Coriander, New baby Beetroot and Carrots

October 30, 2009

Coriander may not be very common here in Ireland but because it’s used all over the South America, the Middle East , Asia and Africa it’s actually the world’s most popular herb. It’s quite pungent and people either love it or hate it (there’s actually an online community of haters!). When I first discovered it I really wasn’t that keen but using it in guacamoles and salsas, then in thai cooking got me hooked. Recently I’ve been eating it in a Quinoa salad which is my current favourite thing to eat (I am sooooo addicted). Totally moreish, this recipe is completely healthy and what’s more it’s vegan, a direction I’d like to go in more and more as all that Feta (and Parmesan and Stilton and Cashel Blue……..check out previous recipes for proof) might be delicious but there’s no denying that dairy is just not that good for us and having recently spent a week doing lots of yoga and eating practically no dairy I can totally attest to this. As someone who is 99% (okay, 90%) vegetarian, dairy is often a default protein source for me – it’s quick and it goes with nearly everything I cook.

For me, more vegan cooking will about finding dishes where dairy has no place rather than simply taking it out of dishes I already cook. I mean what’s the point of Eggplant parmesan without the parmesan?? South east Asian and Indian are the first obvious places. Last week’s warm Asian salad is one of my all-time favourite things to eat (it also went down very well with you so I’m clearly onto something) and it was a vegan recipe so this might be the start of something. I think I’m going to try and come up with/find  at least one completely vegan (look no feta!!) recipe a week for a while.

If you’re going to be a proper vegetarian or vegan you’ve got to know your seeds and grains. I use a lot of seeds but up until quite recently hadn’t done a whole lot with Quinoa (most people call it a grain but it’s actually a seed). It’s a funny one (and I mean that in a very very good way) – it’s both fluffy and crunchy at the same time and when it’s fully cooked it sprouts a tiny tail (yes really).  It’s fab in salads but can also be used in soups and you can even make porridge from it.. It’s veggies credentials are second to none due to the fact that it’s a complete protein. This week’s salad is an adaption of one from 101 Cookbooks and it is very good starting point if you’ve never had Quinoa as it is completely addictive….

Lemon Scented Quinoa Salad for (1 very greedy person’s lunch or enough for 2 civilised people sharing)

You’ll need:

1 Cup Quinoa

2 Cups Water


1 Can Chickpeas drained

1 Bunch Coriander chopped

1 small red Onion chopped

The dressing:

2 Tablespoons Tahini (you’ll get this in any good deli, middle eastern or healthfood shop

4-5 Tablespoons Lemon Juice

2 Tablespoons Oil

3 Tablespoons Hot water


Begin by rinsing the Quinoa with a sieve then add the 2 cups of water and bring it the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until cooked ( ie all the water has been absorbed and the Quinoa is fluffy) – this should take about 15 minutes. The first time I cooked Quinoa I watched a video on youtube which was very useful as I didn’t know what to expect. Go to for a very simple 5 minute lesson that will make things foolproof.  Probably a lot less foolproof but way more fun is a video of David Lynch cooking it with Broccoli ( – it’s a complete joy.  When the Quinoa is cooked drain it and set aside.

While the Quinoa is cooking you can prepare the dressing by first mixing the Tahini with the hot water then whisking  in the other ingredients. To put the salad together toss the Quinoa with the Chickpeas, Coriander and Red Onion. Mix in half of the dressing and serve the rest on the side. This recipe is perfect for a pack lunch but in my case, sadly, it rarely makes it that far…..

This week’s  Baby Beetroot is perfect for roasting and that’s how I cooked it last night. I scrubbed the Beets, parboiled them for about 10 minutes, let them cool down a bit then halved or quartered each one. I roasted them with Coconut Oil  another super healthy thing I’ve been trying out recently. Beloved of nutritionists because it can withstand high temperatures (it’s basically reckoned to be the healthiest oil to cook with) and it’s also got less calories than other oils. I bought some recently from a man who sells a very high grade organic variety which is as pure as it comes. For roasting the veggies last night  I took a tablespoon of Oil (it’s hard so it’s more than a liquid tablespoon would be) let it melt in the oven then threw on the veg (I also did some  Carrots which I scrubbed, sliced into long chunks and parboiled but not with the Beets as I didn’t want the them to turn everything pink). I served them with a Cous Cous salad with Coriander and Chickpeas dressed with Lemon juice and Olive Oil and ……. a slab of roasted Feta (what can I say??? Lunch was vegan, I’ll have to ramp to this new completely vegan lifestyle).

