Cauliflower Olive Salad

Cauliflower Olive Salad

Tis' the season to be...celebrating. With that comes lots of joyous gatherings surrounded by friends, co-workers, drinks and food...glorious food. We all want to enjoy the holidays without feeling like we have a wreath tied around our waist at the end of it, right? Feeling energized during the holidays makes for a more pleasant experience. Over the next few weeks, The Vibrant Beet is going to help keep you stay vibrant and fit during this festive season by sharing some of our favorite, non-indulegent (yet absolutely delicious and satisfying) recipes that we have inherited from our friends and families over the years, as well as our favorite cookbooks and restaurants from around the globe. These recipes are here for you to take with you on your holiday journey leading up to 2013 (no fruitcakes here!). Oh, if you have any healthy recipes that you love, just drop us a line ~ we would love to share it! 
Happy Holidays!
First up, Cauliflower Olive Salad. I must admit, I have never been a huge cauliflower fan. I am pretty sure that I always thought that because it wasn't "green", it didn't hold much nutrient content. I was wrong. Over the past year my love for this plant has flourished. Cauliflower is low in fat, but high in fiber, folate and vitamin C. It can be prepared in a variety of ways (fried, steamed, boiled, roasted...or even raw). 

A few weeks ago, I was having a dinner at my girl Alex's house ~ we were creating a healthy feast. I was given the task of creating the Cauliflower Olive Salad ~ one of her favorite recipes...and now one of mine! The recipe comes from Susie Middleton's cookbook ~ "Fast, Fresh & Green."

1 head of organic cauliflower 
3 garlic cloves (diced)
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1/2 can of pitted, kalamata olives
2 oranges (for zest and juice)
parsley (chopped)
a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes 
a pinch of sugar

1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Rinse your cauliflower,  separate the florets (pieces of cauliflower) with your hands or a knife, toss in a tiny bit of olive oil and salt and arrange on a baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes. 

2. While your cauliflower is in the oven, you will make your dressing. Heat up your diced garlic in 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium pan over low heat (be sure not to brown the garlic). The recipe calls for removing the garlic with a slotted spoon (you keep it in the olive oil long enough just to flavor it), but I like to keep my garlic in the dressing. 

3. Now add in a pinch of crushed red pepper, two teaspoons of orange zest and chopped olives. Next add the vinegar, juice of two oranges and a pinch of salt and sugar. Let that sit on low heat while stirring frequently. 
4. Remove cauliflower from oven and transfer it into a nice, deep bowl. Toss the vegetables with the dressing and add your 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley. Enjoy! 
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