Thursday, 27 February 2014

Roast Raspberry Salad

Roast Raspberry Salad title

I have a thing for Salad. I eat a lot of Salad. Pete and I went out last night (he had a Burger the size of his head - I won't tell you how gross it was, I'm sure you can imagine) and I had a Sweet Potato Curry. The Curry came served with Rice and Salad, I left most of the Rice, and ate the Salad. We had a bit of a laugh because the chances are most of the food that goes back into the kitchen is probably the bit that I ate!


I do try and create different Salad's - because if it was up to me, I'd eat Rocket, Walnuts and Beets for life. No Joke. 


I really struggle with Quinoa, I don't particularly like the taste of it on it's own, and every time I go to cook it, I realise that it's going to take half an hour, get bored and make Cous Cous instead. I love Cous Cous. Only I decided that Quinoa would go really nicely with some Roast Veggies. Mainly because the time it takes to cook them, the Quinoa will be done. See. Match made in heaven!


Those little unnasuming balls, that look so nice, but take so long!
The instructions for cooking Quinoa on the back of the packet were. . well. . wrong. But I find that my way gets it cooked first time every time. Who needs packets anyway? Eat less from packets, and more from nature.

I'm not big into creamy Salad Dressings, I much prefer Balsamic. I have a bottle of Raspberry Vinegar my Aunt made for me for Christmas, so I thought that it would be the perfect time to use it to make a sort of dressing for this Salad. 


She's such a culinary genius. haha, I think that's probably where I get my intrigue for trying something new from, no one else in my family is particularly big on trying new flavours and tastes. 

My Uncle actually refused to eat Rice for years. That was too exotic for him. (deadly serious)

That's why I don't tell them what is in something until after they have tried it! - Is that legal?!!


My family does not use salt. Like, just does not use it! It took me a while to even think to put salt in recipes, I've grown so accustomed to just leaving it out. 

I'm still not super sold on putting it in cakes and the such like, is it really necessary? Are we just adding extra Salt to our diets? Everywhere you look people are trying to cut back on the amount of Salt they consume.

Personally I think they would be better cutting out processed food, because with processed foods goes the majority of sugar and salt. 

That said, sometimes I will use a tiny bit of Salt in my food. This recipe really does need the Salt and I love this Chilli Rock Salt. If you want to make your own, just combine some Chilli Flakes with some Rock Salt. It really boosts the savoury flavours in this Salad and prevents the Raspberries from being too sweet. 




I did serve this with my version of the Chia Seed Bread from Oh She Glows (still love that blog) and it was amazing, although I think any form of crusty bread would be nice.

Recipe :

1/4 Cup Quinoa
1 Tbsp Chili Oil
3" of Sweet Potato, cubed.
(see notes)
Small handful of Cherry Tomatoes
4 French Beans
1/4 Small White Onion
2 Tbsp Raspberry Vinegar (see notes)
1/2 Tsp Chili Rock Salt
1/2" Ginger, Grated (see notes)
1/4 Cup Frozen Raspberries (see notes)
2 Handfuls of Rocket

1. Toss the Sweet Potato in the Chili Oil and place in the oven at 180° for 20 minutes. (Whilst this is roasting proceed to the next steps!)

2. Whilst the Sweet Potato begins to roast, Place the Quinoa in a sieve and rinse. Then, to a ratio of 1 part Quinoa to 5 parts water, place the rinsed Quinoa into a pan with the water and bring to the boil. Once it reaches the boil, turn the heat down slightly and leave to simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Halve the Tomatoes, dice the onion and cut the beans into 1" long pieces. Place these into a small mixing bowl with the Raspberries, Vinegar, Salt and Ginger. Toss.
4. When the Sweet Potato has been roasting for 20 minutes, remove from the oven and while it is still hot, add the vinegar mixture and the vegetables. Quickly place back in the oven so as not to loose too much heat. Allow these to continue roasting for 10-15 minutes.
5. When the Quinoa is cooked, remove from the heat and allow to stand for 10 minutes (all of the liquid should be soaked up)
6. Fork through the Quinoa, to separate the grains.
7. In a large mixing bowl add the Rocket, the Quinoa and the cooked Vegetables. The vinegar and salt will create a sort of syrupy dressing in the roasting tin, tip these juices in too!
8. Toss everything together and serve with Oh She Glows' Chia Seed Bread , your own variants or even just Rye Bread!

Notes :

Sweet Potatoes come in SO many different sizes. I've found I like to measure by inches, however if we are being all technical. 1/3 cup of cubed Sweet Potato. Remember the smaller you cut, the faster it will cook. I like to cut them into about 1" cubes.

Raspberry Vinegar. This stuff is so amazing. My Aunt makes it from scratch with the Glut of Raspberries she has from her garden. I don't like Raspberry Balsamic, as I think it's a bit too sweet (it would probably work here though) but this Vinegar makes the best salad dressings. Here's how it's made!  
Raspberry Vinegar : 
1 pint of Vinegar (White Wine, or Cider)
1lb of Raspberries
In a bowl, and left for 5 days, stirring occasionally
Strain - disgard the fruit, then place the liquid in a pan with 2oz of Sugar, bring to the boil for 10 minutes, and then bottle.

- That's a secret recipe. Don't tell anyone I've told you!!!

When I grated the Ginger, I used a microplane because I prefer smaller chunks, I normal grater would work just as well. Or at a pinch, you could probably just chop very finely. I have put Ginger through a Garlic Press before, which produces similar results to that of the microplane.

As I've mentioned before. The freezer here is stuffed with frozen fruit. I always have an endless supply of frozen berries. I totally recommend that in the summer when the berries are in season, you freeze a load, that way you don't have to shell out in the colder months, and you don't have to ship food from miles away! The Berries I used were the "waste" fruit, the ones that have been smushed up, because it didn't matter in this recipe, the idea is that they cook down with the vinegar to make a salad dressing.

Substitutions :

Quinoa - You could always use Cous Cous - which cooks faster (and I actually prefer it!!)

Raspberry Vinegar - If you can't find it (or don't have 6 days to make it!!) any white vinegar would work, I also think that Red Wine Vinegar would be nice.

Chilli Rock Salt - Basically just Rock Salt and Chilli Flakes!!

  Stay in touch with me, either on twitter or by email! I'll always be ready to talk.

#AccidentalVegan #SuperSimpleVegan 

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