I am SO excited to post this recipe because the final product totally exceeded my expectations! This is one of my new favorite ways to eat cauliflower and I'm psyched to have such a fun recipe to throw into my rotation because I eat a LOT of cauliflower. I was curious to try the butternut squash-cheese sauce trend that I've seen a lot of vegan bloggers post about but skeptical that it would live up to the hype. And I'm happy to report that it was AWESOME!
Most of the other recipes I've seen called for soaked cashews or cashew butter to help thicken the sauce, but I really don't like the taste/texture of cashew-based vegan cheeses so I used techina paste instead, which was great for thickening and giving a creamy texture.
A few reasons why this recipe is a nutritional rockstar:
the base is made from butternut squash, which contains important nutrients like calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium, vitamins A, C, and E, and is a great form of complex carbohydrates.
it contains nutritional yeast which adds the "cheesy" flavor, plus it's a great source of protein, vitamins B6 and B12, as well as minerals such as zinc, selenium, and manganese.
The tahini paste and almond milk add some healthy fats (which are crucial for absorbing some of those fat-soluble vitamins listed above)
The cauliflower is loaded with vitamins and fiber.
While there's not enough protein here for this to be a complete meal, it's an excellent side dish with any complete protein. You can also always make this sauce and eat it over zoodles, the pasta of your choice, or other roasted veggies. Never be afraid to make it your own.
One cup cooked butternut squash, cubed
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast,
2 TBSP of dijon mustard
1/2 cup of almond milk (or milk of your choice)
1/4 cup raw tahini paste (ingredients should be 100% sesame)
1 tsp sea salt
a pinch of freshly cracked pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 head fresh cauliflower or 1 bag frozen cauliflower
2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
scallions to top
Preheat the oven to 400°F or 200°C
Place butternut squash on a baking tray and bake for 45 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork.
Drizzle cauliflower with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast for 40 minutes, or until cooked though and golden brown.
Place squash, nutritional yeast, mustard, milk, tahini paste, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a food processor fitted with the "s" blade. Blend until smooth.
In a casserole dish, pour the sauce over the cauliflower. Broil for about 10 minutes.
Top with scallions.