cauliflower + roasted garbanzo "rice and peas" with avocado, apples, radishes, herbs etc. // the first messpin it!cauliflower + roasted garbanzo "rice and peas" with avocado, apples, radishes, herbs etc. // the first messpin it!ingredients // the first messpin it!

Would you cross a moat for a meager handful of chives? I kind of did that a couple times this week. There’s only one green and edible thing out back right now and even though some heavy rain made for a solid foot of water between me and the goods (and even though there was a fridge full of totally passable fare), I had to have those little emerald green blades. They were certain proof that the world was at work once again, all despite the lump of icy grey grit-snow in the shadiest part of the yard, just uglying it all up.

So I’ve been throwing the wellies on and going out to the spot under the old apple tree to get my spring-y fill. It’s been cool and wet, the kind of cold that feels like it could turn you inside out it’s so penetrating. Sometimes I forget to put a jacket on, but it’s always worth it. This is all part of an ongoing life-betterment thing where I chase meaning and act out of intention rather than leaning into habit by seeking comfort. I’m taking extra care, going the long way around, considering actions for longer than what is probably necessary, and I’ve been shifting things around to make more room for the more creative bits, including this little space.

I mostly feel like I’m just thinking about things more, and a noticeably more active mind seems to equal a certifiably solid stream of ideas. Somewhat predictably, those ideas dabble in food a lot and that’s how I ended up with this non-rice and non-peas rice + peas.

If you have a partial understanding of what a food blog is, you’ve probably heard of a) processing cauliflower so that it can ape rice/couscous and b) roasting chickpeas for a crunchy snack. I originally thought of pairing this cauliflower rice dealy with fresh peas, but they’re just so far off and that’s just as well. The warm and golden garbanzos add to the transitional feel of this dish. I use herbs in their whole leaf form with a heavy hand for brightness. Thin radishes, apples and avocado make this a bit sharp, juicy and rich. The dressing couldn’t be simpler either. I wrapped big scoops of it into little radicchio lettuce cups and it was such a perfect lunch.

Anyway, short and sweet one today, and the gentlest of nudges/a tiny reminder that you still have until midnight tonight (EST) to vote for your faves in the Saveur Best Food Blog Awards. This one right here is nominated in the special diets category at the bottom of the page if you feel like supportin’ a gal. Big hugs this week, all :)

chive retrieving // the first messpin it!cauliflower blitz // the first messpin it!cauliflower + roasted garbanzo "rice and peas" with avocado, apples, rashishes, herbs etc. // the first messpin it!mixinpin it!cauliflower + roasted garbanzo "rice and peas" all wrapped up // the first messpin it!
Print the recipe here!
NOTES: If you don’t have a food processor, some milling with a knife will get the cauliflower florets small enough, as long as you have the patience :) Also, I wrapped up some of this mix in radicchio leaves for a handheld version. I feel like some chopped up pickled jalapeños would just be so great here, if you have them around.

1 1/2 cups fully cooked chickpeas, towel dried
zest + juice of 2 limes, divided (my limes were extra juicy-seeming)
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
chili powder (chipotle, ancho etc), to taste
sea salt & ground black pepper, to taste
1 tbsp grainy mustard
1/2 tbsp maple syrup/raw honey

1  head of cauliflower, core removed
3-4 radishes, thinly sliced
1 cup flat parsley leaves
2 sprigs fresh mint, leaves sliced
2 green onions, finely sliced
1/4 cup chopped chives
1 crisp apple (like fuji or pink lady), sliced thin
1 ripe avocado, peeled and cut into chunks
1/3 cup sunflower seeds, toasted

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spread the chickpeas out on a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle them with a bit of lime zest, chili powder, salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Toss the chickpeas to coat and slide the tray into the oven. Roast until lightly crispy and golden, about 15 minutes.

Whisk together the remaining lime zest, lime juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, grainy mustard, and maple syrup. You can also shake this up in a sealed container. Add a splash of water if it seems quite thick. Set aside.

Start turning the cauliflower into rice in batches. Place a few handfuls of the florets into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the “S” blade. Pulse the florets until you have small, rice-like bits of cauliflower. Scrape the riced cauliflower into a large bowl. Repeat with remaining cauliflower.

Pour the dressing over the cauliflower rice, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat.

To the large bowl, add the radishes, parsley leaves, mint, scallions, chives, sliced apple, and roasted chickpeas. Toss it all lightly to combine. Top it all off with the diced avocado, sunflower seeds, and some more salt and pepper if you like.

  • Skye09/04/2014 - 4:12 am

    I have seen lots of recipes recently with ‘cauliflower rice’, but this one really has me wanting to make it – I love all the colours of the fresh herbs and crunchy chickpeas sound like a heavenly combination. Thanks for the recipe inspiration!

