Hi! Kirsten here :) I'm the sister of Make It Raw (ie Julia)
I've been adding to the Make It Raw social media and helping Julz since moving back to Christchurch from in Australia in March.
One of my favourite things is getting vegetables with the tops still attached. To me, it is like getting two veges for the price of one. Call me cheap, call me frugal, I can’t deny I love a two for one deal.
Take beetroot for example. At the farmers market you have people sell beets, you have people selling salad greens. I always seem to spy beet greens adding colour to the pretty bags of mesclun leaves. Why buy the products individually when you could get your greens straight from the source (from the root you could say... ) No packaging, no plastic, just tasty greens attached to a tasty root.
Over the years I have expanded my leaf eating habits and pallet to include so many typically discarded parts of our favourite veges. Steamed broccoli leaves anyone? Slow roasted kale ribs? Celery leaf added to homemade vege stock? Crispy spiced cauliflower leaves? Yum yum yum yum.
I think it comes partly from living in apartments where I have no way to compost my scraps (thus not really wasting them). I hate throwing scraps out so even though I do now have a composting system, I will often save scraps in the freezer and add to the stock pot before finally gifting them to the worms.
Some of my favourite things (that you might not think of) to add to stocks are cheese rinds, whey (leftover from making ricotta, super high in protein, but that could be a whole other post..), dried mushrooms, (clean) potato peelings or pumpkin peels and last but not least, fennel fronds. But this was never meant to be all about soup!
I have recently discovered carrot tops and they have made an impact! I started off by requesting Julia’s trusty pesto recipe. A super tasty addition to (you guessed it) Make it Raw’s cornerstone product, crackers. Carrot top discovery to be continued below.
Easy Carrot Top Pesto
1 bunch of carrot tops
1 handful of leafy herbs
20g parmesan or nutritional yeast
100ml of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Blitz everything (except oil) in a food processor. Slowly add oil until pesto consistency is achieved. Season to taste.
Due to my food processor being in storage in Australia (thanks ‘rona) I had to chop finely which meant my pesto was more of a crumble. Still tasty though.
Next on my carrot adventure was a Takeaway favourite - Palak Paneer.
Carrot Top Paneer
Clean and roughly chop carrot tops and blanche in boiling water then straight into iced water (this keeps the beautiful vibrant green). Blend the blanched carrot tops along with tomato, 3 cloves of garlic, ginger and green chilli. Puree to a smooth paste and set aside.
Sauté chopped onions until soft and add the greens & about a cup of stock (or whey).
Let the mixture cook for about 10min then add a sprinkle of salt to taste, a teaspoon of garam masala and some chilli.
Add cubes of paneer (or firm tofu for a vegan curry)
When the greens mixture is cooked add a cup of cream (or coconut cream) and a squeeze of lemon and turn the heat right down, until your rice is cooked.
Paneer is also a super easy cheese to whip up yourself. Here is Jamie giving you the tea on paneer.
The whey that comes in abundance from making any kind of cheese is full of good protein. I have found that it has a mildly sweet flavour so adding it to soups or a curry works a treat.
Hope you enjoy cooking up a storm this winter!