winter

almond quinoa chocolate bars

21st September 2016

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

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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 in 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.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

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 dal to cup.

Use heaped measurements except when stated otherwise.

ingredients:

⅓ – ½ cup toor dal

1 litre/4 cups water

1 tsp fine rock salt

4 tsp jaggery

¼ cup chopped coriander leaves

first voggarane:

2 tsp ghee 

½ tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp urad dal

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

1 tsp cumin seeds

6 fresh curry leaves 

⅛ tsp asafoetida powder (hingu)

⅛ tsp turmeric powder

½ cup shredded dried coconut

250ml/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 dal 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 dal 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 dal, whole peppercorns, and 1 tsp cumin seed. Once urad dal 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 warm water, stir to combine then pour into blender. Blend until smooth, approximately 1 minute.

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Add mixture to dal, use liquid from dal to swish blender clean, add back into the dal.  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 dal, 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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 Goodness shared by Stacey

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

½ cup amaranth

¼ tsp rock salt

for the bread:

¾ cup sunflower seeds – divided

1 ½ cups whole spelt flour (wholewheat flour can be substituted)

½ cup medium ground cornmeal (can use polenta)

½ tsp baking powder

¾ tsp baking soda

½ tsp rock salt

¾ cup unsweetened soy/almond milk

¼ cup olive oil

3 Tblsp apple cider vinegar

¼ cup maple syrup

to cook the amaranth:

Place 1 cup water and ¼ 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 ½ 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 ¼ cup sunflower seeds.

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

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Goodness shared by Stacey

barley salad with roasted-spiced fennel & carrot

3rd April 2016

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The plum trees are blossoming. Spring has arrived.

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A delightful spring salad with substance.

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barley salad with roasted spiced fennel & carrot

Serves 4 -6

A perfect salad for the early weeks of spring when the days are still cool and the season´s beautiful ingredients are starting to trickle in.  I love the chewy, nutty texture of the cooked barley, the satisfying sweetness brought out from the roasted vegetables, and the earthy spices that bring it all together.  It is lovely served with a bowl of guacamole or creamy humus and this beetroot salad.

for the salad :

2 cups barley, cooked (see lemon barley water)

3 medium fennel bulbs

5 medium – large carrots

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp turmeric powder

½ tsp cinnamon powder

tsp hot paprika powder

1 – 2 Tblsp olive oil

⅓ cup fresh roughly torn mint leaves

⅓ cup finely chopped fennel fronds

for the citrus dressing :

zest from one lemon

zest of one orange

3 Tblsp lemon juice

2 Tblsp orange juice

3 Tblsp olive oil

2 Tblsp sweetener, honey, agave, or maple syrup

¼ tsp salt

preparation:

Preheat the oven 405 degrees F/210C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.

Prepare the barley, following these directions and keeping the water to make a luscious barley lemonade.

Wash the fennel, trim the fennel stalks and fronds (save for the salad), remove the tougher ends and outer layer.  Cut into small slices.  Wash carrots, peel and cut into medium chunks.  Set aside.

Dry roast the cumin & coriander seeds in a small pan, when lightly toasted turn off the heat and grind to a rough powder with a mortar and pestle.  Add the cinnamon, turmeric, paprika and salt. Stir to combine.

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Spread the vegetables out in one layer on the baking tray, lined with baking paper, drizzle over the olive oil & sprinkle over the spice mix, toss the vegetables until they are well coated.

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Place the tray in the oven and roast for about 30 minutes, or until vegetable are browning. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

make the citrus dressing :

Combine all the ingredient in a bowl and whisk to combine; set aside.

assemble the salad :

Place the cooked barley in a large salad bowl, pour over the dressing ingredients and allow to marinate for 15 – 30 minutes.  Once sufficiently marinated add to the bowl, the roasted vegetables, fresh mint leaves & fennel fronds.  Toss to combine, season with more salt, and a few rounds of freshly ground pepper.

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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.

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-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 flavouring 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

citrus coconut cupcakes

20th March 2016

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When we lived in Israel, we were very fortunate to be surrounded by citrus orchards, and now here in Portugal, we have our own line of orange and lemon trees that extends down the driveway.  Each Winter, the trees are abundant and I am struggling to make use of all those oranges.  I managed to boil and freeze a dozen for this recipe, and twice weekly, I fill a basket full to last us through with fleshly squeezed juices in the mornings.  I peel and chop bowls full, to offer to class after yoga practice.  I have also been making big pots of marmalade jam to last us through the year.  Scooping it up and serving it on home-made bread to warm and brighten these damply, chilly days.  But still, so many end up on the ground.

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orange blossom mandala

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citrus coconut cupcakes

makes 12 cupcakes

Recipe adapted from Amy Chaplin’s – ‘At Home in the Wholefood Kitchen’.

