Warm Roasted Sweet Potato, Cauliflower, Chickpea and Buckwheat Salad with Tangy Tahini-Balsamic Dressing

Howdy, friends! Are you ready for a warming, grounding, and nourishing winter salad that’ll knock your woolen socks off? I think you are! 

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the direction that I want to take in this life. The quiet of fall and winter welcomes this introspection and deep thought. I had always imagined that I would have it all figured out by now, and yet here I am, three years into my twenties, with a strong awareness of my passions and values, yet only a vague notion of how I am going to direct these passions and values into a fulfilling career. I know that I want to be helping people and the planet in a grand sense, but I also know that I am community-oriented and that I want to effect change at the grassroots level. I know that so many of us in the twenty-something age category feel the same way, and I also recognize how rare it is for anyone- young or old- to “have it all figured out.” I guess I somehow imagined that I would have a ‘real’ job by now, and I have recently fallen into the trap of blaming myself for not being more of a “go-getter” at this point in my life. I’ve definitely fallen hard into the comparison trap as I see so many of my peers succeeding at their chosen careers, buying houses, getting engaged, etc. I know myself well enough to recognize the falsity of my negative self-talk now, though, and I know that this ostensibly stagnant phase will pass. I will soon make a decision about my next step in academics, which will provide some much-needed clarity. I will also soon start training for another race, which provides a much-needed outlet for my overactive mind. Until Christmas, however, I don’t have much going on, and I’m feeling a bit stuck. Recently, I have been relying on a few helpful mantras: 

  1. You’re doing the best that you can. 
  2. You’re doing a little less today so that you can do a little bit more tomorrow. 
  3. Where you are right now is exactly where you need to be. 

Sometimes, however, mantras aren’t quite enough to make me feel better about myself. That’s where hobbies come in: for some, it’s knitting, for others, writing. For me, it’s cooking. Thankfully, my creativity in the kitchen has been at an all-time high recently, and I have at least ten new recipes on their way before Christmas! 

This warm buckwheat salad recipe came into being when I opened the fridge and saw a very sad head of cauliflower gazing back at me, just begging to be roasted with some sweet potato. An unlikely combination, sure, but a match made in vegetable heaven! 

I added in some buckwheat and chickpeas for a dose of complete protein, kale for green goodness, cranberries for sweetness, walnuts for crunch, and avocado for creaminess, then whipped up a tangy, umami rich dressing to go on top. This salad makes the perfect make-ahead meal and it travels well, too! Hello, work and school lunches! 

Warm Roasted Sweet Potato, Cauliflower, Chickpea and Buckwheat Salad with Tangy Tahini-Balsamic Dressing

This warming winter salad is packed with crispy roasted cauliflower and sweet potatoes, toothsome buckwheat, chickpeas, and kale. Avocado gives this salad some richness and a tahini-balsamic vinaigrette provides a crave-worthy boost of umami flavour. It makes the perfect lunch or light dinner on a chilly fall or winter day! 
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: Dinner, Lunch, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 4
Author: Allison

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw buckwheat groats
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 heaping cups cauliflower florets
  • 2 heaping cups cubed sweet potato (about 1 large)
  • 1.5 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 4 cups finely chopped kale (1 bunch)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup toasted and chopped walnuts
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced

Tangy Tahini-Balsamic Dressing

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Instructions

  • 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Place cauliflower on one sheet and sweet potato on the other sheet. Drizzle 1/2 tbsp of the olive oil over each and season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast cauliflower for 20 minutes and sweet potato for 35 minutes, or until both are crispy and fork tender. 
  • 2. Meanwhile, heat 2 cups (500mL) of water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Rinse buckwheat in a fine mesh sieve and drain. Once water is boiling, add buckwheat and 1/4 tsp fine sea salt. Stir, turn down heat to low, and cover. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until all water has been absorbed. Fluff with a fork and set aside until ready to use. 
  • 3. Once buckwheat and vegetables are cooked, combine all salad ingredients (buckwheat, cauliflower, sweet potato, chickpeas, kale, cranberries, and 1/4 cup of walnuts) in a large bowl. 
  • 4. To make the dressing, combine dressing ingredients in a mason jar, secure with lid, and shake vigorously until combined. 
  • 5. Pour dressing over the salad and toss to combine. 
  • 6. To serve, divide salad between 4 plates or bowls. Garnish with the remaining walnuts (if using) and a few slices of avocado. 

If you make this recipe, let me know! Tag your creations on Instagram with #holisticallie! 

Hugs,

Allie xx

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Mediterranean Broccoli and Chickpea Salad with Roasted Pepper and Feta

This Mediterranean-inspired broccoli salad is bursting with flavour, texture, and colour! Broccoli is steamed until just tender and combined with roasted bell peppers and almonds, salty goat feta, sweet currants, and chickpeas! Then, everything is tossed in a tangy lemon-Dijon vinaigrette. This dish is great as a side or as a main dish when paired with a roasted sweet potato or quinoa. 

