Chickpea and kale salad

My plan to eat more salads as meals hasn’t completely fallen by the wayside since I bought my pressure cooker.

This roasted chickpea and kale salad with a simple tahini dressing is a surprisingly substantial meal. Even the fussiest eater in my household agrees.

Chickpea and kale salad
Serves 3-4 as a meal or 6 as a side

For the chickpeas
1 tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1/2 tsp pepper
Pinch of chilli powder

For the kale
2 bunches of kale, washed and roughly cut
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
Salt and pepper, to taste

For the dressing
1/3 c tahini
1/3 c filtered water
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp-1/4 c chopped parsley
Salt and pepper

To serve
1/2 c quinoa, cooked
Leftover roast cauliflower florets
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds, toasted
200g cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 Lebanese cucumbers, sliced
2 tbsp sesame seeds

To make the chickpeas, preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. In a mixing bowl, coat the chickpeas with olive oil and then add the spices. Mix to combine, then spread out on a baking tray and bake until crisp.

To make the kale, massage the kale leaves with olive oil and sprinkle nutritional yeast and salt and pepper over the leaves. Spread evenly on a baking tray and cook for 5-10 minutes until crisp. The leaves can easily burn so keep your eye on them.

To make the dressing, add the tahini to a bowl and whisk in the filtered water until smooth. Then add lemon juice, parsley and salt and pepper and mix until combined well.

To assemble, add ingredients in the following order: kale, quinoa, cauliflower, chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumbers, pumpkin seeds, tahini dressing, sesame seeds.

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Warm brussels sprout, broccoli and grape salad

This warm salad is inspired by a side dish I ate at a restaurant while on holiday in New York. After all these years, I still think of it – and when I can go back to enjoy it again. Sure, this warm salad does a great job at reliving the memory, but it’s not the same as the OG.

Warm brussels sprout, broccoli and grape salad
Serves 4-6 as a side

200g brussels sprouts, halved
200g broccoli, roughly cut into pieces as large as brussels sprouts
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 c red grapes
1/4 c pistachio nuts, shelled
1/4 c pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted
2 tbsp sultanas, blended with 1-2 tbsp water to make a paste
Zest of 1 lemon
Small handful fresh mint, roughly cut

Toss brussels and broccoli with olive oil and salt and pepper.

Air fry on an even layer for 5 minutes at 200 degrees C. Shake the contents of the tray and air fry for a further 3-5 minutes until browned well. You might have to air fry in two batches depending on the size of your airfryer.

Transfer brussels and broccoli to a large mixing bowl. Add rice wine vinegar and toss to evenly combine.

Add grapes, nuts and seeds. Then mix through sultana paste.

Garnish with mint leaves and lemon zest.

Falafel nourish bowl

Earlier this year, I was housebound with a hand injury that made it difficult for me to do things like put toothpaste on my toothbrush and button up my jeans. It didn’t help that my partner travelled to Melbourne, leaving me to manage the household and look after our mischievous puppy (who enjoys being particularly naughty when it’s just the two of us. Sigh) as well as cook and clean up after myself. It had its challenges, but here I am on the other side, relatively unscathed.

While I was off work, one pot wonders were all I could whip up. But I was dreaming of nourish bowls after having enjoyed a few good ones over summer break.

As soon as I could muster the strength, I made this falafel nourish bowl. At the time I wasn’t sure if it was really good, or whether I just thought that because it satisfied the craving that burned within. I can confirm it’s definitely the former – this nourish bowl is really good. (And really filling).

Falafel nourish bowl
Makes 4 bowls

For the falafel
180g dry chickpeas, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
1/2 red onion
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup coriander
1 tbsp besan flour
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander powder
Salt and pepper, to taste

For the fresh tomato salsa
4-5 medium-sized tomatoes
2 medium-sized red onions
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 2 limes
Pinch of salt

To serve
Hummus
Quinoa tabbouleh
Avocado
Fresh baby spinach leaves
Toasted pumpkin and sesame seeds

To make the falafels, blitz the chickpeas with onion, garlic, herbs, spices, besan flour, and salt and pepper.

Once processed into falafel texture, transfer the mixture to a wide-based pan with a little olive oil. Cook about 5-8 minutes until garlic is fragrant and mixture starts to brown. Set aside to cool.

Mould into balls and cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes at around 200 degrees C. (You could air fry or even deep fry the falafels instead).

To make the salsa, roughly chop the tomatoes and onion. Add them to your food processor with olive oil, lime juice and salt. Pulse 3-4 times until tomatoes and onion are in small chunks. Transfer mixture to a bowl to rest. (Make sure you transfer the juice that has been released from the tomatoes to the same bowl as it will help balance out the flavours from the lime juice and olive oil).

Add small amounts of falafel, salsa, hummus, quinoa tabbouleh, avocado, baby spinach and toasted seeds to your bowl, as pictured – and enjoy.