December 31, 2011

New Year's Menu

Another year has come to an end – and what a year!! 

It’s been an incredible year, highlighted by a career change, an engagement and a new home. After 6 years in Australia, I am finally starting to feel at home here, and I have finally found my place.

Towards the end of 2011, I took some radical steps towards even a healthier, happier future.  I went back to being a vegetarian (which I’ve been for the past 10 years on and off), I quit sugar (you can read about it here) and dairy, I changed my exercise to be more holistic and gentle, and had a clean start in our new home after ditching most chemicals (you can read more about it here) used in our daily cleaning and beauty routines. All of this, I’m sure, will have even greater benefits in the long run.

I am looking forward to continuing on this clean path in the New Year. I will strive to be even more mindful about my surroundings, the environment and my impact on it. I will make every effort to have a natural approach in all areas of my life – from mindful consuming and chemical-free cleaning to eating clean and locally. 

There will be some changes and challenges I am looking forward to in 2012. We are, as most of you know, getting married in a few months' time and planning a wedding (although a small and modest one) is at the same time exciting and somewhat stressful. I am also taking up a personal challenge by going back to 'school' for one year. I will share more details about this later, but I am beyond excited to begin my studies.

Here is my menu for this New Year's celebrations. It's a celebration of seasonal produce and clean and fresh flavours. I've taken a couple of my old favourites and added the delicious open sandwiches on to the menu. Enjoy!

I wish you all a happy, healthy and beautiful year ahead!


New Year's Open Sandwiches

Sweet Potato Flatbread

250g cooked and mashed sweet potato
100-125ml almond milk (recipe here)
150g wholegrain spelt flour
1 egg (free-range, organic)
pinch of sea salt

Grilled Vegetables

1 eggplant, sliced crossways
2 zucchinis, sliced
3 tomatoes, sliced
olive oil, for brushing

Rosemary Vinaigrette

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
pinch of sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

1. Preaheat oven to 180C and line a baking tray with baking paper.

2. Mix the mashed sweet potato with almond milk to a mixture that resembles loose mashed potato. Add the flour, egg and salt in to the mixture. You should have a soft dough (the softer dough, the softer bread). Knead the dough lightly (just enough to mix all ingredients well) and turn the dough on the baking tray. Dust your fingers in some extra flour and spread the dough on the tray (about 1-2 cm thick). 

3. Baked for about 20 minutes or until the bread feels firm to touch and has brown spots on top. Leave to cool on a wire rack.


4. Heat a grill pan and lightly brush the sliced vegetables with olive oil. Cook all vegetables (in batches) for 2-3 minutes each side. 

5. Combine all vinaigrette ingredients in a bowl and drizzle the vinaigrette on top of the cooked vegetables. 

6. Cut the flat bread in squares and top with grilled vegetables. Serve warm.

I am planning to serve these with a green soup like this one.


And these stuffed capsicums will make a lovely main course for the New Year's Menu


December 29, 2011

New Year's Salad


As many food traditions as there are for Christmas, New Year's celebrations have always had a somewhat less significant and much less 'strict' array of dishes on offer (at least in my family). I suppose most people cook so much for Christmas that by the time it's New Year's everyone feels like something easy and quick, yet celebratory food for the occasion. In my family we often prepared some light salads, different kinds of herring and finger foods. Here in Australia I haven't yet quite figured out what dishes 'should' be on the New Year's Eve menu.

This red cabbage and lentil salad may not be traditional, but I certainly wouldn't mind including it in my (yet non-existing) New Year's repertoire. I adore the deep, rich colours and the mild flavours perfect to accompany any other dish you may want to have on the table. This makes a big batch suitable to be scooped on a big platter and shared amongst friends.


 New Year's Salad
(serves 4)

1/4 red cabbage
1 medium sized beetroot
100g beluga lentils
2 tablespoons sherry or apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or flaxseed oil
1 tablespoon red peppercorns, slightly crushed
5 tablespoons raw, unsalted pepitas
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon ground celery seed
pinch of sea salt

1. Cook the beluga lentils in plenty of water until just tender (about 20 minutes). Drain and place in a large mixing bowl.

