I love the nutritional benefits of chia seeds — and the way just having some fills me up. I don’t get hungry between meals when I include a teaspoon of chia seeds in my oatmeal or water bottle!
Because my Brazilian friend Rosita has asked for dessert recipes, I’ve kept my eyes open for something relatively healthy (since it is still January and most of us want to keep our New Year resolutions for healthy choices).
Here’s a recipe that you could use to start your day or serve as a tasty, healthy, colorful dessert.
From the November/December 2018 issue of “Eating Well” magazine, comes –
“Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia!” — Fruity Chia Pudding
Active: 5 minutes Total: 8 hours, 5 minutes
To Make Ahead: Refrigerate pudding for up to 3 days. Mixed with a fruity base and refrigerated, chia seeds expand to form a thick, creamy texture similar to tapioca pudding . . .
- 1 1/4 cup blackberries, raspberries and/or diced mango (fresh or frozen) divided
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or milk of choice
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup whole-milk plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup granola
- Purée 1 1/4 cups fruit and milk in a blender or food processor until smooth. Scrape into a medium bowl; mix in chia, syrup and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 3 days.
- Divide the pudding between 2 bowls, layering each serving with 1/4 cup of the remaining fruit, 1/4 cup yogurt and 2 tablespoons granola.
Serves: 2 about 1 1/3 cups each.
- Cal 343/Fat 15G (Sat 3G)/Chol 8MG/Carbs 39G/Total Sugars 18G (Added 6G)/Protein 14G/Fiber 14G/Sodium 125MG/Potassium 573MG
**Chia seeds are packed with fiber, a nutrient Americans [and others] often fall short on. Just 2 tablespoons provides a whopping 9 grams of fiber (p. 44).
Be healthy and enjoy this yummy dish for breakfast — and/or dessert..
Here’s a basic noodle dish for you, Rosita (or any young adult headed out on his/her own) and any of us who want easy, healthy, beautiful dishes to serve our friends.
This traditional and very tasty form of Chinese ‘fast food’ is quick and easy to prepare and much better for your health–and digestive system–than burgers and fries! You may apply the recipe to virtually any type of noodle, adjust the sauce to your own taste, and add whatever sort of vegetables you like best.
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 250 g (8 oz) dry wheat noodles (or spinach or egg or . . . noodles)
- 1 handful fresh mung bean sprouts, washed and drained
- 2 spring onions (scallions), finely minced
- 1 red capsicum (bell pepper), seeds removed and cut into fine strips
- Optional: 2 handfuls of any other fresh vegetables you love (broccoli, mushrooms, corn . . . )
- 2 tablespoon dark sesame paste (or tahini) blended with 3 teaspoons water
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon mushroom oyster sauce (su hao you)
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon oil (olive, sunflower, grapeseed, or other high-grade oil)
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1. In a roomy mixing bowl, stir together the dressing ingredients, then add in the minced garlic.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a full boil with 1 teaspoon salt, then add the dried noodles; return to boil and simmer until cooked (cooking time depends on type of noodle; follow label directions).
3. Drain the noodles well, then add them to the sauce ingredients. Toss all together with the bean sprouts, spring onions, and capsicum (sweet peppers), making sure the sauce is evenly distributed before serving in a large bowl or in individual portions.
Try different types of noodles for different versions of this dish, including Italian spaghetti and angel hair noodles. You may also use fresh noodles, if available. It’s a good idea to offer an assortment of condiments and garnishes on the table, like chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) or basil, chilli oil and Sichuan pepper
Preparation time: 10 mins.
Cooking time: 8 mins.
From: Chinese Vegetarian Cooking by Daniel Reid, p. 39.
This is a convenient, modern adaptation of a sort of ‘Chinese sandwich’ that is traditionally made with flat wholemeal bread which requires special ovens and a lot of experience to prepare properly. Instead, we substitute any heavy, high quality wholegrain bakery bread, thinly sliced and toasted, and this provides equally good, if not better, results. The key to any good sandwich, besides fresh ingredients, is the spread, and in Chinese sandwiches sesame paste is the key to the spread.
