It’s a vegetable overload weekend in our household. We had pea protein packed smoothie this morning and then ran a 5k in freezing temperatures. But the sun was out which gave energy to the mind and body. Riding the veggie theme for lunch I wanted to make something that continues to feed the body with energy.
So what I have here is a simple harissa roasted and charred cauliflower that is a sensory gift to the taste buds. The fact that it is plant based and has plenty of protein is something wonderful. The cauliflower is crusted with a mix of harissa paste, Labneh and Tahini dressing that amplifies the taste. The Avocados add the much needed fat and the citrus from the grapefruit balances it all.
1 head of cauliflower cut into thick steaks.
1 tablespoon harissa paste
1 tablespoon labneh ( or greek yoghurt)
1 tsp of the tahini dressing
2 tablespoon tahini
4 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoon pomegranate
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 handful of cilantro
Pink or Sea Salt – to taste
Salad greens and Topping
Arugula and Baby spinach
Putting it together:
Blend all the ingredients for the tahini dressing adjust for consistency and salt.
Mix the harissa with labneh and a teaspoon of the tahini dressing.
Smother the cauliflower steaks with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
Roast in a 450 degree oven for about 20 mins until slightly charred.
Dress the flowerets with the harissa dressing and put back in the oven for 5 mins. Remove and cool
Remove the grapefruit meat in slices being careful to remove the skin.
Slice the avocados
In a large bowl add the arugula and spinach and dress lightly with the tahini dressing
Plate the green, adding the grapefruit, avocado. Top with cauliflower and walnuts.
A fragrant summer curry with garden vegetables and coconut milk is perfect for this long weekend. Harvesting my tomatoes, peppers and these pretty heirloom summer pumpkins have helped me rejuvenate after long days of work.
The recipe for this glorious curry is fairly simple, just use fresh organic ingredients and they will transform the taste.
A little tip for the pumpkins: Use a fork to poke holes all around and put in the microwave for 3 minutes. Use a towel to hold and slice off the peels. Cut in half and scoop the seeds out. If your pumpkins have a soft cover then just peel them without the use of a microwave.
Use a fork to poke holes all around and put in the microwave for 3 minutes. Use a towel to hold and slice off the peels. Cut in half and scoop the seeds out. Slice the pumpkin halves. If your pumpkins have a soft cover then just peel them without the use of a microwave.
In a pan warm up another 3 tbsp of oil, add cumin, mustard and let then pop for a few seconds, add green chilies, curry leaves cloves, grated ginger, and asafetida, and
Add pureed tomatoes and let the mixture cook for a few minutes.
Add turmeric, chilies powder and let the mixture cook until the oil starts to separate from the tomatoes
Add the coconut milk and mix well
Add the vegetables and let them cook until the desired softness
Summer brings inspiration and love, it brings the abundance of fresh vegetables in your garden or the farmers market. Veggies like broccolini and cauliflower are so rich for your mind and soul that they need the simplest of preparation.
So what I have here is a simple roasted and charred presentation that is a sensory gift to the taste buds. The fact that it is plant based and has plenty of protein is something wonderful. I have roasted the beets separately wrapped in a foil for 30 mins in a 375-degree oven. These stay in the fridge for multiple uses throughout the week.
The sauce is a kicker…soaked walnuts, wasabi powder, garlic and garden herbs. This can showcase just about anything you put on a plate.
So here goes
Slice I head of organic cauliflower in steaks.
Take a bunch of broccolini
Sprinkle with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, oregano and some olive oil
Mix well with your hands and lay it out on a baking tray
Roast at 425 degrees for 20 mins. The idea is to char it and still keep it somewhat crunchy
For the sauce
1 cup soaked walnuts ( 1 hr)
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp wasabi powder
1 bunch parsley
2 sprigs of basil
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
Blend together and adjust the oil and salt to taste.
We are waiting for spring on the east coast so patiently but it keeps testing our patience. The first day of spring has come and gone bringing beautiful snow with it…..cold days, blossoms annoyed to be out in this cold and leaves struggling to show their faces.. I am trying to brighten up the “almost spring” spirit with some amazing fresh ingredients and flavorful spices like Za’atar.
Za’atar is a blend of herbs and seeds often used in the Middle Eastern cooking. I bought my Za’atar mix from a local middle eastern store but you can always make it at home and use your variations of this herb and spice blend. Typically, za’atar is a blend of dried thyme, oregano, marjoram, sumac, toasted sesame seeds, and salt. Mine also included roasted flour.
