Category Archives: Cauliflower

Cauliflower and chickpeas โค

There are some dishes that stay in your heart, that you never tire of…my marinated cauliflower is one of them…I made it again last week, and this time made my version with added chickpeas, and fell in love all over again!!! (I have to make it in small batches because I know I will eat the whole thing!)

Heavenly!

I’ve learnt from each time I’ve cooked this dish, and I now know to cook it for longer than I did originally. I can’t tell you exactly how long though, I just keep a watch on it. If you can be patience and take it right to the edge, it will reward you with crunchy cauliflower and gorgeous chickpeas ๐Ÿ™‚ 

My BBQ spice mix: all the flavour, none of the sugar…

If you buy any barbecue spice mixes or rubs or seasonings, they will include a smoky element, maybe a spicy element, usually a lot of salt, and pretty much always a HUGE amount of sugar. That mix of flavours epitomises BBQ seasonings, and aids the caramelisation of whatever is being cooked with it. 

If you search up recipes to make your own, you will find a similar story. But by choosing to make your own, you can amend the recipe to suit your tastes and preferences. If I make a barbecue based sauce or marinade for my boys, I will typically use honey or maple syrup, and I use a lot less than recipes suggest…I’ve never made a barbecue spice rub because I just couldn’t get my head round all that sugar, until now…

If you have seen my previous two posts, for my chilli cause and my salsa, you will have seen that I used ground freeze dried pineapple as the sweetnener. It intrigued me whether this could be used in a spice mix in the same way, or would it just burn when cooked? Pineapple caramelises if you grill it, so what would the freeze dried version do?

Well, I’m here to tell you it works very well. So, I introduce MY BBQ spice mix…

The photo above shows the freeze dried pineapple as it comes, plus some that I’ve broken down, as well as the finished mix 

I have so far used this spice mix to flavour a dip (very nice!), I used it as a rub on chicken which I grilled for the boys (thumbs up from both), and today I used it to roast some cauliflower…

I cut the florets into halves and quarters, drizzled with a bit of olive oil, sprinkled with a couple of teaspoons of the spice mix and mixed it all well. I then roasted it at 200C (fan) until it was all nicely cooked and bit crunchy…

And served it on a bed of homous…

What looks like burnt bits isn’t, it didn’t taste burnt, merely crunchy and tasty. I think if I’d cooked it any longer, it would have taken it too far. 
But the fact is, it works! I’m so chuffed ๐Ÿ™‚

This is what I mixed..

4 tbsp ground freeze dried pineapple (for my tastes, I could happily use only 2 tablespoons, so you need to experiment)

2 tbsp smoked paprika

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp ground roasted cumin

1 tbsp Aleppo chilli flakes

1/2 tbsp ground black pepper

1-2 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)

1 tbsp onion powder

1 tbsp garlic powder 

1 tsp dried oregano 

I mixed it all and ground it to a fine mix, but you could keep it more textured if you wish. 

The mix stores well in a sealed glass jar. If it clumps together just break it up before you use it – any mix using garlic powder tends to clump as it’s quite moist. 

The mix of flavours is so good, it’s still not as sweet as store bought mixes would be, because that’s my choice, but you could play with that. Do keep in mind that the pineapple is very sweet, so you may not need as much as you think. 

So, success, I think? What do you reckon…?

I hope that everyone at this week’s Fiesta Friday like my creation ๐Ÿ™‚ this week, the lovely Petra and Ai are co hosting, pop over and have a visit…happy weekend!

Some dishes are too good not to share…(virtually anyway!!)ย 

This was one of those dishes that developed over a few days, started out as one thing, and became another, as I pimped leftovers…and culminated in such heaven on a plate that I just had to share it! 
It began as one of my typical salads…

The salad at the top, left of the dish, is made up of lots and lots of chopped flat leaf parsley; a mixture of cooked grains, in this case including spelt and kamut, both cooked my way; chopped garlic; liberal amounts of ground roasted cumin and paprika, and a sprinkling of Aleppo chilli flakes; a good amount of lemon juice and a good amount of olive oil. This is a very typical salad for me, sometimes it includes chopped coriander as well, sometimes some added dill, all different grains, sometimes added seeds or nuts. 

I usually put all this together and then leave it to brew overnight, as the flavours develop and it is even better when eaten the next day, and the day after that to be honest. This occasion was no different. And so it became a part of the meal above one lunchtime. 

The next day, some of the leftovers made their way onto this lovely aubergine boat, now very much a firm fixture in my kitchen since its first introduction…and as you’ll notice, the salad had gained some cooked chickpeas and avocado by this time..

