This gorgeous pea and cauliflower quinoa pilaf is full of nourishing vegetables. Vegan, gluten free and sugar free. It makes a great side dish and is also perfect for packing for a healthy lunch!
This vegan pea and cauliflower quinoa pilaf is so full of taste and texture that while it does make the perfect side dish, it’s also totally strong enough to stand on its own as a light meal. Roasted cauliflower, herbs, sweet peas and savoury quinoa cooked in vegetable stock; it’s a plate (or bowl) full of the most delicious goodness.
While I’ve always enjoyed cauliflower – and all the other common brassica vegetables! – I know some people can find cauliflower a little bland. Preparing your cauliflower by roasting it in the oven is one of the most flavoursome ways to cook it, and I think it’s the best way to turn yourself or someone else into a cauliflower fan. Drizzled in extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with your favourite herbs, roasted cauliflower gets beautiful smoky, crispy edges and tastes amazing.
Another great thing about this dish is that it combines so many nutritious sources of vegan-friendly protein; quinoa, peas and sunflower seeds. Though your stash of frozen peas probably gets forgotten about in the back of the freezer quite often, these little babies are so good for you and really economical too. A reasonably good amount of B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin A, folate and lots of fibre can be found in a cup of cooked green peas. They’re so handy!
Serve this pea and cauliflower pilaf alongside your favourite protein; it would be perfect with grilled or roasted meat or fish, or topped with sliced hard boiled eggs or a tin of tuna for a packed lunch option. To keep it vegan, serve with some falafel or as part of a medley of vegan salads – yum! Eating the rainbow at its best.
Vegan Pea and Cauliflower Quinoa Pilaf
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 3/4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 300-400 grams cauliflower (3-4 cups, chopped)
- 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- salt and pepper to taste
- 200 grams radishes or other salad veggies
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds for garnish
- olive oil and herbs for garnish
- Preheat oven to 180 C and line a baking tray with baking paper or aluminium foil.
- Chop the cauliflower into small florets and place on the tray. Drizzle over the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the dried herbs, plus a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Toss the cauliflower around in the oil and seasoning, then spread out evenly in the tray. Pop into the oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until softened and just starting to brown at the edges. Then, set aside to cool.
- While the cauliflower is roasting get on with the quinoa. Rinse the quinoa and then pop it into a saucepan with the vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, with the saucepan lid just slightly open, for approximately 15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.
- In the last 3-4 minutes of the quinoa cooking time, throw in the frozen peas and stir them in. Once the quinoa has finished cooking, pop the lid on the saucepan completely and set aside for 10 minutes to sit and cool down a little.
- While the quinoa is resting, chop the radishes (or other salad vegetables you're using).
- Once the quinoa has rested, remove the lid of the saucepan and fluff with a fork. Season with a little salt and pepper.
- Assemble the pilaf; pop the quinoa/pea mix, roasted cauliflower and radishes in a large bowl and toss together. Squeeze over the juice of the lemon and season again with salt, pepper, olive oil and/or extra dried herbs, as desired.
- Scatter over the sunflower seeds, then serve - the pilaf can be served at room temperature, or cold.