Tag Archive: carrot


Hey everyone,

On the 22nd of October, in Kensington Olympia, London Vegfest took place. I was lucky enough to have amazing friend Tomi telling me to contact the organiser regarding doing a cookery demo there. So I did, and there I was, many months later!

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Overall it was quite a nice day, all the more better to get to catch up with Tomi and see my colleagues and friends supporting me doing this kind of presentation for the first time. For some reason though the atmosphere was very much different, and strange I would even say, compared with the vegfests I have been to before. There was a lot more space than usual which was good, given that  you did not have to fight your way through the little corridors between stalls, but it also made it feel much more emptier. And despite there being many, many stalls, there still seemed to be nothing around. In the sense that there surely was all aspects of veganism represented in the form of food, drink, clothing, publications, charities, animal rights groups, alternative healthcare providers and more, yet when we were in search of food, all the stalls that would have been quite inviting had a queue worth 30 min of your time. Either the 7200 people that passed through the doors yesterday were too little for the amount of space that they this time had booked, or there were not enough stalls for it, but it just felt empty, and we ended up in a restaurant nearby for actual dinner, which is quite odd.
Luckily there is the Animal Aid Christmas fayre coming at the beginning of December, which I think will bring along quite a different atmosphere. Only time will tell!

I think everyone knows about my fascination and love with buckwheat by now, and that is what I wanted to showcase – the diversity of this pseudo cereal.
A little information about buckwheat – it is naturally gluten free, related to rhubarb, that is quite high in protein with 13.25 g in 100 g of dry produce, with 343 kcal of total energy. The  study that I wrote my undergrad thesis on also demonstrated buckwheat as the most satiating of the alternative plant based protein sources it compared (hemp, lupin, fava, green pea and buckwheat vs meat), which is why I always recommend it to people who claim that vegan foods make them full and empty again in very short periods of time; or for sportsmen who need more protein (or so they think). A great source.
There are also different types of buckwheat – raw, sprouted, and roasted. I grew up consuming the latter one, as porridge – we would call it – which essentially meant instead of rice in the context. It is boiled similarly to rice, and it does expand a lot once boiled. As a kid I would always eat it with ketchup. Letcho made a good sauce also. As I grew older I had it with cheese mixed in so it would melt – it works magic with melting vegan cheeses too! My brother would mix the two I think, but I always had a problem with mixing dairy with ketchup. And that has carried over to veganism as well, I find it mentally challenging to eat ketchup with vegan cheese.
Anyway, after being vegan for a year or more, I had quite a look into the raw food world and started using sprouted buckwheat for breakfast – mix it with dried fruit and seeds/nuts for muesli for example, or blend soaked raw buckwheat with flavouring such as cinnamon, and spread it out to dehydrate instead of cereal. However when I tried cooking raw buckwheat into porridge I was put off for quite a while trying to do any kind of porridge from raw buckwheat. For so long in fact that I was eagerly waiting for Rawligion to open given that they were supposed to serve raw buckwheat porridge and I wanted to see proof that it can be done tasting good. Well, Rawligion did open but there was no buckwheat porridge. So one day I decided to pick up the matter again and looked up 10 different recipes and thought I realised what I needed to do. And so I tried. And it came out amazing.  🙂
And the different states of buckwheat is something I also wanted to demonstrate, which I am quite happy worked out even without realising! I came up with three different recipes that I showcased at vegfest, and here they are also for everyone’s convenience.

Buckwheat krispie cakes

Makes six about 60 g bars (with about 14 g protein per bar), or many many smaller pieces

Base:

1 cup (160 g) activated buckwheat (soaked for 2-4 hours, dehydrated)
1/3 cup (70 g) almond butter
1/4 cup (50 g) manna (coconut butter)
1 heaped tbsp (20 g) maple syrup/coconut nectar/other sweetener
pinch salt

Chocolate:

1/4 cup (50 g) manna
1 tsp (5 g) cacao powder
1 tbsp (10 g) xylitol, pulverised, or any other sweetener you fancy
1 tbsp (15 g) coconut oil

Method:

Melt the manna in hot water bath. Mix all the base ingredients together and press into a container about 10 x 20 cm size, dependent on how thick you like it choose larger/smaller surface area.
Mix together the chocolate ingredients, melt again in hot water bath if needed to get it more liquid, and pour over the base. If you like, add cacao nibs, coconut, or whatever else you fancy for decoration on top now so it would set together with the chocolate.
Refrigerate for about 30 minutes until it sets. Cut into pieces and enjoy!

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Raw buckwheat porridge

Makes two about 150 g servings (plenty for breakfast!)

