I’ve been listening to so many audiobooks lately, from Stephen King to Tayari Jones all in an attempt to focus and meet my current mass of deadlines. And they help, but often it’s the comforting thought of whats for dinner that gets me excited about my day. The pleasant thought of how I’m going to make an extremely simple dish that’s going to be bursting with strong and vibrant flavours – this impressively simple cauliflower dish has gotten me through plenty tough weeks, much like this one.
Every week I have a plan of eating with intention and trying my best to keep my cortisol levels to a minimum, and often one of those gets sacrificed for the other. But lately, eating with intention has become a lot easier, and this is because I’ve created an entire system to support this way of eating. My boyfriend has always been incredible in supporting my food choices and we’ve now created eat-in date nights. It’s not as fancy as it sounds, but it allows us to take time and focus on us.
I’ll cook a dinner that’s healthy, nutritious, hopefully, tasty and really good to look at too and we’ll sit together, eating slowly and talk about varying topics. It gives us the space to find one another amongst the constant business and reminds us to take a breathe and take a step away from the stress of everyday life. Life has a way of absorbing us and keeping us focused on the next thing to do on our checklist, but I’ve been finding it increasingly important to shift my focus on other things, that aren’t on my checklist. Food has been a massive helper in providing the space to do that.
Cooking at home is always my form of meditation, and finding simple methods to create flavoursome food is incredibly rewarding. This roasted cauliflower is the epitome of simple, we’ve used a similar combination of flavours to what we used for our Christmas Cauliflower similar flavours, but changed them to have a deeper and spicier profile. We all know how I’ve come to love cauliflower and I’ve often ranted on about what makes this ingredient so fantastic, but what continually amazes me is how versatile it is, and how it will absorb flavours.
Let’s be honest, the hardest part of turning cauliflower into a ‘steak’ is the actual chopping. It’s pretty darn hard to get every slice of cauliflower to hold perfectly especially when your cauliflower stalk is not the size of a tree trunk (this is what holds the steak together). Lets just cut our losses and admit that you will most likely only get 2 cauliflower steaks out of one head, but don’t be silly and discard the rest, they’re still useful, you’re plate might not look picture perfect but it’ll all going to turn into mush in your belly right, so does it really matter that much? I think not.
We’re going to do a quick recap of my favourite nutritional benefit of cauliflower, its exceptional anti-inflammatory properties. Being part of the cruciferous vegetable family already puts it on my imaginary vegetarian pedestal, but what sets it aside is its ability to prevent the inflammatory response at a foundational level, and this is because of a compound known as indole-3-carbinol or I3C. The other wonderful thing is that it supports 2 phases of detoxification instead of one singular phase. This all helps to combat IBS and cause significant healing in the gut.
For this recipe, we paired the spicy with the sweet. We roasted some rosa tomatoes in the oven until they caramalised just a little and rounded everything off with the earthy flavours of crispy kale. You’re pretty much eating the rainbow.
The first time I made this dish was for our eat-in date nights, it took only 20-30 minutes to make (depending on how roasted you like your cauliflower) and had me feeling all the warm and fuzzy feelings you want to be feeling on a date, even if we have been together for 4 years. It’s now a staple when I need a meal that is simple, quick and gives me a little reminder to just take a moment and breathe.
- 1 Head of Caulilower outer leaves removed
- 1 tsp Turmeric ground
- 1 tsp Cumin ground
- 1 tsp Sumac
- 1 tbsp Sambal Oelek
- 15 grams Parsley finely chopped
- 1/2 Chilli deseeded and finely sliced
- 350 grams Mediterranean Vine Tomatoes vine removed
- 2 Cloves Garlic crushed
- 200 grams Niro Kale stems removed and roughly chopped
- 1/4 tsp Dried Chilli Flakes
- Salt and Pepper
- 1/4 cup Coconut Yoghurt for serving
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celcius and line a baking tray with heavy-duty foil - light foil breaks apart when you try and flip your cauliflower.
When buying your cauliflower, try and find ones that have as much of the stem intact as possible. Once you've removed the green outer leaves of your cauliflower, use a sharp knife to slice your steaks about 2 cm thick. The thicker the steaks the more they'll hold. We're going to aim for 2 perfect steaks per head, 4 if you're really a master with a knife.
In a small bowl combine your turmeric, cumin, sumac, sambal and a generous amount of olive oil. Mix until combined.
Lay your cauliflower steaks on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and starting with a spoon drizzle on your spicy mixture, once you've used all the mixture use your hands to spread it to make sure most of the cauliflower is covered. This will allow for an even distribution of flavours.
Sprinkle with your parsley and chilli and roast for 25-30 minutes, turning halfway.
For your roasted tomatoes; place them in a bowl with a generous glug of olive oil, garlic and salt and pepper and mix to combine. When your cauliflower only has 20 minutes remaining, add your tomatoes to the oven and begin on your kale.
If you're unfamiliar with kale chips, see our previous post: https://www.giveafork.co.za/2018/07/23/crispy-kale-chips/. For this recipe, we're going to change the cooking time slightly, Because we want everything to finish at the same time, we're going to keep the oven temperature on 200 and only add the kale when there are 5 minutes of cooking time remaining on your cauliflower.
Once all your elements are done roasting, you can begin plating. We added a brush of coconut yoghurt to the plate, followed by our cauliflower steaks, roasted tomatoes, crispy kale and an extra drizzle of coconut yoghurt.
Serve immediately and enjoy!