Kale, Lentil & Bulghur Salad

Today marks the start of autumn, with the older kids going back to school. But I refuse to think that salads are only for summer evenings, so here’s a salad that smoothly eases you towards darker nights and lower temperatures.

In this salad is whole bulghur cooked in vegetable stock, green lentils, sliced baby tomatoes and roasted chickpeas. The kale is cut in pieces and massages for a few minutes with olive oil, salt and lemon juice. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and top with pickled red onion and roasted sunflower seeds. Drizzle with an easy vinaigrette with oil, Dijon mustard, white wine vinegar, salt, pepper, agave syrup and lots of flat leaf parsley.

Olive & Ajvar Pasta

A quick pasta dish with Mediterranean flavours. Garlic and onions, sliced mushrooms and zucchini, white cabbage, baby spinach leaves and green olives. Then I added some ajvar relish, fresh rosemary, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Served it with pasta (shaped as wild animals – the kids’ choice and the only animals we eat!), topped it with more olives, flat-leaf parsley and a spoonful of ajvar. Easy peasy!

Earl Grey & Lavender Cake

I got this idea in my mind to make a cake with tea flavour, and improvised with Earl Grey and lavender. It was a really interesting taste, not sweet but flowery and mature. It takes a bit of work, but it’s quite the show-off once it’s finished. I used a recipe from @aspoonfulofhealthde and made some adjustments. I love the rooibos Earl Grey from @ticktocktea.

Base
In a food processor, blend 1 dl almond flour and 2 dl dates. When it gets sticky, add 1 dl of whole almonds and a pinch of salt. Blend again, but keep some crunch from the almonds. Press the dough into a round spring form or a deep, square tray (20×30 cm) lined with parchment paper. Place in the freezer while doing the filling.

Filling
3 dl natural cashews, soaked overnight in water
0,75 dl plant milk
1 bag of Earl Grey tea
10 fresh lavender flowers
0,5 tsp agar agar powder
3 tbsp coconut oil
2-3 tbsp agave syrup
1 tsp lemon juice
handful of blueberries for colour
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Infuse the plant milk with Earl Grey tea and lavender for at least 30 minutes.
Blend cashews with coconut oil, agave syrup and lemon juice until smooth.
Take out the teabag and the flowers from the plant milk. Carefully heat the milk while stirring in the agar agar powder. When it thickens, add it to the cashew cream and mix thoroughly. Add a couple of blueberries at a time until you have a nice purple tint.
Spread the cream on top of the base and let it set in the fridge for at least an hour. Decorate with lavender flowers and cut in squares when serving.

Caesar Salad

I’ve been dreaming of creamy, delicious caesar dressing for a while. And there it was! I mixed to recipes from @nora_cooks_vegan and @thehiddenveggies. I don’t like the sharp taste of raw garlic, so I sautéed them gently before mixing. I served the dressing (yes – the dressing is the star here!) with Romaine lettuce, fried mushrooms, bread croutons and carrot “bacon”. (I’ll get back with a recipe for that. Fake bacon is great for us like pigs to be kept alive – check out the hashtag #gillagris – hijacked by vegans in an initiative from the great @javligtgott).
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Dressing
2 dl soaked cashews
3 cloves of garlic, sauteed
1 tsp soy sauce
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp capers, drained
1 dl water
1/4 nori sheet
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Mix all the ingredients in a blender or food processor until very smooth and creamy. Add generously to your Caesar salad. Store any leftovers in a jar in the fridge and use within 2-3 days.

Mango & Raspberry Swirl Smoothie

You can’t go wrong with a breakfast smoothie bowl. This one is made with frozen banana, mango, lemon and oat milk. I poured 3/4 of in a bowl, then whizzed the remaining smoothie with some raspberries. I added it slowly and tried to make a little swirl. It was good enough to impress the kids, at least. I topped the bowl with fresh strawberries, hemp seeds and cacao nibs.

