Walnut, Lentil and Quinoa Salad Wrap with Spicy Miso-Cashew Dipping Sauce

This wrap is delicious. Make it. Eat it. Feel good.

Even though the weather is cooling down in the southern hemisphere and warming up in the northern hemisphere, this wrap is perfect for all seasons because it has some warming ingredients like chili, miso, walnuts and lentils and cooling, raw vegetables. Have it for lunch or serve it as an appetizer. It’s a delicious, nutrient-packed dish. Lentils are the perfect protein boost, a complex carbohydrate, high in fibre and low in fat. And, we all love quinoa because quinoa is blah blah blah blah blah…

Recipe:

  • quinoa 200g
  • lentils 80g
  • pumpkin 200g
  • sprouts 120g
  • walnuts 40g
  • cherry tomatoes 16 pc
  • bok choy 40g
  • vietnamese rice paper wrap
  • get a freaking kitchen scale

The only cooked ingredients are the quinoa and lentils. Cook each separately until um, cooked. Salt them, too. Nothing worse than unseasoned lentils. If you are feeling particularly affectionate towards clove, throw some in with the lentils as they cook. I find it morally questionable to cook beans and lentils without clove. They are God’s little heat missiles, warming up the extremities and adding general joy to the oral cavity. Good luck fishing them out, though. Or, if you are serving them to anyone you don’t feel a horrible affection towards, leave them in.

After the quinoa and lentils are cooked, drained and cooled, combine with with the rest of the ingredients. You want to grate the raw pumpkin (yes, yes, you can eat pumpkin raw and you really should), quartered cherry tomatoes, roughly torn bok choy leaves, roughly chopped sprouts (have you ever been able to bite into a long-ass sprout without completely unraveling your wrap or your dignity? No? I didn’t think so. Rough chop). Finally, rough chop the walnuts and throw them in, too.

Preparing the rough chop the sprouts

If you are not deft with handling gooey, sticky, temperamental rice paper wraps that simply collapse into a sticky heap in under 1 minute, then stop here and simply eat the salad out of the bowl, after adding this insanely delicious miso sauce. If you can handle rice wraps then lay one out on your board, using your palms, lightly rub them down with wet hands. Lay them back down again and spoon a few spoonfuls into the middle of the wrap, then say a prayer to the rice paper gods and start wrapping. Here’s a helpful video using the soaking method:

Sawse Recipe: (see how I made it rhyme with “bawse”? Cos this sawse truly is bawse.

  • cashew 200g
  • miso 40g
  • liquid amino 12g
  • lemon juice 8g
  • maple syrup 18g
  • thai chili 4g

Soak the cashew for 8 hours. This removes the thick starch, phytic acid (which inhibits digestion) and dodgy black dust from transportation. After soaking, rinse well a few times. Next, add the cashew to a blender and process with the rest of your ingredients unto smooth and silky. Liquid amino is a soy sauce substitute that is also gluten free and way more delicious than soy sauce. Easily discoverable at any organic store or the treasure troves of online supermarkets.

fearful encounter with wraps

This is a large amount of sauce. Portion and freeze. It will last three months in the freezer, 5 days in the fridge and 1 second on your lips. Hopefully, it will last 32 seconds in your oral cavity before it plummets into the digestive chamber because you know, chewing food properly is the second phase of digestion, the first being smelling the food. Prevent bloat and gas by chewing your food. Also, don’t talk with your mouth full because that is quite unpleasant to look at. Finally, be a good human and just make this goddamn recipe.

PS: plating suggestion in picture.

Rainbow Carrot Ribbon Salad

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I enjoy going to the market and picking up stuff I haven’t worked with before or that I don’t particularly enjoy. I don’t enjoy carrots and I haven’t worked with winged beans or shiso before so that’s what I picked up at the market.I made this salad. Here’s the recipe.


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Salad
4 to 5 washed and peeled rainbow carrots
a bunch of rinsed shiso leaves
2 – 3 winged beans

Using a peeler, peel the carrots into ribbons. Sprinkle salt on the ribbons and let it sit for a while. Tear the shiso with your hands and finely slice the winged beans, on the diagonal.

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Dressing
1 bunch parsely
1 bunch fresh oregano
1 bunch cilantro
2 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 small Thai chili (or a teaspoon of dried chili flakes)
1/2 cup olive oil
salt/ pepper

Put all of the above dressing ingredients, except olive oil in a blender. Blitz until it is all small and incorporated. Slowly add the oil in and blend until well mixed.

Mix the shiso, carrots and winged beans, pour the dressing over and mix with your hands. Serve on a clean plate.

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Russell James’s Creamy Kale Salad

P1070516We’re in Santa Monica! Beautiful sunny, Santa Monica with blazingly brilliant blue skies, gorgeous tree-lined streets, startling coastlines and diverse and daring restaurants! No wonder all the beautiful people are here πŸ˜‰

I’m here for the month, studying at The Matthew Kenney Raw Cuisine Institute, honing my previous 3 years of experience. Of course, one of the most exciting things about being here, aside from studying at the institute, was the thought of shopping at organic farmers’ markets and whole foods. Sourcing food items in Taipei that are so common here in the US and in South Africa, is always a challenge and requires a certain amount of detective work and a strong community of fellow food enthusiasts. Here, one need only walk down an aisle of Whole Foods to be blown away by the variety of fresh, organic produce available.

Which brings me to the recipe above – I’ve always wanted to try Russell James’s creamy kale salad but sadly this kale was unfindable in Taipei. The moment I saw it at Whole Foods, I knew I would try it.

