curried cauliflower & chickpeas

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In these first few weeks of the year many of us are starting our new years resolutions… go to the gym more, be kind, smile more, and of course, eat healthier. The resolution to take care of your body is a wonderful one, and one that I wholeheartedly support. My only advice is to approach it in a holistic manner; to think about the effect that your decisions have on your body, rather than the calorie content of a piece of bread or slice of cheese. Focusing on eating real food, food that has not been processed and doesn’t come out of a box, naturally leads to healthier habits and a healthier you without the stress of calorie counting or the guilt that comes along with it. Focus on eating foods that make your body feel good, which doesn’t mean you can’t still please your taste buds and satisfy your cravings. This doesn’t mean you should be cutting out all of your indulgences! Your body needs balance, and completely restricting certain treats that you love generally leads to binging or returning to your old habits.  Make healthful adjustments that can be maintained for a lifetime.

By choosing whole, real foods as the base of your diet, you not only eliminate unhealthy, over processed foods and empty calories, but you are making lifestyle changes that will stick with you. Remind yourself that this is the only body you get, and what you put in it matters tremendously. It’s easy to glaze over the “you are what you eat” statement, but it is so true. Everything is connected and providing your body with the nutrients that it needs affects everything from digestive health to how well you sleep to the clarity of your skin.

Whether you have been on the real food bandwagon for decades or are beginning to make food focused lifestyle changes that include more vegetables and fewer processed items, I hope the recipes I share here inspire you to cook more and put your health first. It’s easy to change your habits for a short time to lose a few pounds here and there, but in the end you’re right back where you started. Think about the big picture, how this food is nourishing or harming your body, and your healthy happy self will emerge!

This is a simple recipe that can be made in no time, my favorite kind of weeknight dish. Antioxidant ladened and detoxifying curry powder and pomegranate seeds give the dish a nutritious and flavorful punch. Chickpeas add protein, making this a complete meal on its own as a small dinner or quick lunch. Cauliflower's mild and nutty flavor soaks up the curry and garlic, making it the perfect vehicle for this dish.

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Here’s to a year of prosperity, love, hard work, health and gratitude!

Curried Cauliflower, Chickpeas & Pomegranates
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 cups cooked organic chickpeas (1 cup soaked and cooked or about 1 can)
  • ½ pomegranate, seeds removed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 t curry powder
  • 1 T olive oil
  • red pepper flakes to taste

Heat a large pan, and add olive oil. Add in cauliflower florets and allow to brown. Do not stir them too quickly, allow them to get some color by not stirring in the first few minutes. Do this in batches if they don’t all fit in an even layer in your pan. Once browned, continue to cook over medium to high heat until tender, about 5-10 minutes. Add a tablespoon of water if needed to add a little steam and finish the cooking. When tender, but still al dente, add in garlic, curry powder, cooked chickpeas, and red pepper flakes to taste. Stir to combine and remove from heat. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon over the cauliflower, mix and toss in pomegranate seeds.

* To remove the seeds from the pomegranate, cut the pomegranate in half, and pull seeds out from the pockets of pith. To avoid a mess, do this is a large bowl of water. Submerge the pomegranate and remove the seeds in the water, the seeds will sink and the pith will float, allowing you to easily separate the seeds once they are removed from the pomegranate.