Tamarind and Chick Peas

ūüé∂¬† THREE’S¬† THE¬† CHARM¬† ūüé∂ ¬†
(1) TAMARIND (2) SPINACH (3) CHICK PEAS
I had this dish years ago, without all the spices and was not impressed.¬† The spices in this recipe enhance the key flavour of¬† the tamarind.¬† Surprisingly, the 3 jalape√Īo peppers are not hot in this dish.¬† An EASY 30 MINUTE meal packed with protein and flavour.¬† Leftovers makes a great lunch at the office!¬† Another¬† winner!


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INGREDIENTS

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
¬Ĺ tsp nigella seeds
1¬Ĺ tsp fennel seeds¬† ( or¬† anise seeds)
1 medium onion ( chopped )
400 g can chopped tomatoes
3 green jalae√Īo peppers, seeded and cut into quarter lengths
2-3 tsp monk fruit sweetener ( or stevia, truvia, etc. )
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp turmeric
410 g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp tamarind paste ( adjust to taste )
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
half a 250g/9oz bag of organic baby spinach leaves
Serving suggestion:  natural yogurt and chapatis

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Fry the nigella and fennel seeds for about 10 second. Add the onion and cook gently for 8-10 minutes until golden.

2. Mix in the tomatoes,¬† jalape√Īos,¬† sweetener ( Monk fruit ), paprika, turmeric and chickpeas. Bring to a boil,¬† then simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Stir in the tamarind and coriander. Add the spinach leaves and stir gently until they’ve just wilted. You can serve as a main course with yogurt and chapatis or as a side dish.

Tamarind paste

Tamarind Paste

Tamarind Chick Peas

Tamarind and Chick Peas

COOKING TIP:¬† Before starting to cook, do all your chopping and rinse out the chick peas. Check your spice rack to make sure you have all your spices¬† ahead of time.¬† Measure¬† your spices in small dishes, ready to add to your pan. This “mise en place”¬† technique makes cooking time much faster.

DID YOU KNOW? The recipe for WORCESTERSHIRE Sauce contains tamarind?  The one ingredient that sets Worcestershire sauce apart  is tamarind  fruit. The sweetness in this fruit  is balanced by its high content of acid, giving it that sweet-sour taste.

TAMARIND is a condiment, a spice and a fruit. Its extract, which tastes deliciously tangy, is one of the most highly valued foods in Asian and Indian cuisine. ( Origin: Africa )

TAMARIND contains an impressive amount of essential minerals such as thiamine, iron, magnesium and phosphorus. Some of its other prominent nutrients include niacin, calcium, vitamin C, copper, fiber and pyridoxine.

Tamarind treats both constipation and diarrhea naturally by increasing the effectiveness of the digestive tract.  Tamarind has long been considered a natural laxative.  It stimulates your metabolism and also keeps your digestive system strong and improves blood circulation. Good for weight loss. Boost your immune system. Also, it has anti-inflammatory properties.

Tamarind Pods and Beverage

Lentil Soup – The Joy of Goodness!

 

‘PLANT BASED PROTEIN DIET’

lentils

Beluga Black Lentils

Lentil soup is a hearty soup made with small legumes known as lentils, which are similar to beans. The soup also includes other spices and vegetables. This soup is easy to make as a vegetarian or vegan¬† -very healthy dish!¬† Although there are many different recipes for making this soup, the basics are fairly constant across recipes….except for this one!
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INGREDIENTS

  • Beluga Black lentil 1 cup rinsed (and picked)
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive oil ( or sesame oil)
  • 1 Onion large ( up to 1 cup)
  • 1 Clove garlic – large
  • 4 cups water ( or stock)
  • 10-15 green pods of cardamom
  • 1 tea spoon cumin seeds
  • Ginger root 1 x 2 inches peeled chopped –¬† or grated
  • 1 carrot peeled & chopped
  • 1/8 tsp. Cayenne pepper .
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  • In a frying pan with 2 inch sides (or dutch oven)
  • Add Oil
  • Add chopped onions (cook until translucent)¬† followed by 1 clove of chopped garlic
  • Add cumin* (fresh ground)
  • Add cardamon* (fresh ground seeds)
  • Add Cayenne pepper 1/8 tsp.
  • Add beluga black lentils
  • Add 4 cups of water, mix well
  • Bring to a boil then cover over medium heat, cook until lentils are cooked but not mush. About 20 mins
  • Add chopped ( or grated ) ginger, salt and chopped carrot. Cook for another 5-10 mins.


This is a thick soup. You may need to add a bit more water if you wish.
TIP: *Use a soft brush to get all the spice out of the mortar bowl¬† –¬† into the pot.
CARDAMOM: Cardamom pods vary in size. Loose cardamom in bulk stores may be dried out. Also, there are large and small pods. Use common sense when adding ‘fresh’ spices to your recipe.

Beluga Lentil Soup РGarnished with Avocado and a dollop of Greek  yogurt + a sprinkle of cayenne pepper (or paprika)

TIPS AND TRICKS
I always cook Beluga lentils in a separate pot for this recipe in order to save a portion for my Lentil  Butternut Squash Salad. I add 1 cup of cooked lentils to the soup ( plus the cooking water ) and the rest is capped for salads. I enjoy this salad very much with walnut oil.  Substitutes for butternut squash are acorn squash,  yams or pumpkin [ even chick peas ]. Sometimes, I make this Beluga lentil salad with  mango, red pepper and chopped sweet onions Рwith plenty of cilantro.

Beluga Lentil, Roasted Squash, Tomato and Cilantro Salad

NATIONAL LENTIL FESTIVAL
PULLMAN, WASHINGTON, USA

Pullman hosts this annual festivity every August, which recognizes the magically delicious legume and features the world’s largest bowl of lentil chili! Lentilfest.com

21st Legendary Lentil Cook-OFF:
Each spring, people send recipes from around the country. A panel of food experts evaluates the dishes and selects five finalists who are brought to the festival to prepare their dish for a panel of five celebrity judges. ( All 109 of this year’s recipes are available in a cookbook for sale for $5 at the festival and online. Hungry yet?)

LENTIL CHILI -It takes a canoe paddle to stir 350 gallons of lentil chili.

STORING LENTILS
I freeze my cooked lentils in glass jars. I find it is the safest method for preserving food. To learn more about lentils visit this site –> tasteinsight.com

INTERESTING FACTS About Beluga Black Lentil
Black lentils are called BELUGA because of their resemblance to caviar. A fun conversation at the dinner table. They have a warm, nutty flavor and keeps its shape, even during prolonged cooking. They are the most nutritious out of all the types of lentils. On the other hand, the red lentils, also called red ‚Äėsplit‚Äô lentils become a bit mushy while cooking. Similar to what you see with ‘split pea’ soup. In India, the lentil is known as dal or daal. [ The optical lens is named after the Latin word for lentil: lens. ]

LENTIL SOUP:  CURE FOR THE WINTER CHILL

Finding the balance in life – with lentils

 

Chocolate Roulade – No Flour

Lighter-Than-Air Chocolate Roll
No flour = no gluten. It is so easy to make with  just a few ingredients.  Delight your friends with this intense chocolate flavour! YUM

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 oz chocolate (semisweet or dark)
  • 5-medium eggs
  • 4 oz sugar substitute
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup of double cream
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla essence (this is an estimate, add to taste) or 1/4 tsp rum extract (should say essence and not extract) or 1/4 tsp brandy, essence add
  • icing sugar for dusting

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DIRECTIONS: – – – Line a 12 “x 8” Swiss roll tin with oiled parchment paper or brush a paper case ¬† (see below -for instructions) with¬† melted butter.- – –

  1. Preheat oven to 350¬įF and make paper case if you have not already done so in advance
  2. Melt chocolate in the water using a double boiler.
  3. Separate the eggs.
  4. When the chocolate is a thick cream, remove from heat and let cool.
  5. Meanwhile, beat yolks and add half of the sugar substitute gradually with pinch of salt until mixture is lemon coloured.
  6. With a spatula blend chocolate into egg yolk mixture. Do not beat.
  7.  Whip the egg whites until they form a firm snow.
  8. Gently cut and fold the egg whites into the mixture. If there are pieces of egg white remaining, that is fine. Pour the mixture into the prepared oiled parchment case.
  9. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until firm when touched. Do not over bake.
  10. Wet a clean cloth in cold water and wring out.
  11. Remove roulade from oven, allow to cool slightly, then cover with cloth (this will prevent any sugary crust from forming).
  12. Leave in a cool place for 12 hours or in a fridge overnight.
  13. Whip the cream with the other half of the sugar substitute and flavour to taste with the vanilla extract.
  14.  Turn the  roulade upside down and carefully remove  the parchment paper.
  15. Spread with the whipped cream. Keep the whipped cream an inch from the end to prevent overflow. You can optionally add berries to this layer.
  16. Using the towel, gradually roll up like a Swiss roll.
  17. Place on a serving dish and dust well with icing sugar and decorate with whipped cream and fruit if you wish. ( Decorate using  a pastry bag with a star tip or fill a zippered plastic bag with whipped cream and cut a hole in the corner like I did.)
  • How to make a roulade paper case:

