Roasted cauliflower, sweet potato and lentil salad
In a world where health issues are on the rise, proper nutrition is a must. Incorporating a hearty, delicious salad into your daily diet can be a simple, yet effective step toward a healthy lifestyle.
This simple salad is packed with nutrients and antioxidants and combines mostly roasted cauliflower and sweet potatoes with brown lentils.
It is balanced and filling enough to be considered dinner or lunch. Garlic, onions, spices, and herbs enhance the flavor of the main ingredients. The dish can be prepared in advance to allow all the ingredients to combine.
I preferred to roast the cauliflower and sweet potatoes for more flavor. Especially since cauliflower tastes so bland.
It’s a gluten-free and vegan salad. But I like to serve it with a dollop of organic yogurt and feta cheese chunks on top. You can also use a good mayo in place of the yogurt.
Why would you include lentils in this salad?
Lentils are plant proteins that can successfully replace a meat meal.
I combined them with the roasted vegetables for a protein boost. If you do not feel like using lentils, you can also use chickpeas.
This salad is a great meal to incorporate into your weight loss diet plan. It will keep you fuller longer because it contains a hearty combination of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Lentils are a great addition to a vegetarian diet.
Lentils are high in protein, potassium, and fiber.
I used brown lentils because they retain their texture, while red/yellow lentils work best in soups and stews because of their mushy texture.
Note: Be careful how much salt you add to your salad because even canned lentils contain salt.
If you are looking for more hearty salad inspiration, check out my other three recipes: The Best Lentil Salad with Roasted Peppers, Healthy Lentil Quinoa Salad, and Sweet Potato Lentil Salad, which are a delicious blend of flavors and textures.
Lentils and estrogen:
Although lentils are a great source of plant protein and fiber, you need to be careful and enjoy them in moderation, especially if you suffer from endometriosis.
However, they are a great addition to your diet if you are menopausal. They are rich in protein, potassium, and fiber.
Lentils and endometriosis:
Lentils are a rich source of phytoestrogens, which can lead to estrogen dominance if eaten regularly. If you have endometriosis or another estrogen-dominance condition, remember that moderation is key to avoiding hormonal imbalance, even when it comes to healthy foods.
Opt for organic lentils, as conventional lentils are heavily sprayed with pesticides that contain xenoestrogens that can trigger endometriosis flare-ups.
Lentils and menopause:
As estrogen levels drop during menopause, eating foods containing phytoestrogens is thought to balance hormones, combat estrogen deficiencies, and support your health during this time.
Eating foods with estrogenic properties (such as lentils, green beans, beans, cashews, almonds, berries, etc.) can be an alternative to hormone replacement therapy.
What are the ingredients for this roasted cauliflower, sweet potato, and lentil salad?
One medium cauliflower head, cut into small florets,
2 medium sweet potatoes, about 450 g, cut into bite-sized pieces,
One can of 400 g cooked organic brown lentils (240 g if drained),
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 red onion, diced
2 yellow onions, diced
A good handful of chopped dill,
3 tablespoons organic apple cider vinegar,
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil,
1 teaspoon dried organic oregano,
½ teaspoon organic turmeric powder,
Salt and pepper to taste.
To serve: a few cherry tomatoes,
A good handful of chopped parsley
For the dressing:
½ cup organic yogurt or mayonnaise (optional)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon organic apple cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Health benefits of cauliflower
I cook cauliflower for its health benefits because it is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals and a good source of fiber. It contains almost all the vitamins and minerals our bodies need to function properly. Cauliflower is also rich in vitamin C and covers 77% of the recommended daily requirement.
Cauliflower is rich in sulforaphane.
You may have never heard of sulforaphane. The supplements that contain this compound are expensive, but cauliflower provides it to your body for free. Sulforaphane is a powerful antioxidant that can protect against cancer and reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Studies show that sulforaphane can keep arteries healthy and lower high blood pressure.
Tip for more sulforaphane in cauliflower:
Almost four years ago, I came across a study that said if we cut cauliflower into florets and let it sit for 30 minutes before cooking, the sulforaphane content increases.
Cauliflower is helpful for weight loss.
Cauliflower is an excellent vegetable for weight loss because it is low in calories and high in fiber, which helps you feel full.
Why are sweet potatoes good for you?
Sweet potatoes have a well-deserved place in my diet. Along with other superfoods, green vegetables, and supplements, they have helped me keep endometriosis at bay and get through menopause well.
Sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A and is known to support vision and the immune system. The addition of fat can increase the absorption of vitamin A.
Sweet potatoes keep your gut healthy, which is essential for maintaining your hormone balance. Studies have shown that nearly 70 percent of our immune system is located in the gut.
Sweet potatoes are rich in fiber, which supports a healthy gut microbiome (the good bacteria in your gut) and helps with weight loss by limiting overeating. Foods rich in fiber can help prevent menopausal weight gain.
Sweet potatoes are also a healthy source of carbohydrates rich in magnesium, potassium, and other nutrients with powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Both magnesium and potassium are important for keeping high blood pressure under control.
Women with endometriosis and menopausal women should include sweet potatoes in their diet.
How to prepare this recipe for roasted cauliflower sweet potato salad?
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Roasting time: 40 minutes
Makes four servings
Preheat the oven to 190 Celsius.
Step 1: Bake the cauliflower and sweet potatoes
Peel the sweet potatoes, cut them into bite-sized pieces, and chop the cauliflower
Place both in a baking dish and toss with olive oil, turmeric, salt and pepper.
Stir from time to time so that the cauliflower and sweet potatoes bake evenly.
Roast for about 30 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are fork-tender and the cauliflower is lightly browned.
Step 2: Marinate the onion – optional
Note: I prefer to marinate the onions because they are too strong and I have a sensitive stomach and for more flavor. Marinating makes the onions easier to digest and mellows the onion flavor.
Place the finely chopped onion, salt, two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, one tablespoon of olive oil, and one teaspoon of dried oregano in a medium bowl.
Mix them until the onion is evenly coated.
Let it sit for at least 30 minutes.
While the cauliflower and sweet potatoes are roasting, you can prepare the lentils.
Step 3 Prepare the lentils.
Place the lentils in a colander, rinse them under cold water, and drain.
Place a saucepan over medium heat.
Add a tablespoon of olive oil and 1 clove of minced garlic and sauté until golden.
Stir in the lentils, oregano, and turmeric.
Cook the lentils until the water is cooked out. This will take less than 5 minutes.
Add the hot lentils and one minced garlic clove.
Toss to combine evenly. The lentils will absorb the flavor of the onions.
Step 5: Mix all ingredients
Add the remaining ingredients to the onion and lentil mixture: baked cauliflower, sweet potatoes, and chopped dill.
Step 6: Pour the dressing over the salad
Toss the salad until evenly coated.
Season to taste.
Let the sweet potato and lentil salad sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to combine.
Step 8: Garnish the salad with fresh chopped parsley and cherry tomatoes when serving.
If you recreate this recipe for roasted cauliflower, sweet potato, and lentil salad, I’d love to hear about it.
Leave a comment below or take a photo and tag me on Instagram @healthywomanstyle.
Wishing you a fall full of inspiration, delicious salads, and good things,
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