Fresh herb salad with pomegranate and lemon dressing

I love Tabouleh! It’s one of my favourite salads in the world. It’s this combination of freshness and herbs that I love so much –  that creates a true sensation of party in my mouth.

I had some leftover cooked bulgur in the fridge as well as a bunch of fresh coriander, and there was fresh mint in the garden!  I also had a big juicy pomegranate laying on the table begging me to play – so inspired by Tabouleh salad, I created this:

Fresh herb salad

Fresh herb salad

Fresh herb salad with bulgur and pomegranate

One cup of cooked bulgur

one bunch of fresh mint

one big bunch of Italian parsley

one big bunch of fresh cilantro

one bunch of spring onions

one pomegranate

1/2 cucumber

one lemon

1/4 cup olive oil 

Sea salt

Rinse and finely chop herbs and spring onions  – mix with the bulgur in a bowl. Squeeze the lemon and stir in the olive oil, mix in the salad. Add sea salt and serve with pomegranate seeds on top. Serve and enjoy! Perfect for lunch!

Pomegranate

Pomegranate

While chopping away, I was thinking how much I love spending time in the kitchen, creating – for me it’s the perfect way to relax. Kitchen meditation or even kitchen therapy for my soul  – how many problems have not been solved around a kitchen table? Not to forget the amount of amazing ideas that have been given birth to in the kitchen, deep talks, laughter, and love shared in this almost sacred space of the house.

Lots of fresh herbs

Lots of fresh herbs

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Baby Kale & Portobello Salad with Walnuts and Sun Dried Tomatoes

I can never get enough salad – I think there are so many fantastic creations out there.

This one is simple and super delicious!

Baby Kale Salad with Portobello

Baby Kale Salad with Portobello

Baby Kale  & Portobello Salad with Walnuts and Sun-dried Tomatoes 

Baby kale

4 Portobello Mushrooms

1 clove of garlic

Freshly squeezed lemon juice

6 sun-dried tomatoes

A good handful of coarsely chopped walnuts

3 Tablespoons of Balsamic vinegar reduction

1 teaspoon of good Dijon Mustard

1/3 cup Olive Oil

1 clove of freshly squeezed garlic

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Rinse the baby kale and put it on a clean cloth to take a way excess water before putting it in a salad bowl.

Clean the portobello and chop them.

Portobello

Portobello

Fry them with a bit of olive oil in a pan- till they are golden. Add sea salt, lemon juice, garlic and some freshly ground pepper. Leave them to cool slightly before adding them to the salad.

Cut the sun-dried tomatoes and chop the walnuts. Add to the salad.

Make the dressing;

Dressing

Dressing

For this salad I used a really great local balsamic vinegar reduction that I have fallen in love with  – “Nonna Pia’s Balsamic Cabernet Merlot Reduction made with love! “ – it’s intense and slightly sweet, you can taste it’s made with love (perfect for salad and so many other things)

Nonna Pia's Vinegar

Nonna Pia’s Balsamic Vinegar

In a bowl, put the Dijon mustard and the balsamic vinegar. Stir together. Whisk in the olive oil little by little. Add sea salt and freshly squeezed garlic.

Toss the salad together and enjoy on it’s own or like this with parmesan or some goat cheese.

Lime and Herb Infused Green Papaya Salad

A total craving for Green Papaya Salad lured me out into the cold and windy day, on the hunt for green papaya. I love my local China town – it’s always full of life, hectic, intense, full of colors, smells and hints of adventure. Then, the sun came out, and what more can you really ask for?

China Town


Fisgaard market

Red Door

Fan Tan Alley Victoria

China Town Victoria MarketMarketMarket

I found the freshest and most beautiful green papaya fruit, a deliciously sweet pineapple, fresh herbs, big juicy oranges, tangy lime fruit and dried cranberries. That’s when I knew I was fully ready to go home and create a delicious Green Papaya Salad.

Green Papaya Salad

Green Papaya

Green Papaya

Papaya in Julienne

Papaya in Julienne

Filets of Orange

Filets of Orange

Juicy Orange

Juicy Orange

Mint, Cilantro and Basil

Mint, Cilantro and Basil

Green Papaya Salad

1/2 green papaya

1/4 fresh sweet pineapple

1 big orange

1 bunch fresh cilantro

1 bunch fresh basil

1 bunch fresh mint

A handful of cranberries

Cut the papaya and the pineapple into julienne strips and cut the orange into fillets. Wash and finely chop the herbs, mix everything in a bowl. Add a handful of dried cranberries

Marinade

2 lime

3-4 sps of maple syrup or agave

1 -2 cloves of garlic

some freshly grated ginger

Squeeze the lime, add maple syrup, squeeze garlic and grate some fresh ginger – mix well.

Pour the marinade over the salad and enjoy!

