Pomegranate & Fennel Salad

Pomegranate & Fennel Salad

Pomegranate always makes for an impressive addition to any dish when you have guests. These beautiful little ruby-like jewels are bursting with flavour and packed with health. Over 8000 years ago they became one of the first cultivated fruits, and ever since have been a symbol of prosperity and abundance in many cultures.
They are rich in vitamin K, potassium and antioxidants – specifically punicalagin, a polyphenol unique to pomegranates, and anthocyanins, which are responsible for giving pomegranate juice its rich red color.

Ingredients (serves 3-4 as a side dish)

1 medium-sized bulb of fennel
1 pomegranate
2 handfuls baby spinach
1 handful fresh mint
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp organic maple syrup or raw honey
Oryx Desert Salt to taste

Method

If you have a mandolin use it to finely slice the fennel. Alternatively a sharp knife will do the job with a bit more effort!
Cut the pomegranate in half, and gently remove the arils (seeds), trying not to burst them. Discard any bits of white membrane, and add the arils to the fennel.

If the spinach leaves are large you can roughly chop or tear them, otherwise leave them whole. Remove the mint leaves from the stems and roughly chop them. Add to the fennel and pomegranate.

Whisk together the olive oil, lemon and maple or honey. Pour over the salad. Season to taste with salt and toss thoroughly.

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine

Roasted Butternut and Goat’s Cheese Salad

Roasted Butternut & Goat's Cheese Salad

Most days I make myself a big salad for lunch. I had some roasted butternut and brown basmati rice left over from dinner the night before, so I made this delicious and filling salad. I generally don’t eat dairy but I do love to have goat’s cheese every now and then. I buy chèvre from the Organic Emporium, which is made from the milk of goats who roam freely on the Witteberg Mountains.

This is not so much a recipe as just telling you how to throw it together…

Firstly cut up some butternut and drizzle it with olive oil. Sprinkle ground cinnamon, ground cumin, himalayan salt and a little bit of coconut sugar over it. Roast at 200 C for 30 – 40 minutes until tender. Allow to cool.

In a big bowl combine baby spinach leaves, rocket, mini rosa tomatoes, cooked brown basmati rice, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and the goat’s cheese. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and season with himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the cooled butternut and toss to coat everything with the oil and vinegar.

Health and happiness!

Love,
Raine

Pan-fried Kingklip with Exotic Mushrooms, Spinach and Canihua

Pan fried Kingklip with Mushrooms, Spinach & Canihua

As I don’t eat meat often, I try to eat fish once a week. Whether you eat meat or are vegan or vegetarian, it’s very important to be aware of your protein intake, especially if you train regularly. While it’s perfectly possible to get enough protein on a vegan diet, you have to be much more aware of it and put in more effort. It won’t happen by accident! That said, fish is a great clean source of protein for those of us who are not vegan.

Kingklip is a deep sea fish widely found in the coastal waters of southern Africa. It is low in fat and as well as being high in protein, also contains calcium, iodine and iron. If you cannot get kingklip you can use another solid white fish for this recipe.

Canihua is a close relative of quinoa and is native to the Andes. It is gluten-free and scores higher than quinoa in levels of protein, iron, magnesium and calcium. It has a similar flavour to quinoa, but the grains are much smaller.

Ingredients (serves 2)

150g shiitake mushrooms, sliced
150g shimeji mushrooms, separated
6 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
extra virgin olive oil for frying
2 big handfuls spinach, sliced into ribbons
2 tbsp organic tamari
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 tsp raw honey
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp raw sesame seeds
1/2 cup canihua (or quinoa)
400g fresh kingklip (2 fillets), skinned

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 C.

Place the canihua in a small pot with 1 cup of water and 1/4 tsp himalayan salt. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and cover with a lid. Simmer until all the water has been absorbed and the grains are cooked, about 20 – 25 minutes.

Slowly fry the mushrooms in some olive oil until they start to brown. Add the garlic and fry for a further 2 minutes. Add the spinach and stir. Add the tamari and lemon juice and quickly put the lid on so that the steam will cook the spinach. After a couple of minutes remove from the heat. Add the honey, sesame oil and sesame seeds.

Heat some olive oil in a frying pan and place the kingklip down. Fry until golden and crispy then turn and do the same on the other side. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to an ovenproof dish and roast for about 5 – 7 minutes, until the fish is cooked through. The flesh should be opaque and starting to flake, but not dry.

To plate, put the canihua on the bottom, then the mushrooms and spinach, and top with the fish. Squeeze some lemon over the top and enjoy.

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine

Roasted Butternut Squash with Garlicky Spinach

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When you first go vegetarian or vegan, it can be a bit stressful, especially if you are short of time. That’s because we’re so used to being able to ‘stick a steak under the grill’ or ‘put a chicken in the oven’ or ‘grill a chicken breast’ and so on and so forth. I got stressed about it myself when I first went fully veggie this time last year, which is why I try to come up with EASY vegetarian meals. I still have to cook meat for my husband, so it would be a hell of a lot of work if I was making highly intricate meals for me along with his meals. What I try to do is either a variation of whatever he’s having, or something simple, especially during the week when it’s all rush rush rush. But on nights like last night, he is more than happy to be part of vegetarian night because the food is so good!

I love butternut squash, I probably cook it in some variation at least once a week (by the way, speaking of butternut squash, you must try Raine’s Butternut Gnocchi!) Butternuts are high in fibre, low in calories and high in Vitamin B Complex which I need lots of for my nerve problems caused by long-term arthritis. They are also high in polyphenols (like acai berries and blueberries) which are great anti-oxidants. An all round brilliant vegetable!

Ingredients

1 butternut squash (half per person)
1 small bag of spinach
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Himalayan salt

Method

Preheat your oven to 180. Cut the ends off the butternut and cut it in half, lengthways. Place it on a baking tray and bake for about an hour.

Take it out the oven after an hour and remove the seeds with a spoon – they should come out really easily now – and throw them away. Drizzle a little olive oil and salt over it and put back in the oven for half an hour.

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Meantime, cook the spinach by heating 1 tsp of the oil in a saucepan. Once it’s hot, add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then add the spinach, in small batches, along with some salt. It wilts to nearly nothing so a whole bag will end up just about filling the holes of the butternut. It shouldn’t take more than five minutes (should be less) for the spinach to be ready. Leave to the side, remove the butternut halves from the oven and fill the holes with the spinach. Serve on its own or with any accompaniments you choose. I served it with my vegan falafel, homemade tahini and some avocado.

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Peace and Love!
Lauren