In most ways, being a food blogger is my dream job as I love pretty much everything it involves. After years of soul-destroying nine-to-five, I cannot believe that I finally get to call what I actually love doing ‘my job’. I count myself very lucky indeed and I would not change it for the world. There is one thing though that I find really challenging and I am still figuring out ways to deal with it. When your job is all about food, day in and day out, it is really really hard to keep your food habits on the straight and narrow. No, I don’t inhale cakes (although I wish I could 😉 ) for breakfast, but I bake way more often than I would normally and find it difficult to curb my constant impulse to ‘taste test’ and (let’s not beat about the bush here) snack as I cook, style and photograph. I also hate food waste and while most people are happy to take some cake off your hands, sometimes I’ve hacked the said cake so much, trying to cut a perfect piece for my photos that I’m ashamed to offer it to anyone. Normally I try to counteract my food sins with an increased amount of running, but as we’ve had truly awful weather around these parts lately and I really don’t fancy running in 10 Beaufort wind, I’ve slipped up again…We are off to Poland later on this week and I’m definitely packing my running gear with me. Hopefully, crisp and cold days will reignite my love for running and get me back on track.
So as me and cake have decided to take a wee break and you’ve probably also made some healthy eating New Year’s resolutions, which I don’t intend to sabotage, today’s recipe is a vegan winter salad. Winter may seem a difficult time for salad lovers (I’m talking raw veggies here) when compared to other seasons, as the selection of veg that does not require cooking is somewhat poor. This recipe, however, manages to combine some of the best winter produce into an easy and a quick-to-prepare salad bowl. If you are after a heartier meal, it goes super well with these baked sweet potato falafels and a small amount of cooked quinoa or buckwheat (for a gluten-free and vegan meal).
- ¼ cauliflower
- 2 celery sticks
- a wedge of red cabbage
- a small turnip
- 2 carrots
- 1 green apple
- 25 g / 1 oz baby spinach
- 25 g / 1 oz rocket
- fresh parsley, finely chopped
- ¼ cup almonds
- ¼ cup pomegranate seeds OR dried cranberries
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 1 small garlic clove, grated finely
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Chop almonds diagonally. Put a small frying pan on a medium heat and dry roast almonds until lightly browned and fragrant. Make sure you move them around the pan frequently as they burn easily.
- Whisk all the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Wash your apple, celery sticks, cauliflower, spinach and rocket well and pat them dry. Peel the carrots and the turnip. Using a mandolin slicer shred the cabbage on the thinnest setting, slice carrots and turnip on the same setting too. Cut apples, celery sticks and raw cauliflower into slightly thicker slices with a sharp knife.
- Mix all the vegetables together with dry rocket, baby spinach and chopped parsley in a mixing bowl. Dress and season well.
- Transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle the salad with toasted almonds and pomegranate seeds (or cranberries).