Veggie Burger and Cheezy Bacon Romanesco

Cheezy Bacon Romanesco

Today, I bring to you another example of just how messed up the US processed food industry is:

BacOs are vegan.

Yeah, BacOs, like, bacon bits – there’s no bacon in them.

(Note: vegan does not equal healthy. They’re made with genetically modified soy and a bunch of chemical crap… but they sure do remind me of my youth, and that tends to lead to some good tasting eats).

I picked up another alien (aka romanesco) cauliflower at the farmers market and was trying to figure out what to do with it. The onset of chilly fall weather has me clamoring for comfort food, so I decided to turn my Christmas Tree Veggie into cheezy bacon cauliflower.

I boiled the romanesco cauliflower for 5 minutes or so, then drained it and combined it with some Daiya cheddar, soymilk, and BacOs.

It was a glorious way to eat my veggies!

Veggie Burger and Cheezy Bacon Romanesco

Veggie Burger and Cheezy Bacon Romanesco

Paired with a poor-man’s veggie burger (I was out of buns!)

So good.

Christmas Trees!

Alien Cauliflower

I am convinced. Aliens walk amongst us.

I mean, have you SEEN this thing?

Romanesco Cauliflower

Romanesco Cauliflower

It’s the Christmas Tree Broccoli!

I first encountered this wonder if the form of a locally grown version while dining at the Local Chop & Grill House. It was delicious, and I’d never seen or eaten it before. I promptly forgot the name of the veggie, until I saw it today at the Friendly City Food Co-Op (and, it’s locally grown!). (BTW, juicing is expensive!! I’m going through produce like crazy, and that’s with only drinking 16 oz of juice per day!).

I just had to pick one up… not to juice, but to eat!

This thing was a blast to chop up. I tried so hard to maintain the cute little Christmas trees! It turns out, this thing isn’t broccoli. (Well, some countries call it broccoli, and there are cauliflower-broccoli hybrids out there that are similar, but this wackadoodle is a species of its own. In the US, we typically call it Romanesco Cauliflower. It chops up similarly to cauliflower, but it tastes more like broccoli.

Chopping the Romanesco Cauliflower

Chopping the Romanesco Cauliflower

Now, personally, I’m not a huge broccoli fan (though I do eat it once a week or so), and I really don’t like cauliflower (even though I keep buying it anyway and then either tossing it because it goes bad before I convince myself to eat it, or I end up not liking whatever recipe I use it in). Is it just me, cauliflower-dislikers, or does it just look like it has so much potential?

But this Romanesco Cauliflower – it tastes more like a mild broccoli, and it’s really, really good! (It’s also gorgeous and funny looking and quite amusing to eat Christmas Trees).

The internet told me that this delicious little weirdo was best prepared either steamed or briefly boiled. One site suggested 2 minutes in boiling water, followed by a brief stir fry in a seasoned oil mix. I went that route, but tossed it in a quickie vegan garlic cream sauce instead (1/4 cup soy milk, 2 Tbsp nooch, a few cloves of garlic, a Tbsp or so of Earth Balance, and 1/2 tsp of basil).

Christmas Trees!

Christmas Trees!

I had a bag of Shirataki tofu noodles in the fridge that needed to be eaten…

Shirataki Noodles

Shirataki Noodles

… so I served the Christmas Trees atop those, with some leftover Pumpkin Chickpea Fritters on the side.

Pumpkin Chickpea Fritters and Romanesco Cauliflower in Vegan Garlic Sauce with Shirataki Noodles

Pumpkin Chickpea Fritters and Romanesco Cauliflower in Vegan Garlic Sauce with Shirataki Noodles

Wonderful dinner! Fantastic vegetable! I hope it sticks around so I can enjoy the Romanesco Cauliflower a few times before it goes out of season.

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!