summer

a traditional Ayurvedic herbal drink – Kashaya

3rd December 2016

4V7A3340_1980x1297

Kashaya is a deeply nourishing and soothing drink that brings calmness to the mind and supports the general health and balance of the system. Kashaya is appropriate for all constitutions and in all seasons.  It is recommended to consume at the end of a meal and to have once – twice a day.  Kashaya balances Vata, Pitta and Kapha, helps maintain the digestive fire and reduces heat in the body.

There are many variations of Kashaya – Below are two very simple and easy to prepare recipes for everyday use. They require only two of the main spices – cumin and coriander.  The first is a Kashaya powder which involves lightly roasting and grinding the seeds and the second, a simple infusion using the whole seeds.

Considering your constitution, it is good to keep in mind that jaggery is more heating for the body than brown sugar.

4V7A3284_1980x1297

coriander seed:

Coriander is one of the best herbs for supporting healthy digestion.  Bitter, pungent and sweet in taste.  It evokes the digestive fire while simultaneously cooling and soothing. It tonifies, increases absorption, improves digestive enzymes, reduces nausea and blood pressure.  Coriander seed removes excess heat in the body, making it useful in cooling Pitta-related imbalances associated with menopause.  It also supports proper function of the kidneys and healthy urination. The seeds combine well with Cumin to make an excellent digestive tea.

cumin seed:

Cumin is one of the best herbs for supporting healthy digestion.  Bitter, Pungent and Astringent.  It is carminative, aromatic, and on the whole, cool in action.   A common household spice, its Sanskrit name literally means ‘promoting digestion’.  In addition to providing flavour to food, cumin evokes the digestive fire, promotes healthy absorption and eliminates natural toxins.  It is useful to the eyes, beneficial to the heart and strengthens the uterus.  It enhances immunity and invokes good sleep.

4V7A3312_1980x1297

Coriander-Cumin Kashaya Powder

This recipe was shared by our teacher, Ganapati Aarya, as part of the Sadvidya Yoga Programme.  It came about as an aid to reduce Pitta disturbances in the body and to assist with interrupted sleep due to menopause.  It is deeply nourishing and satisfying drink to have after a meal and satisfies that sweet craving, as well as benefiting from its wonderful medicinal qualities.  The key to opening up the real flavour is making sure that you get the kashaya to a rollicking boil just before straining – the heat changes everything.

Makes approximately 18 – 20 cups Kashaya

ingredients for kashaya powder :

⅓ cup/35g whole cumin seed

½ cup/35g whole coriander seed

preparation :

On a medium flame, heat a skillet until it is hot to touch. Dry-roast the cumin seeds until their colour deepens and a noticeable smell appears – approximately 1 minute. Seeds may start popping by that point.  Be careful not to burn the spices as they can ruin the taste of the kashaya.  Set aside to cool.  Place the coriander seeds into the skillet and repeat the process – the coriander seeds will take 1½  minutes to roast.

In a powerful blender/coffee grinder, grind the toasted cumin seeds to a fine powder. Pour into a bowl and set aside.  Repeat with the toasted coriander seeds – these may take slightly longer to grind.  Pour into the bowl with the ground cumin and combine well.  Store in an airtight container.  

4V7A5889_1980x12974V7A5897_1980x1297

To preserve the medicinal qualities of the spices, it is recommended to make fresh every 10 – 14 days.

4V7A5906_1980x1297

to prepare the kashaya :

¾ cup water

1 heaped tsp Kashaya Powder

1 heaped tsp brown sugar/jaggery

1 – 2 tsp/5 – 10mL milk (less milk is easier for the digestion, especially in the evening)

preparation:

In a small pan, pour in ¾ cup water and bring to boiling point.  Add the Kashaya powder and sugar.  Allow to simmer for a few minutes.  Turn off the heat, add the milk, stir and pour into a cup (no need to strain as drinking the layer of powder which collects at the bottom is beneficial for the medicinal properties). Set aside to cool until moderately warm.  Enjoy.

4V7A3334_1980x1297

 

Whole Coriander-Cumin Seed Kashaya

4V7A5548_1980x1297

1 serving

Don´t throw away those leftover seeds after straining, place them in a pot outside your kitchen or in the garden – in no time you will have fresh greens to harvest for your cooking.

ingredients :

½ tsp whole coriander seeds

½ tsp whole cumin seeds

1 cup water

1 tsp brown sugar/jaggery

1 tsp/5mL milk (optional)

preparation :

In a small pan, pour in 1 cup of water and bring to boiling point.  Add the whole coriander and cumin seeds and sugar.  Allow to simmer for a few minutes.  Turn off the heat, add the milk (if using), and strain the Kashaya.  Set aside to cool until moderately warm.

