Back at the cooking stove :)
Few days off are somehow inspirational in the kitchen :)
I really felt like having a vegetarian burger yesterday, something which is impossible to find where I am living now in Montenegro, so I rolled up my sleeves and decided to make it myself ;)
Considering all the recipe requests I have received following my FB post I thought to share it here with you, also feeding my blog after months of starvation:)
Ingredients for 8 burgers :
250g of Black beans
150g of Quinoa ( I used mixed one as I like colors ;) )
1 Egg (or 2 to taste )
1 teaspoon of Cumin
1 teaspoon of Chilly Sauce ( Thai chilly sauce if you have )
1 teaspoon of Chilly Powder ( if you like spicy)
2 tablespoons of Coconut paste
1 tablespoon of Chia, Buckwheat and Hemp Cereal Mix (not necessary but would add a touch of extra goodness)
1 tablespoon of sunflower oil
Cook the beans in a pot until soft, rinse them and drain them, do the same with the quinoa .
Place the beans in a bowl and with a fork or a spoon mash them, if you have an electric hand blender is all much easier . Blend it until you achieve a nice paste.
Now add the quinoa and the Chia and Cereal Mix, the coconut paste to the bowl and mix it altogether.
In a small bowl, stir together the egg, chilly sauce, cumin, grated zest of 1/4 orange, salt and pepper to taste and the chilly powder, if you want extra spiciness.
Beat the mix altogether and once ready poor it into the other bowl with the beans and quinoa mixture.
NOTE: I prefer my burger light therefore I only add one egg to the mix , but adding two would definitely get a more compact result after cooking, your choice.
Stir everything together nicely until you have a nice texture.
Now you can start making your burgers .
I have tried both oven grilling and frying the burgers, even if less healthy I have to say the frying was better . If you decide to cook them in the oven just make sure you moist them well and often to avoid them becoming too dry.
Use a touch of sunflower oil to coat the frying pan and cook the burgers on medium heath until golden .
In the oven set it on grill - oven if you can about 180 degrees C and bake for about 10 - 15 min .
I served mine with salad and topped them with mango chutney cheese and tomatoes :)
I learnt this the last time I was in Bali. I was very lucky to stay at the Como Shambhala Estate in Ubud: have a look it is amazing , you can even pop down just for a visit or to use their raw food restaurant or SPA programs. if you are around:
I was given an amazing ginger tea after a SPA treatment, so I asked one of the girls that worked there to teach me how to make it and she said: " Easy, just chop the ginger finely and boil for 2 hrs , keep adding water as is lowering "
So I did try back home and there it was , an amazing fully tingling and tasteful ginger tea:)
Especially now that is winter , give it a try and you will feel all the amazing benefits of ginger!:)
In the last week I have to admit that I have been addicted to: making muffins !!!
Is easy and fun, therefore I want to share with you my recipe so that you can have fun and be muffin happy too:)
The recipe below is for blueberry muffins to make it simple but than I will give you some ideas at the end:)
All you need is:
250g of flour ( I make them with both white and brown flour )
1 tsp of baking powder
4 tbsp of sugar (here you can use white, caster, brown or muscovado sugar you might need to increase qtys for
the last 2 )
1/4 tsp salt
225ml of milk ( I have used milk substitutes and yogurt and rice milk and it still works, only be careful with the
sweetness of other milks like soya and rice milk as you need to dilute them or add less sugar)
50g butter or ghee (melted)
1 grated orange zest from a medium orange
You also need muffin paper cups , or as I did, you can make them out of baking paper;) or if you have, you can use muffin trays.
Preheat the oven to 200C.
In a large bowl add the flour, baking powder and the sugar and salt and stir well .
In a separate bowl beat the egg and add the orange zest and the milk , beat altogether and than add the melted butter.
Pour the mixture into the flour mix and stir for 10 strokes. Stop , the mixture will look lumpy but it's ok :)
Now comes the fun part:
take you baking tray and paper muffin cases and one by one start layering the mixture from the bottom , half way add the berries and than pour over more mixture to cover . Try and keep enough space for the muffins to grow.
