Lately I’ve been having a love affair with fermented foods.
I’ve always (well not, always– more like for the last 10 years) loved the unique, tangy flavors of sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha and kvass. In addition to adding a little something special to each meal, fermented foods are full of live probiotics that are like magic for the the digestive system (which affects the whole body) and keeping everything running smoothly (no bloating, clear skin, etc.).
I feel my best when I have at least one fermented food a day, and since I’ve entered motherhood (the land of way less sleep) I’ve made sure to keep my fridge full of fermented foods.
Fermented foods contain live good bacteria so they loose their potency when cooked, but sometimes it’s worth it to add their special strain (hehe, bacteria pun) of flavor to a dish. Case and point: today’s Vegan & Gluten-Free Cauliflower Kimchi Mac n’ Cheese.
For this dish, I started with a base of rich and creamy cauliflower “cheese” sauce, then mixed in this spicy vegan kimchi*. Then I added my favorite gluten-free pasta (I used penne but any shape will do), sprinkled a few breadcrumbs on top and -voila!- super easy dinner is served!
The recipe makes 6-8 servings so with just two of us eating it (this dish is way too advanced for Baby V!), we were snacking on leftovers all week. The dish is at it’s creamiest when served fresh out of the oven, so I ended up sprinkling a little vegan cheddar on top of the leftovers that we reheated to perk them up and add a little creaminess.
*Store-bought kimchi often contains fish. I like this brand because they carry a few varieties of vegan kimchi.
- 3 cups cauliflower florets
- ½ cup non-dairy milk
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon tamari
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 2 cloves garlic
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 (12-ounce) package of pasta
- 1 cup kimchi, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives
- 1 tablespoon gochujang paste
- Preheat the oven to 375°. Grease a 7" x 9" baking dish.
- To prepare the cauliflower cheese sauce, bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the cauliflower and boil for 15 minutes, until tender.
- While the cauliflower boils, prepare the pasta according to the package's instructions.
- When the cauliflower is done, drain it and place it in a blender. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and blend until smooth.
- Place the cooked pasta in a large bowl. Stir in the sauce (depending on the type of pasta you may not use all of it) and the kimchi. Transfer the mixture to the baking dish and sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top.
- Bake for 25 minutes, until the top is golden. Remove from the oven. Drizzle the gochujang paste on top and sprinkle with chives. Serve warm.