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Another dish that’s “just an idea” and follows no particular recipe. I should really work on that. But I promise: just throw this stuff together in any ratio you prefer and it will come out just as lovely as you are.

Tuscan kale, rough chop
Lemon juice
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pomegranate seeds
Almonds, toasted, chopped
Cauliflower, pickled

Massage the kale with lemon juice, oil, salt, and black pepper. Garnish with pomegranate, almonds, and cauliflower (I made my own, but feel free to purchase, or pick through jarred giardiniera). Great as a starter or side dish, but also enjoyed in copious amounts to qualify as an entree.

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The first time I made Curried Cauliflower over Lentils, the whole was greater than the sum of its parts. Here, I’ve made only a few minor tweaks, but it was even better than attempt number one: brighter, bolder, cleaner–a bit more refined. The cauliflower is roasted with curry powder until it just caramelizes, creating a texture contrast to the bed of creamy lentils underneath. Pomegranate seeds add another pop of color, texture, and acidity, and a garnish of lemon juice and olive oil pushes the flavors just over the edge.

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 1/2 Tbsp canola oil, divided
1 Tbsp curry powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small onion, finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/4 cups vegetable broth (or water)
1 cup brown lentils
1 small bunch cilantro, roughly chopped (can substitute fresh parsley)
1 pomegranate, seeded
Lemon juice, for garnish
Extra-virgin olive oil, for garnish

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1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
2. Toss cauliflower florets with 1/2 Tbsp canola oil, curry powder, salt, and black pepper. Spread out on a sheet pan and roast for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown and slightly crispy.
3. Heat remaining 1 Tbsp canola oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Sweat the onions, celery, carrots, and garlic until tender, about 5-7 minutes, stirring often to prevent browning. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Add broth (or water) and lentils to the pot. Bring to a rapid simmer and then reduce to a low simmer, cover, and cook for about 25-30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Stir in the cilantro and adjust seasoning to taste.
5. To plate, spoon lentils onto plate or into bowl. Top with curried cauliflower, garnish with pomegranate seeds, and drizzle with lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil.

I know, I know. It’s only day two of the new year and I’m already talking up a big game. But, come on–wouldn’t you if you made something that looks like this?:

I spent the first day of the new year testing this recipe for a menu project for school, and what I came up with is something that is so tasty and healthy, it’ll make you want to strut around in your underwear. Kale and sweet potatoes with feta and pomegranate is a refreshing salad that plays on all of the senses.

I’m sparing you the details of the tested recipe because that’s not what this blog is about. Take the idea of this salad and make it your own. Use this as a guideline:

Peel and dice sweet potatoes. Toss with oil, S & P and roast in a 400-degree oven until tender, about 25 minutes. While that’s working, blanch or steam chopped kale.

Make the vinaigrette by marinating thinly sliced leeks in fresh lime juice, brown sugar, S & P. After about 20 minutes, whisk in oil (I used a combination of canola and extra-virgin olive oils).

Combine the potatoes, kale and vinaigrette. Top with crumbled feta cheese and pomegranate seeds.

This salad will work as a side dish, or you can enjoy on its own as a super-light entree. It’s a new year, and we’re all trying to be a bit healthier; this is a great way to do it.