Fall Pumpkin & Orange Salad

I think I found my Thanksgiving pumpkin-centric side for this year. I made this first round with sushi rice because that was what I had on hand, and it was great. Soft, almost creamy, and filling.

For Thanksgiving, I think I’ll swap the soft rice for something with more chew – either a wild rice mix or maybe pearl barley – and bump the orange and dill up a bit for more of a punch that will stand up to DH’s bourbon honey ham.

EDIT: I did end up making this for Thanksgiving, and it was fantastic. I used a mixture of wild and basmati rices for the grains and went for a curry spiced pumpkin instead of the molasses – both versions were great. I also beefed up the dill a little, which was also welcome.

gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan

Fall Pumpkin & Orange Salad

Take:

2-3 cups chopped pumpkin or other orange squash

And toss with:

1 Tbsp. date molasses

2 Tbsp. neutral oil

1 Tbsp. soy sauce

Salt & pepper

Bake at 220C/400F for 30 – 40 minutes or until deeply browned. Add to a large bowl.

While the pumpkin is working, make some ginger rice by combining the following and cooking however you cook your grains.

1 cup rice or grains

2 cups water

2 coins sliced ginger

1 tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. sesame oil

When the rice is done, toss out the ginger and combine the warm rice & squash with:

1/2 inch ginger, minced

3 Tbsp. good olive oil

2 scallions, minced

1/4 cup pomegranate arils

1/2 tsp. black pepper

3 Tbsp. dill, chopped

2 Tbsp. peanut butter

2 Tbsp. whole grain mustard (Maille is my favorite)

4 clementines, supremed, with the juice squeezed out of the leftover bits

2 tsp. turmeric

1 Tbsp. sesame seeds

Serves 4-6

Pumpkin Grain Bowl

This dish is great warm, room temperature or slightly chilled – making it perfect for your next get-together.

Pumpkin Grain Bowl

1.5 cups chopped pumpkin (or any variety orangey squash)

1 carrot, shredded

1 cucumber, ribboned

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

2 cups wild rice mix (quinoa would also be good – you want something with a bit of body to it)

Crispy fried chickpeas (mine were pre-seasoned and halved)

2 scallions, chopped

1 Tbsp. turmeric olive oil (substitute with adding a little turmeric to your favorite oil )

2 tsp. cumin

1 Tbsp. curry powder

Dressing

1/4 cup turmeric olive oil

1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Juice of 2 limes

2 Tbsp. dijon or whole grain mustard

1 tsp. mustard seeds

1/2 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. salt

Lay your chopped pumpkin out on a prepared baking sheet. Drizzle the Tablespoon of oil over top and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons cumin, 1 Tablespoon curry powder, salt and pepper. Bake at 200C/375F for 30 minutes or until soft and beginning to brown. Remove.

While the pumpkin is working, cook your rice or other grains however you cook rice. Set aside.

Combine all dressing ingredients and whisk.

To assemble, combine all but the crispy chickpeas in a large bowl, adding the chickpeas as you serve so they don’t get soggy.

Serves 4 for dinner and more as a light lunch

Eggplant Hummus with Dill Pesto

This is a fantastic way to hide some eggplant and use up a big hunk of pesto. I’ve served this on toast, with eggs, as the base of a sandwich, and would absolutely love the pesto swirled into some mashed potatoes. The hummus, too, tbh. Ooh. Would also be nice thinned with a bit of oil or water and tossed with pasta. I need to make a second batch.

gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan

Eggplant Hummus with Dill Pesto

Hummus

1 smallish eggplant, roasted

1 can chickpeas, drained

2 Tbsp. olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

2 Tbsp. tahini

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. red pepper

Salt

To make, combine all ingredients in a food processor and whiz. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or acid as necessary.

Dill Pesto

1 huge hand dill (about 1/3 of a cup packed)

About 1/3 of a cup smoked almonds, chopped

1 big clove garlic

3-4 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. water

Zest of 1 lemon

Salt

To make, combine all ingredients in a food processor and whiz. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or acid as necessary.

Makes about a cup of hummus and half – 3/4 a cup of pesto

Avocado Dill Pasta Salad

This recipe started off as a way to use up some fresh dill that wasn’t my favorite egg salad and somehow ended up morphing into a riff of an old Summer family favorite: seafood salad. Which I can’t believe I haven’t shared a recipe with y’all for yet. I c-r-a-v-e it every tomato season.

