coriander leaf vanghi bath

25th August 2016

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We made this dish in the last ‘Introduction to Meditation & Ayurvedic Cooking’ workshop we held in June.  It is a recipe given to us by Gillian, taught to her by our teacher’s wife – the original recipe uses fresh fenugreek leaves which are hard to come by here in Portugal, so the fresh coriander makes a lovely alternative.

The Ayurvedic cooking session is taught in the last part of the workshop, so we all get to share in a blessing together and enjoy the meal we have just prepared.  This Coriander Leaf Vanghi Bath with Indian spices and heaps of coriander leaves is superb, and goes perfectly accompanied by a salad of grated carrot; a big bowl of sliced cucumber and various leaves and flowers picked fresh from the garden. Each workshop is very special and as we partake and teach more and more of them, we become open, confident and efficient in the running of them.  Both days were deliciously warm, sunny and still, so we were able to open up the doors and sit outside during the breaks to enjoy the beautiful presence of nature and the warmth of the sun.

Our next workshop is planned for September and is open to register here.

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CORIANDER LEAF VANGHI BATH

Use heaped portions with measurements, except when stated otherwise.

Serves 4

ingredients:

1 cup rice

3 cups water

¼ cup ghee/coconut oil

½ tsp mustard seeds

¼ tsp asafoetida powder

⅛ tsp turmeric powder

10 fresh curry leaves

3 bunches/3 cups fresh coriander leaf/fenugreek leaves

½ cup dried shredded coconut

1 tsp rock salt

2 tsp jaggery/sugar

½-1 tsp tamarind paste

1½-2 tsp sambar powder

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Preparation:

In a heavy-based saucepan, wash the rice in several changes of water until the water runs off clear, then drain.

Pour in the water and bring to boil over a medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to maintain a rapid simmer. Do not cover the pot with a lid, as this allows certain impurities or energetic imbalances to be eliminated.  Simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until water has almost completely evaporated. Turn off the heat, cover and set aside to cool.

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While waiting for the rice to cool, wash the coriander leaves, dry and chop (can use stems).  You should have 3 full cups chopped coriander.  Set aside.

In a skillet over medium heat, add the oil and mustard seeds. When the seeds start to splutter and pop (make sure the mustard seeds have popped well), add the asafoetida powder, turmeric powder and curry leaves. Fry for 30 seconds, swishing the pan around to allow the spices to fry evenly.

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Add the fresh coriander leaves, dried coconut, salt, jaggery, tamarind paste and sambar powder, and stir for one minute, then turn off the heat. 

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Add the cooked rice (make sure it has cooled first), and combine the rice using a wooden spoon or the right palm of the hand, gently combine, to ensure the rice is mixed well with the spices.

Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding salt, sugar/jaggery.  Garnish with handful of extra fresh coriander leaves and serve with a spoon of ghee.

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golden honey passionfruit elixir & a chia pudding

15th August 2016

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A recipe created for  Holmes Place magazine as part of an ongoing concept of seasonal ‘superfoods’ through out the year.

Elixir : a substance, usually a liquid, with a magical power to cure, improve, or preserve something.

This Elixir works as a wonderful topping for your morning yogurt or warm cooked oats. At other times, mixed in with a salad dressing; drizzled over vanilla ice-cream for an evening treat; as a drink, stirred into hot, not boiling, water or gently heated and stirred into milk; or added to smoothies or juices for a flavour kick. Turmeric root is often used in Ayurvedic medicine for its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antiseptic properties.   For this elixir, it is combined with the multiple wonderful benefits of passionfruit, honey and ginger, all healing and preventive powerhouses on their own.  

When buying passionfruit, the ripe fruit should be firm and heavy with wrinkled skins, and have a little “give”.  If the skin is not deeply wrinkled, but only shrivelled and unappealing, keep the fruit at room temperature until it is.

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Golden Honey Passionfruit Elixir

Makes 1 cup (240mL)

Recipe adapted from Tara O’Brady – Seven Spoons.

