Monthly Archives: October 2012

A note to myself about OKRA.

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Even though they might be a bit slimy, I actually love okra. Okra??? In case you never heard about okra (also called ‘ladyfingers’), it’s those small green thingies which look a bit like a mixture of zucchini and green beans. Well,… kind of 😉

The way I like okra the best is in an oriental (india? moroccan?) style. Never knew exactly where to get them and how to prepare them I stumbled over them in a tiny veggie story nearby my weekly yoga class with Michelle at Lily Agius’ Gallery in Sliema. Surprise, surprise! They did not only have boxes of fresh okra but also fresh coriander which doesn’t happen very often here in these latitudes. So, the home made okra experiment was ready to start! Check out the result…

After surfing the web for various ways of preparing okra (from roasting to boiling, from stews to curries) I decided to go for my favorite way: quick and easy but promising tasty! Just consider one important thing which I will never ever forget anymore after cooking this meal: get rid of the big ones and only take the small ones.. The small ones get soft and tender, the big ones are hard, chewy and contain more fibre than your mouth can take 😉 (they just landed in the bin, full stop.) Btw. okras are super healthy for you, read more about the benefits here..

oriental okra with wholewheat couscous

What you need…

  • 1 box of okra
  • 1 onion (I prefer brown or red), chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • Delicious spices (and that’s the heart of this dish for me):
    1) I used a wonderful mix called SAMBAAR which contains cumin, tumeric, cumin, pepper, chilie, asafoetida and fenugreek
    2) DUKKAH which is an african-oriental mix of chashew nuts, peanuts, hazelnuts almonds, sesame, cumin, coreander, paprika, salt and pepper (I also used this in a wonderful crispy cauliflower crumble)
  • Some fresh, ripe tomatoes
  • Sea salt
  • Olive oil

As a side I made wholewheat couscous with fresh lemon juice, salt, a bit of sambaar and tons of fresh coreander.

What to do…

Boil some water and put it on top of the couscous which is prepared with the spices and olive oil in a glass bowl. Cover with a plate and let it soak. Heat up the olive oil in a roasting pan. Wash the okra (don’t forget to get rid of the big ones and only use the small ones). Start roasting the chopped onions in a griddle pan for some minutes on medium heat, add the okra so they get a nice colour. Add the chooped garlic and spices, let them roast (and have some wine or set the table =). Taste one, see if they got soft, add the fresh chopped tomatoes and turn down the temperature. Let it simmer a bit, add a bit of water. Gently stir the couscous with a fork, lifting it to get as much air in as possible. Add some more olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Turn of the hub and season the okras to taste and serve together.

Hope you ENJOY 😀
Love, N.

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Chia seed pudding with fresh fruit & goji berries.

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Do you know that phenonemon that you’re looking forward to your weekend plans all week long and then get sick? Well, it has been a while but it happened to me this weekend. Instead of meeting friends on the beach and hang out on the rocks for a late summer BBQ I got a killer sore throat and was foreced to go home early on Friday night and keep quiet from there onwards. At least the weather was on my side and desided to go dark, too. Clouds, wind and rain made it easier for me to stay on the sofa all day to drink sage, lemon & ginger tea only to be interrupted by my continous breaks for gurgling with salt & apple cider vinegar water. Yep, I know that all sounds yucky but I prefer going for natural remedies as long as possible as I’ve learned my lessons.. check out this page if you’re interested.

The great thing to be forced to stay at home is not only being lazy with a good reason but also plenty of time to surf the web, check out differnet blogs, Pinterest etc. etc. for some culinary inspiration. As you might know I love my yummy food and even better when it’s healthy and does something good for you. “Mens sana in corpore sano” (a sound mind in a healthy body) as a famous Latin quotation says 🙂 Recently I finally found Chia seeds in my health store where I’m regularly drawn in before my yoga classes. I’ve read so many good things about Chia seeds the last couple of months and was super eager to try them out. They are boasting with omega 3 fatty acids, stabilise blood sugar and are a great source of antioxidants (further benefits here). So when I found a recipe for an not only awesome looking but also super easy to prepare chia seed pudding I was ready to experiment! The result came out pretty fine, it was a great add to our lazy late Sunday brunch today and will definitely be made again soon.

Chia seed pudding with fresh fruit & goji berries

What you need..
(for 1 jar which served 2)

2 tablespoons of Chia seeds
1 cup of hemp milk (or any other kind of healthy yummy milk like almond, hazelnut, coconut milk)
Vanilla essence

Also, I added:
1 tablespoon of raisins (soaked)
1/2 fresh peach
1 Kiwi
1 tablespoon of goji berries (soaked)

What to do..
Use any old jar with a lid. Mix the chia seeds with the milk, close the lid thight, shake it well and let it rest for at least 30min. Shake it well in between to avoid clumping. If you detect a clump, loosen it with a spoon/fork. After 30min you can already see how the seeds swell. It gets thicker and thicker and I decided to put it in the fridge for today’s bfast which also worked fine. As a result you have a creamy, pudding like cream which can now be served in any kind of way. I already put soaked raisins in the mix which was very yummy, I can imagine that also nuts or cacao taste lovely! Garnish with fresh fruit and soaked goji berries and enjoy your probably healthiest pudding ever!

My and my boyfriend found it delicious, hope you will like it too! If you find any other great variations let me know 🙂
Love, Nxx

P.S. Btw this sweet dish is free from refinded sugar, lactose and gluten.