My poor Mom has been making cauliflower with cheese sauce for every holiday since I can remember! The poor thing hasn’t been able eat it for over 40 years, but my Dad would whine if he didn’t have this for a side dish. It is his all time favorite! My husband has taken a page from my Dad’s book and now also promptly whines if the cauliflower doesn’t make it on the menu! For Christmas this year I decided to surprise my Mom with her very own lactose and gluten version of this vegetable classic. She absolutely loved it!
Note: Absolute honesty. If you can tolerate real cheddar cheese, definitely use that. It’s far superior! (I have been using the cashew milk lately for my bechamel (white sauce). I love the creamy texture it imparts without all the unwanted calories of whole milk, half and half or heavy cream.) If you can’t tolerate and haven’t eaten cheese for a while, this will be a real treat!
Melt the Lactose Free (or vegan) Margarine in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Warm cashew milk in a separate saucepan.
If you warm it until it bubbles, it will save you tons of time stirring!
Once the margarine begins to bubble add the GF flour and whisk away lumps. Let that bubble for a minute or two to remove the flour taste.
Add milk all at once. Once the sauce gets very hot and begins to thicken, add Vegan Cheese substitute. Be Careful! Read the label! Even things marked lactose free contain lactose! FDA regulations for product labeling are 100’s pages of legalease so like many other legal documents are open to interpretation. So if a product contains small amounts of casein or whey they can claim to be lactose free! My mom is one who can tolerate NO lactose, so I read the labels super carefully.
Stir until the mixture bubbles and thickens. The cashew milk makes it super creamy!
Meanwhile, steam cauliflower in a large pot.
Drain the cauliflower just shy of done and immediately run under cold water to arrest the cooking process. This can be done 1 or 2 days ahead to this point. Store cauliflower and sauce in separate containers in refrigerator.
When you want to serve, place cauliflower in an oven proof baking dish. Pour ‘Cheese’ sauce over cauliflower. (Any extra sauce can be frozen). Bake at 350 until warm and bubbly. About 30-45 minutes. These Spaghetti Squash Boats are another tasty GF and DF vegetable side!
Due to my background in horticulture, I had several readers request a tutorial on Vegetable Gardening. So if you have interest in the subject, these posts are packed full of information about how to get that big harvest by the end of the season! Don’t miss my How to Start a Garden Series! The first part is Planning Your Garden! Second is Preparing the Garden Site. The third is Choosing Plants and Planting Your Garden. The fourth is Garden Maintenance, and the last is Harvesting a Garden and Preserving the Harvest, this post has over 100 FREE recipes for preserving your harvest!
Cauliflower au Gratin – GF and DF
- 1 small head cauliflower , cut into bite sized pieces
- 4 Tbsp Lactose free margarine (I use Fleischmann's Unsalted)
- 4 Tbsp Gluten free all purpose flour (I use Pillsbury brand)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- 3 c cashew milk (I use Silk brand)
- In a medium saucepan, melt margarine.
- In a separate pan heat the cashew milk until very hot over medium heat.
- Add flour salt and pepper and whisk together cooking for a minute or two.
- Add cashew milk all at once.
- Cook and stir until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly.
- Cook and stir one minute more.
- Makes 3 cups.
- Freezes beautifully! Make a double batch and save the other half for macaroni and cheese!
Originally Published 1/12/2016