Vegan slaw lunch bowl

vegan slaw large bowl

‘Our Accident and Emergency adventures’ last week left me feeling a little anxious and overwhelmed and so I was really struggling with today’s recipe. I had a few strong ideas and some test cooks under my belt but I simply wasn’t that happy with the outcome yet and felt that things still needed tweaking before I would want to share. I only ever want to publish recipes I truly enjoy myself and I was therefore feeling a little stuck.

Until lunchtime. As we had lunch, Duncan was like why don’t you publish THIS as a recipe. This? It’s too basic I thought, too obvious. It may be the case, but it may not be. The truth is you never know how a given recipe is going to land. I’ve had some recipes in the past I was really pumped about sharing and they only received a very lukewarm welcome and some others that were solid but nothing that special to my mind and people have loved them. So by now I should know better than to second guess myself…

So I don’t know about you, but as soon as the temperatures climb a little, my body craves raw salad, but the trouble is this transitional time between winter and spring isn’t the best time for salad produce. This is when I tend to rely on winter root vegetables like carrots, celery, cabbage, fennel and apples for sustenance. The key to making a root slaw that isn’t a slog to eat is to make sure the vegetables are cut just right. I like mine paper thin so that while they still remain crunchy, they absorb the dressing readily and you get an array of textures and flavours in every mouthful.

For speed, I like to use a vegetable mandolin for this but a sharp knife coupled with some knife skills can yield equally good results. Once shredded, the veggies get tossed in a light mustard vinaigrette (although if you prefer a creamy dressing you can do that instead) and are adorned with toasted nuts (walnuts or hazelnuts are my favourites).

We tend to share this salad between us with a couple of chilli-infused shop-bought gherkins on the side and a big dollop of hummus or baba ganoush and some toasted bread – we use Turkish pide as we buy it fresh from our local corner store – but sourdough would work just as well. It’s a bit of a random medley but it works well together and it’s packed with gut-healthy fibre, which keeps us full for hours and keeps the doctor at bay, well…almost does 😉 .

vegan slaw chopped ingredients

vegan slaw ingredients dressing

vegan slaw mixing

vegan slaw

vegan slaw large bowl mixing

vegan slaw lunch

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Ingredients

DRESSING

  • 30 ml / 2 tbsp walnut oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
  • 30 ml / 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 15 ml / 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 10 ml / 2 tsp wholegrain mustard*, adjust to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste

SALAD

  • 30g / ¼ cup hazelnuts or walnuts
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 small fennel bulb
  • 1/8 small red cabbage
  • 1 large carrot
  • 8 radishes
  • ½ sweet and crisp apple (I like Jazz or Pink Lady)
  • a handful of parsley, finely minced

OPTIONAL EXTRAS to serve

Method

DRESSING

  1. Mix the first three ingredients in a medium mixing bowl vigorously until the dressing has emulsified.
  2. Add mustard to taste and season with salt and pepper.

SALAD

  1. To toast the nuts, if you plan to toast a large amount (2 cups / 250 g or so in advance) heat up the oven to 180° C / 355° F (no fan) otherwise use a frying pan. To toast the nuts in the oven, spread them on a large baking tray and roast in the oven for about 8-10 minutes – keep an eye on them towards the end as they can go from golden to burnt in a matter of seconds. For a small amount, heat up a small frying pan and toast the nuts on it until fragrant and golden, tossing them often. Allow the nuts to cool down before chopping up or storing.
  2. Slice / shred all of the vegetables very finely – you can either use a very sharp knife or a good vegetable mandolin. Divide the apple half into four and shred finely.
  3. Place all of the salad ingredients including chopped parsley in a mixing bowl and stir the dressing through.
  4. Sprinkle with toasted chopped nuts.
  5. Serve alongside some hummus / baba ganoush, pickles and your favourite bread for a more substantial plant-based lunch.

Notes

*Be aware that not all brands are vegan, make sure to check the label for honey.