beetroot

PINK QUINOA SALAD

PINK QUINOA SALAD

Last weekend at college we learned about phytonutrients and superfoods. I feel that we have only scratched the surface, there are thousands of phytonutrients, some have been well researched and some have not yet been discovered. What a fascinating subject!

My college friend put on her Facebook page: “After a whole weekend at college the conclusion is: just eat your fruit and veg!” I couldn’t have said it better. And as our lecturer pointed out we should aim for 10 and everything over that is a bonus.

The bad thing about phytonutrients? They all come with rather complicated names and I have to learn and remember them for my upcoming exam. Together with biochemistry, all vitamins and minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, orthomolecular nutrients... Yes I shall be busy over the next 3 weeks...

Quick nutritious recipes should get me through it! Just like this pink quinoa salad. You must admit it looks fabulous. It tastes great too. I will try to post as much as my study schedule allows me.


pink-quinoa-salad

PINK QUINOA SALAD
Sushi seasoning is sold in bottles in Japanese sections of Asian shops or supermarket. I use it to season sushi rice (of course) it takes the guess work out, perfect balance every time. It tastes great as a dressing too, it may need a bit of vinegar or lime juice if too sweet for your palete. I used cider vinegar, but rice wine vinegar would be fantastic too.

Serves 4

1 cup quinoa
1 large carrot
1 medium beetroot
3 spring onions
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
2 Tbs capers
small handful of parsley
2 Tbs sushi seasoning
1 Tbs cider vinegar

  1. Rinse the quinoa well. Bring a medium pan of water to boil (about 1litre), add the quinoa and cook for about 15min. Rinse under running cold water.
  2. Coarsely great the carrot and peeled beetroot. Place in a salad bowl.
  3. Slice the spring onions into thin rings.
  4. LIghtly toast the sunflower seeds in a dry pan, take care not to burn them.
  5. Add the onions, sunflower seeds, quinoa, capers, parsley to the carrots and beetroot..
  6. Season with the sushi seasoning and vinegar.

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BORSCHT WITH ATTITUDE

BORSCHT WITH ATTITUDE

Growing up the only beetroot we ate came pickled from a jar. Nothing wrong with a bit of pickled beetroot I always thought it was delicious. I do think that Czech pickled beetroot is so much better than the one I can get in the UK. So much sweeter, yummier, I especially love the whole baby beetroots, it wouldn’t be a problem for me to eat a whole jar in one sitting....

These days I do prefer to use fresh beetroot. The possibilities are endless. I can always marinated it to get a lovely pickle like taste. I love raw, grated beetroot in salads, juiced, made into smoothies or raw soups. It is also great roasted with balsamic vinegar, or simply boiled and made into salads or mixed with grains to make a “risotto” (check out some of my other beetroot recipes).

Everybody is familiar with Russian Borscht, the famous beetroot soup. I know, traditional recipes don’t need to be messed with but I couldn't resist playing with it a bit and here is the result: borscht with attitude. I have infused the Russian soup with some Thai flavours. It will sure wake up your taste buds! I do wonder if my Russian friend will like it...

borscht-with-attitude

BORSCHT WITH ATTITUDE
This is easily doubled if you are feeding more people. I didn’t think kids would go with the spiciness of this dish hence the 2-3 portions...

Serves 2-3

ingredients
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 carrot, diced into 1cm (less than 1/2 inch) pieces
2 medium beetroot, diced into 1 cm pieces
4 cups of vegetable stock
1 Tbs vegetarian Thai red curry paste
1 medium-large potato, diced into 1 cm pieces
2 cups shredded cabbage
125ml (1/2 cup) unsweetened almond milk
lime to taste
fresh coriander

method
  1. In a medium sauce pan heat about 80 ml (1/3 cup) of water.
  2. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft.
  3. Add the carrot and beetroot together with the red curry paste.
  4. Cook for about 1 min.
  5. Next add the stock and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer.
  6. Cook for 10min before adding the potato.
  7. Cook further 10 min before adding the cabbage.
  8. Cook further 10 min or until the beetroot is cooked through.
  9. Add the almond milk and just heat up.
  10. Finally add lime juice to taste (I used juice of half a lime and a bit extra at the table)
  11. Serve in soup bowls garnished with coriander.

