Raw  Kelp Noodle and Cashew Pad Thai

Raw Kelp Noodle and Cashew Pad Thai

Raw Kelp Noodle and Cashew Pad Thai

 

Who doesn’t love a good pad thai?!

I for one am a HUGE fan of Thai food, but since completing a sugar detox last year I’m much more aware of the added sugar in food and sadly, Thai food is loaded with it!

So, in my quest to create healthier versions of my favourites, I created this raw kelp noodle and cashew pad thai. It’s obviously not exactly the same as the original, being raw and all, but it has all the traditional flavours used in thai cooking, minus the sugar.

How can this possibly taste any good you may ask? The secret is some clever ingredient combining.

The sauce is made from soaked (aka activated) cashew nuts, coconut milk, fresh ginger, chilli, turmeric and lemon or lime. These flavours combine to create a sweet, slightly spicy sauce that’s reminiscent of a fragrant thai curry.

I chose kelp noodles for this salad because they have a very neutral flavour, are grain free and very low in carbohydrates (aka sugar). According to the packet they’re made from kelp (a sea vegetable), sodium alginate (from brown seaweed) and water, and are a rich source of iodine. The main brand available seems to be Sea Tangle which I’m not entirely convinced are completely raw (as the packaging states) given they look nothing like sea kelp. I suspect they’re mostly comprised of water, but their crunchy texture works well in this pad thai and you can find them at any wholefoods store or online from places like iherb.

For anyone looking for noodle alternatives, there’s another type of kelp noodle called Sea Spaghetti by Pacific Harvest. These noodles actually look like seaweed and have a mild salty flavour. While I have yet to try them I think they would work well in this recipe too. Equally, if you’re not too fussed about finding a kelp noodle then you could simply use glass noodles (aka bean thread noodles) or rice noodles.

There’s a healthy amount of kale or cavolo nero (the super hero of greens!) in this raw pad thai to ensure there’s a generous serving of green nutrient goodness. The secret to making it taste good raw is a few minutes of massaging with a little of olive oil. This process wilts it’s tough cellulose structure, giving it a soft, silky texture and mellows it’s bitter flavour to reveal a sweeter side that’s normally only accessible through long cooking. This only takes a few minutes but makes a huge difference to the texture and taste.

This raw pad thai is dairy, gluten and grain free, paleo, vegetarian and vegan. Most notably though, it’s completely sugar free yet definitely not lacking in sweet fragrant thai flavour. Enjoy!

 
Raw Kelp Noodle and Cashew Pad Thai

 

Raw Kelp Noodle and Cashew Pad Thai

Serves: 4
Prep time: 30 minute Soak time: 2-4 hours

1 packet kelp noodles (or glass noodles)
6 kale or cavolo nero leaves
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 large carrots
2 handfuls fresh bean sprouts
1 handful fresh coriander
1 handful fresh basil
1 handful fresh mint
1 cup cashews (to toast)

For the thai sauce:
1 cup cashews (to soak)
2 cups coconut milk
2 tsp turmeric
2-4 red chillies, finely chopped (depending on heat/your taste)
10cm piece fresh ginger, finely grated
2 lemons, juiced (or 4 limes if available)
1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt

Prep ahead by placing 1 cup of cashews into a bowl and cover with filtered water. Leave to soak for 2 to 4 hours at room temperature then drain and rinse well. The soaked cashews can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 days at this stage until you’re ready to use them.

To make the sauce, place all the sauce ingredients including the soaked cashews into a high speed blender or food processor, and blend until smooth. Taste for seasoning, and if necessary add a little more salt or lemon juice according to your tastes. This sauce is ready to use immediately or can be stored in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 2 days. Note, once cashews are soaked they generally last up to 4 days total when refrigerated.

To toast the cashews for the pad thai, preheat the oven to 160ºC. Place 1 cup of cashews on a lined oven tray into the centre of the oven for approximately 10 minutes. You’re aiming for the cashews to be lightly toasted. Alternatively, if you want to create an entirely raw pad thai, soaked these cashews for 2-4 hours, then either place in a dehydrator at 46ºC for 2 days or in the oven on the lowest setting with the door slightly ajar. They’re ready when completely dried through and crisp (aka dried activated cashews).

To make the pad thai salad, open the kelp noodles and rinse as per packet instructions. These should be ready to use, so place in a large bowl and set aside. If using glass (bean thread) noodles, soak as per packet instructions.

