This meal is just dandy… I could really take a bath in it. I love it so much, that I already made it three times in the last three weeks. Which has to say a lot….believe me. I rarely remake the same dinner or lunch after such a short time. I am always tempted when I go grocery shopping and they have these big beautiful cauliflowers. I often wonder how beautiful most fruits and vegetables are… nature is a miracle.
And this lentil mash is so creamy… combined with the roasted cauliflower and the crispy tofu… crazy yummy. Try it out and tell me what you think of it. Would love to hear if you love it as much as I do.
As we are living in the Algarve, the South of Portugal now, we are also living very, very close to my family. In the past I used to say that living so close to family is a curse and blessing at the same time. However, I have changed my general way of thinking. Being in Berlin for so long without family and being pregnant and raising a child for four years without any help, made me just be thankful for having family close by. It is just wonderful to see Emil so happy. He loves sleeping over at my parents place, he loves being with them no matter when… being there always seems to make him happier than staying at home 🙂 .
It is really just a relief to have them and Emil loves it too. When we ask him now if he wants to move back to Berlin he definitely says no! And it’s a very determined “NO” with the attachment “I want to stay here”. In the past I was often very exhausted from my family being so different and especially by them eating so differently. Today we have learned how to deal with both and to always see it positively. And it is! My mother is really the cutest. She demonstratively buys as much as she can organic and always tells me that she did. And she also tries to bake cakes that we would eat making them without dairy products and avoiding too much sugar.
There are of course still moments when I have to try not to get angry at them, because I see what they sometimes buy for themselves, or when I hear what they gave Emil to eat, but I always remember that they don’t mean it the way I see it and that it is nothing bad. They are already trying hard for their standards and I see that they are always going mini steps in the right direction. Yesterday we were having dinner at their place and they proudly told us that they have seen a documentary in television which was also produced by WWF (the NGO my husband works for). And that they said in this documentary that the worst thing we people are doing is eating meat and which tremendous impact it would have if everybody would cut down their meat consumption. I was just so happy that this documentary emotionally touched them and that they can better understand now why we are living the way we are. As I said: mini steps in the right direction!
SERVES: 4 servings
1 big cauliflower head
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp tamari
1 big tsp honey / or maple syrup
salt & pepper
100g brown lentils
1 medium size sweet potato (=200g)
2 potatoes (=270g)
1 ¼ cup small cut cauliflower
20g vegan butter
3 garlic cloves, mashed
245ml oat milk
150g vegetable stock
150g firm tofu*
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp tamari
2 tsp water
1 tsp agave syrup/ maple syrup
NOTE: *I cut the tofu in 1 cm thick slices and spread them on a cutting board layered with some paper towel. I then cover the tofu slices with some more paper towel and a kitchen towel and I put a very heavy wooden cutting board on top. I leave it like this for 20 to 30 minutes. Afterwards the tofu should be well squeezed.
Preheat oven to 220ºC (upper and lower heat) and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Cut the cauliflower in 4 steaks around 2-3 cm thick. Don‘t start cutting them directly from the sides. It‘s best to cut something away first, as it just breaks down on the sides. With my cauliflowers the two steaks directly in the middle always work and the two I cut from the sides mostly break down and don’t hold together. But you will need some of the break down sides for the lentil mash.
Spread the 4 cauliflower steaks on the baking tray and stir all the ingredients for the glaze together. Then brush all of it on the 4 steaks. Roast for around 40 minutes. I decreased my temperatur to 200ºC after 15 minutes, so that it doesn‘t burn on the sides.
In a medium size pot heat the vegan butter with the mashed garlic over medium heat and let it steam for 3-5 minutes. In the meantime peel the sweet potato and potatoes and slice them in small cubes, around 1 cm big.
Add the cubed sweet potatoes, potatoes, cauliflower, lentils, veggie stock, and oat milk to the pot. Bring it to a simmer and let it then simmer on lowest heat with lid on for around 25 minutes. After the 25 minutes it should already have mash similar consistency and there should be no water. Mash it with a hand blender.
In the meantime, 10 minutes before the lentil mash is ready, heat the olive oil for the tofu in a small non-sticky pan over medium heat. Slice the tofu in 1 cm cubes. Fry the tofu cubes golden for 5-7 minutes, turning now and then, so that every side becomes crispy.
Mix the balsamic vinegar, the tamari, agave and water in a small glass. Pour it over the tofu when it‘s done and crispy. Take it from the heat and serve the food.
Pour some lentil mash in the middle of a plate, around a quarter of it. Place a cauliflower steak on top of it and press it down a little. Add some crispy tofu with a little sauce on top of it. Sprinkle it with some parsley and some green pepper if you wish. Enjoy this earthy dish!
Healthy for people & planet – please go always organic!