Recipe: Vegan Harissa Cauliflower and Chickpea Pilaf

There have been a slew of ‘marry me’ recipes on TikTok over the last few months. Marry me chicken, marry me pasta etc etc, recipes ‘so good’ that they might make someone want to propose to you. Putting aside the misogynistic undertones of the implication that women are trying to get men to propose to them by wooing them with their cooking (yes, yes, I know there is not an explicit female skew, there are lots of men taking part in this trend too, but we all know where this ‘and she can cook’ thing comes from), I just felt that it was time to highlight a little bit of an antidote to the date-dinner movement. One of the most brilliant things about being single is being able to cook yourself whatever you want, whenever you want. Want to eat nothing but scrambled eggs on toast for dinner for a week straight? Nobody there to tell you not to. Decided to give up meat and dairy for Veganuary? Nobody will tell you it’s messing with their diet regime. Want to spend three hours, mid-week, on an extravagant multi-dish curry that you can gorge on and then freeze down the leftovers to feed you for a week? Go right ahead. My mid-week feast this week didn’t take hours, only about 30 minutes, and it was a great way to use up a cauliflower that I’d bought to do something nice with that didn’t involve cheese. So, allow me to present you with my delectable vegan harissa cauliflower and chickpea pilaf, so perfect for enjoying alone that I’ve named it ‘divorce me pilaf’. 

Disclaimer: I make things up as I go along so amounts and instructions are rough. 

Here’s the cook-along TikTok version: 

@singlemotheredit Just a happy divorcée eating WTF I like for dinner every night not trying to accidentally make anyone marry me with my delicious cooking (because I’m not offering it to anyone). 💗 #recipe #recipesoftiktok #marrymechicken #cauliflower #veganrecipes #vegan #chickpeas #divorce #divorcemeveganpilaf ♬ Come Check This (Quickie Edit) – FETISH

Vegan Cauliflower & Chickpea Pilaf Recipe



  • 1 Cauliflower
  • 2 tbsp rose harissa paste
  • 1 can of chickpeas (or half jar of fancy organic chickpeas)
  • 200ml vegetable stock
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup basmati rice (or 1 x pouch pre-cooked)
  • 1 lemon (optional)
  • 1 tbsp Dairy-free yoghurt (optional)
  • Flaked almonds
  • Handful sultanas


  • Handful rocket 
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Pomegranate seeds (optional)



  1. Wash and roughly chop cauliflower along with leaves and stem.
  2. Mix 2 tbsp harissa paste with a squeeze of lemon juice and a splash of olive oil. Marinate cauliflower pieces and leaves in the mixture and spread in an oven dish. 
  3. Place in pre-heated oven and cook for 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, brown onions and garlic in a pan with oil. 
  5. Add the stock and chickpeas and gently heat. 
  6. Add the pre-cooked basmati rice and a handful of sultanas and remove from the heat. 
  7. Remove the cauliflower from the oven and mix in the rice and chickpea mixture, sprinkle over the flaked almonds and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes.
  8. Prepare the salad by drizzling oil and a squeeze of lemon juice over the rocket and adding a handful of pomegranate seeds. 
  9. Once ready and slightly crisped, serve the pilaf with the salad, adding a dollop of dairy-free yoghurt and another sprinkling of pomegranate seeds. 
  10. Eat. Alone. (And happy.) 

MORE RECIPES: Sticky Toffee Coffee & Walnut Cake | Butter Bean Brownies 

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