The Best Cauliflower Steaks with a Trio of Sauces

The crisp autumn weather has arrived ushering in a new bounty of one of my favorite vegetables. Do you love cauliflower as much as I do? Whether it’s riced, roasted or mashed this seasonal love of mine can always use a refresh. Say hello to cauliflower steaks with 3 new sauces. Talk about flavor, convenience and health.

This is my vegetarian entry for the Kevin’s Natural Foods Eat Clean Live Happy Blogger Challenge.

sliced 1 1/4 to 1 1/2-inches thick I can usually get 3 steaks per large head of cauliflower

Pro Tip: For a “meaty” bite slice cauliflower into 1½-inch thick steaks

One of my favorite ways to cook cauliflower is slicing it into steaks and roasting it. Covered in foil at high heat the cauliflower gets a 10 minute flash of tenderizing steam from its own natural juice. Remove the foil, continue roasting and cauliflower’s natural sugars caramelize to a nutty brown. Such an easy clean flavorful way to cook.

Pro Tip: For high heat roasting, use an oil with a high smoke point like grapeseed or avocado

And save and roast the cauliflowers leaves, too. The leaves are delicious and high in nutrients. They are so much better in your belly than in your compost pile.

Pro Tip: Roasted cauliflower leaves make a delicious crispy garnish

Let’s get saucy! Developed by chefs, Kevin’s natural foods sauces come in 8 amazing flavors that are paleo/keto certified. In addition, they are dairy free, soy free, gluten free and contain no preservatives. In the short time it takes to roast and/or stir-fry a few vegetables dinner is on the table. And did I mention they are made in the U.S.A.? Huge bonus points for that.

Featuring three sauces, the first is Kevin’s Thai Coconut. Lover of all foods Thai this sauce delivers a punch of lime and coconut balanced with a mild heat and sweetness. Embellished with peppers and onions and a garnish of crispy cauliflower leaves this sauce truly elevates the cauliflower.

Roasted cauliflower steak with Thai Coconut peppers & onions. Garnished with crisp cauliflower leaves.

The second sauce is the hands down family favorite. The Korean BBQ brings a bold “meaty” flavor to the table and is a natural paired with mushrooms. This sauce is umami at its best and my meat lovers sure did not miss the meat.

Meaty cauliflower steak with Korean BBQ mushroom sauce. Garnished with cilantro & sesame seeds.

The third sauce I chose to try is the delightful Lemongrass Basil. It’s creamy with a kick of heat and took what is otherwise considered a bland vegetable to new heights of flavor. In the time it takes for the cauliflower to roast this sauce is ready to plate.

Lemongrass Basil sauce with shitake mushrooms & green onions

Which sauce will you try? Each one makes 4 servings and I guarantee you will want to not only try the three I chose but all the other wonderful products Kevin’s natural foods has to offer. They are available at Whole Foods and Costco and of course on-line.

Cauliflower Steaks with a Trio of Sauces

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

4 fresh cauliflower steaks (cut 1 ¼ to 1 ½-inches thick)

¼ cup Cauliflower leaves

Grapeseed or avocado oil

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon paprika

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

Heat oven to 500F. Brush both sides of cauliflower steaks lightly with oil. Toss leaves with 1 teaspoon of oil. In small bowl, mix salt with garlic powder, paprika and ginger; toss leaves with ¼ teaspoon. Sprinkle remaining salt mixture evenly over both sides of cauliflower steaks. Place cauliflower on a baking sheet. Cover tightly with foil. Roast 10 minutes. Remove from oven and remove foil. Sprinkle leaves on roasting pan. Reduce oven temperature to 450F. Return pan to lower rack of oven. Roast 6 minutes. Transfer roasted leaves to a plate. Turn steaks and continue roasting until golden brown and tender. Transfer steaks to serving plates. Meanwhile, prepare desired sauce.

Thai Coconut Pepper & Onion Sauce

1 tablespoon grapeseed or avocado oil

1 small to medium red bell pepper, seeded and julienned

1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced

1 (7 oz.) package Kevin’s natural foods Thai Coconut Sauce

Garnish: roasted cauliflower leaves and fresh lime wedges

Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and heat until shimmering. Add peppers and onions, cook, stirring, until onions soften and peppers are crisp tender. Reduce heat to low. Add sauce; simmer for 1 minute. Spoon sauce over cauliflower steaks. Top with roasted cauliflower leaves. Garnish with lime wedge.