When passionfruit are not in season, replace with an extra ¼ cup honey.

ingredients:

½ cup mild tasting honey, preferably raw

½ cup ripe passionfruit pulp (approximately 6 fruits)

2 Tblsp freshly grated ginger

1 heaped tsp turmeric powder/ 1 Tblsp freshly grated turmeric root

Zest from 1 lemon

2 pinches freshly ground black pepper

Grate the ginger and lemon zest.  Halve the passionfruit and scoop out the pulp and seeds to measure half a cup.  Set aside.

Pour the honey into a jar, add the passionfruit pulp, grated ginger, turmeric, lemon zest and ground pepper.  Stir to combine well.  Allow to stand for 30 minutes before using, or an hour if you can, then cover and refrigerate.  The longer it sits, the more the flavours balance and settle.  Stir before serving.  Use within 1 week.

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Chia Pudding with Berries & Golden Honey Passionfruit Elixir

Serves 2

chia pudding :

2 Tblsp chia seeds

½ cup almond milk/or nut milk of choice

¼ tsp vanilla essence

serving options:

1 cup Greek style yogurt or choice of non-dairy yogurt

2 – 4 Tblsp Golden Honey Passionfruit Elixir

Fresh seasonal fruits, such as sliced peaches/nectarines, strawberries and raspberries, washed and chopped

2 – 4 Tbsp chopped almonds/granola

To make the chia pudding, place the chia seeds, vanilla essence and nut milk in a jar.  Screw on the lid, shake a few times and refrigerate for 30 minutes or preferably overnight.  Stir again before serving.

When ready to serve, divide the yogurt into two individual bowls and evenly spoon over the chia pudding.  Drizzle the Golden Passionfruit Elixir over the top, arrange the fruits and berries, and garnish with fresh mint leaves, toasted almonds or your favourite granola.

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mango passionfruit sorbet

6th August 2016

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I photographed this before I left for our holiday. We travelled for almost 2 days and a bit, arriving in a bit of a daze – a haze. Finally, with our feet on earthly ground and toes in the sand.  The jet lag is HUGE, but worth every moment of breathing in all these scents and sounds which are so familiar.  The early, early mornings are my most favourite, most alive, sitting out on the deck above the blue, blue waters, waves lapping on the rocks below, watching the sky change its colour from black to blue to pink to orange – so brightly. And with it all, along comes the eerie call of the curlew, followed by a kookaburra and then the screech and squawk of the white-crested cockatoos.  Australia is a beautiful country.

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Glorious days, white sands & soft, glowing, clear skies.

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mango passionfruit sorbet

Serves 6

This is incredibly quick & easy, with a remarkable end result of a golden-coloured smooth, refreshing sorbet for these hot Summer days or as a light evening treat to end a meal.

ingredients :

650g/3 heaped cups fresh ripe mango (2 large mangos)

6 – 8 passionfruit

2 Tblsp mild-tasting honey/maple syrup (optional)

Peel & chop the mango flesh into large chunks and place in a bowl.  Run your hand over the seed to remove as much of the mango pulp and juice as possible.  Place the pulp and the honey into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.   Set aside.

In a small jug, half the passionfruit and scoop out the pulp.  Pour into the blender and stir to combine with a spoon.

Transfer the mixture to an ice-cream maker and churn for about 25 – 30 minutes, or to the manufacture´s instructions, until frozen.  The sorbet will be soft.  Transfer to a container, cover and freeze for at least 3 hours or until completely frozen.

When ready to serve, allow to soften outside for 15 minutes before scooping into bowls.  Garnish with leaves of fresh lemon verbena and bright, edible flowers.

If you don’t have an ice-cream maker, freeze the cut mango until solid.  Place in a blender with the honey and blend until smooth.  Stir in the passionfruit pulp and place in the freezer until it just starts to harden around the edges.  Whisk vigorously with a fork to break up any ice crystals, then freeze until firm.

