Ayurvedic Cooking -gentle healing for harmonious life-upcoming class!

Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle for balance of body, mind and spirit. Inspiration and ancient knowledge to restore and revive in this class.

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Bring gifts from the earth to the table

Recipes of 2014 – Yoga teacher training, Ayurvedic Yoga retreats, travel and cooking!

It’s been too long since I have blogged! Apologies on all fronts!

Last year was full on, and seemed to fly from beginning to end!  I was in the throws of my much loved Dru Yoga Teaching training course. Traveled to accomplish this training interstate and overseas to the Dru Yoga home in Snowdonia Wales. Also, much cooking and teaching, in Wales, Ayurvedic Yoga Retreat in Byron Bay,  Ayurvedic Yoga camel trek in the Flinders Ranges South Australia, and catering for special Dru events in Canberra and Adelaide.  I would like to travell with you now and give you some of the recipes that I taught and prepared in these locations.

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Pretty Cottage Guarden in Snowdonia Wales

Dahl Pakoras – A Recipe

This was a great favourite in Snowdonia Wales and also a great way to use any left-over dahl.  Makes a festive finger-food.
This mixture is best if you put it together in the morning and let it stand until the evening.

1 cup cooked dahl
½ teaspoon Clive of India curry
½ teaspoon coriander powder
½ teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon turmeric
¾ cup besan (chick pea) flour
¾-1 cup water (enough to ensure a pancake like batter)

Mix all ingredients together.  (Mixture can be runny or dry according to how you prefer your pakoras).

Allow to stand for at least 30 minutes.  When ready to prepare, place a small amount of sunflower oil in pan and bring to a high heat.  Place spoonfuls of mixture into the pan, cooking well on one side before turning.

I served this with the Coriander and Cashew Chutney bellow.

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Dahl Pakoras with delicious Coriander Cashew Chutney

Coriander and Cashew Chutney – A Recipe

2 bunches of coriander heads
½ cup raw cashew nuts
2cm piece of ginger, peeled
1 lime, juiced
½ teaspoon honey
½-1 cup best quality water

Blend together.

Add a little water at a time.  You may not need to use the whole cup of water, for a smooth consistency.  This is ideal not too thick and not too runny.
Makes a wonderful appetizer.
Serves 5

Next stop was Ayurvedic Yoga Retreat in Byron Bay.   Here I cooked Ayurvedic breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner for the participants for a week.  Also I taught them a special cooking class on how to prepare and eat healthy alkaline Ayurvedic foods.  Here is one simple morning tea recipe I served.  In my next blog I will give recipes of a full lunch menu served on the retreat!

Fresh Kiwi Fruit with Lime Juice and Cashew Cream – A Recipe 

5-6 Kiwi fruit cut into wedges liberally dressed with fresh lime juice and served with bowls of cashew cream to either dip into or place on top of.

IMG_0594Cashew Cream – A Recipe

Approximately 1 cup cashew to ¾ to 1 cup of best quality water.  Blend for several minutes.  Should be smooth like a cream and there should be no lumps whatsoever.

If not completely smooth, return to the blender and blend some more.  Add a few drops of pure vanilla and 1 teaspoon of organic raw honey if you desire.

Also to come: recipes from the Ayurvedic Yoga Camel Trek.

A Poem [excerpt] – The Lily and the Bee by Henry Lawson

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The lily stands for beauty,
Use, purity, and trust,
It does a four-fold duty,
As all good mortals must.

Watch out for alkaline-alive, soon to be available as an ebook.

Welcome to a New Year – Tantalising Brown Rice with Mango: a Recipe

A very belated New Year to you all dear Health food lovers!  A pilgrimage to divine India, a new grand baby girl and the loss of a dear Mother has kept me away from my keyboard these past months. The New Year brings us new blessings and inspiration with regard to our lives, especially our health. In Ayurveda, the timeless way of living and eating to bring back balance and harmony to body, mind, spirit and environment, eating high quality fresh foods and LESS is considered the formula for longevity.  So I am including this whole, high nutrient dense small breakfast for a wonderful start to the day!

Hibiscus in the back garden

A happy Hibiscus greets me at my back door and keeps alive my memories of Kauai- an shores. Lovely sitting out on my back verandah enjoying this delicious breakfast in the cool of the summer morning sun!

