summer

vegetable bath

5th September 2020

We first made this dish with Ganapathi Aarya in the Jivana Yoga Programme, after that I made it once or twice, and then it got tucked away forgotten. It was only when Lior made it one Wednesday after practice that I remembered how delicious it is. Now, it is a dish I make on a weekly basis. I cook the dal and rice separately to keep them fluffy and whole. This does mean you are using three pans for cooking; one for the rice, one for the dal, and then one for the vegetables. If wanting to keep it simple, soak the whole moong dal overnight and cook it with the rice the following day, as in the original recipe.

For serving, grated beetroot and carrot salad with a ginger-lemon-sweet dressing, and raita with dill and a finely sliced cucumber. Use a mandoline for grating the carrot and beetroot and for slicing the cucumber finely. A mandoline is such a useful tool to have in the kitchen, especially for putting together a quick salad. So much so that my son has asked to take one back with him to university!

Vegetable Bath is suitable for all constitutions – it is simple, nourishing and balancing.

Niyamas

“One of the niyamas is santoṣa – “contentment”. Many people are confused when trying to differentiate between contentment and happiness. Contentment is a feeling of satisfaction or completeness. Contentment arises from inside of us. It tends to have a lasting or enduring quality. Happiness is a feeling of pleasure or lightness that tends to be a result of some external reason and is usually fleeting.”

The Sacred Tradition of Yoga by Dr. Shankaranarayana Jois

vegetable bath

Preparation 45 minutes

Serves 3

All spice measurements are heaped unless otherwise stated.

ingredients 

¼ cup/50g whole moong dāl + 2 cups water

¾ cup/150g white basmati rice + 1¾ cups water

½ cup/40g dried shredded coconut

1½ – 2 heaped tsp sambar powder (moderately spiced)

flat tsp fine rock salt

1 tsp ghee

¼ cup coriander leaves, chopped

voggarane

⅓ cup/80ml peanut or coconut oil

½ heaped tsp black mustard seeds

⅛ heaped tsp asafoetida powder

⅛ heaped tsp turmeric powder

20 fresh curry leaves

3 cups/350g beans, carrot, capsicum

¾ cup water

½ flat tsp fine rock salt

preparation

1.  In a small saucepan, rinse the dāl, add 2 cups of water and simmer for 20 – 25 minutes, set aside.

2.  In a large-sized pan, wash the rice, drain, add 1¾ cups water, bring up to boil, then reduce heat to maintain a rapid simmer. Simmer, uncovered for 8 – 10 minutes or until water evaporates and the rice is cooked, turn off the heat. Cover, set aside for 10 minutes. Add the cooked dāl.

3. Cut vegetables into small uniform pieces and measure remaining ingredients.

voggarane

4.  In a skillet, over medium heat, add the oil and mustard seeds; when the seeds turn grey and pop, add asafoetida, turmeric powder and curry leaves, fry for a few seconds, add vegetables – mix well.

5.  Add water and ½ tsp salt, simmer uncovered until vegetables soften – 8 minutes, stir once or twice.

6.  To the rice and dal, add the vegetables, coconut, sambar powder, remaining salt, ghee and coriander. Combine well and serve.

serve

Twice a week, as a morning or midday meal, across all seasons.

variation

Using a pressure cooker; combine all ingredients including the vegetables, alongside the separately fried voggarane with 2 cups water. Cook for 3 whistles – set aside until the pressure has subsided.

steamed green beans

19th August 2020

Lately, I been working in the garden in the mornings. I found that the sun is softer and the areas that need work are in the shadier parts at that time. Early this morning, I picked some green beans to go along with Monday’s Pepper Rasam. Later that morning I returned to the garden and started pottering around, feeding the plants with compost, and staking up a few bean bushes – to my surprise, despite thinking I had picked all the beans earlier, I found myself walking away with another handful. The thing with beans, and even cucumbers to a lesser extent, is that you really need time and patience when harvesting them. There is much happiness to be had in rummaging through the leaves in search of their elegant, dangling pods. Just when you think you have picked them all, there’s still more hiding behind their foliage. It’s important to approach the plant from different angles and heights, squatting down to their level, even then you can still miss a few…

I planted a few varieties of beans this season: romano pole bean, small french finger bush beans, and a long climbing snake bean. And for the first time, I planted another climbing variety in a pot on our balcony, so it can climb up the iron gate outside our kitchen door.

