Maple-Agave Lotus Root and Sticky Rice

Today is the last day of my veggie recipe challenge. 50 days of incredible recipes, using a different veggie every single day! I can’t believe I made it. This is the first time I’ve done something like this, and even though it was tough some days to keep it going I know I’ll do another challenge like this again. In honor of finishing, today I decided to try to do a dessert recipe (which can be tough using vegetables!) so it was perfect that I picked up some lotus root at the nearby Asian market the other day. This crunchy, starchy veggie is perfect for a sweet recipe, and looks pretty and unique too!

Lotus root has a mildly sweet flavor with a crunchy texture, making it great for a dessert or a lot of other recipes. It’s fantastic stir-fried. Lotus root has a visually appealing pattern of air pockets which are visible when it is sliced. It’s a good source of fiber, and also contains a lot of Vitamin C. If this is your first time trying it, I think you’ll enjoy it!

Maple Agave Lotus Root and Sticky Rice

 

Maple-Agave Lotus Root and

Sticky Rice

  • 1/2 medium lotus root, peeled and sliced
  • 2 Tbs maple syrup
  • 2 Tbs agave nectar, plus extra for drizzling

For the sticky rice:

  • 1 cup sushi rice
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 can coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Combine the rice and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil; cover and reduce heat to low.

Simmer until water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.

While the rice cooks, combine coconut milk, sugar and salt in a saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil; remove from heat and set aside. Stir the cooked rice into the coconut milk mixture and cover, allowing to cool for 20 minutes.

While the rice cools, combine lotus root slices, maple syrup and agave in a saucepan, adding enough water to cover. Bring to a boil then lower heat, simmering for 20 minutes.

To serve, arrange lotus root slices over sticky rice, drizzling agave nectar over the top.

Lotus Root and Sticky Rice

Agave Lotus Root and Sticky Rice

Maple Agave Lotus Root and Coconut Sticky Rice

This delicious and lovely dessert is perfect for a unique presentation at the end of an Asian-themed meal! I hope you enjoy. Let me know how you liked the veggie recipe challenge and weigh in your votes for the best recipes in the comments for a roundup recipe of favorites!

In case you missed the last 49 days, here are all the veggie recipes:

Printable Version:

Maple-Agave Lotus Root and Sticky Rice
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • ½ medium lotus root, peeled and sliced
  • 2 Tbs maple syrup
  • 2 Tbs agave nectar, plus extra for drizzling
  • For the sticky rice:
  • 1 cup sushi rice
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • ½ can coconut milk
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Combine the rice and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil; cover and reduce heat to low.
  2. Simmer until water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. While the rice cooks, combine coconut milk, sugar and salt in a saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil; remove from heat and set aside. Stir the cooked rice into the coconut milk mixture and cover, allowing to cool for 20 minutes.
  4. While the rice cools, combine lotus root slices, maple syrup and agave in a saucepan, adding enough water to cover. Bring to a boil then lower heat, simmering for 20 minutes.
  5. To serve, arrange lotus root slices over sticky rice, drizzling agave nectar over the top.

 

Curried Split Pea Stew with Swiss Chard

Split peas are one of my favorite foods. They make such a creamy thick stew, which is exactly what this recipe is. I’ve never added in greens before, but they made a really nice addition to the curry flavor and the richness of the coconut milk. This recipe would also be great with some diced sweet potato, or even over rice since you can make it as thick or thin a stew as you like.

Swiss chard is the featured veggie of the day. I can’t believe tomorrow is my last day of my veggie recipe challenge. 50 days! I honestly wasn’t sure if I could do it, and a few of the days got a little snarly with my busy schedule, but I’ve almost made it. And today’s feature is a delicious and nutritious veggie. An excellent source of Vitamins C, A and K, Swiss Chard has been found to prevent osteoporosis, iron-deficiency anemia, and vitamin-A deficiency; it is also believed to help protect from cardiovascular diseases and colon and prostate cancers.

Curried Split Pea Stew with Swiss Chard

 

Curried Split Pea Stew

with Swiss Chard

  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 cardamom pod, split open
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1-1/2 cups dried split peas, picked over and washed
  • 1/2 can reduced-fat coconut milk
  • 3 cups packed Swiss Chard, washed and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper, to taste

In a soup pot, warm olive oil over medium heat. Meanwhile, grind cumin seeds, cardomom and coriander seeds using a mortar and pestle. Add crushed seeds and turmeric to oil and heat, stirring constantly, until spices are very fragrant, about a minute or two. Add onion and sauté until soft and translucent.

