Archive for Salad

Beet and walnut lentil salad

I love a dish that gets piled onto a big plate, drizzled with an exquisite dressing and served. Dinner is done!

Pairing up protein powered lentils + omega rich walnuts + nutrient packed beetroot delivers one heck of a healthy meal.

Don’t be shy to heat up the leftovers and pile on toast for a hearty breakfast.

I use organic brown lentils as they hold their shape better and they’re tastier. The beets on the other hand have been known to come out of a can of baby beets when needs must!

You will need:

For the lentils

1 cup organic brown lentils
1 onion
1 bay leaf
Rinse the lentils and cover with water by at least an inch. Add the onion + bay leaf. Bring to the boil and reduce to simmer until soft adding more water as needed ~ 30 minutes. Once cooked remove the bay leaf and onion (I chop the onion through the salad).

The roasted beets

4 beets, quartered (peeling is optional)
1 Tbl olive oil
Salt + pepper

Heat the oven and toss the prepared beets in the oil with salt + pepper. Bake until soft ~ 30 minutes.

The dressing

1 Tbl fresh ginger, minced
1-2 garlic, minced
1 Tbl tahini
2 Tbl apple cider vinegar
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp mustard
¼ cup water

Blend until creamy.

Garnish

1/2 cup walnuts
A heap of parsley

Toss it all together and drizzle with dressing. This salad makes a base for many delicious brown lentil dishes. Add different herbs, different roasted or steamed veges. Cook the lentils in a tomato sauce (not salad but you get my drift!).

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Big sushi salad which uses the same dressing.

Sensational strawberry avocado salad

This is summer celebration in a salad. Combining mellow, sweet, savoury, toasted and aromatic flavours this salad packs a full bodied visual and taste experience.

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1 punnet strawberries, sliced
1 avocado, diced
½ punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
Fresh mint or basil, finely chopped
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Toasted sesame seeds

In a small pot bring the balsamic vinegar to boil and simmer for 6-8 minutes until reduced by half.
Prepare the strawberries, tomatoes, avocado and mint in a bowl. Gently mix through the olive oil, salt and pepper. Lastly drizzle with the balsamic reduction and garnish with more mint and toasted sesame seeds.

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Happy summering!

Crowd pleasing sushi salad

This is where you get to throw all your favourite sushi inners into one big delicious salad and drench it in a spectacular gingery sauce.img_20160826_124058012_hdr-small

A big hearty salad is a great dish to take to social events where you suspect vegan dishes might be on the low side. This salad goes a long way, is nutrient dense, and, importantly, it will fill you up.

Everysingleperson who has tried this salad has loved it.

As there are lots of components (as many as you want really) it may seem daunting, but bare with me.

Here are my top ingredients:

1 cup brown/wild rice, uncooked*
2 cups broccoli, cauliflower, finely chopped
1 splash of tamari
1 splash of mirin (optional)
2 Tbl sesame seeds, toasted
½ block of tofu, sliced lengthways
1 carrot, shredded
1 red capsicum, chopped
½ avocado, chopped
½ nori sheet, cut into small pieces
Sprouts/watercress/ripped lettuce

  1. Cook rice as per instructions. You want the grains separate, not gluggy. Fluff with a fork and leave to cool. The wild and brown varieties of rice make this easier than white rice. Do not use sushi rice as it will stick together.
  2. Heat a little sesame oil in a large pan and toss in the broccoli and cauliflower (cut small), stirring well. Splash in some tamari and mirin to prevent sticking. I like my veges crunchy so I don’t cook them for long.
  3. Sear the tofu strips in a little tamari, slice.
  4. Mix the cooked ingredients through the rice in a big bowl. Cool.
  5. Before serving add in the carrot, capsicum, nori pieces and fresh greens/sprouts. Transfer to your serving dish and garnish with avocado and toasted sesame seeds.

I like to serve the sauce separately, so you may need to double the recipe as people will reach for more!

Creamy ginger dressing
1 Tbl fresh ginger, minced
1-2 garlic, minced
1 Tbl tahini
1 Tbl tamari
2 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp mustard
¼ cup water

Blend until creamy.

