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.

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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.

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pear ginger macadamia muffins (vegan & gluten free)

11th December 2019

For this recipe, I used Amy Chaplins gluten-free muffin base recipe from her new book ‘Whole Food Cooking Every Day’ and combined it with two of my favourite recipes – Peach Ginger Muffins and Pear Ginger Cornmeal Cake.

She goes on to say, “I discovered textural magic (and a gorgeous golden crumb) with a combination of millet flour, oat flour and almond flour. These flours, along with plenty of ground flax seeds, becomes a winning base from which an endless number of variations have stemmed.”

~marigold~

There are four parts to this recipe, the pear topping, the wet ingredients, dry ingredients, and macadamia crumb – once these four parts are assembled and ready, the muffins come together easily. I used the variation option (see below) in this photo and cut the pear into cubes, adding a ¼ cup into the batter and remaining on top.

pear ginger macadamia muffins

To make the different flours, place separately and in small quantities, whole millet, almond and oats in your high-speed blender and grind to a flour. Make in bigger amounts and store in the freezer.

Preparation – 20 minutes.

Baking – 35 minutes.

Makes 10 -12 muffins, depending on the size of your muffin cups.

pear topping

2 small/165g pears (the smaller fit nicely on top)

1 Tbsp coconut oil

1 Tbsp maple syrup/coconut sugar

1 heaped tsp grated ginger

macadamia crumb

½ cup/70g macadamia nuts, roughly chopped

2 Tbsp coconut sugar

2 Tbsp maple syrup

cake

¼ cup/22g ground flax seeds

1 cup/225g almond milk

⅓ cup/70g melted coconut oil

¼ cup/75g pure maple syrup or coconut sugar

¼ cup/75g orange juice, freshly squeezed

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

½ tsp fine rock salt

1 small/80g pear, grated (skin and all)

2 heaped Tbsp/25g crystallized ginger, finely chopped 

2 Tbsp freshly grated ginger

~

1 cup/130g millet flour

½ cup/45g oat flour (gluten-free)

½ cup/45g almond flour

1 Tbsp baking powder

preparation

1.  Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line a standard muffin pan with 10- 12 paper liners and set aside. 

2. In a medium bowl, combine the ground flax seeds and almond milk from the cake ingredients, whisk to combine and set aside while you prepare the pear topping.

pear topping

3.  Halve the pears, remove the seeds, cut into quarters and then each quarter into three slices about ¼-inch thick. Set aside.

4.  In a skillet over medium heat, add the oil, sugar and ginger, melt the mixture, stirring gently to combine. Cook until the mixture begins to bubble, about 2 minutes, then add the pears, toss the pears to coat them with syrup, cover and allow to simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

macadamia crumb

5. In a small bowl, place the macadamias nuts, sugar and maple syrup, stir to combine – set aside.

cake

6.  To the flax mixture, add the coconut oil, maple syrup, orange juice, vanilla, salt, grated pear, ginger and crystallized ginger.

7.  In another bowl, combine the millet flour, oat flour, almond flour and baking powder, breaking up any clumps of almond flour, using a spatula stir the wet ingredients into the dry until combined, then spoon the batter into the muffin cups filling them three-quarters full.

8.  Toss the pears to coat them with the pear juices and lay 2 – 3 slices over each of the muffins. Spoon any extra juices over the muffins.

9.  With your fingers, crumble the macadamia crumb on top of each muffin.

10.  Bake for 35 – 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow the muffins to sit for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool. Allow to cool completely before serving, this allows the structure to set resulting in a tender crumb.

Note:

  • If melted coconut oil is added to cold ingredients, it will clump and harden. If wet ingredients are cold, not at room temperature, don’t add the coconut oil until right before combining the wet and dry ingredients.

Variation:

  • For extra sweetness, replace the orange juice with maple syrup or coconut sugar.
  • Chop the pears into cubes instead of slivers, add ¼ cup/90g into the batter and the remaining on top.

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carob walnut chip cookies (gluten-free, vegan)

22nd November 2019

These cookies have crunchy edges with a soft centre, a rich buttery flavour with studs of walnuts, oats and carob chips.  It’s surprising how delicious they are!