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Hey, friends! I’m baaaaack with a summery Mediterranean vegetable salad that covers all of the nutritional bases, and is super delicious to boot. I apologize for the prolonged absence, but hopefully now that I can feel the season turning ever so slightly, I will get back onto a more regular posting schedule. Thanks for your patience as I figure out this whole blogging routine. 😉

I’ll confess that I haven’t really been enthused about cooking this summer- a bit worrisome for somebody whose passion is food, but normal, I suppose, in the context of the extreme heat and ecosystem devastation that the planet is experiencing. It’s enough for even the most diehard foodie to lose their appetite. From raging wildfires in California to a grieving killer whale mother carrying her dead calf through the ocean off the coast of British Columbia for what is going on weeks, it’s hard to be an aware human being at this point in time. At the risk of sounding overly political, I am going to come right out and say that I am keenly aware of the reality of global warming/climate change, and the trends are incredibly worrisome. My response to stressors of any kind has always been to turn inward, and while I feel guilty at times for not being a more vocal activist, it has never been my style. I have always felt more comfortable with leading by example. I have deep respect for anyone who is a vocal activist, don’t get me wrong. But it has never been my style and I wouldn’t be my authentic self if I pretended that it was. So I return to my kitchen, again and again, because it has always been my happy place and, increasingly, because it is through my food choices that I feel I am able to vote for a more just and sustainable future.

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Now, I am not saying that salad will save the world. What I am suggesting is that the more of us who prepare meals in our own kitchens, using locally and sustainably-sourced ingredients, the better off our world will be. And at a time when more and more of us feel powerless in the face of rising seas, droughts, wildfires, and unprecedented pollution levels, being connected to our food is a pretty necessary thing indeed.

Hopefully I don’t come off as preachy; that is never my intention. I just can’t pretend that everything is just fine when the world is a mess. Sure, it’s fun to scroll through Instagram and admire all the pretty food photos, but there are so many important and pressing issues that we all need to be devoting time and energy to. Hopefully I can use this platform as a force for good by providing ideas for how to restore our connection to the earth, starting with the food that we purchase and eat. And that brings me to this salad. I put seasonal, farmers’ market-fresh ingredients to good use here, with broccoli, roasted bell peppers, and red onion playing starring roles. I added some local goat feta for a salty contrast, but feel free to omit it if you are vegan or dairy-free. Roasted almonds or seeds provide some toothsome crunch, while dried fruit adds sweetness. The tangy lemon-Dijon dressing is light and coats the ingredients nicely without overpowering them. Overall, this salad is filling and hearty while remaining light enough to eat in the heat of summer. I enjoy serving it with a baked sweet potato to complete the meal!

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Thanks for sticking with me through this post, and I hope that you enjoy this salad as much as I do! If you make it, let me know! Leave a comment below, and tag me on Instagram @holisticallie and #holisticallie. 🙂

Mediterranean Broccoli and Chickpea Salad with Roasted Peppers and Feta 

Servings: 4-6
Time: 30 minutes
Cuisine: Plant-based, Gluten-free, Vegetarian, Vegan

Ingredients: 

  • 5 cups broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 cup roasted red or orange pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup roasted almonds (I roasted organic raw almonds at 325 F for 10 minutes)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup dried currants
  • 1/2 cup finely diced goat or sheep feta cheese (optional, omit for vegan option)

Lemon-Dijon Dressing

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tbsp chickpea miso or mellow white miso (if you are unable to find this miso, substitute 1 tbsp tamari or 1/4 tsp fine sea salt, to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Steam the broccoli until tender-crisp, about five minutes. Remove from heat and empty into a large bowl.
  2. Add remaining salad ingredients to the bowl with the broccoli.
  3. Make the dressing by adding all ingredients into a medium Mason jar. Screw on lid and shake to combine.
  4. Pour the dressing on top of the salad and toss until incorporated.
  5. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator until ready to eat. This salad will keep in the fridge for a few days, although the broccoli will begin to lose its bright green hue!

 

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Mahalo Kale Salad with Peanut Marinated Tempeh and Coconut Basil Lime Dressing + a few thoughts on gratitude

IMG_9235ma·ha·lo
ˈmäˌhälō/
exclamation & noun: a Hawaiian word used when thanking someone
As local produce starts to flood the farmers’ markets at this time of the year, my heart overflows with gratitude. Gratitude for the local farmers who work tirelessly to maintain the integrity of the land and put food on our tables. Gratitude for Mother Nature, who continues to provide for us in spite of the destructive forces that humankind exerts on her to no end. Gratitude for my family and chosen family. And even some gratitude for my healthy mind and body, both of which I now see as good friends and allies in my holistic health journey.

Continue reading “Mahalo Kale Salad with Peanut Marinated Tempeh and Coconut Basil Lime Dressing + a few thoughts on gratitude”

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