Countdown to Your Best Vegan Thanksgiving
Five Dishes Everyone at Your Table Will Be Thankful For

Thanksgiving is my favorite time of year to be vegan. Though I am thankful every day that I chose many years ago to live more compassionately, it is during this season that I celebrate my favorite tastes and textures…and share them with you.

The mouthwatering menu I have selected for you features two entrée-like dishes, both meals in themselves because of the balance of ingredients: greens, grains, veggies and more.  So delightfully pretty, filling, and creamy are these dishes that the only side dish I recommend is a fresh bright salad that sounds some special autumnal notes in the form of dried fruits and smoked nuts.  All that remains to round out this bountiful fall feast is my late mother’s Double Cornfingers which I recommend serving in place of stuffing.  For dessert, I offer a recipe I developed for Tofutti a few years back that is a perennial favorite.  These pumpkin cheesecake bars with their streusel topping are super quick and easy but doesn’t look like it, especially when sliced and served on frilly paper doilies.

Each item listed in the menu below is linked to its recipe, and following the menu are captioned photos that will help you envision how your beautiful table will look as everyone gathers around with gratitude.

Speaking of gratitude, I am so grateful for all of you who make my platter bloom throughout the year.  With nurturing wishes to you and yours during this holiday season and always.

~Betsy DiJulio

Blooming Platter Vegan Thanksgiving Menu 2017

Butternut Squash Lasagna (with Smokey Marinara Sauce and Kale Pesto)
Acorn Squash Stuffed with Creamy Rice and Greens Stovetop Casserole
Kale Salad with Pomegranate Balsamic Figs and Dates Topped with Smoked Almonds
Sallie’s Double Corn Fingers
3-Layer Oatmeal Pumpkin Streusel Bars
Vegan Butternut Squash Lasagna
Vegan Acorn Squash Stuffed with Creamy Rice and Greens Stovetop Casserole
Kale-Salad-with-Pomegranate-Balsamic-Marinated-Figs-and-Dates-Topped-with-Smoked-Almonds1
Vegan Kale Salad with Pomegranate Balsamic Marinated Figs and Dates Topped with Smoked Almonds
Vegan Double Corn Fingers
Vegan 3-Layer Oatmeal Pumpkin Streusel Bars
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Bloomin’ Best Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower
(in Tacos or “Naked”)

Yield: 2 servings

Late to the Buffalo Cauli party, I had plenty of time to research recipes. Though I love battered and fried as much as the next gal–and even came across a battered and baked method which piqued my interest–and bevause I have no interest in a dehydrator, I decided to simply roast the cauli. Good choice.

So I carefully selected my Buffalo Sauce ingredients from a range of options, balancing my desire for a simple, quick recipe with an even stronger desire for complex, harmonious flavor notes.

The result is a mouth-explosion whose layered flavors belie the low calorie and fat count and throw-together quick prep time.  Add toppings and sauce–and a warmed corn tortilla if you like–and this is one beautiful, textural powerhouse of a meal.

My dear friend and dinner guest, Jill, confessed to not brushing her teeth Friday night before bed to “savor the flavor mix in my mouth.” I don’t necessarily recommend not flossing and brushing, but I do recommend this dish.

2 tablespoons melted vegan butter
3 tablespoons Pete’s Hot Sauce
1 tablespoons vinegar
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar (I use demerera)
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin or curry powder
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
Freshly ground black pepper

Condiments: shredded red cabbage, sliced celery and radishes, cilantro leaves, lime wedges, and a vegan ranch-type dressing (I use Just brand) sprinkled with chopped parsley.

Optional: 4 warmed corn tortillas

Stir or whisk all ingredients together except cauliflower, condiments, and tortillas.

Place cauliflower on metal baking sheet or roasting pan, spray lightly with cooking spray, lightly salt, and roast 10 minutes. Drizzle with sauce, toss, and roast another 10 to 20 minutes depending on preferred degree of caramelization.

Serve inside warmed corn tortillas–or not–with condiments piled on top and dressing drizzled over.

