Cheesy Roasted Broccoli Toast
I didn’t come home today with the intention of creating a new version of the cheesy sauce from Vegan Yum Yum’s Chard Florentine on Toast Points. But my late afternoon hunger and a desire to have as quick a cooking time as possible somehow conjured this recipe out of my fuzzy memory.
I was gifted a copy of Lauren Ulm’s amazing cookbook last Christmas, and her Chard Florentine quickly became a favourite lazy night dinner dish. But the recipe calls for 1/3 cup Earth Balance, 1 tbsp tahini, and 1 cup soy milk, and just those three ingredients alone were pushing the fat content of our dinner past 80 grams. Yes, 80 grams. So, something had to change. And as much as I love Swiss chard, I don’t relish spending the time it takes to wash, dry, de-stem, chop, and cook the greens. Bagged, pre-washed, pre-cut chard, or even kale and collards, have not been readily available where I live. Also, recent heath concerns have led me to seriously re-think the sugar, fat, and salt content of everything I eat. So mum, if you’re reading this, you’re also part of the inspiration behind this one.
Thinking oven-roasted broccoli would fit the bill, I set to work. Lo and behold a low-fat, soy-free, and gluten-free version of the magnificent cheesy sauce from Vegan Yum Yum with the same look and all the same flavour. Total fat in this version? Less than 15 grams for the entire meal. If you use a commercial brand of milk, look for a low-fat unsweetened version.
1 tbsp miso (I used Amano’s organic Genmai brown rice miso)
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp low-sodium tamari (or use Braggs)
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup rice milk (mine is home-made with just water and brown rice – get the recipe from Vancouver’s VeganMania)
1 tbsp tapioca or arrowroot starch
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Roasted broccoli and toast
2 medium heads broccoli, washed and cut into florets bite-sized florets
1 tsp olive oil
4 slices whole grain bread (for a totally gluten-free meal, use a gluten-free bread)
Mild smoked paprika
1. Preheat your oven on to 400°F.
2. Toss broccoli with olive oil to evenly coat and place on a cookie sheet. Roast the broccoli, turning once or twice, until parts of the broccoli are starting to brown and broccoli is tender, about 10-15 minutes. Keep an eye on it to make sure it does not burn. For less cleaning, line the pan or sheet with parchment paper.
3. While you’re waiting for the broccoli to cook, make the cheesy sauce. In a glass measuring cup, dissolve the tapioca or arrowroot starch in the milk, whisking lightly with a fork to remove any lumps.
4. In a medium saucepan, combine the remaining sauce ingredients. Add the milk mixture and stir sauce with a whisk until combined.
5. Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring the sauce to a boil, whisking frequently. Once the sauce has started to boil, whisk it until it’s reached a thick consistency and then immediately remove from heat.
7. When the broccoli is done, remove it from the oven. Combine it with the cheesy sauce (in the pot) and mix to thoroughly coat the broccoli.
8. Turn the oven up to 450°F.
8. Using the cookie sheet again, place your bread on the sheet and divide the broccoli-cheese mixture amongst the slices using a large spoon. Sprinkle each slice with a few small pinches of smoked paprika and place in the oven for 5-7 minutes, or until the bread is lightly toasted. Let cool slightly before eating.
Makes 2 generous servings.