Wednesday, 26 July 2017


My wonderful friend Anne got a few small salad seedlings from her mum's big garden, planted them in two big containers on her balcony and basically left them to themselves. While I am trying hard to regrow whatever vegetable I can on my kitchen window sill, her salad has now almost outgrown the containers and she has more than she can eat.
We met and cooked dinner the other night and I was happy to hear that she had taken much more to cooking than she used to, also because her skin is prone to irritation and it seems to get better with less processed food. However, she admitted that she does not even like green leafy salad that much.

When I came home - with a bag full of salad leaves of course - I remembered a colleague who said when I noticed he was drinking coffee without milk, that his doctor had advised him not to consume milk because of skin problems. I am not a dietitian and some food trends are more lifestyle than make sense, but I do appreciate the increase of variety that has entered the supermarket shelves in the past years. Now going vegan for whatever reason is much easier.
Coming back from my recent grocery shopping spree, I carried home a bag of organic spelt or dinkel wheat  that was on offer with the intend to make a spelt - veggie - bowl. And like with a good salad, it is the dressing that turns a bunch of cut vegetables into a yummy and fulfilling experience.

spelt or dinkel is a wheat-like grain

So here's for Anne, one of my favourites: vegan TAHINI-LEMON-DRESSING

For one generous serving:

1 big full table spoon Tahini (I accidentally bought a slightly sweetened one, but it worked very well. Just skip the honey/agave syrup)
2 table spoons soy sauce
1 table spoon neutral vegetable oil
Juice of half a lemon
1 tea spoon agave syrup or honey (or even sugar if you want but then you may need to add a bit of water)
Salt & pepper to taste (remember, it's a dressing and needs to "dress" the veggies, so don't be stingy here)

Mix all together in a food processor or if you don't have one, use a small jar and shake until blended. If the Tahini comes from the fridge, allow to warm up to room temperature or it won't blend in.

The dressing is marvellously silky yet also fresh due to the lemon juice. It blends very well all the veggies together. For a more savoury taste, you may substitute the lemon juice with or simply add a clove of garlic.

For the bowl I cooked the spelt which is similar to prepare like whole-grain rice or lentils. Add the spelt, double the amount of water to a small pot and set on the stove. Usually, I add some vegetable broth for seasoning and then leave it there to simmer for about 15-20min. I like these "self-cooking" ingredients, because they do not require much attention: you may as well go take a shower or drink the first bottle of wine while it does its thing. Reduce heat when only little water is left, usually after 20min or so. let it sit on the hot stove while preparing the rest of the veggies.

For the veggies, I took carrots, leek and zuchini and stir-fried it in a large pan. Between the stirring, I cut som of the salad together with small tomatoes and cucumbers and added all to a bowl. With the spelt at the bottom to soak up the dressing, I added the veggies, some black sesame and then the dressing on top.
yummy veggie bowl smothered in creamy tahini-lemon-dressing

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