It was once the Brussels sprouts craze, now it’s the
cauliflower getting all the attention.  I
have never been a big cauliflower person until a few years ago when I got on
board with homemade cauliflower crust pizza and then I started making
cauliflower rice risotto which is in a previous post.  I have also had cauliflower steaks as a
substitution for meat in a burger. 

Cauliflower also has anti-inflammatory properties so it is
an ingredient in some of my BeneFIT bowls. 
Read more about the nutritional benefits of cauliflower here: 

But I still knew cauliflower had more potential, to really
be a star side dish.  And at a recent
football playoffs party my cauliflower side dish (recipe below) was absolutely
a crowd favorite.   

I have started experimenting with a variety of ingredients
to make healthy sauces with my favorite kitchen gadget, just a simple
mixer/food processor.  So many sauces
don’t even require cooking the ingredients prior to mixing them so it just
takes a couple of minutes to make an incredibly flavorful sauce

I discovered a very simple vegan base for many of my new
sauces called cashew cream.  It gives me
the added protein I need while I explore a vegan diet and it’s the perfect
texture of a good creamy sauce to add such a plethora of ingredients to. 

Cashew Cream (vegan and dairy free)

1 cup raw or roasted cashews

¾ cup water

Salt to taste

Soak the cashews in water for at least an hour and up to
overnight.  Drain.  Put cashews and water into a small mixer and
blend for one minute.  Add a little more
water to get to desired consistence. 

with chipotle, tomato and smoked paprika sauce

1 head cauliflower broken up into florets

2 tbsp smoked paprika

2 tsp salt and pepper

1 cup diced tomatoes, canned (no need to drain the juice)

1 tbsp chipotles (add more for an extra kick)

1 tbsp honey

1/4 cup cashew cream

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. 
Mix cauliflower with a light coating of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Spread in one layer onto a baking sheet with
parchment paper.  Add salt, pepper and
smoked paprika.  Bake for 15 minutes or
until tender. 

In blender, mix the tomatoes, chipotles, honey and cashew cream.  Add another teaspoon of salt.  Put cauliflower in a big bowl and toss gently
with sauce.  Garnish with chopped
scallions, chives or cilantro.  Serve