vegan Archive

Lemon Basil Hummus

Despite all of my best efforts to simplify my life, I must be honest with myself that my life is not, in fact, simple.

No, it’s quite the opposite. Mind you, I am not complaining. My life may be busy, but it is busy and full of wonderful things. I am blessed.

In times such as these, I find myself relying on the simplest of recipes. You know, the kind of recipes that call for very few ingredients and take very little time or energy to throw together.

Hummus is probably my favorite of all my busytime recipes. (I just made up that word and I rather like it. Busytimes!) It’s comforting and nourishing. It can be made a million different ways, with a million different flavor combinations.

It is the best snack food.

Of all the hummus variations I’ve tried lately, I think this is my favorite. It’s bright and refreshing, full of flavor and lemony zing. A big thank you to Bean a Foodie for the idea!

Lemon and Basil Hummuse | Rosemarried

Lemon Basil Hummus

Ingredients

  • 2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 heaping tablespoon tahini sauce*
  • The juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 clove or garlic
  • 1 heaping cup of basil leaves, stems removed
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • *Note: if using straight tahini paste, mix vigorously with a few tablespoons of water until the paste is smoothy, creamy, and lighter in color.

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients (except the olive oil) into a food processor. Pulse to combine.
  2. While the food processor is running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Continue adding oil and blend until the hummus is smooth and creamy (or until it reaches desired consistency). Note: if you want to use less oil, you may substitute a few tablespoons of water for olive oil.
  3. Taste, and adjust seasonings if necessary. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of sea salt, and a basil leaf. If not consuming immediately, store hummus in an airtight container in the fridge. Will keep for a week (or more).

Notes

Adapted from Bean a Foodie

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Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Smoky Tomato Sauce: Food Bloggers Against Hunger

No child should go hungry in America, yet 1 in 4 U.S. kids don’t know where their next meal will come from.”The Giving Table

For many of us, it’s hard to wrap our brains around the fact that there is a real and present hunger problem in the United States. We are an affluent and independent country and we have an abundance of food. Yet, somehow, 1 in 4 kids in the US do not know where their next meal will come from.

This is a tragedy.

Last week, I watched a documentary film called A Place at the Table and my eyes were opened. I knew that food insecurity issues existed in the US, but this documentary really digs into the issues of food and hunger in our country. The film states that while charities are non-profits are good and beneficial, that only a change in government policies will truly change the tide. We need better food policies, period.

Which brings me to this post. Today, I am joining the voices of a host of other food bloggers who are taking a stand against hunger.

With our collective voice, we acknowledge the problem and pledge to be a part of the solution.

Food Bloggers Against Hunger

While preparing for this post, I read that people on food stamps are allocated $4 per day for food. I decided to go to the grocery store with $8 in my pocket ($4 for myself and $4 for my husband) to see what I could make. I wanted to avoid processed foods, and focus on real and whole foods. Let me tell you, it was not easy. I did manage to get all the ingredients for this recipe for $8 (save for the few pantry ingredients I had on hand, such as olive oil, salt, and pepper.) but I had to be creative. (Luckily, organic cauliflower was on sale!)

The sad reality is that real food is not affordable. Fruits and vegetables are expensive, chips and soda are not. This is partially due to the fact that corn, soy, and other commodity crops are heavily subsidized. These filler crops are then turned into chips, crackers, cookies, and other processed foods. These foods are full of empty calories, and are largely devoid of nutrition.

It’s a broken system, but it can be changed.

Raise your voice, take a stand, and advocate for the hungry. Here are a few ways you can take part:

Take 30 seconds and send a letter to congress asking them to support anti-hunger legislation.

Watch the film, A Place at The Table: on iTunes, on Amazon, or at a theater near you.

Cauliflower Steak with Red Pepper and Tomato Sauce from Rosemarried

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Smoky Tomato Sauce and Parsley Gremolata

Serving Size: 2

Ingredients

  • 1 (15 oz) can plain tomato sauce
  • 1 (15 oz) can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 handful of fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 tablespoon slivered almonds, toasted
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • The juice of 1/2 a lemon

