Because of my IBS, I’ve refrained from letting a crumb of cauliflower pass my lips for years. No one wants their stomach to blow up like a balloon after eating, and cauliflower always seemed to be the culprit on my plate to do just that! But since I’ve used lifestyle to manage my IBS rather than following a strict FODMAP diet alone, I have found that it really is possible to build up tolerance to foods I’d otherwise avoid. And in a bid to feed my microbe with the variety of plants it craves, I’m all for eating everything rather than spending my time worrying about what might happen if I eat the wrong thing.
It was after an epic 2.5k swim race earlier on in the summer that I threw caution to the wind and treated myself to a plate of tacos from my favourite beachside restaurant. The vegan offering was bang bang cauliflower and the flavours sounded spot on, so I went for it. It didn’t disappoint! AND more importantly, I didn’t bloat immediately afterwards. Perhaps because I was super relaxed having completed my race in a spectacular time, or simply because I was relaxed. Whatever the reason, it just goes to show, an intolerance to the same food doesn’t always rear it’s ugly head.
So it’s no great surprise that when I went to the farmers market to grab my weekly veg haul this week, it was the cauliflower that I grabbed for first! My favourite moment of the week is when I visit our local farmers market, see what goodies are on offer and build my menu around that. It’s the impromptu nature of not knowing what I’ll be able to get my hands and enjoying the intuitive creativity in the kitchen afterwards. In my head I was thinking of using the cauliflower head to recreated that delicious spicy cauliflower taco at home, using our fire pit to give it a delicious smoky, charred flavour – but then I cut through it and noticed just how beautiful its profile looked, perfect for shaving and making a salad out of.
And that is exactly how this recipe came about – sheer beauty twinned with utter pride for being able to train myself to eat anything!
Super simple and quick to make, this is a beautiful bowl of delicious food that will impress any guest popping over for a bank holiday BBQ affair!
This is not a FODMAP friendly salad, but if you have tested your tolerance to the humble cauliflower and found you too can enjoy the wonders of this veg, go grab one and give this salad a go. Trust me, you’ll love it!
Zesty Shaved Cauliflower Salad
Vegan, Gluten Free
1/2 Cauliflower Head, shaved using a mandolin or sharp knife
1/3 cup Raisins
1 tbsp each of Sunflower Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds and Sesame Seeds, toasted
Handful of Baby Spinach and Nasturtium Leaves (any mild salad leaf works)
For the Dressing
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 Lime, zesty & juice
1 tsp Maple Syrup
1/4 cup EVOO
Sea Salt and Black Pepper
- Prepare the cauliflower by cutting it in to quarters and carefully using the mandolin to finely slice (or use a sharp knife).
- Add the cauliflower shavings to a large bowl along with the green salad leaves.
- Soften the raisins by placing in boiled water for five minutes. Drain and cool before adding to the bowl with the cauliflower and leaves.
- Dry fry the seeds on a medium heat, watching carefully to ensure they don’t burn. They’re ready once brown and a delicious smell of toasted seeds fills the air.
- Make the dressing by combining the mustard, lime juice and zest together before whisking in the oil. Add sea salt and pepper to taste then pour over the cauliflower salad and mixing through gently.
- Transfer in to a pretty serving bowl, sprinkle the toasted seeds on top and serve immediately.
- I used baby spinach, nasturtium, borage leaves and edible flowers from my garden, but any mild green salad leaves would work just as well in this salad.
- This salad works beautifully as a side dish, served in tacos or simply on it’s own.