Green Papaya Salad

Green Papaya Salad

Raw for a day

Try to go raw for a day? To eat only plant-based foods that have not been heated! A whole day with freshly pressed juices, greens smoothies, veggies, fruits, nuts, leafy greens – what better way to boost your energy and nourish your body!

For those of you who know me, you know that I am a big fan of VB6, i.e., be Vegan Before 6 pm. Often the whole family go whole days as plant-based eaters and we feel huge changes in our bodies, both physically and emotionally. And our body are satisfied, so we keep coming back for more.

I think it is great to go one day a week completely raw and allow the body to feast and rejuvenate.

This means for one day:

  • No coffee
  • No processed sugar
  • No diary
  • No meat
  • No alcohol

It means lots of:

  • Filtered water
  • herbal tea
  • freshly squeezed juices
  • green smoothies
  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • leafy greens
  • nuts
  • seeds

Going raw for one or more days can be a really great way to boost your health.

Menu

For breakfast – Raw banana oatmeal with almonds and freshly squeezed orange and pineapple juice

Mid morning – A green smoothie with spinach

Lunch – Salad with apples, pomegranate, pine nuts and a pomegranate dressing

Afternoon – Chocolate milkshake made with almonds, dates, vanilla and coco

Dinner- Green and delicious spring rolls

Breakfast: Raw banana oatmeal with almonds and freshly squeezed orange and pineapple juice

Banana oatmeal:

1/2 cup raw oats

1/4 cup raw almonds

1/2 cup filtered water

1 banana

3 Medjool dates

Add it to the blender and blend it to a smooth porridge, serve with slices of banana and a teaspoon of agave syrup

For the juice I simply pressed organic oranges and 1/2 pineapple – served it on ice.

Mid morning:  A green smoothie and a handful of nuts

This smoothie is so good!

Good handful of fresh spinach

a pear

1/2 some pineapple

a grapefruit

an orange

some filtered water

crushed ice

Blend all of this, serve and enjoy

Lunch: Salad with apples, pomegranate, pine nuts and pomegranate dressing – avocado and a green smoothie

I love this very fresh salad – the pomegranate and the apples go so well together, and with the pine nuts and the  dressing it is just heavenly good.

I use a mix of organic lettuce – use any of your favorite

1/2 pomegranate

one apple

2 spoonful of pine nuts

For the dressing:

1/2 pomegranate

2 spoons of raw honey or agave

2 spoons of balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup of olive oil

1/2-1 clove of garlic

sea salt

Take out the seeds of the pomegranate and add to the blender along with balsamic vinegar, garlic and olive oil – blend into a dressing.

Arrange the washed and dried lettuce in a bowl, toss it with some of that delicious dressing, cut the apple in to bite sizes and add to the lettuce, sprinkle with pine nuts – enjoy!

Slice an avocado in half on the side and some of the green smoothie.

Afternoon: Chocolate milkshake made with almonds, dates, vanilla and coco

This is a treat – to make it extra smooth soak the almonds beforehand for at least 3-4 hours.

Add 1 cup of soaked raw almonds

2 -2 1/2 cups of filtered water( all depending on how you like it)

a bit of vanilla

5-6 Medjool dates

2 spoons of  raw coco powder

Crushed ice

Blend and enjoy – cool, chocolaty, creamy and sweet!

Dinner: Green and delicious spring rolls 

These rolls have become a favorite of ours – packed full of flavors.

see recipe here

Plant-wild week-day 5

Wow – this is one effective diet! I wasn’t trying to loose weight, all I wanted was to boost my health – give myself a serious health kick. That has happened in a big way, but on top of it, I have lost 2kg!!!

I’m feeling great, so great, that I’m excited about continuing this plant-wild adventure another day!

Here’s today’s breakfast

Slices of fresh watermelon and a delicious fruit smoothie made from summer berries – strawberries, raspberries, almonds, ice and filtered water.

Lunch

Baked tomatoes and red pepper fattoush – one of my absolute favorites – full blown taste of summer!

6 big ripe tomatoes

4 red peppers

1/2 cucumber

fresh mint

large-leaved parsley

1/2 red onion

some black olives

olive oil

4 pita bread

Cut the tomatoes into quarters, half the peppers and take out the seeds – put them on a baking tray (on baking paper), drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt – and bake slowly in a 300C oven for about an hour – checking so see that they don’t burn. Once they are done, take them out and leave them to cool.

Cut the pita breads in half and then separate them – put them on a baking tray in an 400F oven – bake till they are slightly brown and crisp. Put aside to cool.

Cut the cucumber in half length-wise and then cut into bite sized slices. Wash and roughly chop the parsley and the fresh mint, cut the red onion in half and slice it. Remove any skin of the red peppers that is burnt. Cut the red pepper into smaller pieces. In a bowl put the cucumber, the herbs, the baked tomatoes and pepper and the olives. Mix carefully, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar,

Serve with pieces of the crispy pita bread on top – and enjoy, preferably outside in the shade with a cool drink!

