We Asked a Chef for a Healthy Lunch Alternative That Is NOT a Salad
COMO Cuisine's executive chef Tshering Lhaden proves that healthy can also taste good with her proposal of a roasted cauliflower dish served with a side of farro.| January 30, 2020
We’re at the end of the first month of the new year. How are your new year resolutions looking? Still going strong on that commitment to clean up your diet? Good on you if you’ve had the unwavering will to stick it out for health! If you haven’t, looking on the bright side, you have 11 months to get your act together.
Diets are hard to commit to. We’ve been there and done that far too many times to know that flinging ourselves into the deep end of extremely restrictive dietary habits just don’t work – well for most of us, anyway. How many salads, chicken breasts or slices of salmon can you consume before you reach the peak of misery and throw in the towel? We’d say two weeks worth? Maybe a month?
Consider an alternative approach to healthy eating. It doesn’t always have to be about bland tosses of greens or a sore lack of seasoning. All you need are the right recipes that please both the palette and the body. Now, who better to ask than a chef who boasts an understanding of food and nutrients far better than any of us self-proclaimed experts in the kitchen? In our quest to seek delicious yet wholesome meals, we asked Chef Tshering Lhaden of COMO Cuisine to show us the way – a path we’re now tracing with our mouths watering.
3 Cauliflowers, 400-500gm each (including off-cuts)
YELLOW MASALA MARINATE:
100g Garlic Cloves
150g Unsalted Butter
2 tablespoons Chickpea Flour
2g Turmeric Powder
50ml Mustard Oil
2g Garam Masala
1⁄2 teaspoon Toasted Cumin Powder
1 teaspoon Kasuri Methi (also known as dried fenugreek leaves)
3 Green Chilli Padis
1⁄2pc Lime, juiced
200g Plain Greek Yoghurt
1 crack Ground Black Pepper
Grated Raw Garlic, as preferred
Salt, as preferred
Sunflower Oil, as preferred
1.Cook garlic in hot unsalted butter until brown.
2. Add the chickpea flour and cook for 5 minutes before adding the turmeric powder, then let the mixture cool.
3. Once cooled, mix in the mustard oil, garam masala, toasted cumin powder, dried fenugreek leaves, green chilli padis and lime juice.
4. Separately, mix plain Greek yoghurt with a touch of salt, a crack of black pepper and some freshly grated raw garlic – this is a perfect alternative to the Nigella yoghurt we use at COMO Cuisine.
5. Once the spice mixture has cooled, gently fold in the yoghurt, resulting in a thick yellow masala marinade. If the marinade is too thick, loosen it up with sunflower oil to the desired consistency and generously coat the entire cauliflower.
6. If you are not using it the marinade immediately, keep it in the refrigerator until ready to use. It will keep for up to seven days.
7. Bake the marinated cauliflower the oven at 180 degrees for 15-20mins, depending on the size of the cauliflower. You may bake them together if they can all fit in the tray or one at a time. Keep an eye on the browning on the top of the cauliflower. When you start to see it colour, depending on how charred or how roasted you want it, you can start to reduce the temperature to 120-
130 degrees and cook them for another 10 mins to ensure the cauliflower is cooked thoroughly.
Assemble the roasted cauliflowers with a sprinkle of toasted almond, pomegranate
seeds and fried shallots. Place fresh curry leaves in hot oil for a second or two to bring
out its natural aroma before adding them on top of the cauliflower along with fresh
Serve with a side salad of chopped fresh kale dressed with lemon juice and warmed
farro. Good alternatives for farro are quinoa and barley. Farro can be cooked the
same way you would cook rice. Boil the farro in 100-degree water till the farro breaks
out, then strain the water and let it cool before serving.
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