Veggie Donburi

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The Japanese kitchen is one of my favorites and I love discovering new and healthy cafés which incorporates both Japan and health under one roof. Otabé in Putney is such a place and if you ever find yourself in South West London you should try it. Their Matcha Latte is divine as is their brown rice porridge. After my lovely big bowl of vegetable donburi (rice and vegetables) I decided to create one at home which reminded me of Otabé’s version as this is a dish I could seriously have daily. Continue reading “Veggie Donburi”

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

 

 

Japanese Green Bean Salad

 

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This is a celebratory post in honour of the humble salad. Where I grew up, salads were certainly not what they are today. I have memories of bare leaves, mostly iceberg, thick dressings (think Rhode island or blue cheese) and the content of a can of sweet corn and button mushrooms, perhaps a few bits of cucumber too. Or the classic potato salad with more mayo than potato, with added bacon bits from a package. Sweden, where I grew up, was not known for its vegetable culture, that’s for sure.

These days, however, the salad is fast becoming a main event. Traditional pubs are now offering ‘super salads’ on their menu, which really are packed with super greens, seeds and nuts. And salad is a loose term. Leaves are no longer mandatory, instead all kinds of vegetables suffice – green beans, lentils, watercress, rocket, radish, chickpeas, lambs lettuce, beetroot, kale nuts, seeds and so on can be called a ‘salad’. For those tolerating dairy, feta, halloumi, goats cheese and mozzarella can be fab additions too. And what a lovely concept it is, to play with flavours, dressings, leaves, pulses and seeds until you find combinations that are uniquely your own. No rules!

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At a recent BBQ, the meat was a side and instead salads, all varieties, took centre stage at the table. It was a beautiful, varied spread. What are your favorite? I’d love to hear it. Currently, mine is a Japanese green bean salad with sesame dressing (see top). I could eat this every day at every meal. It goes with fish and meats but works beautifully on its own too.

Japanese Bean Salad with Sesame Dressing

Large packet of fine green beans, washed and topped

1 tbsp sesame seeds

2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce

1-2 tsp sugar/stevia/agave (depending on the sweetness you require)

Steam the green beans until just tender – you don’t want to overdo it. Put aside and cool slightly. In the meantime add sesame seeds to a small dry frying pan and toast until golden. Grind most of the toasted sesame seeds (not all) with a pestle until almost crushed and the aroma released. Mix tamari/soy with the sugar and add the sesame mixture and pour over the green beans. It may look like the dressing will not go far but keep turning the beans with a pair of tongs and eventually the beans will be beautifully coated in the dark, sweet soy mixture. Sprinkle the remaining sesame seeds on top of the bean salad and serve immediately. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do. Happy Wednesday! X

 

 

Beetroot and Kale Salad + Stir Fried Veg + Garlic Prawns

 

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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…

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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

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Voila!!!