Add 5 cups water and split peas. Bring to a boil and then lower heat and simmer, partially covered, until split peas are tender and losing their shape, about 50-60 minutes.

Add Swiss chard and coconut milk and season to taste with salt and pepper. Continue to cook until chard is wilted and stew reaches desired thickness.

Curried Split Pea Stew with Coconut Milk and Swiss Chard

Split Pea Stew with Swiss Chard

Split Pea Stew with Coconut Milk and Swiss Chard

This stew is so hearty and filling. Perfect for a rainy day like today, since our weather here in Portland Oregon has no idea lately what it wants to do! I hope you enjoy this recipe if you try it.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s recipe featuring another veggie, and don’t forget to subscribe if you want to follow the whole 50-day “a different veggie a day” recipe challenge. I’m starting to run out of veggies, so if you have any suggestions please let me know!

In case you missed the last 48 days of recipes, here they are:

Printable Version:

Curried Split Pea Stew with Swiss Chard
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 cardamom pod, split open
  • ½ tsp coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1-1/2 cups dried split peas, picked over and washed
  • ½ can reduced-fat coconut milk
  • 3 cups packed Swiss Chard, washed and chopped
  • ½ tsp sea salt, or to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. In a soup pot, warm olive oil over medium heat. Meanwhile, grind cumin seeds, cardomom and coriander seeds using a mortar and pestle. Add crushed seeds and turmeric to oil and heat, stirring constantly, until spices are very fragrant, about a minute or two. Add onion and sauté until soft and translucent.
  2. Add 5 cups water and split peas. Bring to a boil and then lower heat and simmer, partially covered, until split peas are tender and losing their shape, about 50-60 minutes.
  3. Add Swiss chard and coconut milk and season to taste with salt and pepper. Continue to cook until chard is wilted and stew reaches desired thickness.

 

 

The Many Uses for Coconut Oil

Ah, the coconut.  Arguably one of the world’s most perfect foods.  Coconut is technically a fruit (the seed of the coconut palm), not a nut, although it is unique in that the shell contains a large amount of liquid.  This liquid is the coconut water, which can be used as a refreshing drink or even as a plasma transfusion in emergencies.  Coconuts really are amazing!  And it doesn’t stop there.  The coconut oil, used in cooking and in various cosmetic applications, is really a wonderful product.  It can be used for all kinds of natural DIY recipes for the skin and body, as well as in healthful food recipes.  Choose organic, unrefined virgin coconut oil whenever possible.

The wonders of coconut oil

I personally have been using coconut oil for a variety of things for years, and have found it to be one of the most versatile products in my home.  It can easily stand alone in a variety of applications.  I’ll also include a few ingredients and recipes that can take coconut oil to the next level!  Get ready to discover the wonders of coconut oil!

The Many Uses for Coconut Oil:

Body and Facial Oil – coconut oil works great as a natural moisturizer.  It can be a bit heavy for the face so I only use it on my face in the evenings before bed.  But it’s great on the body right after a shower.  Your skin feels super silky and you smell like a tropical island!  If it is too solid, warm a bit in a small double boiler or place the jar directly in warm water to liquify.

Makeup Remover – amazing.  This stuff is great at getting off even stubborn makeup.  And it’s all natural!  Just put a bit onto a cotton ball and swipe off makeup.  Done!

Heavy-duty nighttime moisturizer – for those times when your skin really needs TLC, slather it on and cover with socks or gloves (you probably don’t want it on your skin too thickly anywhere else but you never know!).

Tropical Massage oil – It doesn’t even need any extra scent!  Need any more convincing? 🙂

Natural shaving cream – Just use it in place of shave cream/lotion.  Skin comes out soooo silky smooth.

Natural Scrub – mix with sea salt for an in-shower moisturizing scrub to slough off dead skin cells on body and feet.

Hair Moisturizer – Can use it two ways here.  If you want a quick fix me up to smooth strands, use just a small dab on split ends or frizzies to tame hair.  Or if you want a really deep moisturizing treatment, use it as a hair mask for an hour or overnight.  Just cover with a shower cap and then wash hair afterwards for a powerful moisture kick.