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BEETROOT, RED LENTIL AND SEED BURGERS

BEETROOT, RED LENTIL AND SEED BURGERS

Last study weekend one of my friends brought my aubergine and butternut squash curry for lunch and another one had my kale koftas. Couple of days later, on the school run, another friend told me she made my butternut squash and pear soup for dinner. She took it for her lunch to work the next day and ended up sharing my recipe around her office.

This makes me
so happy. I love cooking for people and I love when they cook my recipes. Sharing food is one of life’s great pleasures. When people enjoy my food it truly warms my soul. Don’t we all love sharing a great meal? Is this why TV cookery programs are ever so popular and chefs are enjoying a celebrity status?

Wouldn’t it be great if these chefs promoted healthier way of eating instead of basting everything with butter and free-poring olive oil over their food? Jamie Oliver has always been at the forefront of the “food revolution". Nobody can deny his passion and dedication. All that aside, his book Foods in Minutes was awarded the Worst Cook Book of 2011 by PCRM (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine). The meatball sandwich clocks up more fat than a Big Mac and has more than double the calories. Looking through his most recent book, Jamie’s 15-Minute Meals, it looks like Jamie has listened. In his latest collection of recipes he has scaled down the oil and other fats. He has also included nutritional info. It is a step forward. Will Nigella join him?

Today’s recipe was a surprise to me. Why? Both kids loved it! Yes, my daughter and son happily munched their way through these. My son even contemplated taking the one leftover burger to school for his lunch. These were his words:”I think I will have it for school, I don’t care if my friends think I am a freak!” It sure made me laugh!

beetroot-burgers

BEETROOT, RED LENTIL AND SEED BURGERS

ingredients
180g (1 cup) red lentils
2 cups water
2 medium beetroot, cooked
1 tsp vegan bouillon powder (I use Marigold)
150g (1 cup) seed mix (linseed, sesame, pumpkin and sunflower..)
3 Tbs gram flour

method
  1. In a medium saucepan combine the lentils and water, bring to a boil, cover and simmer gently for 15 mins, or till the lentils are soft and most of the water has evaporated, drain any remaining water. Sit aside to let the lentils cool down.
  2. Place the cooled lentils in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Grate the beetroot and add to the lentils.
  4. Next add the rest of the ingredients.
  5. Line a baking tray (one that fits your fridge) with a grease proof. Make 8 burgers from the mixture, place them on the tray and chill for at least half an our.
  6. Bake at 180C for 20min, turn over and cook for further 10min.
  7. Serve in a burger bun or as I did with some mashed potatoes made with almond milk.

beetroot-burgers-2
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PINK WHEAT BERRY RISOTTO

PINK WHEAT BERRY RISOTTO

Every October I get slightly uneasy about the sea of pink ribbons everywhere. You simply can’t escape Pink October, the Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Seems a worthy cause, and in many ways it is, but I still feel uneasy. I worked in a breast cancer screening clinic and saw the enthusiasm and believe in the cause in everybody who worked there. On the other hand I also saw a close relative being called back (twice!) for further tests after her mammogram was "abnormal". All turned out fine, however the stress, fear and agony caused by this was immense. The scientist at Cochrane institute have reviewed countless screening programs and based on the results the prestigious Lancet came to this conclusion: "there is no reliable evidence from large randomised trials to support screening mammography at any age."

I am all for making women aware of breast cancer symptoms. With breast cancer accounting for 1/3 of female cancers in the UK this is very important. On the other hand I don’t like the fact that this might be just a case of having excellent PR. While breast cancer takes the spotlight are we forgetting about all the other cancers and chronic diseases? Are they somehow less important or less dangerous?

