Meditteranean cauliflower couscous | funfoodandtravels.com

VEGAN CHALLENGE UPDATE

I’ve been eating vegan now for 6 days. And while it is not difficult perse, it requires a different state of mind. Or maybe not necessarily a different state of mind, but you have to constantly be on the lookout for animal products. Which I find somewhat difficult. The other day Tom and I were both home late and I had had a very busy so didn’t feel like cooking. I did have the necessary things in the fridge, so there was no excuse there. But than Tom suggested to go and eat french fries and you know when you all of a sudden start to salivate by the thought of it?

French fries

Well there was that. I could not ignore the little monster inside my head and while French fries are vegan (if baked in plant-based oil) the cheese soufflé that went with it wasn’t. Which I knew of course but at that moment didn’t care. So that was mistake number one. (it was a conscious mistake but still a mistake)

And then we went for drinks to friends the other night and they had snacks on the table. You might have guessed it but at least one of those was definitely not vegan. So messed up there again.

Roasted cauliflower | funfoodandtravels.com

What about travel?

Most of the time though we eat delicious and filling dishes such as this one. So not too bad I’d think. On top of that I am really starting to question how I will do this when travelling. I kind of already made the decision to not make things too complicated when I’m on the move. I’ve just been invited for a press trip to Curacao (yes!!!) and a culinary press trip no less, so there is bound to be animal products there. So my decision for now is to eat vegetarian (once the vegan challenge is over) but not be too strict overseas. Not sure how it will work.

Our next trip is to Copenhagen and they have plenty of fun vegan options to choose from but I bet Asia or Curacao or most other countries we tend to go to will not be that easy. I will definitely try but I will not starve myself for a principle. Not sure if that is making any sense and maybe it is not nearly as complicated as I make it right now, but that is my decision. (for now. I have a tendency to change my mind)

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Mediterranean Cauliflower couscous salad

Meditteranean cauliflower couscous | funfoodandtravels.com

Delicious and quick cauliflower salad with roasted chickpeas (it’s quick but remember that the chickpeas have to roast for 40 minutes!)

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 people
  • Category: Vegan

Ingredients

For the chickpeas:

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas OR 1 (15-ounce) can drained, rinsed and patted completely dry
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

For the dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon style mustard
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

For the salad:

  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup kalamata olives, finely chopped
  • 1 English cucumber, finely chopped
  • 1 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a bowl, combine the chickpeas with spices and oil. Lay them in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake in the oven until slightly browned and crisp, about 35 to 40 minutes. Toss chickpeas halfway through cooking time.
  2. To make the dressing, combine the lemon juice, mustard, garlic and salt in a bowl. Drizzle in olive oil while whisking continuously. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Set aside.
  3. Place the cauliflower florets in the bowl of a large food processor. Pulse until the cauliflower reaches a fine, crumbled consistency. Be careful not to over process; you don’t want to puree the cauliflower at all.
  4. Transfer the cauliflower to a large bowl and combine with the cherry tomatoes, onion, olives, cucumber, parsley, pine nuts, and crushed red pepper flakes. Toss well. Slowly drizzle with dressing and season to taste with salt and pepper. Once seasoned add roasted chickpeas and serve.