4V7A5524_1980x1297

Goodness shared by Stacey

raw zucchini pasta with a creamy green garden dressing

3rd October 2016

4V7A5902_1980x1297

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.

4V7A6880_1980x12974V7A5939_1980x1297 4V7A6878_1980x1297

~ Garden, bursting with beans and zucchini

4V7A5909_1980x1297

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.

4V7A5886_1980x1297

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.

4V7A5960_1980x1297

Goodness shared by Stacey

almond quinoa chocolate bars

21st September 2016

4v7a7529_1980x1297

Cool softened air, full mOOn swell, falling leaves, savouring the light….

almond mandela - 1 (2)almond mandela - 1 (3) almond mandela - 1 (2)

These have been a decadent treat around here.  Loved by all.  Perfect when you need something more than a dried date or fig for a sweet after a meal.  Based on this recipe from Green Kitchen Stories – a wonderful video is included showing you just how easy they are to make.  I altered the recipe slightly, adding ¼ cup hot water to the dates when mashing them. Even though the dates I used were soft, the hot water helped in the overall consistency. Instead of pumpkin seeds, I used extra almonds and toasted them to make them snappy and to bring out their flavour. I prefer using just almonds, as their qualities are less heating than most other nuts and seeds.  You could use a carob topping instead of the chocolate, by melting down carob buttons or using this glaze.

almond butter quinoa chocolate bars - 1 (1)

almond quinoa chocolate bars

Makes 16 squares/32 bites sized squares.

ingredients:

2 Tblsp coconut oil

200g soft Medjool dates – approximately 10 dates

¼ cup/60ml hot water

1 cup/250g home-made almond butter

1 Tblsp fresh ginger, grated

a pinch rock salt, optional

½ cup/55 grams toasted almonds/hazelnuts

1 cup/80g puffed quinoa

for the chocolate topping:

100g dark chocolate

3 Tblsp dried unsweetened coconut

preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.

to roast the almonds:

Place the whole almonds/hazelnuts on a tray and toast for approximately 8 minutes.  If using hazelnuts – while they are still warm, rub the nuts in a towel to remove the skins.  Allow to cool, finely chop and set aside.

to make the almond quinoa bars:

Line a 7 x 7 – inch baking tray with baking paper, leaving 2 inches around the edges.

Remove the seeds from the dates and measure out 200 grams.  Set aside.  Melt the coconut oil in a medium saucepan over low heat. Take off the heat and add the dates into the saucepan with the coconut oil.  Add the hot water and mash with a fork.  Mix the almond butter, ginger and salt, stirring until it all comes together.  Remove from heat and add the puffed quinoa, chopped roasted almonds/hazelnuts, incorporating everything evenly.

Using your hands, press the mixture very tightly into the lined dish, until completely even and flat. Using the edges of the baking paper, fold over and run your finger along the edges to create level sides and corners.  Place in the freezer while preparing the chocolate coating.

to melt the chocolate topping:

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over barely simmering water. Remove from heat, then using a spatula, spread the chocolate evenly over the slice. Sprinkle with half the shredded coconut, leaving the other half to sprinkle on later.

Place in the freezer for at least two hours, until cold and firm. Using a sharp knife, cut into bite-sized squares or rectangular bars. Store in an airtight container in the freezer. The bars will keep for a month.

4v7a7548_1_1980x1297

Goodness shared by Stacey

green bean palya

11th September 2016

4V7A2617_1980x1297

This is a great dish to make in late August when you have a glut of beans that cannot be picked fast enough and are becoming quite tough and in need of that extra boiling time to soften and bring out the flavour.  The climbing bean would have to be one of my favourite vegetables growing in the garden.  Once they are at their peak they continue to produce at a fast and furious rate.  Here, in Europe I grow the runner beans which have proven to do the best, being most resilient and tough, in this odd unpredictable, misty, Sintra climate.  They also produce the most beautiful flowers of ivory and cream.

Before leaving for our Summer holiday I planted a second round of climbing beans, planting in hope to extend the season, but alas only two came up, fortunately, I also threw in a bed of very old french beans to clean out my seed box.  To my surprise all sprouted with robust enthusiasm and are close to picking in two weeks, I just hope the weather stays warm as we edge our way into early Autumn. This is the warmest and driest of Summers we have had since arriving in Portugal and the garden is rejoicing in it.