Dinner

Pasta with sun dried tomatoes and olive pesto – topped with garlic, chili and herb bread crumbs and served with summer salad

Spaghetti 75 g pr person

Pesto

Big bunch of fresh basil

100g of sun dried tomatoes ( I used about half a small glass)

15 black pitted olives

1 big clove of garlic

1/2 olive oil

2 table spoons of nutritional yeast

2 table spoons of pine nuts

Add all the ingredients in to the blender and blend into a perfect pesto sauce

Bread crumbs

1 cup of bread crumbs

a bunch of basil

a bunch of fresh oregano

2 cloves of garlic

some red fresh chili ( depending on how hot you like it baby)

grated lemon peel

sea salt

I used some of the good, but now stale, bread and chopped it into tiny bread crumbs. Finely chop the herbs along with the garlic and the chili, grate some lemon peel and mix everything all together.

In a frying pan – add some olive oil and heat – add the bread crumbs, stirring and tossing all the time to prevent them from burning, fry until they are slightly golden, then add the herb mixture and mix well. Leave on the heat for another minute still mixing. Take off the heat.

Cook the pasta – detente – drain and mix with the pesto sauce, serve on big plates with the bread crumbs. Serve with a summer salad, with tomatoes, of course.

Plant-wild week-day 2

Day 2 of our plant-wild week. I slept like a log and woke up full of energy – I can feel how I am actually fueling my body with everything good.

I am excited about today – I love this, creating new healthy recipes – and as you may know, I don’t compromise on taste …………

Breakfast

Breakfast today is quinoa cooked in coconut milk and cardamom, served with chopped dates, walnuts and fresh peaches.

I used:

1 cup of quinoa

1 can of coconut milk

5 green cardamom pods

1/2 cup of water

Put all the ingredients in a pan and cook over gentle heat till all the coconut milk is absorbed. The cardamon gives an awesome taste but they’re a bit chewy for most, so please see if you can fish out the 5 pods before serving.

Serve with chopped walnuts, dates and fresh peaches

Morning smoothie

Morning smoothie:

2 slices of fresh pineapple

one peach

one mango

a handful of grapes

some frozen summer berries

a handful of almonds

Blend into a smooth and delicious morning smoothie. This is a family hit.

Lunch

Salad with pomegranate, apples, pineapple and walnuts in a pomegranate marinade:

Arugula lettuce

A mix of your favorite lettuces

1/2 pomegranate

a slice of pineapple

a handful of walnuts

1 apple

2 spring onions

Marinade

1/2 pomegranate

2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

1/3 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons of agave or maple sirup

1 clove of garlic

pinch of sea salt

Put all ingredients for the marinade, except for the olive oil, into the blender – blend, add the olive oil slowly only a little at a time.

Arrange the salad, add the marinade, the apple, some finely chopped pineapple, the pomegranate seeds and sprinkle on top with the walnuts.

By the way – wear your bathing suit or an apron while making this – I ruined a T-shirt, because the little red juicy pomegranate seeds were wildly uncontrollable and went all over the place.

The taste of this salad was so intense and full of flavors – I will be making this again soon!

Dinner

We love to BBQ – and as we don’t care too much about the weather, we try to BBQ all year round, but I must admit the best time to BBQ is now, on a warm summer night, while the hummingbirds are flitting about and the long rays of sun setting give such a relaxing colour to everything.

So BBQ dinner: Tonight’s  dinner is BBQ Portobello mushrooms with slices of marinated eggplant and served on grilled bread with homemade pesto sauce!

The bread

3 cups of water

1 teaspoon of yeast

2 tablespoons of olive oil – season with a clove or two of garlic

5 cups of organic wheat flour

1 cup of organic whole wheat

Salt

Put the (lukewarm) water and yeast into a big bow and stir until the yeast is dissolved, then add the olive oil and a spoonful of salt. Stir in the flour a little at a time until you have used all flour. When the dough has absorbed all the flour and does not seem to want more put it on the counter for a couple of hours to raise. Cover it with a clean wet (damp) cloth.

Scoop out the dough on the kitchen counter – onto a bit of extra flour – to keep it from sticking. Tear off a small amount, about the size of a tennis ball and roll it out to a fairly thin bread (like a pizza). Put it on a piece of baking paper on a plate and add another sheet of baking paper on top for the next bread. Make the amount you need – we usually have one per person.

Heat up the BBQ and brush each bread with some of garlic olive oil and carefully place the oiled breads oily side down on the BBQ – brush the upper side with the garlic oil. Turn them until they are slightly browned on both sides and ready.

