I’m getting reacquainted with Timehop which provides me with a daily reminder that I am well and truly into my thirties. Gone are the days when my Saturday nights in Cardiff involved a few rounds of shots at The Gatekeeper before stumbling into Dempsey’s (sadly no longer with us) then Clwb Ifor Bach, and ending up at Burger King at 3am.
Drinking is a slightly more grown-up affair these days and usually involves wine with dinner, but I just can’t hack it any more. This week, a couple of drinks here and there have resulted in an extended hangover (it’s so true that they get worse the older you get) and that, combined with a lack of exercise and eating too much junk, means that I’m feeling fairly fat this February. It’s time to cut out the crap.
Last night, feeling a bit worse for wear, I settled down to a soothing supper which was quick to make and a lot better for me than the chip-shop chips I was craving. This version of a Buddha bowl combines slightly spicy cauliflower with cheap and cheerful (and filling) chickpeas and nutty brown rice. The dressing is to die for, too. Tangy pink grapefruit is the perfect match for rich tahini, although you could use orange if you want something a bit sweeter. And up you want to up the goodness, add some greens; broccoli and kale or spinach work really well with this.
Comforting cauliflower and chickpea bowl with a dreamy dressing
Serves 2-3 people, depending on how hungry you are
1 head of cauliflower
2 tablespoons coconut or olive oil (if using coconut, melt this in the oven or microwave first)
2 teaspoons cumin powder
2-3 tablespoons flaked almonds
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
1 tin (400g) chickpeas
Salt and pepper
For the dressing
2 tablespoons tahini
½ pink grapefruit, peeled and cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
A drizzle of sesame or olive oil
Salt and pepper
Serve with brown rice
Preheat the oven to 220C. Cut the cauliflower length-ways or break into florets and rinse. In an ovenproof dish (depending on its size, you may need to use two as you will need space to add the chickpeas later on), combine the oil, cumin and lemon juice and add the cauliflower, making sure that all of it is coated in the mixture, and place on the top shelf of the oven.
If you’re serving with brown rice, start cooking it now so that it’s ready at the same time as everything else. While everything is cooking, you can make the dressing now. Place the tahini, oil, half the grapefruit and cinnamon, plus a dash of water, into a food processor and blend for 30 seconds. This will give it quite a creamy texture, although you can add more water if you’d like a smoother consistency. Set aside.
When the cauliflower has been roasting for about 20-25 minutes, remove from the oven and add the drained chickpeas, flaked almonds and sesame seeds, plus a dash more lemon juice and cumin powder, if you like. Cook for another 10-15 minutes, then serve with the rice and the remainder of the pink grapefruit (I also added some shredded sprouts) and drizzle over the dressing.