Italian Roasted Grape & Cauliflower Salad

So, I made myself a beastly salad last night. I’m literally exhausted- for whatever reason- and I feel like my body really needed some good nutrients. This literally is the perfect “Italian” fall salad. Technically, the dressing is more a French vinaigrette, but I put a few of my own twists on it.

So picture this: roasted, crunchy cauliflower. Sweet, gooey roasted grapes. Fresh arugula. Crispy pancetta. Perfectly seasoned chicken. Sun dried tomatoes. AMAZINGNESS. I know- super weird combo, right?!?! I thought so too, until I tried it out. I was shocked by how all the flavors came together so well.

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Lately, I think I have been pushing my body too much. I tried to go to the gym yesterday and I could barely get through my usual workout. I think I’m a lil’ run down… I was in Boston for a week, worked 10 hours straight everyday (while I was sick), then came back to NYC, worked some more, got more sick, worked out hard thursday-monday and now here I am, barely able to hold myself up.

As health conscious as I am, sometimes I really don’t listen to my body enough. I’m always too worried about making my next gym class, getting a good sweat on, getting down another pants size… Everyone has their demons and this one is definitely mine. As far as the gym goes, enough is never enough for me. I have to smack myself in the head sometimes!

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Anyways, this salad is amazing and super easy. PLUS, you can make the roasted grapes and cauliflower the night before, then just heat it up. This is what I call “in-a-jiffy” dinner for uno (yes, one).

Italian Roasted Grape & Cauliflower Salad

Ingredients:

  • Fresh Arugula
  • Roasted Green Grapes
  • Roasted Cauliflower
  • Pancetta (italian bacon)
  • Sun-dried Tomatoes
  • Chicken breasts, grilled
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepp

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 425°F
  2. Chop the cauliflower into large pieces, coat in some olive oil, salt and pepper and place in roasting dish
  3. Place whole green grapes in roasting dish, season with salt and pepp and coat in olive oil
  4. Place both cauliflower and grapes in the oven and roast for about 35-45 minutes
  5. Cook the pancetta over stove top until nice and crunchy
  6. Season your chicken breasts with salt and pepp, onion powder, garlic powder and place on sizzling pan, cook until nice and crispy
  7. Once cauliflower and grapes are done, assemble the salad
  8. Arugula, roasted grapes and cauliflower, chopped sun-dried tomatoes, cubed grilled chicken breasts, and pancetta, OH MY!
  9. Toss in the Herb Vinaigrette dressing (see recipe below!)
  10. Voilà!

Herb Vinaigrette Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup Olive oil
  • 1-3 Tbs Dijon Mustard (totally your choice)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • Dried Thyme (as much as you like)
  • 1/4 of a lemon, juiced
  • salt & pepp
  • Few drops of liquid stevia (optional)
  • Fresh chopped chives
  • 1/4 – 1/2 of shallot, finely chopped

Directions:

  1. Throw everything in a food processor or blender. Yes, it’s that easy.

Note: I like my dressing to be more “vinegar” based than olive oil, I sometimes even add water to my dressing or almond milk. Feel free to add more olive oil! This is a rough estimation on how I make this dressing. This being said, you need to try it as you go. I truly believe the best way to become a great cook is to try different flavors and combinations as you go. You can’t always stick to a recipe. Have fun with it!

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