Monthly Archives: April 2013

Sweet n Spicy Vegan Sushi with Brown Basmati

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Today is a first. And I’ve been dreaming about it for ages. Today is the first time I introduce friends’ blog posts. Yippey – hurray!!!! As most of my friends are total foodies, too, most of our meetings end up in culinary heaven. Like last weekend when we met on the beach for a picnic and everybody brought an amazing dish! One of the highlights were my dear friend Michelle’s vegan sushi rolls filled with avocado and sweet potatoes. Total yumminess!!! Big love & thanks to Michelle – who is not only a great friend, but also an amazing yoga teacher. Check out her website www.michellebartoloyoga.com  or add her on Facebook. But now, have fun with her recipe! Love, N xx

vegan-sushi

The last few weeks have had me craving sushi  A LOT! But the white rice was making me feel a bit too heavy so I decided to experiment with a healthier sushi that was friendly to my belly.  I looked around the kitchen to see what had to be used up and came up with this delicious beach friendly dish 😉  I was very happy that everyone enjoyed them!  Here is the recipe for all you healthy foodies…

Ingredients:

  • Nori Sheets
  • Organic Brown Basmati
  • 1 x teaspoon Turmeric
  • Desicated Coconut
  •  1 x tablespoon Coconut Oil
  • 1 x Large Sweet Potato
  • 1 x Avocado
  • Bits of finely chopped ginger
  • A handful of fresh coriander
  • Another handful of fresh Spinach
  • 1 x teaspoon of rice vinegar

Dip/Dressing:

  • Tamari (wheat free soya sauce)
  • Juice of ½ a Lemon
  • Pinch of chili flakes

Instructions:

Boil up the basmati, two parts water to one part grain, approx. 30 mins cooking time on medium heat. I always get the water to a rolling boil before I add in the rice (do not rinse the rice before cooking,so it stays as sticky as possible)

Chop up your sweet potato into small chunks and steam them, this only takes about 10 min

Once the sweet potato can easily be cut with a fork , remove from heat and mash them up

Mash up one ripe avocado and mix it into the sweet potato…..then add a 1 x tablespoon of dessicated coconut 😉

Once the rice is slightly overcooked (stickst together better) add in 1 x tablespoon of Coconut Oil, the turmeric and you could add some finely chopped ginger too if you like.

Allow the rice too cool down for about 20 min

Pull out a Nori sheet

Place the spinach on first, if the leave is big enough you can just put the filling inside the leaf! We are very lucky to have fresh spinach with big leaves in season at the moment 😉

Scoop a tablespoon of the rice next, nicely layering but not too wide, remember you have to be able to roll it up!

Then add some chopped coriander

Scoop a tablespoon of the sweet potato and avocado mixture next

Roll it up nice & tight

Moisten the end of the sheet with lemon juice, water or cucumber and seal it shut!

I served mine as sushi rolls as opposed to pieces, but feel free to experiment

Dip/Dressing:

In a small jar pour the tamari in so it comes to about ½ way up the jar

Add in the juice of lemon and a pinch of chilli flakes and dip away…

Horrayyyy healthy sweet n spicy vegan sushi coming up.

So simple, so tasty. Rucola Fennel salad with Tamari dressing

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Recently I discovered a new favorite salad. It’s boasting of flavors, extremely alkalizing and perfect as a light lunch, or a side to another dish. Besides that it’s super easy and only takes a couple of minutes to assemble (if you prewash all your greens in advance as I do. Otherwise it might take 2min more ;). And the best of it, its ingredients make it a true powerhouse for your immune system!

rucola-fennel-salad

Rucola, also known as rocket, contains high levels of vitamin C which fights against free radicals, toxins and boosts resistance to viruses and infections. It also contains lots of vitamin K and A, floats  and has several cancer fighting substances in high concentration. BOOM!

Fennel gives it a very nice, sweetish complimentary flavor. I have been loving fennel since I was a child and will never understand why quite some people don’t like it, but well – different people, different tastes, right?! It’s particular flavor comes from a high concentration of Anethole which has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Fennel has anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects and also contains good levels of potassium (good for the ❤ )and has a soothing effect on you bowels (the give fennel seed tea to babies for a reason!).

This list could go on and on about the positive effects of sunflower seeds, fresh coriander & apple cider vinegar which this recipe also contain, but enough talking of theory. Let’s get started with the recipe!

All you need….
For the salad

  • 2 hands full of rucola (cleaned)
  • slivered fennel (1/2 bulb, core removed)
  • 1 big tomato (chopped) or sweet pepper (I like red or orange for the contrast)
  • some sunflower seeds (toasted if you like)
  • some fresh coriander

For the dressing

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Best quality olive oil
  • Tiny bit of organic agave sirup
  • Tamari sauce
  • Bit of fresh pepper

What to do….

