Friday 24 May 2013

WW Cauliflower cheese burritos

I was not alone when I was excited by Susan's amazing cauliflower cheese sauce on Fat Free Vegan recently.   You only have to look at the comments to know that others were similarly intrigued by her lowfat vegan cheese sauce using blended cauliflower for the base.  I am pleased to report that it is brilliant.  Deliciously creamy and virtuously light.  In fact it was so good that my plans to bake enchiladas were abandoned in favour of a simpler burrito meal that featured this sauce.

As you might have seen in a recent post, we have been eating a lot of cauliflower lately.  I bought a white cauliflower for the sauce and then I found a purple one in Lygon Street.  We had just been to storytime at the library and then played at the park.  I don't have any photos of the huge autumn leaves collected for the kids to stick on a collage so I have a photo instead of dolly in her teddy bear's picnic mask today.

I had been planned to feature cauliflower in a Mexican meal.  I had the tortillas in the pantry.  My plan was to make Joanne's Cauliflower Enchiladas.  Once I found the purple cauliflower I thought I would do her Stacked Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas.  I roasted up some purple cauliflower and roasted onions in preparation.  While they cooked, I made the cheese sauce.

I didn't quite follow Susan's recipe.  For a start, I made this in the microwave and blended it with a hand held blender.  I added some soy milk and - after discovering the dregs of a packet of white miso were a bit crusty - I used tahini.  It was amazing.  And so ridiculously easy.  And healthy.  So I stopped there.

I realised dinner could be so much earlier and simpler.  I microwaved some broccoli to add to the onion and cauliflower and the I threw in some walnuts. The warm tortilla was spread thickly with cheese sauce, piled with vegies and then wrapped into a burrito.  It was delicious.  Not quite Mexican but inspired all the same. 

The next night I cooked brown rice, fried onions, microwaved vegies and topped them with cheese sauce.  Again the cheese sauce made a simple meal taste delicious.  Honestly, the cheese sauce was so good I wanted to just eat it by the spoonful.  (Having said that I think it was best on the first night.)  I still had some left and used the last of it in a lazy lunch.  I made some Heinz tomato sauce and addded besan, brown rice and cheese sauce.

I will definitely be making this sauce again.  I am just wondering if I am brave enough to make a purple sauce if I find a purple cauliflower again.  I love a bit of colour in my life but even I find the idea of purple sauce a bit confronting (albeit exciting).  But I can share some local colour with you.  Above is a photo of a newly painted signal faults box in Victoria Street mall in Coburg.  We sat eating our lunch yesterday watching the artist working on it.  Today we were excited to see it was finished. 

I am sending this cauliflower cheese sauce to Ricki's Wellness Weekends.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago: In my Kitchen: May 2012
Two years ago: CC Moody Blues - the juice and the colour
Three years ago: GF Peanut Butter & Choc Chip Cookies
Four years ago: Preserved Lemon Stews and Intuition
Five years ago: Baked Bean Soup

Two cauliflower cheese burritos

1/2 large cauliflower, chopped, roasted in olive oil and smoked salt
1 head of broccoli, chopped and microwaved
1 large onion, sliced and fried til soft and browned
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted
cauliflower cheese sauce (below)

Mix cauliflower, broccoli, onion and walnuts.  Warm tortillas and cheese sauce.  Spread cheese sauce down the middle of the tortilla.  Pile vegie mixture on top of the cheese sauce.  Roll up tortilla into a burrito.

