Attending a neighborhood potluck/bbq earlier this month, I signed up for a vegetarian main dish that could feed the possibly 24 people who had signed up as a yes. The potluck/bbq was occurring on a Thursday evening, a night which I also have a regular scheduled call with someone at work in India after my normal full work day, so I wanted something that was very easy to prepare. I love sharing food to entertain, but mentally I just haven’t wanted to “cook” as much and seem to keep picking recipes that are more prep heavy than on cooking execution. This is pretty much why you never see any dessert recipes- I am NOT a baker. I always admire the photos and how beautiful they are, and then my eyes glaze over when it comes to the recipe portion, much less the directions. Heh heh, glaze…
At the same time of wanting something easy to make, I wanted it also be healthy, as well as satiating since I was unsure there would be enough hearty filling food for those who are vegetarian. Besides, all omnivores can always eat a vegetarian dish: it’s a win win for everyone. I had a few options to choose from, and then let F select the final dish. This recipe for quinoa with roasted cauliflower and mushrooms was the winner.
I quadrupled up on the Quinoa with Roasted Cauliflower and Mushrooms recipe in order to make enough, and when I brought it back there was probably only enough for two servings left! The original recipe makes enough for 4-6 depending on whether it’s a main or side, and what you see below is what I used to make enough for a crowd at a potluck. This is a very adaptable recipe based on your own tastes and preferences.
Weather-wise, it was one of the few days this summer where we have had rain in Portland, and it was because of that a little bit cool, so I thought having the dish hot (it could be served cold as well) was the way to go. The leftovers were great the next day, and even the next day after that, just eaten cold straight from the refrigerator!
- 2 cups of Quinoa, or a Sprouted rice and quinoa blend like I used that included sprouted brown and red rice, quinoa, and wild rice from truRoots
- 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 stock or water- see directions on your quinoa
- 2 heads of cauliflower
- 16 ounces mushrooms
- 4 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoon thyme
- 2 tablespoon rubbed sage
- 2 tablespoon dill weed
- 2 tablespoon coriander
- 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- Optional: sprinkles of Parmesan
- Greens of your choice- I used radish sprouts, but you can bed the entire thing on top of sauteed or fresh spinach, kale, lettuce, etc!
- Heat up a vegetable stock: the amount depend son your quinoa so check your package: mine uses 1 3/4 cups liquid for every cup of quinoa. I prefer to use vegetable stock to impart flavor- other options might be to use water, or water with added flavorings like tomato paste. Rinse the quinoa. When the vegetable stock is boiling, add the quinoa and cover, lowering the heat or whatever the instructions are for your quinoa or quinoa/rice. This part can be prepared beforehand if you wish. I did this step the evening before, and then after the quinoa was done, I put it in the serving container and put in the refrigerator overnight. It’s one of the great things about quinoa- besides being healthy, you can easily prepare a cup or two that you can utilize to add to dishes all week!
- When you are preparing to roast, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Put aluminum foil on two baking sheets in order to make cleanup easier, and then put the baking sheets in the oven during the preheating.
- While the oven is heating up, cut the cauliflower into florets. Also slice the mushrooms. You want to try to have flat surfaces to it can lie flat on the pans in one layer. In a large mixing bowl (I had to use two), put mix the cauliflower and mushrooms with the olive oil and seasonings from above. If you are using two mixing bowls like I did, obviously you split 1 tablespoon in one bowl and 1 in the other in terms of the oil and seasonings. You can use any combination of seasonings you would like to your taste, or keep it simple with salt and pepper. Roasting the cauliflower makes it tender and you get lots of caramelized edges, so it will be guaranteed good flavor already! Mix everything well with your clean hands.
- Once you are ready, take out the hot pans and place the mixed cauliflower and mushrooms on top so they are arranged in one flat even layer. Roast in the oven for 30-45 minutes: however long it takes until they get tender and golden brown. Make sure that halfway you turn them over to evenly brown them. If you’d like, during that turn you can add more flavor by sprinkling in the lemon juice, and also parmesan. I went with just lemon juice.
- When they cauliflower and mushrooms are done, add them on top of your hot or cold quinoa. I used radish sprouts that I mixed in throughout, and I used an amount that gave a greater ratio to the cauliflower and mushrooms and quinoa so it was more a hearty dish than a salad. But you can salad this up as well by adding the greens of your chocie! Or, leave the greens out and it could easily be a main course also!