This vegan pumpkin salad is from Nina Olsson’s new book, Bowls of Goodness, featuring vegetarian recipes in bowl form for easy, healthy meal ideas. The salad is packed with seasonal veg like beets and radishes, then topped with a gorgeous creamy tahini dressing – autumn in a bowl.
I got this absolutely stunner of a book in the mail a couple of months ago but have been waiting to share a recipe until now. I fell in love with all of the autumn chapters, perhaps because I was looking a little further ahead than I should have been – in any case, I would happily make and eat every single recipe in this book. Most of the recipes are truly full meals in a bowl, and this style of cooking is so easy and has such great results.
It’s really the way to live on a WFPB diet, especially if you’re a batch cooker like I am. This vegan pumpkin salad was the recipe that jumped out at me on my first look through the book, when I bookmarked several to try in the upcoming months, so I waited until the ingredients were in season again. It was the first time I’ve had beets and pumpkin since last winter, and what a treat! I’m sure I’ll start to get sick of them as we subsist solely on root vegetables during the colder months, but for now they’re a revelation all over again.
Bowls of Goodness by Nina Olsson takes the concept of whole foods, plant based bowls and expands on it to create a beautiful, carefully thought out cookbook that deserves a spot of honour on your shelf. To be quite honest at first I thought I wouldn’t be so impressed with this book – I already eat a whole foods diet and half my food is in bowl form. But Nina has written a truly wonderful cookbook that’s full of ideas I want to incorporate into my eating habits.
In my opinion, every single recipe in the book is suitable for a weekday meal, but many are also lovely to serve to guests or as a holiday meal. It’s also encouraging me to move outside my comfort zone a little in terms of flavour and some ingredients that I wouldn’t often think to add to my bowls. It’s vegetarian, not vegan, but cheese and eggs aren’t mainstays in any sense. They could easily be replaced with vegan alternatives. The book isn’t soy heavy but a handful of recipes use tofu, tempeh, and miso.
It’s a highly accessible book, but far from boring or plain. Nina comes from a fine art and design background so of course the book is gorgeous and packed with really lovely photography. It’s written in an engaging and straightforward way that’s suitable for people new to plant based cooking (I’ll happily gift this book to friends and family) but it’s great for people who are familiar with this style of eating, too. I received the German edition as a review copy but the content is the same – the titles might be a little different so bear with me!
A handful of recipes I can’t wait to try:
• Mushroom Pasta – Tagliatelle in white wine sauce with mushrooms, thyme, and tarragon
• Back to the Roots Bowl – Roasted vegetables with broccoli puree, carrot dressing, & sprout salad*
• Chai Vanilla Pears – Poached pears in red wine & Indian spices
• The Green Queen – Avocado with poached egg & miso carrot dressing
• Fig & Pear Salad with Walnuts – fruit, nuts, & goat cheese (no cheese for me)
• Japanese Noodle Soup – Soba noodles and tofu in spicy ramen broth
* this recipe looks so good that I’m willing to eat sautéed kale, my most hated vegetable.
This particular recipe is a warm autumn salad with roasted pumpkin, root vegetables, seeds, and a creamy tahini dressing over greens. It knocked my socks off and I’ll be making it all autumn and winter. The dressing is amazing and it combines so perfectly with the earthy, sweet vegetables and herbs. I’ll mix in some puy lentils or chickpeas and maybe serve it with a little quinoa next time I make it to up the protein a little more, but it was very filling even without those little additions.
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This recipe is lightly adapted from Bowls of Goodness: Vibrant Vegetarian Recipes Full of Nourishment. Copyright © 2017 Nina Olsson. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, Edel Germany GmBH and translated into english.
- 1/2 of a small pumpkin, about 400g, with seeds
- 400 g beets, cut into wedges (4 medium)
- 2 small red onions, cut into wedges
- 1 bunch radishes, halved
- Olive oil for roasting
- 1 handful thyme leaves
- 1 small handful oregano, chopped*
- 1 small handful tarragon leaves
- 1 handful rucola**
- 1 handful sunflower seeds***
- Sea salt
Lemon Tahini Dressing
- Juice of half a lemon
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- Sea salt
- Fresh ground pepper
- Preheat your oven to 200C / 400F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Remove the seeds from the pumpkin and place them into a sieve. Rinse with cold water, then place the seeds in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, drain, and place on one of the prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle some salt over the seeds and bake for about 5 minutes or until the seeds are golden. Watch carefully so they don't burn.
- Peel the pumpkin if necessary and cut into bite-sized pieces. Place the pumpkin, beets, onions, and radishes onto the other prepared baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil over the vegetables and add the salt, thyme, sage, and tarragon. Roast for about 25 minutes, or until the pumpkin and beets are soft. Watch carefully for the last five minutes as you don't want the vegetables to be too soft.
- Place the roasted vegetables into a large bowl and fold in the rucola. Top with the pumpkin and sunflower seeds and serve with the tahini dressing.
Lemon Tahini Dressing
- Mix all of the ingredients in a small container and add water if needed to thin the dressing.
• I ended up roasted my seeds for just over ten minutes before they were properly golden, but I think she used a butternut squash in the recipe and they have much smaller seeds.
• When I added water another time making the tahini dressing, my dressing separated and I had to use my stick blender to emulsify it. It ended up being really thick and creamy and I used it as a dip.
* I substituted oregano for sage as I have it in the garden, but sage is clearly the better choice in this recipe.
** The recipe calls for spinach, I used rucola (arugula) but I think any hardier green would be good.
*** I switched sunflower seeds in for hulled hemp seeds.