roasted BBQ cauliflower, pepita dressing & cilantro-lime quinoa

Roasted BBQ cauliflower with pepita dressing and cilantro-lime quinoa on blue plate.

Roasted BBQ cauliflower with homemade spicy barbacoa sauce bakes in the oven while you whip up cool pepita dressing to plate up with cilantro-lime quinoa.



Roasted BBQ cauliflower

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower, washed and cut into medium florets
  • 3 dried red chilis, lightly toasted
  • 1 ½ tsp. cumin seeds, toasted
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp. tomato paste (tomato puree)
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro (coriander) chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ tsp. oregano
  • 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup`

Cilantro-lime quinoa

  • 1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
  • ½ tsp. coriander
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (or reconstituted vegetable cube)
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro (coriander) chopped

Pepita dressing

  • ½ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp. date paste (optional) or other liquid sweetener
  • 1 tsp. dried dill
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper


Roasted BBQ cauliflower

  1. Grab a skillet and over medium heat toast the chilis and cumin seeds for about 2 minutes. Stir them constantly so they don’t burn and when the chilis stat to brown a bit, turn off the heat.
  2. Use tongs to remove the chilis and place them in a bowl with ¼ cup of water.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients – the cumin seeds, 2 cloves garlic, 3 Tbsp. tomato paste, ¼ cup chopped cilantro, 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar, 1 ½ tsp. oregano, 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon and 1 tbsp. maple syrup to a food processor or blender. Set aside while the chilis soak.
  4. To prepare the cauliflower by rinsing it and cutting it into florets. Aim for fairly equal sized pieces so cut the larger florets in half if desired.
  5. Once the cauliflower is ready. Preheat the oven to 4250 F (2200 C) and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  6. Add the chilis plus the soaking water to the blender with the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth.
  7. Coat each cauliflower floret with the BBQ sauce by transferring the cauliflower and sauce to a bowl and mixing or using your hands to coat each piece.
  8. Place the cauliflower on the baking tray with enough space between they are not touching.
  9. Bake the cauliflower for 30 – 35 minutes until it is dark and a bit charred on the edges. Use a fork to test for doneness by piercing a piece and if the fork comes out clean, it’s ready.

Lime-cilantro quinoa

  1. Rinse 1 cups of quinoa and place it in a medium pot along with 2 cups of vegetable broth and ½ tsp. ground coriander. Bring the pot to a boil and then turn down the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed. Keep the quinoa covered until right before serving.
  2. Immediately before serving, fluff up the quinoa with a fork than add the lime zest and juice and the chopped cilantro. Mix well.

Pepita dressing

  1. Using a spice grinder, grind ½ cup pepitas until they are completely broken down and powdery.
  2. Depending on your spice grinder, you can use that or a blend and along with the pepitas, add 1 clove minced garlic, 3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar, ½ tsp. date paste, 1 tsp. dried dill and ½ tsp ground black pepper. Blend until smooth.
  3. If the dressing is too thick, add water a tablespoon at-a-time until you get the desired consistency.


  • Prep time is based on getting the cauliflower in the oven. All other prep can be done while it bakes.
  • We added a few roasted peppers to our plates. I just added them to the oven on a small lined baking tray the last 15 minutes of cauliflower baking time.
  • You can substitute rice, bulgur or another grain in place of the quinoa.

Keywords: roasted BBQ cauliflower

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