By Lori Bosworth
In a bid to improve my health, I am incorporating more vegetarian and vegan dishes into my meal rotation. In fact, I now eat meat no more than once or twice a week. With that goal in mind, I am now looking for more vegetarian recipes that are not too labour intensive. At the recent Recipe for Change event in Toronto, I tried a delicious Curry Bowl from Loch and Quay Restaurant. I was eager to replicate it at home. The key ingredients were sweet potatoes, chickpeas, spinach and cherry tomatoes with a Tandoori vinaigrette. I searched online for similar recipes and came up with my own, which is Curried Cauliflower, Chickpea, Spinach and Sweet Potato Tacos.
What I love about this dish is not only the tasty vegetables and chickpeas, but the abundance of fragrant spices. Cooking with spices is such a smart idea due to their proven health benefits. Cumin is known for aiding digestion, boosting the immune system, improving skin and treating insomnia. It also has antibacterial and antiviral properties and can improve respiratory disorders. Turmeric is the new wonder spice and that is due to the active ingredient it contains which is curcumin. Curcumin has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, although admittedly, to gain this benefit, one needs to take a turmeric extract that contains mostly curcumin since tumeric spice contains only 3% of curcumin. Turmeric, however, does help with joint pain, increases antioxidant capacity and helps combat free radicals. Cinnamon doesn’t just taste great on toast, it’s a very high level antioxidant, is antiflammatory and helps protect the heart by reducing levels of total cholesterol, bad cholesterol and triglycerides. Cayenne aids digestion, may help reduce hunger and may lower blood pressure.
Although I have prepared this as a taco dish, you can definitely leave out the tacos and eat the filling as a side dish.
This recipe is vegetarian, since I did add a yogourt-lime dressing to add some moistness to the tacos; however, the dressing can be omitted to make this a purely vegan dish.
If you make Curried Cauliflower, Chickpea, Spinach and Sweet Potato Tacos, please let me know how they turned out in the comment section.
Curried Cauliflower, Chickpeas, Spinach and Sweet Potato Tacos
- 1 head cauliflower
- 1 large sweet potato peeled
- 1 can chickpeas rinsed, with shells removed
- 1 11 oz. package fresh spinach
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1 medium sized red onion
- 5 garlic cloves minced, keep 1 minced garlic clove separate
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 6 tablespoons olive oil (I used avocado oil.)
- 1/3 cup 2% plain yogourt
- 1 juice from lime
- 1 teaspoon fresh cilantro optional
- 5 wheat tortillas I used Dempster's Original Tortillas.
- Chop cauliflower into florets.
- Chop sweet potato into 3/4" pieces.
- Remove stems from spinach.
- Chop cherry tomatoes in half.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Chop red onion into 3/4" pieces.
- Mix cumin, turmeric, cinnamon and cayenne pepper in small bowl.
- Place chickpeas and sweet potato in a medium sized bowl. Add half of the spices mixture to bowl and 2 Tablespoons of olive oil. Stir so that chickpeas and sweet potato are completely covered with oil and spices.
- Place parchment paper on sheet pan and place chickpeas and sweet potato on one side of parchment paper.
- Place cauliflower in bowl and add the remaining half of spices mixture and 2 Tablespoons of olive oil. Stir so that cauliflower is completely covered with oil and spices.
- Place cauliflower on other side of parchment paper.
- Place pan in oven and roast for 30 minutes. Remove pan from oven and remove chickpeas and sweet potato from pan. Return pan with cauliflower to oven to cook for 10 more minutes or until golden.
- While chickpeas and sweet potato are roasting, saute red onion in frying pan in 2 Tablespoons of oil over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add spinach and cook for 1 minute or until wilted. Add 4 minced garlic cloves and saute for 1 minute. Remove pan from stove.
- Remove cauliflower from oven and combine with chickpeas and sweet potato in pan with spinach. Add cherry tomatoes and mix well.
- Arrange tortillas in a dish and spoon cauliflower, chickpea, sweet potato, spinach, tomato mixture into each tortilla.
- Mix 1/3 cup of plain yogourt with 1 minced garlic clove and juice of 1 lime. You can add 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh cilantro is desired. (I didn't do this.)
- Drizzle yogourt dressing on each tortilla and serve.