The original (to my family at least) salad included Krab, shrimp, hard boiled eggs & lots of mayo. Sometimes, depending upon which Aunt got a wild hair, chopped up bits of lettuce. Which is weird, but good.

Anyways. I gave myself an aversion to fake crab my first Summer out of high school (reminder, kids: check your expiration dates), so that was out. I swapped with flaked salmon but kept the shrimp in this version; I also sadly forgot the egg until I was eating trying to figure out what was missing. I was also wanting a little more mustard punch, so adjust yours as necessary.

And a note on seasoning: I happen to love this salad with way too much pepper and salt, because that’s how my family usually served it. This recipe includes a normal amount of each (depending on how HAM you go with the cracked pepper); I had to go back twice for more after the salad hit the fridge.

gluten-free, pescatarian, vegetarian and vegan with substitutions

Avocado Dill Pasta Salad

Dressing:

1 avocado (mine was small and I could have gone for more)

2 cloves garlic

3 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill

1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

2 Tbsp. water

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Salad:

4 – 6 cups pasta of choice (I used rice spirals)

15 cherry tomatoes

1 smallish cucumber (about 2/3 cup chopped)

1 smallish bell pepper (about 1 cup chopped)

2 – 4 stalks celery (about 3/4 cup chopped)

1/2 shallot, minced

2 scallions, chopped

2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

1 tsp. celery seed (if using celery salt instead, you may not need to salt the salad – taste, taste, taste)

Loads of fresh cracked black pepper

Salt

Shrimp (I used 13 medium), peeled, cooked & chopped (optional)

Krab, crab or salmon (also optional)

2 – 3 Tbsp. your favorite mayo (optional)

Start you pasta boiling according to package directions, taking care to salt the water. When almost done, chuck your shrimp in to cook. Drain and set aside.

Pull the shrimp and chop. Add to a large bowl.

Chop the cucumber, bell pepper, celery, scallion and parsley. Add to the big bowl.

Mince the shallot and add. Halve the tomatoes and add those too. Add the celery seed.

In a blender or food processor, blitz all dressing ingredients until smooth. If you want your dressing a little runny, add more water until desired consistency is reached. Mine turned out a bit thick, which I liked, but I ended up adding 2 – 3 Tbsp. Kewpie mayo to the salad to loosen it a bit.

Add the cooled-ish pasta and dressing to the bowl. Mix well to combine. Hit with a bunch of pepper. Taste. Add more salt, lemon juice or some mayo to finish off.

Stash in the fridge for a bit to chill and let the flavors get acquainted.

Serves 4 – 6 for a meal or more if a side

Harvest Cauliflower Pilaf

Ok, so I’m on a harvest-theme here lately, and all the dishes that have been making me happy speak of (North American) Fall.

This dish is lighter-than-expected, makes a lovely salad for surprise company, and can be bulked up easily to feed a crowd.

It’s also fantastic topped with leftover turkey pancetta and pepitas from last week’s Fall Harvest Soup recipe.

Quick note: if your coconut flakes look like mine (shreds) and you toast your cauliflower as deeply as me (I like some burnt pieces), this dish may look like it has croutons in it. Which was giving my brain a weird disconnect that was less than pleasant. The coconut in here is actually really pleasant and gives a nice little subtly sweet nuttiness with a bit of texture.

Gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan, Whole30

Harvest Cauliflower Pilaf

1 smallish head cauliflower, cut into small bits or riced (I did small bits because with my current kitchen setup I just can’t be bothered to fully rice cauliflower)

1 apple (Granny Smith or Fuji – you want something with a bit of tartness or crispness)

2 cloves garlic, minced

Double hand full flat leaf parsley, chopped

Pomegranate seeds (I’m lazy and buy mine prepared – I used a good amount and keep adding more fresh every time I go for leftovers because they’re delightful and so very pretty. Use however much your eye wants to bring nice color to this otherwise very green dish)

3 Tbsp. coconut milk (optional)

Juice of 1 lemon

2 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses

Few generous sprays oil (I love a grape seed oil pump I’ve been using lately – it’s really cutting down on the amount of oil I feel I have to use)

Generous sprinkle black pepper

Liberal amount of salt

Generous sprinkle cayenne pepper

Generous sprinkle curry powder

Generous sprinkle cumin powder

1/2 cup slivered almonds

1/4 cup unsweet shredded or flaked coconut

Preheat your oven to 200C (400F). Prep a baking sheet with a liner, process your cauliflower into tiny bits, and spread in a single layer.