You can play with this so you can also mix the berries in the mixture beforehand and add more when filling the cases, you can add more on the top to decorate , you can squash them to create a juicy heart in the middle of the muffin.... so on.
Than place them in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes , until risen and golden. Leave them to cool down a little, if you eat them still warm is the best!
More staffings that I have tried :
Pear and Chocolate
boiled pear sliced and chopped with chocolate (you can use a mixture like the one for hot chocolate and mix it in ) or melt some chocolate yourself and a it in.
Honey , Ginger and Lemon
Grate the ginger and the zest from a lemon and add in the mixture with the honey.
Cheese and Pears
Boil a pear and slice the cheese and grate the cheese.
Add in the mixture and strategically place the sliced cheese pieces in the muffin. This works best with the brown flour muffins.
Amaretti Crumble and Berries
Put the Amaretti in a bowl and crush them, also get different berries mixed in another bowl. When making the muffin you can sprinkle the berries in the mixture and add the crumble where you prefer , but make sure you put some on the top and gently push it n the mixture so that is not going to burn but will stay on the top.
pears nuts , nuts gianduia choc chip, coconut chocolate and choc chip, cheese pears , carrots ginger orange.....
But the main thing is: have fun! And make your own, perhaps add it on here after you tried so that I get more ideas too:)
As few people asked me for this recipe now I think is good I share it with you guys:)
This is a great option to replace a beef burger and yet get a lot of iron and nutriments in , you can have it with salad , in a sandwich, or as a snack or something extra to go with a soup.
Remember to be creative, here below is a guideline but you can really make them with any veggie you like:)
1 cup quinoa washed and rinsed
2 carrots finely cut
1/2 cup green peas ( frozen are ok)
1/2 cup split mung lentils (washed and rinsed)
1/2 cup of other lentils or beans, red spilt lentils are very nice if you like to add colour to the patties.
(washed and rinsed)
1/2 cup sweetcorn ( optional, you can use anything you like)
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
1/2 tsp cumin powder ( this gives an amazing flavor to your patties )
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp garam masala (or any other curry powder)
A little oil ( freshly pressed sunflower oil is the best)
Salt and pepper.
Steam cook the carrots until cooked but still crispy.
In a large heavy bottomed pan, add washed and drained lentil and enough water to submerge them and place on heat. Once it comes to a full boil, lower heat and allow them to cook.
When the lentils are half cooked, add quinoa and more water if required and cook until both quinoa and lentils are fully cooked.
Add the steamed carrots and the peas, sprinkle a little water if required and cook until the vegetables are done. ( you can add sweetcorn to the mix if you like, when veggies are cooked)
Add all the spices, salt to taste and mix well.
Add the cooked brown rice and mix well. Mash the entire mixture. At this point the mixture should be quite thick and a little stiff .
Allow it to cool, then shape into patties of desired thickness and size.
Heat a flat pan and place two or more patties on it. Pour a few drops of oil around the patties and allow the lower side to turn golden brown, flip over and cook until the other side becomes golden brown.
Voila' !!! Ready :)
I found this recipe on :
another great website is :
If you are around Rishikesh you can take a short drive to
Tehri Garhwal , about 40 min away and visit one of the most beautiful holistic resorts in the area, Ananda in the Himalayas.
Ananda is a stunning palace and used to be the residence of the Maharaja many years ago, but also to my great surprise I found out that Anandmayi Ma ( a spiritual guide and saint) visited and lived there for many years , in a small room on the palace terrace.
This place is the perfect blend of luxury and holistic. The suggestive settings on the top of a mountain overlooking the Holy town of Rishikesh and the precisely looked after gardens in the resort grounds accompany you into a journey of holistic bliss.
At Ananda you can experiment a full range of holistic treatments in the Spa (one of the biggest spa I have ever seen), but also you can take part to a great range of classes to get a deeper understanding of the Indian culture and the yogic lifestyle. They have fully ayurvedic menus , but also the option of indian specialties if you feel like indulging yourself..
My ideal day when there was:
Meditation classes to start the day, yoga and a ayurvedic breakfast. Than join the Vedanta class for some philosphy discussions. Relax in the spa for some tailor made massage treatments for the rest of the morning reading a book and sipping herbal tea.
