I happened across this recipe whilst shopping in a community market in Buenos Aires. Rows of jars, bright and golden on rustic shelving. The name was so exotic zanahoria de mayonnaise. Translated as carrot mayonnaise. I bought a jar and teased the ingredients from the artisan seller.
I jotted them down. Ready, one day for its assimilation in my kitchen. One try and it shone. It is that simple.
I now share it with you.
Mayonesa de Zanahoria – Carrot Mayonnaise
1 1/4 cup carrots. Thinly slice and drop into a shallow pan of boiling water just covering the carrots. When beginning to go soft, remove the boiled carrots. Allow to cool. Retain water.
squeeze lemon juice
2 Tbs good olive oil
1/2 small clove garlic – minced
1 tsp pink salt
*optional 1 tsp mustard – I use Carley’s Organic Mustard – it’s subtle and a little sweet
1. pop the cooled carrots and lemon juice into a blender or processor. I used a mini processor for this amount. Blitz until smooth. (Use some of the retained cooking water if it needs some help to blend. Go easy. Just a little at a time). The oil in the final step will help a lot to make it smooth and creamy.
2. add the garlic, salt and *mustard. Blitz again.
3. add the oil. slowly. a small amount at a time so it emulsifies and transforms the carrots into a sweet and gently peppery mayonnaise.
Pop into a jar and refrigerate. Will keep for 4-5 days. Or use it immediately. Spooned onto bread and coupled with avocado and argula, or a baby leaves. Or any way you like. And you will like. Promise.
This recipe could be made raw also. Miss out the cooking of the carrots. If you have a blender (lucky you!) it will work a treat. I think the texture benefits from cooking if you haven’t got one and are making do with a food processor. Give it a try. Let me know what you think.
No cook Versatile Rich Tomato Marrakech Relish
Don’t run off at the sight of a long ingredients list. Its predominance mostly spices. Simple to prepare and so flavoursome. I promise you’ll be pleased you made it and it really only takes a few minutes. I’m always ridiculously proud when I make something a store would have you think impossible to us mere mortals.
Sometimes I will go into a store or restaurant and experience a recipe so striking that I have to go home and make attempts recreate it. It is a challenge I heartily accept. Nowawdays, I usually push my trolley right on by the shelves stacked with jars of pre made sauces and condiments but last week, a little jar caught my eye and beckoned me hither. A tagine paste. I accepted it’s silent call and grabbed it from lofty height. Automatically, I turned the jar over in my hand and inspected the ingredients. Wow! no unnecessary fillers or scary E numbers. I gave it place among a soft bed of spinach and pushed my trolley onwards. It was a treat! I set about mimicking it.
One of the things I love about cooking is the guess work involved, along with the measuring, sprinkling, mincing, smelling and even in a funny way the annihilation of my clear zen worktops to transform to something akin to a struck bomb, with open jars, splattered liquids amid the perfume of garden herbs. I suspect a failure to take up science and a soul that is caressed by evocative food memories is behind my kitchen puttering.
I cracked this on the second hit. The flavours are lusty and robust. Statisfying in a way that necessitates only a few brimming spoonfuls to satiate.
Ingredients (makes one jar or about a cup full)
1/2 cup soaked sun dried tomatoes (the dry kind and not in oil…if you have the oiled type then omit the sunflower oil part of the recipe)
5 garlic cloves – minced
1/2 red pepper – chopped
1 small shallot – minced
1 roughly chopped red chilli pepper (deseeded if it is a hot number)
1/4 cup roughly chopped sun dried tomato soak water (you may need less or even none at all, depending on the consistency of your tomatoes…your judgement is needed)
1/2 juice of squeezed lemon
2 Tbs finely chopped fresh mint (remove the stalk if it is woody)
1 Tbs finely chopped fresh parsley (remove the stalk it is a bit woody)
2 1/2 tsp cumin powder – I roast seeds and grind them myself so I can enjoy the smoky aroma whilst grinding in my pestle
1 tbs coriander powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground caraway seeds
1 Tbs truffle (or walnut/olive) oil
1 Tbs sunflower oil
1/2 tsp salt (this should be enough but add sparingly according to how salty your sun dried tomatoes were)
grinding of black pepper
1. in a blender, blend the tomatoes with the red pepper to a rough paste.
