1 Large head of cauliflower
1/2 Cup Shipetaukin Chickpea Flour, divided
1 Large Egg, beaten with a tablespoon of water
1/4 Cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/4 Cup Italian flavored dried breadcrumbs
Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper
1/2 Tsp. Granulated Garlic
1/2 Tsp. Granulated Onion
Olive oil cooking spray
2 Cup Marinara Sauce
2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated or shaved plus more to serve
4 Slices of Mozzarella Cheese
Dried oregano to finish
1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with tin foil. Place in the oven to preheat with the oven.
2) Set up a breading station. In one shallow bowl, add 1/4 cup of the chickpea flour with a large pinch of salt and several grinds of black pepper. Stir to mix. In a second bowl, add the beaten egg and water. Add a pinch of salt and several grinds of black pepper. In a third bowl, mix a 1/4 cup of the chickpea flour, the panko and the Italian flavored breadcrumbs. Add the granulated garlic and onion, a large pinch of salt and several grinds of pepper. Mix well.
3) Next, cut your cauliflower into steaks. To do this, remove the green leaves at the bottom of the head of cauliflower. Cut off the tough end but don’t cut out that core. That will keep the cauliflower intact when you cut slices. Place the cauliflower on it’s side and slice 2 one-inch “steaks” from the middle and put to the side. The rest of the cauliflower can be used to make other dishes or one of my favorites, Coconut and Cashew Cauliflower Rice. Be careful. The cauliflower does crumble easily so just get as many steaks as you can from each head of cauliflower and handle carefully.
8) In a casserole dish, add about a half – one cup of sauce on the bottom. Top with the baked cauliflower steaks. Top with more sauce, sprinkle with the parmesan cheese and top with the sliced mozzarella. Put the casserole dish bake in the oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes until the sauce is hot and the cheese is completely melted. You can place the dish under the broiler for about one-two minutes at the end to slightly brown up the cheese.
NOTES: Say hello to a great option for meatless Mondays. My Cauliflower Parmesan gets rid of the meat but none of the Italian flavors we all love. I’ve also substituted Shipetaukin chickpea flour for regular all-white flour for an added nutritional boost. If you haven’t tried it, you should. It is an all purpose flour that is easily substituted in most recipes. The benefits of chickpea flour are many. Need some convincing to switch to chickpea flour? Check out these facts.
- Nutritional profile: Chickpea flour is rich in protein, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals, including iron, magnesium, and folate. It is also lower in carbohydrates and higher in dietary fiber compared to all-purpose flour, making it a potentially healthier option.
- Gluten-free alternative: Chickpea flour is naturally gluten-free, making it suitable for individuals with gluten intolerance or celiac disease. It can be used as a substitute for wheat flour in gluten-free baking. Note that in this recipe, I’m combining it with other types of breadcrumbs for a really crunchy crust but know you can use this if you are looking for a gluten-free alternative.
- Lower glycemic index: Chickpea flour has a lower glycemic index compared to all-purpose white flour. This means it causes a slower and more gradual rise in blood sugar levels after consumption, which can be beneficial for managing blood sugar levels and overall glycemic control.
- Flavor and texture: Chickpea flour has a distinct nutty flavor that can add depth and complexity to dishes. It also contributes to a denser texture, which can be desirable in certain recipes like savory dishes like I’m using it here.
- Binding properties: Chickpea flour has good binding properties, which makes it suitable for use as a binder in dishes like veggie burgers or meatballs.
When substituting chickpea flour for all-purpose flour in recipes, it’s generally recommended to use it in a blend with other flours to ensure the best results. That is exactly what I’ve done here. While I coated the “naked” cauliflower steaks in the chickpea flour, I then mixed more of the flour with dry Italian flavored breadcrumbs and panko to add more flavor and texture. The result is a super crispy parmesan without the oil you use when frying. You are never going to miss the meat in this dish.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and place a baking sheet covered with tin foil in the oven to heat with the oven.
To get started with this recipe, you’ll want to prepare your cauliflower steaks. I buy really large heads of cauliflower and remove the excess green leaves at the bottom. Keep the core intact to hold the vegetable together. Cut thick slices from the middle of the head. Be careful. The vegetable naturally wants to crumble into florets, but you should get 2-4 thick slices from the middle. Put the rest to the side for another use. I then cut out the tough part of the core being careful to leave the outer core in place to hold the steak together. Just discard that hard section.
You are now ready to bread your cauliflower. You will set up a traditional breading station, seasoning each bowl with salt and pepper. One shallow bowl gets 1/4 cup of the chickpea flour. The second bowl has one egg beaten with a little water and the third bowl and all that delicious and flavorful breading: chickpea flour, panko and Italian flavored dried breadcrumbs. I also add garlic and onion powder to the mix. Then it is simply coating the cauliflower in the flour, then the egg then the breadcrumb mixture. Use your hands to be sure all those nooks and crannies are covered in flour, then the egg and finally the breadcrumbs. Be sure to coat the sides too. Handle carefully.
Remove the heated backing sheet from the oven and spray liberally with olive oil cooking spray. This is taking place of all the oil you’d normally use to fry. Place the breaded cauliflower on the baking sheet and liberally spray them with the cooking spray. Put in the oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes to soften the vegetable and get the coating browned and crispy.
Have a casserole dish ready. Place some marinara sauce in the bottom to coat the dish. Top with the baked cauliflower steaks, some more sauce, a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and slices of mozzarella cheese. Put back in the oven for another 15-20 minutes to finish cooking and completely melt the cheese. If you like, place the casserole dish under the broiler at the end for one minute to lightly brown the top.
Serve on a plate with a sprinkle of dried oregano and extra parmesan cheese and sauce. Dig in and enjoy.
Are you looking for other ideas for meatless Mondays? While I’m not a vegetarian, I do like the idea of having a meatless meal once or twice a week. It lightens everything up and makes me feel good. Try some of these family favorites: