I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: pretty food tastes better.
And it doesn’t get much prettier than a dinner featuring purple cauliflower.
[I mean seriously ???]
So, like all good Friday nights, this past Friday was spent at Trader Joe’s. Friday night TJ’s runs are my favorite because, seriously, who wants to hop out of bed on a Saturday and shop? Not I. I enjoy laziness to the upmost degree on any day that starts with an ‘S’.
So Friday nights are our big nights out. But I love it. Trader Joe’s is always filled with the best people. But I deeeefinitely didn’t make any friends there this past Friday.
I spotted this beautiful head of purple cauliflower across the produce section…but then I realized it was the only one left.
And, let’s be serious: no one is getting between a food blogger and food.
So I may have shoved people out of my way. But I promise the shoving was done in the most friendly way possible! And for a good cause. Because seriously…hello, gorgeous!
So while I am sorry to the good people at the Pittsburgh Trader Joe’s last Friday, I’m pretty thrilled with the outcome of my rather…aggressive shopping.
This Easy Mashed Cauliflower with Kale and Chickpeas is made up of three delicious parts:
- Mashed [Purple] Cauliflower: Eating purple foods makes me infinitely happier. I don’t know how you couldn’t smile when something so incredibly beautiful is getting shoveled into your mouth. While purple cauliflower is much prettier than it’s off-white cousin, it tastes absolutely identical. So if you’re struggling to find purple cauliflower, feel free to sub with whatever variety you can find! We’ll also add some yummy ingredients like garlic, nutritional yeast, and olive oil to make the whole thing even more mouthwateringly-delicious.
- Garlicky Balsamic Kale: Garlic + balsamic vinegar + kale are like, the trifecta of my easy weeknight meals. I love sautéing kale with some olive oil and garlic, and then throwing some balsamic vinegar on right at the end to get all caramelized and happy. It’s sticky-sweet perfection.
- Roasted Chickpeas: Ahh, my newfound favorite snack. Mama Fooduzzi bought me a bag of roasted chickpeas from Costco, and Mark and I went through the bag in an embarrassingly short amount of time. But! They’re soso easy to make at home, I really have no excuse to not be eating them 24-7. Or at least that’s what I tell myself. ? If you’re going the homemade route, they’re definitely going to take the longest, so be sure to throw them in the oven first!
Because I love you, I wanted to make sure this recipe was as good as I’m remembering, so I just went and took a spoonful of the leftovers from the fridge. And whatduhyaknow, it still tastes super-duper delicious. And how can you argue with a 30-minute meal that tastes this good and looks this pretty?
Not possible, friends. ?Print
Easy Mashed Cauliflower with Kale and Chickpeas
- Yield: 2-3 bowls
- 1 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and dried well
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
- 1 head purple cauliflower (really, any cauliflower will do here!), cut into even-sized florets
- 1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast or cheese*
- 2–3 cloves garlic, minced/grated and divided
- up to 1/2 cup hot water/hot non-dairy milk
- 3–4 handfuls kale leaves
- 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- Make the chickpeas: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Once your chickpeas are dried well, place them on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Salt and pepper them to taste, and then roast for 30-35 minutes, until the chickpeas are golden brown and crunchy. Keep a close eye on them at the 30 minute mark – they can go from golden to black quickly!
- Make the mashed cauliflower: While your chickpeas are roasting, steam your cauliflower florets until fork-tender**.
- Carefully add steamed cauliflower to a food processor, and process until most of it is broken down. Add 1-2 cloves garlic (I used 1 and 1/2 cloves), 1 Tbsp. olive oil, nutritional yeast/cheese, and salt + pepper to taste. Blend to combine. While blending, drizzle in some of your hot water/milk until the mashed cauliflower is smooth. You might not need the full 1/2 cup.
- Make the balsamic kale: Add 1 Tbsp. olive oil to a sauté pan over medium. When hot, add kale and 1 minced/grated garlic clove. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté until tender, then add balsamic vinegar. Quickly toss kale in the balsamic (it will caramelize quickly, so be sure it doesn’t burn!). Remove from heat after about 30 seconds, or until the balsamic has become sticky and caramelizes on the kale.
- Assemble your bowls: Divide mashed cauliflower into two-three bowls. Top with kale and sprinkle with roasted chickpeas.
*If going the cheese-route, I recommend grated parmesan or shredded mozzarella!
**If you have a steamer basket, by all means use it! I don’t, so I made a make-shift steamer out of a metal colander and a big pasta pot (see third photo in post). I just covered it with tightly aluminum foil and let it steam for 15-20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is fork-tender.
Alternatively, you can steam it in a microwave. Place cauliflower and a couple inches of water in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap, and microwave 5-6 minutes, or until cauliflower is fork-tender.
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