Tag Archives: beetroot

Beetroot and Carrot Slaw

Raw Carrot & Beetroot Salad with Raisins & Pine Nuts

I’m on a bit of a raw food kick lately. Of course when it comes to raw food, it’s all about the quality of the ingredients, which should ideally be organic and locally sourced to maximise their flavour potential. In this way, my recent Riverford boxes have been packed full of autumn inspiration, with carrots and beetroot being mainstays for the last couple of weeks. Most of my beets typically go straight into the juicer, but recently I’ve been look for other ways to enjoy beetroot in its pure unadulterated form.

Riverford Box

Most recently, my favourite way to enjoy raw beetroot is shredded in combination with carrots and dressed with something sweet and tangy. Here I use raisins for the sweetness and lemon and white wine vinegar for the tang. Feel free to experiment with other dried fruits like dates, apricots or prunes. Same goes for the nuts: I use pine nuts but pistachios would be fantastic here, as would some toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds.

Raw Carrot & Beetroot Salad with Raisins & Pine Nuts

Many people don’t often brave the gory hand mess that comes with handling raw beetroot. But really, folks, the mess isn’t that bad and the result is fantastic. Just wear an apron and go to it!

And if the slaw isn’t enough, here’s more beetroot inspiration for you:

Raw Carrot & Beetroot Salad with Raisins & Pine Nuts

Beetroot and Carrot Slaw

Serves 2-3 (or one greedy Monica)

Ingredients

  • 2 carrots
  • 1 beetroot
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp raisins
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • small handful parsley
  • small handful mint
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted

Method

  1. Combine the raisins, vinegar and garlic in a bowl and leave to sit for about an hour.
  2. Peel the carrots and beetroot and grate them with a box grater or a julienne slicer (a julienne slicer looks prettier).
  3. Combine the raisins, vinegar and garlic with the carrots and beetroot, then toss with the olive oil, lemon juice, most of the parsley and mint, salt and pepper.
  4. Serve the slaw scattered with pine nuts and sprinkled with the extra herbs.

Also seen on Great British Chefs.

Grapefruit, Beet and Chilli Juice

Grapefruit, Beet & Chilli Juice

This is a new juicy creation I just had to share. It’s all about the tart grapefruit and spicy hot jalapeno chilli (be brave, folks). The juice is almost creamy and the concentrated flavour saturates your mouth – it’s incredibly satisfying, a breakfast in itself. The jalapeno is as good a wake-up call as coffee (really!) – you can use other chillies, red or green, to suit what’s available.

Consequentially, this juice is also great for hangovers.

Grapefruit and chilli super juice

Grapefruit, Beetroot and Chilli Juice

Serves 1

  • 1 grapefruit, peeled
  • 1 apple
  • 1in slice of beetroot
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1/2 lime, peeled
  • 1/2 zucchini (or cucumber)
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1/2 jalapeno (or more depending on your taste and the spiciness of your chillis)

Put the lot through your juicer, pour into a glass (over ice if you like), and enjoy!

My favourite thing to juice at the moment.

Beetroot, Apple and Ginger Smoothie

Beetroot, apple & ginger smoothie. It kicks butt: 1/2 apple, 1/2 raw beetroot, 1 prune, 1cm piece of ginger, 30g spinach, 40g avocado, 2tsp flaxseed, fresh mint, ice, water. #rawfood #realfood #cleanse #cleanprogram #detox #breakfast #vegan #vitamix #vege

I invented this smoothie as part of the Clean Detox and it was good enough to deserve its own blog post. I love the combination of the fresh crisp apple and earthy beetroot. It also happens to be fiber-rich!

It’s not a very sweet smoothie, so add more prunes (or dates) if you’d like it sweeter.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 apple
  • 1/2 raw beetroot
  • 1 prune
  • 1cm piece of ginger
  • 30g spinach
  • 40g avocado
  • 2tsp flaxseed
  • a few fresh mint leaves
  • ~1 cup of ice

Add enough water to blend and blitz on high until silky smooth.

Nutrition: About 200 Calories, 10g fat, 4g protein, 28g carbs, 10g fiber.

Beetroot Gazpacho Soup

Beetroot Gazpacho Soup

I’m currently not eating tomatoes or peppers as part of my 21-day “detox” experiment. The reason being that these vegetables, along with potatoes, eggplants and other vegetables of the nightshade family, are often rich in alkaloids that can be mildly toxic (so says Dr. Junger, who designed this detox, as does Ayurvedic medicine interestingly enough).

This has been challenging because tomatoes and peppers were a staple of mine, and with the weather being unbelievably warm, summery and beautiful here in the UK for the last few days, I’ve been madly craving gazpacho.

