Search This Blog

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.

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.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Apple Strawberry Almond Walnut Molasses Porridge

I made this one today and it turned out really well.  I am on my second day of no dairy. I almost caved in this morning and ate toast with butter, but luckily, the bread was old, so I threw it away and made myself basmati rice with eggs and chilies.  I think I will be able to not cave in tomorrow morning because now I know I can have rice and eggs and that tastes really good, I just have to adjust my mind to eating differently. Of course my wheat intake will go down with no toast, as toast without butter is just not the same.  Usually I eat one or 2 pieces of toast with butter and sometimes marmalade and sometimes cheese, but always lots of butter!  This is a big change for me, so my first breakfast today was the rice and eggs at around 7 am and then at around 1.30 pm I made my second breakfast.  I forgot to photograph it today, so will add one the next time I make it, which will probably be tomorrow.

This is what I made for my second breakfast today.


1.5 cups oats of your choice soaked overnight

1 small apple quartered and cored

4 large strawberries cut in half

3 tablespoons almonds

3 tablespoons walnuts

1 or 2 tablespoons molasses

Drain and rinse the oats, make sure you rinse thoroughly. Place in a pan with enough water to cover the oats by 1/8 inch or a little more.  Bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes or until water has evaporated, if it gets too thick add a little more water.  While the oats are cooking place the nuts in the food processor and blend into small pieces, then add the apple and strawberry.  Pulse it all together so that the apple is in small pieces and the strawberry is blended into everything.  Add this to the porridge when the porridge is finished cooking.  Then add the molasses, stir it in really well and then serve with cashew milk, or milk of your choice.

Molasses is very high in many minerals including calcium,potassium, magnesium, manganese, copper, phosphorus, chromium, cobalt and sodium.  It also contains B6, riboflavin, niacin and thiamin.  Molasses also contains anti-oxidants, polyphenols and iron.  Using molasses in porridge instead of sugar is a great switch.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Cashew Milk

I've decided I need to stop using butter and milk products for the moment. I just cannot support this vile industry of enslaving animals any longer. It is very different having your own cow, goat or sheep and they have too much milk and need milking, but this keeping female animals pregnant so they can satisfy our needs is really disgusting.  So, this may be quite a transition as I think i am addicted to butter and I love cheese.  I know I can make cashew cheese, and even though delicious, its the harder and melting cheeses.  I just found a vegan mozzarella cheese recipe that I can make.  I will try some of these and report back.

For my porridge today I used cashew milk that I made and it was lovely.  I have been vegan before, so this isn't new.  I'm not going vegan this time I don't think. I am going to eat what I feel like eating.  My husband likes to eat chicken, so I often may just get lazy and eat it with him.  We use the whole chicken, first we roast it, then that ends up being at least 3 meals, burritos, pasta sandwiches and then we use the bones for stock and so we actually get at least 6 meals from the whole chicken for 2 people.
Now, you might think, why is she stopping dairy and still eating chicken!  Well, I don't know that I will be eating chicken for sure, but I raised chickens in the past and I really don't mind eating them, I don't feel guilty. I know I could kill a chicken if I had to, but I know I couldn't kill a cow, horse, pig, sheep/lamb, or goat, so as far as eating animals goes, the chicken is the only one I consider at all now, and not just any chicken.  Here in Portugal they have what they call Frango de Campo or chicken from the field and they are huge compared to the other chickens that they have in the supermarket, the other ones are factory farmed.  I don't eat fish because I think the ocean is toxic, so I'll be almost vegan and see how it feels.


1 cup raw cashew nuts soaked for 8 hours

1.5 to 4 cups water (depending on what thickness you want)

 Depending on how creamy you want it depends on the amount of water you put in it. If you want a cream, use only 1.5 to 2 cups of water, if you want half and half use 2 to 3 cups water and if you want full milk between 3.5 and 4 cups of water.  Store in the fridge.  It should keep for 3 days. It probably won't keep for 4 though.  Y

You can use this for milk, cream of half and half and you'll love it I'm sure.

Cashew nuts are very high in copper, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and manganese.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Green Beans with Mushrooms Garlic and Red Pepper

Hi Everyone,  I created this recipe this evening.  As you may have noticed, I am rather fond of green beans and there are a few recipes on here for them.  Well here is another.  Green beans have many health benefits and are very delicious if cooked correctly.  Blanching makes the beans stay crunchy, but cooks them just enough to keep the flavor and colour.