I cooked the aubergine whole in the microwave for 6 minutes ( it was a large aubergine) then put it under a hot grill, close to the heat, turing it occasionally to slightly burn the skin and give it a nice finish. I then cut it open and slathered the hot softened flesh with freshly made homous, and topped with more of the salad. Yum!!!! 

The leftovers then sat in the fridge for another day, during which time I made up my most favourite of dishes, my marinated cauliflower and chickpeas. I’ve learn from experience to roast the dish for longer than I did originally, and having served and eaten the cauliflower, and/or potatoes, whichever version you make, and been left with some chickpeas and garlic, put it back I the oven to cook even more. The outcome is stunning, and a challenge not to eat it all immediately!!! 

These were the leftovers that I forced myself to save!! And so yesterday, they joined the rest of my salad, and created a dish of so much flavour and joy, I can barely find the words!! 

Heavenly! 

The mixture of the ingredients and flavours, and how they’d all developed was fabulous! 

So, I just had to share it…obviously, only sharing it virtually is fine, I wouldn’t have shared it in person….only joking, of course ๐Ÿ˜‰ 

And yes, there was leftovers, which of course, got whizzed up with tahini and became a dip! You wouldn’t expect anything else ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€ 

I’m going to share this post with everyone at this week’s Fiesta Friday, and this month’s Cook Once Eat Twice link up….like I said, I’m only too happy to share it, virtually…!  ๐Ÿ˜‰ 

Roasted cauliflower leaves…

A little while ago I was intrigued by a post on Laura’s blog about roasting the outer leaves of a cauliflower; I’d read about it before but not yet given it a go myself, so of course, I got straight onto it!

The leaves roast very quickly, especially the outer, thinner, leafy bit, and they get really crispy. The challenge is not to eat them straight out of the oven because, firstly (and obviously if I’d stopped to think about it!) they get really hot, and secondly, if you just wait a few minutes, the leaves crisp up even more (as I discovered after exercising some patience…having burnt my tongue on the really hot one!).

The method is pretty straight forward:

Preheat the oven to 200C fan

Remove and wash the outer leaves – really wash them as this is where little bugs can live

Cut off any browning tips from where the grocer may have previously trimmed the leaves 

Lay the leaves in a single layer on your oven tray and spray with your chosen oil, I used olive oil 

Turn the leaves over and spray both sides

Roast for 5-10 minutes until you see the leaves starting the brown, remove the pan, turn the leaves over and roast a little longer until both sides of the leaves are slightly browned

At this mid point I have experimented with sprinkling the leaves with spices, the ones in the photos below are sprinkled with za’atar 

Once the leaves look browned and crunchy, remove the pan from the oven and allow the leaves to cool for a few minutes, as per the comment above 

These can then be eaten on this own as a snack or side dish, or incorporated into another dish

A note: the spines on the larger outer leaves can be quite thick, and can remain quite chewy to eat; I would still roast these leaves and then cut away the crispy edges once roasted; the inner, smaller leaves will be absolutely fine all the way through 

Yesterday I made the dish below using a mixture of the cauliflower leaves as well as roasting some of the florets and chunks of the main stalk (this part is also very tasty, usually having more flavour than the actual florets, in my opinion)..

I topped my cauliflower with chopped persevered lemon, chopped cashew nuts that I’d roasted and sprinkled with Aleppo chilli flakes, and a herby harissa concoction I created from mixing my rose harissa with chopped coriander, parsley and mixed seeds..

And very nice it was too! Another lovely lunch creation, if I do say so myself ๐Ÿ˜‰ 

Aloo gobi matar (potato, cauliflower & peas): the meal, the dish, the leftovers, and more vegetable stuffed parathas (flatbreads)…

 At the weekend, one of the dinners I prepared was an Indian feast, which included marinated chicken kebabs for my boys, this kala chana (brown chickpea) curry, which was a masala sauce I had created myself and added the chickpeas to..

…a rajma (red kidney bean) curry…inspired by this recipe from Mallika Basu

 …pimped baked beans for my boy (I drained off as much of the liquid as possible then added my own purรฉed masala sauce and cooked them in that, which turned out to be a great success!)…
  …and, this…

…aloo gobi matar, which is potatoes, cauliflower and peas, cooked with red onions and spices. I followed Aruna’s recipe for aloo gobi and added the peas to that. 

