Cauliflower Rice Pilaf with Turmeric and Toasted Cashews

Does the state of your fridge dictate what you’re going to have for dinner? We generally like to eat up most things in there before filling it again, so if there’s something in there that needs using up ASAP, there’s a good chance we’ll be cobbling together a meal out of it. Our fridge is usually filled with a stock-pile of veggies, so you can guarantee that the “something that needs using up” is either the root veggies that are getting soft, or the peppers that are losing their lustre. In this case, it was the small age spots on the cauliflower.

Instead of roasting the veggies, like we do 9 times out of 10 (we’re often not that imaginative during the week), we decided to do something completely different. And our cauliflower rice pilaf with turmeric and toasted cashews was born!

A few years ago, we went through a phase of making cauliflower rice. It’s full of fibre and low on the carbs, if you’re wanting to cut down on the standard starchy rice. Then the price of cauliflower increased to an absurdly high amount ($8 a head?!), so we stopped buying it.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Cauliflower rice pilaf with turmeric and toasted cashews

Fast forward a year or so, the price has come back down, and I get all over excited and buy 2 large heads because it’s so cheap! This meal is the product of Jonty’s idea and execution. I had a quick search for what’s in a standard rice pilaf, and then winged it from there.

This is a super easy, really flavourful side dish, that we will totally make again. We ate the cauliflower rice pilaf with homemade fish tacos, instead of usual coleslaw. Yup, this meal was totally out of left field, but it ended up being really tasty!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Cauliflower rice pilaf with turmeric and toasted cashews

For our version of cauliflower rice pilaf, we added diced onion, carrot and red pepper. A healthy dash of turmeric and a handful of chopped cilantro really make the colours of this dish pop, and add a great flavour too. Because cauliflower is mainly water, you don’t need to add much additional liquid to cook the rice. We dissolved a bit vegetable bouillon paste in a bit of water, and used that to add more flavour to the meal.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Cauliflower rice pilaf with turmeric and toasted cashews

If you’re looking for a new way to use up that gigantic head of cauliflower in your pantry, give this cauliflower rice pilaf a try. It’s an easy, flavourful and healthy side-dish that is quick to make on a weeknight (just take a look at the nutritional power of this meal!). It’s fantastic on its own, or wrapped into a taco with fish or chicken or tofu – ah, the options are endless 🙂

Cauliflower Rice Pilaf with Turmeric and Toasted Cashews
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 1 large head cauliflower (~650 g), chopped into florets and processed into rice
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 2 mushrooms, diced
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 2.5 cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium red pepper, diced
  • 1 tsp dried red chili flakes
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp low-sodium chicken or veggie bouillon
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup cashews, toasted and roughly chopped
  • ½ lime, zest plus juice
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Cut the cauliflower into large florets and add to a food processor, fitted with the S-blade. Pulse until the florets turn into small rice-sized pieces.
  2. Heat a bit of oil in a large skillet, over medium heat, and add the diced onion and carrot. Saute until softened, about 3 to 4 minutes, then add the diced mushrooms, garlic and ginger. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add the red chili flakes and turmeric and stir to thoroughly coat the vegetables. Let the mixture cook until the spices become fragrant. Add the vegetable or chicken broth and deglaze the pan.
  4. Add the cauliflower rice and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer, uncovered, until the liquid has evaporated, about 10 to 15 minutes. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper, if you desire.
  5. Remove from the heat and add the chopped cilantro and lime juice and zest. Cover and allow to steam until ready to eat.
  6. At this point, toast the cashews in a hot skillet or under the broiler until the nuts become fragrant, about 5 to 7 minutes. Roughly chop them once they are cool enough to handle. Sprinkle the cashews over the cauliflower rice pilaf when ready to serve.

