Tag Archives: carrots

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.

Autumn Vegetable Tagine

Vegetable Tagine

My mom and I recently took a trip to Marrakech. It was our first time in Morocco and one of the things we looked forward to the most was the food. We both thought we knew what Moroccan food was like, but in retrospect, we hadn’t a clue beyond couscous and vegetable tagine. However, we quickly learned…

Our education began at our riad, Riad Tizwa, in Marrakech’s Old City. A riad is a large traditional house built around a central courtyard; in Marrakech many of these riads operate as guest houses and provide a much more intimate experience of the city than a traditional hotel. Ours was hidden amongst the maze of the Medina’s winding passages and we wouldn’t have found it were it not for our taxi driver (word to the wise traveller: if your hotel or riad offers airport transport, take them up on it). But behind an unmarked door was a beautiful palatial home scented with local perfume and full of light, greenery, fruit trees and flowers.

Relax, you're in Marrakech!

Our host greeted us with Moroccan mint tea (which I only knew about thanks to Urvashi Roe’s excellent write-up on the Art of Moroccan Mint Tea) and some sound advice on where we should go for great Moroccan food. As a result, we had some amazing, epic meals – most notably at Ksar Essaoussan and Le Tobsil - that were real lessons in how to feast Moroccan style.

The feast begins - Morrocan salads out the wazoo

To our collective vegetarian delight, meals started with a selection of cooked and raw salads, but not salads as I’m used too. These were more like little tasting plates of vegetables in various chopped, grated or pureed form. As a result, you didn’t quite know what you were eating until you tried it, making each dish an exciting surprise. Memorable salads include a celery and tomato diced salad with herbs which reminded us of tabbouleh without bulgar. We also had some amazing cooked peppers and tomato seasoned with paprika, cumin and garlic. Spices. Spices were used across the dishes in all kinds of crazy unexpected ways (tomato and cinnamon, for example, and it works).

Another tagine!

Main courses were less of a surprise, but I think this is largely due to the vegetarian thing. Everywhere we went we got couscous and vegetable tagine, all delicious and wonderful, but with surprisingly very little variation. Carrots and parsnip was par for the tagine course, with the occasional cauliflower or green pepper. Only once did we get chickpeas in our tagine. We kept talking about how good the tagines were, but how much we wished they had more of this or that, particularly cauliflower (my mother and I both are cauliflower fiends). But a glance at the city’s food markets made it pretty clear that these people were working with a pretty limited selection of ingredients, purely dictated by what was in season at the time. But isn’t that the way it should be?

Market in the Medina, Marrakech

In a way, this makes the tagine the ultimate seasonal stew, and one of the first things I did when I came home from Marrakech was to make a tagine.

Vegetable Tagine

In case you’re unaware, a tagine is a fragrant spicy stew named after the earthenware pot in which it is made (a normal pot, preferably cast iron, also works). With Marrakech in mind, I made my tagine using what was in season, but this time I was working with British ingredients: carrots, romanesco cauliflower and the last of the season’s courgettes and green beans. But this dish would work with almost anything and seems particularly adept to autumn and winter vegetables like swede, butternut squash, pumpkin, potato and cauliflower. I like to keep the vegetables in large chunks and serve it with sprinkled with toasted almonds. It’s the perfect thing on a cold, wet, dreary British day. And oddly, it also happens to be the perfect thing on a sweltering hot and sunny afternoon in Morocco: further proof that the tagine is one of the most miraculous dishes around, globe-spanning and eternally versatile.