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Day 2: Vegan Indian Cauliflower Wraps–Cooking “The Blooming Platter Cookbook” Julie & Julia Style

Day 2--Indian Cauliflower Wraps(A sequential installment from Kim Hastings, my photographer friend and, along with her vet husband, owner of Independence Veterinary Hospital, who decided on her own to cook her way through The Blooming Platter Cookbook: A Harvest of Seasonal Vegan Recipes Julie & Julia Style for her omnivorous family as a strategy for more healthy eating.)

 

Tonight I decided to stick with cauliflower since I got a deal on them. So it’s Indian Cauliflower Wraps for dinner (and yes there is a big pot of chili on the stove so my guys don’t feel deprived).

I read through the recipe and saw “vegan mayo” – now if my family sees vegan mayonnaise in the fridge they will be on to me in a heartbeat, so ix-nay on the egan-vay! Then I see cilantro. My husband has a meltdown when he catches a whiff of cilantro so I’m switching to parsley. This morning I noticed that my parsley was still thriving in my herb garden so I ran out and chopped a bunch of it before the snow hit this afternoon.

Day 2--Indian Cauliflower Wraps--prepOk confession time. What I did not mention yesterday was that when I had cut my cauliflower steaks so beautifully and had them oiled and salted waiting to go into the oven, I turn around and my husband was covering them with “Zip It’, a powerful ghost pepper seasoning I found in Texas. Now my husband will tell you that I “over reacted”. Ok fine. Looking back that is probably a nice way of putting it. Anyway, tonight I separated one out for him to “ruin” as much as he liked.

With that compromise done, the rest was fairly easy. I admit I had to read it several times to keep the steps in order but I do that with all new recipes.

These wraps turned out so amazingly delicious that I drove one over to my son’s house two blocks away so he could experience them with us. Now the entire family is a big fan of this recipe!

~Kim Howard Hastings

Kim Hastings

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Vegan Migas Mash-Up–A Restaurant Redux

Migas Mash-Up--Rectangular PlateYield: approximately 4 main dish servings (2 if you are really hungry)

My Migas Mash-Up is more of an idea than it is a recipe because it all depends on what is hanging out in your fridge.

Yesterday, realizing that we were heading into the weekend and that I am leaving town on Tuesday was leaving me feeling a little stressed about what to do with last week’s restaurant leftovers.  Food waste makes me crazy and Joe and I dine out about three times a week, often bringing home leftovers.  He is not the best about eating his veggies and “carbs”–yes, he’s one of those–and restaurant portions tend to be too large for both of us.

Remembering that among the leftovers were 6 small flour tortillas, I wondered about migas: crisped up tortilla strips, traditionally scrambled with eggs (or tofu for vegans) and other traditional Mexican ingredients.  Though, we did have some refried beans and Mexican rice in the mix, there was plenty that was more “New American” which I felt would be compatible with the Mexican flavors, and a little Italian that wasn’t assertively seasoned, so I decided to go for it.

Friday night, we had been to an Italian restaurant where I enjoye bruschetta with chopped tomato, red onion, and slices of grilled eggplant.  I removed and diced the eggplant, and transfered the tomato and onion into a separate bowl to use as a kind of pico de gallo over the top.  I diced the grilled bed and set it aside with rolled and sliced tortilla strips.

Other odds and ends–all in very small amounts of 2 to 4 tablespoons–in addition to the refried beans, Mexican rice, eggplant, tortillas, and grilled bread included a more risotto-like rice, caramelized onions (sort of fajita style), bronzed carrots (slices of carrot roasted with blackening seasoning and brown sugar), green beans cooked with tomatoes and onion, very thick pureed white bean soup, about 5 sweet potato fries, a couple of artichoke hearts, a dab of roasted red peppers, and half of a veggie burger made with black beans and corn.

I would estimate there was, all together, approximately 2 cups of grain, bean/legume, and vegetable ingredients and about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of tortillas and bread.  Following is how I put it all together for a crave-worthy dish that was more than the sum of its parts.   And I encourage you to give it a try using whatever leftovers–from restaurants or home-cooked meals–provided all flavors are reasonably compatible and that you have some kind of bread to include: tortillas, baguette, cornbread, vegan naan or flatbread, etc.  If onion isn’t included in your leftovers, you might want to included some diced or caramelized sauteed onion. My amalgamation required no additional seasoning other than salt and pepper, but if you need the addition of a couple of spices to bring it all together, by all means!

