The new salad
13 Apr 2017
Blackmores Naturopath


The new salad

2072 views 3 min to read

No longer limited to ‘supporting actor’ roles alongside our main dishes, salads now stand their ground as healthy, satisfying and surprising meals unto themselves.

Sink your teeth into these two new-breed salads – roasted cauliflower + minty green quinoa and brown rice salad – crafted by accredited practising dietitians, Chloe Philips and Stephanie Savio.

Roasted cauliflower salad

Says Philips: “The humble cauliflower contains a bunch of phyto-chemicals (plant antioxidants) which can help protect health and also boast anti-ageing properties. “The feta and chickpeas provide a bit of protein to keep you full, the almonds and olive oil, some essential fatty acids, and the pomegranate arils add bursts of vitamin C.

“With all that goodness, this cauliflower salad will give even kale a run for its money.”



  • 700g cauliflower (approx. one large head), chopped into small florets
  • 1 400g tin chickpeas, drained
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ red onion, finely sliced
  • ½ bunch flat leaf parsley
  • ½ cup roasted, unsalted almonds, roughly chopped
  • 150g Danish feta, broken into chunks
  • Arils from ½ a pomegranate (optional)


  • ½ tsp saffron threads
  • 1 tbsp boiling water
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp currants

How to make

  • Preheat your oven to 190C. Drain the chickpeas from their tin and pat with a paper towel to dry the excess liquid. Place the chickpeas and cauliflower florets in a large bowl, add the olive oil and toss well to combine. Transfer the cauliflower and chickpea mixture to a baking tray and spread out into a single layer. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until golden and the cauliflower is tender. The chickpeas should become crisp and slightly crunchy
  • Meanwhile, make the saffron dressing. Place the saffron in a small bowl and add the boiling water. Stand for 5 minutes to steep. Whisk in the oil and vinegar until well combined, then stir in the currants and set aside. Stir well before serving
  • Once the cauliflower is golden and forkable, remove from the oven and place the warm cauliflower and chickpea mixture in your serving bowl. Add the red onion, parsley and almonds, pour over the dressing and toss to combine. Sprinkle with feta and pomegranate (if using) and serve
Related content

Clever lunch ideas to max your afternoon energy
Your guide to sustainable shopping

Minty green quinoa & brown rice salad

When US nutritionist Walter Willet was asked by Harvard Health Magazine to describe a perfect meal, he responded: “Quinoa with mixed vegetables, prepared with olive oil, broccolini sautéed with a little bit of garlic and olive oil, and nuts. I often eat these with fish or tofu.”

While there’s no tofu or fish in this meal below, it’s a beautifully flexible recipe that lets you add any vegetables you’ve got in the fridge – plus extra protein sources if you wish!



  • 250g cooked quinoa & brown rice
  • 1 cup green peas (+/- snowpeas, green beans, any greens!)
  • 1 medium zucchini halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 100g reduced fat Danish feta crumbled
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • ¼ cup shaved almonds
  • Spray olive oil


  • 50 mL extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Juice and rind of 1 lemon
  • Sea salt & cracked black pepper to taste

How to make

  • Heat a dry, small pan on med heat and lightly toast almonds. Remove from pan & set aside. In same pan lightly fry zucchini in spray olive oil. Set aside
  • When all components cool, combine rice/quinoa, all green vegies, feta and mint leaves (reserving a small amount of feta)
  • Combine dressing ingredients in a small jug with a fork then mix into salad, and serve with the toasted almonds and an extra sprinkle of mint and feta