Posts tagged salad
Veggie pesto pine nut squares

This veggie pesto bake is a wonderful summer recipe, especially using fresh basil from the garden!

I wanted to make this recipe for my family at the weekend. I found the photos in my archives from when I first shot the recipe last year for realfoodsource using their new ingredient range, but I couldn't find the actual recipe anywhere!

veg pesto squares 2a.jpg

I have made variations on it - these sweet potato rostis in particular, so I knew the rough idea. I figured I'd have to wing it and hope for the best.... it turned out really well!

Instead of making it as squares as per the original photos, I cooked it in a square oven dish and served it up hot with a huge salad. The squares are still amazing though.

This is best made with spiralized veggies for a pretty ‘curly whirly’ effect but you could use a julienne peeler or a coarse grater. I used a mix of carrot, courgette and a little onion but you could use fewer or different ingredients such a sweet potato or parsnip if you prefer. You could also bake this mix into pre-portioned muffin cups.

To save time I used bought free-from pesto in a jar, but you could make your own, or use hummus with herbs added to it.

veg pesto squares 4a.jpg

Recipe: Veggie pesto pine nut squares

Makes approx 12 squares (a brownie sized pan)


  • 3 cups spiralized vegetables (I courgette, 2 medium carrots and 1 red onion)

  • ¼ cup almond or cashew paste (optional)

  • 1/2 cup vegan pesto (or regular pesto or hummus and fresh basil)

  • approx. ½ tsp salt (this may depend on the pesto etc used)

  • approx. 3 tbs water

  • A handful of extra fresh basil, roughly chopped

  • 1 cup chickpea (gram) flour

  • ¼ cup pine nuts (up to ½ cup more if preferred)


Spiralize or julienne the veggies, chop a little to avoid very long ribbons.  Set aside.

Mix together the wet ingredients and add to the coat the veggies (taste test and add salt and pepper as desired). Add the gram flour last and mix to coat well. Add an extra splash of water if the mix doesn’t appear quite wet enough to coat evenly. Mix through the pine nuts now or set aside to press into the top if preferred.

Press the mix firmly into a lightly greased brownie sized tin- the mix should be approx 2cm thick. Smooth the top and press in the pine nuts.  Bake at 180C for approx 25-30 mins until golden. Serve hot or allow to cool and cut into squares- great for lunchboxes or picnics when served cold. Will keep in the fridge for a couple of days.

veg pesto squares 3a.jpg

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Bean & Beat Burger with Portabello Buns

I actually first made this recipe many months ago... 2nd November 2016 to be exact (I can tell by my camera data!) and it's been sitting in my recipe archive folder waiting to be released to the world- amongst countless other recipes. Crazy, really how they all pile up! 

One of my missions this year is to get back into a regular blog posting schedule. To think when I began this blog in 2011 I was posting around three times a week- sometimes more, and that was when I still had my full time career as an architect. So there is really no excuse! ;-) 

portabello burger bun.JPG

I was reminded of this recipe a recently, as I was coming down from a week-long juice fast and I wanted to make a meal, to celebrate with my boyfriend, the return to normal food. I wanted it to be reasonably light, made mostly with veggies and no wheat or refined ingredients (though there was a little oil on the mushrooms caps). The result was this epic burger platter! (ok it was a little larger than I'd anticipated) ;-)

Portabello mushroom caps make amazing burger buns if you want to avoid bread, and you can really use any veggie burger mix inside. In the iphone photo above is the recipe featured below, but in the other 'pro shots' taken in 2016 I used this vegan meatball mix formed into burger patties instead of balls (both would freeze well too so you can make extra).

Then simply layer the burger up with avocado, hummus, relish, chutney, salad leaves, sprouts as tall as you like!

portabello burger bun.jpg

Recipe: Bean & Beat Burger with Portabello Buns

Serves two (makes approx 4 medium burgers)


  • 1 can black beans - drained and mashed with a fork

  • 1/2 small beetroot

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 1 onion

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa or rice

  • 1 cup gram flour (other flours would probably work)

  • 1/2 cup ground walnut (or other ground nuts)

  • 1 tbs soy sauce

  • 2 heaped tbs chopped herbs (I used parsley and rosemary as I had them to hand)

  • 4 large portabello mushroom caps.

  • a little olive oil.


Finely chop the beetroot garlic and onion (I used a food processor for a quick blitz) and then saute for a few minutes in a medium sauce pan until softening. Meanwhile gather all remaining ingredients (other than mushrooms/oil) and then add to the pan. Turn off the heat and stir through in the pan until well mixed and the mix holds together.

