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Archive for the ‘Salads’ Category

On a recent quest to detoxify my body, and lacking the willpower for another 7 day liquid cleanse, I decided to stick to a Raw menu for a few weeks. This dish is just one of the many delicious & satisfying meals I have been feasting on, which I decided to recreate after having it at one of my favourite Veggie haunts. To be honest, the idea of eating Zucchini uncooked has never really appealed to me – along with Broccoli, Cauliflower and Mushrooms…And so, despite the hype around Zucchini ‘Pasta’, I hadn’t even considered trying it – until it was the only raw choice on the menu one night, and now I’m so glad I did! Julienning the Zucchini into long, thin strips creates mock noodles with just the right texture, and they’re packed with fibre & water unlike heavy, starchy pasta. But it’s the zesty Basil Pesto and juicy Cherry Tomatoes that make this dish so heavenly – nothing can beat homemade Pesto! I like mine with lots of garlic, so if you’re not a big fan then adjust accordingly. These noodles are topped with Gomasio (a mixture of Sesame Seeds & Salt) for some crunch, but you can just as easily replace it with finely chopped Almonds or Sunflower Seeds…You’ll be surprised by how filling this dish actually is!

Ingredients: (2 servings)

2 medium sized Zucchini

handful of Cherry Tomatoes, halved

1 Tblsp. Sundried Tomatoes, chopped

Gomasio to sprinkle on top (or finely chopped Almonds/Sunflower Seeds)

For the Basil Pesto: (from The 30-Minute Vegan: Over 175 Quick, Delicious, and Healthy Recipes for Everyday Cooking) – makes 1 cup

1 1/2 cups fresh Basil leaves, packed

1/4 cup plus 2 Tblsp. Pine Nuts

1/2 cup plus 2 Tblsp. Olive Oil

2 Tblsp. freshly squeezed Lemon Juice

2-3 Garlic cloves (I used 3…)

1/2 tsp. Sea Salt

1 tsp. Nutritional Yeast (optional)

 

Method:

– After washing the Zucchini, cut the tops & tails off and, using a Mandoline, julienne into long, thin strips (make sure they are not too thick). Place in a large bowl, along with the Cherry Tomatoes and Sundried Tomatoes.

– Combine all the ingredients for the Pesto in a food processor or high-speed blender, and blend until mostly smooth.

– Mix Pesto with Zucchini Noodles (you may only need half the batch), and top with Gomasio.

*Enjoy, guilt-free!

 

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Sassy Salsas…

Guest Post by Alexandra M.

 At our last BBQ my fellow foodie friend & blogger, Alex, brought along a delicious Mango Salsa which I pretty much scoffed to myself without sharing with anyone else! After weeks of hounding her for this post, I’ve finally manged to get her to share her yummy Summer Salsas with us 🙂 Thank you, Alex! Check out her awesome photos of Hong Kong on her blog ‘From Hong Kong with Love’

Summertime spells S-A-L-S-A in my mind. With the relentless heat in Hong Kong, this cooling mix of bright flavors always hits the spot! Easily adaptable and so simple to throw together at the last minute with whatever you have on hand. Yum!
CORN SALSA


Ingredients:
1 ear Corn on the cob
1 small [Japanese] Cucumber
½ an Orange Pepper [or any, but I like the mix of colors as the salsa already has red, green and yellow]
½ a firm Tomato [or around ½ cup cherry tomatoes]
¼ Red Onion, finely minced
1 handful finely chopped Coriander
Juice of ½ to 1 Lime [I used 1 small key lime]
Salt and Pepper to taste
Optional: 1 small Chili, seeds removed [or left in, if you like that sort of thing!] and finely minced
 
– Peel husk off of the Corn and wash it. Thoroughly dry the corn off with a paper towel and grill on a BBQ or grill pan until slightly browned in places and fully cooked. Using a sharp knife, hold the corn over a bowl [I usually do it straight into the bowl I am serving it out of] and slice all the kernels off, scraping residual corn off the cob [carefully] with your knife. Set aside.
– Chop the Cucumber, Orange Pepper and Tomato in to small pieces [sometimes I’m lazy and just quickly chop it all in to chunks, but the more care you take in chopping everything in to very small pieces, the nicer the finished dish will look].
– Place Corn, Cucumber, Pepper, Tomato, Red onion & Coriander in a medium sized bowl. Juice your Lime, pouring the juice over and tossing to evenly mix together and coat all the vegetables. [You can use a juicer, but for a small amount I usually just stick a fork in one half and squeeze the Lime around it. Use the larger or smaller amount of Lime juice depending on your taste, but I usually add the larger amount because i love sour things!]