Instructions

  1. First, roast the bell pepper. If you have a gas stove, you can roast the bell pepper, using tongs, over the burner. Rotate the pepper and hold close to the flame, until it is blacked on all sides. (If you do not have a gas stove, you can place the bell pepper under the broiler and rotate until all sides are blackened.) Once the pepper is blackened, place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to sit for at least ten minutes (this will help loosen the skin and soften/cook the pepper). Remove from the bowl and peel off the blackened skin. Roughly chop the pepper, removing the seeds and stem. Set aside.
  2. Remove leaves and trim stem end of cauliflower, leaving core intact. Place the cauliflower core-side down on a cutting board. Using a large knife, slice cauliflower into half inch “steaks” from center of cauliflower (some florets will break loose; reserve for another use). Depending on the size of the cauliflower, you can get 2-4 “steaks” out of one head.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°. Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil into a large cast iron (or ovenproof) skillet and place in the oven to preheat. Once the skillet is hot, place cauliflower steaks in the skillet and return it to the oven. Cook steaks until golden brown and tender, turning once, about 5-6 minutes per side.
  4. Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add 1-2 cloves of minced garlic, and the chopped onion. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add in the roasted red pepper, tomato sauce, and fire roasted tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Cook the sauce for 15-20 minutes. (Note: I used an immersion blender to puree the sauce, but this was just a personal preference. It’s totally fine to leave the sauce chunky!)
  5. Lastly, make the gremolata. Roughly chop the parsley and toasted almonds. Toss with 1 clove of garlic (minced), a drizzle of olive oil, and the juice of 1/2 a lemon. Season with salt, pepper, and red chili flakes.
  6. Divide tomato sauce among plates or bowls. Place 1 cauliflower steak on each plate; spoon the gremolata over the top of each steak. Helpful hint: a few slices of crusty bread or baguette work nicely for sopping up extra tomato sauce.

Notes

Adapted from Epicurious

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Spring Sandwich with Avocado, Radish, and Greens.

And just like that, everything is new again.

The chill of winter has lifted and life is springing forth from the ground. I see it all around me and I feel it in my bones.

Spring has come.

With the spring comes change. For me, this time of year means many different things; it is a time of celebration, a time of plenty, and a time of joy. It is a time for farmer’s markets and radishes and ramps and spring greens. It is a time for opening up the windows, a time for letting the sunlight and fresh air in.

daffodils

For some of us, this season is also a time of remembrance. A time of fasting and prayer, in preparation for the death and resurrection of Christ. For the past few years, Nich and I have observed Great Lent (aka Orthodox Lent). For six weeks, we abstain from meat, dairy, and alcohol, in preparation for the Easter Feast (Pascha).

I am only one week into Great Lent, but I already feel the effects of fasting. I feel focused and rested, contemplative and clear-minded. I feel hopeful and grateful. And yet, I am struck by the realization that I have so much. I have the freedom to abstain from luxuries such as meat, cheese, and wine. I know that there are many (many) people in this world who aren’t afforded this choice. They abstain because they do not have.

It is a sobering realization that I do not take lightly. Such is the nature of this season – it is a time of hope and of heaviness.

All that said, here’s to spring and all that it brings.

Spring Sandwich with Radishes, Avocado, and Spring Greens

Serving Size: Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 large ripe avocado
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 heaping cup spring greens (baby kale, arugula, spinach, chard, lettuce, etc.), washed and patted dry.
  • 3 radishes
  • Slices of whole wheat sourdough (or other bread of your choice)
  • Whole grain mustard
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt & pepper

Instructions

  1. First, I like to ‘quick pickle’ the red onion. You don’t have to pickle the red onion, but I think it adds a nice vinegary kick to the sandwich. To pickle the onion, first peel the onion and slice 1/4 of the onion into very thin slices (reserve the rest for another use). Place the onion slices in a small bowl and sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt over the onions. Pour red wine vinegar over the onions, just enough to cover and stir to coat. Allow to sit for 15 minutes (or more).
  2. Meanwhile, assemble the sandwiches. In a small bowl, toss the greens with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper. (Be careful not to overdress, use only a little olive oil and lemon juice.)
  3. Spread a thin layer of whole grain mustard onto a piece of bread. Top with half of the greens. Slice the avocado in half, and cut the half into thin slices (reserving the other half for a second sandwich). Arrange the avocado slices atop the greens.
  4. Using a knife or mandoline, slice the radishes into very thin rounds. Place radish slices atop the avocado.
  5. Sprinkle a few of the pickled red onions atop the sandwich. Season with a bit of salt and freshly ground pepper. Top with another slice of bread, or enjoy as an open-faced sandwich.
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Roasted Lemon and Shallot Chutney

Five years ago I moved from Los Angeles, CA, to Portland, OR.

