Want to win over your meat-eating friends to the side of vegetarians? Then, you should try my Roasted Cauliflower with Lentils & Rice. It’s a hearty, delicious & 100% filling dish. No one will feel like they need something else afterwards. I call it the perfect “vegetarian starter dish”, because no one ever really misses meat, when eating it. So it’s perfect for everyone who wants to switch to a more plant-based diet.
Further, it’s great, if you want to cook something out of the ordinary, e.g. for a special occasion like a dinner party, birthday, etc (or even Christmas). You might say it’s a dish to blow minds, really. Also, it is easy to prepare & naturally gluten-free, but a real joyride for your tastebuds. Full of fibres, proteins & polyphenols.
The last time, I made this dish, I made it for some friends and they were so impressed by it, that I decided it had to go up on my blog. Now, as it takes quite a while to cook, particularly the cauliflower, I don’t cook it too often. It does perfectly replace a Sunday roast, though.
As I mentioned, you can even make a Christmas-dish out of it. Simply vary the herbs & spices. You might want to add cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and/or star anise to the dish, in order to make it more suitable for Christmas. For the lentils, you can add a whole cinnamon stick to it, while cooking. Replace the paprika with Brussel sprouts (or other winter vegetable). Et voila, your perfect Christmas Roast. 🙂
Roasted Cauliflower with Lentils & Rice
- 1 whole cauliflower
- 3-4 tbsp olive oil extra virgine
- 1/2 lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 cup water
- 0.75 can chopped tomatoes
- 1 handful coriander
- 1 handful parsley
Veggie & Lentil Rice
- 1 cup rice any will do
- 1 cup lentils brown or green are best
- 3 cups water
- 1 onion
- 0.25 can chopped tomatoes
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 paprika
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tsp veggie stock powder
- salt & pepper to season
- 1 bag spinach
- 1 clove garlic
- salt & pepper to season
- As the cauliflower will need the longest time to be fully cooked, we need to start with preparing it first. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees.
- Next, in a small bowl, mix olive oil, lemon juice, finely chopped garlic, salt, pepper, cumin & paprika. Cut the cauliflower stalk, if necessary & place the cauliflower with the stalk down into a baking dish.
- Take the marinade and rub the cauliflower with it. You'll get the best taste, if you really message it in properly. Place the cauliflower into the middle of the baking dish and cover the entire dish with aluminum foil (or a waste-free alternative). You might also use a casserole dish with a lid. Bake for about 40 minutes with the lid. (If the cauliflower is especially large, you may need to adjust the baking time a little.) Bake another 20 without lid / alumium foil, so the cauliflower can brown properly.
- Last, but not least. Add chopped tomatoes, water, chopped coriander & parsley and some salt & pepper directly to the baking dish / casserole. Bake for another 10 minutes, so the sauce can soak up all the spices.
Paprika & Lentil Rice
- First, chop the onion, garlic & paprika. It can be as small or big as you like. I tend to chop the paprika into bigger chunks as I like them to stay a little bit crunchy. Wash the lentils in a colander. (Otherwise the lentils might get a little too starchy.)
- Next, place 1-2 tbsp olive oil into a pot, add the onion, garlic & paprika and roast for about 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatoe puree, salt & pepper. Once fully incorporated add the water.
- When the water starts to boil, add the vegetable stock, rice & lentils. Turn the cooker down to low heat & cook the rice & lentil mix with the lid on, until most of the water has been soaked up. Take the lid off and add the chopped tomatoes. Leave simmering, on very low heat, until the cauliflower is done.
- Heat a big pan. Crush the garlic clove with a big knive and add to the pan, together with the spinach. Put a lid on an leave until spinach starts shrinking. The spinach should be done within 2 minutes.
How to serve the dish
- Place a big spoonful of the rice-lentil mix on a plate, place some spinach on top. Add the cauliflower on top of it & finish off with some of the tomato sauce from the cauliflower dish.
As always, I’m happy to see your version of this dish and I’m happy for any suggestions you might have. I can only say, that my roasted cauliflower with lentils & rice is one of my absolute favourites.
I’m also happy to know, what kind of recipes you want to see on my blog going forward. Simply comment below or send me an email here.
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Happy Cooking & until next week.