There is nothing better in the world than a bulb of roasted garlic on the…
Let’s get one thing straight – there’s nothing better than throwing tons of healthy ingredients and some bold @$$ flavors together on ONE simple sheet pan! For my vegan friends, and my spicy eaters – this recipe is healthy, easy and absolute FIRE!
Lately I’ve noticed meat has been the the star of all my meals, and although I do love chicken and seafood, it was time for me to mix it up with some roughage. I’m not talking about salad and a tray of raw vegetables. There was a need for some hot, crispy, spicy veggies and hearty chickpeas.
Of course this recipe won’t intrigue all. Some won’t get past the fact that there isn’t any meat, dairy or gluten involved in this recipe. I get it. Again, another reason I love writing and creating on this blog…veggies can be pretty exciting if you doll them up right. Doing it right means more spice for me along with some other warm and vibrant flavors.
My other favorite part of this recipe is the fact that it’s budget friendly. With the simple produce choices, the chickpeas and the rest of the ingredients you probably have on hand, you won’t break the bank. It also goes a long way too.
What is Harissa? Normally found in a paste, Harissa is a Tunisian red chili pepper paste. It’s normally pretty spicy but also has a smoky flavor to it. Some Harissa paste blends have other spices and flavors, especially garlic, cumin and coriander. Add to eggs, stews, dips and marinades to add a whole new depth of spice.
Don’t bail on this recipe if you don’t have the exact ingredients. In fact, customize it to the way you want it. Here are some suggestions:
- Everything on the tray needs to be cut to the same size and/or cook at the same rate. That keeps your options open for the main vegetable. Cauliflower, broccoli, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, radishes or brussel sprouts are all options on this tray.
- If you don’t have Harissa, no problem. It’s similar to other red pepper sauces such as Calabrian chili paste, chili garlic sauce, or really, any hot pepper sauce you love to add to recipes.
- If you don’t like chickpeas, larger beans like butter beans or white kidney beans would work. Edamame is also a great swap.
- I like a nice pop of sweetness to this too. Add dried cranberries, raisins or pomegranate seeds at the end. You could even drizzle honey on this if you didn’t want to go down the vegan route.
- Peppers and carrots were nice for color but you can still mix that up with parsnips and whatever color bell pepper you would want.
- For that creamy drizzle – choose something that doesn’t overpower the whole ambiance of the tray. I chose tahini because it was nutty, fatty and added creaminess to the bold flavors. Greek yogurt or avocado chunks work too. I hate to say this but, ranch dressing would also be fantastic. If you have nothing to drizzle, cheese (or dairy free cheese) would be wonderful on this.
- I needed an interesting crunch on the top of this. Sunflower seeds, cashews, peanuts, pistachios, slivered almonds or toasted bread crumbs all would be spectacular.
This absolutely can be a simple side, a fun one to be exact. I, however, used it for meal prep. I made this one day and tossed it on salad (and added chicken) and even topped off a bowl of greens and Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice. There was even a moment where I considered stuffing this into a taco shell for vegan tacos with guac.
However you make it, whenever you make it and however you eat the leftovers…I just encourage you to try it. The fiber, protein and metabolism-boosting spices with all the flavors is an immediate win for your gut and metabolic health.
Harissa Roasted Vegetables & Chickpeas
- 1 large cauliflower head cut into florets
- ½ pound baby carrots halved
- ½ pound mini bell peppers halved
- ½ large red onion large slices
- 1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas rinsed, drained
- ½ cup dried cranberries (reduced sugar) soaked in water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2-3 tablespoons harissa paste
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- ¼ cup green onions chopped
- 2-3 tablespoons tahini
- ¼ cup cilantro chopped
- ¼ cup sunflower seed kernels or toasted pepitas
- salt and pepper to taste
- Start to soak dried cranberries in water and let sit for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- In a large mixing bowl add cauliflower florets, carrots, peppers, onion and chickpeas. Add olive oil and harissa paste and then season with salt, pepper, garlic, cumin, turmeric and red pepper flakes. Mix everything until vegetables and chickpeas are coated well with harissa and seasoning.
- Coat a large baking sheet with nonstick spray or olive oil. Spread the vegetable/chickpea mixture all over the pan in one layer. Roast in oven for 20-25 minutes until vegetables become tender. You can broil for the last 1-2 minutes if desired.
- Remove from oven and top with green onions, tahini, cilantro and sunflower kernels. Season with salt and pepper if needed.