It was quite possibly one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, for so many reasons. It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with this city, this state, the atmosphere, the people, all of it. I really love it here.

But it is precisely this time of year that I find myself missing California. I don’t miss the traffic, the smog, the crowds, or the stress. Really, I just miss the California sunshine and the California citrus. For all of Oregon’s greatness, we don’t have much of either of those two things this time of year. (On the other hand, we do have a lot of clouds, rain, kale, and squash. I like all of those things, but I tire of them easily.)

Last week, my mom gave me a really nice gift. My parents recently went to visit my aunt and uncle in Palm Springs, and my mom brought back a bag of Meyer Lemons from my aunt’s lemon tree. She was kind enough to give me a handful of the Meyer lemons, and it made my entire week. (I’m not kidding.)

I knew I needed to make something special with these Meyer lemons, so I decided to make a version of this roasted lemon chutney. The chutney incorporates all parts of the lemon, and the roasting process mellows the bitterness of the lemon. This is a simple and rustic chutney, and I would highly recommend that you slather it on some crusty bread with a dollop of soft cheese.

Roasted Lemon and Shallot Chutney

Ingredients

  • 1 large shallot (or 2 small shallots), roughly chopped
  • 3 Meyer lemons, plus 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (plus a bit more for brushing)
  • Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons chopped basil or mint

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Wash the lemons and slice into 1/4 inch thick rounds (discard the end pieces). Use a knife (or fingers) to remove the seeds from the lemon slices. Place the lemon slices on the baking sheet and brush with a bit of olive. Sprinkle a touch of sea salt over the lemons.
  3. In a small bowl, toss the chopped shallots with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place on a separate baking sheet (or in a small baking pan). Roast the shallots until they are tender and lightly browned, around 15 minutes. Once the shallots are cooked, remove them from the oven and set aside until needed.
  4. While the shallots are cooking, roast the lemons (on a separate oven rack). Cook the lemons for ten minutes, and then turn them over and continue roasting until they are very tender and are beginning to brown (about 20 minutes total cooking time). Remove the lemons from the oven and set aside to cool.
  5. Once the lemons shallots are cooled, transfer them to a food processor. Add in the olive oil, honey, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Add a bit at a time and pulse until the mixture comes together (it will look creamy, with a few chunks). Taste and adjust the seasonings until the chutney is to your liking. Allow to sit for 2 hours before serving, to allow the flavors to meld. If adding in chopped herbs, stir them into the chutney right before serving.
  6. The chutney can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Enjoy!
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Vegan Kale Caesar Salad with Hazelnuts and Meyer Lemon

Fun fact: did you know that the Caesar salad originated in Mexico? An Italian immigrant named Caesar Cardini moved to Tijuana in the 1920′s and opened a few restaurants. It is rumored that he invented the now-famous salad one evening when he ran out of his usual salad dressing ingredients and was forced to make up a salad dressing on the spot. The salad was a huge hit, and its popularity quickly spread to the United States. Nowadays, you can find Caesar salads on menus across the country, from high end restaurants to fast food chains.

So, there’s your history lesson for the day!

What I would like to do today is re-write a little bit of culinary history. I would like to reclaim the Caesar salad. Don’t get me wrong: I love a good Caesar. I love it when the lettuce is fresh and crisp, when the dressing is made from scratch (and with love!). I love the salty brine of the anchovies. The crunch of the croutons. The bite of the garlic.

But let’s be honest… when was the last time you had a good Caesar salad? Caesar salads have devolved into convenience store food; pre-packaged in plastic containers filled with with rubbery white chicken (complete with fake char marks!), soggy croutons, and wilted lettuce. Most modern-day Caesar’s resemble nothing of Cardini’s 1920′s invention.

As for my version of the Caesar, it is also a far cry from Cardini’s original recipe. My version is vegan, which means it contains no eggs or anchovies. While I love a classic Caesar dressing, there’s something about the vegan version that I adore. It actually tastes like Caesar dressing – it’s creamy, briny, peppery, and garlicky. The key to this dressing is the capers (and the caper brine), as they add that certain fishy/briny element that we all know and love in a classic Caesar.

This dressing is really simple to make, it’s flavorful, and it’s healthy. And since I want to start my new year off on the right foot, I thought I’d share this recipe with you all. I’ve been making a version of this dressing for years, but in the past I’ve made it with olive oil, almonds, and romaine lettuce. I decided to class up the recipe a little, and make it with dinosaur kale, hazelnuts, Meyer lemons, and hazelnut oil. I couldn’t be happier with the results, it’s a delightful winter salad.