P1070497Recipe:

3 bunches of curly kale

2 cups of cherry tomatoes

1/2 tsp salt

2 avocado

2 tbls lemon juice

2 tbls chipotle powder (I like it spicy)

1/4 cup olive oil

salt to taste

water to blend

Cut the kale into smaller pieces and remove the harder stemmy parts. Place it in a bowl and massage the salt into it until it looks cooked. You can see in my pics that I didn’t massage too much as I wanted some body and texture. Mix in the cherry tomatoes, which you have sliced into halves.

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I couldn’t resist these tomatoes on the vine, so I used these instead!

In a blender, add the meat of two ripe, Haas avos, the chipotle, lemon juice, salt to taste, olive oil and water.

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Haas have outstanding creaminess and are dirt cheap in California!

 

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Blend with chipotle, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and water

Taste. If you prefer more salt, less lemon, more chipotle, maybe some garam masala, play around. Here’s the thing: the original recipe did not ask for salt in the dressing so I added that in here. Also, I found that it needed some extra kind of creaminess so the next time I make it, I will try to add some coconut butter as well.

Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed this salad and will definitely be making it again!

Stay Calm and Balance Heat with Bitterness :-)

“Bitter taste is a powerful detoxifying agent, and has antibiotic, anti-parasitic ans antiseptic qualities. It is also helpful in reducing weight, water retention, skin rashes, fever, burning sensations and nausea.”

                            (Eat. Taste. Heal.)

During this really hot summer, bear in mind how to balance the accumulated heat in your body. Cool it down by reaching for bitter, drier foods like kale, spinach, bitter melon, green cabbage, zucchini, eggplant, tumeric, fenugreek, coffee and olives (examples referenced from Eat. Taste. Heal.) Bitter food stimulate the appetite while keep you feeling lighter and more energized than heavy hot foods.

If you find yourself steaming up and feeling heavy and lethargic, try this simple salad to stimulate you and keep you energized.

Bitter Gourd and Pomegranate Salad

P1030190 The flavour is bitter but balanced with sweet, tart dried pomegranates and sesame, lemon dressing.
P1030171 Step1: Wash the gourd then slice in half, lengthways. Use a teaspoon to scrape out the white flesh and seeds. Rinse once more, then pat dry.
P1030179 Next, finely slice the gourd like in the picture.
Wash your salad greens. I chose to use these bitter purple leaves in addition to my bitter gourd. I guess my body needed it:-) Wash your salad greens. I chose to use these bitter purple leaves in addition to my bitter gourd. I guess my body needed it:-)
Rinse and dry greens then add the sliced gourd to it. Rinse and dry greens then add the sliced gourd to it.

P1030183  P1030181P1030184The dressing is simple. Freshly squeezed lemon juice, 2 teaspoons of sesame oil and a few gratings of Himalayan rock salt.

Finally, add some dried pomegranate or any small, sweet, tart fruit of your choice to off-set the bitterness of the salad.

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P1030188 This is an internal air conditioner salad πŸ™‚ Try it, it’s great!

Mood-Buster Spring Salad

Yesterday I had a few folks around the house, waving some cameras about while I put some ingredients that i got from the market into one believable dish. They were random things that aren’t easy to find in Taiwan – jicama, fresh fennel, fresh figs, watermelon radish and beets.

Shopping in the market with cameras following was weird but at the same time I was glad to be able to show people where all the best produce could be found. I didn’t have time to think about what I would prepare at home and didn’t take the producer too seriously when he said he wanted me to experiment and show viewers that experimenting with food is ok and that it doesn’t always turn out something wonderful but that shouldn’t stop us from enjoying the creating process. I thought I would be able to handle it easily but when we got home much, much later, I was stumped. My first instinct was to do a salad because we are enjoying salads almost in this rather hot weather and they’re so easy to put together. My boyfriend quickly changed that by saying that a salad was what everyone would expect when thinking about raw food. Do something different.

So, I made this:

jicama, beets with mint, basil and chili, macadamia nut pate, fresh fennel slice and fresh figs

jicama, beets with mint, basil and chili, macadamia nut pate, fresh fennel slice and fresh figs

I sweaty and nervous and worried that it wouldn’t taste good but what the hell, it was a second attempt as the first attempt at making jicama wraps had failed. The sun was going down and we had to get all the best shooting done while it was still light. Everyone tasted it and enjoyed it. I was surprised since the producer, director and assistant were Taiwanese and 9/10 times Taiwanese don’t like beets at all and raw food is not known here on any great level. Their smiles and enthusiasm was enough to know that I broke the Taiwan code!

With the leftover ingredients, I made this sassy salad:

jicama fennel, figs, watermelon radish zucchini mint basil chilioil balsamic, lemon salt

With the combination of tastes, colours and textures, the heat of the dressing, this salad is nothing short of a mood-buster (if like me, on rainy, heavy, humid days, your mood needs busting).

Recipe:

greens of your choice

half a zucchini, cut in 4, lengthways, then julienned

watermelon radish (the bright pink in the picture), sliced, then julienned

orange, skinned and segmented,

jicama, sliced then julienned,

fresh fennel bulb julienned

fresh figs, quartered, the cubed

handful of basil and mint, some sprigs of fresh rosemary

Combine, then dress with an emulsion of olive oil, dash of chili oil, balsamic vinegar, squeeze of lime, a pinch of salt and some water (taste as you go and whatever is out of balance, add more of that)

Enjoy!