Recipes like this could make me a vegan (again). Cauliflower is one of my most favorite foods, and I love roasting it, but roasting a whole head of it at once with chickpeas in a creamy, amazing-smelling tomato sauce spiced with Indian flavors was out of this world. I rarely try Indian recipes (the name for this is actually Gobhi Musallam) because I just don’t think I’m good at them, but this recipe was so simple anyone could do it, and everyone should. Brendan took one bite of this and sat back all, “Oh my god. This is amazing.” Ummm…I agree. I already can’t wait to have this for lunch tomorrow.
WHOLE ROASTED CAULIFLOWER AND CHICKPEAS IN A SPICED, CREAMY TOMATO-COCONUT SAUCE (serves 4 – recipe adapted almost exactly via Vegan Richa)
– 1 large head of cauliflower
– 1 tsp. salt
– 1/2 tsp. tumeric
– 1 tsp. EVOO
– 1 tsp. butter
– 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
– 5 cloves garlic, chopped
– 1 inch ginger, peeled and chopped
– 1/2 dried chili pepper (this was enough spice for me, but you can add more if you have a higher spice tolerance than me – and you probably do)
– 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
– 1 tsp garam masala
– 1/2 tsp. cumin
– 1/2 tsp. coriander
– 1/2 tsp. tumeric
– 1 tbsp. dried oregano
– 3/4 c. coconut milk
– 1/4 c. ground cashews
– 3/4 tsp. salt
– 1/4 tsp. sugar
For the record, I think coleslaw is the worst. The name is bad, the texture is weird, the mayo-y ness of it is gross, it’s just yuck. That said: this is not coleslaw. This is antioxidant-rich shredded red cabbage (from the Scranton Farmer’s Market, hurraugh!), carrots, cilantro and scallions, dressed with lime juice, rice vinegar, cumin and olive oil. It’s fantastic. We were making shredded chicken tacos with leftovers from a roasted chicken in lemon gold that we had for Sunday dinner, and decided it needed some crunch, so I threw this together and I’m so glad I did. Brendan came home, took one bite and said, “This tastes exactly like my favorite cabbage salad from my favorite Mexican restaurant in Colorado” soooo….you’re welcome, JBG. This was perfect on tacos, but honestly, I would (and did) eat this with a fork by itself. You can throw it together in 5 minutes, but make sure you let it marinate for about 30, so all the flavors come together into a little colorful shredded salad of deliciousness.
SHREDDED RED CABBAGE SALAD WITH CARROTS, CILANTRO, SCALLIONS AND LIME (makes enough for 2 as a side or at least 6 small tacos)
– ½ red cabbage, thinly sliced
– 2 scallions, whites and greens, chopped
– 2 carrots, shredded
– 1/3 C cilantro, chopped
– juice of 1 lime
– ½ tsp. cumin
– ½ tsp. honey
– 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
– 4 tbsp. EVOO
– kosher salt & pepper to taste
1. Slice the cabbage into thin strips.
2. In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, cumin, honey, rice vinegar & kosher salt & pepper. Whisk together so the seasonings can blend in well with the acids. Add EVOO and give everything a good mix so it emulsifies.
3. To the bowl with the cabbage, add the shredded carrots, chopped scallions and chopped cilantro. Mix to combine.
4. Top the cabbage mixture with the dressing and mix it all together really well. Cover and let it sit for approx. 30 minutes, stirring every once in a while to redistribute the dressing.
5. Serve on its own or on top of tacos for a perfect crunch and super bright flavor.
Hands up if you need a little detox after the 4th of July weekend. Oh, you too? We’re officially into July, you guys, so what better excuse to dig up some of my favorite summer salad recipes. With the exception of the tortellini (which is still a healthy, super tasty salad), these salads are all clean-eating recipes that you can make almost exclusively with produce found at your local Farmer’s Market. Best of all, they’re perfect for those mid-summer picnics…no mayo, nothing heavy, just bright flavors that take advantage of all the summer has to offer. So grab a produce bag and head down to the Farmer’s Market to pick up ingredients for some of the best summer salads on my list.
SUMMER SALADS: (Clockwise, from the top left)
1. Fresh Sweet Corn, Avocado, English Cucumber, Feta, Red Onion and Cherry Tomato Salad with a Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette
2. My award winning Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Lemon, Basil, Toasted Almonds and Shaved Parmesan (thanks, Scranton Times-Tribune!)
