More than just cauliflower, this sweetly spicy and nutty creation of goodness involves unsweetened chocolate, cinnamon, chili powder, coconut oil – and beyond the best “Cs” in the food world – delicata squash.  It is oh, so delicious, really.  Really.

With the intention of creating something a bit unique, the dusting of the cocoa and cinnamon over the oven roasted veggies truly “kissed” the senses as I devoured the flavors in this dish.  The satisfying mouth-feel and aroma of the coconut oil, along with the ever-desired sweet starchiness of the delicata squash created one of the most satisfying mouth experiences (ahem, food related) I’ve had of late.  AND, given that I’m not overly keen on pork much of the time, the addition of a perfectly grilled and finely spiced tenderloin created a truly culminating experience.

Take your time.  Allow the flavors to develop.  Enjoy the aroma.  Savor the spices.  LIVE the experience and allow it all to happen.

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Cocoa Chili Kissed Cauliflower (with Delicata Squash and Pork Tenderloin)

1 small head cauliflower, broken into flowerets
1 delicata squash, seeded and sliced into 1/2″ arcs
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
2 Tbs. melted coconut oil
1 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 lb. pork tenderloin, seasoned with salt and pepper and grilled to perfection

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Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Toss the veggies with the melted coconut oil in a large glass baking dish and “dust” with the spices and seasonings.  Toss again to fully coat.  Cover with foil and bake, approximately 20 minutes.  Remove foil and toss again.  Continue baking uncovered for an additional 10-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  (The squash should be soft, but retain the “arc” shape).  
Meanwhile, season and grill the pork tenderloin to absolute perfection.

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Serve the veggies and pork together and delight in the truly amazing flavor combination.

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11 thoughts on “Cocoa Chili Kissed Cauliflower

  1. This sounds amazing! May I ask if ‘chili powder’ is just ground chili or is it a blend of spices?

    1. Bren,
      I hope you take the opportunity to prepare this for yourself. It truly is amazing!!
      The chili powder I used was a blend of chili spices. I believe that any standard chili powder blend would be suitable, as the combination of flavors and the earthy blend of the cocoa powder will balance the spice interaction. I hope to hear how it turns out for you!

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