janet @ the taste space

Roasted Creole Cauliflower

In Favourites, Sides on August 7, 2014 at 6:31 AM

Roasted Creole Cauliflower

I spoke too soon.

You know when you plan for something, know you won’t be having internet for a while and schedule a post about what life will be like (because you planned for it to be as so)?

Well, let’s just say I planned to have a semi-functioning household. En route to our new home in Toronto, packed to the brim with loaner things (you know, all the necessities: an inflatable bed, sheets, cutlery, pot, frypan, containers and all that food you made for the following week so you wouldn’t actually have to cook..), an hour and half into our trip from Ottawa, my car breaks down. We pulled off to the side of the 401 as my dashboard went bonkers and the engine stopped working.

Roasted Creole Cauliflower

I pulled out my cell phone. Three days earlier I had finally signed up for service. Although, looking down, my phone told me I had no service. (Bad WIND!) Not good.

Thank goodness Rob’s phone still worked, despite roaming and despite me previously draining the battery surfing the internet.

Roasted Creole Cauliflower

Frantic phone calls eventually got my brother and pregnant sister-in-law to my side who had the rational idea to tow the car back to Ottawa and they would drive Rob and I along with a few essentials.

We called CAA/AAA with my brother’s charged phone, despite being on hold and having dropped calls, only to find out our membership expired last month (GAH!). Membership offices are closed because it is a holiday.

We contact my Mom, who has a CAA membership and she offered to come down and help out. We knew it would be at least 90 minutes for her to arrive.

Roasted Creole Cauliflower

We start rearranging luggage on the side of the highway. Non-essentials in the dead car. Essentials in my brother’s. I had to make quick decisions: clothes and underwear keep, inflatable bed keep (but forgot the pump and sheets!) and also realized there was no room for all of the packed food and the container with all the helpful bits (pot, pan, knives, etc).

An OPP police officer pulls over and asks us what was going on. It must be such a sight with all of us scurrying around, including a pregnant woman and someone with crutches. He calls a tow truck to remove us from harm’s way and told us to be careful (turns out someone had died earlier that day after exiting their car).

Not too long afterwards, the tow truck arrives. The car is loaded onto the flatbed truck and brought to the closest safe location as we patiently wait for my mother to arrive.

Eventually, my Mom is able to call CAA for us and she returns with the car back to Ottawa. My brother drops us off in our new empty home. (Kind soul, he actually waited with us for 30 minutes as we waited for our landlord to give us the keys). We forgot we have no microwave.

Once we’re somewhat settled, Rob runs off to the grocery store since we have zero food. And no tokens for the bus to get to work tomorrow. He comes back loaded with groceries. We quickly eat the ready-made salads and hummus.

I ask for his can opener for the beans. (Because salsa+beans=meal).  It is in the bag that went back to Ottawa. GAH.

I subsequently call up a friend and we cobble together some kitchen necessities to borrow: cutlery, can opener, bowls and plates. And a pot!

We collapse on the inflatable bed. Exhausted but at the same time basking in the love and support from family and friends. Ready for me to start my first day at work.*

*With my vacation clothes I packed for Africa.


If you are here for the lovely recipe instead of the dramatic life of Janet (I can’t make this up!), this was made while I still lived in Houston. This was our go-to roasted cauliflower recipe. A tomato base with a savoury spice blend. The original recipe was for a raw version, using the dehydrator, but we have been using tomato paste and the oven since it is both delicious and simple. A great side with lots of flavour.

Perhaps in a week or so I will be back to normal. Have you ever felt like the universe was pushing against you?

Roasted Creole Cauliflower

I am sharing this with Bookmarked Recipes and Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck.

Roasted Creole Cauliflower
Adapted from Super Healthy Snacks and Treats

1 lb cauliflower florets
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1/2 tsp Aleppo chile flakes, or to taste
1/2 tsp lemon pepper seasoning, or to taste
additional salt and pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400F.

2. In a small bowl, combine tomato paste, maple syrup, smoked paprika, cumin, thyme, garlic, chile flakes and lemon pepper seasoning. Season to taste. Thin with water if it is too thick, but not more than 1/4 cup of additional water.

3. In a large bowl, place cauliflower. Stir spice mixture all over the cauliflower, into all the nooks and crannies.  Evenly distribute the cauliflower onto a silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 400F, uncovered, for 40 minutes, or until cooked, stirring half-way through.

Serves 2.

  1. Sorry about your harrowing experience.

    This looks great—-I’d actually like to make it in the dehydrator since it’s just sitting on the countertop unused….have any idea how long it would take?

  2. Wow that is entering town with a bang! Good luck with gathering your stuff around you – though if you had a choice it is much more important to gather family around you and you seem to have done a great job of that – and good luck with your new (?) job – I just love the sound of this cauliflower – sounds a little “bacony” to me which is a good thing (ie it uses a lot of the ingredients I use in tofu bacon)

  3. Brilliant recipe- I hope you and Rob get settled as quickly as possible. When I make this cauliflower, I’ll be thinking of you 🙂

  4. What a drama! That does not sound like too much fun Janet! Glad your’e safely home, even if without all of your “necessities”.
    Love this recipe. Glad you’re getting use out of “super healthy snacks and treats” 🙂

  5. Oh man! I hope you guys are able to get all your essentials in one place soon!

    This cauliflower sounds excellent, however. Lots of spices for the win!

  6. Oh noo 😦 I am glad you got to experience the reminder of friend / family support being fantastic, but really sorry for the hassle and inconvenience!

  7. You poor thing!! Those are the kinds of adventures one can do without – – but they do eventually become hilarious stories :-). Thanks for sharing this delectable dish at the weekly Potluck!

  8. Wow Janet, this sounds like quite the ordeal! I just moved too, but seeing as it was in the same city, it was a breeze beyond yours. But you know what’s great about all this- you are back in Toronto!! Foodie dates soon yes?

    And yum to this cauliflower. I love when it’s roasted and these flavours look awesome!

  9. Ahhhh my God…what a story…no drama !!! Poor you. I hope everything will get back to normal quickly.

    Nice recipe though 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

  10. Oh man, how much craziness could you guys take!! Hopefully some things are sorted out now? I’m sure you’ll have everything together in no time. Love the spice blend for this cauliflower!

  11. I’m sorry about the car/phone situation, I’m so happy that your family is here for you guys! I can’t imagine to be in a situation where my family is thousands of miles aways or traveling in the middle of nowhere. Your roasted Creole cauliflower looks darn good – love the vibrant red colors and the seasonings in it!

  12. […] Anyways, I am ahead of myself. I am still reliving last weekend’s debacle. […]

  13. […] Roasted Creole Cauliflower from the Taste […]

  14. […] Roasted Creole Cauliflower from the Taste […]

  15. Yum, this looks delicious! I have a cauliflower in my garden that is screaming for this recipe… might be on the table tonight 🙂

  16. Oh no! Janet… that is quite the moving tale. Wow, just wow. I imagine you may laugh about it one day in the distant future? 😦
    Hope you’re settled in and things are where they should be and easily findable.
    The cauliflower looks great! I’m noticing a roasted cauliflower trend in my local veg restaurants – this looks so unique though!

  17. Oh boy that was dramatic! Hopefully things will runs smoother now.

    I’m loving the spicing on the cauliflower. What a great idea. Thanks for entering it into Bookmarked Recipes. The roundup is now live.

  18. the flavor profile = game changer. beyond love. beyond grateful. tummy happy dance here. cheers~

  19. […] I don’t know if you remember our car fiasco from last year. The time when our car broke down en route to Toronto, the day before starting my first day at work. It was […]

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