All posts filed under: For Health

A Bowl of Sunshine: Tarka Dal

I can still remember the sizzling sound the crushed garlic would make as it hit the tin roof of the small dutch pot my mother would use to temper. The almost charred bitter taste of the garlic is actually really pleasant here, this is the only dish where you can get away with it I think. Dal and rice was a family stable in my household growing up and so seeing this bowl of sunshine at least once a week always brightened up my day. Apparently there are at least 60 different kinds of dal, but I have traditionally grown up with the ‘yellow split pea’ as a base. In this recipe I have actually mixed it with the red lentil which cooks a lot quicker and doesn’t need soaking over night like the yellow split pea. I also didn’t completely mash up the yellow peas, you can still achieve the creamy texture this way. The ‘Tarka’ part refers to the a mix of spices fried in oil or ghee until sizzling and aromatic, and then …

Spring Salad Series: Courgette Spaghetti w/ Avocado Cream

  For the final instalment of the Spring Salad Series, I thought I should share with you one of the newest members to the salad group. I think we can safely say that the juicy tomato and cool cucumber have held this section up pretty well; they have taken us through some tough times and have survived many a drought, reinventing themselves to suit our new tastes (from the greek salad to the mexican salsa). But alas, the spotlight is growing dim on the celebrated duo, make room for the crunchy courgette! Courgette’s are hugely versatile especially when sliced with a Julienne peeler to make ‘spaghetti’. It really does resemble spaghetti firstly in its texture (when drizzled with lemon juice which I think helps loosen it up so it can twirl around your fork) and its ability to absorb all the flavours you throw at it. Here I have made an avocado mayo and tossed in some candied walnuts. You can experiment with all kinds of flavours: try making a tomato salsa to resemble spaghetti …

Spring Salad Series: Kale & Avocado

If you are anything like me, then you will understand when I say that I have not always been a great big fan of Kale. Kale is like the adult equivalent of my childhood trauma with spinach: I thought I had overcome the beast of eating greens and grown up, until I met big daddy Kale in the vegetable aisle. At first I added it to smoothies and diced in chunks of pineapple and mango to disguise its taste and texture. And it worked for the most part. Having said that I actually prefer Kale slightly stir fried in the same way I would other stir fry vegetables, maybe the heat softens its coarse texture. But then came the challenge of Kale fully raw. This salad does the trick, I think the key is not chopping it too finely and also combining it with strong flavours, here I have used balsamic vinegar. You can also dress it with my vegan ranch dressing too! Kale is low in calories and high in fiber and has zero …

A Tale of Four Juices

Now and again I go on a crazy health trip where I banish all refined foods and live off fruit and vegetables. A couple of friends and I committed to this very venture just over a year ago. We picked the 21 day Daniel Fast which is based on the Biblical story of a man named Daniel a young intelligent guy who served in the Palace of the King of Babylon. He had committed to only eating fruits, vegetables and water for 10 days. At the end of the 10 days it is said that Daniel and his friends looked healthier and performed better than his peers who stuck to the rich food served to them from the royal palace kitchen. I am not a victim of eating rich food, just cheap food and plenty of it. The struggle we had was with planning what to eat when so much of our daily stables had been cut out (no eggs, no diary, no bread with yeast, no meat, no sugar). That’s when juices came to …

Sushi & Tofu

You might find it hard to believe, but I am not someone who is very adventurous when it comes to trying new foods: I like to stick to what I know. I’ve come a bit further down the line then where I was a few years a go. I never thought the day would come when I would actually enjoy snacking on cold rice which is essentially what I summed up sushi to be. I was first introduced to sushi whilst at university about 12 years ago. My housemate’s girlfriend at the time is Japanese and she would often prepare sushi at the weekend with him. She must have cornered me or something because I went from going in the kitchen to wash dishes to clapping down a ‘scrambled egg mayo’ sushi she had made. I wouldn’t say it was like fireworks in my mouth (sorry it does get better believe me), but my interest was peaked. The second occasion was probably another 10 years after that, this time it was salmon. But again the …