main grains & vegetable dishes

roasted carrot, cauliflower, whole moong dal, mustard & greens

10th January 2017

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So good to have my site back.  It had disappeared for 10 days – having it back was like having the comfort of an old friend.

We just came back from a holiday with my husband’s family travelling through parts of Kerala in the South of India.  We started in Cochin, staying in a lovely place called The Eight Bastion in Fort Kochi, where the food was exceptional, and prepared by a wonderful chef who catered for all our odd dietary needs taking such pride,care and enthusiasm in everything he prepared – there was no need to venture out for our meals.  We saw the Chinese fishing nets and visited a few local churches and a Synagogue – in the heart of Fort Kochi.  We then travelled high up into the hill stations of Munnar.  This part of the trip was my favourite.  We stayed at a lovely resort called ‘The Spice Tree” where we were literally up in the clouds.

We went on hikes through the plantations and saw all sorts of spices grown – peppercorns, cardamom, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and even had a go at cutting and harvesting rice.  The evening sunset walks were particularly special, enjoying the breath-taking views down into the valley.  The last part of our trip was exploring the backwaters. We spent a day on one of the typical house-boats made of teak and bamboo – observing how the local people lived on the water, using the river to bathe, to wash their clothes and dishes, as a source of food and transport and everything in between., we watched palm tree after palm tree pass us by, paddy fields and colourful houses and a romantic way of life that seems unchanged for centuries.  This is the beauty of Kerala.

For the last 25 years, we have been travelling to India, and this was the first time as a tourist, rather than a budding yoga practitioner.  India as always, presented her magic and opened all our hearts – it was a truly memorable and magical trip.

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~ Chinese fishing nets in a bright sky at Fort Cochin

~ Tea Plantations taken from the bus window at the end of a winding, five hour journey, Munnar

~ Domestic chores along the river, Kumarakom

~ Water, vegetation and sky all become one, Back waters

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a warm salad of mustard, roasted carrot cauliflower & moong dal

Recipe slightly adapted from Grown and Gathered.

Don’t be shy with the kale greens, just make it green and lots of it.  I love how the carrot adds a splash of colour; roasted beets would also work.  I serve it with a whole avocado, sliced and spread into a fan, and slices of grilled haloumi. It is also great with a bowl of hummus.  A welcomed dish to take along to a lunch or dinner.

Serves 4 as a side dish or 2 as a main.

ingredients :

400g carrots or Baby (Dutch) tops trimmed to 2cm

½ head/400g cauliflower

½ cup/100g whole moong dal (whole mung bean)

3 cups water

120g kale, mustard greens, chard, spinach, coarsely chopped

mustard dressing :

1 Tblsp yellow mustard seeds

2 Tblsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 Tblsp brown sugar/jaggery/honey

zest from two lemons

vinaigrette :

2 Tblsp extra-virgin olive oil

4 Tblsp lemon juice (1 large lemon)

½ tsp fine rock salt

⅛ tsp ground black pepper

1 Tblsp honey/sugar (optional)

preparation :

Pre-heat the oven to 190 C/ 375F.

Cut the cauliflower into rough 4 cm florets, and place in a large bowl.  Peel the carrots and cut into matchsticks, about 5 cm in length. Place in a large bowl and set aside.

Using a mortar and pestle, grind the mustard seeds until about half are ground and half are cracked. Add the remaining dressing ingredients and continue to grind gently until combined.  Pour the dressing over the cauliflower and carrot. Toss, using your hands until thoroughly combined.  Spread the vegetables out on a baking tray in a single layer and roast for 45min – 1 hour, or until the vegetables are just beginning to blacken around the edges.

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Wash the moong dal (whole mung beans) thoroughly and place in a saucepan with the water. Bring to a rapid simmer and leave, uncovered until they are tender – about 20 – 30 minutes. Just keep in mind you may have to add more water when cooking – depending on the quality of your dal. You really need to keep an eye on them and judge so that you are not left with mush. You want the mung beans firm, but cooked. When ready, pour into a strainer to drain off any excess water – leave for a few minutes.