100 g raw buckwheat groats
1 g (pinch) cinnamon
100 ml almond milk (or any other plant milk)
60 g dates (more if you want it sweeter)
50 g berries + more for topping if you like

Method:

Soak the buckwheat in water for 2-4 hours (can be overnight if you prefer), rinse well until the water runs clear
Add all the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. If you want it thicker, feel free to add some chia seeds to it and blend again, or reduce the amount of milk.
I have done this with blueberries, bilberries and strawberries, and it has worked magic with all of them. I have no reason to think it would not work with raspberries, grapes, or even kiwis, but only experience will tell.
I quite like layering food and having a layer of desiccated coconut for example adds some texture and visuals when serving from a glass. A strip of cinnamon could also do, or more berries is also very nice. Voila!

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Buckwheat risotto

Serves two with a side, or one very hungry

100 g kasha (roasted buckwheat)
300 g water (more/less depends if cooked with or without a lid)
1 stock cube
1 small swede
1 carrot
1 small / 1/2 large courgette
small handful of fresh parsley
125 ml oat cream (or any alternative)
Pinch of onion, garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp sea salt
black pepper to taste

Method:

Boil the kasha for 10-15 min with the stock cube, until soft, drain excess water.
Grate the vegetables, chop the parsley, and mix in the kasha together with the cream and all the spices/herbs.
You can either cook it for a few more minutes or let the heat of the kasha soften and heat up the rest of the ingredients.
Taste and add as much of salt/pepper to make it appealing to your palate. I added a decent 1/3 tsp I think of freshly ground black pepper to the portion I made, but always taste and season to taste.
Serve with a side salad, veggie sausages or anything else you desire. Decorate with fresh parsley or microherbs.

Hope you will enjoy these as much as I did and do. Will all be available at Rawligion very soon! Stay tuned!

More photos and videos on my presentation coming soon thanks to the ever amazing Tomi 🙂

Eli x

Juicing! With parsnip!

I love juicing. At the moment I have been juicing on average once a day for more than a week and it is great! My motivator is having my vegan sister living next-door to me who is into that, and the desire to reduce my intake of solids. Also it feels great going to the supermarket only to get fresh produce.

I have been keeping it quite safe though, not using any tomatoes, half veg-half fruit kinda combos. Keeping it simple as well – carrot-apple(-beetroot), courgette-pear/apple, added ginger/lemon here and there, fairly simple stuff. We have been wondering regarding what more veg/fruit we can use for juicing, so we did some pure plum juice, or plum and beetroot. I was sceptical regarding plums at first, because any juice I have seen in stores is usually never fresh but from concentrate, and includes plum pulp, not exactly juice. But it juices really well! Thus plum – being currently in season as well – is included in every second juice just now.
We also juiced a little bit of some kale, but the yield was not significant really, thus it requires a lot for very little – better leave it for eating as a whole. I used up a couple of cucumbers, but as my sis is not able to digest them alongside some other foods, like peppers, we have had to find alternatives. And that is when the thought came – parsnip! We had no clue how it would juice, or what it would taste like. Yesterday morning the time had come to use them up before they go off, or roast them for alternative if it turned out awful.

We had a whole pack of parsnips, which would be around 1 kilo I imagine. We started off with apples and pears, and added the first parsnip – halfway through only to come to the realisation it might taste revolting and quickly changed the jug to a glass to separate the juice. Finished with the first one we had a try – and it was amazing! Like more amazing than carrots! It comes a little bit powdery (but that was amplified with the pears), but otherwise so smooth and sweet. In a way that it would not be a problem to have a glass of pure parsnip juice, the way you can with carrot also! But they are even sweeter than carrots. Ah, it was truly wonderful. So we continued to do the whole pack and after having given it a good stir – got a creamy ivory-coloured drink which reminded us of milkshake (and might be put to use similarly).

Here’s to another great juicing discovery!

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Eli x

Monofruit week fasting

Hello, dear everybody,

 

I’ve been wanting to post recipes and stuff but I haven’t been too actively preparing anything as I was fasting for a week on monofruits mostly! So I thought to share this with yous instead 🙂

Most people have asked me simply why? Well, detox is always useful every once in a while. And if you don’t like fasting on water then rather have something light and easy for the digestive system. And what could be easier than whole fruits, the same kind, for a whole day? Plus, if you think about it – it is just so simple, you don’t have to think or worry about what to eat, as you’ve already decided what to have the whole day!

