this cauliflower tabbouleh is the business

Let me make one thing clear: juice cleanses are ridiculous. They’re a socially-acceptable means of starvation. I have to laugh when I hear people talk about how cleanses “clean out your toxins,” to which I respond, you have organs for that. Against the very clear scientific evidence, marketers prevail, and the juice business is all in for cash money millions. Instead of downing gallons of pricey, sugary juices (have you read the labels on your favorite juices, because you might as well have a cookie), why not reframe your “reset” to eat virtuously. Instead of living on liquid, load up on veg, lean proteins and fish. Instead of replacing your meals with a juice, why not have one as a snack? Or, in my case, a side salad for the days where I can’t bear to chop up vegetables.

But I digress.

Based on the above rant, I was initially dismissive of Juice: Recipes for Juicing, Cleansing & Living Well, however, after poring over the recipes, I found an extraordinary amount of smoothies, juices, soups, and veg-based meals that are low on sugar and high on nutrition. So I set aside the whole juicing philosophy in favor of a pile of recipes that are both virtuous and satisfying. Case in point: this cauliflower tabbouleh.

Cauliflower was a prime candidate for the Never Again Tour 2014. It smells funny, it vaguely reminds me of a mushroom (and you know how I feel about the VILE, WRETCHED MUSHROOM. DIE MUSHROOM, DIE!), and the idea of eating it raw gives me vertigo. However, I’ve started to amass quite a few recipes that have transformed my fear of this cruciferous veg into something delicious. I love this tabbouleh. I’ve finally survived my gluten withdrawal, and I love how the shredded flash-boiled cauliflower takes on the texture of rice. Paired with fresh herbs and ground seasoning, this side dish is complete magic.

Almost as good as gluten, guys. ALMOST.

INGREDIENTS: Recipe from Juice: Recipes for Juicing, Cleansing & Living Well
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 tsp kosher salt
2 cups diced celery, about 5 stalks
Seeds from 1 large pomegranate, about 1 1/2 cups
1/2 cup finely diced red onion or shallot (you can soak it in ice water for 15 minutes to take the raw edge off)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (I also added the grated lemon zest because lemon)
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Prepare a large bowl with ice water. Place the cauliflower in a large pot and cover with water by 1 inch. Add the salt. Boil for 3-4 minutes, until crisp tender. Drain in a colander and immediately plunge the cauliflower in the ice water to stop the cooking.

Drain the cauliflower and transfer to a clean kitchen towel to dry a little.

Using a box grater, grate the cauliflower. It will look like barley or rice. Transfer the grated cauliflower to a serving bowl.

Stir in the remaining ingredients and toss to combine. Taste for seasonings, especially if you allow this to sit. You may need an extra pinch of salt.


12 thoughts on “this cauliflower tabbouleh is the business

  1. I TOTALLY agree with you about juice cleanses. It’s a real peeve of mine whenever someone tells me they’re on one for reasons a,b and c. Tell yourself whatever you want- they’re basically starvation diets that offer quick but non-lasting results. Feeling like crap isn’t a sign that you’re cleansing your body of ‘toxins’; it’s a sign that you’re starving yourself and your body is telling you to eat some food so that it can function the way it’s supposed to.

    Sorry for the mini rant lol Anyway- I’m a HUGE fan of tabbouleh, and this one looks and sounds fabulous. I love the spices in the dressing. This is one great, light summer side dish and I definitely think you nailed it. Thumbs up Felicia!


  2. This dish looks lovely. The addition of pomegranate seeds makes this very special.

    I actually LOVE cauliflower (and mushrooms) and haven’t found a way to make it non-edible yet. But hey, if you can find a way to eat cauli that makes it more palatable for you, more power to you.

    I enjoy juicing but I’d never replace a meal with a juice. I see it more as a snack or a supplement than a meal. Unfortunately, there are so many people that do these juice cleanses and without any sort of guidance. There needs to be more written about the dangers of fasting. Feeling light or light headed is not something to aim for.


    1. Completely agree. I always view juices as a supplement, rather than a replacement. I also keep a watch on sugar in juices — some of the brands on the market (eh-hem, Blueprint) have an INSANE amount of sugar.


  3. My friend, Thank you for sharing this recipe and your journey!

    I am also currently on a nutritional reset; eliminating caffeine, gluten, dairy and sugar. This salad is SO flavorful! I love the celery and pomegranate in there!

    I had sent this recipe to my friend Amy who made it for us last night. How nice to go to yoga today and be handed a container full of this to have with my lunch today!

    Thanks again Felicia!


  4. I keep seeing so many recipes that use cauliflower – I’m going to have to have a go at this. It really does look super tasty. And I also agree about the juice diets – there’s no way I’d stay upright if I only had sugary liquid all day! B


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