Cauliflower Rice Pilaf with Turmeric and Toasted Cashews
 
Author: 
Cauliflower Rice Pilaf with Turmeric and Toasted Cashews Recipe Type : Dinner Author: Moira Prep time: 10 mins Cook time: 25 mins Total time: 35 mins Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 large head cauliflower (~650 g), chopped into florets and processed into rice
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 2 mushrooms, diced
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 2.5 cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium red pepper, diced
  • 1 tsp dried red chili flakes
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp low-sodium chicken or veggie bouillon
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup cashews, toasted and roughly chopped
  • ½ lime, zest plus juice
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Cut the cauliflower into large florets and add to a food processor, fitted with the S-blade. Pulse until the florets turn into small rice-sized pieces.
  2. Heat a bit of oil in a large skillet, over medium heat, and add the diced onion and carrot. Saute until softened, about 3 to 4 minutes, then add the diced mushrooms, garlic and ginger. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add the red chili flakes and turmeric and stir to thoroughly coat the vegetables. Let the mixture cook until the spices become fragrant. Add the vegetable or chicken broth and deglaze the pan.
  4. Add the cauliflower rice and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer, uncovered, until the liquid has evaporated, about 10 to 15 minutes. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper, if you desire.
  5. Remove from the heat and add the chopped cilantro and lime juice and zest. Cover and allow to steam until ready to eat.
  6. At this point, toast the cashews in a hot skillet or under the broiler until the nuts become fragrant, about 5 to 7 minutes. Chop them roughly once they are cool enough to handle. Sprinkle the cashews over the cauliflower rice pilaf when ready to serve.

Enjoy this cauliflower rice pilaf with turmeric and toasted cashews!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Cauliflower rice pilaf with turmeric and toasted cashews

One-Pot Sausage and Chickpea Bowl with Goat Cheese

The holiday season seems to ensure we consume more than our daily quota of sugar intake, which is probably why we crave our veggies and greens. With Vancouver still reeling from its unusual cold snap, we’re also embracing our veggies roasted or sauted. This one-pot sausage and chickpea bowl with goat cheese hits many of our winter food requirements:

  • It’s hot (hello, roasted goodness)
  • It still has lots of colour (hello, tasty veggies)
  • It’s satisfying (hello, chickpeas and local sausage)
  • It has cheese (enough said) 🙂

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | One-pot-sausage-and-chickpea-bowl-with-goat-cheese

This meal is quick to put together (think, under 30 minutes) and I like to think of it as more of a broad pairing-guide, than a recipe. During the winter, we usually have roasted vegetables 4 or 5 times a week and change-up the protein as our cravings desire. So this recipe is more of a “what to add to your warm veggies” meal, than anything else.

I know I’ve mentioned it before, but we like spicy food. We picked up a few pork Habanero sausages from the local butcher, and they really added a great flavour to this meal. Pair that with a few cloves of garlic, a glug or two of white wine, and a sprinkle of tangy goat cheese, and this meal definitely elevated our roasted veggies up a notch or two.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | One-pot-sausage-and-chickpea-bowl-with-goat-cheese

 

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | One-pot-sausage-and-chickpea-bowl-with-goat-cheese

I can see this sausage and chickpea bowl coming together in one of two ways:

  1. The lazy-man’s approach: Roast your veggies and chickpeas together on a tray in the oven. Cook the sausages at the same time, flipping them every 7 or 8 minutes, until they’re cooked through. Then throw everything into a large bowl, mix with the fresh herbs, and top with a sprinkling of goat cheese.
  2. The slightly more active-man’s approach: Saute the veggies and chickpeas together in a large pot on the stove. Cook the sausages in the oven, flipping them every 7 or 8 minutes until they’re cooked through. Then throw the sliced sausages, fresh herbs and a sprinkling of goat cheese into the veggie pot.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | One-pot-sausage-and-chickpea-bowl-with-goat-cheese

Either way, the result is quick, flavourful and healthy meal that will ease any guilt you might have after taste-testing all those extra rugelach, for quality-assurance purposes 🙂

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | One-pot-sausage-and-chickpea-bowl-with-goat-cheese