Deliciously flavoured orange vegan cupcakes.  The boiled whole orange, then blended with the wet ingredients, gives these cupcakes a clean, vibrant and refreshing flavour.  The coconut gives them a crusty outside and moist, light crumb inside.  I love to serve them with a dollop of thick Greek yogurt and a drizzling of maple syrup for a sweeter cake.

I have also made this as a cake and drizzled it lavishly with lemon-zested icing.

ingredients:

1 ¾ cups whole spelt flour

1 ½ tsp aluminum-free baking powder

¾ tsp  baking soda

1 ¾ cups, dried unsweetened, shredded coconut, divided

1 medium navel/Valencia orange, boiled

1 cup maple syrup

¼ cup plus 2 Tblsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

½ tsp rock salt

1 Tblsp vanilla essence

strips of lemon & orange zest to garnish, optional

to boil the orange:

Place a whole orange in a medium pot, cover with filtered water, then bring to boil over high heat.  Cover pot, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 45 – 50 minutes or until soft.  Remove from heat, drain, and set aside to cool.

You can also boil a few oranges in advance and freeze them for up to three months.

to make the cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 180C/350F.  Line a muffin tray with 12 paper liners and set aside.

Grind ¾ cup dried coconut in a food processor for 1 minute.  Add the whole spelt flour, baking powder and soda to the food processor, and blend to combine.  Place into a medium bowl and add the remaining dried coconut.  Set aside

Cut the boiled orange into quarters, remove any seeds, and cut each piece in half.  Place in a food processor, add the maple syrup, olive oil, vinegar, salt, and vanilla.  Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary.  Pour into the flour mixture, and use a rubber spatula to stir until just combined; do not overmix.

Distribute batter among lined muffin tray, filling them almost to the top.  Place in oven, bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Remove from oven and set aside to cool for a few minutes in the tray.  Remove and place on a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, serve with thick Greek yogurt, a drizzling of maple syrup and garnish with strips of citrus zest.

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Goodness shared from Stacey

bisi-bele-bath

13th March 2016

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A great dish as an offering for big crowds of happy, hungry people.

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Photos by Joana Linda.  Taken from a ‘Introduction to Meditation & Ayurvedic Cooking Weekend’ in February.  For more updates or for upcoming workshops, go to Sadvidya Association Website.

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bisi-bele-bath

Serves 6

Use any vegetables that are in season, mostly 4 – 6 cups of vegetables in total.  If you’re able to get hold of fresh curry leaves, they can be kept in the freezer for up to 6 months. They may lose their colour, but not their aromatic flavour.

Sambar Powder can be found in any Indian Store.  This dish nourishes the body and suits all constitutions.  It is recommended to consume in the colder months.  During warmer months, it will be heavier for the body.  People with Vata disorder or digestion problems should not consume very often.

ingredients :

1 cup toor dal (yellow lentils)

9 cups/2¼ litres water – divided

2 carrots, chopped

1 small sweet potato, peeled & chopped

2 cups cabbage – roughly chopped

3 sticks celery

15 curry leaves

½ cup dried unsweetened coconut

2  heaped Tblsp sambar powder

1 cup white basmati rice

2 heaped Tblsp jaggery/sugar

1 heaped Tblsp tamarind paste

1 heaped Tblsp ghee

1 tsp rock salt

½ cup frozen peas

½ cup chopped fresh coriander

for the voggarane :

1 Tblsp ghee

¼ tsp black mustard seeds

¼ tsp asafoetida powder

¼ tsp turmeric powder

preparation :

Wash and prepare vegetables.

In a large saucepan, wash the dal several times until water runs clear – then drain.  Pour 8 cups water into saucepan and bring to boil on a medium-high heat, add the chopped vegetables, reduce heat to maintain a rapid simmer. (Do not cover the pot, this allows certain impurities or energetic imbalances to be eliminated.) Simmer until dal is soft and broken down – approximately 30 – 40 minutes.

Rinse the rice in a few changes of water and set aside.

In an upright blender, place the dried coconut, sambar powder and pour in 1 cup of water.  Blend on high for one minute.  Set aside.

After simmering the dal and vegetables for 20 minutes, add the rice, curry leaves, jaggery/sugar, tamarind, and salt. Pour in the blended sambar powder-coconut, adding 1 cup water to the blender to rinse out any left-overs. Simmer for 20 -30 minutes more, adding more water if needed.

Turn off the heat, add the ghee and frozen peas.  Cover and allow to sit undisturbed for half an hour.

prepare the voggarane:

In a small pan/bandalei over medium heat, add the ghee, once hot add mustard seeds; as the seeds start to splutter and pop (make sure the mustard seeds have popped well), add the asafoetida and turmeric powder, swishing the pan around allowing spices to fry evenly.  Pour voggarane into dal, and stir in chopped coriander leaves. 

