I often surprise myself at how quickly I can sometimes manage to pull together a meal, and this salad is probably the best example. With exactly 1 hours notice to get ready after quite a sweaty workout and a 20 minute drive to the destination, I was asked to make a salad to bring to a barbeque. But the thing was that my fridge was pretty empty and there just was no time to go to a shop. So I took a deep breath, had a think and came up with one scrumptious and healthy salad, and managed to impress a lot of fussy eaters.
The beauty of this recipe is that it is full of a nutrient called choline. Although choline is probably not a nutrient you’ve heard of, it is considered to be an essential nutrient that is required to send messages from the brain through your central nervous system. It is also a major component of bile, produced by the liver to aid the digestion and absorption of fats from food. The consumption of choline has been associated with a protective effect against heart disease, and those who do not consume enough have a higher prevalence of high blood pressure, gastric ulcers and cardiac symptoms. So choline really is a nutrient you want to be friends with.
1x cauliflower, sliced thickly and broken into bite-sized pieces
2x small potatoes, washed, skin on, diced into 1cm pieces
1tsp cumin powder
1tsp coriander powder
1/2tsp ground cinnamon
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2tsp Himalayan rock salt/Murray River pink salt/sea salt
1-2tbl rice bran oil
1x can red kidney beans, drained and thoroughly rinsed
2 large handfuls baby spinach, roughly chopped
1x cucumber (just the regular kind, or half a telegraph cucumber), diced into 1/2cm cubes
4tbl sesame seeds
2tbl extra virgin olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
Handful of parsley, roughly chopped
Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. In a large bowl, add cauliflower and potato and cover with the spices, garlic, salt and rice bran oil. Mix to coat evenly, spread onto a baking tray (over baking paper) in one even layer. Bake in oven until golden brown for at least 10/15 minutes (sorry, I forgot to time it).
Meanwhile, prepare the other vegetables and place in salad bowl. When cauliflower and potato are cooked, add these, the sesame seeds, olive oil, lemon juice and parsley and toss to combine. Add some black pepper if you like.
The salad can be served both warm or cold and is a great addition to any main meal, especially some barbequed chicken or steak. It is also vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, dairy free, nut free and low calorie.