Just Beet It
With spices, nuts and chiles.
If you’ve read my cookbook, you’ll know that I rejoice when I find commonalities between cuisines. This issue of my newsletter has a similar ‘Around The World’ theme BUT with a seasonal spin - Beets! 3 wonderfully similar yet unique recipes for the Beet-Walnut pesto (Italian) from the last week’s protein pasta, a Beet Muhammara (Middle-Eastern), and my family’s Beet Chutney (Indian). Spices, nuts and the heat from a green chile can take an ordinary (though powerful) beet and turn it into something that excites the palate. Dips, pasta sauce, sandwich spread, the possibilities are endless and delectable. And the best part? A one-line method: Dump ingredients in the blender!
v8well Cooking Club
PSA: I had to reschedule my cooking club as I came down with a heavy cold this week (after successfully evading viruses all winter thus far!). This means there’s still time to RSVP for next Friday March 3rd, 11am-12pm ET! I will be making my gluten-free Hazelnut Brownies that are uber-fudgy, intensely chocolatey and sweetened naturally with dates! I would love for you to cook along with me, but will be happy enough if you watch :)
I’ll share tips and tricks and there should be time for a Q&A or to just chat! If you don’t have the book yet make sure you get it beforehand so you have the recipe. Event details including Zoom link will be updated next week for those who RSVP.
Food for Thought
Going on a diet? Or is it just another four letter word?
Google trends for ‘weight loss’ speak for themselves every January. We are obsessed with dieting and losing weight. Dietitians all over the world rue the fact that we don’t try to build healthy relationships with food, but rather choose the high highs and low lows of yoyo dieting every time. But is that always a bad thing?
Keto, Paleo, Atkins, DASH, Mediterranean, MIND, Vegan, WFPB (feel free to add to the list). What do all these diets have in common? Cutting out nutrient-poor options like ultra-processed foods, refined grains and added sugar, and focusing on whole foods - vegetables, fruit, legumes, whole grains, and animal products. No wonder people experience benefits, especially in the short term.of the publication wrote this fantastic short but nuanced post today that really resonated with me. Give it a read.
Today there is a backlash against ‘diet culture’, so much so that I hesitated to call my cookbook ‘low-carb’ in case anyone got offended. This is in spite of the fact that all it does is to encourage you to eat your vegetables, lots of them. While I find myself dancing around the topic in interviews, I will say here that diets give us another four letter word, HOPE.
Beet Dips from Around the World
Use as pasta sauce, in a grain bowl or slather on the Zucchini Bread from my cookbook.
250g cooked beets (I used packaged pre-cooked beets, to save time)
1/2 cup/56g walnuts, lightly toasted on the stovetop
2-3 cloves garlic
2-3 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 cup/60ml extra-virgin olive oil
Just blend everything together!
Serve with the Falafel Salad or replace the tomato for a seasonal variation on the Avocado Toast from my cookbook. Or simply as a dip with seed crackers.
1/2 cup / 56g raw walnuts, lightly toasted on the stove-top
9 oz./250g cooked beets (I used packaged pre-cooked beets, to save time)
1.5 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses, or 1.5 Tbsp. lime juice + 1 tsp. honey
2 Tbsp. Aleppo chile flakes, or 1.5 Tbsp. sweet paprika + 1 tsp cayenne
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small clove garlic
1.5 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
Just blend everything together!
Serve with the Dosa or Chickpea Crepe from my cookbook, or in a cucumber sandwich. This one has a couple of steps but they are easy-peasy and well worth it.
2 tbsp avocado oil, divided
1⁄2 tsp methi (fenugreek) seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
3-4 small green chili(s) (sub jalapeno or thai chili)
1 large [400g] beet, peeled and grated or diced, or use pre-cooked beets
10 curry leaves
1⁄2 tsp tamarind concentrate paste, (storebought - such as Tamicon)
1 1⁄2 tsp jaggery powder
3⁄4 tsp salt, plus more to taste
2-4 tbsp water
Step 1. Heat a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add 1 tbsp oil, methi seeds, cumin seeds, green chilis and fry for 2 minutes or until cumin seeds turn dark brown. Set aside.
Step 2. In the same pan over medium-high heat, add the remaining 1 tbsp oil, grated or diced beet, curry leaves, tamarind concentrate, jaggery powder, salt and cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes or until the beet is half-cooked.
Step 3. In a small blender or food processor, combine the beet with the methi-cumin-green chili mixture from Step 1 and blend until smooth along with 2-4 tbsp water as needed. Add salt to taste.
v8well Good Things
Brand new recommendations section!
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This book has been out a while, but if you haven’t read The Glucose Revolution by Jessie Inchauspé, I highly recommend it (also follow her on Instagram here). If you care about managing your blood sugar (and you should), this book is is an engaging read, full of useful hacks that I have been practicing for a while. My favorite hack? Eat your food in the right order - veggies first, followed by protein and fat, and last, carbs!
This podcast by Dr. Mark Hyman that focuses on the differences between plant-based meat and grass-fed meat was interesting. While the nutritional scientist being interviewed, Dr. Stephan van Vliet was frustratingly non-committal at the beginning, there are some great takeaways here on plant-based substitutes and how to think about them. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. It is a nuanced topic and I encourage you to listen to the whole thing.
Have I mentioned my favorite recipe for Garam Masala from The Ministry of Curry? Just five ingredients and an absolute flavor bomb.
I discovered this by accident doing an image search, but The Vegetarian Reset made it to no less than Glamour Magazine UK’s list of the best vegetarian cookbooks!!! OMG! The Brits know their vegetarian food, you guys!
Best low-carb vegetarian cookbook
The Vegetarian Reset by Vasudha Viswanath
Out next week, this minimalist, whimsical and divine cookbook is going to fly off the shelves. For most of us when we think Vegetarian, we see an abundance of bland, wilted salads. Collating recipes from around the world and staying true to seasonal, nourishing produce that are used in a variety of unusual recipes that will delight every serious foodie. This is a debut cookbook that feels very assured and personal, with some gorgeous photography and great step by step instructions. Finding low-carb, healthy meals that will leave you completely satiated has never been easier. Run to pre-order this one.
My favorite South Indian chickpea recipe, Sundal, was featured on the influential site Cup of Jo by the wonderfulof .
If you are on Facebook, join my cookbook group here and share your pictures as you cook along from the book! You can also ask questions about recipes and I will help in any way I can.
Write a review. Pretty Please. It is the most impactful way to support my work and help others find the book.
Get your copy of The Vegetarian Reset now!
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