One-Pot Sausage and Chickpea Bowl with Goat Cheese
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
This healthy one-pot meal comes together in under 30 minutes. Use any veggies you'd like, to completely customize your dinner.
Ingredients
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced into half moons
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 medium bell peppers, sliced into strips
  • 1 pint (~350 g) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 red thai chilies, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 small bunch of kale, thinly sliced or shredded
  • 1 can (398 mL) chickpeas, drained and rinsed thoroughly
  • 150 g (~2 large) pork Habanero sausages (or flavour of your choice)
  • Glug of white wine, or white wine vinegar
  • 50 - 75 g soft goat's cheese
  • Handful of fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • Handful of fresh mint, finely chopped
Instructions
  1. Prick the sausages and place on a tray. Broil in the oven for 25 minutes, or until cooked completely, flipping every 5 to 7 minutes. Allow to cool briefly before slicing into pieces.
  2. At the same time, heat a small amount of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  3. Add the onions, garlic and chilies and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the bell peppers, tomatoes and chickpeas and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.
  4. Deglaze the pan with a glug of white wine, then add the chopped kale and stir until the kale starts to wilt.
  5. Add the sliced sausage, cilantro and mint to the pot and stir until combined.
  6. Divide into bowls and top with the goat cheese.

Enjoy the One-Pot Sausage and Chickpea Bowl with Goat Cheese!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | One-pot-sausage-and-chickpea-bowl-with-goat-cheese

Spicy Carrot and Fig Salad

I had never eaten a fresh fig until a few years ago, when a friend asked if we wanted any from her neighbour’s tree. “Yes!”, was the obvious answer! Fresh figs are a wonderfully tasty fruit, especially when their skin starts to give way and a bit of their nectar seeps out. And when a fig is perfectly ripe (or over-ripe!), it has a sweetness that pairs perfectly with a little spice. Case in point is this Spicy Carrot and Fig Salad.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Spicy carrot and fig salad

The idea for this salad came about after a trip into Whole Foods, where they had strategically placed the best looking figs right at the entrance to the store. They were staring me down, and I was sucked in immediately. Good thing they are in season right now, because they were actually a reasonable price, so I couldn’t refuse!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Spicy carrot and fig salad

There are only a handful of ingredients in this salad – a few tangled carrots are tossed with a spicy vinaigrette and the wheat berries give a nice nutty chew and a bit more substance to the salad. I really think the spicy vinaigrette brings out the best of the sweet fresh figs!

Like most of our salads, the recipe here is a general guide. If you don’t like spicy foods, leave out the chilies. If you have other veggies in you fridge, feel free to use them up. We like adding grains like farro or wheat berries to our salads, as they hold up well in the fridge over a few days, and keep us feeling full well into the afternoon.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Spicy carrot and fig salad

So if you’ve never eaten a fresh fig before, make friends with a fig-laden neighbour, or grab a pint of them at the store while they are still in season, and make this salad! 🙂

Spicy Carrot and Fig Salad
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Inspired in part, by the Marrakesh Carrots in Sprouted Kitchen: Bowl and Spoon cookbook.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup dry wheat berries (or farro or other grain)
  • 3 - 4 medium to large carrots, peeled and grated or spiralized
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 green onions, white and green parts finely chopped
  • 4 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • 4 fresh figs, sliced
  • 2 red Thai chilies, chopped (remove the seeds, if you want a milder heat)
  • 1 good handful fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 good handful fresh basil, shredded
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 - 2 tbsp olive oil
Instructions
  1. Rinse the wheat berries under running water. Place in a medium sauce pan and pour enough water in to cover them by at least 5 cm. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat. Partially cover the pan and let simmer until tender to the bite, about 25 minutes. Drain and leave to cool before adding to the salad.
  2. While the wheat berries are cooking, prepare the rest of the salad. Place the carrots, shallot, green onions, dates, fresh figs and chilies into a large bowl. Toss to combine.
  3. Add the lime juice and zest, the olive oil and fresh cilantro and basil. Sprinkle in the cumin, turmeric and ground nutmeg. Toss well to thoroughly combine.
  4. Add the cooked wheat berries and toss to combine.
  5. Serve the salad with added sliced fresh figs on top, if desired.
Notes
This salad tastes very good after sitting for a bit. It will hold up well in the fridge for at least 2 days.

