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Summer Veggie Not Pasta Salad

This is a perfect side dish for a summer BBQ. Refreshing, nutritious, delicious and of course minus the starchy carbs/gluten of a more traditional pasta salad. The cauliflower plays the pasta (orzo-ish) or rice role nicely.

1 head cauliflower, steamed, food processed and cooked into “rice”
1 bunch asparagus, steamed and cut into small pieces
1 head broccoli, steamed and cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon coconut oil or ghee
1 carton grape tomatoes, halved
1 red pepper, diced
1 yellow or orange pepper, diced
3-4 green onions, thinly cut
1 bunch fresh basil, cut into thin strips
Juice of 1 lemon
Extra virgin olive oil, enough to coat vegetables evenly (about 2-3 tablespoons)
Balsamic or apple cider vinegar, to taste
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
(optional additions: feta cheese, chicken, artichoke hearts, a few cloves of garlic, minced)


  1. Beginning with the cauliflower, steam the cauliflower, asparagus and broccoli separately, 5-10 minutes for each vegetable until tender (and until the asparagus and broccoli are bright green)
  2. While the other veggies are steaming, prep the cauliflower rice by breaking it down it in batches in the food processor, then cooking over medium heat in your melted ghee or coconut oil as described in our cauliflower rice post, then remove from the heat.
  3. Also while the asparagus and broccoli are steaming, halve your grape tomatoes, dice your peppers, and thinly slice your basil and green onions, and add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl.
  4. When the asparagus and broccoli are steamed, place in colander and run cold water over them to stop the cooking, then cut into small pieces and add to the rest of the ingredients. Add the cauliflower rice, so that is in proportion to the rest of the ingredients, and save the rest for other meals (stir fry etc.) if it ends up being too much.
  5. Add the lemon juice, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and toss to coat the veggies evenly. Add your optional ingredients. I didn’t really measure the olive oil and vinegar, just poured a little bit of the oil over the top then mixed, then added a bit more to get the right coated texture without being too oily. And I did the same thing with the vinegar and salt and pepper – added a bit, mixed, tasted, added a bit more . . .)
  6. Refrigerate for at least an hour for the flavors to meld. Enjoy!