Prep the kale or cavolo nero by washing, draining well and removing the tough central stems. Place the leaves in a small bowl with the olive oil and use your hands to massage it into the leaves until they become dark, shiny and soft. This improves the texture and flavour of the kale by breaking down it’s tough cellulose structure. Slice or tear the kale leaves into bite sized strips and add to the kelp noodles.

Prep the carrots by washing and or peeling, and chopping into very fine strips. Rinse and drain the bean sprouts and add both to the salad.

Rinse and drain the herbs and rather than chop them, which results in the mint and basil discolouring, tear them into smaller pieces and add to the salad.

Lastly, add the toasted or dehydrated cashews to the salad along with the sauce. Toss well to ensure evenly combined. Pile into serving dishes and sprinkle with a few fresh herb leaves.

Once combined, this raw pad thai will keep for 2-3 days in the fridge in a sealed container.

 

Roasted Broccoli Salad with Green Goddess Dressing

Roasted Broccoli Salad with Green Goddess Dressing

Roasted Broccoli Salad with Green Goddess Dressing

 

After spending the winter roasting every vegetable I could get my hands on, the idea of putting roast broccoli into a salad seemed like a natural progression, not to mention a great way to increase the variety of vegetables in our summer salads!

For a while I thought I’d cleverly invented this idea of putting different roasted vegetables in summer salads, but on scrolling back through Swoon Food’s recipes it seems I wasn’t quite as original as I’d thought. Way back at the start I posted this baby beetroot salad, followed by this maple roasted kumara salad, and more recently this spice roasted cauliflower salad.

Nevertheless, this roasted broccoli salad is rather special because it’s packed full of so many different greens making it super high in antioxidants and phytonutrients. It’s extremely versatile and adaptable to whatever fresh greens you have in season, and the accompanying green goddess dressing is absolutely dreamy.

While this roast broccoli salad has 3 core elements: sumac roasted broccoli, fresh greens and the green goddess dressing, it’s slowly changed over the summer to include whatever greens are available each week. At the beginning of summer it was asparagus, rocket and radish, then when asparagus went it was replaced with watercress and cucumber, and more recently  snow peas, green capsicum and celery.

Thus the recipe below is more of a guide, from which you can adapt to include any fresh greens you have in season.

The green goddess dressing is essentially a lemon tahini dressing packed full of fresh green herbs such as coriander, parsley and mint and is whipped up in seconds in a blender.

So even though this roast broccoli salad with green goddess dressing is not a revolutionary new salad idea, I hope this recipe will bring you some fun new salad inspiration and may it serve you as the seasons change too. Enjoy!

Roasted Broccoli Salad with Green Goddess Dressing

Roasted Broccoli Salad with Green Goddess Dressing

Serves: 6
Prep time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 20-30 minutes

1 head of broccoli
4 handfuls of watercress or wild rocket
1 green capsicum
1 large handful snow peas
4 stalks of celery
1 Tbsp sumac
Himalayan pink salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp avocado, coconut or macadamia nut oil (for roasting)

Green Tahini Dressing

6 Tbsp tahini
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 handfuls fresh herbs such as parsley, coriander, mint or basil
4 Tbsp filtered water
Himalayan pink salt & freshly ground black pepper

To roast the broccoli, preheat oven to 180ºC and line an oven tray. Rinse the broccoli under cold water, shake off excess water and chop into bite sized florets. Place the florets onto the lined oven tray, sprinkle with oil followed by sumac, salt and pepper. Place the tray in the centre of the oven and roast for approximately 20 to 30 minutes. The broccoli is done when you can easily slice the stalks with a blunt knife and the heads are just starting to colour. Remove the broccoli from the oven and allow to cool while preparing the dressing.

To make the green goddess dressing place all the ingredients into a high speed blender or good food processor, and blend on high until well combined. The consistency should be pourable, if it’s looking too thick add a little more water.

To make the salad, rinse and drain the watercress or rocket. Rinse the green capsicum and celery then finely slice, and rinse and drain the snow peas. To assemble, in a large bowl or serving plate layer up half the broccoli, watercress or rocket, capsicum, celery and snowpeas, and then do the same again with the remainder so that you have a well mixed, attractive looking salad.

Serve either drizzled with the green goddess dressing or with it in a small bowl on the side. This salad is best stored undressed in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days and the dressing will keep up to 5 days in a sealed container in the fridge.

 

Roasted Broccoli Salad with Green Goddess Dressing

Raw Basil Zoodles with Black Olives, Tomatoes and Spicy Cashews

Raw Basil Zoodles with Black Olives, Tomatoes and Spicy Cashews

Raw Basil Zoodles with Black Olives, Tomatoes and Spicy Cashews

 

The inspiration for these raw basil zoodles with black olives, tomatoes and spicy cashews came from one of my local raw food cafes.