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pepper rasam

26th July 2016

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Pepper Rasam is a simple and tasty liquid dish, considered tridhatus samya, balances all three doshas, Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.  It provokes the appetite and is helpful for indigestion. It helps to reduce nausea and is beneficial for those with high fever.  It may be consumed two or three times in a week.  It is recommended to be served with rice, a spoon of ghee and goes very well with steamed greens or a green bean palya.

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~ Evening, Praia Do Guincho

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Pepper Rasam

Serves 3 – 4

Recipe shared by our teacher Ganapati Aarya, as part of the Jivana Yoga Diploma.  For those with Vata imbalance, it is recommended to reduce the toor dahl to 1/3 cup.

Use heaped measurements except when stated otherwise.

ingredients:

1/3 – 1/2 cup toor dahl

1  1/4 liter/5 cups water

1  1/2 tsp salt

4 tsp jaggery

1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves

first voggarane:

2 tsp ghee 

1\2 tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp urad dahl

1/2  – 1 tsp whole black peppercorns, depending on your preferred spice

1 tsp cumin seeds

6 fresh curry leaves 

1/8 tsp asafoetida powder (hingu)

1/8 tsp turmeric powder

1/2 cup shredded dried coconut

1 cup warm water

second voggarane :

1 tsp  ghee

1 tsp cumin seeds

6 fresh curry leaves

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preparation:

In a heavy saucepan, wash toor dahl several times until water runs clear – then drain.  Pour water into saucepan and bring to boil on a medium-high heat, then reduce heat to maintain a rapid simmer. (Do not cover the pot, this allows certain impurities or energetic imbalances to be eliminated.) Simmer until dahl is soft and broken down – approximately 30 – 40 minutes, 2 – 3 cups of liquid remaining.

first voggarane:

In a small pan/bandalei over medium heat, add 2 tsp ghee, once hot add mustard seeds; as the seeds start to splutter and pop (make sure the mustard seeds have popped well), add urad dahl, whole peppercorns, and 1 tsp cumin seed. Once urad dahl is golden brown, add 6 curry leaves, asafoetida and turmeric powder, swishing the pan around allowing spices to fry evenly. Pour into the voggarane, dried coconut and 1 cup of warm water, stir to combine then pour into blender. Blend until smooth, approximately 1 minute.

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Add mixture to dahl, use liquid from dahl to swish blender clean, add back into the dahl.  Add salt and jaggery – mix well and set aside.

second voggarane:

Tear remaining 6 curry leaves in half (this way everyone gets a curry leaf, receiving their benefits), set aside.

In the first voggarane pan/bandalei, over medium heat, add remaining ghee, once hot add 1 tsp cumin seeds and torn curry leaves. Fry until the seeds are golden-brown (careful not to burn the cumin.) Pour voggarane into rasam, and stir in chopped coriander leaves.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes before tasting, adding more jaggery or salt as needed.  Serve with rice, green bean palya or sauteed greens and drizzle with a spoon of ghee.

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chapati

12th July 2016

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Chapati has become a regular event in our house.  They are wonderful drizzled with ghee, and served with  a simple dahl, or vegetable palya.  I also love them alongside a bowl of guacamole or roasted red pepper spread.

There are different varieties of chapatis available; one made with no fat, one made with oil and one made with ghee. Chapati made with ghee will support the physical and mental health to the fullest extent. It is recommended to be consumed while warm, as it becomes harder when cool. A chapati made with oil is also tasty and healthy and keeps its softness when it has cooled. Chapati can be consumed at any meal time, in all seasons and supports all constitutions.

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early morning vegetable garden

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chapati

Makes 5 chapati

Recipe shared by our teacher, Ganapati Aarya.

Chapati is traditionally made with Atta, a granular flour milled from soft Indian wheat that yields very tender chapatis.  If you are able to purchase this type of flour, it is recommended.  Here we use a combination of 1/3 cup wholewheat and 2/3 cup white flour, resulting in a softer, less tough chapati.  Regular wholewheat flour (sifted to remove the larger bran particles) can also be used.  It may take a few attempts before finding the flours which suit best in your country of residence.  

