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Cauliflower Chickpea Couscous

Skill Level
4-6 Servings

Gastroenterologist Emeran Mayer, author of the best-selling book The Mind-Gut Connection(2016), gave us this plant-based main course, big on flavor and prebiotic fiber—and ginger. Like turmeric, ginger helps reduce inflammation. Amazingly enough, the copious amount here—2 to 3 tablespoons—isn’t harsh; adding the ginger at the beginning of cooking allows it to mellow and blend with the other flavors to become a warm glow. If you like, add a crunchy topping of ½ cup almonds and 1/3 cup currants, toasted in olive oil until the almonds turned pale brown—then seasoned with salt.



  • 5 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • ½ large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp. each cumin seeds, turmeric and dried thyme
  • 2–3 tbsp. ground ginger
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • Pinch or two of your favorite hot red chile flakes
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 each yellow and orange bell peppers, seeded, stemmed and cut into large squares
  • ½ head large cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 2 cups uncooked couscous
  • 1 (14-to 15-oz.) can each of whole organic tomatoes and organic chickpeas
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • ¾ cup coarsely chopped cilantro or parsley

Putting It All Together

  1. Heat 3 tbsp. oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions. Stir in spices, thyme, and ½ tsp. salt. Add ½ cup water, cover tightly, and cook, stirring every now and then, until onions are golden and soft, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add peppers, cauliflower, and another ½ cup water and cook over medium-high heat until softened, 10 minutes more.
  3. Put couscous in a medium heatproof bowl. Stir in 2 tbsp. oil, ½ tsp. kosher salt, and several grinds of black pepper. Gradually stir in 1½ cups boiling water, cover, and let sit 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  4. Chop tomatoes (or crush with your hands) and stir into pot along with liquid. Stir in chickpeas with liquid. Lower heat and simmer, covered, until cauliflower is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in lemon juice and almost all of parsley (save a little for garnish). Season with salt to taste.
  6. Spoon couscous into bowls and top with the vegetables and remaining parsley.