Last summer I tried Nigel Slater’s tomato gazpacho and absolutely loved it (the same recipe also led me to discover the joys of sherry vinegar). So this week I decided to try getting my gazpacho fix by using beetroot instead of tomatoes and peppers.

The result, as Kanna put it, was “very special” and “exceptionally good” (I blush – Kanna does not deliver her compliments lightly). I followed the recipe pretty closely – I used three very large beetroot, cut back on the smoked paprika, omitted the sugar, upped the cucumber and added some fresh dill. The garnish: sliced spring onion, more dill and cubes of avocado. We sprinkled the avocado with Le sel au piment d’Espelette, salt with dried pimento chillies (one of my summer road trip acquisitions from Espelette – when in Basque!).

Beetroot Gazpacho Soup

As an added bonus, this soup also satisfied my craving for Cold Beet Soup, my Lithuanian grandmother’s family recipe where buttermilk (not detox friendly) is a key ingredient.

I almost hate to associate this soup with the detox, because it really stands alone as a delicious summer soup and a beetroot revelation. The only question I have is: have I created something new, or did I really just make borscht?

Beetroot Gazpacho Soup

Beetroot Gazpacho Soup
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 4
 

Adapted from Nigel Slater’s tomato gazpacho.
Ingredients
  • 3 very large beetroot
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 cucumber
  • 3 spring onions
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp sherry vinegar
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill

Instructions
  1. Scrub the beetroot well, then cook in boiling water until they are absolutely tender (pike a skewer through them – it should go through easily and the beetroot should fall off the skewer). Let the beetroot cool then remove their skins.
  2. Now, get your blender ready. Coarsely chop two of beetroot, along with the red onion and cucumber, and add to the blender. Remove most of the green shoots (reserve for garnish) of the spring onion and add the white part to the blender, too, along with the garlic. Pulse until you get a soup that’s of the consistency you like – I like to keep it a little bit chunky.
  3. Pour the soup into a big bowl. Finely dice the last beetroot and add that to the bowl, along with the sherry vinegar, dill, smoked paprika, olive oil and a bit of salt. Mix well, then taste and add more vinegar, paprika, olive oil, dill and salt to your liking.
  4. Chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to let soup get cold and the flavours mingle.
  5. Serve garnished with sliced spring onion, more dill and diced avocado. (A swirl of sour cream would probably be nice, too!)

Nutrition Information
Calories: 90 Fat: 3.8 Carbohydrates: 13.5 Fiber: 2.8 Protein: 2.4 Cholesterol: 0

 

 

 

Cooking from Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem

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My friend Sam came over last weekend with a big box of vegetables from Shipton Mill‘s biodynamic garden and what seemed to be her entire kitchen larder. The haul including some of my favourite ingredients: beetroot, cabbage, cauliflower, courgettes and a big pile of carrots. She also brought her copy of Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem cookbook. It was obvious what needed to be done.

In a welcome change from my usual foodie escapades, Sam took over the menu, choosing three recipes from Jerusalem:

  • Basmati and wild rice with chickpeas, currants and herbs
  • Roasted cauliflower and hazelnut salad
  • Pureed beetroot with yoghurt and za’atar

My only mission was an Ottolenghi side project: his kohlrabi, carrot and radish salad recipe from the Guardian, inspired by a kohlrabi I received in the latest Riverford organic box.

Pureed beetroot with yoghurt and za’atar

Ottolenghi's Pureed Beetroot with Yoghurt and Za'atar

I’ve had various beetroot dips before, including River Cottage’s beetroot hummus which I adore. This was similar, but with yoghurt instead of tahini for creaminess and was extra exciting because it gave me an opportunity to use the date syrup I was gifted from Tim Clinch. But what really made it bad-ass was the inclusion of za’atar and a garnish of toasted hazelnuts and sliced spring onion. We enjoyed this, first on Saturday with Turkish style flatbread, and again on Sunday with sourdough bread baked by Julio Hevia.

Ottolenghi's Pureed Beetroot with Yoghurt and Za'atar

I’m not sure if it was the bread or the beetroot, but everything seemed somewhat better on day two. The flavours of the pureed beetroot had a chance to mingle and develop, and you can’t go wrong with good sourdough bread.

Roasted cauliflower and hazelnut salad

Roast cauliflower & hazelnut. @ottolenghi recipe from Jerusalem. Crazy (genius?) ingredient combo!

As one Instragrammer put it, “roast cauliflower is the jam”. And it’s even more jammin’ with a kick-ass Ottolenghi dressing. The ingredients were a totally non-obvious combination of cauliflower, celery and pomegranates with a crazy combo of spices and flavours including sherry vinegar, cinnamon, allspice, maple syrup and parsley. It worked. In fact, I’m not even sure if the roast cauliflower was the most jammin’ part of the dish. The dressing was exceptional, and I especially loved how the sweetness of the dressing worked with the hazelnut and the celery.

