Beetroot & Sweet Potato Salad with Baked Cashew Cheese


Beetroot & Sweet Potato Salad with Baked Cashew Cheese

I get a lot of my cooking inspiration from restaurant menus, normally not vegan or even vegetarian restaurants. I love being able to take a dish containing animal products and make it vegan-it’s sort of my gentler way of putting two fingers up and saying “ha, I don’t need your animal products- I made your dish better- for us, the planet and the animals!”

This “Beetroot & Sweet Potato Salad with Baked Cashew Cheese” is my take on the beetroot & goat’s cheese salad I’ve been seeing on menus all over the place.

Eliminating cheese is a doddle when you’ve got cashews, the magical nut! I usually use cashews for creamy sauces and spreads, but to replicate goat’s cheese’s crumbly texture I baked my blended mixture to dry it out, taking this recipe as my starting point.

I used the same recipe back in the summer for my Herby Courgette Galette recipe (Please excuse the terrible pictures, photography’s been a steep learning curve!) and learnt then that straining the cheese didn’t achieve much so I skipped that step this time.

Baked Cashew Cheese

Here’s what my little ramekin of cheese looked like out of the oven.

Baked Cashew Cheese
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  1. 1/3 C (Heaped) Cashews, soaked, drained and rinsed
  2. 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  3. 1 Tbsp Neutral Oil (I used Organic Sunflower)
  4. 1 Tbsp Water
  5. 1/2 tsp Salt
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F
  2. Blend all the ingredients together in a food processor or high-power blender for 5 minutes (This helps the cheese firm up so even if it’s smooth blend for the full amount of time).
  3. Pour into a lined/oiled ramekin. Bake for approx 25 minutes, until firm on top and beginning to turn golden.
  4. Remove from oven and let cool completely in the fridge.
  1. *This makes twice the amount you need for the salad but it’s nice to use in other dishes too)
Adapted from C'est La Vegan
Adapted from C'est La Vegan
Coconut and Berries

Beetroot & Sweet Potato Salad with Baked Cashew Cheese

To turn this into a meal-worthy salad I bulked it up with roasted sweet potato chunks, some spicy rocket leaves and a scattering of toasted pine nuts. Simply delicious.

Beetroot & Sweet Potato Salad with Baked Cashew Cheese

Yield: 2-3 Servings


  • 3 Medium-size Beetroot
  • 2 Medium-size Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cut into 2” chunks
  • 1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Sprig of Thyme
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 3/4 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Parsley, coarsely chopped
  • Handful of Rocket leaves
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Pine Nuts OR walnuts, toasted
  • 50g/2oz/1/2 Recipe Cashew Cheese (See Above), crumbled


  1. Pre-heat oven to 200C/400F
  2. I like to roast beetroot using the tin-foil method. Alternatively, if you want to avoid getting messy, you can also use the pre-cooked kind (usually found in vacuum packs).
  3. Drizzle sweet potato chunks with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and spread in a roasting pan with the thyme. Roast for approx 25 minutes, until soft and golden.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk mustard, vinegar and olive oil together for the dressing.
  5. Peel and chop cooked, peeled beetroot into chunks the same size as the sweet potato.
  6. In a large bowl, toss the beetroot and sweet potato with the dressing. Add the parsley and rocket, salt and pepper to taste and toss again. (You can either wait until the roasted vegetables are cool to do this or eat the salad warm, in which case the rocket will wilt).
  7. Remove to a serving dish and top with the toasted pine nuts and crumbled cashew cheese.

I’m submitting this recipe to the weekly link-ups: Wellness Weekends and Healthy Vegan Fridays

Beetroot & Sweet Potato Salad with Baked Cashew Cheese

Have you successfully veganized any dishes you’ve seen on restaurant menus? Or have you got any you’d like to challenge me to veganize?!

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway! 3 free codes for the Vegan Delish app to win!

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Miso-Curry Roasted Squash with Crispy Chickpeas & Kale


Hello all! Hope you’ve had a good weekend wherever you are in the world. Mine included some work, a trip to the farmers’ market, a rainy canal walk with a friend, and, unsurprisingly, some cooking!

Miso-Curry Roasted Squash with Crispy Chickpeas & Kale

Squash is definitely one of my favourite foods at this time of year and I adore seeing all the different varieties piled high at the Farmers’ market. I snapped a quick picture yesterday as they were too pretty not to share.

Farmers' Market Squash

I managed to resist buying them all and reminded myself that the market will be there next week and the week after and so on…so there will be plenty of time for more squash. I did pick up one though. I don’t actually know what variety it was, I mainly chose it because I liked the colour/markings and because it wasn’t as huge as some of the others. I am cooking just for me most of the time!