For more big salads click here and be sure to check out more sauces and dressings here.

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Cauliflower and chickpea salad

There’s a whole lot of nutty-ness going on here. And I love a salad that can be titled dinner. Really, there’s no need for more … a bowl of dhal perhaps … maybe some stuffed Indian bread.

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You will need:

1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
½ tsp chilli flakes
½ tsp tumeric
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp garam masala

1 cauliflower, chopped into small pieces
1 can chickpeas drained + rinsed
~ 1 Tbl coconut oil

½ cup coconut yoghurt
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
2 Tbl lemon juice

Baby spinach leaves

  • Preheat oven to 200
  • Mix spices together in a large bowl
  • Add cauliflower, chickpeas + oil.
  • Coat well
  • Spread on roasting tray
  • Season with salt + pepper
  • Bake 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Cool.

Combine coconut yoghurt, mustard and lemon juice for dressing.

Serve on a bed of baby spinach leaves and top with dessing.

Kaleslaw with cashew mustard mayo

I grew up eating coleslaw. It was simple yet utterly delicious because of one particular ingredient. And because Mum always used it. I’ve followed suit.20150624_212758 (Small)

Among a tangle of fresh herbs there must always be thyme. Preferably English. But any variety will do. Aromatic lemon thyme is especially spectacular.

Keeping the slaw simple we’re using the basics (cabbage, mixed greens, carrot, fresh herbs) adding finely sliced cavelo nero (black) kale for an extra nutritional boost.

While we do our best to keep salads lively, the dressing can make or break the experience. Your lovingly prepared coleslaw can easily convert to a fat-laden-cream-dressing-lathered throw back from the 70s.

Here’s an oil-free alternative I think you’ll love.

Cashew mustard mayo

¾ cup cashews
2 Tbl apple cider vinegar
2 Tbl dijon mustard
½ lemon, juiced
1 tsp maple syrup
¼ cup water
Pinch of salt

Blend. Splash in a little more water if it’s too thick. This dressing will take you may places. Try a dollop on steamed asparagus, baked potatoes and salady sandwiches.

Fragrant chick pea, potato and cucumber salad

Combining the tastes of buttery chick peas with toasted seeds creates an interesting spectrum of flavour. Whether you use cumin, caraway, fennel or all three seeds combined doesn’t really matter.

It will bring your salad alive.

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New potatoes, thick sliced
Cucumber, chunks
Red onion, sliced
Several gherkins, optional
Fresh herbs
Salad greens

1 can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
1 tsp cumin seed
1 tsp fennel seed
1 tsp caraway seed
2 cloves garlic, crushed

¼ cup tahini
¼ cup water
¼ cup parsley
½ lemon, zest & juice
Drizzle maple syrup, optional
Salt to taste

1. Steam potatoes until cooked ~10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile in a dry pan toast fennel, cumin & caraway seeds until fragrant, stirring continuously. Add in garlic, drained chickpeas and a splash of wine or water to prevent sticking.
3. Coat chickpeas in seeds and garlic. Take off heat after a couple of minutes.
4. Whisk or blend all the dressing ingredients together.

In a large bowl toss the potatoes with other salad ingredients. Dress and top with chickpeas.

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Two ways with quinoa

Late summer salad

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Two ways with quinoa

This should read 202 ways with quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) such is the versatility of this seed.

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Yes! It’s commonly referred to as a grain but is technically a seed – which is great if you’re looking for a non-grain grain.

Use it instead of rice, eat it hot or cold, sprout it, you can even replace your porridge with it.

Quinoa consists of 20% protein, is high in lysine and is a good source of iron.

I particularly like the black and red varieties but it also comes in white. Mix them up for an attractive salad base.

Cook it like rice at a 1:2 quinoa to water ratio. Bring to the boil then simmer for about 20 mins. Fluff with a fork.

Some say to rinse your quinoa before cooking to ensure the bitter-tasting saponins are removed (I’m told most will have been removed before it got to the shop).

