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A Middle Eastern Inspired Hummus

Hummus

I can’t remember the last time I actually bought a dip from the store, it’s been that long. Admittedly, on occasion you can find dips that are full of the good stuff but a huge majority are full of a whole bunch of ingredients and numbers that are more likely made in a laboratory than a farm. This particular recipe is the simplest of them all. I’ve always got a can of organic chickpeas in my pantry (yes, canned is not ideal but if you’re in a hurry this is a far better alternative than choosing store bought). If I could suggest, next time you grab your dip from the supermarket, take the time to turn it around and read the label. If its use by date is beyond a week you know you’re consuming additives that your body doesn’t need. In fact, if there are numbers or words on the back you don’t understand, my advice would be to pop it back on the shelf. Why eat food that doesn’t add value to your awesome life?

You may well have noticed the hummus slathered generously over the Hearty Tempeh Falafels we whipped up from Lesh Karan’s (aka The Mindful Foodie) eBook Nourished earlier in the week. Well these two recipes really do go hand in hand. So who am I to keep you from experiencing the taste sensation of this delicious duo? Here is the recipe for the most quick, simple and rubbish free hummus you will ever eat.

This recipe creates a hummus that is smooth and reasonably runny, a traditional Middle Eastern consistency. If you’d like it thicker, perhaps if you intend to use it as a dip with crackers, simply reduce the quantity of water included in the directions below.

You’ll need:
1 can chickpeas
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons tahini
1/3 -2/3 cups water
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 garlic clove
Sea salt to taste

Open the can of chickpeas and place them into a colander or strainer. Rinse very well. Allow the tap to run over the chickpeas for a good couple of minutes. Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor and combine until smooth. Hummus are awesome with crunchy crackers, raw crudites, dolloped over salads, in wraps…you name it!

 

Source: theholisticingredient.com

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My thoughts on protein powder (plus an apple tea cake recipe)

Protein-Cake

My thoughts are this – most protein powders are not our friends. The vast majority seem to be full of ingredients made in a laboratory, ingredients that are highly processed and full of synthetic ingredients (including artificial sweeteners) that are toxic to our bodies. If what you are putting on your fork is not actually adding value to your health in the long term, why would you eat it? By choosing whole foods, as close to nature as possible, you are nourishing your body with the goodness it needs and deserves. But there is indeed a ‘but’. Not all protein powders are created equal and my personal opinion is that there is a place for some high quality protein powders on the market today.

So why do I include a protein powder in my diet anyway?
Well mainly for variety. My body needs high quality protein in at least two out of three main meals each day (I couldn’t be vegan if I tried…and I have). My ‘high quality’ options are eggs, chicken, red meat and a little fish (I have had terrible trouble with heavy metals in my body so am cautious of eating too much fish) and occasionally I tire of these options. For that reason, I’ve always chosen 100% whey protein to throw into a smoothie and create a full meal for breakfast or lunch; until that is, I discovered an awesome new protein superfood range by Think Vitality Nutrition. These guys use protein blends that are whole foods, with a focus on natural nutrition (seemingly revolutionary in the protein powder market today). They use quality ingredients and combine them to create complete super food sources. It’d be remiss of me not share my find quite frankly!

A little about TVN and their protein sources.
TVN is the brainchild of Vicky and Tahi Reihana. Vicky is a certified holistic health coach, personal trainer, and Tahi a fitness industry lecturer, former international rugby player and strength and conditioning coach. Both have owned gyms in their time so their knowledge and experience equips them to devise a superior product within the health, wellness and fitness industry. TVN use both whey and pea protein within their superfood blends, and it is the quality of these ingredients (and those they combine them with) that sets this brand apart.

Whey Protein Isolate
The whey is sourced from New Zealand pasture fed, hormone free, raw cows milk. Free from chemicals, additives and artificial sweeteners. It is low allergen, therefore suitable for those with gluten and food intolerances. The whey is easy to digest, gentle on the stomach and promotes gut health.

Pea Protein Isolate
The pea protein is a 100% natural plant based protein derived from golden peas. It is easily absorbed because it has the most balanced amino acid profile of any plant based protein. Pea protein is ideal for vegetarians and vegans who are looking to incorporate quality protein into their diet.

What I love in particular about this range is the beautiful list of whole foods in their blends – jump onto their website and check out their coconut or cinnamon superfood protein powders, for example.  This range is perfect for quick to prepare and easy to devour meals or between meal snacks. And not only are they great to include in smoothies, but they’re also amazing to bake with. Check out our latest cake recipe, if you may.

