Mediterranean salads often call for feta cheese, but I use cauliflower instead, which, of course, doesn’t taste like feta, but we eat with our eyes too, so it works well! Avocado is added to lend some richness in place of the usual high-fat olive oil and cheese.
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes halved)
- 2 cups peeled, sliced cucumber (1 medium-large cucumber)
- 2 cups chopped fresh spinach leaves
- 1 15-oz. can cooked kidney beans, drained and rinsed (about 1½ cups)
- 1 cup small-chopped cauliflower
- ½ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley (loosely packed)
- ½ cup chopped or sliced red onion
- 1 avocado, pitted and chopped (optional)
- 1 tablespoon dried Italian herb seasoning
- 3 to 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or balsamic vinegar
- Place all of the ingredients into a large salad bowl and toss. Serve alongside the black pepper grinder.
Beans: If you don’t have kidney beans, garbanzo or cannellini beans would also work well. Use salt-free canned beans (I love Eden brand) or cook your own beans from scratch.
Cauliflower: If you don’t like raw cauliflower, lightly steam or boil it (already chopped or in larger florets), then drain and rinse with cold water before adding to the salad.
Italian herb seasoning: I love dried seasoning blends in my salads; it adds a little kick to the flavor. But if you don’t have this, just leave it out.
Avocado: If you're making this to eat over a few days, leave the avocado out and add it as you eat the salad (otherwise, the avocado gets mushy).
(Nutrition data below reflects the use of: the avocado, salt-free beans, and lemon juice.)
Above: This photo shows the salad made with cherry tomatoes and more finely chopped cauliflower. I don’t love raw cauliflower and broccoli, but it’s much better when chopped small (you can also lightly steam or boil it before adding to the salad). In this photo I have also chopped the red onion instead of slicing it, as in the top photo.
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