carrot

raw carrot cake slice with lemon cream (vegan)

13th August 2015

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Packed up and ready to go home to Portugal, after being in Australia for three magical weeks with family.

Winter here – Summer there.

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Just before I left home, I photographed and experimented with this recipe for a series of raw foods compiled for ‘Holmes Place Magazine’.  I made it a few times for the Jivana Yoga Programme with an all-around enthusiastic thumbs-up response.  I am looking forward to making it again on arrival.

Simple and grounding when life seems anything but – in-between places and planes.

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raw carrot cake slice with lemon cream

Serves 12

You can use spice powders that have already been ground, just reduce the amounts, but I find that the freshly grated ginger and ground spices make a huge difference in the aromatic taste of this heavenly raw carrot cake slice.  It is well worth the extra effort.

Recipe slightly adapted from here and here.

ingredients 

2 cups/4 medium carrots, finely grated

1 cup rolled oats

¾ cup dried coconut

1 cup raw walnuts

1 tsp cinnamon powder

1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger

¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg (can use the smaller side of a box grater)

3 pods cardamom (¼ tsp)

a pinch of salt

1½ cups Medjool or soft dates (about 11 dates), pitted

¼ cup dried cranberries

lemon cream

1 cup raw cashews – soaked 4 hours

1 vanilla bean

1 Tbsp solid coconut oil

4 Tbsp lemon juice

4 Tbsp maple syrup/honey

zest from two lemons

preparation 

1.  Line a 9-inch square tart pan with baking paper or if you have a 9-inch square loose-based pastry tray.

2.  Wash and peel the carrots, then grate them by using the smaller grater attachment of a food processor or the smaller side of a box grater. (If using the box grater, you may have to squeeze out any excess juice). Measure to make sure you have 2 cups – set aside.

3.  In a food processor or high-speed blender, grind the oats until they begin to make a coarse flour, then add the coconut and process for 15 seconds more – transfer to a medium-sized bowl.

4.  Process the walnuts until they begin to turn into a coarse flour.  Pour into the bowl with the oat and coconut flour.

5.  Remove the outer pods from the cardamom, place the seeds in a mortar and pestle and grind until you have a rough powder.  Grate the nutmeg and ginger using the smaller side of a box grater, then add the spices and ginger to the oat mixture along with the salt and cinnamon powder -mix well to combine.

6.  Add the grated carrot, dates and dried cranberries to the food processor, and mix until the dates become well incorporated and chopped. There will be chunks of dates pieces.  Combine this with the oat mixture, mixing everything together by using a pressing motion with the back of a metal spoon.  Make sure everything is well incorporated, ensuring you break up the grated ginger.

7.  Press the cake mixture as evenly as possible into the square pan.  Set aside.

prepare the lemon cream 

8.  Drain the cashews and place in a high-speed blender.

9.  Run a knife down the length of the vanilla bean, scrape out the seeds and add to the blender along with the coconut oil, lemon juice, zest and maple syrup – puree until smooth.  Taste and adjust the amount of lemon or maple syrup.

10.  Spread the lemon cream evenly over the cake.

11.  Garnish with coconut, lemon zest, roughly chopped pumpkin seeds or walnuts and edible flowers.  Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before cutting into small squares. Find a quiet corner in the garden and enjoy the vibrancy of this food!

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Goodness shared by Stacey

crunchy slaw salad with mustard greens

1st March 2015

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I can feel spring deep in my being.  I am starting to crave the crunch and freshness of salads that curiously draw me into the vegetable garden.  At first glance, it seems there are few things growing at this time of year, everything is in that in-between stage, but if I soften my gaze, there is so much more than at first glance.

I also love that I need to get down on my hands and knees to find the little delights that are popping up in these slightly warmer days.  I use the tiny small leaves of the mustard, found at the heart of the bigger plants and the smaller leaves of the seedlings which have self-seeded everywhere. They are flourishing in all sorts of unexpected and unusual places.  I use the bright yellow, dainty flowers from the older plants in salads.

Greens such as purple leaf mustard, rocket and arugula provide a peppery freshness, as well as a boost of vigour.  Salads with these greens combine antioxidants with detoxification and anti-inflammatory properties.

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crunchy slaw salad with mustard greens

Serves 4

Inspired by a vegetable garden & Jerusalem by Ottolenghi.

Raw mustard greens alone can be very intense in a salad, but their pungent, peppery bite is quite appealing in combination with the other greens and balances the sweetness of the fennel, apple and carrot. This salad was served with red rice and this soup using 1 cup fresh sweet peas instead of the half cup of dried peas.  It was a lovely refreshing dinner and noted to be repeated.  Also really good with a cooked red lentil hummus.

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for the salad 

2 large bulbs fennel

2 medium carrots

1 large apple/firm pear

cup chopped dried cranberries

zest of one lemon

an abundant bowl of freshly picked mustard greens, arugula, rocket, parsley, fresh coriander, mint, tatsoi leaves, dandelion leaves – whatever green leaf you find in the garden at this time of year

a sprinkling of mustard and borage flowers to smile up at you

preparation 

1.  To prepare the salad, peel the carrot and slice thinly, about 2 mm thick.  Stack a few slices at a time on top of each other and cut them into matchstick-like strips.

