October 12, 2011

Cauliflower with mung beans and spiced sunflower seeds

A couple of weeks a go I tweeted about a little victory I had regarding the role of red meat in my kitchen: No more! My fiancé has (quite happily) agreed that I won't cook any red meat at home any more. If he wants to eat it, he'll have it when he's eating out, or in the (very) unlikely case, he'll cook it himself. This is definitely a breakthrough, as for the past five and a half years I've been cooking red meat for him a couple of times a week, whilst making a vegetarian meal for myself. I have been an on and off vegetarian/pescetarian for the past 10+ years, and cooking red meat never inspired me nor I enjoyed it. We've agreed that I will still cook poultry for him a couple of times a week, otherwise it'll be seafood and all-vegetarian meals only. Yeehaw!


As long as the vegetarian meals provide enough protein, my other half is happy to have them. This seems to be the case with most males (or females) thinking they won't be able to have enough protein (or iron) from a vegetarian meal. Often it's a simple fix of throwing in an extra egg or some chickpeas/beans/tofu/tempeh/dairy. The choices are endless! I love how creative one can be with veggies, I've never felt the same about cooking meat.

This meal, inspired by the contents of my fridge and pantry, is an easy throw-together dinner. If you want that extra touch of protein, add a couple of eggs (soft/hard/grated/scrambled/poached/fried). I love the crunch of spiced sunflower seeds and I like to leave the cauliflower and the mung beans a little bit crunchy as well. I like to make a bigger batch of toasted sunflower seeds, store the left-overs in a container in the fridge, and use in salads or on top of scrambled tofu. Enjoy!

Cauliflower with mung beans and spiced sunflower seeds
(recipe inspired by Heidi Swanson and my fridge)

200g mung beans
100g sunflower seeds
zest of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of sea salt
1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
1 medium sized cauliflower, cut into florets, stems cut into smaller pieces
10cm piece of leek, thinly sliced
juice of 1/2 lemon
freshly ground black pepper

1. Cook the mung beans in plenty of boiling water until just tender. Drain and set aside.

2. Toast the sunflower seeds, lemon zest and spices on a dry pan for a few minutes. Keep stirring constantly. Set aside.

3. Add coconut oil in the (same) pan, add leek and cauliflower and sautee for a few minutes. Add in a dash of water, cover the pan with a lid and leave the veggies to steam until just tender (or to your liking).

4. Add in the mung beans, half the sunflower seeds and drizzle in the lemon juice. Season with freshly ground black pepper and an extra pinch of salt if needed. Serve sprinkled with the extra sunflower seeds.


  1. What a delicious and wholesome dish! I love cauliflower this time of year, and combined with the sunflower seeds I bet this is a very tasty treat! Thanks for sharing and also for stopping by my blog, Maria. Have a great day.

  2. That is an interesting and unusual combination! I really love the idea.



  3. Beautiful photography! I love cauliflower! This is a great, healthy way to enjoy some yummy cauliflower. :)

  4. Cauliflower and a bit of crunch from the sunflower seeds sounds delicious. Congrats on your victory in the kitchen. :)

  5. Well done on your kitchen victory - your situation sounds similar to mine, although I don't give my hubby the option most nights and after 6 years he has definitely adapted better to my lifestyle and eating choices. It does help that we eat out a lot so he can get his red meat fix! Also, I love the idea of the spiced sunflower seeds - yum!

  6. Hehe congrats to you!! :) I, for one, love my steak and ribs and all of that stuff so I can't give up red meat. but we can still get together and eat a tonne of seafood :)

  7. honestly I was just telling my friend the other day I want to do more cooking with cauliflower and now you have this spectacular post here in front of me. I love adding the beans to it and all the spices! YUM!

  8. I saw Mung beans at the supermarket the other day but didn't know what they were. Next time I'm buying some, to make this recipe.

  9. Oh my goodness, I WILL make this. So appealing and I see what you mean about how the textures would be great together.

  10. I like that! ;-) So simple and different...

  11. This looks marvelous! I adore cauliflower in all forms. I have mung beans but haven't made them before (I bought them for a recipe I meant to make but didn't) so this your recipe looks perfect.

    I have a similar arrangement in my house, too. The majority of our meals are veg/fish and I make a few chicken dishes for my husband and sons. They've adapted well!

  12. That looks super good! I eat mung beans very often but never paired it with cauliflower!

  13. Cauliflower is one of my favorite veggies. I'm new to mung beans and I've never cooked this way. It's great that you two came to an agreement about cooking red meat. :-)

  14. Yay! That's so awesome! The first question I get asked when people find out I'm a vegetarian is what I eat for protein...crazy since really there are so many options! I love cauliflower so this dish looks so good to me!

  15. Oh I can so relate. My hubby is very good at accepting my just a little meat philosophy but he does love a big steak when he can get his hands on it! For me its not only a health thing but an environmental ones as well. This dish certianly looks like something I would prefer on my dinner table. You have hit the spot.


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