At each age, Haile Thomas’ life has revolved around nutritious food. Her Jamaican immigrant mother taught her how to cook when she was five, and three years later, when her father was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, her family turned their diet and lifestyle into a nurturing center and restorative food. When Thomas was 12, she founded The organization HAPPY, a non-profit organization that promotes the mental and physical well-being of young people by developing knowledge about diet and self-advocacy. At 17, she was the youngest certified integrative health coach in the United States. With her messages of healthy eating and youth empowerment, she has appeared in the White House, at Food tank tops, and in the national media.
And last year she published a cookbook-slash-empowerment-manifesto, Live alive, which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award. In addition to the more than 80 herbal recipes, his book opens with a series of essays on his upbringing, how we are shaped by what we consume and Thomas’s seven “Power Points”. From wellness and relationships, to education, creativity and community, and conversations with young women who embody these principles, Thomas breaks down the components of a lively life. And as one of the essays notes, the book is meant to be interactive – “a place where food stains and deep thoughts can coexist!” She writes – so there are journal pages and writing prompts to encourage thought and action.
“We really want [youth] see food and cooking as something that can really permeate their daily life and be something super fun and accessible ”, Thomas told Food Tank President Danielle Nierenberg at the Food Tank Summit 2018.
For our third monthly cookbook series, Food Tank is excited to share Thomas’ recipe for Red Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Chimichurri Sauce. If you missed the first few installments of our cookbook series, we’ve featured two recipes from Jubilee, Toni Tipton-Martin’s award-winning exploration of hundreds of years of black cuisine, and a selection of fall recipes from Beth Dooley’s local and seasonal cookbook The lively cuisine. Make sure to grab these recipes, but first, join us as we cook and live a busy life with Haile Thomas!
And one more thing: when you cook this recipe at home, let us know! Tag us on social media @FoodTank or #FoodTank so we can admire your meals and share your photos.
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Red roasted cauliflower steaks with chimichurri sauce
Makes 4 servings
Knowing how to season and roast a good cauliflower steak is essential at home, so I pass this favorite recipe on to you! Due to the neutral flavor of cauliflower, it’s a great canvas for spices and sauces that really pop. Serve with your favorite vegetables and grains!
—Haile Thomas, Living Lively: 80 Herbal Recipes To Activate Your Power And Nurture Your Potential
- 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon of paprika
- 1 tablespoon of dried thyme
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- Kosher salt
- 1 medium cauliflower, cut through the core into four slices about ½ inch thick
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- ½ cup of fresh cilantro, leaves and stems
- ½ cup of fresh parsley, leaves and stems
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- Kosher salt
1. To roast the cauliflower: Preheat the oven to 425 ° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, combine garlic powder, paprika, thyme, cayenne pepper and salt to taste.
3. Arrange the cauliflower “steaks” on the prepared baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle the herb and spice mixture evenly on both sides of each cauliflower steak. Drizzle the cauliflower steaks with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
4. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until the cauliflower is golden and crisp on top.
5. Meanwhile, to make the chimichurri sauce: In a food processor, combine the cilantro, parsley, basil, garlic, olive oil, vinegar and salt to taste and mix until smooth consistency. Put aside.
6. Drizzle the steaks with the chimichurri sauce and serve.
From LIVING LIVELY by Haile Thomas Copyright © 2020 by Haile Thomas. Reprinted with permission from William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.