Sunday, January 18, 2015

Souper Sunday - Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and Versatile Cream Sauce

I tried something a few months ago that has opened up a lot of cooking possibilities.  I made a cream sauce with cauliflower!  Sounds a little weird but it's surprisingly good and very easy to make.  It's an incredible substitute for creamy sauces since I can't eat dairy anymore.  And, it's a lot more healthy! 

It's made by simply cutting up and steaming a head of cauliflower until it's soft, putting it into a blender with milk (we use coconut/almond but any milk or unsweetened milk substitute will work) and blending it until it's smooth and creamy.  I season it during the blending process.

If I'm making it to use as an Alfredo sauce, I season it with garlic, salt, pepper, and a dash of cayenne to add an extra level of flavor and some warmth but not enough to make it spicy hot.  Here's a picture I snapped a couple of nights ago when I used it like Alfred sauce and layered it with sauteed spinach with onions and red pepper flakes, gluten free pasta, the sauce, some diced tomatoes, and baked and crumbled prosciutto.  It was delicious!

I've also seasoned this amazing sauce with lemon juice and had it with rice, veggies, and chicken or fish.  It's delicious with lemon!  It gives it a light, bright, fresh flavor.

Another way we like to use this sauce is to make one of our old favorite chowder recipes.  The recipe originally called for a cream sauce made with lots of milk and cheese.  Since I can no longer eat dairy, this has become and amazing substitute and we don't even miss the cheese or dairy.  It's that good!  This isn't the best picture but to give you an idea of how good it is....hubby raves about it every single time, has seconds, thirds, and gets every drop out of the bowl that he can.

The original recipe was called something like, "Cheddar and Ham Chowder".  Here's my new version with no milk, no cheese, and no gluten....

4 cups of peeled and cubed potatoes
1 cup of sliced carrots
1 small to medium onion chopped
2 cups of fresh or frozen corn cut off the cob

Put all of the above ingredients into a large pan/pot and add just enough water to cover the veggies.  You can also add celery, if you like.  I leave it out because we don't like it.  Cook until the veggies are fork tender. DO NOT drain the water when it's done.

In a separate pan, steam a large head of cauliflower that's been rinsed and cut into large chunks.  Cook until soft.  When it's done, add it to the blender with enough "milk" to blend it smoothly.  I also add a bit of "butter" (I use Earth Balance spread) and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, a dash of Cayenne, paprika and a bit of chili powder.  I also add some Turmeric because it makes it look cheesy with the red of the chili powder and paprika and it's a healthy spice.  Use the above ingredients in amounts that work for you and your taste.

When the sauce and veggies are ready, pour the sauce into the pot that has the veggies and water and stir it together.  Also, add ham that's been sliced into bite sized pieces.  One of those flat, round slices you get at the store that's wrapped in plastic is the perfect amount.  Cook it all on low heat until the ham is heated through.  Double check to see if the chowder needs any additional seasoning.  Enjoy!

I'm so excited about this delicious, creamy, cauliflower sauce and I'm trying to think of other ways I can use it.  I think it would be great in other soups like clam chowder!  Can you think of other ways to use it?  I'd love to hear about them and I'd love to know if you try it and what you think.


mamasmercantile said...

The cauliflower cream sauce sounds delicious, I will certainly be giving it a try.

Quinn said...

Does it taste like cauliflower? I love cauliflower. And right now, I'm avoiding milk, cream, corn, soy, and nightshades, so the first thing I thought of reading your post was seafood chowder!

Amy at love made my home said...

What a great idea!!! I love chowders of all kinds! xx

Mereknits said...

Everything looks so yummy.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

It sounds good and you could use it to top any sauteed or steamed veggies. It would add flavor and be healthy, too! Hugs!