Middle-eastern Chickpea Salad

A tasty salad recipe from the Vegan duo behind the Bosh cookbooks and series. You may have noticed there’s no chickpeas in this recipe – the supermarket was completely out believe it or not! I assumed a tin of mixed beans would do the job and they did except for a bit of splitting while baked – didn’t change the taste though. This is a nice quick one to make and I even put the beans in the oven before the football started and finished off the salad at half time without missing any of the match.

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 tin chickpeas
  • 1 tsp olive pil
  • 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 120g leaf salad
  • 10g mint
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tbsp tahini
  • 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp oil

Method

1.) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and line a baking tray

2.) Drain the beans and pat them dry with kitchen roll

3,) Add the beans to a mixing bowl and add the tsp oil, paprika, cumin, coriander and a pinch of salt

4.) Stir to coat the beans in the spice and spread out on the baking tray. Bake for 25 minutes.

5.) Prep the rest of the salad. Chop up the cucumber (I got rid of the middle bit as it’s very watery), slice the tomatoes in half, chop up the avocado flesh and finely chop the mint,. Add these and the salad leaves back to the mixing bowl. Slice the lemon in half and squeeze in the juice. Add the tsp olive oil and stir.

6.) Now make the dressing – beat the tahini with the syrup, 1 tsp oil, salt and 1 tsp water.

7.) When the beans are ready, add to the salad mixture then pour over the dressing and gently toss.

Squash and goat cheese salad

I think it could have been all the adverts I’d seen for deliveroo from Asha’s Indian restaurant in Manchester that made me crave some Indian food. I treated myself to dine there last year to celebrate a job offer and a treat it really was! One of my three or four visits to the city centre since moving back to my hometown in April. Sadly they don’t deliver to the ‘burbs but this salad I took from Cyrus Todiwala’s cookbook – ‘Simple Spice Vegetarian’ was delicious and is probably a lot more healthy than the paneer curry that I was craving anyway and still feels a little indulgent with the lovely goat cheese.

This recipe is so customisable, the nuts and seeds could be swapped with whatever you have available. I subbed out sweet potato that was in the recipe for butternut squash. Prunes could probably be replaced with dates or another dried fruit and maybe the goat cheese with a Wensleydale (a sweet, crumbly English cheese). This is the second time I’ve made this salad and the first time I mixed in the goat cheese with the salad dressing per the recipe but actually I feel you get more cheesy goodness if you just crumble the cheese over the salad.

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1/2 butternut squash
  • Spray oil
  • 3 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 1 tbsp almonds
  • 1 bag mixed salad leaves (something dark green, lettuce won’t work here)
  • 8 prunes
  • salt and pepper
  • 130g goat cheese
  • 1 lime
  • 1 tsp English mustard
  • pinch chilli flakes
  • 15g coriander leaves
  • 15g mint leaves
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds

Method

1.) Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C and prepare a baking tray

2.) Peel and chop the squash into cubes, put them on the tray and spray with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for about 30 minutes.

3.) In the meantime, make the dressing. In a container of your choice, squeeze the lime, stir in the oil, mustard and chilli

4.) Bash the cumin seeds a little in a pestle and mortar (no need to grind them to a powder) and add them.

5.) Chop up the herbs and add also with some salt and pepper. Give it a good mix.

6.) Lightly toast the seeds and nuts in a pan over a low heat

7.) Wash the salad leaves, chop up the prunes and crumble the goat cheese.

8.) When the squash is done, mix the leaves with the dressing in a bowl. Plate up with the squash, prunes, nuts and cheese.

Caesar Salad

Salad may not be in keeping with the warming winter message I had going on in my previous post but after 1.5 hours of aerobics in the house with the heating cranked up, it was just fine for me.

I was leafing through my Mildred’s cookbook in search of foodie inspiration when I saw the recipe for Caesar salad which happens to be one of my favourite meals. Mildred’s is an excellent small chain of restaurants in London which caters to vegans and vegetarians.

I used to live in London and frequented this restaurant with my friends. It was nice to reminisce on this time being that in Manchester, where I live now, precautionary measures stopping households from mixing were installed against Covid back when rates were relatively low in July and haven’t been overturned since.

We had a whale of a time the last time we were in Mildred’s as they were serving ‘fuzzy green balls’ for dessert which of course we had to order. We received two energy balls on a plate. The waitress inquired as to our thoughts and we told her that one was ‘fruity’ and the other ‘nutty’.

Anyway, back on topic. I made a fair few changes to the recipe in the book to cut calories on the dressing but it was still lusciously thick and tangy. I also added some soya chunks to bulk out the salad.

Serves 2

Ingredients

60 ml single cream

80 ml yoghurt

1 tsp garlic

juice of half a lemon

1 tsp capers

3 anchovies (this wasn’t from Mildreds – 1 tsp vegetarian Worcestershire sauce is an alternative)

30ml oil (I used olive but a milder flavoured oil is better)

2 tbsp parmesan cheese (this is not always vegetarian)

2 eggs

100g green beans

1 avocado

1 romaine lettuce (I used 2 because there were 2 in the reduced section which is why my meal looks like such a behemoth)

100g cherry tomatoes

160g soya chunks (I used the brand ‘What the Cluck’)

Method

1.) Boil some water. Trim the green beans. Cook the beans until soft. Take the beans out and set aside in a bowl.

2.) Add the eggs to the water and cook for about 8 minutes.

3.) In the meantime, cook the soya chunks in a pan and season with salt and pepper for about 5 minutes.

4.) Chop up the romaine lettuce, the cherry tomatoes and the avocado and plate them up. Add the green beans.

5.) Start to make the dressing. Grate around 2tbsp parmesan.

6.) Peel 1 clove of garlic and chop up finely (or use paste)

7.) Mince the 3 anchovies.

8.) Halve a lemon. Add the juice of one half to your container of choice, mix in the anchovies, parmesan and the garlic.

9.) Combine with the cream, yoghurt, oil, capers and some salt and pepper. Beat with a fork to incorporate everything.

10.) Add the soya chunks to the plate.

11.) Peel the eggs, chop them up and also plate them up.

12.) Dollop on spoonfuls of the dressing around the plate.