Search This Blog

Monday, January 21, 2019

What to cook when vegans and meat eaters are coming for dinner?

I haven't thought to do a post like this before, but recently had to cook for a variety of requirements, and that made me think of this.  I know that for some, cooking just one meal for people can be stressful, but then to have to figure out a vegan option along with a meat dish is even more stressful.  So here is an idea for what you can do to make a simple, easy dinner.

Dinner for 2 vegans and 4 meat eaters


Ginger Marinated Tofu or Chicken Breast
see recipe below menu

Brown Basmati Coconut Rice
in this recipe substitute the butter for coconut oil if vegan

Red Cabbage Pear Carrot Cucumber and Walnut Salad
Omit feta cheese for vegans

Carob Brazil Nut Fudge


Do the night before the dinner.

In separate bowls, soak all items below overnight in water completely covering everything.  Cover with a clothe or lid.

 1.5 cups brown basmati rice.

 2 apricots for carob fudge

1.5 cups Brazil nuts for carob fudge


Make a main dish of tofu and one of chicken breast, use the same marinade for both of them.

Tamari Ginger Garlic Marinade

2 tablespoons peeled and grated ginger
2 cloves crushed chopped garlic
1/2 cup tamari (shoyu and soy are substitutes)
4 tablespoons mirin (rice wine, you can substitute 1+ tablespoon sugar)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar

Mix all ingredients together and measure out half of the liquid and put in medium sized baking tray and the other half in a bowl.

Cut 250g tofu into small squares and put into the baking tray with marinade, turn each piece over to make sure all tofu has been covered.

Use four boneless skinless chicken breasts. Cut each breast of chicken in half by placing the palm of your hand lightly on top of the chicken breast and slice it in half thru the middle so you have eight thin breast slices. put them in a bowl with the other half of the marinade.

Leave both in the fridge to marinate for a minimum of 1 hour and if possible overnight (for best flavour)

Set oven to 325 degrees or 162 C.

After marinading, add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to both dishes and mix.

Transfer the chicken to a pyrex dish. Cook for 30 - 40 minutes.

Cook tofu in same tray it marinated in.

Cook the tofu between 20 and 35 minutes, depending on the texture you like, less time means its softer and more time can make it a bit crispy.

Remove both from the oven and place on separate plates. Garnish with a tablespoon or two of toasted black sesame seeds and sliced green onions (use white and green part of the onion)

Serve with recipes featured above and have a lovely stress free simple dinner.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Red Lentil Dal

Hey Everyone,  I just had a wonderful new year being the chef at a yoga retreat on the Silver Coast in Portugal.  I had such a lovely time.  All the women were lovely.  It was so good to see how some  chose to spend bringing in the new year, nurturing themselves and their bodies.  I made my mung dal recipe there and many people really loved it.  So I am now inspired to share my red lentil dal recipe with you all.

Gastronomer's Guide: Red Lentil Dal with Nigella Seed Chapatis


serves 4

1 tablespoon ghee (you can use butter, but ghee is best)

1 teaspoon mustard seeds black or brown

1 large pinch asafoetida

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

10 - 15 curry leaves fresh if possible, but dried are ok

1 cup red lentils soaked for 1 hour or more

3 cups water

1 medium onion chopped

1 clove garlic chopped

1 hot pepper (your favourite chili, or not) chopped and seeded

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon coriander

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

2 small carrots peeled and sliced

1 small potato cut into small chunks

1 cup small florets cauliflower

1 or 2 teaspoon good quality salt

cilantro/coriander garnish

Place a medium sized pot on the stove.  Drain and rinse the lentils.  Put them in the pot and add 3 cups of water.  Place on high heat until it boils, about 3- 5 minutes.  Then turn it down to simmer.  Skim off any of the foamy stuff from the lentils every now and then. While the lentils are cooking, prepare the onion and spices. Heat a large high sided pan and add the ghee.  Once it's melted add the asafoetida, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves, cook for a minute or two then add the onion, hot pepper and garlic.  Cook until the onions are soft, about 10 minutes.  Then add the cumin, coriander and turmeric.  Cook for 2 minutes and then add the vegetables stir and cook on low heat for 10 minutes.  While this is cooking check the lentils.  They should be soft by now.  If they are not, continue cooking until they are.  Add the lentils to the spice and vegetable mixture.  Mix well, add the salt, mix again and add a little water if the mixture is too thick.  Serve with white or brown basmati or homemade chapatis.

