This recipe is inspired by an amazing Lebanese dish served at Vancouver’s Nuba restaurants. They prepare crispy lemon cauliflower that’s delicious, but not the healthiest option on the menu. Instead of frying the ingredients, I slowly roasted the mixture to help preserve the nutrients and avoid Advanced Glycation End-Products (AGEs a.k.a. crispy, charred, or burnt foods), which fast-track aging and chronic disease. I also added fresh parsley and chickpeas to make this side into a meal of its own.
- Vitamin C is for cauliflower! That’s right, it may be hard to believe, but one cup of this cruciferous veggie contains almost equal amounts of vitamin C as an orange. Vitamin C boosts the immune system and is a powerful antioxidant.
- Folate (vitamin B9) comes from the latin word for foliage to reflect its high concentration in leafy greens like collard, lettuce, and spinach. However, chickpeas (garbanzo beans) contain high amounts of folate too. Folate helps to prevent anemia, but is better known for the role it plays in preventing birth defects. It’s often used interchangeably with folic acid, which is the synthetic form found in some supplements and fortified foods.
- Tahini is a Middle Eastern staple that I tend to use in dressings to add creaminess that is often tricky to obtain in a plant-based diet. Raw tahini is made from unroasted and unhulled sesame seeds, which have an impressive concentration of calcium. Two tablespoons of tahini provides almost 35% of your recommended daily intake of calcium. Sesame seeds are also a great source of copper, which is a cofactor for the removal of free radicals (e.g. pollution, chemicals, toxins) from the body.
Lemon Roasted Cauliflower Ingredients:
1 medium cauliflower, cut into florets
3 cups chickpeas, cooked (approx. 1 1/2 cups dried* or a drained 796mL can)
1-2 teaspoons lemon zest
4 tablespoons lemon juice
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon cumin
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
sea salt & fresh pepper
Preheat oven to 350°C. Mix zest, juice, garlic, cumin, and coconut oil. In a large bowl, toss the dressing with cauliflower and chickpeas using your hands. Season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet lined with unbleached parchment paper and roast for 1 hour. Check and stir the mixture at 30 minutes.
Creamy Tahini Dressing Ingredients:
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup italian parsley, finely chopped
Combine tahini, vinegar, and oil. Add 1 teaspoon of water at a time to thin if necessary. Toss with roasted mixture and parsley.
*If using dried chickpeas, soak overnight with 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Rinse well and cover with water in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, remove foam to avoid bloating and flatulence, and turn down to a simmer to cook for 1 hour or until desired tenderness.
Recipe originally published on www.lulora.com