This post is in partnership with Lundberg Family Farms
Comfort food season means cravings of hearty, warm and filling meals. The colder months of the year definitely inspire us to create recipes that make our belly’s feel warm and full – but that doesn’t mean that you have to make unhealthy comfort foods.
My favorite recipes to make during the winter season include various “gratins” – for those of you that don’t know what the term “gratin” means, it’s simply a dish that is filled with breadcrumbs or cheese – or somewhat of a cheesy crust. I know you’re thinking that this doesn’t seem healthy at all – but I came up with a dairy free and gluten free version that uses sprouted brown rice, cauliflower, and a blend of vegan cheeses.
My number one thing lately with cooking healthy is by sourcing ingredients that make the cooking process easier. We now live in a time where brands are creating food products that cater to the health conscious consumer, from vegan cheeses, to dairy free milks, and more – you can now find products that will make eating healthy easier for you.
For this recipe I used sprouted brown rice from Lundberg Family Farms – they have so many different varieties and flavors. I used their chili verde variety to give some kick to my cauliflower gratin – but you can use regular sprouted rice if you don’t want added flavor.
I’m always partial to using sprouted grains as the process of sprouting your grains releases a specific enzyme that helps your body digest carbohydrates with more ease. Something to be aware of when you’re shopping for your next pasta dish!
For the ooey gooey cheese – I used a blend of different vegan cheeses I found from the grocery store. I know that a lot of you like to make your vegan cheeses from scratch but sometimes in a pinch it makes cooking so much easier when you see that there are now healthier dairy free options. I typically go to Whole Foods as they have an entire section on vegan cheese (and they’re also stocked up on Lundberg).
For this cheese sauce I used a blend of dairy free sour cream, onion and garlic, vegan butter, “almond” cheddar cheese, and a smoked vegan gouda cheese. All delicious goodness that tastes like real cheese but isn’t!
Also a note – if you want to go all out and make this recipe using real cheese, use the same ingredient amount but use real cheese instead of the vegan alternative.
So let’s get cookin’!
Vegan Cauliflower And Sprouted Rice Gratin
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 1 box (6oz) sprouted brown rice
- ½ onion (divided into halves and diced)
- 5 cloves of garlic (divided)
- 4 tbsp vegan butter (divided into two sets of 2 tbsp)
- 1 cup of vegan cheddar cheese
- 2 tbsp oat flour
- 1 cup of vegan gouda cheese
- ¾ cups vegan sour cream
- ¼ cup almond milk
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs (optional)
- Pinch of (to your liking)
- Cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper
- Prepare the rice according to package instructions in a big pot, and chop the cauliflower. Once the rice is done cooking, drain the pot and set the rice aside.
- In the same pot, fill ¼ with water and steam the cauliflower until tender – about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F
- In the same pot, heat up 2 tbsp butter and saute 3 cloves of garlic and ½ of the diced onion for 5 minutes – add back the cauliflower and rice and toss with the garlic and onion for about three minutes. Take the pot off of the heat and set aside.
- In a saute pan, heat up 2 tbsp of butter and cook the remaining garlic and onion for 5 minutes.
- Add all of the cheeses, sour cream, and almond milk to the pan and cook until you get a thick creamy cheese sauce.
- Line a baking dish 8×8 with parchment paper, and pour the cauliflower/rice mix in the dish. Sprinkle all of the seasonings on top of the cauliflower/rice mixture.
- Pour the cheese sauce over the cauli/rice mixture, and then top with the breadcrumbs if you wish to do so.
- Bake for about 30 minutes or until you see the dish start to bubble and brown.
This post is in partnership with Lundberg Family Farms. All opinions, creative direction and recipe development is my own.