Chocolate contains theobromine – a stimulant. Like all stimulants, it is unsupportive for yogic practices that require focus of the mind. Carob is an excellent replacement for chocolate and has hardly a trace amount of theobromine. I have made them with both chocolate and carob, and prefer the softness of the carob.

carob walnut chip cookies

Preparation – 25 minutes

Baking – 12 – 15 minutes

Makes 12 medium or 8 large cookies.

Recipe slightly altered from Healthier Together by Liz Moody.

ingredients

1 flax egg (2 Tbsp ground flax seeds + 3 Tbsp water)

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ cup/120g homemade almond butter

¼ cup/25g almond flour

¼ tsp fine-grain rock salt

½ cup/65g coconut sugar

½ tsp baking soda

¼ cup/25g chopped walnuts

¼ cup/25g rolled oats (gluten-free)

¼ cup/35g unsweetened carob chips or chopped carob bar

preparation

1.   Preheat the oven to 375F/190C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

2.   Mix together the ground flaxseed and water in a medium bowl. Allow to sit for 15 minutes to thicken.

3.  Add to the flaxseed, vanilla and almond butter – mix together with a spoon until well combined.

4.  In another bowl, mix together the almond flour, salt, coconut sugar, baking soda, walnuts, oats and carob chips.

5.  Add to the flax-almond mixture, mix, working the dough a bit to get everything distributed evenly (the dough may seem a bit dry and thick – keep mixing.)

6.  Scoop heaped teaspoon full into your hand and squeeze into balls. Place on the baking sheet, leaving about 1-inch between them, and slightly press down with your fingers.

7.  Bake for 12 – 15 minutes, rotating the tray halfway through until the edges turn golden. Remove from oven and let them cool on the tray for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. These cookies are best eaten warm from the oven, or later that same day. 

Note:  For freshly baked cookies anytime, refrigerate some of the dough for later.

Variation: Replace the carob with small currants or chopped raisins which have been soaked in water for 10 minutes.

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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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Donna’s simple mid-week soup

28th October 2019

Whenever my sister comes to visit or we meet up in Australia, I always request one of her soups. She is the queen of soup making! This was a soup she made recently when staying with us here in Portugal. A very simple, quick, no-fuss soup.

~Autumn~

Donna’s simple mid-week soup

Preparation 40 minutes

Serves 3 

ingredients

1 Tbsp ghee

2 fresh bay leaves

1 x 10cm rosemary sprig, leaves stripped

2 pinches asafoetida powder

2 stalks/300g celery, roughly chopped

1 tsp fine Himalayan rock salt

1 medium/150g potato, diced

1 medium/250g sweet potato, diced

¼ cup/50g brown basmati rice, rinsed

6 cups water

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

to serve

ghee

grated parmesan or pine nut parmesan

preparation

1.  In a heavy-based saucepan over medium-high heat, heat ghee, add rosemary leaves, bay leaves and asafoetida and fry till fragrant, approximately 2 minutes.

2.  Add celery and salt, fry for 2 minutes, occasionally stirring.

3.  Reduce heat to medium and add potatoes. Fry for 5 minutes, stirring regularly to avoid sticking. Add rice and fry for a further minute.

4.  Add water, bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

5.  Remove bay leaves. Using a hand blender, puree to desired consistency.

6.  Add pepper and extra salt to taste. Serve with a spoonful of ghee and grated parmesan.

variation 

To save time, saute all vegetables together.

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apple walnut cake (vegan)

4th October 2019

This cake base originated from Amy Chaplin’s first book, ‘At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen’ and has been adapted, posted and baked many times with different variations to suit the seasons. In Spring, I make this rhubarb cardamom cake or these raspberry quinoa muffins.  In Summer, I replace the base with the recipe below and make these ginger peach muffins or when the tree is heavy with plums, the original, plum millet cake. When the cooler days creep in and the leaves start to fall, Autumn arrives and I halve figs to place over the top and sprinkle with almond flakes or a pear and macadamia based on this recipe. With Winter close behind this cinnamon apple walnut crumble is a good place to be or a spiced pumpkin version sounds inviting. As you can see when you have a good base recipe the variations are endless!