The talk is about finding the cure, and indeed most of the money raised will find its way to pharmaceutical companies (not that they are strapped for cash). Why isn’t money going to cancer prevention, educating women about making the right choices? Making them aware not only of signs and symptoms but also lifestyle changes that may prevent this dreadful disease. This surely would be a huge step forward. Most women seem to believe it is all in their genes, however this is the case of only 5-10% of breast cancer cases, the rest is lifestyle induced. But even our genes are not infallible, Dr Ornish’s research has shown that plant based diet can alter the expression of some 400 genes.

Need some lifestyle tips? Check out these strategies from Dr Fuhrman (
http://www.drfuhrman.com/library/prevent_breast_cancer.aspx )

I will be staying away from the pink ribbon products as many of them do not quite promote the lifestyle choices for cancer prevention. Anyone for jaffa cakes, mayonnaise or Lucozade in the name of breast cancer? Profits and marketing? These do not address the real issue. However to honour the women (and men) who have died, survived or are battling breast cancer I have created a delicious pink recipe. It is loaded with cancer fighting beetroot, onions and garlic. I served it with my kale and mango salad, so rich in powerful phytochemicals. (
http://www.plantstrongliving.co.uk/blog/files/505c1c9a50e75f3ec9aa905b4d268494-99.html ).

pinkwheatberry2

PINK WHEAT BERRY RISOTTO
Serve 4

ingredients

200g (1 cup) wheatberries
750ml (3 cups) vegetable stock (or water)
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 medium beetroot (beets), cooked and diced
125ml (1/2 cup) vegetable stock
125ml measure (1/2 cup) cashews soaked and drained
250ml (1 cup) water
juice of half a lime
3 Tbs parsley, finely chopped
freshly ground black pepper

pinkwheatberry

method
  1. First cook the wheatberries in the stock for 25min or according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large saute pan heat up 60ml (1/4cup) water. Add the onion and garlic and saute till softened.
  3. Add the diced beetroot, wheat berries and the 125ml (1/2cup) vegetable stock and gently heat mixing the ingredients well.
  4. In your food processor make the cashew cream by blending the 1/2cup of cashews and 1 cup of water.
  5. Pour the cashew cream into the wheat berry mixture and simmer till the dish is thick and creamy. This will take about 5 min. Stir constantly.
  6. Stir in the lime juice, parsley and black pepper.
  7. Serve with a green salad on the side. (See my kale salad recommendation above)


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OUTRAGEOUS BEETROOT FALAFEL

OUTRAGEOUS BEETROOT FALAFEL

Falafel, together with hummous, may just be the most famous Middle Eastern food. It originates from Egypt but is equally home in Israel, Palestine or any vegan household around the world. Traditionally, falafel is made from chickpeas, broad (fava) beans or mixture of both. These are soaked, ground, spiced and deep-fried.

Falafel, apart from the deep-frying, is extremely healthy. These spiced morsels are high in protein and fibre while also rich in many minerals and vitamins such as calcium, magnesium, iron, folate and others. Usually served in a pitta pocket or flat bread together with salad and tahini dressing it makes a perfect plant based meal.

As much as I respect traditions I decided to try and up the stakes, beef up that nutrition content and lower that oil content. My beetroot falafel looks outrageous with its deep dark red colour, and lusciously moist. Baked in the oven it is also free of oil. I used tinned chickpeas rather than soaked uncooked ones, mainly because I didn’t use the deep frying method of cooking, but convenience was definitely a factor too.

