Soaked Rice with Beetroot, Apple and Fennel Salad

A salad is all about how you dress it! 

This particular salad was dressed with soaked brown rice, mint sauce and home grown chard leaves and kale flowers. The reason for sharing is two main points: the soaked rice and the home grown additions!

I’ve been soaking my porridge oats overnight ready for breakfast for some years now, but for some reason I had not done the same with the grains I use for lunch and or dinner. The thing is when I prepare my porridge I am also usually making dinner so it’s a two birds one stone situation and yet when making breakfast it hadn’t dawned on me to prep lunch! Until now.

I have a sensitive digestive tract and grains are not my best friends when it comes to ease of digestion, yes liquorice and other digestive aids help, plus eating slowly and not over consuming all help, but ultimately soaking the grains really makes a huge impact on the texture, taste and ease of digestion, in my opinion it improves the overall experience in every way😀.

The salad was a simple grated salad dressed with a mix of tahini, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon and a pinch of salt, as my herb garden grows various herbs will be added to play with the flavour and feeling of the salad, however within the salad are already some homegrown beauties including kale flowers and chard leaves, homegrown always does and always will taste best and will be the best for you, I’m looking forward to the salad that’s close to 70% homegrown 😜🌱. 

Ultimately this salad looked great, tasted awesome, was hydrating and satiated my appetite and personally I think the secret lay within the soaking of the rice and the homegrown ingredients.

It’s all about how you dress a salad so go ahead and have fun with it.

To you all in great health.

Matt

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A Poor Man’s Salad

I’m not really poor in a spiritual sense or any other kinda way except ‘financial!’ 

Now I’m not going to moan about that it’s a choice! I have chosen to dedicate my time to raising my family and the pay off is less money.

Yesterday I met with a friend I had not seen for a couple of years, a couple of years ago money was more abundant and so a diet rich in super foods and all that jazz was possible, however as I happily explained to my friend my raw vegan diet was no longer affordable and I was ok with this.

I am now most of the time a Vegan who dives into the odd pizza and most super foods as we have come to know them are no longer on the menu except chlorella. I laughed with my friend at my change in stance and view on what was nourishing and what is not.

Time is a teacher and sometimes we are humbled as our ideals dissolve, but I still love great food and nowadays the great food me and my family eat is affordable great food and the dish I share with you is exactly that.

A friend recently ignited my interest in Millet a simple grain from Africa/Asia and I have fallen in love with it.

I simply prepare a good old salad with cucumber, lettuce, red pepper, celery and wild rocket from the garden, this is mixed with olive oil, sea salt, tahini, apple cider vinegar, mustard and honey.

Next we cook the Millet with garlic, onions, peas and mushrooms mixed with a sundries tomatoe paste. I also added some black sesame seeds. 

Add the two together and viola a super yummy delicious poor man’s salad that in reality is everything it needs to be.

Enjoy.

Matt

Wild Flower and Quinoa Salad

Wow the weather has been amazing and along with it the beautiful bounty of wild flowers. It was only a couple of years ago that I first braved eating a flower head and it was the beautiful yellow courgette flower that was to be my maiden voyage. Since then I happily nibble on almost every flower I see from dandelion to borage; when you are in for a treat the sweet nectar is still in the flower Yummy is all I can say, but to add to that I must also mention that whilst tasting the nectar brings a true rush of sweet sensations the true magic of flowers in the salad is found in the colours they bring; from yellow to blue, purple to orange, it truly becomes food for the eyes and your senses.

Ingredients:
1 – cup of quinoa
Handful of wild flowers (yellow wild rocket, orange nasturtium and blue borage among others were present in this one)
Handful of wild rocket leaves and nasturtium leaves (both are very peppery)
1 – carrot (grated)
20 – green olives
1tbsp – sauerkraut
Dulse (quantity to your liking)
Mushrooms
Onions

Dressing:
2-3 tbsp – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 pinch – sea or rock salt
1 tbsp – tahini
2 tbsp – Apple cider vinegar

Method:
Cook the quinoa (2 parts water to 1 part quinoa). I also cook the onions and mushrooms along with the quinoa. Make your salad dressing, prep your salad and then when the quinoa is cooked (fluffy) combine the two together and mix at this point add your wild flowers and enjoy.

Matt Allen
The Yoga Health Coach

Wild Flower and Rocket Pesto Salad

I mentioned in an earlier post that I have recently joined a veg share scheme called Fork and Dig it and i mentioned i would share what I get up to in the kitchen with the wonderful, local, organic fresh produce. I am excited to begin with one of life’s simple pleasures the salad, when done well a salad is a wonderful treat to the senses and to do it well is not difficult! To begin you need only to understand one simple tip when it comes to creating a great salad ‘balance’. You need the colours, texture and taste to balance and when you achieve this you will never call a salad ‘boring’ again.
The following salad recipe has been created using the salad Items i received from the scheme this week and from the rocket growing in my garden, I also added sauerkraut which I purchased from the local shop (home made sauerkraut is a real treat and better for you, but not always available).
What I love about this salad is it is full of colour so it starts feeding the senses straight away; I love how simple it is to make and how great it tastes, I also love how great a simple salad can make you feel.

Ingredients:

Dressing:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (roughly 2 tbsp)
Apple Cider Vinegar (roughly 1 tbsp)
Himalayan rock salt (1pinch)
Handful of Rocket
Handful of Basil leaves
1 clove of garlic

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Salad:
A bunch of mixed salad leaves
2 celery stalks
1 carrot
Sauerkraut
Broccoli
Wild Flowers
Hemp Seeds

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Method:
Prepare the dressing first by placing the olive oil, salt and apple cider vinegar into your salad bowl; using a chopping board chop the garlic, basil and rocket till fine, then add to the salad bowl and mix well.
Simply chop the salad ingredients and add to the bowl. Personally I like to grate the carrot and I only use the flower heads of the broccoli, but its at this point you can be as creative as you like. Mix everything together; serve and enjoy.

