Buffalo cauliflower & chickpea bowl

We love the plant based recipes from Leah Vanderveldt's debut cookbook, The New Nourishing so we thought we would share one of ours and Leah's favourites for you to try. Comforting, delicious and nourishing, what more could you ask for from a meal?!

The New Nourishing

Buffalo cauliflower & chickpea bowl with kale & tahini ranch dressing

I grew up on chicken wings. The spicy, hot buffalo-style ones that come with a side of blue cheese sauce, carrot and celery sticks. This bar food was strangely one of my favourite meals from ages five to eight. My dad even talked about my love of buffalo wings in his speech at my wedding, which was both embarrassing and very fitting.

Now I often eat buffalo-style vegetables, because I like the best of both worlds – hearty roasted vegetables and messy, spicy sauces. Any hot sauce will work here – I have a nostalgic affinity for Frank’s but Tessemae’s makes a great all-natural buffalo version.



1 small-medium sized head of cauliflower, chopped into florets

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 tablespoons hot sauce

salt, to taste


1 tablespoon avocado or olive oil

1 x 400-g/14-oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons hot sauce


1 bunch of Tuscan kale, stems removed and shredded

2 tablespoons Tahini-ranch Dressing (see below) plus extra to serve

1 large carrot, peeled into ribbons

½ small red onion, very thinly sliced into half-moons



Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F) Gas 7.

In a large bowl, combine the cauliflower with the oil and 1 tablespoon of the hot sauce. Season with salt and mix together until the cauliflower is well coated. Spread out on a baking tray and roast in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Take out and toss with the remaining 2 tablespoons of hot sauce. Return to the oven for 5–10 minutes until the cauliflower is lightly browned at the edges.

To make the chickpeas, heat the oil in a large frying pan/skillet over a medium-high heat, then add the chickpeas and garlic powder and season with salt. Cook for 3 minutes, tossing regularly.

Stir in 1 tablespoon of the hot sauce and cook, stirring, for 2–3 minutes, until the chickpeas are starting to brown. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon of hot sauce.

Combine the kale with 1–2 tablespoons of tahini ranch dressing in a large bowl. Massage into the kale for 2 minutes until it begins to soften a little.

Toss in the carrot and red onion and mix until everything is well coated in the dressing. Divide the salad into bowls and top with the cauliflower, chickpeas and extra tahini ranch dressing.


Tahini-ranch dressing

50 g/ ¼ cup tahini, mixed well

60 ml/ ½ cup warm water

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon dried dill

1 teaspoon maple syrup

freshly squeezed juice of half a lemon

½ teaspoon salt

few grinds of black pepper


In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients until well combined. Or, purée everything in a small food processor. Add a touch more water, if needed, to thin out to your desired consistency.


For more plant based recipes, check out The New Nourishing by Leah Vanderveldt.


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