A beautifully textured and savoury vegan salad, perfect as an accompaniment to a braai/barbeque or at a summer picnic.
🌱Swiss Chard = nutritional powerhouse 🌱
It really is not accidental that the good old cartoon character, strongman Popeye, ate copious amounts of spinach to retain his strength.
From a quick search I found that Swiss chard spinach is packed with nutrition. It is high in:
- Vitamins A, C, E and K.
I have not always been vegan, nor vegetarian. Shock & horror, I know. 😜
My love for cooking, baking and culinarily creating came at a very young age with the receipt of a child’s cookbook as a gift. I still have this book, in fact, more for sentimentality than anything else.
So after finishing Matric/Grade 12 I took a gap year and decided on a cookery course to fill my spare time. I ended up enrolling for a part-time catering course at the Pick n Pay School of Cookery. It really was the beginning of discovering a whole new world of food for me! Before this course I had not even tasted fresh coriander (cilantro), I remember being handed a small piece and relishing the new flavour experience with wide eyes!
I learnt a lot there, and it added great richness and value to me. Amongst the full recipe book that we were given are a few dishes that I have made over and over again, and which are just winners, so more adapted veganised versions of them where this came from!
This recipe for spinach and mushroom salad was one of the first I tried at home. At that point in time if anyone had said ‘salad’ to me, I would have thought basic tossed green salad, potato salad, pasta salad, chicken salad. Eish!*
Now that I am vegan, with plants making up my entire diet, I know that there is far, far more to salads than a green salad with iceberg lettuce and cucumber – vegan salads are some of the most delicious dishes I have ever had, as a vegan or not!
This particular salad though was my awakening!!
It seemed only natural to veganise it and tweak the recipe in order to allow it to fit with my current lifetsyle.
My favourite way to eat this salad is at a braai in summertime. A braai is a South African term for a barbeque, where we cook, usually outside, over an open flame (not gas, to call a gas fire a braai is sacrilege).
So, pour a glass of chilled sauvignon blanc, or an ice cold IPA, light the fire, and serve this vegan salad in the sunshine along with some vegan braaibroodjies (Afrikaans for ‘braai breads’ = sandwhiches with various fillings, usually including cheese, toasted on the ‘braai’).