Sometimes the simplest meals bring the most delicious flavor.
Before I stopped consuming dairy one of my favorite things that my mom would make, especially around holidays, would be parmesan string beans or broccoli. It was so simple! Using just olive oil, parmesan cheese, some salt and pepper and breadcrumbs, she would make the most delicious broccoli and cheese vegetable dish–and I couldn’t get enough! When I stopped consuming dairy she stopped using cheese and just used breadcrumbs (how sweet?!). Although, trust me, I LOVE bread, in any form…including crumbs, I just missed that depth of flavor the parmesan brought to the table and knew there had to be a way to ‘veganize’ this original recipe…
Then it hit me! I can use the vegan cashew “parm” that I make in bulk and keep in the fridge at all times, to recreate this dish. The recipe for the vegan cashew parm is from Minimalist Baker and TRUST me, it is life changing (recipe down below). By using the cashew parm and some other flavors, I recreated a very nostalgic dish that works perfect as:
-a veggie side for any meal
-mixed with pasta, duh
-as a great vegan option to bring to a holiday or dinner
-makes a great meal prep option when made in bulk
-even works as the perfect snack
-seriously, who doesn’t love broccoli?!
I hope you find this broccoli and cheese recipe just as tasty as I have, and maybe it will become a staple in your home, too. Enjoy!
Italian-Style Vegan Broccoli And Cheese With Cashew Parm
- 4 cups Small broccoli florets (fresh or frozen)
- 4 tablespoons Vegan ‘parmesan’ (see recipe below)
- 1 teaspoon Dried parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon Ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon Red pepper flakes
- About 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- Lemon, to garnish
- Breadcrumbs, optional*
[For Vegan Parmesan (Courtesy of MinimalistBaker.com)]:
In a food processor combine:
3/4 Cup- Raw Cashews
3 Tbsp- Nutritional Yeast
3/4 tsp- Salt
1/4 tsp- Garlic Powder
Process until ‘Parmesan cheese’ type consistency.]
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Heat a small amount of water in a pan and place steam basket on top (or use whatever steaming method you normally use) and place the broccoli to steam for 7-8 minutes, covered on medium heat. (You want it to be soft but NOT mushy).
3. While steaming, combine “parmesan,” black pepper, parsley and red pepper flakes.
4. Drizzle olive oil in a glass baking tray then add broccoli.
5. Drizzle broccoli with some more olive oil, then add “parmesan” mixture on top, shaking the tray a little to spread evenly.
6. Bake for 15 minutes.
7. Top broccoli off with some more parm and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
*If wanting to use breadcrumbs add about a 1 tablespoon to parm mixture.
Also by Alexa: Raw Vegan Probiotic Turmeric Hummus
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Photos: Alexa Pizzarello