2. Thinly slice the cabbage and julienne the beetroot. Add in to the bowl and toss well with the lentils.

3. Add in vinegar and oil and the red peppercorns.

4. Place the pepitas, mustard seeds and celery seed in a dry frying pan. Season with salt and toast for a few minutes on medium heat until the mustard seeds start to 'pop'. Add the mixture into the bowl with the rest of the ingredients and toss well to combine.

December 27, 2011

Quick Summer Gazpacho


Now that we've all survived Christmas (or have we?), it's time to take it easy for a few days and let our minds and bodies rest. My Christmas menu worked wonders and I felt satisfied, but not stuffed. Still, I don't mind having a few lighter days to balance things out and this quick summer gazpacho is a perfect way to enjoy summer's bounty. 

I've used sweet tomatoes as a base for this cold soup. Blended with cucumber and cooked chickpeas, the colour of the soup is a beautiful pale peach and the taste is sweet but tangy, thanks to the apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. This is a perfectly filling, yet light meal for a summer's day.

























Quick Summer Gazpacho
(serves 2-4)

600g tomatoes, seeded and cut into chunks
1 big cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
250g cooked chickpeas
2 scallions/spring onions, sliced
(fresh herbs, like parsley and basil)
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground celery seeds
pinch of sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1. Place the tomatoes, cucumber, cooked chickpeas and spring onions and herbs (if using) in a blender. Blend until smooth.

2. Season the mixture with paprika, ground celery seeds, salt and pepper. Add in the lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and olive oil. Blend for a couple of minutes. Add water/ice if you want it thinner. Serve cool.

December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!



Hi friends!


I hope you are all well and happy and easing into the Christmas spirit. I'm sure some of you are busy baking and preparing Christmas meals or doing some last-minute gift shopping, but I hope all of you are able to take a break, even a short one, and relax a little. Although Christmas in Australia is always somewhat different to me than what I'm used to, and I still haven't quite got the hang of it, I'm looking forward to a few days off to take a breath.

Here is my vegetarian, gluten-free and sugar-free Christmas menu. There are lots of colours, fresh and pure flavours, not forgetting the treats! The two vegetable casseroles are served as mains, alongside with the two salads. I will be snacking on activated, spiced nuts and those deliciously addictive rosemary almonds. As for dessert, the sweet potato tartlets washed down with cool rhubarb glögg, are a perfect way to end the Christmas meal. 


I wish you all a happy Christmas and I hope you'll get to spend time with your loved ones. Enjoy and be merry!

Maria
x

Christmas Menu








December 21, 2011

Finnish Christmas with a Twist: Cool rhubarb glögg


It's been a busy end of the year for me and I'm sure I'm not the only one anticipating a little break. It'll be a short one for me, however, but even a few days off are more than welcome. I am hoping to spend some time just sitting outside, on the balcony, with a cool drink in hand, reading a good book. The drink of choice for me would have to be this cool rhubarb glögg - a spiced drink made to remind me of Christmas, but adapted to season's demands. 

I adore rhubarb, I'm sure you've realised that by now, and this drink is for all you die-hard rhubarb lovers out there. It's completely sugar-free, so prepare yourself for some real rhubarb flavour pared with warming spices and a drizzle of lemon juice to freshen it all up. I am more than happy to pour myself a glass of this with lots of ice, lift my feet up and bury my head in a book.

Cool rhubarb glögg
(serves 2)

500g rhubarb, chopped
1 cinnamon stick
2 star anis
5 whole cloves
5 cardamom pods, slightly crushed
knob of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into slices
1/2 lemon, juiced
ice, to serve

1. Place the rhubarb, spices and ginger in a saucepan and add about 1 litre of water. Bring the mixture to boil, then leave to simmer for about 15 minutes. 

2. Drain the juice into a bowl and leave to cool.

3. Drizzle with lemon and serve cool with ice.

December 19, 2011

Finnish Christmas with a Twist: Rosolli - Christmas Salad

 

My 'Finnish Christmas with a Twist'-menu would not be complete without rosolli, a humble vegetable salad that so unconditionally belongs to a Finnish Christmas table. You may have noticed the abundance of beetroot recipes in this blog lately, but please allow me to squeeze one more in, as the gorgeously ruby root vegetable is definitely the quintessential ingredient in this salad. 