 

6 flour tortillas, rolled and sliced

3 bias-cut slices of grilled baguette, cubed

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

1 tablespoon vegan butter

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Approximately 2 cups of vegan sliced and/or diced cooked aromatics (like onion and garlic) vegetables, beans/legumes, and grain-based leftovers

Garnish: vegan sour cream, pico de gallo or salsa, and sprigs of fresh basil or cilantro

In a large cast iron skillet over medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon butter.  Add tortillas and baguette and saute for 3 to 5 minutes or until lightly crispy and golden brown.  Transfer to a plate in a thin layer so that they remain crispy while you proceed with the preparation.  Heat remaining tablespoon oil in the skillet and begin adding ingredients, starting with onion, and adding ingredients of similar textures together–softest last–and heating through for about a minute before adding the next ingredient.  Be sure to scrape the “fond” or brown crust off the bottom of the skillet periodically, lowering heat if necessary and avoiding drying out the misture too much; it should be about the consistency of bread pudding.  At the very end, fold in the crispy tortillas and bread and heat through.  Serve immediately topped with a little vegan sour cream, pico de gallo or salsa, and sprigs of fresh herbs.

 

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Vegan Zucchini and Yellow Squash Torta (with simple Tomato-Cucumber Salad)

Zucchini and Yellow Squash Torta 2Yield: 4 main dish servings (2 slices each, as they are so light) or 8 side dish servings

Last Tuesday, realizing that I was leaving town in a couple of days (for my annual summer day hiking trip with my cousin Earl) and that I had a big beautiful zucchini and yellow squash from the farmer’s market in the fridge, I realized I needed to create something that would showcase them for lunch for the next couple of days.

Whatever it was, I wanted it to be light with a chilled component.  With just about a cup of tofu in the fridge, the idea of a salad-topped torta struck and I set about seeing what I could come up with.

The result was a well-behaved  one-dish meal that is as addicting as it is nutritious and low calorie.  In fact, this dish is so light, who cares if you wipe out the whole torta in one setting?  Okay, well maybe half.  I confess to devouring three slices for lunch both days.

1 tablespoon olive oil

1-8 inch zucchini (about 2″ in diameter at widest section), very thinly sliced

1-8 inch yellow squash (about 2″ in diameter at widest section), very thinly sliced

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 large cloves garlic, minced

7 to 8 ounces extra firm regular tofu (half of a 14 to 16 ounce box, however your favorite brand is sold)

1 cup milk

2 tablespoons flour

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon Liquid Aminos or soy sauce

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg (nothing beats freshly ground!)

8 to 12 fresh basil leaves

Tomato Cucumber Salad (recipe follows)

Garnish: sprigs of fresh basil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large cast iron skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high.  Add zucchini and yellow squash slices and a pinch of sea salt and pepper.  Saute, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes or until squash begins to soften.  Add 1 clove of minced garlic and saute, stirring frequently, for another 2 to 3 minutes or until squash is perfectly tender and most of moisture is absorbed/evaporated.  Remove from heat and lightly smooth the top to create a flat surface.  In a food processor, blend all remaining ingredients, except basil, including remaining clove of garlic, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper.  Add basil leaves and pulse just to chop and distribute.  Pour mixture over cooked squashes, sealing to edges.  Bake in center of oven for about 35 minutes or until set and lightly browned on top.  Cool about 15 minutes or until just warm for best flavor, texture, and easy removal from the pan.  Serve topped with Tomato Cucumber Salad and garnished with fresh basil sprigs.

Tomato Cucumber Salad

1 cup diced cucumber

1 cup quartered cherry or grape tomatoes

2 teaspoons mild vinegar like cider or malt

Pinch Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl, gently combine all ingredients.  Check for seasoning and adjust to taste.

