To be specific, 100+ pages of visa paperwork for Spain. ?
Good grief. We had been warned that Spain has some of the most intense visa application requirements — including a trip in person to our consulate in Chicago to turn everything in, certified translations of most of our documents into Spanish, a lease for an apartment that we had to book sight-unseen, plus an enormous stack of 100+ other papers each full of applications and financial statements and doctors’ notes and personal essays about why we want to move to Barcelona and more. Basically, so much paperwork. Ha, we agreed that it felt like we were back in college preparing for a final, trying to get all of this ready.
But as of last Friday, we’ve now handed everything over to the Spanish government. So now we get to sit and wait…and hope that they take us! ? And in the meantime, soak up our last few months here in Kansas City. Which, for me, includes soaking up time in my favorite little spot in the world…
Man, it’s starting to sink in how much I’m really going to miss this space. And ha, literally, it’s spaciousness. After living for years in teeny tiny kitchens, the 5 years I’ve spent in this loft with its wide-open spaces have been so refreshing and inspiring. And I’ve loved every second that I’ve gotten to stand in this beautiful kitchen and stir a soup round and round, or pull a fresh batch of cookies out of the oven, or mix a chilly cocktail, or just hang out and chat there with friends who have come over for a dinner party. So many of my favorite memories have been made in this one little room…and man, I’m going to miss it.
So while it’s tempting to make the rounds (and rounds and rounds) of all of our favorite restaurants in Kansas City before we leave, I’m feeling all da feelz about wanting to cook as many final meals as possible here at home. Especially some fresh and flavorful and feel-good meals like this one. It’s been on repeat here for weeks, and I keep forgetting to share it with you. But today’s the day. I think you’re going to love it. ?
As I’ve mentioned on here before, I married a salad-obsessed vegetarian…who also happens to be a major fan of Mediterranean food. So we regularly whip up a batch of my Dreamy Tahini Dressing (inspired by our favorite lemon-maple-tahini dressing at The Westside Localin KC) to mix into salads…which is always a winner.
Add to that some roasted chickpeas and cauliflower, lots of fresh baby arugula (our favorite salad green), some ripe avocado, sliced red onion, toasted pine nuts, and maybe an extra squeeze of fresh lemon…
…and in less than 30 minutes, this gorgeous rainbow of a salad can be yours to enjoy too.
Oh my gosh, we can’t get enough of this one. All of those zesty savory flavors pair perfectly together, it’s nice and hearty without being too heavy, it’s totally plant-based, and — guys — that dressing. Do yourself a favor and make a double batch to use on a different salad (or drizzle it on some baked chicken, or roasted veggies, or use it as a dipper) the next day. SO. GOOD.
Actually, as I’m typing this, I’m pretty sure we’ll need to make this one again this week. And hey, hopefully then again sometime soon when we’re actually living on the Mediterranean. ?
This Roasted Cauliflower, Chickpea and Arugula Salad is a fresh and feel-good salad that’s bound to be a hit, especially when tossed with my favorite “Dreamy” Tahini Dressing. Deeeelish. (P.S. Don’t be scared by the long list of ingredients — this recipe flies by quickly!)
1 batch roasted cauliflower and chickpeas (see below)
Prepare the Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpeas as directed below. Then to save time, prep the remaining ingredients while they are roasting in the oven.
Once the cauliflower and chickpeas are ready to go, spread the arugula out evenly on your serving platter or bowl. Top with the cauliflower, chickpeas, avocado, red onion, and pine nuts. Then drizzle everything evenly with the dressing.
Serve immediately, garnished with extra lemon slices/wedges if desired.
To Make The Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpeas:
Heat oven to 425°F. Prepare the baking sheet with aluminum foil, if desired.
Spread the cauliflower out on the baking sheet, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Toss to combine until the cauliflower is evenly coated. Then spread the cauliflower out evenly on the baking sheet, and set aside.
In a separate small bowl, toss together the chickpeas, cumin, garlic powder, smoked paprika, onion powder, cayenne, and remaining 1 tablespoon of oil until evenly combined. Sprinkle the chickpea mixture on top of the cauliflower, and give the pan a good shake so that everything forms one single layer. Season evenly with a few generous pinches of salt and pepper.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cauliflower turns slightly charred around the edges. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack until ready to use.
To Make The Dreamy Tahini Dressing:
Whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, maple syrup, plus a generous pinch each of salt and pepper in a bowl until smooth. Stir in 2 tablespoons of water until combined, then add an extra tablespoon of water if needed to thin. Taste, and season with extra salt and pepper if desired. Refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days, or use immediately.
*I really love making the chickpeas significantly spicy in this recipe, so I use about 1/4 teaspoon cayenne. But you’re welcome to use less, or omit it entirely if you would prefer the chickpeas to be mild.
**If you’re a cheese lover, this would also be yummy with some crumbled feta sprinkled on top.