Tag Archives: Cauliflower

Spicy Moroccan Chickpeas with Quinoa

These spicy chickpeas evoke visions of a languorous evening spent in Marrakesh, lounging about on hand-woven rugs in a smoky den of jeweled resplendence. If you own an actual tagine, gold star for you! Use that. Otherwise, a Dutch Oven or a large heavy-bottomed skillet will do the trick.

I’ve been on a bit of a quinoa kick lately. It’s just so easy. Not to mention that it is widely considered to be one of the healthiest foods on the planet. Older than Peru, the Incas called this gluten-free grain the “mother grain”. Unlike any other non-animal product, quinoa contains all nine amino acids, making it a complete protein. In addition to a sizable amount of protein, quinoa is also an excellent source of fiber, calcium, phosphorus, folate, and many B vitamins. Just rinse those little suckers off for a few minutes, throw em’ in a pot of water, and simmer until they all explode into little curly q’s. When approaching this recipe, instead of running out to buy couscous (this gal’s trying to develop a budget), I cooked up a big pot of quinoa not only as a side to this dish, but enough to last me for the week.
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Best Kept Gourmet Secret: Roasted Cauliflower

I’ve seen cauliflower prepared like this a lot recently on restaurant menus. I last had it at Gilt Bar here in Chicago. The wondrous results you get from this simple cauliflower preparation makes it an exceptional side to pastas and meats. You can just pop it in the oven while you prepare the main course. No mad dash right before serving.

Roasted Cauliflower
Serves 4

1 head cauliflower
extra-virgin olive
fine-grain sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

1.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Chop cauliflower into relatively even pieces. In a bowl, toss cauliflower with enough oil to coat and season with salt and pepper.

2.) Spread evenly on a large baking tray. Bake for 30-40 minutes; until very browned. Serve warm.

Aloo Gobi

Aloo Gobi

1/4 cup mild-flavored olive oil
1 enormous yellow onion, chopped
1 heaping teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
large bunch of cilantro, stalks and leaves roughly separated
3 jalapeno chili peppers, two of the three seeded, chopped into small pieces
4 cloves garlic, minced
a 1 1/2 inch chunk of ginger, grated
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 large cauliflower, cut into florets
1 sweet potato, peeled & cubed
2 potatoes, peeled & cubed
2 teaspoons garam masala

1.) Grab your biggest Dutch Oven or heavy-bottomed pot and heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cumin seeds and saute for 10 minutes or so; until beginning to turn golden.

2.) Add the cilantro stalks, chilies, garlic, ginger, turmeric, and salt and stir to distribute evenly. Cook for 2 minutes.

3.) Add tomatoes, cauliflower, and potatoes. Stir to coat. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are fork-tender; 20 minutes or so.

4.) Stir in garam masala. Sprinkle the curry with the cilantro leaves, reserving some as serving garnishes. Turn off heat, cover, and let sit for as long as possible before serving to allow the flavors to settle and develop. Serve garnished with reserved cilantro leaves.

My Favorite Curry

Indian comfort food.  For a cold, snowy night when you just want something easy, hot, and unapologetically healthy.  Serve with whole wheat naan for a hearty meal.

Dhal Curry

3 tablespoons mild-flavored olive oil or ghee
3 onions, chopped
2 long, skinny carrots, quartered and chopped
7 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, grated
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
1 3/4 teaspoons coriander
1 3/4 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
1 1/2 cups red lentils, thoroughly rinsed
14 oz can diced tomatoes
2 cups small cauliflower florets
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups coconut milk (I’ve used light coconut milk plenty of times, and honestly loved the results just as much)
2 tablespoons lemon juice

1.) Heat the oil in your trusty Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the onions, and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add carrots, and cook for 10 minutes more, stirring frequently.

2.)  Add the ginger, garlic, and all of the spices.  Stir for a minute to blend.

3.)  Add the lentils and cauliflower, and quickly stir to coat with the oil and spices.

4.)  Add the stock, coconut milk, tomatoes, and salt.

5.)  Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat until your curry is pleasantly simmering away.  Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

6.)  Once the lentils have softened, remove from heat, stir in the lemon juice, season with more lemon juice or salt, if you think the flavors need to POP a little more, and serve over rice and/or with naan.  YUM!!