Berry Chocolate Green Smoothie

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I love a green smoothie, and this one is my favourite recipe at the moment, I will quite often have one for breakfast, they are super nutritious, quick and easy to make, great to set you up for a busy day working and delicious after morning yoga practice.
Being a chocolate lover, but unfortunately being a little sensitive to caffeine, using carob powder gives that wonderful chocolaty flavour that goes so well with berries, without the disadvantages of consuming chocolate.
If you want to make a green smoothie you will need a high powered blender to break up the cells of the green leaves, I use a Vitamix.  My friends commented that you would have to be mad to buy such an expensive machine, but I have to say that it has been worth every penny.  I use it pretty much every day and it is extremely good at what it does.
There is a whole host of information out there regarding the benefits of drinking green smoothies, I personally would say that I feel good when I drink them, I somehow feel more awake in the morning after drinking a green smoothie.

Shopping List
Green Leaves – I used the carrot top leaves in the photo, they are quite peppery so less needed if you are new to green smoothies, spinach is less strong so perhaps could use more of these
Berries – I used frozen blackberries, any will do, fresh or frozen
Ripe Banana
Almonds – handful, soaked overnight in water
Coconut Water – you could use almond milk, rice milk, plain water….
Spirulina – 1 teaspoon, perhaps less if you are new to spirulina
Carob Powder – 1 large teaspoon, or more if like me you love chocolate!
Acai Berry Powder – ½ teaspoon

Add the leaves, berries, almonds and liquid to the blender and blend at a high speed (for about 30 seconds if using a Vitamix).  Once the mixture has become liquid turn off the machine, add the banana and the superfood powders and blend again.  I have given a couple of guidelines for amounts in this recipe, but do play around with it, different flavours in different amounts create new tastes and experiences.

I feel that it is worth mentioning here that it is always good to use a variety of leaves, eating too much of anything, good or bad, can often lead to problems and/or boring habits.  So although this may become your favourite recipe too, use different leaves and fruits often, try different things – and don’t forget to let me know if you invent a good one! x

The best Miso Soup Recipe in the World – well I think so ;- )

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In this post we look at how to make the most delicious, simple to prepare, Miso Soup – this hearty twist on the traditional macrobiotic recipe is perfect for a healthy meal in a hurry, just incase your yoga posture practice goes on a little longer than expected, it is super warming and nourishing.  The ingredients for this soup are incredibly supportive of a healthy diet, not only does it include plenty of fresh veg but it also contains the many healthy benefits of using Miso.  Miso is made from unpasturised, fermented, whole soya bean puree.  Miso soup can also be a nice thing to have at breakfast time as it is easily digested and helps to balance blood sugar levels.

Shopping List
Onion – chopped
Carrots – chopped
Fresh Ginger – finely chopped or grated
Sprouting Broccoli – chopped
Daikon – grated (sometimes know as Mooli, it’s not essential if you can’t find it anywhere)
Bouillon
Miso Paste (I used brown rice miso in this recipe)
Coconut Oll
Toasted Sesame Oil

Finely chop the onions and ginger and in a saucepan (with a lid) sauté in a little coconut oil until the onions are soft and translucent.  Then add water and stir in the bouillon and carrots and simmer for 10-20 mins.  Leaving the heat low, add the broccoli and daikon and as soon as the water begins to simmer again turn off the heat, this will leave your veg fresh and crisp – if you like your veg really crisp then you could even turn off the heat just before you add the broccoli and daikon so that they are raw but warmed.  Leave the soup to cool for a minute or so before adding the miso, this will ensure the healthy bacteria within the miso will be preserved (if you cook miso at a high heat these beautiful little bacteria will be lost)  I like plenty of flavour so I use a quite a lot of miso, start with a spoonful and taste, you can always add more – you may want to use a little sea salt but remember, the miso has quite a salty flavour so go easy.  I also find it easy to mix the miso paste with a little of the soup liquid in a separate bowl before adding to the soup as it prevents lumps.

Once you have the taste that you like, for just a little extra extravagant indulgence, add a few of drops of toasted sesame oil.

You could also include seaweed in this soup – I usually add wakame, cut into very small pieces and added with the water.

Mung Bean & Coconut Curry

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This dish really is a super simple vegetarian recipe, quick to make, incredibly tasty and  is a wonderfully nutritious easy bean dish to suit most tastes, perfect after a forest walk, or yoga practice.  Accompany with short grain brown rice and you will have a delicious hearty meal.

Shopping List
Mung Beans – pre soaked and cooked with kombu
Carrots – chopped into small pieces
Celery – sliced into small pieces
Coconut milk
Creamed coconut
Bouillon
Coriander powder
Cumin powder
Sea salt

In just a little water, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan but not all the veg, steam/simmer the carrots and celery briefly to soften a little.  Add the bouillon, coriander & cumin and taste.  I like to leave off the heat now for 5 mins just to let the flavours infuse a little but probably not needed.  Stir in the cooked beans and coconut milk and again taste – if you feel that it needs to be a little sweeter add the creamed coconut now, if you feel the taste needs to be a little stronger add a little sea salt or more coriander & cumin.

