Let’s travel to Morocco with this delicious raw couscous! It’s all the magic about raw food. Get creative around famous typical dishes, making them with ingredients that are healthier, lighter and more digestible at the same time. Forget gluten, welcome to cauliflower semolina! For those who haven’t tasted it yet, I warn you that this dish is totally bluffing! The texture and mouth-feel are close to a real traditional couscous! So, shall we get going?
A visionary use of cauliflower as a raw couscous
Cauliflower is widely used in raw cuisine. We like it for its white color which easily reminds us of our favorite dishes made with rice, bulgur or semolina. With a food processor, you can easily transform its pretty florets into various sizes of grains. It just depends on whether you want to make tabbouleh, risottos or even sushi!
It’s really very fun and a much more pleasant way to eat cauliflower (or have it eaten!). I really encourage you to try it in this form. It will quickly become part of your culinary habits!
A radiant health with cauliflower
Let’s take a look at the properties of cauliflower. It’s always good to remember. Similarly as all vegetables of the cruciferous family (broccoli, Romanesco cabbage, white cabbage, red cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts..). It contains certain anti-carcinogenic substances.
As studies shows, people who regularly consume cabbage have tumors disappear.
You may already be very ahead on the path of a healthy lifestyle, living food, detoxification, and perhaps you feel that you will never be concerned. But truth is this food has a real protective effect. So we might as well put all the assets on our side.
Let’s see what cauliflower brings us more specifically. Of course, we choose it from local organic farming.
According to a certain number of studies, its antioxidant substances (polyphenols, vitamins A and C) and its sulphur compounds are beneficial to:
- Fight against free radicals
- Prevent oxidative stress
- Stimulate the immune system
- Stimulate the production of detoxifying enzymes
- Reducing the risk of cancer
- Inhibit the formation of malignant tumors
- Reduce the proliferation of cancer cells
It is therefore in our interest to include cauliflowers, and to a greater extent all crucifers in our diet.
What about proteins?
What about proteins? I’ve been asking myself (and been asked) a lot of questions when we eat a 100% plant-based living food. There are of course sprouted seeds or oilseeds, whose protein content is equivalent to that of meat. But what about fresh fruits and vegetables?
Well you may be surprised but cauliflower contains ALL the essential amino acids! And this is the case for all fruits and vegetables (even if in very small quantities), contrary to popular belief.
According to this study, compared to eggs, the content of essential amino acids in cauliflower is even rather well balanced. When we know that our protein needs are overestimated (see my article), having a plant-based diet easily meets all our nutrient needs.
This raw couscous invites us to travel
This raw vegan couscous is made of a base of cauliflower semolina with a mix of vegetables and a ras-el-hanout spice sauce. This one is indeed the main spice of this vegan couscous dish.
I live not far from Marseille, a door open to the Maghreb, where often, at the bend of an alleyway, some exquisite oriental fragrances are offered to our nostrils. It is therefore easy to find a good tagine of vegan couscous to taste (a vegan option is always on the menu). I love the combination of spices, the balance of sweet and salty flavors, and the delicate spiciness.
For the vegetable mix, I chose broccoli, carrot, shallot, mushrooms, mung bean sprouts to bring color. One could also think of sprouted chickpea seeds to replace cooked grains, celery, bell pepper, or tomato. Either way you can use the vegetables you have on hand.
I personally really like broccoli which holds the sauce well. The mushrooms give here a softer texture.
The sauce in which the vegetables are going to macerate is made with sundried tomatoes and olive oil for a slightly thicker texture.
What is the ras el-hanout spice mix?
The ras el-hanout (“head of the grocery store” literally), is a mixture of spices originating from Morocco. It is sometimes composed of up to 50 different spices! The main spices are cinnamon, ginger, coriander, turmeric, cardamom, pepper and nutmeg. It is the culinary emblem of Morocco. So choose well your ras el-hanout, so that its powerful aromatic notes raise your dish with brilliance!
I advise you to serve “hot”. The vegetables will be more tender and will have deliciously macerated in the sauce. Place the containers in the dehydrator 1 hour before serving and it’s perfect! Remember to place the plates there too, they will keep the temperature of the preparations longer.
Now it’s up to you! Put on your nice apron and let’s do it!
Spiced Raw Vegan Couscous, Moroccan Style
- A blender
- A mandolin
- A dehydrator (optionnal)
- 1/2 head of cauliflower
- 1 tbsp. sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric
- 1.5 cup broccoli top florets
- 1 cup mushrooms
- 2 tbsp. chopped red onions
- 2 tbsp. shallot thinly cut with mandolin
- 1/2 cup carrots possibly purple or yellow for color
- 1/4 cup sprouted mung beans
- 1 tsp. chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup raisins pre-soaked
- 1/4 cup soaked sundried tomatoes well packed
- 3/4 cup water you can use the sun-dried tomatoes soaking water
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1.5 tbsp. ras el-hanout
- 1 tbsp. dates
- 1,5 tsp salt unrefined
- 2 tsp. lemon juice
Preparation of the sauce:
- Place all the ingredients in a blender jar and blend until the mixture is perfectly homogeneous.
- Preparation of the vegetables:
- Cut the carrots and shallot into very thin slices with a mandolin.
- Cut the mushrooms into medium dices.
- Cut the broccoli into small floret pieces.
- Soak the raisins if not already done.
- Chop the parsley and the red onion.
- Put everything together in a salad bowl. Pour in the sauce and mix well so that the sauce permeates all the pieces.
- Place into a food container, close with a lid and place in the dehydrator at 40° C (118°F) for one hour.
Preparation of the semolina:
- Cut the cauliflower into florets of equal size.
- Place the pieces in a food processor with an S-blade and pulse gently until the grains are the size of the semolina. Be careful not to pulse more than necessary so that texture remains.
- In a salad bowl add to it sesame oil and turmeric and mix well.
- Set aside in a closed food box and place in the dehydrator for at least 30 minutes.
- In plates previously placed in the dehydrator, place a cup of semolina, dig in the center and place a cup of marinated ras el-anouth vegetables.
- You can decorate with a few slices of finely sliced vegetables with a mandolin, like here with asparagus.
Shaya Taybah! (Bon appétit!)
- For the broccoli, since you only take the tops, you can use the rest of it in a green juice, it’s very good!
- You can add a pinch of cayenne pepper into the sauce if you like a little more spicy!