What should a well-stocked healthy kitchen contain? I know what I always try to have in mine and thought that I would share my shopping lists with you guys, you can download them in the menu on the right. For ideas on how to use these tasty ingredients you just have to keep on reading this blog – easy ;-)
Hello all beautiful people out there! I am so sorry for the lack of posts; I’ve started a new job on a yacht that is in its last month of its build before getting launched in September. So right now life is more about kitting out a kitchen/galley than cooking in one. I am having so much fun though and hopefully you will have some new recipes to read soon. In the meantime, here are a few photos from my neighborhood here in the beautiful Netherlands.
A filling and fresh salad to serve on its own or as a side dish on a summer day..
200 g quinoa (more or less depending on how hungry you are)
1/2 of a small cabbage head, thinly sliced
10 cm of a leek, thinly sliced
2 handfuls of rocket leaves
5 menthe leaves
1 tbs Umboshi vinegar
1 tbs honey (if oranges aren’t sweet enough)
1 handful of your favorite nuts (almonds and walnuts in my case)
Salt & pepper
Cook the quinoa as described on the package, I like to use vegetable stock instead of water but that is optional.
Start with segmenting one of the oranges, keep a bowl underneath so you are not wasting any of the juice. Put the orange segments to one side and squeeze the juice out of whats left of your orange. Just squeese the juice out from the other orange.
In the bowl of orange juice ad 1 tbs of Umboshi vinegar (or substitute with white/red wine vinegar or lemon juice).
Finely slice the menthe leaves, this is easily done by placing one leave on top of another and rolling all leaves together and then slice with a sharp knife. Af the menthe to your dressing.
Also ad the thinly sliced leak and season with a little salt and pepper. Here in Spain the oranges are really sweet and juicy and no extra sweetness needs to be added, but have a taste, maybe a little honey needs to be added?
When the quinoa is cooked, drain and then pour it into your bowl of dressing. Have a taste again and season with salt and pepper before adding the finely chopped cabbage and rocket leaves (thinly sliced fennel would also taste fantastic with this).
Plate separately or on a big fancy plate. Garnish with your orange fillets, the roughly chopped nuts and drizzle a fine olive oil on top. Serve as is is or together with.. Hm.. grilled gambas or chicken?
Although it is cooked and eaten like a grain, quinoa is technically a seed, and is related to spinach, chard and beets. Quinoa is a complete protein, which means that it contains all the amino acids necessary for our nutritional needs. Complete proteins are rare in the plant world, making quinoa an excellent food for vegetarians and vegans, or for anyone looking for healthy protein source. It’s also high in iron and calcium, and is a good source of manganese, magnesium and copper, as well as fiber.
Quinoa is naturally gluten-free, making it an excellent food for celiac patients or other people following a gluten-free diet. Quinoa flour is great for baking cookies, breads and muffins, and quinoa flakes are a perfect substitute for oatmeal.
Took a long walk this morning around Alaro and its surrounding almond and olive fields and on my way back i stopped at the local mini market and picked up some gorgeous nectarines. Unfortunately I’m one of those people that don’t really tolerate dairy but sometimes you have to spoil yourself and today I did so with greek yogurt, puffed quinoa, goji berries, almonds and sweet sweet nectarines. It both looked and tasted beautiful.
Except for being delicious this breakfast also is very high in protein since greek yogurt contains 50% more protein than normal yogurt, as I’ve mentioned before quinoa is a complete vegetable protein and almonds are also a good protein source. If you are on a mission to build muscles its extra important to eat a sufficient amount of protein and especially in the mornings when your body is in a catabolic state, your body is burning your muscle for energy since your glycogen store is low (protein intake is also important before and after workouts).
Feel the need for something sweet once in a while? Instead of buying candy why not make your own. And while you are at it, add something healthy to the mix as well, like vitalizing Maca root powder for example. A perfect treat to eat when your energy levels are getting low.
Makes 20 small balls of goodness
200 g of raw cashews
100 g of raw peeled almonds
9 sun-dried dates
3 sun-dried figs
1 teaspoon raw cacao powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon Maca root powder
1 pinch of salt
Shelled hemp seed
Pit the dates. Cut the figs into quarters and soak together with the dates for 15 minutes in water. Drain but keep some of the water, you might need it at a later stage.