2. add all the other ingredients and pulse until mix is of a thick, slightly coarse consistency. I love to leave little nibs of garlic, onion, chilli pepper and fresh herbs suspended in the paste. It adds depth and excitement in each spooned bite.
I am slathering it liberally on almost anything at the moment. I cannot get enough. Baked poppadoms are peppered with it, Raw Garlic Bread it loaded with it and veggies are turned scarlet with generous lashings of the stuff. Beans are delicious bathed in it. Avocado, potato….I could go on. I won’t.
I hope you like it as much as I do. You can also try and change up the spices to match an alternative country. Its base could be the foundation for the flavours of Italy, Mexico and Spain too. Add some pickled lime and it could whisk you away on an exotic trip to India.
India Leigh x
Raw Sprouted Buckwheat Hummus
I have a friend who calls chickpeas ‘devil food’. The force of her wrath is due to the ‘fall out’ after-effect of the ubiquitous legume. Mindful of this and needful of dip, I hunted around for alternatives. I’d not soaked any almonds so that was out. My stock of pre-cooked black beans were frozen solid. Oh dear, I had nothing to ‘hummus’ but I craved it so!
In a moment of inspiration I grabbed my dish of buckwheat, happily going about its business of sprouting on my windowsill.
I paired it will all the usual ‘hummus’ suspects, and crossed my fingers as I stood and watched it quickly blending into a thick, pale cream.
I slathered it thick on a wedge of sweet potato, hot and steaming, fresh from the oven and eagerly bit into it like an open-faced sandwich. Verdict? It is really rather tasty! Hunger abated and full of delight that my experiment had worked I roasted some cumin and bashed the smoking seeds with a pestle to release the flavours, and the together the two became firm friends.
I then dug around in my cupboard to fish out my mandolin (not the instrumental kind..though that would of been fitting!) and sliced some delicate rounds of beetroot to create an easy starter. More about that after I’ve shared the basic recipe with you.
First, sprouting the buckwheat. Buckwheat is not a grain but a seed, related to the rhubarb family. It is full of amino acids (one of most complete sources on the planet) and is gluten free. It is a ‘healthy’ starch and after soaking in water for 20mins (some say longer but I’ve heard it can spoil quickly), it gives off a gloupy gel like substance that needs to be rinsed vigorously. Once rinsed pop into a sprouter and rinse 3-4 times a day. You should see the little sprout tail emerge after a day or two. Rinse, rinse and rinse again, and then you are ready to turn it into moreish (and Moorish) hummus.
2 cups raw sprouted buckwheat
1 plump clove garlic
1/2 tsp salt (pink preferably)
1/2 lemon juice (2 Tbs)
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar or ume plum seasoning (to lift)
1-2 Tbs tahini (raw if that is your bag) I used 1 Tbs and it was delicious. See what you think.
1. pop all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Check for seasoning. Is it ok? You may like more lemon or more salt. Try it.
Nutrition (source Food Matters)
Sprouted buckwheat is an amazing food because it tastes like a grain but is actually gluten and wheat free and not a grain at all. It is one of the most complete sources of protein on the planet, containing all eight essential amino acids. This makes it perfect for diabetics and those who want to cut down on their sugary carbohydrates and to balance their blood sugar levels. It is also known to lower high blood pressure.
Sprouted buckwheat also cleanses the colon and alkalizes the body. Buckwheat is a wonderful super food for people who have varicose veins or hardening of the arteries. One of the reasons is that it is full of rutin, which is a compound that is known as a powerful capillary wall strengthener. When veins become weak, blood and fluids accumulate and leak into nearby tissues, which may cause varicose veins or hemorrhoids.