I have been staggering the sowing for a continuous supply, late May-early June, then another crop in July, and again in the last week of July. The hot season seems to come later each year, enabling another harvest just before the cooler weather hits by early November.

The better quality and fresher the beans, the better tasting this recipe. Serve with, pepper rasam, simple dal or pongal.

steamed green beans

Steaming beans, rather than boiling help keep their colour and flavour.

Preparation 10 minutes

Serves 3

ingredients

350g green beans

2 Tbsp ghee

freshly ground pepper

Himalayan salt

preparation

1. Wash the beans and trim the ends. Leave them whole or cut in half.

2. Set a steaming basket in a medium saucepan filled with 1 – 2 inches water, once boiling simmer over high heat for 5 – 7 minutes, depending on how tender or crisp you like them.

3. Discard the water in the saucepan.  Add the beans and ghee, season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Serve and enjoy!

other recipes using green beans

toor dal, mung beans, green bean and dill palya

vegetable bath

green bean palya

simple yellow dal with green beans and cabbage

summer garden palya

moong dal sambar with green beans

moong dal with garden greens

carrot and green bean rasam

green moong dal with Indian spices

a buttery herbed pilaf

bisi bele bath

Kristin’s Moroccan stew

gentle Indian spiced vegetable stew

lemon poppy seed cake (vegan)

15th July 2020

Moist, tender, full of lemon flavour and filled with nutty poppy seeds. It’s covered with a tart passion fruit glaze. Divine!

I made this on my birthday to put on the birthday table with flowers and lovely gifts the boys put together. And then, made it again the next day for a friends birthday. It was enjoyed by all!

lemon poppy seed cake

Preparation – 10 minutes

Baking – 40 minutes

Serves 10 -12

Based on the beloved spice cake.

ingredients 

1 cup + 2 tsp/130g whole spelt flour

1 cup/120g white spelt flour

¾ cup/150g light brown sugar

¼ cup/35g poppy seeds

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp rock salt

½ cup/100g melted coconut oil

1¼ cup/280g almond milk

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

zest from 2 lemons

2 Tbsp/25g lemon juice

2 Tbsp vanilla essence

for the glaze 

1 cup/120g powdered sugar

20g passion fruit pulp (1 small passion fruit)

½ tsp lemon juice

preparation 

1.  Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.  Grease a ring pan or bundt pan well with oil, making sure to get every nook and cranny.

2.  In a medium bowl, add the flours, sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda, and salt – whisk to combine.

3.  In another bowl, combine the coconut oil, nut milk, vinegar, lemon zest and vanilla – whisk until the ingredients are emulsified, then pour into the dry ingredients, whisking until all the liquid ingredients are absorbed. Don’t worry the batter will be quite wet.

4.  Pour the batter evenly into the greased cake tin. Place on a middle rack in the oven and bake for 40 – 45 minutes, or until golden and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Allow to cool completely before removing it.

5.   Make the glaze: place the sifted powdered sugar into a bowl and mix in the passionfruit and lemon juice, until you get a thick but pourable consistency.  Test the consistency by taking a spoonful from the bowl and drizzle back into the glaze; the drizzled glaze should leave a trail. If not, add a little more powder. Use a spoon or whisk to drizzle the glaze over the top, allow it to run over and down the sides. Before it sets, decorate with lemon zest or flowers. If desired and recommended, drizzle with more passionfruit pulp just before serving.

Enjoy with love, light and blessings!

variation

  • If making them into cupcakes, fill three-quarters full and bake for 35 minutes. Makes 14 cupcakes.

caesar dressing & a quick caesar wedge salad

5th July 2020

I love a creamy dressing and using a greek style yoghurt achieves that creaminess. If using a plant-based yoghurt, find one that is thick and especially rich.  The sauce lasts for a week in the fridge and can be used as a dip for crunchy cucumbers or vegetable fries, spread over bread, drizzled over salads or roasted vegetables.

It’s in the quietness, the calm, the release and only then I realise how much I was holding…

caesar dressing

Makes approximately 1 cup.

Preparation 5 minutes

Recipes adapted from here.

ingredients

½ cup/85g full-fat greek yoghurt or plant-based yoghurt

¼ cup/50g olive oil

3 Tbsp/38g lemon juice

1 Tbsp nutritional yeast (can use grated parmesan)

¼ tsp tamari

½ – 1 tsp dijon mustard

1 Tbsp/15g liquid sweetener – honey, agave, maple syrup (optional)

¼ tsp fine rock salt

preparation

1. In a food processor or immersion blender, combine the yoghurt, olive oil, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, tamari, dijon mustard, sweetener and salt. Blend; until everything is combined and dressing is smooth and creamy.

2. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, taste and adjust the seasonings. Store the dressing in a lidded jar in the refrigerator.

quick & easy caesar wedge salad

Serves 3

Preparation 5 minutes

ingredients

6 small heads romaine lettuce, washed, dried, and cut in half, then half again lengthwise

1 serving caesar dressing (above)

extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

1 cup croutons*

2 Tbsp pinenuts, toasted and roughly chopped

preparation

1.  Arrange the lettuce wedges on a medium plate, then sprinkle with pinenuts and croutons, drizzle the wedges with caesar dressing and olive oil.

2. Season with a few rounds of salt and pepper.

*stove-top croutons, heat 2 Tbsp oil or ghee in a skillet over medium heat until shimmering, add the bread cubes, sprinkle with salt, toss to coat, arrange in a single layer. Toss every minute or so, until golden on all sides – approx 5 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. 

variation

  • add ¼ cup parmesan flakes, shaved with a vegetable peeler
  • optional addition; avocado, grilled zucchini slivers

apricot blueberry crumble tart (vegan)

24th June 2020

I love this crumble tart, it’s so easy to pull together, no pre-chilling the dough, no rolling and whatever filling you choose, it tastes amazing. The original gluten-free recipe can be found here, however, I prefer this version using whole spelt. The crust is crispy and crunchy, with the perfect balance of sweetness.

THE NATURAL CALL FOR QUIETNESS

If we systematically and intentionally allow our mind to abide in stillness every day, morning and evening, then our mind will naturally become relaxed. Soon we will discover the presence of a kind of spontaneous JOY emerging.

The Sacred Tradition of Yoga by Dr Shankaranarayana Jois

apricot blueberry crumble tart

Recipe from Cannelle et Vanille.

Preparation 20 mins

Baking 50 mins

Serves 8 – 10

tools

14 x 4.75-inch or 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom

base ingredients

1 cup/120g whole spelt flour

1 cup/100g almond flour

½ cup/100g light brown sugar

1 tsp fine rock salt

10 Tbsp/140g virgin coconut oil, not melted

2 Tbsp ice water

⅓ cup/25g flaked or slivered almonds

filling ingredients

¾ cup/100g blueberry, fresh or frozen

6 medium apricots/340g – halved and seed removed

zest from 1 orange

1 Tbsp fresh orange juice

2 Tbsp/25g light brown sugar

1 – 2 Tbsp tapioca or corn starch

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

preparation

1.  Preheat the oven to 180C/375F. Grease your tart mold.

prepare the base

2.  In a bowl, toss together the spelt flour, almond flour, sugar and salt. Add the coconut oil (solid) and work it into the flour using your fingertips until you have a dough that resembles coarse sand. The dough should clump up but feel slightly dry. Add 2 Tbsp ice water and mix it with your hands, it will feel more like a crumble than a dough.

3.  Take approximately two-thirds of the dough (approx 320g) and press it into your tart mold, bring it up around the edge. Try not to make the middle too thick. Any leftovers can be returned to the bowl.

4.  Mix the flaked almonds into the remaining dough to make the crumble topping. Refrigerate both the tart crust and the crumble topping while preparing the filling.

prepare the filling

5.  In a large bowl, toss together the blueberries, halved apricots, orange juice and zest, sugar, tapioca starch, and vanilla. If the filling is very wet, add 1 more tablespoon of tapioca starch.

6.  Add the fruit filling to the tart mold and sprinkle with the crumble topping, paying particular attention to fill the spaces close to the rim and around the apricots, leaving some of the pieces of fruit showing.

7.  Bake until the crust is golden and filling is bubbly, 45 – 50 minutes. Allow the tart to cool slightly before slicing.

variation

  • Replace apricots and berries with seasonal fruits.
  • gluten-free option: replace the spelt flour with 1 cup/140g superfine brown rice flour

helpful tip

  • Place a tray under the tart when baking to prevent leakage.

banana bread with sunflower seeds (vegan & gluten-free)

14th May 2020

I am not gluten-free, however, I am running very low on regular flour due to the situation at the moment, so this was a good opportunity to try recipes using other alternatives.

This cake surprised me. It has a perfect balance between sweetness, banana flavour and consistency which melts in your mouth.

~clivia-miniata~

banana bread with sunflower seeds

Slightly altered recipe from `Cannelle et Vanille´ by Aran Goyoaga.