Form burger patties with your hands and place on a lined baking sheet. I didn't oil them but you could if desired. Bake at 180 for approx 30 mins ensuring they don't burn.

Meanwhile, wash and pat dry the mushroom caps. Chop the stalk out (you could do this in advance and add to the burger mix to void waste). Lightly brush will oil on both sides then sprinkle with salt and paper.

Once the burgers have been baking for 15-20 mins. Place the mushrooms under a hot grill for approx 5 mins on each side until quite 'sweaty' looking.

Prepare any other toppings and a side salad. (For the 'coleslaw' style salad in the top photo I just used slightly water down hummus to coat)

Assemble the burgers in any way you wish! Enjoy immediately.

portabello burger bun.jpg
portabello burger bun.jpg



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Raw pomegranate and mint salad... with a pea dip!

I made this salad a few weeks back, took the photos... then promptly forgot about it! 

Even just looking at it now makes me feel light and refreshed.... I've had a heavy few days with sweet recipe experiments so this is a welcome change. I'm even very tempted to pop to the shop and buy a pomegranate right now.

I used my favourite bean and pea dip as the 'saucebut if you didn't want to whip that up (though it only take minutes, is very versatile and stores well in the fridge), you could try using simple hummus or guacamole.

To make it a little more substantial you could add some quinoa, cous-cous, tortilla wedges or some salad potatoes maybe.

It's a perfect quick light summer lunch as it is or double up the recipe to serve as a side dish at a BBQ maybe? 

I still haven't perfected an un-mesy way to bash out the seeds from the pomegranate hence the messy dressed dish. Ha ha though I think it looks pretty ;-)

Recipe: Pomegranate salad 

Recipe: Pomegranate salad 

Serves 2


  • 1 large courgette
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 cup bean and pea dip (using this recipe)
  • 2-3 handfuls of watercress
  • handful fresh mint leaves- roughly chopped
  • seeds from 1 pomegranate 


Spiralise the courgette (or use a julienne peeler) and slice the red onion very finely. Mix the courgette and onion with the dip to create a sauce.  

Pile the a watercress to the serving plate and dollop the courgette mixture on top. Generously sprinkle the pomegranate seeds as garnish. 

Recipe: Pomegranate salad 
Recipe: Pomegranate salad 
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Simple white miso salad

Recently I've been trying out lots of new products… This white miso by Clearspring is one of them!

I'd really been familiar with miso soup and brown miso paste- I've used that in this soup but I've never before come across white miso.  It's much lighter and much milder and more delicate in flavour than its traditional brown counterpart and makes for a perfect simple healthy salad dressing. It is very creamy too so would be a great addition to soups or broth or as a dip ingredient.

This is a salad I enjoyed a lot during the summer months and somehow didn't get round to posting it.  Perfect whilst we still have a little warm weather but also would be great drizzled over steamed vegetables during chilly weather.

I topped my salad with a few nori sprinkles and some baked tofu, for an extra flavour and protein boost. You could add any topping you time I'll try roasted chickpeas!

Have you ever tried white miso? What sorts of recipes have you come up with?

Recipe: Simple white mis salad

Seves 1


  • 1 raw carrot- spiralised
  • 1 raw small courgette- spiralised
  • ½ an avocado- sliced
  • baked tofu cubes- optional
  • 1 tsp nori sprinkles- optional
  • dressing: 2 tsp white miso paste plus 2 tbs water


Prepare vegetables and present in a bowl/plate in the order listed. Drizzle the miso dressing over the top. Serve immediately.

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Hot quinoa salad

I'm making the best of the last few weeks of summer, it seems to have got decidedly cooler and more autumnal recently, but today the sun has come back out which makes me happy!

There is less than one week left enter my Steenberg's Organic giveaway bundle, check out the original post here but I have also included the entry box at the bottom below for quick reference.

I thought it would be great to do a post about some of the ingredients they are offering in the bundle, lots of beautiful organic spices in cute glass jars. I just loooove these glass jars and would love them even more lined on a shelf in my kitchen! Alas, my kitchen is not so neat and tidy and so mine are stacked up in a box in the pantry cupboard :-)


First up.... Hot quinoa salad.

I use quinoa so often in all manor of recipes both sweet and savoury. It's my go to choice since it's both gluten free and protein rich, but also has great texture and a mild flavour. My favourite options are quinoa cookies and quinoa porridge but sometimes it's nice to keep it simple and let the natural slightly nutty flavour do the talking. I created this recipe for The Real Food Source too since they have added organic tricolour quinoa to their range (cue much excitement from me!) The colour and the subtleties of favours are beautiful.

