How do you feel when a new year begins? Here we are, a week into 2016, and I’ve realised how much I love the sense of new beginning that ticking over into a new year brings. Although I didn’t make any formal resolutions this year, I’ve found myself tidying up some scruffy edges, in a literal sense (lots of drop off runs to the op shop) and in a metaphorical one, eating more cleansing foods and less carbs, exercising more and stepping up my meditation practice.
The lovely part about it is the way its just been kind of happening, without all the struggle that often accompanies this kind of change. Being on holidays helps, but when I look more deeply at why it’s been so easy I can see that it has been my focus on the rewards ahead, rather than the effort or deprivation of getting there that has been the key. I know that when I meditate regularly (something I do find hard to sustain) the benefits flow out into every area of my life. Likewise, I know that putting in exercise-wise brings me greater energy and vibrancy. Setting my sights on the end results, rather than on how uncomfortable the process is, makes it so much easier to get motivated.
On the food front, the weather has been warm enough to keep the big salad craze going around here, making eating well a breeze. Buttery roasted cauliflower, tangy lemon and fresh mint come together beautifully in this salad. Add some protein such as boiled eggs, halved and sprinkled with dukkah, or some grilled haloumi cheese on the side and you have a complete and delicious meal.
What has the new year brought you this time around?
Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Capers, Mint & Baby Spinach – serves 4-6
- 1 cauliflower (about 1 kg)
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra 3tbsp for the dressing
- zest & juice of a lemon
- 1 large clove garlic
- 30 g baby spinach leaves
- 2 spring onions, finely sliced
- 1/2 cup mint leaves, roughly chopped if large
- 50 g capers
- sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Cut the cauliflower into florets, then place into a large bowl. Mince the garlic and sprinkle over the cauliflower, along with the lemon zest, 3 tbsp of olive oil and a good sprinkle of salt and pepper.
Mix well to ensure all the florets are well coated with the seasoning ingredients, then spread out over a large baking dish and put into the oven. Roast for around 25 minutes, or until the cauliflower is golden and the edges are beginning to char a little. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
While the cauliflower is roasting, make the dressing. In the large bowl that you used for the cauliflower (no need to rinse it out), whisk together the lemon juice and the remaining 3 tbsp olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper.
When the cauliflower has cooled slightly, return it to the large bowl and toss it through the dressing. Add the baby spinach, spring onions, mint and capers and combine gently. Taste for seasoning, adjust if necessary, then serve at once.