Roast Fennel & Asparagus Salad with Easy Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Roast Fennel & Asparagus Salad with Easy Apple Cider Vinaigrette

With summer just around the corner, the weather has been warming up nicely over the last few weeks so salads are finally back on the menu in our house!

I’ve been trying to get more creative with my salads lately because I’ve had this creamy avocado and kale salad with crispy chickpeas on repeat for most of the year! Although I still love it, there’s nothing like adding more variety to your repertoire – especially after 3 months of lockdown cooking.

What I love about this new roast fennel and asparagus salad is the beautiful, anise flavour of the fennel, combined with the nutty crunch of the asparagus. Add to that some creamy avocado, roasted sweet potato, and a tangy, apple cider and ginger dressing, and you have a salad worthy of it’s own dinner party.

If you’re not a huge fennel fan, lightly roasting it will mellow its flavour and texture. Likewise, by roasting or pan-frying the asparagus, you’ll bring out it’s unique, nutty flavour. Just be careful not to overcook your asparagus, as slightly crunchy asparagus is much more delicious than soggy, flaccid asparagus!

Serve this gluten-free, roast fennel salad on it’s own for a delicious, light meal. Throw in some plant-based protein such as toasted almonds, pine nuts or hemp seeds to turn it into a more substantial meal. Or serve it as a side alongside your favourite main dish.

Store any extra dressing in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, and is delicious over roasted vegetables or steamed broccolini.

Enjoy!

Roast Fennel & Asparagus Salad with Easy Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Roast Fennel & Asparagus Salad with Easy Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Serves: 4
Prep time: 20 minutes  Cook time: 1 hour

2-3 sweet potatoes (any colours)
1 fennel bulb
1 bunch of asparagus
1 avocado
4 large handfuls salad greens
drizzle of avocado/coconut/olive oil

Apple Cider & Ginger Vinaigrette
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
2 tsp pure maple syrup or raw honey
pinch cayenne pepper
pinch Himalayan pink salt
ground black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 200ºC fan bake. Peel and chop the sweet potato into chunks and place on a lined oven tray. Drizzle sweet potato with a little oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss together. Place the tray in the centre of the oven to bake for approximately 20-30 minutes. When sweet potato is cooked through, remove it from the oven and allow to cool.

Prepare the fennel by washing and cutting the bulb into slices. Arrange the slices on another lined oven tray, drizzle with a little oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the tray in the oven to bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until the fennel is just starting to brown and soften. Remove the fennel from the oven and set aside to cool.

Save some of the fennel fronds, roughly chop and set aside.

Wash the asparagus and slice into bite size pieces. Either toss with a little oil and add to the fennel tray for 5 minutes. Or heat a little oil in a small pan over medium heat and pan-fry for about 5 minutes. Aim for the asparagus to be cooked but still crunchy. Set the cooked asparagus aside and allow to cool.

Make the vinaigrette by placing all the ingredients in a jar and shake until well combined.

Rinse the salad greens and place in a large serving bowl. Combine with the cooled sweet potato, fennel and asparagus. Top with sliced avocado and sprinkle with the fennel fronds.

Just before serving, drizzle the salad with apple cider vinaigrette. Any leftover dressing can be stored in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

 

Roast Fennel, Asparagus & Sweet Potato Salad

How To Make Your Own Caffeine Free Spicy Chai Syrup

How To Make Your Own Caffeine Free Spicy Chai Syrup

After a couple of weeks in lockdown going through a couple of bottles of store bought chai syrup, I decided it was high time I made my own.

I previously posted this homemade spicy chai syrup recipe which has been popular over the years, but I wanted to see if I could make it even more delicious and a little healthier.

To start with, I swapped out the raw cane sugar for coconut sugar to make it completely refined sugar free. Next I swapped the black tea for caffeine free rooibos tea, and lastly I changed up the spices.

The resulting chai syrup has a deliciously rich flavour while not being too sweet or spicy. To serve it warm as a chai latte, simply add your favourite steamed milk. And to serve it cold either pour it over ice and add your favourite milk, or blend it up to make a chai frappé.

Enjoy!

