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Smokey Grilled Cauliflower Steaks

I hit the turkey jackpot this weekend! Every year I go through this internal struggle about buying a happy turkey (free range, antibiotic free, organic, local blah blah blah) which can easily cost $80-$100 and buying a sort-of happy turkey (pick one of the above descriptors) that’s more affordable. I try to walk the walk, but dropping $100 on one part of one meal is hard to stomach. I was hmming and hawing over turkeys yesterday and was going to go with the sort-of-happy turkey when I noticed a monster happy turkey that was the same per pound price as the sort-of-happy turkey. It turns out they were mislabeled, but the butcher gave it to me at the reduced price, so I saved $40 our 27lb happy monster turkey!! I’m going to have to start cooking that thing the day before to have it done on time, but we’ll be eating turkey for weeks.

If you need a quick and easy side dish ahead of all the busy Thanksgiving cooking coming up, here’s your answer! As anyone who eats Paleo can attest, cauliflower quickly becomes a staple ingredient in your cooking. It regularly serves as your starch substitute, and it’s always really good: mashed cauliflower in place of mashed potatoes or cauliflower rice or cous cous in place of rice or gluten-based cous cous (made by shredding cauliflower on shredding blade in food processor). In both of these applications, you can add lots of flavor and create a huge variety of dishes. Oftentimes you’re playing down the cauliflower taste to make it act as your neutral starch to emphasize the other flavors in the dish. Sometimes, however, it’s great to let the cauliflower flavor come through.

Smokey Grilled Cauliflower Steaks

The first time we made these grilled cauliflower steaks, TimTheFarmer and I took a bite and looked at each other with wide eyes – they were delicious! This recipe started with an idea from this cookbook, but I didn’t have tahini, so I sprinkled on the smokey spice blend from this book that I’d been using lately and it turned out amazing! With this recipe, you only use about half the cauliflower, so save the florets that aren’t attached to the stalk to steam or roast or turn into rice or mash. You get 2-4 steaks per head and a serving is 1-2 steaks.

Smokey Grilled Cauliflower Steaks
Serves 2
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
  1. 2 heads of cauliflower
  2. 2 tbsp coconut or MCT oil
  3. 2 tbsp Smokey Spice Blend
Smokey Spice Blend
  1. 1 tbsp chipotle powder
  2. 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  3. 1 tbsp onion powder
  4. 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
  5. 1 tbsp sea salt/pink Himalayan salt
  6. 1/2 tsp black pepper
  1. Heat grill to medium heat.
  2. Slice cauliflower into steaks. Put stem-side down on cutting board, start about 1/4-1/3 of the way from the right, and cut straight down. Move knife over 3/4 of an inch and cut down again. You should get a steak. Repeat until there is no stem left to hold steaks together (2-3 more times). Save discarded cauliflower for future use.
  3. Brush both sides of cauliflower with melted coconut oil and sprinkle generously with Smokey Spice Blend.
  4. Carefully place steaks on heated grill.
  5. Cook 8-10 minutes per side. Don't flip until you've got good grill marks on each side.
Adapted from Eating Local & Practical Paleo
Isn't That Grand?