Basmati and wild rice with chickpeas, currants and herbs

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If we had one regret with this recipe it was that we were short on fresh coriander. But never mind, this dish might also be described as “the jam”, and indeed it went exceptionally well with the roast cauliflower salad. It also fits well into the “vegetarian main course” category, and as omnivore Sam said, it proves that vegetarian food can stand alone.

Kohlrabi, carrot and radish salad

Kohlrabi, carrot & radish salad. Complete!

This dish was perhaps the odd man out. It was more of a pickle than a salad, and as a pickle lover, I think it was my most favourite dish of all. It involves massaging the veg with salt and sugar until the juices release, then letting them sit in their juices for 30 minutes before draining.

Finishing the job we started yesterday: @ottolenghi's kohlrabi, carrot & radish salad in progress.

The veg then gets tossed with an unusual combination of poppy seeds, crushed fennel, lime juice, parsley and mint. It rocked my world, and made me REALLY want a mandolin slicer.

As we finished up our Ottolenghi weekend, I asked Sam if I could look at Jerusalem and take a snap of the recipes we made, but as I flicked through the pages, I found myself bookmarking recipe after recipe. This is definitely a cookbook to own and cook from again and again. There’s already talk of going aubergine style this weekend with his recipes for burnt aubergine and chermoula aubergine with yoghurt and bulgar. Yes, I know there are other cookbooks to try and chefs to learn from, but the thing is, there’s so rarely a miss with Ottolenghi. And furthermore, each dish is like a learning experience in flavour and texture combinations. That much of it is vegetarian is just a bonus (in fact, all of these dishes were vegan but for the kohlrabi salad which included fish sauce, but that’s optional).

Thanks to Sam and Shipton Mill for all the veg, to Riverford for my precious kohlrabi of intrigue and to Julio Hevia for the sourdough bread. Look out for more delicious results from Shipton’s biodynamic farm in blog posts to come. It’s summer glut time, prime opportunity to indulge my obsession with pickles!

Beetroot and Walnut Veggie Sausages

Beetroot & Walnut Sausages

I wrote about these veggie sausages for Great British Chefs this week, but thought they were so good I wanted to give them a wider audience. Make them and enjoy with a crispy salad of carrot, apple, celery, red onion and honey mustard dressing, plus a big blog of good dijon mustard on the side.

Yesterday, Monday, 5th November 2012 marged the beginning of British Sausage Week, a time intended for encased-pork devotion. I may not eat pork, but I do have a fondness for sausage-esque foods. This may have something to do with my Chicago-based upbringing, studded with Polish sausage at family gatherings and an ardent appreciation for the Chicago-style hot dog, served with yellow mustard, whtie onions, pickle relish, “sport peppers”, tomato and celery salt (never ketchup). (Mention must be said of Hot Doug’s, the “sausage superstore and encased meat emporium”, for doing the best Chicago-style veggie hot dog in the world – it’s wrong, but oh so right.)

Back to British Sausage Week, I thought it a fine excuse to seek out a worthy veggie sausage to honour the occasion. But let’s not misdirect our plaudits: I’m not referring to those “fake meat” varieties of veggie sausage you often find in the supermarket (or dare I say Hot Doug’s), filled with weird stuff that not only isn’t meat, but also isn’t food in my opinion (don’t get me started on Quorn). In fact, these supermarket varieties give “vegetarian sausage” a bad name. In fact, the veggie sausage can be a delight, with as much nuance and comfort factor as its porky counterparts.

So what makes a great veggie sausage? I feel the same way about veggie sausage as I do about veggie burgers: they shouldn’t try to imitate meat – people who want a meaty sausage should just eat a meaty sausage. But if you love vegetables and want to experience them in tubular form, then veggie sausages are the way to go and are a novel form factor in which to showcase delicious ingredients. Options abound, from Rachel Demuth’s Glamorgan Sausages, made with cheddar, spring onions, breadcrumbs and loads of herbs to the Gluttonous Vegan’s Beany Snausages, a sort of rice-and-beans in sausage form.

I like my vegetarian sausages to be about the vegetables, and since we’re in the depths of autumn and beetroot season, I am sharing with you my recipe for beetroot and walnut veggie sausages inspired by Susan Voison. These sausages combine ingredients that work exceptionally well together – beetroot, walnuts, fennel and chilli – to create a sausage reminiscent of American-style “Italian sausage”. It’s great in a bun with sauteed onions and peppers, or on its own with tomato sauce or dijon mustard. The sky’s the limit: these babies are versatile, not to mention vegan and gluten free. You can even crumble them up and put them on a pizza.