You can serve these in the traditional way in a pitta bread, or on top of a salad. They will also make fab canapes. There is no better accompaniment to falafels than tahini sauce. Just to be different I made 2 different tahini sauces. The other day I acquired some raw black sesame tahini and I thought using next to the traditional creamy coloured tahini would create a great contrast on top of the red falafel morsels. No pressure here, making just one tahini sauce is perfectly fine, just double the quantity. Any leftovers are great as salad dressing.


beetroot-falafel

OUTRAGEOUS BEETROOT FALAFEL
Makes 18

ingredients
falafels
1 can chickpeas, drained
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup of fresh coriander (cilantro), about 2 handfuls
salt
2 medium carrots
3 small beetroot (mine were 160g /5.6 oz together)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbs black sesame seeds
1 Tbs white sesame seeds
1 Tbs tahini
40g (1/3 cup) gram flour

tahini sauces

3 Tbs regular tahini
2 Tbs lemon juice
2-4 tbs water

3 Tbs black tahini
2 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs water



falafel-mix

method

  1. In a food processor combine the chickpeas, garlic, fresh coriander and salt.
  2. Process together, this will need a lot of stopping and scrapping down the sides. The texture should be a mixture of creamy smooth with some coarser pieces. See the above picture.
  3. Place the chickpea mixture into a mixing bowl.
  4. Finely grate the carrots and beetroot. I used my box grater for this job as my food processor doesn’t grate finely enough.
  5. Add to the chickpea mixture.
  6. Next add the cumin, tahini, sesame seeds and gram flour.
  7. Using your hands mix thoroughly.
  8. Form the mixture into walnut size balls and slightly flatten them.
  9. Place into the refrigerator for half an hour.
  10. Preheat oven to 180C.
  11. Line a baking tray with greaseproof (parchment) paper and place the falafels on top.
  12. Bake for about 15min, turning halfway through the baking time.
  13. While the falafels are baking make the sauces. Just simply mix the tahini and lemon together adding water until the desired consistency is acheived.
  14. Enjoy.




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A FLAB JAB???

A FLAB JAB???

Every Monday deserves a big news in the field of medicine. The one that stands out today is the breakthrough in treating obesity, a “flab jab” (to steel a tabloid headline) or, in a more scientific language, a somatostatin vaccine. This article explains how the jab works:
http://www.news-medical.net/news/20120709/New-somatostatin-vaccines-promote-weight-loss.aspx

We all know the obesity problem is out of control and there is a part of me that thinks this jab may not be such a bad idea. There are many people who, for whatever reason, will not (even though I am sure they can) change their lifestyles. A jab seems like a very easy solution to a very serious and expensive problem that is spreading through many countries around the world.

The other and much louder part of me believes that this is an utter madness. This jab is promoted (by many newspapers) as a way to stay slim on a junk food diet. I am sure that eating diet of junk food without the weight gain will appeal to a lot of people. This will ensure a huge profit for the company making the vaccine and by default to fast food outlets and processed food manufacturers. You may be able to eat rubbish and not put massive amounts of weight on, maybe even stay slim (the mice this was tested on lost 10% of their weight). However, as we know, being slim does not assure person’s good health. If you choose eating a junk food high calorie dense diet the chances are you will be malnourished regardless of your weight. A weigh loss jab surely won’t change this.

In the words of Dr Mark Hyman:
“We can’t medicate our way out of a bad diet.” And he is right, medication is not the answer. Medication has further implications, it is always toxic. For example diabetes medicine increases the risk of dying from heart problems and statins (the cholesterol lowering medication used to reduce heart attacks) increase Type-2 diabetes. This is a vicious circle. I am sure we will find negative side-effects to the above mentioned jab in due course. Instead of waiting 10 years for this jab to be approved just eat yourself to health (and healthy weight ) instead.


beetrootandorange


BEETROOT AND ORANGE SALAD
This salad has an outrageous colour and fresh, fruity flavour. You can use shop bought already pre-cooked beetroot, they tend to be bigger so use about 8.

