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Mushroom and Onion Cauliflower Bake from Whole Food Cooking Every Day

Serves: 4-6


Cauliflower topping

  • 1 large head (2½ lbs) cauliflower – cut into 1½” florets
  • ½ cup raw pine nuts, cashews, or macadamia nuts
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast, plus more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste

Mushroom and onion filling

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin coconut oil
  • 1½ tbs shiitake mushrooms – stems removed and caps thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 3 medium onions – quartered and thinly sliced lengthwise
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 6 cups (6 oz) sliced Swiss chard – tough stems removed
  • 1½ cups cooked chickpeas (1/4 cup cooking liquid reserved) or 1 15 oz can (drained)
  • 1 tablespoon tamari( can use coconut aminos)
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cups filtered water if using canned chickpeas
  • 2 teaspoons arrowroot powder
  • 1 tablespoon filtered water
  • freshly ground black pepper


Cauliflower topping

  1. Set up a steamer pot with about 2 inches of filtered water in the bottom (the water shouldn’t touch the bottom of the basket) and bring to a boil over high heat. Arrange the cauliflower florets in the steamer basket, cover, and steam for 10-12 minutes, until the cauliflower is cooked through but not falling apart. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  2. Put the nuts, olive oil, yeast, and salt in a high-powered blender and add the steamed cauliflower. Starting on low speed and using the tamper stick to help press the cauliflower down, blend, gradually increasing the speed to high, until completely smooth and thick; use the tamper stick to keep the mixture moving and to scrape down the sides as you go. This will take a couple of minutes. Season with more nutritional yeast and salt to taste and blend to combine.

Mushroom and onion filling, and assemble

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190° C).
  2. Warm a large skillet over medium-high heat and pour in 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add half the shiitakes and the thyme, stir to coat with oil, and cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring only every minute or two (to allow the mushrooms to brown), until the shiitakes are golden brown. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Repeat with another tablespoon of oil and the remaining mushrooms. Wash and dry the skillet if there are blackened bits on the bottom.
  3. Add the remaining tablespoon oil to the pan, then add the onions and cook over medium heat for 8 minutes, or until beginning to brown. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 10 minutes, or until the onions are soft and lightly browned. Remove the lid, add the salt, and cook uncovered for another 5 minutes, or until the onions are caramelized. Add the chard, cover, and allow to steam for 3 minutes, or until tender. Add the chickpeas, cooked mushrooms, tamari, balsamic vinegar, and chickpea cooking liquid or ¼ cup water, raise the heat, and bring to a simmer. Dissolve the arrowroot in 1 tablespoon water, stir, and drizzle into the simmering mixture, stirring constantly. When the mixture has returned to a simmer, remove from the heat and season to taste with pepper and more salt.
  4. Transfer the mixture to an 8-inch square or equivalent baking dish and smooth the surface. Spread the cauliflower topping evenly over the filling. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and the topping has begun to set. Turn on the broiler and broil the bake for 3 to 6 minutes, until the topping is golden and browning in parts. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for a few minutes before serving.
  5. Once cooled, leftovers can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. To reheat, put the bake in a baking dish, cover, and warm in a 400° F (200° C) oven until heated through.