Goddess Nicoise








What an awesome, toothsome, filling plate of DELISH this is. It’s weird, I would never put these ingredients together, especially the dressing (a bit fusiony for me!) but they so work. The chickpea concoction itself would make an amazing stand alone sambo filler. NOM.

See how tiny the piece of onion I used this time was? Much safer.

Basically this is a salad where each component is separate on the plate, with the dressing on the side so you pour it over before eating. The components are: spuds, green beans, lettuce, olives, chickpeas that have been mashed with capers and some of the dressing, cherry tomatoes, parsley. Freaking delish. I’ve read recipes online that add some nori to the chickpea mash to make it saltier, might try that next time.


Big Fat Taco Salad








There were three mini salads here: tortilla chips/ lettuce/ beans — salsa — guacamole made w half soya beans, half avocado. It’s like a tasty, obviously low fat, light version of a messy Mexican themed meal. Really tasty and filling for work lunches, but not something I’d make for visitors, iykwim.

There was just one raw onion ingredient this time, which I switched for a shallot. It was still quite strong!

Is putting crisps in salads a big North American thing?! This was totally new to me. Nice and crunchy though!

First Week Done


The first week of my Cook Through This Book and Blog It new year’s resolution is done so it is a time of reflection. My main point of reflection is that Isa must really like the taste of raw onion, and that I really really do not. I think three recipes is enough of me giving this crazy raw onion idea a try. If there are more raw onions, I will be leaving them out. Another theme that has emerged is Romaine Lettuce appearing all the time. Is this a really common lettuce in the U.S. or something? I mean, it’s nice and all, but … ? That is the end of the Time of Reflection.

Recipes that are coming up next! Basically, the next three from the book. I’m doing up a shopping list for these right now. Yes, I am still on the Salads Chapter.

Big Fat Taco Salad with Fresh Tomato Salsa Dressing and Guacamame

Goddess Nicoise with Green Goddess Garlic Dressing

Sanctuary Chef Salad (comprising Herb Roasted Cauliflower, Eggplant Bacon and Basic Baked Tofu) with Sanctuary Dressing


PS: someone asked me about the pictures – I’m taking them all with the Hipstamatic iPhone camera app because I like to pretend I’m living in a techno-free, flame-and-brown-coloured, hip-n-happening 1970s reality.

Sushi Roll Edamame Salad








I love these flavours so much. I was surprised to see no wasabi or soya sauce in the mix, although the recipe does say that these are nice on the side as an option.

With the caveat that I would use much less scallion, and include a lot more nori and avocado, then I can confidently say that I would pledge my life to this salad, move in with it, care for it night and day, make passionate love to it, spawn baby sushi salads with it, and eventually sit beside this salad on our porch as we watched our grandchildren play at sunset.

This is the best salad evah.

Spicy Potato and Corn Salad








Really surprised by this one! Didn’t expect to love it, because it seemed Quite Chilli Spicy, & I find that that can sometimes make it so you can’t taste anything else in the dish. I was especially nervous when I realised that I’d bought kidney beans IN chilli sauce instead of just plain water. But it all turned out ok. The smoked paprika at the end really brings it all together, so yum.

This makes a giganto amount of food but because there aren’t salad leaves immediately mixed it, it will keep really well for a few days – no wet, black, curling wilting fear here.

Loads nicer than yesterday’s salad! Yum!

Everyday Chickpea-Quinoa Salad






Pretty easy and quick to pull together. For me, there was too much raw onion present, but that’s entirely personal taste. Half a thinly sliced raw red onion made me feel as though tears were being forced up my nose and out my eye from what was lying on my tongue. Not ideal! But lots of people love raw onion.

Not one I think I would make again, or at least not without using the suggested tweaks for a different taste. The main taste is of vinegar, mustard, and ONION, with a pretty bland backdrop of plain chickpeas and chopped lettuce. It filled me up, but it wasn’t exciting.

Coming Up


Getting ready to make the first three recipes in the book. Three is a good number to shop for, isn’t it? Cos it will take me a couple of days to eat the results of one cooking session (there are just two of us eating in the house). Anyhow, these recipes are: 

Everyday Chickpea-Quinoa Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Spicy Blue Potato and Corn Salad

Sushi Roll Edamame Salad with Green Onion- Miso Vinaigrette

It’s going to be pretty hard to find some of the exact ingredients, for example, blue potatoes, corn ears, red miso… but I’ll see what happens and not worry about substituting when I have to. Tinned sweetcorn! White spuds! Any miso!