Monday, February 8, 2010

no, this is NOT a weight loss scheme advert. [k]

About two and a bit weeks ago, I was on the Daniel's fast - a diet that is based on the biblical example of Daniel and his friends, who basically ate a true vegetarian diet and water for 10 days. Please note this was a choice based on personal reasons completely unrelated to any desire for weight loss/detoxing...hence the title of this blog. Anyway, the key point, is that avoiding certain foods/grains that happened to form A LOT of what I would usually eat.. ie. WHEAT products... meant I had to go looking for other ways of cooking up the various other foods out there. Thank God for the internet storehouse of online recipes!

Its amazing what you do when forced to explore out of your 'comfort' zone.

...and so I happened upon this hearty salad recipe from the most beautiful food mag of all time - Gourmet Traveller. For those unfamiliar with this mag, its name is true - Gourmet - and thus can showcase some pretty exquisite or just simply different recipes inspired from all over the world. At first reading of this recipe you (as I was) may be a little apprehensive, but trust me, just go for it! I did and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT! 

Don't be put off by the fact its a 'salad' coz really its about as salad-y as a pasta/rice/potato salad is. The recipe is exactly how it is in the mag, but you can definitely play around with the amounts of spices and fresh herbs etc.
Anyway have a go, savour the unique marriage of sweet and savoury notes... and hit me back with an invite to your next cookup. 

Carrot and barley salad with 
dates and raisins

300 gm pearl barley
1 tsp each coriander and cumin seeds, 
dry-roasted coarsely pounded in a mortar and pestle (effort much? i used ground versions)
3 carrots
1/4 cup pine nuts (i used walnuts)
1/4 cup sultanas, soaked in warm water for 5 mins, drained
Juice of 1 lemon & 1 orange (i also cut up one orange into bit size pieces - highly recommended!)
1/2 tsp sweet paprika (i just used normal paprika)
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1 bunch coriander, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup (firmly packed) flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
1 tsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp EVOO

1. Cook barley in boiling salted water until tender (20-30mins). Drain, transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool.
2. Meanwhile, combine spices with remaining ingredients in a bowl, toss to combine. Add barley, season to taste, toss to combine, serve.

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