Cauliflower and Mushroom Crumble from The Make Ahead Vegan Cookbook

Cauliflower and Mushroom Bake from The Make Ahead Vegan Cookbook by Ginny Kay McMeans l #vegan #glutenfree

One of my goals for 2016 is to utilize my cookbook collection much more. There are many works by wonderful authors whose recipes, photography, and approaches to food I find inspiring, but sitting unused on a shelf steps from my kitchen. This year, I plan to make those cookbooks my Kitchen Companions, trying my best to keep the pages clean as I love them up.
The first cookbook I’m delving into this year is The Make Ahead Vegan Cookbook by Ginny Kay McMeans. Ginny is the talented blogger of Vegan in the Freezer, and her cookbook chock full of 125 recipes (125!!) released a few weeks ago.

This Cauliflower and Mushroom Crumble with homemade vegan Parmesan cheese is one of the scrumptious dishes included inside. It’s the best kind of spoiler alert, don’t you think?

The Make Ahead Vegan Cookbook by Ginny Kay McMeans

It was difficult to choose which recipes to prepare first out of the 125. The sheer breadth and diversity of recipes in this cookbook is impressive, especially since ALL recipes can be prepared ahead of time and frozen.

From small bites to breakfasts, soups to sides, hearty main meals to garnishes and dressings, sweet treats to jams…this cookbook has it all. And all vegan, and all freezer friendly. For people like me who get so busy they LIVE out of their freezer, this collection is a cookbook game changer. 

I’ll admit, for someone who utilizes their freezer all the time, I don’t actually know much about freezing food other than sealing leftovers or big batch meals in airtight containers and hoping for the best.

In addition to 125 recipes, Ginny also provides pages of valuable tips for freezing food for best results. That’s right, no more freezer burn. She covers everything from the best foods for freezing, which containers to use, how to prepare food for the freezer, and even how to optimally stock and organize your freezer (my Type A loving heart swoons).

Cauliflower and Mushroom Bake from The Make Ahead Vegan Cookbook by Ginny Kay McMeans l #vegan #glutenfree

Preparing dairy-free Parmesan cheese was a new one for me. With Ginny’s cookbook, I made my first batch in five minutes. So easy, so quick, so tasty.

That brings me to another aspect I cherish about this cookbook. Delicious simplicity and approachability. As I was flipping through deciding what to make for dinner, I realized I could whip up any of these recipes in the short window of time between teaching yoga classes. With so many of the ingredients already on hand in my fridge and pantry, deciding was simply a matter of what I craved in that moment.

Cauliflower is one of CJ’s favorite vegetables, so Ginny’s Cauliflower and Mushroom Crumble was one of the first to emerge from page to plate. Me? Typically I can do without cauliflower. However, I ATE THIS RECIPE UP. It is meant to be a side dish, but I ate it as a main meal in a big bowl.

Cauliflower and Mushroom Bake from The Make Ahead Vegan Cookbook by Ginny Kay McMeans l #vegan #glutenfree

After boiling cauliflower florets for five minutes and sautéeing mushrooms and onions together for ten minutes, the meal is just about done. Really.

The cauliflower, mushrooms, and onions are piled into a casserole dish and generously topped with a breaded crumble seasoned with that previously mentioned five-minute dairy-free Parmesan.

While not specified gluten-free, this recipe is easily adapted gluten-free with use of gluten-free breadcrumbs.

So many of the recipes in the cookbook are naturally gluten-free, and many others can be adapted gluten-free with simple substitutions.

Cauliflower and Mushroom Bake from The Make Ahead Vegan Cookbook by Ginny Kay McMeans l #vegan #glutenfree

Once the crumble is added over top the vegetables, you can either freeze the dish to enjoy later, or bake right way.

Oh, and it only takes 15 minutes to bake. 15 minutes!

Cauliflower and Mushroom Bake from The Make Ahead Vegan Cookbook by Ginny Kay McMeans l #vegan #glutenfree

The subtle cheesiness of the breaded topping pairs well with the earthiness of the mushrooms and mellow nutty sweetness of the cauliflower. The cauliflower maintains a wonderful texture, too, softening but still with plenty of bite.

