Hey folks! I hope everyone is having a fantastic week! After sharing my hearty chili the other day, I'm back today with something just a bit lighter. I try to find a balance in my meals for the week, so incorporating some raw veggies is always a nice change to freshen up my plate. As the weather starts warming up and more produce comes in season I will definitely be doing more of salads like this. Especially since it gets so hot here I try to use the oven as little as possible once summer is in full swing!
I really liked the salad I made a few weeks ago with the cauliflower rice, so I grabbed another nice large head of cauliflower on my trip to the store this past week. It was so large that I only used about a third of it, then I froze the rest for later use. The parsnips looked nice, as well, so I decided to shred those and keep them as another raw element in my final product.
Really the only thing I ended up cooking was my purple potatoes. I've used them more this winter than I ever have before. They are just so pretty to look at, but also packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They hold up pretty well after roasting, making them perfect to add to a salad as they won't turn to mush like some varieties.
I may have mentioned our mint is already growing like crazy. It's nice to know there are a few things we always have fresh to flavor our meals. I thought a riff on pesto would be nice to mix in to the salad instead of doing a dressing. Besides tasting great, mint is wonderful for digestion, can help clear up congestion and has been reported to actually enhance your mood.
For the Salad:
- 1 pound purple potatoes, quartered
- 2 cups cauliflower rice
- 2-3 small parsnips, shredded
- 1 (15-ounce) package extra firm tofu, drained & chopped (or sub favorite bean of choice)
- leafy greens
- pumpkin seeds, for topping
Arugula & Mint Pesto
- 5 ounces fresh arugula (about 3 heaping cups)
- 1 bunch fresh mint, woody stems removed (about 1/2 cup loosely packed)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1 lemon, juice & zest
- 2 tablespoons Sicilian lemon white balsamic (or other slightly sweet light vinegar)
- optional 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place your potatoes in a baking dish with a thin layer of water and a sprinkle of thyme and pepper. Roast for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Add more water as needed. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Meanwhile, place all of your pesto ingredients in a food processor and blend together. Perhaps this doesn't technically qualify as a pesto since I don't use oil, but either way it's vibrant and delicious! ;)
Once everything is ready, mix together your potatoes, parsnips, cauliflower, tofu & pesto. Serve over a bed of leafy greens with a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds on top for a little crunch. You can cut up some extra lemon for an extra squeeze of juice to really brighten up, especially for leftovers. Enjoy!