Prepare the vinaigrette – place the oil, lemon juice, zest, honey, salt and pepper in a jar. Seal with a lid and shake well.  Set aside.

Wash the mustard and kale leaves, removing the inner thicker stem from the kale and chard, and roughly chop.  Lightly saute in a heavy-bottomed skillet, turn off the heat and cover for a few minutes until just wilted. Place in a large salad or serving bowl, pour over the vinaigrette and roughly massage with your hands to bruise the leaves.  Add the cooked moong dal and toss gently.  The heat from the dal will help soften the leaves even more.  Set aside for the flavours to come together while the vegetables are still roasting.

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When the vegetables are ready, add them to the marinated greens and dal and gently combine.  Garnish the top with a large avocado, sliced and spread out into a fan, then add a few good rounds of freshly ground pepper and serve immediately.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

sweet parsnip fries

16th November 2016

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Parsnips are a ivory-cream root vegetable, their taste slightly astringent with a gentle earthy sweetness.

Parsnips taste sweeter as the soil temperature drops – the starch in them turns to sugar – so they’ll be at their best just after a cold snap. These tender morsels are lovely as a garnish in a hot soup like this one, steamed, mashed to a puree, roasted in ghee, served like this with a mayonnaise or tossed in a winter salad.

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~ this morning, glorious colours of Autumn, lighting up the mistiest of mornings…

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sweet parsnip fries

Serves 4, as a side dish

When buying organic I usually leave the peel on my root vegetables but with parsnips – the skin tends to toughen on cooking, so it is best to peel. 

ingredients :

7 medium/480g parsnips

2 Tblsp ghee/oil

rock salt

freshly ground pepper

preparation :

Preheat oven to 210C/410F.

Rinse the parsnips and scrub well under running water and peel the skin off them, with a sharp knife cut into fry shapes about 1 cm thick.  Place them in a bowl of water, move them around a few times, allow to soak for 10 minutes, then drain.  This step helps to remove some of the starch and improves the crispness.  Place the parsnip fries on a dry towel and dry them well – very important. Allow them to air dry for 15 minutes.

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Once dry, place in a large bowl, drizzle over the melted ghee/oil and using your hands toss well until well coated in oil.

Pour the parsnip fries on a lined baking sheet, (may need to use two) and arrange them so they are not over lapping. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes until golden brown.  No need to flip them halfway during cooking.  Serve immediately.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

golden-crusted brussel sprouts

1st November 2016

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Just back from our yearly retreat in India.  Feeling FULL of stillness and quiet…

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

Brussels sprouts are a warming food that support the stomach and large intestine.  They are very similar to cabbage and have a similar range of cancer fighting compounds.  Brussels sprouts are rich in many valuable nutrients and are an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin K. They are a very good source of numerous nutrients including folate, manganese, vitamin B6, dietary fiber, choline, copper, vitamin B1, potassium, phosphorus, and omega-3 fatty acids.   They are often recommended for chronic fatigue, headaches, and hypertension.

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golden-crusted brussels sprouts

Serves 4

I love how easy brussels sprouts are to prepare and how the require very little seasoning to make them shine.  Look for brussels sprouts that are small and tightly closed.  The smaller ones cook through quicker, whereas the larger ones tend to brown on the outside long before the insides are done.  A lovely side dish to serve with a simple dal and rice.

Inspired by 101 Cookbooks

ingredients :

24 small brussels sprouts

2 Tablespoon melted ghee\olive oil

zest from one lemon

1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

fine rock salt and freshly ground pepper

preparation :

Wash and pat dry the brussels sprouts.  Trim the stem ends and remove any raggy outer leaves.  Cut in half from the stem to the top and toss them gently in a bowl with a tablespoon of melted ghee or olive oil, being careful to keep them intact.

