Sweet potato and quinoa salad with chipotle dressing

If you’re like me, this time of year you’ll crave anything which does not remind you of festive foods. It is like your body is automatically programmed to detox. And this extends to drinking too. Green juice, herbal teas, plenty of filtered water and minimal alcohol is on my menu for the foreseeable future and it feels fantastic. Saying that, it is not always easy to find a wide enough variety of flavours when cooking green and healthy  – at times it can get a bit repetitive. Which is why I’m very excited about today’s recipe which is SO TASTY!! Continue reading “Sweet potato and quinoa salad with chipotle dressing”

Vegan Vietnamese Spring Rolls

IMG_5733

Tired of Christmas food yet? Me too. Although I simply can’t wait for a traditional Swedish Julbord, it does not take long for me to feel utterly saturated by the salt, the fat and the sheer amount on offer. I start wanting healthy dishes and greens again which is  my body’s way of asking for  balance and proper sustenance. What to do?<!–more–> Continue reading “Vegan Vietnamese Spring Rolls”

Sesame Ginger Soba Noodles

20140514-194444.jpg

 

This soba noodle recipe is loosely inspired by Kris Carr’s blog, Crazy Sexy Life, and was created by Elisabeth Rider. I can highly recommend the fresh flavours of mange tout, coriander and asparagus mixed in with the chewy texture of soba. As usual I went off piste due to having the ‘wrong’ veggies at home but it was not a problem – very rarely do you come across a combo that  doesn’t work. Which is why eating green (and colourful) is so easy.

Soba noodles is a Japanese staple product and made of 100% buckwheat flour. Buckwheat is especially great for those with a gluten intolerance and known for its cholesterol reducing properties. It can be eaten both hot and cold in soups or salads and is popular in Japan and elsewhere. For example, a favorite dish on our recent Hawaiian trip was cold soba noodle salad with fermented beans. It may not sound so incredibly appetising perhaps but it turned out to be really very tasty. The accompanied slurping is an additional bonus – totally accepted practice in fact. Top tip is to not over cook (I did) as the noodles can go a bit flabby. Here is the original recipe which I was inspired by:

Sesame Ginger Noodles and Vegetables (by Elisabeth Rider, featured on Crazysexylife.com)

Serves 4-6
1 8-oz package of buckwheat soba noodles
1 8-oz package of frozen organic shelled edamame
1 large carrot, julienned
1 large red bell pepper julienned
1 medium head broccoli, cut into small florets (about 2 cups florets)
3 baby cucumbers, chopped
5-6 scallions, green and white parts finely chopped
3 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
For the dressing:
1 ½ tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon flax-seed oil
1 ½ tablespoon Braggs Amino Acids Liquid (or organic tamari/soy sauce)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1 inch knob ginger, finely grated
1 teaspoon your favorite hot sauce (optional, for heat)

How to:
Add the prepared carrot, red bell pepper, broccoli, cucumbers, scallions and cilantro to a large bowl and reserve. This recipe feeds an army; use the biggest one you have.
Fill a separate large bowl with purified ice water to shock the edamame and noodles after blanching/cooking.
Bring a large pot of purified water to a boil, and blanch the edamame for about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or spider utensil, transfer the edamame immediately to the ice water to cool it, and stop the cooking process. Remove the cool edamame from the bowl with your slotted spoon or spider utensil (let it drain well), and add it to the bowl of veggies.
Bring the water back up to a boil, then break the noodles in half and add them to the pot. Cook them a minute short according to package instructions to al dente, then transfer to the ice water just like for the edamame. Add more ice to the bowl if needed before adding the noodles.
While the noodles cook, add all of the ingredients for the dressing to a medium bowl and whisk together vigorously for about 2 minutes, until well emulsified.
Remove the cooled noodles from the ice bath with your slotted spoon or spider utensil. Let it drain well, just like the edamame. Add the noodles to the bowl of veggies.
Pour the dressing over the entire bowl of noodles and veggies. Toss well to combine. This dish can be served at room temperature or cold. Enjoy x

20140514-194434.jpg

 

 

Beetroot and Kale Salad + Stir Fried Veg + Garlic Prawns

 

20140513-160203.jpg

 

At first, this evening’s meal may appear slightly ambivalent. Is it a salad,  a stir fry, prawns and why so much all at once? Good question. In my family, we tend to eat all kinds of different food combinations simultaneously. Although this can be fiddly at times I belive in enjoying what you eat much more than rigidity.

Which means that last night, in true family style, my mother had Beetroot/Kale Salad, Stir Fried Veg and Garlic Prawns whereas I had only the Beetroot/Kale Salad as a main course. My children, on the other hand, bypassed the salad altogether going straight for the Stir Fried Veg, Garlic Prawns and rice. I figure that sooner or later they will be kale aficionados but in the meantime I eat it on their behalf!

The recipe below is a take on the  Asian Kale Salad and is really fresh and crunchy. It includes the wonderfully nutritious beetroot that can ultimately make anything look appetising and colourful, which comes in handy if you are serving it as a side dish at a dinner party. Mixed vegetables are of course always yummy but this salad really comes into its own when you add the fabulous Tamari and Ginger dressing generously on top, courtesy of Cookie and Kate. Here goes:

Beetroot and Kale Salad (serves 2 generously or 4 small portions)

2 handfuls of chopped kale,

2 handfuls of spinach

1 large carrot, ribboned with  Julienne peeler

1 large handful of fresh coriander

4 small beetroots, cut into wedges

Cut out the thick stem of the kale and discard. Take a few minutes to manipulate the chopped kale with your hands until leaves have softened. Then add all of the above ingredients.

Tamari and Ginger Dressing

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 lime, juice of

1 tbsp tamari or shoyu sauce

1 tsp grated ginger root

3 garlic cloves

2 tbsp rice vinegar

Place all ingredients in tall jug and mix with a hand mixer until slightly emulsified. Mix into the salad and let sit for a bit until leaves have wilted and dressing is generally distributed. Now you could stop right here and just enjoy this gorgeous salad or you can continue with the stir fry below as well…

20140513-160255.jpg
Dressed and ready to go.

 

Stir Fried Veg + Garlic Prawns (serves 2 generously, 4 smaller portions)

500 g French green beans

250 g long stemmed broccoli florets

250 g mange tout beans

1/2 cup of green petit pois

6 asparagus, cut into large pieces

3 garlic cloves

1″ ginger root, chopped

200 g oyster mushrooms, sliced

300 g organic king prawns

Rapeseed oil

Sea salt

Tamari or Shoyu sauce to taste

Steam the green beans for about 5 min until a bit tender. Heat the oil in a wok and add 1/2 the garlic and ginger with the mushrooms until softened. After a minute or two add the rest of the ingredients with a bit of tamari/shoyu. Add a splash of water if it is heating to quick. Stir continuously for about 4-5 minutes. Remove vegetables and add the rest of the garlic with the King prawns and cook until pink, about 3-4 minutes. Add the vegetables to the prawns and stir gently until mixed. Serve immediately with the Beetroot and Kale Salad and brown or white rice according to taste. Enjoy X

20140513-160238.jpg
Voila!!!