2.  Repeat with the apple and squeeze generously with lemon to stop the apple from browning.

3.  Slice the base off the fennel and remove the first fibrous outer leaf, then cut the bulb in half lengthways.  Place each half, cut side down and cut lengthways into fine shards – the slices should be almost paper-thin.  Place all the strips in a bowl.

4.  Wash the salad greens and spin dry.

5.  When ready to serve, add the salad greens, cranberries and lemon zest to the bowl of chopped vegetables. Pour over the dressing, toss well. Eat immediately once the salad is dressed.

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honey mustard dressing

Update – Lately I have been adding 2 tablespoons soaked cashews soaked with ¼ cup water and place in a blender with the rest of the dressing ingredients, blending until rich and creamy.

ingredients

2 – 3 Tbsp honey diluted with a dash of warm water

2 Tbsp olive oil/ flaxseed oil

1 level Tbsp yellow mustard seeds

juice of one lemon

salt

preparation

1.  Dry-fry the mustard seeds until they start to pop, transfer to a mortar and pestle and roughly grind.

2.  Add the diluted honey, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and whisk until well combined.  Set aside until you are ready to serve the salad.

4V7A2540Goodness shared by Stacey

flaxseed crackers

10th February 2013

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yesterday

it felt like SPRING

 it left me in wonder at all this loveliness right at my feet!

today

the wind howls, nips and bites – leaving me somewhat bruised and bent, but still rooted.

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tomorrow?

well…..

flaxseed crackers

Makes approximately 40 crackers

These are a wonderful gluten-free snack inspired by Sarah Britton’s Detox workshop I attended the last weekend.  Feel free to experiment with the flavours using whatever is in season, a walnut and fig version sounds delicious.

ingredients 

1 cup flax seeds plus 1 cup water

1 cup ground flax seeds

½ cup toasted sesame seeds

1 medium beetroot – chopped with skin (if using organic)

1 small carrot – chopped

1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary

2 Tbsp olive oil

¼ cup tamari

¼ cup water (if needed)

pre-soak 

1.  In a large bowl, combine the flaxseed with 1 cup water and allow to sit for at least 1 hour.

preparation

2.  Add the ground flaxseed, tamari, toasted sesame seeds to the soaked flaxseed gel – mix well.

3.  In a food processor with an s-blade attachment, process the beetroot, carrot, rosemary and olive oil – add to the seed mixture and fold to combine.  Add the extra water if needed.  Mix well.

4.  Pre-heat the oven to 150C/300F.

5.  Divide the mixture into three equal batches, then turn out one batch onto a piece of parchment paper on a flat baking tray, using a spatula, spread the mixture out as evenly as you can, then place another piece of parchment on top of the mixture and using a rolling pin, roll the dough until as thin as possible (about three linseed deep). Remove the top piece of parchment, score cracker shapes with a knife.  Then, repeat with the other dough on another baking tray.

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6.  Place the three trays in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.  Take the trays out and flip the mixture over.  Peel off the parchment paper so that the moist side is now facing up (it may be a bit sticky on top and you will lose a little, but this is okay).  Place back in the oven, rotating the tray which was previously on the top to bottom.  Bake until crispy – about another 30 minutes.

I found it difficult to get the dough totally even and I ended up after the last 30 minutes, turning the oven off, removing the outer squares setting aside and placing the rest back into the oven.

7.  Allow to cool and break into pieces.  Store in air-tight containers if they last this long.  They will go quickly!!

Alternatively, if you have a dehydrator, spread the mixture evenly onto several dehydrator sheets, and dehydrate for 3 – 4 hours or until the top is dry.  Then flip over to a mesh dehydrating sheet. Continue dehydrating at 105 F until crisp, about 5 hours.

 Nutritionally it is better to use a dehydrator or using your oven’s lowest temperature as the high heating breaks down the oils and nutritive properties of the flaxseed, but unfortunately, this takes a lot longer. 

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Goodness shared by Stacey

Israeli salad with a green herb tahini dressing

25th September 2012

just because…

Because it has been far too long since I last posted here and although I have missed it,  my mind has been full up and spilling over.  So I stop and start in this space, reluctantly abandoning it, vowing to come back later when the flow is complete and coherent.

And now…

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Since our move here, there has been chaos and calmness. There has been rough winds and still days, and finally, it has settled, and that sense of quiet inside has returned.

After my first two weeks in Portugal, one of the many things I missed from Israel was the wonderful salads, loaded with a freshly chopped mixture of raw vegetables, doused in good-quality olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon and the typical Israeli vibrant-green flourish of fresh herbs.  Served with hummus, sourdough bread and good olive oil,  it makes a wonderful bowl of raw, earthy goodness for brunch, lunch or dinner.