Spicy Chai Syrup (Low sugar/caffeine free)

Spicy Chai Syrup (Low sugar/Caffeine free)

Serves: 20
Prep time: 10 minutes  Cook time: 1 hour

4 cups filtered water
1/2 cup coconut sugar (or sweetener of choice e.g. raw honey/pure maple syrup)
10 cm piece fresh ginger, finely grated
2 cinnamon sticks
4 star anise
6 cardamon pods, cracked open
2 tsp whole cloves
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt
1/4 tsp vanilla powder
pinch cayenne pepper
4 rooibos tea bags

Place all the ingredients except the tea bags into a medium sized pan and bring to a boil. If you’re using raw honey leave this out and add at the end when you take it off the heat.

When the mixture begins to boil, turn the heat down until it’s barely simmering and leave to infuse for 45 minutes to an hour.

Turn of the heat, add the tea bags and leave to infuse until the syrup is cool.

When cool, you can choose to strain the syrup through a piece of muslin, nut milk bag or fine sieve to remove the spices, or transfer the syrup including all the spices straight to a glass bottle so they continue to infuse. If you choose the second option, you’ll want to strain the syrup before you use it.

 

To make a chai latte: place 30ml of chai syrup into a mug and top with your favourite steamed milk.

To make an iced chai: place 40ml of chai syrup into a blender jug with a handful of ice and 1 cup of milk of your choice, blend until smooth.

To make a chai frappe: fill a glass with ice, pour in 40ml of chai syrup followed by your favourite milk.

 

Spicy Chai Syrup (Low sugar/caffeine free)
Spicy Chai Syrup (Low sugar/caffeine free)
Spicy Chai Syrup (Low sugar/caffeine free)
Spicy Chai Syrup (Low sugar/caffeine free)

Easy Weeknight Sweet Potato & Spinach Dhal (Vegan/GF/Sugar Free)

Easy Weeknight Sweet Potato & Spinach Dhal (Vegan/GF/Sugar Free)

This year I’ve been all about quick and easy recipes and this Easy Weeknight Sweet Potato & Spinach Dhal is exactly that. It’s so simple, packed full of flavour, super nourishing and is one of my go-to weekday recipes.

We spent the first 5 months of this year renovating our house so quick and easy recipes (ideally made in one pot/pan) became essential. We crazily tried to live through the renovation for the first few months but eventually had to move out when we went into lockdown and a bunch of tradesmen showed up to install windows. While it was a great excuse to have takeout A LOT, it also meant creating and photographing new recipes was near impossible.

As well as our house project I’ve also been working on a secret project for some time now and we’re almost ready to reveal all the details!  In the meantime, if you want a sneak peek head to www.haloandswoon.com or @haloandswoon.

With a lot less time on my hands this dhal (also spelt dal, daal and dahl) recipe has become a firm staple. The recipe calls for red split lentils because split lentils have had their skins removed which causes them to naturally split in two, and as a result cook very quickly. Lentils are a great source of fibre, plant based protein, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc.

You can easily adapt this recipe to ingredients you have on hand. Sweet potato can be swapped for regular potato or pumpkin, and spinach can be substituted for any dark leafy greens such a silverbeet, chard, kale or collard greens.

Hope you enjoy this recipe and stay tuned for our big announcement soon!

 

 

Weeknight Sweet Potato & Spinach Dhal

Sweet Potato & Spinach Dhal

Serves: 4
Prep time: 20 minutes  Cook time: 30 minutes

1 brown onion
2 cloves garlic
1 large sweet potato
3 large handfuls spinach
1 handful mushrooms
1 cup red split lentils
2 Tbsp curry powder
1 to 2 cups water
1 can coconut milk
salt + pepper

Garnish (optional)
microgreens (I like coriander sprouts)
yoghurt (I like unsweetened coconut yoghurt)

 

Peel and cut onion into small pieces, peel and crush garlic. Heat 1 Tbsp avocado or coconut oil in a large pan or pot, add onion and garlic and cook over medium heat until they begin to soften

While the onion is cooking, peel and cut sweet potato into cubes. Wash and slice mushrooms. Wash lentils and drain. Wash spinach.

Add the sweet potato to the pan and continue to cook another 5 minutes. If the onions are starting to stick, add a little water to release the caramelised  juices from the bottom of the pan.

Add the curry powder, coconut milk, mushrooms, lentils and 1 cup of water. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Cook for around 20 minutes or until the lentils are well cooked and soft, adding extra water if needed.

Just before serving stir in the spinach. Serve dhal warm with a dollop of yoghurt and sprinkle of microgreens on top.

This dhal is delicious on it’s own, but is equally good with a side of rice or dosa. Keep dhal up to 5 days in a sealed container in the fridge, gently reheat in a pan before serving.

