Archive for the ‘Eating’ Category

Scarborough sardines

It was a hot Sunday and everyone’s heads needed a cold dunk in the Atlantic Ocean to revive from the night before. We ambled towards the sea and threw ourselves into the water.

We then noticed that there were large numbers of seals jumping in the water, and noticed the big ball of sardines just knee deep in the water.  The sardine run.

The boys fetched a net and just one throw filled a big bucket with the shiny blue fish. Soon we were covered to our elbows in sardine scales, as we sat in the shade of the garden, scaling and gutting the fish.  I’ve always said that I agree with eating meat straight from the source whether it’s a chicken you raised, or a rabbit, or fish, but haven’t actually been the one to ever do the dirty work. I hate blood and guts – I still have scar tissue from when I dramatically feinted face down on the school desk during dissections – but I didn’t think too much and it was actually quite easy.

Then I went inside to trawl the food blogs to find out what to do with our fish.  The general consensus was that sardines have to be fresh and eaten immediately.

We decided to simply roll the fish in flour and salt and fry them in the pan. They barely took a minute and we ate them hot out the pan, crispy and delicious.

We also filled big casserole dishes with fried fish and covered them in a marinade of onion, garlic, origanum, cinnamon, wine, vinegar and pepper so they’d last into the next days.

We took more to a braai that evening and cooked the fish over the fire with just olive oil, salt and lemon juice.

We now have had Omega 3 in absolute abundance and I am all the more convinced I want to live off the land. Magic happens when food moves straight from the land/ocean to our plates. (Well, the fish barely touched plates, we scoffed them right out the pan!)

The next day, in my opinion, they had lost the fresh-out-the-ocean magic. They were now just, well, fish. I decided to make seed, potato and fish patties with green thai sauce.

Fish cakes and thai green curry

 

  1. Start with the laborious de-boning process. 
  2. Blend sunflower seeds into a flour.  Put in a big bowl.
  3. Put onion, chilli and garlic into the blender.  Add that to the bowl too.
  4. Grate a potato and add. 
  5. Blend the fish and add to the bowl. 
  6. Roll into balls and roll those in flax seeds.
  7. Fry in coconut oil. 
  8. In a separate pan, cook green pepper and baby marrow with yoghurt, teriyaki sauce and green thai paste. 
  9. Pour the sauce over the fish cakes. 

 

 

Advertisements

Make your own vegan or vegetarian burger patties

I’m vegetarian but I don’t eat those boxes of frozen “Veggie Burgers”. Or the “Vegetarian Chicken morsels”. Or McDonalds chips.

Since I am vegetarian for environmental reasons as opposed to animal rights reasons, substituting meat for processed, packaged, frozen patties makes little sense to me. Additionally, I am unconvinced of their nutritional value. I believe in eating good nutritious food that gives my body the goodness it needs so that I don’t crave packets of chips and chocolates and quick-fix nutrition that needs so much energy to process and package and market. ‘Eat better, eat less, share the world’s resources more fairly’ kinda thing.

With that said, I bring to you a veggie burger that I WILL eat! I have listed substitutions that you can make to cater for vegan/other preferences. You can also use this recipe to make “Meatballs” which are great for when I don’t want a burger on a roll (or for the gluten free guys).

Vegetarian Burgers (Vegetarian/Vegan)

  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • crushed garlic
  • 2 eggs (substitute with 2.5 tbsp ground flax seed mixed with 1/2 cup warm water)
  • 1 cup chickpea flour (or other flour)
  • 1.5 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup grated carrot or butternut
  • 1 cup red kidney beans or sprouted lentils (or half and half)
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley (or other herb of your choice)
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup chopped pumpkin seeds
  • tbsp olive oil
  • tbsp soy sauce
  • chili as you like it
  • tsp cumin
  • tsp oreganum
  • salt and pepper

Toppings: Roasted tomatoes, guacamole

  1. Blend the beans/lentils, seeds, grated carrot and herbs together.
  2. Stir everything together in a bowl.
  3. Roll into balls. I don’t make these too big so that they have a nice consistency.
  4. Roll in bread crumbs.
  5. Put into a pan on low-medium heat and press flat with a fork.
  6. Cook slowly with the lid on and flip over once golden.

**Credit goes to Angela at http://www.ohsheglows.com for the inspiration

Dark Chocolate Truffles

These shut-your-eyes dark chocolate truffles are smooth and decadent and wonderfully chocolatey.

