"Cauliflower is nothing more than cabbage with a college education." -Mark Twain
We've had a couple weeks of rather unseasonably warm weather recently, broken up by a day or two of winter re-visited. The warmer, spring-like weather piqued my taste buds for something fresh and light. Fresh and light brings to mind salads for me.
I have long been wanting to create a grain-free tabbouleh, the middle eastern dish of bulgur, tomatoes, cucumbers and parsley among other ingredients. I adore the flavors in it yet avoiding gluten, so the traditional version is not a match for me right now. Enter the versatile cauliflower that is popularly being used in everything from pizza crusts to rice substitute to potato substitute to now bulgur substitute. In many stores it comes already pre-chopped in a bag for convenience. My local Costco has organic chopped cauliflower which made me so happy ( if you can't find it pre-chopped, just pulse it in batches in your food processor or chop it by hand.).It turned out to be a great substitute in my opinion. The dish was so fresh and crunchy and cool, it really hit the spot. Instead of the more typical lemony -olive oil dressing though, I dressed it in a version of my Hummus recipe. I thought the result was beyond delicious. I ate the entire recipe myself in two sittings. Oh, yes, did I mention it stays fresh for 2-3 days in the refrigerator? Make ahead salad for the win! It's a great start to a Meatless Monday, if you want to try it out.
Grain-Free Tabbouleh -Serves 4-6 as a side dish
4 cups finely chopped cauliflower
4 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 cup diced red onion
1 cup chopped Italian parsley, stemmed
1 1/2 cups diced cucumber (I use organic English or hot house cucumbers, skin on)
salt and pepper to taste
1 can chick peas, rinsed and drained
3 Tablespoons Tahini (sesame paste)
1 small clove garlic
1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt or sea salt
1/4 cup water or more to get desired consistency
1 pinch ground cumin, optional
1. Place all of the salad ingredients in a bowl.
2. For Dressing: Place all of hummus ingredients in bowl of food processor with metal blade in place.
3. Process hummus until smooth and creamy. Add in more water to thin to desired consistency.
4. Spoon 2/3 cup, or to taste, of hummus onto salad ingredients. Toss to combine. Use as much or as little hummus as you'd like (leftover hummus will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 4 days- use as a dip for your favorite raw veggies or pita chips or as a spread for a veggie-full sandwich or wrap). Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly with salt and pepper.
5. Serve immediately, or cover and store in refrigerator until needed. May be kept refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Happy eating! ♥
"Love is a fruit in season at all times and within the reach of every hand." - Mother Teresa
Back in November I came across a book called Medical Medium, by Anthony William. At the time I had been dealing with a very rare, so-called auto-immune condition called Granuloma Annulare for about 2 1/2 years. In that time I had tried treatments recommended by my dermatologist that only made things worse and left me with unsightly scarring. Dietary changes suggested to me by other practioners also proved fruitless for me for that condition. This book brought me great hope, although it didn't address my condition specifically. I immediately incorporated some of the dietary changes recommended in the book. In January, after the holidays had passed, I started the cleanse. The cleanse is basically a raw, vegan diet , heavy on the fruits, with no fats, including nuts and seeds, allowed for 28 days. I never thought I'd make it 28 days. Every day I told myself just get through today. Then it just got easy to follow, and I ended up doing the cleanse for almost 35 days. The best news of all is that my Granuloma Annulare that had been speading like wildfire, was an angry red color and very itchy, disappeared as did my hot flashes (a bonus). I found it wasn't really all that hard to adhere to the eating plan after the first few days. The food was delicious, life-giving and satisfying. Smoothies like this one became the cornerstone of my eating plan, and I mostly still eat raw vegan because I feel so much healthier and even lighter emotionally.
Chronic illnes or not, this smoothie is simply delicious. My whole family loves them (thank goodness for Costco's organic frozen fruit department)! I have a Vitamix blender, and I still need to let the frozen fruit thaw partially. If you don't have a high speed blender, adapt the recipe to suit the power you have. Anthony WIlliam recommends using all organic produce for best results, but use what your budget allows. The hemp and chia seeds add fiber and bulk to the smoothie as well as protein. THe spirulina will alter the color into a bluish greenish shade, but won't affect the taste. Hawaiian Spirulina is a super food that helps take heavy metals out of the blood stream and also has a small amount of protein.
Green Tropical Smoothie- makes 2
2 cups (slightly heaping) frozen mango chunks
1 cup fresh or frozen pineapple chunks
1/2 cup coconut or filtered water*
1 banana, peeled and chunked
1 cup loosley packed baby spinach (organic)
1 cara cara or other navel orange, peeled
2 Tablespoons organic hemp seeds (optional)
2 teaspoons organic chia seeds (optional)
1 teaspoon Hawaiian Spirulina (optional)
1. In your blender jar, layer coconut water, banana, orange, spinach, hemp, chia and spirulina (if using) and frozen fruits.
2. Blend according to your blenders instructions, until smooth.
3. Pour into glasses and enjoy!
* If using all fresh fruit and you want a slushy consistency to your smoothie, omit coconut water and substitute ice cubes (go into blender last) to get the desired consistency. I'd start with about a cup to start. Here's to your health! ♥