    PS Congratulations on the nomination – so well deserved! :)ReplyCancel

  • Amy @ wrapped in newspaper09/04/2014 - 4:39 am

    I love how versatile cauliflower is. It’s like, there’s nothing I can’t do you just go and try and I’ll deliver!! I made a roasted cauliflower and garbanzo salad a few weeks back but I think I’ll have to get my food processor out and try this recipe with riced cauliflower this time! Thanks for sharing and congratulations on the nomination!!! XReplyCancel

  • Katie @ Whole Nourishment09/04/2014 - 5:11 am

    Wow, this is a gorgeous salad, well-worth the schlep to retrieve the chives. ;-) I love everything about it, especially the chipotle and maple additions!ReplyCancel

  • Francesca09/04/2014 - 5:20 am

    The maple syrup seems a little too sweet here. I just can’t imagine it with these other ingredients.ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright09/04/2014 - 7:01 am

      Hi Francesca, I almost always include some sort of sweet component in any dressing/vinaigrette I make, just to balance flavours and whatnot. You could just leave it out if it’s not your thing.

  • Jo from yummyvege09/04/2014 - 7:44 am

    Wow that is a salad I can’t wait to try. I take it the chick peas in this recipe are preboiled? I’ve seen other recipes where they are just soaked.ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright09/04/2014 - 8:22 am

      Hi Jo! The chickpeas are fully cooked. Made a note in the recipe :)

  • Ali @ Inspiralized09/04/2014 - 8:43 am

    The food looks so fresh – I love the use of chickpeas here, very creative. HI, spring!ReplyCancel

  • Ashley09/04/2014 - 9:24 am

    These are some of my favorite photos of yours, ever. Especially the 3rd from the top and 2nd to last. Framers! Also, your words. I feel like we are in a bit of the same place right now and while work is hectic + crazy(good) I’m trying to slow down my mind a bit. Taking more time to notice daily life happenings. Hugs, lady friend. (And…voted :))ReplyCancel

  • Deena Kakaya09/04/2014 - 9:58 am

    What a hearty and colourful take on a classic. I love the variety of textures in this dish. Beautiful pics too xReplyCancel

  • Ashley09/04/2014 - 10:07 am

    It is 7am and I want to make this now!ReplyCancel

  • Betty Jo09/04/2014 - 10:28 am

    Hi Laura,

    I followed your link from Ashley’s Edible Perspective, and am I ever glad I did! Your blog and photography is wonderful. So is your recipe index. I eat basically Paleo but I see scads of recipes here I can adapt. I just tried cauliflower rice for the first time last week, stir fried, and “WOW!” was it incredible. I will definitely be trying your dish from this post. I have a sensitivity to dried beans, “sob”, so will substitute chicken which should work nicely with the other ingredients. Now I’m going to explore your lovely site further.ReplyCancel

  • Kristen09/04/2014 - 10:38 am

    These photos are beautiful. I’ve been in such a salad rut lately, so much so that I’ve almost completely avoided them. I think this will drag me out of that. :)

    Thank you. xxReplyCancel

  • Sini | my blue&white kitchen09/04/2014 - 11:15 am

    This is such a perfect spring dish! I could live in these pictures (except in that puddle).ReplyCancel

  • Chelsea // The Naked Fig09/04/2014 - 12:04 pm

    What a delicious mix of flavors! So Fresh!ReplyCancel

  • Kathryne09/04/2014 - 12:24 pm

    I’m a little behind on the cauliflower couscous thing, but if it gets your stamp of approval, I’ll surely try it soon. I finally have my own yard so I think I’ll try to grow some herbs, greens and tomatoes this year. Better get on that, huh?ReplyCancel

  • Eileen09/04/2014 - 1:25 pm

    What a beautiful bowl of food! I love the mixture of all the different herbs. So good!ReplyCancel

  • Emma09/04/2014 - 1:30 pm

    Haha “If you have a partial understanding of what a food blog is…” Well, cauli rice and roasted chickpeas are popular for a reason I guess! Love your creative take on them.ReplyCancel

  • Hanna Woeking09/04/2014 - 3:41 pm

    Ive recently re-fallen in love with cauliflower, this looks amazing :)ReplyCancel

  • molly yeh09/04/2014 - 5:45 pm

    aren’t fresh chives the BEST?! ok and i have never made cauliflower rice (the thought has kind of confused me until now?) but seeing your pictures, it allllll makes sense now!ReplyCancel

  • Mila09/04/2014 - 6:18 pm

    This looks perfect for summer- light and fresh.ReplyCancel

  • Katie09/04/2014 - 6:29 pm

    Where does the grainy mustard fit in the recipe? I see it as an ingredient.ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright09/04/2014 - 7:08 pm

      Katie, it’s in the dressing! I think I might have been a bit snoozy when I wrote this recipe out.. :/ Sorry about that. Fixed it in the recipe.