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Vegan Asparagus, Leek and Fennel Spring Stew

Asparagus, Leek and Fennel Spring StewYield:  2 main dish servings or 4 side dish servings

This simple “stew” is much lighter–in color and heft–than a winter stew and really just refers to the fact that the lovely spring vegetables are married in a creamy, white wine-kissed sauce.  In both texture and flavor, it is addicting.

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced

1 small-medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced + 2 tablespoons finely chopped fennel fronds

Sea salt

1 large garlic clove, finely chopped

1/2 bunch asparagus (the thinest and most tender that you can find), *trimmed, and cut into about 2-inch pieces

1/4 cup plain non-dairy creamer

2 tablespoons dry white wine

Zest of 1/2 large lemon

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high.  Add leeks, fennel bulb (not fronds), and a pinch of salt and saute, stirring frequently, for a about 3 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften and turn translucent.  Add garlic and continue to saute for another minute, stirring, followed by asparagus for another 2 to 3 minutes or until tender, but still bright green.  Cooking time will depend on diameter of spears.  Stir in cream, white wine, fennel fronds, and lemon zest, and heat though, continuing to stir frequently.  Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper and additional sea salt.  Serve immediately.

*Trimming asparagus: though this may seem wasteful, grasp one asparagus spear at each end between the thumb and forefinger of each hand.  Pull fingers down to bend the spear until it snaps.  The point at which it snaps is the point at which all spears should be trimmed for the tenderest spears.

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Vegan Middle Eastern Pomegranate and Eggplant Melange–An Invited Guest Post for Tofutti

Middle Eastern Pomegranate and Eggplant Melange

I always love the opportunity to develop recipes for Tofutti, and you can find the original post here.

Yield: 6 servings

This versatile Middle Eastern-inspired mash-up is equally addicting as a creamy dip, stuffed in a pita or baked pepper, or piled atop a grilled flatbread.  Heck, it is delicious just heated and eaten with a spoon as I’ve done every day this week for my school lunches!

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small yellow onion (or 1/2 of a medium), diced

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 medium eggplant, stemmed and diced

1 large clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup red wine (a Merlot is nice)

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Optional: 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses or tamarind syrup (available at Middle Eastern/Mediterranean markets)

4 Roma tomatoes, diced

1/2 cup Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese

1/4 cup Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream

Optional: 1 tablespoon tahini (sesame paste; available on the international aisle of grocery stores)

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon mild curry powder

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Zest of 1 large lemon

Optional garnish: olives, fruit (fresh or dried), fresh herbs, nuts, etc.

Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high.  Add onion and a pinch of salt and sauté, stirring frequently, until onion is softened, about 3 minutes.  Add eggplant, garlic, and another pinch of salt plus a pinch of pepper, and sauté, still stirring frequently, until some color develops, about 3 minutes.  Add wine, balsamic vinegar, and optional molasses or syrup, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 7 minutes or until eggplant is fairly soft.  Mash firmly with a potato masher.  Stir in tomatoes and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes.  Mash the mixture again.  Add Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese , Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream, and optional tahini, and cook, stirring, until melted and completely combined.  Stir in all remaining ingredients until heated through and flavors are well-combined.  Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary.  Serve as a dip, stuffed in a pita or baked pepper, or piled atop a grilled flatbread.  Garnish, if desired, with olives, fruit (fresh or dried), fresh herbs, nuts, etc.

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Vegan Savory Summer Tarts with Swiss Chard, Zucchini, Cherry Tomatoes and Walnuts

Two Tarts--Bird's EyeYield: 6-5 inch tarts

A recipe in a summer issue of one of my culinary magazines for a quiche featuring zucchini, tomatoes and walnuts inspired this dish.  However, I had a bunch of local Swiss chard from our farmer’s market that needed used, so I finely chopped it and folded it into my vegan quiche batter.  This is summer satisfaction at its best and brightest!

And it has been so popular, I thought it would be nice to contribute to the Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck 3, an ingenious idea by An Unrefined Vegan.

