Chef Kaja’s Cauliflower Steak & Pickled Tomato Recipe

Chef Kaja Alger

Like many people, my plant-based journey started with a health scare.  In one year, I had 6 different surgeries or procedures.  My body and the realization of its fragility were front and center in my mind.   I started looking into ways to eat healthier.  As a Chef, it wasn’t so much about getting the variety of food or eating more vegetables, it was about the things that I wanted to move away from that fit my personal goals at the time.

I always had vegetarian options at my restaurants, but as my staff and customers alike started to evolve into plant based vegan eating, I took to exploring that world as well.   In fact, I dove deep and began placing more and more vegan items on my menus.  I was amazed at how easy it was to make something vegan with just simple substitutions.  I have never approached my eating as something about rules.  I like the word journey because it implies learning, discovering, and adapting. 

That is what brought me to Veggie Grill.  A passion for plant-based eating and creating food that feeds people no matter where they are on that journey.  Everything from indulgent items that showcase the newest innovations on the market to pure health-based items that nourish and feed our bodies with whole foods and nutrient packed ingredients.

At home, my food centers around simple cooking, with depth of flavor in the combination of ingredients.   In our house we also are on the path towards being self-sustaining, meaning that we do a lot of growing, canning, pickling, and fermenting.  Those ingredients always play a big part in my food at home.

Here is a recipe for a simple Battered Cauliflower Steak with Pickled Tomato and greens.

Cauliflower Steak with Pickled Tomatoes


Oil for cooking

1 head                          Cauliflower, washed and leaves removed, stem on

1 cup                             Garbanzo Flour + extra for dusting

½ tsp                             Curry Powder

¼ tsp                             Salt

1 cup                             Water

To Serve:

Pickled Roma Tomatoes (recipe follows)

1 Bunch Mustard Greens (or other dark greens), steamed (to serve)


  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the garbanzo flour, curry powder, salt, and water to make a batter (should be slightly thinner than pancake batter).
  • Cut the head of cauliflower straight down in big ½” thick “steaks”.  There will be some loose pieces that fall off as you do this; that’s ok. You can use those too.
  • Add about 2 tablespoons of oil to heat in a large skillet over medium high heat. 
  • One at a time, dust each cauliflower steak with a little garbanzo flour and then dip in the batter. When the oil is hot, set each cauliflower steak into the pan to fry.  Cook each side for approximately 2-3 minutes until golden brown.  By the time both sides are done, the cauliflower should be cooked inside.  Remove and repeat until all the cauliflower steaks are done, as well as any little florets that have fallen off.
  • Serve the cauliflower steaks over steamed mustard greens with pickled tomatoes over the top.


Pickled Tomatoes Recipe


6 ea                               Roma tomatoes, cut into wedges

¼ cup                            Vegetable Oil

2 Tbl                              Cumin Seed

1 Tbl                              Mustard Seed

1 tsp                              Turmeric

1 bunch                        Green Onions, sliced

2 cups                           Red Wine or Apple Cider Vinegar

½ cup                            Sugar

2 Tbl                              Salt


  • Lightly saute the cumin, mustard seed, turmeric, and green onions in the oil for 1 minute. 
  • Add the vinegar, salt and sugar and bring to a boil. 
  • Pour into a bowl and add the tomato wedges. Let cool, stirring occasionally. Serve chilled.