I shall begin by mentioning I am very much not a vegetarian. I love fish, meat and animal products and I have no issue in consuming them. That being said, I have many friends who are vegetarian so when I would have them over for dinner I was always stumped as to what to cook. It always seemed like the only entree dish that really made sense was a salad and well that’s just not that exciting. Enter Thug Kitchen, a daring cookbook full of swear words and made up entirely of vegetarian recipes. A few years ago when I bought the cookbook I hadn’t realized the latter but was pleasantly surprised once I started going through the recipes.
Fast forward to today, vegetarian cuisine has evolved into everyday life. Instagram has over 300,000 posts using the hashtag #meatlessmonday and there are a ton of incredible vegetarian restaurants that meat eaters and vegetarians both frequent. Since I live in the Bay Area there may be more here than other locations but all in all there is no reason to not eat more vegetables. So once or twice week I make a dinner without any meat, it makes me feel better knowing that I’m getting in more veggies than not since it’s one of my downfalls in balanced eating.
Cauliflower has become the ninja warrior of cooking I feel, it can be made into rice, replace mashed potatoes, be made into pizza crust and used in just about any dish our gluten free, paleo, or health conscious friends can think of. I’ve been a fan of cauliflower since I was a toddler thanks to my Grammy who would stream it and then lather it in butter, salt and pepper. Not many 2 year olds go to town on cauliflower as we did and my love for it has continued through today. Turning a vegetable into a “steak” is quite ingenious. By cutting the cauliflower into thick slices and then searing them you are changing the texture of how you normally associate the vegetable. It creates a pleasing, hearty dinner and when you add in the roasted bell pepper walnut sauce you have a dish that doesn’t feel like you’re missing out on anything.
So all hail #meatlessmeals and bring on the veggies! This recipe was found on the amazing Foxes Loves Lemons blog – check it out!
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 17 mins
1 head cauliflower
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 jar (12 ounces) roasted red peppers, drained
1 small garlic clove
1 piece whole wheat bread, toasted and torn into pieces
2 tablespoons walnuts
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
Pinch of kosher salt and ground black pepper
Chopped fresh chives, for garnish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut two 1-1/2-inch-thick “steaks” from center of head of cauliflower (reserve ends of cauliflower head for another use). Use vegetable peeler or pairing knife to remove leaves and knobby sections of cauliflower stems.
In large cast iron skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add cauliflower steaks and cook 5 minutes or until very brown. Flip cauliflower steaks; cook 2 minutes, then transfer skillet to oven. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until cauliflower is tender.
Meanwhile, make Red Pepper-Walnut Sauce by placing all ingredients in blender or food processor and blend until smooth. You can eat the sauce at room temp or heat up if you’d like.