Cooling down with chili [Speltberry Salad with Apricot Chili Dressing]

Summer’s bounty in a hearty satisfying speltberry salad accompanied by a fruity dressing with a spicy kick.

Maybe I need to reconsider my plans of moving to California one day. Because if me adapting [or failing at it] to the current heatwave is any indicator of how I’d do over there… oh well. You can get used to a lot, right? These past days, though, were quite a change – and a challenge – for me.

Apricot chili_salad

So what do you do in the heat? Or rather: what do you eat in the heat? Salad. Only: if you’ve been around for a while you know I’m the odd vegetarian who doesn’t like salad. Well, salad salads, at least. A pile of leafy greens with – at the worst – a vinegar-y or mustard-infused dressing? Very sweet of you to offer but thanks, I’ll pass on that one. For me, a salad needs to have that special something. It has to fill me up and not just because of its stomach-widening capacities of low-calorie vegetables but nutrient-dense ingredients like grains and beans. Actually, my kind of salads need to follow the formula for a balanced vegan meal: a grain, a green, a bean.

Speltberry salad IV

Adding some of the fresh apricots I’d gotten at the Farmers’ Market – that were on their last legs already thanks to the vendor handing me a bag of very soft ones, thankyourverymuch – was only natural. Because isn’t everybody on a mission to eat their body weight in all kinds of fresh produce during the short period it’s available? From what I heard apricot season is pretty short so I didn’t want to let it pass without eating my share – fear of missing out [on food]??! Given my penchant with the combination of chili and sweetness I couldn’t not add some chili/ red pepper flakes to the dressing. There’s no logical explanation for some decisions aside from gut instinct. And a good gut instinct it was here.


Speltberry salad_apricot chili dressing2

 Speltberry Salad with Apricot Chili Dressing [vegan + gluten-free option]

  • 1/4 cup speltberries* [see below for subs and gluten-free option]
  • 1 orange mini bell pepper or 1/4 a regular bell pepper, sliced thinly
  • 4-5 leaves of pointed cabbage, sliced thinly
  • a handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup chickpeas
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • a piece of ginger [about 1/2 tsp minced] – this made for a very pronounced ginger taste so feel free to use less
  • a splash of coconut milk
  • 1/4 tsp each cayenne pepper and smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper



  • 3 ripe apricots [about 100 g], pitted
  • 1/4 tsp chili flakes
  • pinch of cayenne pepper


  1. Cook the speltberries according to package directions. Set aside.
  2. Sauté the garlic in coconut oil. Add bell pepper and stir-fry for about two minutes, then add cabbage and ginger. Sauté until the cabbage is wilted.
  3. Add the coconut milk. Then mix in the tomatoes, speltberries and chickpeas to warm through.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. For the dressing blend the apricots and spices with about a tablespoon of water to reach a drizzly consistency.
  6. Serve the salad either warm or cold.

* alternatively, you could use wheatberries [one popular brand being ‘Ebly’], farro or simply short-grain brown rice [gluten-free option]

For once I actually didn’t reheat a dish like I usually do when I’m finished taking pictures of it. Instead, I kept it chilled with the chili kick because spicy food can help you stay cool on hot days. Bring on the chili peppers!

Speltberry salad

Rumors has it they serve some pretty good salads in California – and I don’t have any doubts there. So maybe that’s the trick to staying cool over there? One day I’ll know. One day…

In hopes like some chili to chill down, too, I’m sharing this with Laura, Kierston, Tasty Tuesdays#FoodieFridayReal Food Wednesday, Recipe of the Week, Allergy-free Wednesday, the Real Food Recipe Roundup, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Healthy Vegan Fridays and the Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck

Happiness inducing today: Helping my sister by proof-reading a job application she’d written. I’m the odd person who actually enjoys tasks like that – and my family and friends know.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living


What’s the formula for your favourite kind of salad?

Do you dream of moving to another country? California and several other states in the US are places I’d really like to live and work at least temporarily one day.

Are you dealing well with heat in general?



22 thoughts on “Cooling down with chili [Speltberry Salad with Apricot Chili Dressing]

  1. rockmyvegansocks says:

    This sounds like a truly lovely salad. I love the idea of apricots in the dressing – so unique sounding. Thank you for sharing this with us at Healthy Vegan Fridays – I have pinned this recipe to our Pinterest Page.

  2. An Unrefined Vegan says:

    I’m a salad-a-day person and I have to admit that it can get old so I’m always on the lookout for salad inspiration! Love the dressing on this especially. Thanks so much for sharing at the weekly Potluck!

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Salads aren’t my usual option but I know many bloggers have one for lunch every day and there are some true salad wizards out there. Making them look appealing even to me.

  3. Emily @amummytoo says:

    Goodness, that looks stunning and very different from most salads I’ve tried. Thanks for linking up to #recipeoftheweek – sorry I’m a bit late over! Have Pinned this post and scheduled in a tweet. New linky live at 6 🙂 x

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Another chickpea fiend, yay! I can’t get enough of them so they were an only natural add-in for this salad. I’d be happy to hear how you liked it if you get around trying.

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