Making chapati is great in getting the whole family involved in the kitchen. Each person rolling out his share of chapati, makes it a fun and easy process.

ingredients :

1 cup/130g flour (I use 2/3 cup white & 1/3  cup wholewheat)

¼ tsp salt

2 Tblsp/30ml melted ghee

¼ cup/60mL hot water (or enough for a kneadable dough)

preparation :

Into a large bowl, place the flour and salt.  Whisk to combine.  Pour in the ghee and hot water and stir with a spoon, slowly bringing the dry ingredients into the wet, until mostly combined.

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Using your hands, start kneading into the bowl, adding more water if needed (a teaspoon at a time), to make a tender dough. 

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Work the dough until smooth, shining and does not stick to the hands. Approximately 5 minutes. 

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Divide the dough into 5 equal portions and shape each into a ball. Set aside, covered for 10 minutes. 

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Take one ball, using your palms, flatten slightly into a disc. Dip both sides with flour, then use a rolling pin to roll it into a very thin, round 7-inch circle.

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Cover with a damp clean towel/individual sheets of baking paper, and repeat with the remaining balls.    I like to roll out the dough a few hours before I am ready to cook them,  I fold a sheet of baking paper in half, then half again, and place each thinly, rolled chapati into the folded quarters of  each sheet, until ready to cook.

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Preheat a cast iron/non-stick skillet or tava over medium heat.  Once hot (it is important that it is hot), place the first chapati in the skillet and cook until bubbles start to appear on the surface, about a minute. 

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Flip and cook until tiny brown spots appear on the side facing the pan, about 30 seconds. 

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Flip twice more for 30 seconds on each side.  There will be 4 – 5 flips throughout the whole process. 

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Be careful not to overcook, otherwise they will be dry and crunchy.  Stack and cover the chapatis as you continue to cook the remaining ones.  Serve immediately.

When made on a regular basis, becoming familiar with the process – chapatis become quick, easy and enjoyable to make.  Serve with a simple dahl or Green Bean Palya. 

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roasted red pepper walnut spread

1st July 2016

roasted red pepper

One of the (much well received) additions to our table recently is this roasted red pepper walnut spread.  This is one recipe I have made quite a few times as a wholesome snack, entree, spread or more filling side dish to an otherwise light salad based meal. Whatever the occasion, time of day or audience I can almost always be assured of…’mmm…whats in this?!’. My answer has always been…’oh, I’ll post it on my blog’. So here it is.

If there is one vegetable when roasted that brings it´s goodness, it’s a roasted bell pepper.  After being roasted in the oven, the skin becomes charred, wrinkly and the inside sheds its blistered skin – emerging more succulent and sweeter than the raw version. The transformation is magical and delicious.

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-a garden edging it´s way into Summer

red pepper

roasted red pepper walnut spread

Makes about 2 cups

I  have been looking for a another tasty dip other than the usual hummus or guacamole we serve so often here, and one that satisfies the matured taste buds of young adults.  The roasted pepper adds a distinct sweetness and the toasted walnuts & breadcrumbs balance out that sweetness.  It is great served as a dip, as a spread on sandwiches or over a base for a pizza.

Recipe from 101 cookbooks – Heidi Swanson.

ingredients :

3 medium red pepper  (I like to use the long pepper – I find them sweeter more flavourful than bell pepper)

3/4 cup walnuts

1/4 cup whole/grain bread crumbs

1/2 tsp crushed red chilli flakes

1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds

1/4 cup extra/virgin olive oil, plus more to serve

2 Tblsp honey\pomegranate molasses

1/4 cup tomato paste

1/2 tsp fine-grain rock salt

Pre – heat the oven to 410F/210C.

