Tag Archives: carrots

The Magic Yellow Powder

When I use turmeric, I feel that my dishes are not only vibrantly golden, but also nutritiously stronger. No wonder it has more health uses than any other medicinal herb! Over time, I learned to keep it handy and add it to almost any food being cooked over the fire or to sometimes use it for creating the loveliest salad dressings.

Most often, I let myself drawn by imagining how other vivid colors would look like next to the shining yellow and this is exactly how new taste combinations and dishes turn into reality.

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One of the dressings I love the most is inspired by this one, and I particularly like the texture given by the carrots inside, not to mention how well it balances the bitterness of the turmeric. What I use is:

  • carrots
  • turmeric
  • olive oil
  • tahina / cashews
  • soya sauce
  • honey
  • (mustard)
  • lemon
  • balsamic vinegar
  • garlic
  • (ginger)
  • salt

See that mustard is in itself pretty sour, so if you choose it, you won’t need to add vinegar or too much lemon. Similarly when using soya sauce be mindful regarding how much salt you add.

I like the combination between this sauce and the sweetness of chickpeas or the glutinosity of rice.

So here you have it next to a beautiful dark rice soaked in coconut milk and accompanied by autumn veggies – carrot, pumpkin, leek and sweet potatoes, them too sauteed with the magic yellow powder.

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And here’s a similar version with a cashew & tomato juice base

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Steamed Roots in Mustard Sauce

The recipe I’m going to share with you makes it perfect for a local based meal during the cold season. Relying solely on our veggies – those belonging to the temperate climate – shouldn’t make of you a kind of an abstemious person, neither put you in a dilemma each time you want to cook. All you need is to do is put that imagination to work!

So for this particular dish, beside collecting your fav roots, you should decide upon one delicious dressing. Here is what I’m using pretty often, with mustard as a main ingredient, in two versions:

  • steamed parsnip, mustard, cold pressed sunflower oil,  lemon, garlic & ginger
  • canned peas, mustard, cold pressed sunflower oil, lemon, garlic & ginger

I also added broccoli, but I guess you can use any of his other relatives, such as cabbage or kohlrabi.

So top those steamed veggies with mustard sauce and get some new tastes going! 🙂

Rajma aka Beans

There’s nothing more straightforward than beans – it’s filling, protein packed and extremely savory. The connaisseurs will tell you all of these at once, plus emphasizing the lusciousness of the rightly cooked dishes. The nutritionists will point out at the high levels of minerals, fiber and even antioxidants.

I have to admit that I wasn’t a big fan of the average white beans and most of the times I use to find it kind of heavy for digestion – in any case, heavier than lentils or chickpeas. However, discovering the red kidney beans and the black beans shaped my experience into a whole new thing. They both seem to absorb flavors really well and thus able to stand out with amazing cooked dishes and salads.

For now, I choose a popular Indian Rajma recipe, fairly easy to prepare and equally delicious, inspired from the Punjabi cuisine.

As with any beans, soaking for at least 8 hours is a must. If you have a pressure cooker, do use it now! It will turn your beans so soft and tender that you’ll completely leave behind the time consuming boiling method. Be aware that some of the beans will open up while cooking.

Now prepare the base: heat a bit of oil in a pan and saute (in this order) one bay leaf, cumin seeds, chopped onions, grated ginger & garlic and tomato puree (or simply cut in small cubes).  Stir continuously until the water evaporates. You can choose to incorporate peppers (as I did) or carrots, but make sure that in the end they’ll turn out with the same smooth texture as the rest of the dish.

Before adding the rajma along with its water, sprinkle the powders (chilly, turmeric, cumin, coriander, garam masala – the hottest one you have) and mix well until all flavors come together, including salt.The water from the beans will absorb this beautiful gravy and render its distinctive flavor to the dish.

For a special serving, add some fresh mint at the end!

list of ingredients

  • red kidney beans
  • cooking oil
  • bay leaf
  • cumin seeds & ground cumin
  • onions
  • garlic & ginger
  • tomatoes
  • turmeric
  • ground coriander
  • garam masala
  • salt
  • fresh mint

Mint Kohlrabi

Not many veggies can give you such a crunchy watery experience as kohlrabi does.  Because I really find it special, I’ve decided to build up to the fame of this rather unknown member of the cabbage family.

