The dogs and I are all moved in to Mum and Dad’s house and the recipe planning with my Mum has begun. She has some great recipes that I am excited to be sharing with you soon. One of the recipes that we are going to cook is one of my Nanna’s war time curries. It uses corned beef which I know is probably no longer flavour of the month but I am just really interested to see what people were cooking in Britain during World War II. I loved history when I was at school – I did more than the most people and it is just amazing to read how ordinary people coped in such difficult times, including dealing with food shortages and being creative with what they ate.
Unlike corned beef, cauliflower is most definitely one of the foods of the year or at least it was last year and from my pinterest obsessing does not seem to be slowing down very much. It is just such a fan favourite of people on paleo diets.
I saw this cauliflower bake the other day that sounded like it would make a good vegetable packed main. Not completely vegetarian as it had turkey bacon in it but it was big on the cauliflower and I am trying to eat more vegetables. I can’t quite get on board the cauliflower pizza base train but I do like cauliflower and one of my favourite meals growing up was cauliflower with cheese sauce (and I still love it).
The cauliflower bake would have been great as a side dish but it just wasn’t quite getting there for me in terms of a main. It was a bit too cauliflowery and to be honest I love my cauliflower and cheese sauce because I eat it with oodles of cheese sauce and it is light on the taste of the cauliflower. So I have had a bit of play with it and added some more ingredients – tomatoes and mushrooms to add a few more flavours to amp up this goats cheese and cauliflower bake. I have also swapped the turkey bacon for normal bacon but that had more to do with availability (or lack thereof) of turkey bacon at my main supermarket.
This bake is a great recipe for getting up your vegie load with cheese and bacon to add some depth to those flavours and I hope my Nanna would have approved of it. My family moved to Australia while I was still young and I didn’t get to eat many meals that my Nanna had prepared – I seem to remember my Mum doing most of the cooking when Nanna came to stay. But if how good a cook my Mum is, is any indication, my Nanna must have been a wonderful cook. The fact she was making curry in the 1940s has to say something about her sense of adventurousness!
This is not my quickest recipe. It has a prep time of about 10-15 minutes and 35 minutes of cooking. Calories aren’t bad at 535 which reflects the replacement of cheese for serious carbs.
- 1/2 a head of cauliflower, chopped in to bite sized pieces
- 9 swiss brown mushrooms, sliced (you can use white if you can't find swiss brown)
- 6 cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 2 tbs of bacon, chopped
- 1 tsp of olive oil + 1/2 tsp
- 1/4 of a brown onion, diced
- 1 tsp of minced garlic (equivalent to one clove)
- 1 tbs of spreadable cream cheese
- 40g of soft goats cheese and a further 35g for topping
- 1 spring onion, sliced for garnish
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat oven to 205 celcius (400 fahrenheit)
- Place cauliflower into a microwave bowl with a lid, microwave on high for about 5 minutes
- Stir cauliflower and microwave for another 3-5 minutes - do 3 minutes then check to see if it is cooked. If it isn't pop back for a couple more minutes.
- In a skillet heat 1 tsp of olive oil on medium heat
- Add onion and garlic to skillet and fry until just starting to brown, 2-3 minutes
- Remove onion and garlic from skillet
- Add bacon and mushrooms and additional 1/2 tsp of olive oil and fry on medium-high for about 3 minutes until the bacon and mushroom start to crisp.
- Put the cauliflower, 40 g of the goats cheese, cream cheese and the cooked onion and garlic in a food processor and process until you get the texture you want. I like mine quite smooth but you may prepare it a bit more rustic.
- Put the processed cauliflower mix in a small casserole dish and stir in cooked bacon and mushrooms and the cherry tomatoes.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Crumble the remaining 35g of goats cheese on top.
- Pop in the oven and cook until it starts to brown, about 15-20 minutes
- Garnish with spring onions.