Nutty Cauliflower Quinoa

March 12, 2010

I have a few races under my belt since first making this nutty cauliflower quinoa, but it still the type of meal I turn to when I  need to refuel for running!

Nutty Cauliflower Quinoa | Fake Food Free
With all the running we’ve been doing, me training for my first half marathon and my husband training for his first full, I’ve really been trying to up the vegetable intake in our diet. After reading 50/50 by Dean Karnazes (an incredibly inspiring and informative book even if you are not a runner, by the way), my husband’s request was an increase in dark, leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables.
It’s not that we don’t eat these foods, but with our travel the end of last year and our recent move I’ve had a hard time getting back into the groove with my cooking. Things are getting better though. I’ve been relying some on cauliflower for part of our cruciferous intake.
Nutty Cauliflower Quinoa | Fake Food Free
In the research world, cruciferous veggies get most of their attention for the potential to reduce cancer risk. Cauliflower, specifically, is also an excellent source of vitamins C, K and folate. Cauliflower also happens to be one of my favorite veggies. In addition to liking the flavor, I like that I can prepare it in a variety of ways. We eat it mashed, steamed, raw, and in a bit of a stir-fry or sauté which happens to be how I prepared it for my lunch yesterday.
I had some quinoa left over from a meal earlier this week and I decided to make that the base of my lunch. I chopped the cauliflower in small florets, cooked it in a skillet, and then added some chopped walnuts and spices. To finish it off I combined it with the quinoa for a bowl of whole grain and veggie goodness. The nutty flavor of the walnuts and cauliflower and the seed-like crunch of quinoa paired well with the bold spices of the poultry seasoning I tossed in.
Nutty Cauliflower Quinoa | Fake Food Free
Nutty Cauliflower Quinoa
Makes: 3 main course servings
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  1. 1 cup quinoa, soaked, rinsed and drained
  2. 1 ½ cups water
  3. 1/8 teaspoon fine ground sea salt
  4. 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  1. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  2. 1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
  3. ¼ cup water
  4. ¾ cup raw walnuts, chopped
  5. ½ teaspoon fine ground salt
  6. ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  7. ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  8. ¼ teaspoon poultry seasoning
  1. Stir together the water and quinoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat, cover with a secure lid, and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Stir in the 1/8 teaspoon of salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower and cook until it begins to brown, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the water, reduce the heat just a bit, cover with a lid and allow to cook until the cauliflower is slightly tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the lid and ensure all the water has evaporated. Add the walnuts (you can also choose to toast them before adding), and cook 2 to 3 more minutes. Add the remaining salt, black pepper, garlic powder and poultry seasoning. Stir to coat the veggie and nuts.
  4. In a large bowl toss together the quinoa, cauliflower and nuts, and serve.
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More info on cauliflower and cruciferous veggies:
WHFoods: Cauliflower
Oregon State University, Linus Pauling Institute: Cruciferous Vegetables


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  • janet March 12, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    This looks good, I love quinoa, and this is simple and healthy. Thanks:)

  • The Daily Dose March 12, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    That looks so good! I’ve been trying to use more quinoa and cruciferous vegetables myself. Mashed cauliflower is the best. I tricked my boyfriend into believing it was potatoes. 🙂 Shall be trying your dish soon!

  • Ricki March 12, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    Always looking for new ways with cauliflower. . . this looks like a winning recipe!

  • Nicole March 12, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    What a great recipe! I love making a big batch of quinoa and using it for all different recipes during the week. I love that you added walnuts!

  • kumichan83 March 12, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    Looks yummy! But I’m not sure what poultry seasoning is. I could use a bowl of quinoa right now 🙂

    Have you tried quinoto? It is like risotto, but made with quinoa. I tried a really good version in Ecuador that’s made with hot pepper.

  • lauren March 12, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    This looks great! I just tried quinoa for the first time the other day so i am looking for recipes. When is your half? So exciting!

  • Mother Rimmy March 12, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    I have everything I need for this. Quinoa is tops on my list. I can’t wait to try it!

  • TasteHongKong March 12, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    Nice combo, and best to your marathon training : ).

