Creamy baked onions and fennel

Creamy baked onions and fennel

The bottom line, I love creamy foods.  I miss many of the creamy foods I used to eat.  I discovered it was more the actual creamy part I was missing, not the other ingredients.  So I decided to explore new options to maybe fill some of the foods I miss.  
I love onions, I love fennel (if you don't like fennel, you can leave it out of this recipe).  I love the flavor both take on when they are roasted in the oven.  Now add some creamy deliciousness to it, and I have made a meal that is creamy and good for you at the same time.
This can be served on its own, or on top of rice.  I put mine on some plain quinoa, and it was great.  
This recipe needs just a little prep work ahead of time.  So if you know you are making it, take the step the night before. 


For the cream sauce (prepare ahead)

1/2c raw, unsalted sunflower seeds, soak for at least 4-6 hours, then drain.
1 14oz. bag of frozen cauliflower
1 cup water
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
3 cloves garlic, peeled, left whole
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. white pepper

3 large yellow onions, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch thick slices, try and keep the slices together
1 large fennel bulb, cleaned and sliced into 1/4 inch thick slices

Preheat oven to 400*.

OK, lets make the cream sauce first.  In a medium sauce pan, combine all the cream ingredients except the sunflower seeds.  Cover and boil for about 10-12 minutes.  (you will put the whole garlic in also, it will be blended)
After the cauliflower is soft, take off the heat and add to a blender or food processor.  Add the drained sunflower seeds.  Blend on high for 2-3 minutes.  If it is too thick, add more water.  You want it to be about the consistency of ranch dressing.
Check the seasoning and adjust.
Pour a little of the sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 pan.
In the 9x13 pan, layer the onions like you would for au gratin potatoes.  In between the onion slices place some of the fennel slices. 
Pour the remaining sauce over the top of the onions.  It should be even, so just use the back of a spoon.
Place in the hot oven and bake for 1 hour or until the top is golden brown and the onions are very soft. (watch it close from 30 minutes on, as all ovens are different)
Remove from oven and serve while hot.  Serve as a side, or on top of rice or quinoa.
Garnish with some of the fennel fronds chopped up.

I hope you try this and enjoy it as much as I did. :)


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