Food / 09.01.2017

Healthy weight for life: roasted harissa cauliflower steak

By Elinor Smith
Meat-free perfection


Tap into the Veganuary movement with this Moroccan inspired, harissa-spiced cauliflower steak, a tasty alternative to the classic meatier dish. While this ‘steak’ isn’t your usual meaty variety, you certainly won’t feel deprived – the chunky texture means it fills you up well while remaining guilt-free. It’s really flavoursome too, with dried fruit and nuts so you can satisfy your sweet tooth without consuming lots of calories. Cook a batch, pop portions in tupperware and take them into work: it makes a brilliant packed lunch.

READ MORE: How to make the perfect packed lunch

Here’s the delicious, fuss-free recipe:

Serves 5
1 large cauliflower
3 tbsp harissa paste
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
90 ml (3 fl oz) olive oil
150 g (5 oz/generous ¾ cup)
Wholewheat or white pearl couscous
200 g (7 oz) tin chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
3 tbsp chopped parsley, plus extra to garnish
3 tbsp chopped coriander (cilantro), plus extra to garnish
50 g (1¾ oz/scant ½ cup) sultanas (golden raisins)
40 g (1½ oz/½ cup) flaked almonds, toasted
2 spring onions (scallions), finely sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the dressing
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp ground cumin
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/ Gas 6). Line a roasting tray with baking parchment.
2 Remove the leaves of the cauliflower, and trim the stem, leaving the core intact. Place the cauliflower on a chopping board and cut it into 5 thick slices, the 3 middle slices should remain intact, and the florets may fall away in the other slices. Lay all the cauliflower slices and florets on the lined roasting tray.
3 In a bowl, stir together the harissa, lemon zest, juice and olive oil. Spread the mixture all over the cauliflower slices and season. Roast for 25–30 minutes, turning halfway, until deep golden brown and caramelised.
4 To make the couscous, bring a small saucepan of salted water to the boil. Stir in the couscous, cover, and simmer until soft and cooked. Drain, rinse and set aside.
5 Make the dressing by whisking together all the ingredients. Season.
6 Combine the couscous, chickpeas, parsley, coriander, sultanas, toasted almonds and spring onions with the dressing and stir well.
7 Portion the couscous into 5 lunch boxes, and top each with a cauliflower ‘steak’. Store in the fridge overnight. Serve at room temperature.

Extract taken from Love Your Lunches by Bec Dickinson (Hardie Grant, £12.99). Photography by Bed Dickinson

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Roasted harissa cauliflower steak
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