Tag Archives: Health food

Roasted Cauliflower and Za’atar Carrot Salad with Spiced Yoghurt

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I don’t care that the weather is getting colder and that raw and crunchy foods are becoming less desirable. I still want to eat salad. I love salad. I’m on a roll with eating salads, and I want it to continue. It makes me feel so good!

So, cold raw salads need to be turned on their head. They need to become warm salads that offer comfort. It’s time to start cranking the oven. And one of the best vegetables to roast in that oven is cauliflower.

Once you’ve cut your cauliflower into slices, sprinkle it with za’atar, and drizzle it with extra virgin olive oil before it goes in the oven to roast.

The hint of sumac – a sour berry – in the za ‘atar gives a subtle sweet tang, off set by thyme and sesame seeds, which are also essential ingredients to a good za’atar spice mix. It’s so simple I could cry.

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I’ve used one of those Spirelli vegetable cutters, the ones that curl and spiral vegetables into beautiful long strands, but don’t let this stop you if you don’t have one. Just cut the carrots into thin matchsticks instead.

Creamy dressings go well with roasted vegetables and a spiced yoghurt dressing couldn’t be easier. A few coriander seeds, a few cumin seeds roasted then pounded and sprinkled on the yoghurt; it’s top stuff!

This salad is for one. So boost up the amounts if you’re cooking for others. Not that cooking for others is always necessary; cook for your self this one time. Make this salad for one, and love it for all the right reasons.

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Roasted cauliflower and za’atar carrot salad 

Ingredients

2 cups of sliced cauliflower florets

Extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 tsp za’atar spice mix (look in Middle Eastern stores for an authentic one)

1 medium carrot

1 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

3-4 tbsp yoghurt

Handful wild rocket leaves

Sea salt

Pre heat oven to 200C

Slice the cauliflower into 2cm thick slices, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, za’atar and sea salt, rub lightly and roast for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel the carrot and if using a spirelli cutter spiral the carrot into thick spirals, or use a knife to cut the carrots into thin matchsticks.

After the cauliflower has roasted for 25 minutes, add the carrot and mix lightly. Use a little more oil if the vegetables look dry and continue roasting for another 10 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly before tossing through the salad.

Place coriander seeds and cumin seeds in a small, dry fry pan, toast till seeds start to pop. Ground lightly in a mortar and pestle.

Place the washed rocket in a bowl, scatter with roasted cauliflower and carrot, dollop over the yoghurt and sprinkle it with the coriander seed mix to suit your tastes.

Eat whilst still warm.

How To Activate nuts

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I’m excited about activated nuts. Not just because their goodness can be more easily absorbed by the body after activation, but because they taste so good!

I’ll tell you a bit about the health side in a minute, but activated nuts have a depth of flavour I’m not sure any other roasted nut can deliver. Have you tried them?

Basically, activated nuts become ‘activated’ after being soaked in salted water for 12 – 24 hours, then drained and slow dried in a low oven, or dehydrator.

Put simply, soaking the nuts increases the nutrient content by breaking down the enzymes that inhibit the bodies potential to absorb the good stuff from the nuts. These same enzymes also build up and can make digestion sluggish. See, there’s good reason to this time consuming method. After the soaking, and slow drying, the nuts are’activated’. The body can draw more nutrients from them and digest them easier too – sounds good to me!

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This method will work with all types of nuts. Almonds are incredibly popular to activate and so are macadamia nuts, and brazil nuts. Some of the drying times will vary though with the different nuts so it’s best to soak and dry them separately.

Plan ahead. Get your nuts soaking for 12 – 24 hours, and then be home on a day where they can slowly dry out on the lowest heat your oven can muster (about 65C) That’s it! Work done! They’re worth the wait.

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 Activated pecans and walnuts

Ingredients 

300g organic walnuts

300g organic pecans

2 tsp salt

Water to cover

To serve 

1 cup organic sultanas or organic raisins – optional

Place walnuts in a large bowl, cover with water, add 1 tsp of salt and stir till dissolved.  Repeat the same process with the pecans, soak them in a large separate bowl with the remaining salt. Set both bowls aside on the kitchen bench and soak for 12 – 24 hours ( I soaked mine for 12 hours, but have also been told, up to 24 hours is better for releasing more nutrients).

Once soaking is done, set oven to the lowest setting – 65C. Drain nuts well. Line two trays with baking paper and spread nuts onto separate trays, dry for 6 – 8 hours (mine dried for 6.5 hours and were perfect). Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely before storing in air tight containers.

For a sweet healthy snack – take 1 cup of cooled walnuts, 1 cup of cooled pecans and mix with 1 cup of organic raisins or sultanas.