~ dried fennel seeds

~ leaf and light

~ fennel flowers

apple walnut cake

Preparation – 40 minutes

Baking – 35 minutes

Serves 8

ingredients

¼ cup/50g millet

¾ cup/185ml water

walnut crumb

¾ cup/90g walnuts, roughly chopped

2 Tbsp coconut sugar

2 Tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp cinnamon powder

apple filling

4 small/2 large apples (245g), peeled and chopped into small uniformed cubes

1 Tbsp ghee/coconut oil

1 Tbsp brown sugar/maple syrup

½ tsp cinnamon powder

cake ingredients 

1½ cups/210g whole-spelt flour

1 Tbsp baking powder

¼ tsp fine rock salt

¾ cup/220g maple syrup (can replace with ½ cup raw brown sugar)

 cup/65g mild-tasting olive/coconut oil

¼ cup/50g almond milk

2 Tbsp vanilla essence

cook the millet

1.  Rinse the millet, drain and place in a pan with water, bring to boil, simmer rapidly for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until water has evaporated. Remove from heat; let sit for 10 minutes before removing the lid. Measure out 1 cup/180g cooked millet – set aside.

2.  Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.  Line an 11 x 7-inch baking pan or favourite cake tin with baking paper.

walnut crumb

3.  In a small bowl, place the walnuts, sugar and maple syrup, stir to combine and set aside.

apple filling

4.  In a pan over medium heat, add the ghee/oil and sugar, melt the mixture, stirring to combine. Cook until the mixture begins to bubble, about 2 minutes, then add the apples and cinnamon, toss to coat them with syrup, cover and allow to simmer for 3 – 4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

 assemble the cake

5.  Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl.  Set aside.

6.  In a separate bowl, combine millet, maple syrup, oil, almond milk and vanilla essence – whisk to combine.

7.  Combine the wet and dry ingredients.  Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon; do not over mix.

8.  Spread the batter evenly in the baking pan and place the apple cubes over the top and let them rest on the surface.

9.  Crumble over the walnut crumb.

10.  Bake until golden for approximately 35 – 40 minutes, until golden or a toothpick comes out clean. Remove and allow to cool.

Serve with a generous dollop of thick cream.

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easy pomegranate juice

14th September 2019

Looking for a sparkling, refreshing drink? I was heading out to the garden to pick some rhubarb to make the sparkling rose rhubarb, when Donna suggested pomegranate.

Living in Israel, we had the luxury of an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables. In the Jerusalem markets, it was wonderful to walk past many stall-holders using a hand squeezer to release the vibrant ruby-coloured liquid. Inspired by this memory, I instinctively reached for the hand squeezer used for lemons and oranges. Two squeezes later and there was a ½ cup of that ruby-coloured liquid…..

Pomegranate is often referred to as the ‘Divine Fruit’.  It is considered as a sattvic fruit, with restorative properties and promotes appetite. Sweet pomegranate is tridhātu sāmyabalancing all three doshas. Sour pomegranate is especially useful in reducing heat in the body.

Pomegranate, if of good quality, is especially beneficial for yogic practice.

~The Sacred Tradition of Yoga – Dr. Shankaranaravana Jois~

easy pomegranate juice

Preparation  – 2 minutes

Serves 2

ingredients

2 pomegranates

2 cup/500ml sparkling water

1 -2 tsp sugar or sweetener of choice (optional)

preparation

1.  Cut the pomegranate in half and use a hand juicer or citrus press to extract the juice. Squeeze out as much juice from the pulp and seeds.

2.  Strain and pour into glasses. Drink as is, or add sparkling water and sweetener.

Enjoy!

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puliyogare – tamarind rice

29th August 2019

Puliyogare is a traditional Karnataka style tamarind rice and is made by tempering pre-cooked rice in a spicy tamarind paste. It is very flavourful, slightly spicy, sweet and sour. Puliyogare is also prepared on auspicious days and festivals and offered as prasadam (offerings).

~ sunflower (genus helianthus)~

~ sunflowers are known to being the ‘happy’ flowers. They symbolise adoration, loyalty and longevity.

~ each sunflower is actually thousands of tenny flowers.