Makes 1 x 28cm loaf or 12 cupcakes (bake – 35 mins)

Preparation – 20 minutes

Baking time – 50 – 55 minutes

ingredients

3 Tbsp/20g ground flaxseeds

½ cup/110g water

4 ripe medium bananas, peeled, divided

¾ cup/150g granulated sugar

½ cup/115g extra-virgin olive oil or melted coconut oil

1 Tbsp finely grated ginger

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup/100g almond flour

¾ cup/105g superfine brown rice flour

½ tsp fine rock salt

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp baking powder

¼ cup/25g sunflower seeds, plus more for topping

preparation

1.  Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 28 x 7-cm loaf pan and set aside.

2.  In a medium bowl, combine the flaxseed and water, whisk to combine and set aside for 10 – 15 minutes for the flax to thicken.

3.  To the flax mixture, add 3 bananas and mash with a fork until there are some chunks left but it is fairly pureed. Add the sugar, oil, ginger, and vanilla – mix until smooth.

4.  Whisk together the almond flour, rice flour, salt, baking soda and powder. Pour into the banana mixture and stir until the batter comes together.  Fold in the sunflower seeds.

5.  Pour into the loaf pan. Cut the remaining banana in half lengthwise, place gently on top of the batter and brush the banana pieces lightly with coconut oil.  Sprinkle a few sunflower seeds on top of the cake and bake for 55 – 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Set the pan on a cooling rack to cool.

note

  • Turn out of the tray when the cake is completely cool.
  • Bake in a long loaf pan for the best results.

variation

  • The rice flour can be replaced with regular all-purpose flour.
  • Replace the sunflower seeds with walnuts.

Amy Chaplin’s easy pine nut sauce

11th April 2020

Don’t be deceived by the unassuming appearance of this sauce, it is delicious! I have replaced our weekly pesto sauce with this one.  It is quick, easy and any leftovers make a delicious salad dressing. Serve with homemade pasta, skillet roasted tomatoes and steamed greens.

~ sunlight and water drops~

easy pine nut sauce

Recipe from ‘Whole Food Cooking Every Day’ by Amy Chaplin.

Makes 1 cup. 

Serves 3 – 4

ingredients

1 cup/120g raw pine nuts

6 Tbsp/65g olive oil

2 Tbsp/25g freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tsp fine rock salt

to serve

½-portion homemade pasta

skillet charred tomato (see below)

steamed or sauteed greens

grated parmesan or pine nut parmesan

preparation

1.  Warm a skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes. Toss in the pine nuts, reduce heat to low, and toast, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until fragrant and golden.

2.  Transfer to a mortar and pestle or mini food processor and add the olive oil, lemon juice, and salt.

3.  Use a pestle to crush the nuts and grind until a paste forms. Or, if you’re using a mini food processor, blend until smooth, scrape down the sides, and blend again.  Use immediately, or store the sauce in a glass jar in the fridge for up to a week. Optional to garnish with lemon zest.

note

  • Any leftovers can be used as a salad dressing the next day. When using as a salad dressing add a little honey and dilute with more olive oil and lemon.

to serve

skillet charred cherry tomatoes

Serves 2

Preparation 7 minutes

ingredients

2 Tbsp olive or peanut oil

350g small cherry tomatoes

1 red bell pepper/135g, roughly chopped (optional)

One 5-cm sprig rosemary – leaves removed

½ tsp red chilli pepper flakes

preparation

1.   Place a medium skillet or wok over high heat, add oil, whole cherry tomatoes, bell pepper, and rosemary leaves, toss to coat in the oil. It is important to use a larger skillet to allow space for the tomatoes to cook without losing their shape. Don’t overcrowd the pan.

2.  Sautee for 5 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until charred in parts – don’t cook for too long, otherwise, the tomatoes will turn mushy.

3.  Remove from heat, stir in salt and chilli flakes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serve with your favourite pasta!

zesty turmeric tahini dressing

2nd March 2020

I like to serve this sauce over sauteed broccolini or roasted vegetables. Any leftovers gets drizzled over leafy green salads or scooped up with home-made bread.