 

Weeknight Sweet Potato & Spinach Dhal
Super Easy Sweet Potato & Spinach Quinoa Cakes

Super Easy Sweet Potato & Spinach Quinoa Cakes

These sweet potato and spinach quinoa cakes are a great little recipe that can be whipped as a nutritious lunch or dinner. Quinoa is sometimes mistaken to be a grain, but it is in fact a seed and as such is naturally gluten free. It’s a great source of plant-based protein, particularly as it’s considered a “complete protein” meaning it contains all 9 essential amino acids. It’s also a fantastic source of fibre and minerals potassium, magnesium, zinc and iron.

You can easily adapt this recipe to ingredients you have on hand or in season. Sweet potato can be swapped for regular potato or pumpkin, and spinach can be substituted for any other dark leafy greens such a chard, kale or collard greens. You can also change up the spices to your liking.

Enjoy these quinoa cakes warm with green side salad, as part of a nourish bowl or simply on their own as a snack.

 

 

 Sweet Potato & Spinach Quinoa Fritters

Sweet Potato & Spinach Quinoa Cakes

Serves: 2
Prep time: 30 minutes  Bake time: 20 to 30 minutes

2 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup (250g) cooked sweet potato, mashed (1 large sweet potato)
3 cups (120g) spinach (approximately 10 leaves)
1 Tbsp chickpea flour
1/4 cup almond meal
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
salt + pepper

Cook the quinoa according to the pack instructions (1 cup uncooked quinoa = 2 cups cooked).

To make the mashed kumara, place whole sweet potato in oven for 1 hour, remove skin and mash. Alternatively, peel sweet potato and chop into pieces. Place in a pan, cover with water and bring to boil. Simmer until kumara pieces are soft, drain and mash.

Prepare the spinach by washing well, then cutting into fine strips.

Preheat oven to 180ºC fan bake.

Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Shape into patties and place on a lined oven tray.

Bake patties for 20 to 30 minutes, until patties are heated through and have a nice golden crust.

Serve with a large side salad and your favourite hummus or dressing.

Patties will keep for up to 5 days in a sealed container in the fridge, and can be enjoyed warm or cold.

 

 

Sweet Potato & Spinach Quinoa Fritters
Sweet Potato & Spinach Quinoa Fritters

Creamy Avocado & Kale Salad with Crispy Chickpeas

Creamy Avocado & Kale Salad with Crispy Chickpeas

Here is my favourite summer kale salad that I’ve had on high rotation over the past few months. It has a deliciously creamy dressing made from massaging avocado into the kale, which also softens the leaves making them easier to eat and digest. Add in cherry tomatoes, chopped cucumber, sauerkraut and crispy chickpeas and you have the most delicious salad.

This is an easily adaptable recipe so if you don’t have all the ingredients you can usually sub in something else and it will still work. That said, the one ingredient you can’t really sub is the avocado. This is because it forms the base of this salads creamy dressing and there isn’t really a good substitute for an avocado used in this way.

Of course, avocado provides a good dose of healthy fats, while kale brings a hefty dose of antioxidants and doubles down on the fibre, sauerkraut brings the probiotics and chickpeas provide a delicious plant based protein element. I think this might just be the perfect salad!

In terms of substitutions, if you don’t have any kale or are simply not a fan, then by all means swap it out for your favourite lettuce leaves. If you’re not a cucumber fan then swap it for any other crunchy salad vegetable such as sugar snap peas, celery or radish. Cherry tomatoes should be fairly easy to find, but if you need to sub these then you could use sun-dried tomatoes, fresh strawberries or even peach slices. And if you can’t be bothered making your own crispy chickpeas you can simply buy them or substitute for some crispy seed crackers.

 

Creamy Avocado & Kale Salad with Crispy Chickpeas

Creamy Avocado & Kale Salad with Crispy Chickpeas

Serves: 2
Prep time: 30 minutes Bake time: 10 minutes (optional)

2 extra large handfuls of curly kale or cavalo nero
1 ripe avocado
1 lemon, juiced (or 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar)
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
salt + pepper
1/4 cup sauerkraut
1/4 telegraph cucumber
1 handful of cherry or heirloom tomatoes
2 handfuls crispy chickpeas (store bought or see recipe below)
2 Tbsp hemp seeds (optional)

If making your own crispy chickpeas follow the instructions below.

Wash the kale well, break into bite sized pieces and place in a large mixing bowl.