Enjoy!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Spicy carrot and fig salad

Apricot and Kale Salad with Cumin-Scented Chicken

I feel like we’ve been heavy on the dessert posts over the last few weeks, but as tasty as they are, that’s not all we fill our bellies with – honest! During the week, we aim to have dinner on the table in under 30 minutes, which usually means we fill our plates with a salad and some type of protein, saving our treats and time-consuming meals to enjoy on the weekend. It’s a good thing we love our greens!

Salads are so easy to throw together and rarely require a recipe. Case in point is this apricot and kale salad. With all the great benefits of kale, it’s a no-brainer, adding it to your daily diet. And the last-minute addition of a cumin vinaigrette definitely elevated our salad game this evening 🙂

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Apricot and kale salad

Our salads are quite formulaic and we generally add ingredients that follow the same basic FASST rule. What’s this rule I speak of? Well, let me tell you 🙂

The FASST rule:

  1. FAT: Use an oil (olive, peanut, sesame) in your dressing, or slice up an avocado. Fats help the body get the most nutrients out of your salad greens.
  2. ACID: A squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice, or vinegar (white wine, red wine, balsamic) will really brighten up the taste of your food.
  3. SALT: Add just a pinch of salt to really bring out the flavours. A splash of tamari, soy sauce or fish sauce will do the same.
  4. SWEET: The sweet balances out the salt. More often than not, we add fruit. Fresh fruit is easy in the summer, but dried fruit (dates, cranberries, raisins) are nice and easy as well. No fruit in your house? Add a drizzle of maple syrup in with the olive oil.
  5. TEXTURE: Adding some crunch or chew to your salads will keep them interesting and filling. We add cooked grains (farro, quinoa, lentils) or nuts and seeds, and usually other raw veggies.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Apricot and kale salad

The time-saving weeknight cheat:

We will often buy a roast chicken earlier in the week and add it to our meals over the following few days. It’s a life-saver on those nights when you’re rushing home from work, or when you need to bulk out a meal and time is of the essence. This salad comes together in about 15 minutes and, like all of our weeknight salads, can be filled with whatever you have in the fridge.

Hopefully you’ll take advantage of the last of the late-summer stone fruits! I know that peaches and nectarines would be great in this salad, too.

Apricot and Kale Salad with Cumin-Scented Chicken
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
For the salad:
  • 1 bunch of kale, thinly chopped
  • 4 ripe apricots (or any in-season fruit)
  • Handful of blueberries (grapes would be great)
Add ins:
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Toasted almonds, roughly chopped
  • Chopped cilantro or parsley
  • Roast chicken breast, shredded
For the Vinaigrette
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground paprika
  • ½ fresh lemon, juice and zest
  • Pinch of sea salt
Instructions
  1. Finely chop the kale. Whisk up the vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl or jar and pour over the kale leaves. Quickly massage the vinaigrette into the leaves, to soften. Allow this to sit while you prep the remaining ingredients.
  2. Slice the apricots into medium-sized wedges and roughly chop or shred any roast chicken you have on hand. Add to the salad.
  3. Toss in blueberries, sunflower seeds, toasted almonds and chopped cilantro.
  4. Mix thoroughly and serve.
Notes
This salad holds up well in the fridge over a few days. Great for leftover lunches.

Enjoy this Apricot and Kale Salad!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Apricot and kale salad

New Meal Monday: Banh-Mi Turkey Meatballs with Soba

Do you ever find yourself in a cooking rut, falling back on the same meals every week? We are guilty of this, especially on the days when we get home late after a climbing session. Every so often, however, the stars (and grocery bags) align, and we come up with a new weekday meal that exceeds all expectations. The game-changer of our grocery bag? Ground turkey. The shake-it-up recipe? Banh-Mi turkey meatballs!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Banh-mi turkey meatballs with soba noodles

There are so many flavour combinations I want to try incorporating into our meals, but never seem to remember them when faced with the urgent dilemma of “what to eat for dinner tonight”. Vietnamese-inspired food is one of them – specifically, those found in traditional Banh-mi sandwiches. They always look so fresh and flavourful, and every time I see one pop up on my food blog feeds, the light bulb goes off, “Ah, right, I wanted to try a version of that!”.

