Cauliflower makes a great base in place of grains. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, root veggies are very balancing to your chi (vital energy), especially in winter.
Excerpted with permission from The Beauty Chef by Carla Oates, published by Hardie Grant Books August 2017, RRP $35.00.
This is the second of a 3-part series featuring our favorite recipes from Carla.
Warm Cauliflower Couscous Salad with Roasted Roots, Hazelnuts and Crispy Spiced Chickpeas
400 g (14 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (you can soak and cook your own chickpeas if preferred)
2 tbsp coconut oil, warmed
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp Himalayan salt
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2 cm (3/4 in) chunks
1 parsnip, peeled and cut into 2 cm (3/4 in) chunks
1 beetroot (beet), peeled and cut into 2 cm (3/4 in) chunks
1/4 cup (40 g / 1 1/2 oz) hazelnuts
1 (600–800 g / 1 lb 5 oz–1 lb 12 oz) cauliflower, trimmed and broken into chunks
1/3 cup (80 ml / 2 1/2 fl oz) extra-virgin olive oil
2 large handfuls coriander (cilantro) leaves, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Himalayan salt, to taste
Micro herbs, to garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 200ºC (400ºF).
Spread chickpeas onto a small baking tray (baking sheet). Drizzle with a little of the coconut oil. Combine cumin, turmeric, coriander and salt in a small bowl. Scatter spice mix over chickpeas and toss to coat. Roast, shaking the tray occasionally, for 15 minutes, or until crisp and golden.
Place sweet potato, parsnip and beetroot on a large baking tray. Drizzle with coconut oil and toss to coat. Roast for 20 minutes, or until tender and golden brown.
Roast hazelnuts on a separate baking tray for 5–7 minutes, until skins begin to peel away and nut is golden. Set aside to cool slightly. Wrap hazelnuts up in a clean piece of kitchen paper and rub together to remove skins. Coarsely chop nuts.
Place cauliflower in a food processor and blend to finely chop into couscous-sized grains.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook the cauliflower, stirring frequently, for 3–4 minutes, until just tender. Transfer to a large bowl. Add chickpeas, roasted root vegetables, hazelnuts and coriander and toss to combine.
Mix remaining olive oil, lemon juice and garlic together in a small bowl. Pour over cauliflower couscous and toss to coat. Season with salt. Garnish with micro herbs, if desired.
You can also serve this with labneh or natural yoghurt, if desired.
Omega-3 fatty acids: Fish oil, flax seed (linseed) oil, chia seeds, walnuts and soy beans contain high levels; and kale, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach and berries are also sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Research has shown that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids is essential for skin healing. It decreases inflammation, reduces the likelihood of acne and other skin problems, improves dermatitis, rosacea and psoriasis and can improve skin texture and quality. Omega-3s also protect the skin from UV damage.
Silica: Leeks, green beans, celery, asparagus, strawberries, cucumber, mango, rhubarb and chickpeas are full of silica, as are apples, cherries, almonds, oranges, fish and seeds.
This trace mineral is essential for the formation of connective tissue, including collagen (vital for firm, wrinkle-free skin), hyaluronic acid, which has been shown to increase skin-cell turnover, and retinoic acid, which is important for skin hydration and slowing down skin ageing and improving skin elasticity.
Sulphur: Egg yolks, wheat germ, red meat, chicken, turkey, fish, garlic, onions, kale and asparagus are rich in sulphur, as are fermented foods like sauerkraut and natto. Broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, bok choy (pak choy), kohlrabi and leeks are also full of skin-loving sulphur.
Crucial for skin health and overall wellness, sulphur is the third most abundant mineral in the human body and is essential for collagen synthesis, which gives skin structure and strength and prevents skin and cellular ageing. It’s also necessary for the synthesis of the antioxidant glutathione, which helps prevent damage caused by free radicals and can reduce inflammatory skin conditions.
Manganese: Cloves, saffron, wheatgerm, bran, rice bran, oats, nuts, chickpeas, brown rice, spinach, pineapple, mussels, oysters, clams (vongole), cocoa powder, dark chocolate, roasted pumpkin (winter squash), squash seeds, flax seeds (linseeds), sesame seeds and chilli powder.
Manganese is a required co-factor for collagen production and also functions as an antioxidant in skin cells. It’s also an important mineral for healthy bones.
Iron: Oysters, dark green leafy veggies, beef, lamb, cashews, mussels, eggs, prunes, liver, chicken, fish, veal, soybeans, lentils, spinach, sesame seeds, chickpeas, broad (fava) beans, olives, haricot beans, silverbeet (Swiss chard) and kidney beans.
Iron is important for skin health. It is also especially important for hair as a deficiency of iron can cause hair loss. The hair follicle and root are fed by a nutrient-rich blood supply.
Photo courtesy of Carla Oates. GIF by Michael Persico.