This healing food is also rich in lecithin, making it a wonderful cholesterol balancer because lecithin soaks up “bad” cholesterol and prevents it from being absorbed. Lecithin neutralizes toxins and purifies the lymphatic system, taking some of the load off of the liver. Sprouted buckwheat is also a brain boosting super food. 28% of the brain is actually made up of lecithin. Research suggests that regularly consuming foods rich in lecithin may actually prevent anxiety, depression, brain fog, mental fatigue and generally make the brain sharper and clearer.
Buckwheat is high in iron so it is a good blood builder. It also prevents osteoporosis because of its high boron and calcium levels. Sprouted buckwheat is high in bio-flavonoids and co-enzyme Q10. It contains all of the B vitamins, magnesium, manganese, and selenium, as well as many other health giving compounds.
Wow! AND it makes great hummus. Also, when teamed with mint, fresh raw beets, cumin, lemon oil and my homemade Marrakesh Relish….it is heavenly!
September already! In an attempt to push out any thoughts of the oncoming British winter (brrr) I got busy delving around on the blog of This Mama Cooks, my 2nd project for The Secret Recipe Club. My first is here to get you up to speed on what the SRC is all about.
After poking around her website a bit I was a quite in awe of Anne-marie Nichols of This Mama Cooks, and her many years of freelance food writing credits. Wow! Kudos to her ability to make her PASSION work for her. It was a bit of a challenge for me to find a recipe to play with as she, by her own admission, is all about the meat. Being a torch barer for healthy eating and low-fat eating though, she had a few vegan dishes on her website but I wanted to try something new, so I rang a circle around one of her husbands favourite dishes and set to work veganizing Anne-marie’s sriracha chicken skewers
The Internet availed me with a couple of recipes for the Sriracha sauce (my, by the looks of it you Americans love your sriracha sauce..there’s even a dedicated cookbook!). Bonzai Aphrodite had a recipe for a raw vegan version and Viet World Kitchen ‘fast’ and ‘fermented’ versions> I learnt that basically the sauce is named after the Thai town it hailed from and it is a hot sauce, typically made from sun-ripened chili peppers, vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt.
Can I be honest? I’ve never tried sriracha sauce, so I’ve no idea what it tastes like. I tried hard to imagine what This Mama Cooks (but tofu’d)…this is my virgin foray into the hot world of sriracha. This Mama Cooks’ original recipe here. I adapted different elements from her recipe, and incorporated some of the ideas from the sauce recipes I mentioned above. The recipe is low-fat, vegan, sugar and gluten free. Green lights all round!
2 medium heat red chili
1 red bell or long Romano pepper
1/4 cup fruit syrup
2 prunes (for depth)
3 tbs tamari sauce
2 cloves garlic
juice of 1/2 lime
3 tbs apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
450g extra firm tofu
3 tbs sesame seeds
1 tsp arrowroot
zest of 1 lime
4 – 6 prepared BBQ skewers (soaked)
Preheat oven 350 degrees
1. I tested the heat of the chili and decided to keep the seeds of one and discard the seeds from the other (I don’t like ‘blow the doors off’ heat). Bonzai Aphrodite offered a tip and advised keeping the crown of the chili (omit the stalk) as it adds depth of flavour. I roughly chopped and put it along with all the other ingredients, through to the tofu, into the food processor.
2. Prepare the tofu by wrapping it in kitchen towel and pressing it between two plates for an hour to reduce the water content.
3. cube the tofu and marinate in 4 tbs of the sauce (keep the rest in a to use for other recipes) for 1 hour
4.Place tofu on an oil baking tray and pour the marinade into a saucepan
5. heat with the arrowroot. Remove immediately once reached boiling (it will thicken. But if overcooked the arrowroot will loose its thickness)
6.coat the tofu in the sriracha and then sprinkle over the sesame seeds.
7.slide onto the skewers and bake for 40 mins or until the tofu is firm and the coating sticky.
8. garnish with zest of 1 lime.
