Time is getting closer to my first ever vegan cooking course and I have been busy considering recipes and ingredients that lends itself well to a group dynamic. Interestingly, I think vegan cooking can be an incredibly social experience as there is a lot of chopping, grating, slicing and blending. In addition, making a dish look beautiful is a very creative endeavour and does not only include the food but also on what the food is presented. Hence my almost unhealthy obsession with kitchen ware. Interesting plates and bowls with wonderful patterns are artifacts in themselves and presenting food can be a unique artistic expression.
Another aspect of eating this way (mostly vegan) is the practicalities of changing habits. What to have in the cupboards and what not to have. Preparation of veg, grains and pulses in advance so that when a hunger attack happens there is ‘stuff’ to eat, quick! All this takes a bit of re-wiring and time. Changing every aspect of your cooking takes time and money, go gentle and slow. When you run out of something – then get a healthier alternative. Don’t throw out everything day one unless you have been medically advised to do so.
Today’s salad was loosely inspired by a Waitrose recipe and ‘adapted’ to suit my Scandi palette but in a vegan way. I used coconut yogurt instead of cow’s but you can try whatever works for you. The dill/yogurt/Dijon/apple combo really works and the caramelised pecans add a sweet crunch on top. I hope you like it. Have a great day! x
Scandi Winter Salad with Yogurt and Dill Vinaigrette
Serves 4 (starters) or 2 (mains)
1 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp palm sugar
Pinch cayenne pepper
Small handful of pecan nuts, roughly chopped
¼ red cabbage, sliced thinly
1 red chili (not the super hot variety)
Small handful fresh coriander, stalks removed
1 tsp lingon berries (to finish)
Small handful fresh mint, stalks removed
1 pack (25g) fresh dill – use ½ for salad and ½ for dressing
2 cups chopped kale, stalk removed
I cup lambs lettuce
1 pear, thinly sliced
1 avocado, roughly chopped
1 cup coconut yogurt or natural yogurt
1 small garlic clove
½ package of fresh dill, finely chopped
½ lemon, zest and juice
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
½ tsp honey
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1. Heat the coconut oil in a small pan and add the sugar, cayenne until dissolved. Be careful it does not burn. Add the chopped pecan nuts and coat in the fat and sugar. Turn off heat and tip onto a plate with a bit of sea salt on top. Leave to cool.
2. In a blender, add the yogurt and the rest of ingredients for the vinaigrette bar the olive oil. Gradually drizzle in the oil until mixed in. Season and set aside.
3. Slice the apple and chili very thinly. Add the kale, lambs lettuce, apple and 12 the chili to a large bowl and add 1/2 the dressing until all is well distributed. Add the avocado last. Serve onto plates and top with the chopped chili and pecans, plus the remaining dressing drizzled on top. Add some freshly ground pepper. Voila!