“Cauliflower Power” by Lindsay Grimes Freedman, Artisan Books, $19.95, 240 pages hardcover

When we were growing up, my mom would make our favorite dish to mark a special occasion.

Adults often expressed surprise when they heard my brother’s usual request — steamed cauliflower topped with cheese sauce. Our school friends were more likely to roll their eyes.

He was just ahead of the culinary curve. Today cauliflower is considered a “star” vegetable.

It's used in everything from soup to dessert.

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You'll find this versatile vegetable used to make pizza crust, cauliflower mash, Double-Chocolate Granola Parfait Cups, Caramelized Onion Cauliflower Hummus and even serve as the base for brownies.

Plus, cauliflower has plenty of nutritional and health benefits and works for low-carbohydrate, gluten-free and vegan diets.

Blogger Lindsay Grimes Freedman became interested in cauliflower after her husband was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. She began looking for low-glycemic alternatives for some of his favorite dishes.

She also wanted to create dishes her whole family would enjoy.

The results of her experiments turned into her food blog “The Toasted Pine Nut” and, more recently, a cookbook, “Cauliflower Power.”

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With more than 75 recipes, the book runs the gamut, offering ideas for breakfast, lunch, happy hour, dinner, side dishes and desserts.

Freedman explains how to select the best cauliflower head and also offers step-by-step instructions for the five key ways of preparing cauliflower: whole head, steaks, florets, rice and meal.

The instructions and the recipes are illustrated with full-color photographs.

If you’d like to learn more about how to use the once-overlooked cauliflower, take a look at “Cauliflower Power.”

Cheramie Sonnier is a food writer and columnist. Email her at sonnierfood@gmail.com, and follow her on Twitter, @CheramieSonnier.