5.0 from 1 reviews

Autumn Vegetable Tagine
Serves: 4
 

Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, minced (or 1 tsp grounded)
  • 1-2 tbsp grounded cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • salt
  • 1-3 tsp harissa (start with 1tsp and adjust to suit your spice tolerance)
  • 2 cups canned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • a handful fresh cilantro
  • 1 small pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 small cauliflower, broken into big florets
  • ½ cup cooked chickpeas
  • a handful of raisins
  • toasted sliced almonds
  • couscous to serve

Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot and sauté the onion for a few minutes until it softens.
  2. Add garlic, ginger and the spices and stir around a bit.
  3. Add the harissa, tomatoes, lemon juice and fresh cilantro. Bring the tomato sauce to a boil and then lower the heat.
  4. Add the vegetables and stir around, make sure that all vegetables are somewhat covered in tomato sauce. Put the lid on and simmer for about an hour. Stir carefully once or twice, otherwise leave the lid on – and be patient!
  5. Serve with couscous and a sprinkle of toasted sliced almonds.

 

This recipe also appeared on Great British Chefs.

Clean Detox Day 11: A new use for tahini

Clean detox day 11

Breakfast: Black and blue avocado smoothie with mint and orange flower water (boom!).

Lunch: Grilled salmon and chargrilled cauliflower and carrot salad with dill and capers (if you’ve never grilled carrots before, you must – it’s a special kind of awesome).

Dinner: An amazing new soup! Made with onion, garlic, carrots, chickpeas, coriander and cumin seeds. This was like eating velvet. I garnished it with a couple steamed broccoli florets (inspired by this chickpea soup), lemon and tahini sauce, za’atar and fresh parsley. Really good and very satisfying. I basically used smitten kitchen’s recipe for carrot soup with tahini and crisped chickpeas but omitted the crisped chickpeas and instead subbed about half the carrots in the soup with cooked chickpeas. It worked and I’m loving this tahini thing as soup drizzle.

Clean detox day 11

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Braised Carrots and Cabbage with Tofu

Shoyu braised carrots and cabbage with tofu, chilli and sesame seeds. #vegan #dinner

This was a very simple, one-pot (er, one-wok) meal. A few people on Instagram asked about it, so I thought I’d share it here, thus rekindling my long neglected daily food diary. I think it’s time to start it up again!

Here’s how I made the braised carrots and cabbage with tofu…

First I heated some oil in the wok on medium-high heat. I then added thin strips of firm tofu to the pan and sauteed until they were golden brown on each side. I sprinkled some salt and pepper on the tofu, mixed it all up in the pan, then removed the tofu from the pan and set aside.

In the same wok, I turned down the heat a bit, added a couple teaspoons of grapeseed oil, quickly followed by a clove’s worth of minced garlic and some carrots (they were small, young sweet and delicious; with larger carrots, I would have cut them into long spears; I would have added ginger, too, if I had it around!).

I sautéed the carrots and garlic until the carrots started to colour, and then added water to just cover the carrots, along with a few glugs of soy sauce (about 1 Tbsp or so). I then added the cabbage (big leaves from a young spring cabbage), mixed it up with the carrots and turned up the heat so everything simmered gently. I let it simmer until most of the water was evaporated, and then check the carrots and cabbage for done-ness. They were still a little firm so I covered the pan and let everything steam for a bit.

When everything was cooked, I put the cabbage and carrots on a plate, topped with the tofu and garnished with sliced spring onion, chopped coriander, sliced red chilli, toasted sesame seeds and fresh lime.

Braising vegetables is one of my favourite ways to cook them – I learned how to do it from Mark Bittman’s Book, How to Cook Everything: Vegetarian, one of my most-loved (and most-used) cookbooks. The technique is basically the same as the one he uses for braised and glazed brussels sprouts.

I especially like braising root vegetables. Case in point: Ottolenghi’s carrot and mung bean salad.

 

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!

Carrot and Courgette “Pasta” with Poached Egg

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Ok, it’s not pasta. It’s peelings of carrots and courgette given the pasta treatment. I mostly followed this recipe for Zucchini “Pasta”, which is basically a raw mixture of zucchini, tomato, basil, garlic, oil and walnuts. I added carrots, and also cooked the garlic in the olive oil, then added the zucchini and carrots very briefly. I used pine nuts instead of walnuts, and added a poached egg and an avocado (because that seems to be what I do).

