Italian-Inspired Chickpea Salad

An incredibly bold and lively Italian-Inspired Chickpea Salad from Frances McCormack, this takes just minutes to make andis served with a Wholegrain Mustard and Balsamic Dressing. Packed with flavour, this makes a great sandwich spread or topping for a bed of greens. Serves 1 as a large salad, or 2 as a side or sandwich spread.

For the salad
1 can chickpeas, drained and minced
1 roasted red pepper (I used one from a jar), finely diced
3 sundried tomatoes, finely chopped
8 black olives, finely chopped
Large bunch basil, chiffonaded

For the dressing
1 tbsp suitable-for-vegans wholegrain mustard
1 tsp maple syrup
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Mash the chickpeas. Mix with all of the salad ingredients.
2. Whisk the dressing ingredients together. Season to taste.
3. Toss the salad with the dressing, a little at a time, tasting as you go (I used all of the dressing, but I like bold flavours).

Crustless Tofu and Vegetable Tart

Bound to be a winner for lunch or breakfast, this tart is sett on the outside and slightly creamy inside. It’s filled with vegetables and potatoes for for plenty of colour, texture, and flavour.


For the Vegetables:
2 medium potatoes, peeled and finely diced
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, finely diced
10 black olives, finely chopped
1 bunch asparagus, in 1 inch pieces
4 green onions (scallions) chopped
1 cup spinach, minced
1 bunch basil, minced

For the Tofu:
400g tofu, drained and pressed
2 tsp onion granules
1 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 cup aquafaba (liquid from can of chickpeas)
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 heaped tbsp yellow miso
1 tsp turmeric
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tbsp cornflour
3 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp chickpea flour

1. Preheat oven to 180C. Oil a loose-bottomed cake tin.
2. Sauté the potatoes until browned. I used the air fryer at 200C for 15 minutes, tossing midway through.
3. Add the potatoes and vegetables to a large bowl.
4. Mix the tofu ingredients in a food processor. Stir into the vegetables and mix well to combine.
5. Transfer the mixture to the cake tin, and even off the top. Sprinkle with plenty of black pepper.
6. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Cover with foil, and bake 40-50 minutes more, or until set (check with a knife inserted into the centre; there will be a little residue on the knife, but the tart shouldn’t be too wet). Serve and enjoy.

Couscous and baby kale salad with apricots and sun-dried tomatoes

This salad provides a simple light lunch or a solid appetizer.


1 cup of water
1/4t of coarse sea salt
1/2 cup of whole wheat couscous
1 cup of packed baby kale greens
1/4 cup of boiling water
1/4 cup of dried apricots
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the dressing

2T of packed sun-dried tomatoes
2T of olive oil
2t of lemon juice
1t of dried thyme, rubbed
1t of dried mint, rubbed
1t of ground cumin
1/2t of ground coriander
1T of garlic, minced
1t of ginger, minced


Add the apricots and sun-dried tomatoes to a small bowl.
Add 1/4 cup of bowling water to rehydrate.
Let stand for 10 minutes.
In a pan with a lid, bring the water to a boil with the sea salt and add the couscous.
Cook as directed (couscous will often cook without heat if it’s left to stand, but it varies).
Add the soaking liquid from the apricots to the couscous and stir to combine.
Add the remaining ingredients to the sun-dried tomatoes and apricots.
Toss to combine.
Add the baby kale greens.
Toss to combine.
When the couscous is finished, plate and add the kale, apricots and sun-dried tomatoes if you’ll eat immediately or toss to combine to pack up.

If you pack it up with hot couscous, the kale will wilt a bit. If you don’t like wilted kale, toss the couscous in a little olive oil and chill before adding the other ingredients. Additional greens, raisins, figs, walnuts, pepita seeds and other add-ins will give it more flavour, texture and nutrition.

Rye and baby kale salad with sun-dried tomatoes, clementines and kalamata olives

A simple fall salad that relies on a combination of basic ingredients for its bright colours and flavours.

3 cups of vegetable stock
1/4t of sea salt
1 cup of rye berries
2T of sun-dried tomatoes minced
1t of dried thyme, rubbed
1t of tamari
2T of olive oil
2t of lemon juice
2T of nutritional yeast
1 scallion minced (reserve 2-3″ of green reserved for garnish)
3 cups of baby kale greens
1 clementine, peeled and segmented, pith removed
2T of kalamata olives, chopped
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Bring the stock to a boil in a pan with a lid and add the rye berries.
Cover and simmer for 1 hour on low until the stock is absorbed.
Remove from heat and add the sun-dried tomatoes, scallions, thyme, tamari and nutritional yeast and stir to combine.
Let stand 5 minutes to cool.
Add the baby kale greens and stir to combine.
Let stand 5 minutes to wilt.
Whisk the olive oil and lemon juice and dress the salad.
Season to taste.
Plate the rye and kale.
Add the clementine, then the olives, then the scallion for garnish.

Deep dish white pizza with kale, sun-dried tomatoes and kalamata olives

A thick-crust pizza with a white sauce made from red lentil, cabbage and artichoke white sauce accented with sesame, oregano, nutritional yeast and white miso.


For the dough
2 1/4 cups hard wheat flour
1/4t coarse salt
1T dried Italian herbs
1 cup warm water
1T yeast
4T olive oil, divided
1/2 coarse yellow corn meal

For the sauce
1/2 cup red lentils
1 1/2 cup water
1/4t coarse sea salt
1 cup cabbage
1 cup artichoke hearts
1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk
1T white miso
1T fresh garlic, minced
2T olive oil
2T sesame seed butter
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2T tapioca flour whiskey with 3T cold water
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the toppings
1t dried oregano, rubbed
1/4t coarse sea salt
2T sun-dried tomatoes, reconstituted
2T kalamata olive, pitted and chopped
1 cup of kale, coarsely chopped
1/2T olive oil


Start the dough, then make the sauce and then add the toppings.
Combine salt and flour in a bowl.
Combine the water and yeast according to your yeast’s instructions.
Once the yeast proofs, whisk in 2T of oil.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients.
Kneed for 10 minutes on a floured board.
Let rise at least 1 hour in a clean, lightly oiled bowl, covered with a damp clean kitchen towel.
Punch down from time to time.
While the dough is rising, make the sauce.
In a small saucepan with a lid, bring the water to a boil with 1/4t coarse sea salt.
Add the red lentils, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Add the remaining ingredients except for the tapioca flour and water.
Simmer on medium low, uncovered for 15 minutes.
While the sauce simmers, roll out the dough on a lightly floured board.
Oil a 9″x9″ baking dish with the remaining 2T olive oil.
Sprinkle the corn meal evenly across the bottom.
Puree the sauce and return to a light simmer.
Whisk the tapioca with water until dissolved.
Stirring continuously, add the tapioca mixture to the sauce slowly until thickened.
Set aside and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
While the sauce cools, preheat the oven to 450F.
Add the dough to the pan, and pinch up the sides about 1″.
When the sauce has cooled a bit, add to the dough in an even layer.
Sprinkle the sauce evenly with the coarse sea salt, the oregano, the sun-dried tomatoes and olives, and the kale last.
Drizzle with the 1/2T olive oil.
When the oven is ready, bake on the middle rack for 25-30 minutes, until the crust is starting to brown lightly. Ovens vary; use the color of the crust as a guide.
Remove from the oven, let cool 10 minutes, slice and serve.

Brown lentil, toasted millet bowl with spinach, kale, and sun-dried tomatoes

Stir fried with tamari, garlic, scallions and embellished with spiral cut carrots, raisins, milled flax seed, and nutritional yeast, this is a simple to prepare and nutritious dish. Makes a large bowl for 2 or a filling side dish for 4.


For the lentils and millet
2 cups water
1/3 cup dry brown lentils
1/3 cup hulled millet
1 ‘sprig’ kombu (about 1″)

For the sauce
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (dehydrated, not jarred)
1/2 cup boiling water
2 scallions, finely chopped
1T fresh garlic, minced
1T tamari

For spinach and kale
2 cups packed baby spinach
1 cup packed kale, stemmed coarsely chopped
1/4 cup raisins (I use sultana)
About 1 cup, spiral cut carrots

For the garnish
2T cold milled brown flax seed
2T nutritional yeast
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

Optional: A little lemon or lime juice will add some sour flavour. Some chopped olives will add some additional flavour and fat. A mix of orange and purple carrots, a little spiral cut golden or red beet will add a lot of colour and some additional nutrition.


Start the millet and lentils, and then assemble the rest of the bowl. In a small pan with a lid, toast the lentils and millet for about 3 minutes (stirring frequently). Add the water and kombu. Bring the pan to a light boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Remove from heat, remove the kombu, and let fluff about 5 minutes.

At about the 15 minute mark, bring half a cup of water to a boil and add it to the the sun-dried tomatoes to rehydrate. Set aside.

While the lentils and millet are fluffing, add the spinach, kale and raisins to a large bowl. Using a spiralizer or a mandoline, cut the carrots in fine, noodle like shapes, Or if you prefer, use a box grater to grate, or use a knife to cut matchsticks. Mix the milled flax seed and nutritional yeast.

When the millet has fluffed, bring the pan back to heat on medium heat. Add the tamari, the water from the sun-dried tomatoes, the scallion, and the garlic. Stir fry for about 2 minutes until the water has been absorbed.

Add the millet and lentils to the greens and stir
thoroughly to combine. Sprinkle in the the nutritional yeast and flax seed. Stir to combine. Let stand about 5 minutes to wilt the greens lightly. Season to taste, bowl out, and serve!

Fresh pappardelle with chickpeas, maitake mushroom, sun-dried tomatoes and kale

A simple pasta with a light, but satisfying and flavourful sauce.


For the pasta
1 cup semolina flour
1t tapioca flour
2t cornstarch
1/3 cup + 1T water
2 liters water with 2t coarse sea salt for boiling.

For the sauce
1 cup cooked chickpeas
2T cooking oil
1/4t coarse sea salt
1/4 cup scallion, minced (2-3 scallions)
1T fresh garlic, minced
1/2T dried green herbs (I use herbes de Provence)
1 cup maitake mushrooms, trimmed and broken into 1″ strips
2T sun-dried tomatoes (dehydrated, not jarred) rehydrated in 1/4 cup water
2 cups green curly kale, chopped coarsely
2T nutritional yeast
2T pasta water
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

Optional: Other mushrooms will work here, but maitake (also known as hen of the woods or signorina mushrooms) have a lovely mild flavour and a soft texture, as well as a good nutritional profile. A little kalamata olive in this dish would also be nice. If you make the chickpeas from dried, about 1/3 cup dried will yield 1 cup cooked. Replace the pappardelle with fettuccine, linguini or spaghetti if you prefer. Replace the kale with small broccoli florets, flat leaf parsley, spinach, or other greens — just be sure to adjust the cooking time and the amount to your taste.


Start the tomatoes, then the pasta, and then the sauce.

Bring 1/4 cup water to a boil and reconstitute the sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl. Mix the semolina flour, the tapioca flour and the cornstarch. Add the water and mix until a smooth elastic dough forms. Knead for another 2 minutes. Let the dough rest, covered with a warm moist tea towel in the mixing bowl for about 15 minutes.

When the dough is ready, roll out on a lightly floured board to a large rectangle about 1/8″ thick. Cut the pappardelle in long strips (10″ – 12″ by 1/2″), preferably with a pastry cutter. Let the strips dry on the cutting board while you make the sauce.

Bring a large frying pan with a lid to heat on medium high. Add the oil and sea salt. Add the scallions and saute for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and green herbs. Saute for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and saute for 3-5 minutes. Add the chickpeas, the sun-dried tomatoes and their water. Deglaze the pan. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until the pasta is ready.

Bring the 2 liters water to a boil. Add the salt. Add the pasta. Swirl the pan to separate the pasta. Boil lightly until for 2- 3 or until the pasta is done (it will float). Drain gently, reserving about 2 tablespoons of water for the sauce. Add the water the sauce and stir to combine. Rinse the pappardelle with cold water and set aside to finish the sauce.

Add the kale and stir to combine for about a minute or two until the kale is nicely wilted but still a vibrant green. Remove from heat. Add the nutritional yeast and stir to combine. Season the sauce to taste. Plate the pasta, add the sauce and serve. Garnish with additional nutritional yeast if you like.

Brown lentil, teff stew with sun-dried tomatoes and lemon cashew cream

A rich but simple stew with nutrient dense teff, kale, and sauerkraut. This makes 4 smaller bowls, 2 larger ones.


1/4 cup brown lentils
2 1/2 cups water, divided
1 ‘sprig’ kombu (about 1″)
1/4 whole grain teff
1/4 cup scallions, minced, 3″ – 4″ green reserved for garnish
1T fresh garlic, minced
1/4t coarse sea salt
1/2T herbes de Provence (or similar)
1/4t black pepper, freshly cracked
1/4t dried red chilis (or to taste)
1 cup vegetable stock
2T sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped (dehydrated, not jarred)
1 cup tomato passata (or puree)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 cups green curly kale, coarsely chopped
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the garnish
2t cashew butter
2t lemon juice
2T plant milk (I use soy)
1/4t coarse sea salt (or to taste)
3″ – 4″ scallion green sliced on an angle
2T sauerkraut per bowl (I use unpasteurized)

Optional: Sesame seed butter will also work for the garnish. Use green, black and dupuy lentils in place of brown. Slowcook if you prefer.


In a small saucepan with a lid, bring 1/2 cup water to a light simmer. Add the lentils and kombu. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes. Drain the lentils reserving the kombu.

Dry the pan and add the teff. Toast for 2 – 3 minutes on medium heat. Add the scallions, garlic, pepper, chili, sea salt, and herbs to the pan. Stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the lentils and the remaining 2 cups water to the pan. Return the pan to a simmer, reduce heat to low, cover and
simmer 25 – 30 minutes.

Uncover and remove the kombu. Add the stock and sun-dried tomatoes. Increase heat to medium low. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add the passata and simmer another 5 minutes or so. Add the kale and nutritional yeast and stir
to combine. Let stand 2 – 3 minutes for the kale to wilt and soften.

Mix the cashew butter and lemon juice. Add the plant milk and sea salt. Mix thoroughly until dissolved. Season the stew and the cashew mixture to taste.

To plate, ladle/spoon out the stew. Add the cashew mixture and design if you like. Add the sauerkraut and serve.