Updated: Sep 2, 2021
This recipe is insane! You're going to want to eat this VEGAN "CHEESY" CAULIFLOWER RICE WITH SMOKY MUSHROOM "BACON" every. single. day!
I know what you're probably thinking... 'cauliflower is boring, so why should I be excited about this?' But, that's where you're wrong. Cauliflower is the bomb! And when you combine it with this extra cheesy sauce and smoky bits of mushroom bacon, you are in for a treat! And the best thing is that this is such a simple dish to put together, you can literally have dinner on the table in less than 20 minutes. Yes... that fast!
You wouldn't think that this delicious recipe is really a no-fuss recipe. It's basically a basic cauliflower rice that is drenched in a thick, creamy cheese-like sauce which makes it so delectable!
I like making my cauliflower rice from fresh cauliflower for a couple of reasons. Though I can appreciate the convenience of frozen riced cauliflower, to me it always comes out mushier and more bland than when I rice it myself. When you rice your cauliflower, it always tastes fresh, and the consistency is on point. Also, by doing it yourself, you can control the size of the "rice". I like mine a little on the larger side so it retains some crunch when you cook it. Which I think works exceptionally well on this recipe.
Cheese sauces are usually made using soaked cashews, which can sometimes be a problem because I don't normally plan my meals ahead of time. So I made this sauce using silken tofu. If you don't know silken tofu, it's a bit different than regular tofu. It has a softer, smoother consistency which is perfect for sauces, creams and desserts. Regular tofu will work best for stir-frying, baking, pan-frying, etc. Silken tofu is also not refrigerated and it has a much longer shelf life than regular tofu, so you can always have one laying around for when you need it.
And then, finally, some marinated baked mushroom slices provide a smoky flavor that complements the rest of the ingredients very well.
I warn you again: you will not want to stop eating!
Let’s get started!
VEGAN “CHEESY” CAULIFLOWER RICE WITH SMOKY MUSHROOM BACON BITS
WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
For the cauliflower rice:
1 large head cauliflower, riced (about 7 to 8 cups)
1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
For the cheese sauce:
12 oz silken tofu
1/2 Cup nutritional yeast
1.5 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2 Cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
Turmeric powder (optional, for color)
For the mushroom bacon bits:
8 to 10 mushrooms, sliced
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
Pinch smoked paprika
Small clove garlic, minced
Chopped fresh basil or spinach
Ground black pepper
Chopped green onions
HOW TO MAKE IT:
Start by preparing the mushroom marinade. Whisk all ingredients (except the mushrooms) in a bowl. Add sliced mushrooms and allow to marinade for several minutes to absorb flavor.
Make the cheese sauce by adding all ingredients to a food processor. Process until even and smooth. Stop to scrape the sides occasionally to make sure everything is incorporated. You can add a bit of turmeric powder to adjust color, if you want the color to be more yellow. Set aside.
If you haven’t riced your cauliflower, do so now by pulsing equal-sized florets in a food processor until all pieces have been processed to a rice-like consistency. I personally like to leave mine a bit bigger than rice-sized to keep some crunch.
Place marinated mushroom slices on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and let them “toast” in your toaster oven while you get everything else ready. watch them so they don’t burn, and remove from the oven when crispy.
Pour the cheese sauce in a small saucepan and warm over medium low heat while you prepare the cauliflower rice.
Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Once hot, sauté the cauliflower rice for about 3-4 minutes until it starts to become a bit moist. Cover the skillet for a minute to allow the steam cook the cauliflower through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat.
Serve the cauliflower rice in a bowl and pour some cheese sauce over it. Top with the mushroom bacon bits, fresh ground pepper and chopped fresh parsley.
Let me know if you make this! Tag me by using @mindfulgrub or the hashtag #mindfulgrub when you share your creations on social media. I‘d love to hear how it went for you!
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