Cauliflower Steaks with Red Pepper and Shitake Mushroom Sauce

Cauliflower, The Next Kale?

Kale is everywhere it seems, in salads, in smoothies, made into chips, hidden in cake (check our first post), in our name. But perhaps it is time for the ubiquitous kale to move over and make room for another worthy vegetable. Which one shall it be, carrots, beets, jicama, iceberg lettuce, onions? Nope! The consensus of foodies ahead of the curve indicate it’s cauliflower!

My earliest memories of cauliflower, was of Mom serving it boiled and then topped with oyster sauce. I always welcomed this dish, as it tasted so homey, it was my comfort food while other kids had macaroni and cheese. Well, we had mac and cheese too, but only after Mom went to boot camp once she got accepted into the military, but let’s save that story for another time.

My mother-in-law liked to serve cauliflower cooked in cream of mushroom soup, and so my husband, asks me to make it every once in a while now. But of course, I make my own sauce if time permits, or I rely upon any of the organic versions available. Cream of mushroom soup was the “go to” ingredient in helping immigrant families become westernized. I ‘m sure our grocery list didn’t look much different from other immigrant families who wanted to fit in: Wonder bread, Shake and Bake, the mysterious cottage cheese, peanut butter, Spam, just to name a few. But back to the cream of mushroom soup, it dressed up chicken, pork, serving it just as a soup. Oh, those were the days before we found out how much sodium was in those tasty soups.

Who by now hasn’t had roasted cauliflower, pureed cauliflower, or cauliflower soup? But, what about cauliflower as an entrée? This vegan and gluten free recipe for cauliflower steak with a cashew, red pepper, and shitake mushroom sauce, was inspired by a recipe I saw in Bon Appetit.

What is so great about cauliflower? It has a high amount of vitamin C, antioxidants, fiber, and it contains Indole-3-carbinol (I3C), as does all cruciferous veggies. I3C is important for detoxing xenoestrogens, the harmful type of estrogen, from our bodies. We don’t want these in our bodies because they act as hormone disrupters, and have toxic effects. Xenoestrogens are found in plastics, BPA, pesticides, dry cleaning solutions, air fresheners, perfumes, etc.

Cashews: Have lots of minerals, B vitamins, mono-saturated fat, which is good for your heart.

Red Pepper: Lots of vitamins A (good for eyes), C (good for skin), vitamin B6 and manganese (these two work in tandem to support the nervous system), and lycopene an antioxidant that can help prevent UV damage.

Shitake mushrooms: Not only are mushrooms rich in vitamins, minerals and polyphenols they also activate the immune system, have strong anti-tumor properties and prepare white blood cells to be ready to fight off disease.

cauliflower steak 1

Cauliflower Steaks with Red Pepper and Shitake Mushroom Sauce
Serves 2 as a main, or 4 as a side

  • 1 medium head Cauliflower
  • 2 T olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400°. Slice off the bottom of the cauliflower removing the leaves, but still keeping the core in place. Then put the cauliflower on the cutting board, with the stem side down and from the center, cut 2 slices that measure ½ inch per slice. Toss the cauliflower bits left over after the slices have been cut, with 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Put onto a large rimmed baking sheet and put in the oven.
  • While bits are roasting, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat.  Cook cauliflower steaks until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side, adding 1 Tbsp. oil to pan between batches. Take out the cauliflower bits from the oven and make room on the sheet for the steaks, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast cauliflower until tender, about 20 minutes, and make the sauce during this time.

Sauce:

  • 1 cup cashews, (soaked for 2 hours then drained)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 3 T. lemon juice
  • 1 T. nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 cups shitake mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 T. sherry
  • Heat olive oil in pan over medium high heat, add garlic, sauté for 2 minutes, then add the mushrooms cook for about 5 minutes, then add the sherry. Sauté for another 1 minute to cook off the alcohol and remove from heat. Season with a little salt.
  • Put the first 5 ingredients in a food processor or a good blender and puree.
  • To plate, smear the sauce on the plate, place the steaks on top and scatter mushrooms on top. The sauce can be heated as well before serving.  The bits can be served in a bowl alongside.

Bon Appetit! – {Kake}

cauliflower steak 2

4 thoughts on “Cauliflower Steaks with Red Pepper and Shitake Mushroom Sauce

  1. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you
    make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?
    Plz reply as I’m looking to design my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from.

    appreciate it

    • Hi Goji, thank you for your nice note. We are glad you like our blog! We made the site ourselves using the Hemingway Rewritten theme on WordPress. The theme provides a framework but I design the rest – colours, photos, placement, widgets, text treatment, sub pages, etc. It is not hard if you have some technical knowledge or comfortable with do-it-yourself online applications. Let me know if you need more info.

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