Cauliflower Tikka Masala: #176 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

We love the creamy curry-ness of a good chicken tikka, but now we’re eating more of a plant-based diet. What to do? Fortunately Jamie Oliver came to the rescue with the inspiration for this cauliflower tikka masala recipe. Very comforting comfort food, and healthy to boot.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($12 total)

Blend:
1 can coconut milk – $1.99
1 tomato – $0.99
2 heaping tbsp cashews – $0.24
1 tbsp apricot jam – $0.16
1 lemon, squeezed – $0.20
1/4 tsp paprika – $0.07
1 tbsp curry powder – $0.70
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped – $0.08
1 tsp ginger – $0.28

Sauté:
1 tbsp olive oil – $0.10
1 onion, chopped – $0.50
2 cloves garlic, minced – $0.15
1 head cauliflower, chopped into bite-sized pieces – $2.49
1 bunch collard greens, chopped – $1.99
1 bunch chard, chopped – $1.99
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Put all the “Blend” ingredients in a blender and process until it makes a smooth simmer sauce.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat, then add the onions. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions start to soften, then add the garlic and cook for 3 more minutes to start to brown the garlic. Next add the cauliflower, the greens, and the simmer sauce.

3. Bring to a bubbly boil then turn the heat down and let it simmer for about 10 minutes until the cauliflower is soft and the flavors have all melded together. Cook the rice during this time too, using one part rice and two parts water, with a bit of salt.

Serve the cauliflower tikka hot over rice, and enjoy the melting comforting sensation of filling your body with this healing treat of a meal.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness:  3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 18/18 (maximum score!)

If any of you amazing cooks tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Cauliflower Leek and Apple Soup: #113 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

On a brisk winter day there’s nothing like a warm bowl of creamy cauliflower soup to comfort and nourish. This one is vegan and inspired by French chef Rebecca Leffler, using tahini (made from sesame seeds) and coconut oil for the creaminess. 2/3 of the kids came back for seconds, so that’s as good an endorsement as any. 🙂

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($7 total)

1 tbsp coconut butter – $0.55
1 leek, chopped up (green parts too!) – $1.50
1 red onion, chopped up – $0.50
4 garlic cloves, chopped up – $0.15
1 cauliflower, chopped up – $2.49
1 apple, chopped up – $0.30
Water to cover vegetables – free
1/4 cup tahini – $1.15
1 tbsp olive oil – $0.10
Salt and pepper to taste 

Directions

1. Chop up all the veggies. In a large pan, heat the coconut butter over medium heat, then add the leeks, onions, and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are soft, then add the cauliflower and apple and cook for a few minutes more.

2. Fill the pan with water to cover the veggies and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat once it starts to boil and simmer for about 10 minutes, until you can stick a fork into the cauliflower pieces easily.

Using a slotted spoon to leave most of the liquid in the pan, scoop out the veggies into a blender (I had to do three blender batches), adding some of the tahini, olive oil, and just enough of the liquid to be able to blend it into a smooth soup.

Pour into a medium-sized pot and repeat with the remaining veggies.

3. Taste to adjust salt and pepper if needed. Serve as a warming appetizer to dinner, or as a lunch in itself. This soup reheats nicely too, if you have leftovers – just gently heat over the stove or microwave a bowl for yourself. So good!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings:  3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 2 = decent meal (one kid wasn’t too thrilled but the rest of us loved it)
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 17/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Cheesy Cauliflower: #71 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

In Britain this dish is called “cauliflower cheese”, and wherever you are it’s a tasty way to get your veggies. I also like cauliflower steamed with lemon. But even the kids at our table who aren’t super keen on dairy or cauliflower will gobble this down. It’s a nice side dish for whatever else you’re having for dinner, or you can just have it on its own too.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($6 total)

1 head of cauliflower, chopped into small pieces – $2.49
2 cups milk – $0.75
4 tbsp flour – $0.04
4 tbsp butter – $0.62
1 cup grated gouda or cheddar cheese – $1.95

Directions

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop the cauliflower pieces in and cook for 5 minutes, then drain. Rub some oil or butter around a glass casserole dish and put the cauliflower in it.

2. In a medium pot over medium heat, mix the milk, flour, and butter. Whisk constantly and quickly while the sauce comes to a boil. Keep whisking for 2 more minutes until it gets thick, being sure not to burn the sauce. Remove from heat and stir in most of the grated cheese, then pour the sauce over the cauliflower in the casserole dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. Optionally, add breadcrumbs here too for a crispy topping.

3. Bake at 425F for 20 minutes until it’s bubbly and browned on top. Cool for 5 minutes, then scoop and serve hot.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings:  3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish
  • TOTAL: 17/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!