Sumac roasted cauliflower & squash

Sumac roasted cauliflower & squash

This is such an easy salad to make. All you need to do is pop your veggies and seasoning onto a tray and violà! If you haven't come across sumac yet: it's a purple-red berry that has a great fruity/citrusy flavour. Plus you can now get it in the spice/herb section in most supermarkets. This makes a pretty big sharing salad so it's great for groups or we love to prep this on a Sunday to add to our lunches.


Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cauliflower - broken into florets
  • 1/2 butternut squash - chopped into cubes
  • 2 TBSP sesame seeds
  • 50g flaked almonds
  • Zest of ½ lemon
  • 1 TBSP sumac
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 TBSP olive oil (make sure not to roast with extra virgin as it has a lower smoke point)
  • 2 handfuls of baby spinach - washed and torn
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Dressing

  • 1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice
  • Sprinkle with a pinch of sumac if you want to add a pop of colour

Instructions:

  • Preheat your oven to 220°C.
  • Combine the squash, cauliflower, olive oil, lemon zest, cumin, sumac, almonds and sesame seeds together.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Transfer to a baking tray and roast in the oven for 20-25 mins - you want the cauliflower to have charred a bit.
  • Add the roasted veggies to your serving plate and stir through the torn baby spinach.
  • Drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil, lemon and finally a pinch of sumac.

Nutritional Information:

This dish is packed full of fibre, a huge amount of antioxidants, potassium and a big bunch of vitamin and minerals. Once of these minerals is iron - low iron is the most common and widespread nutritional disorder. So get ready for your body to thank you after eating this!

Cauliflower

  • High in fibre. Fibre is important for maintaining bowel health and has also been shown to lower cholesterol levels, control blood sugar and aid weight loss.
  • Rich in vitamin C and K.
  • Rich in a number of antioxidants– reduces oxidative stress and prevents cellular mutations that can lead to cancerous cells.
  • Contains indole-3-carbinol which has been shown to reduce the risk of breast and reproductive cancers.
  • Contains sulforaphane which is thought to be responsible for the lower risk of cancer associated with eating cruciferous vegetables.
  • Contains choline which is a ‘vitamin-like factor’ which aids sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory.
  • Butternut squash
  • Full of antioxidants, mainly carotenoids; these are colourful plant pigments and powerful antioxidants that can help prevent cancer and heart disease and strengthen the immune system. The antioxidants vitamin C and manganese are also available in significant amounts.
  • Rich in the electrolyte potassium which is important for cellular function and blood pressure.
  • Good source of fibre.
  • It’s classed as a low-fat food, but it still provides good amounts of omega-3 fatty acids which provide anti-inflammatory benefits.
  • Contains a glycosidic molecule called cucurbitacins which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Studies have shown it to induce the death of tumour cells and reduce cancer metastasis and hence may be a promising cancer therapy.

Spinach

  • Excellent source of vitamin K which is essential for blood clotting and maintaining bone health.
  • Also rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese, copper, iron, calcium and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Contains a substantial amount of iron and folate.  Both are essential nutrients and very important for women of child-bearing age.
  • Contains a long list of antioxidants including flavonoids, carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin E, manganese, zinc and selenium. As a result, spinach intake has been linked to a decreased  risk of diseases caused by oxidative stress e.g. atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries) and high blood pressure.
  • Contains a range of anti-inflammatory compounds which helps to reduce the risk of cancer occurrence. There is evidence that spinach may be very protective against the occurrence of aggressive prostate cancer.