Oven-Baked Broccoli and Cauliflower Steaks + the Art of Cooking Vegetables

I want you to close your eyes and imagine you’re taking your first bite into a sirloin or rib-eye steak. Your mouth begins to salivate from its juiciness, tenderness and perfect taste. Your heart begins to sing. It’s truly a magical sensation that the imagination can’t even muster up.

Now, open your eyes.

How do you feel? Euphoric, enlightened, hungry?

I’m not going to tell you that broccoli and cauliflower steaks are identical to that flavour, texture and deliciousness (sorry vegans), but they’re pretty damn close. The idea of turning vegetables into a steak may make people chuckle a little but these steaks, from my newest book, Supercharge Your Life, are no laughing matter. In fact, they may even require you to bring out the best steak knives you have. This is serious stuff at stake, or should I say steak?

We all know just how nutritious vegetables are, but often, we don’t make them feel that way. We boil brussels sprouts until they’re tasteless and we cook cauliflower until it’s a pile of soggy mess. I’d like to take a moment to say sorry to the previous vegetables that we’ve all victimised by treating them this way. Let’s take a vow to never do it again.

Eating vegetables is not a chore, it’s a blessing. While some of us, particularly children, will cross the street to avoid vegetables, they really are the gift that keeps on giving. The secret to eating vegetables is to prepare them in ways that make them as delicious as the other foods you pair them with. You can even make vegetables the star of your dish.

While it may seem strange, cooking vegetables is a skill that not everyone has mastered – press rewind and take a look at your last aeroplane or takeaway meal. Okay, case closed. The most important thing to remember when cooking vegetables is that each one needs to be treated as an individual, just like any leading act. Roasting vegetables is a good way to make them crispy, golden and caramelised; the perfect combination for a side dish or even main meal. If you want more tips on how to make vegetables that are gob-smackingly delicious, I have a whole chapter on this in Supercharge Your Life.

To roast vegetables, preheat the oven for about 10 minutes and either line a roasting tin with baking paper or grease it lightly with some of your favourite oil. The first rule about roasting at high heat is avoiding many of the vegetable oils on the market like soy bean oil or canola and opting for a more stable oil such as coconut or an olive oil which is high in antioxidants and vitamin E, this will provide significant natural protection from oxidative damage.  If I’m medium- to slow-cooking like we’re doing with the steaks, I always use olive oil as prefer the taste. If you’re roasting without oil, you might like to moisten the veggies by adding a small amount of water, vegetable stock, tomato juice, freshly squeezed lemon or orange juice, tamari or chicken broth to the tin before roasting.

Place the tin on the middle shelf of the oven and check on the veggies frequently, stirring them to ensure they don’t stick or burn. Remove them once they’re all tender and lightly browned.

When choosing which vegetables to cook in the oven, find perfect partners with the same cooking times. Broccoli and cauliflower, for example, are a perfect dynamic duo that take the same amount of time to crisp up to perfection.

Cauliflower and broccoli taste the best when roasted in the oven. For me, there is no second or third best way to cook these guys. That’s the only way. Sorry, I don’t make the rules.

Now that the formalities are out the way, I want you to close your eyes and imagine you’re taking your first bite into a new type of steak. These steaks are crispy, tender and somehow, taste meaty. As the first floret of the cauliflower enters your lips, to the last loose end of a broccoli stem leaving your mouth, it’s a magical sensation. Say sayonara to boiled, tasteless and boring vegetables and say hello to new-and-improved golden crisp, cooked-to-perfection broccoli and cauliflower steaks.

While cauliflower has been replacing our pizza bases, grains, cheesecakes  (pictured below), girlfriends (hey, you were thinking it, not me!), and ice-creams, it’s now making a replacement for meat.

This hearty steak recipe is actually good for your heart, as well as many other parts of your overall wellbeing. Cauliflower and broccoli, coming from the cruciferous or brassica vegetable family, help support liver detoxification, lower blood pressure, keep the immune system fighting, reduce inflammation and improve digestion.