- 3 thin slices of heavy wholegrain bread, toasted
- 1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
- 12-15 fresh celery leaves, coarsely chopped
- 2-3 leaves fresh iceberg lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 35 g. (1/4 cup) raw sunflower seeds, presoaked at least 3 hours (or overnight) in cool water and drained
- 2 tablespoons dark Chinese sesame paste (or tahini) blended with 3 teaspoons water
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- To prepare the spread, place all the ingredients in a blender, and blend to a smooth paste. Taste and adjust salt if necessary.
- To assemble the sandwich, slice and toast the bread. Place a slice of toast on a plate and cover with one-quarter of the spread. Arrange half the tomato, chopped celery leaves, lettuce and onions on top of the spread. Top with a second slice of toast spread–side down, then cover the top of that slice with spread and arrange remaining vegetables on it. Complete the sandwich with the third slice of toast placed spread–side down.
- Cut in half with sharp knife, or serve whole.
As with all sandwiches, you may improvise and experiment with a variety of different fillings, as well as different types of wholemeal toast (sourdough rye is especially good with the Chinese sesame spread). As long as you use the basic sesame sauce, or some version of it, as your spread, the sandwich will taste ‘Chinese.’ It will also have the unique health virtues of Chinese food, for sesame paste is a very potent source of nutritional elements.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Assembling time: 5 minutes
- It’s rich in minerals such as phosphorus, lecithin, magnesium, potassium and iron.
- It’s a good source of Methionine, which aids in liver detoxification.
- It’s one of the best sources of calcium out there.
- It’s high in vitamin E and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5 and B15. + more]
Be healthy — and Enjoy.
From: Chinese Vegetarian Cooking, Daniel Reid, Periplus Mini Cookbooks, p. 8.
“This variation of traditional pesto adds another taste dimension. It’s easy to prepare and full of those kale nutrients. Besides having it with pasta, you can spoon it into soups, spread over a layer of fresh ricotta, toss it with steamed potatoes, over eggs or use it in salad dressings. Sometimes we add chopped roasted walnuts and finely grated Parmesan cheese. We spoon any leftovers into an ice cube tray and when frozen hard, we pop them into a zip lock bag for later use,” says Ayu Spicy in “Food Glorious Food” (from The Bali Advertiser, Nov. 2017 p. 16).
Basic Kale and Basil Pesto (makes about 1 1/2 cups)
- 4 cups kale leaves, washed and stems discarded
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
- 2 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. lemon zest finely grated
- 1 large clove garlic
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 shakes of Tabasco or 1/16 tsp. powdered cayenne
With the blender or food processor running, throw in the garlic clove until minced. Stop the blender and add the rest of the ingredients and run the blender until all is chopped. Stop the blender and scrape the sides down. Turn it back on and run until you have a smooth sauce. If it seems too dry, add more olive oil.
Taste the bright green silky sauce and adjust lemon, salt, pepper, and Tabasco to your liking. Note: Add 2 Tbl. chopped roasted walnuts and or 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese to all or part of the recipe for variation.
Banner from http://ifoodreal.com/vegan-kale-pesto/
“This easy dish has mega flavor. It keeps for several days, making the mushrooms even tastier. You can also use a variety of mushrooms or just your everyday white ones. But I prefer the shiitaki with their strong flavor and chewy texture,” says Ayu Spicy in her column, “Food Glorious Food.”
Dr. Joel Fuhrman, author of such books as Eat to Live and Super Immunity, advocates what he calls a micro-nutrient-rich diet. To have optimum health, Dr. Fuhrman says we need to eat GMOSBB (more greens, cooked mushrooms, onions, beans, and berries).
This Shiitaki Mushroom with Soy Sauce, Garlic, and Balsamic Vinegar dish is a tasty and easy way to get your recommended cooked mushrooms. Serves 2-3.
- 1/2 kg. fresh shiitaki mushrooms or other mushrooms
- 1 Tbl. virgin olive oil
- 3 Tbl. balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbl. soy sauce
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Tbl. chopped chives for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (204 C).
