Broccolini® & Cucumber Salad

This started as a recipe review for Broccolini® with Cucumber & Chilli Sauce. There were a few things not-quite-right about it, so instead of just giving you my critique, I thought I’d offer you another version of it – a version that’s less of a “side” and more of a “main” – because I’m all about making veggies the star.

With the original recipe, you’ll find yourself trying to split one bunch of broccolini® between four people, which leaves you with a stalk or two each. That’s not enough of this wonderful vegetable, in my opinion. You’ll also have a lot of sauce left over – a sauce which uses two tablespoons of sugar. The kids will love it, but their teeth won’t. My sauce has a little more bite to it!

Broccolini Cucumber Salad
Serves 1 as a main or 4 as a side.

2 Bunches Broccolini®
1 Lebanese Cucumber, diced (or 10cm/4″ section of another kind of cucumber)
1 T White Wine Vinegar
1 T Water
1/2 t Raw Sugar
1/4-1/2 Long Red Chili, finely diced
1/2 Garlic Clove, finely diced
1 T Fresh Coriander, roughly chopped
1/2 t Sunflower Seeds

  • In a skillet or small saucepan on very low heat, combine the vinegar, water and sugar until just dissolved. Add the garlic and chili to soften and take the raw “sting” out of them. This should only take a minute or two – don’t leave this on the heat too long or let it boil, or your dressing will start to evaporate and condense. Leave to cool.
  • Cut the broccolini® stalks into thirds and blanch for 2-3 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  • Toss the broccolini®, cucumber and dressing together in a salad bowl. Serve sprinkled with coriander and sunflower seeds.

Another Raw Lunch!

Yet another recipe from Addicted to Veggies – this is the Loaded Creamy “No Pasta” Salad. I made a half batch, marinated my broccoli for 4 hours in the zip lock bag and skipped the optional pickle relish. The tenderising technique Sarahfaé has come up with is brilliant – I thought the broccoli seemed very lightly blanched. If you like cooked broccoli, don’t be afraid to leave this in the fridge overnight.

Loaded Creamy No Pasta Salad

I don’t know if you can really call healthy food “badass”, but I’m going there. This meal kicks butt.

Even half a batch of the original recipe was pretty huge – I’d say about a third of the full recipe would be one serve for me. Towards the end, I was at that point of knowing if I kept eating I was going to feel sick, but it just tasted so damn good that I couldn’t help myself! Yep. I finished it. Deeeeelicious. This might end up being a semi-regular lunch for me. Not only is broccoli my favourite vegetable EVER, but it really wasn’t that hard to prepare this. I already had some AtV sour cream on hand; the rest of the work was just chopping and storing ingredients in separate layers of my tiffin, ready for a quick assembly at lunch time.

Savoury Corn Muffins & Bean Salad

These corn muffins have become a favourite of ours and I make them often. They’re great with bean salad on a hot day or chili on a cold day. Initially we used to just spread vegan margarine on them, but now I prefer them with avocado; try both!

Savoury Corn Muffins
Serves 4

Savoury Corn Muffins

1 C Polenta
1 1/2 C Plain Flour or Gluten Free Alternative
1 TBSP Caster Sugar
1 TBSP Baking Powder
1 TBSP Flax Meal
1-2 TBSP Canola Oil
1 3/4 C Water + 1 TBSP
1/2 t Dried Parsley Flakes
1/4 t Salt
2/3 C Corn Kernels (I used frozen)

  • Pre-heat oven to 200C.
  • Stir together dry ingredients.
  • Add wet ingredients & corn kernels. Mix well and leave to sit for a couple of minutes. The flax meal will cause the mixture to thicken.
  • Grease muffin tray(s) and fill 12 muffin cups with batter. These won’t rise much, so you need to be generous with the batter; fill them to the top.
  • Bake for 20-22 minutes in a fan forced oven.
  • Leave these in the tray for a few minutes to cool, but don’t leave them in the tray too long or the bottoms will become tough/chewy.

 

Bean Salad
(Sorry, this one will be a bit vague – I didn’t measure everything out.)

1x 400g Tin of Mixed Beans
2 Truss Tomatoes, diced
1 TBSP Red Onion, Finely Diced
1 TBSP Sliced Spanish Olives
Juice from 1 Lemon
Fresh Parsley
Drizzle of Olive Oil
S + P

  • Toss together all of the above ingredients. Leave to marinate for 5-10 minutes, then serve. There will be liquid at the bottom of your bowl – try to drain the scoops of salad a little before putting on a plate.

The Boardwalk

The Boardwalk
Nolan St, Bendigo
VIC 3550
Australia
(03) 5443 9855

Boardwalk 5

The Boardwalk is a well established café/restaurant in Bendigo that overlooks Lake Weeroona. I’ve been there a couple of times in the past and was heavily unimpressed with the food, thus I hadn’t returned for quite some time. When I heard in November that it was being taken over by a new owner, I was keen to give it another chance and I wasn’t disappointed.

I organised a corporate Christmas party there last month for a group of tradesmen & civil engineers – all meat eating men – thus below you will find some non-vegan photos. The purpose of this is to spread the word about the new chefs, who are highly skilled and very accommodating to veg’ns and meat eaters alike. Unfortunately I can’t tell you much about the current menu because we had a set menu, but I can tell you that the food is creative and while it’s not necessarily vegan friendly, with a bit of notice (and some rough guidance to the chefs if there’s anything you don’t/can’t/won’t eat), you’ll definitely be looked after.