Your fork will keep going back for more, and you’ll discover a whole new affection for cauliflower.

Cauliflower and Mushroom Bake from The Make Ahead Vegan Cookbook by Ginny Kay McMeans l #vegan #glutenfree

I hope you love and enjoy this cookbook as much as I do. May it be your 2016 Kitchen Companion!

Want to get your hands on this cookbook? You can either purchase it via the links below or enter to win a copy for free from Ginny herself!

Amazon for a hardbound book or for your beloved kindle: Cookbook and Kindle Cookbook

Barnes and Noble for the hardbound cookbook and also for NOOK Book lovers: Barnes and Noble – Cookbook for all of us bookstore addicts: Independent Bookstores – Cookbook

Cauliflower and Mushroom Crumble
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Here is a recipe that makes it hard for you to put down your fork. The texture is perfect and you might be tempted to double the topping!
Serves: 6 servings
  • 1 head cauliflower, cored and cut into florets
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • ½ cup white onion, chopped
  • 8 ounces button mushroom, sliced
  • 5⅓ tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon nondairy butter, melted
  • 1 cup vegan bread crumbs (to make gluten-free, use gluten-free panko-style breadcrumbs)
  • ½ cup Nondairy Parmesan Cheese (recipe included below)
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. Place the florets in a medium-size saucepan and cover with water.
  2. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and drain. Place in a 9 x 9-inch baking dish (use a freezer-safe casserole if planning to freeze).
  4. Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  5. Add the onion and mushrooms and sauté for 10 minutes.
  6. Spoon the mushroom mixture over the cauliflower.
  7. In a small bowl, combine the butter, bread crumbs, Parmesan, nutritional yeast, parsley, salt, and pepper.
  8. Stir well. Sprinkle over the vegetables in the baking dish.
  9. At this point you may refrigerate or freeze the casserole; otherwise preheat the oven to 350°F.
  10. Bake for 15 minutes.
A good way to cut florets is from the underside. First, core the cauliflower and cut close to the bottom of the florets. Break them apart into large bunches. Pick up one large bunch and on the underside, cut a small slit as if you were going to cut the cauliflower apart. Do not go all the way through; grasp
the bunch with your fingers at the slit and pull apart from the underside. It goes very quickly. This lets the floret break at its natural split instead of making a hard knife cut. It is much prettier.

Storing in the refrigerator:
Will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Cover the freezer-safe casserole with plastic wrap and then slide into a freezer bag. Will keep frozen for up to 3 months. To prepare after freezing, defrost in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours.

Baking after storing:
Bake in a 350°F oven for 20 minutes.

Nondairy Parmesan Cheese
Prep time
Total time
Making a nondairy cheese has never been easier! This simple Parmesan cheese is gluten-free, dairy-free, and comes together in seconds.
Serves: about 1½ cups
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  1. Place all the ingredients to a food processor.
  2. Pulse until a fine crumb forms. This will take literally seconds.
  3. Use in just about any savory dish you can think of.
  4. Will keep in the refrigerator for about 1 month, or in the freezer in a freezer container for up to 1 year.

Note: I used a fine gluten-free style breadcrumb in the recipe as depicted with photographs above. The next time I make this recipe, I’m definitely swapping for a thicker, panko-style gluten-free breadcrumb. Because of my husband’s dietary preferences, I didn’t use all butter called for in the recipe. It still came out DIVINE and the next time I make it for myself, I’m going to use allllllll the butter.

Reprinted with permission from “The Make Ahead Vegan Cookbook” by Ginny Kay McMeans.

Disclaimer: I was provided a complimentary copy of this cookbook to my post and review. No other compensation was provided. As always, opinions are completely  my own.

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  1. says

    Ooo who knew you could make your own parmesan this way! What a useful recipe – thanks for sharing it. I love cauliflower so this bake looks right up my street :)

    • steph says

      I know, right? My mind was kind of blown. I love having it on hand to sprinkle over just about everything I cook now haha.

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