This rich, creamy vegetable bake is reminiscent of scalloped potatoes, with added cauliflower. It’s sugar-free, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, egg free, vegan, low glycemic and suitable for an anti-candida diet.
I’m so excited to have another fabulous recipe to share with you today from my friend Somer McCowan’s new book, The Abundance Diet: The 28-Day Plan to reinvent your health, lose weight, and discover the power of plant-based foods.
Now, don’t get nervous: I am not advocating a weight-loss diet here! (Those of you who know me know that I don’t believe in dieting, counting calories, points, carbs, etc.). So, that’s not what The Abundance Diet is all about!
As Somer says in her introduction, she uses the word “diet” in the classic sense, meaning, “the kinds of food that a person habitually eats.” So this book focuses on “diet” as a way of eating healthfully. Weight loss may be one of the consequences of eating this way, but improved health is the primary goal.
And with this book, you’ll achieve that goal pleasantly–along with some gorgeous food!
[How good do these Raw Cookie Bites look? Drool!]
The book is loaded with spectacular photos from Annie Oliverio (including the gorgeous cover photo above, which is also today’s featured recipe!).
Inside, you’ll find four parts: Part I, “Getting Started,” tells you all about Somer’s own journey back to health after a diagnosis and many years dealing with ulcerative colitis, a debilitating bowel disease. In addition, there are sections on assessing your relationship with food and “reinventing your kitchen”–a primer on how to stock a healthful pantry and refrigerator.
Part II, or “The 28-Day Plan” explains Somer’s philosophy behind the foods and why it’s not a conventional “diet.”
In Part III, “The Recipes,” you get the goods! From an entire chapter solely on Green Smoothies (yay!) to breakfasts, salads/dresssings, soups and stews, dips and “snackage” (love that!), main dishes and desserts and a bonus section on juice fasts.
Some of the recipes I have bookmarked include Island Bliss Green Smoothie, Razzleberry Lemonade, Chocolate Buttermilk Pancakes, Raw Neapolitan Overnight Oats, Black Bean Veggie Burger Salad with Avocado Ranch Dressing, Tomato Basil Bisque, Vegan Pho (Vietnamese Noodle Soup), Cheesy Herb and Vegetable Crust Pizza, Homestyle Mexican Casserole, Blueberry Peach Tart with Apricot Crumble, Chocolate Orange Silk Mousse and Cherry Garcia Soft-Serve. But truthfully, there were loads more I want to try out, too.
While Somer does use bananas, dates and other dried fruits, I found that almost all of the recipes could be easily adapted to my special diet. Like me, Somer favors recipes made from real, whole foods, without artificial anything–so I found myself drooling over many a page in the book!
[BBQ “Bacon” baked Chickpeas look like the perfect snack!]
Finally, the book wraps up with Part IV, “Fitness and Maintenance,” a section on how to maintain your healthy eating beyond the 28 days of the book’s plan. Overall, this is far more than a cookbook; it’s a guide and resource for living a healthful lifestyle along with great food.
I had a tough time choosing a recipe to try, but finally settled on the Cheesy Cauliflower Potato Bake (with its interesting backstory–see the recipe note copied from the book, below).
[My own casserole of cheesy cauliflower-potato goodness!]
One of the HH’s favorite foods is Scalloped Potatoes, and he’s not a huge fan of cauliflower, so I thought this would be the perfect way to offer him something he already loves while sneaking in an extra veggie. The dish was so cheesy, smooth and creamy, with a crisply baked topping and bursting with melt-in-your-mouth chunks of potato and cauliflower, that he couldn’t resist. I just loved it, too.
IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT THE BOOK: Due to an unfortunate printing error, the 28-day menus are absent from the book. You can download them directly from Somer’s blog, here.
Cheesy Cauliflower and Potato Bake
reprinted with permission from The Abundance Diet by Somer McCowan (© 2015, Vegan Heritage Press LLC)
This is a lighter and fresher version of an artery-clogging cholesterol-laden casserole made with potatoes, sour cream, cheese, butter, gelatinous cream-of-something soup, cornflakes coated in butter, and more cheese. This satisfying bake doesn’t leave you feeling like you need to take a nap afterwards.