    Roulade Case

    Swiss Roll Tin

    Swiss Roll Tin

  1. Using parchment paper or nonstick kitchen paper.
  2. It should be 8″ by 12″.¬† Pencil can be used to draw the dimensions but fold to keep the pencil marks to the outside of the case.
  3. Fold the border on all 4 sides.
  4. Use paperclips  or staple to secure the corners.
  5. Lightly brush with  melted butter or oil.
  6. Slide the case onto a baking sheet.


Dark chocolate is good for you!

If you follow the rule of eating or cooking with 70% cocoa solids – dark chocolate – then you are ahead of the game. Chocolate lovers do not have to abstain from chocolate due to its high fat and sugar content. After all dark chocolate is rich in minerals, such as iron, magnesium, and zinc. The cocoa in dark chocolate also contains antioxidants called flavonoids, which may provide several health benefits.

Christmas ‘RED’ Cabbage

WHAT IS THE SECRET OF RED CABBAGE?
A True Story:
One day, as I glanced at my book shelf,¬† I noticed an old paperback, “How I Survived A Heart Attach“.

I started leafing through the pages and noticed a recipe section in the back of the book.  It caught my interest and I read on..
Basically,¬† the patient¬† started to include cabbage salad every day with his meal, plus more raw vegetables from his garden. After 6 weeks of a daily exercise routine along with healthier food selections, he went back to see his cardiologist.¬† Initially, the cardiologist had recommended surgery. He was baffled to find that six weeks later, surgery was no longer required. The author purported that, “daily cabbage was a must have – every day”.¬† That my friend,¬† is the secret of¬† “Red Cabbage”! NOTE: By no means is this a rule…only a story of one man’s experience.

Red Cabbage is PH10 [alkaline] Green Cabbage PH6 [alkaline] (Water is PH7)

What do we¬† know about cabbage? Years ago,¬† a nutritionist told me that cabbage is ¬†The Broom That Sweeps Clean” . Words of encouragement are always good to hear.

This recipe takes 20 minutes to prepare and about 30 minutes to cook.

Apples and Prunes  ( no brown sugar)

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CHRISTMAS CABBAGE RECIPE
INGREDIENTS
2 tbsp avocado oil ( or select extra virgin olive oil,  sesame oil, walnut oil)
1-2 cloves of garlic-minced
2 -3 sprigs of rosemary – fresh
1 red cabbage – chopped
1 large or 2 medium apples -chopped (jicama, pears or 3/4 cup of dried cherries)
1 sweet onion (finely chopped)
1 inch piece ginger ~ peeled and grated
2-3 tsp. of butter
5-8 prunes
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
A pinch of  salt and fresh ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat the oil and 1 tsp of butter in a large heavy-based fry pan.  Add the rosemary by taking the soft needles off the stem. The rosemary will change colour to a dark green and get crispy.  Add minced garlic and stir. Remove the rosemary and garlic with a slotted spoon. Add chopped onion and fry until slightly translucent. They will disappear while cooking. Then, add roughly chopped prunes and grated ginger to the oil/butter mixture, followed by the chopped cabbage, chopped apples and the balsamic vinegar. Then, add a good pinch of salt and pepper.

2. Bring to a boil while stirring. Then, turn down the heat and cover for 25-30 minutes. Stir regularly, about every 5 minutes. When done, remove the lid to reduce the remaining liquid. Make sure the liquid has reduced and the cabbage is cooked well.  Add 2 tsp of butter  (optional). Stir the cabbage mixture.  Do a taste test.  Sprinkle crispy rosemary on top of the dish.
Serve hot.
Optional: Mix in a sprinkle of nutritional yeast, chia seeds, black sesame seeds or protein powder at the end of the cooking process, before adding  crisp rosemary.

