February is a suitable month for dying. Everything around is dead, the trees black and frozen so that the appearance of green shoots two months hence seems preposterous, the ground hard and cold, the snow dirty, the winter hateful, hanging on too long.Although I am a big fan of winter, I have to admit that February and its uniform skies, blizzardy snowfalls, heavy sleet storms, anesthetizing as well as frigid north winds and fair share of viruses can be quite a trying, unforgiving and monotonous month. Although the season of renewal is getting closer by the minute and the first signs of spring can already be witnessed (catkins hanging from trees, chaffinches and blackbirds singing crazily, snowdrops flowering, daffodils and primroses peeking out of the ground, etc...), this in-between period of the year is definitely not my favorite as it has the aura of a dull Soviet no-man's land or of a waiting room in a Bolshevik hospital.
- Anna Quindlen, One True Thing
February, when the days of winter seem endless and no amount of wistful recollecting can bring back any air of summer.
- Shirley Jackson, Raising Demons
Painfully murky and depressingly characterless days endlessly follow one another until the point where all this blandness numbs us and the zombie mode kicks in. It is an indubitable fact that dense opaque fog, serious lack of sunlight, bitter air and polar temperatures get the best of us as this lethal combination contributes to weakening our immune system and deminishing our high spririts. Hence it is extremely important that we don't forget to take good care of our mental and well as physical wellness.
This is the reason why I try add harmony to my existence, slow down whenever I can, have activities which uplift my soul (listen to music, read, watch movies, cook/bake, meditate, go out for walks, etc...) and eat particularly wholesomely during Jack Frosts' reign. As a result, illnesses rarely affect me (I usually only get a runny nose and sore throat), my energy level is mostly high, 90% of the time my brain is active like a rat, I am generally fairly chirpy and the only blues I experience is played by talented musicians...
The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The radish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent, not of passion. Tomatoes are lusty enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious.One of my preferred health allies is beetroot. Not only is this globe vegetable fantastically versatile, mighty scrumptious and remarkably colorful, but it is also a great source of potassium, magnesium and iron as well as vitamins A, B6 and C, folic acid, carbohydrates, protein, powerful antioxidants and soluble fibre; ideal for boosting stamina, reducing risks of osteoporosis, strokes and heart attacks, bringing down blood pressure, stabilizing blood sugar, lowering cholesterol, helping slow the progression of dementia, treating anemia and fatigue. A highly nutritious and powerful ball of goodness which I am never tired of transforming into mouthwatering meals and seeing in my plate!
- Tom Robbins
Salad "freshens without enfeebling and fortifies without irritating.
- Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826)
I'm not sure if it has something to do with my body sending me subliminal messages or if Mother Nature's imminent awakening is in cause, but lately, beets, oranges and wonderfully crunchy raw vegetables have been a lot on my mind and I have been constantly dreaming of bringing vibrant hues to the table as well as yearning for citrusy flavors.
Cravings can be very strong and as a rule, it is rather difficult to get rid of them, unlless they have been fulfilled. Anyway, thankfully for me my urge for hearty fare was legitimate and represented no threat to my organism (I would have resisted it otherwise), so I had no other choice than to enter my culinary temple in a jiffy and proceed to create a delightfully tasty, psychedelic and nutrient-ladden "Beetroot and Orange Salad" which I served for supper.
This zesty, refined and substantial cold dish met a frank success and brought happiness to the dinning table. P. asked for seconds and thirds, and we fiercely devoured it, leaving no leftovers. Had it been a platter of homemade pasta or a juicy steak, I don't think it would have gone down any faster or better. Simply perfect!
Recipe by Rosa Mayland, February 2013.
Serves 2 (as main course) or 4 (as side dish).
Ingredients For The "Salad Dressing":
The juice of 1 organic lemon
1 Clove garlic, crushed (optional)
2 Tbs Olive oil
1 Tsp Mild soy Sauce
1 Tsp Yellow or sweet mustard
1 Tsp Runny honey
1/2 Tsp Sriracha
1 Pinch ground allspice
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Ingredient For The "Salad":
1 Big raw beetroot, peeled and finely shredded
2 Tarocco oranges, filleted (see method)
1/4 Cup (30g) Hazelnuts, roasted and coarsely chopped
The rind of one organic lemon
Method For The "Salad Dressing":
1. Whisk all the ingredients together and set aside.
Method For "Plating The salad":
2. Place the grated beetroot* on the plates.
3. Drizzle the salad dressing* over the beetroot.
4. Prettily arrange the orange segments* over the beetroot.
5. Sprinkle the hazelnuts* and the grated lemon rind* over the salad.
6. Top with a handful of sprouted alfalfa*.
7. Serve immediately.
You can replace the allspice by 1/2 Tsp ground cumin, the Tarocco oranges by Moro or Navel oranges and the sprouted alfalfa by any other sprouted seeds of your choice (beetroot, onion, sesame, etc...).
The clove garlic is totally optional. Instead, try flavoring your salad with an onion which you'll cut in half and slice very thinly, then arrange nicely over the grated beetroot (before adding the orange segments).
Serve this salad as main course, with slices of pumpernickel bread or as side dish in accompaniment to a casseroles, gratin or some barbecued meat.
* In equal quantities (either 1/2 or 1/4, depending on how many people you are going to serve).
Salade De Betterave À l'Orange
Recette par Rosa Mayland, Février 2013.
Pour 2 personnes (plat principal) ou 4 personnes (plat d'accompagnement).
Ingrédients Pour La "Vinaigrette":
Le jus d'un citron bio
1 Gousse d'ail, écrasée (facultatif)
2 CS d'Huile d'olive
1 CC de Sauce soja douce
1 CC de Moutarde douce
1 CC de Miel liquide
1/2 CC de Sriracha
1 Pincée de Poudre de piment de la Jamaïque
Sel de mer, selon goût
Poivre noir fraîchement moulu, selon goût
Ingrédients Pour La "Salade":
1 Grosse betterave crue, pelée et finement râpée
2 Oranges Tarocco, découpée en quartiers (voir méthode)
30g de Noisettes, torréfiées et grossièrement hachées
Le zeste d'un citron bio
Pousses d'alfalfa/luzerne (graines germées)
Méthode Pour La "Vinaigrette":
1. Mélanger ensemble tous les ingrédients pour la vinaigrette et mettre de côté.
Méthode Pour La "Présentation De La Salade":
2. Disposer la betterave râpée * sur les assiettes.
3. Verser la vinaigrette* sur la betterave.
4. Arranger joliment les quartiers d'orange* sur la betterave.
5. Saupoudrer avec les noisettes* et le zeste de citron râpé*.
6. Déposer une petite poignée de luzerne germée* sur le dessus de la salade.
7. Servir immédiatement.
Vous pouvez remplacer le piment de la Jamaïque en poudre par 1/2 CC de cumin en poudre, les oranges Tarocco par des oranges Moro ou Navel et la luzerne germée par les graines germées de votre choix (betterave, oignon, sésame, etc ..).
L'ail est totalement facultatif. Afin de donner plus de saveur à votre salade, un oignon finement coupé fera parfaitement l'affaire (ajoutez-le juste avant les quartiers d'orange).
Servir cette salade comme plat principal, avec des tranches de pain pumpernickel ou comme plat d'accompagnement avec un plat au four, un gratin ou de la viandes grillée.
* En quantités égales (soit 1/2 ou 1/4, selon le nombre de personnes que vous allez servir).