Use your blender and one simple trick to zap whole cauliflower into perfect “rice” for this throw together summer tabbouleh bowl. Add in harissa chickpeas, pre-cooked quinoa, herbs, veggies and a creamy feta and herb dressing for a cool but slightly spicy lunch or supper. Picnic-perfect and lunchbox-luscious, too.
When it’s too hot to think, let alone cook, this is what motivates me to eat. Well, eat properly. Ignoring the siren call of ice lollies and chilled white wine, I know I operate better with real food even on the hottest of days. I think I can speak for all of us.
To keep cool I know some of you are lingering in the frozen food aisle. A few friends have even snapped themselves and their kids by the freezers, ostensibly doing some serious label reading. They are, in fact, bagging some free chilled air.
I imagine the whole of London is jammed into all of the supermarkets, bare-legged, pushing fractious wee ones in stifling buggies, praying for rain – and free ice cream samples. It’s not so bad up here in Scotland just now, only in the low 20s and fairly breezy today. But the whole of the UK is really not designed for hot weather. No AC, no iced tea, no base tan. Instead, it’s a country of moaning, hot tea (still!) and crisp pink shoulders.
This easy salad will cheer you up. I know it does me. Using my simple blender trick for the cauliflower rice, some pre-cooked quinoa (from the supermarket; NOT in the chiller section), canned chickpeas, and some chopped veggies and herbs you can be nourishing your body and tingling your taste buds in minutes.
I’ve suggested coating the chickpeas in my rose harissa paste (it’s really good if I say so myself. AND, it’s on the first page of Google) but keep them plain if the thought of added heat in THIS heat sounds too insane right now. But, like hot tea, the sweating cools you down. 😉
So, the blender trick. You may already know it. I’ve been doing it for a few years, but I’m not sure where I read about it. It’s a keeper though. If you grate cauliflower on a box grater, or chop it super finely, risking the tips of your fingers, you will LOVE this tip. You may wish to propose marriage or send flowers.
I’m married, but I do love flowers.
Soooo, Easiest Cauliflower Rice EVER: Roughly chop the cauliflower. Really just to be able to fit it in a blender. Put the chopped white beast into your blender. COVER WITH WATER. Pulse until you have rice of the desired consistency. Do a little happy dance while you pulse. Drain the rice/couscous/whatever you wish to call this Millenial carb sub, and do with it what you wish. And I hope you wish to make this!
WHY WATER? The water makes the cauliflower buoyant and keeps it from hanging out at the bottom of the jug turning to puree whilst the rest gets barely touched. It really works. Everything is a uniform size and consistency and perfect for your recipes.
It goes without saying that this salad bowl thing is more a suggestion than an actual recipe: riff to your heart’s content. Change out the protein; add more protein; mess with the veggies and herbs; use whatever hot and spicy or not so spicy on your peas. Whatever you like. Just make it, and be cool and happy. No serious flapping around the kitchen. And, it goes very well with chilled wine. 🙂
See you in the freezer section, okay?
Cool and Spice Cauliflower Rice Tabbouleh Bowl
Use your blender and one simple trick to zap whole cauliflower into perfect “rice” for this throw together summer tabbouleh bowl. Add in harissa chickpeas, pre-cooked quinoa, herbs, veggies and a creamy feta and herb dressing for a cool but slightly spicy lunch or supper. Picnic-perfect and lunchbox-luscious, too. xx
1 small head cauliflower (you may have more than you need for this recipe)
20g best feta cheese
2 rounded tbsp Greek yogurt
Juice half a small lemon + some zest
3 tsp organic rapeseed oil or other good neutral healthy oil (in the US I would stay away from canola oil unless it is very good stuff), divided use
1 shallot, minced
1 small garlic clove, mashed and sat out for 10 minutes (allows cancer-inhibiting and microbe-zapping allicin to form)
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp each chopped mint, dill and coriander or tarragon, plus extra for garnish
Pinch of salt, sugar and pepper
1 tin chickpeas, rinsed, drained and patted dry
2 tsp rose harissa or favourite chilli paste
125g cooked quinoa (half a supermarket packet, e.g. Tilda brand)
2 ripe medium ripe tomatoes, chopped
1/2 long English cucumber, chopped
1. Roughly chop the cauliflower and place in a blender jug. Cover the cauliflower with water and pulse until the desired size. Drain and shake to dry a bit.
2 For the dressing blend the feta, yogurt, lemon, zest, 2 tsp oil, shallot, garlic, cumin, cardamom, herbs, seasoning until smooth. Add a little water if necessary. I use a hand blender or mini chopper bowl.
3. For the chickpeas, heat the remaining 1 tsp of oil in a small saute pan; add the chickpeas and harissa. Cook and toss on a medium-high heat until heated through and a little crisp in places.
4. To assemble the salad, add the cauliflower rice to a large, shallow serving bowl along with the cooked quinoa, chopped tomatoes and cucumber, and warm chickpeas; fork through the dressing. Serve with green leaves.
Ripe for Pinning! And you can follow me on Pinterest, too. Thank you. 🙂