Cauliflower Chickpea Stew Over Couscous

*adapted from Herbivoracious*

I’ve been trying to make less meat in my dishes lately. I was vegetarian for about 6 months in 2010 and realized that I don’t miss meat products all that much when I don’t use them. At the same time, it’s often easier and simpler to default to lean meats when making healthy meals. It’s been programmed for me when I start planning my meals. I don’t believe in eliminating anything from the diet completely, but rather using it in moderation. I have to give myself room for error. It’s difficult with a busy life and schedule to brainstorm vegetarian meals, but I try and incorporate them as often as I can.

Well, this recipe was a complete experiment. I’ve never made anything like it, but it was super yummy! The original recipe makes A LOT so I halved it.

  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas – drained and rinsed
  • 1 heads cauliflower
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp ground fennel seed
  • 1/2 tbsp cayenne (or more depending on your heat preference)
  • 1 fresh lemons and zest
  • salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Cut the cauliflower into moderate sized florets, and cube the stalks. Toss with 1/8 c. olive oil and a little salt, and roast at 400ºF  until tender and starting to caramelize.

In a large pot, heat the remaining olive oil over a medium high flame. Add the onion and fry until translucent. Add the garlic, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, fennel, and cayenne and stir rapidly. When the spices are fragrant (maybe 30 seconds), add the chickpeas and some water and turn down to a simmer.

When the cauliflower is done, add it to the pot, along with the lemon.

Start with 1 tbsp salt, and keep adding until it tastes right. Add more water if needed to achieve a stew-like consistency. Simmer awhile longer so that some of the chickpeas dissolve a little. Be sure not to let them scorch!

At the end, add the black pepper and do a final check on the salt, spices, and acid. Serve over couscous.

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