Taste, adding more salt, sambar powder, sweetener or tamarind.  To serve, spoon into bowls with a spoon of cucumber raytha, topped with fresh coriander and drizzle generously with ghee.

gathering

Goodness shared by Stacey

sprouted mung dal coconut & lemon palya

8th March 2016

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I made this last weekend for a relaxed lunch with family and friends.  It was served with fermented Indian dosasspicy chickpea sambar, carrot palya and a bowl of sliced avocados with arugula leaves and mustard micro-greens.  After a last minute panic, thinking this may not be enough, I had mung dal sprouts waiting to be used.  Initially, I had soaked them for fermented mung bean pancakes, but had not got around to grinding them, so they ended up as sprouts waiting for a purpose.

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-sweet winter plum tree. In Summer, it is laden with fruit that are brilliant in colour.

-went outside to find her – soft and silent when she is out of water.

-slate skys, frosty mornings and fingers tingling.

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sprouted mung dal coconut & lemon palya

serves 4

Any left-overs from the fresh coconut can be kept in the freezer, otherwise it tends to go off before it can be used.  If you are unable to obtain fresh coconut, replace with ¾ cup unsweetened, dried, shredded coconut.  The urad and chana dal add a nice crunch, however if you are unfamiliar with these, they can be omitted and replaced with roughly chopped cashews or almonds, frying them until golden.  The secret to getting this simple palya just right is to saute the sprouts very minimally, so that they are just slightly soft, but still retain their freshness and are not overcooked.

During colder seasons, sprouts act as an excellent source of fresh vegetables.  Cooking them at this time of year balances their cooling nature. When lightly steaming or sautéing, they still keep their vital and energizing qualities. 

ingredients :

2½ cups sprouted mung dal/beans

1½ cups freshly grated coconut

1 Tblsp oil/ghee

½ tsp cumin seeds

1 heaped tsp urad dal (soaked for an hour)

1 heaped tsp chana dal (soaked for an hour)

10 curry leaves

zest from a lemon

juice from a lemon

1 cup freshly chopped coriander

salt and pepper, to taste

preparation :

For sprouting mung dal, follow the directions here, using 1 cup whole mung dal.  After an overnight soak, the sprouts are ready in just two to three days.

Grate the fresh coconut into fine shreds until you have 1½ cups.  Set aside.

In a heavy skillet over a medium flame, heat the ghee/oil.  Add the cumin seeds, drained urad and chana dal, and curry leaves.  Fry until the urad and chana dal are lightly golden.  Add the sprouted mung dal and saute for a few minutes, stirring to keep the mung sprouts moving.  Add the grated coconut and saute for 2 more minutes, or until the mung dal are slightly wilted, but still hold their shape.  Transfer to a medium-sized serving bowl.  Mix in the lemon zest, lemon juice, fresh coriander and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.  Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more lemon or salt as needed.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

brussels sprouts & baby kale caesar salad

23rd February 2016

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drippy, dark, drizzly, damply days with candles burning in-between…

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– fallen leaves, branches & gum nuts on the path

-hibiscus petals, vivid & lovely – taken by Yasmin

-fragile & found

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brussels sprouts & baby kale caesar salad

Serves 4

If baby kale leaves are not available, mature kale will work just fine, remove the stems, tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces and lightly saute, as in recipe.  If you would like to keep this recipe dairy-free, omit the parmesan cheese and sprinkle with pine-nut parmesan.   I like to serve this salad on a bed of warm cooked millet, with large wedges of roasted pumpkin and an extra drizzling of caesar dressing.

croutons:

2 cups torn 1 – inch pieces crusty sourdough bread

2 Tblsp extra-virgin olive oil

salad:

350g brussels sprouts, freshest you can find

2 cups loosely packed baby kale leaves

¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (I like to shave pieces using a potato peeler)

2 Tblsp lightly toasted pine nuts

caesar dressing:

(makes approximately 1 cup – I usually double this recipe as it goes quickly)

cup raw cashew nuts, soaked for at least 2 hours

cup filtered warm water + extra if needed

3 Tblsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp nutritional yeast (can use grated parmesan)

½ tsp tamari

1 tsp Dijon mustard

tsp turmeric powder (optional, just for colour)

1 ½ Tblsp liquid sweetener – honey, agave, maple syrup

salt & pepper

to make the croutons:

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.

To make the croutons, toss the bread with the olive oil and spread evenly onto a baking sheet.  Bake for about 8 minutes, tossing halfway through, until crisp and golden.  Set aside to cool.

to make the salad:

Shred the brussels sprouts into whisper-thin shreds, using a mandolin, or alternatively, a knife. The key is to get them light and feathery.  You should have about 3 cups.  Place the shredded brussels sprouts in a medium sized salad bowl.

