Golden Cauliflower Quinoa Salad

As a person who eats plant-based, you become fairly familiar with the “grain salad” option at barbecues and summer picnics. I do not want to decry these dishes–I am glad they’re becoming more popular! However, often times they leave much to be desired in the satisfaction department.

Repeat after me: this vegan staple does not need to be boring! With the right combinations of textures and flavors it can shine as a side dish and even serve as a filling entrée.

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I like to take a “fully loaded” approach when making any kind of salad. Finding complementary flavors is so important.

Cauliflower and parsley are often partnered in Mediterranean cuisine, while smooth turmeric tahini dressing marries the individual ingredients. Raisins or craisins provide a subtle pop of sweetness while pistachios offer satisfying crunch.Quinoa and chickpeas amp up the protein quotient. However, feel free to use whatever grain you have on hand (barley, brown rice, millet, cous cous) and cook accordingly.

While it may look like a long list of ingredients, but they come together fairly quickly once prepped. The flavors of this salad get better the longer they sit, which makes this ideal for packed lunches during the week.

“Golden” foods are fairly trendy right now, for good reason! Turmeric and ginger have a host of anti-inflammatory benefits and pack a lot of flavor. If you’re looking for more golden recipes, check out my:

Coconut Ginger Golden Lentil Bowl

Vegan Cheez Its

Chai Latte Baked Donuts

Let’s make a crave-able salad, shall we?


Ingredients:

For cauliflower:

  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets.
  • 3 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • Salt and pepper

For dressing:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 TBS tahini
  • Juice of 1 small lemon
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp maple syrup

For salad:

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1/2 cup raisins or craisins
  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped
  • About 2 cups chopped spinach

Method:

  1. Begin by preheating your oven to 400. After lining a baking sheet with parchment or a Silpat, and toss cauliflower with spices and insure the florets are fully coated. Roast for 25-35 minutes, until softened and golden brown. Set aside to cool.
  2. Add all ingredients for dressing to a Mason jar, secure lid, and shake until incorporated. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine roasted cauliflower, quinoa, chickpeas, pistachios, raisins, parsley, and spinach. Mix well. Pour dressing over everything again and stir to coat.
  4. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days! Can be eaten warm or cold.

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