500mg (1lb) green beans both ends trimmed

4 - 6 mushrooms sliced

2 cloves garlic crushed and chopped

1/4 red pepper cut into tiny cubes

2 T butter, ghee or coconut oil

In a large saucepan blanch the beans in boiling water for 3 1/2 minutes.  Rinse under cold water and set aside.  While waiting for the water to boil melt 1 T butter in a large skillet (frying pan) then add the garlic, saute for 1 minute and add the mushrooms, cook for 2 minutes and add the red pepper.  Make a space in the center of the pan and add the other tablespoon of oil, add the beans and mix with all the veggies, saute for 1 minute, then serve with main course of your choice.

Green beans are high in anti-oxidants,  they are very high in vitamin K which plays a crucial role in blood clotting and  bone metabolism, which is also a benefit of manganese which is also very high in green beans.  They also contain good amounts of vitamin C, fiber and many other essential vitamins and minerals.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Roasted Cauliflower Moussaka

I have had this idea going around in my brain for the last couple of days.  So here is another of my takes on the divine Greek classic Moussaka.  Aubergines or eggplants are good for heart health.  They have a phytonutrient in the skin called nasunin which is a strong antioxidant and has been shown to protect cell membranes from damage.  In animal studies it showed that eggplant juice reduced cholesterol on the artery wall as well as the aorta and in the blood.  Eggplant or aubergine also contains viscous fibre which is a soluble fibre and very good for lowering LDL (the bad) cholesterol.

    Roasted Cauliflower Moussaka with Red Lentils Tomatoes and Onions

Recipe By     :        Chef Shobhan
Serving Size  : 6     Preparation Time :0:45 minutes
Categories    :         Vegetarian

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  1             medium  cauliflower -- chopped
  2             medium  aubergines -- sliced lengthwise l
  1         tablespoon  butter
  1             medium  onion -- sliced thinly
  2             cloves  garlic -- crushed and chopped
     1/2           cup  water
  2             medium  tomatoes -- chopped
  8                     mushrooms -- chopped
     1/4           cup  red lentils -- soaked
  3        tablespoons  butter -- melted
  2        tablespoons  flour
  1                cup  milk or water
                        salt and pepper
  1                cup  grated cheese of your choice

Heat oven to 350 degrees or 175 C. Paint the aubergine with olive oil on both sides with a brush and place on baking tray before putting in the oven cook for 15 minutes on one side and 10 on the other and set aside. Place the chopped cauliflower in a bowl and drizzle with some olive oil and add salt and pepper place on baking tray and cook for 25 - 30 minutes.  While this is cooking warm a saute pan and add 1 tablespoon of butter, then add the sliced onions and garlic.  Cook for 3 or 4 minutes and add the tomatoes and mushrooms and cook on low, covered, for another 5 minutes.

Add the lentils and the water and cook for another 10 minutes.

When the cauliflower has cooled a little place in food processor and pulse a few times until its all small pieces. Mix this with the onion and lentil mixture and place in a large oblong glass baking dish.  Then place a layer of the roasted aubergine on top.

Melt butter in a small saucepan then add the flour.  Mix thoroughly and start to add the milk slowly to avoid making lumps, then bring to boil stirring all the time.  It needs to get thick and creamy.  If it doesn't get thick enough add a little more flour by mixing another tablespoon into a little milk or water and then add it to the mixture and stirring constantly.  Once thick enough pour it over the aubergines and then cover with the grated cheese.  Cook for 20 minutes on 350 degrees or 175 C.  The top should be browned slightly when its done.

Serve with leafy greens and rice of your choice.

  "A vegetarian Moussaka"
                                    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 104 Calories; 8g Fat (65.2% calories from fat); 2g Protein; 8g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 21mg Cholesterol; 89mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 1 Vegetable; 1 1/2 Fat.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Black Sesame Flax Seed Smoothie

Here is my latest smoothie.  I have been drinking this one for a couple of years.  I am really loving the flavour of the black sesame, and the health benefits are huge. (you can use white sesame if you cannot find black) They have more calcium than dairy, are packed with copper which is very helpful fighting inflammation and also copper activates enzymes that help with the production of elastin and collagen.  They are also high in zinc which helps with bone density.  They also contain many other nutrients, including magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, selenium and B1.  Here is a link for a nutritional breakdown. 


2 T black or white sesame

2 T flax seeds

1 banana

1 handful fresh spinach

I T coconut oil

1 t spirulina or chlorella or 1 t of both

1 T local honey

fresh water

This recipe is for 2 people, so halve it for 1 person.  This drink becomes very mucilagenous if you don't drink it within 5 minutes of making it.  This is not my fave, it's easier to drink when first made.
This drink will keep you regular and really help you start your day well with all the major amino acids contained in the green powders spirulina and chlorella, so even if you don't eat the most healthy food for the rest of the day, at least you start your day with a nutrient packed drink, that also fills you up for at least 2 hours.

Flax seeds and black sesame seeds