This was a simple meal and I whipped it up one lunchtime a few weeks back in the peak of summer. A quinoa salad is a perfect light meal, great for lunches. I have provided a quick recipe below using Steenbergs Organic Panch Porah (once of the spices in the bundle), This is a blend of organic brown mustard , organic nigella , organic cumin seeds , organic fenugreek and organic fennel coming together in a unique mix of diverse flavours. I loved the varieties of seeds and the fact that it wasn't simple a ground up spice mix.

You could really you can use any blend of your favourite herbs or spices, dressing, salad leaves and other veggies as you see's a very versatile salad! For example roasted cherry tomatoes, white beans and lightly steamed chopped broccoli florets would have worked equally well. This is simply one of many quinoa salad combos i've made. 

I've used their ingredients in many of my recipes in the past... 

recovery burgers

recovery burgers

choc orange goji bites

choc orange goji bites

There is also a jar or organic turmeric in the bundle. Perfect for these 'recovery burgers' so called due to turmeric poweful anti-inflammatory properties. 

Or if you want something a little sweeter... try using the Organic orange extract (with oil instead of alcohol) to make one of my favourite sweet treats- choc orange goji bites!

Recipe: Hot quinoa summer salad

Serves 2


  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (1/2 cup uncooked)
  • 1 small courgette- sliced into half moons
  • 1 small leek- sliced finely
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 2 large handfuls watercress (spinach or a rocket mix would also be great)
  • 2 tsp tahini or other nut butter
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs


Cook the quinoa. 

Meanwhile saute the leek and courgette for 5 minutes then add the nut paste, lemon juice and herbs with a splash of water to create a very light sauce for the veggies. Continue to cook for a further few minutes whilst also cooking the peas in a separate pan. 

Enter the giveaway here!

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Curly wurly salad and 1 minute raw dressing!

My holiday in the Spanish sunshine last week was filled with lots of salads and fruit, lots and lots of biiiiiig salads.... something like this...

Ok, so there was oats in there too. I love my porridge, even if it is boiling hot outside. :-)

See the strange looking bar thing in the middle on the left. That was my version of an 'ice cream open sandwich'. My friends bought ice creams and whilst I could have gone ahead and ordered a sorbet, I really didn't fancy the sugar overload but not wanting to feel left out of a sweet treat I came up with this idea. I found the healthiest granola bars in the supermarket (though struggled to read the ingredients in Spanish so I had to guess a bit and hope for the best) and then topped them with mashed banana and a sprinkle of nuts. After a couple of hours in the freezer they made the perfect treats! I will try and make a 'proper' version for the blog soon with a homemade biscuit base.

Anyway back to salads. I got a bit of a taste for them and then when I arrived home my new spiraliser had been delivered. I gave it try on Sunday evening and OH MY GOODNESS... BEST. THING. EVER!!!  (It really does deserve capitals and all those exclamation marks) why didn't I buy one sooner?

Game changer.

Life changer.

Ok let's calm down a little here. Breathe.

I think i'm still i holiday mode and a little more giddy than usual. Well that's my excuse. I hope you don't mind seeing more spiraliser themed recipe around those parts over the next few months. :-)

This was supposed to be a quick experiment but it worked so well it was worthy of the blog, the dressing was amazing too and was a quicker easier version of this raw dressing but equally as tasty. 

Do you have a spiraliser? What have you 'spiralled' and also what doesn't work...let me know!

(If you haven't got it! You wont regret it.)

Recipe: Curly wurly salad

Serves 1


  • 1 small carrot
  • 1/3 cucumber
  • 1/3 courgette
  • 1/2 cup cooked black beans
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds to sprinkle over the top

Dressing (a single serving):


  • 2 tsp almond/cashew butter
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tbs water
  • 1 tsp liquid aminos
  • ¼ cup raw red pepper
  • 1tbs nutritional yeast
  • ½ tsp paprika (used smoked if you have it)


Spiralise the veggies and pile onto a plate.

Blend the dressing ingredients together in a mini blender and drizzle over salad. Top with sesame seeds and serve.

(note: I was testing out all three blades on the spiralizer hence the cucumber is more of a ribbon effect and the carrot and courgette more like noodles of two different thicknesses.)

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Dressed up bean salad (that will last you all week!)

I've been meaning to get this recipe up on the blog for you for ages!!