There are two ingredients that I love adding next to the kohlrabi and that is fresh mint and ground pepper. As simple as that! From now on you can start playing with colors and textures, choosing either an olive oil based dressing or a rich tahini cream to soak the entire thing. In the salad here I mixed carrots and purple cabbage while the white kohlrabi got turned into spaghetti for a more gourmet look.

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Tomatoes are also something you can consider, but careful not making it too watery. Last touch was mixing all ingredients together with a superfluid tahini dressing in which I have already incorporated the ground pepper.

Lovely salad for the summer!

list of ingredients

  • kohlrabi (white or purple)
  • carrot / tomatoes
  • cabbage (purple or white)
  • mint
  • ground pepper
  • tahini / olive oil
  • lemon juice
  • salt

 

Marinated Mushrooms

Either way you take it, mushrooms are great. Some of them taste light enough to have them raw – like champignons – while others require cooking as they’re a bit heavy. Have you ever thought of saving their  natural enzymes while having the best taste? *

There’s one easy procedure to do that – it’s called marinating and it refers to the changes of taste and texture undergone by food during long hours spent in a seasoned acidic liquid. I usually use olive oil, lemon juice and soya sauce and then add dry thyme, garlic or even dates – for a sweet twist. You can think of spices such as ground turmeric, nutmeg or cumin, but just be sure you don’t get all exotic; unless you really master tastes & flavors! My new favorite seasoning for the mushroom marinade is sweet smoked paprika – it just builds up so much taste! (most probably reminiscent of bacon aroma :))

Once you start adding the composition to the mushrooms (if there’s not enough liquid, just add water) you’ll see how they turn tender and shrink.  Leave the marinade overnight in cool place or in the fridge and then add it to your favorite salad.

list of ingredients

  • olive oil
  • lemon juice
  • soya sauce
  • optional: dry thyme, crushed garlic, turmeric, nutmeg, cumin, dates

Here are a few ideas for some truly gourmet raw mushroom dishes:

Like any other respectable protein, the mushrooms get along very well with carrots 🙂 Feel free to experiment any dish with these two, along with your favorite greens. Lots of greens.

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And this is how the pretty forest mushrooms in the above picture turned out: a dish with shredded cauliflower & carrot, red peppers, turmeric and salvia leaves.

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A sample of the smoked paprika marinade, mixed with whole grain brown rice and served with green onions.

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And another sample of a different marinade, made out of soya sauce, dates (crushed or paste) and only a bit of lemon. This is how red onions look like after spending some time in this thick liquid.

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* special warning

if your mushrooms are picked up from the forest, be sure to check if they require to be cooked over heat. some of them might be poisonous when raw!

Seasoned Lentils & Carrot Salad

This salad is perfect when you expect more-than-just-veggies in your healthy bowl. Power to the carbs!

The main trick is not to overboil the green lentils as you would do it in a cooked dish. Test them with a fork – if they get easily squashed after being put off the fire, you’d better turn it into a soup 🙂 or try them: they shouldn’t taste like raw beans, but still keep a firm ‘al dente’ texture.

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Until the lentils get cold, you can prepare the dressing by mixing in a bowl cold pressed sunflower oil, soya sauce, lemon, grated ginger and thyme. If you love spices as much as I do, then this is the time to add some cardamom or cinnamon powder and some raisins.

The only thing left to do is to bring all ingredients together in your salad bowl. I usually use more carrots than lentils, but it goes different with each taste. I also prefer adding the onions at the very end so they don’t become too dominant.

If you’re not having the salad right away, don’t forget to check before serving how much dressing it still has – both lentils and carrots are great ‘suckers’. And to sprinkle with grated orange peel and sesame seeds!

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list of ingredients

  • green lentils – soaked overnight & lightly boiled
  • carrots
  • grated ginger
  • lemon juice
  • soya sauce
  • cold pressed sunflower oil
  • thyme (dry or fresh)
  • red or green onions
  • optional: cardamom, cinnamon, grated orange peel, raisins (or similar dried fruits), sesame seeds, sunflower sprouts