This chickpea cauliflower recipe with couscous is a simple midweek, no-fuss meal. Variations are included to help use up what you have at home. This recipe is great for anyone who is looking to spice up their recipe repertoire without the fuss.
I love the combination of chickpeas on couscous. This recipe is another ‘un-recipe’ in that no need to follow it exactly, but it to be used more as a guide for spice ideas and flavour combinations (see 1-Pan Healthy Roasted Vegetable Dinner for another un-recipe). I love the Moroccan inspiration of having sultanas, chickpeas, spices and couscous. I’ve added pistachios to this recipe but slivered almonds would work as well. See what you have in your pantry and you might be able to create a similar Spiced Chickpea Cauliflower on Couscous dish with what you have!
Why I Made This Dish
This Recipe Is High In Fibre
Fibre is a sooooooo important for so many things, and many of us do not get enough. To start with, fibre can help to lower our blood sugar levels after a meal, can help to decrease our cholesterol level, can help us feel satiated and feeds our friendly gut bacteria (more on that below). One serving of this dish contains 15 grams of fibre.
This Recipe Contains Quality Plant-Based Protein
It is no secret that getting enough protein is important. Protein helps to lower our blood sugars after a meal, helps to keep us full, and helps us to maintain our muscle mass thus improving/maintaining our basal metabolic rate. One serving of this dish contains 18 grams of protein thanks to the chickpeas and a lesser amount from the other ingredients.
This Recipe is Budget Friendly
Couscous is one of the least expensive grains (and the easiest to prepare), and plant-based proteins such as chickpeas are always going to be less expensive when compared to animal proteins. Prepare your chickpeas from dry for even more cost savings (compared to canned chickpeas). Simply soak your dried chickpeas for 24 hours in triple the amount of water, drain the water and add new water, and boil for 30-45 minutes or until tender.
Cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of B vitamins and folate. It is also prized for its broad spectrum of antioxidants which help to lower the risk of oxidative stress in our cells. The phytonutrient glucosinolates in cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables are well studied and are known to provide a variety of health benefits including their cancer-protective effect (1). This nutritious veg can also be added to breakfast – see Cauliflower and Greens Smoothie Bowl.
Chickpeas are one of my favourite plant-based proteins. They are as versatile as they are delicious (see this 1-Pan Healthy Roasted Vegetable Dinner, Prebiotic Chickpea Smoothie Bowl, or this Simple Chickpea Flour Flatbread. Chickpeas are high in quality plant-based proteins and contain special prebiotic fibres including resistant starch. For more information on gut health see 5 Tips On How To Improve Gut Health Naturally – Prebiotics, Probiotics and Fermented Foods.
Couscous is made from a type of wheat called semolina that is a staple in North African, including Moroccan cuisine. If you’re a cook in a hurry then couscous may be your new best friend. It takes only 5 minutes to make, and no stove-top required. Compared to white rice, couscous contains a higher amount of selenium providing over 60% of our recommended intake.
Step By Step Instructions
How To Cook Couscous
For each cup of dry couscous, use 1 1/2 cups of hot water or vegetable stock. Couscous is as simple as pour and cover. A flat bottom bowl is ideal for even cooking, but any bowl will do. Cover the dry couscous with the measured boiled water or vegetable stock, stir once and cover with a plate or wrap and let steam for 5 minutes. For added flavour, salt, and oil or butter can be added to the couscous once it is cooked.
How To Make Fluffy Couscous
The couscous grains tend to bind together during the steaming process. To ensure your couscous is light and fluffy, make sure to not let it steam for longer than 5 minutes and overcook it. As soon as it is finished steaming remove the lid and fluff the couscous with a fork to separate the grains.
Making This Recipe Gluten Free
Substitute out the couscous for quinoa or rice. Couscous is made of wheat and is therefore not suitable on a gluten-free diet, whereas rice and quinoa are naturally gluten-free.
Variations For This Spiced Chickpea on Cauliflower Recipe
- Omit the pistachios and add toasted slivered almonds instead,
- Use currents in place of raisins,
- Try garam masala in place of curry powder,
- Serve it with quinoa or rice in place of couscous,
- Top it with parsley instead of cilantro,
- Add a sprinkle of feta cheese or 1/4 cup of sliced olives for a savoury hit.
More Recipes With Couscous
- Weeknight Favourite Ginger Lentil Stew with Couscous.
- Serve this Moroccan Smokey Eggplant Dip with a side of couscous
- Easy Moroccan Couscous Salad with Raisins
Curried Chickpea and Roasted Cauliflower with Couscous
For The Cauliflower
- 1 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1 small cauliflower head or 1/2 large head
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp coriander ground
- 1 tsp cumin ground
- 1/4 tsp salt
For The Chickpeas
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp coriander ground
- 1 tsp cumin ground
- 1 tsp turmeric ground
- 3 cups cooked chickpeas or 2 cans (rinsed and drained)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup couscous dry
- 1 lemon 1/2 juiced, plus more for garnish
- 1/2 cup raisins or sultanas
- 1/4 cup pistachios shelled
- 1/2 cup parsley or cilantro chopped
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Prepare the cauliflower by cutting it up into 2-inch or bite-sized pieces. Place on the baking tray and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 2 teaspoons of curry powder, 1 teaspoon each of cumin and coriander powder, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Place the cauliflower into the oven and bake for 30 minutes, tossing halfway.
- While the cauliflower is baking, heat the other 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a frypan over medium-high heat. Chop the onion and mince the garlic. Add the chopped onions and fry for 3-5 minutes or until translucent. Add the garlic and the remaining spices and heat for 30 seconds or until the spices are aromatic, stirring regularly.
- If you are using canned chickpeas, drain and rinse the chickpeas. Add the chickpeas to the frying pan and toss to coat. Cook on the for about 3 minutes or until the chickpeas are heated through.
- Check to see if the cauliflower is done, it should be nice and tender. Add the roasted cauliflower to the chickpea mix and give everything a good mix. Add the pistachios, 1/2 lemon juiced, raisins and parsley or cilantro. Season with additional salt if needed. Serve with couscous (see below for instructions) and extra wedges of lemon on the side.
- Add the couscous to a bowl and cover with boiled water, about 1 inch over the couscous. If you would like to measure, it should be around 1 1/2 cups of hot water. Cover with a lid and let steam for 5 minutes, and then remove the lid a fluff with a fork.
How To Make Fluffy CouscousThe couscous grains tend to bind together during the steaming process. To ensure your couscous is light and fluffy, make sure to not let it steam for longer than 5 minutes and overcook it. As soon as it is finished steaming remove the lid and fluff the couscous with a fork to separate the grains.
Variations For This Dish
- Omit the pistachios and add toasted slivered almonds instead
- Use currents in place of raisins
- Try garam masala in place of curry powder
- Serve it with quinoa or rice in place of couscous
- Top it with parsley instead of cilantro
- Add a sprinkle of feta cheese or 1/4 cup of sliced olives for a savoury hit
1) Effects of cruciferous vegetables and their constituents on drug metabolizing enzymes involved in the bioactivation of DNA-reactive dietary carcinogens (2001). Mutation Research to
Rachel Dickens, The Conscious Dietitian, is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She graduated with her Masters in Nutrition and Dietetics in 2010 from Griffith University. She strives to provide evidence-based nutrition information with a focus on plant-based nutrition and share some of her favourite seasonal recipes and sustainable eating tips.