Clean the mushrooms getting all the grit off of them. Drain and then dry them on paper towels. Remove the stems and discard if they’re tough. If not, cut them in half crosswise. If the mushroom caps are large, halve or quarter them. You want big pieces of mushroom for this dish.
In a bowl mix the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Beat this with a fork or whisk to make a smooth sauce and then add the mushrooms and toss to coat well.
Choose a glass or ceramic oven dish big enough to hold the mushrooms in one layer. Spread the mushrooms over the bottom and bake for 10 minutes. Stir the mushrooms and return to the oven for another 10 minutes. If the sauce starts to burn, turn the heat down to 350 F (177 C).
Remove the dish from the oven and let stand for at least 10 minutes before serving these beauties. Allow to come to room temperature before eating.
Enjoy your meal! From “Food Glorious Food at www.BaliAdvertiser.biz
Aloha & sampai jumpa, Renée
Banner : Photo by Christina Holmes https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/soy-glazed-shiitake-mushrooms-51140500
Pistachio-Crusted Asparagus with Feta Vinaigrette
Recipe from Handmade Gatherings: Recipes & Crafts for Seasonal Celebrations & Potluck Parties (Roost Books).
Every spring, Ashley English, author and homesteader, uses asparagus fresh from her garden in Chandler, North Carolina. She says, “When I notice that those first, tender, thin green spears have poked their sleepy heads from the soil, that’s my cue that spring has arrived.” Here’s her favorite asparagus recipe.
Yield: 4-6 servings
2 pounds large asparagus
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup shelled pistachios
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons feta, crumbled (Look below for a vegan “feta” that is tasty – and 100% dairy free)
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup feta, crumbled
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
Several grinds of black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Rinse the asparagus, and cut about an inch off the stem ends. Pat to dry. Place the asparagus on a dry baking sheet, and cook it for three minutes to dry off any excess moisture. Remove the sheet from the oven and toss the asparagus on the sheet with the olive oil.
Crush the pistachios in a food processor (or under a towel with a kitchen mallet or hammer) for about 1 minute, until finely ground. Transfer the ground nuts to a small mixing bowl. Using a spoon or clean hands, mix the nuts with the salt. Lay the asparagus out evenly across the baking sheet. Sprinkle them with half of the ground pistachio and salt blend. Turn the spears over, then evenly sprinkle them with rest of the ground pistachios.
Cook 10 minutes, then remove from the oven, and carefully plate the spears onto a platter using tongs. Add all of the vinaigrette ingredients to a lidded container or a food processor. Shake or blend until smooth. Drizzle the plated asparagus with the vinaigrette. Top with the chopped parsley and feta. Serve at room temperature.
Seen in Spring 2017 edible ASHEVILLE, p. 42.
** For vegan feta, see this recipe from Nikki at EatingVibrantly.com for instant raw vegan feta: https://www.eatingvibrantly.com/instant-raw-vegan-feta-cheese/
Enjoy. Happy Spring, Renée
This recipe from Ayu Spicy is loaded with protein and keeps for several days refrigerated – where it just gets better.
Mango & Chickpea Tabouli – Serves 4-6
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 2 limes, juiced
- 1 1/2 Tbl. Indian curry powder, toasted in a dry frying pan
- 2/3 cup yogurt (for vegans – substitute soy yogurt or coconut yogurt. See https://reneeriley.wordpress.com/?s=coconut+yogurt)
- 1 tsp. orange zest, grated – just the orange part not the white pith
- 1 cup cooked rice or quinoa
- 1 can (439 g, about 16 oz) garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1 ripe mango cut into 1 1/2 cm x 1 1/2 cm pieces (under 2 inch cubes)
- 2 Tbl. coriander leaf, chopped
- 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
In a medium sized bowl mix the orange and lime juices, the curry powder, yogurt, and the orange zest. When this is well mixed add the cooked rice or quinoa and stir again.
Now add the garbanzo beans and raisins, mixing well. Finally add the mango pieces and the chopped coriander leaf and mix gently.
