Harvest Cauliflower Pilaf

Ok, so I’m on a harvest-theme here lately, and all the dishes that have been making me happy speak of (North American) Fall.

This dish is lighter-than-expected, makes a lovely salad for surprise company, and can be bulked up easily to feed a crowd.

It’s also fantastic topped with leftover turkey pancetta and pepitas from last week’s Fall Harvest Soup recipe.

Quick note: if your coconut flakes look like mine (shreds) and you toast your cauliflower as deeply as me (I like some burnt pieces), this dish may look like it has croutons in it. Which was giving my brain a weird disconnect that was less than pleasant. The coconut in here is actually really pleasant and gives a nice little subtly sweet nuttiness with a bit of texture.

Gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan, Whole30

Harvest Cauliflower Pilaf

1 smallish head cauliflower, cut into small bits or riced (I did small bits because with my current kitchen setup I just can’t be bothered to fully rice cauliflower)

1 apple (Granny Smith or Fuji – you want something with a bit of tartness or crispness)

2 cloves garlic, minced

Double hand full flat leaf parsley, chopped

Pomegranate seeds (I’m lazy and buy mine prepared – I used a good amount and keep adding more fresh every time I go for leftovers because they’re delightful and so very pretty. Use however much your eye wants to bring nice color to this otherwise very green dish)

3 Tbsp. coconut milk (optional)

Juice of 1 lemon

2 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses

Few generous sprays oil (I love a grape seed oil pump I’ve been using lately – it’s really cutting down on the amount of oil I feel I have to use)

Generous sprinkle black pepper

Liberal amount of salt

Generous sprinkle cayenne pepper

Generous sprinkle curry powder

Generous sprinkle cumin powder

1/2 cup slivered almonds

1/4 cup unsweet shredded or flaked coconut

Preheat your oven to 200C (400F). Prep a baking sheet with a liner, process your cauliflower into tiny bits, and spread in a single layer.

Hit with the oil, salt, pepper, cayenne, cumin, and curry). Toss and roast for 35-40 minutes or until your desired toastiness is achieved.

In the last 5 minutes (or if you forget, stir the cauliflower, flip the pan around and put back in the oven), chuck the almonds & coconut on the pan. Roast to toast 3-5 minutes, being careful to watch and make sure these delicate additions don’t burn.

When done, add to a large bowl.

Chop and toss in the apple, garlic and parsley. Add the coconut milk, lemon juice and pomegranate molasses. Toss to combine. Add enough pomegranate arils to make yourself happy.

Serve room temp or cold – either way is fantastic.

Serves 4 as a meal or a party as part of a larger spread

Mini Low Sugar Apple Tarts

These personal sized apple tarts were a big hit this past Thanksgiving. They’re light, just enough for one person, and the combination of spices lends a little mystery.


Mini Low Sugar Apple Tarts

1 granny smith apple
6 roughly 4 inch x 4 inch squares phylo dough or puff pastry
No added sugar or sugar free apricot preserves
A few Tablespoons melted butter
1 packet stevia
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
Juice of 1 lemon
Himalayan pink salt

First, thaw your phylo dough for at least 10 minutes or until soft. If you have squares like I did, cool – if not, cut them while the dough is still semi-frozen.

Then, prep your apples by thinly slicing into wedges. I went really thin here – preferring a kind of wafer thin thing going on. Toss your apples in half the lemon juice so they don’t oxidize before they hit the oven.

Next, prep your cinnamon sugar by dumping the “sugar” and spices into a small dish and stirring.

Spread a thin layer of preserves over each dough square, going almost to the edges of each.

Arrange your apples however you like – I went for a pinwheel.

Drizzle with melted butter.

Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over top.

Sprinkle lightly with salt.

Pop into the oven for 20 – 25 minutes on whatever temp your package says (I think mine was 200C). Watch after 15 minutes – you’re looking for the dough to rise and brown and the apples to be soft. Mine were really thin, so my apples got a bit caramelized but noone seemed to mind.

While your tarts are baking, take the leftover spices (I think I used about half on the tarts and half in the topper), and add to a small saucepan with a couple Tablespoons apricot preserves, about a teaspoon of honey, and a large squirt of lemon juice. Heat over low to combine.

Drizzle over the tarts when they get out of the oven.

Serves 6 

Chickpea, Fennel, Apple & Tuna Salad with Coriander-Carrot Vinaigrette

This light and refreshing lunch incorporates some of the gorgeous Coriander-Carrot Vinaigrette from Gluten Free Girl and the Chef I made last week to accompany Quinoa with Southern Greens & Eggs, blending those sweet and bright flavors with the crisp bite of fennel and apple and the soft pliancy of toasted chickpeas.

A satisfying lunch that won’t leave you feeling bogged down and bloated.

Gluten-free. Easily modified to become vegetarian or vegan by omitting the tuna.


Chickpea, Fennel, Apple & Tuna Salad with Coriander-Carrot Vinaigrette

The recipe for Coriander-Carrot Vinaigrette can be found here.

1 can chickpeas, drained
1 pouch water-packed tuna
3 Tbsp. beet horseradish
1/4 Granny Smith apple, diced
1/4 bulb fennel, shaved
2 tsp. sriracha
2 tsp. lime juice
1 tomato, chopped
3 Tbsp. carrot-coriander vinaigrette
Citrus salt to taste

Drain and rinse your chickpeas. Add to a dry pan over medium heat and toast until beginning to brown. Add to a large bowl when done.

While the chickpeas are working, chop the tomato, shave the fennel, and dice the apple. Add to the bowl when done.

Add the rest of the ingredients and toss to coat. Taste for seasoning and add lime juice and/or citrus salt as needed.

Serves 2 for lunch.