There’s no time like springtime to fill up on farm-fresh greens and crisp vegetables. Take advantage of nature’s peak season by eating easy dinner salads all week.
Add protein. Protein transforms a boring side salad into a satisfying main course. Marinated steak, grilled chicken, boiled eggs and seafood are all hearty options, but don’t overlook plant-based protein sources such as chickpeas, black beans, tempeh and tofu.
Toss in grains. A true main course borrows from all the food groups, grains included. Grains, such as bulgur and quinoa, not only add extra texture to your dish ( they also pack another punch of protein, which will keep you from sneaking dessert or a midnight snack later.
Experiment with toppings and bases. Who said fruit can’t be invited to the party? Crisp apples or nectarines add a welcome tartness that can be lacking in your salad. Dried cranberries and grilled peaches add a complimentary sweetness to an otherwise savoury dish. Experiment with other toppings, such as creamy goat cheese, avocado, fried Asian noodles or bacon. Remember that lettuce isn’t the only acceptable base. Ready-to-make cauliflower rice, such as Mann’s Cauliflower Cauliettes, can make a hearty substitute for plain spinach.
Dress it up. Ditch bottled dressing and start making your own ( it’s easy and way healthier. One of most basic and versatile types of salad dressings to make is a vinaigrette. Just mix one part vinegar/acid to two to three parts oil. You can experiment with different oils, such as walnut or grapeseed, as well as acid in options like balsamic vinegar, lemon juice or sherry. A bit of Dijon mustard or tahini can help make it a bit creamy. Once your basic mix is ready, you can add other flavour components like herbs, seasonings, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, nuts or whatever you fancy.
Moroccan Cauliflower “Couscous” Salad
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
• 1 bag (14 oz) Mann’s Cauliflower Cauliettes
• 1 tbsp coconut oil
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1 tsp ground cumin and paprika
• 1/2 tsp each ground coriander and salt
• 1/4 tsp each ground cinnamon and pepper
• 1/4 cup water
• 1/4 cup lemon juice
• 1 can (19 oz/540 mL) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
• 1 red pepper, chopped
• 1/3 cup red onion, chopped
• 1/4 cup orange juice
• 1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
• 1/4 cup toasted almonds, slivered
• 3 tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped and divided
• 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
• 1 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
1. Heat coconut oil in large skillet set over medium heat; cook Cauliettes, garlic, cumin, paprika, coriander, salt, cinnamon and pepper for about 5 minutes or until well coated and Cauliettes start to soften. Stir in water; cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until no liquid remains and Cauliettes are tender. Stir in lemon juice. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
2. Toss together cooled Cauliettes, chickpeas, red pepper, red onion, orange juice, apricots, almonds and 2 tbsp cilantro. Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes or until chilled. Sprinkle with remaining cilantro, pomegranate seeds and mint.
Find more springtime salads and seasonal meal ideas at www.culinarycutsclub.com.