Today I cooked like Alex. Whenever he has to cook (please note has, Alex doesn’t love to cook) all his meals are made in a pot or a skillet with onions and garlic. All of them, and now my lentil casserole as well. And they are type of a stir fry. It is a typical Russian way of cooking.
I remember my grandma’s hands always smelled like onions. In fact, I am typing with onion fingers right now. And even watermelon tasting like onions lol. I still cringe if my mom or Alex cut any fruit on a veggie board. It drives me nuts. I can’t eat watermelon with garlic. They don’t care. We have 3 boards but no one in this house is as particular as me in the kitchen.
Tomorrow we are going camping and I still have a bit of veggies from last weekend’s farmers market trip to be used up. I bought this head of cauliflower to make chicken cauliflower salad. But we ate the chicken and Alex ate the grapes.
So much to an editorial calendar for the food blog. A difference of dreams vs. real life. I had no time to cook for the blog this week because I was repainting our basement and going to hockey.
So, I took out cauliflower. Then I thought to mix it with pasta. Kids will eat almost anything pasta (hello, one pot chili mac with beer!) and I can eat brown rice pasta. Then I thought of pine nuts and roasted a cup. And then while I was putting bag of pine nuts back in the pantry I saw a bag of pumpkin seeds. I bought this big bag at Costco (have you seen my healthy Costco shopping list yet?) with no particular plan in mind but rather that it will get eaten.
So, I put roasted pine nuts aside for another meal and used pumpkin seeds instead. I thought they are more affordable for many of you and compliment pasta with cauliflower better than pine nuts.
And guess what? Alex’s strategy always works with the kids! I sautéed onions, garlic, grated carrots and celery. Then added cauliflower. Then pasta and water with spices. Everything in one pot. And guess what?! This pasta with cauliflower was so delicious my 10 year old declared it tastes like spring rolls!!! And he was right! I guess a mix of onions, carrots, cauliflower (cabbage) and roasted pumpkin seeds fried together resembles spring rolls. A much healthier version of spring rolls (like my fresh vegetable spring rolls) in a form of a vegan pasta.
I am looking forward to camping. Not the packing before and laundry after but to get kids out of the house because they are bored to death and school is not happening until next week. I can’t wait to get back to my quiet half days, cooking, shooting and working out on a schedule. Honestly, I have had enough of summer with the kids lol. Let’s call my summer bucket list accomplished.
Enjoy this pasta! Cauliflower is dirt cheap at stores and markets right now so make affordable filling vegan dinners while you can.
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds, shelled
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 large celery stalks, finely chopped
- 3 large carrots, grated
- 1 large cauliflower head, coarsely chopped
- 2 tsp himalayan pink salt
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 cups short brown rice pasta (I used sea shells), uncooked
- 2 cups water, boiling
- 2 tbsp coconut or avocado oil, divided
- Preheat dutch oven on medium heat and add pumpkin seeds. Cook until roasted for a few minutes, stirring frequently. Transfer to a bowl.
- Return dutch oven to the stove and swirl 1 tbsp of oil to coat. Add onion and garlic; sauté for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add celery and carrots; sauté for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add remaining 1 tbsp of oil, cauliflower, salt, chili powder and cumin; stir and cook for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add pasta and stir. Add boiling water, cover and cook on low for 7 minutes. Stir, cover and cook for another 7 minutes. Add previously roasted pumpkin seeds and stir a few times. Serve hot.