Tag Archives: gozo

Vegetarian Yoga Retreat Recipes. Nadisunshine goes Gozo.

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Nadisunshine goes Michelle Bartolo Yoga Retreat

Nadisunshine goes Michelle Bartolo Yoga Retreat

Before we all dive into the yearly xmas craziness it’s time to share some of the recipes I cooked at Michelle Bartolo’s yoga retreat in Gozo earlier this month. Whenever you feel like you’ve overindulged, which happens to most of us at this time of the year, take a day or two (or three ;)) in between to balance it out again and get rid of all the acidity and toxins in your bodies. Keep it really light, avoid all processed sugars, dairy, alcohol and caffeine and stack up on veggies, fruits and grains. Start your day with warm lemon water, prepare yourself some healthy meals, drink lots of teas or water, do some yoga and mediation in the morning and/or evening and give your body and soul a little axtra love and time to recover.

Thanks again to my friend Michelle for giving me the opportunity to bring my cooking to you lovely yogis and yoginis! It was a pleasure to meet you and cook for you all :) If you’re interested in one of Michelle’s retreats, check out her website or Facebook page. I’ve been to many of her retreats in Gozo and can’t recommend this gift to yourself enough.

But now let’s get started with some of the healthy recipes of our yoga weekend.

Basil Booster - Nadisunshine goes Michelle Bartolo Yoga Retreat

Boosting Basil Smoothie
(serves 2-3)

What you need….

1 apple
1 orange
2 hands full of fresh basil
1 TS of maca powder
1 TS of spirulina or wheatgrass
500ml of water (or coconut water)
A tiny bit of coconut oil

Optional: if you like to give it some extra protein add some hemp or pea protein powder

Wash the apple and basil, peel the orange. Start filling the blender with the softer ingredients and then add the harder ones on top, like this it blends easier. Top up with water, add the rest and blend until smooth. 

More smoothie inspirations you can also find in my blog post Soulful Smoothies

 Morning muesli mix - Nadisunshine goes Michelle Bartolo Yoga Retreat

Morning muesli mix with with pomegranates & oranges

Making your own muesli mix is not only a healthy breakfast option but also very convenient in daily life. Get a big jar and prepare the mix once, it will last you for several weeks and you always have it handy in the morning :)

What you need….
(amounts depending on the size of your box, play with it!)

Oats (about 50% of the box, that’s the base)
Chia seeds
Whole almonds
Flax seeds
Sunflower seeds
Pumpkin seeds
Goji berries
Dried cranberries, mulberries, apple etc. (whatever you have and like)

Possible superfood additions
Cacao nibs
Maca powder
Baobab powder
Bee pollen

Possible toppings:
Cinnamon
Coconut flakes
Raw cacao powder

To prepare it:
A tiny bit of oil (I use cold pressed flax seed oil cause of the great amounts of omega 3)
Fresh fruit (I mostly try to go for local and seasonal)
Hot water or dairy free milk

What to do…

Mix all ingredients in a big box or jar (apart from the toppings). When you want to have breakfast, take out 3 table spoons per person in a little bowl (seems little but soaks up nicely), top it up with hot water or dairy free milk, let it stand for a bit (10min minimum, no maximum) and finally add some fruit, a drizzle of oil and toppings of your choice.

As I said, play with the mix – you can add or skip ingredients and see what you like best. Only the oats and chia seeds I wouldn’t skip as they are the base for a nicely soaked up muesli. Enjoy and have some great energetic mornings!

This recipe with some extra info you can also find in my blog post Our special morning muesli mix 

Nadisunshine's choco chia seed pudding

Nadisunshine’s choco chia seed pudding

Glutenfree choco chia pudding
(1 portion)

What you need…
1 empty jar (e.g. from jam, about 200ml)
2 table spoons of chia seeds (black, white or mixed, they all work fine)
Daily free milk like coconut or almond
1 small handful of goji berries (also other dried fruit works fine)
Some drops of organic vanilla essence (you can also play with different essences like
Orange blossom water or rose water another time :)
1 tea spoon of desiccated coconut
1 tea spoon of raw cacao
A tiny bit of your favorite natural sweetener like raw honey, agave sirup or maple sirup
Pear (or any other fruit you like) & cacao nibs as a topping

What to do..
Use any old jar with a lid. Mix the chia seeds with the milk and add all other ingredients apart from the pear. Close the lid tight, shake it well and let it rest for at least 60min. Shake it a couple of times in between to avoid clumping. If you find a clump, loosen it with a spoon/fork. After 30min you can already see how the seeds swell. The pudding gets thicker and thicker over time. I normally even put it in the fridge overnight so I have it ready for bfast.