You could also add a seaweed to this dish, Arame would be good – it has a more subtle taste and smell than some of the other stronger seaweeds.  It’s also very easy to prepare, just soak in hot water for 10 mins then add to the dish (remember it swells up quite a bit so go easy with the dried stuff)

Chilli Bean Stir Fry

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After a delicious yoga practice yesterday afternoon I felt like eating something spicy,  and so I came up with this yummy, incredibly simple vegetarian recipe.

Shopping List
Kidney Beans
– pre cooked with kombu to aid digestion
Leeks
Carrots – grated (I used purple carrots hence the rather purpleness of the photo)
Daikon – grated (type of radish)
Sprouting Broccoli
Fresh Coriander
Ginger – fresh grated or powdered will do
Sweet Smoked Paprika
Paprika
Cinnamon – ground
Coconut Oil
Sea Salt
optional Chipotle Paste – to make it extra hot

In a wok or large pan, heat the olive oil and then stir fry the leeks, add ginger, both paprikas and a pinch of salt and continue to stir fry until leeks are soft.  Add cooked beans and continue to cook for a couple more minutes until beans are hot.
At this point taste a little, remember you will be adding more veg so the flavour will need to be quite strong at this point, is it spicy enough for you?  would you like it hotter?  if yes add the chipotle paste, go easy its rather fiery (or chilli powder will do but remember it will take a little longer for the flavour to come out).  Would you like a little sweetness? try adding a small amount of the cinnamon powder now.
I like my veg to be only just cooked so added the carrots, daikon & broccoli right at the end and turned the heat off to preserve the crunchy freshness of the veg.  Stir in some roughly chopped coriander and serve.

I served this dish with millet which I cooked with a little wakame seaweed, the sticky, mild, sweetness of the millet perfectly complimented the spicy beans!

I made quite a lot and so Im looking forward to making a spicy soup out of the leftovers today :-)

 

Brown Rice with Roast Sweet Potato & Corn

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This is a great ‘using leftovers’ recipe, I use brown basmati rice, and some leftover roast sweet potato from last nights dinner and then sliced the corns off the cob (again from last nights dinner) to produce this subtle, sweet tasting, healthy accompaniment to any meal.

Shopping List
Brown Basmati Rice
Sweet Potato – pre roasted
Sweet Corn – sliced from the cob
Carrot – grated
Arame Seaweed – soaked in hot water for about 10 mins (it doubles in size so go easy with the amount)
Tumeric
Sea Salt
Olive Oil
Toasted Sesame Oil – optional

Wash the rice in water and drain (2 or 3 times) until the water is clear.  Then place in a pan with water using a 2:1 water rice ratio.  Add powdered turmeric and a pinch of salt.  Cover and simmer – this will take around 40 mins, less time if using a pressure cooker.  When all the water has gone the rice will be cooked to perfection.  Turn off the heat, give it a little stir and leave covered to fluff up.
While the rice is cooking, add the grated carrot and arame seaweed to the steamer and briefly steam to soften the carrots.
Chop up the roast pots and then add them to the steamer with the corn to warm up.
Stir all the ingredients into the rice and add a little toasted sesame oil to flavour.

Meal – In the photo I included this recipe with Lentil and Mint Pate, green salad, half an avocado and roasted artichoke – for a balanced, healthy, delicious and nutritious meal.

Turmeric – The health benefits of turmeric are many – it is rich in anti-oxidands, and is apparently antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflamatry (to name but a few) making it extremely useful in supporting a healthy lifestyle.  There are plenty of articles on the web listing the potential benefits of using turmeric in your diet.

Balsamic Lentils and Peas

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The sweetness of the balsamic vinegar and the sharpness of the lemon really brings an interesting flavour to this lentil dish, a simple recipe that is really very easy to make and tastes delicious.

Shopping List
Puy Lentils
Red Onion
Peas (frozen)
Balsamic Vinegar
Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
Olive Oil
Sea Salt

Cook the lentils in plenty of water (no need to soak lentils).  I use a ratio of 3:1 water to lentils, add them to boiling water, simmer, covered, until tender, which can mean anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes, depending on their age, which affects moisture content. Most likely they will be done in under 25 minutes. Check them for doneness before cooking time is up, as you don’t want mushy lentils.  Do not add the salt until just before they are ready.
While you are waiting for your lentils to cook, in a large open pan or wok, heat a little oil and then stir fry the onions until they begin to soften and become translucent.  Then add the balsamic and the lemon juice and simmer to reduce the liquid to a sticky, sweet consistency.  The amount you use will on how many peeps you are feeding and how many lentils you are using, I really like my flavours strong so I use quite a bit but you will work it out according to your taste.
I dont cook the peas, just place them in hot water until they de-frost, this will keep them juicy and crisp and fresh tasting.

When the lentils are cooked, drain and stir into the balsamic onions and then add the peas.

Cooking with ‘Leftovers’ – Lentil & Mint Pate – I usually make plenty of this recipe because it tastes amazing the next day blended into a pate – add olive oil to keep it moist, perhaps a little salt to taste and adding mint leaves as you blend can be a real taste discovery!  Enjoy your experimenting.