Cauliflower Steaks with Chimichurri Sauce

img_3548

This summer I’m trying to eat as little processed food as I can. I’ve been trying to stick with whole food meals made at home. I love to use cauliflower because it’s so versatile. I roasted my cauliflower steaks for this recipe but you could also pan fry them or grill them. Since I eat a lot of cauliflower, I’m always looking for new ways to prepare it. To make cauliflower ‘steaks’, I cut my cauliflower into 3/4 inch slices. Using a large head of cauliflower makes it easier. It’s also important not to separate or cut the stalk, since the stalk is what holds the cauliflower steak together. Cauliflower steaks are a great meat substitute, much like portobello mushroom caps. Chimichurri sauce pairs really well with cauliflower steaks. It’s traditionally used as a condiment for beef steak and other meat in certain South American countries but goes well with most vegetables and also with rice. It’s got intense flavor because of the raw garlic but the acid from the vinegar, and the freshness of the herbs balance it out. It’s really quick and easy to prepare since it doesn’t require cooking. There’s lots of different versions of this sauce. I had to make it a few times to decide how I liked it best. I also wanted to reduce the amount oil to make it healthier. Using high quality, extra virgin olive oil and high quality red wine vinegar will make this sauce even tastier. You can put chimichurri sauce on almost everything you grill – it adds a fresh, spicy flavor to otherwise bland food. I like to prepare it on the weekend and keep it in the fridge to use as a quick condiment for whatever I grill. You can top vegan protein such as tofu and tempeh it for a delicious kick. If you have an herb garden, this sauce is the perfect way to use up your parsley and cilantro! Let me know if you make chimichurri sauce by taking a picture and tagging @thefriendlyepicurean on Instagram or Facebook or Pin this recipe on Pinterest!

img_3542

img_3544

Cauliflower Steaks with Chimichurri Sauce

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


Ingredients

  • 1 large head of cauliflower, trimmed (do not cut stalk), and cut into 3/4 inch slices
  • 1/4 cup olive oil plus 2 tbs to brush on cauliflower
  • 3/4 cup fresh flat leave parsley
  • 3/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1.5 tbs red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt for sauce (plus more to sprinkle on cauliflower)
  • 1/4 freshly ground black pepper (plus more to sprinkle on cauliflower)

Directions

Preheat oven to 425F. Grease a baking sheet and set aside. Cut cauliflower into 3/4 inch slices. Brush cauliflower with olive oil on both sides and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Roast cauliflower for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Flip cauliflower halfway through roasting time. Prepare chimichurri sauce while cauliflower steaks are roasting. In a food processor or blender add 1/4 cup olive oil, parsley, cilantro, oregano, crushed red pepper, red wine vinegar, garlic, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Puree for about 1 minute. Sauce should be slightly chunky in consistency. Place 1-2 roasted cauliflower steaks on a plate and top with desired amount of chimichurri sauce. Serve while hot. Makes about 1/2 cup chimichurri sauce. May store extra sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Nutrition Information:

  • Approximate calories: 137.5 calories per 2 tbs chimichurri sauce
  • Approximate calories: 235 cal for half a large head of cauliflower (with 1 tbs olive oil)

img_3547img_3544img_3545

Advertisements

Spinach Pesto Macaroni


March is one of my favorite months. The weather is warmer, March Madness is happening, and… it’s my birthday month! This year my sister got me a food processor for my birthday. Her gift inspired me to immediately make pesto sauce. The blades of this machine are razor sharp and it took no longer than 30 seconds for my ingredients to puree. I can’t wait to use this food processor to make more sauces along with a million other things. I have a Vitamix at home – it’s great for smoothies, soups, and smoothie bowls but I’ve always had a hard time making smaller quantities of sauce in it. I also wanted the food processor to chop my veggies. I highly recommend one as an essential tool for vegan cooking. This pesto sauce is healthier than the traditional kind. It contains less oil, no cheese, and uses spinach instead of basil. It’s garlicky and decadent like traditional pesto. You won’t miss the cheese, I promise! You can use this sauce for tofu, tempeh, or any vegetable including spaghetti squash. You can make it ahead of time and store it in the fridge. Kale would be a great substitute for the spinach. Pine nuts would also work well if you don’t have walnuts. This recipe makes 1 cup of pesto sauce. If you’re watching your calories, 1/4 cup of the pesto sauce combined with 1 cup of the pasta is also really tasty, just not as intense. Make sure you tag @thefriendlyepicurean on Facebook and Instagram if you make this dish!


Spinach Pesto Macaroni

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


Ingredients

  • 2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • 8 quarts water (to boil pasta)
  • 4 cups baby spinach (5 oz package)
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbs nutritional yeast
  • 3 tbs chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • olive oil spray

Directions

In a small frying pan or sauté pan, sauté garlic on medium heat in olive oil spray for about 4 minutes until fragrant and starting to brown. Place spinach, olive oil, walnuts, nutritional yeast, sautéed garlic, and salt in a food processor and puree until smooth. In a large pot, heat water on medium high heat until it reaches a rolling boil. Cook macaroni for about 7 minutes for al dente pasta. Drain pasta and place in a large serving dish. Stir in pesto sauce and grape tomatoes and serve while hot. May store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. Makes 1 cup of pesto sauce which can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.

Nutritional Information:

  • Approximate calories per 1/2 cup pesto sauce: 356 cal
  • Approximate calories per 1 cup elbow macaroni: 200 cal

Garlic Rosemary Gravy (Vegan, Gluten Free)

Being vegan doesn’t mean you have to skip out on gravy! This recipe is delicious and easy. It’s also healthier and lighter in calories compared to traditional gravy. It’s important to make sure your onions and garlic are chopped into tiny pieces so that they cook evenly. This recipe will taste better when the onions are slightly browned. If you like a smoother texture instead of a slightly chunky one, I recommend using an immersion blender to puree the gravy. The immersion blender allows you to puree it right in your saucepan. You can serve this with my Truffled Purple Mashed Potatoes recipe pictured below. Happy plant based Thanksgiving!

img_8842

Garlic Rosemary Gravy (Vegan, Gluten Free)

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


Ingredients

  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs gluten free flour
  • 1/2 tbs chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Directions

Heat olive oil on medium heat in a medium saucepan. Add onions and cook for about 5 minutes or until onions start to brown. Add garlic and cook for 1-2 more minutes. Add rosemary and flour and cook for another minute – stirring frequently to dissolve flour. Add vegetable broth, salt, and pepper and simmer for about 7-8 minutes, stirring frequently. Gravy will thicken and reduce slightly. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Puree gravy for 1-2 minutes with an immersion blender or traditional blender for smoother texture (optional). May store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Makes 4, 1/2 cup servings.

Nutrition Information:

  • Approximate Calories per 1/2 cup: 50 cal

img_8844


KitchenAid KHB1231 2-Speed Hand Blender Empire Red Electric Mixer