Place the whole peppers on a rimmed tray lined with a baking sheet.  Roast, until the skin has become charred, and wrinkled, 50 to 60 minutes.

While the peppers roast, place a few slices of sourdough bread in the oven and toast until crunchy, approximately 20 minutes, place the walnuts into the oven to toast for 5 minutes. Careful not to burn.  Remove and set aside to cool.

When the pepper are ready, remove from the oven and gather up the corners of the baking sheet from the tray and wrap the peppers (use a kitchen towel to help if it is too hot).  This will steam them enabling the skins to easily peel off .

Cool until you can handle them, about 15 minutes, then remove the skin, seeds, and stems.   Keep the liquid from the peppers to add to the processor.  Set aside.

Dry roast the cumin seeds in a small pan, when lightly toasted turn off the heat and grind to a powder with a mortar and pestle.  Set aside.

Using  a food processor attached with an S blade, process the bread crumbs, when coarsely ground, measure out 1/4 cup and return to the processor, add the chilli flakes and walnuts and process until the walnuts are roughly ground.

roasted red pepper ingredients

Add the cumin seeds, olive oil, honey, tomato paste, salt and skinned peppers with their roasting liquid, process until everything is well incorporated and you have a smooth consistency.

Garnish with basil leaves, extra walnuts, and drizzle with olive oil.  Serve with fresh crackers, toasted bread, or with freshly made chapati (my favourite option) and a green, garden salad.

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radish raytha & an offering

21st June 2016

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There is a spot on this property where three mighty cedar trees root together in a triangle creating a vaulted, protected, central glade below. This space draws you in, inviting a connection, a pause to listen, and quieten our minds and become present in that moment of beauty. One of the trees has a girth of almost two meters and is so tall it makes a visible home landmark from as far as the Moorish Castle lookout. The thick branches welcome you in, reaching out and upwards for the sky. They stand strong against the fierce gales that hurl off the Atlantic in the summer months. On windy nights, they moan, shake and call to us in our cosy beds.

When we first moved here we held fires under those trees, later it became a place to rest, a place to contemplate and gaze up into the branches; still later, a circle of flowers was planted, and one year we hung a swing from one arm, spending hours daydreaming, spinning, soaking up the feeling of being held by them. Now, it has become a place of offering: Abi and her boys created a mandala, a gesture of their gratitude – created from things collected, from the walks we did that week, from the land and sea, and the joyous celebration and wondrous family feeling of coming together in our home. If you create something in nature – a careful image, an honouring of beauty, an act of appreciation – it can help you tap into the inner light and deepen your connection to it.

It also has caught my attention each time I pass by it now, I pass much more slowly. I slow down and bow my head a little; it offers me perspective, a feeling of being filled with light and allowing that light to flow through and out into this world.

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Thank -you Abi, Issac, Aaron & Seth.

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radish raytha

Use heaped spoon measurements unless otherwise stated.

Serves 2 person

Recipe adapted from here.

Raytha is a very soothing dish, with the overall property of being cooling for the body.  It is recommended to serve with 1 – 2 cups of cooked rice, and becomes a very cleansing & satisfying meal to have in the evening.  In Ayurveda it is said to evoke a good night sleep.

For a variation on taste ¼ tsp lemon juice can be added and can be made with grated cucumber or carrot instead of radish.  This raytha can be used as a dressing over a salad, or roasted vegetables or accompanied with a spicy rice/grain dish or dahl.   Fresh curry leaves can be found at your local Indian Store and when stored in the freezer keep their flavour up to 6 months. After fried briefly in oil they become a uniquely flavourful, and a crunchy surprise, as well as benefiting from their wonderful medicinal qualities.

ingredients:

1 cup regular yogurt

1 cup filtered water

½ cup finely grated radish (Approximately 4 radishes)

½ tsp finely grated ginger

¼ tsp rock salt

voggarane:

2 tsp melted coconut / peanut oil

¼ tsp black mustard seeds

¼ tsp cumin seeds

10 fresh curry leaves

2 pinches turmeric powder

preparation:

In a medium bowl, whisk the yogurt, add the water and whisk again until well combined. Grate the radish and ginger using the finer side on a box grater / parmesan grater. Stir into the yogurt, and add the salt. Set aside.

