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

Day 43 – Crispy Spiced Cauliflower Salad with Herbed Dressing


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



  • 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.





100 Days Project, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Party Food, Recipes, Side Dish, Snacks, Vegan

Day 42 – Panelle

Day42Mmmm . . . Deep fried chickpea goodness . . .

A friend of mine posted this recipe, from the New York Times, on her Facebook page, and I knew I was going to have to try making it at some point. Panelle is a type of Sicilian street food that is very similar to polenta, which is made of corn meal. Instead, Panelle is made from chickpea flour (Gram flour), which means it has the added benefit for vegetarians of being high in protein. They make a tasty and interesting and healthier alternative to potato fries, and can be used in the same way for a quick, but filling, snack

These “chips” went extremely well with the left over Warm Chickpea & Artichoke Pâté from my Day 41 post of the 100 Days Project challege.


from: The New York Times


  • Vegetable or olive oil for greasing and frying
  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

Grease an 8-by-8 baking dish or a quarter sheet pan with some oil.

Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan. Put the chickpea flour in a large bowl, and when the water comes to a boil, gradually add it to the chickpea flour, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Scrape the mixture into the saucepan you used to boil the water, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bring the chickpea flour mixture up to a boil, stir in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and then reduce to a gentle simmer. Only continue cooking for about a minute.

Scoop the chickpea mixture onto the baking dish or sheet pan and spread it into an even layer. Let it cool, and cover loosely with parchment or plastic. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours.

Put at least 15mm or 1/4 inch oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Cut the chickpea mixture into “French Fries”, about 3 inches long and blot any excess moisture with a paper towel. Working in batches, gently drop them into the hot oil. Cook, rotating them occasionally until they’re golden all over, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain fries on paper towels and immediately sprinkle with salt and lots of pepper. Serve hot, with lemon wedges.

Pour yourself a glass of wine and  . . .


100 Days Project, Dairy Free, Dips, Condiments and Dressings, Gluten Free (with Substitutions), Party Food, Recipes, Vegan

Day 41 – Warm Chickpea & Artichoke Pâté Toasted Baguette Sandwich


I thought this was just going to be a fancy hummus . . .

I found this recipe for Warm Artichoke and Chickpea Pâté  on the Huffington Post website and thought it would make a good filling for a wintertime sandwich. Much to my surprise and delight, the artichoke pureed with the chickpeas, along with the other spices and herbs, gave the pâté a texture and flavor very different from what I was suspecting. It turned out much creamier, and had a consistency similar to tuna fish salad (if I am remembering tuna fish correctly). In fact, I think this pâté would probably make a great vegetarian tuna melt alternative.

Artichokes are actually the bud of a large flower head before it comes into bloom; once the flower blooms, this bud becomes stingy, coarse, and barely edible. Both the ancient Greeks and Romans ate artichokes, and it is a popular ingredient in Mediterranean cooking. The heart of the artichoke is the softest, the best part to eat, and most often used, but often the outer leaves can be cooked and eaten as well.

For me the surprising ingredient for this recipe was the use of Chinese Five Spice Powder. This mixture of star anise, cloves, chinese cinnamon, sichuan pepper, and fennel seeds is not something I cook with often, and I was unsure how well the flavors would combine with the artichoke. In fact, both fennel and anise are flavors that I do not really like very much, but I figured when it comes to unknown spices,  it is always worth trying a recipe the first time how it is written and you can always change it up a bit later. I am glad I did, because the recipe works very well seasoned with these spices, and it would not normally been something I would have tried.

You can use  this recipe for the chickpea and artichoke pâté on its own, as a topping for crackers, or in a sandwich as I did.  It would be gluten free and vegan without the bread or the cheese I used, and these items can easily be swapped with gluten free or vegan substitutions .

Warm Chickpea & Artichoke Pâté Toasted Baguette Sandwich

adapted from: The Huffinton Post: TASTE


  • 390 gram or 14-ounce cooked chickpeas
  • 200 gram or 7-ounce jar of artichokes packed in sunflower oil or olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh coriander,chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 French baguette , for serving
  • roasted red peppers, sliced for topping
  • parmesan cheese, shaved, for topping
  • lettuce, for topping

Preheat oven to 180 C or 350 F.

Drain the chickpeas and artichokes.

Roast the five spice in a hot, dry pan until fragrant.

Blend all the remaining ingredients to a fine purée. I found this easiest to do with my stick blender directly in an oven proof dish.

Transfer the mixture to an ovenproof dish, if you are not using a stick blender, and then bake for 10 minutes, or until heated through.

