The Chefs – Michael Laidlaw

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The Chefs column highlights our local culinary masters. They share a recipe that has a lot of meaning to them and thankfully, how to make it. (Well at least most of it, sometimes secrets must remain that.) This month’s chef is Michael Laidlaw, founder of Good Food Good Fuel (GF2)

THE BACKGROUND

I created GF2 from a passion for food and teaching others how good food can be for your health AND your taste buds. My passion for good food has always been linked to my strong interest in nutrition and making food a healthy part of life. Most people want to eat healthy, but don’t know where to start in order to create a variety of healthy, easy to make dishes.  

I’m an avid reader and researcher and enjoy sharing what I’ve learned about food and the food industry with others. Everything I prepare is based on plant-based recipes. Through private cooking classes, demos, and special events, my goal is to help clients and students learn more about incorporating more fresh and healthy plant based foods into their diet.

THE STORY

The Hummus-Crusted Cauliflower Steaks recipe is one of my favorites because it is so easy to make and involves just a handful of ingredients. It also allows you to be flexible and creative with your toppings. There are a variety of other vegetables I enjoy using as an edible dish as well, like sweet potatoes and cabbage. Basically anything you can cut into a slab can become a delivery device for flavor.

THE RECIPE

Ingredients:

(You can use any hummus you like in this simple recipe. I prefer roasted red pepper.)

1 large head cauliflower
salt and pepper
1/2 cup hummus (approximately)
fresh rosemary (optional)

*Additional garnishes I like to use: chopped sundried tomatoes, chopped roasted red peppers, capers or caramelized onions.

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 400F.

2. Wash the cauliflower and trim off all the leaves and the bottom of the stem. Place it stem-down on your cutting board. Cut it in half straight down through the middle. Take each half and make another parallel cut so that you have two “steaks,” about 1/2 to 3/4-inch thick. Make one more parallel cut on each half, to try to get a total of 4 steaks. Don’t worry if your final cut results in your cauliflower falling to pieces! How many steaks you get depends on the size and shape of your cauliflower. Reserve the individual florets for another use such as mini versions of the recipe or toss them with some hummus and roast them, too.

3. Sprinkle one side of each cauliflower steak with salt and pepper and place it pepper-side down on a non-stick or silicone-coated baking sheet. Spread hummus lightly on the top of each cauliflower piece. Bake until cauliflower is just tender and hummus is beginning to lightly brown, about 30 minutes.

Note: Wait until the last 5 minutes of cooking to add your garnish. If you use capers, add them just before serving.

Servings: 3-5 depending on the size of the head of cauliflower.

Cooking is an art. You can take any recipe and make it your own or create your own through trial and error. My mother never told me, ‘Don’t play with your food’ so I often do. Get in the kitchen and HAVE FUN WITH YOUR FOOD! You may make some mistakes that end up on the compost pile but you’ll also create some fabulous dishes that become a permanent part of your HEALTHY recipe box.

(Michael enjoys creating new and delicious recipes with his wife Tammy and their eight-year-old daughter Ciara. Occasionally their dog Romeo gets a taste of what’s going on in the kitchen as well.)

Visit GF2 on Facebook or at goodfoodgoodfuel.com.

You can reach Chef Michael at [email protected] or 919-408-9809

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