I have to say I am pretty pleased with myself with this cauliflower and broccoli smoked “cheese” bake, and according to Ben it’s my best recipe in a while which is high praise from my biggest fan! The secret ingredient is a teaspoon of paprika which gives the cheesy cashew sauce an amazing smoky flavour and reminds me so much of smoked cheese from my non vegan past! The toasted almonds on the top give the bake a lovely crunch and the mixture of broccoli and cauliflower is just heaven.
The smoky creamy sauce is also super easy to make and I usually make double and freeze half for when I just need a speedy dinner and want something healthy. It has so much flavour it could also be used as a stand alone dip and it would be amazing on vegan nachos…watch this space for a recipe.
If you love creamy sauces but fancy something a bit more hearty give my lots of greens pesto pasta and my spaghetti carbonara with sun dried tomatoes and shiitake mushroom “bacon” a try!
Another massive difference in my cauliflower and broccoli smoked cheese recipe from the hideous cauliflower cheese I remember from my school days is I decided to roast the vegetables rather than boiling them. This not only retains all the goodness but also means the veggies have a lovely bite to them and a savoury tang from the tamari they are roasted in. I am obsessed with cruciferous vegetables at the moment and trying to find ways to use them as a base for my creations as not only do I love them but they are said to reduce our risk of major illness which makes them a “win win” for me!
Let me know if you try this recipe I would love to know what you think!
CAULIFLOWER AND BROCCOLI SMOKED “CHEESE” WITH TOASTED ALMONDS (VEGAN, GLUTEN FREE)
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour 10
- 100g cashew nuts (soaked for 6-8 hours or for 10 minutes in boiling water)
- 500ml plant milk (we use oatly barista)
- Head of cauliflower
- Head of broccoli
- 50g sliced almonds
- 2 tbsp. cornflour
- 2 tbsp. tamari (or soy sauce if you don’t need gluten free)
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 4 tbsp. nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- 1/2 – 1 tsp paprika
- salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180’C
- Chop the cauliflower and broccoli in to bite sized pieces and place on baking trays tossing them in the olive oil and tamari. Be careful not to crowd them or they will steam instead of roasting. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes turning halfway through. (They are done when the stalks are tender and they are starting to go crispy. Keep an eye on the broccoli as it may cook quicker than the cauliflower.)
- While the veggies are roasting make the smoky cheese sauce by blending the soaked cashews, plant milk, cornflour, mustard powder, paprika and nutritional yeast with a pinch of salt and some black pepper.
- Transfer to a pan and bring to the boil stirring continuously until the sauce thickens. (Make sure you keep stirring so the sauce doesn’t stick and burn!)
- When the vegetables are ready transfer to an oven proof dish and cover with the sauce and stir to combine. Sprinkle with the almonds and bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes until the almonds are golden and the sauce is bubbling.
- Serve immediately and enjoy! If you like spicy food this is amazing with chilli sauce such as the Encona hot pepper! It also works really well with some fresh bread and salad if you are looking for a more filling meal.