I’m very fortunate that my kids usually like their veggies, but I know that’s not true for every parent. Then you add in my son’s dairy, egg, and peanut allergies and my recent discovery of my own dairy intolerance, and things get even more interesting. No hiding broccoli under sharp cheddar cheese at this house, sorry ladies! Now that even more in my home are sensitive to certain foods, I’ve been inspired by a show called Chef At Home. You can look up Chef Michael Smith’s Chef At Home on youtube.com for some inspiration. He cooks without recipes and by following his gut of what he thinks sounds like it would be good together.
Sometimes I do that anyways, but generally I feel a meal is more likely to be a success if I follow a recipe. So here’s my latest discovery! It is vegan by default and avoids dairy, egg, soy, corn, gluten, nuts, potatoes, and tomatoes (yes, I know people with each of these allergies).
- Head of cauliflower, washed, cut off the base and rough cut into pieces small enough for your food processor, blender, or Ninja
- Head of broccoli
- 3 large carrots, washed, peeled, and ends cut off
- 1 onion (any color is fine)
- Several of your favorite small mushrooms or 1-2 large portobello mushroom caps
- Olive oil for cooking
- Vegetable broth (I used organic from Aldi)
- 1 can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans (or other bean if needed)
- 2 small garlic cloves
- ½ of a lemon
- ½ tsp. cumin
- ½ tsp. salt
- 4 TBSP of ground tahini (looks kind of like a nut butter, but is made from sesame seeds)
For easy following in the directions, I’ll refer to using a blender, but if you have a food processor, you can use that in place of a blender where noted. Everything will be made in the blender and same large pan, so it’s super easy to clean up! It may seem like a lot of steps, but you’re always preparing the next part while something is on the stove, so it moves quickly, I promise! The total time for this meal is 30-40 minutes from start to finish, depending on how quickly you chop vegetables.
- Wash your cauliflower and remove the leaves and the stump. Rough chop medium sized pieces and put in your blender. Turn it on and blend until broken into small pieces, resembling rice. Repeat until all cauliflower is “riced.”
- Add about 1-2 TBSP of olive oil to your large soup/stock pan and add the cauliflower to heat over medium. Stir occasionally.
- Rinse the blender with water and add the carrots, after cutting off the ends and peeling if you like. This will “rice” the carrots too.
- Stir the cauliflower occasionally for 3-4 minutes, add the carrots and continue stirring. The mixture will end up being sort of yellow in color, as everything gets softer and cooked fully.
- Wash and chop the broccoli into desired size (I did fairly small pieces because of the ages of my kids).
- Once the riced carrots and cauliflower are a nice yellowish color, place in the bottom of a 9 or 10 inch baking dish and set aside with the lid on (to keep it hot).
- Rinse the blender again. This time, rinse and strain your chickpeas (or alternate white beans) and throw those in the blender.
- Add 4 TBSP of tahini, the juice of half a lemon, and 2 garlic cloves crushed (yes, literally put them on your cutting board, cut off the ends and the outer membrane, and put your knife sideways on top of the clove. Gently crush the clove with your other hand until flattened a bit and then add to the blender).
- Add 1 TBSP of water and ½ tsp. each of cumin and salt.
- Blend until smooth.
- Spoiler alert: You just made hummus, congratulations! It’s that easy!
- Rinse your big pot (remember to use your kitchen mitts so you don’t burn yourself) and fill with about two inches of water.
- Add back to the heat and insert your steaming basket or steaming pot.
- If you don’t have a steaming basket, you can get them rather inexpensively at any store with a kitchen section. Mine is metal with little holes in it. and I can use it in different sized pots. It also collapses for easy storage, but there are many options.
- Add cut broccoli to pot and cover, stirring occasionally until the broccoli is tender (about 7-8 minutes over medium heat).
- Dice your onion and mushrooms while your broccoli is steaming.
- Once broccoli is cooked to desired tenderness, scoop it out of the pot into your serving dish (on top of the riced cauliflower and carrots) and cover again.
- Remove the steaming basket and rinse your pot again (remember those oven mitts).
- Add another 1-2 TBSP of olive oil over medium-high heat and add in your onions.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes and then add the mushrooms. Cook for another 4-6 minutes until the onions are mostly clear and the mushrooms are tender.
- Scoop about ½ to ¾ cup of the hummus into the pot with the onions and mushrooms (you can store the rest in an air-tight container in your fridge for a healthy sandwich spread or veggie dip for later).
- Add vegetable stock to thin to desired consistency, about ¼ cup
- Stir until hummus becomes part of the broth. It will be almost like a gravy with vegetables in it.
- Last but not least, add the “secret sauce” to the top of your serving dish, serve hot, and enjoy!