Rice, Lentils and Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Rice, Lentils and Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Rice, Lentils and Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Rice, Lentils and Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Happy New Year! Here’s to a wonderful 2019 – and with much optimism like Apple at every phone release, this is going to be our best year yet (hopefully)! I am hopeful for 2019; it’s not that I have any great expectations for the year, but 2018 was a good teacher for me; I learned so much about humanity, frailty and how to be brave.
I have not made any resolutions for this New Year per se, however, I want to work on more consistent posts on this little blog, as posts were sparse this past year. So let’s just jump right into this recipe, shall we?

Rice, lentils and whole roasted cauliflower. This was our Christmas day dinner two Christmases ago and I’ve wanted to share this recipe with you ever since.

Rice, Lentils and Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Rice, Lentils and Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Rice, Lentils and Whole Roasted Cauliflower

When we decided we wanted to try a wholly plant-based (vegan, if you would) Christmas dinner, we had to come up with a menu that would also pass muster with our meat-loving family members. Lucky for us, we are a rice and veggie loving family (some more so than others) so the idea of roasting a whole head of cauliflower intrigued everyone, and we never say no to rice! This turned out to be one of our favourite Christmas meals; it was simple, healthy-ish and easy to pull off with a little planning.

We made rice and lentils akin to Mujadara, but to keep it simple and al dente, the rice and lentils are cooked separately and tossed together in olive oil with a medley of onions, (slow roasted) tomatoes and warm spices. Like Mujadara, a heaping of caramelized onion topping finished off this dish. However, the onions were roasted instead of fried because I’m deathly afraid of frying anything (I have battle scars, literally!).
It’s the ideal meal to share with company, it’s comforting, filling and delicious, and packed with protein.

Rice, Lentils and Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Rice, Lentils and Whole Roasted Cauliflower Rice, Lentils and Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Rice, Lentils and Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Whole roasted fibre-rich cauliflower added a touch of flair to the holiday table. Tasty and easy to prepare, it proved the perfect accompaniment to the rice and lentils. It was such a delight carving it at the table.
I especially wanted to share this recipe after the holidays (albeit not two years later!) because as special a meal as it is, it also fits the healthy-ish bill and I know we all try to eat a little healthier at the start of the year to make up for the excesses of the holidays.

It’s satisfying without feeling too heavy and there’ll be plenty of leftovers for week nights. If you’re participating in Veganuary, do give the rice and lentils or the roasted cauliflower a try, or try both if you’re up for the challenge. While the rice and lentils are cooking, prep and roast the onions, and the cauliflower can go in oven while you’re putting the rice and lentils together.

Rice, Lentils and Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Rice, Lentils & Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Rice, Lentils and Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours

A whole delicious nutritious meal, great for family dinners and special occasions.


For rice

  • 2 cups basmati rice, rinsed
  • 4 – 4 1/2 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (use less or omit if using salty broth)

For lentils

  • 1 cup French green lentils
  • 1 clove garlic (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For oven roasted onions

  • 2 – 3 large red onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste

For roasted cauliflower

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable broth or water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more

For rice & lentils

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup slow roasted tomatoes or sun-dried tomatoes
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste


Cook Rice

  1. Combine rice with broth and salt in your rice cooker and cook per machine’s instructions or cook on stove-top per package instructions or use this guide. Keep warm when done

Cook Lentils

  1. Rinse lentils thoroughly, add to a saucepan with garlic and enough water to cover the lentils by 2 inches
  2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook uncovered for 15 – 20 minutes until lentils are tender but firm (Add more water if necessary to ensure lentils are completely submerged while they cook)
  3. Add salt, reduce heat and let lentils cook for an additional 3 minutes
  4. Remove from heat, discard garlic and set aside

Roast onions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with lightly oiled aluminum foil or parchment paper
  2. Spread sliced onions evenly out onto the prepared baking sheet
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, toss (with your hands) to coat
  4. Roast for 20 – 25 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so to cook evenly

Roast cauliflower

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Trim cauliflower of green leaves, leaving whole head intact, cut base so it sits flat, rinse and dry
  3. Place cauliflower on a baking tray (or other oven-safe dish)
  4. In a small bowl, mix together olive oil, vegetable broth (or water), cumin, coriander, paprika, ginger, turmeric, salt
  5. Turn cauliflower over, pour some of the mixture all over it, and flip it over and rub the rest of the mixture all over making sure cauliflower is well coated, then sprinkle with a pinch of salt
  6. Roast for 20 – 30 minutes or until a knife easily pierces through

Make rice and lentils

  1. In a large skillet or saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat
  2. Add onions when the oil is hot and cook for 3 – 4 minutes stirring occasionally until onions soften and start to brown
  3. Add garlic, cumin, coriander and pepper flakes, stir and cook for about 3 minutes until spices become fragrant, then add sun-dried tomatoes
  4. Add lentils (drained of water) and rice, mix and cook for 3 – 5 minutes, stir gently occasionally to make sure it doesn’t burn
  5. Check seasoning and add salt to taste if needed, lower heat, and let rice and lentils cook for another 2 -3 minutes to allow flavours to meld
  6. Mix in oven roasted onions, remove from heat and serve with roasted cauliflower and lots of freshly ground black pepper
  7. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 2 cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 276Total Fat: 8.3gSaturated Fat: 1.2gSodium: 695mgCarbohydrates: 41.1gFiber: 5.7gSugar: 3gProtein: 9.1g

The nutritional labels are a product of online calculators such as verywellfit. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimates.

Did you make this recipe?

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Rice, Lentils and Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Rice, Lentils and Whole Roasted Cauliflower

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