As a result you’ll get a creamy pudding which can now be served in any kind of way. I warmed it up for you in the morning which is nice and comforting, especially in fall and winter. Garnish with pear and sprinkle with cacao nibs and enjoy your probably healthiest pudding ever! 

Chia pudding can also be a yummy desert or snack at any time of the day. Some more info and a different chia pudding recipe you can also find in this blog post

Curry & Coconut Butternut Squash Soup - Nadisunshine goes Michelle Bartolo Yoga Retreat

Butternut squash coconut curry soup
(2-3 portions)

What you need…
1 butternut squash
1 can of coconut milk (thick)
Curry
Tumeric
Cumin
Some ginger
A tiny bit of cayenne pepper (careful, it’s super hot!)
Yeast free vegetable stock
Best quality salt (I prefer pink Himalayan salt)
1 table spoon of coconut oil

For the topping:
Mixed seeds (flax, sesame, pumpkin)
Coconut oil
Quarter of a lemon
Tamari Sauce (the healthier alternative to soy sauce)

What to do..
Peel pumpkin, remove the seeds and chop up roughly. Melt the coconut oil in a pot and start roasting the pumpkin. Top up with stock, coconut milk and add all spices. Let it simmer on medium heat for about 20min (or until soft). Switch off the heat and puree directly in the pot with your hand-held blender. If it’s too thick add a bit more stock. Season to taste with salt.

For the topping heat up a small frying pan on medium heat and start roasting the seeds with a tiny bit of coconut oil. After a little while squeeze the lemon and add tamarin but just enough so it’s soaked up. You don’t want it too liquid. Turn off the heat and sprinkle on the soup.

Additionally you can also roast some butternut squash slices in the oven and use them as a topping for your soup or on a nice side salad. I always love a bowl of greens with my soup. Just coat squash with a bit of coconut oil, sprinkle with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt and roast it for about 20min at 190°Celsius.

More soup recipes you can find here…

Nadisunshine goes Michelle Bartolo Yoga Retreat

If you wish any other recipes of our weekend retreat, just let me know and I’ll happily post them at a later stage!

Lots of love & sunshine and may you get healthy and happy through the festive season!!!

N xx

Cooking class with Claire Borg in Victoria. A little charming piece of Gozo

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I love cooking classes. They are inspiring, you learn new things, share your thoughts and experiences with other foodies and try new things outside of your own box. Claire’s cooking classes in the heart of Victoria are so much fun. It’s all mentioned above and so much more. It’s like a little piece of Gozo. It’s authentic, unpretentious and delicious. It’s casual still professional and foremost charming. For me coming to Gozo always means popping in at Mojo’s (her restaurant/cafe) in Victoria but from now on also attending on of here classes. That’s a promise.

Tonight’s class had a focus on beet root. We made a delicious soup of beet root with green apples, beet root relish, beet root pickles as well as a beet root Valhornona chocolate cake.

Thank you and keep up the great work, Claire!

More info on Claire’s classes, her cooking and her restaurant on her blog Claire Borg

GOZO treasures

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gozo.. beautiful as evereverytime i come back to gozo i fall in love all over again. this was my first time in fall and due to several rains in the last couple of weeks the little island was lush and green as i’ve never seen it before.

blooming meadows, abundant fields, blue skies and just the perfect weather for our yoga retreat with my dear yoga teacher and friend michelle bartolo.

sunset yoga next to the sea... magical our lovely host not only offered us great and energetic yoga twice a day, also the accomodation close to ta pinu church near gharb was just gorgeous to relax and enjoy. definitely a must for all yoga and nature lovers!

in the free time there was enough time to explore the island once again, this time less beaching and swimming but hiking around the lovely villages of gharb, visiting exhibitions of local artists, shopping (i went a bit cou cou in organika in victoria ;), coffee & lunches and yummy dinners.

made with love... food at mojo'sthe culinary highlights were definitely once again maji’s (i wrote about it in summer), a sicilian place called panzier, the clock house, a cute little café run by the super friendly & cute monica and mojo’s, which is just opposite arkadia shopping centre. mojo’s was actually the nicest suprise of all at the very end of the week as it just came out of the blue with a lovely meal from the beginning to the end (chai tea cookies – yum yum). they just opened the place for the daytime one month ago and have very special breakfasts from crumpets to healthy mueslis and pancakes but also offer delicious lunches & snacks, everything with a special twist and nice service. why can’t this place be in malta?! the chef is claire borg who also gives cooking classes and writes for food magazines like TASTE and THE FOODIE. will definitely try to make it to one of here classes to get some inspiration!!
all of those places can be found easily in victoria.