Would make again. Next time, I’d like to try the raw version with walnuts.

Recipe: Zucchini “Pasta”

Winter Vegetable Breakfast Salad

Image created with Snapseed

I thought I’d start sharing my vegan breakfasts as I kick things up for the Healthy Vegan Breakfast Book. Today’s required some creativity with the veg box because I’m down to the dregs: a few carrots, half a swede (aka rutabaga to my American friends), a few broccoli florets, a head of cauliflower and a few lingering leaves of Batavia lettuce. Actually when I type it out like that it sounds like a lot of food, but I assure you the fridge looked sadly bare!

  • Cooked quinoa (leftovers)
  • Julienned carrot
  • Julienned  swede (my new favourite use for swede?)
  • Red onion
  • Broccoli, diced into small florets
  • Currants soaked in boiling water for ~10 minutes
  • Batavia lettuce
  • Crushed red chilli flakes
  • A pinch of ground cumin
  • Tahini (~ 1 Tbsp) mixed with lemon juice (~ 1/4 lemon) and enough water to make a creamy dressing
  • Salt and pepper

This takes inspiration from American recipes I’ve seen for broccoli raisin salad, and this recipe for raw cauliflower “couscous” that really intrigues me and is the likely fate of the aforementioned cauliflower.

Indian Cabbage Salad

Indian Cabbage Salad

I had a pretty stellar Thanksgiving this year. The party included two of my bestest friends of all time, Rachel and Dave, visiting for the occasion all the way from Austin, Texas (via a year-long stint in Berlin).

On the evening before our big day of nut roast and Prosecco, I decided a pre-Thanksgiving dinner detox was in order. So I went with the kind of food that I know I can make well, tastes a bit celebratory, but just happens to be healthy and vegan at the same time. The meal: my reliable red lentil dahl with panch phoran, Indian cabbage salad, basmati rice and flatbread masquerading as naan.

Of all the dishes, the cabbage salad was the biggest hit, a nice thing because I never know if my love of this salad has something to do with my own personal obsession with all things cabbage, or with the fact that the cabbage salad really is that good. Rachel seems to confirm my suspicion that this, indeed, is cabbage clad in awesomeness, so I’m posting the recipe here for her and for all cabbage lovers of the world. (Consequentially, I also made this salad for my friend, Claudia, last year – you can see it in the picture above, made all the more better by her rad vintage tableware – she also gave it the thumbs up.)

This salad is basically a winter riff on this cucumber and coconut salad and leaves a lot of room for improvisation (because I know how much Rachel loves improv). Any cabbage will do for this salad, though I am partial to the texture of Savoy. Chop it chunky or slice it fine. Skip the carrots if you don’t have them, or try adding other slaw-style goodness like bell peppers. Up the spices or the chilli if that’s your thing. Go nuts with the coriander.

I don’t usually follow a recipe when I make this, but I’ve attempted to write it up as such all the same. Do let me know if you try it and what you think!

Indian Cabbage Salad
 

I left out the asafoetida and curry leaves when I made this for Rachel and Dave but if you have them, use them. Feel free to chop the cabbage and carrots as finely or as not finely as you have the patience and inclination. My tendency is often to slice as finely as possible, but sometimes I like a chunky salad!
Ingredients
  • ½ head of cabbage, finely sliced or chopped
  • 2 carrots, shredded or sliced
  • a small bunch of fresh cilantro (i.e. coriander), finely chopped
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp asafoetida (optional)
  • ~10 dried curry leaves (optional)
  • 1 green chilli, finely sliced (be careful with these – they can be HOT!)
  • 2Tbsp grated or dessicated coconut (or more to taste)
  • juice from half a lemon
  • salt

Instructions
  1. Put the cabbage, carrots and coriander in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Put the oil in a large frying pan with the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves. Turn the heat up to medium and wait for the seeds to start sizzling and smelling delicious.
  3. When the mustard seeds begin to pop, add the green chilli and fry for another few seconds, then pour the oil and seeds over the salad. (If you’re struggling to get all of the seeds out of the pan, put some of the salad in the pan and swirl it around, then scrape back into the bowl.)
  4. Add the lemon juice, a pinch of salt and the coconut. Taste, adding more salt, lemon or coconut if desired.