Truffles and tea after dinner

Shut- your- eyes Dark Chocolate Truffles *vegan, gluten-free, raw

  • 50g raw cacao paste
  • 350g dried dates, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
  • 12 finely chopped almonds + extra for inside the truffles
  • a little salt
  • Finely chopped chili *optional

Prep: I like to soak the almonds overnight and take the shells off for better digestion

  1. Chop the dates. For raw people – cover with warm water and wait patiently til soft. For the impatient – cover with water and microwave for 45 seconds.
  2. Melt the cacao on a double boiler.
  3. Spoon the dates into the mixing bowl, leaving most the water behind and add everything else.
  4. Use a handheld blender to blend to a smooth paste. I found that when making small quantities the handheld blender in a small bowl was better than my big blender.
  5. Roll into little balls and push an almond into the middle of each.
  6. Leave in the fridge for a couple of hours to solidify.

The Here and Now Sauce

This is a sauce so tasty it pulls you into the here and now so you have little ability to be anything but fully present.

This phenomenon reminded me of a beautiful habit once taught to me about being present when enjoying food:

Silently and thoughtfully select a bite of food in your fingers, using only your sight to experience the food. As you place the bite into your mouth, shut your eyes and experience it with only your taste.

I think I should do this for at least two bites of each meal…

The Here and Now Sauce

  • juice of one juicy orange
  • 100ml coconut milk
  • large tbsp honey
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • pinch of cinnamon

You can drizzle this over roasted veg, toss it into fresh salads or even pour it over peaches for dessert.

To the beautiful moments in the here and now.

Not-quite-falafels

These are damn tasty little creations!

Not-quite-falafels *vegetarian

Makes enough for 2

  • 1 cup sprouted lentils (or a can of red kidney beans)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot (or grated butternut)
  • tsp olive oil
  • tsp soy sauce
  • chili
  • organic stock powder
  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs + extra for dusting
  • 2 tbsp sunflower seeds

Prep: Cover the lentils in water and soak overnight. Rinse the next morning and allow to stand in a colander. Shake and rinse every 6 hours or so for a day or two until they just start to sprout.

  1. Put 1/2 a cup of lentils and the next 6 ingredients into a bowl and blend well with a hand-held blender until it makes a smooth paste.
  2. Mix in the flour, breadcrumbs, seeds and a few extra whole lentils.
  3. Heat olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Roll the mixture into little balls (2cm in diameter), dip them in some breadcrumbs and pop them in the pan. I discovered it works best to press them with a fork so they are a little flatter and will cook more evenly. Cover with a lid. Turn every few minutes so they cook through. Have patience so they cook all the way through and aren’t mushy in the middle.
  4. Remove the balls from the pan once cooked well. They should be crispy on the outside and cooked all the way through.

You can put these in any kind of sauce.

Butternut and Tomato:

  • 1 tomato, finely chopped
  • 1,5 cups grated butternut
  • curry powder *optional*
  1. Put the chopped tomato, grated butternut and 3/4 cup of water in the pan. Cook til soft, then mash roughly til a bit smoother. Add curry and chili if you fancy **
  2. Add the balls back in and the last few lentils. Serve nice and hot.

Gemsquash and Carrot:

  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 3 gemsquash, halved with seeds removed
  • Feta and toasted sunflower seeds for on top *optional*
  1. Boil the gems and remove from skins.
  2. Stir the gems and carrot together. Add in falafels and top with toasted sunflower seeds and some feta if you like.

Cold summery curry

Read the recipe for this delicious, cold, summer salad.

Before being cooked – Don’t make them too big otherwise they won’t cook through

Killer breakfasts

So if you’re thinking of starting eating more raw foods, or trying out the superfoods, in my opinion, breakfast is a good place to start. You’re at home, so there’s no excuse and starting the day with loads of nutrition will stop you craving rubbish later in the day.

With this list of all types of breakfast surely something appeals… Like it sweet, like it savoury, like it fast, like it slow – it’s here!

The Power- packed Porridge *raw, vegan, gluten-free

All Bran has the nutrients of cardboard. And Special K is glorified All Bran. Packaged, processed, preserved. Good marketing, empty calories. Get some nutrients for your calories with a suuuper-powered chia porridge.

The Smoothie *raw, vegan, gluten-free

Smoothies have their pro’s and con’s. If you want a quick drink with lots of oompf – great. If you like lots of snacks, maybe save some of your fruits as mid-morning snacks and after- meal deserts and watch the size of the smoothie. A little goes a long way. Try this nice fruity superfood smoothie.

The Perfect Parfait *raw, vegan, gluten-free

Parfait is French for perfect but what we call parfait is far from what the French imagine it. But oh well, I’m going to take it to even further extremes since my parfait doesn’t have either the yoghurt or granola that it “should’. This is a nice summery breakfast that is a vegan, gluten-free take on the good old muesli and yoghurt.

