Winter Salad with Roasted Beets & Cauliflower and Blood Orange Maple Tahini Dressing
This roasted beet and cauliflower salad is going to please all of my veggie and salad lovers out there. Not only is it gorgeous to look at with its vibrant hues of pinks and reds, it’s also an absolute delight for the taste buds. I was actually taken back with the variety of flavors I experienced with each bite. From the creamy, sweetness of the Blood Orange Tahini Dressing to the sweet juiciness of the blood oranges themselves to the sweetness of the maple roasted beets, I fell madly in love with this Winter Salad. Notice I used the word “sweet” three times in that sentence, and also notice there is very little added sugar in the recipe. Isn’t it a lovely thing when you can get your sweet fix from natural foods?
Any diehard salad lover knows the key to creating a satisfying salad requires an array of flavors and textures–beautiful colors are a bonus. On this particular day, I had a busy schedule and wanted to make sure I was completely nourished from head to toe. I wanted this salad packed full of protein, healthy fats, plenty of greens and 100% love to sustain me throughout a very long day, and indeed it did.
Starting with the greens, I chose spinach and arugula with some of the greens from the beet tops. What a delicious combo. The peppery flavor from the arugula provided a nice contrast to the sweetness of the beets and blood oranges. However, if you don’t have arugula or spinach on hand, any other salad green would work.
Ok. Roasted beets are my thing. They’re like candy to me. Normally, I love them naked, but I had a hankering for maple. There’s something about the roasted maple flavor that compliments beets so nicely, and I knew it would be the perfect for this salad. Halfway through roasting the beets, I decided to toss in some cauliflower I had sitting in the crisper. No regrets there! Wow. I wasn’t expecting such a delicious combo. By the way, roasted cauliflower has now become my thing too!
Looks like a beet massacre below. hahaha! Now, although Grade B maple syrup has a lower glycemic index than most natural sweeteners, if you want less sugar, simply omit tossing the beets and cauliflower with the maple syrup. The salad will still be very tasty!
I always have a jar of tahini in my fridge waiting for the next creative impulse, which is usually a dressing. It’s so simple and versatile to work with, and adapts to all kinds of flavors, especially maple. Another reason I love using tahini, is its nutritional value. Tahini is rich in minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and iron; is one of the best sources of calcium; high in vitamin E as well as B1, B2, B3, B5 and B15; and has 20% complete protein, making it a higher protein source than most nuts. If you love creamy dressings and are still hooked to the dairy kind, I highly recommend giving tahini a whirl. You will fall absolutely, helplessly in love with it!
What other plant-powered, deliciousness did I add to this already amazing salad?
Additional protein | chickpeas
Additional healthy fats | avocado
Crunch | pumpkin seeds (also another source of healthy fat)
Juicy | slices of blood orange
As you can see from this list, the variety of textures, flavors, greens, veggies and plant proteins, make this an amazingly satisfying and nutrient dense meal.
I hope I’ve inspired all of you salad lovers to make this recipe as soon as you can. I promise, you will love it as much as I did! Please let me know what you think by sharing in the comments section below. And as always, if you enjoyed this post and would like more recipes like this, please join me at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. For all you Instagrammers please tag @yogitrition if you decide to replicate this recipe. I’d love to see your photos!