sunflower seeds

A WEEK OF VEGAN EVENTS / GRAIN AND BEETROOT SALAD WITH SWEET MISO DRESSING

A WEEK OF VEGAN EVENTS / GRAIN AND BEETROOT SALAD WITH SWEET MISO DRESSING

The week of vegan adventures:

Wednesday: Vegan Cheese Making Workshop ran by lovely Mel Rogers of Mel’s Kindness Kitchen - http://melskindnesskitchen.co.uk/workshops-and-catering/ - Mel strives to create delicious vegan cheese recipes on a budget. We were taught how to make 4 different plant based“cheeses”. My favourite was Me’s creamy tofu cheese, it will become a staple in my kitchen as it can be adapted to so many different flavours . Mel’s cheeses taste miles better than any vegan cheeses I have bought from shops (you know the plastic bag taste…). Mel will be running a cheese workshop at the Bristol Vegfest in May so do go see her if you get a chance.



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Friday: Dr Michael Greger’s talk : Uprooting the UK’s Leading Causes of Death! Definite highlight of the week!!! Indeed I have been a huge fan ever since his discovering his fantastic website www.nutritionfacts.org, I did walk up to him just to call him my hero (think he appreciated it). Dr Greger is one of the biggest advocate of the plant based diet’s health benefits out there. And what more, all his claims are backed by science! His talk was fabulously entertaining and informative, I loved that he tailored it to reflect the health issues here in the UK (the US version of his talk is on the internet) making it very topical. My, soon to be 14, son left very inspired too. We were discussing nutrition and health during the whole car journey back and yes this time he initiated it. I have a photo and signed copy of HOW NOT TO DIE book to remember this day. An amazing experience meeting an amazing man. Start struck I was. If you haven’t already please do buy his book!!!


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My personal proud moment: As I sat down at the auditorium I realised there were leaflets everywhere with my face on it!!! The College of Naturopathic Medicine was the co-organiser of Dr Greger’s talk together with the amazing Viva! (proud to have such an organisation in Bristol). The leaflets were there to advertise the upcoming CNM Open Day event I am part of with my talk on vegan nutrition.

Finally Saturday, a delicious (even not so healthy) hot dog experience at a LD’S Bitchin' Kitchin vegan pop up at the Golden Lion pub. This was an attempt to make the pub owners realise that there is a demand for vegan options that are currently missing from the pub’s menu. We were happy to help the cause :) Hot dogs were delicious, mine was smothered in delicious barbecue beans sprinkled with vegan bacon and gherkins. Yum. I had a taste of my husbands Satan’s Seitan and hiccupped all the way home…Fiery! Perfect for the Punks Vs Mods event the pub was hosting.

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A quick recipe to round up this blog.

GRAIN AND BEETROOT SALAD WITH SWEET MISO DRESSING
Makes about 5-6 servings, keeps well in the fridge.

3 cups cooked mix grains ( I used mix of quinoa and bulghur)
1 large beetroot
3 medium carrots
1 red onion
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
Dressing
2 Tbs sweet white miso
5 Tbs sushi seasoning
1 Tbs soya sauce (tamari)

  • Place the grain in a large bowl.

  • Grate the beetroot and carrot. Add to the grain together with thinly sliced red onions.

  • In a dry pan lightly toast the sunflower seeds till just beginning to colour, add to the salad.

  • To make the dressing just whisk all the ingredients together and pour over the dressing. Mix well.

  • Top with herbs if desired.


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PINK QUINOA SALAD

PINK QUINOA SALAD

Last weekend at college we learned about phytonutrients and superfoods. I feel that we have only scratched the surface, there are thousands of phytonutrients, some have been well researched and some have not yet been discovered. What a fascinating subject!

My college friend put on her Facebook page: “After a whole weekend at college the conclusion is: just eat your fruit and veg!” I couldn’t have said it better. And as our lecturer pointed out we should aim for 10 and everything over that is a bonus.