Lentils are really good for the body.  They are full of fiber and very high in molybdenum, folate, copper, phosphorus and iron. They also taste amazing.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Curried Pumpkin Soup

Hi Everyone,  I bought a small bright orange pumpkin and decided to make soup with it.  Here is how to make this delicious spicy autumnal soup.

Cooking With Hokkaido Pumpkin Made Easy รข€“ Fresh Design Pedia


1 small pumpkin peeled and cubed
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 tablespoon ghee, butter or coconut oil
1 small onion chopped
1 hot chili of your choice
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1/8 teaspoon hing
3 cups broth either veggie or chicken
1 cup water
2 teaspoon coconut sugar (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a medium sized saucepan, then melt the ghee.  Add the mustard seeds and hing, let it sizzle for a moment, then add the onions, garlic and hot chili.  Saute for about 5 minutes on medium heat, add the garam masala and cook for 30 seconds or so.  Add the pumpkin and cook covered for another 5 minutes.  Then add the broth and the water.  Cook until the pumpkin is tender, then blend until smooth.  Serve with crusty bread and butter.

Pumpkin is very high in vitamin A, which is very healing on many levels for the body.  It helps with eyesight and it is high in anti-oxidants. It also boosts your immune system and is high in fiber.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Red Cabbage Pear Carrot Cucumber Feta and Walnut Salad

Hi Everyone,  Here is a salad I just created today.  It's super delicious and healthy.  A lovely lunch on its own, or to accompany a main dish.  The red cabbage is so lovely for the autumn.

Serves 2 - 4

1/4 medium sized red cabbage sliced very thinly

1 medium or large carrot julienned

1/2 to 1 cucumber julienned (any type of cucumber you like)

1/2 pear julienned

a handful small of walnuts chopped

sprinkling of feta cheese (optional)

1 clove garlic

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

3 tablelspoons olive oil

If you have a mandoline you can thinly slice the red cabbage, if not use a sharp knife and slice as thinly as possible.  You can also julienne with a mandoline too.  But if you don't have one just cut the carrot, pear and cucumber into matchstick size pieces.  Set all this aside and crush and chop the garlic and place in salad bowl and then add the apple cider vinegar and balsamic, stir then add the olive oil and stir.  Add all the veggies and the chopped nuts and feta if using.  Toss well and serve.

Red cabbage contains high amounts of vitamin K which is a fat soluble vitamin and therefore to get the full benefits of vitamin K, eat it with some fat or oil.  Vitamin K is needed for blood clotting, and helps build strong bones, for more info on vitamin K look here

Monday, April 23, 2018

Passion Fruit Orange Cashew Smoothie

Hi Everyone,  It seems summer is  just around the corner and I decided I wanted a fresh and tangy smoothie.  This is what I created!  I just made this one today.  Its delicious.  My husband said he didn't think he would like it when he saw me put cashews in it.  But I knew he would like it! And sure enough, he did.

Passion Fruit Orange Cashew Smoothie

For two people

1 passion fruit
1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1 banana
4 tablespoon cashew nuts
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon honey
3 cups water

Place all ingredients in the blender and blend!  Add a few cubes of ice and voila!
This is a lovely drink that can be enjoyed at any time.

Passion fruit is high in vitamin A, its also has vitamin C.  It is also high in potassium and fiber.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

I'm Back and in the Winter Garden

Hi Everyone,  Happy 2018!  May it be a wonderful and fruitful year for everyone.  I am starting to play around making little videos.  So with that said, I'm going to set about trying to figure out how to upload a video to my blog.  Here goes........Its my upstairs winter garden

I think it worked! Just to give you all an idea of where I am in the world, and what it looks like.

Wishing you all good health and prosperity in the new year.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Fire in our valley

Hi Everyone, I don't have internet at home anymore as we had a big fire in our valley. So I won't be posting anything for a while.  Please check back again in a month or two as I should be up and running again by then!  Hope you are all OK and no one has been touched by fire or floods!