Turmeric

Healing Savoury Turmeric Pancakes

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The past two weeks have been quite intense for me as I've been recovering from a concussion. I've been feeling rather nauseous followed by migraines, shoulder and neck pain so as a result I've been eating and drinking as much turmeric, ginger and cacao as possible to help heal myself naturally. As I was feeling much better today I was inspired to make us some savoury pancakes for brunch and decided to add in some turmeric, as a precautionary measure for the pain, and I'm pleased to say that they ended up tasting great (husband approved) so thought I'd share them with the world!

If you haven't heard of all the incredible healing properties of turmeric here's one example. It's a great anti-inflammatory and has been used in many cultures for hundreds of years due to these specific effects which are caused by the chemical curcumin, that gives it the prominent yellow pigment. Recently studies have shown that it's just as effective as taking synthetic anti-inflammatory medication and when combined with black pepper it's bioavailability is boosted making this wonderful golden spice much more potent and effective in healing the body.

So here's a quick recipe which is 100% plant based, gluten free and wonderfully healing. You can get inventive with the toppings and add whatever you have at home. we had left over mung bean curry from dinner last night so decided to use it again, this can be substituted with cooked lentils, chickpeas or left out completely and enjoyed simply with the avocado and cherry tomatoes.

       

 

 

 

Ingredients (Makes 6)

Pancakes

  • 3 flax "eggs" (1 flax "egg" = 1 Tbs ground flaxseeds : 3Tbs water)
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 3/4 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • Couple pinches Himalayan pink salt
  • Pinch of cracked black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil

Toppings

  • 1 ripe Hass avocado, thinly sliced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Handful of fresh parsley
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Cooked mung beans/lentils (optional)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Method:

Make the flax eggs by combining the ground flaxseeds with water in a bowl, stir to get an even consistency and place in the fridge to set (about 10-15 mins).

Heat up your pan (preferably a non toxic non-stick pan like these) on medium - high heat.

Combine all the pancake ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.

Once the pan is nice and hot pour a ladle full of the mixture into the pan, using the back of the ladle to spread the batter out making it nice and even. Leave to cook for 3-4 mins, then flip and cook for another 2 mins. Repeat until you've finished all the batter.

Heat up the coked beans or lentils if you're using them. Pour 1/2 the lime juice and a pinch of salt to the thinly sliced avocado . Put the chopped cherry tomatoes in a small bowl along with the rest of the lime juice, sesame oil and a pinch of salt & pepper.

Add a little bit of each topping to your pancake and fold it over for a fancy looking crepe or add A LOT of each topping and eat it messily (my preference).

Enjoy!

Iranian Aubergine Stew - Khoresht-e Bademjoun

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Last year a dear friend gave me the best cook book for my birthday. This is the book I had dreamt of for a long time as a student abroad when I missed home cooked Iranian food. Unfortunately as much as I searched, all the books I found weren't great. It happened to find me a bit later in life but either way I'm glad it did! It's called The New Persian Kitchen by Louisa Shafia, and is filled with healthy versions of the traditional dishes without compromising on the flavour and topped with some very creative modern additions which are influenced by the Iranian/Persian pallet. And even better yet, for all the meat dishes she has a vegetarian option which suggests what you can substitute the meat with!

This dish takes some time to make and the longer you cook it and let it rest for the more delicious it will taste, so I would suggest making it on a day where you know you won't have much going on and are willing to spend the most part of it in the kitchen. Please don't let this put you off because  it's definitely worth it! This is Louisa's take on a very traditional dish with some minor adjustments by me and I do hope you enjoy this as much as we did.

Note: the book says it serves 4, however it could definitely serve 6.

Ingredients (serves 4-6)

3 large aubergine, diced sea salt 1 tbs coconut oil 1/2 cup split peas 8 cups water 4 tbs olive oil 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced 6 medium vine tomatoes, roughly chopped 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses (unsweetened) 1 tbs honey/liquid sweetener of your choice 3 cloves garlic, minced 4 cups vegetable stock Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Spread the aubergine onto the prepared baking tray and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil. Bake for 40 mins stirring gently every 10 or so minutes to prevent them from sticking. When the aubergine is nice and soft, remove from oven and let it cool to room temperature.