Heat 1 Tablespoon of ghee or oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Do not overheat the skillet, or the outside of the brussels sprouts will cook too quickly.  Place the brussels sprouts in the pan flat side down in a single layer, sprinkle with salt, cover, and cook for approximately 5 minutes; the bottoms of the sprouts should only show a hint of browning.  Cut into or taste one of the sprouts to check whether they are tender throughout.  If not, cover and cook for a few more minutes.

Once just tender, uncover, turn up the heat, and cook until the flat sides are golden brown and caramelized.  Use a metal spatula to toss them once or twice to get some browning on the rounded side.  Season with more salt, a few grinds of pepper, a sprinkling of lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon juice.  They are almost like eating candy, lovely bite – sized pieces.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

raw zucchini pasta with a creamy green garden dressing

3rd October 2016

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This is a recipe created last year for a series of raw dishes for Holmes Place, however I never got around to posting it here.  Also included, was this raw carrot slice and a refreshing, light gazpacho. A wonderful addition would be Donna’s roasted thyme-infused cherry tomatoes, and for a more substantial meal, you could even use a combination of zucchini noodles and cooked whole-grain pasta.

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~ Garden, bursting with beans and zucchini

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raw zucchini pasta with a creamy green  garden dressing

This is a light, refreshing raw meal and makes a great pasta replacement.  I love how the zucchini noodles behave so similarly to pasta. Tossed with a creamy herb dressing, it is a perfect meal on a hot Summer’s day. And is perfect for using up the surplus of summer zucchini in the garden.  

Serves 4 

Recipe slightly adapted from here

for the noodles :

2 large/800g mixed zucchini (yellow and green zucchini are always nice)

½ tsp fine Himalayan salt

for the creamy garden dressing :

½ cup raw cashews (soaked overnight/a minimum of 4 hours)

2 Tblsp water

2 Tblsp extra-virgin olive oil

2 Tblsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 Tblsp balsamic vinegar

½ cup chopped fresh basil

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

2 Tblsp fresh mint leaves

freshly ground pepper

pine nut parmesan for sprinkling

to make the noodles :

Wash, dry and cut the ends off the zucchini.  Take a box grater and place it on its side – the side with the largest grating holes on it face up.

With pressure and in long strokes, push the zucchini along the top of the grater in order to create long, thin ribbons of zucchini.  Or alternatively, use a vegetable peeler or mandolin to make long ribbons.

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Sprinkle the zucchini with the salt, toss gently, and place in a colander over a bowl for 20 minutes, allowing the excess liquid in the zucchini to drain.  Carefully and gently squeeze the zucchini over the colander.  Pat with a clean, absorbent kitchen towel to dry and soak up more of the liquid.

for the creamy garden dressing :

Drain the soaked cashew nuts.  Place in a high-speed blender or food processor, with the water, vinegar, olive oil and lemon juice.   Blend until smooth and creamy.  Add the basil, parsley and mint leaves and blend again until the herbs are well incorporated.

to assemble :

Using your hands, gently toss the zucchini with about three-quarters of the dressing.  Sprinkle over the pine nut parmesan, a few rounds of fresh pepper and toss again, using more dressing if needed.  To serve, garnish with more pine nut parmesan, and small leaves of basil and mint.  This dish is best served immediately.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

Kristin’s cinnamon spiced Moroccan stew

20th January 2016

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Since arriving home from our American trip a few weeks ago, I have been ‘nesting’ in my home, cooking, baking, moving things about, filing, organising, simplifying, and creating things, all inspired by my stay in Sebastopol and that lingering sense of being held, nurtured and a deep inner feeling of peace I felt there.

This tasty Moroccan stew is inspired by Kristin, who made it for dinner one rainy, chilly evening. I have been making it weekly for Jonathan to take to work and for the children’s school lunches, or in the evenings for a warming, cozy, comforting stew.

