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Monday, July 31, 2017

Spiced Chickpeas in Ghee

I made this one yesterday.  It is the best chickpeas I've ever made!  They are butter soft and the flavour of the ghee really makes it so so delicious.  I used a sambar masala for spicing which you can get at your local Indian store or online. It works very well for this recipe.

1 cup chickpeas soaked overnight and rinsed really well
1 small onion chopped
1 clove garlic crushed and chopped
1 pinch asafoetida
6 - 10 curry leaves(fresh if possible or dried will do)
1/2 teaspoon black or brown mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
Ghee for sauteeing
5 medium tomatoes chopped
1 teaspoon sambar masala

Cook the chickpeas until tender either in a pressure cooker or on stovetop.  Strain and set aside with a about 1/4 cup water left in the pot.  Take out 1/4 cup of the chickpeas and blend in the blender with the water until they are smooth and liquid you will need about 1/4 cup water, add more if they are too thick.  Set aside.
Melt as much as 1 tablespoon (or as little as 1 teaspoon) of ghee in a large pan on medium heat.  Add the asafoetida and the mustard, cumin seeds and curry leaves, cook for 2 or 3 mins till mustard seeds turn grey.  Add the onion and garlic and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes until the onion softens.  The add the ground cumin, turmeric and sambar masala.  Cook for 1 minute more and then add the tomatoes. Cook for another 7 to 10 minutes till the tomatoes break down.  Now you can add the chickpeas and the blended chickpeas.  Cook for another 10 minutes to allow the flavours to fully come out.  Serve with high quality white basmati or a brown basmati.  If using white, soak for an hour before rinsing and cooking and if using brown soak overnight and rinse before cooking.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Yet Again, I failed!

Well I know I said I was going vegan.  Well I did, for 10 days.  I realize that I am not supposed to be vegan.  Even though I agree with it in theory, in practice its just leaves me feeling hungry most of the time and not really nourished when I've eaten a meal.  I'm sure long time vegans may have many things to say about my miserable failure at being vegan, but it was not working for me.  The main thing that doesn't work for me being vegan is not being able to cook with butter.  There is only coconut oil to cook with if you are vegan, and that is just much too expensive here in Portugal.  A small jar is 10 euros.  Also, I don't want everything to taste of coconut.  So, I am back to my old ways of eating.  Maybe sugar and wheat need to go?  Not really sure, but I didn't notice any difference in how I felt, other than being hungry most of the time.  I just made a post to see where I can find (if I can find) raw dairy here in Central Portugal.

If you eat fake butter (margarine) then you are harming the orangutans and if you eat butter you are hurting cows.  Which is worse?  I don't know, but I know for my health butter is much better than fake butter which is full of sunflower seed and palm oils.  Sunflower seed oil is full of omega 6 oil which promotes inflammation. Oh and I forgot to mention the evil rapeseed or canola oil which is equally bad for health, you can read more about it in this link:

Palm oil on the other hand can be healthy if using the red palm oil that is organically grown.  But finding that can be challenging.  I think it best to not use any palm oil at this time.

I have however, decided that I can be vegetarian.  So, I am now vegetarian.  I was just reading all about Nikola Tesla's diet. He was vegetarian as was Albert Einstein and several other famous poets and philosophers.  You can read about them here

There are so many things that one can eat when vegetarian that are incredibly delicious.  Last night I made vegetarian lasagna with a sheep cheese that was very similar to parmesan.  My friend who is not vegetarian and didn't know that it would be a vegetarian lasagna was pleasantly surprised and really enjoyed it too.  I will be posting some lovely recipes very soon.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Not Quite What I Expected

Well, I failed miserably.  I am quite embarrassed that I made such a production about this watermelon cleanse.  I just got so so hungry and I decided to make a mung dal with white basmati rice.  My husband was also super hungry too and neither of us were at all hungry last time.  I do not like the discomfort of not eating. I do not need to lose any weight.  I was expecting it to be as easy as last time and it just wasn't.  So its 9 pm and we are going to eat some mung dal and basmati rice.  And it will taste like the most divine food in the world.

Thank you all for your comments and encouragement on facebook.  I love all the dialog that happened around this.  For my friends who do fast, all I can say is wow!  You've got some will power. Last time this didn't take will power really because neither of us felt hungry.  But I am super hungry now and will go and eat my divine food.

I will post the recipe for my mung dal with a photo soon.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Day One of Watermelon Cleanse

I am currently drinking my first watermelon drink of the day.  It tastes divine and is very refreshing.   Now I say this is the first day,  it may be the only day.  It just depends on how I feel.  The nice thing about it is that I can just do one day if I want!  Here are some photos of making the juice.  Make sure you use some of the white part of the melon too as it contains citrulline, a phytonutrient, which the kidneys change into L-argnine and a chemical called nitric oxide, these are beneficial for the heart and blood vessels. They also may boost the immune system.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Watermelon Cleanse

Hello Everyone,  I am starting a watermelon cleanse on Monday, that's in four days.  I intend to do 3 days of watermelon juice, possibly more, if it feels right.  Then I will start back eating a vegan diet after the cleanse.  The reason I am doing this is because I am having pain in the joints of my hands, my knees and in my lower back.  I have decided that I must change the way I've been eating.

