I just cannot seem to get enough veggies lately. Even after the 5-day Fall Cleanse where I literally only ate fruits and vegetables, I have just been craving them like crazy. I find, as someone who eats intuitively, that when my body is craving tons of vegetables it is usually for good reason. I enjoy knowing my body well enough to be able to listen to what it needs and to enough to catch the cues that make me aware. It is so easy to misread cravings and to give in to the foods that don’t nourish us. Recognizing you have a craving and it’s for something like Brussels sprouts, that takes some time to get used to and some serious practice in self awareness.
This past Sunday we had a fall potluck dinner at our place with friends and we had lots of different fun fall foods. Of course, with cooler weather comes the comfort food, so we had hearty helpings like gluten-free mac and cheese, gluten-free stuffing (I did a quick lesson on making gluten-free stuffing for a newly gluten-free friend, Debbie, who wants to make it for Thanksgiving this year. Hence the randomness of this dish), deviled eggs, Mark put chicken wings on the grill for folks (sent all the way from Buffalo), I made my pumpkin hummus, a delicious sweet potato appetizer (that I can’t wait to share with you guys) and lots more. Although it wasn’t all heavy, I did want to make sure we had a delicious healthy and light Autumn-inspired vegetable salad to balance everything out. Consequently, personally this salad, it was also my favorite part of the meal.
I was worried with all of the other hearty options that people wouldn’t touch the salad, but everyone dug in and they all loved it. It always warms my heart when the vegetable dish gets as much praise as something covered in cheese. This salad was inspired by a dinner we had at True Food Kitchen in Santa Monica, earlier this month to celebrate my birthday. I had to recreate it. I had wanted to include roasted butternut squash in the salad, as the original did, but they didn’t have any at the store I went to, so I made do without.If I made this again, I certainly would include it.
What dish would you have brought to share at my fall potluck dinner?
- 1 1/2 lbs Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
- 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 bunch of kale, stems removed and roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1 1/2 cups garbanzo beans or white beans
- 1/2 hulled pumpkin seeds (aka ‘pepitas’), toasted
(this makes more dressing than what you will need for the salad, but it’s great to have on hand for all kids of salads)
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons grated fresh or prepared horseradish
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup or honey
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- kosher salt and cracked black pepper