The Cheesiest Cauliflower “Mac and Cheese”

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw cashews soaked for at least three hours or boiled for 15 minutes
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tsp miso paste
  • 2tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 chipotle pepper
  • 1tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • Olive Oil for Pan Roasting
  • Vegan bacon (I used Lightlife*)
  • Parsley to taste
  • Vegan cheddar shreds (optional). I used Violife*

First off, I should mention that that is the sauce I use to make a regular mac and cheese. I am not keto, but I had a head of cauliflower in the fridge that needed to be used up and I was inspired by a keto recipe of swapping out the pasta for a low carb veg. The sauce is very versatile and I also use it to make a standard “Alfredo” sauce by omitting the chipotle and paprika. Chipotle peppers make this dish smoky and rich, but you could omit them if you just want to go with plain cheese sauce.

Instructions.

  1. Throw all ingredients up to and not including the cauliflower) into a blender and blitz the bejesus out of it until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
  2. Break the head of cauliflower into bite sized pieces and wash in a colander. I like to do them on the smaller side as we are going to be pan roasting it. It will cook a bit faster this way, and also mimic more of a “mac and cheese” as opposed to cauliflower in cheese sauce.
  3. In a sauté pan (or my favourite – a cast iron skillet) heat some olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower and toss to coat with the oil. Sauté the cauliflower until it is just tender to the bite and not mushy (about 10 minutes). Add enough of the sauce to cover the cauliflower with a bit extra as we will reduce this for a few minutes on the stove top
  4. Lower the heat and continue to cook the cauliflower in the cheese sauce until the sauce thickens to the right consistency.
  5. While the cauliflower is cooking start another pan with a bit of oil and cook off the bacon. Once cooked, transfer to a cutting board and chop into small pieces to be sprinkled on the cheesy cauliflower.
  6. Top the cauliflower with vegan cheddar shreds (optional) and put under the broiler (watching carefully so as not to burn) until the cauliflower is bubbling and the top is slightly browned. If you are not using shreds, you can omit this step.
  7. Top with the chopped bacon and fresh chopped parsley.
  8. Get stuck in.

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