Kale Salad with Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli


Kale Salad
Kale Salad with Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli | veganblondes.com

I love a basic kale salad to which I can add many different things, whatever is left in my fridge, or some leftover veggies. This time, I had some broccoli, cauliflower, and cremini mushrooms in the fridge. You can achieve the same wonderful results with sweet potato, butternut squash, pan fried zucchini, and crisp-roasted red onions. The vinaigrette for this kale salad is a basic vinaigrette I use for everything. I used barley for the grain in this particular version, but I love trying different grains with this salad. For example, wheat berries or sorghum would be perfect here. Tuscan kale is usually my favorite, but any kale would be totally cool. Try it once, you will love it and keep experimenting! This recipe serves 2.

For the salad:

  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 10 asparagus spears, trimmed
  • 2 cups cremini mushroom, cleaned and sliced
  • 3 cups kale, torn
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • Olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked grains (barley was used in this particular version, cook according to package instructions)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Toss the cauliflower and broccoli florets with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and put in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, until crisp golden on the outside, but still crisp on the inside. Toss the asparagus with some olive oil, salt and pepper, and put in the oven for about 4-5 minutes, until the asparagus are still crispy.

While the vegetables are roasting, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the mushroom and sauté for about 10 minutes, until nice and crisp.

For the vinaigrette:

  • Juice of one lemon
  • Olive oil, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Whisk all the ingredients in a small bowl. Taste and adjust seasoning.


Place the kale in a large mixing bowl. Add a drizzle of lemon juice, olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Massage the kale with your hands for about 2 minutes. Add the cooked barley and mix well. Place the kale and grain mixture in two serving bowls. Top with the roasted cauliflower, broccoli, and asparagus. Add on the sautéed mushrooms. Drizzle with some vinaigrette, to taste, and enjoy a nice big bowl of deliciousness! It’s as easy as that! Bon appétit!

Homemade Vegetable Broth

Vegetable Broth
Homemade Vegetable Broth | veganblondes.com

I have to admit, I don’t always make my own broth. But when I do, I use whatever vegetables I have left in the fridge. For the batch I made today, I had some leftover leeks (the top green part you never need in any recipe), so I used that instead of onion. Mushrooms also give broth a nice depth. You can add tomato as well. Depending on what I’ll be using the broth in, I make a different version. I have a spicy version (to which I add a chile pepper, some cloves, cinnamon and some pepper) as well as a milder version. Follow the process below and add what you have and enjoy some homemade goodness.

  • 2-3 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 parsnips, roughly chopped
  • 1 rutabaga or turnip, roughly chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
  • a dozen sprigs fresh parsley
  • 5-7 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2-3 leeks (top green part) or 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, keep the peel and smash them lightly
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 serrano chile (optional)
  • 8-10 whole cloves (optional)
  • 6-8 whole pepper (allspice) (optional)
  • 6-8 whole white peppercorns (optional)
  • Sea salt (optional or to taste)

Place all the ingredients in a big soup pot. Fill the pot with fresh water. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for about one hour. Taste and adjust seasonings and return to a simmer for another 15 minutes. Strain using a fine-mesh strainer. You can keep the broth for about 4 days in the refrigerator, but feel free to freeze it in smaller containers for future use.

Note that if you have the time and the energy, you can roast the vegetables (drizzled in olive oil) for about one hour at 400 degrees prior to putting them in the water and boiling. This adds a crazy amount of depth too. This broth is so good, you can drink it!


Vegetable Broth
Homemade Vegetable Broth | veganblondes.com

Jackfruit Curry

Jackfruit Recipe

As you saw in a previous post, I bought a whole fresh jackfruit from the market. The rest went down nicely, ahem. But my favorite dish from the three recipes my 8-pounder allowed me to make was this jackfruit curry. The flesh of the jackfruit lends itself so nicely to Indian spices, and the curry was wonderful served on rice, or just about any other grain. Since I had a fresh jackfruit, I used about 4 cups fresh flesh to make this recipe, but you could easily do the same with a 20-oz can of jackfruit. Most recipes call for canned jackfruit anyway. Enjoy!

  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 dried red chiles
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 cups puréed tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup water

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cumin and mustard seeds. Cook until they sizzle, about 1 minute. Add the bay leaves and dried red chiles, and cook for 30 seconds more. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, and a pinch of sea salt. Cook for 5 minutes, until translucent, stirring often.

Add coriander, garam masala, turmeric, and a pinch of black pepper. Stir well. Add the puréed tomatoes, the jackfruit, and a pinch of salt. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.

Uncover and cook for an additional 10 minutes, to thicken the sauce. Add water, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Taste and adjust salt and seasonings. Cook for an additional 10 minutes or until you reach the desired consistency. Enjoy!