Korean BBQ Mushroom Sauce

1 tablespoon grapeseed or avocado oil

1 (3.5 oz.) package fresh maitake or oyster mushrooms, torn

1 (7 oz.) package Kevin’s natural foods Korean BBQ Sauce

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring, 3 to 4 minutes or until mushrooms release their liquid and brown. Reduce heat. Add sauce, stirring to coat mushrooms. Simmer for 1 minute. Spoon over cauliflower steaks. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and cilantro.

Lemongrass Basil Shitake Sauce

1 tablespoon grapeseed or avocado oil

1 (3.5 oz.) package sliced shitake mushrooms

2 scallions, thinly sliced

Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring, 3 to 4 minutes or until mushrooms release their liquid and brown. Reduce heat to low. Add sauce, stirring to coat mushrooms. Simmer for 1 minute. Spoon over cauliflower steaks. Sprinkle with green onions.

For more great recipes and information check out Kevin’s Natural Foods social media channels.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Kevins-Natural-Foods-111435896926979/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kevins.natural.foods/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/KevinsNaturalFoods/

Thai Basil is a perennial in my garden

Eat well Live Happy

Following In His Light & Crispy Coconut Oyster Mushrooms

crispy coconut oyster mushrooms go Asian

crispy coconut oyster mushrooms go Asian

This weekend my hometown of Kennett Square, PA has closed down its main streets in anticipation of 100,000 visitors. MushroomFest2015 is in full swing celebrating its 30th year with vendors, music, food, contests and entertainment. Several months ago I was asked to be a “celebrity chef” and do a cooking demo in the culinary tent. I was flattered and replied with an enthusiastic, “yes”, but as the date drew near I grew more nervous and anxious about my ability to do such a presentation. I love this town and I love the festival which is run by volunteers, but I was so scared about falling on my face that I honestly thought about backing out.

how about that?

how about that?

Never did a cooking demonstration before and unfamiliar territory is typically frightening. How was I going to cook, on a stage, and entertain a crowd á la Food Network Star? It wasn’t something I could practice.  In addition, I had to follow the famous and charming Top Chef fan favorite Fabio Viviani. Not too much pressure. Did I really say, “yes”? Truth is I am no Food Network Star. Further, other self-doubting thoughts were taking up space in my head, but then it hit me why I said “yes”. I promised to follow in his light. Channelling my inner William and celebrating his fearlessness, I mustered up the courage to step out of my comfort zone and win over the crowd with my mastery of mushrooms.

teaching about mushroom blendability

teaching about mushroom blendability

It’s all part of the journey. Following in his light. Transforming myself. Its typical of grievers to take on some of the traits of those they have loved and lost. William has helped me conquer quite a few fears and I am ever so grateful for that. Luckily the demo went well. Surprisingly well. No fanfare. Just being myself. The crowd was engaged. They were laughing and cooking with me. It was like being in my own kitchen. Cooking what I like and loving when I cook. The audience members asked questions and they learned. They clapped and I even got a few hugs. Thank you to those who stopped by and to my son for giving me the courage. I love and miss you every single day.

He is cheering me on

He is cheering me on.

Now here is the fan favorite recipe. It is the perfect appetizer for not only the mushroom lover, but also for those who can’t eat shellfish. Mushrooms are very similar in texture to shellfish. I have had people bite into these and ask if it is an oyster or shrimp.Serve with your favorite dipping sauce or try the one I suggest here.

yup, they are mushrooms

yup, they are mushrooms

Crispy Coconut Oyster Mushrooms with Sweet Asian Chili Sauce

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon pepper

3/4 cup lime-flavored seltzer water

2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut (I like Bob’s Red Mill )

1 cup fine dry breadcrumb

18 oyster mushroom caps

vegetable oil ( for frying)

salt

Red Pepper Dipping Sauce

½ cup red pepper jelly

1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar

1-teaspoon Asian fish sauce or soy sauce

In a mixing bowl, whisk flour, salt, ginger, pepper and seltzer until smooth. Combine coconut and breadcrumbs in a large zippered bag. Dip each mushroom in batter letting excess drip back into bowl. Drop mushroom into bag and gently shake to coat with coconut crumbs. (At this point the mushrooms can be placed on a rack in the refrigerator until ready to serve.) Pour oil to a depth of 2 inches in a deep skillet or Dutch oven; heat to 350°. Fry mushrooms, in batches, 1 to 2 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Serve with dipping sauce.

To make the dipping sauce, in small saucepan over low heat, stir all the ingredients together until jelly is melted and blended.

gorgeous KSQ oyster mushrooms

gorgeous KSQ oyster mushrooms

Finally, here is a mushroom fun fact. Like humans, mushrooms are the only fruit/vegetable that when exposed to ultra violet light make their own Vitamin D.

