Let's talk about cheese. Is there anything better? Nope! It is so addictively good...
In fact, that's much closer to the truth than you might think! Cheese contains a concentrated form of the protein called casein (100x more concentrated than in human breast milk). And casein, when it crosses the blood-brain border, forms a chemical compound called casomorphin. Sounds a bit like morphine," right? That's because they are both opiates. According to Victoria Moran in her book, Main Street Vegan, “Nature designed it that way so young mammals would enjoy nursing, come back for more, and live to reproduce themselves.” But in cheese, the result can sometimes be a major opiate addiction that can cause people to have serious withdrawal symptoms. (www.freefromharm.org)
And from a nutritional standpoint, cheese doesn't do much for our health and has a number of downsides best avoided. So, while it's a good idea to try to cut out the cheese from our everyday eats, we don't need to cut out on the cheese-tastic experience of gooey, savoury, yumminess.
And cauliflower and cheese is just about one of the yummiest, cheesiest recipes there is. It's a cinch to reinvent a lovely cheese sauce using cashews and bone broth or veggie stock instead of flour, butter, milk, and cheese. It's even easier to ratchet up the nutritional profile of the cauliflower itself. I do love a bit of cauli, but... It's even better when complimented with a savoury carrot-celery-fennel-green-onion mince for extra depth of flavour and texture. All-in-all, this is cauliflower and cheese transformed!
If you have a small cast iron pan or another type of pan that can be used on the stove and then transferred to the over, that's easiest for this recipe. If you don't, then no problem--just saute the veggies and then transfer them into a pre-heated baking dish before adding in the cheese sauce. You can also skip the oven entirely to save time by simply adding the cheese sauce to the same pan with the veggies, giving it a stir to heat the sauce, and then serving.