Wednesday, June 29, 2011

VOTM - Cauliflower

When my idea for VOTM was developing in May and began with a post about about my love for brussel sprouts, I knew straight away which vegetable was going to feature next - cauliflower. It is a vegetable that many people (including myself until recently) primarily associate topped with a bechamel and cheese sauce and then baked in the oven. Although it may be rather tasty in this fashion, my love for this vegetable has intensified since I have been experimenting further...

A couple of the recipes that I began my cauliflower exploration with were Ashley's Pan-Roasted Cauliflower and the Red and White Cauliflower bake from Vegan Yum Yum. The combination of cauliflower with mustard, lemon, pine nuts and spring onions is so tasty and moreish, which makes Ashley's recipe a keeper and this has become one of my favorite ways to serve cauliflower as a side dish. The VYY red and white cauliflower bake is a very popular menu item at home with both the man and son being huge fans.

Carla's roast vegie cheezy pie and the Lentil, vegetable and quinoa stew from Fat Free Vegan that I blogged about recently have all been repeated several times. Although cauliflower is not the main ingredient, it is an essential inclusion in my book. Something that hasn't been made again yet is my Creamy cauliflower and tofu bacon soup although this will definitely get another showing as it was so delicious and disappeared in a flash. 

When I looked through my bookmarks of recipes to cook I was astounded at the quantity and diversity of cauliflower recipes that have been stowed away. Spicy dishes such as Vegan Dad's Tandoori Cauliflower, 101 Cookbook's Spicy Cauliflower with Sesame and Robin Robertson's Gobi Manchurian have all caught my eye. Some more unusual but intriguing things I would like to try are Cauliflower Couscous from Where's the Beef and Ground "Meat" from Diet, Dessert and Dogs.

Some other reasons behind this VOTM concept were not explored in my initial post. One is for a chance to discuss a seasonal vegetable and the many methods and recipes in which I like to enjoy it which is also an opportunity to share some blogging community spirit around. Another objective is to share a basic but hopefully interesting side dish that could otherwise miss out on being posted. So here is my recipe for this month, a simple side dish that was invented one evening and loved so much that it has been repeated countless times and is always greeted with a smile. 

It's a simple stir-fry that makes use of two or three vegetables which are totally interchangeable. Sometimes it can be broccoli and cauliflower florets, other times brussel sprouts, carrots and this time around I even used a choko! We enjoyed these stir-fried vegies with lemony roasted potatoes from Veganomicon (aka. lemony snickets around here) which were posted about here and Cindy's awesome vegan sausage rolls that we never seem to get enough of!

I make this side dish when I'm not really in the mood for roasted vegies or feel like adding a bit of spice to a meal. My latest trick has been to serve these stir-fried vegies alongside some lemony snickets when I'm trying something new out on the troops. That way if they aren't keen on my latest experiment at least they will be thoroughly satisfied with the other parts of their meal.

Mixed vegetable stir-fry with garlic and chilli

1 tablespoon peanut oil
2-3 cloves garlic, sliced into strips
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
2 small carrots, julienned
1 choko, peeled and cut into strips
1-2 tablespoons vegan oyster mushroom sauce

Heat a tablespoon of peanut oil in a wok over high heat. When the oil begins to smoke, add the garlic and chilli flakes and stir-fry for about 10 seconds. Add the cauliflower, carrots and choko and stir-fry for about a minute. Stir through the vegan oyster mushroom sauce and stir-fry for a couple more minutes. Remove from the heat and serve immediately.


  1. love cauliflower and I think the VOTM is a great concept - I also love how you call the lemony roast potatoes lemony snickets.

    I have cauliflower in the fridge and you have reminded me that sylvia seemed to like it roasted last time I tried that - have you had it roasted - so yummy when charred around the edges

  2. Thanks Johanna! The man actually came up with the lemony snickets name so I can't take credit for it. It is a good one though!

    Can't believe I didn't write anything about roasting cauliflower, it's such a great way to serve it. Sylvia has good taste!