Hit with the oil, salt, pepper, cayenne, cumin, and curry). Toss and roast for 35-40 minutes or until your desired toastiness is achieved.

In the last 5 minutes (or if you forget, stir the cauliflower, flip the pan around and put back in the oven), chuck the almonds & coconut on the pan. Roast to toast 3-5 minutes, being careful to watch and make sure these delicate additions don’t burn.

When done, add to a large bowl.

Chop and toss in the apple, garlic and parsley. Add the coconut milk, lemon juice and pomegranate molasses. Toss to combine. Add enough pomegranate arils to make yourself happy.

Serve room temp or cold – either way is fantastic.

Serves 4 as a meal or a party as part of a larger spread

Shredded Salad with Sunflower Spinach Dressing

I know, I know – another weird-sounding recipe that turns out surprisingly good despite sounding wrong.

This is a great way to sneak in a liiiiiiiitle extra nutrition (not that this already packed salad needed more greens) on weeks when you feel like you haven’t seen a real vegetable (helloooo, adulting).

This salad also keeps well even dressed and, if you’re like me and enjoy confusing your friends, is easy enough to bulk up enough to serve a crowd.

Gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, raw, paleo, Whole30

Shredded Salad with Sunflower Spinach Dressing

For the salad, add the following to a large bowl:

1 cup ribboned collards or kale

1.5 cups ribboned red cabbage

1.5 cups ribboned Napa cabbage

1 medium carrot, shredded

1 large red pepper, julienned

1 hand full mint, chopped

2 Tablespoons pickled jalapeños, chopped

1 big hand raw pumpkin seeds

For the dressing, add the following to a blender:

1 big hand hulled sunflower seeds

1/4 cups frozen spinach

Juice of 1 lemon

1 Tablespoon your favorite grainy mustard (y’all know my affinity for Maille)

1 Tablespoon Apple cider vinegar (I accidentally added 1.5 and it would have been too pungent on day 1 – I didn’t get around to eating a big bowl of this until day 2, so the flavor had mellowed)

2 teaspoons ground cumin

10 grinds salt

Generous sprinkle black pepper

2 teaspoons sweet paprika

50 pumps sprayable oil (or a few glugs)

A little water if needed to get things moving in the blender

Combine the dressing with the salad and either toss well or massage in.

Serves 3-4 as written; easily scaled up for more

Summer Sunshine Salad

Another potluck, another veg (pescatarian)-friendly salad. The tastes are great here, but I would caution to know your audience – I saw a couple plates of beetroot floating around after all was said and done. I loved it, though, and so did my veggie-heavy friends!

If you can find them, add toasted unsweetened coconut shavings – I think they’d add a nice subtly sweet crunch here, but couldn’t find them anywhere. If you’re in the States, Trader Joes & Whole Foods usually carry them.

gluten-free, pescatarian, paleo

Summer Sunshine Salad

2 grapefruits, cut into supremes – reserve 2 Tbsp. of the juice for the dressing
1 kohlrabi, shredded (I ribboned, but this would have been better julienned like the beets)
400g prawns, sauteed and chopped in half
250g cherry tomatoes, halved
2 avocados, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
2 scallions, sliced
1 c. beetroot, julienned
2 c. red cabbage, ribboned
Hand full of mint, chopped
1 Tbsp. tamarind paste
1 Tbsp. lime juice
3 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt & pepper

Chuck all the non-wet ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk all the wet ingredients and pour over top. Toss again. Taste, hit with salt + pepper if needed.

If you have toasted coconut, top with that – pepitas would also be nice.

Serves a party 

Pear + Radish Salad

It’s the season of potlucks – or one of them, at least, and as such I’ve been in my typical ‘vegan veggie things in a bowl with zero gluten – but nuts, so no suitable for almost but not quite everyone’ mode.

This salad as written makes a ton. Like 2 trays full, which is overkill for a 10-person potluck. Hopefully, more will turn up – or everyone comes hungry. I’ve got too many party leftovers at my house.

Gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan

Pear + Radish Salad

A crapton shredded kale (I used something like 6 – 8 cups because that was the size of my package – this dictated the size of my salad because I didn’t want leftovers)
2-3 cups chopped red cabbage
6 smallish pears, chopped
20 radishes (I used English Breakfast, but watermelon or another peppery variety would be even better)
2 hand fulls slivered almonds
1 hand full raw pepitas
2 hands full pine nuts
1 bunch snipped chives

For the dressing

Note: I doubled this recipe to get the amount of dressing I wanted

1/4 c. lemon juice
4 cloves garlic
1.5 Tbsp. date molasses
4-5 glugs or turns around the mixer olive oil
Hand full parsley
4 sprigs thyme
1/4 c. tahini
1/4 c. water
1 Tbsp. grainy mustard (if you’ve been reading awhile, you’ll know by this I always mean Maille Wholegrain because it’s my 😍)
1 green onion
Generous salt & pepper

Prep all salad ingredients and add to a vessel of some sort. Whiz the dressing together in your food processor and pour over the salad. Massage with your hands to combine and work into the kale.

Serves a party

Low Carb Paleo Falafel

Mmmmm … falafel. Theoretically. I’ve been eating paleo or some variation for so long, I barely remember what falafel tastes like – and feel like most of them that I’ve had (except for the very few I’ve taken bites of over here) are kind of dry and tasteless. Joyless.

These could use a touch of work on the wetness side – I suspect an extra egg in the batter would do it – but they’re good. Flavorful, they hold together pretty well, and with the sauce drizzles: yuuuuummmmmmm.

gluten-free, paleo, low-carb, vegetarian, vegan

081418-3

Low Carb Paleo Falafel 

Based on Perfect Whole30 Blender Cauliflower Falafel Tahini Bowl by Paleo Gluten Free Eats

Falafel

2 cups cauliflower rice
1 cup onion
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 cup fresh flat leaf parsley
1 large egg
1 Tbsp. arrowroot powder
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tsp. mango powder (or sumac or lemon powder)
2 tsp. cayenne
1 Tbsp. turmeric
1 Tbsp. cumin
1 Tbsp. zaatar
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. black pepper
4 – 5 cloves garlic

Tahini Sauce

1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup neutral oil (like avocado oil)
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 date (or 1 tsp. date molasses)
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp. sea salt

Extras

Neutral oil for baking
Pomegranate molasses (check your labels for sugar!)
Zaatar

Preheat your oven to 200C (about 400F). Line a baking tray with foil.

Pulse all falafel items except cauliflower rice in a large food processor until a paste forms. Dump into a large bowl. Add the cauliflower and stir with your hands to combine thoroughly.

Form into golf ball sized balls and place onto the baking tray. Drizzle with a little neutral oil and bake 20 mins. Flip and bake an additional 15 – 20 minutes, or until browned nicely.

Drizzle with the tahini sauce and pomegranate molasses. Dust liberally with zaatar and serve.

Serves 4 for dinner or makes a nice party platter

Springy Honey + Olive Salad

This crowd-pleaser is perfect for an early Spring potluck when you’re stuck between that ‘Yay! Winter citrus!’ and ‘All I want are fresh greens’ stage of life. This salad has enough going on that it will impress your foodie friends, is user-friendly enough that you *should* be able to convince everyone to be on board with olives, and can be tweaked just a bit to satisfy your vegan friends.

Gluten-free, vegetarian, primal 


Springy Honey + Olive Salad

4 – 6 cups cut kale
1/2 head red radicchio, chopped
Zest + flesh (supremed and chopped) of 1 sumo or other orangey/grapefruity citrus
1/3 cup nice olives, chopped
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans
Juice 1/2 lemon
2 Tbsp whole grain mustard
2 tsp honey
1/2 cup olive oil
Kosher salt & black pepper

Add the kale to a large bowl. Zest the citrus on top. Chop the radicchio and add.

Toss to combine.

In a separate bowl, whisk the lemon juice, olive oil, honey, mustard, salt & pepper. 

Pour the dressing over the greens and massage by hand to work the dressing into the leaves.

Chop the olives and add. Toast the pecans, chop and add. Supreme the citrus, chop and add. Crumble the goat cheese and add. 

Toss gently to combine.

Serves a crowd