This dish reminds me of a creamy Italian linguini, loaded with olives, tomatoes and basil, with hints of parmesan cheese. Not something I’d usually eat, but this version is completely dairy, gluten and sugar free, and being raw means it’s super charged with heaps of nutrients!

What I especially love about this dish is, while it might look like it takes a lot of time and effort to make, that couldn’t be any further from the truth.

The hardest part of the recipe is thinking ahead and putting the cashews and sunflower seeds on to soak for the sauce. Once they’re ready, it’s just a matter of throwing the rest of the sauce ingredients into the blender and whizzing it into a smooth basil sauce.

 

Raw Basil Zoodles with Black Olives, Tomatoes & Spicy Cashews

 

To create the zoodles (zucchini noodles) you’ll need a spiralizer which you can pick up for around $20 on amazon. Alternatively, if a spiralizer is not something you can get your hands on, you could substitute for another type of plant based noodle such as black bean, adzuki or edamame. Cook them as per the packet instructions and then proceed with the recipe from there.

When you have your noodles ready, simply combine with the basil sauce, tomatoes, olives and cashews… and you’re done!

Zucchini’s are full of nutrients, very low in calories and very filling, especially when eaten raw. So this dish will satisfy even the hungriest raw food sceptic! If the idea of a completely raw meal sends shivers down your spine (maybe you’re in the depths of winter…) then you can also gently heat this dish and serve warm for an equally delicious meal.

These basil zoodles are great for lunch or dinner, make a an ideal packed lunch and will last in the fridge for up to 2 days. Hope you give this one a try and let me know what you think in the comments below! Enjoy!

 

Raw Basil Zoodles with Black Olives, Tomatoes and Spicy Cashews

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Raw Basil Zoodles with Black Olives, Tomatoes and Spicy Cashews

Serves: 6
Prep time: 30 minutes Soaking time: 4 hours

500g (approx 4) zucchini
250g (1 punnet) cherry tomatoes, halved
250g pitted black olives

Basil Sauce:

1/4 cup cashew nuts, soaked 4 hours
1/4 cup sunflower seeds, soaked 4 hours
1/2 cup filtered water
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt
1 handful fresh basil leaves

Spicy Cashews:

1 cup cashews
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp paprika

Prep ahead by soaking the cashews and sunflowers seeds by placing them in a bowl and cover with filtered water. Leave to stand for 4 hours, drain and rinse well. Place them in a high speed blender or good food processor along with the rest of the sauce ingredients and blend until smooth. Taste for flavour and if necessary add a little more lemon juice or salt according to preference.

To make the spicy cashews, preheat the oven to 160ºC. Place the cashews on a lined baking tray and sprinkle with spices. Place try in the centre of the oven and roast until just lightly browned, approximately 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

To make the zucchini noodles use a spiralizer to turn them into zoodles. Place them in a large bowl and combine with the basil sauce. If the zoodles are really long you may want to cut them with scissors so they’re easier to eat. Add the cherry tomatoes, olives and cashews to the bowl and stir to combine.

Serve piled high on serving plates with some freshly ground pepper and a sprig of basil. The basil zoodles will keep fresh in the fridge for up to 2 days.

 

Raw Basil Zoodles with Black Olives, Tomatoes and Spicy Cashews

 

Spiced Cauliflower and Spinach Salad with Brazil Nuts and Pomegranate

Spiced Cauliflower and Spinach Salad with Brazil Nuts and Pomegranate

Spiced Cauliflower and Spinach Salad with Brazil Nuts and Pomegranate

I’ve been making this spiced cauliflower and spinach salad for a couple of weeks now and just can’t get enough of it!

I love the Christmassy colours of the spinach and pomegranate, even though it’s only November… I think this might be the perfect salad for Christmas day! It’s full of vibrant flavours, packed with phytonutrients and super easy to prepare.

The spice roasted cauliflower combines perfectly with the fresh spinach leaves, herbs, and piquant pomegranate seeds to create a flavour explosion in your mouth. The soft textures of the cauliflower and greens are complemented perfectly by the crunch of the pomegranate seeds and lightly toasted brazil nuts. When it’s served with a creamy lemon tahini dressing (such as the one below) and/or dollop of hummus this salad is heaven on a plate!

