I have always loved cauliflower cheese, it was my childhood favourite. It was one of the first meals my children enjoyed and a family favourite
In my opinion cauliflower cheese is one of the best ways to eat cauliflower. What’s not to like, a cheesy creamy sauce topped with golden breadcrumbs. It can be eaten as a side dish or as a dinner.
I was worried that when I began my journey into veganism, cheesy dishes such as gratins and cauliflower cheese would no longer feature on my weekly menu again, how wrong was I.
Thanks to the amazing nutritional yeast (no vegan cook should be without it) and the improvement in taste and texture in vegan cheeses in recent years, I should not have been concerned, it tasted fabulous,
Combined with the other ingredients in the sauce you still get that wonderful savoury umami flavour.
It is comfort food that is versatile. With just some simple inexpensive vegetables and a few store cupboard ingredients you have a filling healthy meal.
I have never had cauliflower cheese with a roast dinner, I know that is popular. I love mine in a big bowl with some crusty bread or maybe some extra veggies.
We are all trying to cut costs and save money on our shopping and our energy bills, Normally I could place this in the oven to cook but I didn’t want to turn on the oven just for this recipe. A short spell under a hot grill is all this needs.
- Instead of slightly cooking the cauliflower and broccoli in salted water you could either place them into a microwaveable bowl, add water, place a plate over the top and microwave on high for 5 minutes or until a knife can pierce it easily. It could also be tossed in a little olive oil, seasoned and cooked in an air fryer at 200C for 5-8 minutes. This has the benefit of giving the veg a nutty roasted flavour.
- If you want to up your intake of vegetables then frozen spinach can make a wonderful addition. Just toss some cubes in the cheesy sauce and stir through. Frozen spinach is a great thing to store in your freezer.
- Protein can be upped by adding some crushed nuts such as walnut to your topping.
Cauliflower and Broccoli Cheese
- Preparation Time 10 Minutes
- Cooking Time 5-10 Minutes
- Serves 6 as sides and 4 as a mains dish
Vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free and egg free
- Trim the broccoli and cauliflower and break it off into small florets. Place into a large saucepan with some salted water and bring to a boil, turn the heat down and gently simmer for 10 minutes or until a knife can pierce in easily. You do not want to overcook it. Drain and set to one side
2. In another large saucepan add the dairy-free butter and leave to melt on a low heat. Once it has melted add the flour to the butter and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until you have a thick paste, season with salt and pepper. Cook this for 5 minutes to cook the flour out, stirring all the time. Remove from the heat and very gradually add the milk, whisking all the time. Place the pan back onto a medium heat, keep whisking slowly until it starts to thicken and it forms a velvety creamy sauce.
3. Add the nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika powder, mustard, 150g of the mature cheddar and the rest of the cheeses you are using and stir in until the cheese has melted. Season to taste.
4. Fold the cauliflower and broccoli into the cheese sauce, making sure everything is coated. Pour into a baking tray and smooth out and then combine the panko breadcrumbs, the remaining mature cheddar and the olive oil and sprinkle over the top of your dish.
5. Turn the grill to a medium heat and place your dish under the grill. Cook until golden brown and bubbling. Remove and serve.
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PS: If you like this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Twitter as @veganalchemist1 or my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/thegfveganalchemist I love seeing your versions of my recipes. Or I would love to hear your comments
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