Rinse and dry the head of cauliflower and carefully cut off the bottom stalk without removing too much of the core. You want the entire head intact for baking. Peel away any remaining green leaves and place in a cast-iron skillet (or other oven-safe pan).
In a mixing bowl, mix together avocado oil or melted coconut oil, water, shawarma spice blend, harissa paste (optional), maple syrup, and salt. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more shawarma for smoky flavor, harissa paste (optional) for spiciness, maple syrup for sweetness, or salt for more intense overall flavor.
Flip your cauliflower upside down and pour on most of the sauce. Let the sauce pour down the core, shake it around so it infuses the center, and then flip the cauliflower over and use a brush to rub the leftover sauce (including any that seeped into the pan) all over the exterior for maximum flavor. Place cauliflower core-side down before baking and add an extra pinch of salt and spice blend to the exterior for extra flavor.
To brown the exterior, increase heat to high broil and roast 2-4 more minutes, watching carefully as not to burn.
*To prepare quinoa, add 1 cup uncooked (rinsed) quinoa to a saucepan and toast for 3 minutes on medium heat. Then add 1 3/4 cups water and stir. Bring to a boil over high heat. Then reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 18-20 minutes or until liquid is fully absorbed. To infuse with flavor, add salt and preferred spices when you add the water.
*If opting for curry powder, use this DIY Curry Blend or store-bought.
*Inspired by our Shawarma Roasted Cauliflower Steak and The New York Times Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Almond Herb Sauce
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional serving ingredients.