The Cous Cous salad took all of 10 minutes to prepare so I started on that when the veggies started caramelizing (after about 40 minutes – enough time to drink a nice glass of wine and watch David tell his story while cooking the Quinoa)

Toasted CousCous salad with Coriander, Chickpeas and Cumin

You’ll need:

1 Cup Wholemeal Couscous

3-4 small Onions (red or white but red will give you a nicer colour)

1 Tin Chickpeas drained

1 Bunch Coriander

3 -4 Tablespoon of Sultanas soaked in warm water (plumps them up)

2 Teaspoons Cumin Seeds

Juice of 1 Lemon

Olive Oil

First of all chop up Onion and get it on the pan over a medium heat with plenty of Olive Oil. In another pan toast the CousCous grains and when they start to turn golden brown turn the heat right down and add about 2 cups of hot (not boiling) water. Stir like crazy until all the water is absorbed and the grains have expanded and are cooked through. If they are still hard after this add a little more water, turn up the heat and stir until the water is gone. Stir a generous glug of Olive Oil through the Cous Cous to separate the grains. At this stage the Onions should be starting to caramelize and you can add the Cumin Seeds. Turn down the heat so the seeds don’t burn and allow the cumin flavour to gently permeate the Onions and Olive Oil for a couple of minutes. To finish things off, add the Chickpeas, Coriander, Sultanas, Onions and Lemon juice to the Cous Cous along with some Salt. Check and correct your seasoning – you may want more Lemon juice, Olive Oil or Salt.

Baked Feta

You’ll need:

1 Slab of Feta (about 200gr)

Olive Oil

Red Chilli

Place the cheese on a piece of tinfoil and drizzle with oil and sprinkle with Chilli (take the seeds out if you don’t want things too hot). Bake in a medium oven (Gas mark 6) for 10 minutes

Variations: Oregano is always lovely as are Chopped Olives

Quinoa and Coconut Oil can be hard to track down so I have got some in and we can deliver it to you over the next couple of weeks.

The Quinoa (organic) costs  3.50E per 500gr

and the Coconut Oil cost 15E for 480ml (seems pricey but this will last you for ages and I don’t think you’ll get it cheaper anywhere else.

If you want either of these things with your next delivery just let us know

Hope you enjoy these recipes,

Have a great weekend,


4 Responses to “Coriander, New baby Beetroot and Carrots”

  1. Ashling Says:

    Hi Sarah,
    This is so strange! I just came back from America having really been sold on the Vegan diet by my sister in law, who can whip up a healthy low fat vegan meal in minutes! Thats the reason I recently started ordering from Home Organics.
    I also started my own blog,, tracking how I get on with it back home in Ireland.
    In fact, I was touting the praises of Home Organics to anyone that would listen for the last few weeks and a link to your webpage is up there as well as a yummy creamy vegan Pumpkin Soup/Onion Squash recipe.
    We must be on the same wavelenght because I just made quinoa with veggie curry before I came on-line tonight!
    I recommend reading Skinny B*tch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. I never thought I’d be turned off cheese but they have a very specific way of putting things that really makes you think.
    Thanks for the recipe, can’t wait to try it.

    • homeorganics Says:

      Hi Ashling,
      Blog sounds great – will definitely check it out. As I said on the post I’m really enjoying quinoa – it’s been a revelation so I’m surprised that you don’t see more recipes with it so I really feel that those of us who know about it should spread the word!! Have you tried roasting it before you cook it? If you know any great things to do with it please share as I’m a (very enthusiastic!!) novice. Hope you like the salad – I’m still addicted.
      Thanks for getting in touch,

  2. Jan Says:

    Hi Sarah,
    I really enjoyed the roast beetroot. I added some balsamic vinegar in the last few minutes of roasting and served it with roast carrots, the baked feta (with chili and oregano – delicious) and lemon rice. We loved it and the colours were fantastic on the plate. Thanks,

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