I LOOOVE kale….but the dressing used for a kale salad can either make or break the entire dish. I played around a bit yesterday and came up with this lovely dressing. The miso adds some saltiness, while the maple adds some sweetness and the tahini adds lovely creaminess. Adapt the toppings to what you have at hand – this is my personal favourite combination. The one essential topping that I strongly suggest you don’t even consider omitting is the fresh dates – preferably medjool:)
- 1 bunch kale, washed, main stem torn out, leaves torn into bite-sized pieces
- desired toppings. I roasted some baby onions in foil (without any salt/spices), peppers, medjool dates, cucumber, baby tomato and a raw corn on the cob. (yes! Raw corn is deliciously juicy as all the water is retained!)
- For the dressing: tahini, maple syrup, rice wine vinegar, water, miso paste, lime/lemon juice
- nutritional yeast
Prepare the kale and chop up all your toppings. In a small shaker, add 2 tablespoons tahini, 1 teaspoon miso, 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar and 1 tablespoon maple syrup and shake until combined. Add 1 tablespoon of water and shake again. Taste. Keep adding small amounts of water until the taste and texture is best for you. Add some fresh lime juice if you like – I used the juice of half a lime. When it is to your liking, pour it over the kale and massage the kale vigorously for a few minutes until it shrinks considerably in volume and softens. Sprinkle nutritional yeast generously on top and add your toppings.
Excuse the sad little ribbon, but I thought it was cute at the time:D
This is one of my favourite smoothies. I’ve been making it for a while, but keep forgetting to blog it…..So finally – Ta-dah! It is a super simple recipe and tastes so sweet and creamy – I’m always so sad when it’s up:) The three bananas ensure that it is very filling. A jar like this lasts me all the way until lunch.
- 2 very ripe frozen bananas
- 1 very ripe fresh banana
- About 1.5 cups of ripe frozen mango
- 2-4 medjool dates, pitted
- Optional: Sweetener to taste (I like to add a touch of stevia)
Blend the ingredients together, adding just enough water, until smooth and creamy.
This casserole is a hit with both vegans and non-vegans. I find that most non-vegans eye it suspiciously when they first see it as it is clearly loaded with beans, but after the first helping – almost everyone goes back for more. For people who struggle with gas and bloating from eating beans, this is a good starting point as chickpeas and black beans are much easier on the digestive system than most other beans and cause far less (or no) gas/bloating.
What I love about this dish is that it can be made in advance and stored in the fridge. You can make it 2 days ahead if needed. Just do not bake it yet, cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the fridge. Before you need it, remove from fridge 30 minutes prior to baking to bring it to room temperature and then bake it before serving. It can even be baked in advance (a day or 2 before) and heated in the microwave prior to serving. (You can’t taste the difference!) I would be cautious to heat it in the oven as this may dry it out.
Ingredients (Serves 6-8 when served with side dishes)
- 2 large onions, finely chopped
- 1 green pepper and 1 yellow/orange/red pepper (either is fine), finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons garlic, crushed
- 2 large apples (sweet ones are preferable – golden delicious works well), peeled,cored and chopped
- 1 can chickpeas (244g drained – or 1.5 cups) (first drain and rinse)
- 1 can black beans (as above)
- 1 can cannilini beans (as above)
- 1 can tomato puree (410g) (not tomato paste)
- 1 cup tomato sauce (all gold works well)
- 1 cup pitted dates
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (normal paprika will do)
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- salt to taste
- ground black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 180ºC. Saute onions in a little olive oil until nicely browned. Add garlic and saute another minute. Then add pepper and saute another minute. Then add apples and saute another 2 minutes. Add all the beans and mix well. Set aside.
Put everything on the list from tomato puree until black pepper into your blender and blend until dates are completely smooth. Taste and adjust to suit your taste. You may want to add liquid smoke for more smokiness or more chilli/cayenne for a bit more bite etc.
Combine sauce and bean mixtures and mix well. Spoon into a greased ovenproof dish, cover tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 20-30 minutes or until it looks nice and tacky, caramelised around the edges.
If you regularly make almond milk, you end up with a ton of almond pulp as a byproduct….Why let it go to waste?! This is a quick way to whip up a tasty, healthy snack while using up your almond pulp at the same time:) This is a slightly tweaked version of this recipe.
- 1 3/4 cups almond pulp (I make my milk with almonds with skin intact)
- 3/4 cup soft pitted dates (I use half medjool, half normal dates)
- 2 tablespoons raw cocoa powder
- essence of your preference to taste. I tried vanilla and almond essence and like them both, but rum essence is by FAR my favourite. I put quite a lot of rum essence in, but adjust yours to suit your taste.
- 1/4 heaped cup of dried cranberries
First put all the dates in your food processor and blend into a paste. Mine kind of forms a ball of mush. Now add all ingredients except for the last 2 and process until mixed thoroughly. Now add the cranberries and blend until chopped to your liking. I like having little chunks of cranberries in my balls so I don’t process it too thoroughly. Now add your essence/extract of choice until it tastes good to you.
Play around. I have added orange zest and a few orange segments before and just added a bit more pulp to make the consistency firm enough. You can try coconut essence too. Try adding liquor – I want to try amaretto soon:) Roll them in cocoa powder or dessicated coconut if you like. Or even roll them in hundreds of thousands!
Most of all – have fun in the kitchen!