So when Jonty announced his grocery store haul, I immediately pounced on my dinner choice – a Vietnamese Banh-mi inspired turkey meatballs! While we shifted the carb of choice from the white bread bun to the buckwheat soba noodle, the essence of the dish remained.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Banh-mi turkey meatballs with soba noodles

These turkey meatballs are quick to prepare and the taste was amazing – at first bite, I immediately wished I would have thought of trying these sooner! Baked in the oven, they are healthy, nutritious, and full of good protein (over 13 g of protein per meatball!). They also freeze well, so definitely make a big batch of them for those nights when you’re in a rush to eat.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Banh-mi turkey meatballs with soba noodles

To make this meal even easier to prepare, try slicing the veggies (carrots, peppers, zucchini, etc) into very thin strips. In the last few minutes of boiling the soba noodles, throw the veggies in with them, turning this into a great one-pot meal! They will soften just enough to tangle in with the noodles, but not get mushy.

Toss the veggies and noodles with a bit of the tangy dressing and reserved pasta water, plate with the turkey burgers, and dinner can be on the table in just over 30 minutes.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Banh-mi turkey meatballs with soba noodles

If you’re looking for a healthy meal with a fresh, savory taste, give this recipe a try. I know these turkey meatballs will definitely be allowed into our “must repeat” category. Ah, the benefits of New Meal Monday for shaking us out of our cooking rut 🙂

Banh-Mi Turkey Meatballs with Soba Noodles
 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 15 meatballs, 4 bowls
  • Serving size: 1 meatball
  • Calories: 100
  • Fat: 5.2 g
  • Saturated fat: 1.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0.9 g
  • Sugar: 0.2 g
  • Sodium: 105 mg
  • Fiber: 0.2 g
  • Protein: 13.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 46 mg
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
For the Meatballs:
  • 1 kg ground turkey
  • 2 red Thai chilis, finely chopped
  • 3-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped or grated
  • 2 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp water
For the Sauce:
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 lime, juice and zest
  • 1 red Thai chili, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped
For the Noodles:
  • 230 g / 8 oz buckwheat soba noodles
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 medium bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • Handful cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp cashews, finely chopped (optional)
Instructions
Make the Turkey Meatballs:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the cream of tartar, the baking soda and water, and leave to sit while mixing the turkey.
  3. In a large bowl, combine all the remaining ingredients for the turkey burgers and gently mix until well combined. Add the water and cream of tartar mixture and mix until combined.
  4. If the mixture seems too wet, place in the fridge for 10 minutes to chill.
  5. In ¼ cup measures, scoop out the turkey mixture, form into a ball shape and place on the parchment-lined tray. Bake the meatballs in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, flipping half-way through.
Make the Pasta and Sauce:
  1. While the meatballs are cooking, make the sauce. Place all ingredients into a jar with a lid, and shake well to combine. The oil and vinegar will probably separate before you need it, so shake before adding to the pasta.
  2. In a large pot, cook the soba noodles according to package directions. A few minutes before the noodles have finished cooking, add the sliced carrot and peppers.
  3. Drain the noodles and vegetables, retaining some of the cooking liquid, and then return the noodle mixture to the cooking pot. Add the sauce to the bowl and toss thoroughly to coat the noodles and veggies. Add some of the pasta water, as needed.
  4. When the meatballs are cooked, divide the pasta into 4 bowls, adding a couple to the top of each. Garnish with chopped cashews and more cilantro, if desired.
Notes
The meatballs will keep, covered, in the fridge for up to one week, and in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Enjoy!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Banh-mi turkey meatballs with soba noodles