Main Courses, Sides

Cauliflower Gratin

We attach a stigma to certain foods. For example, only a vegetarian would eat tofu. This is such a silly premise. If you haven’t tried tofu, I urge you, please try tofu. Try it in sticks and eat like french fries with a curried ketchup dipping sauce – divine. Here’s another – only a vegan would eat nutritional yeast. Egad. I am not a vegan; I love nutritional yeast. It is not strange. It is delicious. (My office just recently realized that the vegetables that I eat for lunch almost every day are covered in a nutritional yeast sauce.) Don’t hesitate, make this recipe. This makes a great lunch with a little salad, or a side to a main course.

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Cauliflower Gratin

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup masa flour

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

2 cloves garlic, minced

13.5 oz full fat coconut milk

1/2 cup vegetable or chicken stock

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1/4 teaspoon mustard powder

1 head cauliflower

Optional – two onions, sliced and caramelized

To make the sauce, pour the oil and the masa into a sauce pan and whisk to combine over low heat. When the masa is fully incorporated into the oil, add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the nutritional yeast and whisk to combine. Now what you have in the pan is a pretty thick paste! Gradually add the stock a dribble at a time, whisking to combine each time. When all of the stock is added, stir in the coconut milk. Add the spices, and salt and pepper to taste.

Clean your cauliflower and remove any leaves that remain on the cauliflower head. Remove as much stem as you can while keeping the head intact. Sliced the cauliflower into slices that are about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. You are going to have some slices that are bigger, and some that are smaller. At the end, you are going to have lots of mismatched and odd pieces. That’s fine. Arrange your cauliflower slices into layers in a small baking dish. A gratin dish is perfect – but if you don’t have that try and find something about as deep as a pie plate, but a little wider.

Pour the nutritional yeast sauce over the cauliflower, and top with the onions if using. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Salad, Sides, Snacks

B-Sprouts with umami sauce

The husband and I were super busy today running around and somewhere in between moving the hostas in the front yard and buying get-well-soon gifts for a friend we forgot to eat lunch. And breakfast. And it was suddenly two in the afternoon and we didn’t want to ruin dinner. Enter brussels sprouts with a nutritional yeast sauce – its fast, its full of fiber and nutrients and scores high on the comfort food quotient.

The b-sprouts.

The b-sprouts.

B-sprouts with umami sauce

1 package microwaveable frozen brussels sprouts

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Microwave the brussels sprouts according to the package directions. While the sprouts are in the microwave, mix the remaining ingredients in a medium size bowl. When the sprouts are done, add to the sauce mixture and toss. Eat and enjoy.

Main Courses, Sides

Lazy Day Chicken and Gravy with “Cheesy” Mash

The days that you just do not have time to do the dinner routine often out number the days that you do. If it isn’t one thing, its another, amiright? And while I’m no advocate of the culture of busy (although I’m human, and I fall victim), I do acknowledge that some days there are too many things to do and no time to whisk a sauce slowly over a burner. Those days are crock-pot days. And this is one of those easier than easy crock-out recipes.

Lazy day chicken and gravy.

Lazy day chicken and gravy.

Lazy day chicken and gravy with “cheesy” mash

1 chicken, approximately 4 lbs

2 leeks

4 cloves garlic

1 can chicken broth (14 oz)

1 tablespoon tomato paste

6 tablespoons ghee

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

3 lbs little red potatoes

salt and pepper

Clean and slice the leeks. If you haven’t worked with leeks before, know that they are dirty. If you slice off the bottom, and slice off the tops, being the bits that look more like leaves than stalk. Okay, so slice that stalk down the middle and separate the layers in a colander and rinse under water until there is no more dirt. Throw the sliced leeks and the four whole cloves of garlic, the tomato paste with one tablespoon of ghee in the crock-pot for one hour on the low setting. At this point you can walk away. Go ahead, leave it alone while you walk the dogs or fold the laundry.

One hour later, your leeks and garlic should be soft. Now you can add the chicken. So throw the whole chicken in the crock-pot. Please check first you have removed any neck or gizzards that may be in the cavity. Anyway, yes, throw the whole thing in, sprinkle with salt and pepper and any other herb that you fancy. Add half of the can of chicken stock. Cover and let it go for seven hours on low. When the chicken is done, remove from the crock-pot and blitz the vegetables and liquid that remains in a blender – that’s the gravy!

To make the mash clean and quarter the potatoes. Throw the potatoes in a pot and cover with water and boil for thirty minutes or until fork tender. When fully cooked, drain and put them back in the pot off the heat. Mash by hand with the remaining broth, ghee, and nutritional yeast. Serve the chicken and potatoes with the gravy.