6-5 inch blind-baked tart shells (recipe for Press-In Pie Crust  follows)

1 bunch Swiss chard, stemmed, and very finely chopped (I used a food processor for this task)

14 ounces extra-firm tofu (not Silken)

1/4 cup unsweetened soymilk or any unsweetened non-dairy milk

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Zest of 1 small to medium lemon

1-2 tablespoons finely chopped basil or chiffonade (leaves stack, rolled, and thinly sliced)

18-1/4 inch thick zucchini slices, cooked (approximately 1 medium zucchini; I like to grill them in an indoor gill pan; but you can saute, broil or steam)

9 cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise

6 walnut halves and approximately 36 walnut pieces (but you don’t have to be that exacting)

Approximately 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, and 3/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt divided among the 6 tarts

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Note:  if you make your own crusts, which I highly recommend–my recipe is quick and easy–just leave the oven set to 400 degrees.  Proceed with recipe while shells bake.  Place Swiss chard in a large bowl.  Rinse and dry food processor bowl and puree together until smooth tofu, soymilk, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, teaspoon of salt, and black pepper to taste.  Spoon mixture over Swiss chard, add lemon zest, and fold together until completely combined.  Divide filling evenly among tart shells.  On top of each, arrange 3 slices of zucchini, 3 cherry tomato halves, and 6 walnut pieces in a pinwheel design and place 1 walnut in the center.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven, allow to cool just enough to remove tarts from pans, place tarts on serving plates, and drizzle each tart with 1/2 teaspoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar, and 1/8 teaspoon coarse see salt.  Serve warm.

 

Press-In Pie Crust

2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I use white whole wheat, but you can also combine half all-purpose with half whole wheat)

2 teaspoons turbinado sugar (any granulated sugar is fine)

1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

3/4 cup canola oil (or any neutral-tasting vegetable oil)

3 tablespoons unsweetened soymilk or anyunsweetened non-dairy milk

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place tart pans with removeable sides on a rimmed baking sheet.  Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl.  Make a well in the center, pour in wet ingredients, and stir with a fork just until a nice, moist dough forms.  Divide into sixths and pat evenly into tart pans.  Prick a few times with a fork and bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden brown.  Remove from oven.

 

Slight Bird's Eye

 

 

 

 

 

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Vegan Cauliflower Steaks with Curry Bechamel Sauce and Candied Eggplant a la Inn at Little Washington

With Napkin and ForkYield:  4 steaks (with extra sauce and Candied Eggplant)

On Good Friday, Joe and I made the pilgrimage that every self-respecting foodie must make at least once in his or her life…to the fabled Inn at Little Washington in Washington, VA.  Our dinner and our lodging/breakfast experience at the Foster Harris House is recounted in Coastal Virginia Magazine (July 2014).  Suffice it to say that the Inn lives up to its storied reputation.  And the Foster Harris House, which we chose by perusing websites when there was no room at the inn, is also on our “go back” list for both lodging and dining.

After my exquisite 4-course vegan meal, I swore that I would recreate the entree: Cauliflower Steak with Curry Bechamel and Candied Eggplant.  It has taken me this long to get to it, as I wanted to devote my full attention and we are now out of school for the summer.  So, at last, here it is!   Wow!  As elegant as this meal looks and tastes, it is ultra simple to prepare.  Just be sure to make the Candied Eggplant the day before you plan to serve.

It took me two tries to get the steaks and the sauce just right, but the Candied Eggplant, adpated from MarcheDimanche Recipes, were like, well, candy from the get-go.  I used the cooking method for the steaks that restaurant chefs swear by for beef: a sear followed by a few minutes in the oven.  The sauce, made with a roux, is a fairly straightforward preparation, only the first time it was way too sweet.  Combining vegetable stock and unsweetened soymilk with the coconut creamer, and thinning slightly with a very dry Prosecco, did the trick.

Though this version of the sauce is slightly sweet in that coconut milky way, it is a beautiful pairing with the cauliflower and candied eggplant, and is nicely balanced with a side of sauteed bitter greens or, as I prepared it, quick-pickled thinly sliced zucchini and red onion.  For a garnish, you wouldn’t think that you would want more sweetness, but slightly spicy candied walnuts are the way to go.  However, you can simply toast the walnuts for a few minutes if you prefer.

