A cauliflower salad? What in the actual what are we even doing here? But go with me on this one, Spiriteds. Yes, historically I have preferred my salad in the form of potato chips. But this Italian Crunchy Cauliflower Salad offers just the right amount of flavor with the exact right amount of crunch. Oregano, basil, parsley, garlic, red onion, black and green olives, cauliflower, olive oil, and butterhead lettuce? This is where the magic happens. This is how I learned to LOVE a gluten-free, dairy-free salad without impulsively adding seven different kinds of cheese. Here’s looking at you, Mom. And, fine, it was three kinds of cheese, but whatever. My childhood was full of cheese, literally and figuratively.
See, we changed our family’s diet in 2014 to meet K-Hubs’s, Toodle’s, and now Twinkle’s health needs. I joined in the party because I am a dear and devoted wife and mother. Actually, I joined them because I was totally outnumbered and too tired to make my own separate meals. I secretly ate peanut butter M&Ms in my closet (as in, I still do this sometimes). And I have been known to eat a Pizza Hut personal pan pizza from Target in the parking lot (as in, I did this three weeks ago). Isn’t that what everyone does when they go to Target for laundry detergent?
But anyway, I finally confessed their way of eating was good for me, too. Namely, I have more energy, clearer skin, reduced joint pain, and fewer persnickety illnesses. And now I mostly happily eat what they eat (with the occasional sneak). And I attempt to live my best life while doing it. But the holidays are the holidays, I ate old-school, and my body can tell. Now it’s time to increase the fruits and vegetables, reduce the sugar intake, and drink all the water.
However, old habits die hard, and like that potato chip, I’m going to need some serious crunch. Like that pizza, I’m going to need robust flavor. And like those M&Ms, well, never mind. Italian Crunchy Cauliflower Salad tastes nothing like an M&M. But it doesn’t need to. Italian Crunchy Cauliflower Salad may be a vegan and paleo salad recipe, but let not the words distract. It is so absolutely delicious and delightfully filling on its own, labels be dambed.
If you don’t believe me, then consider this. Toodle and Twinkle are ALL OVER IT. Translation: I made a bowl of Italian Crunchy Cauliflower Salad for myself. I didn’t think they would be remotely interested. I was wrong. One bite led to another, and then they ate my entire salad right in front of my face. But whatever, because Toodle and Twinkle willingly ate lettuce and cauliflower, and who are they anyway?
If you are resetting after the holidays and want to stay the course, then Italian Crunchy Cauliflower Salad is perfect for meal prep, too. I would group ingredients as follows:
- Cut lettuce ahead of time and store in meal prep containers.
- Store sliced olives and diced red onions together in a jar or meal prep containers.
- Combine olive oil, garlic, spices, and seasonings in a separate jar (or make a batch of Homemade Italian Dressing and divvy out as desired).
If you like the layered look, then layer ingredients one on top of the other and drizzle with the olive oil mixture. And if you’re ready to toss, then throw everything together and toss away!
Meal prep, dinnertime, for the kids, or somewhere in between, Italian Crunchy Cauliflower Salad is literally a fresh start to the New Year!! Serve up and ENJOY, Spiriteds!
- 1 head cauliflower broken into tiny florets
- 5-6 cups butterhead lettuce, sliced into strips and loosely packed
- 1 cup medium black olives, whole or sliced
- 1 cup large green olives, sliced
- ½ cup red onion, diced
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, pressed
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- ¼ teaspoon parsley
- ¼ teaspoon basil
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- Coarse black pepper for garnish
- Combine cauliflower, lettuce, olives, and red onion in a large mixing bowl.
- In a separate bowl or jar, combine olive oil, garlic, oregano, parsley, basil, and sea salt together and then pour over salad. Garnish with black pepper, serve, and ENJOY!