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Roast Beetroot Chick pea Cashew Salad

Posted on Sep 20, 2015 in Blog, Mains, Salads | 1 comment

One of the things I love about summer is the abundance of salads. Now don’t get me wrong – in our modern world where you can have access to and eat out of season all manner of fruits and veggies – I love and do eat buckets of raw foods during winter. But in summer, everything seems more crispy and more sweet and more nourishing – more gimme-gimme-gimme! Maybe it’s because we’re eating with the seasons, or maybe it’s because warmer weather means a desire for cooling salads. Whatever the reason – pass me the salad! The other week, I got some dear little beets from the market and that got me a’thinkin’. “How about some Roast Beetroot Hummus”. But the food processor and the blender are both out of action until spare parts arrive from Breville. So I decided on a Roast Beetroot Chick Pea salad. I mean, it is essentially the hummus, but not all chopped up. 🙂 And can I just say – it was delush!  I’m sure that lentils or cranberry beans would work just as well as chick peas. Woo-hoo! Let the imagination roll! I hope you enjoy it. ROAST BEETROOT CHICK PEA SALAD 4 x smallish beetroots roasted in the oven and then peeled and chopped into small bite-sized bites. 400g of chick peas, soaked and cooked until al dente (or a can of chick peas, drained and rinsed) Cos lettuce and beetroot leaves, washed and dried 1 x stalk of celery, finely chopped 1 x carrot, peeled into ribbons or spiralized 10cm x cucumber, peeled into ribbons or spiralized 10 chives, snipped into little bits CASHEW BALSAMIC VINEGAR DRESSING 4 Tbsp cashew paste (100% cashews – no salt, oil nor sugar added). OR 70g cashews dry roasted and blitzed to a smooth paste in a food processor. Hot water to thin the cashew paste – around 4 – 6 Tbsp or more to get the desired consistency 1 – 2 Tbsp balasmic vinegar – choose a good quality one (adjust for taste) 1/8 – 1/4  tsp salt (adjust for taste) Add everything together and give it a good mix to combine. Adjust vinegar and salt to taste. Line the bowl with your lettuce and beetroot leaves. Toss in some  celery, carrot ribbons or spirals and cucumber ribbons or spirals. Mix the chick peas with the half the dressing and toss through the beetroot. Add the beetroot and chick peas to the salad and serve with the extra dressing on the side. Serve with crusty bread and enjoy in the promising sunshine of spring.  ...

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Birdseed Millet Tabbouleh

Posted on Sep 13, 2015 in Blog, Salads | 0 comments

I love tabbouleh. Really love it. I love the feel of parsley in my mouth with the burst of lemon and tomatoes and the heady aftertaste of garlic and the soft but resistent grains as they balance in the munch. But what to do? How can you have tabbouleh when gluten glues you up? Is it possible to replace bulger wheat? Well, Millet is an obvious and easy substitution. Why? Oh, I’m so glad you asked! Millet is a wonderful little grain. When cooked it goes soft, but retains an amazing resistence and grittiness that is just lovely in cakes and in salads. If you want to make a semolina cake without the wheat, think millet. If you want to make a polenta cake without the corn, think millet meal. Similarly, if you want to make tabbuleh without bulger wheat – go millet! I love this little grain – it really is in a class all of its own in the way it grinds, sprouts, cooks, behaves in flour blends and cooked dishes. Plus there are so many millets to choose from, they’re all powerhouses of nutrition and grow in a range of soils and climatic conditions. Go millet!! 🙂 Birdseed Millet Tabbouleh 1/2 cup cooked millet 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil (optional – I generally don’t use, but some people like the way EVOO brings things together) Juice of one lemon or one and half lemons depending on the size of your salad. 2 large garlic clove, crushed 3 – 4 small tomatoes, diced into small cubes 1 1/2 cups cucumber, diced into small cubes 3 spring onions, sliced very finely 1 1/2 cups fresh parsley, chopped very finely 3/4 cups fresh mint, chopped very finely Freshly ground salt and pepper to taste – you’ll need a decent amount of salt to lift the salad and balance the lemon. (ALTERNATIVES: Add in some greenery of choice, such as French sorrell, amaranth leaves, spinach leaves, shiso, rapini, baby kale.) Put 1/2 cup millet into a pot with 1 cup of water. Bring to boil and reduce to a busy simmer. Once the water is absorbed taste your millet for firmness. If it’s still crunchy and hard, add a little more water. Once it’s al dente to your taste and the water is absorbed, remove from heat. Put all ingredients into a bowl. Add and adjust EVOO, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate and serve chilled. Store in a clean container in the fridge for around 4 – 5...

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Sunflower Seed Parsley Pesto

Posted on Jan 6, 2015 in Blog, Mains, Salads | 2 comments

Sunflower Seed Parsley Pesto I’ll be up-front here. I’m not a big fan of pine nuts. The oil in the nuts always taste a bit old and funky to me. So perhaps I should clarify my comment. I’m not a big fan of pine nuts that have been harvested and then bagged up and then have sat on a supermarket shelf for goodness knows how long. I’m kinda guessing that like linseeds (flax seeds) pine nuts are sensitive to heat and therefore turn rancid quite easily and quickly, especially if they’re stored for a long period of time at variable temperatures. The big positive here is that you don’t have to make pesto with pine nuts. You can, in fact, use any sort of nut – walnuts, cashews, macadamias, etc.  And all of them lovely.   I, however, am not great with nuts. Things are not always right with my tum when I eat them.  I appreciate all the health benefits of nuts, but unfortunately my gut doesn’t see it that way. So bring in the happy alternatives – seeds!! Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds all make scrumptious pesto, especially if they’re freshly roasted just before you use them. Not as heavy as nuts, but just a scrumptious;  seeds are not the poor cousin to nuts, but rather the better looking twin! Nor does all pesto always have to contain cheese. With a good sprinkle of salt, a little extra garlic, lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon juice (or a sprinkle of nutritional yeast), a dairy free pesto is often lighter and more refreshing that traditional cheese based pesto.  Plus it can be used as a spread on bread or mixed through a salad to add a little variety. A range of herbs work well, but I particularly like parsley because of its healthy benefits. Good for bladder health, helps with digestion and makes your breath all fresh. What’s not to like?!! Plus, its usually readily available all year round, is a bit cheaper than other herbs and easy to grow in the garden. INGREDIENTS: 100g sunflower seeds (lightly roasted until browned and poppy in a large frypan or in the oven) Bunch of parsley (flat leaf is good, but curly works just as well. Other herbs are also yummy – singularly or in combination – mint, thyme, basil, coriander) 2 cloves of garlic 4 – 5 Tbsp EVOO Good quality salt to taste Zest of half lemon Juice of ½ lemon 40g parmesan cheese  OR  2 Tbsp nutritional yeast  – OPTIONAL Put the sunflower seeds,  garlic and parsley in to food processing device and blitz, blitz, blitz until the seeds and parsley and ground into a semi-fine meal. Add EVOO, salt and lemon zest and juice and blitz to combine. If the mixture is a bit dry, add more EVOO or lemon juice and blitz again. Scrap...

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