4V7A6848_1980x12974V7A6877_1980x12974V7A6865_1980x1297 4V7A6890_1980x1297

This dish may be used as a condiment or independently served with rice, chapati or poori.  It strengthens the body, is easily digested and is suitable for all constitutions.   Suitable to be used daily and throughout all seasons.  For a variation of taste, lemon juice can be added at the end of preparation.  This variation is recommended when eating with rice.

4V7A2607_1980x1297

Green Bean Palya

The chilli, commonly used in South Indian cooking, is Byaadagi chilli and is known for its deep red colour; it is relatively sweet and less spicy.  If unsure about the level of spice of the chilli you are using, leave whole or cut in half.

The Byaadagi chilli, split bengal gram & urad dāl can be purchased at your local Indian store.

Serves 4

Recipe shared by our teacher Ganapati Aarya, as part of the Jivana Yoga Programme.  

ingredients :

4 cups /420g green beans

4 Tblsp peanut/melted coconut oil

1 tsp black mustard seeds

1 Tblsp split bengal gram (chickpea)

1 tsp split urad dāl (black gram)

1 tsp cumin seeds

2 medium, mild dried red chilies, chopped

tsp hingu powder (asafoetida)

½ tsp turmeric powder

20-25 fresh curry leaves

1½ cups/375ml  water

5 Tblsp dried shredded coconut

1 tsp rock salt

2 tsp jaggery/sugar

½ cup chopped coriander leaves

Preparation:

Wash, top-tail and chop the green beans into small pieces.  Set aside.

In a heavy bottom skillet, over a medium flame, heat the oil and add the mustard seeds; wait until they start to splatter and pop and then add the bengal gram, urad dāl, cumin seeds, chillies, and hingu. 

Fry until bengal gram and urad dāl have turned golden in colour then add the turmeric powder and curry leaves.

4V7A2588_1980x1297

Add to the skillet the chopped beans, water, salt and jaggery. 

Stir to combine.  Simmer rapidly on medium heat until the beans have softened – approximately 15 minutes.  If wanting more of a firm bean, simmer for less time.

4V7A2595_1980x1297

Turn off the heat and stir in the dried coconut and fresh coriander leaves. 

4V7A2600_1980x1297

Allow to sit for 5 minutes in order to cool slightly and for the flavours to be absorbed.  Taste, adding more salt or jaggery, as needed.

4V7A2623_1980x1297

Goodness shared by Stacey

blackberry – acai popsicle

2nd September 2016

4V7A6016_1980x1297

A gorgeous coloured blackberry sorbet in celebration with the season, with the added benefits of acai – a recipe for the Holmes Place magazine; an ongoing concept of ‘superfoods ‘ throughout the year.

‘Acai is a rich, deep purple fruit which is similar in shape to a grape and has a mild chocolate berry sweetness. These berries grow in huge clusters near the tops of palm trees, which grow in the Amazon rain forests. Each Acai berry contains just 10% fruit and pulp and a large seed, which has no benefits, so harvesting this fruit is laborious since the tree has no branches and each cluster of berries needs to be cut and brought down manually in order to preserve the fruit and pulp.  Within the nutritional pulp and skin, Acai berries are packed with antioxidants, amino acids, fibre, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. It helps to increase your antioxidant levels, boosts your energy levels, supports your immune system and helps to promote a healthy digestive system.’

There are three basic ways to add acai to a recipe: acai powder, acai juice and acai frozen smoothie packs. Here, I choose to use the powder which is more widely available and which has been freeze-dried instantly to preserve the active components and is not overly processed. The powder can be added to smoothies, juices, home-made ice creams, sprinkled over your morning porridge or added into raw treats.

4V7A1285_1980x12974V7A1581_1980x12974V7A1586_1980x1297

~home~

4V7A6019_1980x1297

Blackberry-Acai Popsicle

Makes 9 small popsicles

If you don’t have blackberries, try a different berry variety, blueberries, raspberries or even strawberries.  For a creamier sorbet, replace the apple juice with coconut cream by refrigerating a tin of coconut milk, & scooping out the white thick cream on top.   If you don’t have access to acai powder, it can be easily omitted. 

ingredients:

3 cups fresh blackberries, washed

2 medium ripe frozen bananas

½ cup unsweetened apple juice or fruit juice of choice

2 teaspoon acai powder

2 Tablespoon natural sweetener of choice (coconut sugar, maple syrup or honey)

preparation:

Wash the berries and place in a high-speed blender or food processor, along with the peeled frozen bananas, apple juice, & acai powder.  Blend until smooth and creamy, stopping if you need to push the fruit down with a rubber spatula.  Taste, and add sweetener, if required.  Blend again to incorporate the sweet.

