I am not vegan but I love a good all plant meal. I often hear people saying it must be bland and boring when my friends say they’re vegan. I cannot agree with this so I decided to cook myself and my family few purely vegan meals a week and see what they think of them. I try to incorporate more plant based meals into my diet. I prefer to eat meat less often but of great quality.
I loved this salad. The recipe came to me in the morning as I was thinking what I could do with all those winter squashes from the garden. I looked through the window and saw my kale and decided to match those two in a salad. I hadn’t had quinoa for a month so decied to add that too. Two pomegranates on the counter- there you go. All I needed was a nice delicate sauce with some nutty/sweet taste and I thought of using cashews and tahini. Here is what I ended up with. I loved the result!
RECIPE – VEGAN KALE PUMPKIN SALAD WITH QUINOAone small winter squash(hokkaido or kabocha)
huge bunch of kale(I used a mix of curly and lacinato), stems removed and leaves washed
1 small purple onion
1 cup quinoa cooked
1 onion, minced
2 T cardomom pods
1 T Chinese 5 spice
2 T tahini
2 T maple syrup
handful of cashew nuts
handful of hazelnuts, toasted
seeds of one pomegranate
Soak cashews for at least 2 hours. Blend with water. I add tablespoon at the time, until it reaches thick cream consistency. Add tahini, maple syrup, pinch of salt and juice of the lime and blend until smooth.
Preheat the oven to 180c/370F. Cut the squash to half, take all seeds and strings out and cut to half-moons. In a mortar crush cardamom pods so they release the seeds, discard the shells and pound seeds to powder. Add 5 spice and 2 T canola oil. Mix. Rub squash with the mixture and bake for 20 minutes or until soft. Let cool. In a pan, over medium heat, fry onion until transluscent. Add kale. Add salt and pepper. Cook until wilted, but keeping colour.
Arrange your salad on a plate- mix quinoa with kale. Arrange half-moons of squash over them. Sprinkle with hazelnuts and pomegranate seeds.Drizzle tahini/cashew sauce on top.