Whole-Wheat Potato Gnocchi with Super-Fast Tomato Sauce

Whole-Wheat Potato Gnocchi with Super-Fast Tomato Sauce | veganblondes.com

This is the quickest and easiest whole-wheat gnocchi recipe you’ll find! Five ingredients for the gnocchi and five for the sauce. Does’t get easier than that! Made it tonight and it was sooooo good! Plus, you have a video down here to help making the gnocchi.

Serves 2.

For the Gnocchi:

4 small potatoes
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flower
2 Tbsp chia seeds
1 cup water
a pinch of salt
For the Tomato Sauce:

1 large can (200ml) Italian plum tomatoes
5-6 leaves of fresh basil
1 large clove of garlic
olive oil
salt to taste
Tomato sauce:

In a pan, heat garlic in olive oil. Add pureed tomato sauce and let it simmer for 30 minutes on medium heat. Yes, that’s it!


I’m visual. So here’s our “1-Minute Blonde Trick” on how to make them!

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Peel potatoes and add to pot. Cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, cool and mash with a fork or potato masher.
  • Soak chia seeds in 1/2 cup of water for about 5 minutes. Drain.
  • Combine mashed potato, flour, water, and soaked chia seeds in a large bowl. Knead until dough forms a ball.
  • Shape small portions of the dough into long “snakes”. On a floured surface, cut snakes into one-inch pieces.
  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Drop in gnocchi and cook for 3-5 minutes or until gnocchi have risen to the top; drain and add to sauce.
  • Stir until gnocchi are well-coated with sauce.


I went to a vegan BBQ…

So, yes. I did it. I put the words vegan and BBQ in the same sentence. I know. But Monday night was a feast in the greater, powerful sense of the term. Not only a feast for the eyes, but a fuzzy feeling inside, and this delightful state of not wanting to stop eating. Ever.

The vegan BBQ started with the vegetables. Of course. Aren’t they so enticing? Organic plants that just won’t stop giving. The colors, the smells… Even the kids wouldn’t stop eating the raw veggies before I grilled them. My first star was the BBQ’ed cauliflower. I often go back to the same BBQ sauce my mom used to make (from scratch), and use it on different vegetables. I only swapped the butter in the recipe for an Earth Balance spread.

Vegan BBQ
Vegan BBQ Prep | veganblondes.com

Then came the corn, onions, zucchinis, mushrooms, peppers, and more onions, because I have a serious addiction to onions, garlic, anything belonging to the Allium genus really, to Cat’s great despair. That is the ONE thing on which we disagree while cooking. 🙂

The trick when grilling a bunch of vegetables is knowing when to put them on, so they are all ready at the same time. It takes a bit of practice and common sense, but just think about it before putting them on. Obviously, a zucchini will cook way faster than an onion. Here’s a chart from Addicted to Grilling, it could help at least steer you in the right direction. The other important thing is oiling your vegetables. That will impart flavor, of course, but it will prevent from sticking. So now, close your eyes and imagine a BBQ filled with stuff. Now imagine that this stuff is all vegetables!

Vegan BBQ
Vegan BBQ Grilling | veganblondes.com

Feel free to add skewers of marinated tofu, tempeh, or seitan. I made some freekeh to accompany the vegetables, served with a Pepita-Cilantro Pesto, from another recipe, and I had a meal. Trust me, the flavors of the grill can also be applied to a vegetable. Those portobello mushrooms were better than a flatiron steak. Great thing also is if you have leftovers, you can either reheat the next day in the oven, or make a vegetable soup. Either way, you can’t go wrong! Enjoy your vegan BBQ!


Vegan BBQ
Vegan BBQ Eating | veganblondes.com

Broccolini with Pine Nuts and Raisins

Broccolini with Pine Nuts and Raisins | veganblondes.com

This broccolini dish was so satisfying, and you really feel like you’re eating clean. Look good, feel good, right? My kids loved this because of the sweetness of the raisins, and it made them eat some broccolini, which is high in vitamin C. It also contains vitamin A, calcium, folate, and iron. I took my inspiration from Peter Berley, which I love. His cookbook The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen is one of my favorites.

  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
  • 2 bunches broccolini, trimmed and cut in 2″ lengths
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • Lemon wedges, to serve

In a large pot, bring some water to a boil. Add the garlic and let cook for 3-4 minutes. Remove the garlic to a paper towel lined plate.

With the water still boiling, add the broccolini and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Drain.

In a pan, heat up the oil over medium heat. Holding the pan on its side, so the oil pools to one side, add the garlic and sauté for about 2 minutes, until starting to turn golden. Level the pan and add the pine nuts, raisins, and red pepper flakes. Sauté for about 2 minutes.

Add the broccolini, season with salt and pepper to taste, and sauté until tender, 5-6 minutes. Serve with the lemon wedges. This is a great one. You can serve with a grain for a complete meal.