I made this salad quite a few weeks ago and have since recreated it in numerous guises depending on what beans I had to hand, peas also work well. I love the fact I can simply make up a big batch (i'm talking tripling the recipe to fill a huge tub) and then eating for lunch, or dinner or as a side dish or simply to grab a spoonful when i'm in need of 'a little something' that could otherwise have turned into grabbing a cookie (yeah, you know that feeling too!)

This is most definitely my salad of the summer and so I happy when I came upon the original version (noted below) which also had a hummus accompaniment (I was being lazy with that part but by all means add it too!)  This dressing is also beautifully balanced, lovely and light with a little kick from the red chilli pepper flakes. I'm enjoying using sun dried tomato paste with my meals the moment too, but you could substitute regular tomato paste.

Tell me, what are you favourite go-to summer dishes?

Recipe: Dressed up bean salad 

Recipe adapted from this recipe by Cookie and Kate


  • 3 cups cooked kidney beans
  • 1½ cups cooked chickpeas or cannelli beans
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 stalks celery- chopped
  • 1 medium cucumber, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 tablespoons chopped fresh mint


  • 2 tbs sundried tomato paste
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • ½ tsp teaspoon salt
  • ½ tsp red chilli pepper flakes (less or omit of preferred)


In a serving bowl, combine the prepared kidney beans, chickpeas, onion, celery, tomato, cucumber, parsley and mint.

Make the  dressing: Mix all ingredients together and pour dressing over the bean and vegetable mixture and toss thoroughly. Serve immediately for the most flavour, or let it marinate in the refrigerator, covered, for a couple of hours or longer.

Notes: I kept this in the fridge for 4 days and enjoyed it both warmed and cold. Different beans can be used- whatever you have to hand.

I'd love you to join me in other places too!  

Why not sign up foemails in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers. If you are new round here check out my 'About' and 'Getting Started' tabs up top. To buy nibbles you can also find me over at Wholeplus.  Day to day you can also find me in these places:



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Spicy Carrot Pickle

I want to start by saying I love this stuff!!

I've been eating it dolloped on top of soups..... mixed through a sty fry..... to jazz up a plain tomato sauce.... as a cracker topping with hummus....  the list really could go on and on!!

Before I go any further I give full credit for this recipe inspiration to Paul's Pickles as I originally bought a jar of his version from a craft market some weeks back and then when i ran out I went through the ingredients list and recreated my own, it tastes almost identical and so now i'm curious to go along the shelves of the supermarket checking out ingredients lists and making more of my own intriguing flavours :-)

Here is the original... if you are ever in the area and see Paul's stall he has loads of yummy things to offer- apparently this pickle in his best seller!

carrot pickle 5a.jpg

The pickle is packed full of strong flavours and Indian spices, it's powerful stuff eaten straight off the spoon, and tastes best mixed with another 'milder' flavour, veggies and sauces.  It also tastes better over time (three days onwards) so don't worry if the vinegar flavours stands out a little when freshly made as this mellows right back. I have used cider vinegar but you could use an alternative vinegar.

It's so so easy to make, once you've got the various ingredients to hand,  and would make the perfect gift by making a few jars in a batch... I originally made a coupe of jars but then made four more jars at the weekend. I am not too sure how long this stores for but since it's a pickle I would imagine a good few weeks minimum in the fridge. 

Let me know what you think of you do make it, and what your favourite way to serve it is!

A couple of my own serving suggestions are below.

carrot pickle 2a.jpg

Recipe: Spicy carrot pickle

Makes approx. two jars


  • 4 medium grated carrots (use a coarse grater or mandolin slice or both)
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar (or mild light coloured vinegar of choice)
  • 2 tbs oil (I used olive)


  • ¼ cup fresh coriander- chopped
  • 1 tbs crushed chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp smoked garlic
  • 2 tbs turmeric
  • 1 tbs galangal paste (or grated ginger)
  • 1 tbs garam masala
  • 1 scant tsp salt
  • 1 tbs mustard seeds
  • 1 tbs fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tbs cumin seeds


Mix the top three ingredients together and then add the spices- you could add them directly to the carrot mix or mix them together first and then add- it doesn't matter as long as the resulting pickle is well mixed.

Pack into a jar or two, store in the fridge or a cool place.

Simple mixed through plain quinoa and endamame

Simple mixed through plain quinoa and endamame

Dolloped on top of soup....(recipe for soup to come!)

Dolloped on top of soup....(recipe for soup to come!)

More quinoa.....

More quinoa.....

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