Braised Cauliflower and Leeks with Indian Spices and Chickpeas (+ Rainbow Potluck)

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I have always loved potlucks. Call me crazy (IZZY, YOU CRAY), but I would pick crowding my plate up with a huge array of taste treats over eating one main dish 100/100 times. I’ve never been the type to keep my peas separate from my carrots, so having a big mush of deliciousness and a beer in hand is my idea of a wild Saturday night. Since I started cooking in college, I have hosted a couple dozen potluck-style parties where people are encouraged to cook something then we all come and break bread together. There are few things I like more in life than eating meals with people. Also, I want people to show up at my house with delicious food and spoon feed me while someone gives me a massage.

Last night I hosted a rainbow potluck where everyone brought a dish that was a different color of the rainbow. When I told my mom she was TOO excited that I was finally catching on to “eating a rainbow,” which she begged me to do approximately 15 times a day throughout my childhood. I coordinated assigning colors to people so we covered all the bases without too much overlap. It was a smashing success featuring (in ROYGBIV order): borscht, beet hummus, delicata squash roasted red pepper rosemary pasta, carrot chickpea cilantro salad,  tiny lemon tarts, cauliflower and leeks with Indian spices and chickpeas (recipe below), guacamole, pea shoot avocado salad with a tasty green goddess dressing, kale caesar, lemon custard pie with blueberries, lavender macarons, braised purple cabbage, purple cabbage slaw, and black bean burgers! We didn’t bother playing any music at the party because the background sound was everyone MMMMing and UNNNGGGHHing because everything tasted so damn good.

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One last thing! This October I am helping to host a retreat for people who question their relationship with their work, health, food, and other people. Read about it HERE and signup for updates!

Braised Cauliflower and Leeks with Indian Spices and Chickpeas

  • 1 head cauliflower, sliced into florets
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1 leek, root removed, cleaned, and sliced
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 lemon, juiced

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add cauliflower and cook, covered, until just softened, stirring occasionally. Stir in leeks, onions, and peppers and cook until slightly browned over medium heat, about 5-7 minutes.

2. Stir in turmeric, coriander, cumin, tomato paste, red pepper flakes, lemon juice and a splash of water. Cover and cook until the florets are tender, but not soggy, 10 to 12 minutes, longer if necessary. Serve hot.

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