gozo's magic... a lovely afternoon with rain & sunlast but not least i wanna share a secret with you. apart from amazing yoga, nature and food we also treated ourselves twice with a special gift. a massage.. but this isn’t just a normal massage. those massages are just amazing. and to be honest.. i think he is the god of massages, at least for me there is no better than him- ever!! HE is martin roddis and can be found in kercem, close to victoria. he not only uses to most scrumptious home made oils and creams, but also he massages you with tibetan singing bowls vibrating on your body and an amazing passion & energy. thank god he also gives treatements in malta. he comes to your home but also massages on fridays in one of my favourita yoga studios in the world :), in yoga intentions in paceville. but don’t spread it with the world ok?! not that one day he won’t have time for me anymore ;)

so this was it for this time. as you can see… the week in gozo was just divine. and i can’t wait to come back soon!

p.s. watch out for the next sunday issue of the malta indepent on 4 december! i had the honour to cook for the GOURMET TODAY magazine and you’ll find recipes for a vegetarian xmas menu in it which i will also share later on on my blog – don’t worry ;)

gozo. a love story…

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lovely view on the way to san blasmany people told me about their special connection to gozo. about its energy, the peaceful environment, the lovely walks.. so far i couldn’t really share it, i’ve only been there for a lunch or a day on the sailing boat and couldn’t really understand it so far… but now, after living in malta for 1,5 years (!), life somehow crossed all plans and somehow took me on a nearly 2week vacation to gozo.. and i finally fell in love too <3

tiny little alley on a walk through a villagexlendi bay was the homebase for the first week, gharb, a cute little sleepy village in the north west of the island, for the second (spend a week of yoga holiday there with www.yogatraveller.com).and i have to say: i was just amazed by the friendliness of locals…gosh! they ARE friendly, doesn’t matter if in restaurants, when you ask for help or just start chatting with some random people at the sea…. many of them seemed to share the same passion of eating, nice wine and enjoying life and i talked about my blog not only once with them ;)
the beaches and the cristal clear water in the different bays are just divine for long swims and also perfect for diving. san blas and mgarr-ix-xini i loved the most. but enough of the ‘talking’, let’s now focus on my culinary highlights i’d love to share with you:

the cook preparing the freshest fish in his outdoor kitchenmgarr-ix-xini (gozo)
let’s start with the best :D this was absolute my favourite place of the holiday. a hidden gem in a tiny bay, located under some shady trees this place is a very low key, casual restaurant for yummy seafood and wine. the prices are not low key at all, but it doesn’t really matter, as we are used to spend that amount of money for a nice meal in malta, too.. the lovely family run restaurant just wins your heart with their very simple charm and just the freshest ingredients. my favourite was the vongole with orange and a glass of crisp greco di tuffo. can it get any better???


this didn't only look amazing, it was just divine :)maji wine & dine, victoria (gozo)

my second favourite of this holiday. unfortunately we went there on a very windy day so the terrace was closed, but i still sneaked up the stairs and the view was just amazing. bit disappointed we got a table inside, but the food and the lovely service made it all up. again: super friendly staff, top reaction after we claimend about the wine (why don’t all the restaurant owners understand that this is one of the most crucial situations how to make your customers really happy!?) and some amazing food. my favourite: the terrine of salmon and cream cheese.. hmmmmmmmmm!

not sooo special: all the restaurants at xlendi bay. they all have really good ratings on trip advisor, but in comparison to the ones i mentioned above i don’t get it why they have all those top ratings. maybe it’s just too busy there… don’t get me wrong, we tried them all and they were all quite nice (again: service, wine, complimentary bruschette before your meal etc.) but still nothing super special. what i appreciated though was that home made pasta is very popular there and also the salads are always super fresh and yummy on a constant level (mixed greens, gozitan capers, bright red tomoatoes and sometimes even some fresh gbejna, the gozitan cheese, – yum!). out from all those places (zafiro, boat house, il-terrazzo, ta’ karolina, stone crab etc.) i liked zafiro most (watch out for the amazing musician who sometimes plays the guitar there and sings!) and stone crab least.

gozo – i’ll be back soon….