Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Spicy Cheezy Cauliflower Casserole

Last night we were getting ready to go to a show and decided we'd make dinner at home to save some moolah. My token omnivore opted for his very own grilled cheese. In a moment of laziness, my intention was just to whip up some cauliflower "rice" with other veggies in it and call it a night. But something happened. Some sriracha made its way into the pan and, the next thing I know, the Daiya cheese is beside me begging to be next. Low and behold, a masterpiece appeared. A delicious, cheesy, midwest-with-a-kick style hot dish.

As my other half chewed away at his semi-burnt sammie, I exuded "mmmmmm" after "mmmmmm" and finally came up for air with a "oh my god, you gotta have a bite." He looked at me with those envious eyes that told me his cheesewich was not very satisfying, begrudgingly leaned over and let his taste buds behold the wonder of this cheesy concoction. Then I got the straight up jealous look: "Yeah that's amazing."

So my mission tonight was to recreate this dish in a larger quantity fit for a complete meal. Served on top of a scoop of jasmine rice and beside a nice lil spinach salad, we were good to go. My other half added a couple of over easy (local, nest run) eggs between the rice and cheesy cauli to add some protein. Then after he was done with all of his "mmmmmm"s, he said "This is my favorite meal you've ever made. I want this for my birthday dinner, write that down." So here it is. I wrote it down.

Spicy Cheezy Cauliflower 
Makes: 2 servings 
Cook time: 30 minutes


2 c. cauliflower flowerets, broken into small pieces
1/2 c. vegetable broth (bouillon or homemade)
2 garlic cloves, sliced 
3/4 c. zucchini, shredded or thinly sliced
1/2 c. red pepper, finely diced
1 T. apple juice (or extra broth*)
2-3 tsp. Sriracha
2 tsp. soy sauce or tamari
½ c. Daiya white cheese, shredded
2 T. reduced fat Veganaise (or other vegan mayo)
2 T. nutritional yeast 
Optional: 1/2 c. frozen peas, thawed


Preheat oven to 400*F and spray a small baking dish with cooking spray.
Pulse the cauliflower in a food processor 20-25 times or until cauliflower is crumbly and resembles rice. Set aside.

In large skillet or wok, bring the broth to boil over medium-high heat. When boiling, add garlic. Cook for 30 seconds or so and add zucchini and peppers. Cook for another minute and add cauliflower. Deglaze the pan with apple juice. Stir in Sriracha and soy sauce. Reduce heat to medium and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated and cauliflower is al dente, about 3-4 minutes. (Add thawed peas if using here.) 

Fold in Daiya cheese, Veganaise, and nooch until thoroughly incorporated. Adjust seasoning to taste by adding Sriracha for more spice or a little more Veganaise to soften the spice.

Transfer cauliflower to baking dish and bake in oven for 15 minutes, or until the top has browned a little. Serve over rice or plain by itself! 

* The apple juice is just a touch of sweet to compliment the spicy. You can just use more broth with an optional teeny tiny pinch of sugar. 

1 comment:

  1. So, I didn't have any zucchini and shredded carrots instead. I didn't have any peppers, so I added some chiffonaded Chard. No mayo or Daiya either, so I substituted with hummus and topped it with vegetarian cheddar. OMG...thank you for inspiring me!