  • Patti09/04/2014 - 9:01 pm

    This looked so yummy to me, but I’m a raw vegan… so here’s a version I wrangled up for supper… broccoli instead of cauliflower cuz I didn’t have any cauliflower in the house. Raw sunflower seeds, soaked buckwheat groats instead of chickpeas, persimmon seeds instead of apple, coconut aminos instead of sweet… The rest basically the same…. Really, really yum… Thanks.ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie @ Everyday Feasts10/04/2014 - 2:52 am

    This looks delicious! I love using radicchio leaves as cups :)ReplyCancel

  • Alexandra @ Made to Glow10/04/2014 - 8:08 am

    Wow, this is gorgeous! Just found you from Pinterest and so glad I did. I just happen to have a cauli head ready to go and can’t wait to try. Thanks so much! Will be sharing on my social media – I know my readers will love this!ReplyCancel

  • Brittany10/04/2014 - 12:21 pm

    I’m loving cauliflower rice and this salad looks absolutely delicious! Can’t wait to try it.ReplyCancel

  • […] Speaking of good food, how amazing does this look? […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Kitchen. Alex and I have even made cauliflower crust pizza that is really amazing as well. This recipe for “rice and beans” from The First Mess is definitely next on our list of dishes to […]ReplyCancel

  • Kristen14/04/2014 - 1:09 pm

    Congrats on your win!!!!!!!!ReplyCancel

  • P. Cruickshank-Schott14/04/2014 - 10:05 pm

    1. My raw variation of this dish was totally yum… so thanks…
    2. Congratulations on your Saveur award. I sure voted for you!! How great!ReplyCancel

  • Anna15/04/2014 - 1:50 am

    This looks absolutely amazing, I’m obsessed with cauliflower right now. Congrats on your Savuer win, you absolutely deserve it.ReplyCancel

  • Phoebe Lapine @FeedMePhoebe15/04/2014 - 11:17 am

    I’m always looking for new, healthy GF dinner recipes…will be keeping this in mind for the future. :)ReplyCancel

  • Lynn @ The Actor’s Diet15/04/2014 - 11:51 pm

    Cauliflower is the new kale. I can’t get enough!ReplyCancel

  • Katie16/04/2014 - 1:07 am

    Made this for dinner tonight – both the boyfriend and I loved it! I didn’t use any parsley or mint just because I didn’t have any on hand and it was still very flavorful. I’d been meaning to try cauliflower rice for awhile and now I’m so excited about the possibilities. Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Margaret17/04/2014 - 11:35 am

    I made this for lunch today and it’s delicious! No radishes because Trader Joe’s didn’t have any, but still great!ReplyCancel

  • […] recipe finds from the week: Homemade Reese’s Peanut Butter Easter Eggs from Texan Erin Cauliflower and Roasted Garbanzo Beans “Rice and Peas” from The First Mess Strawberry Creme Truffles from My Whole Food Life Raw Carrot Pasta with Ginger […]ReplyCancel

  • Phoebe Lapine @ Feed Me Phoebe18/04/2014 - 12:02 pm

    This is such an interesting mix of ingredients! I can’t wait to try this dish out.ReplyCancel

  • kanwal singh19/04/2014 - 8:05 pm

    Omg this looks ever so interesting- it is going to be made tomorrow -I cannot waitReplyCancel

  • Deb21/04/2014 - 1:08 am

    Made this yesterday with roast. Was delicious!ReplyCancel

  • Ani {@afotogirl}22/04/2014 - 4:58 pm

    This looks absolutely delicious! Can’t wait to try it.ReplyCancel

  • […] for creaminess.  I had seen a post by one of my favourite local vegan-ish bloggers Laura from The First Mess using riced cauliflower and was dying to try it.  I don’t think carbs are the enemy, but if […]ReplyCancel

  • Easter recap | Kid and Goat02/05/2014 - 11:06 pm

    […] since I was cooking for myself basically, I would make something super healthy.  Enter this recipe for cauliflower rice I found on […]ReplyCancel

  • nancy allen10/05/2014 - 12:49 am

    I am in salad heaven after discovering The First Mess, can’t wait to pass this onto my son. Thank you so much!ReplyCancel

  • Jenny Depa-Karl20/05/2014 - 8:47 am

    OMG! Everything looks delicious… I want to make it ALL!!!! I may add a little of my farm fresh [goat muilk] feta to this recipe (:ReplyCancel

  • […] eats: Spring green risotto with peas and asparagus / Cauliflower and roasted chickpeas / Rhubarb oat quick […]ReplyCancel

