No Cheese “Cheesy” Cauliflower Bites with Basil Pesto
Dairy is nature’s perfect food, but only if you’re a calf. Here’s a dairy-free dish we created for you, while on the Reset and beyond, that will satisfy you just like your favorite cheesy dish and without all the effects of dairy.
These guilt-free no cheese “cheesy” cauliflower bites are paired perfectly with our homemade basil pesto. They make an ideal hors d'oeuvre or light meal this summer and will surprise and delight your taste buds.
Clean eating should not mean giving up on flavors or compromising pleasure. Clean eating means focusing on healthy foods that will nourish the body and brain, while still enjoying bright and bold flavors from herbs and spices that complement your vegetables and protein.
The recipe below makes a tasty snack, appetizer, or side dish using fresh summer basil with numerous other anti-inflammatory, immune boosting, and detoxifying ingredients.
Food really is medicine!
For the cauliflower bites: Preheat the oven to 450°F. In a small mixing bowl, combine ground flax with filtered water and almond milk, mix, and set aside. This will be your “egg” wash.
Begin to prepare the cauliflower by cutting it into large florets, wash, and place on a kitchen towel to dry. Chop into smaller bite-sized florets, place in a large mixing bowl and set aside (make sure there is no excess water).
Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable, which has properties to help with detoxification in the body. It’s also high in fiber, vitamin C, B vitamins, and more.
In a medium bowl, whisk together almond flour, nutritional yeast, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes (if using). This will be your breading.
Pour the flax mixture onto the cauliflower florets. Using your hands, massage well, making sure every piece is coated.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and evenly spread the avocado oil using a brush or your hands. Place cauliflower florets into the breading bowl, bread with your fingers, applying some pressure to ensure it sticks.
Arrange breaded cauliflower florets onto the baking sheet in a single layer, spacing about 1/2 inch apart. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the breading is crispy.
Add pine nuts to a small skillet on low heat and toss for 3 minutes or until toasted.
For the pesto, in a food processor, add all of the pesto ingredients, except olive oil. With the food processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until combined and creamy. If more liquid is needed, add a little bit of water, one teaspoon at a time.
Nothing tastes better than homemade fresh basil pesto, especially in summer at the height of basil growing season. Fresh basil can be found in your local grocery store, your local farmer’s market, or perhaps even in your own garden! Most pesto calls for parmesan cheese, but our dairy-free vegan version uses nutritional yeast, giving it that cheesy, tangy flavor. Nutritional yeast contains B12, which is very important for healthy nervous system function.
Olive oil and garlic are both anti-inflammatory.
Remove cauliflower from the oven and serve with pesto as soon as it’s cool enough to eat. Cauliflower is best crispy out of the oven.
Pesto could be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Any leftovers could be refrigerated and kept up to 3 days.
Nutritional Analysis Per Serving: Calories: 396, Fat: 31.1 g, Saturated Fat: 4 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Fiber: 9.6 g, Protein: 14.2 g, Carbohydrates: 20.6 g, Sodium: 251 mg