Join the author’s obsession for this satisfyingly crunchy Mediterranean cauliflower salad. Karen Schneider photo

This salad is my new obsession. I’m not exaggerating when I say I could eat it every day. Packed in a mason jar, it’s my favorite take-along lunch when I’m going to be away from home midday. (I bring along a big soup spoon — my preferred eating utensil for this.)

Here you have the basic recipe, but you can add other ingredients, too. Diced cherry tomatoes, red onion and olives come to mind. And if you don’t have a food processor, just cut all the ingredients up really, really small.

Just don’t leave out the nuts! I’ve said this before, but in case you’ve forgotten, I’m a firm believer in toasting nuts before adding them to anything. However, if you have a nut allergy or don’t have any on hand, here’s an idea for you: toast up lentils in the oven. Cook dried red or green lentils until just tender on the stovetop then drain and pat them dry a bit with a clean towel.

Spread the lentils in a single layer on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet, pour on a couple tablespoons of olive or avocado oil, season and stir. Roast at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, then stir and roast for another 5-10 minutes, keeping an eye on them so they don’t scorch. These can then be cooled and stowed in a glass jar or brown paper bag. Lentils are a powerful protein-packed snack as well as a fabulous way to add crunch and texture to your salads.

Another healthy option that you can take out the door with you, whether you’re headed to work, the beach or going on a road trip, is to have this smoothie at the ready. Refreshing, with just the right balance of zing and sweet, you can make the recipe for two servings or double the batch to have some for the freezer.

If you’re in a pinch, you can use bottled carrot juice for this recipe, but preparing your own is so much cheaper and tastes better, too. Make your smoothie to your individual taste by adding more banana or pineapple for sweetness, lemon for acidity, ginger for bite and turmeric for warmth.


Mediterranean cauliflower salad

• 1/2 head of cauliflower, riced
• 1/2 head of purple cabbage, finely chopped
• 1 1/2 cups fresh flat parsley, finely chopped
• 1 1/2 cups cucumber, diced
• 1/3 cup toasted, chopped walnuts or pistachios
• 1/3 cup feta crumbles
• 1 avocado, cubed (optional)

Using a food processor, pulse the cauliflower into snowflakes and place in a large bowl. Next, pulse the cabbage and place that in the bowl with the cauliflower, then do the same with the parsley. (This can be done a day or two in advance.)

Just before serving, add the diced cucumber to the other vegetables. Toss with dressing and serve the nuts, feta and avocado on the side.

Yield: 6 servings


• 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
• Zest and juice of 1 large lemon
• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
• 1/4 to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
• 1 teaspoon oregano
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
• Fresh ground black pepper to taste


Place all the ingredients in a mason jar, then close and shake.

Yield: 1/3 cup

Carrot ginger smoothie

• 1 large frozen banana, sliced
• 1 cup frozen or fresh pineapple
• 1/2 tablespoon fresh ginger, diced
• 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric or cinnamon
• 1/2 cup carrot juice*
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 1 cup unsweetened almond or other non-dairy milk

*Make carrot juice by adding carrots and filtered water to a high-speed blender and blending on high until completely pureed and smooth. Drape a large, thin dish towel or cheesecloth over a mixing bowl and pour the juice over it. Then gather the corners of the towel and begin twisting and squeezing the juice out until all the liquid is extracted. Set aside pulp to use for baked goods. Transfer carrot juice to a Mason jar. (Leftovers will keep for several days, although it’s best when it’s fresh.)

Add all ingredients to the blender and blend on high until creamy and smooth. Add more carrot juice or almond milk and scrape down the sides as needed.

Yield: 2 servings

Karen Schneider cooks and writes in the village of Cundy’s Harbor. You can reach her at or (207) 504-0545.

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