Set the tabouli aside, covered, for at least an hour for the flavors to mix and mature. When you are ready to eat, turn it onto a serving dish and garnish with the toasted almonds.
This tabouli keeps well in the fridge. If you plan to have leftovers, don’t sprinkle all the almonds on at once but save some for when it comes ot of the fridge an sprinkle on just before serving.
Enjoy your meal!
“Salamat makan,” Renée
from: “Food Glorious Food” Bali Advertiser, 12-26 Oct. 2016, 45)
This weekend, the second annual Bali Vegan Festival was held in Ubud. It was fabulous – with speakers, classes, talks, movies, music, food, and, of course, ideas.
To show you how wonderful – and easy – making healthy vegan food can be, here’s a recipe from the Bali Vegan Festival program.
The raw, vegan soup is a creation of Chef Arif Springs and his team at Taksu, spa and restaurant and a sponsor of the festival. http://www.taksuspa.com/.
- 2 tbsp cashew nuts
- 1 tsp virgin coconut oil
- 1 cup coconut water
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 4 stalks lemongrass
- 1 tsp honey (or if you are vegan, substitute agave nectar, coconut nectar, or maple syrup)
- Pinch of diced garlic
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- Sea salt to taste
- Zucchini, cucumber and/or coriander for garnish
- Soak cashews in water for two hours.
- Cut a thin slice from a clove of garlic and dice finely.
- Juice lemongrass (strain out the pulp).
- Blend all ingredients until smooth.
- Garnish with pealed zucchini, cucumber and/or coriander. A zucchini flower adds a decorative finish.
Serve at room temperature or refreshingly chilled for a hot day. Recipe for two.
Salamat malam, Renée
As a great appetizer or a vegetarian main dish, these patties are high in protein – and tasty. Plus you can vary the taste by your choice of mushroom. And you can choose just to make the mushroom sauce and lemon aïoli if you have prepared veggie patties.
Makes: 30 small patties or 8 big ones.
- 1 recipe of Tempe Potato Patties uncooked (http://baliadvertiser.biz/potato/) – see below or buy prepared tempeh patties from you local health food market
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
Ingredients for the mushroom filling:
- 1 Tbl. olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 4 shallots, thinly sliced
- 100 g. (3/4 cup) fresh shitake mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
- 200 g ( 1 1/2 cups)fresh portobello mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
- 1 Tbl. crumbled dried thyme leaves
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- salt and pepper – to taste
Ingredients for the Lemon Aïoli
- 4 hard-cooked egg yolks, save the whites for another use
- 3 Tbl lemon or lime juice
- 1/4 tsp. sugar
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 2 pinches of ground cayenne
- 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp. lemon zest, finely grated
- 1 small clove of garlic, pressed
- 5 Tbl. extra virgin olive oil
Make the recipe for Tempe Potato Patties up to the point where you form the patties or – as I would do – open up your Life Foods veggie patties.
If you love cooking, you can make your own patties:
Tempe Potato Patties from http://baliadvertiser.biz/potato/
Ingredients for Potatoes :
– 350 gr. (about 1.4 cups or 12.34 ounces) potatoes
– ½ tsp. salt
– ¼ tsp. cumin powder
– ¼ tsp. coriander powder
– 1/8 tsp. cayenne or red chili powder
– 1 clove garlic, pressed
– 2 Tbl. celery leaves finely chopped
– pepper to taste
Ingredients for Tempe :
– 100 gr. (3/4 cup or 3.53 ounces) tempe
– 1/8 tsp. salt
– 1/8 tsp. cumin powder
– 1/8 tsp. coriander powder
– cayenne or red chili powder to taste
– pepper to taste
– 1 egg beaten in a small bowl
– ¾ cup bread crumbs on a small plate
– Canola oil for frying
Boil the potatoes in their skins until soft. Set aside until cool enough to handle and then remove the skins. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher. Once they are evenly mashed add the salt, cumin, coriander, chili powder, celery leaves, and pepper. Mix well. Set this aside.
