This Mexican Roasted Cauliflower & Chickpea Salad is hearty, yet healthy and jam packed with flavor. Loaded with shredded brussels sprouts, nutty quinoa, cumin kissed cauliflower, crispy chickpeas and a creamy avocado dressing, this is proof that satisfying salads do exist!
1. Make sure you cook the cauliflower and chickpeas on TWO sheet pans. Overcrowding everything on one pan with cause the cauliflower and chickpeas to steam, and prevent them from getting crispy. To ensure even cooking, make sure you toss the florets and the chickpeas, AND rotate the pans (from top to bottom shelf) halfway through cooking.
2. I used red quinoa in my salad because I like the color, but you can use white or black if you prefer.
3. If raw shredded brussels sprouts scare you, you can add them to the sheet pans and roast them in the oven along with the cauliflower and chickpeas.
4. I always keep a few cups of cooked quinoa in my fridge, because it is great to have on hand. However, if you are cooking quinoa just for this recipe, ½ cup UNCOOKED quinoa = 1 ½ cups COOKED quinoa.
5. The dressing calls for Fage, which is just strained Greek Yogurt. I used non-fat Fage, but you can use low-fat or full fat, and you can use whatever brand of strained yogurt you would like. Or, you can strain the Greek yogurt yourself. To do so, simply suspend a fine wire mesh strainer over a bowl and line the strainer with cheesecloth. Dump the yogurt on top of the cheesecloth and cover with plastic wrap. Transfer the bowl to the refrigerator and allow the yogurt to strain for at least 1 hour, or up to overnight for best results.
6. I used extra virgin olive oil in the dressing, because it gives it a richer taste, but you can substitute water if you would like. If you prefer a thinner dressing, simply stream in more oil (or water), one tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is achieved.
7. The dressing can be made 2 days in advance and stored, covered in the refrigerator.