Notes on daily rituals that empower and nurture. Ideas on how to apply structure, colour and purpose to long days inside:)
Nurturing breakfast rituals
Eating colourful, nutrient-rich food.
Warm, cosy and delicious
GF oatmeal (use a nut grinder)
hazelnut milk (or any milk of your choice)
cardamon & cinnamon to spice it up
warm apple mash*
Slice up a couple of cooking apples and place in an oven dish that you have greased with coconut oil. Add cinnamon and mix well. Cook till soft and then mash them with a spoon adding maple syrup.
I add apple mash in the actual porridge while stirring it but I also scatter a few dollops of it on the plate as mini-mouthuls of absolute hygge bliss.
At last, did a quick search online and experimented with what I had in my cupboard; didn't bother with checking quantities. I just used my own judgement concious of not wanting it to be too sweet.
Oats & nuts
Sadly not GF and a porridge but still oats nevertheless
Nuts - all raw
Peanuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, coconut flakes
Oils, sugars, salt & spice
Raw coconut oil, honey, Malden sea salt, cinnamon, vanilla extract
Choice of bowl
I only wanted a small portion so chose my favourite Anthropologie bowl:)
Bright and colourful, perfect for spring!
Thick & Crunchy
Granola and Greek yoghurt
I like it thick and crunchy so all I added was Greek strained yoghurt. No need for extra honey as it's already in the granola. Had a banana earlier so didn't add any fresh fruit.
I love eating from a wooden spoon. Mine is from Muji.
Avocado on toast
All time favourite for breakfast or lunch. I have now sadly substituted avocado with a boiled egg as I'm following a low FOD diet as an experiment to reduce excessive bloating. Note: 1/8 of an avocado is the recommended quantity if you follow a low fodmap diet (more about it here FOD MAPS).
Avocado on toast
Below the avocado is a hidden layer of good quality butter that has beautifully penetrated the sourdough/rye toast:P
Thank you Ismini for inspiring me to use butter and to Dr Libby who in turn inspired you:)
Choice of plate
Has to be jolly:) Nenad's round, blue polka dot ceramic plate works for me today!
Freshly-cut parsley with a few drops of lemon in the absense of fresh rocket. What a discovery! Both parsley and lemon great for detoxing.
Malden Sea Salt and coldpressed Virgin Olive Oil, as usual.
Lentils & roasted beetroot
I came up with this dish because I happened to have lentils and beetroot. It's a wonderfully light yet filling lunch full of goodness:)
Power lunch - light & filling
1 red onion
4 beetroots incl. stems
1 pack easy cook lentils
1 pack real chicken stock
Coldpressed Virgin Olive Oil
Malden Sea salt
Roasted Beetroots and Onion
Wash and cut the beetroot in the shape of thick-cut potatoes so that it cooks quicker. Cut the red onion in four and mix with the beetroot.
Drizzle coldpressed virgin olive oil and malden sea salt and massage with your hands till all the beetroot and onion have been evenly oiled.
Place in a hot oven and roast in 180C. May take as long as 1h. Half way through open the oven and give the dish a bit of a shake.
In a sauce pan add water, lentils, the beetroot stalks, the real chicken stock (best not to use stock in powder form) and potatoes thickly cut. Drizzle some coldpressed Virgin Olive Oil, salt, ground pepper and let it cook first high and then at a lower heat. You'd like the water to evaporate as much as possible and to ensure the lentils are cooked - buy a package that says 'Easy cook' - hugely important otherwise you can cook them forever and they're still hard as a rock.
Add a bit of balsamic vinegar to thicken. Taste and add more salt and olive oil, as necessary.
Once the lentils are cooked and the potatoes are soft, take a hand-mixer and gently mash. You want to semi-mash the dish especially the stalks. You want it to still look like lentils:)
In a small saucepan roast the flaked almonds and sesame seeds with olive oil. You know when they're done when the whole kitchen smells nutty and the colour has changed to a warm orange. Pour the roasted nuts over the roasted beetroot and onions and mix well. Let them inside the oven dish and cover with foil if not serving immediately.
Just like with the morning plate, choosing the right bowl is important.
I wanted a small portion and chose my favourite Anthropologie bowl.
First add the lentils, then the roasted beetroots/onions and finally garnish with some fresh parsley.
Beautiful ceramics to eat from are as important as what's served in them. Same applies to utensils.