9. I served with brown rice cooked with coconut milk, coriander and lime zest.
I loved the sauce and the recipe left me with 1/2 jar of the stuff to use on other recipes. I’m thinking poured over a kale stir fry, spooned onto a baked sweet potato with Daiya cheese or for dipping. I think I’d try this recipe with tempeh too.
What other ways do you use with your sauce?
I’d love (love, love) to hear from you your views on how my recipe compares to the ‘real’ thing.
The Secret Recipe Club is such a fun way of getting to know other food bloggers and set yourself a challenge once a month. If you want to join us then sign up here
So what does a vegan eat? Well, that is like asking Londoners what does a Londoner eat and expecting the answer to be the same. What I am going to tell you is what this vegan eats or, to be more precise, what she is eating this week.
Ta da! My 7 day window into whats cooking in my kitchen. I’ve chosen this week because a) I just thought of it , and b) I’m not planning on eating out this week.
So, day 1 – I started without you…sorry. Yesterday was day one but I was busy cooking/eating it so I didn’t post it on my blog.
For lunch I prepared a bowl of Cauliflower & lime pickle soup.
This recipe is so simple ANYONE could make it. You basically CHOP & POP it all into a pot.
This recipe is for 2. To make it for 4 just double the ingredients.
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup white beans
1/2 onion ( I used a large shallot)
2 sticks celery
1 clove garlic
1 tsp roasted and ground cumin (fresh is best)
3 cups water (this will differ depending on size of cauliflower, make sure you add just enough to cover ingredients)
salt & pepper to your liking
CHOP & POP into the pan. Boil until soft….approx 20mins. Blend. Serve with 1 tsp of lime pickle per bowl. If you swirl it in you get lovely ripples of tart flavour and a backward kick!
True to form I was thinking about dinner whilst eating lunch (Should I serve some therapy with that?) and I decided on mushroom risotto.
I like to use carnaroli rice. I think it ‘creams’ really well.
To make the risotto I used
200g carnaroli rice
150g sliced mushrooms
1000ml (approx) vegan stock
50 ml white wine or apple cider vinegar (I used acv as I like the acidity and it is supposed to be great for you)
1 finely chopped shallot
2 finely chopped cloves garlic
2 tbs fresh chopped parsley
2 tbs fresh chopped thyme or tarragon (remove leaves from stalks)
1/2 tbs olive oil for mushrooms
1 tbs olive oil for scallions
I LOVE making risotto. I turn on the radio and listen to some great music or a play and then happily get chopping and stirring. Cooking for the soul…
1. heat oil in a pan and add sliced mushrooms along with herbs and fry until soft.
2. remove from pan. Finely chop half of them and leave the rest as they are.
3. heat oil in a pan and saute scallion and garlic until soft.
4. add rice and fry for about 2 minutes
5. add wine or ACV and cook until absorbed (this helps to open the grain and for it to release its starches to make your risotto creamy)
6. add a ladle of stock (ensure the stock is kept on a low heat so it is hot when added) and the fine chopped mushrooms and stir until liquid is absorbed
7. keep adding a ladle of stock at a time and gently stirring.
8. when all the stock is absorbed and the rice is soft (but not mushy) add the remaining mushrooms and heat through.
9. Serve. You can add an extra smattering of chopped parsley to lift the flavour if you wish.
There are some many tasty combos you can use for risotto…another fave is butternut squash and fried sage risotto…What is your favourite?
Sorry the pics are a bit dark..one of those large unwieldy silver disc things is on the wish list….
For pudding/dessert/sweet call it what you will I had vegan yogurt and banana. I didn’t photograph it as I was sure you wouldn’t be interested in that!
Hmm, now what shall I do for DAY 2?…..
|the dazzling hummus sisters|
|Miss Carrot & Cumin hummus
|Miss Olive Noir Hummus
Yes, you did guess right…add olives, BUT for this recipe I also added a spoon of raw black tahini with is coarse and adds a interesting dimension.
For a whole wealth of of hummus factoids for you beany paste geeks…..here is the Wikipedia low down.
How do you hummus?