Almond-Roasted Cauliflower (and ‘evolving’ taste buds!)

If you’ve been using my books since way back (like early days with The Everyday Vegan and Vive le Vegan), you’ll know I haven’t always loved all my veggies.  In fact, I once declared that you would not find cauliflower in my cookbooks!

Times have changed and now I’m eating my words (and the cruciferous)… because Let Them Eat Vegan has a selection of recipes with cauliflower, including this one:

Almond Roasted Cauliflower

When I created this recipe I had no idea how much of it I could eat.. or our girls!  Normally our girls won’t dig into cauliflower, but when I make this recipe I double the batch so we all get some!

And, we’re not the only cauliflower-converts.  I’ve heard from dozens of people that have tried this recipe and then e-mail saying “I now like cauliflower“!

While I’m still not a fan of raw cauliflower (or raw broccoli… or cabbage), I never thought I’d love eating raw greens like kale and chopping copious amounts of parsley for my lunch salads!  It is so true that over time our palates adjust.  Our taste buds evolve and we become “open” to more diverse flavors and nuances in foods.

Eating vegan did just that for me.  Before becoming vegan the only flavor I knew was – CHEESE!  Since cheese is so fatty, salty, and addictive, I relied on it to make my foods taste good.

 

I hope you enjoy this recipe – I think you will!  And, a note about the oil.  I have created and shared a number of oil-free recipes.  I wouldn’t make this without the oil.  You can reduce it, but if you omit it altogether the cauliflower will become dry and chewy rather than caramelized and moist.  So, if you want to reduce the oil, for sure give it a go – just don’t omit it altogether.

Almond Roasted Cauliflower wheat-free, gluten-free, soy-free  (from Let Them Eat Vegan) 

Roasting cauliflower is not a new idea, but the addition of almond meal and nutritional yeast makes this side dish something special. Easy . . . and addictive (even if you aren’t a huge cauliflower fan)!

4 – 4 ½ cups cauliflower flowerets (about 1 medium cauliflower, with bite-sized flowerets cut and used)

1 – 1 ½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (can reduce, but don’t omit – see note above)

1/8 tsp (rounded) sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper (optional if making for kids)

2 tbsp almond meal

1 tbsp nutritional yeast

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet or 8 by 12-inch baking pan with parchment paper.  Toss the cauliflower with the olive oil and sea salt (and pepper, if using). Transfer to the prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes, tossing once or twice. At the 20-minute mark, check the doneness and color of the cauliflower. If it has started to soften, turning a golden color, add the almond meal and nutritional yeast and toss again. If, at 20 minutes, it isn’t at this stage, let it bake for another 10 minutes and then add the almond meal and nutritional yeast. Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes or more, tossing again once, until the cauliflower is golden brown and fully softened.  Remove from the oven and season with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Serve warm!  Serves 2 to 3… or maybe just 1!

Have you found your palate has “expanded” since eating vegan?  What new foods/flavors do you now love?!  

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