Remove the skin and stone from the avocado and add to the bowl along with the lemon juice and nutritional yeast.

Season with salt and pepper, then use your hands to massge it all together. You’re aiming to create a creamy dressing by mixing the avocado, lemon juice and nutritional yeast, while massaging the kale to make it easier to eat.

Wash and cut the cucumber into bite sized chunks and wash and cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Fold both through the salad along with the crispy chickpeas.

Sprinkle with hemp seeds if desired and serve.

Salad will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days, but the chickpeas will lose their crunch so if possible only add them right before you wish to eat the salad.

 

Crispy Chickpeas
1 can chickpeas
2 tsp avocado, macadamia or coconut oil
1 tsp curry powder
pinch of pink Himalayan salt

Preheat the oven to 180ºC fan bake. Drain the chickpeas, rinse and pat dry with a clean tea towel.

Transfer the chickpeas to a small bowl and toss with oil, curry powder and salt. Place the chickpeas on a baking tray and cook in the centre of the oven for 10 to 15 minutes until crispy.

 

Creamy Avocado & Kale Salad with Crispy Chickpeas

Easy Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream (Vegan Low Sugar Recipe)

Easy Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream (Vegan Low Sugar Recipe)

Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream (Vegan, No Churn)

 

Hello! It feels like ages since my last post, and to be honest it kind of has been. Since then we’ve had Christmas and New Years, said goodbye to 2020 (at last), and are now in the midst of our summer holidays. We’ve spent a week down in Queenstown with friends, lots of chill time at home as well as getting things sorted for our house renovation, and now we’re up at Omaha (a beautiful NZ beach) with family.

Because we’re in the middle of summer here it seemed fitting that my first post for 2021 be an ice cream recipe. I don’t own an ice cream machine (mainly because we barely have enough room in our kitchen for my blender), so this strawberry ripple ice cream is one of those super simple, no churn ice cream recipes that almost anyone can make.

 

 

What I love most about this strawberry ripple ice cream recipe is that it only uses 3 ingredients: strawberries, pure maple syrup and unsweetened coconut yoghurt. Of course, you can get a bit fancy and add extra flavourings like vanilla, ginger or cardamom. You can swap out the strawberries for any other type of berries in season or your freezer, combine different varieties, or even add stone fruits into the mix to make a mixed fruit version. So far I’ve made this recipe with both raspberries and blueberries and it’s turned out beautifully.

The trick to getting a nice smooth ice cream without an ice cream machine is all in the blending. Once you’ve blended it all up and put it in the freezer to start the freezing process, keep checking on it and when it’s nearly frozen pull it out and blend it again. This breaks up any ice crystals and creates a nice smooth consistency. Depending on how much patience you have you can repeat this process multiple times, but if you’re short on time (or patience) you can get away with doing it just the once. Just be sure to wait until you’re done with the blending before you swirl the ripple through.

Of course, if you have an ice cream machine by all means use it with this recipe as you will get an even smoother, creamer ice cream!

Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream (Vegan)
Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream (Vegan)

 

No Churn Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream (Vegan)

Makes: 1 batch
Prep time: 30 minutes Chill time: 2 hours

600g strawberries (fresh or frozen)
6 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla powder (optional – see below for other suggestions)
600g unsweetened coconut yoghurt

Topping Suggestions
Freeze dried strawberries
Raw cacao nibs
Raw chocolate
Waffle cones
Caramel popcorn

Other Flavouring Suggestions
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon or cardamom
Raw cacao nibs
Chocolate chips

Place the strawberries, maple syrup and vanilla in a small pan and heat over medium until mixture starts to bubble. Cook another 5 minutes then turn off heat and leave to cool.

Place the cooled strawberry mixture in a high speed blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Pour the yoghurt into a large mixing bowl, add two thirds of the strawberry puree and fold together. Set the remaining strawberry puree aside in the fridge.

Pour the yoghurt mixture into a freezer proof container and place in the freezer to chill (if using an ice cream machine put the mix in at this point).

When the mixture in the freezer is nearly set, remove it and blend it all up again until smooth. Repeat this as many times as you like, although two or three times is usually enough. After the final blend pour the ice cream mixture into a freezer proof loaf pan or baking tin, pour over the remaining strawberry puree and swirl it through the mix with a spoon. Return the ice cream to the fridge and chill until firm.

This ice cream will keep covered in the freezer for up to 2 months.

 

 

Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream
Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream (Vegan /No churn recipe)
Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream