Vegan Spiced Chickpea Caesar Salad

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I love a good caesar salad but more often than not they contain cheese and croutons which are a no-go for us gluten and dairy intolerant folks. I came across this recipe while I was in New Zealand last month so I had to give it a try and put my own little twist on it. This version retains the rich flavor and crunch without the allergens and the spices give it a little extra somethin somethin. The lighting in my kitchen was less than stellar, thus the stock photo of chickpeas, but it looks pretty darn good in person and I’ll try to upload a good picture the next time I make it. Enjoy!

Makes 2 Servings.

Ingredients:

For the Chickpeas:

  • 1.5 cups Canned Chickpeas (drained - look for a BPA Free Can)

  • 1 .5 Tbsp Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or Coconut Aminos

  • 2 tsp Smoked Paprika

  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder

  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cumin

  • 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger

  • 1/2 tsp Chilli Powder

  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt

  • 1/4 tsp Sumac

For the Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup Hemp Milk (unsweetened) or non-dairy milk of your choice

  • 3 Tbsp Tahini

  • 1 Lemon, juiced

  • 2 tsp Maple Syrup

  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder

  • Sea Salt - a pinch or to taste

For the Salad:

  • 3 cups Organic Kale or Romaine Lettuce

  • 1 cup Red Cabbage, shredded

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

  2. Combine all ingredients for the spiced chickpeas in a bowl and stir until well combined.

  3. Spread out spiced chickpea mixture on the sheet pan and bake for 10 minutes.

  4. Remove from oven, stir well and continue baking for another 5-6 minutes. Be careful not to burn them!

  5. While your chickpeas are cooling, whisk together all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.

  6. Combine kale and cabbage in a large serving bowl and toss with about 3/4 of the dressing.

  7. Scatter cooled spiced chickpeas over the top of the salad and drizzle with remaining dressing before serving.

Pesto Zoodles with Poached Eggs

Ingredients:

  • 4 Zucchini, organic (large)
  • 1 cup Basil Leaves, organic
  • 1 cup Baby Spinach, organic
  • 1 Garlic (clove, minced)
  • 1/4 cup Walnuts, organic
  • 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Lemon (juiced)
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt or pink Himalayan salt
  • 4 Egg (Organic, Pasture-Raised)

Directions:

  1. Spiralize your zucchinis into noodles and set aside.
  2. In a food processor combine basil, spinach, garlic, walnuts, olive oil, lemon juice
  3. Fry your eggs in a skillet with ghee or poach them in a small sauce pan with water and vinegar. Transfer them to a plate lined with paper towel.
  4. You can serve this dish in two ways: For a cold dish, toss your zucchini noodles in desired amount of pesto, top with a fried or poached egg and serve. Or, for a warm dish, heat a bit of olive oil in the skillet and saute your noodles until warmed through, add pesto and work it around with tongs to evenly distribute. Transfer to bowls and top with a fried egg. Enjoy!

Variations:

Nut-Free - Use sunflower or pumpkin seeds instead of walnuts

No Spinach - Use kale or any other dark leafy green

No Egg - Top with a filet of wild salmon instead

Vegan - Skip the egg and top with beans, lentils or chickpeas instead

Pumpkin Hummus

Ingredients:

  • 1 can organic Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans), drained, liquid reserved

  • 1 cup organic pumpkin purée

  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • 1 Garlic Clove (crushed)

  • 1/2 tsp Cumin

  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt

  • 1/4 tsp Sesame Oil

  • 1/2 tsp Paprika, Smoked (for garnish)

Directions:

  1. Purée garbanzo beans, lemon juice, 1 Tbsp of the olive oil, garlic, cumin, salt, and sesame oil in a food processor.

  2. Add reserved liquid from chickpeas into the mixture while blending until desired consistency is achieved.

  3. Drizzle the top with remaining olive oil and sprinkle with smoked paprika to garnish.

  4. Serve or refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to develop.

For dipping, pair with carrots, celery, sliced bell peppers, radishes, cucumber slices, or any of your favorite fresh vegetables.

