Recipe alert! Elsa’s wholesome crispy baked potato salad

Elsa’s Wholesome Life is beautiful blog project of Australian dietitian Ellie Bullen, showcasing some of the most colourful and inspirational plant-based dishes on the planet. She’s shared with us one of her many delicious recipes from her just published vegan cookbook of the same name. Enjoy this salad for any meal of the day, all year round. 

Elsa’s Wholesome Crispy Baked Potato Salad
with Croutons

I wanted to share this recipe with you, as it’s the one that got me through some of my longest days while juggling uni, a full-time practical placement and writing this book! It was easy to whip up and gave me so much energy.

Serves 2–3

  • 3 potatoes, cut into chunks
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 slices rye bread, cut into cubes
  • 1 teaspoon garlic flakes
  • 1 baby cos lettuce, shredded
  • 1 cup cherry or heirloom tomatoes, halved
  • ½ red onion, sliced
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Beetroot Sauerkraut (see recipe below)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts, pre-soaked
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 180°C fan-forced (200°C conventional). Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Place the potato in a saucepan of water and bring to the boil over a high heat. Reduce the heat and cook for 8 minutes, or until just tender. Drain. Add the salt, rosemary and half of the oil. Place a lid on the pan and give the pan 3–5 shakes, so that the potatoes just begin to break up. Transfer the potatoes to the prepared tray and bake for 25 minutes, or until golden and crunchy.

Toss the bread in the remaining oil and the garlic flakes and add to the baking tray 5 minutes before the potatoes are ready.

Divide the salad ingredients among serving plates, drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and top with the crispy baked potatoes and crunchy rye croutons.

Beetroot Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is cabbage fermented in brine – a centuries old process for preserving veggies that also happens to be super healthy. The good bacteria that naturally live on veggies thrive in salty water, eating up the sugars to create loads of probiotics. There are many different flavours you can create with sauerkraut, but this one is my absolute fave. The beetroot adds a gentle sweetness, and the ginger gives it a little spicy hit, both of which work well to balance the sourness of the fermented cabbage. You’ll need a 2 litre jar (or two 1 litre jars) for this recipe.

Makes about 1.5 kg

  • ½ head red cabbage (about 450g), finely shredded
  • 1 beetroot (about 180g), grated
  • 7cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 3 teaspoons sea salt
  • 3 cups tepid water

Place the cabbage, beetroot and ginger in a large mixing bowl. Using the back of a large spoon, a pestle or your hands, press or squeeze the vegetables for 3–4 minutes until they soften and begin to give up their juices. Transfer to a sterilised 2 litre jar (or two 1 litre jars).

Place the salt and water in a jug and stir until dissolved. Pour into the jar (or jars), pressing the vegetables down so that they are fully submerged. (If they are not completely covered, add extra brine made from 1 cup of tepid water mixed with 1 teaspoon of salt.) Leave about 3 cm of space at the top of the jar.

Seal loosely with a lid and leave in a shaded area at room temperature for approximately 7 days, or until the mixture has bubbled and tastes sour. Check on it daily to ensure the veggies stay submerged. Once fermented, place in the fridge for up to 2 months. Serve your sauerkraut on toast with avocado (it tastes great with my herby pumpkin loaf), on salads or as a condiment with curries.

Tip: If white mould appears on the top it will probably be because the veggies peeped out of the brine. If this happens, simply scoop the mouldy bits out with a spoon and discard. Try placing a smaller jar or a shot glass on top of the veggies to hold them down.

Popular dietitian and Insta-foodie sensation Ellie Bullen is a passionate advocate of pant-based eating and a shining example of its many benefits. If you ever needed a reason to go vegan, this is it! Find out more at her website and at her Instagram @Elsas_wholesomelife