I have talked about snow a lot recently.  Well, that is because we continue to get more and more.  I am always amazed that I never gain more weight than I do in the winter because if I had my way all I would do is eat and sleep.  And by eat, I mean eat lots of warm, delicious, gooey goodness.  The best ways to feed that craving: bakes, soups, and anything else that I can heat up my oven for an extended period of time.

For example, the red and white cauliflower recipe from Vegan Yum Yum appealed to both Mike and I.  I thought about trying the recipe as is, I really did.  The problem?  How do I make a recipe that so desperately calls out to have cheese in it without the cheese?  I couldn’t do it!

We are cheese people and there is no denying it!  There is a small natural grocery store in our hometown that has such a fantastic cheese selection (well for this area at least) and at any given time our cheese drawer is full, brimming even.  So I restate, how could I make the recipe without cheese?  The result: cheesy cauliflower goodness with sweet marinara and nice crunch to top it the whole thing.  Really, what could be better?  Sure it wasn’t vegan but holy cow it as delicious.

Cauliflower Bake
Author: 
Recipe type: Side Dishes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 9
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cup marinara (I used store bought but homemade will work as well.)
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cup milk
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 4 cup cauliflower
  • 2 cup broccoli
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400˚.
  2. Begin by chopping cauliflower and broccoli into small pieces, steam until veggies are tender (but not soggy.)
  3. While the veggies steam, make the white sauce: Over medium low heat, melt butter. Whisk in flour so that a paste forms. Slowly add in milk and whisk together. Keep over medium low heat and whisk often until the roux begins to thicken (should coat the back of a spoon.) Remove from heat and mix in Parmesan cheese. Once veggies are done, mix white sauce and veggies together.
  4. In a small bowl, whip ricotta, olive oil, basil, rosemary, and black pepper: set aside.
  5. Once veggies and white sauce are done, begin to layer ingredients in an 8 x 8 pan. Start with ricotta cheese, then layer on the veggies/white sauce, top with marinara, and finish with breadcrumbs.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cheese begins to bubble.
Notes
Adapted from the Red and White Cauliflower Bake from Vegan Yum Yum and works well as a side or main dish.
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