ingredients
12 baby beetroot
2 oranges
2 small red onion
2 celery stalks
salt
handful of walnuts

method
  1. First prepare your beetroot. Scrub them clean but keep root ends intact. Cook beetroot in boiling water for 20-30min till tender. Cooking time will depend on the size of your beetroot.
  2. Let the beetroot cool down, slip of the skin and cut of the root and stalk ends. Cut each beetroot into 6 wedges. Place in a bowl.
  3. Next segment the oranges. Using a sharp knife (serrated knife works well too) cut off all the peel including the white pith. Holding your orange in the palm of your hand over the beetroot cut segments away from their skins. When you have removed all the segments squeeze the juice from what is left from your oranges.
  4. Thinly slice the red onion and add to the beetroot.
  5. Remove strings from the celery stalks and slice quite thinly. Add to the salad.
  6. Season with salt (optional) and pepper.
  7. Place the salad in a serving bowl and top with the walnuts.
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MORE FRUIT AND VEG, Part one:Smoothies and Juices

MORE FRUIT AND VEG
Part One: Smoothies and juices

Sad sad numbers, only 1 in 5 people in UK get their 5-a-day! The latest polls have shown that here, in the UK, people are still not getting the recommended minimum. Have a look at the article that was published on BBC website today. It is a rather depressing read.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-18032209

We all know that 5-a-day is not enough we should be getting closer or rather above 10. Daunting? I don’t thinks so. If you do little bit of planning ahead it is very easy. I find that a rough meal plan helps, being stocked up with great produce and having plenty of yummy recipes.

Making healthy juices and smoothies can easily become a daily routine. Juicing takes a while, so a bit more planning needs to be in place, getting up half an hour may seem a bit difficult for most people but it is well worth it. Juices are a fantastic way to start a day. They are refreshing, cleansing, wake you up and energise you for the day. Juicing removes the fibre but you do get all the minerals and vitamins. To make the best out of your juices add plenty of green veggies like kale, spinach, celery or cucumber.

Smoothies are much quicker, they can easily be a meal replacer, they do fill you up. I find them the easiest tool for getting kids eat (or rather drink) their fruit and veg. My daughter won’t touch pineapple, papaya, spring greens, avocado, cabbage.... but she will happily drink them in a smoothie. We always play: ”guess what’s in the smoothie today” game. Lots of great healthy things can be added to your smoothie: linseeds, macca powder, goji berries, hemp seeds, nut milks....You can easily get your 5-a-day in a large glass of smoothie.

In my opinion you should drink your juice or smoothie as soon as you make them ( I am talking within 15 min) as they do start loosing their vitamins rather quickly due to oxidasation. There are different opinions whether to keep juices or smoothies, but form my experience they always taste and look their best when made fresh. If you do want to keep any for later, fill up a glass jar all the way to the top and secure with a lid, the least contact with the air the better.

Here is the smoothie I made today for my midday snack:


beetrootsmoothie

BEETROOT AND SPRING GREEN SMOOTHIE
If you don’t have a high speed blender you may have to chop the beetroot and orange into smaller pieces. The flavour the macca root gives this smoothie reminds me of vanilla. You could think you are having a dessert.

Makes 2 large smoothies

ingredients
1 small raw beetroot
couple handfuls of spring greens (collards)
2 handfuls of red grapes
1 orange
1 cup of coconut water (or plain water)
1 Tbs ground flax seeds
1 tsp macca root powder (optional)
1 small piece of ginger (about 0.5cm slice)
handful of ice cubes

method
  1. First scrub the beetroot clean and cut of the root end. You can peel it, I kept the skin on.
  2. Remove the hard stems of the spring greens, and tear them into pieces. I had 2 massive leaves.
  3. Peel the orange but keep the white pith on. I use a swivel peeler to do this, only works on fresh oranges.
  4. Put all your ingredients into your blender and process until smooth.
  5. Add more water if the smoothie is too thick.

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Cold soup on a hot day

COLD SOUP ON A HOT DAY

Another gorgeous sunny day, hubby working from home and some beetroot in the fridge. That got me thinking about making a cold soup for our lunch. I haven’t had many cold soups in my life, actually as far as I can remember only twice. A fantastic gazpacho (this coming from me who doesn’t like raw tomatoes) and a chilled berry soup. My husband though it tasted a bit like a sorbet, which is a great idea for next time...