To be honest, my diet hasn't been that great since I made the move to Portugal.  I feel a need to really cleanse and detox.  I have been vegan before, in fact it is documented here on this blog.  I am hoping it will alleviate some of the symptoms I have been having.  I wanted to write about my experiment here to share the details with you of what I notice, or don't notice during this cleanse.

Here is the recipe for making watermelon juice easily.


1/4 of a watermelon cut into pieces, leaving some of the white part on the fruit you are juicing. This white part contains Citruline which is good for the heart and blood vessels.  It also contains high levels of vitamin C and lycopene.

Place the pieces into a blender.  If you have a vitamix you can use the plunger they have  to make the watermelon start blending.  If you have a regular blender you may need a little pure water in the bottom of the blender to be able to start the juice.  Blend it for about 30 seconds, longer if you don't have a vitamix.  Once it is all well blended that is your juice.  Drink it whenever you feel like during the day and if you start to really get hungry you can eat some watermelon.  Do this for as little as 24 hours and as long as 5 days.  When we did this cleanse before, we had decided to do a 24 hour cleanse, but, funnily enough, we weren't hungry and we were enjoying it so much that we decided to do 72 hours and it was easy and delicious.

Follow this link to find out more about the health benefits of watermelon

Image result for watermelon

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Cauliflower Cabbage Red Pepper in Peanut Sauce

Hi Everyone,  here is something I created tonight.  I have been eating quite a few salads recently as the weather's been warm, but tonight it was a little cold and I wanted some cooked vegetables. So here is my latest creation.

serves 4

1 red chili chopped
2 clove garlic crushed and chopped divided in 2
1 shallot peeled, halved and sliced thinly
2 cups cauliflower chopped in small pieces
1/2 cup sliced red peppers
1 cup thinly sliced white cabbage
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon crunchy peanut butter
2 tablespoons tamari
1 teaspoon coconut sugar or honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 tablelspoons olive oil

Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet.  Add the chopped garlic, chili and shallot, stir and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.  Add the cauliflower, red pepper and cabbage stir for 1 or 2 minutes then cover and leave on a low heat for 5 minutes.  While its cooking prepare the dressing.  Add the peanut butter, tamari, lemon juice, coconut sugar and garlic, mix well with small whisk, when creamy add the olive oil, whisk it in and test and adjust for your personal taste.  Drizzle over the vegetables and serve with a protein of your choice.

Cabbage is a great source of many vitamins and minerals including vitamin K, C and B6.  Its a great source of fiber, antioxidants and is also anti-inflammatory.  It also contains the important amino acid LGlutamine which helps preserve muscle tissue and may help gut function.  Cabbage has been used to treat stomach ulcers.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Dairy or no dairy?

Well, its been four days since I stopped butter and other dairy products.  I have to completely change the way I eat and I've been in a particular pattern especially first thing in the morning for a while.  Usually when I would have my toast and butter, I would drink my English tea with milk, it feels like they all go together.  Its interesting.  I woke up yesterday and decided that I was just going to eat butter as I was missing it and craving it, but there was no bread!  So I was foiled in my attempt to break my butter fast.  I don't know if I will go back to butter, I probably will, even though I think its wrong.  Am I are bad person?  Well, it seems us humans have been eating butter for a very long time, at least 10,000 years!  My problem with it is how it is produced in these vile factory farm where cows get kept pregnant their whole lives and never see the light of day.  Well, I've just been reading about a brand of Portuguese butter that is grass-fed, so maybe I can eat butter after all!

OK!  I did four days without butter and then decided that I was not ready to quit dairy.  At least I can eat grass-fed butter, but the milk I have been using isn't grass-fed, I can't seem to find grass-fed milk, only butter.  I only really use milk in tea, so it's not a huge amount. At least that's a start.  I have been vegan before and mostly raw.  You can read about my raw for 30 days and then vegan for 8 months in post from September 2010.

I feel very strongly that factory farming is very wrong, but I also think that we need some animal protein in our diets.  I love the vegan idea, but I know that it's not right for everyone.  It was not at all right for my husband.  He lost two sizes in clothes rapidly, which he didn't need to do as he is skinny anyway.  He also lost his sex drive, so that's definitely not a good thing and as soon as he started eating meat again his weight came back and his sex drive.  Personally, when I went vegan it seemed to work fine for me, but I really missed cheese, I know that now there are some much better vegan cheeses around now though.  I still have the dilemma, I don't want to support factory farming, but I also don't want to go completely vegan.  So I will eat grass-fed butter and use nut milk in my tea, either cashew or almond.  I haven't actually eaten any cheese for over a week!  That's very unusual for me. I believe it's because I am being more conscious of eating dairy, so avoiding it as much as I can.  I will keep you all up to date on where I am with my diet in future posts.