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Barbecued Cauliflower Salad

Cauliflower, or the “magical plant of wonder” as it’s known around these parts, is a shape-shifting vegetable that can transform into “rice,” “steak,” or even pizza crust. I like to think of it as the crunchy superhero of healthy eating.

In fact, it’s a superfood loaded with vitamins C, K, a bunch of Bs, heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and biotin, which promotes healthy skin and hair. In short, it’s a veggie that helps keep you healthy and pretty. Cauliflower should wear a cape. [Sidenote: I would be forever grateful if someone could Photoshop a tiny cape onto a head of cauliflower and post it in the comments. Thanks in advance.]

As if cauliflower weren’t versatile enough, it takes the place of chicken or tempeh in this recipe for hearty barbecued salad that’s perfect for summer grill-outs or a bring-to-work lunch.

Chock-full of greens, fiber and protein, this barbecued cauliflower salad works as a stand-alone meal or as a side to a lean protein, like BBQ tri-tip steak or margarita chicken.

Dress it with our Healthier Ranch dressing, and it’s sure to quell your craving for that “one” barbecued salad from that “one” restaurant you’ve been drooling over all week. You know, the one that’s a million calories? Great news: This barbecued cauliflower salad is only 336 per serving, without compromising the smoke, zest, and crunchiness that are so essential.

Cauliflower, you’ve gone done it again.

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Barbecued Cauliflower Salad

Total Time: 26 min.
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: 11 min.
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:
½ medium cauliflower, cut into florets (or 3 cups florets)
½ tsp. olive oil
¼ cup barbecue sauce, reduced-sugar
3 cups coarsely chopped romaine lettuce
½ cup canned black beans, drained, rinsed
½ cup corn kernels
¼ medium red onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, shredded
¼ cup Healthier Ranch Dressing
½ medium avocado, sliced

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
2. Place cauliflower on a large baking sheet.
3. Drizzle with oil. Toss to blend. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes.
4. Brush cauliflower evenly with barbeque sauce. Bake for an additional 3 to 4 minutes, or until tender-crisp. Set aside to cool.
5. Combine lettuce, beans, corn, onion, carrot, and Healthier Ranch Dressing in a medium serving bowl; toss gently to blend.
6. Top with cool cauliflower and avocado. Serve immediately.

Tips:
• Look for barbecue sauce that has an ingredient list that does not contain artificial sweeteners, additives, or preservatives. There are many brands on the market that are sweetened with small amounts of honey, maple syrup, or molasses.
• Use Smoky Barbecue Sauce as a homemade alternative to store-bought barbecue sauce.

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Credits: Rebecca Pardess/Amanda Meixner

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1 Comment

  • Reply Annie Gerrard

    This sounds so delicious! I’ve been looking for new salad recipes, thanks!

    June 25, 2016 at 1:44 am
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