When I saw this purple cauliflower at the market the other day, I just knew right away that I had to buy it. Some girls are charmed by pretty flowers...I get carried away with fresh and colourful produce! I originally wanted to make soup out of this pretty thing. Purple soup would really be amazing but it's summer and having soup now just didn't feel right to me so I've decided to postpone that soup for the fall. Here's a noodle salad that's a little bit more appropriate for the season.
Why purple? The colour actually means the presence of anthocyanin. Anthocyanin is responsible for the red, purple and blue colours present in vegetables, grains and fruits like blueberries or blackberries. Health experts say it’s a cancer fighter and helps prevent heart disease and improves memory. Cauliflower (both varieties) is rich in vitamin C. It also provides a good amount of fiber, B Vitamins as well as Vitamin K, manganese and potassium.
Before I get to the recipe, let me talk a little bit about a couple of healthy tips. In a previous post, I touched on Primary Foods (check the article here) which I consider to be the core of my health and wellness journey. At this time, I would like to share some of the practical things that I've done and continue to do.
Tip #1 - I was open to learning and the first book I read was "Fit For Life" by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond. It was in 1994 when I made a shift from an all-Filipino diet to a lifestyle of eating differently. The reason I desired for a change was due to regular migraine headaches that I was having then.
Tip#2 - It's not easy to make a lifestyle change...so keep it simple and start slowly. Based on my culture, eating white rice (and a lot of it) with meat was a norm. Although I was not a big meat eater....my small change came about by being more conscious of eating less rice and then adding raw foods in the form of salads.
Black Rice Noodle Salad With Purple & White Cauliflower
Ingredients (Preferably Organic)
1 pack (250 g.) black rice noodles (I used this brand)
or soba noodles
2 c purple cauliflower, cut into florets and lightly steamed
2 c. white cauliflower, cut into florets and lightly steamed
3 heads baby bok choy, chopped to bite size pieces, lightly steamed
3 Tbsp. tamari (can also use coconut aminos or Bragg liquid aminos)
1 Tbsp. roasted sesame oil
3 Tbsp. brown rice vinegar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. coconut nectar or maple syrup
1/2 to 1 tsp. grated ginger
a pinch of cayenne
3 Tbsp. unhulled sesame seeds, dry roasted
3 spring onions, sliced
1. Mix together all the dressing ingredients in a small dish. Adjust the taste if necessary and set aside.
2. Boil a pot of water, approximately 6 cups. Cook the noodles according to package directions, about 4-5 minutes for this type and brand. Make sure not to overcook as they will get mushy beyond those cooking times. Rinse with cold water and set aside to cool down. It's a good idea to let the noodles soak in filtered water if the dish is not being assembled for serving right away. It prevents them from getting sticky.
3. In a skillet or toaster oven, dry roast the sesame seeds until they turn fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.
4. Lightly steam the cauliflower, about 3-4 minutes from the time the water boils. Add the baby bok choy at the last minute of steaming then remove the vegetables right away to cool them down.
5. To assemble: mix noodles and vegetables, add the dressing and top with sesame seeds and green onions. Serves 3-4. Enjoy!
Note: The purple cauliflower can stain other vegetables so it's a good idea to separate them when steaming or even when mixing the salad. I think preserving their own colour especially if serving guests is a good tip so they would look even more pretty! You may also like this other noodle recipe here.