100 Days Project, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Recipes, Salads, Vegan

Day 43 – Crispy Spiced Cauliflower Salad with Herbed Dressing

Day43

So this recipe is not a single new recipe, but kinda a combination of two cauliflower recipes I have been holding onto.

I realized I had never made either recipe because each, on its own, seemed a bit too simplistic and bland, but if I combined elements of both recipes together, I thought it could work quite well. The result was certainly worth the experimentation.  One recipe was from Healthy Food and the other one from Treehugger.

Normally, I would use dry chickpeas for a recipe, and soak them over night. Since I was not necessarily planning on making this recipe, I had to use my “emergency ” can of chickpeas that I keep in the pantry, but that is what it is there for.  For most beans I prefer to use the dry version, as it less expensive and usually tastes better (not having been stored in that preservative thick liquid in cans). But sometimes you are making a last minute meal and those emergency cans can be quite handy.

The greens of this salad are Silverbeet, otherwise known as Swiss Chard. This leafy vegetable has been bred to have highly nutritious leaves at the expense of the root, and is subsequently considered to be one of the healthiest vegetables available.

This recipe is another great use for that chickpea flour you may have bought at some point for one recipe, like my Day 42 Panelle post, and are now trying to figure out what to do with the rest.

Crispy Spiced Cauliflower Salad with Herbed Dressing

SERVES:4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 medium cauliflower, about 1 kg
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • 3 tablespoon gram flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 400 grams cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups chopped silver beet leaves (Swiss Chard), stalks discarded
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

for the dressing

  • Generous handful of parsley
  • 6 bushy sprigs of mint
  • Handful of basil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Break the cauliflower into florets. Boil in salted water for a couple of minutes, and then drain thoroughly.

Blanch or microwave silver beet for 1-2 minutes until tender. Then combine cauliflower, chickpeas, silver beet and olive oil in a large bowl, and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.

Make the dressing before you fry the cauliflower, so that the cauliflower will still be warm when serving. Chop all the herbs quite finely, and then stir in the garlic, mustard and capers. Pour in the olive oil slowly, beating with a fork to make sure the oil combines with the other ingredients.  Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and black pepper. Be generous with the seasoning, tasting as you go.

Get the vegetable oil hot in a deep pan (if you do not want to fry the cauliflower I imagine this would taste almost as good baked).

Toss the cauliflower with the gram flour, a little salt and pepper, cumin, and smoked paprika. When the cauliflower is coated, fry in the hot oil till crisp, a matter of three or four minutes or so. Drain with a paper towel before adding the cauliflower on top of the silverbeet.

Drizzle with the dressing, and serve warm with additional dressing on the side.

ENJOY!!

 

 

 

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Gluten Free, Raw, Recipes, Salads, Vegan (with substitutions)

Antipasto Salad

Antipasti Salad

I love antipasti plates!!

Antipasto means “before the meal” and is the first course of a formal Italian dinner. Now, I know traditional antipasti plates have cured meats on them as well, but personally I say “who needs it” when you have all sorts of yummy pickled and marinated vegetables with different kinds of cheeses thrown in for good measure. The contents of a traditional Italian antipasto vary greatly according to regional cuisine, and this salad is something you can easily vary according to your own tastes..

This Antipasto Salad is something I threw together to go with an Italian dinner I was making years ago, and have continued making it ever since. I do not think I have ever made it exactly the same way twice; there is plenty of room for your own experimentation, but the basic idea is always the same.  In this version I used a combination of spinach, rocket (arugula), and fresh basil leaves as the greens, with artichokes, sun dried tomatoes, capers, peppadew peppers, and pan fried haloumi on top, but marinated mushrooms, cocktail onions, olives, roasted red peppers, pepperoncinis, marinated garlic,  fresh mozzerella, parmesan, feta or numerous other marinated or pickled vegetables and fresh cheeses are all other options.

None of the measurements below are exact, it all depends how much of  the different ingredients you want to add to your salad. This salad can be made vegan, by leaving off the cheese and it still has plenty of flavor.

Antipasto Salad

SERVES: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 bag of baby spinach
  • 1/2 a bag of rocket (arugula)
  • a large handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 2 -3 marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup peppadew peppers, chopped
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 1 packet haloumi
  • olive oil

for the dressing

  • 1/2 cup good quality olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dried mixed italian herbs
  • pinch of dried chili flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste

Mix your greens together in a large bowl.

Roughly chop your marinated and pickled vegetables, and add them into the bowl along with the capers.

Add your cheese and dressing on top of the salad.

If using haloumi: On a medium high temperature, heat enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Cut the haloumi into 5mm or 1/8 inch slices and add them to the pan, once the oil has been heated. Let the cheese brown on each side for about 2-3 minutes. If your haloumi looks like it is starting to melt, you probably have your heat too high.Let the cheese cool slightly but add to the salad and serve still warm.

For the dressing: Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl with a whisk or fork until they looked combined.

ENJOY!!

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100 Days Project, Gluten Free, Recipes, Salads, Vegan (with substitutions)

Day 34 – Roasted Shallot, Beetroot, & Lentil Salad

Day34

With all the heavy carbs I have been making lately, I felt like something simple green and leafy for dinner tonight.