This was a recipe Kristin had written down for me and sent by ‘snail’ mail years ago, but I had never gotten around to making it.  So when I arrived home from our trip, I set about rifling through my drawers, walls, cupboards, mirrors, where I have all of her artwork and things stuck – to find it.  I keep all of her letters as they hold such soft, peaceful beauty and the art inside always inspires.  She says I am her muse, but she is my teacher, in so many, many ways – I admire her authenticity to this yogic lifestyle and teachings, and her simple living as a householder.  She has the ability to live with such modesty, surrounded by natural beauty as you can see by the images below – but still maintains a balance as she moves in this world.  I am ever grateful to be moving on this path with her.

kristin in windowkristin kitchen windowinspiration kristin house

– Sebastopol, California

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Kristin’s cinnamon spiced Moroccan stew with couscous

serves 4 

I always keep bags of pre-cooked chickpeas in my freezer for easy meals during the week – Chickpeas that have been soaked overnight and simmered until soft.  A few pinches of bicarbonate soda added when simmering helps to soften them.  I also find freshly ground spices where possible make all the difference to the flavours of the finished dish.  The cinnamon & cumin has such an exotic aroma, flooding your senses with a ‘little of divine’.   It is delicious.  Use any combination of vegetables – carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin, eggplant, zucchini, beans – all combined to make at least 5 – 6 cups of finely chopped or sliced vegetables…

for the couscous:

2 cups couscous

3½ cups boiling water

½ tsp salt

2 heaping tablespoons ghee/butter

½ cup roughly chopped almonds

for the stew:

cup olive oil

1 heaped tsp cumin seeds

1 heaped tsp turmeric powder

½ tsp cinnamon – preferably Indian – a spicy, strong cinnamon

½ tsp good quality paprika

a combination of approximately 5 – 6 cups of finely chopped vegetables – 

1 large fennel/2 sticks celery

1 large red bell pepper

2 large tomatoes

2 small carrots

1 small sweet potato/wedge of pumpkin

1 cup cabbage

1 cup pre-cooked chickpeas

1 – 2 cups water

2 Tblsp small dried currants/ jaggery

salt & pepper, to taste

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prepare the couscous:

In a medium saucepan, place the couscous, ghee and boiling water.  Stir to combine, cover and allow to sit for 20 minutes, undisturbed.

prepare the stew:

In a small pan, dry-roast the cumin seeds until slightly golden.  Allow to cool and grind in a mortar and pestle.  Set aside.

Wash, peel where necessary and finely chop the vegetables, keeping them separate.

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan, and saute the celery and red pepper until soft, add the chopped tomatoes, the ground cumin, turmeric, cinnamon and paprika, stir to combine. Depending on the choice of vegetables, add them bit by bit, adding the starchier vegetables first as they take the longest to cook.  Once all the vegetables have been added, add the water and the pre-cooked chickpeas. Cover and stew on low until the vegetables are slightly softened.  When cooked, season with salt, stir in the dried currants/jaggery and sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley/coriander.

Fluff the couscous with a fork, and garnish with the roughly chopped almonds.

Serve in a bowl, a generous helping of couscous, a bountiful scoop of Moroccan stew, garnish with more almonds and freshly chopped coriander/parsley.  A few good rounds of pepper, and if desired, a crumbling of feta or grated parmesan.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

a gentle late summer vegetable dish served with whole wheat couscous

29th September 2015

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For Yasmin – a favourite of yours and a thank-you for all your patience in holding those heavy skillets, plates, seeds, vegetables and flowers in all sorts of elements – wind, rain, cold and in all those inconvenient times…Xx

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This is one of the weekly lunches I make for the children to take to school, Jonathan to work and for me to have for my first meal at around 10 ish.  I have a list in the kitchen of meals which I refer to so I don’t have to spend time thinking about what to make when I start cooking early morning and the combination works for everyone’s likes and dislikes. 