Banana, Cardamom & Lemon Pancakes

I’m always trying out new combos. Even though the pancakes were great last time, I need to change something. So this time I added zest and juice from half a lemon and one teaspoon of freshly ground cardamom seeds to the batter. I also had a deciliter of large white beans in the fridge, so a threw them in the mix as well for extra protein. None of the kids had any complaints, so they were well concealed. And they loved the cardamom! It was perfect as a light lunch, served with peaches, strawberries, a spoonful of coconut cream and sprinkled with cacao nibs and hemp seeds.

Durra & Carrot Salad

A colourful and delicious salad with durra, ovenbaked carrots, pickled red onions, black beans marinated in lemon juice, ginger and olive oil, quartered strawberries, basil and pumpkin seeds. Drizzle with a classic Dijon mustard vinaigrette and serve with lovely pink beetroot hummus.

Durra is naturally gluten free, it’s a seed and similar to quinoa and amaranth.

Smashed Potatoes with Garlic Sauce

The perfect side to your summer barbecue, or as a main with a green side salad. Crispy baked potatoes and garlic sauce – can’t go wrong with this combo!

Boil 600 g new potatoes until almost soft. Put on a tray covered with parchment paper, and carefully press each potato down with the bottom of a glass or something similar.
Chop 5 cloves of garlic. Sauté on medium heat in 3 tbsp of olive oil.
Brush potatoes with the oil and half of the garlic from the pan.
Bake in the oven at 225 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until golden and crisp on top.
Mix 1 dl of oat fraiche, 1 dl vegan mayo, the sautéed garlic and oil, the zest from 1 lemon and 1 tbsp of lemon juice. Coarsely chop a bunch of dill and add to the sauce. Season with salt.

Carrot Cake with Cashew Frosting

A moist, flavourful, sweet and dreamy carrot cake. There’s hardly anything better, is there? I used a recipe by Swedish queen of baking @leilalindholm and switched eggs for 1,5 dl aquafaba. (Just google it! Let me know if you want it translated to English.) The frosting takes a bit of work, but you’ll thank me when you’re finished. Recipe inspired by @lazycatkitchen

FROSTING
150 g natural cashews
0,5 dl coconut cream
50 g vegan butter
zest from 1 lemon
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 dl icing sugar

Soak cashews in cold water for at least 4 hours, or in hot water for 1 hour. Drain well.
Put half of the cashews, all of the coconut cream and the butter in a blender. Blend until smooth, and then add rest of cashews and lemon zest and juice. Blend again to a smooth cream.
With a spatula, combine cream with icing sugar. Put in the fridge for about an hour before spreading on top of the cooled carrot cake.

Almond Feta Cheese

This is not a copy of sheep’s milk feta cheese. If you expect that, you might be disappointed. But if you – like me – find that cheese is one of the harder things to give up when going plant-based, this is a superb substitute, both savoury and crumbly. It takes a bit of work, but for me it was totally worth it. Recipe from vegetariantimes.com.

Ingredients
3 dl almonds
4 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp olive oil
1 clove of garlic
1,25 tsp salt
0,5 dl cold water
1 pod of probiotics (optional)

Bring a pot of water to boil and add almonds. Boil for 2-3 minutes. Rinse in cold water. Remove the peel from all of them. Put the peeled almonds in a bowl and cover with water. Leave to soak for 24 hours.
Rinse the almonds in cold water. Put almonds, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and salt in a food processor of high speed blender. Add 0,5 dl cold water. Blend until very smooth. This will take at least 5 minutes or more. If using probiotic powder, add from the pod at the very last seconds.
Use a cheese cloth or double (clean!) kitchen towels. Spoon the cheese mixture onto the cloth, bring the corners together and twist to form a ball the size of an orange. Place in a small drain over a bowl to allow moisture to drip down. The recipe says to chill the cheese for 12 hours, but I left mine in room temperature for about 8 hours, hoping the probiotics would start fermenting a little bit.
Line a tray with parchment paper and a drizzle of olive oil. Transfer the soft cheese onto the tray and flatten carefully to about 1, 5 cm height. Bake in the oven at 100 degrees for about 40 minutes, until the top of the cheese is slightly firm. Serve warm or refrigerate.

PS. Keep the almond peels. Let them dry, put on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and thyme. Put in the oven while baking the cheese. Makes a nice, crispy little snack!