Unbrave Eats: Roasted Cauliflower Salad

January 30, 2013

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You guys, I roasted some cauliflower.

And I put it on top of a salad.

And I ate it.

For dinner.

Twice.

In one week.

Is this what happens when you turn thirty-seven? You start eating vegetables on top of other vegetables? Like, on a regular basis? And not just because you’re trying to impress some cute vegetarian dude who asked you out?

Not that I’ve ever done that.

I mean, I’ve gone out with a vegetarian before. I just didn’t feel any need to eat vegetables to impress him. In fact, I think the reason why I went out with him was because I was happy to finally meet someone I wouldn’t have to share my bacon with.

I’m blaming Real Simple for my new vegetable-on-vegetable eating habit.

(Yes, I’m calling it a habit. I mean, twice in one week, guys! That’s more than I comb my hair!)

You know how some women read fashion magazines and end up feeling really bad about themselves afterwards because they don’t look like supermodels?

Well, that’s my relationship with Real Simple. Except it makes me feel really bad about myself because my medicine cabinet doesn’t look like this:

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Instead, it looks like this:

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Yes, that is my kitchen counter.

And, yes, that is a bottle of wine in the back there. But it’s red wine, you guys. Which I’m pretty sure is full of Vitamin C or echinacea or something.

In case you’re not familiar with Real Simple, Wikipedia describes it as a “monthly women’s interest magazine” featuring articles on “homekeeping, childcare, cooking and emotional wellbeing.”

This may seem like rather odd reading material for a girl who lives in a barn, doesn’t have any children, hardly ever cooks and has been known to break down over episodes of Dance Moms.

But, you guys, I can’t help it.

The magazine just makes all this hard stuff look, well, simple.

Like, oh sure, why don’t I just make a doily out of powdered sugar for the top of a cake? I can totally do that. Even though I can’t remember baking a cake, like, ever.

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Or, oh yes, I can turn someone down without stuttering, breaking out into hives and then telling him that I might have body lice.

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I try not to buy Real Simple very often because I know how it will make me feel about myself. And my medicine “cabinet.”

But when I spotted the January edition at the grocery store, I had to buy it.

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Because I want to be the happiest, healthiest me!

I mean, who doesn’t?

Plus, I kind of have this thing for the color green.

I mean, who doesn’t?

Somewhere after the article that explained how to get rid of unsightly, under-eye circles and instructions for DIY Valentine’s Day cards, I found a recipe for something called “kale and roasted cauliflower salad with tahini dressing.”

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And because the only word I could really understand in all of that mumbo-jumbo was “cauliflower,” I ended up buying a cauliflower roughly the size of my head.

Meet Cauli-Godzilla.

Meet Cauli-zilla.

And, lest you forget, I kind of have a big head.

Why, yes, my forehead is all natural. Why do you ask?

Why, yes, my forehead is all natural. Why do you ask?

Since I didn’t have any of the ingredients for the Real Simple-sanctioned salad, I had to make up my own recipe.

It went something like this:

1. Cut up half of the humongo cauliflower into florets.

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This will be hard to do seeing as the only cutting board you own is roughly the size of a postage stamp.

And because you have a tendency to cut your fingers every single time you pick up a knife.

Seriously.

EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

2. Toss the cut-up cauliflower with some garlic, parmesan cheese and olive oil.

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I would give you the measurements, but measuring ingredients is not really my jam.

Besides, you can never really have enough garlic, parmesan or olive oil.

That is a fact.

3. Put the cauliflower into the oven at 450 Fahrenheit for twenty minutes.

Or until the fire alarm goes off no less than two times.

4. Beat the fire alarm with your hand or the closest available shoe.
 
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Because, seriously, that fire alarm needs to know who’s boss around here.

5. While the cauliflower is roasting (and in between pounding the fire alarm into submisison), assemble your other salad ingredients.
 
Notice my Wegman's brand loyalty. They should really be paying me. Or, at least, be giving me free cheese.

Notice my Wegmans brand loyalty. They should really be paying me. Or, at least, be giving me free cheese.