Coconut & Apple Pro-TEA-n Cake with Cinnamon Glaze.

For the tea cake:
2 cups almond flour
1 cup TVN WPI coconut superfood blend
2/3 cup coconut nectar
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 eggs
2 apples, peeled and cored
Juice of one lemon

For the cinnamon glaze:
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons coconut cream
2 tablespoons coconut nectar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius. Grease a round cake tin (approx 25cm diameter) with coconut oil, and line the base with baking paper.

Roughly dice the apples and place them in a bowl, cover them in the lemon juice, set aside. Combine the dry ingredients (almond meal, Think Vitality Nutrition Coconut Protein Blend, cinnamon, cardamom and baking soda) on one bowl, and the wet ingredients (coconut nectar, coconut oil and the eggs) in another. Whisk the wet ingredients. Add the wet mix to the dry and fold through the apples.

Spoon the cake batter into the baking tin and place in the oven for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

To make the glaze, simply combine the above listed ingredients and stir to remove any lumps. Drizzle over the slices of cake as you serve.

Note: You may substitute coconut flour for the WPI coconut protein blend.

Source : www.theholisticingredient.com

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CURRIED RED LENTIL AND POTATO SOUP

mayawilson-red-lentil-soup

I’m not really sure what the difference is between a curry and a soup, but this dish – built on red lentils and potatoes, with bright Thai curry paste and tangy non-dairy yogurt — falls into that grey area. It would be just as good on a plate with rice as it would by itself in a bowl.

Technically, curry doesn’t even exist. In India, the word curry apparently just refers to a gravy or sauce. How do I know this? Why, from the unofficial website (notacurry.com) dedicated to striking down the flow of misinformation around Indian cuisine! “Curry is a misnomer that trivializes the complex and heterogeneous characteristics of Indian cooking and overlooks the Indian subcontinent’s highly diverse culinary landscape.”

…So whatever you want to call it, this dish actually draws influence from lots of different regions. The red lentils and potatoes are very Indian, but I’m using bright Thai red curry paste as well as non-dairy yogurt (which is a first for this blog) to create layers of flavor in this super-easy, creamy, spicy dish.

red_lentil_curry

red_lentil_curry_top

Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2-3 stalks celery
  • 2 small carrots
  • 3 medium-size red potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste*
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 red chili
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 3+ cups vegetable broth
  • 8-10 oz non-dairy (coconut or soy) yogurt
  • 3 limes
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Jasmine rice, for serving

* I use the Thai Kitchen brand red curry paste, which is widely available in the states and is vegan, but I’ve heard that the European version has fish sauce, so be sure to double check.

Step One

Mince the mirepoix (onion, celery, carrot) and add to a large stockpot with a tablespoon of olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper. Allow the veggies to soften for about 5 minutes, then add in all of the curry paste, the coriander, and the potatoes (cut into small chunks) and all/some of the red chili (minced) depending on how spicy you want it. Stir well to incorporate the curry paste and give another 5 minutes to simmer.

Step Two

Rinse and sort the lentils, then add them into the pot along with 3 cups of veggie broth (for now, more may be needed later). Bring to a simmer, cover, and allow to cook for at least 30 more minutes until the potatoes are soft and fully cooked – stirring occasionally. Feel free to add more salt, spices, curry paste, or vegetable broth, if needed.

If serving with rice, begin preparing that now as well.

Step Three

When the potatoes are soft, remove from the heat and stir in the juice of 1-2 limes and about 6 oz of coconut milk yoghurt. Ladle into bowls, alongside the rice (if using) and top with chopped cilantro and a dollop of the remaining coconut milk yogurt.

red_lentil_curry_soup

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BUDDHA BOWL WITH TASTY CHICKPEAS AND RED PEPPER CHIMICHURRI

buddha

I’m not sure what a Buddha Bowl even is anymore. Back when I posted my original buddha bowl recipe a few years ago, my understanding was that it meant a bowl of finely-chopped vegetables tossed with a grain like rice or quinoa. But now, if you do a search for buddha bowl, it seems to be used for any vegetarian recipe served in a bowl. Hmm.

However, I’m still holding onto my definition. I think something great happens when you chop your veggies super-fine and toss them with a grain and some seasonings. Every bite has a little of everything and it tastes so fresh and satisfying. For this new recipe, we’re taking that template to another level. It’s starts with the basics – quinoa with chopped veggies – and then we’ll add some sweet & savory sautéed chickpeas and top everything with a killer pureed sauce of red pepper and parsley (much like a chimichurri sauce). Everything can be whipped up in under 30 minutes for a dinner + some leftovers the next day.

chickpeabuddha
Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cooked white quinoa
  • 4+ cups chopped kale
  • 4 green onions
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 15 oz cans chickpeas
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon each (to start): smoked paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, cumin, sea salt
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Prep: cook some quinoa according to package instructions. If you start with about 1 1/2 cups of dry quinoa and 3 cups of water, you should have just about the right amount.

