Rainbow Quinoa

Beautiful colours all around, beautiful colours in my plate.

This very easy recipe has much more than the good looks to give. Combines a bunch of seasonal vegs, has both quinoa AND spinach in it (!!!), it’s gluten free and in the end is quite healthy. How about that, he-he.

Ingredients for 2:

1 teacup quinoa

150 g squash, peeled, washed and diced

150 g beet, peeled, washed and diced

300 g spinach, washed and chopped

1 tomato, diced

1 small onion, chopped

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon dried coriander

the juice of 1/2 lemon

paprika and ground pepper

2 1/2 teacups water (to boil the quinoa)

Three very easy steps:

Boil the diced squash and the beet separately (to keep their bright colours) for about 15 minutes each, until soft. Pour the water out and put aside.

Put the quinoa, the onions, the cumin, the oil, the pepper, the paprika and the water in a large pot, bring to boiling, then lower the heat. After 5-7 minutes add the spinach, mix well and cook until the water evaporates. When ready, move it to a large bowl.

Add the squash, the beet and the tomato. Then the coriander, the lemon juice and mix. Served both warm and cold.

Vegan is Good!

P.S. Ideas for blue coloured vegs?

Vegan Pie with Winter Veggies (aka Jah Pie)

Now let me make this clear – this is a strictly vegetable pie and there are no “funny” ingredients in this recipe, I promise. Read along:

What you need for two-three is:

For the homemade phyllo dough (if you don’t feel confident enough to try kneading this on you own you can always get some from the shop):

400 g of all purpose flour

4 tbsp vegetable oil

pinch of salt

2 pinches of thyme

1 teacup warm water

a rolling pin and a pastry brush (these two can be replaced by a clean bottle of wine and your palms)

The veggies:

300 g potatoes 

one average beetroot 

250 g spinach leaves 

1 tbsp dried thyme

grounded black pepper

Let’s start with the dough…

…because there’s a secret I’ve learned from my granny and it is that when left to rest for 20 minutes, the phyllo dough becomes more supple and easier to knead and flatten. Grannies are always right when it comes to pastry, at least where I come from.

Put the flour in a bowl, form a small well in middle. Pour in the oil, the salt and the thyme and mix with a fork until absorbed. Then start slowly adding the water and continue mixing. When it becomes too difficult, start using your hands.

Continue kneading it for several minutes. The dough should be soft but not too sticky. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and leave aside.

Now the veggies.

Wash all the veggies, chop the spinach, put it in a pot bring to boiling and cook for 5-6 minutes. Then pour out the water and let it drain.

Peel the potatoes and the beet, and grape them in separate recipients. Put all aside. There will be some liquid coming out of the veggies – just remove it.

Flattening the dough – separate it in two parts (volume 2:1), the larger part will be used as a bed for the pie, the smaller as a cover.

Sprinkle some flour on a clean surface and use first your palms to form a disc of the larger part of the dough, then the rolling pin to get a nice circular form. It should get 1/4 larger that the bottom of the pan you’ll be baking the pie in. As for the thickness – you should be able to see the light through, but be careful  not to tear it.

Do the same to the smaller part of the dough as well and put aside.

Use the pastry bush to cover the bottom of the same pan with some vegetable oil and put in carefully the flattened dough.

It’s time to add the veggies! You can certainly use your imagination to arrange the filling as you wish. I decided to put it in three layers – green/yellow/pink so it would look like the Ethiopian flag and this where Jah comes from. 🙂

Now here’s my way:

Put in the beet, distribute it evenly and sprinkle with the pepper and the thyme.


 

 

 

 

 

Put in the potatoes and do the same, finish with the spinach and cover with the remaining flattened dough.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bend the bits of dough towards the inside and use the pastry brush to smear the surface with a thin layer of oil.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes. Take the pie out, sprinkle some water on it and cover with a clean towel. Leave it this way until it’s cold.

Use a sharp knife to cut it in a shape you like.
Vegan is Good!

Pink Cookies with Almonds

Mmmm… I love the warm smell of cinnamon in the kitchen. Combine with a nice pink colour, make it vegan and get into creativity mode. And why not include everyone around in the “make the most strangely shaped cookie” contest.

When you try these, please share a pic of your cookies with me? I’m curious to see them.

What you need is (about 25 cookies):

For the dough:

2 teacups of white flour

1/2 teacup of sugar

1 tbsp of baking powder

2 tbsp of oil

1 raw pureed beet about 100g

1/2 teaspoon of both cinnamon and dried ginger

For the decoration (optional):

150 g melted black chocolate 

peeled raw almonds

Put the flour in a large bowl, make a well in the middle and add all the dough ingredients. Start mixing fist with a fork and when it becomes too thick, use your hands. Go on kneading until all is well absorbed and the dough is homogeneous. It will get a vivid pink colour if you use a raw beet root and a paler one if you use some canned or boiled. Still – no perceptible difference in the taste, it’s just the colour.

Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough (add some flour to prevent sticking) to 2-3 mm thickness and start cutting the cookies from it. If you don’t have any special tools to do this, use a glass (as i did), or your hands, or just your imagination and make any shapes you like. Be the cookie artist 🙂

Preheat the oven to 180-200C and put the cut dough on some baking paper. Make sure you leave some space between them because they will expand a bit.

Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes and take out of the oven. Let them cool for a while and start decorating.

Decorating the cookies

Now this is another moment you can put your creativity in action. I tried to keep it simple – use a teaspoon to place some of the molten chocolate on one side of the cookie and stick an almond on it. Let the chocolate cool.

Consume with moderation as there’s a risk of addiction to these sweet, crispy, pink, vegan cookies.

Vegan is Good!

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