|Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole|
Here we go with our premier entry for Meatless Mondays! They’ll be coming back for more with this one, and will NEVER miss the meat.
With ever-increasing food prices, we are ALL trying to save whatever we can. One way of doing this is to eat meatless meals once or twice a week. Meat prices have become outrageous lately, and there’s no let up that I’ve seen.
Admittedly, my tastes have changed as I’ve gotten older. I’ve heard this from a couple of friends too. One friend told me she and her husband go meatless at least once a week. The reason is their tastes before budgetary reasons. They aren’t even toying with the idea of becoming vegetarians or vegans either. It’s just what they prefer. I find the same thing has happened with me.
Eliminating meat or fish doesn’t mean a dish can’t be satisfying and filling. Macaroni and Cheese is the absolute GRANDADDY of meatless meals, and that’s been satisfying families at mealtimes almost forever!
I’ve always loved cauliflower and any casserole it has been in. Mine has cheese, but not the usual cheese–I substituted the usual cheddar or Swiss with Asiago. However, you can take this recipe and substitute the cheese of your choice.
Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole: Meatless Monday
Author: Judith Hannemann
- 1 large head (2 lbs) fresh cauliflower
- ¼ cup diced green bell pepper
- ¼ cup diced red bell pepper
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 2 tbs chopped onion
- 4 tbs butter, divided
- ⅓ cup flour
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup shredded Asiago cheese, divided
- 3-4 cups plain croutons
- 2 tbs grated Parmesan cheese
- Separate cauliflower into individual florets–try to keep them uniform in size, approximately 1-2 inches across at the head.
- Place florets in a large pot, cover with water and add 1 tsp kosher salt. Bring to boil, cover and cook 5-10 minutes. I cooked mine for about 8 minutes till they were crisp/tender. Remember they will have additional cooking in the oven.
- Spray an 11 x 7-inch casserole with non-stick spray. Place cauliflower in prepared baking dish, making an even layer across the bottom. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt 3 tbs butter. Add the peppers, onion and mushrooms to pan and saute until tender.
- Add flour to pan with vegetables and blend well. Add the milk gradually, stirring constantly until well blended and there are no lumps. Add salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until sauce begins to thicken. Add ¾ cup of the cheese to the sauce. Stir until cheese melts.
- Pour cheese/vegetable sauce over cauliflower, distributing the sauce evenly over the cauliflower. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.
- Melt the remaining 1 tbs of butter.
- Remove the casserole from the oven, uncover and distribute croutons evenly over the top. Drizzle with melted butter. Sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup of the cheese then sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top.
- Return to oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and croutons are golden brown.
- **Frozen cauliflower of equal measure may be substituted for fresh. Cook until crisp/tender, about 3 minutes**
- Serves 6-8 as a SIDE or 4-6 as a MAIN.
|Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole|