Last week on Saturday I had a huge catering gig: a birthday dinner for 76 people. It was a big success and people loved the food, but I was utterly exhausted afterwards. So I spent this week giving myself time to rest and lunching out for the first couple of days. Thanks to this, I discovered a very nice little cafe in my neighbourhood and the delicious salad I ate there inspired me to make this one.
The cafe that I’m talking about is Roots Helsinki. It is a vegan yoga cafe with a small but healthy and delicious menu. I went there twice this week to have lunch. They have soup for lunch and I’m sure it is delicious but I did not feel like having soup so I tried one of their salad bowls and I loved it.
The salad bowl made me discover 2 things: kale chips (or more like roasted kale) and buckwheat. I used buckwheat a few times before as flour in my gluten free recipes but I never ate or used the grains. I loved it absolutely! As for kale, I had a very unfortunate, gassy experience a couple of years ago with kale and that’s why I was always running away from it ever since. So when I put one of the very few roasted kale pieces in my mouth, I was slightly worried but nope, nothing happened! So I quickly jumped back on the kale wagon.
For my own salad bowl, apart from those two new favourites, I used chickpeas I had home – but roasted them as they taste so much better like that! – and added some veggies and greens. I made a mini dip with tahini since it works great with chickpeas and sprinkled some roasted almonds and pomegranate seeds on top. Oh, and I mixed cooked buckwheat with spring onions. Yumm.
This kind of salad bowls are very easy to make and the options are limitless. You can add / remove any other ingredients that you love / hate! In any case, try buckwheat for sure, it is so tasty! Enjoy!
Difficulty: ★☆☆ (Easy)(but takes a little time)
(serves 2 – big portions each)
125 gr. kale: tear the leaves, wash well, drain and then dry really well
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
400 gr. cooked chickpeas, washed, drained and dried well
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
2 dl buckwheat, washed well
4 dl water
a pinch of salt
4 spring onions
seeds of 1 pomegranate
rucola and other kinds of greens you like, washed well
1 dl tahini
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp parsley, very finely chopped
a handful of roasted, thinly sliced almonds
drizzle of olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 220C.
2. First prepare the kale chips: in a medium bowl, mix kale, olive oil, cayenne pepper and garlic powder (and a pinch of salt if you like, but I did not need to put at all). Put kale leaves on an oven tray with baking paper on, spread as one layer. Roast in the oven, on top rack, for 15 minutes. Take out of the oven and put aside to cool.
3. Second, prepare chickpeas: in a medium bowl, mix chickpeas, olive oil, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, salt and pepper well. Transfer to an oven tray with baking paper on, spread as one layer. Roast for about 30 to 40 minutes (depending on how crunchy you want them to be).
4. In the meantime, cook buckwheat: in a medium pan, put buckwheat and water, add a pinch of salt and put on medium heat. Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, until buckwheat absorbs the water (check if it is cooked; if not, then add 1/2 dl warm water and continue to cook a little more).
5. Peel carrots and cut in strips. Chop spring onions finely. Deseed the pomegranate.
6. Finally, prepare the tahini sauce: add lemon juice and parsley to tahini and mix well. It will get thicken at first but then it will loosen up. Mix cooked buckwheat with spring onions, and then arrange all ingredients in your salad plate as you want. Put some pomegranate seeds and roasted almonds on top. Drizzle with some final olive oil and if you want, add just a little pinch of salt (I did not need to!). Enjoy!