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Tantalising Brown Rice with Mango – A Recipe

One of my favourite breakfasts when the mangos are ripe and juicy.  Sometimes I even have it later in the day as an afternoon delight

1 cup brown rice
2 cups best quality water
6cm piece of kombu
1 ripe delicious mango
2 teaspoons ghee

Wash the rice 3 times, stirring with your hand in the same direction.  In a small pot, place rice, water and kombu.  Bring the rice to the boil.  Reduce heat to simmer and cover.  Allow approximately 40 to 50 minutes to cook.   No need to stir.

After all the water has been absorbed, take the rice off the heat and allow to sit for a few minutes, taking out the kombu, chopping it into small pieces and returning it to the rice.

Chop up a ripe mango into small pieces.  Into a serving bowl, place rice, ghee and mango and stir.

Serve into individual plates.

You will eat this till the last grain.  It’s so divine!

Serves 2 hearty breakfasts.

Sunny winter greens,colour and Quinoa – The Star “Grain” of 2013 – Quinoa Salad with an Asian flair -a recipe

Varieties of Quinoa- white, red, black (not shown) and mixed.

Varieties of Quinoa- white, red, black (not shown) and mixed

Young lettuces and herbs in good company with winter pansies!

Young lettuces and herbs in good company with winter pansies!

Quinoa, commonly thought of as a grain is in fact a seed like substance that grows on a leafy green vegetable, rather like spinach and swiss chard. Although cultivated some 3,000 years ago by the Andean race in South America, it has recently been proclaimed as a “Superfood” and this year has reached fame as the United Nation’s star  featured for 2013 “YEAR OF QUINOA”.

This has delighted me, as for many years I have been expounding Her virtues and encouraging  cooking class enthusiasts to enjoy the light, fluffy slightly nutty flavour and the myriad of health benefits that She brings to our body.

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Here is cooked Quinoa.  I have used 1/2 of the white variety and 1/2 of the red.

To the Incas Quinoa was considered a sacred food.  They called it “The Gold of the Incas” and recognised it as valuable in increasing the stamina of their warriors.

They were right!  Today, it has been shown that not only is it high in protein , the protein it supplies is a “Complete Protein”meaning that it includes all 9 essential amino acids, and all are well balanced. It is especially rich with the amino acid “Lysine” vital for tissue repair and growth.

This “Star” also has many other health building nutrients, including manganese, magnesium, iron, copper, phosphorus, vitamins C and B. Considered most beneficial for those suffering migraine headaches, diabetes and atherosclerosis.

Along with all these benefits, Quinoa is a good source of dietary fibre and calcium. It is gluten free, easy to digest and helpful for Vegans and those who are lactose intolerant.

So, it is little wonder that this excellent small, yet powerful seed has taken the world’s attention and been proclaimed by the United Nation as it’s star- making 2013 “The Year Of Quinoa”.

I hope you will enjoy this scrumptious high nutrient dense Quinoa salad, a perfect repairing and restoring dish!

QUINOA SALAD with an ASIAN FLAIR – A Recipe

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wonderful refreshing salad rich in protein, vitamin and minerals.

To cook the Quinoa:    1 cup quinoa (organic is best)
2 cups best quality water

Wash the quinoa three times. Drain, cover with the water, bring to the boil. Next cover with a lid, reduce heat to lowest setting and cook for another 12 minutes. It should be light and fluffy. Set aside until it cools  to warm. Now ready to make the salad.

  • ½ organic carrot julienned
  • 1 cup frozen soya beans lightly blanched
  • 1 cup diced snow peas
  • 1 Tbs celery tops
  • 2-3 small red radishes julienned
  • ½ small red capsicum finely julienned
  • 3  finely julienned  spring onions
  • 2 handfuls mint leaves torn into small pieces (variation coriander leaves can replace mint)
  • ½ red onion  finely diced
  • ½ cup dry roasted  peanuts
  • 3 tsp toasted sesame seeds

For the Dressing:

  • 1 Tbs toasted sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1 ½ limes juiced
  • 1 tsp wheat free Tamari
  • 2 tsp raw honey
  • 1 Tbs brown rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp very finely chopped green chili

Into a beautiful bowl place the Quinoa and all the vegetables leaving the peanuts aside till the end. In a separate small bowl mix all of the dressing ingredients except the honey. Make sure the honey is a raw variety, put it into a small cup and stand the cup in very hot water for a few seconds to loosen the honey. Make sure that the water does not contact the honey directly.  When the honey has melted a little add to the dressing and then drizzle over the salad. Now add the peanuts and lightly stir through. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds  and if desired garnish With some more mint leaves (or coriander if these have been used instead of mint). Scrumptious satisfying any time of the year!

