beetroot

Sep 252016
 

Roast Chicken, Beetroot and Fig Salad

 

 

This is a wonderful salad to make when you want to turn some leftover roast chicken into a delicious and healthy meal. I love roasting my chicken with lemons, garlic, bell peppers, fresh thyme, extra virgin olive oil and sea salt, so these flavours come through in my salad. Use your favourite roast chicken recipe or buy some good quality ready-roasted chicken from your supermarket or deli.

 

Beetroots can be conveniently roasted in the oven at the same time as your chicken. Simply trim the stems (without cutting into the beetroots), wrap the beetroots in some aluminium foil, and roast in an oven-proof dish at 200°C/400°F for approximately 30-60 minutes (depending on the size of the beetroot). The beetroots are ready when they can be easily pierced with a skewer. Allow the beetroots to cool to room temperature and then pinch off their skins. They are now ready to eat. Beetroots can also be bought ready-cooked and vacuum-packed in a bag. If you decide to buy ready-cooked beetroots, make sure they are not the pickled type. (NB: If your beetroots have fresh-looking stems and leaves, you can chop and sauté them for another dish).

 

Figs bring an important taste component to this salad but are not always in season. Figs have two seasons – a short season in early summer and then a longer season from late summer until autumn. If you can’t get fresh figs, you can use dried figs or dried apricots.

 

 

ROAST CHICKEN, BEETROOT and FIG SALAD

(Makes 2 main course salads)

 

Ingredients:

1-2 cups roasted chicken, roughly chopped

3-4 heads of Baby Gem lettuce

2 medium-sized beetroots

4 small figs

4 Tbsp Pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds

4-5 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar

Sea salt (to taste)

 

Directions:

  1. This recipe assumes that you have already cooked your roast chicken and beetroots. You can use any recipe for roast chicken which you like or buy some good quality ready-roasted chicken from your supermarket or deli. Beetroots can be roasted at the same time as the chicken. Simply trim the stems (without cutting into the beetroots), wrap the beetroots in some aluminium foil, and roast in an oven-proof dish at 200°C/400°F for approximately 30-60 minutes (depending on the size of the beetroot). The beetroots are ready when they can be easily pierced with a skewer. Allow the beetroots to cool to room temperature and then pinch off their skins. They are now ready to eat. Beetroots can also be bought ready-cooked and vacuum-packed in a bag. If you decide to buy ready-cooked beetroots, make sure they are not the pickled type. (NB: If your beetroots have fresh-looking stems and leaves, you can chop and sauté them for another dish).
  2. Prepare your balsamic vinaigrette by combining the extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and sea salt in a small jar. Taste and adjust as necessary. Set aside.
  3. Remove the outer leaves of the Baby Gem lettuce heads. Wash and dry the lettuce and then chop into bite-size pieces. Divide between two main course salad bowls or plates.
  4. Cut the beetroot into wedges and scatter on top of the lettuce.
  5. Wash and quarter the figs and scatter them around the salad
  6. Roughly chop the chicken into large bite-size pieces (it is upto you if you want to include the skin or not). Loosely place in the centre of the salad.
  7. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds on top.
  8. Cover and refrigerate for upto 12 hours.
  9. Pour the dressing on the two salads just prior to serving.

 

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Oct 242014
 

 

 

Beetroot and Walnut Dip

 

Pink October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an international initiative organized by several breast cancer charities to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer. People are encouraged to show support by thinking ‘Pink’. From wearing pink clothes to baking pink cupcakes to buying the iconic pink ribbon pin, people actively show support for this month.

 

Of course, the main idea which must not get lost amongst this flush of pink is that women should remember to get checked by a medical professional for breast cancer and also to learn how to regularly check themselves.

 

In honor of Pink October, I decided to make a healthy screaming pink Dip, packed with foods which are good for your body such as walnuts, beetroot, garlic, lemon, tahini and extra virgin olive oil. Blend everything together and you get my delicious ‘Beetroot and Walnut Dip’.

 

 

 

BEETROOT and WALNUT DIP

(Makes 1 & 1/2 cups)

 

Ingredients:

250g / 8oz beetroot

1 cup walnut halves

1 medium garlic clove, peeled

1/2 cup tahini paste

3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp water

 

Directions:

  1. You can buy cooked beetroot in some grocery stores (not the pickled bottled type), which makes preparing them very easy –  just rinse and cut into chunky pieces. However, if you have raw beetroots you can cook them easily yourself. I usually cook more than I need and keep the extras in the fridge for other recipes. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Take your beetroot and trim off any long roots or leaves (make sure you only trim those parts, don’t cut into the main body of the beetroot). Wash the beetroot well to remove any dirt. Wrap each beetroot in some aluminum foil (keep the foil join at the top), and place the wrapped beetroot in an oven-proof dish. Fill the dish with about 1 inch (2 cm) of water and place the dish in the oven. It can take between 1-2 hours to cook properly (top up the water if necessary in the middle of cooking). The beetroot is ready when you can cut through it with a knife and it has the consistency of a ripe mango. Once cooked, remove the beetroot from the foil and allow to cool on a plate. When cool, rub or peel off the skin. The beetroot is ready to use. Cut the beetroot into chunky pieces for this recipe.
  2. In a food processor or blender, put in 1 cup of walnut haves and switch on for 10 seconds.
  3. Add all the rest of the ingredients into your food processor or blender, and run the machine until all the ingredients are well combined. Remember to scrape down the edges of the bowl if the ingredients are sticking there. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
  4. Eat straightaway with vegetable crudites, breadsticks or pitta bread.
  5. Can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

 

 

 

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Oct 142014
 

Beetroot and Nectarine Salad with Hazelnut-Rosewater Dressing

 

This recipe was a Winner of the Better Life UAE Summer Recipe Challenge 2015.