And of course, there were naan breads ๐Ÿ™‚

It was a very tasty dinner and the aloo gobi matar, with the lovely sweetness of the peas, was a great addition. And of course, maybe the best bit, there was lots of lovely leftovers…I’ve still got a big dish of the rajma curry in the fridge today! 

I finished off half of the potato, cauliflower and peas for lunch yesterday with added quinoa and homous… 

…and the other half I stuffed into flatbreads and successfully tempted my son with them ๐Ÿ™‚ He didn’t eat the vegetables as they were in the original dish, but he happily ate them stuffed into bread! 

I followed the recipe I used in my previous post, replacing the broccoli with some of the mashed aloo gobi matar… 

    
  And again, grilled some cheese on the leftover breads! Why not? It worked so well previously, why not do it again…and again?! 

I do like this way of using up leftovers but also of getting more vegetables into my darling child. He will literally eat any of the breads in make, stuffed with whatever vegetables – success! And they’re fun to make, especially if little hands want to join in ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Making your recipes..

 Me cooking cauliflower is nothing new, you’ve seen me share many cauliflower recipes, and I roast cauliflower several times a week, but when I saw Lizs post including her pan roasted cauliflower steaks, I knew it would become a new way of cooking cauliflower in my kitchen. I’ve pan cooked cauliflower before, but not as whole ‘steaks’ like this and it was great – and so pretty! 

I enjoyed it with some lovely creamy homous – again, something I make regularly, but this time, I followed Jhuls ‘easy microwave homous’. This was a new method for me to try and involves peeling the chickpeas first, which was fine, except that the tin that I opened held the smallest (and most yellow!) chickpeas I have ever seen!!!! So of course, there was loads of them! But peel them I did..you then microwave them briefly, which shows up just how many skins you’ve missed, and so the peeling continues…

  The method generates a lovely creamy dip and I’m so glad I tried it, and definely recommend it. 

I also served it with sprinkled sumac, toasted flaked almonds and chopped parsley. 

I also made a new spice mix recently; I follow Tanvee on Instagram and her lovely blog, and she told me about Kitchen King Masala, a spice mix used widely in India. You know me, I always like a new spice mix, and I loved making this one too..

 All ready to toast..

I ground this all up and have been using it ever since ๐Ÿ™‚ 

I have also made the Cajun spice mix from Mollies blog, which the blogs have liked on their chicken and in their quesadillas. And Andreas honey chipotle chicken, another winner with the boys – and eaten far too quickly for me to photograph. Trupti’s spinach dal was also very tasty – but again, no photo, sorry!! Visit Trupti’s blog for the details. 

And finally…more stuffed baby aubergines, this time following Prachi’s recipe..I experimented with purple baby aubergines and little green round Thai aubergines.. 

 Going in

  

 Coming out (they never look as pretty but they sure taste good!) 

 Such great flavours ๐Ÿ™‚  

Pictured here with some of an aubergine quinoa bake I recently devised (more about soon). 

I do love making so many of your recipes – thank you for the inspiration x 

Lunch anyone? Cauliflower rice with quinoa & green goodness sauce..

 My Instagram account is littered with photos of the various meals I make for my lunch, which is what this lovely plateful of food was. I don’t eat sandwiches, or anything bread based that might typically be considered ‘lunch’ food, hence why my lunches might seem quite colourful; as with everything I eat, I make myself healthy, tasty lunches, packed full of flavour and spices and goodness, and this was no different..

I hadn’t made any ‘cauliflower rice’ for a while so this was a bit of a change, thrown together with some cooked quinoa and some of my favourites green goodness sauce, it was a plate of fabulous…served on a fabulous plate

Cauliflower rice is made by chopping fresh cauliflower into florets, then chopping the florets up in a blender until the cauliflower resembles ‘rice’. You end up having to keep taking the lid off the blender and scraping the sides done to achieve this, plus it’s best not to overfill the blender and to do it in batches. 

If you end up with far more ‘rice’ than you wanted, as the cauliflower does break down to a huge pile of ‘rice’, you can store it in a sealed container in the fridge for a couple of days.

I then tend to fry my cauliflower rice in a wide bottom pan with some coconut oil and any chosen garlic and/or spices. This time I added the cooked quinoa because I had some to use up and it added protein to the dish. 

Eaten with the sauce – which is packed full of coriander, garlic, gingers, spices, tamarind and (on this occasion) coconut milk – it was a healthy, tasty, lovely lunch. 

And I even licked the plate! 

I’ve made cauliflower rice before with turmeric, coconut and black garlic, and on the same week as I made this, Judy also experimented with cauliflower rice – these may just give you some other ideas for yours. 

Enjoy!