A rich, zesty and highly nutritious salad that is ideal for an early Autumn lunch. This is packed with ‘superfoods’ although I think most plant-based foods are superfoods (bar maybe the Jerusalem artichoke, which I love, but lacks much nutritional oomph). So plants are all superfoods and it seems that being a vegan, no matter what you choose for dinner, your body and mind is going to thrive on it! That is of course if you keep things natural and whole food. We are what we eat and I don’t want to feel like a processed vegan hotdog. Ever. Just doesn’t appeal! Radiant health is just one of the coolest things about being a plant muncher. The other benefits are well documented, many times on this blog. But I’m a cook, so lets talk food…..
This salad is a filling centre piece dish and can be made even more so by the addition of tofu/ tempeh or even a scattering of pulses/legumes. To be honest, that’s a little OTT. This fragrant number is already loaded with nutrition; protein, calcium, iron, vitamins, healthy fats…. For this reason, it is very satisfying and filling. I love dill, its such a distinct herb that is seldom used. In this salad it is not overpowering, but mingles in with the other strong flavours.
I love to create salads and toy with texture, colours and flavours. Salads are the perfect medium to express the freshness and vitality of seasonal produce and tomatoes, carrots, kale are bang on season up here in the wild Welsh hills. We’ve had a poor year weather wise (you may have heard me mention many times over!) but we’re hanging in there are getting some beautiful cavolo nero and curly kale and down on the Trigonos farm, we have a massive poly tunnel laden with a variety of sensational tomatoes. Some of which weigh over 1 kg! All are bursting with sweetness and fragrance. Experimentation on ways of preserving tomatoes is under way, our own sun dried tomatoes lack one very important element. So we are going to slowly dry them overnight in the oven, it will take several nights. Needless to say, this time of year is filled with jar hunting, lots of roasting and creative twists and freezers fit to burst. I’m a lucky fella to be cooking with such produce on a daily basis. Thanks to Judy and team for producing the most amazing vegetables and fruits. A cooks dream!
KALE! WHATS ALL THE FUSS ABOUT?
As mentioned above, we’re in a ‘sea of green’ kale at the minute and not dreaming of complaining. As we all know, many times over, eating greens is the quickest and most effective way of becoming a super happy wonder being. It is (sort of) that easy! Kale is a star for so many incredible reasons:
- Kale is high in good fats. Omega 3’s that is. Good for the heart, brain and can reduce Type 2 diabetes.
- Kale contains a huge amount of vitamin A. The highest of any green leaf.
- Gram for gram, kale has more calcium than milk.
- By weight, kale has twice the amount of vitamin C as an orange.
Eat your greens, live the dream……………
“HEY, WHAT’S HAPPENIN’?!”
(Any Marvin Gaye fans out there?) The BHK is, of course, not just solely about food. We do other things and like to keep you abreast of what’s happening in our lives up here on Bryn Teg (Fair Hill), North Wales. We are going through renovations of the cottage and have recently built a deluxe wood shed, which could comfortably sleep a young family. We need a lot of wood over the winter! We have also been building a slate path out the front, all from local slate that we have scavenged and traded for. Its looking like something out of the Hobbit at the minute. Quite rustic, but very cool. Add to that, loads of painting, gardening, oh working for a living and wandering around the hills, our summer has been packed.
We are now starting food festival season and this weekend we have two, Ludlow (Saturday 12th) and Beaumaris (Sunday 13th). We will be doing cooking demonstrations, all recipes from Peace & Parsnips, and then book signings. We are really looking forward to kicking things off this year and will be attending a load of food festivals around Britain. Maybe see you there! (See ‘Contact and Press’, top right of the screen, for more details).
We have been sharing a much more on Twitter and Facebook these days and this has meant a few less BHK posts. Its nice to mix things up a little! Although Instagram is a step too far at the moment (I don’t have a mobile phone!)
This recipe has also recently featured in Your Healthy Living Magazine and posting it was inspired by Janice over at the wonderful Nourished by Nature blog, celebrating plant based food and natural health magic! Thanks Janice.
This salad is great warm, just don’t let the rice cool fully and watch all those flavours come to life! You can play around with the veggie components of this salad and keep it seasonal. We are using sorrel loads at the moment, it growing in patches all over the garden and even likes to grow in the cracks in or front garden slates. I can think of worst ‘weeds’. Sorrel is delicious. ‘With your long blonde hair and your eyes of blue, the only thing I ever got from you, was …….’
The Bits – For 4-6
•250g wild rice
•1 carrot, grated (if you have any carrot tops, finely chop them and add)
•5 leaves of curly kale, cut from the stems and very finely sliced
•3 tbsp raisins, soaked for two hours and roughly chopped
•½ a handful of roasted pistachios, roughly chopped
•6 radishes, trimmed and finely diced
•6 sun-blush or sun-dried tomatoes, including any oil, finely chopped
•4 spring onions, finely sliced
•½ a handful of fresh dill, chopped
•½ a handful of chives, finely sliced
•A handful of sprouted mung beans or green lentils
For the dressing
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
•3 tbsp olive oil
•Juice of 1½ limes
•Zest of ½ lime
•½ tsp sea salt
•½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
For the garnish: •A handful of roasted pistachios
•3 tbsp chopped fresh dill
Rinse the wild rice in cold water a number of times until the water runs clean. Place in a pan, pour in water to cover by 3cm, then bring to the boil and put a lid on the pan.
Reduce the heat to its lowest possible and cook for 45-50 minutes, until the rice is soft and all the water has evaporated. Fluff up gently with a fork and allow to cool fully. Spreading the rice out on a plate will help here.
To make the dressing, whisk the ingredients together in a small bowl.
Combine the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl and toss well to mix evenly. Add the dressing, spoon in the rice and combine well.
In shallow bowls, garnished with the extra nuts and herbs.
The fats in this salad (oil) and the citrus (lime) will help the body to absorb the nutrients available. They work in harmon together and carotenoids (part of the Vitamin A family) are fat-soluble and the high levels of iron in the kale are made more available by the acid in the lime. Not only are they tasty, but all these ingredients are working together to keep our bodies shiny and happy.