In a food processor mix the nuts until you get a flour. Ad the cacao, Maca, cinnamon and salt, blend again.
Pour the drained fruit into your mixture and blend until you have a dough with the same consistency as ginger bread dough. If your ingredients are to dry to form balls you can add a little of the water you used to soak your fruit in.
Make small bite size balls and coat them with hemp seeds.
Maca root is loaded with vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, good fats, amino acids and plant sterols, making it a very nutritious whole food. It has been called a “potent superfood” and can improve our health in many ways.
Some of it’s many health benefits include increasing physical strength, stamina and energy. In fact, Maca is so good at boosting energy and endurance levels, it’s being taken by many athletes.
Maca root is most notably known for it’s ability to improve sexual function and libido. It has been used to solve infertility conditions and is said to increase the production of sperm and semen volume. It can be used as a treatment for impotency and erectile dysfunction also. Consumption of this root will increase sex hormones, such as testosterone. For these reasons, it’s very popular with men of all ages.
Maca is also a natural hormone balancing agent, which is helpful to men and women alike. Women use it to alleviate the symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, mood swings and sleeping problems. Too much or too little estrogen is a problem that plagues many women. Maca dramatically fixes these problems.
It works as a hormone regulator that can bring balance back to your body. This will help get rid of troublesome and painful menstrual and menopausal symptoms. Many naturopaths recommend women take maca root as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy. It can also be helpful to women going through pre-menopause and post-menopause.
It’s also reported to support endocrine health, help reduce stress, relieve depression, failing memory and impart a general sense of wellbeing.
Maca calms the nerves because of it’s fatty acid, phosphorus, calcium and B1 and B12 vitamin content. These are all very beneficial to the nervous system.
It can also be used as an aid to digestion and to improve healthy appetite. It’s vitamin C, calcium and sterol content help build muscle and it’s starch content enhances physical endurance. And best of all, these healthy compounds are easily assimilated by the body due to maca’s beneficial alkaloids.
Important information – Every person handles substances differently, however, so be cautious when taking maca or any herb. Don’t ignore any symptoms that you may have. Maca is believed to increase the production of testosterone in the body for both men and women. While men may benefit from this, too much testosterone can cause problematic hormonal changes in women. Cycling on maca root supplements is recommended to reduce the incidence of side effects. A typical recommended cycle is two weeks on followed by two or three days off. Never take more than the recommended dosage of maca root and when adding Maca root to your diet start with half the recommended dosage and increase slowly.
Fiber is commonly know to promote good digestive health and regularity. But there are more benefits of increasing the amount of fiber to your daily diet.
When it comes to heart health, you can’t overstate the importance of a fibrous diet. Several studies has proved that a fiber rich diet reduce the risk of heart disease.
Fiber is undigested starch and traps bad cholesterol and drags it out of the body through the digestive tract. Soluble fibers, that you find in carrots, oats, barley, fruit and dried beans to name a few sources, turns into a gel during the digestive process and and prevents cholesterol, fat and sugars from being completely absorbed by the body.
Except for the fat and sugar binding properties of fiber it will also help you loose weight since it expands in your stomach and intestines, making you feel full faster and for longer.
Fabulous and fibrous carrot rolls
Makes 24 rolls
500 ml water
25 g fresh yeast
1 tbsp honey
3 tsp salt
300 ml grated carrots
100 ml crushed oats
200 ml crushed wheat
50 ml crushed flaxseeds
1000 ml whole grain spelt flour
5 tbsp canola oil
Turn your oven on 225 degrees Celsius.
Resolve the fresh yeast into the water which should be warm but not hot. Ad the honey, salt, carrots, oats, wheat, flaxseeds and mix well.
Ad the flour and oil bit by bit to the mixture, you are looking for a dough with a loose and sticky consistency. Cover and leave for 30 minutes until your dough is twice the size.
Get your dough on on your working surface that is covered with flour. Quarter the dough and knead for a minute or two. Roll on piece at a time and make 6 smaller buns. Place each piece on a baking sheet, let them rice again for 30 minutes.
Bake in the middle of your oven for 12 minutes.