Easy Vegan Dinner: Sweet Potato and Roasted Cauliflower Vindaloo

Easy Vegan Dinner: Sweet Potato and Roasted Cauliflower Vindaloo
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Easy Vegan Dinner: Sweet Potato and Roasted Cauliflower Vindaloo

Looking for easy vegan dinner options? This spicy vegan vindaloo features roasted cauliflower and sweet potatoesserved over rice. All of this, of course, with the help of Maya Kaimal’s simmer sauces – my new best friend in the kitchen. I love how easy vegan dinner can be with these sauces, each made with a list of pronounceable and recognizable ingredients.

Easy Vegan Dinner Vindaloo with Sweet Potatoes and Roasted Cauliflower
Easy Vegan Dinner: Spicy Vindaloo with Sweet Potatoes & Roasted Cauliflower

An Excuse No Longer – But, I Don’t Have Time for Healthy Vegan Cooking 

If there’s one criticism I hear frequently it’s that cooking a healthy vegan dinner at home is time consuming. It’s one I can’t really disagree with. If your goal is to eat healthier, vegan dinners full of ingredients that you can pronounce, time and effort is often required.

Lately, I’ve thinking about ways to simplify this. In my own life, as well as in yours. To that end, I’ve been working on more one-pot vegan meals, like vegetable heavy soups and savory pasta sauces (okay – technically, that’s two pots: one for the pasta and one for the sauce). I’ve also tried to build up an arsenal of commercially made seasonings and sauces that are vegan and not overly processed. 

Some Easy Vegan Dinner Ideas

This quest has led me down a lot of different paths, but I have come up some winners. First, I’ll brag about my Easy Vegan Yellow Split Pea Soup, an early addition to my Easy Vegan Recipe Series. Despite the simple list of ingredients, this soup is richly flavorful due in large part to a few hacks for eeking some good umami out of plant-based ingredients like tomatoes and onions. You’ll have to read that blog post though for those. 

Another winner: Maya Kaimal’s Indian Simmer Sauces.  Before I get into how tasty and inventive these sauces are, I will disclose that I have a partnership with this brand. BUT. But it’s because I sought them out. You see, I am smitten with their vegan sauce options. I first started taking their Everyday Dal packets on family camping trips. They’re such an easy way to eat well in 80 sq. ft. of campervan space (more on that later). Then I came across their vegan simmer sauces and quick and easy vegan dinners have not been the same around here.

For this vegan recipe, I used Maya Kaimal’s Spicy Vindaloo Indian Simmer Sauce. Vindaloo is an Indian curry dish. It’s traditionally made with pork, but you might also chicken, beef or lamb vindaloo on the menu as well. What you won’t often find is a vegetarian or vegan-friendly vindaloo. That is, until you take matters into your own hands and bring this easy vegan meal to your table using cauliflower and sweet potatoes.

Easy Vegan Dinner Vindaloo with Sweet Potatoes and Roasted Cauliflower
Easy Vegan Dinner: Spicy Vindaloo with Sweet Potatoes & Roasted Cauliflower

Vindaloo is a spicy dish, so it’s near and dear to my heart. What I especially love is the way that the sweet potatoes play well with the spicy sauce. Vindaloo sauce gets it heat from serrano pepper which is rounded out by other spices like paprika, ginger, coriander, turmeric, mustard, cumin and cinnamon. And if that doesn’t sound lovely enough, this combination of spices is made into a sauce when combined with coconut cream and tomato paste. 

Roasting Your Cauliflower and Sweet Potatoes First

With the sauce taken care of, this easy vegan dinner practically makes itself. I start by roasting my cauliflower and sweet potatoes. You can, if you’d like, put them directly into the pan with the sauce and allow them to simmer until soft, but I do like the extra step of roasting them. Roasting cauliflower gives it a very nice nutty flavor and both vegetables, when roasted, take on a nice crispy exterior with a soft interior. I think it’s worth the little extra effort.

