curried quinoa with roasted cauliflower

I live in a house of six girls. Six food-savvy, taste-conscious girls who can whip up some candied walnuts, bananas foster, or a darn good casserole anytime you please, but six girls on a just-graduated-college-sized budget nonetheless. The result, then, is this: our house’s spice cupboard is far from shabby–we have the essentials and then some–but it’s the tip of the tip of the iceberg as far as the plethora of spices that are available on this planet.

Given our spice cupboard situation, you can understand why I adore when a grocery store (such as the People’s Food Co-Op!) sells spices in bulk.

Imagine: a wall full of jars upon jars of enticing spices and herbs, from star anise to dried lavender to Hungarian paprika. And all you need to do is scoop a teaspoon or two in a small plastic bag and you’ve gained (cheap!) access to a whole new taste adventure. It’s like the grocery store has flung open the doors of it’s enormous and well-stocked spice cupboard and said, “Please! Dig in!”

This recipe–an extremely flavorful quinoa salad packed chockablock with veggies–requires a bit of brilliantly rust-colored turmeric and a dash or two of coriander (or cilantro). If these spices do not have a home in your cupboard, do not be dismayed! Take advantage of a bulk spice section near you then hurry home to make this super tasty dish.

curried quinoa with roasted cauliflower
Adapted from Manjula’s Kitchen

for quinoa:

3/4 cup quinoa
1 1/2  cups vegetable stock
a pinch of turmeric
1/4 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon cumin
a sprinkling of salt
1/4 teaspoon chili powder

for roasting cauliflower:

1 small cauliflower, cut into small florets
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
a sprinkling of salt
1 tablespoon olive oil


1 can chickpeas, drained
1/2 cucumber, chopped
1 cup green peas
1 heaping tablespoon parsley, chopped
a handful of cashews
a handful of raisins

for dressing :

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
juice and zest of 1 lemon
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 400F.

Combine quinoa, vegetable stock, coriander, cumin, turmeric, chili powder and salt in a pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for 13-15 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed. Place in a large mixing bowl to cool.

Once you’ve chopped up your cauliflower, place on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and turmeric and drizzle with olive oil. Using your hands, toss cauliflower until well-coated. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the florets are slightly browned. Set aside to cool.

While waiting for the quinoa and cauliflower to cool slightly, chop the cucumber and the parsley and, if using frozen peas, cook the peas (in a microwave or in a saucepan on the stove). Heck, might as well open the can of chickpeas and drain, while you’re at it.

In the quinoa bowl, add the chickpeas, peas, roasted cauliflower, cucumber, parsley, cashews, and raisins, and mix together.

In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Pour the dressing into the quinoa mixture and toss until well-coated.

I let this bowl of beauty sit in the refrigerator for an hour-or-so before spooning some on a bed of spinach leaves and diving in. Maybe you prefer your curried quinoa warm and want to eat it right away. Who knows. You decide. Either way, I think you’ll be pleased with this protein- and flavor-packed dish.

One Comment Add yours

  1. sybaritica says:

    Lovely recipe… nicely balanced spice blend!

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