Farmers' Market Squash

I so enjoyed my Thai Tempeh Red Curry last week and still had half of the little jar of paste sitting in my fridge so was keen to do use it in something else.

In this recipe chunky pieces of squash and chickpeas get a generous coating of a blend of red curry paste, miso and olive oil, before heading to the oven for a roasting. When the squash is lovely, soft and sweet and the chickpeas are crisp, they’re mixed up with silky ribbons of kale, massaged in a dressing made from the leftover miso-curry sauce, along with pumpkin seeds and fresh coriander for added yumminess.

Miso-Curry Roasted Squash with Crispy Chickpeas & Kale

This recipes’s a cinch to put together, especially since this squash was actually easy to chop! I have a scar on my thumb testament to a previous battle with a butternut…

Miso-Curry Dressing

I used these Tamari-Roasted Pumpkin Seeds from Clearspring, as I was feeling extra lazy and didn’t want to get out a pan to toast my pumpkin seeds. Though thinking about it now, you could just throw raw pumpkin seeds onto a baking sheet and roast them for a few minutes while your squash and chickpeas are in the oven.

Clearspring Tamari Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Miso-Curry Roasted Squash with Crispy Chickpeas & Kale:

(Adapted from Super Natural Every Day)

1 Small/Medium Squash (Mine was 500g/Just over 1lb), cut into large chunks/moon shapes (if you’re using a butternut you’ll need to peel it)
1 1/2C/1 Can Cooked Chickpeas
1/4C Olive Oil
1/4C (scant) White Miso
1T Red Curry Paste
2T Lemon Juice
3C Kale (I used Cavolo Nero), de-stemmed and cut into ribbons
1/3C Pumpkin Seeds, Roasted
Large Handful of Fresh Coriander/Cilantro, roughly chopped or simply de-stemmed

Combine the olive oil, miso and red curry paste in a small bowl and toss about 1/3C of this with the squash and chickpeas in a large bowl. Use your hands to make sure it’s all coated. Spread onto a baking sheet and roast for 25-30 minutes, until squash is tender and chickpeas are crisp.

Meanwhile, whisk the lemon juice into the remaining miso-curry mixture until emulsified. In the large bowl you used for the vegetables, toss the kale and the dressing (you may not need all the dressing). Massage with your hands until the kale shrinks down a little and gets silky.

When squash and chickpeas are cooked, toss with the kale, remove to serving dishes or a platter, sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and coriander, and serve.

Serves 3-4


Miso-Curry Roasted Squash with Crispy Chickpeas & Kale

My Warm Butternut & Lentil Salad with Tahini Dressing is another of my favourite squash recipes. What are yours? Send them my way please!

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Butternut & Lentil Salad with Tahini Dressing


T is for…Tahini!

Oh the trials and tribulations of food blogging! I made this dish last night but since I didn’t realize the time and got started on dinner too late, the light had gone by the time it was ready so I couldn’t get any good pictures Sad smile My apologies but this is definitely a repeater recipe so when I make it again I’ll update the post.

Repeater recipes are, in fact, rare around these parts, quite simply because I love to try new things and there aren’t enough meals in the day to allow me to eat the same thing over and over. This, however, is one of my all-time favourite meals and I’ve made variations on it many a time.

Warm Butternut Lentil Salad with Tahini Dressing

Tahini sauce has got to be one of the best things ever. I know many of you agree…

My Favourie Tahini Dressing

Drizzled (liberally) over sweet roasted squash and perhaps my favourite legume, puy lentils, it’s bound to be good.

The original recipe came from the Casa Moro Cookbook (Moro is a wonderful restaurant in London if every you get to visit. The dishes are Spanish, North African and Eastern Mediterranean inspired, and, although it’s not vegetarian, normally there are various veg or adaptable dishes on the menu) but I came across it on the blog Orangette a few years ago and and have adapted it to my tastes. I hope you love it as much as I do!

Warm Butternut Lentil Salad with Tahini Dressing

Warm Butternut & Lentil Salad with Tahini Dressing:

1/2 Medium Butternut Squash (Approx 400g/1lb), cut into large chunks
1/2T Olive oil
2 Cloves garlic, squashed with the flat edge of a knife
Large pinch of salt
1/8t Cinnamon
1/2C Puy Lentils
1C Vegetable Broth
1/4 Red onion, finely diced
Fresh parsley to serve, coarsely chopped

Tahini Dressing:

1 Small clove of garlic, minced
Pinch of salt
1 3/4T Lemon juice
1 1/2T Tahini
2T Water (depending on thickness of your tahini)
1t Maple syrup

Preheat oven to 200C/425F

Toss squash, smashed garlic, olive oil, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl until all coated in the oil. Spread mixture into a roasting dish and cook for 15-20 minutes, until cooked through and edges are beginning to caramelize.  Set aside.

