Sunday, December 6, 2009

Seared Cauliflower Steaks and Smoked Mushrooms with Risotto Style Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Seared Bell Pepper

I spent so much time today on vegan demi glace that when I was supposed to make dinner I had given it no thought at all. There was cauliflower in the refrigerator, bell peppers and baby spinach. In the freezer I had smoked mushrooms. When I added some whole-wheat pasta and onion we had dinner.

My hubby walked in when I was making all the components and looked at me oddly, as if to say, “what are we having for dinner”. He doesn’t have a lot of vision when it comes to combining things on the plate. It probably looked like a jumble of different things to him. All the flavors on the plate work together well so you can combine them any way you choose. I thought the presentation I selected looked nice so I went with that. Here is what we had for dinner tonight.

Seared Cauliflower Steaks and Smoked Mushrooms with Risotto Style Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Seared Bell Pepper
Serves 2


2 cups large cauliflower florets
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 pinch salt
1 cup smoked mushrooms (or regular mushrooms)
1 white onion, peeled and chopped
½ cup water
1 teaspoon olive oil
4 ounces whole wheat spaghetti, broke into 2 inch lengths
1 pinch kosher salt
1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
2 cups baby spinach, julienned
1 cup red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
vegan demi glace – optional for saucing the top (or mushroom gravy)


Preheat your oven to 200 degrees to hold the cooked veggies until the pasta is done.

Start a pan heating with 6 cups of water. This will be what you use to make the risotto style pasta.

Cut the cauliflower in flat slabs (steaks) that are about ¾ inch thick. Heat a small skillet with olive oil and sear each cauliflower steak on both sides. Sprinkle a little salt on both sides of the cauliflower. You want it to still be somewhat firm so that you know you haven’t cooked all the nutrition out of it. Mine were firm enough we used a sharp knife to cut it comfortably. Place the cooked cauliflower on a baking sheet in the oven while you make the next item.

Reheat the smoked mushrooms until hot and move them to the baking sheet with the cauliflower.

Water sauté the onion until tender. Add the olive oil and broken pasta and toss to coat. Cook a minute or two to lightly toast the pasta. Then add the water a few ladles at a time and stir like you are making risotto rice. Add a little salt and pepper to season the pasta. Continue cooking until the pasta is al dente. Be careful not to add too much water at the end of cooking the pasta or it will get mushy.

Wash and julienne the spinach and set aside.

Sear the bell pepper strips quickly to get a little char on the strips leaving them lightly firm to maximize the nutrition.

To plate place the spinach on the bottom on the plate and top with risotto style pasta. Place the bell pepper strips on top the pasta. Next plate the smoked mushrooms and top with cauliflower steaks. If using the vegan demi you can place it on the pasta dish or cauliflower dish.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 353.21
Calories From Fat (17%) - 58.38

Total Fat - 6.63g
Saturated Fat - 0.7g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 349.04mg
Potassium - 663.29mg
Total Carbohydrates -65.63g
Fiber - 12.58g
Sugar - 9.32g
Protein - 12.45g


The only important thing to remember when making this is season the pasta adequately so it isn’t bland. You can substitute regular mushrooms for the smoked ones I used. You can also substitute thick mushroom gravy for the vegan demi and it will work just as well.

Unrelated note:

It is getting very late here so I will getting ready to turn in. I hope you all had a great day today.


  1. Looks delicious, especially those seared cauliflower and smoked mushrooms! Yum! :-)

  2. Love the look (and description) of your spaghetti risotto - think I'll be giving that a try! Thanks!

  3. Hollafoodzone,

    The spaghetti risotto is my modification of a Spanish dish call fideua. If you search my site that dish is also posted.

    One of the things I love about the spaghetti risotto is how quickly it cooks. Makes a great weeknight meal.


  4. Oh! That looks really good! Smoked mushrooms sound very interesting, I have to give it a try one day, Mmmm!!!

  5. Oraphan,

    Thanks! This was a really quick meal since I had the smoked mushrooms in the freezer. I think the whole took less than 20 minutes.


  6. Sounds delicious to me! And hmmm, yes, I do see the resemblance between your hubby and mine! ;)

  7. Ricki,

    That was my reaction when I read your post yesterday. Obviously the Chilies en Nogada was going to taste delicious. I immediately knew why you loved it.

    Sometimes men just confuse me. Or I should say mine confuses me.



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