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Vegan Cauliflower "Mac' n Cheese" Casserole with roasted tomato & herb salad

Active Time: 30 minutes / Cook Time: 40 minutes / Total Time: 1 hr 10 minutes

Makes 4 servings

Nutrition Corner: Nutritional Yeast
Nutritional yeast can be found in the bulk section of health food stores, and on the shelf. Nutritional yeast has a unique cheese-like flavor, making it a wonderful addition to sauces. Nutritional yeast is loaded with B-vitamins, so it is a good option for anyone who does not consume a lot of meat.

 
Cauliflower Mac and Cheese.jpg

Ingredients:

  • 3 plum tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into bite sized florets (4-5 cups)
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight or all day, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced
  • Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chives, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Quarter the plum tomatoes and toss with coconut oil and a light seasoning of salt and pepper. Place tomato quarters skin side down on a small baking pan and roast in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. The tomatoes should just start to caramelize, but they will still be a little firm, not mushy. Let these cool while you prepare the casserole.
  3. Bring a large pot of water (enough to blanch the cauliflower in) to a boil over medium -high heat. Add florets and blanch for 2-3 minutes (they should still be semi-firm). Strain, cool, and place in a baking dish. Create a single layer of spinach on top of the cauliflower.
  4. Add red bell pepper pieces to the bottom of your food processor. Top with cashews, nutritional yeast, vinegar, garlic, sea salt, and pepper flakes, if using. Process until creamy, adding water slowly to facilitate blending. The consistency should be thick, but slightly runny.
  5. Pour sauce over spinach and cauliflower and mix to just coat everything.
  6. Top with a dusting of paprika, if using.
  7. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until bubbling and starting to brown.
  8. Toss together tomatoes, parsley, chives, and balsamic vinegar to assemble the salad.
  9. Plate 2 servings casserole alongside tomato salad.
  10. Store 2 servings casserole in separate containers in the fridge for lunch tomorrow.