The bad thing about phytonutrients? They all come with rather complicated names and I have to learn and remember them for my upcoming exam. Together with biochemistry, all vitamins and minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, orthomolecular nutrients... Yes I shall be busy over the next 3 weeks...

Quick nutritious recipes should get me through it! Just like this pink quinoa salad. You must admit it looks fabulous. It tastes great too. I will try to post as much as my study schedule allows me.


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PINK QUINOA SALAD
Sushi seasoning is sold in bottles in Japanese sections of Asian shops or supermarket. I use it to season sushi rice (of course) it takes the guess work out, perfect balance every time. It tastes great as a dressing too, it may need a bit of vinegar or lime juice if too sweet for your palate. I used cider vinegar, but rice wine vinegar would be fantastic too.

Serves 4

1 cup quinoa
1 large carrot
1 medium beetroot
3 spring onions
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
2 Tbs capers
small handful of parsley
2 Tbs sushi seasoning
1 Tbs cider vinegar

  1. Rinse the quinoa well. Bring a medium pan of water to boil (about 1litre), add the quinoa and cook for about 15min. Rinse under running cold water.
  2. Coarsely great the carrot and peeled beetroot. Place in a salad bowl.
  3. Slice the spring onions into thin rings.
  4. LIghtly toast the sunflower seeds in a dry pan, take care not to burn them.
  5. Add the onions, sunflower seeds, quinoa, capers, parsley to the carrots and beetroot..
  6. Season with the sushi seasoning and vinegar.

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ENERGY BARS

ENERGY BARS

“Let food by thy medicine and medicine be thy food” Hippocrates

Medical doctors are amazing, the knowledge they have to learn and retain (!), the responsibility they carry on their shoulders is immense. There is however a room for improvement. Dr Dean Ornish emphasised in one of his TED talks that you can’t only mop the floor, you also have to fix the tap. Don’t only treat symptoms, treat the cause.

Recently I watched my friend L struggling with her baby’s eczema, her son (born last September) was waking at night trying to scratch the itchy red skin, clearly suffering. She was at a breaking point, no mother wants to see their child in discomfort. Naturally she visited her GP and a dermatologist. Unfortunately their approach was using topical creams (not even emollient) and if those would not bring much relief, he was to be put on glucocorticoids. Rather scary prospect for a baby.

My friend decided to contact a naturopathic eczema specialist. Since she is breastfeeding her son, she was prescribed an exclusion diet. It is a big change, she isn’t even allowed her beloved green tea at the moment, but her baby boy’s skin is clearing up. Next step will be reintroducing foods to find the triggers. What a fantastic news! I wish her doctor was able to recommend a similar approach, it has no side effects! Actually it does, my friend feels great! she told me this way of eating is making her feel “light”. And of course there is not better feeling than seeing her beautiful son’s eczema on the retreat.

ENERGY BARS

This is perfect for “grab and go” breakfast or just a quick energy boosting snack. If you want to make this completely refined sugar free, skip the chocolate chips.
Makes 10 bars


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Ingredients
1 Tbs ground flax seeds
150g (1 and 3/4 cups) oats
50g (1/2 cup) pecans, chopped
80g (1/2 cup) dried apricots, chopped roughly into quarters
30g (1/4 cup) sunflower seeds
35g (1/4 cup) raisins
2 small bananas mashed, makes about 125ml (1/2cup)
1 Tbs date syrup
1/2 dairy-free chocolate chips (optional)

method
  1. Preheat your oven to 180C.
  2. First in a small bowl add 60ml (1/4 cup) of water to the flax seeds, let stand while preparing the rest of ingredients. The mixture will become viscous somewhat reminiscent of an egg.
  3. Mix together the oats, pecans, apricots, sunflower seeds and raisins.
  4. Add the mashed bananas, date syrup and flax seed mixture. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Line a 10x6 inch (15x25cm) baking dish with a greaseproof paper. I used a drop of water under each corner to keep it in place.
  6. Put all the mixture into your baking dish, press down firmly.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 min or until the top starts to turn golden brown.
  8. Let cool and cut into bars.



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