Cold soup can be an alien prospect to some but once you try it you may get hooked. The flavour is so vibrant and zingy, it really makes your taste buds dance. My beetroot was cooked but next time I will try the same recipe completely raw .

One thing about this soup is that it is better eaten in smaller portions. The flavour is so strong that a whole soup bowl is very overwhelming. This however makes it a fantastic starter for an elegant dinner party, or even better served in shot glasses as an amuse bouche at a cocktail party. I can just see them lined up in a row, the gorgeous deep colour, topped with a head of young alfalfa and radish sprouts, who could refuse...

COLD BEETROOT AND APPLE SOUP
If you have a high speed blender (Vitamix or Blendtec) this soup will be a child’s play to make. If using a less powerful blender or food processor please see my tips below.

Make this soup ahead and keep in the fridge before serving.

Serves 4 as a starter portion ( I will have to see how many shot glasses I could fill next time....)

coldbeetrootsopdetail

ingredients
1lb beetroot (cooked or raw)
2 tart apples ( I used Granny Smith)
1 slice of ginger (roughly 4mm thickness)
pinch of chile flakes (or 1/4 of fresh chilli pepper)
1 lime (if using high speed blender half of a small lime will be enough)
3 spring onions
1 cup of apple juice
cupful of ice
pinch of salt (or to taste)
alfalfa and radish sprouts for garnish


beetrootcoldsoup

method for high speed blender
  1. In your blender combine the beetroot, 2 halved apples, slice of unpeeled ginger, chilli, half of a small lime, spring onions, apple juice, salt and ice.
  2. Process till smooth (don’t let it heat up), this should take about one and half minute.
  3. Serve topped with the alfalfa and radish sprouts and a slice of lime.

method for other blenders or a food processor
I am not sure how well other blenders would deal with the rather hard raw beetroot, so experiment or maybe use the cooked one to be on the save side.

  1. Cut up the beetroot, core and cut up the apple.
  2. Place in the blender together with the ginger, chilli, zest of 1 lime and juice of half (or one whole lime - to taste), sliced green onions, apple juice and ice.
  3. Process till smooth.
  4. Serve topped with the alfalfa and radish sprouts.
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Everyday superfoods

EVERYDAY SUPERFOODS

Everyday we are advised to eat new exotic superfood, acai or goji berries, chia seeds, noni juice, Indian gooseberry and many others. How did the generations before manage to survive without these?

No I don’t dispute the health benefits of the above foods, but in my opinion all plant foods have their own super powers. The quick and simple salad I put together today is made of everyday ingredients and according to studies can protect you heart and eyes, lessen tumour growth, help reduce blood pressure, lower risk of asthma and help regulate your blood sugar.

What are these mysterious superfoods? The humble beetroot, apple, celery and walnuts! Combined together in a refreshing salad dressed only with raspberry vinegar. There is a reason why I don’t use any oil in this salad. The walnuts are rich in Omega 3 oils, the kind we all need to get more off. Olive oil, on the other hand, is rich in Omega 6 oils and we tend to have far too much of these in our diets. We need some fats to absorb vitamins from our veggies efficiently, in this salad the walnuts take care of that rather efficiently. Perfect balance.

You do have to put up with the beetroot colouring the rest of your food pink, no surprise there. If you don’t have raspberry vinegar any other fruity mild vinegar will work well. White balsamic would be great. The apple should be crisp and juicy, not too sweet, it needs to offset the sweet mild beetroot.

beetapplesalad

MIGHTY 4 SALAD
I used 1 large beetroot that I cooked till soft (about 45 min) you can use precook beetroot, as they are usually small I would use 3. There is no need to be too precise with the ingredients if you like more apple add more apple...The recipe can be easily doubled, tripled....

