One of the first things you notice once you鈥檝e gone Paleo is that cauliflower heads have taken over your veggie drawer. And that makes you happy, because cauliflower is the versatile vegetable that makes you forget your former comfort foods. Low in carbs and calories but packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber, it鈥檚 delicious in a silky soup, of course, but it鈥檚 also a completely tasty substitute for mashed potatoes, fried聽rice and pizza crust. And, pro tip: It鈥檚 a great thickener for non-dairy sauces. Here are 12 recipes that show why plain old cauliflower is a Paleo powerhouse.

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1. Cauliflower Fried Rice: When you find yourself craving fried rice, grain-free cauliflower rice comes to the rescue! The secret ingredient to get that Chinese fried rice flavor is liquid coconut aminos, which has the umami flavor of soy sauce but is completely Paleo 鈥 and even Whole30-compliant! Vegan and GF friends will love this one too. (via Little Bits Of)

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2. Cauliflower Tikka Masala: This one鈥檚 like everyone鈥檚 favorite paneer tikka masala, minus the heavy cream and cheese. This GF adaptation has all the curry taste you crave, but it derives its creaminess from coconut milk. Add a drizzle of cashew cr茅me at the end to make it even creamier. (via Vegetarian Gastronomy)

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3. Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce: To make this Alfredo taste-alike recipe Paleo, just substitute a sprinkle of yeast flakes for the Parmesan cheese. Nutritional yeast has a salty flavor and mouthfeel that鈥檚 similar to cheese, and most Paleo eaters 鈥 including ThePrimal Blueprint author Mark Sisson 鈥 find it compliant. Ladle this divine sauce over morning eggs for a tasty Benedict, or over fish, zoodles or cauliflower rice at dinner. It also makes a delicious white pizza sauce on a grain-free crust. (via Crunchy, Creamy, Sweet)

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4. Paleo Shepherd鈥檚 Pie: This is everyone鈥檚 favorite comfort food that signals to Paleo converts early on that you can do this. Full of savory grass-fed beef and veggies, this shepherd鈥檚 pie is topped with a decadent mound of mashed cauliflower. The casserole can be made ahead and frozen. Bonus: Next-day leftovers taste twice as good. (via Foraged Dish)

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5. Cauliflower Roasted Red Pepper Soup: This silky soup is simple to make, and *so* satisfying. Coarsely chop red pepper and cauliflower, then roast them in the oven until caramelized. The rest of the recipe comes together quickly in a soup pot and is ready to eat in under an hour. It鈥檚 Paleo, vegan and GF. (via Gal on a Mission)

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6. Low-Carb Cauliflower Hummus: If it was once a fave go-to food, you鈥檒l at some point find yourself yearning for hummus. This taste-alike is just the thing to crush that craving. Creamy and sesame-nutty, it鈥檚 Paleo-friendly, vegan and GF. Scoop it up with red bell pepper chips; one creamy bite, and you鈥檒l swear it鈥檚 the real thing. (via I Breathe I鈥檓 Hungry)

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7. Chicken and Cauliflower Yellow Curry: This spicy and delicious curry bubbles up rich and creamy thanks to coconut milk. Substitute arrowroot flour for the corn starch and serve it over riced cauliflower for a perfectly Paleo meal that鈥檚 also GF. (via I Food Real)

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8. Kimchi Fried Cauliflower Rice: When you鈥檙e craving the combo of spicy kimchi with warm rice and veggies, this will be your go-to. Kimchi is fermented, so it鈥檚 loaded with healthy, gut-loving probiotics. Even better, the tangy flavor adds a zing to everything it comes into contact with. This flavorful dish is light, but it really hits the spot. (via In Sonnet鈥檚 Kitchen)

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9. Cauliflower Rice Fish Taco Bowls: This colorful and delicious fish, paired with avocado and mango, is ridiculously easy to make. Just leave off the yogurt sauce to make it Paleo-compliant. The cauliflower rice is exactly the right accompaniment; feast your eyes and your taste buds! One bite and you鈥檒l feel transported to a tropical island. (via Julie鈥檚 Eats & Treats)

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10. Tandoori Chicken & Curry Pineapple Cauliflower Rice: This complexly layered dish is so delicious, it will tempt Paleo and non-Paleo guests alike. The oven-roasted cauliflower rice is spicy-sweet thanks to pineapple chunks, curry and coconut oil. Almonds and raisins add just the right chewy crunch too. But the star of the show is the chicken. It鈥檚 spiced just right, and *so* tender that it falls right off the bone. (via Well Fed)

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11. Easy Roasted Cauliflower: This dish is so basic that you rarely see a recipe for it, but it鈥檚 a must-have in your Paleo-cooking repertoire. Any time you鈥檙e in need of a quick side dish, grab a head of cauliflower, slather it in a mixture of olive oil and ghee, season with salt and pepper to taste and bake it in a cast-iron skillet until it鈥檚 golden brown. You won鈥檛 believe the complex caramelized flavor that emerges. Even kids will happily gobble it down. (via Kara Carrero)

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12. Coconut Curried Cauliflower Soup: If you love Thai curries, you鈥檒l love this soup. Paleo and vegan, it鈥檚 super creamy but dairy-free. You can adjust the heat by using more or less Thai chili paste. (via The Endless Meal)

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