Tunisian Spiced Salad

This is a nice little salad that can be bulked up for a good dinner or served light for a refreshing lunch.

gluten-free, paleo

Tunisian Spiced Salad

Dressing:

1 shallot, minced

2 Tbsp fruity vinegar (I used plum)

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

2 tsp Ras el Hanout

2 tsp honey

1 Tbsp pomegranate molasses

4 Tbsp oil (olive or neutral)

Large pinches Salt & pepper

Salad:

1 large carrot, ribboned

1 package baby spinach

1/4 c slivered almonds

1 large mango, skinned and cut into bite sized cubes

Protein of choice (I used rotisserie chicken)

Whisk all dressing ingredients in the bottom of a large bowl. Toss the salad ingredients into the bowl as you prep and mix well.

Serve with protein of your choice, or to bulk out – add your favorite grain (Cous cous, bulgur or farro would be great).

Serves 4

Carrot Salad with Hibachi-Style Ginger Dressing

This dressing tastes surprisingly just like that served at hibachi restaurants.

gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, paleo

Hibachi-Style Ginger Dressing

2 large carrots

5 Tbsp your favorite oil

2 scallions

1 date

3 Tbsp your favorite fruity vinegar (I used ume plum)

2 Tbsp pineapple juice (I suspect orange would work well, too)

1/3 c Kewpie mayo

1 inch ginger

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

Generous pinch salt & pepper

Water to thin if needed

Blitz all dressing ingredients together, thinning out with a little water if necessary.

A Salad To Go With It

1 – 2 carrots, ribboned

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 huge hand full green beans, chopped

3 smallish Persian cucumbers, diced

2 scallions, chopped

1 avocado, chopped

Toppers: sesame seeds, flaky salt, pepper, sambal or other spice

The dressing serves 6 or so; the salad makes enough for 3 – 4 dinners when supplemented with a protein

Sunshine Shrimp Chopped Salad

This is an addictive little hit of Summer sun in a bowl; perfect for those mid-Winter blues.

gluten-free, paleo, pescatarian

Sunshine Shrimp Chopped Salad

Protein

1 – 1.5 lb peeled and deveined shrimp

Juice of 2 oranges

3 Tbsp salt

1/2 yellow onion, chopped rough

2 cloves garlic, chopped rough

Hand full cilantro

3 c water

First, poach your shrimp in the mix above a couple minutes or until cooked through. Remove. If your shrimp were frozen and pre-cooked like mine, heat till warmed through. You’ll still get a bit of that delicious poaching liquid taste. It’s fine.

Dressing

4 Tbsp cashew butter

1 tsp your favorite sweetener (I used date molasses)

1 tsp rice vinegar

1 tsp lemon juice

1-2 tsp sambal olek

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

Sprinkle salt & pepper

Salad Base

Couple hand fulls green beans per serving, cut in thirds and poached in the shrimp liquid until crisp-tender

1/2 avocado per serving

1/2 – whole segmented and chopped orange per serving

6-10 cherry tomatoes, halved, per serving

Sprinkle soy

Sprinkle sesame seeds

Sprinkle flaky salt

How many this serves depends on how starving you are – this *could* serve 2 for lunch as written, or just a really hungry me. You do you

Air Fryer Sweet Potato & Chive Chicken Meatballs

These are addictive. I’m not sure why, since they’re so simple, but they are. It’s probably the chive. So good, I’m keeping some on hand for snacking.

gluten-free, paleo, Whole30

Air Fryer Sweet Potato & Chive Chicken Meatballs

1 pound ground chicken

1 small sweet potato, peeled & rough chopped (about 2 cups when shredded)

1/4 cup chives, snipped fine

1 small shallot, peeled & rough chopped

Salt & pepper

Whack your chopped sweet potato and shallot in a food processor until the pieces look like small shreds. Mix with the ground chicken and hit with generous salt & pepper.

Preheat your air fryer to 200C/400F for 3 minutes.

When your air fryer is done heating, form the ground chicken mix into roughly ping pong ball sized meatballs and drop into the basket in a single layer, leaving a little space around each ball to breathe. I did mine in 2 rounds. Air fry 7 minutes per batch, shaking a few times during the cooking process to avoid sticking. Mine wanted to stick a bit, but with the shaking, the balls stayed together and ended up coming out just fine.