I've tweaked the dish slightly, replacing normal potato with sweet potato, adding in some spring onions and leaving out the traditional gherkins plus the sour cream sauce. Nevertheless, this simple salad will most certainly be part of my Christmas table and I am more than happy to share the recipe with you.

Enjoy!


Rosolli
(serves 4-6)

3 medium size beetroot
3-4 carrots
1 medium size sweet potato
2 green onions
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
pinch of sea salt

1. Wash all the vegetables well (do not peel the vegetables at this point as they will hold their shape better with peels on) and place the beetroot in a large casserole. Top the beets with water and bring the water to boil. Let simmer until the beets are just tender. Drain and leave to cool. 

2. Cut the carrots and sweet potato in equal size chunks and place in a casserole. Top with water and boil until tender. Drain (reserve this water as it makes a delicious broth!) and leave to cool.

3. Peel the vegetables and cut into small cubes. Thinly slice the green onion and add that in. Season the vegetables with sherry vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Serve as a side dish.

December 17, 2011

Finnish Christmas with a Twist: Carrot-Quinoa Casserole


The realisation that Christmas is only a week away suddenly came to me whilst browsing my calendar. I had clearly been so immersed in all other activities that I had successfully closed my eyes and ears from the Christmas clutter one can bump into just about anywhere at this time of the year. I deliberately avoid all shopping centres (even when it's not Christmas) and although I've written down several reminders of Christmas gifts and cards, my mind has subconsciously swept past those notes. 
It is not too late to do my Christmas shopping, however, as I'm planning to do most of it online this year. I am concentrating on ethical gifts and my reasoning for this is simple: there are simply too many unwanted Christmas gifts shared every year, too much junk that is forgotten in the far corners of your home and never looked at again. Christmas is about giving, right? So why not give a gift that passes on the goodness, a gift that gives?

There are plenty of options available for these ethical gifts. Here in Australia websites like Oxfam and other charity organisations offer suitable options for all budgets. If you're unsure about donating to international organisations, why not look for a local institution or organisation to support? I'm sure many of them will be more than delighted to receive donations at this time of the year.

Christmas shopping aside, this carrot-quinoa casserole continues my "Finnish Christmas with a Twist" series. Traditionally, this casserole is made with rice porridge, but to lift up the protein and nutrients content, I've used quinoa instead. I've replaced bread crumbs with almond meal and left out the syrup that is traditionally used to sweeten this dish. The organic carrots I bought from the farmers markets were so sweet they needn't any extra help! This is a perfect addition to my Christmas table.


Carrot-Quinoa Casserole*
(serves 4)

1kg carrots (sweet, organic)
1 cup quinoa**
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
freshly grated nutmeg
pinch of sea salt
1 egg (free-range, organic)
3-4 tablespoons almond meal

* Update!! This recipe can also be made vegan! The egg is not necessary in the recipe. You can also use sweet potato (about 400g mashed) instead of carrot. Delicious!
** I used Tasmanian quinoa that has a slightly more "porridge" like texture. If you are using other type of quinoa, use a little bit less water (about 1 1/2 cups). 

1. Peel the carrots, cut them in large pieces, and place in a large casserole. Add just enough water to cover all carrots. Bring to boil, then leave to simmer until the carrots are completely tender. Drain, but save the sweet boiling water!

2. Rinse the quinoa and place in a saucepan. Use the carrot boiling water and some additional water to cook the quinoa (about 2 cups). Cook the quinoa for about 7-10 minutes, it can still have a little bite to it and some water left in the pan. Pour the quinoa in a large glass bowl (don't drain) and leave to cool slightly. 

3. Preheat the oven to 175C and grease (with oil if you want to keep this dish dairy-free) an oven dish. 

4. Mash the carrots into a smooth purée. Add the mash into the cooled down quinoa and season with the spices. Stir in the egg.

5. Pour the mixture into the prepared oven dish and even the top. Sprinkle with almond meal and bake for about 30 minutes. Leave to cool slightly, but serve warm. 


