Broccoli cheddar is a popular combination you see everywhere. Vegans can also enjoy it by creating this luscious vegan cheese sauce. This wholly satisfying bowl is perfect to warm you up on cold winter days. Even though it may taste so amazing that you’ve totally forgotten about nutrition, don’t worry, this recipe is packed with healthy and nutritious ingredients. It is made with common pantry items so you can throw this together without hitting the grocery store. It is so quick and easy and will be enjoyed by vegans and non-vegans alike.
One key that makes this recipe so incredible is how the broccoli is cooked. First, you want to saute the broccoli, a little browning is perfect. You’ll be happy you didn’t skip this when you taste the final product. The smokey, almost charred flavor perfectly complements the thick, creamy, “cheese” sauce. After the outside of the broccoli has a bit of color, you will want to add the water (or stock for extra flavor) and let it steam, covered, until tender. You want the broccoli to be tender enough that it is easily cut through with the side of a fork, but you don’t want it to turn to mush.
I always serve this recipe over freshly made quinoa, but you could use any other grain you have on hand. I love to use quinoa because it is so nutritionally dense. It is also easy to cook, and very affordable. You can buy quinoa in the bulk section of your local health food store. When you buy it this way you end up paying only a few cents per serving. You can buy most grains, flours, seeds, nuts, and even your herbs and spices in the bulk section of the grocery store. You save so much money because you are not paying for packaging. Instead, reuse mason jars or recycled glass bottles.
This recipe contains several super nutritious ingredients making it the healthiest broccoli cheddar dish you’ve probably ever seen. It has nutritional yeast which you can read up on in What is Nutritional Yeast? Turmeric gives this recipe the bright yellow color, as well as iron, manganese and many more nutrients. Quinoa is high in protein. Broccoli has more vitamin C than oranges and is also a good source of vitamin A, B6, and K.
Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Bowl
- 3/4 cup quinoa
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 cup raw cashews soaked at least 4 hours preferably overnight
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp arrowroot powder (or corn starch)
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2-3 cups broccoli florets
- 1 tsp oregano
- Cook the quinoa. Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strain. Add quinoa and 1 1/2 cups water to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to low and simmer covered for 15 minutes. Keep covered, remove from heat and allow to steam for 5 minutes.
- Add all ingredients from raw cashews to lemon juice to a blender. Blend on high until smooth.
- Heat a medium skillet. Once hot, add broccoli and oregano. Sauté until broccoli is lightly browned, then add 1 tbsp water, cover, and allow to steam for 5-7 minutes, adding more water if necessary. You want it to be easily cut with the side of a fork, but not so soft that they are mushy.
- Once broccoli is tender, pour the "cheddar" sauce from the blender into the skillet. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes until heated through and thickened.
- To serve scoop quinoa into the bottom of a bowl, top with cheddar broccoli sauce. Enjoy!
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