While squash is cooking, simmer the lentils, in the vegetable broth, covered with a lid, for approx 20 minutes, or cook according to your package instructions. Drain if any liquid remains and set aside.

Whisk together all the dressing ingredients, adding more or less water to reach your desired thickness

Stir the red onion into the lentils and add several grinds of pepper.

Spread lentils onto a serving platter, top with the roasted squash (remove garlic cloves), a generous drizzle of the tahini sauce and chopped parsley. Hold a little of the tahini sauce on the side, for dressing at the table.

Serves 2


Warm Butternut Lentil Salad with Tahini Dressing

Of course, I use tahini for many other things than just this salad. Tahini sauce is great on almost anything. It’s commonly served with falafel. Rather than a falafel wrap I like to top a big salad with a few falafel balls and then douse in tahini sauce. I also love it on roasted beetroot, dark leafy greens or steamed broccoli.

These Tahini Noodles sound really delicious to me too. Of course tahini can be used in sweet recipes too. It’s great as an alternative to peanut butter, spread on a banana for a snack, or try these Raw Chocolate Caramel Tahini Delights.

Of course I love my own Chocolate-Sesame Biscotti too.

Even though it’s Saturday tomorrow and this month I haven’t been posting at weekends, check back here as I hope to bring you a post for the letter “U” to get through the last of the letters in the alphabet for my A-Z series.Print

Baby Leaf, Apple & Sunflower Seed Salad with Miso-Lemon Dressing

Babyleaf, Apple & Sunflower Seed Salad with Miso-Lemon Dressing|

Sunflower Seeds!

I chose sunflower seeds for “S” more to push myself than for any other reason. We all fall back on our staple ingredients, and sunflower seeds are not one of mine. Cashews, almonds and more recently,  hemp seeds, are my most used nuts/seeds, tending to overshadow the humble sunflower seed. After this month I hope to take heed of my advice and make the most of the variety in my pantry.

Babyleaf, Apple & Sunflower Seed Salad w/Miso-Lemon Dressing

As well as being just as versatile and nutritious as other nuts and seeds out there, sunflower seeds are one of the cheapest. A particular bonus for someone like me, who likes to think of themselves as rather frugal…!

Over here sunflower seeds are normally seen hulled but I know that in other countries they’re especially popular roasted in their shells, salted, and eaten as a snack.

The way I normally eat them is as a salad-topper for a little crunch and a nutrition boost and came up with a simple side or starter salad for today’s post.

Babyleaf, Apple & Sunflower Seed Salad w/Miso-Lemon Dressing

I knew I wanted to include apple in my salad since we were given these gorgeous ones from a neighbour. The same kind neighbour who gave us the plums!

Aren’t they pretty? I love how pink they are, even the flesh has a pinkish hue as if the colour from the skin has somehow seeped into it.

This is really quick to put together so ideal for when you want a salad to go with your main meal but more than just some unadorned greens. I used a mix of baby leaves for the base,  added some very thinly sliced red onion, slivers of apple and a generous handful of sprouted sunflower seeds. I like to sprout seeds and legumes as I like their fresh, crisp taste and it also makes their nutrients more bio-available (see here for more info and a handy guide to sprouting) but toasted, or even just raw seeds would still be tasty.

I dressed the salad with a miso-lemon dressing which was a nice slightly salty, tangy contrast to the sweet apple.

Babyleaf, Apple & Sunflower Seed Salad w/Miso-Lemon Dressing

Babyleaf, Apple + Sunflower Seed Salad with Miso-Lemon Dressing:

2 Generous handfuls of Baby leaves (or mild greens like spinach or pea-shoots)
1 Medium dessert apple, thinly sliced
3T Sunflower seeds (sprouted, toasted or raw)
1/4 Red onion, very thinly sliced

Miso-Lemon Dressing:

1T Lemon juice
1/2T White miso
1/2T Olive oil
1/2t Tamari

Whisk together the lemon juice and miso until completely smooth then add the other ingredients and whisk to emulsify.

In a large bowl toss the salad leaves with as much dressing as it needs (add it slowly as you don’t want it to be soggy and you probably won’t want all of it)

Plate the salad: Place a layer of leaves on the plate(s), then scatter over the red onion and seeds. Finally, arrange the apple slices on top.