BBQ

4 Portobello mushrooms

4 thick slices of eggplant

fresh rosemary

olive oil

Lemon juice

Marinate the eggplant slices with a bit of olive oil, some fresh rosemary, some sea salt and some freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Take the stalks out of the Portobello mushrooms and put them and the slices of eggplant on the BBQ. Grill gently til everything is ready – turning every now and then, sprinkle with some sea salt.

Homemade Pesto

I love the fresh basil in the garden right now – it is so intense and deep in flavor.

a big bunch of fresh basil

1 clove of garlic

2 spoonfuls of pine nuts

sea salt

one tablespoon of nutritional yeast

1/3 cup of olive oil

Blend it all together in to a great sauce.


To assemble the dinner, slice some tomatoes and some red onions and some lettuce. This goes wonderfully along with the grilled bread, the pesto and the grilled eggplant and Portobellos.

Too serve put a grilled bread on a plate, add some pesto, a grilled Portobello, a grilled slice of eggplant, some slices of tomatoes, onions and some lettuce –

Enjoy!

Red quinoa salad with cherry dressing, walnuts, goat cheese and basil

We are now getting gorgeous cherries, the deepest red, sweet, tasty and succulent – beautiful in a salad.

The other day I had quinoa cooked in coconut milk for breakfast, with cherries. It was an idea from one of my favorite blogs,  In pursuit of more , and it was so delicious!

Quinoa is a nutritional powerhouse – its protein content is higher than in any other grain , it is also a perfect source of dietary fiber and ion.

To develop more of this good stuff I decided to make a salad – cherries with quinoa!

I made a red quinoa salad tossed in a cherry/garlic dressing, served with walnuts, more cherries and crumbled creamy goat cheese on top – it turned out to be so good that we made it 3 days in a row!

Here’s the recipe:

Cook 2 cups of red quinoa according to package. Put it aside to cool.

For the dressing:

15 fresh cherries, pitted

2 spoons of good balsamic vinegar

6 -8 spoons of olive oil

1 clove of garlic

sea salt

Put all the ingredients in the blender and blend to a smooth dressing consistency.

Add the dressing to the quinoa – stir it and arrange it in a serving dish. On top add 15 pitted cherries chopped coarsely, add coarsely chopped walnuts and sprinkle with some crumbled creamy goat cheese and some fresh basil leaves.

Cherries are known as a true super fruit –  cherries are high in pectin, a soluble fiber that helps to prevent heart disease by lowering the “bad” cholesterol. Scientists have identified a group of naturally occurring chemicals abundant in cherries that helps lower blood sugar in people with diabetes, the berries have anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce joint pain and arthritis. They are also high in antioxidants helping to prevent heart disease and cancer, they contain melatonin which helps regulate heart rhythm and improve sleep – they are packed with vitamin A, C and E !!  So — mixed with the marvelous quinoa this dish becomes a potent and delicious dish, boosting your health with every bite.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” Hippocrates, father of medicine, 413 B.C.

Enjoy!

Summer salad from my own harvest!

Okay, today I’m going to brag. I, have grown my very first lettuce, ever! And then I made a delicious salad, with lettuce and herbs – right out of my very own garden. The lettuce in my high beds has finally grown so much that I can go out and “harvest”, exactly what I need for my salad. I am thrilled! I went out with my little wee basket and picked the lettuce we had for lunch!  Hey, it was an awesome feeling, really special!

The tomatoes I used are from the best greengrocer in the area. These local tomatoes are incredible, dark red and full of intense fragrance and taste.

Cut the tomatoes in half, add a slice of garlic on each half and a fresh leaf of basil, drizzled with a bit of olive oil. Sprinkle on some sea salt and freshly-ground pepper. Bake them slowly for about an hour in a 300F hot oven. Take them out of the oven and let them cool before using. By baking them slowly you get  a really great intense flavor that the garlic and basil accents – making a memorial lunch experience.

To give the salad some body I used freshly cooked and cooled chick peas or you can use canned ones (1 can), drained and rinsed.

The dressing:

2 table spoons of good balsamic vinegar (don’t skimp on the quality – this is essential)

8 spoons of good olive oil (again – really good olive oil makes a great difference)

some sea salt

2 cloves of garlic

Mix together the balsamic vinegar with the olive oil, sea salt and freshly squeezed garlic – set it aside.

Cut a couple of slices of great bread, preferably slightly stale – cut them into cubes and fry them in a bit of olive oil – until very slightly golden. Turned off the heat and add some freshly squeezed garlic and some sea salt. Mix it around and set aside.

Rinse the lettuce and herbs carefully and put them on a clean cloth to drain excess water off.

Tear the lettuce and herbs into smaller pieces and put them in a salad bowl along with the chick peas, the baked tomatoes and the bread. Pour on the dressing and mix all well together, leave it to rest for a few minutes, so the salad and the bread soak up the dressing and absorb all the flavours. Arrange the salad on plates or in bowls and serve immediately.

Enjoy!