~Kasbah Bab Ourika, Atlas Mountains, Morroco~

zesty turmeric tahini dressing

Recipe from Amy Chaplin’s – Whole Food Cooking Every Day.

makes 1½ cups

preparation time – 15 minutes

ingredients

½ cup/115g tahini

½ cup/100g water

2 Tbsp/22g olive oil

2 Tbsp/25g freshly squeezed lemon juice

½ tsp fine rock salt, plus more to taste

one 4-inch(10cm)/30g piece fresh turmeric, peeled and finely grated (2½ Tbsp)

¼ cup/60g freshly squeezed orange juice

2 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped

1 tsp tamari (optional)

¼ tsp cayenne pepper, plus more to taste

preparation

1.  Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or high-speed blender and blend until smooth.

2.  Taste and adjust the salt and cayenne to taste.

The colour intensifies as it sits!

Use immediately, or store the sauce in the fridge for up to 2 – 3  days. Bring to room temperature before using and add water or orange juice to thin if needed.

Note

  • If using a high-speed blender, there is no need to grated the turmeric just roughly chop. Pit the dates and add whole to the blender.
  • If you have particular runny tahini, reduce the water by half and add more as needed to achieve the desired consistency.

chuchu palya

8th January 2020

I  planted a chuchu vine 2 years ago, the first year it took off with great enthusiasm climbing up and over anything in its path. By the middle of Autumn, it was covered in small white flowers which sadly fell to the ground. This year, those white flowers turned into little buds, which grew into tiny, then small, then medium, then big chuchu. Lots of them! There are so many hidden amongst the leafage that when I think that I have picked them all, a few days later I come away with another basket full!

~locally known as Chuchu, Seemebadanekaayi in South India, Chayote in Mexico and Choko in Australia~

chuchu palya

Preparation –  25 minutes

Serves 2 – 3

Use heaped spoon measurements unless otherwise stated.

ingredients

2 Tbsp peanut oil

1 medium/360g chuchu

½ cup water

⅓ cup dried shredded coconut

1 tsp fine rock salt

1 tsp jaggery

¼ cup coriander leaves, chopped

voggarane

½ tsp black mustard seeds

1 Tbsp channa dal

tsp asafoetida powder

tsp turmeric powder

15 curry leaves

to serve

carrot palya  (Instead of grating, cut the carrot into small uniform cubes. When cooking, add a ¼ cup water and simmer uncovered until the water evaporates.)

yoghurt

spicy amla pickle

round brown rice

preparation

1.  Peel the chuchu and finely chop into small uniform cubes. Set aside.

2.  In a skillet, over medium-high heat, pour in the oil, add the mustard seeds and split channa dal – fry until the mustard seeds pop and channa dal starts to turn golden-brown.

3.  Add the asafoetida, curry leaves and turmeric – fry for a few seconds.

4. Add the water and stir in chuchu, simmer uncovered for 10 minutes then cover and simmer, stirring often  – approximately 5 minutes or until the chuchu is cooked and water has eliminated.

5.  Turn off the heat, add the dried coconut, salt, jaggery and coriander. Stir to combine.

variation

  • Towards the end of cooking stir in ½ cup full-fat yoghurt.

tomato soup by Yasmin

8th November 2019

After being away from the garden for one month, I wasn’t sure what I would find on my return. Everything green was munched down by caterpillars, however, to my surprise, there were lots of cherry tomatoes hanging off dried skeleton branches and small but healthy bell peppers. I collected them all and made this comforting, nostalgic soup. Their flavour was enhanced by a month of neglect.

My daughter has been making her own version of this soup, it’s so simple and creamy, served with a big spoon of cooked barley.  The added coconut cream takes the edge off the acidity and softens the soup.

tomato soup by Yasmin

preparation – 35 mins

serves 2

ingredients

2 Tbsp coconut oil

½ large fennel/2 sticks celery(70g), roughly chopped

½ medium/80g bell pepper, roughly chopped

few sprigs thyme

1 fresh bay leaf

400g/2½ cups cherry tomatoes

1 Tbsp tomato paste

¾ cup water

1 tsp fine rock salt

1 tsp jaggery

¼ – ½ cup coconut cream

to serve

barley

ghee/olive oil

preparation

1.   In a heavy-based pot over medium-high heat, add the coconut oil, fennel, bell pepper, thyme and bay leaf – fry for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.

2.   Add in the whole cherry tomatoes, tomato paste, stir to combine, then cover and reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes.

3.   Add in the water, salt, jaggery and coconut cream, stir to combine.

4.  Remove the sprigs of thyme and bay leaf, then puree until smooth. Taste, and adjust the seasonings.

To serve, ladle the soup into bowls with a spoon of cooked barley.  Garnish each with a sprinkle of fresh thyme leaves, a few rounds of pepper, and drizzle with coconut cream.

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