Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Cheesy Cauliflower

Many of you are aware of the fact that my husband and my daughter are vegetarians. As a result, I've been eating less meat myself. It's a good thing I'm a fan of veggies, no? My biggest worry for the two of them, is that they get enough nutrients in their diet. My daughter is on her own these days, so I will have to trust that she's eating sensibly. And my husband? Well, he's subscribed to Vegetarian Times Magazine. Now I'm getting suggestions as what to try. How cool is that?

The first issue of Vegetarian Times came just the other day with a glorious looking cauliflower casserole, Mac-And-Cheese Style Cauliflower, gracing the cover. Hubby and I were both drooling over it. I had to make it.

The hardest part was getting the cauliflower into pieces.

The recipe calls for 1/2 cup nutritional yeast. What? Yeast? I had to look it up. Apparently, the yeast is there to provide nutrition--it's different than the yeast you use to make bread. Here's a link to some info on it: Nutritional Yeast. After a little searching, I found it at Whole Foods in the bulk food area. I will say that if the smell of yeast is offensive to you, you can skip this addition (maybe use a little less of the liquid that is called for in the recipe), but I found that the smell totally bakes out and if it adds some nutrition, why not?

The recipe also calls for homemade bread crumbs. While you can sub some Panko crumbs, the homemade ones are really easy. I like to keep a bag in the freezer---whenever I have a day-old baguette, I just swirl the dried out leftovers in my food processor and add it to the bag.

Just spray the bread crumbs with a little cooking spray. I like the olive oil spray. Is it just me or do those fake butter sprays smell funny?

Bake it until it's nicely browned and bubbly.

 A couple of observations: to prevent the moisture from the cooked cauliflower from making the sauce too watery, just keep it in the pan after you drain it, and put it back over the heat for a few minutes to dry it out. Thanks to Chris DeNicolo, for that sage advice. I'm also going to saute some chopped onions with the butter the next time I make it. Other than that, the recipe is perfect. It will be made again.


  1. Looks good to me! I am ALL about cheese on cauliflower. OK, let's face it... I am all about cheese on anything. :)

  2. Wow this looks like a dish we'd love. Thanks for the FYI on nutritional yeast, never heard of it before.

  3. I do the same thing with the ends of a loaf of bread - nobody in my family like to eat them, so I grind them up, freeze them and then always have fresh bread crumbs on hand when I need them. They're SO much better than packaged ones!

  4. Very interesting recipe, thanks. Though I have yet to use it myeslf, I have vegetarian friends who swear by the nutritional yeast. I'll have to give this cauliflower recipe a try, if I can make it turn out half as good as it looks in your photos, this could be a winner.

  5. Looks great!! Yours look nice and saucy--I thought the VT version looked slightly dry. I actually love the smell of the nutritional yeast (maybe an acquired thing).

  6. I love cauliflower and am always looking for new ways to serve it. This is definitely going on the list.

  7. Hi...looking forward to meeting you in Indianapolis next month! Love all the fun recipes on your blog. My hubby won't touch cauliflower, but I'd be all over this! It's one of my favorite veggies, so am saving this for next time he's out of town.

  8. Thanks, everyone--I'm starting to embrace the veggies! :D

    Wendy--I can't wait until we meet up! LOL about waiting until your hubby is out of town--mine is never out of town, so I have to make steak for one.

    ElGaucho--I was very leery of the yeast, but it turned out good. I'll be using it again.

  9. Cauliflower is seriously one of my favorite veggies although a lot of people find it boring. This looks really, really good. I bet my grandson would eat this.