Links to ethical gifts

For my friends in Finland http://www.kepa.fi/osallistu/eettiset-joululahjat
Australia http://www.oxfamunwrapped.com.au
For all other countries, please google "ethical gifts" to find organisations near you.

December 15, 2011

Sprouted chickpea salad


I am not sure why it's taken me so long to share a sprouts recipe here on the blog, but one reason might be that sprouting is something I do occasionally rather than on a regular basis (although I buy sprouts regularly), and having been just bitten by the sprouting bug (again), I couldn't resist sharing a recipe with you. I must warn you, however, that there may be many more sprouts recipes to follow in the near future!

My earliest memories of sprouting are from well over 15 years ago when I had learned about sprouting at school and was eager to give it a try at home. Mum helped me choose an easy seed to start with (alfalfa), and so I went and bought some seeds (a lot of them, in fact) without realising just how many sprouts I'd end up with. Needless to say there were plenty of seeds to keep me busy for a while, but I was so happy just to be growing something. Plus I really loved the taste of sprouts!

Even now, sprouting gives me all the same joy, and I think it's so exciting to see the sprouts grow over a few days. There is certainly a sense of accomplishment, as though I had actually grown the whole produce myself. I also love the versatility of the sprouts - you can sprout just about anything from alfalfa to almonds (which is obviously more like soaking as there won't be any visible roots), buckwheat, sunflower seeds, lentils, chickpeas, mung beans, you name it. Needless to say, there are many health benefits of sprouting too - they are one of the super foods you should certainly include in your diet!

This sprouted chickpea salad is light and crunchy. I've kept the flavours quite mild and the colours pale. It's like harmony in a bowl, don't you think?

 

Sprouted Chickpea Salad
(serves 2)

250g raw chickpeas*
1 zucchini/courgette, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
1 green onion, finely sliced
handful of sprouted (soaked) almonds**
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon flaxseed oil
tiny pinch of sea salt

* To sprout the chickpeas: 

1) Rinse the chickpeas under cold water to remove any dust or dirt. Place the chickpeas in a big bowl and cover with fresh water. Leave to soak for 8-12 hours (overnight).

2) The next morning, drain the chickpeas well and place them in a glass jar. Cover the mouth of the jar with a piece of muslin (with a rubber band holding the muslin in place).

3) The same night, rinse the sprouts and drain well again. Place back in the jar and cover with a muslin. I tend to leave the jar upside down (with a muslin as a lid) for a while to make sure I get rid of all the water. I keep the jar on the kitchen bench.

4) The next day, rinse and drain twice (morning and night).

5) On the third day (including the soaking time), rinse and drain the peas. The roots should now be about 1-2 centimetre long and ready to be used. Store the sprouts in the fridge and use within 1-2 days.


** To sprout the almonds:

1) Soak the almonds overnight in plenty of fresh water.

2) Drain well and use in the salad or to make almond milk


For the salad: 

1) Combine all ingredients and enjoy whilst fresh!


December 13, 2011

Toasted buckwheat and beetroot salad


I am quickly discovering all the necessities around my new neighbourhood - the rock pool by the sea where I can do my morning laps, the perfect-length running tracks, the yoga classes (although I've now been practising at home) and of course the farmers markets and the nearest organic and health food stores. When we were still inspecting units, the real estate agents often tried to sell the property by its proximity to take away places, restaurants, bars and what have you. I always felt like asking "but where's the nearest farmers markets and organic shops?" 

Last Sunday, I started my morning with a walk and yoga on the beach while the sun was rising. I couldn't have imagined a more perfect setting. After that I dipped into the salt water pool by the beach to do a few laps before heading back home for breakfast. After breakfast, I visited the farmers markets in a near by neighbourhood and stocked my fridge full of  gorgeous veggies. 

This buckwheat and beetroot salad combines a lot of flavours from home. Buckwheat is a very commonly used ingredient especially in the Russian cuisine and from there it has probably found its way to Finnish kitchens as well. This time I've toasted the buckwheat with some caraway seeds until the kernels are crisp and nutty. They are beautiful with the sweet beetroot and the simplest of seasoning of a good drizzle of fresh lemon and some extra-virgin olive oil. A celebration of simple flavours!