While most of us can’t visit the Inn at Little Washington even once a year, this beautiful and delicious ode to “The Inn” is simple enough to prepare once a week!

 

Make the Candied Eggplant the day before you plan to serve.

Candied Eggplant:

2 small eggplants, stemmed (Japanese eggplants work nicely for this as I like their small diameter)

1/4 cup+ olive oil

Sea salt to taste

3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon agave nectar or turbinado sugar

2 tablespoons fresh lemon thyme leaves (regular thyme is fine if you can’t find lemon thyme, but I grow it because it is so special)

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Slice the eggplants into 1/8-inch slices. Working in two batches, heat half the olive oil in a large cast iron skillet placed over medium high.  Add half the eggplant slices, sprinkle very lightly with salt, and cook for about a minute on each side or until they are lightly browned.  Add more oil if necessary to prevent burning or drying out.  Remove to a a non-reactive dish.  I use a 5 x 9″ ceramic bread pan.  Repeat with remaining oil, eggplant, and another pinch of salt.  In a 1-quart saucepan, bring the vinegar, agave nectar or sugar, water, lemon thyme leaves, 1 teaspoon of sea salt, and cinnamon to a boil.  Pour over the eggplant, cool, cover, and refrigerate over night.  Heat in the microwave or in a skillet on the stovetop before serving.

 

Curry Bechamel Sauce:

1/2 cup vegetable stock [choose one really rich in flavor or use 1 cup water + 1 large (9 g.) bouillon cube (enough to make 2 cups stock so that it is extra concentrated)]

1/2 cup plain coconut creamer (or other plain non-dairy creamer)

1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk

1 medium shallot, peeled and halved

1 large garlic clove, peeled and halved lengthwise

1/16th teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (barely a pinch)

1 tablespoons vegan butter

2 tablespoosn unbleached all-purpose flour

Optional: 1 1/2 teaspoons nutritional yeast

1 1/4 teaspoons curry powder

Sea salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Optional: up to 2 tablespoons very dry white wine or Prosecco (my favorite)

 

In a 1-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the vegetable stock, creamer, and unsweetened soymilk with shallot, garlic, and nutmeg to simmering.  Watch closely, as it can boil over quickly, and reduce heat as necessary to maintain a simmer for 10 minutes.  In a large cast iron skillet over medium high, melt butter, whisk in flour, optional nutritional yeast, curry powder and a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook 2 minutes, whisking continually, to make a roux to thicken the sauce.  Reduce heat if necessary.  Remove shallot and garlic pieces from simmering liquid and whisk the liquid into the roux, 1/2 cup at a time.  Simmer, whisking frequently, for about 10 minutes or until thickened and flavors are nicely combined.  Thin, if desired, by whisking in wine a tablespoon at a time.  Check for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if necessary.  Keep warm or reheat to serve.
Cauliflower Steaks:

Note:  Regardless of how large the cauliflower, I have yet to be able to slice more than two nice steaks from a head. I get other large pieces that I can arrange to look like a larger “steak,” and that works just fine.  So don’t fret if you encounter the same thing.,

1 large head cauliflower, thick stem and leaves removed, cut into four 3/4-inch thick “steaks”

Sea salt

1 tablespoon vegan butter, melted

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Garnish: lemon thyme sprigs and toasted or spicy candied walnuts (just find a recipe to your liking online)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Spray a large cast iron skillet liberally with non-stick cooking spray and heat over medium-high.  Working in two batches, sprinkle cauliflower lightly with sea salt on both sides and sear for 3 to 4 mintues on each side, adding additional spray if necessary.  Remove to an oil baking sheet.  Repeat.  In a small cup, whisk together melted butter and olive oil.  In a second cup, whisk together salt, coriander and pepper.  Brush first side of steaks with half the butter mixture, sprinkle with half the salt mixture, carefully flip, and repeat.  Bake for 10 minutes.   Serve hot with curry sauce and several slices of candied eggplant, garnished with candied or toasted walnuts.

Aerial View

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