spring vegetable garden

beetroot fennel quinoa pilaf with a leafy lemon garden herb salad

8th May 2014

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Create an INTENTION to practise conscious eating, connecting to your food with all of your senses and with a grateful attitude.  Here are a few mindful intentions that help to guide me.

Invite a feeling of gratitude and thanks by blessing your food before and after eating.

Nourish yourself by practising silence when eating your food.

Take the intention to always sit down to eat.

Eat only when hungry and drink only when thirsty.

Nutrients are better absorbed when meals are kept simple, not mixing too many different foods together.

Thoroughly chew your food and eat slowly.

Increase awareness and avoid drinking large quantities of liquid, especially cold when eating.

Open your heart by using candles, special dishes, flowers to create beauty around meal-time.

Never eat in an agitated or angry state and always eat in a calm, relaxed, settled and quiet atmosphere.

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beetroot fennel quinoa pilaf

A favourite way of serving this is with a freshly made still warm hummus and a leafy, lemon, garden herb salad. When I am short of time, I put everything into the pot to cook with the quinoa – not as aesthetically looking, but still deliciously tasty. This could be made with rice, barley, millet or any grain of choice.

ingredients 

1 cup quinoa

1½ cups water

1 small fennel bulb

1 medium beetroot

1 medium carrot

for the voggarane

2 tsp ghee

½ heaped tsp cumin seeds

½ heaped tsp coriander seeds

½ tsp pink peppercorns

2 Tbsp small black currants

1 tsp fine rock salt

preparation 

1.  Wash the quinoa and let sit in water for 10 minutes, drain and place in a saucepan with 1½ cups water, bring to boil, turn down the heat and simmer, covered until water has evaporated. (Try to just under-cook the quinoa slightly – it gives a nice texture and nutty bite).  Let sit undisturbed for 15 minutes.

2.  Finely slice the fennel, cut the beetroot and carrot into small uniformed pieces. (Cutting them small allows them to become tender quicker without overcooking the fennel.)

prepare the voggarane

3.  In a mortar and pestle, roughly grind the cumin, coriander and peppercorns – set aside.

4.  Heat ghee in a small pan, add cumin, coriander and peppercorns, saute for 1 minute, then add the fennel, carrot and beetroot – cover and saute on a low heat until just tender, 12 -15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5.  Add currants and quinoa.  With a fork, fluff up the quinoa as you stir to combine, season with salt and garnish with finely chopped fennel fronds.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

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lemon leafy garden herb salad with a pine nut lemon dressing

for the salad 

a mixture of small garden leaves of parsley, fennel, mustard, spinach, lettuce and coriander

edible garden flowers

1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced

1 avocado, cut into small cubes

for the dressing 

¼ cup pine nuts

1 Tbsp sesame seeds

½ juice of a lemon

pinch of salt

freshly ground pepper

¼ cup cold press olive/flax oil

preparation

1.  In a skillet, dry-roast the pine nuts and sesame seeds until golden, remove from heat and transfer to a bowl to cool, then roughly chop 2 tablespoons and set aside.

2.  In a blender, place the remaining pine nuts with the rest of the ingredients and blend on high for 1 minute.  While blender is running add the oil, blend until thick and creamy and transfer to a jar and set aside.

3.  Gently wash the garden flowers separately, and place on a cloth to dry. Wash and spin the salad leaves and place in a bowl with the cucumber and avocado.

4.  Shake the dressing and drizzle over the salad and lightly toss.  Sprinkle over the lemon rind, pine nuts and edible garden flowers.

Find a quiet place, bless, and enjoy with gratitude.

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Goodness shared from Stacey

fresh oat milk

26th April 2014

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I have been making oat milk lately, as buying almonds and hazelnuts for making nut butter, and then making nut milk, can become quite expensive.

In minutes, you can produce plant-based milk that is fresh and delicious, rich in nutrients and enzymes.  The soy, almond, rice, oats or hemp ‘milk’ sold in boxes contain synthetic vitamins to “enrich” (such as Vitamin A Palmitate, calcium carbonate, Vitamin D2, etc.).  These have shown to actually deplete your body of the vitamins it needs and actually keeps your body from ingesting the naturally-occurring vitamins in the almonds/oats/coconut in the milk.  These kinds of milk are very nutritious by themselves without the added isolated vitamins.  Also, the extremely high heat processing in making these store-bought milk renders the contents ‘dead’ and quite hard to be utilized by the body.

Oat milk is high in fibre and iron.  It also provides many important vitamins and minerals including manganese, potassium, phosphorus, many B Vitamins, Vitamin E, and Vitamin A.

Oats have long been known for their warming thermal nature, sweet, soothing and restoring. Oats also have skin clearing properties and drinking oat milk has been known to clear acne and improve the overall health of the skin, as well as strengthen and repair the hair.

I use the left-over oat pulp mixed with a little warm water for a face and body scrub in my morning shower, as it rejuvenates and relieves dry and itching skin (a pitta imbalance); leaving my skin feeling soft and silky.

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fresh oat milk

Oat milk has a very soothing oat flavour which I like, but it does have a pasty texture, unlike regular nut milk. Because of this, I am less likely to drink it straight, but it’s perfect for a green smoothie or using in baking or pouring over porridge.  If you would like the milk creamier, you can experiment with adding less water. This ratio below was my favourite.

ingredients 

1 cup organic whole oat groats

4 cups filtered water

You will also need

1 piece of nut bag/muslin for a fine sieve

1 large glass container

pre-soak 

1.  Place the oat groats in a bowl, cover with twice the amount of water and leave to soak for 6 -8 hours or overnight.

preparation

2.  Rinse well and place in a blender with 4 cups filtered water – blend on high for 1 minute.

3.  Place the nut bag or cloth over a wide-mouth jug and pour the blended mixture into it, strain the milk until only the pulp is left. Use your hand to squeeze out the last of the milk.

4.  Pour into a sterilised glass jar.

Homemade milk does separate, so be sure to give your milk a very good shake before using.  The milk keeps for about 3 days in an air-tight container in the fridge.

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References:

‘Earthly and Divine’ by Eva Cabaca

‘Healing with Whole Foods’ by Paul Pitchford

https://www.care2.com/greenliving/the-benefits-of-oat-milk-and-how-to-make-it-yourself.html

Goodness shared from Stacey

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