I find it weird (in an awesome kind of way) that we create these profiles on social media platforms, such as Instagram (@date.with.a.plate), and start building this community of like-minded people from all over the world around us. I have been fortunate enough to have made “Insty-friends” with some of the most creative and talented individuals. But social media can be a blessing and a curse…let me explain.
Some people think social media disconnects us from the world around us, from the people sitting right in front of us – and to an extent I absolutely agree. It’s important to ignore your phone and refocus your attention on the actual people in your life, the ones right in front of you, who deserve your attention. But in another way, social media is a wonderful platform to genuinely connect with people whom you otherwise who not have had exposure to. Like most things in life, you have to find the balance.
Which is how I met the lovely Charlie (@needle.and.bone) who writes for The Starfish – a Western Australian based blog. We originally connected on Instagram and I was immediately drawn to her fun-loving foodies pics. Sometime later, a little note popped into my private Instagram inbox asking if she could interview me – and of course I accepted. At first I was a little daunted at the concept of being the subject of an interview and at putting myself out there. What if people didn’t like what they read? What if I came across very different to how I am in everyday life? What if I made really dumb comments? Or worse – what if she didn’t like my food?! Well, I ended up just letting go of the anxiety and inviting in the possibility…and I put my faith in Charlie to help me sound totally babein’.
But at the end of the day, I am marking this entire experience down as a win for the following reasons; I met and connected with someone who is totally on the same wave length as me (“Hi Charlie!”), I did something new and in doing so challenged myself (which is important to do every now and again) and got to cook (and eat) a dish I am proud of. So I hope you enjoy this salad, it’s perfect with a roast lamb or a grilled piece of chicken marinated in garlic and lemon, just make sure you wash it down with a good drop.
½ head of cauliflower, broken into florets roughly the same size
1 can chickpeas, drained and washed thoroughly
1 handful each of mint and flat leaf parsley
½ red onion, quartered length ways
½ cup red quinoa
3 tsp paprika
1½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground garlic
½ tsp chilli flakes (use more if you like it hot)
Salt and pepper
¾ cup Greek yoghurt
2 Tbs tahini
1 Tbs maple syrup
½ lemon, juiced
- Preheat oven to 200°C
- Cook quinoa according to packet instructions
- Put chickpeas and cauliflower onto separate large baking trays with a lip. Divide spice mixture between the trays, season both with salt and pepper and a good glug of oil (roughly 3 Tbs each) and mix well until coated. Cook in oven for 20 -25 minutes, or until cauliflower is soft and chickpeas are slightly crunchy (shake trays once during cooking time)
- Roast onion in a separate baking dish for 20 – 25 minutes, or until soft – don’t worry if the ends burn slightly
- Roll up the parsley and mint into a ball and, using a sharp knife, carefully shred the herbs
- For the dressing, combine yoghurt, tahini, maple syrup and lemon juice in a bowl and mix well
- Once everything is cooked, combine quinoa, chickpeas, cauliflower, onion and herbs in a bowl and dollop dressing on top. Serve warm