Roasted Cauliflower and Lentil Power Salad is a delicious vegan entree salad full of filling superfoods and tasty Middle Eastern inspired flavors. A copy of Power Plates was sent to me by the (alas closing down) Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. Affiliate links have been used to link to items I am discussing.
Woo-hoo it is a good time to be a Michigan Wolverine!!!!!!!! Don’t care about basketball or ice hockey and my corresponding euphoria that both men’s teams are headed to their respective Final Fours? Feel free to hit Jump to Recipe! Otherwise, well, just bask in the glory with me and understand that not much cooking happened the last two weekends. Man I love March Madness.
As it turns out that is really all I have to say about sports. Just YAY!
On to this Roasted Cauliflower and Lentil Power Salad and the cookbook it came from, Power Plates: 100 Nutritionally Balanced, One-Dish Vegan Meals by Gena Hamshaw of The Full Helping. When I chose to request the book from Blogging for Books I knew I was stretching my horizons. On the one hand, you guys know I love one pot or one bowl meals, and I am completely happy eating vegetarian (I would say about 35-45% of our meals are vegetarian). On the other hand, if I am being completely honest, I don’t get veganism and have no desire to ever eat vegan (on purpose).
So I am reviewing this book from two perspectives: how much am I inspired by Power Plates and what did I think of the recipe I made where I did not allow myself any non-vegan substitutions. So, inspiration wise, this book is a winner! Yes I would make tons of recipes in this book (Masala Lentil Salad; Sweet Potato Salad with Tempeh and Maple Mustard Dressing; Chai Spiced Millet Porridge; Sweet Potato Bowl with Cilantro Lime Rice and Black Beans; etc) and yes I would substitute dairy, honey and in some cases even meat, like crazy to satisfy myself. For example, this Roasted Cauliflower and Lentil Power Salad, with its Middle Eastern flavors, really cries out for yogurt in the dressing. If I made it again I would cheerfully add the yogurt. Or some crumbled feta. Which I guess kind of answers the second part of the review, which is that if you do not enjoy a vegan diet, I don’t think you can pick this book up and really enjoy making the recipes exactly as written. I really liked this salad but I think yogurt would have made it more filling still and given it a creamy depth. And feta would give it some salty tang.
But because I am comfortable substituting where I want to, I am super happy with this book. If you are comfortable with a vegan diet or with making substitutions I think you will be too.
I loved this Roasted Cauliflower and Lentil Power Salad because I love arugula. My family I think would have preferred I mixed maybe half arugula and half spring mix instead (Hamshaw called for a little kale but I did not bother). They don’t adore the little bitter green the way I do. Likewise they would have preferred more cauliflower (which they definitely loved). But the basic flavor profile was a hit and I will definitely play with making it more to my family’s tastes another time. We have always adored Roasted Cauliflower with Chaat Masala, and the cumin and sumac act very similarly (earthy and tart)–I suspect it will be added to our regular rotation of ways to serve roasted cauliflower.
On one last note–which table (background) did you prefer? The warmer orange that hi-lights the carrots or the off white that lets the green of the arugula really pop?
Closely adapted from Gena Hamshaw.
- ¾ cup dry brown, green, or Le Puy lentils, picked over (or substitute 2 cups cooked lentils) (I used lentils du puy)
- 1 medium head cauliflower, broken into bite-sized florets
- 2 T vegetable oil (I used avocado oil)
- 1 T freshly grated lemon zest
- 2 t ground cumin
- 1 T sumac
- ½ t coarse sea salt
- 1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
- 2 medium-large carrots, grated
- 3 heaping cups arugula
- 1/4 cup hot water
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup tahini paste
- 2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more to taste
- 1/2 t agave or maple syrup, plus more to taste
- 1/4 t coarse sea salt, to taste
- 1/8 t freshly ground black pepper
Preheat your oven to 400F. If you're cooking lentils from scratch, mix the dry lentils in a saucepan with enough water to cover them by two inches. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
Let the lentils simmer for 25 minutes, or until the lentils are still tender but retain their shape and firmness, while you work on prepping the rest of the salad. When the lentils are mostly tender, add a pinch of salt. When they are completely tender, drain and set aside to cool.
Toss the cauliflower florets with the oil, sumac, lemon zest, ground cumin, salt, and black pepper. Spread the veggies onto 2 baking sheets.
Roast the cauliflower for 20-25 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender and lightly browning. Stir them on the sheet halfway through roasting. Allow the roasted cauliflower to cool to room temperature.
Pour the hot water over the garlic. This will help tone down the harsh effects of the garlic. When the water has cooled to a warmer room temperature, whisk in the tahini, lemon juice, salt, agave or maple syrup and freshly ground black pepper to make the dressing. If it's too thick, add a few extra tablespoons of water. Taste for more lemon juice, agave or maple syrup and salt.
Make sure the carrots are grated.
When the lentils and cauliflower are cool, toss them together with most of the shredded carrots. Toss all of that with the arugula.
Pour the dressing over the whole salad and toss to coat--I found it easiest to use clean hands, as the cookbook suggested. Plate the salads, sprinkling the remaining shredded carrots over each serving.
Looking for a collage to pin?