Pumpkins and Squashes are here – yellow and orange friends

img_3399The season for pumpkins has been running already since August but now these wonderful vegetables are in their prime. They can be still resting outside until first frost ready to pick up and prepare yummy dishes.

The easiest way to prepare a pumpkin or a squash is to simply put it in a hot over for about an hour, depending on the size. That way you have all the seeds awakened and ready to eat as well. The pumpkin will need hardly any seasoning, just cut it in half and scoop up the flesh with a spoon. You can suck on the seeds later on, excellent alternative to popcorn while watching a movie.

Of course you can also cut any pumpkin or squash into large chunks, season wit salt and pepper, sprinkle olive oil or coconut oil and roast in the oven, medium heat, for about 40min. turning the pieces from time to time.

There is also a pumpkin soup and many variations of it. I will make a separate post about this delicious soup.

Happy eating!

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White Bean Stew

White Bean StewWhite beans are an excellent source of fibre and protein. They are loaded with antioxidants and have good amount of detoxifying enzyme, molybdenum. They contain carbohydrates but have a very low glycaemic index and produce alpha-amylase that helps to regulate fat storage in the body. They are also very good supply of magnesium.

 Ingredients:

1 cup of white beans (flageolets) – soaked overnight

1 red pepper

1 small leek

1 tsp thyme or rosemary

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp sea or Himalayan salt

½ tsp cayenne pepper

1tbsp olive oil

2tbsp milled flaxseeds or porridge oats – optional

 Method

Place the soaked beans in 2 cups of water and bring to boil. Add thyme, cumin, salt, cayenne pepper and olive oil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1 and ½ hour until the beans are soft.

Add chopped pepper and leek and simmer for further 30min until the vegetables are soft. To thicken the stew, add milled flaxseed or oats.

Edible Wild Mushroom Soup

Chicken of the woodsI went on a bike ride today and foraged a wild mushroom commonly known as “chicken of the woods”. This orange fungus grows on hardwood trees like oak or willow. It has a lemony, meaty taste and can be cooked like chicken. Although it can be fried I like it cooked in soups, as frying would absorb a lot of oil (like aubergines). This fungus eats cancerous cells and is an excellent source of protein!

 

In my soup, for 2 servings I have included the following:

 INGREDIENTS

1 cup chicken of the woods, chopped

½ cup red lentil

½ leek, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1 large tomato, chopped

1 tbsp hemp oil/ extra virgin olive oil/ coconut oil/ flax oil

1 tsp turmeric

½ tsp Himalayan salt or best quality sea salt

1tsp whole cumin

pinch of cayenne pepper

2 cups of of water

METHOD

Place red lentil and cover with water. Add the spices and oil. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10min. add the chopped vegetables. Simmer for another 15min. until the vegetables and lentil are soft. Enjoy!

Raw Spaghetti

IMG_1371This gluten free, raw spaghetti is a delicious and healthy substitute to the traditional pasta. However it is gluten and flour free. It is made within minutes. I have made it using a spiral vegetable slicer but you can use vegetable peeler instead. All you need is a courgette (green zucchini) as your main ingredient.

I have used fresh tomatoes as my main dressing but you can make your own sauce. To make 2 portions you will need:

1 courgette to make the spaghetti

4-6 cherry tomatoes

1 tbsp pine kernels or any other chopped nuts

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp cider vinegar or lemon juice

pinch of sea salt and pepper

Slice the courgette. Cut the tomatoes and add to the courgette stripes with all ingredients. Mix well.

Chickpeas Curry

2014-11-18 17.22.57Sprouted chickpeas are very easy to make. Soak a cup of dried chickpeas in 2 cups of water overnight. Drain the water, rinse and transfer the beans to a sprouter or leave it in the bowl on the damp kitchen towel for another 12 hours. Soon you will see white sprouts appearing. Keep them in the fridge for another 3-4 days to prevent growth. The beans are rich in protein, carbohydrates and fiber but low in fat. They provide an excellent base for stews, soups, salads and light meals. Sprouted chickpeas are rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, folic acid (Vitamin B9, 71% in 100g) and Vitamin A.

This simple but very nutritious stew is extremely filling and comforting on a cold winter day. Once you have the sprouts ready, it takes only 10min to prepare this dish. If you don’t have sprouts at hand, use organic, cooked chickpeas available in shops.

For 2 portions use the following:

1 cup of water

1 cup sprouted chickpeas

1 cup chopped butternut squash or sweet potatoes

½ cup chopped courgette

4 leaves of radicchio salad chopped or any greens at hand

1 small red onion, chopped

1 tbsp milled flaxseeds

1 tbsp best quality extra virgin olive oil/ coconut/ flax/ hemp/ avocado

½ tsp Himalayan salts

½ tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp turmeric

Bring the water to boil. Add all ingredients and remove from the heat. Mix well and bring it back to the stove for anther 5min on very low heat. This way you will preserve all vitamins and minerals and still have a hot meal.

Radicchio Boats

IMG_1294Radicchio is a small red leafy Mediterranean vegetable from the chicory family. These small salad leaves are strong enough to build a delicious boat full of yummy things. They are also packed with flavonoid antioxidants like zea-xanthin and lutein, protecting eyes from harmful ultra violet rays. They contain moderate amount of vitamin B complex such as folic acid and B1, 3, 5, 6 essential for metabolism. The leaves are also an excellent source of Vitamin K strengthening the bones and protecting the brain from damage. They are also a good source of minerals like copper, manganese, potassium, iron and zinc.

Simply tear 2 leaves and nest them one into another to form a boat like shell. You are now ready to fill it with your favourite ingredients.

For 4 boats I have used the following:

1 avocado

4 raw mushrooms

*4 tbsp cooked adzuki beans

1 small red onion

4 tbsp red sauerkraut – this is optional and can be replaced by any pickles you have at hand e.g. gherkins

4 tbsp of fresh parsley or coriander

tamari or soya sauce

pinch of chilli or black pepper

Cut the avocado, mushrooms and onion into small cubes. Add tamari sauce or soya sauce and a pinch of chilli or black pepper. Divide all ingredients into 4 parts and fill your boats with each part. Sprinkle with fresh parsley or coriander. If you don’t have any of fresh herbs at hand use dried herbs.

*I have soaked 1 cup of adzuki beans overnight and cooked them for 30-40min the next day. You can keep the cooked beans in the fridge up to 6 days. Add them to any salads if you don’t use them in this dish. You can use any beans you like, if you don’t have time, just pick up a can of your favourite beans.

Classic Green Salad = Chlorophyll

IMG_1367Green colour in vegetables and salads is indicated by chlorophyll, the blood of plants. The main molecule in our blood is haemoglobin and the difference between the two is only in one mineral. Chlorophyll is build around iron and haemoglobin is build around magnesium. The role of haemoglobin is to distribute oxygen around our bodies and rebuild the blood cells and chlorophyll, when ingested helps to do just that. We need chlorophyll to build haemoglobin and improve the structure of our blood. Plants make their own food using the environment around like sun, earth and air and we need to consume them to be able to survive, as our bodies can’t make their own food. Chlorophyll has many health benefits as it has the power to regenerate our bodies on the molecular level. Green food is alkaline, detoxifying, anti-inflammatory, healing, antiseptic not to mention the abundance of vitamins and antioxidants.

In my green salad I have included the following ingredients:

4-5 leaves of green salad,

½ cup fresh green peas,

1 stalk of celery,

½ cup cucumber with skin,

1 small avocado,

1 tsp chia seeds,

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

pinch of sea salt

pinch of cayenne pepper

You can add a teaspoon of spirulina to get more chlorophyll