Here’s what I had for the whole week:

Day 1 – 20 (or 21) bananas

Day 2 – 3 kg carrots (about 300g boiled)

Day 3 – 28 peaches

Day 4 – 2.25 pineapples + 1.25 l of pineapple juice (and a handful of watermelon)

Day 5 – 14 bananas

Day 6 – 4.5 mangos

Day 7 – 600 g medjoul dates + about 300 g cheapest pitted dates

 

That was my menu for the week. And it was fabulous! At day 1 I got quite a bit tired of bananas though as I decided that I want to have them as whole fruits. So I kept on eating them. By the evening I was quite sick of bananas…

Day 2 was interesting. I love carrots, and by now – I love them again! I thought I had quite a lot of carrots at home, but then I started peeling them in the morning and realised it was only around 700 grams. It was enough for breakfast, as I didn’t have more time to chew anyway. After work I went by Sainsbury’s to get 3 more bags of the organic carrots. I ate about 1 kilo straight after. Then the jaw started getting a bit tired… As you might imagine. So I boiled some to have before work – because I only have the limited 15 minutes for a break at work thus not much time to chew through another kilo of raw carrots. By the end of the day I had a wee handful still left and I shared them with my flatmates as I couldn’t even bear the sight of them…

Day 3 was my favourite day of them all. Sainsbury’s had just reduced so many boxes of peaches so I bought them all – 7×4 there were. They were so perfectly ripe, nearly every single one of them. And after the rather low in calories carrot day, they went down a storm, kind of. Eventually. I had 6 for breakfast and had to stop as I was just so full! But throughout the day I kept on eating them I had the last 2 after work at home – so it all worked out perfectly well, and the calorie amount was around 1800 so pretty much as much as I need in a day 🙂 So nice!

Day 4 was the most interesting one I have to say. By then I really started craving for salt, anything salty, anything savoury food. But my mind was set and I didn’t have any cheating… That I could help.
So, I had a pineapple for breakfast before work and chopped another one up to take with me to work to have on my break. After the first pineapple my tongue was okay as it nearly always is after just one pineapple. When I had my break at work about 2 hours after I had had my first pineapple, the tongue started to get a bit sensitive, but I still managed to have the second one without any damage and thought that the break until my next chance to have the next one would be enough to recover. However, my second shift at work was cancelled and so the lunch came a bit earlier than expected. However, it was a decent time indeed for lunch. So there I was, sitting outside in our garden in this wonderfully summery Aberdeen weather, having my pineapple and my flatmate eating his watermelon, as it was his melon day, when my tongue gets really sensitive again. Nothing compared to the pain of the first tattoo getting done though so naturally I continued. How bad could it be after all? Well, worse than I expected. I had only managed to go through maybe a fifth or so when I tried to have a look at my tongue (not that easy with the nose on the way and everything…) and my flatmate insisted I stopped, that there was blood on my teeth. And then I tasted it – yes indeed, that was the sweet taste of my own blood ^^ The bowl was removed from my reach and a piece of watermelon was given to cool the tongue down. Honestly, I was rather surprised of the turn it all took. Then he put half of his watermelon in front of me and told me to eat that instead. So, well, I did a bit. But being as determined as I am, I didn’t eat much and soon enough went to the supermarket anyway and besides more bananas, bought a pineapple juice. So I firstly juiced the last remaining pineapple I had – which I had to dilute with water as my mouth started bleeding once again. And then finished the evening off with the store-bought not from concentrate pineapple juice – also diluted with some water. All in all, I’d say the excitement was pretty much worth the blood 😛 And it made me come up with a theory (that I haven’t researched yet to see if it’s backed up with anything but makes the most sense to me anyway) why the pineapple makes your tongue hurt:
The most ripe pineapples are the sweetest and rarely make the tongue sensitive, but with rather unripe fruits it can happen quickly or very quickly. Therefore with the ripening of the fruit the acidity levels would be dropping, in the sense that maybe the PH is rising closer to 7. So with not perfectly ripe fruits the acids might slowly burn the skin on the tongue through, so it get a lot more sensitive to what it touches. Thus with enough acid it can actually penetrate the skin and thus make it bleed! And even though mouth injuries heal the quickest, a couple of hours is not enough to restore the top layer of the tongue which makes anything non-neutral hurt at least a bit. <- that’s my thought anyway! 😀

Day 5 was low in calories but I just didn’t feel like eating much at all. I took a bunch of bananas in the living room to have for my breakfast, I could just about finish my second one and pushed down another one, when I decided it was time to stop the torture and just make a smoothie. And that’s how the rest 11 bananas went down. Not to mention that it’s easier to drink the amount bananas compared to eating them, it is also more delicious. 🙂

Day 6 was somewhat of a disappointment to me as I love mangoes. But after I had had 2 for breakfast I didn’t feel like having anything at all. I was really full. And would have rather appreciated a different kind of mango, but there’s only one that most stores stock. So I had 2 more before work that evening and took one with me to work, and exchanged one for an unripe one so I could have it in a few days instead. The one I had at work was from M&S and I had hopes that it’ll be really nice. It was realllllllly fibrous though and got stuck in between the teeth and was just so watery, it was a pool around me. So I chopped it into pieces and had to eat half of it around the stone as it was rather difficult to cut there. So that’s the half of the fifth I ended up eating and gave the rest to my workmate. So that was day 6.

