A creamy gratin can be a wonderful side to any meal. But if you’d like to make it the main dish, here’s a way to make it healthy so it can be enjoyed guilt free! I used orange cauliflower in this recipe, and tofu to add protein. You could add other vegetables as well, making sure they won’t release too much liquid when baked. For example, if using zucchini or mushrooms, saute them to evaporate some moisture before baking. I’ve also used Bechamel sauce made with just a couple teaspoons of olive oil, some whole wheat flour and non-fat milk; a dash of salt and pepper and you won’t even miss the cheese! I did add a little bit of grated parmesan cheese on top towards the end of baking to get that characteristic golden brown crust you expect to see on a typical gratin.
Ingredients: (Serves ~6)
10-14 oz extra firm tofu
1 small head of cauliflower (I used orange cauliflower)
½ red onion - thinly sliced
1-2 cups bechamel sauce (link:http://cooksofcakeandkindness.blogspot.com/2011/10/crepes-and-crespelle.html)
½ tsp oil
Crushed black pepper
1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Chopped parsley for garnish (optional)
While preparing the bechamel sauce, you can prep the tofu, cauliflower and the onions. Steam cauliflower florets until tender but not mushy (they will cook further in the oven).
Heat oil over medium heat in a saucepan. Add the sliced onions, sprinkle a little bit of salt, cover and cook for a few minutes. Remove the lid and stir the onions, cover and cook further on medium heat until onions are browned. Take the lid off, deglaze the pan with a splash of water and cook until the water is evaporated. Take the onions out and use the pan for cooking tofu.
To prepare the tofu, cut the tofu into ¾” thick slices. Using a paper towel, squeeze out as much water as possible. Lay down a few slices in a single layer in the pan in which onions were cooked. Let them brown over medium high heat. Turn the slices over and brown the other side. Repeat with remaining tofu slices.
Preheat oven to 400F.
To assemble the gratin, spoon about ¼ cup of bechamel sauce at the bottom of a baking dish. Lay down the tofu slices, top them with cauliflower and onions. Sprinkle some salt and crushed black pepper. Spoon over the remaining sauce evenly.
Bake for 20 minutes in pre-heated oven at 400F. If using cheese, sprinkle it on top of the gratin and broil on low for a few more minutes until sauce is bubbly and cheese is browned. Let cool for a few minutes before serving.
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