Creamy and delicious this lightly spiced vegan cauliflower cheese is topped with golden panko breadcrumbs and baked to bubbling, crispy perfection! #veganrecipes #vegansides #cauliflower #vegancheese #vegancauliflowercheese | Recipe on thecookandhim.com

Posted in Recipes on 29.10.2019

Vegan Cauliflower Cheese with Breadcrumb Topping

prep: 20 mins / cook: 30 mins / inactive: 0 mins / total: 50 mins / quantity: 2-4 servings (as main or side dish) Print recipe?

Creamy and delicious this lightly spiced vegan cauliflower cheese is topped with golden panko breadcrumbs and baked to bubbling, crispy perfection! #veganrecipes #vegansides #cauliflower #vegancheese #vegancauliflowercheese | Recipe on thecookandhim.com
Creamy and delicious this lightly spiced vegan cauliflower cheese is topped with golden panko breadcrumbs and baked to bubbling, crispy perfection! #veganrecipes #vegansides #cauliflower #vegancheese #vegancauliflowercheese | Recipe on thecookandhim.com

Creamy and delicious this lightly spiced vegan cauliflower cheese is topped with golden panko breadcrumbs and baked to bubbling, crispy perfection!

So there’s a list of non-vegan things that I’m slowly working my way through and converting to vegan.  And like this vegan cauliflower cheese, most of them seem to be comfort food that’s simply eaten out of a bowl with just a fork.  Maybe it’s because for years I worked in hotels and restaurants with their exacting standards.  And now I just want to cook food that people can cook at home.  No fuss, only a few frills and things that are delicious and hearty and generally good for you.

(We’ll just pretend I haven’t posted a LOT of cake/baked things lately.)

Creamy and delicious this vegan cauliflower cheese is topped with golden panko breadcrumbs and baked to bubbling, crispy perfection! #veganrecipes #vegansides #cauliflower #vegancheese #vegancauliflowercheese | Recipe on thecookandhim.com

So we’re currently in the full swing of autumn and like a change in seasonal clothes my roasting dishes have come out, ready to be filled with veggie goodies to warm those cold dog walking cockles.  Meg is NOT happy about the current weather situation.  Wet wet wet.  Followed by more wet.  She tries to stand under me when we’re outside.  This is not an outdoors dog.  This is a blanket and teddy bear dog.

However she is beside herself happy when I get the roasting dishes out.  Because that means there will be a dish with crusty baked bits she gets to expertly clean with her old teeth.  And she KNOWS when there’s a dish and does not stop pestering until she gets it.

Creamy and delicious this vegan cauliflower cheese is topped with golden panko breadcrumbs and baked to bubbling, crispy perfection! #veganrecipes #vegansides #cauliflower #vegancheese #vegancauliflowercheese | Recipe on thecookandhim.com

Now because boiled or steamed broccoli is reasonably bland (roasted cauliflower is, however, a thing of true beauty) I wanted to give as much flavour as possible to the vegan cheese sauce.

How to make Vegan Cheese Sauce

I first contemplated using silken tofu as the sauce base for this – it’s thick and creamy and would probably coat the cauliflower beautifully.  But I know some people don’t like tofu and I wanted to make this as accessible to all as possible.  So a good old fashioned roux based white sauce it is!

Simply melt the vegan butter until bubbling then stir in the flour until you get a thick paste.  Over a gentle heat add the milk gradually, stirring well between each addition.  When you first add the milk it will look like it’s ruined.  Don’t panic, you just need to gently mix the milk into the paste until it forms back into lump.  As you add more milk this ‘lump’ will become less like a lump and more like a thick white sauce.  Then you whisk in all your spices and flavours ready to be poured over the cauliflower and baked to golden bubbling heaven.

Creamy and delicious this vegan cauliflower cheese is topped with golden panko breadcrumbs and baked to bubbling, crispy perfection! #veganrecipes #vegansides #cauliflower #vegancheese #vegancauliflowercheese | Recipe on thecookandhim.com

Don’t be tempted to not bother par-boiling the cauliflower before baking.  I tried something similar with this quinoa and broccoli bake the first time I made it and the broccoli was hard as bullets.  NOT what you want in your rich and creamy cauliflower cheese!

Creamy and delicious this vegan cauliflower cheese is topped with golden panko breadcrumbs and baked to bubbling, crispy perfection! #veganrecipes #vegansides #cauliflower #vegancheese #vegancauliflowercheese | Recipe on thecookandhim.com

You could vary this cauliflower cheese recipe up a bit by adding broccoli or even make it into more of a casserole with seasonal vegetables.  A variation on this vegan vegetable bake if you will.

This is a great dish just eaten by the spoonful on its own with some crusty home made bread but it also makes a wonderful side dish to a roast vegetable and hummus pie.  Or something a little different like these mushy pea, parsnip and potato cakes.  Or true blue comfort food heaven with this vegan shepherd’s pie.

Tis the season for roast dinners fa la la la la, la la la la 😉

Creamy and delicious this vegan cauliflower cheese is topped with golden panko breadcrumbs and baked to bubbling, crispy perfection! #veganrecipes #vegansides #cauliflower #vegancheese #vegancauliflowercheese | Recipe on thecookandhim.com

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Vegan Cauliflower Cheese with Breadcrumb Topping

prep: 20 mins / cook: 30 mins / inactive: 0 mins / total: 50 mins / quantity: 2-4 servings (as main or side dish)

Ingredients

Breadcrumb topping:

  • 1/4 cup (40g) vegan butter
  • 1 cup (80g) Panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tblsp whole flax seeds (also known as linseeds)
  • 1 tsp turmeric (optional but it gives the crumb topping that lovely golden colour!)

Cauliflower Cheese:

  • 1 large head (900g) cauliflower
  • 1/4 cup (40g) vegan butter
  • 1/4 cup (40g) plain flour
  • 1 + 1/2 cups (375ml) unsweetened plant milk
  • 1 veg stock cube
  • 4 tblsp (16g) nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp mustard – I used wholegrain
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder or granules
  • 1 cup (30) snipped chives
  • 1 tsp salt and a few good grinds of black pepper

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter for the breadcrumb topping in a medium saucepan then tip into a bowl with the breadcrumbs, flax seeds and optional turmeric. Mix together and set aside. Don't wash the saucepan up yet!
  2. Remove the leaves and stalks from the cauliflower, break into florets and boil in a large pan of salted water for 6-8 minutes until just beginning to soften. Drain, refresh under cold water to stop it cooking any further then drain again
  3. Preheat your oven to 180 Fan / 200 C / 400 F / Gas 6 and lightly grease an 11 inch (28 cm) baking dish
  4. In the same melted butter saucepan, melt the butter for the cheese sauce until starting to bubble
  5. Add the flour all at once and beat together to form a sandy coloured roux
  6. Over a low-medium heat add the milk a bit at a time, gently but thorougly mixing with the spoon. It will return to a lump after the first few additions then it will start to turn into a thick sauce. Add a little more milk if it's too thick once you've added all the milk
  7. Whisk in the remaining sauce ingredients then gently stir in the cauliflower
  8. Tip into your prepared dish dish and sprinkle over the breadcrumbs
  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden and bubbling
  10. Serve immediately - though this also makes great leftovers! Simply chill once cooled then reheat until piping hot in the middle
Vegan Cauliflower Cheese with Breadcrumb Topping

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Hello and welcome to The Cook & Him.

We are Sam (The Cook), Phil (Him) and our little dog Meg. What started with a plan to shed a few pounds back in 2016, soon became obvious that eating healthy doesn’t have to be bland and boring.

So, combining Sam’s 15 years of experience working within Michelin starred restaurants and our love for deliciously healthy food, we’re creating recipes for you to make and enjoy. We’ve added our own unique spin on traditional and contemporary vegetarian and vegan recipes that keep you (and your pets!) healthy and full.  And we make sure they just work.

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