Matt Allen
The Yoga Health Coach
http://www.theyogahealthcoach.co.uk

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Fork and Dig It

Hi everyone

I wanted to share with you all, that me and my family have recently begun taking part in a food share scheme called Fork and Dig It.

A local organic farm allotted 31 shares, which requires a 6 month commitment and 3 volunteer days at the farm digging with the fork I guess? What I love about the scheme is you get locally grown produce, picked fresh on the day that costs less than regular produce from a supermarket; the food also has low-carbon foot print due to the farm being local: good for you and great for the environment.

The next part that excites me about the scheme is the 3 volunteer days working at the farm, recently I have begun growing my own food and I love it, but must admit I am a complete novice and lose most of the seedlings to natures predators; so the opportunity to go and learn more about planting seeds and growing crops is for me very exciting.

The best part though has to be that each week you get a slightly different array of vegetables and as the seasons change the produce changes with it, this encourages me to get creative in the kitchen preparing either raw salads or cooked vegan dishes with a raw twist. I will be posting some of those creations over the coming weeks.

I highly recommend box schemes, co-ops and veg share schemes for your fruits and vegetables; everybody wins and on top of that: grow your own.

 

 

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This weeks box included: Pak Choi, Wild Garlic, Spring Onions, White Onions, Rocket, Lettuce Leaves (variety), Carrots, Radish and Wild Flowers. (YUMMY)

 

To you all in great health

Matt Allen

The Yoga Health Coach

http://www.theyogahealthcoach.co.uk

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Dandelion inspired Quinoa Salad

 

The other week I signed up to write a review for a book, which I will not name now, but will tell you it’s awesome and is the inspiration behind this dish; I will give more details about the book once the review is done.
Back to the dish: I make many raw and vegan dishes that are beautiful, tasty,nutritious and very expensive due to the ingredients. The crazy thing is the ‘best things in life are free’ and that’s the beauty of wild food foraging; free nutritious, delicious and beautiful food.

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The Dandelion and its wonder:

Nourishes the Liver,
High in Iron and Zinc,
Helps maintain regularity,
Helps with skin problems,
Helps detoxify waste from the body,
Mild appetite stimulant,
Mild diuretic,
Positive effects on digestion,
Blood builder and detoxifier.

Dandelion and Quinoa Salad:
Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 – cup of quinoa
1 – pinch of salt
2 – tbsp Tahini
1 – tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 – lemon
2 – dandelion flower heads
1 – handful of dandelion leaves
20 – sundried black olives
4 – English chestnut mushrooms
1/2 – red onion
1 – handful of Rocket leaves

Method:
2 cups of water to 1 cup of quinoa; add to water, bring to the boil and then simmer for around 25 minutes:
Chop the mushrooms, dandelion leaves and onion and leave to the side.
In a large mixing bowl add the tahini, olive oil, lemon juice and salt; mix into a smooth texture.
Pluck the petals from the flower head and add to the bowl along with the rocket and olives.
When the quinoa is cooked take of the heat, add the mushrooms, dandelion leaves and onions to the pan; stir and leave to steam for a couple of minutes.
Add all ingredients together in the mixing bowl and serve.

Enjoy

Matt Allen
The Yoga Health Coach

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An Earthy Meal of Many Roots

Being spring I would usually side with salads, fruits and light hydrating meals however, this is no ordinary spring, we seem to be stuck in Winter for the time being and so with that being the environment I am compelled to adapt, so in comes a nice earthy meal to keep us warm, grounded and revitalised.

Were making a two course meal here so the method will come after I have provided the ingredients for the two courses:

Parsnip Soup with Pearl Barley, Cashew Nuts and slight hint of Spice.

Ingredients:

300g – Parsnips (roughly 2)

50g – Cashew Nuts

1 cup – Pearl Barley

Soup Sauce:

3 – Cloves of Garlic

1 – tsp of Paprika

1 – tbsp of Coconut Oil

1 – pinch turmeric

3 – pinches of sea salt

2 – tbsp Garam Masala

Side Salad:IMG_0185

1/2 head of Brocolli

1 – Carrott

1 – Beetroot

1/4 – Kholarabi

Salad Dressing:

Glug of Olive Oil

2 – tbsp Apple Cyder Vinegaar

pinch of Sea Salt

Inspiral Furitaki Superfood Sprinkle

Method:

Bring a large pan of water to the boil then let it simmer and add the barley return to the boil and then leave to simmer for up to 55 minutes.

Whilst the barley is cooking we can prep the rest of the food. In your salad bowl pour in the salad dressing ingredients, then chop and add the broccoli. Grate the the rest of IMG_0184the vegetables and add to the salad bowl and mix all the ingredients together.

Prep the parsnips by peeling, washing and then dicing, weigh the cashew nuts and keep these ingredients to the side until the barley has been cooking for roughly 30 minutes then add these ingredients to the pan for the final 20 – 25 minutes depending on how soft (cooked) you like them however, if you overcook them you do loose a lot of the nutrition.

IMG_0186Time to make the soup sauce, we begin by chopping the garlic very finely, you can use a frying pan but I am not a fan of the chemicals they line the frying pans with so I simply use a stainless steel pan. Either way line the pan with water and place over a high heat add the coconut oil, once the oil has melted add the garlic followed by the spices, keep on a high heat for roughly 45 second and then add to the Soup.

The fun part clean up. Ok not so fun but whilst you still have 10 minutes or so of cooking time you can get through most of the cleaning up.

Ready to serve and enjoy

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be creative add and take away ingredients as you like.

Matt Allen

The Yoga Health Coach