Chard Stuffed Acorn Squash with Za'atar and Tahini Drizzle

Chard Stuffed Acorn Squash with Za'atar and Tahini Drizzle

Chard stuffed acorn squash with za’atar and tahini drizzle is a show stopper, but is surprisingly weeknight friendly! You could serve this as a vegetarian main for holiday entertaining! Simply roast acorn squash halves seasoned with za’atar, a Middle Eastern seasoning mix, and stuff with chard, feta, chickpeas, pistachio and top with a quick tahini drizzle!

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Pumpkin, Shiitake and Gruyere Pizza with Trader Joe's Cauliflower Crust

Pumpkin, Shiitake and Gruyere Pizza with Trader Joe's Cauliflower Crust

Have you tried Trader Joe's cauliflower frozen cauliflower crust? Make this fall inspired pumpkin, shiitake and gruyere pizza! It's a tasty vegetarian meal, and gluten free too! Made with a canned pumpkin sauce then topped with chewy shiitakes and aged gruyere. 

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Fall Freekeh Salad with Roasted Grapes and Brussels Sprouts

Fall Freekeh Salad with Roasted Grapes and Brussels Sprouts

Enjoy produce in cold weather months with this make-ahead fall freekeh salad! Toss nutty whole grain freekeh with roasted grapes and brussels sprouts, protein-rich edamame, and goat cheese, and toss with a white balsamic vinaigrette.

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Chipotle Sweet Potato Bisque

I’m calling it guys. This is the soup of the fall. Silky smooth and ultra creamy with that whole sweet and spicy thing I love so much. And that soup bling is out of this world.

As much as I try to be one of those people who can just look at what looks beautiful at the farmers market and whip up something tasty on a whim, I’m just not. I need recipes. Hence my extensive cookbook collection. Even if I don’t follow a recipe to a T (I rarely do), I need it by my side for inspiration and support.

If I can brag for a moment, I’d love to share that this recipe was all me! I had some sweet potatoes to use up, chipotle chiies in the freezer and a pretty little organic pomegranate on my counter. The rest was history! I should do this freestyle cooking thing more often!

Also on my list of things to do more often – throw dinner parties. I imagine bringing our friends over for a rustic meal prominently featuring seasonal produce served al fresca. In this little fantasy of mine, our backyard is perfectly landscaped and we have a huge farmhouse table under an old oak tree decorated with hanging mason jars. I would serve this dish for a first course in shallow, white glazed bowls. In reality, we do have a beautiful old oat in our backyard, but the only thing underneath it is a notable lack of grass and lots of dog poop. Sigh, if only my pinterest life could be my real life.

Well, at least I can have this pinterest perfect fall soup.'''

P.S. You can absolutely make this with any type of winter squash you like

P.P.S. If you have any cream hanging out in your fridge after Thanksgiving, use that instead of coconut milk.

Chipotle Pumpkin Bisque

Serves 4


  • 4 small sweet potatoes or 1 medium
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-2 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • For garnish: avocado, pomegranate seeds, plain yogurt


  1. Poke holes in sweet potatoes with the tines of a fork. Wrap with paper towels and place in the microwave and heat 5-7 minutes until tender.
  2. Heat oil in a large pot on medium high heat. Add garlic and onion and saute until tender, about 5 minutes total. Add a chili and 1-2 teaspoons of adobo sauce.
  3. Scoop out flesh of potato into the pot. Add broth. Using am immersion blender, puree until smooth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in milk and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Serve garnished with avocado, pomegranate and yogurt.

Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins with Coconut Date Butter

Pumpkin cornbread muffins with coconut date butter make a delicious breakfast, snack or hostess gift for the holiday season!

Hey guys! It's another bonus recipe this week, since this month's Recipe Redux falls on a Sunday. Good thing, cause these pumpkin cornbread muffins and coconut date butter are exactly what I want to wake up to Sunday morning. If I can hold off and not eat the last two today, maybe I will!

This month's theme is quick bread, perfect timing for holiday baking season. These pumpkin cornbread muffins would be a lovely little gift. Simply wrap them up in a dish towel or napkin in a pretty basket along with a mason jar filled with date butter.

Coming from someone whose favorite cornbread used to be Jiffy, I've become quite the cornbread snob. All cornmeal. No flour. A teaspoon of honey or sugar is nice, but any more and it's cake.