This includes salad mix, feta cheese, grape tomatoes and balsamic vinaigrette.

Which is basically everything in your fridge except for the beer and bacon.

Come to think of it, you really should have added bacon to this salad. And possibly some beer.

Rookie mistake.

6. Replace the pine nuts in the recipe with sunflower seeds.

Because, seriously, you guys, do you know how much a pin nut costs these days?

I spotted an itty bitty container of the stuff the other day at the grocery store.

It cost nine dollars.

NINE DOLLARS.

That’s a lot of money for a nut that’s not even a nut.

7. You may wish to toast the sunflower seeds because the oven is already on and you’re feeling fancy.

Besides, what’s the worst that can happen?

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Umm, yeah.

8. Pretend that never happened.

Use untoasted sunflower seeds because you’re not feeling like such a fancypants any more.

9. Take the cauliflower out of the oven.

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This will be hard to do seeing as you don’t own a hot pad.

And because you have a tendency to burn yourself every single time you operate an oven.

Seriously.

EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

11. Toss all the ingredients together.

Consider eating the whole thing directly out of the big, plastic, mixing bowl. Possibly with your hands. While standing over the sink.

Because you’re hungry, you guys. I mean, you’ve been cooking for forever.

Or twenty minutes.

Same-same.

12. Put the salad into an actual bowl. Like, one that was made to eat out of.

Because, hey, you’re thirty-seven now, and that’s what thirty-seven-year-olders do!

Later you will regret this decision when you’re washing a million bowls because, sadly, you’re not one of those thirty-seven-year-olders who owns a dishwasher.

Yikes.

Yikes.

But for now you’re living in the moment!

Grabbing life by the horns!

Eating out of bowls!

13. Pose your salad with the Real Simple salad.

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14. Start feeling pretty good about yourself.

Because, hey, your salad kind of almost looks like the one in the magazine.

And it tastes pretty darn good, too.

You know, for a salad. Especially for a salad that doesn’t have any bacon in it.

15. Think about tackling the powdered-sugar-doily cake next week.

Or maybe that thing where you turn people down without having to tell them you might have body lice.

Have a tasty salad recipe you want to share? Yes, I just used the word “tasty” and “salad” together. Let’s stop making such a big deal about it. 
29

I've blathered on long enough! Now it's your turn!

  1. On January 30, 2013 at 9:27 am Ashley of Ashley Abroad said:

    I think that salad sounds delicious! Is it weird I really like cauliflower? Also, instead of pine nuts I usually just sub other nuts- like I put walnuts in pesto for example. Pine nuts are so good just way too expensive.
    Ashley of Ashley Abroad recently posted..Reliving my Childhood at Disneyland Paris

    • On January 31, 2013 at 7:52 am Sally said:

      I know. I was totally shocked by the price of pine nuts. I think people should stop complaining about gas prices and start complaining about pine nut prices!

  2. On January 30, 2013 at 11:15 am Priya said:

    Sally and salads? I don’t know about this. I think you better get started on those DIY Valentine’s Day cards and send them to all your readers, erm, or just me. Yeah, just me.
    Priya recently posted..World Domination, Boy Bands, Mariah On Idol, Feeding Myself, And I Don’t Even Know What This Post Is About Anymore

  3. On January 30, 2013 at 11:26 am Carmel said:

    I like my salads to include meat. :)
    Carmel recently posted..Christmas Dinner & a Farewell (for now)

  4. On January 30, 2013 at 12:55 pm Daisy said:

    Now it’s time to try for a warm endive salad. Do the same as above, but cook the endives in the same skillet you just used to cook the bacon you’re going to crumble on top of the whole thing. I threw some lettuce mix in and warmed it up too, which wasn’t a great idea but didn’t totally suck. I feel like do you about cooking, which shows that there’s not much difference between 37 and 41. Except I have learned to buy and use pot holders.
    Daisy recently posted..Wasted Days and Wasted Nights

  5. On January 30, 2013 at 1:17 pm Andi of My Beautiful Adventures said:

    It sounds so good! Honestly, I suck so bad in the kitchen I couldn’t even make that!!! I stay away from magazines and blogs like that, because I am so not domesticated.
    Andi of My Beautiful Adventures recently posted..Andi’s Pick: Inn On Biltmore Estate

    • On January 31, 2013 at 7:54 am Sally said:

      For some reason I’ve started reading cooking blogs… but I usually don’t feel inspired to make anything on the blogs — just try to convince my friends to make it for me. So far this has worked only once.