Put all the cleaned salad ingredients in a nice bowl. Sprinkle with (toasted) seeds. Mix the dressing ingredients depending on your personal taste in a little bowl. Start with a little and then play around with it to find out how you like it the most. Some people like more, some less dressing, some more tanginess from the vinegar, some more oil. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and enjoy 😀

Love & sunshine as ever!
N xx

P.S. Btw – for chopping I’m really a huge fan of my latest kitchen addition which is a ceramic knife. It doesn’t only stay sharp longer up to 10 times longer and is not as heavy as a stainless steel knife but the main advantage is that there is no ion transfer with ceramic knifes. That’s great for all of your veg and fruits. It stays fresh longer, doesn’t oxidize – so better for the veg, better for you 🙂 Check out this video which explains most advantages and differences between ceramic and steel knifes.

The healthiest bfast which looks & tastes like a yummy dessert..

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… and about the lovely exceptions in life

Many of my friends ask me these days “So what is it all about? Are you on a diet? Is it a detox you’re doing? How can I join you, but first I have to go there and there and attend this and this.” etc. Guys, stop! You know what? The easiest moment to start is always NOW 🙂 We are all humans with better days and worse days and having an exception here and there doesn’t mean that you can’t start with a healthy lifestyle every day. So, no – this is not a diet and not a detox. This also doesn’t start and end again. What I try is to change my general eating style to an healthier one, to reduce sugar, animal produce (meat, fish, dairy), wheat, coffee and alcohol on the one side and increase health veg, fruit, grains and proteins (nuts, beans, seeds) on the other side. Not because it’s a diet but it’s decreasing inflammation, risks of cancer, allergies, diabets and many other diseases of nowadays’ society. But mind you – this doesn’t mean I restrict myself all the time! Once I treat myself with an exceptional dinner in a nice restaurant I love to enjoy my fish or meat or cheese (oh this list can go on and on!) from the bottom of my heart. But in the end it’s all about the intention to then come back home and continue with something healthy the next day (or the next meal if you decide to spoil yourself with an occasional cake in the afternoon 😉

Once you changed and restocked your pantries it’s super easy to create all the yummy meals which are not only good for you but also really good for you body. So remember – try to keep the balance of 60(up to ideally 80)% of alkalising meals – 40(20)% acidic foods. Get yourself a book (I wrote about my favorites in this article), get into the topic and you’ll see this lifestyle is not restricting – it’s extremely intersting, tastes delicious, inspires you and the most it’s FUN!!

One of this week’s highlights was this beautifully looking bfast, which could easily be served as a dessert too. It’s super yummy, easy to make and very versatile – you can play with the ingredients depending on your mood or what you have to use up!

dessert-bfast

What you need…
(for 2 persons)

  • 2 table spoons of chia seeds
  • 2 table spoons of organic oat flakes
  • 1 cup of nut milk of your choice (I took coconut)
  • goji berries
  • organic vanilla essence
  • cacao nibs
  • a tiny bit of agave sirup
  • some fresh fruit (I used apple & oranges, but feel free to take strawberries, mango etc.)
  • coconut flakes
  • a bit of cinnamon

What to do

Mix everything but the fruit and cinnamon in a small blow. Make sure to stir it a couple of times. Add some hot water so the oat flakes are soaked up nicely. In the meantime chop up the apple and oranges. Mix in the apples, put it in nice glasses and finish with the oranges on top and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

HHHMMMMMMM!!! My love P called it the bfast dessert – I hope you like it as much as we do ❤

Love & sunshine
N x

Tastes like spring – even if it rains.

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Good morning lovely people! Yes, I know many of you suffer from the cold at the moment. I just tool my best friend L to the airport and she was really, really not looking forward to flying back to the cold in Munich. But, beware, even in Malta it rains today so if we all can’t have spring – why not create the taste of spring in your cosy home and make the most out of a lazy Sunday??

Since one or two weeks strawberry season has begun here in Malta. You can buy them at little stalls next to the street and from the moment you put this little box of red yumminess into your car, the flavor takes over the (in my case tiny) space. As some of you know I’m trying to incorporate an alkalizing way of nutrition into my daily diet (60-80% alkalizing foods and only 40-20% acidic foods. Why you can re-read in my first post about this topic some weeks ago). So it’s important to know that strawberries are acidic. To keep the balance you can always mix them with some alkalizing ingredients (cucumbers, celery stalks, herbs like mint, lemon/ lime etc). Don’t get me wrong, they are still great for your health anyways: they contain tons of vitamin C (an average serving provides you with the double amount of the recommended daily amount of this immunity-boosting vitamin) as well as vitamin B (supports nervous system and fights stress) and ellagic acid which helps fight cancer and destroys toxins in smoke and polluted air.

So, get some strawberries, get your juicer & blender kickin’ and enjoy the taste of spring on your sofa while looking out of the window in the rain and not even bother about it 🙂

P.S. For the perfect musical support switch on my all time favorite radio station from Austria FM4 and listen to their regular Sunday show “Sunny Side up” – always from 10am to 1pm.

tastes-like-spring

What you need…

  • 2 hands full of ripe strawberries
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 apple
  • 1 carrot
  • small piece of ginger
  • some fresh mint
  • dash of lemon or lime
  • dash of flax seed oil

What to do…

Juice the carrot, celery, apple and ginger. Pour the juice in a blender, add the other ingredients and blender. Add a bit of water depending on your taste.

Love & sunshine – enjoy your Sunday!
N xxx