Wash and dry the kale leaves.  Heat a small pan over medium heat and when hot, drizzle in a teaspoon of oil.  Add the kale leaves and toss around for a minute or two, until just wilted.  Alternatively, you could lightly steam them.  Set aside to cool, then add to the salad bowl.

for the dressing:

Drain the cashews, and place in a blender/food processor with the remaining dressing ingredients. Blend on high until you have a smooth mixture.  Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more lemon or sweetener if needed.  Slowly add extra water until you have a dressing that will pour easily.

When ready to serve, drizzle over half of the caesar dressing and toss until evenly coated. Sprinkle over the toasted pine nuts, shaved parmesan flakes and croutons.  Once dressed, this salad is best served immediately.

Serve on a bed of warm cooked millet with large slices of oven roasted pumpkin and drizzle lavishly with extra dressing.  Delicious!

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Goodness shared by Stacey

amaranth almond date bars with carob

17th February 2016

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The sun is shining!  I got to open the door to welcome breezes and beautiful silent visitors.

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These are lovely, chewy decadent bars, for a special treat that everyone loves after a hard day’s work.

Goji berries are earthy, slightly astringent and mildly sweet.  Known to be abundant in antioxidants, trace minerals, essential amino acids, Vitamin C, and beta-carotene.  Amaranth has a sweet, nutty flavour and is exceptionally high in protein and calcium.  Which makes these quite the ‘superfood bar’!

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amaranth almond date bars with carob

Makes 8 large rectangular bars/16 square

Inspiration & Recipe slightly adapted from here.

‘If popping your own amaranth feels a little challenging, you can purchase it already popped/puffed or if amaranth is hard to find, replace with popped quinoa.  The goji berries can be replaced with dried raspberries, sultanas, or any dried fruit of choice.’

ingredients for the amaranth bars:

1 cup popped amaranth

100 grams pitted, soft medjool dates(about 5 large dates)

1 Tbsp extra virgin coconut oil, melted

½ cup almond butter, store-bought or home-made

pinch salt

zest from 1 large lemon

1 ½ tsp freshly grated ginger

2 Tblsp coconut flakes

3 Tblsp finely chopped almonds

3 Tblsp finely chopped dried goji berries plus 1 Tblsp (for garnishing)

1 Tbsp dried shredded coconut (for garnishing)

for the carob coating:

2 Tbsp coconut oil

¼ cup carob powder

¼ cup maple syrup

½ tsp vanilla essence(optional)

popping the amaranth:

Directions from ‘At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen’

‘Popping amaranth seems challenging at first, so if you burn your first batch, which I did, and the second, but by the third I got the hang of it.  It’s easy and fun.  Once you get the temperature of the pan correct, the popping happens fast (in about 15 seconds).  You need to remove the popped grain from the pot immediately to avoid burning.’

makes about 1 cup

¼ cup amaranth

Warm a small heavy-bottomed pot with a lid over high heat for 2 minutes.  Add 1 tablespoon amaranth and cover pot immediately.  Count 5 seconds and shake pan; You will hear the grain popping rapidly.  Shake again, or until all the grains are popped.   I could never get all the grains to pop, but this is no problem, as even the unpopped grains are crunchy.  Quickly transfer to a bowl. Repeat with remaining amaranth, 1 tablespoon at a time.  Set aside.

to make the amaranth bars:

Line a 7-inch x 7-inch square dish with baking paper.

Remove the seed from the dates and measure out 100 grams.  Place them in a bowl and mash with a fork.  If your dates are not soft, soak them in water for a few minutes, then drain well and proceed to mash.  Add the melted coconut oil, almond butter, salt, lemon zest, ginger and coconut flakes.  Mix well, pushing down with the back of a fork, until combined.  Add the amaranth, chopped almonds and 2 tablespoons of dried goji berries, incorporating everything evenly.  The mixture may seem dry, but this is fine as it will be packed tightly in the dish.

Using your hands or the back of a spoon, press the mixture very tightly into the lined dish, until completely even and flat.  Place in the fridge while preparing the carob coating.

to make the carob coating :

Melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan, then turn off the heat. Add the maple syrup and carob powder. Mix with a small whisk or fork until smooth. Stir in the vanilla essence and set aside.

Remove the amaranth slice from the fridge, then using a spatula, spread the carob coating evenly over the slice.  Sprinkle with the remaining dried goji berries and shredded coconut.

Place in the fridge for at least an hour, until cold and firm.  Using a sharp knife, cut into bite-sized squares or rectangular bars.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge.  The bars will keep up to 2 weeks, probably longer if they last that long.

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