Winter Vegan Recipe Wednesday

January 16, 2013

The Healthy Voyager's cheesy cauliflower poppers make the perfect winter vegan recipeWinter is here; can you believe it? The bitter cold is settling in and that means we need hearty food to keep us warm. Of course, we also can’t forget those yummy sweets that also come with the season. To help you prepare for winter, every Wednesday we will post some delicious vegan recipes that will turn your season around and keep your palate asking for more. Enjoy!

These cauliflower treats make a great appetizer, side dish and snack. The Healthy Voyager transforms a favorite veggie into something that tastes delicious and does the body good. These poppers take time preparing, but are worth it in the end.

Cheesy Cauliflower Poppers

1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into florets
2 tablespoon vegan heavy cream (dairy free heavy cream = 1 block of silken tofu (12-ounces) and 1/2 cup of plain soy milk. Blend in blender until thick and creamy and there are no more lumps)
2 tablespoon vegan butter
1/3 cup shredded vegan cheddar cheese
4 vegan egg whites (1 egg white = 1 tablespoon plain agar powder dissolved in 1 tablespoon water, whipped, chilled, and whipped again.)
1 teaspoon finely minced chives
Salt & pepper to taste
Oil for frying

In a medium saucepan, add the florets, heavy cream and butter and heat on medium until melted and warm, with the cauliflower being nice and soft.

Add the cauliflower and melted cream and butter long with the cheese to a food processor and blend until still chunky – kind of like a cooked oatmeal consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

Chill for at least half an hour. Fold 1/3 of the “eggs” into the cauliflower mixture to lighten it up. Then fold the cauliflower mixture into the rest of the “eggs” and gently mix until combined. For best results, chill for another half hour or they won’t hold their shape as well.

Fit a pastry bag with a round or star tube with about a 3/4 inch opening. Spray the inside of the bag with nonstick spray. Gently squeeze out 1 inch sections onto a greased cookie sheet, cutting with a butter knife as you go.

When finished, bake in a 375 degree oven for 10-12 minutes (or longer if you’re skipping the frying) until puffed and slightly browned. Remove from the oven and serve – or heat 1/4 inch of oil in a saute pan and when it’s very hot add the poppers. It doesn’t need long, a minute per side to turn them golden brown and crispy. Serve immediately.

-Allyson Koerner

Photo Credit: The Healthy Voyager