Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Chickpea, Beetroot and Nut Salad - Cooking to Combat Cancer

You don't need to look very far around here to find people impacted by cancer. And it is hard to know what to say about such a catastrophic topic in a post like this. Some of my close people have won their fight, others lost, some are currently fighting the battle. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to who develops it - just a horrible random lottery. I am comforted by President Obama's pledge to find a cure in our time, and hope that philanthropic dollars continue to make their way to researchers despite the GFC. And a cure is coming. In a great recent development, my daughters will be immunised against cervical cancer thanks to the pioneering work of Dr Ian Frazer. More power to him and all the other scientists and doctors on the frontlines.

Chris at Mele Cotte is hosting her third annual Cooking to Combat Cancer, challenging bloggers to post recipes that feature ingredients believed to be anti-cancer. This salad strikes me as a great choice for the challenge. Filled with beetroot and carrot (both high in anti-oxidants), chickpeas (high in fibre), nuts and seeds (including brazil nuts and flax seeds linked to anti-cancer benefits), flavoured with turmeric, ginger and chilli (also linked to possible anti-cancer benefits), it is very good for you. Even better, it tastes sensational, and it keeps for several days as the tastes develop more and more. It comes from NZ's Cuisine magazine which I currently love, love, love! I found it in the pages at the back where they collect recipes requested by readers from helpful chefs. The reader after this recipe said it was so good she had to order a second serving. I can only agree.....

Chickpea, Beetroot & Nut Salad
Courtesy of Vilagrad Vineyard - Chef Kristian Nooyen

For the salad mix
¾ cup dried chickpeas, soaked then cooked until tender with 1/2 tsp turmeric
1 medium beetroot, cut into matchsticks, rinsed and set aside to dry off
1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks
4 spring onions, sliced
2 sticks celery, diced
1 thumb fresh ginger, very thinly sliced
½ cup coarsely chopped parsley
1 cup coriander leaves

For the nut mix
2 cups mixture of peanuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds
2 tablespoons brown sugar
½ teaspoon each salt, cumin and coriander powder
¼ teaspoon chilli powder
25g chilled butter

For the dressing and to serve
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon brown sugar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup olive oil

For the salad mix

Toss together all the ingredients, setting aside half the coriander leaves for garnish.

For the nut mix
Bake the nuts and seeds for 5 minutes at 180°C then sprinkle with a mixture of the sugar, salt and spices. Grate the butter over. Bake for 10 minutes more, stirring often. Set aside to cool.

For the dressing and to serve
Mix all the ingredients together well. Toss the vinaigrette and 2⁄3 of the nut mixture with the salad mix. Garnish with the remaining nuts


Chris said...

This salad has my name written all over it! Sounds (and looks) delicious!

Thanks for taking the time to participate in CCC3!

Joanne said...

This salad looks amazing. I love all of the colors. They say that the more colorful the dish, the better it is for you. Definitely an awesome anti-cancer recipe.

Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

What lovely array of colours and flavours. It's looks visually striking but also sounds like it would be delicious!

Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

Love this post!
I'll make this in honor of all we know that suffer with cancer.

Niall Harbison said...

I was reading about Lance Armstrong modifing his diet when he had cancer to geive himself every chance of survival. I cant imagine how I would feel if I had cancer but I fear I'd probably be feeling sorry for myself and eating junk! I can see how people would get great pleasure out of something simple like food though when down like that