Exquisite Orchid!
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“Orchids” Poem by Shi Tao (c 1642-1707)

Words from a sympathetic heart,
are as fragrant as Orchids;
Like orchids in feeling,
They are agreeable and always joyous;
You should wear these orchids
To protect yourself from the spring chill;
When the spring winds are cold,
Who can say you are safe?

Reference for this poem. Wen Fong (1976) “Returning Home” – New York , NY, USA: George Braziller.  Translation is due to Wen Fong.

Upcoming Alkaline Ayurveda cooking classes scheduled for Adelaide

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Lotuses & Green Smoothie a day helps us Alkalise hooray! Green Smoothies: a recipe.

Ah, late Summer and one can still catch a longed for glimpse of the serene Lotuses gently swaying in the cool of an early morning breeze!  A dear friend, Ganga, and I  paid homage to them one early Saturday morning, in their pond home in the Adelaide Botanical gardens.  We sat silently,  enjoying communion with them and each other, and gratefully acknowledged our good fortune at being there with such beauty.

I have included a lovely poem by Thich Nhat Hanh…..”Padmapani” at the end of this post in honour of them.

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Raw Green Smoothies for Health.

Recently I came across on Facebook a young , commited inspirational couple
Sheleana & Caleb- Co-Visionaries, Founders of Young and Raw and their invitation to join a 30 day Green Smoothie Challenge group.  Well how supportive, educational and wonderful have their daily recipes been. I recommend you refer to their website and try either this challenge or at least some of their green smoothie recipes! It will be well worth your while and your health will greatly benefit! I have included some of their recipes that got me started on this 30 day challenge.
Their web site is info@youngandraw.com.  Well done Sheleana & Caleb and thank you for your caring effort to heal us and our planet!

Raw Green Smoothie: A Recipe
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This was a recipe for day 2 of the challenge! They named this-
Raspberry Kale Booster Smoothie

1 rib of Celery
1 frozen Banana
1/2 cup of Raspberries or Blueberries
1 handfull of Kale
1 cup of water or Coconut water

I substituted Spinach for Kale as I had no Kale on hand, and used Blueberries and fresh Coconut water.I also added 1 tablespoon of Chia seeds to meet my daily requirement for Omega 3 s and 6 s.  As I am a vegetarian daily Chia seeds,  golden flaxseeds or Hemp seeds (1-2 tablespoons ) are essential.  Soak these seeds overnight or grind then first in the blender before you add all the other ingredients.
Blend all ingredients adding more water or Coconut water for your preferred consistency. Drink and enjoy your newfound energy source!

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Green (although it looks purple because of the Blueberries) Smoothie

Raw Green Smoothie: A Recipe

Another of the smoothie recipes was from day 6 they called this one-


Creamy Tropical Cleanse Smoothie

IMG_2674I loved this one! Felt ready to take on the world after it’s smooth deliciousness!

1 cup frozen or fresh Pineapple (I used fresh ingredients as much as possible)
1/4 Avocado ( make sure this is not mushy rather green and ready to eat)
2 mm (or 1 inch) piece of fresh Ginger
2 handfuls of Greens of your choice ( like using a mixture of fresh parsley,            spinach and kale leaves)
1-2 cups Coconut water or water
1 tablespoon Chia seeds

Skin ginger, avacado and pineapple.  Blend the Chia seeds first, then add all other ingredients.  Blend until smooth.  Enjoy!

Do check out the Young and Raw site.  So many wonderful Raw Green Smoothie recipes  and health tips!  info@youngandraw.com.  Thanks again Sheleana & Caleb you are an inspiration!  I am enjoying my 30 day Green Smoothie Challenge!

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In praise of the beautiful and mystical Lotus Flower!