Best of all it’s so simple to prepare. Combine the cauliflower with spices and roast in the oven until soft and fragrant. Once cooled, toss with spinach leaves, chopped herbs such as coriander, mint and parsley, pomegranate seeds and some lightly toasted nuts. Exactly which spices you use is entirely up to you. I’m loving a Berbere spice mix at the moment which is a combination of cumin, cardamon, allspice, fenugreek, coriander, cloves, pepper, ginger, turmeric, sweet paprika, cinnamon and ajowan. If you haven’t come across this one on your supermarket travels, just use a combination of your favourite warming spices. If I’m out of the Berbere spice mix or want a slightly spicier result I’ll shake over a combination of paprika, turmeric, cinnamon and cayenne.

This versatile salad can be served warm or cold, depending on the temperature of the roasted cauliflower when you combine all the ingredients. Hummus or lemon tahini dressing is optional but makes an amazing addition, lifting the flavours even further and adding some extra plant based protein. If you want to make this an even more substantial meal simply add any protein of your choice such as pan-fried tempeh, chicken or extra nuts and seeds.

If all this hasn’t yet sold you on this beautiful salad, it also makes great leftovers for lunch the next day. Make an extra big batch for dinner and you’ve literally got your lunches sorted for the next few days, win win!

I hope you love this salad as much as I do and if you know anyone else who might love it please share it with them too. Enjoy!

 

Do you have a favourite salad recipe? Any questions or comments about this one?

Leave your comments down below!

 

Spiced Cauliflower and Spinach Salad with Brazil Nuts and Pomegranate 

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Spiced Cauliflower and Spinach Salad with Brazil Nuts and Pomegranate Seeds

Serves: 6
Prep time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 40 minutes

1 head of cauliflower
2 Tbsp spices such as: Berbere mix or Paprika, turmeric, cinnamon, cayenne
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 large handfuls spinach leaves
1 pomegranate
1 handful fresh herbs such as parsley, mint and coriander, roughly chopped
1 handful nuts such as brazil, macadamia or hazelnuts (optional to lightly toast)

Lemon tahini dressing
Juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp tahini
2 Tbsp filtered water
freshly ground salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 180ºC fan bake and line a baking tray with baking paper or a baking mat.

Rinse the cauliflower then cut into small bite-sized florets. Place the cauliflower florets into a small bowl and toss with the oil and spices. Spread the seasoned cauliflower onto the prepared baking tray and place in the oven to roast for 30-40 minutes. The cauliflower is ready when it has turned a slightly golden colour and can easily be cut with a butter knife. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Prepare the spinach leaves by rinsing well under filtered water and leave to drain.

Cut the pomegranate in half and then over a bowl carefully break into pieces and pop out the seeds.

Prepare the herbs by rinsing under filtered water and chopping roughly.

If toasting the nuts, place them on an oven proof tray in a 160ºC oven for approximately 10 minutes until just start to colour. Lightly toasting nuts is another way to remove the enzyme inhibitors from their outsides to make them more digestible.

To serve the salad warm, combine all the ingredients with the cauliflower while still warm and serve immediately. Alternatively, wait until the cauliflower is cool them combine all the ingredients. Serve with a drizzle of lemon tahini dressing and/or dollop of hummus.

Store any leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

To make the lemon tahini dressing: Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blend or in a jar, close the lid tightly and shake until well combined. Test the consistency, ideally you want it to be pourable. If it’s too thick add a little more water. This dressing can be stored in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to 3 days, simply shake again before using.

Spiced Cauliflower and Spinach Salad with Brazil Nuts and Pomegranate

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Micro Greens & Edible Flowers

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Micro Greens & Edible Flowers

I saw these beautiful heirloom tomatoes at the grocers and was literally stopped in my tracks by their bright ombre colours and quirky shapes. Truth be told, I’d never bought heirloom tomatoes before but these were so irresistible I knew I had to find something to do with them! Aside from looking beautiful, tomatoes contain a heap of beneficial antioxidants such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, manganese, vitamin E and many phytonutrients (which are basically plant nutrients with antioxidant properties). Antioxidants are so beneficial for our bodies because they boost the immune system, protect against free radical damage and degenerative diseases, and help slow the ageing process – win!

 

I saw these beautiful heirloom tomatoes at the grocers and was literally stopped in my tracks by their bright ombre colours and quirky shapes. Truth be told, I’d never bought heirloom tomatoes before but these were so irresistible I knew I had to find something to do with them.

Aside from looking beautiful, tomatoes contain a heap of beneficial antioxidants such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, manganese, vitamin E and many phytonutrients (extremely beneficial nutrients only found in plants!). Antioxidants are so beneficial for our bodies because they boost the immune system, protect against free radical damage and degenerative diseases, and help slow the ageing process – win!