Good Grief: Lasagna Two Ways

Joyful activities. We need them. Remember what makes you happy and start filling up your bucket. Celebrate you and you celebrate those you have loved and lost. “Good Grief” in the blog title. Whenever you see it, going forward, something joyful will follow including, as always, a most delicious recipe and maybe a bit of a surprise. These are “no more tears” blog posts.

stop & smell the roses

stop & smell the roses

First, the fun surprise. It is a D.I.Y. project perfect for this time of year known as lasagna compost gardening. It is a no-till (aka no back-breaking work) method of turning a sunny grassy area into a new garden. “Lasagna”, in this case, refers to the layering of nitrogen rich green material like grass, vegetable and fruit scraps, coffee grounds and manure with carbon-rich brown elements like cardboard, dead leaves, straw and newspaper. Continue alternating green and brown layers, watering in between, until the pile measures 2 to 3 feet.

6 months later you will be ready to plant your new garden

6 months later you will be ready to plant your new garden in a loamy soil loaded with earthworms

Now for some real lasagna. This is one of my favorite recipes from Epicurious. As always I tend to tweak things according to my taste. For instance, I did not have porcini mushrooms, so I used dried shitakes and I used a large enough skillet to cook all the button mushrooms, zucchini, onion and garlic at once. Make the filling the day before to stream-line the whole process.

wild mushroom lasagne

wild mushroom lasagne

from Epicurious.com

Wild Mushroom Lasagna

For mushroom filling
3 cups water
2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms (about 1 cup)
2 pounds fresh white mushrooms
2 large zucchini (about 1 pound)
1 large onion
3 garlic cloves
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons Sherry
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For sauce
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
5 cups whole milk
4 1/2 ounces freshly grated Parmesan (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
eighteen 7- by 3 1/2-inch sheets dry no-boil lasagne (about 1 pound)
1/2 pound freshly grated mozzarella (about 2 cups)
1 1/2 ounces freshly grated Parmesan (about 1/2 cup)
preparation

Make filling:
In a small saucepan bring water to a boil and remove pan from heat. Stir in porcini. Soak porcini 20 minutes. Lift out porcini, squeezing out excess liquid, and reserve soaking liquid. In a sieve rinse porcini to remove any grit and pat dry. Chop porcini and transfer to a large bowl. Simmer reserved soaking liquid until reduced to about 1/4 cup. Pour liquid through a sieve lined with a dampened paper towel into bowl with porcini.

Quarter white mushrooms and in a food processor pulse in 3 batches until finely chopped. Cut zucchini into 1/4-inch dice. Chop onion and mince garlic. In a 12-inch heavy skillet heat 1 tablespoon butter over moderate heat until foam subsides and cook one third white mushrooms with 2 tablespoons Sherry, stirring, until liquid mushrooms give off is evaporated and they begin to brown. Add mushroom mixture to porcini. Cook remaining mushrooms in 2 batches in butter with remaining Sherry in same manner and add to porcini mixture. In skillet cook zucchini in 1 tablespoon butter until tender and stir into porcini mixture. In skillet cook onion in remaining tablespoon butter, stirring, until softened. Stir in garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir onion into mushroom mixture until combined. Filling may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.

Make sauce:
In a 3-quart heavy saucepan melt butter over moderately low heat and whisk in flour. Cook roux, whisking, 3 minutes and whisk in milk. Bring sauce to a boil, whisking constantly, and simmer, whisking occasionally, 3 minutes. Stir in Parmesan, mustard, and salt. Remove pan from heat and cover surface of sauce with wax paper. Sauce may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring sauce to room temperature before proceeding.

Preheat oven to 375°F. and butter a 13 x 9-inch (3-quart) baking dish.

Assemble lasagne:
Spread 1 1/4 cups sauce in baking dish and cover with 3 pasta sheets, making sure they don’t touch each other. Spread one third filling over pasta sheets in dish and top with 3 more pasta sheets, gently pressing down layers to remove air pockets. Top pasta sheets with one third mozzarella. Continue layering in same manner with sauce, pasta sheets, filling, and mozzarella, ending with mozzarella (dish will be filled to rim). Spread remaining sauce over top and sprinkle with Parmesan. On a foil-lined large baking sheet bake lasagne in middle of oven until bubbling and golden, about 45 minutes. Let lasagne stand 20 minutes. Lasagne may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring lasagne to room temperature and reheat before serving.