Turmeric Cauliflower & Baked Sweet Potato with Sunflower Seed, Tahini & Parsley Pesto
This dish popped into my mind, so I immediately started cooking. What can I tell you, the result was a taste explosion! Let me rewind: naturally perfect baked sweet potato, turmeric-covered garlicky cauliflower together with the crunchy nuttiness of the sunflower seed, tahini & parsley pesto; my mouth is watering yet again. This dish can be enjoyed as lunch or dinner (or breakfast, if you are that kind of person), and if you have leftovers, even better!
turmeric as medicine
Turmeric is a powerful spice that stems from a plant related to the ginger family. It can be found in Indonesia and regions of China, but is mostly grown in India where it is very commonly used to prepare traditional dishes. It is sharp-tasting and very distinctive in colour, thereby causing a yellow tint to the foods it is added to. Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin (which is why some people refer to this spice as curcuma), which is an antioxidant that helps to prevent types of cancer as well as other chronic diseases. Its medicinal properties are thought to improve arthritis and heartburn, but recent research suggests that is may be much more powerful in aiding health than we thought thus far. For example, curcumin possesses the ability to shut down proteins that are involved in triggering inflammation. Turmeric may also aid in lowering cholesterol levels and preventing the clogging of blood vessels, thereby avoiding heart disease and stroke. If you don’t like it in your food, you can consume turmeric in form of a tablet but I highly recommend using it in turmeric lattes, various curries and also smoothies! I’d say that’s enough information for today, so let’s get choppin’!
Prep Time: 15 min
Baking Time: 45 min
Total Time: 1 hour
For this recipe you will need:
For the sweet potato:
1 large sweet potato
fresh thyme twigs
1 tablespoon olive oil
sprinkle of salt
For the cauliflower:
½ head cauliflower
3 small red onions
1 bulb of garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
salt to taste
For the pesto:
handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped
½ cup sunflower seeds, toasted
1 tablespoon tahini
1 tablespoon sesame seed oil
1-2 tablespoon(s) water
1 tsp honey
- Preheat the oven to 190°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Cut the sweet potato half along its length, drizzle the tablespoon of olive oil over it, season with salt and place a few twigs of fresh thyme on top. Place on the lined baking tray and put it into the oven, as the sweet potato needs slightly longer baking time than the cauliflower.
- While the sweet potato is starting to sweat, cut the cauliflower into bite-friendly pieces and slice the onions. Cut the bulb of garlic in half so that you have bits of garlic still in their skin. Add this to the cauliflower and onion slices in a big bowl.
- Add the olive oil, turmeric, pepper and salt and give it a good stir.
- Place the cauliflower mix on the baking tray next to the sweet potato and roast them alongside each other in the oven (~45 min), I’m sure they’ll enjoy their sauna in company! (Don’t forget about these sweaty babies and stir every now and then so ensure even crunchiness)
- While the veggies are roasting, toast the sunflower seeds in a frying pan (~3 min). Once they turn crunchy and slightly golden, remove them from the heat.
- In a blender (I used my all-time favourite Nutribullet 600), combine the parsley, tahini, sunflower seeds, sesame seed oil, honey and water. Blend on high and check whether you might need a little more water to get the consistency right. Since it is a pesto, it is okay for chunks to remain and some sunflower seeds to stay intact.
- After 45 minutes in the oven, check if the veggies are as crunchy as you like them. The sweet potato should be cross on the outside and soft on the inside while the cauliflower should be yellow thanks to the turmeric and have some crunchy edges.
- To serve, place the sweet potato and cauliflower on a plate, top with a generous dollop of your homemade pesto and sprinkle a little bit of additional parsley on top of it all! Enjoy your meal, close your eyes and witness how all these different aromas are coming together on your happy tongue. ♥