Reunited and it feels so good…
Mamas, I’m baaack! While I was in Germany last month, my goal was to keep up my blogging pace for the entire time I was there. That totally worked for all but five minutes because, you know, vacation (if you follow me on Instagram you may have seen some of my European shenanigans). And even though I’ve been back stateside for over a week now, I was unable to write anything coherent earlier because life just kept getting in the way. I’m talking jetlag, lost luggage, a broken computer, new schools, new jobs, new schedules. Sound familiar? My head may have been spinning a little but finally my bloggy and I, we both are so excited, ’cause we’re reunited, hey, hey.
And what better way to get with it again than to give you a delicious salad recipe? I know you’ve been waiting for it! Since I tell you all the time to A) eat more greens B) eat more veggies C) eat more fresh fruit and D) eat more nuts and seeds, I feel like it is practically my duty to come up with new ways of combining all of those things into one tasty dish. Am I right? So there – dark leafy greens, roasted cauliflower, tangy citrus, and protein-packed quinoa, topped with a simple oregano vinaigrette and boom…we are in business!
For the salad:
- 3 cups lettuce (Romaine, butter, green leaf, red leaf, any leaf)
- 3 cups kale or spinach
- 1 cup radicchio
- 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
- 2 cups cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 dried dates, finely chopped
- 1 clementine or small orange, peeled and diced
- 1/4 cup raw cashews
- 1/4 cup goat cheese (optional)
For the dressing:
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Zest and juice from 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon raw organic honey (or maple syrup as a vegan option)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh oregano, minced
- Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400° F.
- In a medium bowl, combine the cauliflower florets with one tablespoon olive oil, add salt and pepper, and stir lightly until evenly coated.
- Spread the cauliflower florets in one layer in a large shallow baking pan or on a cookie sheet and roast for 25-35 minutes, turning them about every ten minutes, until tender and golden brown. Set aside to cool off.
- Put all of the remaining ingredients for the salad in a large serving bowl. Add the cauliflower and gently mix until everything is thoroughly combined.
- Place all of the ingredients for the dressing in a food processor and blend until smooth.
- Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve immediately.
- Cauliflower. Don’t you just love it? My whole family sure does yet we do not seem to incorporate it into our diet nearly enough. Big mistake! Cauliflower – like broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and other members of the brassica family – is known to support the body’s detoxification activities. High vitamin C and manganese content as well as beta-carotene and many other antioxidant phytonutrients help fight oxidative stress in our cells and therefore, reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. In addition, cauliflower is high in vitamin K, a nutrient that offers powerful anti-inflammatory benefits.
- Why eat store-bought salad dressing? Sure, it’s convenient but most of them are also loaded with cheap vegetable oils, sugar, sodium, MSG, dyes, preservatives, and other additives. Even if you do not have all of the ingredients above, you can always just mix some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, (lemon juice if you’re feeling fancy), salt and pepper for a quick yet clean alternative to the packaged dirty stuff.
- You can substitute the fresh with dried oregano, just remember that dried herbs are generally more potent and concentrated than fresh ones. The conversion ratio is about 3:1 which means that one tablespoon fresh equals about one teaspoon dried herbs.
- Depending on where you live, you may have a hard time finding (tasty) oranges in the summer. Feel free to use other fruit such as green apples or grapes instead.