Hungry Haley

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Cauliflower Skillet with Avocado Cashew Crema (Vegan, GF)

GF, Appetizer, VeganHaley Hansen2 Comments

Skillet-roasted cauliflower topped with an Avocado Cashew Crema - what could be better? Cauliflower tenderizes and crisps up in the cast-iron skillet, and the creamy avocado cashew sauce adds a flavor and texture dimension that perfectly compliments it. This simple veggie dish is delicious on its own, or served alongside an entree any time of year. 

When it comes to savory recipes, I try. I really really try. Like, I aspire to have Kate's simplicity and Andrea's creativity. My parents - or "Santa", should I say? - bought me several cookbooks for Christmas (thanks, guys!), which I piled atop the several more I've purchased for myself as "rewards" for a) studying hard for an exam and/or b) earning a high score on that exam (it's more often the first than the second). My new favorite night-time relaxation activity is just to plop myself on the couch with two or three of these in front of me and flip through page after page after page, turning into a sponge to absorb anything and everything I can.

Cauliflower Skillet with Avocado Cashew Crema

On other nights, when I realize I haven't quite taken more than four or five steps out the door at all that day, Barnes and Noble is where it's AT, people. More often than not, I'm in my pajamas/comfy clothes by this time and in no way motivated enough to change into something I feel like I should wear out of the house. But pajamas/comfy clothes make sitting on the floor in Barnes and Noble reading through books like Brunch at Bobby's and Nutritious Delicious that much better. I know, my Friday nights as a college student are c r a z y. 

Cauliflower Skillet with Avocado Cashew Crema

Point of the story: I TRY to create dinner recipes and lunch recipes and appetizer recipes because I love eating those just as much as I love eating cookies and brownies and cake (more or less). But I am not good at it, guys. I close whatever book it is I'm reading to give myself a minute for the creative juices to flow, but my mind doesn't have many savory-recipe-juices to flow. If that makes any sense/doesn't sound weird. 

If there's a how-to method for this kind of thing, please point me in its direction. I'll pay you in cookies. 

Coming to this realization is simultaneously opening my eyes to the "niche" for which I'd been searching for what feels like five-ever. Mostly sweet baked goods: breakfast items and dessert items made with nutrient-dense ingredients AND soul-satisfying ones. And then a few savory things (for when the cookies and coffee cakes overwhelm): some simple black bean burgers and my favorite roasted sweet potato wedges

Nights spent reading through cookbooks will continue, whether or not they help me expand my savory cooking skills. Yeah, I like the sound of that :) 

Tell me, what's YOUR favorite Friday night relaxation activity? What's YOUR favorite veggie side dish? Leave a comment below!

Makes 2-3 servings

For the cauliflower:
1/2 large cauliflower head, cut into florets
1 tbsp. oil (I recommend avocado or grapeseed oil for high-heat cooking) 
a pinch of salt and pepper
Avocado Cashew Crema
Crushed red pepper flakes, for garnish (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 425F and place cast-iron skillet on the middle rack in the oven. 
  2. Toss cauliflower florets in the oil with salt and pepper. Spread over the skillet in a single layer and bake for 20 minutes on the middle rack. 
  3. Stir the florets around in the skillet and bake for another 10-15 on the top rack in the oven. 
  4. If the florets aren't browning by now, broil them on high for 2-3 minutes. Keep a close eye on them because they can burn quickly! Remove from oven and cool slightly. 
  5. Prepare the Avocado Cashew Crema while the cauliflower cools. Drizzle over the top of the cauliflower and sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes. 
  6. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Cauliflower Skillet with Avocado Cashew Crema