CHRISTMAS RED CABBAGE 

Crispy Rosemary Makes An Impression on your Taste Buds

GUT HEALTH
Lately, we are¬† hearing a lot about¬† “Belly Be Well”.¬† Red Cabbage is a major component in not only ‘GUT HEALTH’ but your brain and nervous system.


IMPROVE YOUR FOCUS
Are you struggling to keep your brain on task? The red pigment in red cabbage called anthocyanins produces the focus enhancing acetyicholine. Your focus and concentration will improve as much as 32% in 10 days when you enjoy 1/4 cup of crunchy ‘red’ cabbage DAILY .¬† Our gut¬† is like a second brain. So, when it‚Äôs off balance, it can seriously affect your mood, digestion, and energy.

SUPER FOOD
“Cabbage
is a disease-fighting, gut healing SUPER FOOD: COMBATS CHRONIC DISEASE:¬† Degenerative or chronic disorders ‚ÄĒ such as Alzheimer‚Äôs disease, ALS, Huntington‚Äôs disease and Parkinson‚Äôs disease, among others ‚ÄĒ affect more than 45 million people worldwide and often strike older adults characterized by progressive deterioration of nerve cells, eventually leading to cell death” …. published by¬† consciouslifenews.com

FREEZER FRIENDLY: Up to 3 months in your freezer.
Stay Well:. Take some quiet time for yourself this holiday season and reflect on your happy memories.  Have a wonderful life.  Eat smart!


The Hottest ‘New’ Turkey Soup

TURKEY  SOUP ~ ASIAN STYLE
This Asian-inspired soup is so delicious for your Thanksgiving leftovers.  A hearty soup that is  bursting with flavour and coconut creamy.  Perfect for a quick dinner.

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced portobello mushrooms or shitake mushrooms
  • 1 cup of sliced carrots (about 1 large or 2 small)
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon minced lemongrass or puree
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound of cubed turkey (or chicken)
  • 1 quart (4 cups) turkey or chicken broth
  • 1 ~ 5 1/2 oz. can regular (not light) coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce or reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 0.25 pounds (4 oz.) udon noodles, thick spaghetti or kamut noodles

Lime wedges for serving (optional)
Cilantro for serving (optional)
ūüĆ∂ÔłŹ ūüĆ∂ÔłŹ Hot chili peppers – to taste (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat the olive oil in a 3 to 4 quart sauce pan or dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in the mushrooms and cook for 3 to 4 minutes just until the mushrooms begin to brown.
  2. Add the carrots, curry paste, lemongrass, ginger, garlic and stir together. Add the cubed turkey (add chili peppers  here  -optional) and cook, stirring occasionally for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Stir in the chicken broth, coconut milk and fish sauce or soy sauce and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 5 minutes and then add the noodles and cook for 5-7 minutes more, until the noodles are tender. Add the frozen or fresh peas. They will heat up sufficiently to serve without turning brown or overcooking.
  4. Divide between 4 bowls. Serve with lime wedges and cilantro leaves for garnish.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.


FOOD TIP
The best turkey stock  from your Thanksgiving turkey will blow away the winter chill. Make this stock yourself with veggies, onions and end of season garden herbs right after you finish your Thanksgiving dinner. Throw the turkey carcass right into a pot of boiling water.  You will guard yourself from those sniffles and colds with home made turkey soup.

What a perfect way to keep healthy. Turkey and chicken soup have the same benefits.  A proven anti-inflammatory effect, causing a reduction of chest congestion! Plus, with turkey soup, you have the added benefit of triptophan to help calm and sooth; providing the perfect relief for the day when you need the warmth and comfort only hot soup can provide.

. . . MY FIRST COLD OF THE WINTER SEASON

YESTERDAY MORNING, I woke up with a scratchy throat and a slight cough. Visions of chicken soup danced in my head. Off to the market I go! I needed more stock. Grain fed organic chicken bones with no added hormones and a local fowl would be my soup base.  After I made my stock, I had a hot cup of clear broth before going to bed and a big bowl of spicy curry turkey  soup for lunch the next day, with all the goodness of garlic, ginger,  carrots and more.   I was already feeling better!

This is the chilly season and that spells S-O-U-P!

How nice of Arthur to send pictures of his¬† ‘HOT’ Turkey Soup! (makes enough for two more lunches¬† – for a single guy)