Boardwalk 1

This is the chickpea salad I was served. My guidelines to the kitchen were “vegan, no fake meat or dairy, happy to have salad”. This had some thinly sliced pear mixed in with the veggies/greens/chickpeas and the sweetness worked wonderfully – and as you can see, I was wow-ed as soon as I saw the plate. It’s just gorgeous! My only suggestion for this dish would be a lemon wedge. It definitely needed something citrussy to cut through the oily dressing. That being said, I ate the lot and was really happy with being served something so colourful, healthy and heavy on raw veggies.

Below are the two dishes the boys ate – one was a grain fed eye fillet steak and the other was a chicken dish. I meant to ask if they used free range but forgot. Hopefully if Andy sees this he can clarify in the comments section for me/you. No complaints from the boys, everyone loved their meals.

Boardwalk 2

Boardwalk 3

Here’s me with Andy (the new owner)! He comes to The Boardwalk from The Match, along with some other staff. The freedoms he has awarded the kitchen staff is definitely working in his favour; I’ll be sending as many people to The Boardwalk as possible to give them a chance to start fresh.

Boardwalk 4

Can you tell it was just before Christmas by my silly little hat? Thanks for that Sarahfaé! 😉

Boardwalk on Urbanspoon

Green Salad & Dijon Dressing

Green Salad
Serves 4 as a side, or two very hungry people!

1 1/2 C Cos Lettuce
1 C Baby Spinach
1 C Snow Peas, trimmed
1 C Green Beans, cut into halves or thirds
2 C Broccoli, cut into bite sized florets
8 Stalks of Asparagus, ends trimmed, then cut into halves or thirds
1 Lebanese Cucumber, cut into half circles
1/2 Haas Avocado, diced
1 TBSP Pepitas

Dressing:
1 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 TBSP Fresh Lemon Juice
1 TBSP White Wine Vinegar
1 TBSP Dijon Mustard (heaped)
1/4 tsp Dried Oregano
S+P

  • Cook ingredients if desired (cooking times & instructions below).
  • Shock all ingredients except for cucumber, avocado and pepitas in an ice bath.
  • Dry off ingredients in a salad spinner OR drain in a colander, then pat down carefully with paper towels.
  • Combine dressing ingredients by whisking together in a bowl OR shaking together in an air tight jar with a lid fitted.
  • Toss all ingredients together (except for avocado and pepitas). Use your hands to gently massage the dressing into the lettuce & spinach a little.
  • Gently toss in the avocado, then sprinkle the pepitas on top.

I recommend using a combination of raw and steamed ingredients for this salad. Below is a time guide for steaming some of the ingredients; I recommend, at the very least, cooking the broccoli and asparagus.

Snow Peas: 1 minute
Green Beans: 3 minutes
Broccoli: 2 minutes
Asparagus: 1 minute

Sweet Potato Chips (Fries) & Za’atar Salad

Hi Everyone,

Sorry for the late post this week! I’m juggling a couple of different recipe ideas which you’ll be seeing on the blog soon – they’re just not quite perfect yet. Here’s last night’s dinner to tide you over!

Nachos x

Sweet Potato Chips & Za'atar Salad
Serves 4

Sweet Potato Chips
4 C Sweet Potato, cut into chips (fries)
Spray Canola Oil
Seasoning of your choice

  • Preheat oven to 200C.
  • Arrange chips on two trays with baking paper and spray lightly with oil. Season as desired.
  • Bake for 20 minutes at 200C, then toss the chips around and bake a further 12 minutes, but at a higher temperature of 230C.

TIPS:

  • Use the spray oil sparingly. If you use too much, your chips will be soggy.
  • Do not crowd the chips in the oven. I suggest spreading them out across two trays so they have a more even exposure to the heat.
  • If you’re unsure about choosing a seasoning, I can recommend some combinations. Salt & rosemary, salt & thyme, pepper & lemon or lime zest, or you could even use pre-made seasonings such as Herbamare & Trocomare, which can be found in the health food aisle of most supermarkets.

Za’atar Salad

4C Rocket
1 Large Eggplant
Oil
4 TBSP Sprouts (Lentils & Mung Beans)
24 Olives (Green or Kalamata)
1.5 C Chickpeas (Cooked or Canned)
1 tsp Za’atar Seasoning*
4 Lemon Wedges
S+P

  • Cut your eggplant into 12 rounds, approximately 1cm thick. Heat up a griddle pan with some oil in it and fry in batches on both sides, leaving to drain on paper towel afterwards.
  • Assemble your salad. Rocket first, then 3 slices of eggplant per serve, followed by 1/4 of the chickpeas, 6 olives, 1 TBSP of sprouts and 1/4 tsp za’atar.
  • Serve with a lemon wedge (to be squeezed over the top) and salt & pepper.

*I haven’t attempted making my own za’atar yet so I can’t offer you a recipe but there’s plenty available on the internet. On this occasion I used a pre-made mix from my local health food store. The ingredients are: Oregano, sumac, sesame seeds, ground cashews, ground almonds, black pepper & paprika.