Makin’ Banana Pancakes

These chickpea flour banana pancakes are just as good for rainy mornings indoors as sunny mornings outside… Try these with fresh fruit and hell, maybe make the chocolate almond sauce too.

The Poached Egg

Super- quick protein to start the day – without making a pan all dirty or adding oil.

  1. Put a little water into a mug, swirl it around and tip it back out. Strange but necessary.
  2. Crack an egg in and pierce the yolk with a pin.
  3. Pop into the microwave, stopping to swirl it a bit every few seconds until cooked.

Call me strange, but I like this on toast with tomato and chutney and some rocket if there is. Throw some sprouts on if you have!

Avo on ‘toast’ *Vegan, gluten-free

If you have some left over farinata, pop it into the toaster until it’s crisp again. Gluten-free, super-powered ‘toast’ to pop lots of avo on.

Vegan omelette *vegan, gluten-free

— Recipe coming soon —

Prima colazione to go *raw, vegan, gluten-free

When I first saw the Italians approach breakfast I was slightly horrified. Whilst I concocted a vast bowl of chopped fruit, plain yoghurt and muesli, my Italian friend would sit opposite me (having arrived 10minutes after me for breakfast) and gulp down a sweet pastry before hurling hot coffee down his throat and running on his way before I even got half way through my meal.

It took me a few years, but now the thing I miss most about Italy is heading to a bar in the morning, picking out my sweet, jam-filled brioche, taking the first few bites while the barista gets my cappuchino perfect and maybe have a glance at the headlines in the paper lying on the bar. After a few nice words with the guy who made that beautiful coffee, I’m out the door and ready for the day.

But sadly I can in no way argue that this makes a nutritious start. If you are one of the breakfast-on-the-go types, I have three suggestions:

  1. Raw Cacao Seed Florentines – read: chocolate heaven in a biscuit form that happens to be GOOD for you! This portable breakfast is a million times more nutritious than a breakfast bar (and of course not packaged, processed and preserved) and you can munch it on the go.
  2. Tryyy substitute a natural caffeine-free tea for coffee. I must however admit that this is still an AIM for me, and not a habit. I’m in a clingy relationship with my Bialetti.
  3. Take your own mug with you.

The Traditional Breakfast

This will be a tribute to a favourite tradition of mine, shared with especially awesome people. These breakfasts are for special occasions and are one of my favourite indulgences. My favourite people, around a table filled to capacity with good food (bought the day before in preparation) recounting great moments from the jam the previous night.

Fresh bread, eggs, avo, mushrooms, tomatoes, slices of fruit, good coffee, fresh fruit juice…

As Epicuris put it: “To eat and drink without a friend is to devour like the lion and the wolf“.

Raw Dark Chocolate Florentines

This is a snacking revelation for all the snacky chocolate loving ones of you out there!

These florentines are so incredibly packed with nutrients and goodness and devoid of bad things, yet still delicious.

They are predominantly sprouted buckwheat which is a whole protein. You can pop in some green wheatgrass powder which is pure nutrients and even some spirulina, which is also good protein source. They taste good (read: sweet and chocolatey) due to raw cacao, raw honey and raisins – and raw cacao incidently is a powerful anti-depressant, appetite suppressant and antioxidant.

So now instead of a sweet pastry and coffee (my much loved Italian morning routine) I can substitute one of these beauties and some good rooibos tea. Much healthier!

Sunflower seeds, Sultanas, Sprouted Buckwheat, Raw Cacao Paste, Raw Cacao Butter, Vanilla Powder

Raw Dark Chocolate Florentines

  • Cacao paste
  • Cacao butter (use double the paste as butter ie. 50g paste for 25g butter – this made 4 large florentines about 10cm in diameter)
  • Raw honey
  • Buckwheat seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Raisins/sultanas
  • Wheatgrass powder
  • Spirulina
  • Salt
  • Vanilla

* The relative quantities are up to you. Raisins are nice and sweet but also sugary, so decide according to your diet needs.

** Wheatgrass and spirulina are optional – use as much or as little as you like. They are strong flavours so go easily.

  1. Soak the buckwheat for at least 4 hours. Rinse really well (it will have become quite gelatinous). Spread it on a baking tray and dry it in the oven at the lowest temperature.
  2. Using a double boiler, melt the raw cacao butter and paste.
  3. Once melted, stir in the honey to be as sweet as you like.
  4. Add all the other ingredients.
  5. Spoon onto a baking tray covered in baking paper. Shape into round disks about 1cm high. Pop in the fridge and wait for them to solidify.

Then you can get creative with variations!  Add some fresh ginger, or orange zest, or almonds, or mint…