Natural “Scentsy” or wax melt replacement – Have a wax melter to add aroma to the air in your home, but never liked the chemicals?  Try coconut oil.  Simply mix coconut oil with a few drops of pure essential oils for natural aroma that is divine!  I like cinnamon and orange, or vanilla and lavender.  Come up with your own unique fragrances!

Now it gets really interesting.  Keep going for natural remedies and medicinal uses for coconut oil that might surprise you.

Natural SPF lotion – Coconut oil has a natural SPF of 4.  Not very high if you’re looking for sun protection but it does give you that bit of extra help!  Great as a tanning oil.

Natural Anti-Yeast treatment – This amazing oil is naturally anti-yeast and anti-bacterial.  Try it as a topical yeast treatment to help kill yeast or yeast infections on skin.

Natural Yeast infection treatment – For vaginal yeast infections, create your own suppository by spooning about a Tbs of coconut oil onto a small piece of plastic wrap, wrapping it up (shaping it as you go) and then freezing.  Once it’s  hardened, it makes an effective yeast treatment that is cooling to insert. (I personally have had excellent results treating yeast infections with this.)

Treatment for toenail or foot fungus – Treat athlete’s foot or toenail fungus with this amazing oil.

For sore throats – Simply blend a tablespoon into hot tea to help soothe and coat a sore throat.

Natural cold sore remedy – Apply to lips.  Also works great as a natural lip balm.

Natural personal lubricant – won’t disturb vaginal flora.

Natural deodorant – use alone or add essential oil for a natural and non-irritation deodorant.

For ear infections – in humans and pets, can help with ear infections, particularly yeast issues in ears for dogs.

Homemade toothpaste – Combine equal parts coconut oil and baking soda. Sweeten with stevia and add an essential oil for flavor if desired.

There is also evidence that coconut oil, when taken internally daily, can help with a variety of health issues including depression, thyroid issues, low metabolism, alzheimer’s, insulin imbalance, candida, poor sleep, poor digestion, allergy symptoms and low energy.  It is an immediate energy source when ingested and isn’t stored as fat in the body.

Read on for how to use coconut oil in cooking.

Mix in a Smoothie – Add to any smoothie recipe for additional nutrition and energy.

In high heat recipes – Coconut oil is safer to use for high-temperature cooking than other vegetable oils since it is more stable and doesn’t break down, which releases carcinogens.  Try for frying or to make very buttery-tasting vegan popcorn.

Dairy-free vegan butter replacement – just use in recipes as you would butter.  Even tastes good on toast!

For energy – 1 tsp of coconut oil can give you a great burst of energy as an alternative caffeine.  Add 1 tsp chia seeds to the coconut oil for an extra boost.

How do you use coconut oil?

 

Smoothies

Smoothies are a treat that most people enjoy, and are very easy to make.  The beautiful thing about them is that you can put in almost anything you can dream up!  Fruit smoothies are a great beginner recipe, and you can get as crazy with them as you like.  I often put flaxseed, nuts, raw nut milks, fresh juices, and various veggies into my smoothies to get the biggest bang for my buck, nutritionally speaking. 🙂

This morning I wanted to do something more basic, for both myself and Rick (my husband).  His was really simple– I just threw a handful each of frozen blackberries, strawberries and raspberries into my Vitamix with some OJ and he was good to go.

Smoothie

Mine was a little more involved.  I threw in a handful each of blueberries and strawberries, then added in some flaxseed, maca powder, and some raw young coconut.  Maca powder is an amazing raw food; this cool blog talks about it a bit more.  It didn’t really add any flavor to this, but later I will show you how to make an amazing raw malted milkshake with it (maca adds a malt-y flavor).   Young coconut is also a super food.  It contains healthy fats, and coconut water is one of the most incredible substances on the planet.  In addition to being the highest electrolyte source known to man, young coconut water is identical to human blood plasma, which means it not only gives you an “instant transfusion” when you drink it, but it has also saved many lives by IV in third world countries.  Amazing, right?

Smoothie

Did I mention that I like to serve my smoothies in pretty cocktail glasses? 🙂  They are just so much more fun to drink that way!