Unity Vegan Quinoa Tabbouleh

Today I’ll be cooking an Unity Vegan Quinoa Tabbouleh. This recipe is in support of a campaign, dedicated to fighting xenophobia with one of the greatest unity weapons – food. Owners are the MultiKulti Collective, enthusiastic gals and guys, working for expats integration through cuisine knowledge and probably the most humane thing there can be, just sit around a table and share a meal.

Vegan Quinoa Tabbouleh

ALL started last weekend when I joined a promoting event for MultiKulti’s latest campaign called “Diversity tastes great” (sorry, no English language website for now). It was hosted in a local bakery bearing the mouth watering name Caramel , owned by an interesting and cosmopolitan personality – the ex-architect, current entrepreneur and pastry magician – Hany Tawk. A guy who’s passion for real food and baking art are inspiring.

The idea of the initiative is quite simple – to gather recipes from the participating expats and to share them with the locals, bringing the two closer together. A great idea really. MultiKulti are promising an impressive collection of 100 recipes from all over the world which should soon appear on their website.

This recipe – I called it the Unity Vegan Quinoa Tabbouleh – I think embodies the spirit of the campaign, combining ingredients from East and West, tastes  from South America and the Middle East. The original comes from Carlos from Peru and is served in his excellent restaurant LOMO in Sofia, Bulgaria. Hope he won’t mind the small changes I made to the recipe, so that it is adapted to the purpose of this blog. Here it is:

Vegan Quinoa Tabbouleh

What you need (serves 4):

250 g quinoa (used 200 g white and 50 g red)

3 cloves of garlic, minced

500 ml boiling water

15 olives, cores removed and minced

1 small tomato, seeds removed and diced

1 small chili, seeds removed and minced (if you’d rather not have it spicy/hot, use a red pepper instead)

100-120 g red kidney beans, roughly cut

the juice of 3 limes

a handful of fresh coriander, minced

olive oil

salt and black pepper to taste

Preheat 4-5 tbsp of olive oil in a pot and add the garlic. In about 20-30 second pour in the water and once it’s boiling, add the quinoa.

Put the lid on, lower the heat and let it cook for 20-25 minutes, until all the water is gone and the mixture is rather dry. When ready, set aside to cool.

When cooled add all the ingredients in the pot and mix well. Season to taste and add some more olive oil. Put in the fridge for a couple of hours.

Serve with some green salad of your taste.

Vegan is good and diversity is great! Peace, Love and Unity!

The Ultimate Summertime Salad

 

What do you need for the ultimate healthy vegan salad? The ultimate season, the ultimate ingredients and just the right combination of flavors. Well it’s summertime and the living is easy, there’s plenty of gorgeous veggies to chose from, just a little bit of inspiration is needed.

Among the huge amounts of vegetables that I got from the largest local farmers market (for a ridiculous amount of money…), here are the ones I’ve picked for The Ultimate Summertime Salad.

The Ultimate Summertime Ingredients

3-4 ripe tomatoes

1 small eggplant

1 average cucumber

1 small ball of boiled chick peas

1 handful of dill

3-4 cloves of garlic

some spring onions, chopped (if you can’t find any, ordinary red onion will do, just chop it finely)

olive oil and ground black pepper to taste

The first thing that needs to be done is to cook the eggplant. Wash it and make to shallow cuts on both sides, each about 4-5 cm long. Put it in the heated at 250 degrees Celsius oven on a piece of baking paper and bake until it’s all brown and soft. Take it out and let it cool for a few minutes. Now use a knife to split it in two and a spoon to take out the tender flesh. Chop it coarsely and put aside to cool completely.

Chop the tomatoes and the cucumber in a large bowl, mince the garlic and the dill, add the chick peas, the eggplant, the olive oil and the black pepper and mix with a large spoon.

The Ultimate Summertime Salad

Serve cooled. The Ultimate Summertime Salad has a quite high nutritional value, because of the chick peas, and can actually replace an entire main course for the day. Enjoy.

Vegan Is Good!

Winter Salad with Vinaigrette Sauce

Eating raw fresh food is probably the most important part of the healthy nutrition. But it is not always that easy – although supermarkets are full of fruits and vegetables from all over the globe, is it really worth to buy peers from Argentina and apples from Republic of South Africa, when you’re in the UK? The travel CO2 footprint of transporting these through half the globe is huge and there’re plenty of other reasons to choose local.

In my opinion, many have forgotten what the local vitamin C and fibres sources, in the autumn-winter part of the year, would be and just need a tiny reminder. Let me introduce the root vegetables. Not only they are nutritious, tasty, local and seasonal, but when stored properly last very long time.

My choice was a flavoury salad that gets a nice pinkish colour when mixed with a rather nontraditional dressing but the result is great.

What you need is (for 2):

1 average beet root

1 average white raddish

2 carrots

Wash well, peel and grape all the roots in a large bowl.

For the Vinaigrette Sauce:

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

2 tbsp olive oil

the juice of 1/2 lemon* 

some freshly grounded black pepper

Put all the ingredients in a small bowl and use a spoon to mix intensively until it is homogeneous and kind of … fluffy.

*I prefer using freshly squeezed lemon juice to vinegar (as it in the original recipe) but this would really depend on personal taste and availability.

Add the Vinaigrette Sauce to the salad and mix well. Let them rest for 10-15 minutes, then mix again and serve.

Vegan Is Good when local and seasonal!

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