Roasting is my default cooking method for just about any veggie. The high heat brings the natural sweetness of the vegetable to the surface and turns a simple little item from the produce aisle into a delectable treat.
If 5 p.m. on a weeknight has sneaked up on me (It happens!), I automatically heat my oven to 400 F, rummage through my crisper drawer to find something to toss in a bit of olive oil and pop in the oven on a foil-lined baking sheet while I figure out the rest of dinner. And sometimes I make whatever is on that baking sheet the main part of dinner, skipping meat entirely.
Hardy vegetables such as cauliflower, not to mention mushrooms, are great choices to star in place of meat in my roasted veggie burrito. They offer a nice hefty bite and a stand-and-notice-me flavour, which I need to satisfy my normally-carnivorous appetite. In this all-veggie delight, I added a quick-pickled cabbage, which does triple-duty: it adds texture, a cool freshness and a tang, all which make this a deeply satisfying meal for meatless Monday, or any day of the week.
Adding fiber and filling healthy fats is some cubed avocado, which means I don’t even miss the cheese (especially with the cheesy goodness of nutty nutritional yeast!). No boring veggie burritos here!
Start to finish: 45
1/2 large head cauliflower, cored and cut into very small florets
8 baby bella or button mushrooms, sliced
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 small head red cabbage, finely chopped
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
Six 8- to 10-inch whole-grain tortillas
1/2 cup purchased tomatillo salsa (or any favourite salsa)
1 small avocado, pitted, peeled and cubed
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
Heat the oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with kitchen parchment or foil, then mist with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, toss the cauliflower florets, mushrooms, olive oil, garlic powder, cumin and a hefty pinch each of salt and pepper. Arrange in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet and roast until the cauliflower is golden brown and the mushrooms are cooked but not dry, 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, use a fork to mix together the vinegar, red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon of salt and the sugar until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Toss in the cabbage and onion, mixing to coat, then set aside.
Once the cauliflower and mushrooms are cooked, remove from the oven. Sprinkle the yeast flakes over the veggies (if using) and toss. If not using, give them another sprinkle of salt.
Place the tortillas between 2 damp paper towels and microwave for 15 seconds to make them pliable. Divide the vegetables among the tortillas and top each with a sixth each of the pickled cabbage and onion, the salsa, avocado and Greek yogurt. Roll up into burritos, leaving one end open.
Food Network star Melissa d’Arabian is an expert on healthy eating on a budget. She is the author of the cookbook, “Supermarket Healthy.” www.melissadarabian.net