After a week or so of eating iron rich food I did a fit test at the gym last night. And…YAY! My VO2 max has improved. The way I see it, the more iron in my blood, the more oxygen can get to the muscles where it’s needed and thus my VO2 max is higher. I’m feeling less tired. Now, it’s not a scientifically sound study, but hey If I’m feeling better, that’s good – right?
Anyway, that aside I’m going to introduce the my new recipe for vegan cheese sauce. I came across this recipe purely by accident. I’m not even sure what I was searching for now. At first I thought – yuck! – but then the idea grew in my head. ‘Cheese’ sauce made out of…cauliflower! OK, I was still sceptical, but I’m always up for a challenge.
I was never really a big fan of cauliflower, seeing it as a poorer cousin to broccoli. It was nice enough smothered in a rich cheese sauce, but I soon realised at university that this was not a healthy lunch choice. I have come round to cauliflower as I’ve gotten older though. Cauliflower is lovely roasted, especially with a sprinkle of curry powder or BBQ spices. I’ve used cauliflower as a substitution, or bulking agent in other recipes. When raw cauliflower is pulsed in a food processor, it makes a passable substitution for rice (you can do half rice, half cauliflower). I’ve also seen it as an alternative to mashed potato on top of a shepherds/cottage/vegan pie.
From a nutritional perspective, cauliflower is about 25cal per 100g, and contains high levels of vitamin C, potassium, and it fibre rich. You will also benefit from a number of B vitamins: vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3 and vitamin B5. It also contains 0.45mg of Iron per 100g. Let’s have a ‘whoop whoop’ for cauliflower. I did note however that it contains levels of purines which have been linked to gout and kidney stones in susceptible individuals.
I can never help having a ‘play’ with a recipe. I might not have the specific ingredients, I might not like a specific ingredient, I might just want a different consistency, so here is my adapted version.
Cauliflower based cheese sauce
Adapted from Fat Free Vegan
- 1 cup of water
- 1 cup cauliflower
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 clove roasted garlic
- 12g Nutritional yeast flakes
- 1 tbsp white miso (I used Clearspring brand)
- Boil the cauliflower in the water until the cauliflower breaks up if you pierce it.
- Keeping the water back, place all the ingredients in a food processor. Blend to smooth adding water until it is at your required consistency.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
I used this cheese sauce as a topping for vegan moussaka as seen below. I also stirred some into my mock tuna and added to pasta for a vegan-tuna-pasta lunch.