 

Waldorf-Inspired Breakfast Salad

Heeding the call of the #vegan #breakfast #salad. Apple, celery, carrot, red onion, little gems, walnuts, chilli, mustard vinaigrette.

This has been breakfast the last few days, a sort of glorified vegan version of the classic Waldorf salad, inspired by this season’s apple harvest and a few stalks of celery lurking in my fridge. You could bulk this out with added quinoa, bulgar wheat, maybe a few raisins, or even a blob of yogurt, but I found this wasn’t necessary. As is, this was my idea of perfect breakfast: delicious food that satisfies without over-filling. Major feel-good factor here.

For one serving:

  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • a few thin slices of red onion
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 10g walnuts
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • a few little gem lettuce leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • sliced green chilli (optional)
  • 2 tsp dijon-based vinaigrette (mine was the House Dressing recipe from Arthur Potts Dawson’s Eat Your Veg, but any mustard-based dressing would do – I love this honey mustard dressing recipe)

Mix it all together and serve.

Carrot and Swede Soup with Coriander and Creme Fraiche

Carrot and Swede Soup with Coriander and Creme Fraiche

It’s three days before I fly to Chicago for the holidays, and I’m on a mission to use up everything in my fridge so I don’t have to throw anything away. I’m down to the tricky vegetables: swede, beetroot and a mountain of carrots.

Some of the carrots (along with a cucumber and some cauliflower) are going into a Piccalilli. The rest I turned into this soup, an obvious riff on the classic carrot and coriander soup. But you know what – I think I prefer this version with a bit of swede added to the mix. It tones down the sweetness of the carrots and works very well with the flavour of ground coriander. I stole the creme fraiche idea from Delia (good old Delia). It’s a keeper.

This recipe got me through all of my carrots and half a swede. Tonight, I tackle the beetroot.

Adapted from Delia’s recipe for carrot and coriander soup. There are no hard and fast rules on the proportion of carrots and swede to use – just go with whatever’s convenient. I used roughly 600g swede and 300g carrots for this.

Ingredients

  • 2 lb (900 g) carrots and swede, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 oz (25 g) butter
  • 1 small clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 pints (1.2 litres) vegetable stock
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander, plus 6 small sprigs, to garnish
  • 3 tablespoons crème fraîche
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Dry-roast the coriander seeds in a small frying pan over a medium heat, stirring and tossing them around for 1-2 minutes, or until they begin to look toasted and start to jump in the pan. Tip them into a pestle and mortar and crush them coarsely.
  2. Heat the butter in a large saucepan, then add the chopped carrots and swede, garlic and three-quarters of the crushed coriander seeds. Stir the vegetables in the butter and crushed seeds, then cover the pan and let them cook over a gentle heat until they are beginning to soften – about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the stock and season with salt and pepper and bring everything up to the boil.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for a further 15-20 minutes, partially covered, or until all the vegetables are tender.
  5. Leave the soup to cool a little, then liquidise the whole lot in batches. Return the purée to the pan and stir in the chopped fresh coriander and 2 tablespoons of the crème fraîche.
  6. Re-heat the soup, then taste to check the seasoning and serve in warmed bowls and garnish each one with a swirl of crème fraîche, a sprinkling of the remaining toasted coriander seeds and a sprig of fresh coriander.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Per serving: 163 Calories | 8.2 grams Fat | 21.3 grams Carbohydrates | 3.6 grams Protein | 6.0 grams Fiber