Friday, 1 January 2016

Creamy red pepper dressing for bowl food

Happy new year!  Hope you had a good one last night and are recovering from the shock that it is now 2016.  I am working on a 2015 reflections post to upload soon.  Meanwhile I will share a lovely red pepper salad dressing we have been enjoying over the last few days.

New year is a time to review and renew.  After all the festive indulgences, some lighter food is required in our house.  One of the dishes that I loved in 2015 was "bowl food".  By which I mean arranging separate grain and salad components in a bowl with a dressing.

I've decided 2016 needs more bowl food.  It is a great way to include lots of vegies in dinner.  For us it means I can serve E and I similar dinner to Sylvia whose dinners are quite similar to bowl food.  (I've got her tasting iceberg lettuce by serving her dinner with hummus.)  All it needs is different dressings to keep it interesting. 

Above is a bowl of falafel, lettuce, red pepper, grated carrot, snow peas, tomato and dressing.

Here is another healthy bowl.  This one is filled with chickpeas, tofu bacon, lettuce, red pepper, grated carrot, snow peas, tomato and dressing.

The dressing made a delicious meal of simple ingredients.  It was made because I bought a bag of red peppers cheaply and roasted them before Christmas.  We had some in wraps but when I tired of them I blended them up with lots of seasoning, nuts and tahini.  It was slightly reminiscent of muhammara and also inspired by a ranch dressing recipe.  A little tangy, a little sweet and slightly spicy.

I served it last night on New Year's Eve though you might find it harder to spot.  I put together a selection of toppings for haggis tacos.   The haggis filling was made by frying up cherry tomatoes, kidney beans, smoked paprika and cumin and then mixing with my regular haggis recipe.  I had intended to make guacamole but decided mixing avocados with some of the red pepper dressing would do just as nicely.

The tacos were very filling.  It was followed by trifle (which I will share soon), a stretch on the sofa and a post prandial walk to the park.  We had intended to go to local fireworks but they were cancelled due to the heat.  And after a day of 39 C, even with a trip to the Sun Cinema to see Love the Coopers, I didn't have a lot of energy by evening.

We also ate the dressing like a dip with crackers and spread on salad sandwiches.  The final dregs of the dressing were used up tonight on another bowl of food.  It was a pretty lazy meal of leftovers.

Today we went to Geelong to see my sister and family who have arrived from Ireland last night.  It was lovely to share lunch and a swim at the pool.  My sister made a delicious brown rice salad and gave me the leftovers.  We ate it tonight with leftover taco haggis, tomatoes, cheese, lettuce and red pepper salad dressing.  Just lovely.

I am sending the dressing to Kimmy for Healthy Vegan Fridays #80.

More interesting salad dressings on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Avocado dressing
Blueberry dressing
Carrot almond sauce 
Maple sesame dressing
Tomato pomegranate vinaigrette
Vegan buttermilk dressing
Yoghurt taco dressing
And for more: salad dressings ideas

Creamy red pepper salad dressing
Inspired by Green Gourmet Giraffe and Healthy Blender Recipes

1 cup of roasted red pepper strips
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp tahini
1 garlic clove
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp chilli sauce
1 small spring onion, chopped

Blend until smooth.  (I used a high powered blender.)

On the stereo:
A Sesame Street Christmas


  1. Happy New Year to you Johanna. Look forward to your 2015 reflections post, I do enjoy reading them. I actually went to bed at 11pm yesterday, the red wine had to my head, that I couldn't keep my eyes open and now here we are 2016. I need more dips and dressings in my diet, and yes Bowl food too - bowl food is comfort food.

    1. Thanks shaheen - I was so tired after a hot day that I only just lasted to midnight - I think as I get older midnight does not hold the same allure it used to :-)

  2. Wishing you and your family a very Happy New Year, Johanna. I do like the sound of the haggis tacos! What a hot day! We went to see Love the Coopers but it was billed as being an American version of Love Actually but I felt it fell way short. I think it could have been so much better xx

    1. Thanks Charlie - I think it helped that we had never heard of Love the Coopers and went in with no preconceptions. I prefer Love Actually too!

  3. Happy new year! I agree with you about bowls and want to make more of them this year. I love the Bowls chapter in Isa Does It :)

    1. Thanks Faye - I must revisit isa's bowls - they are all so good (not that I have made them all but I would love to)

  4. Happy New Year Johanna and it has gotten off to a delicious start for you. I'm also into bowl food and salads. It's not even a conscious thing, I think my body just craves it!

    1. Thanks Lorraine - I crave vegies after too much indulgent eating or just on a hot day - am really into celery lately which is a big change for me!

  5. Happy New Year Johanna! I love those bowls, they do sound like a fun way to encourage the children to eat veggies (and adults too!). I'm definitely going to try out that idea! I can just imagine how delicious the red pepper dressing is!

    1. Thanks Kyra - sylvia really loved having hummus in the middle of her bowl because she is not adventurous with her sauces - that will be another project for me :-) but at least she loves her vegies

  6. There's something always appealing about bowl food - I don't know if it's that 'little bit of everything' vibe, or that it always makes me think of eat-off-your-lap comfort food, but I can't argue that 2016 definitely need more of it. The dressing looks just right for the bowl revolution!

    1. Thanks Joey - yep bowl food is comfort food, tea on the knee food, finger food, easy food! All good for me and what I need in 2016

  7. What healthy and fresh looking meals - it seems as if you have kickstarted 2016 in a delicious fashion!

    1. Thanks Kari - we have been eating a bit of bowl food this year - which helps to balance the rest of the festive load!

  8. Looking forward to your reflections post =)
    I personally love bowl food. I used to like making a bunch of separate things for supper, it's so much easier to combine everything.
    Fireworks cancelled due to heat, huh? What interesting weather.
    The dip sounds good - sounds like it would go well with so many bowls =)

    1. ps. thanks for sharing this on Healthy Vegan Fridays - I'm featuring it this week =D

  9. This those delicious! I'll have to find some pomegranate molasses around here to try out the recipe.


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