10 November, 2016

Chia Microgreens in a Raw Pumpkin Salad. Plant-based Diet

 A stunningly colourful and delicious salad containing two types of pumpkins, as well as carrot and beet with power-packed Chia microgreens.

Eating the Rainbow in Rawfood: Autumn hues bursting with nutrients!
Did you know that pumpkins can be eaten raw? They're delicious, too. 

In this salad, I've used two very commonly used pumpkins from the Indian Kitchen - the Ash Gourd aka Petha or White Pumpkin (one of the most "positive-prana" foods there is), and Red Pumpkin aka Kaddu, or the familiar ones we see in pies everywhere this season! :D

The first is a firm, but rather watery vegetable, with a bland, yet refreshing taste. 
The second has a naturally mild, nutty taste and chewy texture. 
Carrots and Beets are familiar-tasting vegetables eaten raw.
The sweet taste of the above are offset by the sharp tahini dressing, and zingy, fresh mint.
The crunchy nuts, and coconut add a satiating richness.
The Chia microgreens lend a distinct, fresh flavour and more nutrients and anti-oxidants than you might believe possible in such a tiny form (See here for how to grow your own.)
They all combine into a high-fibre, densely satisfying salad (a bit like the Som Tam salad; be prepared to work the jaw on this one) 

While eating raw foods may not be for everybody, it is highly advisable to include at least some raw foods in our daily diet wherever possible. 
This salad can even be a meal in itself.

(Serves 2)
Red pumpkin - 1/4 cup, finely diced.
Ash gourd (White Pumpkin) - 1/4 cup, finely diced.
Carrot - 1/4 cup, finely diced.
Beetroot - 1/4 cup, finely diced.
Pine Nuts or coarsely crushed, roasted Peanuts - 1/4 cup.
Fresh Mint leaves - 1/4 cup, finely chopped.
Freshly grated Coconut - 1/4 - 1/2 cup or to taste.
Fresh Chia (or any other) Microgreens - 1/4 cup, washed and patted dry.
Salt - to taste
Black Pepper - to taste (preferably, dry roasted and powdered).

I used this tahini sauce as dressing by adding some chopped dill, and diluting with water.
Reduce the lemon juice and add 2 de-seeded dates, if you prefer it sweeter.

(Quick  version - grind together an equal quantity by volume, say 3-4 tablespoons, of toasted sesame seeds, lemon juice and olive oil along with 2 cloves garlic, salt to taste and enough water to make a thin (or thick, if you like!) dressing. Stir in finely chopped dill leaves.)

All finely diced and ready to be tossed together. Grated coconut and dressing will be further added with salt and pepper.

Toss it all together, pile on the microgreens and drizzle the dressing on top.
Serve immediately.

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