Za’atar Chicken with Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Pilaf

Za’atar Chicken with Turmeric Lemon Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Pilaf | gluten-free, sugar-free, anti-inflammatory, meal prep friendly and high in protein! | My Fresh Perspective | #glutenfre #antiinflammatory #turmeric #cauliflower #highprotein #sugarfree

If za’atar isn’t yet part of your spice collection, now’s the time to give it a try! This Za’atar Chicken with Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Pilaf is the perfect way to try it. It’s also sugar-free, gluten-free, and packed with protein.


Two recipes in the same week?

Yep it’s true!

Za’atar Chicken with Turmeric Lemon Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Pilaf | gluten-free, sugar-free, anti-inflammatory, meal prep friendly and high in protein! | My Fresh Perspective | #glutenfre #antiinflammatory #turmeric #cauliflower #highprotein #sugarfree

Not only is this a double-header recipe week, but you’ll also notice a couple of repeat ingredients. This is a little strategy I thought I’d share, which I never really thought of as much of a strategy until a recent conversation with a friend about Sunday meal preparation.

We’ve all had that moment where we open the fridge door, kneel down, pull open the veggie crisper, and find a bag of very rotten whatever in the back, right? Maybe it’s a bunch of cilantro, a mushy zucchini, the classic plastic box of spring mix, or maybe it’s something you don’t quite recognize any more. (In that case, grab the rubber gloves!) This used to happen to me quite a bit back in my early university days, but soon enough I figured out some ways to avoid it.

Za’atar Chicken with Turmeric Lemon Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Pilaf | gluten-free, sugar-free, anti-inflammatory, meal prep friendly and high in protein! | My Fresh Perspective | #glutenfre #antiinflammatory #turmeric #cauliflower #highprotein #sugarfree

Whenever I shop for groceries, I tend to do it with a couple of loose recipes in mind. To prevent food going to waste, I pick meals that use some of the same ingredients, but are different enough so that it doesn’t feel as though I’m eating the same thing every day. That’s it – that’s the strategy. I told you it’s easy, and it works.

In the case of today’s Za’atar Chicken with Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Pilaf, tomatoes, cucumbers and parsley are repeats from Monday’s healthified Pesto Pasta Salad. The rest (minus the chicken) is mostly non-perishable pantry items that I have on hand all the time, and you probably do, too. Finally, the fact that this recipe makes more than one serving means I can enjoy leftovers – always an added perk!

Psst… wondering what za’atar is? No worries – I’ve got you! It’s a Middle Eastern spice blend typically made with thyme, sesame seeds, ground sumac and salt. It’s becoming more common in regular grocery stores, so you should be able to find it either in the spice aisle, or in the ethnic foods area.

Za’atar Chicken with Turmeric Lemon Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Pilaf | gluten-free, sugar-free, anti-inflammatory, meal prep friendly and high in protein! | My Fresh Perspective | #glutenfre #antiinflammatory #turmeric #cauliflower #highprotein #sugarfree

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Za’atar Chicken with Turmeric Lemon Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Pilaf | gluten-free, sugar-free, anti-inflammatory, meal prep friendly and high in protein! | My Fresh Perspective | #glutenfre #antiinflammatory #turmeric #cauliflower #highprotein #sugarfree

Za’atar Chicken with Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Pilaf


  • Author: Angela Simpson
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Yield: 2 meal-sized servings 1x

Description

If za’atar isn’t yet part of your spice collection, now’s the time to give it a try! This Za’atar Chicken with Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Pilaf is the perfect way to try it. It’s also sugar-free, gluten-free, and packed with protein.


Scale

Ingredients

For the chicken and marinade:
  • 2 uncooked boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 2 tbsp za’atar seasoning, divided (this is the one I currently have)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
For the cauliflower:
  • 1 small head cauliflower, chopped into small florets
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp each garlic powder, ground turmeric and cumin, plus a few pinches of sea salt and black pepper
For the Quinoa Pilaf
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa + 1 cup water or low sodium stock
  • 1 cup each thinly sliced English cucumber and halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews (option to dry toast them in a frying pan to enhance flavour)
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp each extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Marinade the chicken: In a large resealable bag, combine the oil, lemon juice, and 1 tbsp za’atar. Add the chicken and refrigerate at least 30 mins.
  2. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 400F. Line 2 baking sheets with foil or parchment.
  3. Take the chicken out of the marinade and place it on one baking sheet. Generously shake the remaining za’atar on top, aiming to cover as much of each chicken breast as possible. Bake for 30 mins or until no longer pink inside.*
  4. Meanwhile, toss the cauliflower in all of its coating ingredients in a bowl. Once coated, pour them onto the other lined baking sheet. Roast for 30-40 minutes, or until crispy.** (You can do this while baking the chicken if your oven fits both pans. I recommend putting the cauliflower pan on top rack if you can’t fit them on the same one.)
  5. Make the quinoa pilaf: Cook quinoa in the water/stock according to package directions. This should take about 15-20 mins, and the majority of the liquid should be absorbed by the end. While it cooks, prepare the remaining ingredients for the pilaf.
  6. Drain any excess water off the quinoa and allow it to cool slightly. Toss it into a large bowl with the remaining ingredients and stir well to coat in oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
  7. Divide the quinoa pilaf between bowls, followed by the roasted cauliflower and chicken. (I like to slice it before plating.)
  8. Garnish with lemon and some extra parsley if desired, then serve.

Notes

  • Cooking time will depend on the thickness of your chicken breasts. Smaller ones should take 25-30 mins whereas thicker ones may take closer to 40 mins.
  • If you like, once the chicken is finished cooking, you can switch the oven setting to broil for the final minutes of cooking the cauliflower. Just keep an eye on it as it will get crispy fast!
  • Category: dinner
  • Method: roast
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern

Keywords: za'atar, chicken recipes, whole30, paleo, grain-free, gluten free, dairy free, high protein, sugar free

Za’atar Chicken with Turmeric Lemon Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Pilaf | gluten-free, sugar-free, anti-inflammatory, meal prep friendly and high in protein! | My Fresh Perspective | #glutenfre #antiinflammatory #turmeric #cauliflower #highprotein #sugarfree

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