Step One – The Chickpeas

To start, let’s make the sweet and spicy chickpeas that add so much depth and flavor to this buddha bowl. Rinse and drain two cans of chickpeas (or a fresh equivalent) and toss them into a skillet with a drizzle of maple syrup and a few dashes of each of the spices mentioned (it’s hard to say exactly how much to use, just start with a little and see how it goes). Warm over medium-high heat and toss the pan occasionally to ensure even coating. After about 5 minutes, the chickpeas should begin turning darker and the seasonings will start to stick. At that point, give them a taste and add any more spices as needed. Then, remove from the heat and set aside.

Step Two – The Chimichurri

Slice 1 1/2 red bell peppers into strips, place them on a baking sheet (saving the other 1/2 pepper for garnish) , and pop them under your oven’s broiler for 5-7 minutes, until the tops just begin to char. When done, allow to cool slightly then combine in a food processor with the parsley leaves, garlic cloves, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and some salt and pepper. Pulse just a few times until you have something resembling a salsa (stop before you have a smoothie!). Taste and adjust the flavors as needed.

Step Three – Everything Else

With the two big components out of the way and the quinoa finished cooking, the salad is easy to finish. Simply chop the green onions and kale into very small pieces and dice the avocado and remaining bell pepper. Then add everything except the chimichurri (chickpeas, quinoa, kale, green onions, avocado, bell pepper, and pumpkin seeds) into a large bowl and toss to combine. Serve (room temperature and chilled both work well) in bowls with a big spoonful of the chimichurri on top.

chickpeabuddhatop

 

Source: oneingredientchef.com

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THE BUFFALO TEMPEH RANCH WRAP

buffalo

One of my favorite flavor combos in the whole world is buffalo + ranch, but this is surprisingly my first attempt at putting those two flavors together in one of my own recipes. I couldn’t be happier with it. The spicy buffalo-coated tempeh strips and the shredded greens coated with cool cashew-based ranch is incredible. Throw in some avocado for good measure and wrap it all in a tortilla for one delicious lunch.

The cool thing about this recipe is that you can make it pretty much anyway you want. It’s just about perfect as it is, but you can change it up in many ways. If you want to make it into an awesome bowl, just sub rice or quinoa for the tortilla. Want to use cauliflower instead of tempeh? No problem. Feel free to freestyle this one as much as you want and it will still come out amazing.

BuffaloWrap

Makes 4 wraps

Ingredients:

  • 4 large whole wheat tortillas
  • 8 oz block of tempeh
  • 1/2 cup+ buffalo sauce
  • 2+ cups shredded lettuce
  • 2+ cups red cabbage
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/2 cup raw cashew pieces
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

BuffaloWrapOpen

Prep: Soak the 1/2 cup raw cashews for at least an hour before blending. Also preheat the oven to 350º F.

Step One

In a high-powered blender, make the ranch sauce by combining the cashews (drain the soaking water), 1/2 cup fresh water, nutritional yeast, parsley, chives, garlic powder, apple cider vinegar, and a shake of salt and pepper. Blend until smooth, then give it a taste and adjust anything as needed to get a creamy, slightly-sour vegan ranch sauce. This can be made ahead and stored for several days if needed.

Step Two

To make the buffalo pieces, slice the tempeh lengthwise into long strips, line them along a baking dish, and coat both sides with at least 1/4 cup buffalo sauce. Bake for about 5 minutes until the sauce begins to stick to the outside and absorb into the tempeh. Add more buffalo sauce, flip the tempeh, and bake again – getting tons of flavor baked onto the outside of the pieces. Allow to cool and set aside until ready to make the wraps.

Step Three

To make the wraps themlselves, warm a large tortilla in the oven or microwave until more pliable, add a handful of both shredded lettuce and shredded red cabbage, then drizzle on a bunch of the ranch sauce. Line with a few avocado pieces and 2-3 tempeh pieces. Drizzle with a little more buffalo sauce and ranch sauce, then fold in the ends and roll lengthwise. Slice in half and serve!

Note: all the pieces can be made ahead of time but it’s best to prepare the wraps just before serving, as the sauces will make them soggy if saved for too long.

BuffaloWrapPlate

Source : oneingredientchef.com