~ when sunflowers are young they track the sun throughout the day, this is called heliotropism. It is believed that they do this because they follow a circadian rhythm as we do as humans – they face east at dawn and slowly turn west as the sun moves across the sky before resetting themselves overnight. Mature sunflowers stop tracking the sun and only face east.

puliyogare

Don’t be tempted to go light on the sugar, this dish relies on the perfect balance of sweet and sour.

Preparation – 30 minutes

Serves 3 – 4

ingredients

1 cup/200g white basmati rice

2 cups water

voggarane

cup peanut or coconut oil

½ tsp heaped black mustard seeds

1 tsp heaped split channa dal

½ tsp heaped split urad dal

1 heaped Tbsp peanuts, chopped

tsp asafoetida powder

12 fresh curry leaves

tsp heaped turmeric powder

2 heaped tsp/25g puliyogare gojju*

½ cup/40g dried shredded coconut

4 heaped tsp/30g jaggery/brown sugar

1 heaped tsp fine rock salt

1 flat tsp rasam powder

*If you don’t have pre-made puliyogare gojju, make your own by mixing 2 Tbsp tamarind concentrate, 1 heaped Tbsp jaggery and 1 flat tsp rasam powder – mix to a paste.

to serve

cucumber slices

yoghurt/curd rice

preparation

1.  In a saucepan, wash the rice until the water runs clear, drain and pour in 2 cups water, bring to boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a rapid simmer – simmer for 8 – 10 minutes, uncovered or until water has evaporated.

2.  Turn off the heat, cover and set aside to cool. Measure out the remaining ingredients.

prepare the voggarane

3.  In a skillet, over medium-high heat, add the oil, mustard seeds, channa, urad dal and peanuts; when the seeds turn grey and both dals are golden-brown, turn down the heat, add asafoetida, turmeric powder and curry leaves – fry for 30 seconds, stirring to allow the spices to fry evenly.

4.  Turn off the heat and stir in the puliyogare gojju, then add coconut, jaggery, salt and rasam powder.

5.  Add the cooked rice, and gently combine, ensuring the rice is mixed well with the spices. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding salt or jaggery.  Garnish with a handful of coriander leaves and serve with a spoon of ghee.

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Donna’s Hasselback Sweet Potatoes

13th August 2019

On this day 10 years ago, Donna and I posted our first combined post on Goodnessis’, and with this in mind, we felt it was appropriate to share another, considering that we are currently spending family time together in Australia. As we live on opposite sides of the world, we always commit to meet once a year with our parents in Australia’s Winter on Hamilton Island. Each night, Donna and I cook and prepare a meal together, these Hasselback sweet potatoes was one of those delicious meals!

Donna first initiated this blog as a way for us to keep in contact. As with most areas of life, for growth to occur, things need to evolve, and due to exploring other pursuits, Donna stepped away from contributing and I continued. For me, this blog has given so much and has become a wonderful way to share this way of life and recipes with like-minded well-wishers.

This post is a heartfelt THANK YOU to Donna!  I am forever grateful that we began this journey, as I am not sure this blog would have taken birth without her initial inspiration.

Hasselback sweet potatoes

Preparation – 1 hour

Serves 6

ingredients

3 large/6 small sweet potatoes

2 Tbsp ghee/extra virgin olive oil, melted

1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped 

sea salt & cracked pepper

to serve

spicy avocado yoghurt puree

beetroot, apple, fennel, sesame seeded salad with ginger lemon dressing

preparation

1.  Preheat oven to 200C/400F. Line a flat baking tray with baking paper.

2.  Place sweet potato in between 2 wooden spoons. Holding the spoons and the potato, make thin slices across the top of the potato. The spoons prevent cutting all the way through. Repeat with all sweet potatoes.

3.  Place each sweet potato on the lined tray. Gently fan out the potatoes so the slices are revealed.

4.  Drizzle ghee over the potatoes, aiming for a little to drip between the slices, and then also brush tops with ghee.

5.  Sprinkle the rosemary over the top of each. Add salt and pepper to taste.

6.  Cover with foil and place in oven for 30 minutes, then remove foil and roast for a further 15-20 minutes, or until edges are crispy/charred, depending on how you like them.

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