Happy Sunday peeps! It has been a fairly stressful month with my work as I had organised quite a few events for the libraries of my district: it was the first time I had done something like this so my anxiety level was understandably relatively high. But all the events have been successful, well attended and the people involved were very happy as well as my manager. All this translated into the need for some good comfort food that could also tick the “healthy” box, hence the recipe I am sharing with you today.
I had a large head of cauliflower that I didn’t know how to use: couldn’t be bothered to make bang-bang cauliflower or similar and it was a bit too much for a cauliflower dip. Looking through the bookmarked recipes, here it is this beautiful casserole! Usually, I want easy and quick recipes and in this period I needed something that could be extra-easy and extra-quick. This was definitely the recipe!
VeganHuggs is one of my favourite websites for vegan recipes: I don’t know you, but sometimes, I can try many recipes from a website and they never come out great, while with some other websites, the result of any recipe I try is just delicious. Does this happen to you?
And VeganHuggs is just one those websites in the second category.
So further ado, here is the recipe – just a note, instead of steaming the cauliflower, I roasted it with a pinch of salt, pepper, turmeric and olive oil for 15 minutes at 220C.
- 1 large head cauliflower , cut into bite-size florets (about 2.5 pounds)
- 1 cup panko
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter , melted (+ more for greasing dish)
- 1 cup raw cashews , soaked in very hot water
- 2 cups unsweetened soy milk
- 1 cup vegetable broth , low sodium
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup tapioca flour/starch
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic , (+ a pinch for breadcrumbs)
- 1 teaspoon granulated onion
- 1 ¼ teaspoons sea salt , more to taste
- Fresh-cut parsley
- Crushed red pepper flakes
- Preheat oven to 400° F (200° C). Lightly grease a 3-quart casserole dish and set aside.
- Combine the melted butter, breadcrumbs and a pinch of granulated garlic in a small bowl. Set aside.
- To soak cashews, boil water in a small pot and remove from heat. Add cashews and cover for 15-20 minutes, until softened (*see note).
- While the cashews are soaking, you can steam the cauliflower. Place about 1 ” of water into a med/large pot that will fit your steamer basket. Place your basket on the bottom and cover pot with a lid. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat to med-low to maintain a low boil and place cauliflower florets into the basket. Cover and steam for 7-10 minutes, until just tender. Uncover and remove from heat.
- Drain and rinse cashews (discard soaking water). Now place all cheese sauce ingredients in a high-speed blender. Blend until cashews have completely broken down and the sauce is smooth, about 1-2 minutes.
- Pour cheese sauce into a medium skillet/pot over medium heat (I used the same pot for steaming the cauliflower). Cook for 4-5 minutes until it thickens up a lot and becomes slightly stretchy. Stir often to prevent burning. If sauce is too thick for your taste, you can add a little soy milk or broth to thin it out. Taste for seasoning, and add more if needed.
- Pour ½ the cheese sauce on the bottom of the greased casserole dish. Now add the cauliflower on top in one layer. Pour the remaining cheese sauce on top of the cauliflower. Now sprinkle with prepared breadcrumbs and cover with foil. Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until cheese is hot and bubbly. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes or until breadcrumbs are light golden brown. Remove from oven. *Sprinkle with optional fresh-cut parsley and crushed red pepper flakes. Enjoy!
This is the perfect healthy comfort food that doesn’t require much work and the result will be just great. It sustained me for 2 dinners and 1 lunch and I tell you, it was a lifesaver!
It might be that it’s a bit too warm to turn the oven on these days, but maybe you could make it for the next rainy day.
Anyway, I hope you’ll try and enjoy this recipe.
Have a lovely Sunday!