Tag Archives: Okra

1 year – we made it <3 Plus: Okra & Bean Chili recipe

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Wow, I’m writing theses lines and my little baby girl (now toddler, to be precise) is 1 year old. I must say, it feels like quite a big thing to me as her mummy and brings up a lot of sweet memories.. of my first pregnancy which I really enjoyed, giving birth naturally, starting our breastfeeding journey, the first sweet weeks after we came home from hospital and suddenly were a family of 3. One whole year full of firsts, cuddles, joy, fears, happy moments, astonishment, – the list won’t stop. It is indeed a wonderful, enriching, heart and soul touching experience to be a mum, yet the most demanding and exhausting at the same time.

I'll always be a travel lover but I might organise things a bit differently next time

I’ll always be a travel lover but I might organise things a bit differently next time

Our month of traveling in August showed me that once more.. things are different now. I can’t just make my plans as I used to – or I’ll pay for it 😉 As much as I enjoyed being in different places every few days (oh Lake Garda, Austria, Munich – I miss you and your green and your people already!!!), it completely messed up Zoe’s sleep and eating structure. The nights got worse and worse, eating messier and messier. At some stage I was so exhausted that I started nursing her again at night just to get back to sleep which also didn’t help anymore at some stage. My hubby introduced then taking her out of her crib, cuddling and rocking her  back to sleep instead which was just as bad.. If I learned one thing, it’s planning our next holiday differently. When we came back to Malta beginning of September I was happy and filled up with green, lovely vibes from family and friends but a sleep deprived, emotional wreck at the same time. It was time to get some consistency and structure back to our life! Thank god I immediately started getting help. First, I got some supporting homeopathic remedies for myself (I’ll never stop recommending the lovely Ashley from Tigne Holistic Centre). Second, I found a sleep trainer  for Zoe (look up Daniela Sleep Coach if you’re in Malta and in need of getting your nights back) and I must say her tips, being more consistent and spending more time at home really made a big difference. Plus I finally gave in and go to bed now earlier which makes getting up at 6.30-7am not that bad anymore. So mind you, I don’t wanna jinx it, but touching wood, Zoe is back to better nights, longer naps and better eating and I feel more calm and centred again, too. Gosh! The joys of motherhood, it’s a rollercoaster sometime, isn’t it?

Little outings between naptimes are key - for both of us

Little outings between naptimes are key – for both of us

But I must say, now that I’m feeling like my usual self things look a bit brighter again and getting little time outs make me enjoy Zoe even more. She now climbs up the sofa, walks long the bed and loves to dance and clap to her favorite songs. To be with her and seeing her doing these little things is happiness and joy at its highest level and I’m super grateful things improved just in time for her 1st bday which we celebrated at a little picnic at Buskett Gardens surrounded by her small and big friends ❀ Not the lush and green kind of forests we’re used to, but better than nothing!

Of course she had to get a bday cake, but it wouldn’t be me if it wasn’t a healthy one! So I made her a little “raw” cake of just fruit and she and the other little ones loved it 😉 You should have seen her eyes when she saw the candle!!

Happy 1st bday to our little sunshine

Happy 1st bday to our little sunshine

So, this has been it from me for today – you can see it was a rather exciting time again and of course I won’t let you go without a yummy recipe, too. This time a wanna share a lovely Okra & Bean Chili recipe with you, loaded with lots of great organic veggies from the lovely Incampagna and Back to Basics. Thanks ladies for working so hard to make our life healthier!

Boasting with vitamins & flavor

Boasting with vitamins & flavor

Okra & Bean Chili

What you need…

  • 1 small bag of kidney beans (soaked over night and then cooked until soft)
  • 1 small box of okra
  • a few peppers
  • a few spring onions
  • garlic
  • 1 can of organic tomatoes (or fresh tomatoes)
  • Chili powder
  • Cumin
  • Paprika powder
  • Some olive oil
  • High quality salt e.g. Himalayan, Rock or Sea Salt

Optional: more vegetables, I used:

  • 1 small bunch of kale
  • a slice of pumpkin
  • 1-2 sweet potatoes

For the topping

  • 1 large avocado
  • juice of 1 lime or lemon
  • salt and pepper

Serve with a side of your choice e.g. we had brown rice

What to do…

Saute slice okra in a large pan until it begins to brown. Add chopped spring onions and garlic, until they soften. Then add the other chopped vegetables, then the spices (amounts to your liking – I would recommend start with a teaspoon and add more if you like stronger flavours). Lately add the can of tomatoes (if using fresh, add them chopped and a bit of water plus tomato paste). Simmer until all veggies are nice and soft, but not mushy. Have a final taste and season with salt to your liking.

For the avocado topping mash the avocado, add some chopped spring onions, lemon or lime juice, salt and pepper.

Serve with brown rice or another side of your liking and a dollop of guacamole.

Until next time enjoy and never forget what Charly Chaplin said “Nothing is permanent is this wicked world, not even our troubles”.

Sending love & good vibes to all of you who need it!

N xx

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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.