Roasted Vegetable Sheetpan Shawarma with Spinach Hummus

A flavour party in your mouth.

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Hello and welcome to the first recipe of 2018! Having survived my first year of college without a kitchen, I felt like I needed to take baby steps in the kitchen. You’d be surprised by how unsteady your hands can be when you haven’t handled a knife in ages.

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So here we are: right back at the basics. There’s nothing complicated here: just chopping some vegetables, making a marinade and handling a blender, surely I could get that right? If you want to go a step further, then you can make your own naan bread (which is precisely what I did) using this recipe.

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Quick rundown: you’ve got your brown sugar carrots, your curry roasted cauliflower and the creamy spinach hummus that ties it all together. This is a really weekday lunch idea, if you want you can roast some extra broccoli and have different variations of vegetables throughout the week! I can also see this as a post-workout meal, you’ve got to load up on all those healthy vegetables!

Roasted Vegetable Sheetpan Shawarma

Ingredients:

For the shawarma:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 5-6 medium carrots
  • 250g cauliflower, roughly chopped into florets
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 red onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 lemon, sliced in half
  • 4 pieces of naan bread or 4 pita pockets

For the spinach hummus: 

  • 1×400g can of tinned chickpeas
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ cup fresh spinach, chopped
  • A handful of fresh parsley, torn

Method:

  1. Start by preparing the vegetables. In a small bowl, toss together the olive oil, brown sugar and cinnamon. Chop the carrots into sticks that are about an inch long. Toss the carrots and brown sugar mixture together, ensuring that the carrots are completely coated in the sugar. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, throw together the vegetable oil, turmeric, cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper and black pepper and stir to combine. Toss the cauliflower with this curry mixture and make sure that the cauliflower is completely coated in the mixture.
  3. Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F. Lay the brown sugar carrots, curry cauliflower and sliced red onions in a single layer on a large sheet pan. Place the lemon halves on opposite ends of the sheetpan. Drizzle some olive oil over the vegetables and top with a crack of salt and pepper.
  4. Roast the vegetables in the oven for about 25 minutes or until the cauliflower is soft. Whilst the veg are in the oven, combine all the ingredients for the spinach hummus in a food processor and pulse for about 2 minutes. The texture should be smooth but slightly runny, closer to ricotta cheese.
  5. To assemble, spread the spinach hummus on the naan/pita and top with an assortment of the roasted vegetables. Squeeze some of the roasted lemon over the shawarma. Enjoy!

 

 

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Roasted Cauliflower BBQ Vegan Pizza

Boy am I mighty excited about this one. 


As you can tell, I’ve been eating a lot of pizza lately, and whilst this is probably not doing any favors for my diet, it’s doing all kinds of things for my tastebuds! Melting caramelised onions, sweet sweet barbecue sauce and a cool avocado dressing that takes it over the edge. I don’t know about you but I’m sold! 


The icing on the cake is that this pizza is 100% vegan! Is it really a pizza without cheese? The answer is YES in all sense of the word. The crust is still as soft as ever, the toppings are ever as delicious and the number of calories is a lot less. 


Roasted Cauliflower BBQ Vegan Pizza
Ingredients

  • 250g cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp oregano
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp each salt and black pepper
  • 1 red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 yellow pepper, sliced thinly
  • 1 pound pizza dough, homemade or storebought

For the barbecue sauce: 

  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp molasses (or honey if not vegan)
  • ¼ tsp oregano
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper

For the green sauce: (optional) 

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • a handful of chopped parsley
  • a jalapeno pepper, deseeded
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup water

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F. Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper. In a small bowl, combine the cauliflower, olive oil, oregano, onion powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Toss well to ensure the cauliflower is coated evenly in spice. Lay the cauliflower in an single layer on the baking pan and roast for 20 minutes, or until lightly toasted.
  2. Meanwhile, heat some olive oil in a large saucepan on medium-high. Add the sliced red onion and fry for 2 minutes before reducing the heat to low. Cook until moderately caramelised, about 20 minutes. The onions should be very soft and starting to turn golden on the edges. A good indicator of their doneness should be the taste, if the onion is still too bitter, then return the pan and cook for another 5 minutes or until palatable. Set aside once done.
  3. Whilst the onions are caramelising, prepare the barbecue sauce. Add all the ingredients for the barbecue sauce in a medium saucepan and whisk to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Once the cauliflower has roasted, toss with the barbecue sauce to coat in sauce.
  4. Increase the heat in your oven to the highest it will go (this is about 250°C for me). Roll/stretch the pizza dough into a circle (or a rectangle if you’re me). Transfer the dough to a pizza stone or a baking pan lined with parchment. Cover the base with the barbecue cauliflower, leaving a border of about ½ inch. Make sure that the sauce completely covers the area within the border. Top with the caramelised onions and the yellow pepper. Bake in the hot oven for 15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. To really amp up the crust, combine 1 tbsp of maple syrup with 1 tbsp of water and brush the crust with the runny maple syrup when done. Serve immediately with the green sauce if desired. Enjoy!

To make the green sauce:

Add all the ingredients to a food processor and blend until combined. Drizzle over the pizza! Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Thai Basil Cauliflower

Need an easy vegan dinner option? Look no further muchacho.

 It does not get easier with this one. Saute some veg, throw in a couple of spices, pour in the liquid and you’re done! Don’t let my meagre list of vegetables stop you, the sky is the limit! Throw in some mushrooms here, a leek there or some capiscum here. The only rule is to keep it colourful; that’s what makes this dish fun!

Whenever I’m feeling lazy or just having a bleh day, this dish comes to the rescue. My bed is only lonely for the 15 minutes that it takes to prepare this dish and come running back!

Thai Basil Cauliflower                                                                                    serves 2 

Ingredients

  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced thinly
  • 100g sugar snap peas
  • 200g cauliflower, chopped into small florets
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp brown sugar (or honey if not vegan)
  • ¼ cup vegetable stock
  • ¼ cup Thai basil, chopped loosely
  • optional add ins: a squeeze of lime, ½ tsp cayenne pepper, crack of pepper

Method

  1. Heat a small saucepan on high heat and add enough vegetable oil to coat the bottom. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and fry until the onion is soft and the garlic and ginger are very fragrant, about 5 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent the garlic from burning.
  2. Add the carrots, peas and cauliflower and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour in the soy sauce and fish sauce before adding the brown sugar. Stir to coat the vegetables and cook until reduced to a syrup, about 2 minutes.
  3. Pour in the vegetable stock and throw in the Thai basil. Bring to a boil before reducing the heat to low and covering the pot with a lid. Simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the sauce has reduced. Serve immediately on top of rice or noodles.