Vegan Cauliflower Creamy Pasta

Creamy pasta is one of my favourite comfort foods, and I was pleasantly surprised by this recipe that I found on ohsheglows.com. This is a website I use very frequently to find new interesting vegan recipes, especially when I am not sure what I want to make for dinner.

Let’s face it – typical alfredo sauce has nothing particularly healthy in it. This recipe takes vitamin-rich cauliflower and turns it into a delightful pasta companion, without using butter, parmesan, or cream. I love using vegetables creatively, especially to create comfort food; for example, I used spaghetti squash as cheese on vegan pizza.

Ingredients for the sauce
1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into pieces
1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup non-dairy milk (I used soy milk)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
Juice from 1/2 small lemon
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
salt and pepper to taste

Other ingredients
Box of pasta, cooked
Optional: broccoli, cut into small pieces

I began by steaming the cauliflower until I could easily insert a fork into the florets. In a small pan I heated the oil and lightly sauteed the garlic. I put all the sauce ingredients in a food processor and pureed it until smooth. I steamed the broccoli separately, then added the sauce and broccoli to the cooked pasta, and heated the dish until hot. This is a simple, delicious, and nutritious meal. Comfort food with a healthy twist.

20140410_193842

Advertisements

Cauliflower Risotto

Cauliflower is a vegetable I do not eat very often, but I have come across a lot of interesting ways of preparing it – it can apparently be used to make a delicious cream-less cream sauce, substituted for potatoes, and imitate the creamy deliciousness of risotto. I was quite intrigued by this recipe for cauliflower risotto in Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Kitchen. It has no rice in it! Cauliflower is the main event in this show, and definitely succeeds in pretending to be a carbohydrate. 

Cauliflower is high in calcium, potassium, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B9. It is good for digestion, inflammation, and fights diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Per cup it provides two grams of protein. Even though it can be expensive at the grocery store, this white veggie has a lot of health power.

Ingredients for the purée
2 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
3 shallots, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 head cauliflower, chopped
2 cups vegetable stock
Pepper

Ingredients for the risotto
1 1/4 cups cauliflower, diced
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup shallot, minced
1/2 lemon, juiced
Salt and pepper to taste

I started by making the purée. I added all the purée ingredients in a small pot to simmer for 10 minutes, then blended it in a blender until smooth. I put it aside for later.

Next, I made the risotto. Using a food processor, I pulsed about 3/4 of the cauliflower on the chop setting to make a course, rice-like consistency. The remaining amount of cauliflower was cut into small florets.

I heated the olive oil in a small pot and sauteed the shallots until golden. Then I briefly cooked the cauliflower florets for only a few minutes. I added the reserved purée to this mixture, along with the lemon juice, and salt and pepper. This cooked for another 3 minutes. Lastly, I added the rice-like cauliflower and removed the risottos from the heat.

In case you are wondering what to eat with this dish, I made some garlic bread and tofu to go with it. For the tofu I pressed out the water, cut it into little pieces, dunked them in flour, then coated them in a batter (equal parts beer or water and flour) then fried them in some oil. They really mimic chicken and accompany the risotto very nicely.

Sorry for the bad-quality of the picture. I always like having a picture to show to give an idea what the dish looked like when I made it. Enjoy!

20140305_193108