These pumpkin cornbread muffins break those rules, but technically they're muffins so it's allowed. You like how with a simple change of shape I'm like, "Go ahead cornbread. Do what you want." What can I say, I'm fickle.

These cornbread muffins very lightly sweetened, so they can go sweet, with date butter or jam, or savory, paired with chili. Vegan pumpkin chipotle chili maybe?? Another fun idea - use these muffins as a base for a breakfast sandwich. You could try crisp bacon (or tempeh bacon!), a fried egg, tomato and arugula or nut butter and banana slices.

Now, can we talk about this date butter? Only two ingredients and no added sugar AND it tastes like yummy caramel! Holy smokes y'all, if you do nothing, make this date butter. I store it in the fridge, but because it's make with coconut oil, it hardens up quite a bit. Just let it sit at room temp for a bit or microwave it for 15 seconds and it'll be all creamy and delicious again.

These muffins are easily freezable. Just pop one in the microwave 30 seconds or so before eating.

Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins

Makes: 9

Adapted from Top with Cinnamon. 


  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons cashew butter
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a muffin tin with olive oil.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together egg, pumpkin, yogurt, honey, cashew butter, and almond milk, In a medium bowl, whisk together cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Whisk dry ingredients into wet. Divide batter evenly between 9 muffin tins. Place in the oven and bake 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Two Ingredient Coconut-Date Butter

Makes: 2/3 cup


  • 12 medjool dates, pitted
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil


  1. Place dates and coconut oil in a food processor. Blend until pureed, scraping down sides as needed. Store in the fridge. Microwave 15 seconds before serving to soften.

Pumpkin Chipotle Chili

Pumpkin chipotle chili is the perfect fall chili for tailgating. Plus, it's orange to celebrate my Clemson Tigers! Keep it vegan with tempeh or add ground turkey. 

Keeping this short because jet lag (yes, still) is kicking in and I was that girl who did everything last minute! I made this yummy pumpkin chili and you should too. Head over to Healthy Aperture for the recipe!

Vegan Roasted Fall Vegetable Pesto Pasta

Roasted fall vegetable pesto pasta is an easy and comforting weeknight dinner. Use any seasonal vegetable you like, but this combination of carrots, delicata squash and brussels sprouts is especially tasty! 

Happy Monday! About the time this gets posted, my flight is set to land in the US after an incredible trip to Vietnam. I hope you've been keeping up with our adventures on instagram. If so, you know we've been doing our fair share of eating, especially street food. Planning to do a couple recaps of our trip so I can self-indulgently share pictures and all the delicious food we ate, but until then, I'm trying to focus on spitting out this post before we hop on our plane. Unfortunately, my brain feels somewhat like the rice noodles we've been living off the last week and a half!

Trying so hard to muster up some enthusiasm for this post, because truly, this is one of my favorite go to dishes for fall. Almost every other week when I don't feel like spending a lot of time in the kitchen, I roast up a big batch of seasonal vegetables and toss it with cooked whole grain pasta and pesto sauce. It's so tasty and I never get bored of it! But right now, after 2 weeks of indulgence (and so, so many rice noodles), all my body wants is a big green smoothie and a massaged kale salad. Basically anything fresh!

So, let's skip the gushing and go straight to the recipe. Use any type of seasonal vegetable you like - mushrooms, cauliflower, turnips and broccoli all work well, but I love the sweet and bitter combination of winter squash and carrots with slightly bitter Brussels sprouts. Plus, there's that whole carb on carb thing. Any type of winter squash will work, but if you see delicata squash, snatch it up! It's thin skin is edible, saving you time and fingers.

I whipped up this quick vegan pesto since we had a ton of basil in our garden (the only thing still living), but feel free to use any store bought pesto. To add more protein, toss in a can of white beans.

Roasted Fall Vegetable Pesto Pasta

Serves: About 4ish but depends on how hungry you are


  • 1 delicata squash, halved, seeds scooped out and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 3 carrots, in 1/2 inch cubes
  • 12 ounce brussels sprouts, halved
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounce 100% whole grain penne or fusilli
  • [b]Vegan Pesto:[/b]
  • 2 cups basil, packed
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons nutrition yeast
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss squash and carrots with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and spread evenly on a large baking dish. Place in the oven and roast for 35 minutes until browned and tender.
  3. Toss brussels sprouts with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread evenly on a large baking sheet, place in the oven and roast 25 minutes.
  4. While vegetables are roasting, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package instructions.
  5. While pasta and vegetables are cooking, place basil, lemon juice, walnuts, nutritional yeast, and garlic in a food processor. Blend until finely chopped, then stream in olive oil and continue to blend until pureed. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Drain pasta and return to pot. Add roasted vegetables and pesto. Toss to combine and serve.

