2 stale slices of white bread
    1 small finely chopped onion
    seasoning.
    They bound and came out great.
    I'll try parsley next time and try to use 'No-egg' to make a vegan version.
    :)

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  82. Made these tonight, they were ok....really not much taste to them. Need more spices or something.
    Sorry Gina, however I do love a lot of the other recipes on your blog.

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  83. Love your blog! Hope you don't mind, I gave them a whirl g-free for my blog. Loved them!

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  84. I'm eating these right now, with the salmon cakes recipe and the avocado cilantro dressing its sooo good all of it!I actually have alt of cauliflower so I'm going to make these for an extra appetizer on Christmas eve, along w the avocado dressing I'm going to make it as a dip for veggie tray. Great recipes#

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  85. I just tried these and they came out fabulous. I made some slight flavor changes - spicing them up a bit and using a mustard seed gouda cheese that I picked up from a specialty cheese shop but thanks for this base formula - I plan to try them with some other veggies too!

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  86. I just made these and they were outstanding!! What a great alternative to tater tots!

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  87. Just as yummy as the zucchini bites! We like to use Italian seasoning and/or jalapeƱos to add some flavor.

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  88. Are these freezable. Like the zuccini tots?

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  89. I'm going to try these, and not even tell the girls what's in them! If they ask, I'll pop one in my mouth and give an inaudible answer. Does that make me a bad dad?

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  90. Use a mold / your favorite deep scooper. They'll stick together!

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  91. Oh my gosh these look so good and easy to make. I saw the comments about using Daiya cheese. I'll have to find a store that sells it but I'd love to give it a try with this recipe.

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  92. Hi, I didn't have the patience to read through all of the comments because there were so many, but, I was wondering if I frozen cauliflower would work?? Anyone go that route??

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  93. I did these with frozen cauliflower, Really squeeze water out and might have to bake a few minutes longer. We loved them!!!! They were a great side to baked chicken wings. Still wondering if anyone has frozen them?

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  94. These are great! I loved them, my husband loved them and most importantly, my 20 month old loved them! I love your site Gina!

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  95. I made this into a kind of "cauliflower casserole" and my family loved it and so did I -- THANK YOU!!! I didn't have the time to make "tots" - I needed dinner on the table in 30 mins. So I steamed 4 cups of cauliflower, chopped it small, threw it in a casserole dish, then tossed in all of the other ingredients along with 4 tablespoons of olive oil. I substituted mizithra & romano cheese (that's all I had on hand). It was amazing!!! THANK YOU for the inspiration -- it was super fast, super easy, and super healthful!!! THis is a meatless main dish we will enjoy for many years, I am sure.

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  96. I tried this recipe and it was fantastic! I don't have the best cookie sheets, which makes everything stick to them...I made this in my casserole dish as more of a mashed potato substitute rather than the bites. Still extremely good, and got 2 thumbs up from the rest of the family. Thank you!

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    1. Also i used panko crumbs instead of regular bread crumbs. (seasoned of course) delicious!

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  97. Is that WW Points+ count for one serving? 2 Cauli Tots for 4 points seems steep. Or is it 4 points for the 8 tots?

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  98. Made these this week... I added a tablespoon of corn starch to the chopped cauliflower and tossed it well before continuing to the next step. I then shaped them and placed them on the cookie sheet and let them sit for about 30 minutes. While the cornstarch didn't have a lot of affect in helping them stick together for shaping (I envisioned 'rolling' them in my palms but really you get a spoon full, plop it on the sheet and then 'form' them with your fingers so don't expect them to stick together when you're forming them) I do think it helped it all stick together during baking. And they were quite crisp and crunchy outside which the cornstarch may have contributed to as well.

    I just found this site and want to say that it is the ONLY site/blog/publication that has inspired me to try new recipes on a consistent basis. And I find I am eating better because I'm enjoying my food more. Your recipes are unique, innovative, practical for the weight/health conscious and so far, quite delicious! Thank you so much!

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  99. I've started to like cauliflower just recently, and this recipe seems the right one to try.

    Thank you

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  100. 8 tots have 148 calories? or one tot have 148 calories ? I'm lost in this :p

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    1. a serving size is 8 tots, and for each serving size, there are 148 calories. so the 148 calories are for 8 tots

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  101. Okay, I am not sure I understand how the points are worked out. The only things with points are the bread crumbs, egg and cheese. How can that work out to that many points for each one? Do you include points for ALL ingredients in your calculations? I know this is still great but just wondering overall for all your recipes which I do love! Thanks for your help....keep up the great recipes!

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    1. A serving size if for 8 tots which means that for 8 tots, there is a points value of 4

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  102. this look great.Instead of baking can I deep fry them?

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  103. They didn't stick together very well. Any suggestions?

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