Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Creamy Mashed Cauliflower served with Limed Jerk Seitan and Heirloom Tomato topped with Hemp Seeds (No Added Fat)

I don't often eat cauliflower; I occasionally enjoy a bit raw in a salad, or perhaps cooked Indian-style as part of a curried dish. But I've heard of creamy mashed cauliflower and what I've heard is that it's easy and quite tasty. An online search came up with just such a recipe from a blog called A Vegan and a Vitamix. I modified it slightly to double the liquid and garlic, and add nutritional yeast. The recipe calls for initially steaming the cauliflower florets for about 13 minutes, and I used a hint about steaming cauliflower in a pressure cooker which suggested 3 minutes of steaming under high pressure would do (the Instant Pot website has a good summary of pressure steaming). Here is the recipe with these modifications.

  • 1 cup water
  • Medium head of cauliflower cut into maybe a half dozen smaller pieces, leaves and large stem removed and remaining cauliflower cut into sections of florets (I guess it could be cut into the individual florets, but it would have taken more time and been more difficult to keep atop the steamer trivet)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened (homemade) almond milk (this is a staple for us, but any other plant "milk", preferably unsweetened, could be used)
  • 3T nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
  1. I put the trivet (just a little metal basket or shelf to get ingredients up off the water level and off of the pot sides) in the Instant Pot, and put the cup of water in, double checking that the trivet was above the level of the water (it was - if not, I'd reduce the water till it was at least a bit below the trivet).
  2. I then added the cauliflower, closed the pot, and selected "Steam", which is high pressure steaming; I set it to 3 minutes.
  3. When I was ready for the cauliflower, I let out any remaining steam and pressure (just a few minutes later, there was little pressure left), and put the cauliflower into my Vitamix blender (any reasonably powerful blender should do).
  4. I added the rest of the ingredients (garlic, almond milk, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper) and, using the tamper (a pole that pushes ingredients down into the spinning blades), blended on a variable setting of about 7 (out of 10; beyond that, the blender can go into a high speed mode) till the cauliflower was homogenized. It was soft and pliable, but not runny - for those who want it a bit softer, some more milk could be used.
  5. That's it! I served it, using the plastic Vitamix long spatula to scrape out remnants.
I also made my signature lime-marinated jerk seitan (a video is available) by sautéing with no added fat in a cast iron pan seitan and onion, then mixing in lime and jerk seasoning (I prefer to first marinate the seitan in lime, but not when I am cooking in cast iron), as well as a bit of salt.


Dinner was great! What a nice and easy recipe that cauliflower dish is - it's a winner! I think that I overdid the garlic, though my wife enjoyed it. The nutritional yeast was a good addition - just enough to lend a subtle hint. We always love the limed jerk seitan!

Ideas for the future

I'd like to try this again but cut the garlic in half. Maybe I should try this as is but with the garlic pressure cooked, making it have a milder roasted flavor. My wife suggested that a little bit of chunk in the form of some raw onion cubes might be nice, though I'm not sure. I wonder what similar dishes would be like with other vegetables like turnips or some other mild vegetable.

While I was preparing the seitan, I came up with an idea - seitan would be good with some raw tomato mixed in (and maybe raw onion) when served. Another idea would be to mix in some pressure cooked green tomato to get just a subtle tomato flavor.

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