Sunday Greens

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There’s generally not an awful lot going on in my fridge on a sunday night which means that whatever is left from the weekend tends to become my dinner. Tonight was no exception. I still had plenty of kale from my Abel&Cole delivery (they give you a mountain of kale in their juice box) so I chopped a stick of celery, shredded a carrot, added half a can of organic chickpeas and made my favorite dressing, a ginger & sesame combo which I’ve bastardised from a recipe by Kris Carr. Timeless and gorgeous. I massaged the kale and veg mixture with some sea salt and olive oil to get the stiffness out of the kale (this only takes a couple of minutes but it makes all the difference so it is well worth it) and then poured the dressing generously over the lot. Simple yet delicious. X

Sunday Greens

Salad:

3 large stalks of kale (remove the thick stalks, just use the curly leafy bit)

1 stick celery, chopped

1/2 yellow pepper

10 mini coctail gherkins

1 carrot, grated

1/2 can organic chickpeas

1/2 head of steamed broccoli

Dressing:

1″ piece of ginger root

2 tbsp mellow miso paste

1 tsp sesame oil (go easy)

Dash of soya or tamari sauce

1/2 lime (but I had run out and used 1/2 lemon, still good)

1-2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp water

sea salt to taste

Wash all veggies and remove coarse stalks from kale. Place all veg apart from chick peas (unless you like them mushy) gherkins and broccoli in bowl and start massaging mixture with a dash of olive oil and sea salt to wilt kale that can be a bit rough if left to its own devices. Once ‘massaged’ add the chickpeas, broccoli florets and gherkins and set aside.

For the dressing I use a hand mixer and the tall, thin jug that comes with it. It is perfect for making liquids. Place all ingredients for the dressing in the jug and blitz with the hand mixer until everything is thoroughly mixed and has turned into a dressing like consistency. Some like a stronger taste of sesame and others the taste of ginger so play with the flavours to find out what works for you. If too thick add more water but be aware – a little goes a long way. Pour over the vegetables and enjoy this filling plate of goodness on a sunday night. Enjoy! x

 

 

Buddha platter with Hawaiian purple sweet potato

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The beautiful islands of Hawaii are always full of surprises and tonight’s trip to the local supermarket proved to be no exception. I selected a couple of fat, juicy and innocent looking sweet potatoes that I was going to oven roast for our evening meal. Back home I quickly realised I had returned with the purple sweet potato variety, aka Okinawa sweet potato, instead of the regular orange kind. They look like normal sweet potatoes but when you cut them up you are met with bright purple flesh. What to do? After a bit of research I managed to find out that the purple sweet potato was a staple of the Hawaiian kitchen and jam-packed full of nutrients such as Vitamin C and Antioxidants. The good news was that I could still treat it as any other sweet potato, i.e. roast it, mash it etc. which was a relief as I was preparing the infamous Buddha platter for dinner – a mixture of various veggies and grains, topped with a dressing/sauce for Uncle G and myself.

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A Buddha platter can consist of pretty much anything you happen to have in your fridge but  is made extra interesting if you have a variety of colours and flavours to play with. A dollop of quinoa, some grated carrots, a handful of spinach, a piece of salmon, cucumber, tomatoes, humus, roasted veggies and so on. The sky is the limit and you can be as imaginative as you like. Here is the Saturday recipe we used tonight:

 Hawaiian Buddha Platter

Serves 2

1 large purple sweet potato or regular sweet potato, cubed

1 can chick peas (or Garbanzo beans as they are known in the US), rinsed

1 cup quinoa

2 carrots, grated

8-10 asparagus, lightly steamed

1/4 cucumber, sliced

1 avocado

Hummus

20140412-212052.jpgHeat oven to 180C. Peel and cut up sweet potato in small cubes and place on baking tray. Using your hands add a good dollop of olive oil, salt, pepper and paprika to the cubed sweet potato and mix well until all pieces are coated. Place in oven and roast for about 1 hour. If you are using the purple variety you may have to cook it slightly longer as they are slightly firmer than the orange variety.

