by Buffy Ellen 0 Comments

It’s happened. Our shortest day in New Zealand. June 21st. The winter solstice. I actually had to google this one, and the official word on our shortest (and darkest) day is, it’s “an astronomical phenomenon, marking the day with the shortest period of daylight and longest night of the year”. The earth is angled in such a way, that when it spins on its axis, most of the turn is covered in darkness (this image here is a pretty good pictorial depiction). Which in foodie terms means, time to bring out the roast vege.

    This terrifically tasty winter salad is just what you need on such a day. The perfect combo of sweet silky roasted butternut and delicately spiced chickpeas, all drizzled in my favourite flavour fulsome dairy-free aioli. Warming she is indeed, yet at the same time, light enough to leave you feeling ready to hit the slopes (or whatever it is you love to do in winter).

            Yes, these belly warming Spiced Pumpkin and Chickpea Salads are…

            • 15 minutes of active prep time (then do a dance while they bake),
            • On the table in 30,
            • The perfect combo of sweet, salty, spicy and creamy,
            • Naturally gluten free, high in protein and iron, rich in low GI energy sustaining complex carbohydrates, and packed with colourful antioxidants and phytonutrients, and
            • My hands down favourite mid-week dinner right now.

              Get your oven on the pre-heat and come make these roastie bowls with me! They'll be a guaranteed family/flat/friend/fiancée winner, I promise.

              So what’s involved? A quick roast of delicious naturally sweet butternut pumpkin. A mix of chickpeas with some simple yet punchy spices. Roast ‘em all up together until golden and hot. Then serve a top your favourite salad greens and drizzle in copious amounts of this cult-classic Cashew Aioli here. Sound simple? It is. And it’s good, trés bien.

              I’ve used butternut pumpkin here as it’s particularly delicate and sweet, but any pumpkin or winter squash will do – crown pumpkin, winter squash, or any local variety of these Halloween-invoking vege you have grown locally near you. I’ve then added red onion for extra sweetness and bite, though shallots also work beautifully here, or good ol’ brown onions if you’re in a pinch. Then the salad? Again, whatever you’ve got around – I used a combo of mizuna, curly kale, cavolo nero, baby spinach, rocket, and buttercrunch, as that’s what we had in our garden. But anything will do.

              Finally, the aioli. I used to make this with cashews only, but lately have been doing a half half mix of cashews and sunflower seeds, which reduces the cost, and gives it a slightly earthier taste – perfect for savoury recipes. Save your cashews for cakes like this one here!

              If you make these winter solstice Spiced Pumpkin and Chickpea Salads, I’d love to see your versions on Instagram. Share your photos and tag me @begoodorganics and #begoodorganics, and @begoodorganics in the image, so I can come say hi. You can also share your pics over on my Facebook page under my latest post here, or leave me a comment below. If you follow me on social media you’ll know I love sharing your recreations on Facebook and Instagram each week - I’d love for that next feature to be you!

              Hope you love these super salads – we’ve had them on high dinner rotation the past few weeks. And until the earth starts its tilt back the other way, they’ll be a regular for a few months yet.

              Til next week, stay happy and well.

              x Buffy-Ellen

              PS If you like this recipe, pin it on Pinterest, share it on Facebook or Twitter, or post your recreation on Instagram. As you know, I publish all my recipes here on the blog for free, so if you could share them with your loved ones, I would be forever grateful! Also, if you're not already subscribed to my weekly recipe emails, be sure to do that here, and don't miss my next video by subscribing to my YouTube channel here.

              Spiced Pumpkin and Chickpea Salad

              VeganVegetarianDairy FreeGluten FreeWheat FreeNut FreeSugar FreeSoy FreeOrganicCruelty Free

              Please note - if you are wanting to meet any of the specific dietary requirements above, please read my notes below the recipe.

              Serves 4-6

              Takes 30 minutes
               
              Make with

              Want to make this recipe but missing an ingredient? Simply click on the ingredient link to go to our store and order it online. We deliver to NZ, Australia and internationally daily.

              Always use certified organic, local and fairly traded ingredients wherever possible

              1.3 kg butternut pumpkin (cut into 1cm slices)
              2 x 400g chickpeas, rinsed and drained (or 3 c cooked chickpeas)
              4 tbsp melted coconut oil
              4 red onions (quartered)
              16 cloves garlic (chopped)
              2 tsp cumin
              2 tsp turmeric
              2 tsp smoked paprika
              2 tsp sea salt
              1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

              Cashew Aioli Dressing
              1c cashews
              (soaked overnight) (or use 1/2 sunflower seeds)
              1c water
              2 small cloves garlic
              1/2 lemon (juice, flesh and rind)
              2 tsp apple cider vinegar
              1/2 tsp sea salt
              2 tsp dijon mustard 

              To serve
              Salad greens, dressed with olive oilapple cider vinegar and sea salt

              1/4 toasted/activated pumpkin seeds

              *For a richer and more traditional aioli, replace 1/4 c of your water measure with 1/4 c olive oil - decadent and delicious!

               c = 250ml cup, tbsp = 15ml tablespoon, tsp = 5ml teaspoon

              How to
              1. Preheat oven to 200°C (390°F) on fan bake. Add pumpkin, onion and garlic to a roasting tray along with 2 tbsp oil and 1 tsp sea salt.
              2. Meanwhile, mix together the chickpeas, spices and remaining 2 tbsp oil and 1 tsp sea salt, then add to the same baking tray. Continue to bake until the pumpkin is golden brown (taste-testing helps, of course). 
              3. While the veggies and chickpeas are roasting, make your Cashew Aioli Dressing. Drain and rinse your cashews, then add all ingredients to a high speed blender and blend for 1 minute until super creamy, scraping down the sides a few times in between to push down any chunks.
              4. Mix your salad greens with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, a dash of ACV, and pinch of salt, then plate into bowls.
              5. Serve by placing roast veggies and chickpeas on top of your beds of greens, then dress with 2 tbsp aioli and 1 tbsp of toasted/activated pumpkin seeds per plate.
              6. Enjoy!
              Notes
              • If you have any leftover Aioli, pour into a sealed glass jar and keep in the fridge for up to 4 days. It thickens beautifully in the fridge, but you can always thin it down with a little extra water or olive oil the next day. 
              • To make the aioli nut-free, simply replace the cashews with an equal measure of sunflower seeds or watermelon seeds. This also makes this salad even more budget-friendly - fantastic!
              • To make this salad even heartier, you can add 1/2 cup cooked quinoa or brown rice per person. Just add a little extra dressing to make sure everything is well coated!
              • Don't peel your pumpkin, especially if its organic - the skin roasts up beautifully, and a lot of the nutrients are in fact contained between the skin and flesh. Plus, they make your hair curly right?

              PS - the plates, linen and tableware I’ve used are from Citta Design



              Buffy Ellen
              Buffy Ellen

              Author

              Buffy is the founder of Be Good Organics, and loves creating delicious yet simple plant-based whole foods recipes. Buffy also oversees our Be Good Organics online store, full of plant based goodies that she personally uses and loves. Sign up for our newsletter below to be the first to receive her weekly recipes.




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