Cauliflower and sweet potato bean salad + a review of The Book Thief

The original idea for this salad was a purple cabbage and cannellini bean salad. The theory was that the purple cabbage would retain its beautiful, vibrant purple colour even after baking and it would make for a gorgeous looking dish. Except…the joke’s on me. I was only able to find a tiny little looking purple cauliflower at the markets, about a handful and that does not a salad make! Also, the colour faded after baking and I was not able to resuscitate it despite my lemon juice attempts.

So I decided to go back to the drawing board and focus on FLAVOUR. As it should be. And here goes – a normal looking salad made with readily available ingredients, that packs a gorgeous nutritional punch and showcases beautiful, simple flavors.

On a different note, I recently read The Pearl Thief as part of my book club. I am  glad I stumbled upon it. Firstly, because it’s a historical novel, set in a pre- and post-holocaust period and it ties in full-circle with my recent biographies on the topic. Secondly, because it is beautifully narrated and I did not want to put it down.

I thoroughly enjoyed the first half of the book; I found it mysterious and intriguing, filled with heartbreaking moments and devastating choices, love and hope and confronting drama. There’s a couple of flaws I encountered with the book here and there, some of which I enjoyed discussing in my book club meeting; however I don’t want to tear the book apart as I enjoyed diving into it and do recommend it.

My biggest takeaway is the topic of kindertransports – the name given to the mission that removed over 10,000 children from Germany and neighbouring countries controlled by Nazis, helping them escape the reign of terror and concentration/extermination camps, in the wake of the war.

I was surprised I have not heard about this in any of the holocaust biographies I read this year and last, but it’s never too late to learn.

If you’re keen to join my book club and you’re in Perth, email me, they welcome new members. Next up is The Testaments by Margaret Atwood 🤓 I’m curious, do you enjoy historical novels? And do you want to read The Pearl Thief? Let me know in comments below 👇

Now onto the salad!

Cauliflower and sweet potato bean salad

Serves 2


  • a handful of purple cauliflower
  • a handful of regular cauliflower
  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1/2 can kidney beans
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • handful of parsley, chopped + a bit for topping
  • a handful of toasted whole almonds  and a handful of slivered almonds to top

Ingredients for the dressing

  • 3 TBSP olive oil
  • 4 TBSP lemon
  • 1/2 tsp miso
  • 1 TBSP maple
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 200 and line a tray with baking paper.
  2. Cut the cauliflower into medium pieces and the sweet potato into medium slices. Place them in the baking tray and brush with 1 TBSP olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes or until tender.
  3. Steam your asparagus – I cheated my way through this task with 2 minutes in the microwave.
  4. To make the dressing, add all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
  5. To make the salad, add the rice and beans to a medium large bowl.
  6. Chop the cauliflower and the sweet potato and add to the bowl.
  7. Slice the asparagus and add to the bowl.
  8. Add the parsley to the bowl.
  9. Add the dressing to the bowl and toss to coat.
  10. Arrange on a serving platter and top with extra parsley, whole and slivered almonds and serve warm.

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