 

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Micro Greens & Edible Flowers

 

Sometimes when a food is so naturally beautiful the best thing to do with it is nothing at all…

Which is exactly what happened with these heirloom tomatoes. I created a simple sliced tomato salad with organic extra virgin olive oil, cracked salt and pepper, fresh micro greens and edible flowers.

This is a classic example of beauty in simple. Even though this tomato salad is extremely easy to prepare, it’s vibrant colours and amazing flavours transform it into something quite impressive, perfect for that dinner party you forgot you had to take a plate to!

This heirloom tomato salad makes a great accompaniment to any meal or you could easily turn it into a main meal by simply adding a protein of your choice. I love it with these felafels (minus the wrap of course), or with coconut crusted white fish (simply dip fish in coconut flour and pan fry in coconut oil). I think it would also be great with a lovely soft cheese if that’s something you eat too.

I hope this simple salad idea gives you some inspiration for your own salads this summer, and when you next see an amazing piece of fruit or vegetable that you don’t quite know what to do with, just remember, beauty in simple. Enjoy!

 

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Micro Greens & Edible Flowers

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Heirloom Tomato Salad with Micro Greens

Serves: 4
Prep time: 10 minutes

4 different coloured heirloom tomatoes (or other large tomatoes such as beef tomatoes)
1 packet micro cress greens
2 Tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground pink himalayan rock salt and pepper, to taste
edible flowers to decorate (e.g. violas, pansies, cornflowers)

Rinse the tomatoes under running water to ensure the skins are nice and clean. Turn the tomatoes on their sides and slice them into rounds.

Arrange the tomato rounds on either individual plates or a large serving platter, in a circle in the centre with alternating colours.

Sprinkle a drizzle of olive oil over the tomatoes followed by a generous grind of salt and pepper.

Rinse the micro cress under running water and drain well. Arrange a generous handful on top of the tomatoes and sprinkle a little more olive oil over if desired.

Finish by decorating with some colourful edible flowers.

 

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Micro Greens & Edible Flowers

Warm Pea and Baby Kale Salad with Sweet Red Peppers

Warm Pea and Baby Kale Salad with Sweet Red Peppers

Warm Pea and Baby Kale Salad with Sweet Red Peppers

 

This warm pea and baby kale salad with sweet red peppers was inspired by a recipe from LEON, the most amazing, super healthy, fast food restaurant chain in London. I could eat their food all day everyday! It’s definitely the place to go if you ever find yourself in London and in need of a quick, healthy lunch.

It’s Autumn in New Zealand now, and although still reasonably warm, the idea of a cold salad for lunch or dinner doesn’t seem to appeal. It’s definitely not cold enough for proper hot meals (especially not for lunch), so a warm salad is a great in-between solution.

This salad is full of vibrant flavours and colours and is the perfect way to brighten up an Autumn day. Although the ingredient list may look a little longer than the average salad, it’s very easy to make. Simply cook the red onion, chilli, ginger, garlic and mustard seeds in a pan with a little olive oil. Add the red pepper and spring onion followed but the frozen baby peas. At that point, turn off the heat, stir in the baby kale and it’s ready!

This warm salad is perfect on its own as peas are actually high in plant protein and very nourishing, but it also goes really well as a side dish. I hope you give this one a go and would love to hear your comments below. Enjoy x

 

Warm Pea and Baby Kale Salad with Sweet Red Peppers

 

 

Warm Pea and Baby Kale Salad with Sweet Red Peppers

Servings: 4-6
Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 10 minutes

1 red onion, sliced
1 fresh red chilli, sliced
1 knob of fresh ginger, finely grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
1 red bell pepper (capsicum), sliced into strips
3 spring onions, sliced
2 cups of frozen baby peas
1/3 cup water
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
Himalayan pink salt and black pepper
100g baby kale leaves, washed

Heat a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil in a pan on medium heat and cook the red onion, chilli, garlic, ginger and mustard seeds, stirring occasionally until the red onion is cooked and starts to caramelise. Add the red pepper and spring onions and cook a few more minutes, stirring well.

Lastly add the frozen peas, water and apple cider vinegar and turn the heat down to low or off if your pan is very hot. The water should mostly evaporate and the peas should just defrost and warm slightly, retaining their bright green colour. If the peas start to lose their colour then remove the pan from the heat immediately as the salad is ready!

Gently stir through the baby kale leaves, season with salt and pepper and serve.

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Warm Pea and Baby Kale Salad with Sweet Red Peppers

 

 

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