Serves 1-2


Babyleaf, Apple & Sunflower Seed Salad w/Miso-Lemon Dressing

As usual, I’m sharing some of the sunflower seed recipes I’ve come across which appeal to me or that I’ve made an enjoyed:

Firstly something sweet from The Kitchn: Sunflower-Date Raw Cookies

This Broccoli Raisin Sunflower Seed Salad is a favourite

Sunflower seeds are soft, so, after a soak, blend up well. They are a nice, cheaper alternative to cashews in vegan, creamy sauces like this Creamy Herb Sunflower Dressing/Dip. This recipe also uses them, along with cashews, to make a sour cream of sorts, then swirled into black bean soup. I’ve made this one and can vouch for its yumminess!

2 more dips/spreads I want to try are: this Super-Simple Gingery Sunflower Seed Paté and this Raw Carrot, Almond and Sunflower Seed Paté

I am loving Vegan MoFo but it’s leaving me no kitchen time at all for trying all the  wonderful creations from other bloggers and my cookbooks. The creativity around the blogosphere this month has been so phenomenal that I’m amassing a rather overwhelming number of recipes too!

Have you picked up any great recipes, tips or info this month?


Curried Chickpea, Mango & Quinoa Salad:

Curried Chickpea, Mango & Quinoa Salad:

Q is for…Quinoa!

Could it really be anything else?! Even if there were other ingredients that began with “Q” I’m almost certain quinoa would have beaten them all.

Curried Chickpea, Mango & Quinoa Salad

I’m pretty sure quinoa was something I’d never had before vegan days. It’s amazing how many foods I didn’t even know existed before I went vegan. People have no idea what they’re talking about if they think a vegan diet is limiting!

It’s become a staple in my kitchen and I eat it probably several times a week now.

It cooks and looks like a grain, and I generally treat it a bit like one, even though it’s actually a seed.

I’m happy eating it plain as a side-dish to a saucy curry or stew or the base of an all-in-one bowl meal. It can be ground into a gluten-free flour and used in baked goods. I used it as a binder in my Kidney Bean, Sweet Potato & Quinoa Patties. It’s also delicious cooked in nondairy milk and served as a porridge with your favourite toppings….the list is endless!

Curried Chickpea, Mango & Quinoa Salad

I thought about doing something more unusual today, but in the end fell back on an old favourite- the quinoa salad. I often make a large grain/bean salad and eat it over a few days as they tend to keep well in the fridge. Quinoa seems to absorb the flavours of the other ingredients and dressing you add, making your salad just get better over time.

I’m a big fan of adding fruit to salads but I know a few people aren’t into the sweet/savoury combination so sorry but today’s recipe isn’t for you :(

Starting with a base of quinoa, I added some chopped celery and green onions for crunch, chickpeas for more substance, a generous handful of raisins and large chunks of sweet mango. Coated it all in a mild curry dressing and finally stirred through some toasted almonds.

I was so happy to eat leftovers today!

Curried Chickpea, Mango & Quinoa Salad
Curried Chickpea, Mango & Quinoa Salad:

2C Cooked + cooled quinoa (approx 1/2C dry)
3/4C Chopped celery
1/2C Raisins
4 Green onions, thinly sliced
1 1/2C/1 Can Cooked chickpeas
1 Medium mango, cubed
1/3C Chopped, toasted almonds


2T Lemon juice
1t Maple syrup
1 1/2T Olive oil
1/2t Salt
1 1/2t Mild curry powder
1/2t Ground cumin
Several grinds of black pepper

Curried Chickpea, Mango & Quinoa Salad

Combine all salad ingredients, except for almonds in a large bowl. Whisk together dressing ingredients in a jar. Add dressing to the bowl and toss well. Add almonds just before serving to retain crunch.

This salad is best if made a few hours (or a day) before serving to allow the flavours to mingle.

Serves 4


I’m submitting this recipe to the weekly blog hops, Wellness Weekends and Healthy Vegan Fridays.

Curried Chickpea, Mango & Quinoa Salad

If I haven’t yet convinced you to add quinoa to your diet or eat it even more than you already are, maybe its amazing nutritional profile will!

What’s typically highlighted is that quinoa contains all essential amino acids, making it a complete protein, unlike any other plant food. It is a particularly concentrated source of calcium as well as having high levels of other minerals such as iron, magnesium, magnesium and copper. It’s rich in fibre and is of course gluten-free, so ideal for those with gluten sensitivities too.

Now tell me…can anyone name another ingredient beginning with “Q”?! As per my self-imposed rules this month, it has to be a pantry ingredient, so no fresh fruits and vegetables allowed.