Cauliflower to the rescue.
I have returned to my healthy eating regime of limited carbohydrates and no white sugar. The silver lining to my recent binging on banned breads, pastas and high-sugar desserts is that my body has been trained enough on healthier foods in recent months that it said “pass” when I saw leftover cake on my kitchen counter recently.
In recent days, I have craved fresh vegetables and other more nutritious sustenance. One of the first things I ate to meet that craving was the following Cauliflower and Avocado Salad.
Inspiration for the recipe comes from “The Low-Carb Cookbook” (1997) by Fran McCullough. Her chapter on salads offers a lot of options for very healthy bowls of vegetables – and no lettuce necessary. The recipe below is adapted from her Mexican Cauliflower Salad dish.
Pairing avocado with cauliflower turns out to be savvy flavor move. Wish I had known about the taste synergy of these two foods long ago.
My biggest change to McCullough’s original recipe is using raw cauliflower instead of cooked. The roasted vegetable seemed lacking some crispiness to balance the softness of the avocado and cheese. She originally suggested ricotta or cream cheese, but I found that pearl-sized fresh mozzarella worked well instead.
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I even replaced how the ingredients are dressed. Instead of a vinaigrette heavy with olive oil, I recommend a sweet white balsamic vinegar with only a splash of olive oil. The result is a crunchy salad with a tangy zip.
Diced red bell pepper adds two more pleasing elements: a bright color and a slightly sweet flavor.
Share your favorite recipes or food-related historical recollections by emailing Laura Gutschke at email@example.com.
Cauliflower and Avocado Salad
2 cups cauliflower, chopped into about 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
4 ounces pearl-sized mozzarella
1 small avocado, peeled and diced
3 tablespoons Cordell’s cranberry pear white balsamic vinegar (or other quality, naturally sweet balsamic vinegar)
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1. In a medium bowl, gently combine the cauliflower, bell pepper, mozzarella and avocado. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, olive oil, salt, Mexican oregano and garlic. Pour over the vegetables and gently stir until evenly coated. Chill for about 2 hours before serving. Yields about 4 servings.
Laura Gutschke is a general assignment reporter and food columnist and manages online content for the Reporter-News. If you appreciate locally driven news, you can support local journalists with a digital subscription to ReporterNews.com.