I’m a bit disappointed in myself. National Mac n’ Cheese Day — not to be confused with National Mac & Cheese Day on July 14th (who knew that a swift conjunction swap necessitated a separate holiday) — was this past Monday, and I completely missed it. I don’t play into too many of the national food holidays, but Mac n’ Cheese Day deserves a special exception.
There I went posting this recipe for a protein smoothie when I could have been talking about comforting noodles coated in gooey, melty cheese. Please forgive me protein smoothie, I love you too.
Although I don’t have a mac n’ cheese recipe for you today either, I do have a really delicious cauliflower detox salad. You might think this sounds like a let down after all that cheesy noodle chit chat above, but I think this recipe will pleasantly surprise you.
Raw cauliflower is grated into a fine “rice” and tossed with savory pine nuts, sundried tomatoes, kale, parsley, basil, hemp seeds, and pepitas; a line-up that contains many of nature’s finest detox-inducers. Cauliflower, kale, basil, and hemp seeds, in particular are wonderful at ridding the body of nasty toxins. Oh, but wait, there’s more.
The dressing that gets poured over this powerful combination of veggies is an addictive blend of tahini, fresh lemon juice, garlic, and seasonings; yet another mix of detoxifying ingredients. Lemon juice, in particular, is known for its detoxification properties as it stimulates the release of enzymes that convert toxins into a water-soluble form that can be more easily released from the body. Pretty nifty, isn’t it?
The most important part? This salad is taaaaaaas-T. It’s crunchy, bright, herbacious, fresh, savory, citrusy, and satisfying. This is a good-for-you salad that will have your taste buds and your body thanking you. Plus, I don’t know about you, but my mind always feels more at peace after enjoying a dish like this; one that nurtures and restores without sacrificing flavor. Eating healthy doesn’t mean giving up the foods you love; it means opening up the doors to also include the foods that love you back, both in flavor and nutrient goodness. That being said, let’s promise each other that we’ll always leave room for something sweet; we can have our health and eat cake too.
- 1 head of cauliflower, de-stemmed and cut into large pieces
- 2 cups finely chopped dino or lacinto kale (de-stemmed)
- ⅔ cup chopped sundried tomatoes
- ¼ cup finely chopped Italian parsley
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- ⅓ cup raw pine nuts
- ¼ cup hemp seeds
- ¼ cup raw pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup raw tahini
- 1 garlic clove
- ¼ cup water
- ½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- black pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon agave nectar (optional)
- Grate the cauliflower pieces in a food processor with the grater attachment in place. You can also use the regular attachment and pulse until the cauliflower is riced.
- Transfer the riced cauliflower to a large, non-reactive bowl, and add in the kale, sundried tomatoes, parsley, basil, pine nuts, hemp seeds, and pepitas.
- Make the dressing by adding the lemon juice, tahini, garlic, water, sea salt, and black pepper to a blender. Blend on high for 1-2 minutes or until smooth and creamy. If desired, add in ½-1 teaspoon agave nectar to balance the acidity of the dressing.
- Pour the dressing over the cauliflower mixture and toss to coat.
- Serve and refrigerate leftovers.