Dear diary, I’m in love with a salad.
A non-green salad. That’s right – it has no greens and I’m finding that refreshing. But, like, the opposite of refreshing. Comforting? Like a big warm hug that radiates deliciously roasty glow-power straight into me. That kind of refreshing.
You know those days that you just can’t… it’s not even… someone just please?… ugh.
That was me yesterday. Right from the start, the ol’ brain was just dragging, and what I really wanted more than anything in the world was to take a nap. But instead, I dug deep and found .001 ounces of motivation (aka hunger) and so I went into the kitchen and I found a groove.
Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve felt a groove? Well, okay, besides the nacho groove, but I’m not talking about make-good-food groove. I mean slowing down to cook, taking intentional photos, and jamming to Ed Sheeran on repeat because I can’t not with his musics. All this happened while feeling really mellowed out by the process of cooking. It was zen. It was soulful (I mean, come on – this is Ed Sheeran we’re talking about). It was that kind of groove.
The smells, the colors and textures, the fall breeze coming in through the window, Sage running around outside in a sweater with a fur hood – I repeat – IN A SWEATER WITH A FUR HOOD – it was everything.
This is not normal me. Normal me is always in a hurry and never does anything today that can be put off until tomorrow.
This is Groove Me. Yes – this version of myself showed up and she was feeling happy and creative, so naturally she wanted to name this recipe something that reflected the sunny feelings that this recipe is all about (Autumn Glow Salad).
But then Blogger Me showed up and wanted to be smart and practical and name this recipe something basic and to-the-point that would be more search-engine-optimized (Roasted Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Salad).
And then things spiraled dowwwwn as I spent 100 too many thoughts thinking about how to name this recipe. HOW TO NAME THIS RECIPE. And another 100 minutes too long writing about how I spent too much time deciding how to name this recipe. And another 2 minutes realizing that I am now acknowledging three me’s in this post – Normal Me, Groove Me, Blogger Me. How is it even okay for me to put this stuff on the internet?
In the end, Autumn Glow Salad won out, because what would you rather eat – a Roasted Cauliflower Salad or an✨Autumn Glow Salad✨… hmm? Come on. You know you can’t resist a GLOW salad.
Friends, we have all these tutorials on how to start a food blog on this site and I’m just here to tell you – don’t even start a food blog. Protect your normalcy. Keep your sanity. Spend time think about regular, useful things and stay far away from the black hole of online foodie cray.
(Someone’s going to get mad about that – probably Bjork – and so I just want to say ON THE RECORD that deep down I love food blogging and it hasn’t made me crazy.)
(srsly tho 😜🌀😜🌀😜)
It call comes back to the Autumn Glow Salad. You don’t have to love it – we could still be friends. But I don’t know why you wouldn’t.
This salad gave me some proper nutrition after a week of poor (read: delicious but bad) eating. It slowed me down, it set me back on my feet, it gave me a little boost of glow power for this otherwise gloomy day.
Also – not saying you HAVE to, but it does have some awesome Thanksgiving vibes going on. Sweet potatoes, roasted cauli, apples, grains, and lemon herb dressing? I can basically hear Silver Bells playing somewhere out there.
- 1 cup freekeh or other grain (quinoa, bulgur, etc.)
- 1 head cauliflower
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- a sprinkle of dried spices that you like, or a few sprigs of thyme, rosemary, etc.
- 1 large apple
- 1 bunch parsley (about 1 cup), minced
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- ⅔ cup olive oil
- juice of one lemon (more to taste)
- 1 teaspoon agave (optional)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- pepper to taste
- Rinse the grains and place in a rice cooker with the appropriate amount of broth or water (refer to package directions - it depends on the grain). Set on the white rice setting and prep the other stuff while it cooks.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Chop the cauliflower into small florets. Peel and chop the sweet potatoes. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and add a few sprigs of thyme or other dried spices if you have some that you like. Roast for 20 minutes, stir, and roast for another 10-15 minutes. When they are golden brown and soft, remove from oven and set aside.
- While the veggies are roasting, combine all dressing ingredients in a jar with a tight lid and shake to combine. Chop the apple and set aside.
- When the grains and vegetables are done, toss everything together. This can be done when everything is hot or when it's cooled, although the texture will be different (heavier) when hot. Store leftovers separately (salad and dressing) if possible.
Nutrition facts are for 6 servings.
PS. Bjork and Sage and I have taken to the road this week and we’re sharing pics + vids from this new Northern Minnesota life on Snapchat! Maybe Periscope if I get really ambitious. I am in a groove, after all. 😘