3. Farmer’s Market Veggie and Quinoa Salad with Basil and Feta in a Honey-Lemon Dressing
4. Chopped Chicken Salad with Summer Nectarines, Avocado and Feta in a Basil Vinaigrette
5. Tortellini Salad in a Lemon-Artichoke Tapenade with Red Bell Peppers, Parsley and Parm
6. Tuna-Chickpea Salad with Lemon, English Cucumber, and Red Onion (no mayo!)
I don’t know about you all, but my first thought this morning was that I’m only t-minus three weeks until vacation. Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend!
SHAVED APPLE AND FENNEL SALAD WITH LEMON AND TOASTED WALNUTS (serves 2-4)
– 1 bulb fennel, top parts cut off (but leaves saved), core removed.
– 1 tart apple
– Juice and zest of 1 lemon
– toasted walnuts, approx. 1/3 cup
– approx. 3 tbsp. EVOO
– kosher salt & pepper
– Arugula (optional)
1. With either a julienne slicer or a Cuisinart food processor with a slicer attachment, shave the fennel bulb and the apple into paper-thin slices (this really makes a difference in the overall salad). Put into a bigger bowl.
2. Over medium heat, toast the walnuts, shaking the pan every minute or so and making sure they don’t burn.
3. Zest and juice the lemon, then add to the bowl with the apple and fennel shavings. Add kosher salt & pepper, mix well to combine.
4. Add EVOO and walnuts, mix. Top with the toasted walnuts and a couple fennel leaves.
5. If using arugula, I just arranged some on a plate, juiced a little lemon over it, then added the apple/fennel salad on top of the arugula leaves. The apple/fennel dressing will work as enough dressing for the arugula.
6. We had this with salmon burgers with a simple lemony dill sauce on avocado toasts. So good.
This has the double benefit of being really great for you and also totally delicious. I would eat avocados and feta at just about every meal and on just about everything, so anytime I can combine those two things, plus get a filling breakfast, I’m down.
AVOCADO FETA TOAST
– Good bread (this makes a difference, you want something a little hearty that will stand up against the avocado-feta mix). I used an organic rosemary-olive oil loaf this time.
– Approx. 1/4 avocado per toast slice
– Crumbled Feta, approx 1 tbsp. per toast slice
– Kosher salt
1. Mash the avocados, then add the feta. Blend well and add Kosher salt to taste.
I honestly couldn’t believe how delicious this was. It’s so light and pretty, the toasted almonds give it that added little crunch and substance, the julienned basil is lovely, and a simple lemon and EVOO dressing brings the whole thing together. Brendan took one bite and said, “I don’t even like raw zucchini, but this is amazing”. Ummm…agreed. I have a feeling I’m going to be making this a lot this summer.
ZUCCHINI RIBBON SALAD WITH LEMON, TOASTED ALMONDS, BASIL AND SHAVED PARM (SERVES 3-4)
– 4 medium-large zucchini, shaved into ribbons with a peeler (approx. 1 zucchini per person)
– 5-6 large leaves basil, julienned
– ¼ C. toasted almond slices (I like slices instead of slivers, I think the crunch is just enough)
– Shaved curls of fresh parmesan cheese
– Juice of ¾ a lemon
– 1.5 Tbsp. EVOO
– Kosher Salt & Pepper
1. Wash the zucchini, then peel into ribbons with a vegetable peeler. I tossed the very first peels that were all green, but kept the rest of them with some green on the sides for a little color. I also stopped when I got down to the seeded middle part, so that the ribbons looked nicer. Add zucchini ribbons to a large bowl.
2. Squeeze a lemon over the zucchini so that it really soaks in. Add the kosher salt and pepper, then use tongs to gently mix it all together. Let it sit and absorb while you make the rest of the salad.
3. Bring a small sauté pan to medium heat, then add almond slices. Shake the pan a couple of times and keep a close eye on these so they don’t burn. They should be toasted in 2-3 minutes, tops. Add almonds to the bowl with the zucchini.
4. Julienne some basil. You can chop it, but the ribbons of basil look so pretty with the ribbons of zucchini. All ribbons, all the time! To julienne, stack the leaves on top of each other, roll them into a little cigar-like shape, then slice from the top down. Throw the basil in with the zucchini and almonds.
5. Drizzle EVOO over everything, use the tongs to mix together.
6. Top with some curls of parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.