In a perfect world I would be Vegan. In my own kitchen, I get sort of close. Sometimes.
I’ve slowly transitioned to a mostly Vegan diet over the past few years. However, I am an American, living in America. I have yet to master eating Vegan when I leave my own kitchen.
As far as a Vegan diet is concerned, restaurants are bad and kid-activities are the worst.
So. I am Vegan when I can be, and Vegetarian when that works. However, when faced with the choice of meat or dairy, I’ll choose fish over a cheese dish any day.
So what is the difference between Vegetarian, Ovo Vegetarian, Lacto Vegetarian, Vegan, anyway? 10 years ago I didn’t know the difference.
Here’s a quick run-down on Vegetarian & Vegan:
Vegetarians don’t eat flesh. This includes Chicken and Fish. More than once, someone has said to me, “I’m vegetarian. I only eat chicken.” Ummm. That’s not vegetarian. Vegetarians generally eat food made from animal parts like broth and stock but not animal flesh.
Ovo Vegetarians eat eggs (“ovo” refers to egg). Generally speaking, someone who identifies with Ovo Vegetarian probably does not consume dairy.
Lacto Vegetarians consume dairy (“lacto” refers to milk). Lacto Vegetarians probably don’t eat eggs.
Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian is usually the menu option at restaurants: Cheese, Milk, Eggs.
Vegan is no flesh, no eggs, no dairy, and no animal products like bone-based stock/broth or bone marrow-based gelatin.
In my own kitchen, I cook up Vegan dishes when time and energy allows. However, I still cook for THREE meat eaters in my home.
Actually, I have a selfish reason for posting this Cauliflower Steak recipe.
The other day I had a head of Cauliflower and not much else. I remembered making this dish a long time ago, and it got rave reviews at the dinner table that night. So I started scrounging around looking for the recipe and I couldn’t find it ANYWHERE! As I continued to look, the basics started coming back to me, and I finally decided to call off the search and wing it on my own. My version turned out better than the original recipe.
So here we are. A few days later. Now I will not be scrounging around looking for a recipe. Ever. Again.
If I have a recipe in front of me, I follow the measurements to the letter. When I’m left to my own devices, I eye-ball everything. Therefore, you will get the eye-ball version here.
I will say that it’s kind of hard to mess this one up, so no worries if you put a little more or less of something in.
1 head of Cauliflower
~1 1/2 Cup Panko Crumbs
~1/2 TBSP Kosher Salt
Fresh-Ground Pepper (don’t cheat your family on the pre-ground stuff!) heh.
~1 TBSP Italian Seasoning
~1 tsp Garlic Powder
Preheat oven to Roast 350 degrees.
I cooked this dish in the Breville Convection Oven. Most days I would trade 2 Wolves for a Breville. This oven is handy dandy. Love.
Slice the Cauliflower. Place sliced Cauliflower on a baking sheet. Brush a little olive oil over the Cauliflower on both sides. Salt and Pepper to taste.
Put Cauliflower Steaks in the oven to roast. After about 15 minutes, turn the Cauliflower Steaks over, and roast for another 10 minutes or until the Cauliflower Steaks are tender.
Lots of pieces will fall away. Set those aside.
Mix Panko Crumbs, Italian Seasoning, Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder. Taste the crumbs. This is what the topping will taste like. If you think it needs more of something, this is a good time to add it.
Oooops! Don’t forget the Pepp-eh!
While the Cauliflower Steaks are roasting, grind/chop Cauliflower pieces in the food processor until the pieces are in small chunks.
Mix the Panko Crumbs mixture and the ground up Cauliflower pieces together until they are mixed well. There should be about a 50/50 ratio Panko Crumbs/Cauliflower chunks.
When the Cauliflower Steaks are fork-tender, take them out, and spread the Panko Crumb mixture on top of the Cauliflower Steaks.
Change the oven setting to low broil. Put the Cauliflower Steaks back in the oven until the topping is golden brown. I usually stand over the oven during this part. I’ve ruined many-a-dish by walking away. The browning takes all of about 90 seconds. On this dish, if the crumb topping burns, the dish is hard to save because it’s so crumbly. I highly recommend standing over it. I learned this the hard way.
I served this with Adzuki Bean Quinoa. I’ll save that recipe for another day. It’s DE-lish!
For dessert, we had Hubby-Chocolate Cake.
And no, we do not have dessert with every meal. This was one of those weird times when Hub had made cake and we happened to have fresh berries.
I guess I am the pickiest eater in my family. My kids eat anything that’s not moving. The Hub eats anything, preferably with soy sauce. Although, he did love the Cauliflower Steaks and they didn’t have soy sauce on them. Hmmmm. Go figure.
Have you tried a new recipe lately?
I’d love to hear from you.
You can speak your peace below.