If I could only eat at one restaurant for the rest of my life, it would probably be Mendocino Farms – they have so many different sandwich options, plus salads, don’t get me started on their sides, and of course you can’t forget they also make a few soups daily. With as many diverse and tasty options as they have, you would expect there to be more copycat recipes available online. I’m just saying, if I could find a recipe for the “Not So Fried” Chicken sandwich I would probably never make another sandwich ever again… Alas, there is no copycat to be found, at least I couldn’t find one, so I opted to make my next favorite thing – the curried cauliflower couscous. I love the flavor of this side dish, it’s got just enough spice to clear your sinuses, but it’s balanced with tons of yummy crunchy veggies to keep you eating until it’s gone. Half a sandwich and half a cup of this side and I am a happy camper. What are some of your favorite Mendocino Farms options?
1 (1-pound) box Israeli couscous or orzo
1 head cauliflower, florets broken into pieces
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, more to taste
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, more to taste
3 tablespoons light brown sugar, more to taste
3 tablespoons oil
2 small carrots, peeled, finely diced
1 cup mayo
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1/2 lime, juiced
Cook the couscous according to the instructions on the package. Rinse in cold water, drain well, put in a bowl and set aside. Heat the oven to 450 degrees.
In a separate bowl, toss the cauliflower with the curry powder, turmeric, cumin, coriander, salt, cayenne, brown sugar and oil. Spread out on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet and roast in the oven until cauliflower is browned around the edges but still crunchy, about 10 minutes. Remove just the cauliflower and put it in the bowl with the pasta.
On the same rimmed baking sheet, place the carrots and, using a spatula, toss the carrots with the leftover spices and oil. Roast the carrots until brown around the edges but still crunchy, about 8 minutes. (If you find that the spices and oil are a little overly browned from roasting the cauliflower, toss the carrots using the same proportion of new spices, salt, sugar and oil.) Add to the couscous.
Fold in the mayo, cilantro and lime juice with the pasta. Taste, and adjust spices and seasoning if desired. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.
Serves 10 // 390 calories