Beetroot & Walnut Sausages
Beetroot and Walnut Veggie Sausages
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 4
 

Ingredients
  • ½ ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 medium raw beetroot
  • ½ cup toasted walnuts
  • ½ medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoons flax seeds
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon dried sage
  • ¾ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon liquid smoke
  • olive or sunflower oil for baking

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F / 180C. Prepare a roasting tin or baking pan by oiling it generously with olive or sunflower oil.
  2. Place the mushrooms in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let them sit for at least 10 minutes, then drain and squeeze out the excess liquid.
  3. Put the walnuts into a food processor and pulse to chop finely (but not too finely, we want chopped nuts, not nut powder), then remove and put into a large mixing bowl.
  4. Peel the beetroot and cut it into small cubes. Add it to the food processor along with the mushrooms, garlic, and onion and pulse to chop coarsely. Add the chickpeas and all remaining ingredients and pulse several times to chop the chickpeas. Don’t over-do it: you want to maintain some texture, while still processing enough to form a mixture that you can shape into veggie sausages.
  5. Add the processor contents to the nuts and stir well to combine.
  6. Using a tablespoon, scoop out pieces of the mixture and, using damp hands, form the pieces into sausage-shapes (of whatever size you fancy!), squeezing lightly to compact it (you can also shape them into balls or patties if you wish). Place the sausages on the roasting tin or baking sheet.
  7. Bake for about 35 minutes, turning the sausages once mid-bake, until lightly browned on all sides.

Nutrition Information
Calories: 227 Fat: 12.9 Carbohydrates: 26.6 Fiber: 7.3 Protein: 8.3 Cholesterol: 0

Chilli Chocolate Beetroot Smoothie

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My experiments with “green” smoothies have led me to that happy marriage of beetroot and chocolate, but with a little twist inspired by Sumayya Jamil who recently wrote about her Chilli Chocolate Lassi with Mint and Rose Petals.

What caught my eye was the inclusion of cumin seeds and mint, so I decided to try the two with beetroot, spinach and banana. This might be my most favourite “green” smoothie to date:

  • 1/2 large banana (~75g)
  • 1 small beetroot, boiled (~60g)
  • 30g spinach
  • 1 heaped tsp cocoa powder (or more to taste)
  • 4 large ice cubes
  • a few mint leaves
  • a few cumin seeds
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • pinch of salt

Blitz until silky smooth, adding as much water as necessary.

My First “Green” Smoothie

"Green" Smoothie

I’m doing a little life experiment – I’ve been drinking whey protein smoothies every day for the last while, but lately they’ve been making me feel kind of blah in my innards, characterised by weird digestive gurgles coupled by fatigue, and tripled by bloatiness. Gross, right?

Yes, I could just stop drinking them, but I’ve come to really enjoy my afternoon smoothie ritual – especially when they involve cocoa powder. So I’m going to use this as an excuse to find out what the fuss is about these “green smoothies” – smoothies that include something green like kale or spinach, plus fruit and other stuff to make it yummy. I’ve had my Vitamix for a couple years but have never tried one of these – until today!

My smoothie was: banana, beetroot, blackberries, a big handful of spinach, a few ice cubes, water and a heaping spoonful of cocoa powder (that’s right – cocoa powder!). I enjoyed this, though in the future I would skip the blackberries – the beetroot and cocoa are so good together, but the blackberries add a sour note that I’d rather pass on. The spinach? I couldn’t taste it very much. And it must be said: the Vitamix blended this to silky perfection.

While not as satisfying as my whey protein smoothies (I was hungry within 30 minutes of drinking this), it was also not as digestively challenging. And it was real food, which I can’t really say for “whey protein powder”. I could use this opportunity to externalise my internal debate about protein, fitness and a mostly vegetarian diet, but that would be boring. I’ll let the experiment speak for itself. Tomorrow: no blackberries, more cocoa.

Curried Beetroot Soup at The Chequers

Curried beetroot soup, The Chequers, Bath

Had a “business lunch” at The Chequers today, a comfy little gastro pub in Bath that does a very good lunch set meal deal (£12 for two courses, £15 for three). I ended up sharing the two courses with my business friend: she took the main, and I took the curried beetroot soup. In the words of my biz pal: “amazeballs”.

The bonus: the kind gentleman who served us explained to me how I can recreate this orgasmic soup at home. Let’s see if I can remember what he said:

The ingredients:

  • ~6 cooked beetroot (boiled or roasted – roasted is better)
  • 1/2 onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • cumin seeds
  • coriander seeds
  • caraway seeds (the “magic” ingredient)
  • turmeric
  • double cream

The method:

Blitz the cooked beetroot in a food processor to a fine paste. Cook up the onion and garlic with the seeds and turmeric, then add the beetroot puree and cook for a little while. Then pass everything through a muslin cloth. Stir in double cream to taste. Serve, garnished a bit of olive oil or double cream and fresh coriander.

 

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