Lots to tell you about today, so if you just want the recipe for my delicious vegan maple and miso grain and radish salad, you can find it towards the end of this blog post.
Prop styling Madeleine Shaw's gorgeous new cookbook A YEAR OF BEAUTIFUL EATING was - hands down - one of the best experiences of my foodie career to date. Sure I've had some good gigs before and since, but this one you guys, was extra special. Being surrounded by the best food stylists and photographers in London was mind blowing and I learned so, so much. Plus I got to meet Madeleine, who was really lovely. She gave us lots of creative freedom, which was empowering and terrifying all at the same time. But I think we did her proud as the book came out looking stunning!
Apart from taking tons away from being involved in this epic cookbook shoot, I also got to try all the recipes! I skipped the ones with dairy and stayed clear of any meat and chicken, but the vegan ones (which there were loads of) and dairy-free veggie ones (plus a small number of fishy ones) did make it into my tummy.
The book is packed full of wonderful, healthy and delicious recipes as Madeleine is really committed to sharing nourishing, yummy food. Hence, I am super confident that vegans, vegetarians as well as omnivores will enjoy this book and all its recipes immensely. So what sort of recipes can you expect? Well, everything is seasonal with an emphasis on whole foods, lots of veggies and tons of flavour. The book is aimed at the home cook and all the recipes are achievable, though some 'specialty' ingredients like quinoa, miso paste and buckwheat are called for here and there.
Having tried most everything from the book I can give you the inside scope and reveal that some of the best recipes are (drum roll)... the whole roasted cauliflower (made it a million times already), the raw coconut and chocolate bars (so freakin' good), the one tray roasted veg (deelish), the almond and blueberry tart (WANT!), the raw chocolate peanut butter brownie bites (in my freezer right now) and the chocolate beet cake (no words). And, last but not least, today's maple and miso grain bowl recipe (speechless when I had it the first time).
THE COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED! The best part is that I get to give away 1 cookbook to a lucky reader AKA YOU, thanks to Orion Publishing who generously provided me with an extra copy of Madeleine's cookbook A YEAR OF BEAUTIFUL EATING. All you need to do for a chance to win is tell me how you define healthy living. But please be quick with your answers, entry to this giveaway closes at midnight (Greenwich Time) on Sunday, June 4th, 2017. The winner will be picked and notified within a week of the closing date.
Please note that this competition is open to UK residents only. Therefore, I'd be super grateful if you can be clear when you comment whether you live in the UK or not. And even if you don't live in my neck of the woods, please do feel free to comment anyway. As always I'm super interested to read your answers no matter where you live. Good luck everyone! THE WINNER IS SO COCO. CONGRATULATIONS!
Thanks for reading and see you in a week or two :).
P.S. If you want to be informed when I host giveaways, have availability for my 1-2-1 instagram mentoring or food styling and food photography classes, then please e-mail me at kimberly(at)thelittleplantation(dot)co(dot)uk and I'll happily add you to the mailing list (no worries I'll only e-mail you when there's something of interest going on). Alternatively, please follow me on instagram or pinterest to stay up to date ;).
MAPLE AND MISO GRAIN AND RADISH SALAD RECIPE
From all the recipes I tried during the cookbook shoot, this one won top spot in the savoury category. I LOVE the combo of sweet and salty together and really thought this recipe was the bomb. Needless to say, it was pretty easy for me to choose which recipe I'd share with YOU today.
Please note, I have adapted the recipe to my liking and provided LOTS of alternatives so that everyone can enjoy this dish; I also wanted to show off how versatile this recipe is. I tried lots of different options - even one with vegan cream cheese and yoghurt as shown above - but actually I like the one without best. Please check all my suggestions at the bottom of the recipe for inspiration and variations :).
Preparation time: 15-20 minutes
Cooking time: 30-40 minutes
2tbs maple syrup
2tbs rice bran oil (see suggestions below for alternatives)
1 tbs lemon juice
200g red rice, oat groats, farro or pearl barley
1/2 cucumber (see suggestions below for alternatives and extras)
100g pecans (see suggestions below for nut free alternative)
pinch of salt
100g watercress, rocket or lamb's lettuce, washed
Ingredients for the dressing:
2tbs miso paste (I used this one)
2 tbs maple syrup
1tbs sesame oil
2tbs rice wine vinager
1tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
2tbs olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Vegan cream cheese + vegan coconut yoghurt (Totally optional and not necessary)
a handful of radishes and 1-2 colourful beetroots
Preheat the oven to 200C (400F). Wash and cut the radishes into quarters and place on a baking tray. In a little glass, mix together the maple syrup, rice bran oil and lemon juice, then pour this mixture over the cut radishes and place the tray with the radishes in the oven. Roast for about 25 minutes.
Whilst the radishes are in the oven, wash your chosen grain, place it in a pan, cover with water, add a good pinch of salt and cook for as long as need be (read the instructions on the packaging as every grain will have a different cooking time).
Whilst the grain is cooking and the radishes are in the oven, prepare your other veg. I used 1/2 cucumber and used a potato peeler to slice it into ribbons (removing the soggy core). You can also boil a handful of seasonal veg if you like (see more in the suggestions below) and have some leafy freens like lamb's lettuce to hand. Prepare the sliced radishes and beetroot here if using. Once done, set aside.
Next briefly pan fry the pecans and set aside. Then prepare the dressing by mixing the miso paste, maple syrup, sesame oil, vinager, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a little container and set aside.
When the grain is cooked, pour the dressing over it and serve it with the roasted radishes, cucumber ribbons, toasted nuts, leafy greens and extra veggies and vegan cream cheese/vegan yoghurt if you like. Enjoy!
Tip 1: OIL - I tend to use rice bran oil a lot, but you can try avocado oil, olive oil or coconut oil if you prefer.
Tip 2: GRAINS - The original recipe calls for red rice. I don't normally have that in the house so I played around with other grains instead. My favourite was oat groats, but pearl barley - which is more widely available - was great too. Buckwheat could also work. Please note that each grain has a different cooking time; follow the instructions on the packaging and bear this variation in mind when thinking about your overall preparation time.
Tip 3: VEGGIES - I added cucumber ribbons because I love how the freshness contrasts the cooked radises and grains. But steamed broccoli is lovely too here and works perfectly, as well as a handful of fresh leafy greens and freshy cut beetroot or radishes for visual impact. The latter do not form part of the original recipe, but I thought they were fun extras.
Tip 4: VEGAN CREAM CHEESE + YOGHURT - The idea was to bring something creamy into the mix (think deconstructed vegan California roll). It worked visually but wasn't really necessary ;).
Tip 5: NUTS AND SEEDS - Taking the Japanese California roll further I replaced the pecans with black sesame seeds. It worked super well and is a great alternative for those of you with nut allergies.