Here’s a quick an easy vegetable idea that doesn’t require much preparation and tastes good – Cauliflower Cheese without the Cheese!
First up, steam your cauliflower until slightly undercooked then mash it up. Whilst your cauliflower is cooking make some Healthy Béchamel Sauce using this recipe but substitute the herbs and spices for ones that you want to incorporate in your Cauliflower Cheese. I used some ground nutmeg and rosemary as well as dried garlic.
Once the cauliflower is steamed and the Healthy Béchamel Sauce ready, mix together, season to taste and then cook in the oven for 30 minutes.
I made this whilst I had the oven on for a chicken but I’ll reheat it tonight for my dinner. A healthy meal and a frugal way to make second use of the oven whilst it was already on.
I cooked this easy to make recipe yesterday for a nice warm, hearty dinner as I was craving carbs and comfort food and needed filling up! It was relatively quick and easy to make in terms of preparation and fed my Husband and I, so quantities below are for two hungry people or for four people if part of a meal with other courses.
I used gluten free lasagna sheets but if you’re not obliged to eat gluten free you can use normal lasagna.
The recipe is also dairy and nut free (so long as you don’t use almond milk or other nut products).
- 1 butternut squash, cubed
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3 tablespoons rice milk (or other milk alternative such as almond milk, quinoa milk…)
- 3 tablespoons of walnut oil (for anti-inflammatory benefits of the walnut, alternatively olive oil is good too).
- 1 tablespoon of rosemary
- Healthy Béchamel Sauce (click here for recipe)
- 8 sheets of Gluten Free Lasagna
- Place the cubed butternut squash in a roasting tray, drizzle with walnut oil and sprinkle rosemary on top.
- Slowly roast for 20 minutes at 175 degrees or until soft.
- Once roasted, mash the butternut squash and add the seasoning, nutmeg and milk so that you get a smooth paste consistency (or lumpier if you prefer). This will be the filling that goes between the lasagna sheets.
- Pre-cook the lasagna sheets in some boiling water (if required) as per package instructions.
- Assemble the layers in a dish, starting with a layer of Béchamel Sauce, followed by a layer of Butternut Squash mixture, followed by lasagna sheets. If you can get hold of dairy free cheese it may be worth adding but we didn’t and it was fine. Finish off by covering the last layer of lasagna with the Béchamel Sauce. For information we used 8 sheets of gluten free lasagna.
- Cook in oven at approximately 180 degrees Celsius for approximately 45 minutes or until the lasagna sheets are cooked through.
Since removing dairy from my diet I have been using Soy substitutes for cream but I’m not a huge fan of them and I often worry about what they contain as they are becoming more and more processed whereas I am trying to clear my diet from processed foods as much as possible.
I found this recipe for a creamy sauce which I have adapted to my taste by changing some of the main ingredients such as the milk and flour used as well as the herbs and oils. The consistency will largely depend on the type of flour you use so I would recommend to add the flour slowly until you get the consistency that you desire, the quantities below are what worked for me.
- 200 ml of rice milk (or other milk substitute such as almond milk)
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons of walnut oil or olive oil
- ½ cup of chickpea flour (or other gluten free flour)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon or dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon of dried basil
- Slowly bring the milk to a simmer in a pan.
- Once simmering, remove from heat and add lemon juice, oil, seasoning and herbs.
- Introduce the flour to the mixture slowly whilst stirring and return to a low heat. Keep stirring and introducing flour until you obtain the desired consistency. Add more milk if it becomes too thick.
Seasonal produce is one of the keys to eating healthily I have discovered, although sometimes it can become boring when preparing the same vegetable in the same way, over and over again.
My Mother in Law is a member of an AMAP in France which is basically a food club where local people get a seasonal fruit or vegetable basket from local producers each week. They don’t get to choose what goes in the basket but one thing that is guaranteed is that everything is organic. She often gives me some of the produce as she runs out of ways to re-invent the wheel and over the last few weeks we’ve been given a gluttony of Potimarron. I:m not quite sure of the name in English, maybe squash or pumpkin? This is what it looks like:
We’ve already eaten it in soup, roasted and as a puree, so faced with yet another one today I decided to experiment a bit and mix up a few recipes I had seen and could vaguely remember but not actuallly find.
1 Potimarron diced (leave skin on if organic as it adds an extra nutty flavour)
3 cloves of garlic
1 tsp of curry powder
3 tbsp of ground almonds
3 tbsp of ground walnuts (optional)
1 tsp of ground nutmeg
200 ml of soya cream or other vegetable cream (if cooking dairy free
salt and pepper to taste (I used quite a lot of pepper!)
1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius
2. Cut the Potimarron into cubes and leave the skin on if organic (thoroughly wash first mind!)
3. Add the Potimarron to a dish, cover with diced garlic, curry powder and seasoning.
4. Add soya cream (or other cream product) , stir and then sprinkle with the almonds and walnuts.
5. Bake at 160 degrees for approximately 1 hour. I stirred mine from time to time as my over is very strong and not very good at cooking evenly.