I cherished the end of daylight saving time. The extra hour of sleep was spectacular, but now I would do anything for just one more hour of light in the evening. It seems every year we collectively forget what winter feels like, and we are shocked when the weather turns, the temperature dips, and it’s dark by 4:30pm.
We’ve been quite fortunate on the west coast as it’s been unseasonably warm. Don’t get too jealous—we set a new rain record with 28 days of rain in October (insert crying emoji here) and are still waiting on the final results from November. But instead of dwelling on the dark and wet days, I’m here to introduce you to the idea of a winter salad. Yes, you heard that right; salads aren’t just for summer anymore. Picture winter vegetables roasted until golden and sweet, tossed with a bright lemon vinaigrette, fresh herbs, and crumbled feta. To make it a more substantial meal I added some leftover brown rice, a can of chickpeas, and of course, something green because everything you eat should be colourful.
I chose vegetables that would stand up well in the fridge without getting soggy. No one wants a soggy salad. You can swap out the sweet potatoes for winter squash or carrots, and I’m thinking the next time I make this I’ll add roasted Brussels sprouts or broccoli instead of the kale.
Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Chickpeas and Brown Rice
A delicious winter salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 149
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 11g
Total Carbohydrates 35g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
- 1½ cups uncooked brown rice
- 1 head of cauliflower, chopped into small florets
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 bunch of kale, stems removed and leaves chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- ¼ cup chopped fresh dill
- ½ cup of crumbled feta cheese
- salt and pepper
- juice of 2 medium lemons
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ cup olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook brown rice. I use a 1:2 ratio of rice to water and cook in a rice cooker. If in doubt, google “how to cook rice” ☺
- Preheat oven to 425F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.
- Chop cauliflower and sweet potato into bite-sized pieces and toss with 2 tablespoons oil and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Spread vegetables evenly on the 2 baking sheets and roast for 25–30 minutes, stirring occasionally until vegetables are soft and golden brown. Set aside to cool.
- While the vegetables and rice are cooking, make the dressing by mixing the lemon juice, minced garlic, and the olive oil in a small bowl or jar. Add salt and pepper to taste. The dressing should be bright and lemony.
- Once all the ingredients are cooked and slightly cooled, assemble the salad by mixing together the brown rice, dressing, chopped kale, drained chickpeas, chopped parsley and dill into a large bowl. Stir to combine. Next, add the roasted cauliflower, sweet potato, and crumbled feta. Taste and add more salt/pepper if necessary.
- Cover and refrigerate the salad for a few hours to let the flavors marry.
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So, I bought an ice cream maker.
We have many great independent ice cream shops around the city, and we’ve been known to buy a pint or two from time to time. But at over $10 per pint it’s an expensive habit. So, when I found an ice cream maker on sale, I knew I had to buy it—to save money of course! (Anyone who knows me, or has ever been shopping with me before, knows that I can rationalize just about anything.)
My adventures in homemade ice cream making have been fantastic so far, and I’ve been experimenting with a few recipes for Greek yogurt ice creams and fruit-based sorbets. You may be asking yourself, “what’s ice cream got to do with salad?”” Well, I had some very ripe mangos left over after making a batch of coconut mango sorbet and a fridge full of fresh herbs after a recent trip to the farmer’s market!
New Potatoes are such a treat in the summertime. They are small, freshly harvested potatoes, that have a natural sweetness, and hold their shape after cooking – making them a perfect potato to use in salads. For this easy side dish, I’ve lightened up a summer favourite, -the classic potato salad. A tangy lemon-dijon vinaigrette loaded with tons of fresh herbs make for a refreshing twist on the traditional mayo-based dressing. Plus, I’ve added some crunch with tons of green and yellow beans, fresh from my father-in-law’s garden!
Having just returned from our honeymoon I wasn’t quite ready to let go of the bright tropical flavours we enjoyed while we were away. Luckily, I found a sale on perfectly ripe mangos the other day, and I knew I wanted to use them in a veggie-packed quinoa salad.
It’s reached that time of year again. It’s officially too hot to use any appliance in our small, one-bedroom apartment. Dinner-sized salads have edged out comforting soups and stews on my dinner rotation. I came home from work needing something quick to eat. Since I didn’t have any leftover protein in the fridge, I went to my trusty cupboard and grabbed a can of chickpeas. These little beans pack a punch of protein, vitamins and minerals, as well as heart healthy fibre. You’ve heard me talk about fibre before and for good reason. Most of us simply don’t get enough! By adding more fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and these versatile legumes into your diet, you can easily boost the amount of fibre you eat.
This salad has all the key ingredients of a delicious and satisfying meal-sized salad; crunchy vegetables, tangy dressing, protein-packed chickpeas and a burst of flavour from the lemon and fresh herbs. I can already picture this salad going perfectly alongside grilled meat or fish, or even wrapped in a tortilla for a quick lunch.
Happy New Year everyone! We had a busy Christmas this year with lots of family and friend get togethers, which meant I spent a lot of time in the kitchen, but don’t get me wrong I enjoyed ever minute of it. This salad was my contribution to an after Christmas potluck dinner. It was the perfect side dish to offset all the rich food we’d been eating over the holidays. Even my sister-in-law, who doesn’t like fruit in her salad, ate all of the leftovers!
To help kick off the holiday season I thought I’d share this festively coloured beet “risotto”. This isn’t a traditional risotto, since it’s made with barley instead of arborio rice, but the result is a deliciously creamy dish with roasted beets and tangy goat cheese. The barley adds a wonderful nuttiness and it’s almost impossible to overcook, so no need to worry about a mushy risotto!
You may be asking yourself, “What is white borscht?” Well that’s exactly what I asked myself when I walked into a small café and saw the soup of the day. Borscht is something I’ve made many times in the past, but it always has a distinct purple colour thanks to the beets. So what made it a white borscht? The waitress could obviously sense my confusion and she offered to give me a sample. After one sip I knew it was exactly what I was going to order for lunch. As it turns out, white borscht is a lot like beet borscht, just minus the beets!
My aversion to meat as a young child forced my mom to come up with creative ways to transform vegetables, and occasionally chicken or fish, into delicious meals for the whole family. We often ate vegetarian meals and to this day, even though I’m not quite as picky with meat, I still like to make a lot of meatless meals. I always keep dried legumes and canned beans in my pantry so I can whip together nutritious meals even when my fridge isn’t well stocked. Beans and lentils are inexpensive, a good source of protein, and packed full of fibre – which helps to keep you full and satisfied!
Having many green thumbs in your family means occasionally having to come up with creative ways to use fresh produce. This was the case this past summer with a seemingly endless supply of eggplants from my parent’s garden. I used this opportunity to make baba ghanoush, a roasted eggplant dip, which just so happens to be one of my favourite dips. As I was browsing through recipes I realized how the ingredients in baba ghanoush were almost identical to those in hummus, so combining the two just made perfect sense!