2 large russet potatoes (1 pound), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice [I used redskinned potatoes for an ACD-friendly version]
1 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets (4 heaped cups)
1/4 cup raw cashews (soaked 4 to 6 hours)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
3 tablespoons tapioca starch
1 tablespoon mellow white miso
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon dry sherry (optional) [I omitted]
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard powder
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast [can add more miso for ACD stage 2]
Dash of cayenne
Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a large pot, bring 6 to 8 cups of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the potatoes and cauliflower, reduce the heat to medium, and boil for 10 minutes. Don’t worry if the vegetables are still slightly firm, as they will continue cooking in the oven.
While the vegetables are cooking, make the cheesy sauce: In a blender or food processor, combine the cashews, almond milk, tapioca starch, miso, smoked paprika, garlic, salt, onion powder, vinegar, tomato paste, sherry, mustard powder, nutritional yeast, and cayenne and blend until completely smooth and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes.
Drain the potatoes and cauliflower in a colander. Arrange the cooked vegetables in a lightly oiled 9×9-inch square casserole dish. Pour the cheesy sauce over the vegetables, gently folding the sauce into the vegetables if necessary.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the top is crusty and golden, the sauce is thickened, and the vegetables are completely cooked through. Makes 4 servings
Suitable for: ACD Stage 2 and beyond; sugar-free, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, egg free, vegan, low glycemic.
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I guess my favourite healthy meal would have to be a kale salad with a citrusy dressing…….I know, kinda boring……..
It’s tough to pick one favorite healthy recipe, but my favorites are probably big, filling salads. Greens, legumes, nuts, veggies, and maybe a little sweet potato or fruit, all topped with a creamy, herby dressing.
Donna L says
I like to make veggie burgers. They never come out the same twice. I usually make them with whatever I have , sometimes eggplant/almond with buckwheat and spinach, other times I use quinoa with what ever vegetables I have on hand. Mushroom/lentils and the list goes on……
Right now, my favorite healthy recipe is probably this yummy cauliflower and pesto salad:
Its so amazing what plants can do for us. Since I discovered this kind of diet I would never go back to the way I grew up.
Deb E says
Even though it’s 100 degrees now I still love a hearty lentil soup, especially with my fave veggie–carrots. Added spices keep it flavorful and healthy.
This time if year my favorite recipes are anything salad – this new yummy looking recipe will be saved for the cooler fall weather which is just around the corner.
I love fruit salad 🙂
Greens with tahini dressing, topped with small cubes of roasted sweet potatoes.
This looks sooooo good! I keep seeing this everywhere for the book reviews and I NEED to make it soon!!
Ricki Heller says
Yes, it’s a great book! We loved this recipe. 🙂
Donna S says
My favorite is mixed greens. Wilted, sauteed, raw. Often I fill a large bowl, then put whatever else I’ve planned on top. It morphs into a salad, wilts with the heat of the hot dish. My latest fav way is under oatmeal with dried tom and mushrooms, topped off with nutritional yeast. YUM!
Ricki Heller says
That sounds fabulous! 🙂
great recipes! I know i’d love them all. This included. and miso is a great ingredients. I keep forgetting i have it!
Chrystal in Canada says
My neighbour from Lebanon taught me a delicious parsley-tomato-onion-lemon juice-olive oil salad —- I could eat it for days 🙂
These days I’ve been loving enormous salads. If I’m making a healthy meal for the entire family, we all (including my kids) love the Beans Paprikash recipe from Living Candida Free!
My favorite is a salad made with black beans, cilantro, mango, red pepper, lime, and balsamic vinegar. So delicious and easy!
I’m thinking this might just become my new favorite! It looks delicious.
Nicollette D says
This book looks great! I love when food is healthy and delicious. My favorite recipe is simple: a grain, a green, and a bean. Put em all in a pot and voila, cruelty free healthy meal.
liz cleland says
I love fruit salads!! Especially when it is a HOT Summer day
This recipe is sensational! My mouth is watering.
I can tell that that this casserole will become a family favorite and a frequent request. Thanks for sharing it!
My favourite healthy recipe is a salad topped with beans, veggies, and cooked sweet potato
Oh this sounds incredibly delicious, Ricki! Can’t wait to try it! 🙂 I love cashew cheese sauces!