One last funny tidbit, and then I’ll post the recipe. I must confess, I added some roast chicken to the salad. It completely negated the veganness of it, but oh well. It was delicious. That’s the best thing about this salad, there’s a lot of wiggle room. You can change and edit it as you see fit.

Vegan Kale Caesar Salad with Hazelnuts and Meyer Lemon

Ingredients

  • Salad ingredients:
  • 1 large bunch Dinosaur Kale (also called Black Kale or Lacinato Kale)
  • 1/3 cup toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • Optional salad ingredients:
  • Red bell pepper, sliced thinly
  • Carrots, sliced thinly
  • Meyer lemon zest
  • Garlic croutons
  • Protein: Tempeh, Tofu, Grilled salmon, chicken, etc.
  • For the vegan Caesar dressing:
  • 1/3 cup toasted hazelnuts
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 3/4 cup silken tofu
  • 2 tablespoons hazelnut oil (or olive oil)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice
  • 1 heaping tablespoon capers
  • 4 teaspoons caper brine
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. To make the dressing, first pulse the hazelnuts in a food processor until they are finely ground (1 minute or so).
  2. Add in the silken tofu, lemon juice, capers, caper brine, garlic, salt, pepper, and red wine vinegar. Process until the mixture is thoroughly blended.
  3. While the food processor is on, slowly pour in the hazelnut (or olive) oil, until the dressing is thick and creamy. (Note: There is no need to worry about the dressing being completely ‘smooth’. I happen to like the nutty texture, so I blend until it reaches the texture I like. There is a lot of flexibility with this dressing, just make it how you like it!)
  4. Once you have mixed the dressing, taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Add in salt and a healthy dose of freshly ground black pepper. If the dressing doesn’t taste briny enough, add in a bit more of the caper brine. Set aside.
  5. To assemble the salad, slice the kale into thin strips with a sharp knife. Toss the kale with the dressing and any other ingredients (carrots, bell pepper, croutons, protein, etc.). If the dressing is too thick, feel free to dilute with a bit of water or more oil.
  6. Sprinkle the salad with remaining hazelnuts and capers, and season with a few grinds of black pepper.
  7. Serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 24 hours. If you are not serving the salad immediately, I recommend squeezing a bit of fresh lemon over the salad prior to serving. If you have extra dressing, it will keep in the fridge for up to a week.
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Thai Coconut Butternut Squash Soup: Here’s to a Happy and Healthy 2013!

I’m not gonna lie, this year was a doozy.

There were a lot of ups and downs, but I got through it. It wasn’t easy, but it was good.

I am happy, I am healthy, and I can honestly say that I am welcoming the new year with a spirit of excitement and anticipation. I know there are a lot of good things ahead.

I don’t really do New Year’s resolutions, they just aren’t my thing. However, I view the new year as an opportunity to reflect and to refocus. It’s a time to be thankful, and a time to move forward.

And, as silly as it might sound, it’s a time to get back to eating healthy, to eating the food that makes me feel good. (While I love all the treats and goodies that come with the holidays, they make me feel downright miserable!) It’s time to eat more fruits and vegetables. And it’s time to eat less grains, sugar, and processed foods.

I am ready for the new year, and whatever changes it may bring.

I’m ready to start things off on the right foot.

All that to say, here’s to a happy and healthy 2013.

{The following is a list of recipes that I’ve been inspired by recently.}


Butternut Squash with Farro and Honey Harissa Dressing
from Happy Yolks
Garlicky Kale with Bacon and a Poached Egg from Pearl & Pine
Scallops with Carrot Cream and Marjoram from Food Republic
Braised Coconut Spinach with Chickpeas and Lemon (over a Sweet Potato) from The Kitchn
Raw Kale, Cabbage, and Carrot Salad with Maple Vinaigrette from Gourmande in the Kitchen
Vegan Pho from Green Tea Broth from The Cozy Herbivore
Wintery Spring Rolls from 101 Cookbooks

{And here are a few of my own recipes that are healthy and seasonal.}

Pumpkin and Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing
Quinoa Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Roasted Red Pepper Cream
Potato and Kale Soup with Tomatoes and Rosemary
Roasted Carrot Tacos with Carrot Green Chimichurri
Roasted Broccoli with Honey, Sriracha, and Soy Sauce
Chickpea Pancakes with Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad

{And here is a brand new recipe for a spicy butternut squash soup!}

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Thai Coconut Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
  • 6-7 cups vegetable (or chicken) stock
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled & minced
  • 1 small yellow or white onion, peeled & diced
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass (or 1 tablespoon frozen lemongrass, which can be found in most Asian grocery stores)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lime juice, plus 2 large strips of lime zest
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce (omit if vegetarian)
  • 1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • Coconut or olive oil
  • Optional garnishes:
  • Cilantro
  • Sriracha hot sauce

Instructions

  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat oil (coconut or olive oil) over medium heat. Add in the minced onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more. Add in the curry paste, coriander and cumin, and stir to coat.
  2. Next, add in the squash cubes, stock, coconut milk, lemongrass, fish sauce, and lime juice and zest. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Allow the soup to simmer for 30 minutes (or more), until the squash is cooked through and tender. Remove lime zest strips and lemon grass stalk.
  3. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until it reaches a smooth consistency. Taste, and adjust seasonings as necessary. (If you feel the soup is too thick, feel free to add in more stock or a bit of water to thin it out.)
  4. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with Sriracha and fresh cilantro.
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Pumpkin & Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing (Recipe Swap)

Last month, I wasn’t able to participate in the Recipe Swap, as I was driving across the country with my sister. In two years of swapping, this is the only post I’ve missed! I was bummed to miss out on all the recipe swap fun, but driving across the country isn’t exactly conducive to cooking. (On the contrary, driving across the country is conducive to eating a lot of crappy food and drinking gas station coffee.)

That being said, it’s good to be back.

There are times when Christianna emails the swap group our recipe for the month, and I’m completely inspired by it. This was not one of those times. This month’s recipe – “Russian Salad” is just plain nasty. It’s essentially a potato salad with veal and herring. (Yes, herring.) If I’m being truly honest, I got to the herring part of the recipe and decided to read no further. I am just not down with fish in my potato salad. So, I went in a totally and completely different direction. Really, the only thing my pumpkin kale salad has in common with Russian Salad is that they are both….salads. That’s it.

I blame this salad on Pinterest. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but there’s been a bit of a ‘pumpkin craze’ on Pinterest as of late. It’s all pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin cookies and pumpkin cocktails, etc, etc. I hate it! You see, I love pumpkin. I love it in curries and soups and stews. I love pumpkin in salads, gratins, and casseroles. Pumpkin is an amazingly flavorful and versatile fruit. And, sure, I love pumpkin pie as much as the next person, I just happen to believe that pumpkin does not belong in coffee. ;)

So, this is my take on the Russian salad, as well as my official submission to the great pumpkin craze. I hope you like it.

PUMPKIN & KALE SALAD WITH TAHINI DRESSING
Makes 6-8 servings

Salad ingredients:
1 small heirloom pumpkin (or 1/2 of a large pumpkin)
2 heaping cups of chopped lacinato kale
2 heaping cups of roughly chopped romaine lettuce
1/2 cup candied pecans*
1/4 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
Salt & pepper
Olive oil
1 teaspoon nutmeg

For the Tahini dressing:
2 tablespoons sesame tahini paste
2 small cloves of garlic
the juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon water (more, if needed)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt & pepper

*You could easily make your own spiced or candied pecans, or use plain pecans. I happened upon some candied pecans at Trader Joe’s that I thought were quite tasty in this salad.

Method:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil or a Silpat.

Using a sharp knife, cut the pumpkin in half. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and then cut each half in 2 or 3 pieces (whatever is easiest to handle). Using your knife, carefully remove the pumpkin skin from each segment. Once the skin is removed, chop the pumpkin into 1″ cubes. In a bowl, toss the pumpkin cubes with olive oil, salt, pepper, and nutmeg to coat. Spread the pumpkin pieces into an even layer on the baking sheet, and roast until fork tender, but firm (about 30 minutes). Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

While the pumpkin is cooling, mix the dressing together. Stir together tahini, olive oil, and lemon juice. The mixture will thicken and turn a lighter shade. Begin adding water, a little at a time. Stir until the mixture is light and creamy, and the desired thickness. Stir in yogurt and garlic and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

In a large bowl, toss together the chopped lettuce and kale. Toss with tahini dressing, and gently mix in the pumpkin cubes, pecans, and minced parsley. Toss with a bit more tahini dressing, until coated. Taste, and season with extra salt & pepper, if needed.