“Padmapani ”       by Thich Nhat Hanh    1976

“Flowers in the sky.
Flowers on earth.
Lotuses bloom as Buddha’s eyelids.
Lotuses bloom in man’s heart.
Holding gracefully a lotus in his hand,
the bodhisattva brings forth a universe of art.
In the meadows of the sky, stars have sprung up.
The smiling, fresh moon is already up.
The jade-coloured trunk of a coconut tree
reaches across the late night sky.

My mind, travelling in utmost emptiness,
Catches suchness on its way home.”

My Summer: pots of colour,vegetable juices, salads and Sambar: a recipe

Every day pots of colour greet me at my back door!

Every day pots of colour greet me at my back door!  Summer is certainly sweet and my regime to healthfully Alkalise is 4 large glasses of Vegetable juice a day, first thing in the morning, one mid morning, one mid afternoon and one either before dinner or at supper time.   I thought I would hate this, 4 per day, however I am really beginning to enjoy the process.  Also, it keeps me  away for all those tempting treats and I am loving eating lighter.
For breakfast it’s just a couple of wonderful summer fruits, lunch a delicious salad with a variety of vegetables and for dinner something light and substantial.  I am trying my hand at, and enjoying a Sambal, with steamed vegetables and a fruity chutney.  I have discovered a quick answer to the chapati to compliment the soupy Sambar is a Mountain bread wrap made crisp by tossing  onto a hot skillet with a light brushing of ghee or sunflower oil and crisping it on both sides!  A half of sliced mango undressed to the side as a quick substitute to a fresh chutney.  All Wonderful!

The Vegetable Juice

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consists of:

3 sticks of celery (heads included)
1/2 cucumber
1/2 beetroot (or 1 small)
2 carrots
1/2 good sized apple
1 round of pineapple
1 smallish slice watermelon
a small piece of fresh ginger

Use all organic vegetables and fruits if possible. Juice and drink!

The Salad

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Mix a wide variety of vegetables with your favourite lettuce greens.
Here I have cos lettuce, rocket, a fresh raw corn (cobs only), radishes, cherry tomatoes, cucumber,celery, some freshly roasted capsicums, red onion, avocado and generous lashings of whole parsley leaves.  Dressed with celtic sea salt, a drizzle of cold pressed organic olive oil and lime juice.

The Sambar: a recipe

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I have been exploring Sambal a wonderful soupy, slightly spicy soupy dish that is traditionally eaten alongside dosa, or marsala dosa  with coconut chutney.
A dear friend of mine Miranda has just returned from India where she stayed at the Shreyas Retreat in Nelamangala Bangalore, for a restful week of yoga, ayurvadic massage and treatments.  The food of course reflected the peace, charm and gentle healing of this lovely retreat.

This Sambal is inspired by that retreat with a little change here and there. It is a great alkaline dish especially if you soak the mung beans for an hour or 2.

ingredients: 1/2 cup mung dahl washed 3 -5 times and allow to soak if desired.
1 cup of mixed vegetables chopped ( I used beans, radish,onion,
pumpkin)
1/2 teaspoon  turmeric
6 cups of best quality water
1/2- 3/4 cup finely diced onion
15 curry leaves (fresh if possible
2 mild red chillies finely chopped
2 teaspoons of tamarind paste
1/2 teaspoon of black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon sunflower oil (or ghee)
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
a generous pinch of each of the following spices-
cumin powder, asofetida and fenugreek powder
1/2 cup tomatoes chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

If you have the Dahl lentils soaking, drain.  In a saucepan place Dahl together with the vegetables, , 5 of the curry leaves, turmeric and water.   Cook over a medium flame until the lentils are soft.
Now, heat the oil (or ghee) in a pan along with the mustard seeds.  When they begin to dance add the remaining curry leaves, red chillies and onion.  Saute’ for a few minutes.  Add the asofetida,coriander, cumin and fenugreek and tamarind paste.   Add tomatoes,  stir well for a minute or two.  Finally to the soupy cooked lentils and vegetables add ingredients from the pan. Stir well. Salt and pepper to taste and allow to cook for another  10 minutes or so on a simmer. Serve and enjoy!

 Hibiscus      by Mary Das

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Hibiscus the flower of pride
In colour you said it right
Bright and beautiful to the eyes
In dignity you stood up right
Smiling and swaying nation wide
Calling all in peace to unite
Unique flower in petals of five
Symbol of Malaysia nation wide.