Veggie Caesar salad with Yogurt Dressing, Crunchy Chickpeas, Roasted Cauliflower with Steak Seasoning & Roasted Fennel (With Vegan Dressing Variation)

I made this about two weeks ago and posted it on my Instagram stories. And since you guys asked for the recipe, here it finally is. I love this salad because of the variety of flavours and textures. I made two dressings for it. One is a more traditional Caesar dressing but with yogurt. And the other dressing is vegan with soy yogurt, nutritional yeast and capers. I seasoned the cauliflower with steak seasoning but you can season it with the spices that you like. And I love the crispy chickpeas, we couldn’t stop snacking on them. You can make the dressing & roasted vegetables in advance. But the crispy chickpeas are best fried just before serving.

This recipe serves 3-4.

Ingredients:

4 romaine hearts, chopped

For the Yogurt Caesar Dressing:

½ cup of natural yogurt

6 anchovy fillets, minced

1 tablespoon of the oil from the anchovies

1 tablespoon of mustard

Juice of 1 lime

1/3 cup of grated parmesan cheese

¼ cup of olive oil

1 teaspoon of honey

For the Vegan dressing:

½ cup of natural soy yogurt

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 tablespoon of mustard

1 tablespoon of capers

1 ½ tablespoon of nutritional yeast

Juice of half a lime

¼ cup of olive oil

1 tablespoon of agave syrup

For the roasted fennel:

1 big fennel bulb, thinly sliced

About 2 tablespoons of olive oil

A pinch of celery salt or sea salt

For the roasted cauliflower:

1 medium cauliflower, sliced into steaks or chunks

Olive oil

Steak seasoning of your choice or mix your own spices (a mix of black pepper, red pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika powder)

For the crispy chickpeas:

1 can of chickpeas, about 265 grs (net weight)

½ cup of flour

Pinch of onion powder

Pinch of celery salt

Pinch of garlic powder

Pinch of cayenne (optional)

¼ cup of vegetable oil

To make the roasted fennel:

Preheat your oven to 200C/390F.

Thinly slice the fennel and place it in a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle it with some olive oil and sprinkle with some celery salt (or sea salt).

Roast it for 25- 30 minutes till the edges are golden.

To make the roasted cauliflower:

I sliced the cauliflower into steaks just for presentation purposes but you can also just chop it up into small pieces. I used McCormick’s Grill mates Montreal steak seasoning that we bought in the US. You can use any steak seasoning or spices that you like. Or make your own. I’ve listed the ingredients of the seasoning above. 

Add some olive oil to a large pan over medium heat. Add the cauliflower and sprinkle some of the seasoning. Roast for about 7 minutes depending on the size that you sliced/chopped the cauliflower. I like it a bit charred and to still have some bite.

To make the crispy chickpeas:

Rinse your canned chickpeas under cold water. Then pat them dry with paper towels. In a bowl, mix the flour with the onion powder, garlic powder, celery salt & cayenne.

Place the dried chickpeas in the seasoned flour and mix them through. Then pour the chickpeas into a fine mesh sieve. Shake it to remove the excess flour.

Add ¼ cup of vegetable oil to a large pan over medium heat. They don’t need to be deep fried, but it is good to have a thin layer of oil in the pan to get them crispy. Once the oil is hot, fry the chickpeas for about 7-8 minutes untill they get golden.

Transfer the crunchy chickpeas to a bowl lined with parchment paper. Taste for salt and add it if needed.

To serve, mix the romaine with the dressing. Serve with the roasted fennel, cauliflower and chickpeas. Enjoy!

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Sweet Potato & Lentil Sliders on Homemade Mini Pretzel Buns

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I have been craving a veggie burger lately. I am a sucker for small food so I made sliders. Since my husband doesn’t love lentils, I made these with red lentils which don’t hold their shape. This makes it easier to mix them with other ingredients, therefore hiding them a bit. I cooked the lentils in vegetable stock to add more flavor. A panko coating makes this sliders super crunchy. The result was a delicious treat. My husband loved them. I only told him about the lentils afterwards.

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It’s hard to find good sliders buns here, so most of the times I just make my own. I used my Soft Pretzel Twists to make these mini pretzel buns. The ingredients are the same; there are just a few different steps.  Once the dough has risen, divide it into 16 equal pieces.  Then form each piece into a ball. Place the balls in the baking soda/water bath for 30 seconds. Then place them on a prepared baking tray (lined with parchment paper and lightly greased with vegetable oil).  Cut a cross in the middle of each bun, brush the tops with an egg wash and sprinkle with some sea salt. Bake for 8 minutes at 230C/450F. For the recipe of the pretzels just click here.