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a gentle late summer vegetable dish served with whole wheat couscous

Serves 4

This dish is perfect when needing a gentle tasting, soft dish.  The key is the lightly cook the vegetables so they remain vibrant & firm.  When needing a more hearty, protein dish instead of the potatoes, add a cup of cooked chickpeas.  When available, corn fresh off the cob is a nice addition.  The couscous is great as it cooks up in only 10 minutes.  Whole wheat couscous is a finely crushed form of durum wheat semolina, less processed than pasta with more fibre and nutrients.

for the couscous

2 cups whole-wheat couscous

3 cups boiling water

1 Tbsp ghee

½ tsp salt

for the vegetables

2 Tblsp oil of choice

1 Tblsp yellow mustard seeds

1 fresh/dried bay leaf

2 carrot, chopped into diagonals

2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut

½ – 1 cup water

1 bulb of fennel, thinly sliced into rounds/2 sticks celery

1 zucchini or handful of green beans, chopped into diagonals

1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped

3 Tblsp small dried currants

salt and pepper, to taste

fresh coriander/parsley

¼ cup lightly toasted pine nuts/pine nut parmesan

preparation :

Place the couscous in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon of ghee/oil and salt.  Pour the boiling water over the couscous.  Cover and leave for 10 minutes, when ready to serve fluff up with a fork.

Place the peeled and chopped potatoes in a saucepan with a little water and simmer until soft and cooked.

In a medium-sized heavy bottomed saucepan heat the oil, when hot add the yellow mustard seeds and saute for a few seconds.  Add the bay leaf, chopped celery, carrots, red pepper, and green beans.  Cover and simmer for four minutes or more.

Once the vegetables have softened slightly but still firm & vibrant, add the soft potatoes and currants.  Simmer for a further 2 more minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the salt and a generous few rounds of freshly ground pepper.

To serve, spoon the couscous into a deep plate, bowl or lunch box.  Sprinkle over a good helping of fresh parsley or coriander.  Spoon the vegetables onto the center of the couscous.  Drizzle with a good tasting olive oil, a generous sprinkling of pine nut parmesan or toasted pine nuts, garnish again with freshly chopped coriander or parsley & a few rounds of freshly ground pepper.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

baked vegetable samosas with a spicy mango chutney (also a quick puff pastry option)

29th March 2015

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I woke with a feeling of peace in my heart….

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all day I breathed softly, moved slowly

afraid it might disappear….

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baked vegetable samosas

Makes 13 half-moon samosas

I made these for a special dinner to have sitting around the fire outside.  I used a good quality ready-made puff pastry for my first attempt, but the second time I made my own pastry, which was a recipe tried and tested from Noa.  Both were great – it just depends on how much time you want to spend making them.  

 I keep the filling mild, as the chutney adds the spark it needs, but if you like strong flavours, increase the spices by ¼ teaspoon each.

for the dough:

350 grams flour (I use 200g white & 150g wholewheat)

½ tsp rock salt

1 tsp sugar

200g unsalted pure butter

100mL very cold water

for the filling:

1 large bulb fennel/2 sticks celery (160g)

1½ cup/220g finely diced sweet potato/pumpkin

1 cup/190g finely diced potato/parsnip

1 cup/90g finely chopped cabbage

1½ cups/180g finely chopped cauliflower

½ tsp brown mustard seeds

1  tsp cumin seeds

1 Tblsp finely grated ginger

½ tsp home-made garam masala powder

½ tsp turmeric powder

½ cup coconut milk/water

¾ cup/90g frozen peas

to make the dough :

Place the flour, sugar and salt into a bowl and mix.  Cut the butter into hazel-nut size pieces and add to the flour, making sure all the pieces of butter are well coated with the flour.  Cover and place in the freezer for a minimum of an hour or overnight.

In a food processor with a S-blade attached, add the very cold flour and butter, process for 20 seconds (the mixture should resemble fine meal).

Add the very cold water and pulse in short bursts.  The dough will still look crumbly, but if you press it between your fingers, it should become smooth.  If the dough is too dry and is not coming together, add iced water a tablespoon at a time.

Turn dough out onto a clean work surface.  Gather and press the dough together to form a unified mass.

