It’s official, its cold dark, wet and wintery outside and Christmas is on the way. I’ve tried to avoid it for a few weeks, rolling my eyes in despair when advent calendars appeared in mid October, but on my last food shop I couldn’t resist picking up a stalk of brussel sprouts. I know they are the food of the devil for some people, but I love them. If you are not a fan then try turning them into bubble and squeak (mashed potato and cooked cabbage formed into patties and fired) or my personal favourite, cooked, cooled and eaten with houmous – delicious!
Anyway…I was feeling a little under the weather and wanted to make a fresh healthy salad to perk myself up. I’ve recently discovered that roasting brussel sprouts drizzled in lemon juice before putting them in the oven transforms them into the most delicious sticky, tangy, smoky, earthy sprouts you can imagine. The lemon keeps its zing, but looses its sourness becoming sweet and sticky.
To add an extra colour and wellbeing vitamins I also included some roasted beetroot and then shredded raw carrot. My brother gave me a very snazzy peeler on my last birthday, that instead of peeling off strips from veg, the blade has a row of sharp jagged teeth that shred your chosen veg into long thin strips. Very cool!
To mix with my melody of colourful veg I included brown rice and chickpeas and then finished everything off with a fresh tasting tahini yoghurt dressing which added a little nuttiness and creaminess.
The finished salad was delicious. Packed with a great assortment of textures, colours, flavours and of course cold fighting vitamins. I love combining a mix of roasted and raw veg together, it really changes their flavours and textures. The long thin shreds of carrot were almost like shreds of spaghetti that I could twirl round my fork and the zing of sweet lemon was lovely.
I know some people may not be happy with the idea of salad when feeling under the weather but I’ve eaten this for the past 3 days and I swear I’m the only healthy one left in the office! Plus, who says you can’t have your healthy salad and a bit of cake. Best of both worlds.
Lemon Roasted Sprout & Beetroot Brown Rice Salad with Tahini Dressing
300g brussel sprouts
300g cooked beetroot (not vinegared)
Juice of ½ lemon
1 tsp oil
Freshly ground black pepper
80g brown rice
2 large carrots
A few fresh mint leaves
200g canned chickpeas, drained
1 heaped tsp tahini
2 tbsp thick natural yoghurt
2-3 tsp milk, as needed
Preheat the oven to 190C. Line a baking tray with foil.
Remove any dirty or damaged outer leaves from the brussel sprouts and cut them in half, through the stalk, so they remain intact. Arrange them cut side up on the baking tray. Slice the beetroot into wedges and place on the baking tray also.
Squeeze the juice from half a lemon into a small bowl and stir in the oil. Mix together and then drizzle the whole lot over the top of the sprouts and beetroot.
Grind over a little freshly grated pepper and place in the oven to roast for 15 minutes.
Then, rotate the tray and bake for a further 5-10 minutes until the sprouts are lightly golden and tinged around the edges.
Meanwhile, cook the brown rice according to pack instructions, then drain under cold water and place into a large bowl.
Slice or peel the carrot into very fine long shreds. (I had a special peeler to do this, but you could grate it or use a food processor with a similar attachment)
Thinly slice the mint and add to the rice along with the carrot and chickpeas. When slightly cooled, add the sprouts, beetroot and a little extra lemon juice. Mix together well.
In a small bowl, mix the tahini into the natural yoghurt, thinning it down with a few teaspoons of milk until you have a mixture that will drizzle nicely off the end of a spoon.
Serve mounds of the salad and drizzle over some of the tahini dressing.
Eat and enjoy.
Keep the dressing and salad separately in the fridge and dress just before eating each time. Eat within 3 days