When I'm in the mood for a big bowl of flavor-packed vegetables, this is the recipe for me. Curried quinoa with caramelized broccoli and cauliflower makes for a high-protein meal that comes together in less than 30 minutes and makes me feel great. It's a perfect weeknight dinner.
On a recent trip to California, I dined at Cafe Gratitude, the loving and encouraging restaurant that serves local, vegan cuisine. I use such descriptors because all of the dishes have names like I am Awesome and I am Fulfilled; when the dishes are served, they get dropped off with a "you are generous," or a "you are free," and so on. It's cheesy, and maybe not for everyone, sure, but I totally got into it and felt great. My favorite moment was when one staff member, while calling out what was ready for pick-up, called out, "I have a you're outstanding and a you're hot"—who wouldn't to want to hear that every day?
And while the naming scheme might be a little gimmicky, I ended up with a fantastic vegan dish of quinoa and brown rice flavored with curry, filled with florets of broccoli and cauliflower, topped with sprouts. I definitely drank the California Kool-Aid (which in this case, was a plate called I am Humble). In all honestly, I didn't feel like I was sacrificing flavor for health because the dish was warm, comforting and delicious. After returning to a still-not-warm New York, I found myself craving it, so I made my own version at home.
The recipe is relatively straightforward. We start by cooking broccoli and cauliflower to get some color and extra flavor on them, removing them from the skillet so they don't get soggy as the rest of the meal cooks. Then we add some red onions to the pot and season them with curry powder before adding the quinoa. Stir in some kale, add the vegetables back in to warm through. and then top it with cilantro and (if you want to get really California) a handful of sprouts.
It's a super satisfying meal, especially if you tell yourself "I'm awesome" while eating it.