In the afternoon more yoga followed by a class of choice: they often run special classes from specialized guest teachers , while I was there they had the Art Therapy course.
For the early evening more vedanta and meditation or you can also join one of the cooking classes which runs every couple of days.
In the evening there is usually some entertainment which sees local artists performing.
Here for you couple of my favourite recipes I have learnt while there :
LEMON AND CORIANDER SOUP
40g button mushrooms
40g pock Choy
5g sea salt
5ml lemon juice
1g white pepper
30g corn flour
10g spring onions chopped
1 bunch of spinach
1 bunch of coriander finely chopped
800ml vegetable stock
In a pot put together the vegetable stock and all the veggies.
Bring it to boil and while boiling make sure that you clean the scum from the top.
When veggies are cooked add the seasoning and the lemon juice and serve with a little coriander sprinkled on top.
STEEL CUT OAT UPMA
300 g oats
150g sliced onions
10g chopped green chilli
5g curry leaves
25g finely diced carrots
25g finely diced French beans
40ml oil (freshly pressed sunflower is better)
10g mix lentils
3g mustard seeds
175ml fresh milk
I a large pan heat the oil in and add the mustard seeds, when they finish popping add the dal (lentils) the cashew nuts and let them sauté' until golden.
Add the onions, ginger , curry leaves and chillies and let sauté' until the onions are ready.
Add the oats and let them cook until they are turning lightly brown.
Start adding the milk by whisking it through to avoid creating lumps. You can use hot water instead if you prefer.
When all the milk is absorbed the Upma is ready.
This is a great option for breakfast , you can serve it with different chutneys.
Enjoy it :)
When I was in India in November , I was lucky enough to happen to be, as they say , in the right place at the right time for the 11/11/11 celebration . In Rishikesh , were I was , they organized a big Kunadlini Festival with many international guests and a fantastic week long program. I. At the festival they served an amazing buffet with a great variety of food , and there I came across this great organization called Navadanya, which was the one supplying the buffet.
Since 1987 , when Navdanya started as a program of the Research Foundation for Science, Technology
and Ecology (RFSTE), founded by Dr. Vandana Shiva, they have been actively involved to provide direction and support to environmental activism.
The main aim of the Navdanya biodiversity conservation programme is to support local farmers, rescue and conserve crops and plants on way to extinction and make them available through direct marketing. They have their own seed bank and organic farm.
This strike me as an amazing project, especially in a Country like India where love for food and Mother Earth is part of the culture and yet there is a great need to safeguard and nourish them both.
Furthermore, I acknowledged a reality, which is often left unspoken: in India, as a consequence to rising costs in the agricultural production system (because of the introduction of chemical agriculture and genetic engineering and chemical irrigation) matched with the falling prices of agricultural products due to an unjust and unfair trade system; a serious burden and debts have started shadowing the life of the poor Indian farmers.
Since 1997 , more than 250,000 farmers only in four regions of India , have taken their lives because of this.
Navdanya promotes Fair Trade and knowledge in chemical free and organic agriculture.
It is now present in many different regions of India and hopefully will be saving more farmers' lives but it will also affect ours as nowadays the EU imports a great amount of food from India and we are what we eat.
Here in Montenegro, just before I left for India, I had the pleasure of meeting the person responsible for the agricultural development in the rural regions of Montenegro.
Great project which is helping farmers and supporting organic farming.
Find here below the link to their project and website.
Beauty and health come from the within, therefore it is really important that we look after what we eat and how we eat it.
Your skin is one of the first signals of an healthy diet.
If you want a radiant, youthful and acne free skin there are few things that you should include in your diet and other that you should avoid.
If you are looking into making your skin more glowy and healthy, you can simply enrich your diet with what is listed below :
Green tea - has strong skin healing and anti - inflammatory properties.
Flax Seeds ( linseeds) - help keeping skin hydrated thanks to their richness in omega 3 fatty acid.