More easy pasta dishes: 

Spaghetti with Tempeh Sausage Marinara and Artichokes
Spaghetti with Tempeh Sausage Marinara and Artichokes
Pasta with Tempeh Sausage,Broccolini and Creminis
Pasta with Tempeh Sausage,Broccolini and Creminis
Gazpacho Pasta Salad
Gazpacho Pasta Salad

Kale, Caramelized Onion and Apple Stuffing

Kale, Caramelized Onion and Apple Stuffing

Serves 8-10


  • 1 lb 100% whole grain, bakery bread (I used the whole wheat Tuscan pane at Trader Joe's)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 2 medium apples
  • 10 ounces chopped kale (or 1 bunch, stemmed and chopped)
  • 2 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 egg


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut the bread into large cubes. Toss with 1/4 cup olive oil. Season with salt and pepper then spread evenly on a large baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes until golden and toasted.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add onion, garlic, fennel, red pepper and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring every so often, until very tender and lightly caramelized, about 10-15 minutes. Add kale, a couple tablespoons of water, and cover. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir every so often and add a few tablespoons of water if it starts to look dry. Cook until very tender, about 30 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, combine kale and bread cubes. Chop apples and add to the mixture along with the pecans. Season with salt and pepper. Spread evenly in a large baking dish. Whisk egg and vegetable broth together. Pour evenly over dressing. Cover with foil or a cover and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake an additional 25-30 minutes until bread is golden and crisped on top.

Roasted Green Beans and Mushrooms with Herbed Breadcrumbs

Roasted Green Beans and Mushrooms with Herbed Breadcrumbs

A healthier and tastier take on green bean casserole - because who likes condensed soup anyway? This recipe for roasted green beans and mushrooms with herbed breadcrumbs keeps all the flavor of the original. It's easy for every day of the week too, not just the holidays! 

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Cauliflower Mash Bowls on The Lean Green Bean

A big bowl of vegan comfort! Cheesy cauliflower mash is topped with garlicky greens and white beans then served with a rich mushroom and red wine gravy. 

Blogging has enriched my life in so many ways I never imagined when I clicked "publish" on my first post. It's forced me to learn and grow as a dietitian, cementing my personal food philosophy while expanding my knowledge of the field. It inspired me to follow my dreams and start my own private practice. It's brought incredible opportunities to my life both professionally and personally.

However, the greatest part of starting this blog has been becoming a part of a wonderful, caring and collaborative community of dietitian bloggers. I've seen, and sadly, been a part of so many workplaces where people compete for success, putting others down so they can get ahead. This beautiful community of health minded women (and men!) is exactly the opposite. If there is one thing I learned at Blog Brulee, community is the key to success and we definitely have a powerful and supportive community!

If RD bloggers are a community, then Lindsay of The Lean Green Bean is our model citizen! She is always sharing and promoting other peoples work to her massive following. She's the first to congratulate on successes. Lindsay even took time out of her busy schedule to give me advice on starting my practice way back when.

If you haven't checked out her blog, you definitely need to. She shares tons of simple, healthy recipes (including my personal favorite, blueberry cashew bars), workout tips, and tons of inspiration for Sunday meal prep. Lindsay is a pro at keeping things simple and efficient, so I know my mom or soon to be mom readers will gets tons of helpful info on raising healthy kids.

So when she asked if I'd like to guest post for her blog while she enjoys her time as a new mom to Baby Bean  patiently waits for a fashionably late little boy, I was ecstatic! Of course I'd help a sister out!

I went all out in creating this cheesy cauliflower mash bowl, topped with garlicky kale, white beans and a rich mushroom gravy. Vegan comfort food to the max! Although in hindsight, I probably should have created a spicy eggplant dish.