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prepare the voggarane:

Tear each curry leaf into four pieces. Set aside.

In a small pan over medium heat, add the oil and mustard seeds. When the seeds start to splutter and pop (It is important to fry the mustard seeds well otherwise they will taste too astringent), add the cumin seeds, curry leaves and turmeric powder and fry for 30 seconds, swishing the pan around to allow for the spices to fry evenly. Turn off the heat, add ¼ cup yogurt mixture into the voggarane, swishing the pan around to combine. Pour into the yogurt mixture, mix well. Serve with 1 – 2 cups of cooked rice, garnish with fresh coriander and radish slices.

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rhubarb rose sparkle

9th June 2016

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The inspiration for this fragrant rose rhubarb drink was a conversation I had with my friend and guest Abi, on the day of my son´s birthday, when she was here with her three lovely boys. In a low whisper, she related her joyful tradition of popping champagne each time it´s her child’s birthday, to celebrate her anniversary as a parent.  With this thought and a showy abundant display of rhubarb & delicate pink roses opening up in the garden, I set about concocting a flowery ‘mock – champagne’ for us all to enjoy that afternoon, accompanied by birthday cake & ice-cream.

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Sweetened rhubarb has a wonderfully up-lifting flavour; when muddled with rose, it becomes positively enchanting. The hint of mint gives a balancing base note.

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rhubarb rose sparkle

serves 4

I find that the sugar is perfect with the rhubarb, but if inclined, you could use a mild tasting honey, adding it after it has been strained, and keeping in mind it will change the overall flavour. After making this the second time I used different coloured rose petals from the garden that have been left to dry completely on baking tray. It takes just a few days.  

For tips on how to harvest rhubarb; read here.

ingredients:

480g rhubarb, sliced into 1\2 inch pieces

1  1/2 cups water

3/4 cup/140g natural cane sugar

2 Tblsp dried rose petals

1/4 cup fresh mint leaves

1  1/2 cups fizzy water

Ice, for serving

Place the rhubarb, sugar and water in a pot.  Bring to boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the rhubarb has fallen apart, 12 – 15 minutes.  Stir once or twice to help dissolve the sugar.  Remove from the heat, add the dried rose petals and fresh mint.  Cover, and steep for 10 minutes.  Strain through a fine sieve or cheesecloth, using the back of a large wooden spoon to extract as much liquid as possible.  Pour into a glass bottle and place in the fridge to chill.  When ready to serve, add the fizzy water, stir and pour into glasses.  Garnish with a sprinkling of rose petals and on really hot days serve with a few ice cubes added to each glass.

I recommend doubling the recipe.

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spring miso with lemon

31st May 2016

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I am out in the garden everyday now, finding any excuse to be there.  The fresh air, to experience the spring in its full glory.  It can still be cold and unpredictable but we are now blessed with warm weather days that lift us up and put a spring in our step.

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precious evening twilight & a walk in the garden

I had written this at the start of spring last year but it got put to the side by other inspiring dishes. A lovely light cleansing soup. You can vary this recipe using whatever vegetables you like. In summer I add a whole cob of corn, cut into fours, with thinly shaved garden zucchinis. For a more substantial meal add a small amount of cooked noodles when adding the blanched vegetables. It is important not to boil the miso, the rich enzymes and nutrients due to the fermentation, will be lost.

spring miso with lemon

I have been slowly working my way through Amy Chaplin’s – At Home in the Wholefood Kitchen.  This recipe is another from her book – ever so slightly adapted.

