Yum! Yum! Yum! I seriously cannot get enough of this dish! I’ve always been fond of cauliflower, and these days there is so much you can do with it. From cauli-rice to cauli-pizza bases, the possibilities are endless with this versatile cruciferous vegetable. I remember growing up, whenever we had a roast dinner (blegh) my mum would make her famous Cauliflower Cheese. She made it so well and it was always a hit on the dinner table. So, I decided to try and replicate her dish, by giving it a healthy, vegan twist to satisfy my cravings.
I absolutely love it when recipes just work! And this one really really does! It is so delicious! The star of this dish is the ‘cheese’ sauce, and the main ingredient that stands out the most is the nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast is a pure strain of yeast that adds a cheesy and nutty flavor to vegan and vegetarian dishes. It’s yellow with a flaky texture. It’s also a source of protein, providing essential amino acids and B-vitamins. If it’s a fortified version is should contain vitamin B12. It’s not the same as baking yeast and won’t affect and candida conditions. Nutritional yeast boasts trace minerals and contains all 18 amino acids. It is naturally free of dairy, soy, gluten and sugar, and contains no animal products.
The B vitamins are a collection of eight water-soluble vitamins essential for various metabolic processes. The body uses energy-yielding nutrients such as carbohydrates, fat and protein for fuel. B vitamins help the body to use that fuel in necessary roles such as helping cells to multiply by making new DNA. The B vitamins are also essential for a healthy nervous system. Nerve tissue has very high energy requirements, and is particularly sensitive to any shortages of the B’s, such as in times of stress. So nutritional yeast is a great ingredient to have in your cupboard, especially if your living a plant based lifestyle. It’s generally available in the condiment section or natural foods stores. Stored in a cool dry place or the refrigerator or freezer, it will last for months.
So we’ve established how this sauce get’s it’s cheesy flavor, let’s carry on.
To reach a creamy smooth saucy texture, I used soaked cashew nuts. Cashew nuts are so so versatile and are so handy in a plant based diet. They can be used as a base for so many different recipes and dishes. Always a good idea to keep some in a glass jar in your pantry! I soak the nuts for 3-8hrs, but overnight is great too. This just helps them blend easier to reach that really creamy consistency we’re wanting. It also ‘activates’ the nut, which starts off the germination or sprouting process to release its enzyme inhibitors enhancing their digestibility.
To add to the cheesy flavor and the creamy texture I add lightly sauteed garlic, onion and spring onion, as well as half a good quality vegetable stock cube. This just adds such a flavor boost, and the lime juice finishes it off beautifully! Ah! My tummy is grumbling just thinking of how delicious this sauce is. It’s particularly great if you’re craving something savory, and would be great cold as a dip too. So don’t fear if you’ve got left over, it’ll sure not go to waste 🙂
- 1/2 Head Cauliflower (Rinsed)
- 1/2 Cup Cashew Nuts (Soaked 3-8hrs)(Or overnight)
- 1/2 Onion (Diced)
- 4 Cloves Garlic (Diced)
- 2 Sprigs Spring Onion (Diced)
- 2 TBS Nutritional Yeast
- 1/2 Tsp Turmeric
- 1 TBS Organic Cold Pressed Coconut Oil
- 1 Tsp Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Olive Oil
- 1/2 Vegetable Stock Cube (Good Quality - Sugar Free)
- Pinch of Salt
- Clean and rinse your cauliflower and steam for 10mins. Place into a pie dish. My dish is 17cm/6.5inches.
- In a small pot on a medium heat, saute the onion, spring onion and garlic in the coconut oil until golden brown. Add a little water (3-5TBS) as you add the stock cube, ensuring that it dissolves.
- Add the turmeric and salt, turn off the heat and allow to simmer.
- In a blender, add the cashew nuts, and when the onion mixture is cooled down a bit, add it to the nuts, leaving the liquid behind in the pot.
- Add the nutritional yeast and olive oil and blend, slowly adding the flavorful stock water from the pot until a smooth, creamy consistency is reached.
- Place the steamed cauliflower florets into the pie dish and pour over the cheesy sauce, ensuring all is covered.
- Grill for 5-8 minutes, or until golden brown.
I do hope you all enjoy this recipe, and if you do give it a go, remember to share on social media (#wellnesswithtaryn) so I can see your beautiful healthy creations 🙂