While the aubergine is cooks, put the split peas and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer, covered, for about 40 minutes. Drain and season with 1 teaspoon salt.

Heat the olive oil in large deep pan over medium to high heat. Add the onion and cook for 10 minutes until it starts to darken, then cook slowly over low heat for about 30 minutes, until it's dark brown and about half the original volume. Add the aubergine, tomatoes, turmeric, cinnamon, pomegranate molasses, liquid sweetener, garlic, split peas, and 1 teaspoon salt. Add the stock and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, partially covered for 1 hour. Uncover and simmer for 15 minutes, until the stew is thick.

Turn off the heat and let the stew rest for 15-30 mins. Season with salt and pepper and serve with brown basmati rice and if you have some, iranian pickle (torshi).

Enjoy!

Curried Butternut Squash and Ginger Soup

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I have started juicing a lot of vegetables lately and when I do, I save the pulp from the juicer, which is full of fibre, and try to reuse it. It seems like such a waste not to, and if you know me you will know that one thing I hate is wasting food. So the original recipe was made with carrot, fennel and ginger juice pulp but you can also make it with grated carrot, fennel and ginger too. I made this soup the other night for some friends and accompanied it with some delicious fresh Turkish bread from the shop up the road.

Ingredients (serves 4)

1 medium butternut squash 2 tablespoons coconut oil 1/2 yellow onion (diced) 2 cloves garlic (crushed) 2 teaspoons curry powder 1/2 teaspoon paprika 1 teaspoon cumin 1 teaspoon turmeric 2 carrots (grated) 1/2 fennel bulb (grated) 1 relatively large piece of ginger (grated) 1 litre vegetable stock (I use Marigold) 1/2 cup yellow split peas Chilli infused olive oil or olive oil & chilli flakes 6 stalks Tuscan kale/cavolo nero (de-stemmed) Sea salt & black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Peel and chop the butternut squash into small pieces, season with salt and pepper, place on a lined baking tray and pop in the oven for 20 mins. Get your largest soup pot and heat up the coconut oil in it. Then place the onion in the pot and let cook on medium heat for a couple of minutes, followed by the crushed garlic. Add all the spices and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the grated vegetables/juice pulp and leave to cook for about 5 minutes until the flavours infuse. Then add the vegetable stock to the pot and bring to a boil, reduce the heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and with a handheld blender, blend the soup into a nice smooth consistency. If you are using juice pulp I would recommend sieving out the soup into a large bowl after blending to avoid having pieces of ginger fibre in the smooth soup. Put the pot back on medium heat and add the yellow split peas, and salt and pepper to taste and then let cook for at least 25 mins. In the meantime de-stem the kale so that you are left with the leaves. Just before you serve the soup, put a pan on low heat and warm up the chilli infused olive oil/olive oil & chilli flakes and quickly cook the kale for approx. 2 minutes. Divide the soup up into bowls and place the kale on top. Enjoy!

Turmeric and Ginger Tea

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I usually make a pot of this tea first thing in the morning before I start my yoga practice so that it is nice and infused and just the right temperature to drink when I'm done. It's super easy and a lovely way to start the day. Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory, and ginger is a great immune booster.

I like to use a pot with a mesh strainer to put all the ingredients in, alternatively you can use a tea filter or make it in a saucepan and use a sieve to separate the liquid.

Ingredients (serves 4)

Fresh ginger to taste 2 teaspoons turmeric powder 3/4 cardamom seeds

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Put the kettle on so that the water is boiling while you prepare the ingredients. Grate or chop up the ginger, I like to use a lot which comes to about a tablespoon once grated. Crush the cardamom seeds in a pestle and mortar so that the interior seeds fall out. Place all the ingredients, as well as the turmeric powder in the strainer/filter/saucepan. Pour the hot water over them and let steep for at least 5 minutes so that all the flavours infuse. Enjoy!