And some say to dry toast the grains for a few moments in a hot pan to enhance the flavour. I do either depending on which I remember first!

Important: Always cook more than you need so you can throw together a quick nutritious lunch. Cook 1 cup quinoa:2 cups water and you’ll have enough for the following two dishes. Double as needed.

BLACK BEAN & QUINOA

2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 cup vegetable stock
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
Zest of one lemon
1 can black beans
1 cup cooked quinoa
Lettuce cups lined with mint
Toppings – sliced avocado, red pepper, fresh coriander & cashew cream

1. Dry toast 1-2 tsps ground cumin
2. Add splash of vegetable stock and steam saute several cloves of minced garlic & lemon zest
3. Add 1 can of black beans and toss over heat for several minutes
4. Mix in cooked quinoa
5. Season with salt, pepper & extra chilli flakes to taste. Cool.

EVERYDAY QUINOA SALAD

I love salads that make a meal requiring as much or as little as your creativity, time and pantry allow. The plainest version of this is still delicious and packed with good sources of plant protein. Top with the vinaigrette below or your favourite oil-free dressing.

1 cup cooked quinoa
1 small red onion, sliced thinly
Handfuls of fresh mesculin and herbs
1 can of chickpeas, rinsed
Grated carrot/zucchini
Favourite salad items, eg, olives, cherry tomatoes, blanched beans, roasted garlic, piles of sprouts, toasted seeds …

Mix ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Top with THIS dressing.

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BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE

The mayo-like quality of this dressing takes it many places.

1/4 cup cashews (soak for an hour if you can)
1/2 cup water
1/4 balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 tsp agave nectar (or sweetener of choice)
Salt & pepper

Be sure to blend/process this dressing until smooth.

Please share with your friends. You never know they may make it for you!

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How to make collard wraps

Collard greens are the lost vegetable of my twenties.

How does one lose a vegetable?

Way before the fame of it’s trendy cousin kale, this leafy cruciferous was a staple green of the northern hemisphere. Where I was living.

Now before you ask I can’t for the life of me remember what I did with them in those days. It was the vegetarian-work-hard-play-hard-not-so-good-at-cooking era. I’m guessing they were thrown into endless stir-frys and beany stews.

Now thanks to a local grower we are reunited.

I’m excited for several reasons.

First they’re generous. Big broad leaves are perfect for wraps.

With a nice dip or spread in the fridge, grated carrot, steamed sweet potato and fresh herbs I’m good to for lunch.

They make a great alternative to bread.SAM_2174 (Small)

Second, collards are known for their antiinflammatory, cholesterol-lowering properties. They are high in fibre and are an excellent source of vit C, A, K, calcium and iron. And have good levels of protein, magnesium and omega-3 fats.

Next time you see them a the farmer’s market – grab them.

For easy rolling trim the lower portion of the spine off. Fill with your favourite fixings. And roll like a burrito.SAM_2176 (Small)

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Late Summer Quinoa Salad

I love the blend of fresh and baked vegetables combined with spices and fresh herbs. Steam baking the root veges keeps the health-o-meter way up high and who’s missing the oil when it tastes this good! Serve either warm or cold.

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1 cup of quinoa, rinsed (I use red coz it's pretty)
2 cups of water
1/4 cup vegetable stock
1 large red onion, 3/4 cut into segments, 1/4 thinly sliced
1 C cubed pumpkin
1 tsp of cumin
1/2 tsp of turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1-2 beetroot
1 avocado
Handful of fresh basil or coriander
Cherry tomatoes (optional)

1. Bring the quinoa and 2 cups of water to the boil. Stir, cover and reduce heat to low. Let the quinoa cook for 10-20 minutes or until soft and water is absorbed. (Use a rice cooker if cooking bigger amounts)
2. In a medium oven, bake the beets, pumpkin and onion segments in 1/4 cup vege stock in a covered pan until soft.
3. Stir salt, pepper, cumin, turmeric and cayenne pepper into the quinoa.
4. Mix though the onion and carefully fold in the baked veges.
5. Garnish with fresh herbs, red onion slices and avocado.