Meal Prep

Meal Prep Monday: Buffalo Cauliflower Quinoa Bowls with Tahini Ranch Dressing

3/19/2018 08:01:00 AM

Buffalo Cauliflower Quinoa Bowls with Tahini Ranch Dressing

Going slightly fancy for this week's Meal Prep - buffalo cauliflower quinoa bowls with roast greens, cherry tomatoes, and tahini ranch dressing!

I've recently started reading the Half Baked Harvest blog by Tiegen Gerard, and I'm a big fan! You see, when we were in New Zealand at the start of the year, our AirBnB in Rotorua had a copy of the HBH cookbook in the kitchen, and on one rainy afternoon I sat down and read it cover to cover! I loved the photography, the writing, and the balanced and vibrant recipes. I'm now a firm follower of the blog, and this is where I got the inspiration for this meal prep. 

Just before the Superbowl, Tiegen shared a recipe for spicy cauliflower cheese bites with tahini ranch, and they immediately went to the top of my "must make" list. I mean, cauliflower? Cheese? Buffalo sauce? Get outta here! And tahini ranch? Two of my favourite things, together at last. She serves them as a party snack, but I thought they'd also make a great base for a meal prep lunch bowl.

So to make the cauliflower you just break it up into florets, stir it through some spices, a little hot sauce, and parmesan, and roast until cooked and lightly browned. Easy!

Buffalo Cauliflower

To go with, I roasted some zucchini and broccolini on a separate tray in the oven.

Sheet-Pan Greens

The other elements of this bowl are some sweet and juicy cherry tomatoes (drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and dried oregano), some plain quinoa, and of course, the tahini ranch. It's basically a regular ranch dressing, but with tahini in place of the usual buttermilk and mayo. At first, after stirring the sauce together I found it a little bitter and strong on the sesame-flavour (and this is coming from a woman whose usual approach to tahini is "more is more"), but after sitting overnight it really mellowed out and the flavours of the fresh herbs and spices really shone through.

Buffalo Cauliflower Quinoa Bowls with Tahini Ranch Dressing

This was an excellent meal prep - super tasty, satisfying but not heavy, with lots of vegetables and a nice mix of flavours. Enjoy!

Buffalo Cauliflower Quinoa Bowls with Tahini Ranch Dressing

(Don't forget to check out my recipe for classic buffalo wings with blue cheese dressing).

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites
Recipe adapted from Half Baked Harvest
Preheat the oven to 220C.
Cut 1 head of cauliflower into florets. Place into a large baking tray. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon hot sauce (I use Frank's), 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste and 1/4 cup grated parmesan. Stir to coat. Roast for 25-30 minutes, or until cooked through and brown in parts. Allow to cool.

Tahini Ranch Dressing
Recipe adapted from Half Baked Harvest
Whisk together 1/4 cup tahini, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/4 cup water, 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon chopped chives, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 pinch cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper to taste. Taste and adjust seasonings. Thin out with a little extra water if required.

Roast Zucchini and Broccolini
Wash and trim 1 zucchini. Cut in half lengthwise, and then chop into 1-cm thick half-moons. Place on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Trim 1 bunch of broccolini, and cut into thirds. Add to the same baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Roast at 220C (on a rack underneath the cauliflower) for 20-30 minutes, or until cooked through and brown to your liking.

Quinoa
Rinse 1/4 cup quinoa. Place into a small saucepan and cover with 1/2 cup water. Place a lid on the pan, and bring to the boil over a high heat. Immediately turn the heat to very low and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is cooked. Take off the heat, fluff with a fork and set aside.

To assemble the bowls
Divide the quinoa, buffalo cauliflower bites, roast zucchini and broccolini between four serving containers. Chop 6 cherry tomatoes in half and place 3 cherry tomato halves in each container. Drizzle the cherry tomatoes with extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with salt, pepper and dried oregano. Spoon over the tahini ranch dressing to serve.

Have you made this recipe? Leave a comment below! Tag me on Instagram @sarahcooksblog and hashtag #sarahcooksblog

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