I have known Maria McEvoy for many years – first as an amazingly fit and head-strong athlete and soon after as a deep, thoughtful, and intelligent friend. I admire Maria’s balance between focusing on her health and the strength of her body and her ability to enjoy life and connect with those she loves around her.
As a pastry chef, Maria’s sweets have always knocked my socks off. She is also an amazing cook and food blogger, and I have started following her healthy and easy recipes on her site, Flycakes Kitchen. This Raw Cauliflower “Couscous” Salad is particularly healthy and easy, and it’s perfect for the spring weather that’s finally arrived. Try it — You’ll love it!
The recipe I’m sharing with you today was inspired by the pudgy feeling I get after a summer of little too much indulgence in CO; my happy place . Whether you’re feeling this way after a European vacation, an injury that has sidelined your from working out, a long and very social summer in the Hamptons, or a long winter of hibernation this salad will make you feel lighter, well fed and well maybe just a little bit smug for making yourself.
Raw Cauliflower “Couscous” Salad
- 1/2 head cauliflower or 1 small head chopped into fat chunks
- 3 or 4 small carrots peeled and sliced (or 10-15 baby carrots to save time)
- 1 clove garlic or 2 scallions roughly chopped
- 1 tsp turmeric (if you have it)
- 1/4 tsp cayenne (or more to taste) or 1/2 a serrano roughly chopped
- 1/2 tsp sea salt or pink Himalayan sea salt if you have it
- 4 tbsp currants (or raisins, or dried cranberries)
- 1/4 cup mint leaves
- 1/4 cup parsley
- 1/4 cup cilantro (Note: I only had basil and cilantro today and that’s what I used)
- 1/4 cup chopped raw almonds (or pine nuts, or pistachios)
For the dressing: combine 2 tbsp light miso, 2 tbsp tahini and the juice of one lemon. If it’s too thick add a little bit of water or more lemon juice to thin.
Place the cauliflower, carrots, garlic or scallions, and serrano (if you’re using it) in the food processor and run until the veggies are minced and resemble couscous.
Put the contents of the food processor in a bowl and add the turmeric, cayenne (unless you really love spice, exclude the cayenne if you’ve used the serrano), pepper and salt and stir to combine.
Place all the herbs and your nuts of choice (not your spouses’) in the food processor and run until they are finely chopped.
Add herbs, nuts and dried fruit of choice into the bowl and stir to combine and finally pour the miso dressing into the couscous and stir again. Refrigerate.
So simple right? Have this for lunch and snacks for three or four days and you will start feeling less spongy. Promise.
Enjoy and always let your taste buds soar!
Maria McEvoy’s blog, Flycakes Kitchen is about living life in balance: Finding it, maintaining it, and coming back to it when we’ve lost it. The recipes she shares with her readers reflect that balance: healthy, nutritious and simple meals followed by a little indulgence. In her words, “My diet is far from perfect (I have a profound love affair with m&m’s and Nestle Crunch) but I try every day to take a long term view on my life, health, diet and the choices I make. I try to make my recipes approachable, unpretentious and always fast because who the hell has time to spend a lifetime in the kitchen?”
Maria has been a freelance pastry chef for over a decade (after she “recovered from working on Wall Street”) and while she still very much enjoys that work, she believes that sweets should only be a small part of her family’s diet. “When we eat that dessert it better be the best tasting, explode-in-your-mouth-with-flavor sweet, made with the purest, and least processed ingredients. Ingredients that our bodies will recognize. Bring on the butter, sugar, eggs, and flour but deliver it in such a way that ONE serving will scratch that itch.” Part of finding balance for her is exercising every day, and she considers it a non-negotiable appointment she makes with herself. She is thankful she’s married to a man who feels exactly the same way!