I’m not going to say that it’s time to cut your meat intake altogether, but I am urging you to be more conscious of your vegetable intake and meat consumption. Eating a more plant-based diet doesn’t mean throwing away the barbeque altogether, it just means eating a diet high in plants that can include small amounts of lean meat. I recommend trying at least one meat-free meal a week and seeing how you go. When you do go for meat as your main, you can include some cauliflower steaks on the side for some balance.

Instead of regular steaks, these cauliflower and broccoli steaks can take about 40 minutes to cook. They don’t require you to get all hot and sweaty while standing next to the barbeque either. In fact, you can cook these steaks while your favourite show is running, the bath is bubbling, or the accompanied salads and dips are being prepared.

To finish off my steaks, I’ve topped them with a home-made sheep’s yoghurt dip. Sheep’s milk yoghurt is a beautiful item to have on hand as the basis for a quick dressing or dip. It has a mild, clean flavour that can act as a pure foundation for a range of ingredients. Here, it’s bejewelled with bright-pink hits of pomegranate and will bring you so much pleasure as you serve it over your delicious steaks.

This satisfying and nourishing plant-based meal from Supercharge Your Life is perfect for a side-dish or even the main event. Meatless Monday’s never looked so good.

Oven-baked broccoli and cauliflower steaks

Serves 4

Sheep’s Yoghurt Dip with Pomegranate

{MAKES ABOUT 520 G [1 LB 21⁄2 OZ/2 CUPS]}

  • 1 large pomegranate
  • 520 g (1 lb 21/2oz/2 cups) full-fat plain sheep’s milk yoghurt, chilled
  • 2 spring onions (scallions), finely chopped
  • small handful coriander (cilantro) leaves, finely chopped, plus extra sprigs to garnish
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • mint sprigs, to serve

Method:

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) and line a baking tray with baking paper.

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, cumin seeds, ground coriander, garam masala, turmeric, yeast flakes, salt and pepper.

Lay the cauliflower and broccoli slices on the prepared baking tray, and brush with the spice mixture, turning over to coat both sides. Bake for 20–30 minutes, until tender. Set aside to cool.

Cut the pomegranate in half and gently scoop out the seeds in segments, being careful not to break them. Pull the seeds off the yellow pithy membrane.

In a medium bowl, combine the yoghurt, spring onion, coriander, salt and cumin, and mix well to combine. Add the lemon juice and check the seasoning. Gently fold in the pomegranate seeds, reserving some for a garnish. Transfer to a serving bowl, then garnish with the reserved pomegranate seeds.

Transfer the ‘steaks’ to a plate, top with sheep’s yoghurt dip and garnish with the coriander leaves to serve.

12 Responses to “Oven-Baked Broccoli and Cauliflower Steaks + the Art of Cooking Vegetables”

  1. Michelle says:

    This looks delicious and I can’t wait to make it – thank Lee

  2. Ian Hamilton says:

    As usual, Lee, a great recipe and web page. I’m going to recommend it in our next AlkaWay HealtheMail!

  3. […] Oh Kayyy. There is a product for every need.Here Supercharged Food Lee does it again with a greatrecipe for Cauliflower and Broccoli steaks Your Gut Biome and cancer. Amazing news of the gut’s ability to fight cancerhere Relying on a […]

  4. […] Indian’s water story.Learn mindfulness by cartoon.Oh Kayyy. There is a product for every need.Supercharged Food Lee does it again with a great recipe for Cauliflower and Broccoli steaks.Your Gut Biome and cancer. Amazing news of the gut’s ability to fight cancer.Relying on a […]

  5. Mironne Golan says:

    Hello looks delish but I don’t do dairy… can you suggest an alternative to sheep’s yoghurt please? Thanks

  6. […] might like to try my Oven Baked Cauliflower and Broccoli Steaks recipe here. They are also part of my FMTV cooking series if you prefer to watch cooking videos […]

  7. Roddy Jones says:

    I have three of your cookery books – being a veggie, your “Supercharged” one is my favourite – but still check out your website recipes from time to time. I’m in the process of making this recipe for the fourth time because it’s an absolute ripper! (Admittedly I use Greek yoghurt because I found the sheep yoghurt a tad too lanolin-y for my taste…!) Thanks very much, Lee! Please keep up all your fantastic work

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