  • MelindaRD March 13, 2010 at 7:02 am

    Looks great and super delish. I love both quinoa and cauliflower. Cauliflower is one of the foods that is good for you despite the lack of color. Yum!

  • Joanne March 13, 2010 at 7:55 am

    I really love cauliflower and this seems like a great idea for a salad! It’s got all of your food groups…veggies, whole grains, and fat…the perfect meal! Which half are you running? I ran my first marathon in October and was supposed to run Boston but got injured, so now I’m deferring it 🙁 Right now I’m living vicariously through other runners 😛

  • Andrea (Off Her Cork) March 13, 2010 at 8:25 am

    I love love love cauliflower! So far roasted is my fave but it is such a great veggie that it can handle whatever you toss at it. Great idea adding the nuts! Clever! Provides crunch and extra protein. 😀

  • SashaInTheKitchen March 13, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    this looks great – love the combination of the nuts, quinoa and cauliflower. I am going to be posting my dish for sidedish showdown on Monday sometime.

  • Cinnamon-Girl March 13, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    Cauliflower is one of my favorites too! I love the flavors in this. It will be a great addition to the Showdown. Thanks!

  • Marianne (frenchfriestoflaxseeds) March 13, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    This looks like a simple, delicious meal or side dish, especially on those nights when you come home late and don’t know what to make.

  • Daily Spud March 14, 2010 at 4:31 am

    Haven’t tried putting cauliflower and quinoa together before but I will do now!

  • 5 Star Foodie March 14, 2010 at 9:28 am

    The combination of quinoa, walnuts and cauliflower sounds amazing, definitely a must try!

  • Lori March 14, 2010 at 11:37 am

    janet – I am loving it too. There is so much you can do with it.

    Daily Dose – So funny that he believed it! We love mashed cauliflower too.

    Ricki – Thanks! I’m always looking for new ways to use it.

    Nicole- Thanks! It is a great make-ahead grain.

    kumichan – I have not made quinoto, but it sounds awesome. I’ll have to look it up. Poultry seasoning is most often used around Thanksgiving for the turkey and in stuffing/dressing. It’s just a mix of spices most often thyme, sage, marjoram, rosemary, black pepper and nutmeg.

    lauren – It’s March 28, can’t believe it’s so soon!

    MR – Hope you like it!

    TasteHK – Thanks for the well wishes.

    MelindaRD – Yeah, I love it because it is a reminder that not everything has to be bright green or orange to be good for you. 🙂

    Joanne – Sorry to hear about your injury. I’m running the half in Lexington KY.

    Andrea – The nuts make the dish for me. I love the flavor they add.

    Sasha – It’s a fun event. Looking forward to seeing your dish in it!

    Marianne – That is exactly how I was feeling when I made it for lunch. I had no ideas and it just came together.

    Reeni, Daily Spud, 5 Star – It ended up being a really great combo. I’ll be throwing them together more often for sure.

  • germanbuttercup March 14, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    I make a variation of this dish. I use toasted, roughly chopped almonds and add nutritional yeast at the end. It’s top notch. Yours looks fantastic!

  • Tangled Noodle March 14, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    I’m more of a broccoli fan but could warm up to cauliflower made like this! Have you tried Roman cauliflower (aka romanesco broccoli or fractal cauliflower)? It’s so delicious – a milder, almost sweeter flavor. Oh, now I’ve made myself impatient for the farmer’s market to open . . .

  • Debinhawaii March 15, 2010 at 12:43 am

    This looks delicious and so good for you with the quinoa, walnuts and cauliflower. Yum!

  • kat March 15, 2010 at 9:54 am

    We love cauliflower so I can see that being a hit here, I bet it would be a great sidedish with a simple chicken breast

  • Erica March 16, 2010 at 8:29 am

    mmmm- this looks fantastic! I love cauliflower too. Its fantastic mixed with grains (like you have it here). I also like making this Giada receipe when I’m feeling a little naughtier 🙂

    Good luck with the half training

  • Zibi March 20, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    Mmm… what great combination. Walnuts go very well with cauliflower and quinoa.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Yasmeen May 1, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    What a superb meal,I love the combination quinoa and cauliflower.Thanks for taking the challenge 😀