Serves 2

ingredients
1 large beetroot
1 large juicy apple
2 celery stalks
handful of walnuts
2 Tbs raspberry vinegar
salt and pepper

method
  1. If using raw beetroot, wash it well but don’t cut of the ends as this would expose the flesh and make the colour leach out. Put in a saucepan cover with water, bring to a boil, and cook till soft. Large beetroot will take about 45 min.
  2. Cool the beetroot and peel, this skin should slide off easily. Cut into 1/2 inch dice.
  3. Cut the apple into 1/2 inch dice.
  4. Using a vegetable peeler or knife remove the strings from the celery stalks. Slice quite thinly.
  5. In a dry frying pan toast the walnuts, take care not to burn.
  6. Mix all ingredients together, dress with the raspberry vinegar, season with a pinch of salt and plenty of fresh black pepper.

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Is it difficult?

IS IT DIFFICULT?

My friend G asked me yesterday if it was hard cooking vegetarian food. My other friend D jumped in saying: “Linda loves cooking, so it isn’t hard for her at all”. She was right my love of cooking definitely makes it easy.

I can see why it would be a daunting prospect for anybody who hasn’t got any experience with cooking meals free of animal products. When you watch any cookery shows chefs have a tendency to base their meal around protein by which they mean meat. I base my meals around protein too, in a much looser sense of the word. I don’t cook thinking here is my protein, here is the carbohydrate, here is the side of veg... I cook with the knowledge that a) we really need less protein that most people think and b) protein doesn’t just equal meat, it is abundant in plants. Therefore, with variety, my meals are naturally protein rich (or just right for my needs)

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, in his TV series accompanying River Cottage Veg Every Day, talked about going vegetarian for the duration of writing this book so that he could see the vegetables as the centre of his recipes, not just as an accompaniment to the meat. That is the perfect approach for anybody who wants to include more veg in their cooking. Put veg on the front page.


CARROT-LENTIL PATE AND RUBY RED SALAD
With the salad try to have equal amounts of the veg.
Carrots for the pate can also be steamed, I prefer the roasted flavour. I have roasted them without any oil but you can use a little bit of olive oil.
They both yield quite a few servings, keep in the fridge for about 3 days.

carrot-pate

ingredients
CARROT-LENTIL PATE
1 small potato (about 80-90g/3oz)
90g (1/2cup) red lentils
230g (1/2 lb carrots), cut into sticks or chunks (sticks cook quicker)
1 clove of garlic, chopped
2 spring onions, roughly chopped
1 tsp miso paste (any will do)
1 tsp cumin
2 Tbs fresh coriander, chopped
squeeze of lemon to taste
freshly ground pepper

RUBY RED SALAD

3 medium carrots
1 large beetroot, raw
half a red cabbage
pinch of salt
juice of 1 large orange
2 Tbs raspberry vinegar
couple handfuls of pecans or walnut

method
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C.
  2. Cook the potato in its skin (or use leftover cooked potato). Cook for about 30min, or till soft when pierced with a fork. Drain and let cool. When cool enough to handle peel and put through a ricer or mash thoroughly.
  3. In a small sauce pan place the lentils and 375 ml (1 and 1/2cups) water. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 15-20min till lentils are soft and almost all the water is gone. Let cool. Rest of the water will get absorbed as the lentils are cooling down.
  4. Line a baking tray with a greaseproof paper, place the carrots on top and roast for about 20-30 min till the carrots are soft and begin to caramelise. Remove the carrots from the oven and let them cool down.
  5. In a food processor, combine the lentils, carrots, garlic, spring onions, miso, cumin and coriander. Process into a a pate consistency, mainly smooth with some texture (see picture). The pate shouldn’t need salt as the miso is quite salty.
  6. Tip the pate into a bowl and add the mashed potato and lemon juice to taste.
  7. For the salad, fit your food processor with the grating attachment, grate the carrots, beetroot and cabbage.
  8. Transfer to a large bowl, season with salt, add pecans, the orange juice and the vinegar.
  9. Serve the pate and salad with some oatcakes or flat bread.
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