Vitamin E - is a great antioxidant helps protection against skin cancer, helping skin retain moisture and fight free
Source: one of the best are Almonds but also Wheat germ Oil, Sunflower Oil and Seeds, Nuts and Nut Oils, Palm Oil, High-value Green Leafy Vegetables like Spinach. Also Turnip, Beets,Collard and Dandelion Greens like Avocados, Asparagus, Kiwi , Broccoli.
Vitamin A - helps keeping the skin elastic and healthy creating new skin cells.Vit A can also be manufactured from
the body from beta-carotene.
Source: Vit A can be found in cheese , eggs , milk and yoghurt. Beta -carotene can be found in Kale , Lettuce, Peppers, Carrots, Spinach , Pumpkin , Turnip, Cabbage , Mangoes, Sweet Potatoes Apricot, Watercress .
Vitamin C - best antioxidants to fight free radical damage and boost collagen.
Source: Berries and Papaya are a great source but also kiwis , tomatoes, red peppers, oranges, potatoes and peas.
WATER - helps the body detoxifyng ,the more the better!
PRANA - breathing techniques are fantastic to detoxify the body and keep your skin looking healthy and young!
When you eat always try and do it mindfully and when you cook always try and be positive transmitting love and positive energy to your food.
If you are experiencing problems with acne you can still make a great difference by using your diet to heal.
Acne is caused by an over stimulated oil gland that has become infected, 3 are the main factors for this :
1 - hormones
2 - digestive function/ diet / liver related.
3 - adrenal glands, they get stimulated creating a stress response in the body . This creates fire (too much Pitta in
For the first 2 the best foods to be AVOIDED are all the one that can create congestion in the body, like animal fats , dairy products , chocolate and sweets.
For the third we will need to help the body decrease its fire, therefore stay away from anything that helps ignite the fire in the body. Like spicy foods, curry, chilli, alcohol, caffeine, nicotine and also oranges and strawberries.
An helpful diet will consist in adding this to your everyday cooking:
Plenty of Fresh Salads: full of greens and more of the fresh veggies previously listed ,if you can add apple cider
vinagre and freshly pressed sunflower oil it will make it even better and delicious.
Proteins : found in Eggs, Tofu, Quinoa, Amaranth, Chia Seeds, Lentils
Fatty Acids : found in Sunflower Oil and Seeds, Nuts and Avocado.
WATER : again this is one of the most important things you should consume in abundance during the day .
PRANA - life force, for a youthful and an healthy functioning body. It will help detoxifying by bringing new oxygen in and expelling toxins. Facilitating cells regeneration.
You will start seeing results very soon after your change in diet , but for effective change you will have to be patience as it can take to up to 6 months, so try and be consistent in your diet regime and you will see the effect in your skin.
This is what I have gathered from my research and put together for you , but I am not a nutritionist and this research was done for my own personal use and also there is much more to it and many more sources on all of the above, so please feel free to add on here if you find out some more information.
My main sources were:
Thank you :)
This is a very simple but gnammy recipe. I made it the other night and I thought to share it:)
All you need is:
1 tbs of ghee
300g of spinach (washed and sliced)
1 apple (peeled and chopped)
1 tbs of mango chutney
Take a large pan and put half of the ghee in , add the spinaches when ghee has melted . Live them to shrink for about 10 min and when they have reduced you can add the apple and the rest of the ghee. Add salt and pepper to taste and than the mango chutney . Steer and when the water is all gone it is ready :) Easy peasy:) I hope you like it!
If you are in New York City and feeling like an healthy experience all around you should definitely pop into Liquiteria:
They have pressed juices , detox programms , liquid meals and all sort of healthy snacks.
I had the Mr Green to start , than feeling brave I had The Killer XX, well if they call it the killer is for a reason and I found out! The cayenne pepper really wakes you up!!!
I took home some of their herbal supplements, great boosters to ad to your daily juices.
A Passionate Yoga Teacher, Appreciating Joy within each and everyone's Smile. Grateful for her Yoga Life, Experimenting and Searching for Innovative Healthy Food, Music Soul, Interested in all New/Alternative Therapies, Seeking for any Dance & Art & Cultural Stimulation, Hopeless Travel Addict and Animal Lover, especially 4 her gorgeous border collie Joy;)