The lemon zest is a key ingredient enhancing the flavors so beautifully so don’t skip that.
The chicken comes out tender and juicy, and you can prep this recipe a day or 2 ahead on time, keeping it in the fridge until you are ready to roast
The cauliflower steak is also as simple as it can be, sliced, sprinkled with the spice blend and roasted until brown. It is a delicious, healthy and gluten-free side for any occasion.
I do tend to make and store a lot of fermented foods so served it with a side of grated Daikon radish pickle. You can find some of my pickle recipes on my blog
Make some knife incisions or cuts in the chicken pieces for the marinade to get in. Pat dry.
Mix all the ingredient together for the chicken and rub it in the chicken pieces thoroughly.
Store overnight or longer
Roast at 400 degrees for 45 -55 minutes until golden brown
Slice the cauliflower like large steak pieces
Sprinkle with the Zataar spice and some grapeseed oil on both sides.
Roast at 400 degrees for 30 mins or until browned slightly
You can serve this with a salad or pickles. I have here some Diakon Pickle with fresh radishes and an arugula walnut pesto ( will post the recipe soon).
This is a fun week for another reason. There is a fab party at Angie’s Fiesta Friday and I am co-hosting with Petra. Petra’s blog has one of the most creative recipes with fresh ingredients that I have seen and so do check it out!
Ok…. so this is not much of a recipe but more of the art of putting it all together…but I just had to post. Such an amazing crunch and taste that it leaves you craving for more. And it is healthy, nutritious and scrumptious. If Gluten bothers you, this is GF.
My cauliflower pizza base is Cauliflower and Corn flour from Trader Joes or Moms Organic market. On my trip to MOMs, I brought back beautiful garlic, asparagus, fresh Kale, Jalapeño, and mushrooms. I had some Parmesan and Halloumi in the fridge so putting this together was a breeze.
Note this is not a typical pizza smothering in tomato sauce and cheese. This one showcases the beautiful vegetables so adjust if you need more of the cheeses or add some tomato sauce.
The Kale and chopped mushrooms need to be sautéed in chopped garlic with a pinch of salt and set aside.
Slice or chop some Asparagus, Jalapeño, Roma tomato and set aside
Slice the cheeses.
Cook the crust according to instruction until it is firm and slightly crisp. The TJ version had me cook at 450 degrees and flip the crust to cook 12 mins on each side. That was perfect
Top the crust with veggies and cheese and put under a broiler for 3-4 mins.
Douse with some good avocado or olive oil and red chili flakes.
Cauliflower has become a staple in the house and is an ingredient in a variety of dishes spanning cuisines. I used riced cauliflower as a substitute for rice which has been a phenomenal adjustment of carbs in our diet.
When you combine cauliflower with a nice tomato curry you just can’t go wrong. My local Traders Joes store has made it even easier for me by selling already riced cauliflower which saves me a ton of time and the mess on my counter with grains of the vegetable flying around 🙂
This is really easy to make and just perfect for a cold winter day. Serve with some flatbread or rice with a side of pickles.
If you love cauliflower do check out my other recipes:
Kashmiri cuisine traces back to centuries of tradition, spices and methods of cooking. While predominantly a meat centric cuisine, the vegetarian dishes hold their own and are unparalleled. History has documented well known saints of Kashmir to have been vegetarian for spiritual reasons.
The cuisine has evolved over the centuries absorbing influences from settlements and migrations. The flavors and spices of Kashmiri cuisine include dry ginger, fennel, cloves, cinnamon and saffron to name a few.
This particular dish is my version, not very common but most people are familiar with Kashmiri Dum Aloo ( potatoes). “Dum” is a technique that is essentially slow sealed cooking. The cooking vessels can be sealed by using a flour dough between the pot and the lid and placed on hot coals which are also added on the top on the lid. Of course this can also be accomplished in the oven ( just giving you alternatives in case you want to make this while camping :)). I used a even simpler route and used a heavy cast iron pot with strong sealed lid and used low heat on my stove.
A little about the spices I have used.
Cloves: Dried flower buds that contain antiseptic properties and help in preserving food
Fennel Powder: Ground fennel commonly used to flavor sauces and stocks
Dry Ginger Powder: Fresh ginger is dried and then ground and has a distinct flavor aside from its healing properties
Garam Masala: A mix of dry roasted spices that varies from household to household
Asafoetida: a spice derived from the plant Ferula assa-foetida – a very distinct flavor and a pinch is all you need.
Turmeric powder: Dried and ground root like ginger. Add the beautiful orange color.