winter

kaseri bath – sweet upma

12th February 2017

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Satyam, sivam and sundaram.

Truth, sacredness, and beauty are three most important characteristics seen through the universe. They come from the Eternal Truth and are contained in everything to a greater or lesser extent. Happiness takes shelter under their protection.  Violence can utterly spoil them.  When we intentionally violate these qualities we violate Truth. It is, therefore, our duty to preserve and maintain them.

~ The sacred Tradition of Yoga – Dr Shankaranarayana Jois

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A recipe shared by our teacher last year as part of  The Jivana Yoga Programme, we are fortunate to be graced with their presence here in Portugal.  Their presence in our home and lives leaves a profound effect on our daily existence and our practices become that little bit more concrete and established on this yogic path.

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Kaseri Bath – Sweet Upma

Serves 8 – 10 small servings

Kaseri Bath is especially recommended for Yoga practitioners.  It calms the mind and keeps it fresh.  It may be used by all constitutions.  Kaseri Bath can be served as part of the main meal and it is especially recommended to be served with Upma or Idli.  Best served warm, it is the Indian tradition to start with the sweet first.  Depending on the type of sugar used, the taste and colour may vary. Instead of bananas, apple or pineapple can be used.

ingredients :

1½ cups/350ml warm water

1 pinch saffron – approximately 15 threads

6 cardamom pods  – ¼ tsp ground

3 medium-sized bananas – approximately 200g chopped

10 pieces raw cashew nuts

10 pieces raw almonds

1 cup/165g semolina

½ cup/125ml ghee – liquid

¼ cup/35g raisins/sultanas

¼ tsp fine rock salt

1 cup/205g light brown sugar 

preparation :

Measure out the 1½ cups water and place the saffron threads to steep for 15 minutes, while preparing the rest of the ingredients.

Peel & cut the bananas into 1 cm pieces.  Cut the almonds into 3 pieces and the cashew nuts into 2 pieces.

Remove the hard shell from the cardamom, and place the small black seeds in a mortar and pestle, grind into a fine powder.  Set aside.

Over a medium heat, pour the ghee into a medium-sized skillet/bandalei, add almonds, cashews and semolina.  Stir continuously for approximately 10 minutes, or until the cashews have turned golden-brown in colour.

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Pour in the saffron water, add the raisins, chopped banana and salt. Stir continuously for approximately 3 minutes.  Add the sugar, after about 30 seconds of stirring the Kesari Bath will become considerably softer and liquid in consistency, and then will thicken slightly again. 

This process will take approximately  2-3 minutes, of continually stirring; or until the sugar has dissolved.  While stirring, once you feel the Kesari Bath is thicker in consistency and starts to slide away from the pan – it is ready.  Turn off the heat, stir in the cardamom powder, mixing well. 

Allow the Kesari Bath to rest for a minute and for the flavours to deepen.  Serve warm.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

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, Backwaters

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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 halloumi. 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

a traditional Ayurvedic herbal drink – Kashaya

3rd December 2016

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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.

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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.

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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.  

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

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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.

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Whole Coriander-Cumin Seed Kashaya

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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.

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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’ throughout the year.

Brussels sprouts are a warming food that supports 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 fibre, 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 they 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

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.

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almond quinoa chocolate bars

Makes 16 squares/32 bites sized squares.

ingredients:

½ cup/55 grams toasted almonds

200g soft Medjool dates – approximately 10 dates

2 Tblsp coconut oil

¼ cup/60ml hot water

1 cup/250g home-made almond butter

a pinch rock salt, optional

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 on a tray and toast for approximately 8 minutes.  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, allow to sit for five minutes to soften, then proceed to mash with a fork until smooth.  Mix in the almond butter and sprinkle over a pinch of salt, stir until it all comes together.  Add the puffed quinoa, chopped roasted almonds, incorporating everything evenly.

Using your hands or the back of a large spoon, press the mixture very tightly into the lined dish, until completely even and flat. Use the edges of the baking paper, to fold over and run your finger along the edges to create level sides and corners.  Set aside.

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-four 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 a 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 Programme.  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

750ml/3 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

375ml/1½ 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 a saucepan and bring to boil over 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 1½ cup warm water, stir to combine then pour into blender. Blend until smooth, approximately 1 minute.

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Add mixture to dal, add an extra ½ cup water to swish blender clean, pour 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 (whole wheat 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 hummus 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 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

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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 freshly 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 yoghurt 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 aluminium-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 yoghurt, a drizzling of maple syrup and garnish with strips of citrus zest.

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