I roast my vegetables on high heat, setting my oven temp at 450 degrees. Why high heat? The idea is to cook the outside of the vegetables quickly, obtaining a crispy crust, before all of the moisture in the vegetables evaporates.

Want to hear an even better trick? Steaming your sweet potatoes and cauliflower before you roast them goes a step further in ensuring that they’re not wrinkled and dried out when you pull them from the oven. This tip, of course, came from my friends at America’s Test Kitchen. It’s a bit I learned from The Science of Good Cooking. How do you do this? Cover the baking sheet with tin foil for the first 10-15 minutes of roasting them. Then, uncover and allow them to finish. Sweet potatoes and cauliflower will need to roast for different lengths of time, so I recommend putting them on two separate baking sheets. 

Putting This Easy Vegan Dinner Together

Toward the end of the roasting process, I get started on the sauce. First, I sauté some onions, garlic and fresh ginger in about 1 tbsp of coconut oil. Once the onion becomes browned, I add the Maya Kaimal Spicy Vindaloo Simmer Sauce, timing it with the final roasting time for the cauliflower and sweet potatoes. I then add those ingredients and stir the dish so that everything is evenly coated.

Easy Vegan Dinner Vindaloo with Sweet Potatoes and Roasted Cauliflower
Easy Vegan Dinner: Spicy Vindaloo with Sweet Potatoes & Roasted Cauliflower

For serving, I like this dish over rice. For this presentation, I used Maya Kaimal’s Surekha Rice (pronounced sir-RAY-ka), which is ready for serving in about 90 seconds. If you’d like to make your own rice, I recommend a basmati rice with this dish. Finally, for garnishment, I added some sliced chili peppers, including jalapenos and Fresno peppers as well as some torn cilantro. Go easy on those peppers though, this dish is spicy on its own. I’m a fool for extra spice though and I do love the color they add to the dish as a whole! 

What’s in My Kitchen to Make This Vegan Recipe Easier?

Want to know what tools and resources I keep on hand to make my vegan cooking even easier? Here’s a short list of what helped me create this blog post and recipe. For the complete list, visit my Shop where you can find the kitchen gadgets I like as well as a list of books that I recommend

Deep-Sided Skillet

I love having a skillet with some depth to it. I use it regularly when making a dish like this where there is some liquid that I need to cook off. A cast iron skillet would work as well, but mine is a little too small for this recipe. This is a non-stick pan, but to ease my mind about using it (and recommending it), I did a little research. In general, you don’t want to overheat a non-stick pan.

Be really thoughtful when you’re preheating it on the stove before adding oil. If your oil is smoking, that’s a sign that your pan is getting to hot. And, you should use soft utensils so as not to scratch the surface. Like that handy-dandy wooden scraper I suggested? 

Wooden Spoon & Scraper

This wooden spoon & scraper is great for getting your sweet potato and kidney bean vegan breakfast burrito filler evenly cooked. I like to use a deep-sided skillet (see below) when making this dish and it has square edges at the bottom. This spoon & scraper helps me get to them.

A Really, Really Good Chef’s Knife

No, that’s not the brand. It’s just the idea! But,I own this set of Global™ knives and They’re some of my most prized possessions in the kitchen. This set is universally well-rated for the at-home chef and will get you a good, solid set of knives without totally breaking the bank.

Garlic Peeler

I only bought one of these a few months ago, but wow! I’m so much happier not peeling garlic cloves with my fingernails. I’m pretty sure I’ll collectively get at least a day of my life back because of this device.

Garlic Press

I’ve read a dozen posts about why you shouldn’t use a garlic press. One of them actually suggested that they take up valuable kitchen space. I mean, I guess if you have a tiny kitchen you might have to make those choices. They’re smaller than a can opener. I love mine. I hate, hate, hate mincing garlic. 