Cut a length of baguette to your desired size, and slice it open. Toast baguette in the oven while warming the pâté.

To build the sandwich: Place the lettuce and a thick layer of the warm pâté onto the toasted baguette,  and top with the sliced roasted red peppers and shaved parmesan cheese.


100 Days Project, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Party Food, Recipes, Side Dish, Snacks, Vegan

Day 37 – Dolmades


Since I started off last night with my Day 36 Feta & Pesto Stuffed Peppadew Peppers post, I decided to keep up the theme for the weekend with recipes for small plate tapas type dishes. Dolmades seemed like the perfect fit!!

Dolmades or Dolma are a stuffed vegetable dish common in the Balkans and surrounding regions of the Middle East. The word Dolma comes from the Turkish for “stuffed thing”. Generally, grape or cabbage leaves are wrapped around a rice based filling, that can be meat or vegetarian, and includes onion, herbs like dill, mint or parsley and spices. While meat Dolma are served warm, vegetarian ones are often served cold or at room temperature. There are numerous variations of ingredients and fillings across the many countries that make a Dolma-like dish.

I first made and had Dolmades as a pre-teen at summer camp. Two kids from every cabin had to help out the kitchen staff with food prep every day. Probably not hard to believe that this was one of my favorite tasks on the chore rotation. I remember one day when we came in, there was a big industrial sized bowl of rice filling and all these grape leaves. I had never thought about eating an actual leaf before (not including lettuce) and thought this was a bit strange. I followed instructions on how to fill and roll the grape leaves into Dolmades, and was pleasantly surprised when it came to dinner time that this strange dish was actually quite yummy!! Although I have eaten Dolmades many times since then, this was probably the last time I tried making them myself until today.


adpated from: Kitchen Classics – Gourmet Vegetarian

MAKES: approx. 40 Dolma


  • 6 spring onion (green onions)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup long grain rice
  • 15 grams or 1/2 ounce fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup currants
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup artichoke hearts, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted.
  • 235 grams or 8 1/2 ounce packaged pickled grape leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, extra

Heat the oil in a medium sized sauce pan. Chop the spring onions and add them to the pan, cooking them over a medium heat for only one minute.  Stir in the rice, mint, dill, half the lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Add 1 cup of water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Dry roast the pine nuts until they are toasted and golden brown.

Remove the lid, and fork through the currants, sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, and toasted pine nuts. Cover with a paper towel, then the lid, and leave to one side to cool.

Gently rinse and separate the grape leave, then pat dry with a paper towel and trim any thick stems off with scissors.

Line the base of a 20cm or 8 inch pot with any torn of misshapen leaves. Choose the larger leaves for filling and sue the smaller ones to patch any gaps.

Place a leaf shiny side down, vein side up,  on a cutting board. Spoon a tablespoon of filling into the center of the leaf.  Bring in the sides, and roll up tightly from the stem end of the leaf. Place seam side down in the base of the leaf lined pot arranging them close together in a single layer.

Pour int he rest of the lemon juice, the extra oil , and enough water to just cover the top of the dolmades. Cover them with an inverted plate and some sort of weight to firmly compress the dolmades and keep them in place while cooking (I had trouble finding something for this, but a tin of canned vegetables might work). Cover with the lid, and bring the liquid up to a boil reducing it to a simmer for 45 minutes. Let them cool and serve at room temperature.

These would make a great side dish to go with my Lebanese Red Lentil Soup.


Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Recipes, Soups, Vegan

Lebanese Red Lentil Soup


This soup is one of my favorite easy recipes to make, and is great for a winter weekday, when you just want something simple, warm, and full of flavor.

The recipe, originally from the Allrecipes.com website posted by JENP1, is closest I have been able to come to my favorite red lentil soup served at Mezze Bar in Auckland CBD.  It was not originally a vegetarian recipe, but with the substitution of vegetable stock for chicken stock, and a few small tweaks of the spices, I do not think it has lost any of its flavor.

Red lentils, which are very high in protein, vitamins, and nutrients, are often used in Middle Eastern style cooking. Lentils were one of the first domesticated crops, but may have been eaten by humans almost 13,000 years ago. Red lentils contain a lower concentration of fiber than green lentils, but that means they cook up quicker and you do not need to soak them overnight.

This recipe originally calls for fresh coriander, which is typical in a Middle Eastern dish, but I forgot to buy this ingredient at the store, so substituted with fresh chives. It still tasted nice, but would recommend going with the coriander for authenticity, if you have the option.

Lebanese Red Lentil Soup

adapted from: JENP1, Allrecipes.com



  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 450 grams or 1 pound  red lentils
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon of ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon of black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped coriander
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Bring vegetable stock and lentils to a boil in a large soup pot over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in garlic, onion, and spices and cook until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 3 minutes.