Toasted buckwheat and beetroot salad
(recipe inspired by the Organic Food Festival)

200g raw buckwheat kernels
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
 200g coarsely grated raw beetroot
1/2 lemon, juiced
1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
pinch of sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

1. Toast the buckwheat and caraway on a dry frying pan for about 10 minutes or until the kernels are starting to have little brown spots on them. Keep stirring the kernels with a wooden spoon so they won't burn. 

2. Combine the toasted kernels with the grated beetroot and season the salad with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Serve while still fresh and crunchy.

December 11, 2011

Finnish Christmas with a Twist: Lanttulaatikko - Swede Casserole


It still hasn't hit me that Christmas is only two weeks away! I haven't bought a single present yet and there is hardly any evidence of the silly season in our home. I only took out a couple of Finnish Christmas decorations because they happened to be in a box I was emptying after we moved in. There will be no tree and certainly no lights wrapped around the balcony rail. I'm not anti-Christmas, mind you, it just happens that in my mind, Summer and Christmas don't mix so well. 

In an attempt to bring in some Christmas spirit, however, I thought I'd share at least a couple of traditional Finnish Christmas recipes, with a twist, here on the blog. The first one, swede casserole, is one of my all time favourites, but of course I've tweaked the recipe a little bit. This dish would be served with a few other casseroles at every Finnish Christmas table as a side dish to ham, fish or other meats. In our household it's a meal on its own, served perhaps with a fresh salad on the side.

To make this dairy-free, I've used almond milk instead of cream and replaced the bread crumbs with almond meal in the casserole and on top. I've used traditional spices like white pepper, nutmeg and ginger, but I couldn't help adding just a touch of that delicious ground licorice in the mix as well. Turns out it goes so well with the sweet swede. 

Hope you like it!


Swede casserole

1 kg peeled and chopped swedes (rutabaga)
4 tablespoons almond meal
6 tablespoons almond milk (my recipe here)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground licorice (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon (or to taste) freshly grated nutmeg
pinch of sea salt
1 large egg (organic, free-range)
 3 tablespoons almond meal, extra, for topping

1. Place the swedes in a large casserole and top with water. Bring the water to boil and let it simmer until the swedes are completely cooked tender. Drain (but save the water to make vegetable stock!) and set aside to cool.

2. Preheat the oven to 180C.

3. Mash the swedes and add in all other ingredients. Scoop the mixture into a lightly oiled oven dish and top with the extra almond meal. 

4. Bake for 30 minutes or until the casserole feels firm to touch and is browned on the edges. Serve as a vegetarian dish on its own or as a side dish.

December 08, 2011

Sugar-free Christmas Baking: Spiced sweet potato tarts


The recent happenings (moving house, work, etc.) have made me realise why some people might find it so hard to stay on track with their healthy eating and exercise. As soon as life gets busy - you're travelling, working long hours or there is something new happening in your life, you start taking short-cuts and sacrifice your healthy routines. Often people find it easier to stick to their healthy habits when they have time to really focus on making conscious choices of what and how to eat, exercise and get enough sleep. As soon as other things get on the way, they lapse and might find it hard to get back on track.
I think the only thing that can keep you always on track is that those healthy habits are so established in your life that they are part of your lifestyle and thus you make the right choices subconsciously.  I'm often told how healthy I am or how 'good' I am because I exercise daily, but for me it's just my lifestyle, the way I've chosen to live. I don't have to think about it, healthy eating and exercise are part of my everyday life. When I started the sugar-free challenge it took me about two weeks to break the habit of having sugar in my diet. I actually had to concentrate on not grabbing a fruit to eat as a snack or adding honey in my tea. After the first two weeks, however, I had established the new eating habits and didn't have to make a conscious effort to exclude sugar from my diet.

Another way to stick to your diet is to stay organised and plan ahead as much as possible. When we were moving house, I knew I wouldn't have time to cook, so I prepared us meals beforehand, and had sugar-free snacks and plenty of water at hand. I do this even when we are travelling or when I know I have a long working day ahead. I always pack lunch and snacks and lots of water with me, so I don't have to sacrifice anything even during the busiest of times.