  • Carla21/06/2014 - 3:59 pm

    Made the cauliflower salad today and it was delicious. Although I just chopped the cauliflower – and the dressing was fabulous. My two sons every every bite.ReplyCancel

  • […] The First Mess knows how to make a mean “rice and peas” with all of the best crunchy elements […]ReplyCancel

  • Yum, We Love Apples03/10/2014 - 7:10 am

    […] I’ve fallen in love with this salad. […]ReplyCancel

  • […] The large white radish has long been called 'little ginseng' in China. The old saying goes that 'when radishes come onto the market, nobody will go to the pharmacies.' Radishes are moderately high in Vitamin C, carotene and contain properties that appear to be beneficial for symptoms of colds, flu, fever, cough, respiratory problems, and digestive disorders. And Radishes can aid digestion, dissolve phlegm, and reinforce energy as well as clear a stuffy nose, ease sore joints, even help you sober up. You can easily add it to your salad like here. […]ReplyCancel

  • […] *Original recipe found here: […]ReplyCancel

  • thefolia20/12/2014 - 1:50 am

    Yum, yum, yum can’t wait to make this! I use a cheese grater to get the florets into crumbs–less cleaning of items. Happy Nesting.ReplyCancel

  • Kathy Patalsky11/01/2015 - 3:01 am

    LOVE this! Beautiful photos as always. Would love to see it on!ReplyCancel

  • […] it. This recipe is for a super healthy and delicious cauliflower salad that I originally found on The First Mess while searching for ideas for lunches to have at work during the week. To prepare the […]ReplyCancel

  • Links I Love #8Whatever Works06/03/2015 - 8:12 am

    […] Une autre recette parfaite, fraîche et délicieuse. […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Cauliflower and Roasted Garbanzo “Rice & Peas” :: The First Mess […]ReplyCancel

  • […] in these posts: really good tomato soup, (gluten-free + vegan) chocolate hazelnut torte, and the cauliflower and chickpea “rice + peas” salad. My most popular recipe is the spaghetti squash noodle bowl with lime peanut […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Spring Salad (cauliflower and roasted garbanzos via the first […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Spring Salad (cauliflower and roasted garbanzos via the first […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Vous retrouverez la recette ICI. […]ReplyCancel

  • Marla17/01/2016 - 9:01 pm

    Just made this for lunch. It was so good. Thank you!!ReplyCancel

  • Natalie Y23/02/2016 - 6:54 am

    Gorgeous photography! This looks absolutely delicious. Thanks for the recipe! :)
    Yours Truly, NY | INSTAGRAMReplyCancel

  • […] This Salad is just too so […]ReplyCancel

  • […] This Salad is just too so […]ReplyCancel

  • […] This Salad is just too so […]ReplyCancel

  • pbest17/03/2016 - 7:36 pm

    Had this for dinner this evening. Wow! wonderful flavors and just right to bring in the Spring weather. Thank you once again for a great successful meal to share with my hubby.ReplyCancel

  • […] Cauliflower and Roasted Garbanzo Rice and Peas […]ReplyCancel

  • christine27/03/2016 - 4:55 am

    Have just discovered this lovely recipe – it was the sight of the chopped avocado that caught my eye! I eat avocado almost every day – yummy:) I keep meaning to try cauliflower “rice”, ‘cos I love cauliflower every which way, so will give this a whirl next time I have a decent cauli to hand. I have been venturing out to crop the new chives for a couple of weeks now, it is so worth the effort – those and fresh marjoram leaves are the freshest things in the garden at the moment:)ReplyCancel

  • Federica28/03/2016 - 3:59 pm

    Very beautiful pictures!ReplyCancel

  • […] Salad with Roasted Chickpeas, Radicchio and Chervil Inspired by The First Mess [Serves […]ReplyCancel

  • Tina Davis12/03/2017 - 12:45 pm

    FYI, Trader Joe’s now sells the riced cauliflower in a bag. I can’t use my Cuisinart because of the blade recall, so that is a good option.ReplyCancel

  • […] out pretty nicely then that a few days ago, when I was deep in a Google rabbit hole, I came across THIS SALAD from the ultra-inspiring-plant-based-goals blog known as The First […]ReplyCancel

  • […] and sunflower seeds, and round the whole thing out with a tangy lime dressing. This recipe is from The First Mess, and I’m linking directly to it because I basically changed nothing. Laura makes awesome […]ReplyCancel

  • Sam22/05/2019 - 5:48 pm

    I make this with pearl couscous instead of cauliflower rice, and it’s delicious! I’ve already made it three times since April.ReplyCancel

  • Scarlet10/09/2019 - 10:16 am

    My daughter to trying to eat more plant based meals so I always love running across recipes like this one that I think the whole family can enjoy. Pinning now to try soon.ReplyCancel

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