Now, before I have you head on over to The Lean Green Bean, a bit of sad news. Well, sad news for you, not really for me :) In light of spending a bit more time nourishing my soul as well as I nourish my body, I'm taking a little break from blogging next week as I travel with my family. We'll be going to the Dordogne region of France, basically recreating my first trip out of the country when I was six (hopefully minus the chicken pox and episode when I sat on a chocolate cookie and cried for an hour cause it looked like I pooped my pants). In hindsight, that first trip is a big part of the reason I'm a dietitian today - it's where I fell in love with food! Although I won't be blogging, I'll be staying active on the tweeter and instagram. Be sure to share all your soul nourishing pictures with me using the hashtag #nourishyoursoul.

Now, check out The Lean Green Bean for the recipe!

Vegan Southwestern Tempeh Hash

Tempeh, a fermented soy food, is one of the most nutritious vegan sources of protein. If you've never tried it, this vegan Southwestern tempeh hash with sweet potatoes and kale is a great place to start! 

When I started my undergraduate degree in nutrition, it was pretty much accepted that soy protein was a good thing. In 1999, the FDA had approved a health claim stating a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol including soy protein is associated with a lower risk of heart disease. There was plenty of research to back it up – one meta-analysis of 34 studies found a 13% decrease in unhealthy LDL cholesterol associated with soy protein consumption.

But by the time I graduated in 2007, a full blown nutrition controversy was brewing.  That same year, a group of scientists petitioned the FDA to reverse this claim, so the FDA agreed to reevaluate. A  year earlier, the American Heart Association reversed it’s position on soy protein and cholesterol lowering (although they still endorsed soy products as a low saturated fat protein source). Most argued that soy protein did not significantly lower cholesterol enough to warrant a claim. Others claimed soy itself is unhealthy, linking it to food allergies, breast cancer, weight gain and thyroid disease.

So what’s the truth about soy?  Weeding through the many conflicting studies is complicated, but most of the inconsistency in research results can be explained by the difference in the way soy is consumed in Asia versus the United States. Most of the initial research indicating a benefit from soy was conducted in Asia, where soy is consumed in an unprocessed or minimally processed form. It's often fermented, a process that makes the nutrients more absorbable. Here in the states, despite being a country of tofu-phobics, we actually consume a huge quantity of soy, usually in a highly processed form. Soybean oil is used mostly in processed foods as a less expensive alternative to the butter, olive oil and other fats used in home cooking.  Soy proteins, like textured vegetable protein and soy protein isolate are found not just in meats alternatives, but hidden in nutrition shakes, protein bars, canned soups, and condiments.

The soybean itself is a nutrient rich food. Soybeans contain vitamins like vitamin K and B vitamins. Soybeans are mineral rich, with iron, phosphorus, copper and potassium. They even have a pretty decent dose of omega 3 fats. And there's plenty of research showing soy can be of benefit in the prevention of chronic disease.

Heart Disease

Most heart healthy benefits of soy are the result of being a plant-based substitute for meat and other animal foods. But soy also contains a phytonutrient called soyasaponin, which helps prevent lipid oxidation in blood vessels and reduce the absorption of cholesterol in the gut.

Cancer Prevention

Soy and cancer prevention is controversial topic.  Most of the confusion has to do with the estrogen-like effect of isoflavones, a compound found in high quantities in soy.  Excess estrogen has been linked to cancer, especially breast cancer, so on the surface, you would think something similar to estrogen would have similar, cancer-promoting effects. But estrogen is about 1,000 times stronger than the isoflavones found in soy. Isoflavones may actually reduce the risk of estrogen dependent cancers by blocking estrogen receptors in cells. The anticancer benefit of soy seems to be especially powerful in fermented soy foods, like tempeh, which are more concentrated in genistein, a substance that kills cancer cells.


When soy is consumed in a fermented form, as in tempeh, miso and natto, soy is an excellent source of probiotics, healthy bacteria that aid in digestion, promote nutrient absorption and enhance immunity. Recent studies have also linked a healthy intestinal flora to a reduced risk of colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease and even obesity.

Vegan Southwestern Hash

Serves: 4

Adapted from Martha Stewart Meatless


  • 4 small sweet potatoes, diced in 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo, minced plus 2 teaspoons adobo sauce
  • 8 ounces tempeh, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoons coconut oil, avocado oil or olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 4 handfuls of chopped, stemmed kale
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • 1 14-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 lime, sliced


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add sweet potatoes and boil until mostly tender, about 10 minutes.
  2. Toss together crumbled tempeh and adobo sauce, set aside.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoons oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add potatoes. Cook without moving for a few minutes, then flip with a spatula. Continue to cook, flipping with a spatula every few minutes or so, until browned and tender. Stir in garlic and cumin and cook an additional 30-60 seconds until fragrant. Add kale. Cook 2 minutes until mostly wilted. Add tomatoes and scallions. Cook another 2 minutes until tender. Stir in black beans, reserved marinated tempeh and cook until warmed through, about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in nutrition yeast and avocado.
  5. Serve with lime slices if desired.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto and Couscous Kale Salad

 A whole roasted head of cauliflower makes a gorgeous presentation, especially when served over a whole grain couscous and kale salad with sun dried tomato pesto. 