Stir onions into the lentils, and continue simmering until the lentils are tender, about 10 minutes.

At this point if you are in a hurry, you can puree the soup in a standing blender or with a stick blender to get a smooth consistency, but I prefer to turn down the heat to low and let it continue to simmer for another 10-15 minutes, and the lentils will break down themselves.

Stir in the fresh coriander and lemon juice before serving, and garnish with feta cheese and a bit more coriander. Leave off the cheese if you want to keep this soup Vegan.


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

Day 30 – Carrot, Ginger, & Miso Soup


Carrots again !?! You might ask . . .

Yes, carrots again . . . this is what happens when you buy a big bag of any ingredient. Obviously, things are less expensive when you buy them in bulk, and if you want to be sustainable in your cooking, then it does not pay to let the extras go to waste. Soups are a great way to use up large amounts of vegetables that need cooking.

This recipe for Carrot, Ginger & Miso Soup, from Dish magazine, combines the carrots with traditionally Japanese flavors. Miso is a Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting rice, barley, soybeans, salt and a particular fungus called kōjikin. The result is a thick paste, that is high is protein and rich in vitamins and minerals, used for sauces, spreads, pickling vegetables or meats, and mixing with soup stock. Miso played an important nutritional role in feudal Japan, and is still widely used, both in traditional and modern Japanese cooking. Typically, miso is salty, but its flavor and aroma depend on various factors in the ingredients and fermentation process. There is a wide variety of miso available, and different varieties of miso can be described as salty, sweet, earthy, fruity, and savory. I tend to always keep Miso in the fridge, as miso soup makes a great quick meal, and it can be used to add flavor and protein into many dishes, both in Japanese cuisine and more western modern vegetarian cooking.

Just a quick tip . . . if you have left over fresh ginger, pop it into the freezer. Once frozen it will last for months, and when used in cooking the frozen ginger thaws and has the same robust flavor as when it was fresh. This trick can also be used for saving chilli peppers.

Carrot, Ginger & Miso Soup

adapted from: Dish Magazine



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 5 cm or 1 in piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 kg or 2.2 lbs carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup white miso paste
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • sea salt and crushed black pepper to taste
  • toasted sesame seeds, spring onions, and sesame oil for garnish

Heat the oil in a large sauce pan over a high heat.

Add the onion, garlic and ginger, and cook for 4-5 minutes, until softened.

Add the carrots and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes.

Add the miso paste and vegetable stock, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until carrots are tender.

Blend until smooth, and then divide into bowls for serving.

Garnish with the spring onion, a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds, and a drizzle of sesame oil.


Dairy Free, Dips, Condiments and Dressings, Gluten Free, Recipes, Vegan



Mmmmm . . . Spicy chili goodness!!

Harissa is a spiced chili paste originally from Tunisia, but its use has spread to other North African and Middle Eastern countries . The main ingredients are hot chili peppers and spices and herbs such as garlic paste, coriander, red chili powder, caraway as well as some kind of vegetable or olive oil.  Recipes for harissa vary according to region and country; variations can include the addition of cumin, red peppers, garlic, coriander, and lemon juice. In Saharan regions, they add a smokey flavor to harissa.

I needed a harissa paste to use in my Day 23- Harissa Ravioli post, and a friend suggested that I try making my own. Brilliant idea!! After a bit of research I found a recipe on the Food52 blog site, that seemed to be easy enough, use ingredients I mostly already had around the house, and was open to my own interpretation. You are supposed to let the harissa paste sit for over 24 hours before using, but since I needed it for a particular recipe I could not wait. My version of harissa worked perfectly in the dish, and I cannot wait to taste the intensity of the flavors 24 hours from now.


MAKES: approx. 1 1/2 cups


  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2-3 red jalapeno or serrano chiles, stemmed, chopped with seeds (the more you add, the hotter the harissa)
  • 2 large or 3 medium red bell peppers, roasted, peeled and seeded, coarsely chopped (I actually used jarred roasted red peppers and it worked just as good)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste

Toast cumin, coriander and caraway seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat until aromatic, 1 minute. Transfer to a mortar with pestle, and grind seeds to a fine powder.

Combine ground seeds, garlic, smoked paprika, chiles, red peppers and 1 tablespoon olive oil in bowl of food processor. Process, adding additional olive oil if necessary, for a thick sauce-like consistency. Add ground pepper and salt.

Let harissa sit at least one hour and up to 24 hours before serving. (Refrigerate until use.)