Serve with pretty much anything – I had some for a super simple ‘I’m not that hungry’ dinner with some babaganoush one night, nestled in a mess of stir-fried snow peas for lunch, and alongside some lazy af Ranch-y zucchini for another dinner. These babies are versatile. Would also be great with pasta.

Serves 4-6, depending on what you do with them

Mango Chive Salad

Although it is not, regrettably, high mango season where I live – I just couldn’t resist some particularly tantalizing ruby red beauties in the grocery last week. Here, we are starting to dread the summer heat – while hanging on to every last shred of cool weather (and the winds they bring). I thought a nice, refreshing salad was just the thing to combat those spring ‘I’m not ready for surface of the sun temps’ blues.

gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan

Mango Chive Salad

1 large mango (if you’ve got a big boy, or 2 smaller), skinned and chopped

3 small Persian cucumbers or 1 large English variety

1/4 c chives, snipped

1 jalapeño, seeded

1/4 c pepitas

2 Tbsp lemon juice (or more to taste)

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 Tbsp your favorite mustard (I used Dijon, but my love – grainy Maille – would also be great here)

2 tsp honey, agave or date molasses

2 Tbsp your favorite neutral oil (or neutral-ish; I used olive)

2 tsp any fruit vinegar (I used ume plum)

1 red bell pepper

Optional add-ins for bulk: Hand full simply stir-fried snow peas, 1/4 – 1/2 avocado per serving

Optional add-ins for protein: rotisserie chicken, shrimp or sesame tofu

Chop the cucumber into bite-sized pieces and add to a large bowl.

Chop and add the red pepper & half the jalapeño and add to the bowl.

Snip the chives into small bits and add.

Add half the mango (I had a big boy so I added about a cup and a half, reserving about half a cup of mango for the dressing).

Toss all and set aside.

In the carafe of your blender, add: the other 1/2 cup or so of mango, the second half of the jalapeño, garlic, pepitas, lemon juice, mustard, sweetener, oil, and vinegar. Whiz to combine. Salt to taste.

Toss the salad with the dressing and any add-ins. Whack with a sprinkle flaky salt & black pepper to finish.

Serves 2 as a big meal-sized salad; 4 if you’re adding in the proteins & bulk items

Air Fryer Eggplant with Vegan Yogurt Sauce

Yaaaaaaas. I love fried eggplant cubes but hate actually frying things. The air fryer makes quick work of eggplant, turning it into crisp little nuggets in 10 minutes. Delicious!

gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan

Air Fryer Eggplant with Vegan Yogurt Sauce

1 large purple eggplant

Salt

Curry powder

Spritz or spray oil

2 Tbsp Skyr-style soy yogurt

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp pomegranate molasses

1 Tbsp tahini

Generous sprinkle salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder

Cube your eggplant into 1/4-inch pieces. Add to a large bowl and toss with a generous sprinkle salt. Let sit 5-10 minutes.

Preheat your air fryer to 200C/400F for 3 minutes.

Mix the yogurt, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, tahini and garlic powder in a small bowl. Taste for seasoning and add salt as necessary.

Toss your salted eggplant with a generous amount of curry powder, add to the basket of your air fryer, and hit with a spritz or two of oil. Fry, shaking occasionally, 10 minutes or until your desired level of crispness is achieved.

Serve with the yogurt sauce and your protein of choice.

Serves 2

Air Fried Pepper Chicken

This recipe is enchanting. Not 100% what I had envisioned (no sichuan peppercorns or deep fried taste), but gone in seconds.

Note: I ran out of cornstarch about halfway through making this chicken and had to finish the rest without it. It was also delicious.

gluten-free, paleo

Air Fried Pepper Chicken

500g chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces

2 Tbsp. soy sauce or coconut aminos

1 inch ginger, grated

2 Tbsp. rice vinegar

1 c. cornstarch or arrowroot powder

2 eggs, beaten

Generous shake salt & pepper

Oil for spritzing

Sauce

2 Tbsp. butter

2 tsp. Togarishi seasoning

2-4 tsp. sambal olek

Generous shake black pepper

Cut your chicken into bite sized pieces. Grate the ginger and add ginger, soy and rice vinegar to the chicken. Marinate :30 or overnight.

When you’re ready to cook, cut a piece of baking paper to cover the bottom of your air fryer basket. Preheat the air fryer for 3 minutes.