 

If you’re the sort of person who likes to control everything, here’s something you should try.

 

I recently ordered a box of organic fruit and vegetables to be delivered to my house by the local UAE company Greenheart Organic Farms. I know people have been ordering boxes from them since 2012, but I keep hesitating to place my order for one reason and one reason alone: I am a control freak and I like to know exactly what I’m getting.

 

I try to buy seasonal organic produce as much as possible, but I have always preferred to go to a shop myself to choose what I buy (and how much) rather than order a box packed by someone else. You see, I’ve got recipes in my head when I’m grocery shopping and I need to make sure that I get the right amount of ingredients to make those specific recipes.

 

Last week, I decided to throw caution to the wind and placed my order. I was so excited when our box arrived! It was full of green beans, basil, spring onions, cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, aubergine, courgettes, capsicum, local dates, a really sweet melon, nectarines, and more. At the bottom of the box, I saw 6 beetroots. Yay, I love beetroot! And next to it, 2 potatoes. The control freak part of me started thinking, “Why would they put 6 beetroots and only 2 potatoes? What can my household of 4 people do with 6 beetroots and only 2 potatoes?”

 

Well, it turns out that what we can do is that we can eat a little differently from what we’ve been used to, which is a great thing! Rather than serving a side dish of potatoes with our roast chicken dinner, I made this Beetroot and Nectarine Salad with Hazelnut-Rosewater Dressing.

 

It was so liberating to work out a recipe by looking at my ingredients first, rather than my usual route of finding a recipe first and then tracking down the ingredients. I really enjoyed it! I can already feel some of my control freak tendencies starting to slip away.

 

And in case you’re wondering about those 2 potatoes, they made it into a stew along with loads of other veggies (including beetroot!).

 

 

Tell me, do you order a box of fruit and vegetables to be delivered to your door? Which company do you use? (Go on, give them a shout out!)

 

 

 

BEETROOT and NECTARINE SALAD with HAZELNUT-ROSEWATER DRESSING

(Serves 4-6 as a side dish)

 

Dressing Ingredients:

25g / 1 oz (approx 20 pieces) hazelnuts (without their shell)

3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 Tbsp honey

1 Tbsp rosewater

1 Tbsp water

 

Salad Ingredients:

2-3 medium beetroots (raw or cooked)

2-3 fresh nectarines, sliced

50g / 1.5 oz feta cheese, crumbled or diced

 

Directions:

  1. To make the dressing, you need a hand-blender, blender, or food processor. Put the hazelnuts into the machine and switch it on for about 10 seconds to start breaking up the hazelnuts. Add the rest of the dressing ingredients (extra virgin olive oil, honey, rosewater, and water). Blend until the dressing is mostly smooth (some lumps will remain, which is fine). Set aside on the counter or in the fridge while preparing the rest of the salad.
  2. You can buy cooked beetroot in some grocery stores (not the pickled bottled type), which makes preparing them very easy –  just rinse and slice thinly. However, if you have raw beetroots you can cook them easily yourself. I usually cook more than I need and keep the extras in the fridge for other recipes. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Take your beetroot and trim off any long roots or leaves (make sure you only trim those parts, don’t cut into the main body of the beetroot). Wash the beetroot well to remove any dirt. Wrap each beetroot in some aluminum foil (keep the foil join at the top), and place the wrapped beetroot in an oven-proof dish. Fill the dish with about 1 inch (2 cm) of water and place the dish in the oven. It can take between 1 and 2 hours to cook properly (mine usually take 2 hours). Top up the water if necessary in the middle of cooking. The beetroot is ready when you can cut through it easily with a knife. Once cooked, remove the beetroot from the foil and allow to cool on a plate. When cool, rub or peel off the skin. The beetroot is ready to use. Slice it thinly for this recipe.
  3. Wash and dry your nectarines. With a small paring knife, cut around the circumference of the nectarines all the way to the seed, and twist. It should separate into two, however sometimes the seed can be quite tightly attached. Remove the seed, and slice the nectarine thinly into crescents.
  4. On a platter, place 3/4 of your beetroot slices. Place the nectarine slices on top of the beetroot. Then place the remaining beetroot slices on the platter to cover any gaps. At this point, you can place the salad in the fridge to serve later the same day (if you do this, remember to remove it from the fridge 15 minutes before serving to allow it to come to a comfortable tempreature)
  5. When ready to serve, crumble your feta cheese over the salad and drizzle your Hazelnut-Rosewater Dressing on top (you may not need to use all of the dressing).
  6. Serve immediately.

 

 

Tell me, do you order a box of fruit and vegetables to be delivered to your door? Which company do you use? (Go on, give them a shout out!)

 

 

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