Well, they say that time flies when you’re having fun, so I must have been having a lot of fun lately! Actually, that’s true. Since I posted last I’ve been doing lots of writing, cooking, taken on some more lecturing, am deeper into my Masters, turned 40 (!!), and we also took a beautiful holiday which I will post about soon as the cooking workshop I did was incredible. I hope you have had a wonderful few months too. Today I have this delicious, festive looking recipe to share with you, that is both fancy looking and simple to make – my favourite. But I wanted to share something else first.
This month, being October, I am participating in the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation’s initiative ‘Frocktober’ to help raise awareness and funds for research into an early detection test for ovarian cancer. Did you know that one woman in Australia dies from ovarian cancer every 10 hours? Part of the reason for this is that it is usually quite advanced by the time it is diagnosed.
In the early stages, symptoms can be vague, nonspecific, or completely absent. Symptoms of ovarian cancer can include unexplained bloating, digestive discomfort and gas pains, changes to bowel habits, backache, difficulty eating or feeling full easily, urinary symptoms, abnormal vaginal bleeding and unintended weight loss.
Aside from having the opportunity to rock out a frock every day, I am supporting #frocktober2017 to help raise awareness and funds for much needed research into early detection. At present there is no early detection test, which is contributing to the high mortality rate of the disease. I would love it if you could help spread the word by visiting and sharing my page from the link below with your friends and family, and of course you are welcome to donate if you like.
This recipe is based around the cauliflower, which also just happens to show cancer-preventative qualities. Several studies have shown cauliflower (and other cruciferous veggies like broccoli, brussels sprouts and cabbage) help to increase the level of DNA repair proteins in cancer cells which are regulated by BRCA genes. If a person has faulty BRCA genes, they often show decreased levels of these repair proteins, and may be more likely to suffer from ovarian (and also breast and prostate) cancer. Boosting their levels may help to prevent cancer cells developing.
Plus you will be gifted fibre, vitamin C, carotenoids, antioxidants, vitamin K, B vitamins, and cauliflower also helps to bind bile acids and balance cholesterol – what a guy, eh!?
So, this recipe today is based on one you will have probably seen floating around the Internet, but gives the cauliflower a lovely coat of spice before cooking, and is served with a gorgeous salad to make it more of a meal. It’s incredibly versatile, so feel free to substitute in and out spices or nuts that you do or don’t like. I hope you love it!
Spiced Roasted Cauliflower with Chickpea Salad
1 head of cauliflower
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp sea salt
2 tbsp oil
1 ½ tbsp. lemon juice
½ garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
1 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup almonds, lightly toasted
¾ cup parsley
Take the cauliflower and carefully cut as much of the thick stem away as you can, being careful to leave the florets all intact.
Place onto a lined baking tray.
Combine the spices with the oil, and brush all over the cauliflower, making sure you cover as much of the surface as you can.
Pop into the oven at 190°C for 60-90 minutes. This will vary depending on the size of your cauliflower – the particularly large ones will take a long time to cook. You will know when it’s cooked as you will be able to stick a knife into the cauliflower with little resistance, and it will be browned on top. If you feel that your cauliflower is browning too quickly on the surface, cover for part of the cooking time to protect it.
While the cauliflower is cooking, make the tahini dressing by combining the tahini, yoghurt, lemon juice and garlic in a bowl.
Make the salad by combining the chickpeas, pomegranate, almonds and parsley with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt.
Serve arranged together as shown, or cut individual pieces of the cauliflower and mix with the salad topped with the dressing.