When I first became vegetarian I picked up a couple of cookbooks at the half price bookstore. I came across one called “The Accidental Vegetarian” for only $4! It is by a chef from the UK who was a meat eater but bought a vegetarian restaurant. He plunged in and came up with all kinds of yummy recipes with different global influences. One of our favorites is his Moroccan Spaghetti which has evolved since the first time I made it 4 years ago.
It’s full of warm flavors like cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, and lots of veggies. You can mix it up and add different veggies to suit your tastes. We always make a big batch so that we can have leftovers the next day! You can make this heavy on the pasta side, or go light and let the vegetables take center stage. The cauliflower really bulks it out without adding many calories, but adding lots of great vitamins. Cauliflower is really high in vitamin C—1 cup packs 77% of your daily vitamin C needs in just 25 calories! This weekend I made this with 12 ounces of pasta for 6 servings. David inhaled this—have you ever heard a 2 year old ask for more cauliflower?
Moroccan Spaghetti, based on The Accidental Vegetarian
1 head of cauliflower
2 T olive oil, divided
1 onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
¼ c green olives, sliced (15 or so)
2 c fresh tomatoes, diced (I used 5 small on the vine tomatoes)
1 ½ c garbanzo beans (equal to 1 can, but make your own from dry)
1 t cinnamon
1 t cumin
½ t turmeric
salt and pepper
up to 1 pound of pasta (you can use long spaghetti or short—I like short because it pairs well with the chunky vegetables.)
½ c almonds, chopped and toasted
½ c parsley, chopped
optional add ins:
spinach or other green
Preheat oven to 350. Break up the cauliflower into small florets. Place on baking pan covered with parchement. Toss with 1 T olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in oven and roast for 30 minutes, until fork tender.
Start with a large pot (I always underestimate!) and sauté onion in 1 T olive oil. Once the start to become translucent, add garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes and add spices: cinnamon, turmeric, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir to coat well. Add olives, garbanzos and tomatoes. Mix well and keep warm over low heat.
In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook pasta (desired amount) according to package directions. Drain well. Add to pot with tomato garbanzo mixture.
Add cooked cauliflower, almonds and parsley and mix well. Adjust salt as needed. Serve and enjoy!