Sriracha-Cauliflower Mac 'n' Cheeze

From Vegan Yack Attack | Main Dishes | American

"Y’know, I was going to write this recipe using pasta, but then I got to thinkin’ about how I made this book for people who love veggies. So I swapped cauliflower for the pasta, and it turned out great! For those who simply want pasta and will kill anyone who gets in their way, feel free to use 8 ounces of elbow macaroni, cooked until al dente, in place of the cauliflower. "-Randy Clemens

Ingredients

  • Topping
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or extra-virgin
  • olive oil
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • Cheeze Sauce
  • 3/4 cup raw whole cashews, soaked in water
  • for 2 hours
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seed kernels
  • 3/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 small sweet onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups unsweetened nondairy milk
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup Sriracha
  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

Directions

  1. Sriracha-Cauliflower Mac
  2. To make the topping, melt the coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Gently stir in the panko, then turn off the heat and let the bread crumbs absorb the oil.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly spritz a 2-quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  4. To make the sauce, drain the cashews and pulse them in a food processor with the sunflower seeds until finely ground. Add the nutritional yeast, salt, mustard, pepper, and nutmeg and pulse until well combined. Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan
  5. over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Whisk in the flour. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. In a small
  6. cup or bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of the nondairy milk and the cornstarch. Add to
  7. the pan, stirring constantly. Cook, still stirring constantly, until the mixture has
  8. thickened, then whisk in the remaining 1-1/2 cups nondairy milk. Stir in the cashew mixture and Sriracha. Bring to a simmer, then immediately lower the heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and creamy, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.
  9. To assemble the dish, put 1/2 inch of water in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the cauliflower and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cover and cook until just tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Drain well, then pat dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels. Transfer to the prepared casserole dish. Pour the sauce over the cauliflower and top with the panko.
  10. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the topping is golden brown and the sauce is bubbling. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes so the molten cheeze lava can cool just a touch. Portion, plate, and serve garnished with parsley.
  11. To make gluten-free
  12. For the topping, substitute 2 cups of rice squares cereal (such as Rice Chex) for the panko. Put the cereal in a large ziplock bag and gently roll over it with a rolling pin until the cereal is coarsely crushed into bits, resembling panko in texture. For the cheese sauce, simply substitute gluten-free flour for the all-purpose flour.