If you want to make this soup ahead of time, leave out the miso and keep the blanched vegetables and dashi separate.  Reheat together; then add miso, lemon zest and juice.

serves 4

dashi:

6 cups of filtered water

4 – inch piece kombu

2 large slices fresh ginger

soup:

8 asparagus spears, trimmed and cut diagonally

1 cup tiny broccoli florets/sugar snap peas, strings removed and chopped in half lengthwise

1 carrot, thinly sliced into rounds

2 small radishes, thinly sliced

6 – 8 Tblsp sweet white miso

zest of 1 lemon

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

handful baby kale/spinach leaves

make the dashi:

In a medium pot place the kombu, ginger, and filtered water, bring up to boil over high heat.  Cover pot, reduce heat to a low, and simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove kombu and ginger using a slotted spoon.

make the soup:

Bring the dashi up to a simmer over high heat.  Add the asparagus, broccoli/sugar snap peas, carrots, and cook for 30 seconds.  Add the radish rounds and cook for another 30 seconds, then remove all the vegetables using a slotted spoon.  Set aside to cool.

Reduce heat to low.  In a small bowl mix the miso to a paste using a little of the soup and pour through a small strainer into the soup.  Taste, add more miso or a small spoon of salt if necessary. Add the blanched vegetables and small kale/spinach leaves, warm over gentle heat for a minute or until the leaves are wilted. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest and juice. (Adding a pungent flavour such as ginger or lemon to miso soup just before serving will activate the enzyme, making them more beneficial).

Serve immediately.

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amaranth-sunflower-spelt bread

24th May 2016

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Treasured gifts.

Divine teachings.

An Ocean of Gratitude.

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thank-you Kristin

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This recipe was introduced to me by Gillian.  She made it one night accompanied with a delicious beetroot borsch and a green salad.

A wonderful bread to go with a simple soup for a no fuss dinner.  I love eating this bread the next day, with a thick spread of salted butter and a dollop of home-made jam/a drizzle of honey.  Feels like a perfect balance between a bread and a cake.

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amaranth-sunflower-spelt bread

6 – 8 servings

Recipe slightly adapted from ‘Angelica’s Kitchen’.

She goes on to say, ‘ This is a highly nutritious bread that cries out for a leguminous accompaniment. Try cutting it into thick wedges and serving it alongside your favourite bean dish or soup. It can also be cooked in a cast-iron skillet, bringing it straight to the table and served piping hot.  The bread has a satisfying, complex texture in part because some of the sunflower seeds are mixed into the batter while others are sprinkled on top.’

For a savoury addition, add some sautéed fennel rounds or chopped olives and a sprinkling of rosemary on top of the bread before baking.

I like this bread with more sweetness, so I added extra maple syrup to the recipe.  If wanting it less sweet as in the original recipe, use only 1 Tablespoon of Maple syrup and increase the soy milk to 1 cup.

to cook the amaranth:

1 cup filtered water

1/2 cup amaranth

1/4 tsp rock salt

for the bread:

3/4 cup sunflower seeds – divided

1   1/2 cups whole spelt flour (wholewheat flour can be substituted)

1/2 cup medium ground cornmeal (can use polenta)

1   1/2 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp rock salt

3/4 cup unsweetened soy/almond milk

1/4 cup olive oil

3 Tblsp apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup maple syrup

to cook the amaranth:

Place 1 cup water and 1/4 tsp salt in a small saucepan and bring to boil.

Add amaranth, lower flame, and cover.  Simmer for 35 – 45 minutes or until the water has absorbed.  Set aside and allow to sit for 10 minutes.  It will be sticky and wet.

to make the bread:

Preheat oven to 350F/180C.  Spread the sunflower seeds on a baking sheet and toast for 8 – 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Lightly oil a 9-inch square pan or a round skillet.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the whole spelt flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt and 1/2 cup sunflower seeds.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the soy milk, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and cooked amaranth.

Combine the wet and dry ingredients together.  Mix thoroughly, but do not over-mix.  The batter will be thick, but pourable.

Pour the batter into the pan/skillet and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds.

Bake for 45 – 55 minutes till golden, or when a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

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