  6. On January 30, 2013 at 3:37 pm The Guy said:

    It looks great! Now try it with sprouts :-) hehe.

    You have my sympathy with regard to that blinking smoke alarm! Arrrggghhh”!
    The Guy recently posted..The Emirates Business Class Lounge At Melbourne Airport

  7. On January 30, 2013 at 4:37 pm Selly said:

    My favourite tasty salad is really simple, I just cut up tomatoes, cucumber and red pepper, rip some lettuce to shreds, add sweet corn and some bacon and throw a sauce on it (depending on my mood this varies, but usually it is Caesar dressing, which I realise I’d not all that healthy) and eat it all. At this stage I can pretty much prepare this salad in my sleep so it takes all but a couple of minutes. I grew up with this salad (minus the dressing, mum used a different one). That and homemade lemonade was lunch in summer time.

  8. On January 30, 2013 at 9:20 pm Lauren, Ephemerratic said:

    Talk about fancy. I usually just roast the cauliflower and eat it. None of these “layers” that you accomplished!
    Lauren, Ephemerratic recently posted..Haberdashery: Better than head-smashery

  9. On January 30, 2013 at 10:28 pm Jen Ryder said:

    The most important thing for me in a salad is AVOCADO. One of my favorite salads is a bag o lettuce, grilled chicken, cherry tomatos, feta cheese, and at least one whole avocado sliced up. Then I like to pour on a Mexican creamy cilantro dressing, and then mash up some tortilla chips and sprinkle them on top. I just made myself really sad thinking about this because I have no access to avocados :(
    Jen Ryder recently posted..Cambodia, Scenic and Up-close

  10. On January 31, 2013 at 3:39 am The Vagabond said:

    I haven’t laughed so hard at a recipe in, well forever.

    The simple fact that you are able to burn yourself making a salad is epic.

    In the future I would recommend looking for a new fire alarm as yours appears to be on its last legs, no shoe pun intended.
    The Vagabond recently posted..It is a microwave, not a bomb

  11. On February 1, 2013 at 4:21 am gellipower said:

    I’m a massive salad fan. And I eat it in massive quantities because – well it’s mostly water isn’t it?
    My tip would be to buy uber good balsamic vinegar. Because it’s much thicker, you only use tiny bits and so it lasts you 6 times longer than the cheap stuff. You can reduce the cheap stuff in a pan to make it thicker and more delicious (drizzle).
    We are LOVING your blog – and you. Do you do stand up though?
    xx Nina and Russell xx

    • On February 1, 2013 at 6:39 am Sally said:

      Thanks for the tip on the balsamic. I think my balsamic is of mid-range quality… might have to step it up to the good stuff.
      And glad you’re loving the blog! I don’t do stand up. I do improv comedy — or did. But I haven’t been performing regularly since I left Japan. I’d love to get back to doing it… but that would require my staying in one place longer than a year. We’ll see how that goes… :)

  12. On February 1, 2013 at 6:24 am cosmoHallitan said:

    Sounds tasty! When I lived in the States I used to do something similar with cauliflower but mixed in roasted beets and goat cheese. I might splurge on the ingredients here if I could find salad greens that aren’t still attached to the root, dirt and all. What I wouldn’t do for a bag of prewashed lettuce right about now!
    cosmoHallitan recently posted..Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

  13. On March 5, 2013 at 12:02 am Ceri said:

    OMG that looks amazing. :D I’m a vegetarian and I’m totally making this. You should also make this for the vegetarian who asked you out. ;-)
    Ceri recently posted..Scenes from the Museo de Arte Moderno

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