1.27.2014

Vegan 'cheesy' cauliflower bread sticks

Somewhere over the rainbow I found a recipe on Pinterest for cheesy cauliflower bread sticks. And over the last few months I've made this recipe, wishing, hoping and praying for it to turn out.

Don't get me wrong. Regardless of how it's "come out" each time, it's been delicious. It's just, it's never been quite bread stick blogworthy quality. 

Until now.

You see, the non-veganized version of this recipe is really simple. It's basically cauliflower, eggs, cheese, spices. Kaboom! But because egg, in conjunction with the cheese, works as the primary bonder in this recipe, it makes it a little trickier than your run-of-the-mill "replace the egg" veganization. (I'm just making up words ALL over the place). 

So I've tried a lot of different methods. I've used the "vegg" egg replacer (if you haven't gotten on this bandwagon yet, you should, order it from whatever store has it and enjoy an almost-too-realistic egg experience). Unfortunately, the Vegg is more yolky than egg whitey, so it didn't really suffice in these bread sticks. 

Next up I threw together my go-to replacer, some flaxseed and water. Yeah, that basically made this taste all flaxseedy and stuff. So that was a no go. 

Then there was that time I tried to use some silken tofu, blended up super well in my food processor. That was really, really close visually, but when you went to cut it it was more crumbly than stick-like. So back to the drawing board we went. 

Finally I scoured the internet, trying to figure out what people use in doughy recipes if they don't have egg. The main suggestion I found? Garbanzo bean flour. I'm basically convinced it doesn't exist. I mean, I know it does because I've heard my friends talk about it, but I'm pretty sure there's a law against selling and buying it in Ohio. I went to SEVEN (count them), SEVEN stores looking for this mystical flour and I had absolutely no luck. So I hop on my trusty cellular device and ask it, "OK Googies (I have a Google Nexus phone and I like to confuse it by calling it Googies when I want to search something. I think it can tell I'm a smart ass), what can I use instead of garbanzo bean flour?" And wouldn't you know it, trusty Googies has an answer for me. Can't find garbanzo bean flour, Amanda? Maybe you should try:

FAVA BEAN FLOUR. 
CHICKPEA FLOUR.
BEAN FLOUR.

Hey thanks, thanks a lot for that. We don't have garbanzo bean flour, but chickpea flour, didn't think about that! Silly me! (Please note the sarcasm). 

So after going to seven stores and being betrayed by my sweet, sweet Googies, I decided to say eff it and buy some random ass kind of flour. I started reading the different kinds and looked at what "recipes" were included on the packaging. I settled for Bob's Red Mill, Whole Grain Brown Rice Flour. It was gluten free and it didn't cost an entire year's tuition at Harvard (I'm looking at you quinoa flour and xanthan gum), so basically a win-win in my book.

And well folks, that book was finally right. So after this incredibly long-winded story, I present to you the vegan version of that pin you've probably drooled over 1,000 times already.



Vegan 'cheesy' cauliflower bread sticks
(Makes a quarter baking sheet of goodness, so like four servings)
Ingredients:
One large head of cauliflower
8 oz shredded vegan cheese (I opted for Daiya's mozzarella)
1/4 cup whole grain brown rice flour
2/3 cup water
2 TBS Italian seasoning blend (I'm lazy, I work 40 hours a week and have two kids. I don't have time to have all those separate spices!)
1 TBS minced garlic
1 TBS olive oil
Vegan pizza sauce for dipping (we used about one cup of it for the whole pan of bread sticks)
Optional - vegan Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top (we use the Go Veggie Vegan variety)

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. 

Take 1/4 a cup whole grain brown rice flour and mix it with 2/3 cup water. Let it sit (it gives it a chance to thicken some). 

Cut your head of cauliflower into small chunks (florets). Place in a large, microwave-safe bowl, splash a tiny bit of water on it and heat for six minutes. Take it out and place in a food processor and pulse into small, rice-sized pieces. Mix in your vegan cheese, spice blend, minced garlic, olive oil and whole grain rice flour/water "egg" mixture. Stir until well-blended. 

I lined a baking sheet with parchment paper because I felt lazy and didn't want to scrub the pan later. I recommend doing this too, but if you really like cleaning make sure to grease that cookie sheet up! Spoon your mixture on and spread it out. Mixture should be much thinner than a dough, but thick enough to "sit" and spread on a pan. Top with some vegan parmesan cheese and then bake for 25-30 minutes (or until edges brown and you can't leave it in any longer because you're going to scarf it all down). 

Let it sit and cool for five minutes and then cut into strips. Dip into vegan pizza sauce for some extra pizzazz.

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11 comments:

  1. Looks deeelicious!
    You should try the new Vegg Baking Mix in this recipe. This new product tastes like eggs while replacing eggs in baking! You can find it here. www.thevegg.com/shop

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    1. I actually tried the Vegg first but it was a little bit too yolky and didn't have the binding consistency I needed/wanted. I've used it before for other recipes and loved it though!

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  2. Holy wow these look awesome. And how exciting that it's primarily cauliflower! What an amazing little vegetable!

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  3. Would frozen cauliflower work? I know, I know, fresh is better than frozen, but I am the kind of person who gets all excited about a new recipe, goes out and gets the ingredients only to find a brown, mushy, mess in my crisper a month later when I finally get around to making the recipe.
    Kim

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    1. I haven't tried this personally, but I know I've read the non-veganized versions and it worked out. I think it's around 3-4 cups of cauliflower and since it's frozen just parboil it and then toss it in the food processor! And I'd never shun you for frozen veggies, we have those on hand too for something quick and easy! :)

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  4. Another amazing recipe. I am always looking for ways to add more cauliflower into our diets. Can't wait to make this one. Your stuffed pepper casserole is a huge hit in this house. Hubby can't get enough of it. Thanks

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    1. Thanks for the feedback Tracy! I hope you enjoy this as much as my family did! It was a hit! :D

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  5. Wow, that sounds great! I can so relate to your testing and retesting recipes. Sometimes I know something will be delicious if I can just get it right, and so I try again and again and...

    I'm so impressed that your final version is firm enough to slice and dip. Good job!

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  6. This look awesome! I've been totally drooling over this on pinterest, but haven't gotten around to trying to veganize it! Thank you!! Have you (or anyone else) attempted it with the garbanzo bean flour? Would you just use in instead of the rice, and blend it with water like above? Just curious. Thanks!

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    1. Actually garbanzo bean flour was the first suggestion but I could not find it ANYWHERE here. I ranted about how I basically believed it didn't exist, lol! I'm not certain on the amount since I haven't used garbanzo bean flour, but I imagine the same amount as the brown rice flour would work perfectly. If you try it let me know, I'd love to hear different results!

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  7. I scanned the comments and no one seems to have told you how to find chickpea flour, go to your local Indian market and look for chickpea flour, or besan flour, or gram flour. I have never found in any white people grocery. Cheers :)

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