Day 7 I was kind of looking forward to because I have this huge box of the cheap dates in my room where I often have a handful just like that, and had to stop myself from doing that every day, reminding myself of the fasting 😛 I had two 200 g boxes of organic medjoul dates from Sainsbury’s and about 200 grams of more medjouls that I had for breakfast, then lunch and dinner at work. And in between indulged on the cheap ones whilst at home. It was nice indeed to just have the dates. People made comments that I’ll be running between the toilet at work then but I think my body got used to the amounts of dates I eat long time ago, anyway, proved them wrong – except with the amounts of water I’ve been drinking I still need to go every so often.

And I started on day 8 as well – bananas again as I just have so many, I survived through the lunch and everything with cheating just to eat some amazing blueberries and strawberries, but could not resist much longer when meeting up with a friend, so there it ended. I’d say with the exception of the watermelon a solid 7 days of monoeating. Pretty amazing 🙂 I didn’t feel much different with digestion or anything,  except a really bad headache the second day, but it was gone by the third day, so I took is as a sign of detox for I was drinking loads and loads of water so couldn’t have been dehydration. So if you want to detox but not juice all the time or make smoothies then this might be a great alternative – very easy, reasonably cheap if you think about it, and you’re not restricting yourself in calories – eat as much fruit as you want! 🙂

I still have about 20 pears in my fruit bowl waiting to be ripe enough – and when they are I shall have another solo monofruit day. And if I won’t do a whole week of monofruits, I will definitely carry on doing occasional days like this. All hands up! 🙂

I hope this has been reasonably interesting for you to read! Maybe of an inspiration even.

Comments always welcome! Let me know if there’s another kind of experiment you find fascinating – I just might try it and let everybody know of the outcomes and my experience. 🙂

Eli x

Lasagne recipe

Hello again!

 

It’s been a while! Sorry about that. But, I thought that as I’ve recently not been that much on raw food at all as I’d like, I could at least share some of the cooked food recipes that I think are pretty delicious 🙂

So here’s a first one! Vegan lasagne!

Ingredients:

3 tins of chopped tomatoes
1 pack of lasagne sheets
2-3 medium carrots
1 onion
1 tbsp vinegar
3 tbsp date syrup (or alternative sweetener, or sugar)
50 g soy mince
4 heaped tbsp white flour
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
spices – paprika, chilli, salt, garlic, pepper, jerk seasoning….
2 cups soy milk (optional)
water
vegan cheese
Filling of your own choosing – mushrooms, vegetable mix, squash, butternut squash…

First I suggest you make the tomato sauce (unless you want to use ready-made sauce, not as good, I tell you!). For it, peel and chop the onion and start frying it in tiny bit of oil. Meanwhile chop the carrots into small pieces and add to the onions. Add all the tinned tomatoes and mix in some spices like paprika, pepper, salt. Let this simmer until the carrots are soft. Then blend it all (using a hand blender preferably, careful with the splashes). Add some vinegar (balsamic for example) and balance the flavour with the sweetener.
Pour some boiling water over the soy mince and leave for a few minutes, then drain. Mix in with the tomato sauce – that’s then ready! 🙂
For the white sauce, mix some spices into the white flour and then add tiny bit of water or soy milk to make a thick paste. Once it’s all mixed, add some more liquid to make it thinner. Heat up a pot with some oil in the bottom. Pour the flour mixture to the pot and make sure you have more water and/or soy milk handy. As soon as the flour is in the pot, you ought to keep it in motion – mix, mix, mix. A whisk is a useful tool here. When you feel it starts getting thicker, add the water or milk. Continue doing it for the next 5 minutes or so, when you think the flour has expanded as much as it will. Then mix in the nutritional yeast – which might make more liquid necessary. Add some grated vegan cheese (if you wish, it’s totally fine without as well), definitely have a taste and see if it lacks some spices perhaps. And that’s the white sauce done.
If you wish to add some mushrooms or frozen chopped vegetable mix, you can easily mix it in with the red sauce. I grated some courgette and mixed it in with the red sauce. And once before I roasted thin slices of aubergines and butternut squashes and used them as layers as well, so it was layerlayerlayerlayerlayer. 😛 Beans would work well also!

And then it’s time to mount the whole lot! Layer it in whatever order you wish in a deeper dish. I did: red sauce, pasta, white, pasta, red, pasta, white, pasta, red, cheese. If you want, you can as well mix the red and white sauce together, so you only have one kind of sauce in between the pasta. It’s gonna be fabulous no matter what!

Cook the lot in the oven for about 20 minutes, but you can poke it with a knife to see if the pasta is nice and soft. All that’s left is to eat! Serve it with a nice bunch of fresh salad (carrot-beetroot-orange on the photo) and with a couple of friends.

Lovely!

 

Eli x

 

lasagna