I’m absolutely loving Niomi Smart’s Eat Smart: What to Eat in a Day – Every Day. The cook book is full of delicious plant-based, refined sugar-free, gluten-free, wheat-free recipes. The kind of food that if you’ve read my blog for a while, you’ll know I love. It’s a real mix of breakfast ideas, soups and salads, main meals plus healthier snacks and desserts. It also has a real world feel to it, with many of the recipes inspired by Niomi’s travels across the globe.
I’ve been experimenting with a few recipes in the collection, and one of my favourites so far is her cauliflower steak, which I think goes amazingly well with lightly steamed green beans and rosemary roasted sweet potatoes, inspired by Niomi, but to which I’ve added my own little twist.
My children generally eat what we eat and most of the recipes I’ve published on Cardiff Mummy Says are ones we enjoy as a family. However, as much as they love the sweet potatoes, I don’t think they would have been too impressed with a cauliflower steak so this is something I’ve cooked a few times now for just me on my work-from-home days, and with Cardiff Daddy on the occasions we eat without the kids. He fully admits he would have preferred an actual steak, but I think he was quite surprised that he enjoyed the cauliflower alternative. “It’s all about the sauce,” he says. Indeed, the sauce is lovely!
I made some adaptations to the recipes in the book, based on personal taste and ingredients I didn’t have. Niomi’s sweet potato recipe requires 2 teaspoons of nutritional yeast (I didn’t have any in the house but if you’re not sure what it is then you can read all about it here). On a whim, I decided to chuck in a dollop of Marmite instead. Now, Marmite is a yeast extract which is a by-product of the brewing industry and completely different to nutritional yeast. But I adore Marmite and in fairness, it tasted really, really good. Niomi also cooks hers with coconut oil, but I’d run out, so I used olive oil in the recipe the first time I made it and it tasted fine, so I’ve just stuck with that.
The potatoes are such a beautiful blend of flavours and are a real winner with everyone in our house. They’re even rivalling my previous recipe for sweet potato bites with garlic and salt.
I also found that when I tried to cut my cauliflower in 1cm slices, as Niomi suggests, they crumbled. Slicing them at least 2cm thick worked a lot better for me. But waste not, want not. Using the smaller florets of cauliflower is just as tasty. In fact, Cardiff Daddy loves the smaller pieces because they go so crispy at the ends.
Rosemary-roasted sweet potatoes
Ingredients – serves 2
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into chunks (around 3-5cm)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp Marmite
3 whole sprigs of fresh rosemary
3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves picked
Ground salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5.
- Cover the sweet potatoes with water in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 8 minutes. Drain.
- Keeping the sweet potatoes in the pan, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the Marmite and salt and pepper to taste.
- Put the lid on the saucepan and gently shake the potatoes. This will fluff up the edges, making the potatoes lovely and crispy.
- Transfer the potatoes into a roasting pan, drizzle with the remaining olive oil, sprinkle over the rosemary leaves and place the rosemary sprigs in the pan.
- Roast for around 40 minutes, turning the potatoes mid-way through. Remove the while rosemary sprigs before serving.
Cauliflower steak with chimichurri sauce
Ingredients – serves 2
1 large cauliflower, sliced lengthways into 2cm-thick slices (1-2 per person, depending on appetite)
1 tsb olive oil
For the sauce
2 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
6 garlic cloves, peeled
½ a fresh red chilli or ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
A handful of fresh parsley leaves, stems removed and roughly chopped
A handful of fresh coriander leaves, stems removed and roughly chopped
125ml extra virgin olive oil
4 tsp dried oregano
4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Juice of one lime
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C/350˚/gas mark 4.
- Put all the ingredients for the sauce into a blender and blitz into a rough sauce. You can add a touch more oil if needed. Put to one side.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan, and fry each slice of cauliflower in turn for a minute or so, until it begins to get a little bit of colour.
- Put the cauliflower steaks onto a large baking tray. Spoon around 3-4 spoons of the sauce, using the back of the spoon to ensure it’s rubbed in all over, and then turn and do the other side.
- Cook in the oven for 25 minutes, making sure to turn the cauliflower steak half way through.
- Serve with the remaining sauce on top, accompanied by the roasted sweet potatoes and green beans.
Thanks to my lovely friend Alina, who blogs at We Made This Life, for recommending the book to me.
You can buy Niomi’s book, Eat Smart, here.
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