This Christmas, I am planning to stay sugar- and dairy-free. I don't see why I should change anything now that I've established this diet as part of my lifestyle. There are plenty of options available, so I don't feel like I am missing out on anything. These spiced sweet potato tarts are definitely going to be part of my holiday repertoire. I've used my favourite grain-free crust and topped it with spiced sweet potato purée. The warm spices and the coconut oil combined with the sweet potato make these tarts perfect for your Christmas dessert table.


Spiced sweet potato tarts
(makes 10-12)

Crust

200g almond meal
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of sea salt
1 large egg (organic, free-range)
2 tablespoons good olive oil

Filling

400g cooked sweet potato (about 1 medium sized)
2 tablespoons coconut milk or almond milk (my recipe here)
1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground licorice
1/2 teaspoon ground clove
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground bitter orange peel powder, optional
pinch of sea salt

almond slices, toasted, to serve

1. To make the crust, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and lightly knead into a smooth dough. Divide the dough into 10-12 equal portions. Press each portion into the bottom and the sides of small cupcake molds. Leave to chill in the fridge for 10-20 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 180C.

3. Place all the ingredients for the filling in a food processor and purée into a smooth paste. Set aside.

4. Bake the crusts in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and fill each cup with a portion of the sweet potato filling.

5. Lower the temperature to 150C and continue to bake the tarts for a further 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack before sprinkling with toasted almond slices.

December 05, 2011

Beetroot and liquorice soup with quinoa flat bread


Hi friends!

After a busy weekend of moving, cleaning and unpacking, we are finally settling down in our new home. We are not quite done yet, of course, but the basics are all sorted out and at least we can get on with our daily lives. I am loving all the space, the abundant natural light and the huge north facing balcony in our new home. We are located near a peaceful lagoon and a 5 minute walk from an ocean beach which is exactly what we wanted. In the morning, whilst having breakfast on the balcony, I could smell the salty sea and hear the loud waves crashing against the beach. Just magical. 

 



Here is a little sneak peek into our new kitchen. It is not quite ready yet, as it's missing bar stools and a few other things. I will post lots more photos when we have everything sorted out and all our new furniture is in. I love the open plan kitchen though and there is so much storage space! It's a huge change from our previous tiny kitchen and I can already tell how much easier cooking is when there is actually space to move around.

I prepared this beetroot and liquorice soup for lunch today. It was unseasonally cold and rainy for a summer's day, so a soup was just perfect. The quinoa flat bread is an adaptation from a traditional Finnish potato flat bread. I've cooked it on stove top, but you could of course bake it in the oven as well. I love the combination of beets and liquorice. We Nordic people are mad about liquorice, and it certainly complements the sweet beetroot so well. I couldn't be happier!


Beetroot and liquorice soup with quinoa flat bread
(serves 2)

1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
550g beetroot, peeled and chopped into cubes
large knob of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
3 green onions, chopped
2 teaspoons ground liquorice*
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons pink peppercorns, slightly crushed
1 litre water
125ml almond milk**

* Ground liquorice is available at spice shops. In Sydney you can get it from Herbie's Spices.

** My recipe for almond milk is here.
1. Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan. Add the beetroot and ginger and cook for a few minutes. 

2. Add the green onions, liquorice, salt, peppercorns and water and let the soup simmer on low heat for 30-40 minutes or until the beetroot is tender. Set aside to cool.

3. Purée the soup in a blender. Stir in the almond milk. Serve warm or room temperature.

Quinoa flat bread
(makes 4-5)

250ml recently boiled water
60g quinoa flakes*
60g quinoa flour
pinch of salt

* Quinoa flakes are found in health food stores. Look for flakes in particular, not the 'normal' quinoa. In Sydney, Honest to Goodness stocks excellent quinoa flakes.

1. Place the quinoa flakes in a bowl and top them with boiling water. Leave to soak for a few minutes. 

2. Add in the flour and salt and mix to combine.

3. Dust your fingers in some extra flour and form small round breads (10cm across, 1cm thick). Cook the breads in a dry skillet on medium heat for a few minutes on each side. The bread should feel firm to touch and there should be a few brown spots on the cooked surface. Alternatively you can bake the breads in 200C oven for 10-15 minutes. Serve warm with the beetroot and liquorice soup.