This recipe sounds awesome. Healthy eating is the way to go ))))
I can always eat a chickpea burger… or roasted chickpeas… or hummus… or pretty much anything involving chickpeas 😉
Can you recommend a substitute for the tapioca starch? I have bought so many special ingredients for various recipes but this somehow is not one of them. Many of these items go to waste and I’m trying to avoid that from here on out!
Ricki Heller says
I’ll ask Somer to chime in, too, but I would guess that arrowroot, cornstarch, or potato starch would all work.
I have all of these. Maybe I will hedge my bets and try equal amounts potato starch and arrowroot.
Ricki Heller says
Go for it! 🙂
I tried it w/half potato starch and half arrowroot and it turned out great! Probably could have just done one or the other, so maybe I will try that in subsequent versions. Thanks!
Ricki Heller says
Yay! So glad it worked for you. This recipe has definitely become a staple in our rotation here! 🙂
Oh, mamma, this looks delicious. I’ve told you this before: we’re not huge fans of cauliflower, but each time I’ve opened my mind to your cauliflower-featuring recipes, I’ve been blown away, so I’ll trust you on this one! Hehe. Thanks for sharing this 🙂 I’ll let you know when we try it! Be well 🙂
Ricki Heller says
Makes me so happy to read that, Christina! As I said in the post, I’m not exactly a cauliflower lover, either, but I really enjoyed it in this dish! And yes, let me know what you think if you do give it a try! 🙂
Sandy Zimmer says
I love roasting veggies on the grill, with a little grapeseed oil and salt.
Lydia Claire says
A hearty soup with lots of veggies, beans and some pasta or whole grains thrown in.
I like making a white sauce for pasta using cauliflower as the base. Oh She Glows Angela Liddon has a great recipe we always use.
This recipe is sounding like a new fave!!! I’ve been noshing on a lot of salads lately since it’s been so hot outside. Gotta love some kale, avocado, black beans, corn, tomatoes, and tofu. Yum!!!!
I love pinto bean salads with bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, avocados, cilantro and topped with fresh, homemade salsa.
Alisa @ Go Dairy Free says
I have to admit, that looks seriously abundant. If that’s what Somer’s healthy food looks like, then I think this book must be a winner!
Jenny N says
It’s hard to pick a favorite but I think right now I am big into a vegetable loaded stir fry.
Kale salad,:it’s so good! !
My family favorite is a cauliflower based Alfredo sauce over zucchini noodles! Sometimes we make cauliflower cheesy “breadsticks” to go with!
I love cauliflower, I like it steamed and once it is cold I pour some olive oil & apple cider on it, hint of Sea Salt and I don’t share 🙂
I do share, and I love for my little ones to embrace different flavor profiles, textures.
My little one is dairy free and so I am because of that .
I am printing this recipe!
Karen D says
My zucchini noodle lasagna made with cashew ricotta
Stir fry with loads of fresh veggies. So easy, and super healthy.
Theres too many to choose from! I love turkish food, like stuffed peppers with rice and raisins and whatever magical spices they use! At home I love making lentil soups with lots of veggies.
My favorite recipe is the best kale salad ever by ” oh she glows” . Best salad I ever eaten and so good for you too. Take it everywhere with me, picnics, dinners and everyone always asks for the recipe.
Michelle O. says
Right now I’m loving a cauliflower and sweet potato bake 🙂 I love cauliflower and am looking forward to trying this recipe.
Thanks for the chance to win this cookbook!
Crystal G says
I love zucchini pasta with nutritional yeast flake “parmesan”
Jessica Eagle says
Thanks for thés wonderful giveaway. My favorite healthy meal is a huge salad full of fresh greens from my garden, tomatos, cucumber, black olive, artichoke and tofu fêta. Miammm…!
I make a pretty mean Quinoa Salad, adapted from my favorite Cous-Cous
That Cheesy Cauliflower & Potato Bake looks delicious! I make a similar recipe with cauliflower and a cheesy sauce which is labeled Unmacaroni and Cheese. Yum. Even my boys will eat it 🙂
Falafel and salad in pittas.