Delicious on its own as a salad, heaped on tortilla chips, or with grilled skewers on top!       

And two variations using the same method:
MANGO SALSA

1 Mango, peeled & de-seeded and diced in to very small cubes
1 small [Japanese] Cucumber, chopped finely
½ a firm Tomato [or around ½ cup Cherry Tomatoes]
¼ Red Onion, finely minced
1 handful finely chopped Coriander
Juice of ½ to 1 Lime
Salt and Pepper to taste
Optional: 1 small chili, seeds removed and finely minced

Chop all vegetables in to small pieces. Add Lime juice and toss well to combine.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       BASIC SALSA
 

2-3 firm Tomatoes, chopped in to small pieces
I small Chili, seeded and finely minced
Juice of ½ to 1 Lime
1tsp. Cornstarch

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Whisk cornstarch with lime juice. Add Lime juice to Tomatoes & Chilli, and toss well to combine.

Post by Alexandra M.

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I just love the combination of Black Beans, Mango, Red Onion & Coriander, together they make magic – but with the addition of Avocado & Lime you have a real masterpiece! Quinoa is a staple in my kitchen, I try to eat this complete-protein grain atleast 2-3 times a week so I’m always looking to create new dishes with it. The name of this Salad comes from one they serve at my favourite Vegetarian Restaurant here in Hong Kong, but the recipe is based on the one in Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook. This meal is a nutrient dynamo that you can either enjoy as is, or pop in a wrap – which is how I like to have it…

Ingredients: (about 4 servings)

1 cup Quinoa

2 cups Water

1/2 can Black Beans, drained & rinsed

1/2 large Mango, peeled and cut into small dice

1/2 Red Onion, diced

1/2 Red Pepper, diced

1/4 Cucumber, diced (optional)

half an Avacodo, cut into cubes

handful of fresh Coriander, chopped

juice of 1 Lime (I use Calamansi)

dash of Red Wine Vinegar

1 Tblsp. Olive Oil

Tortillas – if desired (I use Spelt or GF)

 

Method:

Bring Water & Quinoa to a boil in a small pot, once boiling lower heat to a simmer and cook for 15 mins. until water absorbed. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.

– Combine Salad ingredients in a large bowl, except Avocado. Mix Lime Juice, Vinegar and Olive Oil in a jar, add to the Salad & Quinoa and stir to combine. Gently fold in the Avocado. Can be eaten at room temperature or chilled. Serve in Tortillas if desired.

 

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This creation was brought to the BBQ (along with the skewers in the previous post), and we ended up eating it out of paper cups due to the wind which really didn’t do it any justice – but it was still delicious…In case you’re wondering, those are little Apricot slices peeking out from underneath and they turn this Salad from great to amazing! The candied Walnuts are really easy to make, they literally take 5 minutes – but to keep this dish completely raw you can pop the nuts into a dehydrator instead, or just add them au naturel. This summery combination will delight your ‘buds…

Ingredients:

handful raw Walnut pieces

1-2 Tblsp. Maple Syrup

4 cups Rocket, washed & dried

1 fresh Apricot, stoned & thinly sliced

1/2 Red Onion, thinly sliced

1 ripe Avocado, thinly sliced

Dressing:

2 Tblsp. Red Wine Vinegar

1 Tblsp. Maple Syrup

2 Tblsp. Olive Oil

 

Method:

– For the Walnuts: Turn oven to 400F/200C, and line a baking tray. Pour Maple Syrup over Nuts & mix with hands to cover. Lay out the Nuts on baking tray and toast in Oven about 5 min. or until beginning to brown (do not take your eyes off them – they burn very quickly!). Remove, and let cool.

– Place Rocket in a large Salad bowl, and cover with Apricots, Red Onion & Avocado. Combine Dressing ingredients in a jar & shake to mix. Sprinkle Nuts over Salad, and pour Dressing over just before serving.

