This salad is anything but boring. Filled with roasted cauliflower, aromatic fennel, crispy chickpeas, peppery arugula, fruity pears and finished with a sweet, creamy maple-cashew dressing, this will get you out of your salad rut!
Helllllllo friends! Happy almost end of the first week of 2016!
I forgot to ask you guys on Monday if you made any resolutions for the New Year. So, did you? Do tell.
Or, maybe you are like me and avoid resolutions like they are the black plague. And, instead opt to set small (realistic) goals for yourself? Do tell me those too… I’m nosy. 😉
I have quite a few goals for myself this year:
Live in the moment more.
Take more time for myself. This includes taking one day off on the weekend from partaking in blog related shenanigans.
Do a little soul baking at least once a month.
Accept when things are out of my control and stress less.
Forgive more often, this includes myself.
Be more consistent and less sporadic with my workouts… but, I need to stop injuring myself first. #Clumsy
One thing that is not on my list is to eat healthier.
Probably something a lot of you don’t know about me, especially if you predicted my diet based on some of my blog posts (like This. This. or This.), is I regularly eat healthy. And I’m one of those (weird?) ones who enjoys healthier food.
For example, my favorite snacks are steamed broccoli, raw baby carrots, frozen grapes and 94% fat free popcorn. My fridge is always filled with at least 2 seasonal vegetables… and one head of cauliflower. And, I occasionally eat salad for breakfast. Don’t judge. 😉 The salad I am sharing today – Arugula Pear Salad with Maple-Cashew Cream Dressing – is one of my regular go-to’s in the colder months. And yes, I have devoured it first thing in the morning… on multiple occasions. It is just that dang delish.
This Arugula Pear Salad has a perfect contrast and balance of temperatures. It contains both warmly roasted and cool, crisp ingredients. There is also melody of textures and flavors up in here. Savory caramelized cauliflower, crunchy chickpeas, aromatic fennel, peppery arugula, sweet fruity pear and a sprinkling of zesty lemon.
But, all that jazz becomes a million times tastier with the maple-cashew cream dressing. The dressing is sweet, creamy, silky, smooth and pairs perfectly with veggie-tastic salad. It is also a breeze to whip together. Simply soak some unsalted, un-roasted cashews in water, drain and transfer to your food processor with a bit of maple syrup, almond milk and sea salt. Viola. A dressing I promise you will be dipping everything into, including your fingers.
Overall, this salad is light and healthy, yet substantial, hearty and filling. This is the salad that makes your boring, plain greens you pack for lunch look pathetically sad. No offense. 😉
Clean eating doesn’t have to be boring. So if your New Year, New You involves eating healthier, without sacrificing flavor, I urge you to try this Arugula Pear Salad. Who knows, after one bite you might be inclined to eat it for breakfast. (wink wink)
Until Monday, Cheers – to a fabulous weekend!
Arugula Pear Salad with Maple-Cashew Dressing
- 1 large Head Cauliflower – cut into florets
- 1 small Fennel Bulb – medium dice
- 1 (16 oz.) can Chickpeas – drained, rinsed & patted very dry
- 2 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt
- ¼ tsp Cracked Black Pepper
- 5 ounces Arugula – washed, or more to taste
- 1 Bosc Pear – sliced
- 1 tsp Lemon Zest
- Fresh Parsley Leaves , for garnish (optional)
- Maple Cashew Cream Dressing:
- 1 Cup Raw Cashews – soaked*
- 2 TBS Pure Maple Syrup
- ¼ tsp Sea Salt
- ¼ Cup Almond Milk
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with aluminum foil for easy clean up. Arrange oven racks to top and bottom 1/3 positions.
- In a large bowl toss the cauliflower and chickpeas with oil, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Spread out evenly among both baking sheets (be sure to use both so you don’t over crowd the pan).
- Roast in the oven, rotating pans and tossing mixture halfway through cooking, for 25-35 minutes or until cauliflower is golden and chickpeas are crispy. Add the leeks to the pan during last 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the dressing: Place the drained cashews, 2 TBS of the soaking liquid and remaining dressing ingredients into the bowl of a food processor or blender. Process or blend until smooth and creamy. Add more soaking liquid, 1 TBS at a time until desired consistency is achieved.*
- To Serve: Arrange the arugula on serving plates, top with roasted vegetables, crispy chickpeas and sliced pears. Drizzle with maple cashew dressing and garnish with lemon zest and fresh parsley. Serve and enjoy!
*To soak cashews: Place cashews in a small bowl and add enough water to cover. Soak for 5-8 hours. Drain, reserving liquid.
*I used 3 TBS cashew liquid in the dressing
*Serves: 2 as Entrée, 4 as Appetizer