Broccoli & Cauliflower Bake

This is my healthier vegan version of a cheesy broccoli rice casserole.

The words “casserole,” “hot dish,” and “casserole” conjure up images of church basements, mystery potlucks, and other unpleasant things. Why not call it a bake instead? We’re glad you’re with us.

This recipe is a celebration of the fall and holidays. Am I rushing to make fall-themed meals? I’m not sure.

In my area of the world, cauliflower and broccoli are plentiful. I am using them to recreate one of my favorite side dishes.

In my book, anything with broccoli covered in cheese (in this instance, vegan parmesan, a.k .a. gold dust or my favorite mac ‘n cheese sauce) is a winner.

It is simple to prepare this recipe, which only requires ten ingredients. It comes together in less than an hour.

This recipe is a combination of lightly sauteed broccoli and cauliflower rice topped with vegan Parmesan cheese.

It’s then poured into a baking dish and topped with vegan parm. Then, it is baked! After 30-45 minutes, you’ll have a golden-brown masterpiece.

Ingredients

Vegetables

  • One medium-sized head of cauliflower, grated or shredded into “rice.”
  • 2 cups of roughly chopped broccoli
  • Use one tablespoon of olive, grapeseed, or avocado oil
  • 1/4 cup vegan parmesan cheese
  • Add black pepper and sea salt to taste.

SAUCE

  • 4 Tbsp olive, grape seed, or avocado oil (or vegan butter)
  • Five cloves of garlic, minced (about 2.5 Tbsp per clove)
  • If you are not gluten-free, you can substitute all-purpose flour.
  • 2 cups plain unsweetened almond milk (can substitute rice)
  • Add more black pepper and sea salt to taste.
  • 14 cups nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup vegan parmesan cheese (plus more for serving)

MIX-INS Optional

  • Add 1 cup of cooked chickpeas, quinoa, or lentils for extra protein
  • 1 cup curly kale chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375°F (190 C). Lightly grease a 9×13″ (or similar) baking dish.
  • Prepare the cauliflower rice using a box grater or the shredding attachment of your processor. Set aside.
  • Steam your broccoli until it is slightly crunchy (either in the microwave for 45 seconds or in a saucepan filled with water and a steamer basket). Place in refrigerator for later.
  • Next, prepare your sauce. On medium heat, warm a large oven-safe skillet. Add oil and garlic once the skillet is hot. Stir and cook until golden brown for 1-2 minutes. Add arrowroot and whisk for one minute.
  • Add almond milk slowly while whisking. Cook for 2 minutes on medium heat, stirring often. It’s okay if the sauce looks a bit clumpy. Blend it.
  • Transfer mixture into a blender along with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper (amounts as written in the original recipe // adjust if changing batch size), nutritional yeast, and vegan Parmesan cheese, and blend until creamy and smooth. Scrape down sides as necessary.
  • You can adjust the seasonings to your taste. If you like it cheesy and salty, don’t skimp on the vegan parmesan, nutritional yeast, or salt.
  • Stirring occasionally, return the sauce to the skillet you used earlier. Cook over low heat for about 2 minutes until slightly thickened and warmed. It will thicken as it heats up again (see photo). If you want a thicker sauce, leave it the way it is. Add almond milk, 1 Tbsp at a time, to thin the sauce. If it begins to bubble too much or becomes too thick, turn off the heat.
  • Once hot, add 1 Tbsp oil (amount, as written in the original recipe //, adjust if changing batch size) and cauliflower rice. Add 1 Tbsp of oil (amount according to original recipe // adjust if changing batch size). Add salt and pepper, and mix to coat. Cover and steam for 2 minutes. Remove the lid, stir it, and continue to cook for another 1-2 minutes or until it is slightly softened. Transfer to a large bowl.
  • Add the broccoli to a mixing bowl and season generously with salt and pepper. Sprinkle half the vegan parmesan on top (1/4 cup per original recipe // adjust for changes in batch size). It is crucial to do this step in order to give the dish a lot of flavor. Stir to coat. Add chickpeas and kale at this point (optional).
  • Stir to combine. Transfer the mixture to a greased baking pan and sprinkle with vegan parmesan.
  • Cover with foil and cook at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes. Remove foil, and continue baking at 400 degrees F for another 5-15 minutes or until slightly golden and bubbly. You want golden brown edges with a bubbly middle.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little. Serve as-is or garnish with more vegan parmesan and chopped fresh parsley to add some color.
  • Fresh is best. Keep leftovers in the fridge for up to four days or in the freezer for up to one month. Reheat leftovers in the oven until warm.

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