THRIVE GRATITUDE BOWL with apple & beetroot sauerkraut (v)
This is the kind of bowl food I love to linger over. A true grounding root chakra experience, where time seems to stop and transport you to a space where you can achieve inner connection.
If you’re a traditionalist, you can substitute the Parmesan back into this pesto recipe, or if you’re up for trying the vegan version, I bet you won’t even miss the cheese.
for the vegan pesto quinoa
90g (3¼oz) basil, stalks and leaves included
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
70g (2½oz/heaped ½ cup) pine nuts/kernels
1 teaspoon sea salt
150ml (5fl oz/²⁄³ cup) extra virgin olive oil, plus more if needed and 50ml (3½ tablespoons) for storage
60g (2oz/¹⁄³ cup) quinoa, washed
for the apple & beetroot sauerkraut
600g (1lb 5oz) red cabbage, finely shredded using a mandolin
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 medium–large beetroot (beet), peeled and grated
2 eating apples, cored and grated
2 star anise
for the dressing
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
sea salt and cracked black pepper
for the salad
2–3 store-bought cooked beetroots (beets)
3 radishes, thinly sliced into rounds
40g (1½oz/¹⁄³ cup) edamame beans
1 tablespoon pitted black olives, roughly chopped
1 handful baby red chard or spinach leaves
2 fresh figs
toasted almonds, roughly chopped
goat’s cheese or feta cheese (optional, if vegan)
Begin by making the sauerkraut and don’t worry if you haven’t made this in advance. I’ll show you how to make the fuller version here, but if you want a quick and easy version for this salad today, see the tip at the bottom of the page.
Using your hands, massage the cabbage and salt together in a large mixing bowl for 2 minutes. As you squeeze and mix the cabbage you should start to notice the moisture coming out of it. Add the grated beetroot and apple, and the star anise and mix to combine. Place the cabbage mixture into a glass jar or the next best thing would be a glass Tupperware with an airtight lid. If you don’t have glass, then a plastic Tupperware will do too. Push the mixture firmly down into your jar or Tupperware, removing any gaps. Add enough water to the container to cover the top of the cabbage by 2cm (¾in).
Taking a piece of muslin, cheesecloth or clean kitchen towel, secure the cloth around the outside of the container with an elastic band, place the sauerkraut on a tray and set aside in a cool, dark place overnight to start the fermenting process. Leave the container on the tray at room temperature for 3–5 days, topping up with water as necessary to ensure the sauerkraut is always covered. You will know your sauerkraut is ready when bubbles start to appear on the surface. Once the sauerkraut is ready, remove the cloth and top with 2cm (¾in) of water again before refrigerating. The sauerkraut will keep for up to 1 month in the fridge.
To make the pesto, put the basil, yeast, pine nuts, salt and olive oil in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add a little more oil to reach your desired consistency and taste for seasoning.
Remove from the food processor and store in a glass jar or tall Tupperware container. Top with the 50ml (3½ tablespoons) olive oil. The olive oil acts as a preservative to prevent your pesto from spoiling. Always make sure the pesto jar has a layer of olive oil and your pesto will last for weeks!
To cook the quinoa, put the quinoa in a small saucepan, add enough cold water to cover by 1cm (½in), then bring to the boil and cook for 10–12 minutes, or until all the water has evaporated. Quickly remove from the heat and place a clean kitchen towel over the saucepan and secure a lid tightly over the tea towel creating a seal. Set aside and allow the quinoa to cool and become light and fluffy as the moisture is absorbed by the tea towel.
Meanwhile, make the salad dressing by mixing all the ingredients together and seasoning with salt and pepper.
To make the salad, cut the beetroot into wedges. Add to a mixing bowl with the sliced radishes, edamame beans and black olives. Add the baby chard or spinach leaves and toss to combine. Set aside.
Place the cooked quinoa into a mixing bowl and add as much or as little of the pesto as you desire to give the quinoa a lovely green colour.
To serve, place the salad into bowls of your choice, add some pesto quinoa and the apple and beetroot sauerkraut. Tear each fig between your fingers and place flesh over the top of each bowl, sprinkle with toasted almonds and goat’s or feta cheese, if desired.
For a quick version of the apple and beetroot sauerkraut, you can take a store-bought jar of plain sauerkraut, add some grated beetroot and apple, plus 1 tablespoon grated ginger for flavour. Mix to combine and you have ready-to-use, gorgeously colourful and flavoursome sauerkraut in less than 5 minutes!