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Stay Warm with A Spicy Vegetarian Bowl

January 31, 2018
Photo Credit: Nina Olsson

When it’s freezing out, nothing is more inviting than a steaming bowl of something delicious and comforting. If that bowl also has lots of nutrients to keep your immune system strong and a touch of heat to boost your metabolism, even better.

That’s why we love this colorful, flavor-packed dish from Bowls of Goodness: Vibrant Vegetarian Recipes Full of Nourishment by Nina Olsson. It has a rich, luscious orange-tahini dressing that adds minerals, plus cauliflower and onions tossed in a harissa-olive oil combo and roasted. Top it all off with carrots, avocado, raisins and almonds, and we are sold.

If you aren’t familiar with harissa, you’re in for a treat. As Olsson writes in the book, “Harissa is a delicious chili pepper paste used in North African and Middle Eastern kitchens. The recipe varies from home to home and between regions, and many home cooks have a personal tweak or secret ingredient.” You can find it premade in the ethnic section of supermarkets, in Middle Eastern stores, and online (here’s Olsson’s favorite brand; if you buy it, use ¼ cup in the recipe and omit the water). Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can DIY your own harissa.

Moroccan Harissa Salad




10 min


1h 00 min


2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons harissa paste (mixed with 2 tablespoons water)

1 medium cauliflower, florets separated


2 red onions, cut in wedges

8 carrots, shaved into thin bands

4 avocados, pitted, peeled, and cut into small pieces

½ cup raisins

¾ cup toasted almonds

Orange Tahini Dressing

Juice and zest of 1 orange

1 garlic clove

¾ teaspoon salt

¼ cup tahini

2 tablespoons agave or maple syrup

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

To Serve

Sesame seeds

Moroccan mint leaves


Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment. Blend the dressing ingredients into a smooth sauce, adding small amounts of water while blending until it is at your desired consistency. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.

Arrange the cauliflower on the lined baking sheet. Mix the olive oil with the harissa and pour over the cauliflower, making sure they are well coated. Sprinkle with salt and roast with the red onion wedges for 35 to 40 minutes. Toss cauliflower and onion wedges after 20 minutes. Once tender, remove from the oven.

Mix the roasted veggies with the carrot, avocado, raisins, and almonds. Top with sesame seeds and mint leaves. Serve with the tahini dressing.

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