Purple Cauliflower with Farro and Toasted Chickpeas

February  6, 2014

Vegan lunches can -- and should -- be a lot more interesting than bare salads or carrot sticks and hummus. New Veganism columnist Gena Hamshaw will be sharing inspiration for midday meals that stave off both hunger and boredom.

Today: A surefire way to kick start your winter leftovers into a satisfying and well-rounded lunch. 

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It’s been a busy winter, which means that my lunches have consisted primarily of leftovers. Leftover plates, however, don’t have to be boring: Mix together some whole grains, a roasted vegetable of your choosing, and some fresh greens, and you have a satisfying, well-rounded, delicious lunch. 

More: How to roast any vegetable in 4 steps.

Color is also part of composing an attractive, enticing leftover plate, which is part of why I was excited to find purple cauliflower at my market this past week. I roasted it with sea salt and balsamic vinegar until it was soft, golden, and sweet. I then piled it on top of a bed of freshly cooked farro and arugula. A drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of toasted chickpeas brought the whole dish together. 

Toasted chickpeas, by the way, are a wonderful last-minute addition to soups, trail mix, salads, grain dishes, and stir-fries. To make them, simply toss two cups of chickpeas in olive or coconut oil, a little lemon or lime juice, tamari, and smoked paprika. Bake them at 375° F until they’re crispy and hot, about 35 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Photo by Gena Hamshaw

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Gena is a registered dietitian, recipe developer, and food blogger. She's the author of three cookbooks, including Power Plates (2017) and Food52 Vegan (2015). She enjoys cooking vegetables, making bread, and challenging herself with vegan baking projects.