Divide the dough into 12 equal balls, each one weighing roughly 50 – 55 grams each.  Press each ball into a small round disc, wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate for at least one hour and up to 24 hours.

to make the filling :

In a small pan dry-roast the cumin seeds, then place in a mortar and pestle and ground coarsely.  Add the turmeric and garam masala into the pestle.  Set aside.

Remove the outer leaf of the fennel and the middle core.  Finely chop into very small pieces.  Set aside.

On another chopping board, peel the sweet potato and finely chop the rest of the vegetables. Remove the thicker stems of the cauliflower and chop into thin shreds.

In a large skillet on moderate heat, add a tablespoon of oil/ghee.  When hot, add the mustard seeds, and then when they pop and splutter, add the ginger and rest of the spices.   Add the fennel/celery, cauliflower, potato and sweet potato, and cabbage, stir in the coconut milk/water and saute covered for 5 -7 minutes.   Add the peas and turn off the heat, cover and allow to rest so that the vegetables continue to soften.  Set aside to cool for 30 minutes.

to assemble the samosas :

Remove one of the discs of dough from the fridge.  If they are very firm, let sit for a few minutes at room temperature until dough is pliable enough to roll.  The dough will soften and become easier as you work with it.  Roll each disc between two pieces of cling film, into a circle of 5½ inches.  (When using the cling film there is no need to use any flour).  Place two heaped tablespoons of the vegetable mixture into the middle of each circle (I like to put as much filling as I can in).  Brush the edges with milk/ghee, and flip the corner over the mixture to create a half-moon.

Press the edges together with a fork and prick the top twice to allow the heat to escape.  Repeat with the remaining pastry.  Brush the top with melted ghee/milk, then sprinkle over black sesame seeds.  If not cooking immediately, cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to bake.

Make the mango chutney (recipe below).

when ready to bake:

Place the tray into a preheated 210C/420F oven and bake for 20 – 25 minutes.

If using ready-made puff pastry, they will take longer to bake – about 30  – 40 minutes or until golden brown.

spicy mango chutney (mango gujjo)

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Inspired by South Indian yogic cookbook

I make this quick & easy chutney when I see green mangoes in the stores.  Can be also made with  barely ripe mangos as well.  It is so tasty and deeply fragrant.  I use it as a replacement for pickle in dishes like this one.   It makes a great dipping sauce for these samosas.  Also great as an accompaniment to any rice dish or Indian meal.  Rasam powder can be bought at any Indian Store.

Makes about 1½ cups

ingredients :

2 medium-large/765g green mangoes (half-ripe, green outside & yellow inside)

½ tsp mustard seeds

2 small whole chillies

6 fresh curry leaves (optional)

¼ tsp asafoetida powder

¼ tsp turmeric powder

2 heaped tsp rasam powder

½ tsp rock salt

2 heaped tsp jaggery/brown sugar

preparation :

Peel the mango and cut into tiny cubes, then set aside.

In a heavy based saucepan, heat a little ghee/oil.  Add the mustard seeds, then when they start to pop, add the whole chillies, curry leaves and asafoetida powder.

Saute for 20 seconds, then add the turmeric and mango.  Saute until the mango becomes soft, adding 1/2 cup of water when it starts to stick. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Turn off the heat, and add the salt, jaggery and rasam powder.  Taste, adding more jaggery or salt.  Puree half the mixture with a hand- immersion blender. (I try to puree at least one of the chillies for a really spicy chutney.)

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Update:

I make this version on a regular basis.  I follow the recipe but instead of making my own pastry I buy a good quality organic puff pastry. Brush the outer edge of the circle of the pastry with melted butter or milk.   Take the vegetable filling and scoop inside the circle of pastry leaving a space of one-inch around the outer edge.  I flatten the top of the filling with a back of the spoon so that there is less of a mound. Take the other round pastry from the fridge and gently place over the filling, so that it sits evenly on top.  Roll the edges over itself and press to seal with the edge of a fork.  Place in the fridge for 10 minutes to firm up, then move the pastry back to your work surface. Brush the top with melted butter or milk, slash decoratively, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Prior to baking rest in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to prevent shrinkage during baking.

