As you may know I started my very first Raised Vegetable Beds this year, it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while but as the story goes, we work & we work and never seem to find time to start anything. This was the year that I was finally going to put a plan of action together, ordered my raised beds, got them all painted and treated, filled them up, planted the seeds and waited. I can’t tell you how exciting it was to see my first little green shoot pop up.
I love Beetroot, so that was the first seed planted and I am now starting to harvest them. Oh my, freshness, freshness, freshness…..there is nothing better that eating straight from your garden, I harvested some yesterday and decided on a lovely refreshing salad today for my lunch.
How to Roast Beetroot
First wash all the mud etc off of the beets and trim of the stalks & leaves, but keep the leaves aside for later. If not using straight away, store in a perforated plastic bag in the salad bins in your fridge, these will keep for about 2 weeks.
Using Tin foil, place the Beets (with the skin on) on and sprinkle a little olive oil & salt, wrap up into a parcel, not too tightly as you want the steam to help cook the beets, then bake on a tray in centre of your oven at 200 deg for about 45 minutes.
Remove and allow steam to escape from parcel then allow to cool slightly. At this stage, I advise to wear gloves, you WILL get Beetroot stained if you don’t…lol! With gloves on gently rub the skin and you’ll notice it comes away very easily, remove all the skin and slice into wedges or bite sized pieces. Yum!
Using the saved leaves, these can be cooked just like Kale. Bring a pan of water to the boil add a little salt and blanch for a few minutes, remove and drain excess water through a colander/sieve. I love the colour of the water here too.
Place leaves in a bowl with beetroot, squeeze some lemon juice and 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar over and mix. Sprinkle over some Goats cheese or Feta cheese and chopped walnuts to serve.
You could also cook some couscous or bulgur wheat to add to make it a more filling bowl.
Since in Lockdown I’ve had the chance to build & plant my first proper Vegetable Beds and today was my first harvest of my Radishes….yummy! There is nothing better than homegrown fresh food. The obvious choice is a salad as radishes are just so refreshing and add that bit of crunch. Did you know you can eat the leaves also? Chop them up add to potatoes or pasta or make a pesto!
Left Over Radish leaves – 2 handfuls approx
1 Garlic Clove
1 tbsp pistachios
30g Grated Cheese (Parmesan)
2 tbsp olive oil – good quality one for best flavour
2 tbsp creme fraiche
Salt & pepper
Thoroughly wash the green leaves and put into a blender or food processor along with the rest of the ingredients and blitz until smooth, if too thick add a little more olive oil.
I used mine to make a lovely radish & avocado salad for lunch. I will probably use the rest for some pasta later on in week. Cover and store in fridge for max 3 days.
A bit of Meal prepping today while I have some time. I have been doing this for a few weeks now and have found it to be very beneficial to us. Sometimes I don’t get in till late from work and its always nice to have a healthy dinner ready for you. Also it means the 1/2 hour I save on making dinner means I can get some exercise in…..no excuses now.
Makes 4 Servings
1 tsp Ginger powder or 1″ piece fresh ginger minced
2 garlic gloves – minced
1 yellow onion – diced
2 tbsp Harissa Paste
Florets from 1 Caulifower
2 x 400g Chickpeas, drained
1 x 400g coconut milk
300ml vegetable stock
200g baby spinach
Salt & pepper to taste
Heat a little oil in a large pan, add the garlic, ginger and onions and fry until softened.
Add the Harissa Paste and coat the onions. Add in the Cauliflower and mix until coated.
Pour in chickpeas, vegetable stock & coconut milk with seasoning and mix through, bring to the boil then simmer and cook covered for about 25-30 minutes until cauliflower has softened.
Add the spinach and mix through, cook for a further minute or until spinach is wilted. Remove from heat and either serve or allow to cool before freezing.
Serve with some Bulgur wheat or rice for a filling meal.
Oh yummy…….I had some left over Harissa Paste and some veggies in the fridge, and yes, you guessed it……Harissa Tray Bake it was. I have to say this was super tasty and also super healthy…..I even got my boyfriend to eat veggies, which believe me is no mean feat….lol!
Great as a main dish or a side dish. I decided a main dish and served with some of my homemade Chapati’s
Serves 2 (main dishes)
1 large sweet potato – cut into small chunks
1 large red onion – cut into wedges
2 Carrots – cut into small chunks
1 x red & 1 x yellow pepper – sliced thickly
1 Cauliflower – cut into small florets
2 Parsnips – cut into small chunks
1 x 400g tin chickpeas
1 x 200g tin tomatoes
2 large heaped tbsps of Rose Harissa Paste
1 tbsp oil
Salt & pepper to season
Place all vegetables into a food bag or bowl, then add the harissa paste and mix thoroughly to coat all the veggies. (this can be stored in fridge for later if need be)
Preheat oven to 200 deg and oil a baking tray.
Empty the vegetables (except asparagus) from the bag onto the baking tray and make sure they are spread evenly. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
Now add the chickpeas and the asparagus to the tray and bake for a further 15 minutes or until evenly browned all over.
In a microwave bowl add the chopped tin tomatoes with salt & pepper to season and warm thought for about 1-2 minutes.
Pour tomato sauce into a serving dish, empty the vegetables from the baking tray into the serving dish and mix through.