 

*Tastes just as good out of a paper cup…

**FYI I’ve made a second version of this Salad, adding chopped Mint which takes it to a whole ‘nother level! I also substituted Pumpkin Seeds for the Walnuts (keeping them raw), Lime Juice for the Maple Syrup in the dressing & added Cherry Tomatoes = Heavenly

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I decided to make this traditional dish gluten-free by exchanging Quinoa for the usual Bulgur Wheat, an idea I got from the book The Gluten-Free Vegan: 150 Delicious Gluten-Free, Animal-Free Recipes. For those of you who have not discovered Quinoa yet: it’s an ancient grain who’s consumtion goes as far back as the Incas, and it has the rare property of being a complete plant protein! The Holy Grail for Vegans & Vegetarians…Make sure you rinse it first, to get rid of the bitter coating, though. This Salad is tasty & refreshing – perfect for a light Summer meal.

Ingredients: (about 4 side servings)

1 cup rinsed Quinoa

2 cups Water

1 cup chopped Cherry Tomatoes

1 cup chopped Cucumber

1/2 chopped Red Bellpepper

1/4 Red Onion, sliced thinly and chopped

handful of chopped Spring Onion

bunch of Fresh Mint, minced

bunch of Fresh Parsley, minced

juice of fresh Lime/Lemon

Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper as needed

 

Method:

Boil the Water and Quinoa in a saucepan, lower heat to a simmer and cover with lid. Let cook 12-14 mins. until Water absorbed and Quinoa ‘tails’ visible. Drain & allow to cool.

– Place all Salad ingredients in a large bowl, except Lime juice & Olive Oil. Add Quinoa to bowl and toss to combine. Add Dressing, toss again. Season & chill before serving.

*Tastes of Summer….

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When I found these little babies at an Organic Shop out of town, I knew they would be wasted if they were mixed with anything else – so I decided to make the perfect Tomato Salad to showcase their sweetness. According to Jamie Oliver, for sweet Cherry Tomatoes you need to put them in a colander after cutting, sprinkle with a bit of Salt and leave them to drain. The Salt draws out the excess moisture and drains off – apparently this method brings out their flavour…It seems to have worked, because these Tomatoes tasted like heaven!

Ingredients:

2 cups of mixed, organic Cherry Tomatoes, chopped (some cut horizontally, others vertically)

1/2 Red Onion, diced finely

1 large clove of Garlic, minced

a few fresh Basil leaves, chopped finely

Dressing:

1 Tblsp. Red Wine Vinegar

1/2 Tblsp. Balsamic Vinegar

2-3 Tblsp. Olive Oil

1 tsp. Pesto (optional)

 

Method:

Place chopped Tomatoes in a colander and sprinkle with Salt. Leave to drain over sink or bowl for atleast 15 minutes.

– Once drained, place Tomatoes, Onion, Garlic and Basil in a bowl.

– Shake Dressing ingredients in a jar, and pour over Tomato mixture. Allow to sit for a few minutes before serving.

* Pesto recipe coming soon…

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Summer is here, which means ridiculously hot & humid weather in HK and a craving for Salads…These Lentils are like gold to me – for some reason they are incredibly hard to come buy, but seriously worth the effort to hunt for as they are delicious! They have a wonderfully distinct flavour, almost tea-like, and they retain their shape so they’re great for Salads. My local supermarket has stopped stocking them, so I was delighted to find them in another organic shop out of town – but it was their last bag, and they won’t have again until sometime in August. I’ve used half the bag already, so I better go easy on them! No more sharing with the meat-eating boyfriend…

Ingredients:

half Red Onion, diced

1 clove Garlic, minced

1 large Carrot, diced

1 medium Beetroot, diced

1 tsp. dried Herbes de Provence (or Thyme/Tarragon/Oregano)

Olive Oil

squeeze of Lemon Juice

1 cup French Puy Lentils (or other Green Lentils)

2 cups Water

1/4 Cucumber, diced

1/2 Yellow Bellpepper, diced

2 Tblsp. Parsely, chopped

Dressing:

1 1/2 Tblsp. White Wine Vinegar

1 tsp. Mustard

3 Tblsp. Olive Oil

1/2 tsp. dried Tarragon

Baby Spinach

 

Method:

Set oven to 200C/400F, and line a baking tray with foil. Mix together Onion, Garlic, Carrot, Beetroot, Herbs, Lemon Juice & Olive Oil and arrange on tray. Bake for 20-30mins. or until Beetroot & Carrot cooked through. Remove and allow to cool.

– Meanwhile, bring water to a boil and add Lentils. Cook around 30 mins, until al dente. Rinse with cold water and drain.

– Add Roast Veggies, Cucumber, Yellow Pepper & Lentils to a large bowl. Combine Dressing ingredients in a jar and shake to combine. Pour over Salad, and fold in chopped Parsley.

– Serve on a bed of fresh, baby Spinach*

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