Friends, I have an obsession with a veggie. For those that know how large my carrot consumption is, you’ll be pleased to know that it’s not carrots.
A couple of weeks ago, one of my co-workers asked me for a snack recommendation. He said he’d developed a late night snacking habit and wanted some tasty yet healthy options that weren’t too difficult to make. Instantly, roasted cauliflower popped into my head because it’s been in my grocery cart every week for the past couple of months.
Cauliflower is such an under-rated veggie (can you say beige?) but in recent times it’s received a whole lot of love from the paleo and low-carb communities in the form of cauliflower rice. That’s all fine, but if you ask me, the most amazing way to enjoy it is roasted in the oven. If you haven’t tried this, trust me, you will just die. (In a good way, obviously.) And you might just wake up in the night craving roasted cauliflower and nothing else…. or maybe that’s just me. Anyways….
Directions-wise, there’s not a whole lot to it. You simply switch the oven on to broil while you line a baking sheet with foil and break a head of cauliflower into bite-sized bits. Then, scatter them across the baking sheet in an even layer. You can spritz them with olive oil if you like, but this step is totally skippable – they’ll still crisp up just fine without it. The seasoning options are endless – curry powder, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, Thai peanut sauce, sriracha sauce, or my personal fave, Kirkland Organic Salt-Free Seasoning from Costco. I put that stuff on errrrythang.
After it roasts (well technically I guess it’s broiling) for about 25 minutes, simply take it out of the oven, stir it around and continue for another couple of minutes until the florets reach your desired crispiness. Then you can take the pan out and – if you’re like me – eat them straight off the foil, or do something a little more snazzy like add them to a salad.
Remember how a few weeks ago I told you I was all about lentils? Well now I’m all about lentils and cauliflower. And leeks. And butternut squash. And this Lentil and Roasted Cauliflower Salad because it combines them all in one great big bowl of hearty, satisfying foodgasmic deliciousness.
As for my co-worker, he and his wife are 100% hooked and have sent me numerous photos of their latest trays of roasted cauliflower. In fact, we regularly have conversations about where we’ve managed to track down the cheapest ones over the weekend. I’ve got the record so far – $1.88, a steal of a deal from Food Basics. But don’t you dare go out and take them all because I roasted my last one last night and I’m on the hunt once again!
Lentil and Roasted Cauliflower Salad
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Ingredients (about 6 cups)
- 1 cup green lentils, uncooked, well rinsed and drained
- 2 ½ cups water or low-sodium stock, divided
- olive oil, in a mister
- 1 medium head of cauliflower
- salt-free seasoning (I use Kirkland brand from Costco, but Mrs Dash would be fine too)
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 2 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced (about 1 cm cubes)
- 1 cup thinly sliced leeks
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, minced
- red or white wine vinegar
- black pepper
Preheat oven to 400F.
In a pot, boil the lentils in 2 cups of water or stock until cooked. They should be tender, but not mushy. If you haven’t soaked your lentils, this will take between 20-25 minutes but if soaked should only take about 8-10 minutes.
Meanwhile, chop the cauliflower into small florets. Spread them out on a parchment-lined baking sheet and mist with oil. Sprinkle with salt-free seasoning and roast for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
When the lentils are cooked, strain any excess liquid off and pour them into a large bowl. Set aside.
Mist a large frying pan with olive oil. Sautee the garlic on medium-high heat for 1 minute, then add the butternut squash cubes, leeks, dried thyme and remaining ½ cup water or stock. Stir occasionally for 5 minutes or until the squash becomes tender and the liquid has evaporated.
Pour the squash mixture into the large bowl with the lentils, parsley and roasted cauliflower. Stir in red wine vinegar and season with black pepper if desired. Let the salad sit for at least 15 minutes so that flavours can intensify, then serve hot or cold.
So tell me…
- Are you a roasted cauliflower fan?
- Do you have a late night snacking habit? Have you found any clever ways to overcome it, or any go-to snacks that you reach for that are healthier options?