This recipe makes 14 sliders.

Ingredients:

For the sliders:

600gs of sweet potatoes

½ cup of red lentils

2 cups of vegetable stock

40grs of grated Parmesan

Pinch of onion powder

Pinch of garlic powder

Pinch of lemon pepper

Pinch of celery salt

Pinch of cayenne

Pinch of pepper

1/3 cup of breadcrumbs

2 sprigs of fresh thyme

For the breading:

1 ½ cups of panko

½ cup of breadcrumbs

¼ teaspoon of Salt

¼ teaspoon of Celery salt

¼ teaspoon of Paprika

For the lime mayo:

7 tablespoons of mayonnaise

Juice of ½ a lime

Celery salt to taste

Extras:

2 avocados, sliced

A handful of frisse

Garden cress

Olive oil for pan-frying the sliders

 

Roast the sweet potatoes for 1 hour at 180C/350F.

While the sweet potatoes are in the oven, start cooking the lentils. Place the lentils and vegetable stock in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook until soft, stirring from time to time. This will take about 15 minutes. Once they are cooked, turn off the heat and let them dry out in the saucepan for 30 minutes.  Once the 30 minutes are up, mash them with the back of a wooden spoon.

To make the lime mayo, mix the mayo with the lime juice and celery salt. Set aside.

Once the sweet potatoes are done, peel them and place them in a large bowl. Mash them with a fork. Add the lentils and the rest of the ingredients for the sliders. Mix well.

Mix all of the ingredients for the breading in a bowl.

Grab about 2 tablespoons of the sweet potato mixture and form it into a ball. Coat the ball in the breading. Apply some pressure so it sticks. Repeat for all of the mixture.

Pour about 6 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, place 7 balls in the pan. With the help of a spatula, press each ball a bit to create a hamburger shape. Cook until they are evenly brown on each side.  Repeat for the rest of the sliders.

Serve on the mini pretzel buns, with some frisee on the bottom and top them with avocado, lime mayo and garden cress.

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Zucchini Ricotta Fritters with Avocado-Greek Yogurt Sauce and a quick Beet & Carrot Slaw

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Not the best day to go outside today. There is a summer storm going on and it got worse while we were doing groceries at the market. A tree fell over a road close to our street; luckily we didn’t see anyone hurt. My hubby and I actually ran home on the last 2 blocks because big branches were falling on cars next to us. This is the first time I was actually scared of a storm here.

Veggie fritters are something that we eat quite often at home. They make a super simple and quick dinner. The creamy avocado-Greek yogurt sauce goes very well with the fritters and the slaw adds a nice crunch to the dish. I love eating raw beets and their sweetness mixes very well with the apple cider vinegar from the dressing.

This recipe makes about 10 fritters.

Ingredients:

For the Fritters:

3 Zucchinis, shredded without the core (seeds)

250gr Ricotta

1 egg

Pinch of cayenne

½ teaspoon of onion powder

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

½ teaspoon of lemon pepper (optional)

Pinch of pepper

1 teaspoon of salt

1/3 of a cup of panko breadcrumbs

¼ of a cup of breadcrumbs

Olive oil for frying

For the quick slaw:

2 beets (I used the candy cane variety), shredded

1 carrot (I used a purple one), Shredded

¼ of a cup of olive oil

¼ of a cup of apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons of honey

1 teaspoon of mustard

Salt

Pepper

For the avocado-Greek yogurt sauce:

2 avocado

4 tablespoons of Greek yogurt

Juice of 1 lime

2 tablespoons of chopped parsley

¼ of a teaspoon of celery salt

Extra salt to taste

Decoration:

Chives

 

To make the quick slaw, first shred the beets and carrot. In a bowl, whisk the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, mustard, salt and pepper. Add the beets and carrot. Mix well. Let it sit in the fridge until ready to serve.

To make the avocado sauce, just place all of the ingredients in the food processor and pulse until you get a creamy sauce. Transfer it to a bowl, cover with plastic film and let it sit in the fridge until ready to serve.

To make the fritters, shred the zucchini. I don’t shred the core part with the seeds. Then squeeze out as much water as you can from them. Transfer the squeezed zucchini to a large bowl, add the reminaing ingredients for the fritters and mix well.

Add some olive oil to a large non-stick pan over medium heat.  To form each fritter, just scoop about 1/3 of a cup of the zucchini mixture and place it on the hot pan. Flatten it a bit with a spatula and fry it until golden on both sides. This will only take a few minutes per side.

To serve, spread some of the avocado sauce on each plate and serve the fritters stacked on top of the sauce. Finish it by adding some of the slaw and a bit of chives.