A tasty and warm brain power salad to satisfy both the meat-eater and vegetarian among us.

A word from Chef Craig:

With this versatile brain power salad, you can choose your protein of choice here to suit your preference, which makes it a great salad if you’re cooking to satisfy different palates. Use leftover meat, fish or chicken as the protein for the dish or just simply boil up a few eggs!

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Difficulty: **

Per Serve:

Carbs: 13.5g
Protein: 32.7g
Fat: 26.2g


For the Roast Cauliflower:

  • 1 cauliflower
  • 1/2 – 1 red onion
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 C cashews (or any nut you have available will be okay)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • pinch of chilli powder (optional)

For the Tahini Dressing:

  • 1/2 C parmesan, shaved or grated
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • 1/4 C tahini
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tbsp water

To serve:

  • 1 bag of picked kale (or baby spinach)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 300-400g (about 1 cup) cooked chicken, meat or fish – optional, replace with vegetarian alternative
  • 2 tbsp parmesan shavings – optional
  • pinch of paprika

Vegetarian alternative:

  • 6-8 hard boiled or poached eggs


  1. WTF Brain Power SaladPre-heat your oven to 180°C fan (or 200°C regular). Line an oven tray with baking paper.
  2. Cut the cauliflower into medium sized florets and roughly chop the onion, then spread them out onto the prepared tray. Drizzle the oil over, and sprinkle with the turmeric. Toss well to combine and season with salt and plenty of pepper.
  3. Roast the cauli and onion for about 15 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven, then sprinkle the cashews and other remaining spices on top of the veges before tossing lightly with some tongs and then continue to roast for another 5-7 minutes. The cashews should be lightly toasted and the cauli and onion tender once done.
  5. Meanwhile, whisk together all the tahini dressing ingredients for the Brain Power Salad, and season to taste.
  6. Place the kale in a separate bowl, add a pinch of salt and a good drizzle of olive oil. Gently massage the kale with your hands to soften it. You won’t need to massage the baby spinach, if using as an alternative. Kale is notoriously chewy, so massaging it with the aid of oil and salt helps to tenderise it for eating.
  7. To serve, place a bed of kale (or spinach) on the bottom of each serving bowl. Top with the roasted cauliflower mix and drizzle with your tahini dressing.
  8. Lastly, top your Brain Power Salad with the cooked chicken (or whichever protein you are choosing to use) and, if you like, some parmesan shavings and a pinch of paprika.

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Avatar Rick Powell says:

    Do all the recipes in your book show quantity and weight of ingredients? I notice in your sample recipe, ‘Brain Power Salad’, that it says ‘1 cauliflower’, No weight, and ‘1 bag of picked kale (or baby spinach)’, No weight, and what does ‘C’ mean in ‘1/2 C parmesan, shaved or grated’ etc. And are recipies tailered to NZ? Look forward to your comments. Regards Rick Powell.

    • What The Fat? What The Fat? says:

      Hi Rick,

      we give quantity or weight in recipes, but less so with regard to green vegetables that are low in energy and that can vary in size; it matters far less (and you don’t need a few leaves left over and wasted, or a new vege or bag cut into, if the cauli or bag of spinach – which is a fairly standardized product in NZ supermarkets – is a bit outside the usual size), whereas we try to be more specific with ingredients that can significantly affect the carb count, or affect the properties of a baked recipe like a bread substitute, C is a standard cup (I think this is 150 mls, a normal teacup).
      The recipes are written based on using ingredients available in NZ. I hope this helps,

Leave a Reply