Cauliflower Steaks With Mushroom Gravy

IMG_1201-3

This is one of the most satisfying vegan meals we make.  It’s a great option for non-veg friends as well.  We are always left very happily full.  I’ve been craving these for days, but at $3.99 per head of cauliflower, it was hard to justify.  Finally, I found some a little cheaper today.  These ‘steaks’ can be served on their own, but they jump very high on the taste scale when you top them with mushroom gravy.  You can find my recipe for the gravy here.

As for the rest of the meal, I steamed kale and topped it with onion flakes and some sriracha sauce.  This has been my go-to way of having a quick kale dish, and it’s all thanks to Lindsay from Happy Herbivore who posted a picture of her bowl of kale on Instagram about a month ago.  It’s to die for, you must try it!

Tonight was the first time I used my new 430EX II Speedlite Flash, which was a necessity for me since the sun has been setting before I even get home from work!  I am really satisfied with its results, and having a lot of fun shooting with it.  I’m sure you all know the result of a photo taken without natural sunlight (see last post 🙂 ), and this flash is a fabulous substitute for natural light.  There’s still so much to learn, but in the meanwhile, I think it’s hard to tell whether my photos were taken in the day or evening.  I highly recommend it if you are in the market for an external flash!

Back to the food…

IMG_1202-2

Cauliflower Steaks Recipe

Makes 2-3 ‘steaks’

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Remove the leaves from the cauliflower and leave the core intact.
  • Starting in the center, cut the cauliflower horizontally into 3/4″ thick steaks.  You should be able to get 3 intact steaks.  As for the rest of the cauliflower florets, we’ll roast these as well.
  • Season the cauliflower steaks with salt and pepper.
  • In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Add the steaks and sear on each side for about 3 minutes.
  • Drizzle remaining oil onto a baking sheet.  Transfer the steaks to the baking sheet and place the florets on the sheet as well.
  • Roast until tender, about 15 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, and top the steaks with mushroom gravy.
  • Serve the florets as a side, or save for another day!
  • Enjoy!

Cauliflower Steaks

Muhammara Roasted Red Pepper Dip

On August 23rd, my husband and I celebrated five years of marriage.  We decided to try out a cozy little Syrian restaurant, Damas, in Montreal.  The menu was small, but filled with mouth-watering dishes.  We probably ordered one of everything that night, our eyes bigger than our stomachs.  One of our favourite dishes was their traditional Syrian red pepper appetizer, muhammara.   This popular dish originates from Aleppo, Syria, which is known for its striking red chili peppers.   I tried to store the flavours in my mind to try to replicate the dish at home, but seeing as that was over a month ago, I also looked online to see how it is traditionally made.  I discovered many similar recipes, but there are also quite a few variations.  Some use hot chili pepper, dried chili, chili paste, or simply roasted red bell peppers.  If you have made it before, I’d love to know what you used!

homemade muhammara

This is delicious served with toasted pita triangles or fresh vegetables such as celery, bell peppers, or carrots.  I also like to top it with some toasted walnuts or pistachios for added flavour and presentation.

Homemade Muhammara

Yield: 1 3/4 cups

Ingredients

  • 7 ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained
  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, lightly toasted and chopped finely
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients into a food processor except for olive oil, and gradually add in the olive oil until everything is well combined and you have a smooth consistency.
  2. Transfer the muhammara to a bowl, drizzle with pomegranate molasses and serve at room temperature with the toasted pita triangles or fresh vegetables.
  3. Enjoy!
http://loveandlentils.com/2013/10/08/homemade-muhammara/

homemade muhammara

 

Mushroom Gravy Over Quinoa and Swiss Chard

There was a time when I didn’t attempt to cook anything outside of a cookbook.  Nowadays, I am still addicted to collecting, flipping through, admiring, and finding inspiration in my many cookbooks.  However, now I usually cook based on my mood, ingredients on hand, and inspiration from all sorts of places. With the weather cooling, I was really in the mood for a hearty gravy sauce to add to my vegetables and grains. This recipe was adapted from Lindsay S. Nixon’s cookbook, The Happy Herbivore, and is so simple and quick to make. My husband was devouring this, and thinking up so many meals we can serve this gravy over.

I served our gravy over quinoa and delicious swiss chard, probably my favourite green.  Here is the recipe for the gravy.  As for the quinoa, I always like to prepare it like I did here, #2 in the directions.  As for the chard, simply place in a skillet with a touch of water, sea salt and pepper.  Cook for a few minutes until slightly wilted.

Mushroom Gravy Recipe

Adapted from The Happy Herbivore

Makes approx. 2cups

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup kamut flour
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 package (8 oz.) white mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Whisk nutritional yeast and flour together with non-dairy milk and set aside.
  • Using a skillet over medium heat, add olive oil.  When warm, add garlic, onions and mushrooms.  Cook over high heat until mushrooms start to soften and turn brown.
  • Add non-dairy milk mixture, soy sauce, and herbs, stirring to combine.
  • Bring to a boil and continue to cook until thick.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve warm over quinoa and swiss chard.
  • Enjoy!

IMG_0187-2

Crispy Kale Rice Bowl With Spicy Peanut Sauce

You may have realized by now I love rice bowls of almost any variety.  I was thinking back to many years ago when I had an amazing crispy spinach peanut butter (and shrimp at the time) dish at a Thai restaurant in Montreal, and thought I’d like to replicate it with kale in a veg-friendly way tonight. My husband declared he doesn’t like peanut sauce, and that he’d eat whatever I make regardless because it sounded interesting.  Well, we have zero leftovers and it’s his fault.  I guess he takes it back.

Crispy Kale Rice Bowl With Spicy Peanut Sauce Recipe

Serves 2-4 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown rice, cooked
  • 1 bunch kale (about 1 pound), washed, stems removed, and torn into large pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, washed, seeds removed, and sliced
  • 2 cups mushrooms (I used cremini), washed, cut into quarters
  • 1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried chili flakes (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup chopped unsalted peanuts
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For the peanut sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons natural smooth peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free tamari
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons filtered water

Directions:

  • Start by cooking your rice according to packaging instructions and also preheating the oven to 350°F.
  • In a food processor, add all ingredients for the peanut sauce.  Whirl.  Add a bit more water if you would like it to be a creamier consistency, or add more peanut butter if you want it thicker.
  • Lay out kale onto two lightly oiled baking sheets.  Once oven has reached desired temperature, place in the oven for 8 minutes, or until kale is crispy.
  • In a large pan or wok over medium heat, heat the olive oil.  Add garlic and sauté for a few minutes, making sure it doesn’t brown.  Add mushrooms, red pepper, chili flakes (optional), salt and pepper and sauté for another 8-10 minutes.
  • To plate:  spoon rice into bowl, top with red pepper, mushroom, and kale.

Untitled

  • Top with a couple of spoonfuls of peanut sauce and a sprinkle of crushed peanuts and sesame seeds.  Serve with a wedge of lime.

IMG_8388

  • Enjoy!

IMG_8411