Winter is always a good time for roasted vegetables, and combined with the fresh baby spinach and a tangy mustard based dressing this recipe for Roasted Shallot, Beetroot, and Lentil Salad, from the Hub-UK website, was exactly the kind of meal I was craving.

I have found many people do not know what a shallot is. This vegetable belongs to the same family as onions and garlic, and is thought to have originated in Central or Southeast Asia. Like garlic, shallots form in clusters with a head composed of multiple cloves. Shallots are used in many different cuisines from around the world. They taste somewhat similar to an onion, but have a milder flavour.

You can easily make this recipe Dairy Free  and Vegan by leaving off the cheese.

Roasted Shallot, Beetroot, & Lentil Salad

adapted from: Hub-UK

SERVES: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 12 shallots, peeled (If large, cut in half)
  • 2 tablespoon rapeseed or olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 250 grams or 9 ounces of beetroot, cooked
  • 1 tablespoons honey
  • 225 grams or 8 ounces cooked puy lentils
  • 150 grams or 6 ounces baby spinach leaves, washed and well drained
  • 200 grams or 7 ounces soft goat’s cheese

For the dressing:

  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped chives
  • 5 tablespoon rape seed or olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 190°C or 375°F

Put puy lentils into a medium pot of boiling water and cook until done. Drain the lentils and rinse under water and place in a bowl.

If using fresh beetroot, chop into large pieces and put into a pot of boiling water. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the beetroot is mostly cooked.

Put the shallots into a roasting tin, drizzle with the 2 tablespoons of oil, toss well and season with sea salt and black pepper.  Place roasting tin in the oven for 15 minutes, then add the beetroot and drizzle with honey and toss well with the shallots. If using solid honey, put it in the microwave first for about 20 seconds to make the honey runny and easier to coat the vegetables.  Roast for a further 10 minutes, or until the shallots are soft.

To make the dressing, mix all of the dressing ingredients together and season with sea salt and black pepper.

When they are ready remove the shallots and beetroot from the oven and mix with the lentils and half the dressing while still warm and leave to cool.

To serve: Place  a large handful of spinach leaves onto a plate, top with the shallots, beetroot and lentils. Crumble the goat’s cheese on top, and drizzle with some of the remaining dressing.  You can serve this on its own, or with a hunk of crusty bread and a glass of medium bodied red wine.

ENJOY!!

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100 Days Project, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Recipes, Salads, Side Dish, Vegan

Day 22 – Wild Rice Salad

Day22

Mmmmm . . . I love the nuttiness of Wild Rice and I am constantly on the look out for new ways of preparing it.

Wild rice is the grain from four species of grasses of the genus Zizania, which has been historically gathered and eaten in both North America and China.  This type of rice grain has a chewy outer sheath with a tender inner grain that has a slightly nutty taste.  Because of its nutritional value and taste, wild rice increased in popularity in the late 20th century, and commercial cultivation began in the US and Canada to supply the increased demand.  Typically sold as a dried whole grain, wild rice is high in protein, the amino acid lysine, dietary fiber, B Vitamins, minerals, it is low in fat, and like other rice varieties it is gluten free.

I found this recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi , a London based chef who is a rising star of the cooking world. His food tends to combine simple raw ingredients with influences from his Mediterranean background. I am already familiar with Ottolenghi’s vegetarian cookbook “Plenty“, which I borrowed from a friend a while ago, and was very sad to have to give back. This made me very excited to find out that he shares recipes on his website and in his weekly Guardian newspaper column.  I think I will be spending some time on the Guardian website this weekend. Still, I would love to have the cook book in my collection . . . wink, wink,nudge, nudge . . .

Wild Rice Salad

by: Yotam Ottolenghi

SERVES: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 250g/1 1/4 cups wild rice
  • 60g/ 1/3 cup peeled pistachio (I used almonds because I had them around the house)
  • 150g soft dried apricot, soaked in hot water for 5 minutes
  • 1 small bunch of mint, leaves picked
  • 1 small bunch of rocket
  • 3 spring onions, roughly chopped
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large clove of garlic, crushed
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the rice in a large pot and cover with water, bring to the boil then reduce the heat and cook for 30-40 minutes, depending on the variety, or until the rice is cooked aldente. Alternatively you can cook the rice in a rice cooker with 2 1/2 cups of water. Drain the rice and rinse under cold water.

While the rice is cooking, roast the pistachio or almonds in a dry pan over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes. Coarsely chop them with a large knife. Drain the apricot and coarsely chop them too.

In a bowl mix the rice, apricots and pistachios, and then add the rest of the ingredients, toss well and season with salt and pepper to taste.

ENJOY!!

 

 

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100 Days Project, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Recipes, Salads, Uncategorized, Vegan

Day 6 – Sweet Potato & Pistachio Quinoa Salad

Day6

I have a question for you Herbivores  . . . Do you have the problem of always making just way too much food?

