Cheap Meals

The Back Story

Who woulda thunk that cauliflower could actually become addictive? But it’s true. With this dead-simple, high-temperature roasting process known as caramelization, basic off-the-rack cauliflower is miraculously transformed into sweet, lip-smackin' candy bombs that the kids in your world—and even you—won't be able to get enough of.


1 head cauliflower

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon salt


What To Do

1. Preheat oven to 425°F.

2. Cut out and discard cauliflower core and thick stems. Trim remaining cauliflower into florets the size of golf balls. In a large bowl, add cauliflower, olive oil, and salt. Toss thoroughly.

3. Spread cauliflower on a baking sheet (lined with parchment paper, if available, for easy cleanup). Roast for 1 hour, or until much of each floret has become golden brown. (That's the caramelization process converting the dormant natural sugars into sweetness). The browner the florets, the sweeter they will taste. Turn 3 or 4 times during roasting.

4. Use crumpled up aluminum foil or paper towels to create a false bottom in your popcorn container, fill it with cauliflower, and serve immediately.


Yield 4 servings

Uncommon goods An empty movie theater popcorn container or aluminum Jiffy Pop package

Level of difficulty The same as making real popcorn.

Active prep 10 minutes

Inactive cooking time 1 hour

Shortcuts Buy the precut cauliflower in the lazy boy section of the produce department.

Advance work Raw cauliflower can be precut and refrigerated for up to 2 days in an airtight bag or a bowl of water. With minimal sacrifice, cauliflower can be cooked earlier in the day and reheated in a 450°F oven for 10 minutes.



Meet the Guest Stars
Chef Jeff Henderson | @Chefjefflive

Chef Jeff Henderson rose from humble beginnings in South Central Los Angeles to become the first African-American executive chef at the Bellagio Hotel. He has gone on to become a successful TV host with a cable show on the Food Network, a nationally syndicated series called, Family Style with Chef Jeff and the host of Flip My Food. When he isn’t cooking on TV he’s a highly sought-after motivational speaker, sharing the secrets of realizing your potential at... (full profile)

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