20 minutes before sweet potatoes are done, take out baking tray and add the chick peas, making sure they get a good coating of oil and spices. In the meantime, rinse and cook the quinoa. Steam the asparagus for about 5 minutes until just softened – you still want to retain a crunch. Get everything on stand by, ready for dishing up.

On two plates I added little equal mounds of the various dishes I’d made. A dollop of  sweet potato/chick peas, a dollop of quinoa, grated carrots, asparagus sliced cucumber, sliced avocado, a large spoonful of hummus and garnished with flat leafed parsley. As I am always keen on a little juice I needed to add some vinaigrette to sprinkle on the veggies that I made with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, a hint of Dijon mustard, salt and pepper to taste. Happy Saturday x

 

 

 

The glorious falafel

 

20140401-225200.jpgThe humble falafel has got to be one of the best veggie treats around. It cleverly masquerades as a meat dish both in looks and consistency yet it is an entirely veggie invention. A cunning trick if you ask me. Die hard carnivores will disagree with me wholeheartedly and laugh in a derogatory fashion, but I’ll take that any day. Falafels are genius in a green kitchen and a tasty treat when you want non-veggie. Being Swedish I would never knock a good old-fashion meat ball but as I’m an 80/20 kind a person falafels are my go to choice most of the time.

If you don’t want to buy your falafels from the supermarket then here is a fantastic vegan and gluten-free recipe courtesy of the lovely food blog, Minimalistbaker.com. Delicious hot or cold I add them to any salad combination or grain dish I conjure up and it is a hit every time.  Here goes:

Better than restaurant falafel (vegan & gluten-free) by Minimalistbaker.com

Serves 4

4 cups stemmed and torn collard greens (one bunch), or swiss chard

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

3 garlic gloves, chopped

1 1/2 tbsp tahini

1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1/4 tsp cumin

sea salt and black pepper to taste

3-4 tbsp oat flour (gluten-free oats, check your health food shop, if none try spelt flour)

Rapeseed oil for cooking

Add all ingredients bar the oil into a food processor and combine. Once well incorporated, transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in the oat flour, 1 tbsp at the time, until the mixture is thick enough to handle – about 3 – 4 tbsp. Take this opportunity to taste the mixture in order to get the right balance. Perhaps you need a bit more lemon juice/salt/pepper etc. Only you are the judge.

Heat a large pan over medium to medium-high heat and add 2 tbsp oil at a time. Swirl to coat pan evenly. Add about 4-6 falafels at the time and flip over once they are deep golden brown then do the same on the other side. Serve immediately with hummus and paprika or inside a pita with garlic sauce and hummus. Any left overs will keep in the fridge for several days after. Enjoy x

 

 

Top snack!

imagePresent me with a choice of sweet or savory and I’ll choose savory every time. No pudding for me, instead I’ll head straight for the cheese and chutney. Since becoming more interested in what I’m putting into my body, however, I am a more discerning customer. So the white pitta bread and shop bought hummus have been replaced by veggie tortilla chips from Whole Foods (all natural and gluten-free) and a great hummus recipe from the founder of Abel & Cole. What a great company that is by the way. If you don’t know them they were one of the first home delivery services to bring seasonal, organic veggies to the London area. Their weekly fruit and vegetable boxes are legendary.

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Here is the hummus recipe. Once made you can keep it in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of days:

Hummus in a Hurry (from the Able & Cole cookbook)

1 can organic chickpeas

1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

2 tbsp tahini (sesame seed paste)

Juice of a lemon

3 or 4 glugs of olive oil

A couple of pinches of sea salt

Optional: a couple of pinches of paprika

Drain the chickpeas (retain a bit of the juice from the can) and throw them into a blender or food processor with the crushed garlic, tahini and lemon juice. Get blitzing!

Slowly pour 3 or 4 glugs of olive oil in through the top of the blender with the motor still running so it all combines. You may need to scrape some of the mixture down the sides of the blender to get it all to combine. If it is too dry, re-mix and add a bit of the juice from the chickpeas to help it loosen up to a smooth paste.

Season with sea salt (and paprika if you like) to taste and serve. Enjoy x