Fried Cauliflower and Broccoli with Cashew “Cheese” Sauce

Last year I went to Vegfest London. I was expecting a spectacular selection of meat free foods but instead I was presented with a vast array of meat and cheese substitutes. I tried a sample from one of the cheese shops. Quite possibly the most vile thing I have ever tasted and the taste lingered in my mouth. Yuk Yuk Yuk!

So when I saw Lee Watson‘s Creamy Cashew Cheese Sauce I wanted to see if a vegan cheese existed that could knock my socks off. To be honest I’m now 25 days into Veganuary and haven’t missed cheese at all. Veganuary has been an eye opener, trying so many new ideas and ingredients. I’m loving it. This cheese sauce is amazing.

So here is a vegetarian classic caulflower cheese with a few twists. This made enough for 2 with enough left for snacking on before bedtime or for a packed lunch at work tomorrow for one.

For the sauce:
100-120g raw cashews – soaked for a few hours or preferably overnight in the fridge
2 tablespoons cornflour
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon lemon juice
a big pinch of turmeric (watch out as it will stain your fingers and everything you touch)
salt
1 teaspoon English mustard
approx 200-240ml dairy free milk – I used Soya. Almond would be good too

Check everything in the food processor except the milk. Switch on then slowly add the milk until you have a smooth, thickish, creamy sauce. If you need more liquid top it up with water.

For the rest:
Half a head of cauliflower – chopped into florets a size that you like
half a head of broccoli – same as above
1 leek – cut in half lengthwise then sliced finely
2 tablespoons olive oil
Breadcrumbs
Fresh Basil leaves – finely shredded
1 heaped teaspoon paprika powder
salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a frying pan then add the cauliflower, broccoli and leeks. Fry over a medium heat until the cauliflower is browned. This adds tons of flavour that you just don’t get if you boil it. Now add a splash of water, cover and leave to steam for about 5 minutes until everything is just tender.

Put into an oven dish the pour the sauce over. Mix the breadcrumbs, basil and paprika in a bowl with a little salt and pepper, then spread over the vegetables. Drizzle with a little olive oil then bake in the oven at 200C until the crumbs are brown and crispy.

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