Christmas Cauliflower Steaks

Its not your traditional steak, but the flavor and texture leaves you just as satisfied. Cauliflower is a wonderful versatile crucifer due to its neutral, yet lightly sweet flavor. In this recipe I have combined aromatic herbs and toasted nuts to create a comforting vegetarian, and easily made vegan dish. You can even cut the time in half if you already have store bought or homemade pesto on hand. Trust me, the 20 minutes are worth it!

Since it is the holidays, I want to keep it short and sweet. Just as a heads up cauliflower is rich in isothiocyanates which are bioactive compounds that support our innate detoxification system. This is great news especially during the holidays when we tend to grab one or more of those delicious Christmas cocktails which put a little added stress to our system. Also, cauliflower is very rich in vitamin C, a water soluble vitamin which acts as an antioxidant in our body, reducing oxidative stress within our cells. The ability of vitamin C to reduce the formation of possible mutagenic/cancerous cells is a great reason to add crucifers into your diet. 

So why not try these super delicious cauliflower steaks this holiday! Topped with a raw homemade pesto, and gluten-free almond cornmeal crumbs, they are to die for and fit for any special diet. Oh and not to mention, this dish is even white, green, and red- perfect for the spirit of Christmas. 

To your health and happy holidays!!

-Selva W.

Cauliflower Steaks with Basil Pesto and Almond Cornmeal Crumbs
Serves Four

For the Pesto
1/2 large container 4 oz container of basil
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup grated parmesan (optional)
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon (2 T)
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste 

For the Almond Cornmeal Crumbs
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup fine cornmeal
1/3 tsp dried sage
1/3 tsp dried thyme
1/3 tsp dried marjoram
Generous pinch sea salt and fresh ground pepper
2 teaspoons coconut oil

For the Cauliflower Steaks
1 large head of cauliflower
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Heirloom cherry tomatoes, diced (garnish)
Watercress (garnish)


Toast the pine nuts carefully over medium low heat in a sauté pan while stirring with wooden spoon. They burn easily if left unattended. Once golden brown and aromatic, remove from heat and pour in a small bowl to cool. Meanwhile, place basil leaves from 1/2 large basil container into a small food processor along with the two cloves of garlic. Process until finely chopped. Then add the cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper to taste. You can omit the cheese if you are vegan and it will still taste great! Process until combined, pour into a small bowl or glass jar and set aside. You will need the food processor again later so clean it when you have a minute or two. 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the leaves from the cauliflower and trim the stem. Cut 1/2-3/4 inch slices of the cauliflower (small pieces will fall off, save those for another dish or roast along with the steaks and top with pesto and crumbs). Heat a medium sauté pan to medium and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Reduce heat and place two cauliflower steaks into the pan, and sauté on each side for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Transfer the steaks to a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until al dente. You want them to be tender but not too soft. 

While the steaks are baking, place the cornmeal and sliced almonds into the small food processor, and pulse until small-medium almond chunks are formed. Add the herbs, salt and pepper, and pulse to combine. Heat the coconut oil in a large sauté pan over medium low and pour in the almond cornmeal mixture. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until golden brown and aromatic. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat once golden and set aside. 

Brush a warmed serving plate with pesto, and top with a handful of watercress. Place the steaks top of the watercress and brush with pesto, sprinkle the almond cornmeal crumbs over the steaks and top each with a spoonful of heirloom tomatoes. Serve immediately. 

Meal Idea: Serve the cauliflower steaks alongside a large salad, with brown rice or any other grain for a complete meal. 

1. Whfoods: Cauliflower

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