Avocado & Egg Salad Collard Green Wraps

These wraps are a simple and quick but satisfying meal that the whole family will like. You'll feel full but energized with a nice dose of protein, healthy fats and greens. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 bunch Organic Collard Greens, washed and stems cut off

6 Eggs (organic, pasture-raised), hard boiled and chopped

2 Organic Avocados, peeled and pits removed

1/2 Lemon, juiced

5 Organic Green Onion, chopped

2 tbsp Dijon Mustard

Sea Salt & Black Pepper to taste

Organic Hot Sauce (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine chopped eggs, avocado, lemon juice, green onions, dijon mustard and season with sea salt and pepper to taste. Mash with fork until creamy.
  2. Wrap up in collard greens and enjoy!

Eggplant Caponata

A favorite in vegan and omnivore cuisine, eggplant can be baked, roasted, grilled, used as a pizza topping or in stir-fry recipes. It has a pleasantly bitter taste and spongy texture that may vary depending on the color/variety of eggplant selected. Dress your cooked eggplant with herbs, sauces, and condiments and you'll be sure to please even the pickiest guest at your dinner table.

Eggplant contains a phytonutrient (plant chemical with nutritional benefits) called nasunin. Nasunin acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells from damage. In addition, eggplant contains a wealth of other antioxidants that support brain and heart health. In research studies, one variety of eggplant - called Black Magic - was found to have three times the antioxidant properties compared to several other types of eggplant. It's also a terrific source of dietary fiber, copper, potassium and B vitamins.

It's best to buy eggplant in-season during the months August through October. It comes in all sorts of shapes (baseball size to a thick crescent) and a cornucopia of colors such as lavender, jade green, and yellow-white. Choose eggplants that are firm, vivid in color, and heavy for their size. The skin should be smooth, shiny and without damage.

To test for ripeness, press your thumb into the eggplant. If the skin doesn't "spring back," it's not ripe. Eggplant is highly perishable so don't cut it before storing. Keep it stored in a food crisper or on the shelf in the fridge for a few days.

Satisfying and versatile, eggplant can handle a variety of flavorful accompaniments, several of which give a kick to this Sicilian favorite. The tomato base is spiked with anchovies, garlic, and capers, creating a mouth-watering aroma and a burst of flavor in every bite. Serve as an appetizer, a main dish or as a side with your favorite fish.

Makes 4-6 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 large Italian eggplants, peeled and diced
  • 2 Tbs kosher salt
  • 5 Tbs organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 4 organic celery stalks, thinly sliced on an angle
  • 1 organic red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 anchovies, in oil
  • 1/4 cup organic tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup organic red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup organic sugar or raw honey
  • 1/2 cup capers, in brine

Directions:

  1. Peel and dice the eggplants, peel and slice the onion, peel and slice the garlic, slice the celery.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the eggplant with the salt. Transfer the eggplant to a colander to drain for 2 hours. In order to facilitate the draining, top the eggplant with a heavy weight, such as a dinner plate with full cans placed on top.
  3. Heat 3 Tbsp of the olive oil over medium heat in a large sauté pan. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and celery and sauté for 5 minutes more, or until the garlic softens but does not brown. Add the anchovies and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the tomato paste and stir to thoroughly combine. Cook for 2 minutes, or until the paste turns a deep red, almost brown, and starts to stick to the pan. Add the vinegar and sugar and stir until the mixture thickens, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  5. In another large sauté pan, heat the remaining 2 Tbs olive oil over high heat until smoking. Add the eggplant and carefully toss it in the oil, letting it sear before stirring. Turn the heat down to medium and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the eggplant is translucent and soft.
  6. Transfer the eggplant to the caponata mixture and cook over low heat for 3 minutes, until the flavors combine. Add the capers and their brine and stir to incorporate.
  7. Serve warm or at room temperature accompanied by vegetable chips or gluten-free crackers.

Low FODMAP option: Use garlic-infused olive oil and eliminate garlic and onion.