I make this salad in Summer when I am able to pick small crunchy, cucumbers straight from the garden, a few sun-warmed tomatoes and handfuls of freshly picked herbs.  It is important for the vegetables to be fresh, ripe and flavoursome.

Israeli salad with a green herb tahini dressing

Serves 4 – 6

You can use any vegetables you have on hand or in season, as long as they are fresh and finely chopped.  Add a handful of toasted nuts and seeds or crumble in salty dry feta cheese.  Use whatever herbs inspire you – parsley, thyme, dill, tarragon, mint or coriander, or a combination of all.

ingredients 

1 medium fennel bulb

1 medium carrot

4 Lebanese or mini cucumbers (don’t use big cucumbers)

8 small cherry tomatoes

1 cup small bitter leaves

¼ cup fresh herbs (parsley, coriander, dill and/or mint), finely chopped

a few glugs of good quality cold-pressed olive oil

1 Tbsp za´atar

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

preparation

1.  Prepare the vegetables, slice the base off the fennel and remove the first fibrous outer leaf, then cut the bulb in half lengthways, place each half, cut side down and cut lengthways into fine shards – the slices should be almost paper-thin (a mandoline slicer is useful for this.) Peel and chop all remaining vegetables into the tiniest cubes you can manage – approx 3-mm cubes.

2.  Mix all vegetables, leaves and herbs in a large, earthy salad bowl, drizzle with a good quality cold-pressed olive oil, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle over the za´atar – set aside while you make the tahini dressing.

GREEN HERB TAHINI DRESSING

Inspired by Whole Food Cooking Every Day.

ingredients

½ cup/115g tahini  (I prefer the hulled lighter tahini)

½ cup/100g water

2 Tbsp/25g lemon juice

¼ tsp fine rock salt

1 cup/30g fresh parsley leaves

1 cup/30g fresh coriander leaves

½ cup/6g fresh mint leaves

preparation

1.  Combine the tahini, water, lemon juice and salt in a food processor and process until you have a consistency that is pourable, adding extra water if you need.

2.  Add the parsley, coriander and mint and process again until the herbs are broken done. Taste, add lemon or salt if needed.

When serving, allow each individual to pour the dressing over their serving of salad.

Lovely served with oven-baked crunchy pita’s, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with za´atar.

Goodness shared from Stacey

sweet potato, carrot & kale palya

21st January 2010

Palya is a Kannada (South Indian language) word for a dry side dish made with any vegetable or a combination of.  Palya is usually cooked in a dry heat which brings out the flavour of the vegetables; when the natural sugars in the vegetables caramelize and the flavour is concentrated. Small pieces of uniformly cut vegetables – julienne thick or thin, diced, finely shredded, or in thin diagonal slices – are sautéed in a little ghee or oil in a heavy-bottomed pan until they are partially cooked and browned. When using vegetables like sweet potato, potato, beetroot or eggplant, I usually sprinkle them with a little water and cover with a lid, and cook on low heat for 5 mins to soften them.

This is a photo of my sweet potatoes which I dug up the other day. Unfortunately, they look a little worse for wear but their taste is so sweet and delicious. I have had to come up with many dishes to use them in. This palya is a good one!

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These are some of my favourite palya combinations :

– Julienne sliced beetroot, small broccoli leaves and kale

– Julienne sliced carrot, yellow and green beans (I love the vibrant colours of orange, yellow and green)

– Cauliflower, potato and peas (lightly steam the potatoes and cauliflower beforehand)

– Julienne sliced cabbage, crumbled tofu and thinly sliced carrot

– Grated carrot and mung beans (as in the easy sprouting recipe)

– Donna came up with a nice combination of tofu, mung bean sprouts and grated sweet potato which she will share with you at a later date.

I served this with mung beans with Indian spices & lemon and brown rice.

sweet potato, carrot & kale palya

ingredients 

1 Tbsp ghee/peanut oil

½ tsp black mustard seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp rasam powder (mildly spiced)

1 small-medium sweet potato, cut into thin Julienne pieces

1 large carrot, cut into thin Julienne pieces

1 tsp jaggery/brown sugar

¼ cup dried shredded coconut, or fresh if available

100g kale thinly sliced, – or use any green leaves. I sometimes use a combination of spinach, kale and small broccoli leaves from the garden

salt to taste

fresh coriander leaves, chopped

preparation 

1.  Heat the ghee or oil in a skillet over medium heat, add mustard seeds and fry until they start to splutter and pop, add cumin seeds and when they begin to darken, add the rasam powder – fry for a few seconds.

2.  Add carrot and sweet potato, mix well until the vegetables are well coated, cover with a lid and simmer for 10 mins, stirring often over low heat or until the sweet potato softens.  If you feel the mixture is too dry, you can sprinkle it lightly with a little water.

3.  When soft, add the jaggery and coconut, mixing well.

4.  Add the kale and continue cooking on low heat for a few minutes, stirring often, turn off heat and leave covered for 10 mins, or until the kale has wilted.

5.  Add the coriander and salt to taste.

Enjoy!

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Shared goodness from Stacey

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