Spoon or pour into your popsicle holders, & freeze until firm or enjoy as is, for an instant treat.  When ready, pull the popsicle out of their moulds by running them under some warm water. 

4V7A6021_1980x1297

References – https://www.victoriahealth.com/editorial/facts-and-myths-about-acai-berry

Goodness shared by Stacey

mango passionfruit sorbet

6th August 2016

4V7A6542_1980x1297

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, 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.

4V7A6552_1_1980x12974V7A6528_1980x12974V7A6552_1_1980x1297

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

4V7A6512_1980x1297

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)

preparation:

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 medium jug, half the passionfruit and scoop out the pulp.  Pour the mango puree into the jug 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 manufacturer’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.

4V7A6535_1980x1297

Goodness shared by Stacey

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 its 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.

4V7A5611_1980x12974V7A5345_1980x12974V7A5610_1980x1297

-a garden edging its way into Summer

red pepper

roasted red pepper walnut spread

Makes about 2 cups

I  have been looking for 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/450g red pepper  (I like to use the long pepper – I find them sweeter more flavourful than bell pepper)

¾ cup/70g walnuts

¼ cup/25g whole-grain bread crumbs

½ tsp crushed red chilli flakes

½ tsp whole cumin seeds

2 Tblsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve

2 Tblsp honey/pomegranate molasses

4 Tblsp tomato paste

½ tsp fine-grain rock salt

preparation :

Preheat 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 is 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 ¼ 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.

4V7A5658_1980x1297

Goodness shared by Stacey

lemon barley water

27th March 2016

barley water table

Barley has a cooling thermal nature; sweet and astringent in taste.  Traditionally given to calm sore stomachs.

4V7A2718_1980x12974V7A2706_1980x12974V7A2711_1980x1297

-Marguerite daisy, also known as the Argyranthemum frutescens

barley water closeup

lemon barley water

Makes just over 1.2 – 1.5 litres

Recipe adapted from Spring the cookbook.

Lovely soothing, yet thirst quenching, drink.  You can add other flavourings to it besides lemon and honey – lemon verbena or ginger would work well.  Don’t discard the cooked barley.  Recipe to follow, or stir through a vegetable soup, or dress it simply with a little olive oil and lemon juice and add to a salad.

ingredients :

1 cup /200g pearl barley

10 cups/2.5 litres filtered water

3 – 4 Tblsp light-flavoured honey

3  Tblsp lemon juice, or more to taste

preparation :

Rinse the barley several times until the water runs clear, then pour into a saucepan and add the filtered water.  Bring to boil over a medium heat, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered until the barley is tender, this will take about 35 – 40 minutes.  Strain, reserving the cooking water and set the barley aside.

Run the barley water through a thinner strainer into a pouring jug, add the honey, stirring until dissolved.  Allow to cool.

Add the lemon juice, taste, adding more honey or lemon as needed.

barleywater closeup

Goodness shared by Stacey

good morning live apple oatmeal with tahini sauce

24th November 2015

because it’s still THAT sort of weather…

4V7A9546_1980x12974V7A9544_1980x1297 4V7A9529_1980x12974V7A9553_1980x1297

or should I say… ‘It WAS that sort of weather’…

4V7A9327_1980x1297

good morning live apple oatmeal with tahini sauce

A favourite with my daughter as a light meal before she goes to school, her preference is served with a spoon of thick Greek yoghurt & a drizzling of honey.

serves 1

ingredients :

1 large apple

a squeeze of fresh lemon juice

1 tsp each goji berries, sunflower & pumpkin seeds (soaked overnight)

1 Tbsp ground flaxseed

tahini sauce

1 Tblsp tahini

2 Tblsp water

½ tsp honey/maple syrup

¼ tsp cinnamon

preparation:

Drain the berries and seeds, set aside.

Grate the apple with a box grater, leaving the skin on.  Toss immediately with lemon juice to prevent browning.

Sprinkle over the ground flax seeds, goji berries and seeds.

In a small bowl combine the tahini sauce ingredient adding water until a pouring consistency is achieved. Drizzle over the apple oatmeal and serve immediately.

4V7A9353_1980x1297

Goodness shared by Stacey

a gentle late summer vegetable dish served with whole-wheat couscous

29th September 2015

4V7A8736_1980x1297

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

4V7A8725_1980x1297 4V7A8355_1980x12974V7A7634_1980x1297

This is one of the weekly lunches I make for the children to take to school, Jonathan to work and for me to have 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. 

4V7A8230_1980x1297

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 centre 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.

4V7A8737_1980x1297

Goodness shared by Stacey

All rights reserved © Goodness is…. · Theme by Blogmilk + Coded by Brandi Bernoskie