(Beet Root Soup and Curried Ginger Rice – recipes in post)
After six days of fasting (see: Juiced! Fasting 101), I’ve begun to ease back into a regular routine. Of course, I started slow with fruits and vegetables; raw and simple food. I had smoothies, and salads, and spent an entire day discovering, as though for the first time, how incredibly sweet raw nuts can be.
(Left: Strawberry banana smoothie – Right: strawberry pecan salad with orange/raspberry balsamic vinaigrette – raw, vegan, gluten free)
Once the awe had begun to wear off, I advanced to slightly heartier foods. One of the things I wanted big time were beets. Not everyone’s favorite, I know, but certainly one of mine – not to mention super good for you. The other thing I found myself craving was curry – I wanted cumin, I wanted turmeric, I wanted ginger – and I wanted it bad.
This rice was the first thing that came to mind. It’s easy, it’s delicious, and for me it’s warm with nostalgia, conjuring memories of standing in the kitchen with The Mother shaking curry powder into a pan. The ease of making this is probably what made it so popular in my house – a little left-over rice and whatever veggies are on hand and you’re good to go. Today I had carrots, bell peppers, onions, and peas. Then I found some fresh ginger, and decided instead of a few shakes of powder I’d punch up the heat by using it whole.
Together with the soup this meal was sweet, earthy, warm, spicy, and healthy. Perfect for re-igniting my romance with food, post-fasting.
Beet Root Soup
2 TBSP olive oil
2 carrots – roughly chopped
1/2 onion – roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic – peeled, whole
1.5 lbs. fresh beets, red or yellow
2 russet potatoes, roughly chopped
1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
Optional: fresh herbs (such as rosemary, thyme, dill, cardamom…), or some orange juice and zest
4 cups water (or vegetable broth)
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: 1 red or yellow beet, shredded
Wash beets to remove dirt, but do not peel. Remove stem end and cut into halves or quarters. Set aside.
Add oil to a large heavy bottom pot over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, onions, and garlic, and saute for 3-4 minutes.
Add the beets, potatoes, balsamic, and any whole herbs if using. Add the water and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium – cook for 30-40 minutes, or until beets are soft.
Puree with an immersion blender, or very carefully transfer in batches to an upright blender and (carefully) blend until smooth. Be extra mindful of spatters with this one, since beets are known for their ability to stain.
Season to taste with salt and pepper, and optionally garnish with beet confetti – one beet peeled and grated on a cheese grater.
Curried Ginger Rice
2 and 1 TBSP olive oil, separated (or butter/substitute)
1 carrot, diced
1 onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
Fresh ginger, 1 inch piece, cut into thin matchsticks (or replace with 1/4-1/2 tsp. powdered ginger)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup peas
2 TBSP curry powder
2 TBSP cumin
4 cups cooked rice (white, brown, or you could use quinoa or couscous)
salt to taste
Optional: 1/2 cup raisins or currants
Heat 2 TBSP olive oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Peel and slice the ginger thinly, then julienne the slices into tiny matchsticks. Add to the hot oil. Add the carrot and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the onion, bell pepper, and ginger, and cook another 2-3 minutes.
Add the curry powder and cumin to the pan, and let them toast for thirty seconds. Drizzle in 1 TBSP olive oil, add rice, and stir until thoroughly combined.
Season with salt to taste, and stir in raisins or currants if using.
(Note: this dish is super easy to trouble-shoot. If it’s over seasoned, add more rice. If it’s not hot enough for you, add more ginger or a dash of cayenne. Too spicy and you can add 1-2 TBSP sugar to mellow it out.)
Stomach, prepare to be satisfied.