You heard it here first - cauliflower is the new kale.  Yup, that mushy white vegetable you pushed off your plate as a child is poised to make a comeback.  Just like kale can move seamlessly from chip, to smoothie, to sturdy salad green, cauliflower can go from a low calorie stand in for mashed potatoes, to spicy pureed soup, to a creamy yet crispy fritter.  You can even make them taste as good as French fries.  

Not only does cauliflower rival kale on versatility, but it rocks in the nutrition department too. It's hard to compete with kale’s perfect score on the ANDI scale, but cauliflower is no iceberg lettuce.  If you've been avoiding cauliflower, following the flawed "if it's white, don't bite" rule (which is a kinda dumb rule imo), you'll be pleased to know cauliflower is a nutrition powerhouse, right up there with it's cousins broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and (hey!) kale!

Vitamin C

Citrus fruits may be known for vitamin C, but one cup of cauliflower actually contains 85% daily value for the powerful antioxidant nutrient.As most of you already know, vitamin C also plays a role in immune function.Vitamin C is also associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, joint disease and cataracts.


Cauliflower contains a wide range of antioxidant nutrients other than vitamin C. Other nutrients with an antioxidant effect include beta-carotene, caffenic acid, cinnamic acid, quercetin and kaempferol.

Cancer Protection

Cruciferious vegetables, like cauliflower, seem to play a special role in cancer prevention, especially for cancers of the stomach and lung. These vegetables are rich sources of glucosinolates, a sulfur containing compound that is transformed into indoles and isothiocyanates. These compounds reduce the risk of cancer by helping our body detox dietary and environmental carcinogens after turning them into a less toxic and more easily excreted compound.

Vitamin K

Cauliflower is a good source of vitamin K, a group of vitamins usually associated with green leafy vegetables.  Vitamin K is an important nutrient for blood coagulation.  It helps our body get the balance between too sticky (heart attack) and too thin (bleed out from a paper cut).  Adequate vitamin K intake is also associated with a lower risk of fractures, as it helps stop the activity of osteoclasts, the cells that break down bone, and promote the activity of osteocalcin, which is associated with bone density. Studies have also indicated a link between serum levels of vitamin K and a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes.

Anti-Inflammatory Benefits

The glucosinolates in cauliflower also seem to play a role in modulating our inflammatory response, which decreases the risk of many chronic diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. One specific type of glucosinolate, called glucoraphanin, seems to specifically trigger anti-inflammatory activity in the cardiovascular system, which can help prevent and possibly reverse blood vessel damage.

Over the past couple years, I've racked up quite a few recipes for whole roasted cauliflower.  Now that I've made it, I'm not sure what took me so long to finally make it. It makes for such a stunning presentation! And if you're still not convinced cauliflower is the new kale, it's served over a kale and couscous salad.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto and Couscous Kale Salad

Serves 4



  • 1 head cauliflower, trimmed of leaves and core removed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, rehydrated in hot water if needed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 1 cup whole wheat couscous
  • 10 ounces kale, stems removed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1/3 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, mincedSalt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Drizzle the head of cauliflower with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking dish and roast for about an hour to an hour fifteen until well browned on the outside and tender on the inside.
  3. Meanwhile, blend all pesto ingredients together in a food processor and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Heat 1 cup of water (or broth) in a small pot. Add couscous, cover and remove from heat. Let stand 10 minutes then fluff with a fork.
  5. Place kale in a large serving bowl. Top with warm couscous to wilt slightly. If you like it more wilty, just pop it in the microwave for a minute or two. Add olives and walnuts, toss to combine. Whisk together oil, lemon juice and garlic, season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour over salad and toss to combine.
  6. Make a layer of salad on a large serving dish. Top with cauliflower and drizzle pesto over the top of the cauliflower. Slice into chunks and serve with salad and extra pesto.