Place the tray into a preheated 200C/400F oven and bake for 40 – 50 minutes, until deeply golden.  Serve with a very green Tabouli salad of soaked bulgar, with lots of finely chopped parsley, coriander and lemon zest.  Serve with the spicy mango chutney.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

winter roasted kabocha pumpkin

31st January 2015

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My Winter garden is looking quite sad and neglected at the moment, soon I will spend the day in there, planting broad beans, sweet peas, more cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and preparing the soil for Spring. I also aim to turn over the compost and dig in the horse manure I just purchased.  I will then cover the soil with cardboard and newspapers, ready for planting in a month or two.

I still have a pumpkin or two left over from last year’s harvest. They came out quite small, but bright and tasty.

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roasted kabocha pumpkin

Serves 4 as a side dish

We seem to be having this three times a week as an accompaniment to any meal I make.  Last night it was this dal with a bean & broccoli palya.  Or my favourite this mung bean dish with roasted tomatoes added to the pumpkin.  It is also lovely with a salad of kale or spinach. The golden colour is right up there with the freshly picked, squeezed orange juice we have been having most mornings.)  

The kabocha pumpkin is much sweeter than other pumpkins and the texture is smooth and creamy – very much like a cross between a sweet potato and a pumpkin.  It’s packed with fiber, beta carotene, iron, Vitamin C and B vitamins.

The outer skin becomes soft and sweet when it’s roasted, so no peeling is necessary. It is packed with great nourishment.

ingredients :

1 whole/2 small kabocha pumpkins (or any pumpkin will work fine)

1 Tbsp melted ghee/oil

1 tsp coarse salt

freshly ground black pepper

red pepper flakes

1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

preparation :

Heat the oven to 400 F/200 C.

Scrub the pumpkin.  Cut in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon.  Take one of the halves, lay down on its flat side, and cut the kabocha into one inch slices.

In a large bowl, gently toss the pumpkin with the oil/melted ghee, salt, a couple of grinds of freshly ground black pepper, a good pinch of red pepper flakes, and the thyme.  Mix everything together with your hands.

Arrange the squash on a baking sheet, and bake for 35 – 45 minutes, until the squash is tender when pierced with a knife and charred along the edges.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

spiced adzuki bean stew with vibrant green chard

23rd November 2014

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Delicious splashes of autumn colours

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here and there…

spiced adzuki bean stew with vibrant green chard

Serves 4

Grounding, Warming and Hearty.  Sometime I alternate between using kidney beans instead of adzuki beans.  The adzuki beans are much easier to digest.  If I am short on time, I replace the ground spices and chilli with a tablespoon of sambar powder.   Serve with avocado raita / greek yoghurt, crunchy green, cucumber salad and a bowl of quinoa.

ingredients :

2 cups dry adzuki beans

1 tsp whole cumin seeds

1 tsp whole coriander seeds

¼ tsp hot chilli flakes (or half a fresh chilli)

1 Tbsp ghee/oil

1 tsp turmeric powder

¼ tsp asafoetida powder

2 cup chopped tomatoes

2 Tblsp tomato paste

2 medium carrots

3 sticks celery

bunch of chard, kale or spinach

handful of roughly chopped fresh coriander

1 tsp rock salt

freshly ground pepper to taste

1 tsp jaggery

preparation :

Pick through the beans and soak overnight, or for 24 hours with one change of water. This is for better digestibility.

In a medium saucepan, place the drained beans and a generous amount of water.  Bring to a rapid boil, then reduce to a simmer until beans are soft (approximately an hour).

In a small pan, dry roast the cumin, coriander and chilli flakes until there is a lovely aroma (be careful not to burn).  Remove from heat and grind in a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle.