Aluminum Baking Sheets

Down a broiler pan? These aluminum baking sheets come highly recommended by the cooks who know best – EpicuriousCooks Illustrated and Food & Wine. I bought mine because I needed a good, sturdy baking sheet to use under the broiler. One that wouldn’t warp – and this one lives up to the task.

Aluminum is a good conductor of heat, so these baking sheets cook evenly. They’re also light in color, so they discourage over-browning. 

The Science of Good Cooking

If you’re a food science geek like me, let this be your bible. While not vegan (or vegetarian) specific, this book offers up a wealth of information about how to cook food. Little tricks, like salting your zucchini zoodles for sauces like Homemade Garden Vegetable Tomato Sauce and what type of potato will work best in soups like my Vegan “No Chicken & Biscuits.”

Ove Glove Pot Holder

Love to cook with cast iron? Ever forget how hot those handles get? Yeah, me too. The Ove Glove will help to protect your hands when cooking (and forgetting). 

These covers are heat safe to 540 degrees and two come in a package – one for holding the handle and one for supporting the bottom of your cast iron skillet (because we all know it’s too heavy to pick up with one hand. 

Easy Vegan Dinner: Sweet Potato & Roasted Cauliflower Vindaloo

Looking for easy vegan dinner options? This spicy vegan vindaloo features roasted cauliflower and sweet potatoesserved over rice. All of this, of course, with the help of Maya Kaimal’s simmer sauces – my new best friend in the kitchen. I love how easy vegan dinner can be with these sauces, each made with a list of pronounceable and recognizable ingredients.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword easy vegan dinner, easy vegan recipes, roasted cauliflower, savory vegan dinners, sweet potatoes, vegan, vegan Indian food, vindaloo
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 2 people

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower washed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 medium sweet potato washed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tbsp high-temp oil I like grapeseed oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 small yellow onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced or crushed
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger minced
  • 1 12.5 oz jar Spicy Vindaloo Simmer Sauce Maya Kaimal's vegan Spicy Vindaloo Simmer Sauce (this can also be purchased at Fresh Market, Walmart,  Food Lion, Hannaford and   Shoprite markets)
  • 1 8.5 oz pkg Perfectly Plain Surekha Rice Maya Kaimal's Perfectly Plain Surekha Rice (this can also be purchased at Fresh Market, Walmart,  Food Lion, Hannaford and   Shoprite markets)
  • 1 jalapeno washed and sliced; for garnishment
  • 1 Fresno pepper washed and sliced; for garnishment
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro washed and torn

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

  2. Wash and cut the cauliflower and sweet potato into bite-sized pieces. Spread each vegetable, separately, out on a baking sheet and gently mix with 1 tbsp of grapeseed oil, salt and pepper. Cover with aluminum foil. 

  3. Roast the cauliflower, covered, for 15 minutes. Then remove the foil and roast for an additional 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. 

  4. Roast the sweet potato, covered, for 15 minutes. Then remove the foil and roast for an additional 20-25 minutes or until browned. 

  5. Toward the end of the roasting process, heat up the coconut oil in a large skillet. Sauté the onion on medium-low heat until browned. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes more being careful not to burn.

  6. Add the simmer sauce to the pan, as well as the roasted vegetables. Stir to coat.

  7. Prepare the rice in accordance with package directions. 

  8. Serve the vegetable vindaloo over rice and garnish with sliced chilis and cilantro. 

About Herbivore’s Kitchen 

Herbivore's Kitchen A Vegan Diet Blog for Beginners
Herbivore’s Kitchen Creator: Kate Friedman

Herbivore’s Kitchen is a blog run by me, a plant-based home chef and aspiring food photographer. I switched my and my family’s diet to a plant-based diet after learning about the health benefits of going vegan. Making this change has prompted a variety of food and holistic-lifestyle related questions that I explore through this blog. I talk about how to pick and prepare the most nutritious foods, to how to reduce waste at home, to how to live a more sustainable lifestyle while on the road. 



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