Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Herbalicious Salads: Tomato/Basil/Lentil & Potato/Beet/Herbs

Food is medicine! Food is sacred gift. That is how much I am enjoying lunch from these recipes right now - make it yourself and enjoy to the maximum health and flavour. Plus, the nutrients and taste of fresh herbs really add a freshness and yumminess. Fresh herbs are a special treat for many but can hopefully become a staple. Excellent in the warm months, but great in the cold months to serve as a reminder of the plant life force in its green vitality and richness. Source, buy and cook with organic ingredients whenever possible! You WILL notice a difference :) Experiment, put on some music and enjoy! Nice balance of vitamins, protein, and vegetable carbohydrates. Ideal for vegan/gluten free.

Tomato Basil Lentils

1 to 2 cups dried lentils
2 ripe tomatoes, sliced and chopped
large handful of fresh basil, chopped
oil (sesame oil is nice for this dish)
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
garlic cloves (as many as you like!)
salt & pepper

pre-wash lentils in a bowl with your hands.
drop them into boiling water on the stovetop.
cook for 1/2 hr to 50 minutes (depending on amount).
when lentils have absorbed most of the water, put whole garlic cloves into the pot.
prepare a bowl of tomatoes and basil.
place cooked lentils and garlic cloves into the bowl.
Add balsamic vinegar,sesame oil, salt & pepper to taste.

Potato Beet Salad
adapted from this recipe.

2 or 3 medium potatoes, chopped
1 large beet, skinned and chopped
fresh dill, chopped (small handful)
fresh rosemary, chopped (5 to 10 sprigs)
fresh parsley, chopped (small handful)
1 large pickle, chopped
1/3 red onion, chopped
2 tsp dijon mustard, to taste
1 tbsp. mayonnaise or veganaise
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove
olive oil
salt & pepper, to taste

roast potatoes, beet and garlic clove in the oven with a little olive oil.
bake until soft at around 330 degrees.
prepare a bowl with fresh herbs, pickle and onion.
add cooked potatoes, beet and garlic clove to the bowl.
then season with Dijon, mayo, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt & pepper.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Fall Favourite!

Re-working a fall favourite! Its a pleasure to look back at old recipes and enjoy them as-is, or make changes and improvements based on your current ingredient supply. Chutney can be kept basic - less is more. BUT sometimes more is more! Open your spice cabinet and get some inspiration to start there. The world of chutneys is practically limitless - coriander, tamarind, coconut, apple, peach, mint, beet, tomato, peanut. Sweet or savoury, with fruits, vegetables and/or herbs, the list goes on. Explore the varieties and even in invent new combinations and possibilities! Chutney is usually a great gift, especially to neighbours in the harvest season as the signs of winter begin to appear.

Apple Chutney

5 organic apples, quartered and chopped
1 organic pear, chopped
2 tsps veg oil OR coconut oil, OR ghee OR vegetable ghee
2 tsps mustard powder OR mustard seeds
1 medium red onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, chopped (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2  pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium green or red chilli, sliced
1 tsp ground ginger OR ginger root, chopped
1 tsp masala or garam masala spice
3-4 prunes, chopped AND/OR raisins
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp agave nectar
*or instead of above sweeteners, add 1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp vinegar
1 cup water
1/2 lemon juice
5 cloves
1 handful fresh coriander, chopped
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
dash of curry powder
1/3 cup water
On the stove top, begin to cook onions and garlic in oil or ghee. Add mustard seeds and ginger root. Then add a little water and add the apples. Continue to combine ingredients while simmering contents on low. Stir consistently, bring to a boil on high and then on medium to low heat until thoroughly cooked. Taste test as you go along to observe how the taste is developing.
My favourite way to eat chutney is with an Indian dish and traditional bread on the side. However chutney on toast with thin cheese slices is AMAZING! Such a treat with so many things. Enjoy the spices of life!