Tuesday, 17 July 2012

One Day A Week Vegan

I love salads and this one is perfect for the kind of weather we're having at the moment. Sunshine one minute, thunderstorms and showers the next.

Warm butternut squash salad with edible flowers

Ingredients for two people:

  • Baby spinach leaves
  • One small red onion
  • Half a capsicum (red, yellow or orange not green so that it's nice and sweet)
  • One small or half a large butternut squash
  • A handful of brown mushrooms or one smallish Portobello mushroom
  • Pistachio slivers or other nuts. Pine nuts would be nice or pumpkin seeds...something to give a bit of crunch to the salad
  • Some fresh rosemary
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • Pumpkin seed oil for dressing the salad
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • A little clear honey 
  • Edible flowers
  • Sea salt and fresh black pepper
  • Dried chilli flakes
  • A clove of garlic


  1. Wash deseed and cut the squash into smallish cubes.
  2. Place on an ovenproof dish, drizzle with olive oil, season and top with fresh sprigs of rosemary adding a pinch of chili if liked. Bake in a moderate oven for twenty or thirty minutes until tender.
  3. Meanwhile wash deseed and cut the pepper into strips.
  4. Peel and slice the onion very finely.
  5. Slice the mushrooms and saute in a small frying pan with salt and pepper and the crushed clove of garlic. Set aside.
  6. Assemble the salad. Place washed spinach leaves into a bowl or assemble directly on serving dishes. Add the onion, mushrooms and pumkin. Sprinkle with the nuts.
  7. You can use the garlic oil from the mushrooms and any juices from the roasted squash to dress the salad, removing the stalks of rosemary. Or pumpkin seed oil which is a delicious nutty salad dressing which is really good for you. Add a little balsamic vinegar to cut through the oil and I like a drizzle of honey as I'm a big fan of sweet/sour salad dressings. 
  8. Not forgetting the edible flowers...I topped ours with a gorgeous yellow courgette flower...perfect...

This is a delicious salad.  The flavours and textures are well balanced.  The pumpkin and mushrooms add body, the nuts crunch as well as being a good source of second class protein. But best of all it just tastes so good...yum...

Desert was sweet juicy Esher doughnut peaches. 

Lunch was one of those concoctions made from what's on-hand...perfect when that happens to be some Baghali Polow, Persian Broad(Fava) Bean and Dill rice left over from last night's supper. Served up with long red peppers slow roasted with olive oil until slightly charred and creamy ripe avocado.

Talking about slightly charred. Breakfast almost didn't happen! I'd totally forgotten I'd left my first attempt at granola in the oven until I could smell a smoky sweetness drifting upstairs to where I was busy doing something else...I opened the oven in the smokefilled kitchen to find little hard black footballs that had once been sweet dried fruits and crunchy nuts!  Such a waste of all those good things.  I'll make sure it doesn't happen again. 

If you are porridge eater this is a great summer-time alternative.

To make my Fruit and Nut Granola you will need:

  • Three cups of rolled oats
  • One cup of nuts...I used almonds this time
  • Half a cup of seeds...as mine had all burnt up in my first attempt I used pistachio slivers instead
  • One third of a cup of Agave syrup or you could use honey or muscovado sugar.  Agave syrup is very sweet so you will need to adjust and maybe use more honey or sugar according to how sweet your tooth is!
  • One quarter of a cup of olive oil
  • Half a spoonful of vanilla paste
  • A couple of teaspoonfuls of cinnamon

  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl
  2. Lay onto an oven tray
  3. Bake at 150c for half an hour or so until toasty
  4. Leave to cool and then store in a jar

I love mine with lots of fresh fruit especially ripe pears and peaches or berries, the juice of one orange freshly squeezed and maybe a little honey or agave/maple syrup.  Or with mixed dried fruits steeped overnight in fresh fruit juice...scrummy...

Another tasty vegan day...

I'm linking over here to fat Tuesdays today...


  1. I hate when I accidentally burn our food. I have had the same thing happen with granola. Now I really watch it. All of this food looks so good.

    1. I know Heather...I doubt it will happen again because lIke you I really watch over it now.

  2. I had that granola incident happen to me before. What's more annoying is the washing up after, because the burnt stuff just stuck to the pans with all that honey. Pity about that, but glad you did get it done anyway. Everything looks so delicious as usual, I love that you kept everything very simple and fresh, using the best of what this season has to offer! The colours just pop!

    1. I'm not alone...I thought it was just me Shu Han! This time of years is so good for all the lovely fresh produce that I love. It makes cooking so much more enjoyable.

      Happy cooking

  3. Fantastic recipes and great photos, think I may have to start following your fantastic blog!

  4. Oh thank you Alexandra. That's kind of you. I'm just going to pop over and see yours now.

  5. You are so tempting me to turn up at your house round about lunchtime on your vegan day. All of this looks delicious. Being a vegetarian it doesn't occur to me that a lot of what we eat is vegan, but because it's just everyday type of food we rarely rustle up anything half as good as this looks. Dahl, curries, soups, stir fries and pasta are the norm for us.

  6. That would be fun Choclette. The things you mention all sound yummy. I find that baking is the hardest thing...although now that I've discovered solid coconut oil it's much easier so there should be no stopping me now!