Leeks with Cauliflower Cream Sauce
Yes, this recipe tastes as delicious as it looks. And no, that’s not Alfredo cream sauce, it’s cauliflower cream. You’ll have to keep reminding yourself with every bite, because it feels that sinful! This is also a recipe I love to share with my paleo friends. I don’t want them to miss out on some delicious fun.
Buried underneath that heaping mound of cauliflower cream are leeks–one of my all time favorite veggies! I fell in love with leeks several years ago when I first tasted potato leek soup. I didn’t even know what a leek was back then, but I knew I had to find out. I discovered that these unassuming, odd-looking vegetables were not only delicious on their own, they were jam-packed with high powered nutrients too!
Leeks belong to the Allium family of veggies which include, garlic, onions and shallots. While they are sweeter and milder tasting than their cousins, their health benefits are pretty powerful. Among their many gun-slinging phytonutrients, leeks are notoriously high in cancer fighting compounds. That’s a good enough excuse for me!
Main Health Benefits of Leeks:
- high in kaempferol, a flavonoid that protects the lining of the blood vessels from free radical damage; kaempferol is also known to inhibit the growth of certain cancers, especially ovarian
- high in quercetin, known to inhibit the spread of certain cancers, specifically colon and prostate
- contain powerful compounds that increase nitric oxide production which keeps the blood vessels naturally dilated and relaxed
- high in folate, an important B vitamin that promotes healthy cardiovascular function
- high in polyphenols, antioxidants that fight against free radicals
- natural diuretic
How to Purchase and Prepare Leeks
The edible portion of a leek includes the white base and the pale green stalk. When steamed or sauteed, they soften nicely. The dark green leaves that contain the most nutrients however, are a bit woody in texture and do not soften as well. A total bummer. Some juice warriors do save the dark green stalks for juicing. I’ve tried it, and probably never will again. I love em cooked, but in raw juice our relationship just isn’t the same.
Since dirt often collects in between the layers in the light-green area, I recommend peeling the layers first. Then place them in a colander and wash thoroughly.
If that seems like too much trouble, you can make a clean cut through the pale green area. If the stalks are long enough, they usually remain dirt-free.
I like to chop leaks into cylinders then halves, then fourths. If there is any dirt in between the layers, simply rinse them in a colander.
Onto the cauliflower cream sauce. Although I wanted to capture some good “how-to” photos to show my readers how simple this sauce is to make, I was so distracted by how delicious the cream tasted, I forgot to snap away. Don’t sweat it though! The sauce is super easy to make, especially if you have a high powered blender such as a VitaMix.
My favorite ingredient that takes this cream sauce to the next level is Mirin Cooking wine, a type of rice wine similar to saki.
I’m not a fan of veggie broth, and using water as the sole “liquefier” leaves the cream a little less than thrilling. The Mirin adds such a nice flavor. It’s hard to describe really, so I hope you trust me that it tastes absolutely delicious!
Leeks with Cauliflower Cream Sauce
- 2 leeks, white and light green part, rinsed thoroughly and chopped into 1 inch pieces, or quarter them like in the picture above.
- 1/2 head cauliflower, chopped into florets
- 1 tsp. Mirin Cooking Wine
- EVOO or Ghee or both
- 2 cloves garlic, roasted
- 1 cup water from steam pot
- 1-2 tbsp. Nutritional Yeast
- Sea Salt & black pepper to taste
- Drizzle a little EVOO over garlic cloves and roast in the toaster oven at 325 for 10-15 minutes. Let cool and peel off the skin. I
- Meanwhile, steam cauliflower until tender.
- In a large skillet, add a little Ghee or EVOO (I like Ghee) and saute leeks on medium heat until tender, around 10 minutes.
- While leeks are sauteing, add 1/2 the steamed cauliflower, peeled roasted garlic, 1 tsp. Ghee or EVOO (I still like Ghee), nutritional flakes, 1 cup water from steam pot, and salt & pepper to a high speed blender or Vita Mix.
- Blend until creamy. Adjust seasonings to taste.
- Add the remaining cauliflower to the skillet with the leeks and stir well to allow the Ghee or EVOO to coat the cauliflower.
- Add cauliflower and leeks to a bowl and pour cream over top.
- Serve and eat with wild abandon!
If you don't want to roast the garlic, you can chop the cloves into slivers and saute them with the leeks. You can also season with garlic powder if you like.
The cream sauce can be used with any veggie really. So if leeks aren’t up your alley, give it a whirl with broccoli or asparagus. How about a creamed spinach?
Any thoughts on cauliflower cream sauce? Do you have a magic bullet recipe? Do you have any fabulous leek recipes? If so, please share in the comments section below. And as always, if you liked this recipe please share the love on facebook, twitter, pinterest, shout from the roof tops, send smoke signals, or email it you best bud.