By: Bettina – Bolinas, CA

I made this totally surprising vegan and gluten-free “couscous” the other day.  It’s a great dish that low in calories, super tasty and a great dose of vegetables since it’s all pretty much just cauliflower.

All you do is grab a raw cauliflower and put it in a food processor until it has a couscous-like consistency (couple of minutes).  Crazy how much it looks like actual couscous which is made with wheat flour (it’s really just tiny pasta balls).  From there you can season it however you want because cauliflower has a super bland and neutral taste but it absorbs flavors really well.  So I made it kind of middle eastern (you know me), but you can prepare this as you would any couscous recipe you usually use (I used to prepare it with pine nuts, garlic and parsley with a dash of lemon – of course.

Serves 4

  • 1 large cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped mint
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Salt to taste (I find it needs quite a bit of salt to bring the flavors out well)


  1. Place the raisins in a bowl of warm water.  I like soaking raisins and dates, it softens them for recipes.  Let them soak 10 minutes or until they rehydrate. Drain.
  2. Heat a skillet over low-medium heat. Add the cashews and toast them until lightly golden. Stir frequently to make sure they don’t burn. Remove and let the cashews cool. Smash them into small pieces.
  3. Break the cauliflower into florets (otherwise known as small pieces with the stem). Get the florets into the smallest pieces possible.  Put them into food processor in batches, and pulse until the pieces are finely chopped and look like couscous. Be careful not to over-pulse or make it mushy.

cauli ground

4. In a large pan, heat three tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the cauliflower couscous to the pan and cook until golden and a little dry, stir frequently.
cauli golden
5. Remove the “couscous” from the pan and let it cool. Add the raisins, cashews, parsley, mint, garlic, coriander, cumin, lemon zest, lemon juice, and the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil. Add salt.
6. Let the mixture sit for a little while to let the flavors to combine. Serve at room temperature.cauli couscous