Cauliflower cheese sauce
Adapted from Fat Free Vegan
Makes over 2 cups

1 cup water
1/2 large cauliflower, chopped into florets
1 teaspoon granulated onion powder
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
1/8 teaspoon turmeric

1 cup soy milk 
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 tablespoon tahini (or white miso)
1 tablespoon cornflour (cornstarch or potato starch)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tsp salt, or to taste

Microwave the water, cauliflower, onion powder, garlic, smoked paprika, mustard and turmeric in a largish microwave tub until the cauliflower is cooked so well that it is falling apart at the touch of a fork.  (I don't remember how long this took but I guess between 2 and 5 minutes - if unsure microwave for a minute at a time until done.)  Add remaining ingredients and blend with a hand held blender.  Microwave until thickened.  This took me about 3 minutes, stirring well after each minute (don't worry if there is a slight hardened 'crust' at the edge, just stir it in).  Our cheese sauce kept for a few days and was reheated in the microwave when required.
On the stereo:
The Crook of My Arm: Alasdair Roberts


  1. Looks great. I don't know if I could do a purple cheezy sauce, either. I actually have few cheezy sauces that I like, so I am definitely putting it on my list to-try now. :)

    1. Thanks Janet - I am sure you would enjoy this and will be excited if you decide to try the purple cheezy sauce :-)

  2. Now, in theory, this sauce makes me feel a little ill (no offence to you or to Susan!). However, if I could bring myself to risk making it, I think it's entirely possible I'd like it - I like all the ingredients. I'd just need to give it a different name to cheese sauce so I don't put myself off! A purple version might actually be perfect...;)

    1. Thanks Kari - for you it is just the cauliflower and nutritional yeast sauce - would that help :-) (Most people we hide the cauliflower from but we just need to hide cheesiness and creaminess from you!) And I am sure if you made it purple there would be no resemblence to cream or cheese whatsoever - please do!

  3. I love how that pseudo cheese sauce inspired this meal! And I'm glad my enchiladas could take some part in it. :) I've been meaning to make that sauce...perhaps with my next round of tex-mex!

    1. Thanks Joanne - I am really curious to see how the cheese sauce would work in an enchilada - maybe next time - will be interested to see how you would use it

  4. Ha! Not only was I planning on making that same sauce recipe, but I was also watching the Victoria St Mall box being painted yesterday!!!

    1. Thanks Veganopoulous - enjoy the sauce and wonder if we were there at the same time

  5. Due to the cheapness of cauliflower at the moment I too have been discovering the versatility of this humble vegetable. This week I have had cauliflower rice as a base to my beef and bean stew and last night I had a cauliflower crumble. It was delicious too. Cant wait to try this sauce though it looks as delicious as you describe it. :)

    1. PS: the blueberries I put in my oats turn my porridge purple. My husband and I regularly eat purple oats for brekkie. Go on give it a try :))

    2. Thanks Helen - cauliflower seems like the wonder vegetable of the moment - forget all these superfoods that are a mystery as to what to do with them! cauliflower crumble sounds interesting. I quite like pink porridge with raspberries at the moment but am less of a fan of blueberries - though I will try it some time

    3. **update**

      I made the cauliflower cheese sauce tonight and had it on stirfry it was delicious I reduced the amount of soy sauce to cut down on the sodium (am looking to use a low salt tammari sauce)it was still delicious and really enhanced the vegies in the stirfry best thing is I have leftover sauce yum!

  6. I'm so eager to try this cheese sauce now too! And now that it's cauliflower season why not? :D Sylvia has grown so much!!

    1. Thanks Lorraine - love cauliflower season and yes Sylvia seems to be shooting up lately

  7. I saw this on Susan's blog, but I haven't tried it yet. I have been making Graham cheese sauce with a roux, using dairy free marg and soy milk, then using the nutritional yeast you sent me to make it cheesey. It works really well, but a low calorie/fat version would be great for my fast days.

    1. Thanks Jac - glad the nutritional yeast is being enjoyed - I love using it for cheese sauces and hope you get to try it in this cheese sauce

  8. I'm glad to hear this sauce is good, because I tried a couple of fake cheese sauces at Vida Vegan Con this weekend and thought they were... not very nice (being polite here). But then again, I never grew up eating cheese sauces so maybe I'm no the best judge anyway ;)


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