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It’s just starting to feel like fall in Manhattan and I’m so excited to start roasting veggies as the seasons start to change. I love fall- it’s such a cozy season that gets me excited to start using my oven again…especially when it comes to roasting veggies! Today, I’m sharing with you a salad that I made this past weekend (when it was rainy and cold from the hurricane) but I managed to find some nice natural light to snap pictures of this salad for you. There’s a super special ingredient in this chickpea sauce that’s quite unique and I guarantee you’ve never used it before in a recipe.
Wanna dive in and find out what gives this recipe so much flavor without sugar and other inflammatory ingredients?
I thought so.
A few weeks ago I told you about a new drink that I was L-O-V-I-N-G called Bai that I cannot get enough of. I recently tried their Cocofusion products and I eager to use it in a recipe for the fall because why not, right? Now, I know what you’re thinking… a coconut beverage in a recipe? Yes. Trust me on this one. Why? Well. So many of the salad dressings, marinades and condiments that you find in the food store are LOADED with sugar and other ingredients you can’t pronounce so when I had to cut out sugar for my gut health, I tried everything to create flavor in my food. Yes, that meant adding amazing juices and liquids to my sauces and dressings and marinades. And that’s just what I did in this recipe for you today!
I started off roasting cauliflower (p.s. orange cauliflower is so delicious- I prefer it to it’s cousin- the white cauliflower) and white onions. Now, let’s stop right there because onions and cauliflower are naturally sweet so when you roast them, you’re going to get a whole lot of flavor without needing any sugar. I also spiralized raw beets to add color, flavor, and of course natural sweetness to this salad. Beets are a naturally sweet root veggie and when you spiralize them, they become noodle-like so you can enjoy their sweet flavor in noodle form while diving into this salad. I like spiralizing veggies because it doesn’t make the dish feel like it’s overpowered by any one flavor. Know what I mean?
Then I tossed a few handfuls of fresh arugula (so good for liver detox) and the roasted veggies in a bowl along with the most AMAZING sauce featuring- yes, you guessed it- BAI! I added the Bai liquid to a high-speed blender along with chickpeas, parsley, grape tomatoes, cashews, sea salt and pepper and it was DELISH. I had my family try this sauce and they loved it. They even used leftovers as a dip for raw veggies- similar to a hummus but it has a lovely green hue to it.
Then, I topped off the salad with raw pecans (because I’m a bit obsessed with them right now for fall–they get me excited for Thanksgiving), hemp seeds, lemon zest and fresh basil. Lastly, I drizzled some fresh lemon juice on top and served this salad for an easy lunch. You can serve this for dinner or lunch anytime of the week or when you’re entertaining on the weekends for a fun and flavorful way to impress your guests- or your kids!
Trust me on this folks. I know the thought of putting coconut into a sauce never crossed your mind but it’s time to think outside the box, get excited for creating flavors without sugar and enjoying a whole lot of goodness that’s full of fiber, nutrients, healthy fats, protein and veggies.
Dig in. I know you’re going to love this!
- 1 head white or orange cauliflower cut into small 1 inch florets
- 2 large white onions peeled and quartered
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 large red beets
- 1/2 cup Bai Puna Coconut Pineapple
- 1 BPA-free can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
- 10 grape tomatoes quartered and divided
- 6 raw cashews or almonds
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 cups arugula
- 2 scallions thinly sliced
- 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil
- 2 Tbsp. raw pecans
- 2 Tbsp. hemp seeds
- 1 tsp. fresh lemon zest
- Juice of 1 lemon
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
Place the cauliflower on one baking sheet and the onions on the other baking sheet. Drizzle the cauliflower and onions with the oil and use your hands to rub the oil onto the cauliflower and onions, if needed. Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Spiralize the raw beets with a spiralizer to get 'noodle-like' shapes and set aside.
Meanwhile, combine the Bai liquid, chickpeas, parsley, 6 grape tomatoes, cashews and garlic. Puree until smooth. Add sea salt and pepper, to taste.
In a large shallow serving bowl or platter, combine the arugula, roasted cauliflower, roasted onions, spiralized beets and 4 grape tomatoes. Drizzle the chickpea sauce on top and garnish with the scallions, basil, pecans, hemp seeds and lemon zest. Drizzle with lemon juice and serve immediately.