One-Pot Curried Cauliflower with Couscous and Chickpeas

I have no pretty napkins on which to place dishes for a photo so the grass it is! 

I have no pretty napkins on which to place dishes for a photo so the grass it is! 

Since we have a full kitchen at our condo and have the time, we have eaten the vast majority of our meals at home.  Unlike when we are in Denver and working, we all sit down and have breakfast together in the morning and dinner in the evening.  Lunch can be more haphazard because of being out and about or one of us trying to put Blythe down for a nap, but it's been really nice to have more meals together.  One struggle with this is that we don't have a booster seat or high chair for Blythe.  She can sit in the normal chair or kneel, but she is constantly wanting to get up and down, turn around, etc.  We are attempting to teach table manners, require her to sit and face us at the table, and tell her the meal is over once she gets down.  Unfortunately, she is no dummy and since we are also trying to potty train her, she knows that we will let her get down to use the toilet.  How do kids learn to manipulate a situation so early in life? 

I did manage to get Blythe to sit with me for lunch today to eat this One-Pot Curried Cauliflower with Couscous and Chickpeas.  I don't want to claim that Blythe is a toddler who will eat anything - her favorite foods are more in line with what you would expect for a toddler: cheese, berries, crackers, pepperoni, tomatoes, olives, pouches, and beans.  That said, she is willing to give most things a try, including this curried cauliflower, seaweed salad (which she loves), and poke bowls.   

Enjoying seaweed salad.  This restaurant had a booster seat with a strap, which made for such a pleasant meal.  We were tempted to "borrow" it for the next three weeks.

Enjoying seaweed salad.  This restaurant had a booster seat with a strap, which made for such a pleasant meal.  We were tempted to "borrow" it for the next three weeks.

We watched Forks over Knives last night and I've been thinking a lot about how much meat, dairy, and sugar we consume.  Compared to the average American, it is very little, but there is still room for improvement.  Have any of you seen this movie?  I didn't find the movie itself exceptionally compelling (funnily, it was made in 2011 but the cinematography looks like it is straight out of the 80s), but it reminded me of the reasons I used to be a vegetarian, which still resonate: environmental reasons, animal welfare, and the health benefits.  It gave me a lot to think about and it made me excited to find delicious vegetarian dishes like this one.

This really is a one pot meal (I'm always irritated when a dish claims to be "one pot" but isn't truly).  You sauté the cauliflower, onions, and garlic, add the spices and broth, and then add the beans, lentils, and couscous.  It would make an excellent weeknight dinner (especially if you diced the cauliflower, onions, and garlic and made the yogurt dressing in advance), and the leftovers are delicious.  Rather than adding the spinach to the stew itself, I've been putting raw spinach in the bottom of my bowl and putting the curried cauliflower on top with a dollop of the yogurt dressing (and a sprinkling of almonds when I remember).  I can't recommend this enough and if you don't believe me, check out the reviews on Epicurious.  Oh, it would also be an easy dish for a vegetarian dinner party.

I took a few shortcuts with this dish since we are traveling and have a limited pantry. I only bought curry powder and skipped the cumin (it cost $10 and I didn't envision using it again).  I used vegetable bouillon cubes because our store doesn't carry vegetable broth, and I skipped the cilantro because Rob doesn't like it.  I had some garlic powder and cinnamon on-hand so I added a few dashes of each to add flavor since I'm without cumin.  The only downside to this dish from the perspective of being in Hawaii is that the only ingredients I found at the farmer's market were the onion and garlic.  The curried cauliflower can be made up to 3 days in advance without the spinach.  Prepare through step #3 below, cover, and chill. Reheat and fold in spinach before serving. 

A final note - don't forget to make the yogurt dressing.  The tanginess of the yogurt + lime in the dressing is the perfect compliment to the curried cauliflower.

One-Pot Curried Cauliflower with Couscous and Chickpeas
Recipe from Epicurious
Serves 4 (generously)

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons virgin coconut oil, room temperature, divided
  • 1 head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can chickpeas, drained, rinsed
  • 1 cup pearled couscous
  • 1/2 cup split red lentils
  • 2 limes, divided
  • 1/2 cup Greek-style plain yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro leaves, plus whole leaves for serving (optional)
  • 5 ounces baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds (for serving; optional)

Preparation

  1. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium. Add cauliflower and cook, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to brown and soften, 5–8 minutes. Add onion, garlic, and remaining 1 Tbsp. oil and cook, stirring, until onion and cauliflower are cooked through, 5–7 minutes more. Add curry powder, salt, and cumin. Cook, stirring, until spices are toasted, about 30 seconds.
  2. Add broth and bring to a boil. Add chickpeas, couscous, and lentils, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally to avoid couscous from sticking, until couscous and lentils are cooked through and liquid is almost completely reduced to a thick sauce, about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, juice 1 lime to yield 3 Tbsp. juice. Whisk lime juice, yogurt, and 3 Tbsp. chopped cilantro in a medium bowl until smooth. Add water by the tablespoonful until sauce is thin enough to drizzle (I didn't thin mine at all.  It wasn't able to be drizzled, but I prefer the thicker texture).
  4. Fold spinach into chickpea mixture. Cut remaining lime into wedges. Top with cilantro leaves and almonds, if using, and serve yogurt sauce and lime wedges alongside.