While your fryer is warming, set up a dredging station – 1 plate of cornstarch seasoned with salt & pepper and 1 shallow bowl of beaten egg.

Dredge the chicken chunks in cornstarch, egg, and back into cornstarch. Add to the preheated and lined air fryer basket in a single layer with a little room around each piece (you will need to do this in multiple batches).

Spritz with a little oil and air fry 8 minutes, flipping and re-oiling if necessary halfway through.

Continue on with the rest of the chicken.

While the chicken cooks, combine the butter (melted), togarishi and sambal in a small bowl; hit with a generous amount of black pepper.

To serve, toss the fried chicken with the sauce.

Serves 4

Sweet & Sticky Carrot Sticks

This is a satisfying side to pretty much any protein. It’s sweet, rich, a little sticky, with a nice warm flavor.

gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, paleo

Sweet & Sticky Carrot Sticks

2-3 large carrots

Generous sprinkle cumin

Generous sprinkle curry powder

Generous sprinkle salt & pepper

1 tsp. oil

1 Tbsp. tahini

2 Tbsp. yogurt (I used a Skyr-style vegan variety)

1 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses

1 tsp. date molasses or other sweetener

2 Tbsp. parsley, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

Preheat your air fryer for 3 minutes.

While the air fryer is warming, cut your carrots into roughly fry shape.

Toss in a large bowl with the cumin, curry, salt, pepper & oil.

Air fry on 200C for 7-10 minutes or until your desired level of brown and crispness, pulling to toss every couple minutes.

Whisk the rest of the ingredients together in a small bowl to form a sauce. Thin with water if desired.

To serve, toss the carrot fries with the sauce.

Serves 4

Roasted Potato Salad with Miso Tahini Dressing

This is a quick little salad that is easy to scale up to feed a crowd.

As written, this dressing recipe makes extras. I drizzled some on a fruit salad (kinda crappy mango & persimmon), and swirled a dollop into a quinoa brown rice mix for an extra creamy kick. Delicious.

gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan

Roasted Potato Salad with Miso Tahini Dressing

250g baby potatoes

Big hand baby spinach

1 clove minced garlic

Big hand cherry tomatoes

2Tbsp. tahini

2tsp. soy sauce or coconut aminos

1tsp. white miso

1tsp. date molasses or maple syrup

2tsp. citrus juice

Oil, salt & pepper

Optional topper: feta (mine was vegan feta)

Preheat oven to 375F and line a baking sheet.

Bring a small pot of water to boil and parboil the potatoes 7 minutes or until almost done.

Halve the potatoes (or quarter if they’re a bit large) and add to the sheet. Drizzle with oil and season liberally with salt, pepper and any other spice you love (I used a chicken spice mix). Spread potatoes out into a single layer.

Lightly smush with the bottom of the pot or something heavy.

Bake 15 mins or until desired crispness is reached.

In a small bowl, whisk the tahini, soy sauce, sesame oil, miso & citrus juice to make dressing. Thin with a little water to your desired consistency.

Add the potatoes, spinach, garlic & tomatoes to a large bowl, and toss with dressing.

Serves 2 for dinner

Smoky Roasted Tomato Soup

This is a good one – smoky, satisfying, and just the thing when you’re craving some veggie goodness – or when you’ve found a cache of almost-bagels and need something to dunk them in.

gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, paleo

Smoky Roasted Tomato Soup

28 ounce can whole tomatoes

1 yellow onion

4 cloves garlic

1 Tablespoon olive oil

3 Tablespoons tomato paste

1 can coconut milk

1/2 cup vegetable broth

Salt & pepper

1 teaspoon caraway seed (optional)

1 Tablespoon smoked paprika

2 teaspoons curry powder

Preheat oven to 400F/220C. Pull the tomatoes out of the sauce and place on a prepared baking sheet with the garlic cloves and the onions (chopped roughly). Bake 30 – 45 minutes or until the tomatoes are a bit blackened on the top. My onions were a bit burnt on the outside layer, but I think that added to the flavor. I chucked about half the burnt outer layer parts.

Cool and add to a blender with the rest of the ingredients. Whiz until smooth.

Add to a saucepan and simmer 20 minutes or so, stirring semi-frequently, and tasting to add salt & pepper.

Serves 4