This vegan and paleo roasted cauliflower tossed with tahini and maple make for an easy sweet and savory side dish.
I feel like cauliflower gets a bad rep. It is definitely not on a lot of peoples list of favorite veggies and usually forgotten about when people are trying to up their veggie intake. Common nutrition wisdom is to add as many colors to your plate as possible (green, red, blue, orange…) and to stay away from the white stuff (sugar, white bread, refined carbs…). While this is true, where does it leave things like cauliflower?
Cauliflower is defiantly one of the exceptions to this rule. As a member of the cabbage family, it contains many of the compounds like indoles that have given this vegetable family a reputation of a potent cancer fighter. Cauliflower also contains sulforaphane, which also have anti-cancer activity.
Within minutes of being eaten, sulforaphane enters the bloodstream and turbocharges the body’s antioxidant defense system. Once it reaches the cells, it activates detoxification enzymes in the liver, which then disarm carcinogenic molecules and help remove them from the cells. Cauliflower also has antioxidant, antibiotic, and antiviral characteristics and help tonify and regulate the stomach, spleen, and small and large intestine.
Sounds like a pretty powerful vegetable in my opinion! My favorite way to eat it is to roast it. If you haven’t roasted veggies before you must try it! Vegetables take on this caramelization that totally changes their texture and flavor. And those charred bits that form on some of them, so dang good.
I tossed the cauliflower in tahini, which is a ground sesame seed paste. It has an almond butter consistency. When buying, make sure the ingredients for your tahini is just sesame seeds. I also added some maple syrup for a little sweetest. I love the sweet and savory combo. Feel free to add some red pepper flakes for a little kick too.
This dish will pair great with a lean protein like chicken or tuna, or go great in a bowl filled with other veggies and quinoa for the veggie lovers out there. It serves around 4, but #letzbehonest, 1-2 if you are a veggie eating connoisseur like me.
- 1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets (1100 grams without stem/9-10 heaping cups)
- 4 tablespoons tahini
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seed oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- salt, to taste
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- After cauliflower is removed from the stem and cut into florets, place in a large bowl.
- Mix together the tahini, sesame oil, maple syrup, salt, and red pepper flakes (if using).
- Toss the tahini mix with the cauliflower making sure to coat all pieces. You can use your hands if needed.
- Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and spread out evenly. (I used 2 so the cauliflower had enough room. If too close together it will steam.)
- Roast for 20 minutes, toss, and then roast for 10-15 more minutes until golden brown and fork tender.
Do you like roasted veggies? Which ones are your favorite?