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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!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Vegetarian Lasagna

Hi Everyone,  Here is my recipe for veggie lasagna.  If in the US I would use Tinkyada brown rice lasagne, but here in Portugal I cannot buy that so I use any whole wheat lasagne I can find.  You can also use your favourite cheese on the topping, I use a Portuguese cheese called Ilha Acoreano made from raw milk, but you can use whatever melting cheese you want.  If you are vegan you can use vegan cheese and for the bechamel sauce you can use a fake butter and nut milk instead of cow milk and butter.


8 slices of lasagna pasta (either cook it ahead if its the type of lasagna you need to cook, or leave as they are if its the one you don't need to cook first)

1 large onion chopped

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon oregano

1 large clove garlic crushed and chopped

 6 medium to large tomatoes chopped

15 crimini (brown)  mushrooms sliced

1 large red pepper chopped into 2 inch pieces

1 medium courgette/zuchinni quartered and chopped

For the bechamel

1/4 cup or 4oz butter

3 tablespoons flour

1 1/2 cups milk

4oz - 6oz cheese grated

salt and pepper to taste

Put the oven on 350 degrees or 175 C.

Saute the onion and garlic for 2 or 3 minutes and add paprika and then the tomatoes.

Cook until the onion is soft and well combined with the tomatoes.

You might want to add a little water to make the sauce more liquid, cook for another 5 minutes.

Then add the mushrooms and the red peppers, cook for another 5 minutes.

 Add the courgette/zuchinni and cook for another 3 minutes.

Add the oregano (crush it in your fingers and sprinkle in) and salt and pepper to taste.

Then lay 4 slices of  lasagne pasta in a large glass dish.

Place the cooked veggies on top of pasta.

Make the bechamel by melting the butter, then remove from heat and add the flour, mix well put back on a low heat. Immediately begin to add the milk slowly, stirring continuously and making sure there are no lumps until all the milk is added, let this cook and thicken while stirring until it boils. If it is too liquid take a little out in a small bowl and add more flour to it, stir it well,then add back into the sauce, if it's too thick add more milk.

Once it starts to boil turn off the heat and set aside.

Place another 4 slices of pasta on top of the veggies.

Pour the bechamel over the pasta and make sure it covers the whole of the top.

Add the grated cheese and place in the oven for about 20 to 30 minutes.

The cheese should be lightly browned on the top.

Serve on its own with some grated parmesan cheese or serve with a green salad on the side.Either
way you will be getting a lovely serving of vegetables.

Crimini mushrooms contain large amounts of copper, selenium and B2.  Copper is used for wound healing and is good for osteoarthritis.  Selenium is an antioxidant and also B2, they contain large amounts of potassium too.  These delicious mushrooms also contain many other nutrients you can read about here

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.