This is certainly a problem in my kitchen; you would think a small army was coming to dinner. I am single, live with one flatmate who I rarely see, every once and awhile I will have a friend or two over for dinner, but typically there is more food made than can possibly be eaten.  Realistically, there are only so many days you can stand to eat the same left overs, and while freezing food is an option, my freezer is small and can only hold so much. Plus, not everything freezes well. One of the lovely things about this recipe is that it makes small portions. It serves two, so you have enough for dinner and lunch for the next day. That being said, it is also easibly scalable just in case that small army turns up unexpectedly, or you want to make a healthy meal for your family or friends.

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is becoming a very popular grain in our modern society, but it has ancient origins dating back to Ican civilization. It was considered the “mother or all grains”, and today we call it a “super grain” as it is wheat-free, gluten-free, easy to digest, high in protein, and among the least allergenic foods available. It has been a staple of the indigenous diet in areas like Peru for centuries cultivated more for domestic use than international export. The only problem with Quinoa’s blossoming popularity in the western world is that it is putting pressure on the available crops causing the price to increase, making this staple food economically out of reach for some communities who have depended on it. This imbalance will hopefully be solved as more crops are currently being planted to keep up with both the domestic and international demand.

I can create amazingly complicated recipes, but the simplest of foods can sometimes be a challenge. Qunioa, like rice, can be difficult to cook properly, coming out gluggy when it should be soft and fluffy, or burning to the bottom of your pan if left too long. Just like rice, I have found you can cheat by making it in a rice cooker for perfect results every time. Shhh . . . this can be our little kitchen secret.

Sweet Potato & Pistachio Quinoa Salad

adapted from: Will Cook For Friends

SERVES: 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 20mm cubes (in New Zealand you can substitute a golden kumara for sweet potato)
  • 2-3 tabkespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed (I used a mixture of red and white quinoa)
  • 1 cup vegetable stock or water
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seads
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, roasted/salted/shelled, roughly chopped (plus more for garnish)
  • 500g of spinach, roughly chopped or baby spinach
  • Salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste

Preheat oven to 375f.

Toss cubed sweet potato or kumara with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, and a large pinch of salt. Spread in an single layer on a foil covered baking sheet, and roast for 15-20 minutes, or until fork tender and brown. Shake or stir the pan once during cooking to stop tops from burning.
In a small pan over medium-high heat dry roast the coriander seeds until they start making a popping sound and release their fragrant aroma. Keep an eye on them, because they can very quickly got from brown to burnt. Grind the coriander seeds into coarse powder in an electric coffee mill, mortar and pestle, or with the bottom of a heavy glass.

In the same small pan, over medium heat, saute garlic in 1 tablespoon olive oil until golden and fragrant.

Rinse the quinoa under cold water, drain, then add to the pan. Add the vegetable broth, coriander, and cumin, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and let cook 12-15 minutes without lifting the lid. Remove from heat, and let stand for another 5 minutes. Alternatively, you can add all of these ingredients to a insert of a rice cooker and let it simmer away till done. Remove the lid or your pan or rice cooker, and fluff quinoa with a fork.

Gently stir in chopped cilantro, pistachios, and the sweet potato. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and cayenne.

Place a good size handful of the chopped spinach on a plate and top with the quinoa mixture.

ENJOY!!

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Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Raw, Recipes, Salads, Side Dish, Vegan

Simple Raw Veggie Salad with Dill Dressing

dill dressing

This side salad is perfect for when you need something fresh and lite to go with you main meal.  I made it to go with the Creamy Leek and Brussels Sprout Soup in my Day 4 post, and the the crisp sweetness of the raw vegetables and fragrant dill nicely balance the creaminess and subtle spice of the soup.

I used cucumber, red capsicum, yellow capsicum, and avocado, but realistically that was just because those were the vegetables in my fridge. You can use any combination of vegetables you feel will go well together. Besides anything topped with this Dill Dressing will taste brilliant.

This does not take long at all to throw together, and can vary infinitely. You can also substitute other fresh herbs for the dill to make different types of dressing.

Simple Raw Salad with Dill Dressing

INGREDIENTS

for the salad

  • any assortment of raw vegetables (I used cucumber, red capsicum, yellow capsicum, and avocado)

for the dressing

  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (if you do not have white wine vinegar, you can use 1 tablespoon white vinegar with 1/2 teaspoon sugar)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill, or other fresh herb (you can also use dried herbs but it does not taste quite as nice)
  • 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced shallot (you can substitute minced garlic if you do not happen to have a shallot around)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Place all the salad ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar and salt until the salt dissolves. Add dill, mustard and shallot and whisk to combine. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, whisking constantly, until dressing is smooth and emulsified.  You can also use an immersion/stick blender to emulsify the dressing, which will take less time. Place all ingredients into the tall plastic cup that comes with most immersion/stick blenders, and whizz until dressing takes on a creamy white look. Pour dressing over salad and toss until all ingredients are evenly coated.

Additional Notes

Salad will keep, dressed and refrigerated, for up to 6 hours. For longer storage, keep chopped and assembled salad ingredients covered in the refrigerator up to 1 day ahead and toss with dressing just before serving.

ENJOY!!

 

 

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