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, heat the oil/ghee add the asafoetida, turmeric and the ground spices. Saute for a few seconds.  Add the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  Add the carrots and celery. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes longer.

When the beans are soft, drain, then add to the tomato mixture with the addition of one cup of water.  (I found if the stew sits for half an hour the beans soak up some of the liquid and the consistency becomes thicker.)   Add the roughly chopped chard and fresh coriander.  Stir through for 2 – 5 minutes and season with salt,freshly ground pepper and add jaggery.  Remove from heat and serve.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

beetroot fennel & black currant quinoa pilaf with a leafy lemon garden herb salad

8th May 2014

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Create an INTENTION to practise conscious eating, connecting to your food with all of your senses and with a grateful attitude.  Here are a few mindful intentions that help to guide me.

Invite a feeling of gratitude and thanks by blessing your food before and after eating.

Nourish yourself by practising silence when eating your food.

Take the intention to always sit down to eat.

Eat only when hungry and drink only when thirsty.

Nutrients are better absorbed when meals are kept simple, not mixing too many different foods together.

Thoroughly chew your food and eat slowly.

Increase awareness and avoid drinking large quantities of liquid, especially cold when eating.

Open your heart by using candles, special dishes, flowers to create beauty around meal-time.

Never eat in an agitated or angry state and always eat in a calm, relaxed, settled and quiet atmosphere.

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beetroot fennel & black currant quinoa pilaf

A favourite way of serving this is with a freshly made still warm hummus and a leafy, lemon, garden herb salad. When I am short of time, I put everything into the pot to cook with the quinoa – not as aesthetically looking, but still deliciously tasty. This could be made with rice, barley, millet or any grain of choice.

ingredients :

1 cup quinoa

1½ cups water

1 small fennel bulb

1 medium beetroot

1 medium carrot

½ tsp coriander seeds

½ tsp pink peppercorns

2 Tbsp small black currants

salt to taste

preparation :

Wash the quinoa in water three times and allow to sit in the water for 10 minutes.  Rinse. Place in a saucepan with the water, bring to boil, turn down the heat and allow to simmer covered, until the water has absorbed (Try to just under-cook the quinoa slightly – it gives a nice texture and nutty bite).  Allow to sit for 15 minutes.

Finely slice the fennel.  Peel the beetroot and carrot and cut into very small cubes. (Cutting them small allows them to become tender quicker without overcooking the fennel.)

In a mortar and pestle, roughly grind the coriander seeds and peppercorns.

Heat a little ghee or oil and add the coriander and peppercorns.  Saute for a minute, then add the fennel, carrot and beetroot.  Cover and saute on a low heat until just tender, 12 -15 minutes, stirring occasionally.   Add the small currants and the cooked quinoa.  With a fork, fluff up the quinoa as you stir to combine.  Season with salt.  Garnish with finely chopped fennel leaves.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

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lemon leafy garden herb salad with a pine nut lemon dressing

for the salad :

a mixture of small garden leaves of parsley, fennel, mustard, spinach, lettuce and coriander

edible garden flowers

1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced

1 avocado, cut into small cubes

for the dressing :

¼ cup pine nuts

1 Tblsp sesame seeds

½ juice of a lemon

pinch of salt

freshly ground pepper

¼ cup cold press olive/flax oil

In a skillet, dry-roast the pine nuts and sesame seeds until golden.  Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl to cool.  Roughly chop 2 tablespoons and set aside.  In a blender place the remaining pine nuts with the rest of the ingredients and blend on high for 1 minute.  While blender is running add the oil, blend until thick and creamy.  Transfer to a jar and set aside.

Gently wash the garden flowers separately, and place on a cloth to dry. Wash and spin the salad leaves and place in a bowl with the cucumber and avocado.  Shake the dressing and drizzle over the salad and lightly toss.  Sprinkle over the lemon rind, pine nuts and edible garden flowers.

Find a quiet place, bless, and enjoy with gratitude.

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Goodness shared from Stacey

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