I am in love with my Pinterest Raw Dessert Board. At the end of every week I look at it and try to find time for something to make. I’ve only got around to making a few and some have been disappointing, but I just need more practise.
The whole world of raw desserts is extremely exciting to me (and my lactose/gluten intolerant mum). In fact, I dare say any woman who has a sweet tooth would be mad not to perfect at least one or two raw desserts. Forget the bucket of Ben and Jerry’s when you’ve been chucked or had a rubbish day at work, whip up a raw dessert and eat yourself whole again! Read more
Let me just start by saying I did not name this salad. Every time I have this my husband thinks he is being hilarious by asking if I’m eating a smug salad. Hence it is now known in our house as a “smug salad”.
Why smug? Well it has those two on-trend superfoods – kale and quinoa. I’ve talked about the benefits of kale in this baked mushrooms with kale recipe but haven’t yet discussed quinoa.
So what is so special about quinoa? Firstly, it’s awesome for those gluten intolerant people (like my mum – happy mother’s day btw!), so it is a good substitute for couscous or even rice. Secondly, quinoa contains more protein than any other grain (even though it is not a true grain, it is usually referred to as an “ancient grain” because it was part of the diet of pre-ColumbianAndean civilizations), as well as being high in fibre, low-gi, rich in antioxidants and calcium. And it is doesn’t involve too much processing to get it at your local health food store or supermarket, so it’s pretty close to its natural state.
During summer, this was my go-to salad. It’s when I really started experimenting with quinoa for quick lunches and chopped salads just taste more interesting than an ordinary salad, this seems particularly so with quinoa.
2 stems curly organic kale, stalk removed and chopped
½ cup organic quinoa, cooked to packet instructions
½ cup roughly chopped cucumber
½ cup roughly chopped tomatoes
1 avocado, roughly chopped
good handful of parsley, chopped
juice of ½ to 1 lemon
Rinse the cooked quinoa under the cold tap through a sieve. Push the excess water through and leave to drain.
After chopping the kale, put it into your salad bowl and pour a little olive oil over it. Now rub, rub, rub the kale in between your fingers making sure the oil is massaged into kale. It should slightly change colour.
Once you're done with the kale, mix all the ingredients together in the bowl. Squeeze the lemon juice, mix around and taste. You might not need any additional olive oil and will likely need to adjust the amount of lemon juice according to your taste buds.
An excellent recipe for an overcast, wintery day. Or in my case Autumn.
I may have mentioned before, I try to eat at least two serves of leafy greens a day and I am madly in love with kale as my green of choice.
Why? First of all, once you know what do to with it, either massaging with some oil to eat it raw, or cooking it with some oil, it’s really yummy. If you’ve never tried it before try making your next salad with it in lieu of lettuce, Just be sure to really massage it with olive oil (or your oil of choice) and then chop it up – like my Leftover chicken, kale, coriander and lemongrass salad.
Secondly, you have to appreciate how good it is for you. It has proven anti-cancer properties. These include colon, ovarian, prostate, breast, and bladder cancer. The reason for this? Kale has a high concentration of a chemical with potent anti-cancer properties (sulforaphane) and double whammy, another chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells (Indole-3-carbinol). So it’s twice as good for giving cancer a big whack in the face.
So, get cooking and enjoy this in front of an open fire…
5 organic kale leaves, removed from stalk and chopped
½ cup vegetable stock or water
1 small garlic clove, sliced
½ tablespoon organic coconut oil plus bit extra for smearing mushroom
5 sticks of thyme, just the leaves - run your fingers up and down to get them off
Good squeeze of lemon juice
Heat oven to 200 °C / 390 °F..
Chop off the stem of the mushroom and chop up.
Smear coconut oil over the base and top of the field mushroom and squeeze over lemon juice. Pop mushroom and cherry tomatoes in the oven on a tray for 10-15 mins.
Over medium heat, melt the coconut oil in a saucepan. Add garlic and chopped mushroom stem. Cook, stirring for 5 mins then add stock and kale. Bring to boil and reduce to a good simmer for 10 mins, or until your mushroom is cooked.
To serve, put kale in a sieve to press out excess liquid. Stir in thyme to kale mixture and place on top of the mushroom. Place the cherry tomatoes on top and garnish with more thyme.
You guys (all one of you!) are going to think I love lemongrass, but I’m just being efficient, having purchased a couple of sticks of lemongrass and a big bunch of coriander at the markets last Friday.
I’ve been cooking lots of vegetables for the wee one lately and as they cook forever, they leave lovely stock. So I’ve been storing it up as vegetable stock and that’s what I’ve used here.
In regards to the lemongrass, it really needs a good bashing to release the aroma and the flavours. Don’t use the back of your knife to do this. I’ve learnt the hard way and snapped one of my Global’s in half. No, I’ve been using a marble (that sounds so luxe, ok it is really!) rolling pin. Any old rolling pin will do, just bash the lemongrass on a sturdy chopping board and then chop it up.
Once you’ve chucked all the vegetables in the saucepan and turned it down to a simmer you set the timer and wander off to do something useful.