Everything in my kitchen has its history. I tend to keep the good stuff from the past and not just any old junk:)
A GREAT COMPANION TO COFFEE
Last year in La Jolla/San Diego at Trader Joe's, I had found a great pack of GF cranberry cookies I have been trying to locate since.
After preparing countless energy balls and GF banana cakes I thought I'll use the master ingredient set and come up with a recipe of my own.
It magically works:)
01/ SOFT COOKIES - MASTER SET
1. COCONUT FLOUR
2. GROUND ALMONDS
3. RAW COCONUT OIL*
5. RAW CACAO POWDER
6. VANILA EXTRACT
7. PEANUT BUTTER (ALWAYS USE CRUNCHY)
8. BAKING SODA
10. DARK CHOCOLATE NIBS
11. MALDEN SEA SALT
* Other oils I have used are Macademia oil, Toasted Sesame Oil and Virgin Olive oil. All work:)
02/ SOFT COOKIES - PREPARATION
I'm not too specific with my measurements but follow more or less the following:
3/4 cup ground almonds (oats work too)
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/4 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp raw cacao powder
1/4 cup honey
pinch of salt
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 tbsp melted Coconut oil
A handful of chocolate nibs*
*You could use dark chocolate chunks and mix them in the dough. I prefer adding a handful of chocolate nibs on the top of each cookie before baking; conscious of calories:)
First mix your wet ingredients: beaten egg, coconut oil, honey and vanilla extract. Mix in the peanut butter. In a separate bowl mix the almond, coconut flour and baking soda. Combine all ingredients. Taste and adjust if necessary. If too sticky you could add a bit more almond flour. If you wish to be more chocolaty add more cacao powder.
Heat up the oven at 180C.
In a tray place a sheet of baking paper. Alternatively, you can greese the tray with coconut oil. Create small balls (use 2 tbsp roughly per ball) and place them on the tray with sufficient distance between them as they will slightly expand. With a spoon press them lightly. Add chocolate nibs if desired and press them in the dough.
Bake for 8 min. They will look a bit raw and that's the idea. Take them out and let them cool for 10 min. Then place them on a rack.
I have experimented for a while with all sorts of ingredients. This combination is by far the most successful. To make it perfect add cranberries; sadly with this lockdown very hard to find certain ingredients and this is one of them.
There's nothing more delicious than good quality black filter coffee - I use Monmouth Espresso - and a soft cookie that's full of flavour without being too sweet.
Remember to stick to the 8min rule otherwise your cookies will burn or get too hard.
BEST COFFEE COMPANION EVER!
Today I experimented with a different cookie topping: in a small bowl I mixed cacao nibs, dry cranberries and a few chillie flakes.
I then pressed them lightly on the top of each cookie before baking.
01/ ENERGY BALLS - INGREDIENTS
1. GROUND ALMONDS
2. CACAO POWDER
3. PEANUT BUTTER
5. MEDJOOL DATES
8. OATS (FOR LIGHT COVER)
02/ ENERGY BALLS - PREPARATION
As always, I'm not too specific with my measurements but follow more or less the following:
1 pack of ground almonds
2 medjool dates
1 ripe banana
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 tbsp chocolate powder (raw better)
A handful of walnuts (break them to small chunks)
1 tbsp of honey
Mix all ingredients in a bowl. The texture should be lovely soft and thick. Taste it and adjust as necessary. If you have added too much honey, add a little salt or more peanut butter. If it's too sticky, add a few more ground almonds and mix again.
I like covering mine in oats. I have a nut grinder so get them nice and fine and keep in a small bag for this purpose. Pour some oatmeal in a bowl and roll the energy balls till covered.
Keep in the fridge in an air-tight jar. They last for ages! The quantity will vary depending on how big or small you make your energy balls; you should have roughly 20 pieces.
Thick and smooth like a chocolate mousse
1 avocado - half if too big
1 tbsp cacao powder
1 tbsp vegan protein vanilla (vanilla flavouredraw organic is great)
2 medjool dates
Oatley oatmilk (Barrista tastes great)*
Handful of frozen rasberries
1 tbsp peanut/almond butter (or more:P)
Works well with frozen banana. I like my smoothies cold so to have at least one element cold makes it more refreshing.
To make it runnier, just add more milk. I like them thick and creamy. The vegan protein vanilla flavoured is a key ingredient to achieve this texture and so is avocado!
* Coconut milk or Hazelnut for GF option:)