Fresh and full of flavour!

Cold Beet Salad | Mung Bean Dal with Apples, Coconut & Mint | and a Mojito of course!

Tonight’s dinner was inspired by our beautiful January! Being new to Vancouver, I’m in awe of the mid-winter “summer” weather we seem to have. So I decided to celebrate it with summer-fresh flavours …I can’t quite lay on the beach yet, but I can make a yummy dinner that would compliment a mojito in my hand and pretend!

(Oh, and just a heads up! I don’t often use recipes, and when I do I don’t always follow them… so use the measurements more or less as guidelines! Cook with your taste buds and your heart and it will be delicious!)

~ Makes enough for 4 portions

COLD BEET SALAD (truth be told I had a salad  like this at Moxie’s recently… It was delicious and I’m totally stealing it!)

  • 2   beets: 1 large red and 1 large gold, chopped into wedge chunks, boiled or roasted (separately to keep their colours) then chilled.
  • about 1/2  head of lettuce: red leaf, green leaf or arugula
  • about 1/2 – 2/3 cup pine nuts (can be super expensive so improvise with other seeds or nuts if you like)
  • homemade crouton crisps: you can use a baguette and slice thinly… I had an extra bagel and it did the trick nicely! Bake in the oven until golden.
  • goat cheese: might also be yummy with peppered or cranberry or something! Mmmm!! I love cheese!

Toss it all in a bowl and top it with a homemade dressing. Moxie’s used a sherry vinaigrette, tonight I made it with a balsamic. Just put equal parts virgin olive oil and a vinegar of your choosing into a little container with a lid and shake shake shake! I also added some pepper, garlic powder and about a teaspoon of honey. You could add more vinegar than oil to make it a bit stronger too. Have this ready to go and just add the croutons and the dressing right before you serve it.

MUNG BEAN DAL with APPLES, COCONUT & MINT (easy to make!)

A “Dal” if you haven’t made one, is an Indian dish that refers to a soup made with legumes.

  • 1 cup dried mung beans: I found they cooked pretty fast since they are so little (you could use lentils or black-eyed peas if you can’t find these)
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 medium green apples, cored, peeled, and chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp ginger: peeled and finely chopped
  • 2-3tbsp garlic: peeled and finely chopped
  • a pinch of turmeric (optional)
  • 2 cups coconut milk (if your can has a little less than this just top up with water)
  • 1 tbsp honey, or alternative sweetness
  • freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
  • about 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup sliced scallions or green onions
  • juice from one lime

I let the dry mung beans boil in about 2 cups of water at the bottom of a large pot while I prepped the rest of my ingredients, about 15 min or so. Then add the coconut, apples, ginger, garlic, turmeric, coconut milk and honey all at once. bring to a boil on high heat, then turn down to med/low to simmer (bubbling gently). Stir occasionally, adding some salt as the   beans become soft.  Add more water along the way if it’s getting really thick , but I didn’t find I needed to. I think this takes about 30 min? I just started prepping the onion, lime and mint and the beet salad while it simmered and it was cooked by the time I was done. Once the beans are soft add some pepper, stir in the mint, onion, and the lime juice. Cook for a couple minutes more, adjust any seasonings as needed and SERVE! YUM!

last but not least… THE MOJITO!

You can have your kitchen helper make these while you dish up the meal 🙂

You need:

  • Coconut rum (my favorite, but golden and white rum work too)
  • limes
  • mint
  • club soda
  • sugar (raw if you have it).

Fill a tall glass with ice. Put about 10 or so mint leaves on the top and sprinkle about a half teaspoon of sugar (depending on how sweet your rum is). Then crush it all in with a spoon or fork… kind of grind the mint leaves against the side of the glass and between the ice. Squeeze about half a lime over, add 1-2 shots of rum, top with soda and ta-da! Summer in a glass 🙂

Hopefully our dinner relieves someone’s winter blues! Enjoy!

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