Falafel hash with tahini sauce and raw courgette and tomato salad

Chickpeas fried up with falafel spices, extra vegetables for added flavour and texture, and plenty of herbs stirred through at the end.
That’s got to be good right? And it was!
I made this recipe for work lunches this week, and the combination of the lovely savoury hash with creamy tahini sauce and a fresh salad simply dressed with vinegar is great.
It’s always good to have a lunch to look forward to if you’re stuck in an office all day!


Falafel hash with tahini sauce and raw courgette and tomato salad

makes 4 servings

for the hash
2 medium potatoes, cut into chunks
2 parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
2 400 g tins of chickpeas, drained (save the liquid for mallow!)
3 tbsp oil
3/4 tsp cumin seed, toasted and ground
3 tsp coriander seed, toasted and ground
1 tbsp dried ramsons or 2 cloves garlic, chopped (I ground the dried ramsons with the other spices, they make the hash a lovely bright green colour!)
juice of 1/2 a lemon
10 g fresh dill, chopped
10 g fresh parsley, chopped
10 g fresh coriander, chopped
salt and pepper
for the tahini sauce
150 ml unsweetened soy yoghurt
3 tbsp tahini
1/4 tsp salt
for the courgette tomato salad
1 large tomato, chopped
1/2 a courgette, shredded
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried chervil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, and cook the potato, carrot and parsnip until almost cooked through, about 7 minutes.
Drain the vegetables well.
Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large frying pan and tip in the vegetables. Cook on a medium heat for 5 minutes without moving them, until the underside is golden brown.
Add the chickpeas to the pan, along with the remaining 1 tbsp of oil, the cumin, coriander and ramsons. Cook, stirring often for a further 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and mix well. I actually cooked the hash in two batches as my pan wasn’t big enough, and I wanted the vegetables to brown rather than stew.
Stir the dill, coriander and parsley through just before serving.
While the hash is cooking make the tahini sauce and salad.
For the sauce mix the soy yoghurt, tahini and salt together, and for the salad mix the tomato, courgette, salt, chervil and vinegar.

By E.


Cavolo nero, mushroom and broad bean salad with tahini dressing

I think I’m going to be having a bit of a run on tahini based dressings this week…

It’s ages since I’ve had any, but I’ve got a nice big jar now and I’m really enjoying the flavour again! It worked really well in yesterday’s Chinese inspired recipe.

I’ve also recently discovered that tinned broad beans are actually rather nice, I’m not sure why I’d discounted them before. So I’ve combined the beans with some beautiful slightly bitter cavolo nero and juicy mushrooms, salty olives and capers, and a nutty tahini dressing with a drop of vinegar to temper the warm flavour of the sesame seeds. I’m serving it with a little couscous and rocket to make a balanced, and very tasty meal, with great textures.


Cavolo nero, mushroom and broad bean salad with tahini dressing

serves 2


100 g cavolo nero, shredded

100 g mushrooms, quartered

1 tsp oil

1 300 g tin of broad beans (195 g when drained)

75 g green olives, halved if large (mine are the type stuffed with almonds)

5 large capers, quartered (the type with the long stem)

2 tsp tahini

50 ml water

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

75 g gluten free couscous

100 ml boiling water

35 g rocket

salt and pepper


Put the couscous, 100 ml of boiling water and a pinch each of salt and pepper in a bowl. Stir, cover, and leave for 10 minutes. Fluff up with a fork.

Heat the oil in a saute pan on a medium heat. Add the cavolo nero, mushrooms and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring often for 4 minutes. Turn the heat down low and continue to cook (and stir), for a further 6 minutes. The mushrooms should be juicy, and the cavolo nero should be just turning tender, you still want a bit of chew in it.

While the vegetables are cooking make the dressing. Stir together the tahini, water, vinegar and a pinch of salt. It’ll take a bit of mixing to get it to come together!

Add the dressing and the drained broad beans to the vegetables and toss together so everything is nicely coated. Leave to cool.

For each serving, put a bed of rocket and couscous in a shallow bowl, then the vegetable tahini mixture, and top with olives and capers.


By E.



Oyster mushroom and spinach fried rice with five spice cashews

Yesterday we were lucky enough to get a lovely big bag of oyster mushrooms for £1 from the market in Blackpool. So along with the bunch of proper big spinach that I had, a fried rice dish seemed perfect!


As well as the vegetables, we’ve added five spice cashews for protein, (and because they’re delicious…).

And also, to season the fried rice we mixed tahini with the usual tamari, and it’s really really good, adding a great savoury depth of flavour.


50 g cashew nuts

1 tbsp oil

1/2 tsp five spice powder

a pinch of salt

250 g oyster mushrooms, trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces

200 g spinach, stems and leaves roughly chopped

250 g cooked rice, we used brown basmati that had been cooked and frozen in portions

50 g frozen peas

10 cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped

2 tsp oil

1 tsp tahini

1 tbsp tamari


Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a wok or saucepan on a medium heat and cook the cashews, stirring often, until turning golden. Add the five spice powder and salt and mix well. Using a slotted spoon, remove the nuts from the pan, leaving as much seasoned oil behind as possible.


Add the mushrooms and 2 tsp oil and stir fry until the mushrooms are starting to brown. Add the peas, ginger and rice and stir fry for around 5 minutes until everything is heated through. Mix the tahini and tamari together, and drizzle into the rice mixture stirring to make sure it’s well distributed. Add the spinach, and cook until it’s just wilted. Mix the five spice cashews through just before serving.


By A. and E.



Home made tahini baked cauliflower with coriander raita 

18 pence! That’s what our local supermarket had bags of sesame seeds reduced to! I’ve been wanting to have a go at making tahini, the store bought stuff varies wildly by brand and I never like trying to stir the separated oil and sludge back together without flinging it everywhere!

the finished dish

Once I’d thought about tahini I wondered what to use it with, I would have gone for hummus but have some in the fridge at the moment. As I’ve mentioned before, I love the taste of roasted cauliflower, with its nutty sweetness the flavour should blend very nicely with the tahini. The raita adds a bit of colour and freshness.

Pre-heat the oven to 170 centigrade fan (185 centigrade in a conventional oven)

Tahini ingredients

100g sesame seeds

3tbsp oil

A pinch of salt

For the cauliflower

Medium cauliflower when trimmed mine weighed 525g)

3 tablespoons of the homemade tahini

Juice of half a lemon

2 cloves of garlic

1 additional tbsp of oil

50g polenta

Black pepper

For the raita

3 tbsp plain soya yogurt

25g cucumber

1 tbsp (when chopped) coriander

The method is lovely and simple! For the tahini pop all the ingredients in a food processor (I used the small jug attachment of my hand blender) and blend until smooth.

For the cauliflower whisk together the tahini, lemon, and oil. Smush the garlic to a paste with the flat of a knife and stir that into the mix too.

Break or cut the cauliflower up into florets.

Put the cauliflower in a large bowl, pour over the tahini mixture and stir well until all the cauliflower is covered, sprinkle the polenta over the cauliflower mix and gently stir again until it’s well coated.

ready for mixing

Transfer to a baking sheet and place in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes.

baked now

Assemble the raita by finely dicing the cucumber, finely chopping the coriander and mixing them into the yogurt, leave it to sit so the flavours blend while the cauliflower bakes.

By A.