Here’s the truth. My midweek meals are lackluster. Different variations of the same thing. I can count on two hands all my variations of squash (pumpkin) lentil soup. Stir-fries? I got Chinese, Japanese, Thai…
“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.”
I hear cauliflower is all the rage this year. I kind of had to laugh to myself. Who decides these things? Cauliflower has been around for yonks so why only now are we raving about its truckloads of antioxidants and B vitamins. But I suppose funds for advertising vegetables is non-existent, so really whoever comes up with these new “superfoods” is to be thanked. Newspapers and blogs building hype around the beta-carotene in cauliflower is worth its weight in gold in the world of advertising.
I have been told by avid gardeners that cauliflower can be grown in winter. Determination can bring this vegetable to life from September to April. All you need is rich soil, lots of water and coolish temperatures.
So here is my mid week meal. Super easy and cost effective. Don’t have pistachios? Why not try slivered almonds. No parsley? Cilantro will do just fine. Happy cooking!
Curried Chickpea and Roasted Cauliflower with Couscous or Quinoa
- 1 cup dry chickpeas (about 500g when cooked)
- 500 g cauliflower (1 small head or 1/2 large head)
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1.5 tbsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin ground
- 1/2 tsp. coriander ground
- sea salt
- pepper ground
- 1 cup couscous dry (or 1 1/2 cups quinoa)
- 1/2 lemon lemon juiced, plus more for garnish
- 1/2 cup raisins or sultanas organic
- 1/2 cup pistachios shelled
- 1/2 cup parsley chopped
- Soak the chickpeas overnight. Drain the water, add to a saucepan and cover with fresh water. Cook for about 40 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius or 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Prepare the cauliflower by cutting up the head into 3 inch pieces. Put in a bowl and drizzle with 1 tbsp. of olive oil. Toss with 1/2 tbsp. curry powder and 1/4 tsp. each of cumin and coriander powder. Add a pinch of salt. Put cauliflower mixture on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 40 minutes.
- While cauliflower is baking, heat the other 1 tbsp. olive oil in fry pan on med-high heat. Add onions and fry for 5-7 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic and the rest of the spices and heat for 30 seconds until the spices are aromatic, stirring regularly. Now add the chickpeas and toss to coat. Cook on stove top for about 3 minutes then set aside.
- Now prepare your grain. See below for details on how to prepare couscous and quinoa.
- To check if the cauliflower is done it should be nice and tender. Place in a bowl and add the chickpea onion mixuture. Give them a good toss. Add pistachios, 1/2 lemon juiced, raisins or sultanas and parsley. Season. Serve with your favourite grain. Serve with extra wedges of lemon.
- Couscous is super easy to make. Poor dry couscous into a bowl and cover with boiling water. You want the boiling water to just cover it, about 2 cm over. Cover bowl with a plate and leave for about 3 minutes. Remove plate and fluff with a fork, its now ready!
- Quinoa is a bit more troublesome but worth the effort. Make sure you rinse the quinoa really well to remove all the bitter saponins. I rinse mine under running water in a sieve for about 2 minutes. Place quinoa in a saucepan and add water. For 1.5 cups of quinoa you need 2 3/4 - 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil then turn down the heat to low and cook covered for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let it sit covered for 5 minutes. Now fluff with a fork.
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.