Spiced Roasted Summer Vegetable Salad with Millet, Peas and Lentils
We’ve been blessed with a good summer this year and my how we needed it after seven months of solid rain. Along with the good weather comes the picnic season. Eating outside with simple food that hasn’t meant hours spent in the kitchen is what many of us are after – I know I am.
In a timely fashion, Clearspring has come up with a range of quick cook grains and pulses to enable meals to be prepared quickly and easily. All of them are organic and certified by the Soil Association, which, as many of you know, is the certifying body I trust the most. Clearspring kindly sent me the range to try out along with a bottle of tamari and a bottle of flax seed oil. Tamari is no stranger to this household. It brings out the flavour of whatever you are cooking and the umami boost it gives turns an ordinary meal into something delicious. Unlike shoyu or other soy sauces, it is wheat free, so suitable for those with a gluten intolerance. The flax oil is also organic and cold pressed. It comes as a blend consisting of 78% flax along with walnut, sunflower, olive and pumpkin oils. I’ve long heard of the wonders of this oil, but have not tried it until now. It contains various omega fatty acids which are said to help maintain a healthy heart and reduce blood pressure. It has a robust flavour that takes a bit of getting used to but is ameliorated by the walnut and other oils. It gave a good account of itself in a morning chocolate smoothie (recipe to follow in another post) and I can see it working well as a salad dressing too.
Slow food is all very well, but sometimes, life being as it is, fast food is welcome. All of this range fits the bill on that score, cooking as they do, in only ten minutes. The nice people at Clearspring have pre-cooked them for us – very handy. So far, I have used the 5 Grains Quick Cook to accompany another version of fasulye. This contains emmer wheat, barley, long grain brown rice, kamut Khorasan wheat and wholegrain oats. It was slightly chewy, but really rather nice we thought.
So, what about this picnic I mentioned earlier? Well, I decided to liberate the Quick Cook Millet, Peas and Lentils to accompany some roasted vegetables grown on our plot. This seemed like a nice way of getting a balanced nutritious meal with complete protein, carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins and minerals.
Talking of healthy balanced ingredients, no meal is complete without its quota of chocolate. My trusty bottle of spiced chocolate balsamic springs into action in moments such as this. The vegetables were tossed in it along with some sesame oil, tamari and Steenbergs hawaij spice mix. Then they were roasted and finely mixed in with the cooked grains and pulses. Packed into individual containers, they were transported to the site of the picnic and consumed with gusto. CT made appreciative noises and although he’s not keen on being interviewed whilst eating, he described it tersely but sincerely as delicious.
- 6 carrots – scrubbed & cut into 4 cm batons
- 2 handfuls French beans – trimmed & cut into 4 cm pieces
- 2 courgettes – washed & cut into 4 cm batons
- 4 cloves garlic – finely chopped
- 1 red hot chilli – finely chopped
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp chocolate balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp tamari
- 1 tsp hawaij spice mix
- 10 chive leaves
- 250g Clearspring Quick Cook Millet, Peas & Lentils
- Toss the vegetables, garlic and chilli in the oil, balsamic, tamari and spice, then roast in the top of the oven for 15-20 minutes at 200℃ until done.
- Cover the grains with about double the volume of water and bring to the boil. Simmer for ten minutes and leave the lid on whilst waiting for the veg.
- Combine the two. Allow to cool, divide into four portable containers and snip some chives over the top. Or eat immediately whilst warm.
This month’s Vegetable Palette is all about the colours yellow and orange. As carrots are the main vegetable used here, I am sending this off to Shaheen over at Allotment 2 Kitchen.
Vanesther over at Bangers & Mash has given us free rain to use what spice we like for The Spice Trail as long as the finished dish is suitable for Beach & BBQ. Well this one is suitable for both.
If you’re fast and your carrots aren’t too dirty, you can just about make this in 30 minutes, so I’m also sending this off to Sarah at Maison Cupcake for Speedy Suppers. Happily, the theme is picnics.
The addition of chives means I can send this off to Karen of Lavender and Lovage for her Cooking with Herbs event.