Boil the tempeh for about 10 minutes or until done. Mash the tempeh. Add the salt, cumin, coriander, chili powder, and pepper. When this is well mixed add the potato mixture and mix very well. Adjust the seasoning to taste. Make patties about 6 cm in diameter and 2 cm thick from this mixture. You should have about 8-9 patties.
Or – if you don’t have time or the passion for cooking, buy quality veggie patties such as those from Life Foods:
Whatever your choice, cook the patties:
Heat about 1 Tbl. canola oil in a non-stick frying pan big enough to hold all the patties in one layer. (You can also do this in two batches – it is important that they are in one layer.) While the oil heats, take a patty and dip it in the beaten egg and then in the bread crumbs, coating both sides of the patty. Do this with the remaining patties. Fry the patties until golden brown and then flip them over and brown the other side, adding oil as needed. These are most delicious when well browned and served warm.
Set this aside.
Make the mushroom filling by heating 1 Tbl. olive oil in a frying pan. When the oil is hot add the garlic and shallots, stir frying until the shallots are limp. Crumble in the dried thyme leaves, giving it a good stir and then add the shitake and Portobello mushrooms. Stir fry these over a high heat until they start to brown and release their juices. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper and continue stir frying until most of the juice evaporates. Remove from the heat and set aside.
If you are making appetizers, take a spoonful of the Tempe Potato Patty dough and flatten into a 5 cm disk. Make another one the same size. Put 1 tsp.of the mushroom filling on a disk and top with a sprig of dill. Take another disk and lay on top of the mushroom filling, pushing down to flatten and pinching the sides closed. Continue like this until you have used all the tempe potato dough and the sautéed mushrooms. You should have about 30 small filled patties.
If you want to eat this as a vegetarian main course make the patties bigger and fill with a larger amount of sautéed mushrooms. You should have about 8 large filled patties.
Keep the patties warm in the oven until ready to serve.
As you are cooking the patties, make the lemon aïoli.
Put all the ingredients for the lemon aïoli, except the oil, in blender, food processor, stick blender container or a deep mortar with a pestle. Combine the ingredients until smooth. Slowly add the oil while continuing to mix. Taste and correct for salt, pepper and lemon juice.
You can either drizzle the sauce over the patties or serve it in a bowl for each diner to dip into.
Recipe by Ayu Spicy in “Food Glorious Food” from Bali Advertiser, 14-28 Sept. 2016, p. 44
Enjoy – and as they say in Bali, “Selamat makan,” Renée
Images from: <http://www.justpaleofood.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/garlic-roasted-sauteed-mushrooms.jpg>; <http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-J3C2dwY3n0w/R5EQPDZomwI/AAAAAAAABeg/2t44EYXSWeg/s640/tempeh2.jpg>; <http://www.epicurus.com/food/recipes/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/AddHerbs.png>; <https://thumbs.dreamstime.com/m/boiled-potatoes-their-skins-raw-parsley-39400568.jpg>
Barry and I traveled to Dali, Yunnan Province, home of many Chinese ethnic minorities; we found sunny blue skies, friendly colorful people, and interesting history. Because we liked it so much, we got stuck there, staying longer than we had intended.
We awoke to see snow on the mountain tops and warm sunshine.
The food was varied and good.
The Lovely Lotus Delicious Vegetarian Restaurant was a favorite.
We loved walking the narrow streets of the Old City Dali.
Catholics, Christians, and Buddhists have centers in Old City Dali.
Although this site is now strictly a cultural destination, we heard chanting from other buildings in Dali and learned that the Buddhist community provides a free daily meal to those in need.
The Dali residents dress in a variety of ways.
Many shopping choices line the Old City Dali streets.
Cafés, coffee bars, and restaurants line the walking streets.
Cool doorways –
Some entrances are humble.
Old City Dali gates:
Old City Dali offers entertainment of many types.
Would Jonny Hawaii do a dramatic reading? I was hopeful his presentation would be in English.
We were warned that Jonny’s presentation would be loud.
Innovative Education in Old City Dali:
We discovered “The Living School” when we met Joy, a teacher, and his students selling challa bread one afternoon in Dali. Fourteen Dali families have joined together to “homeschool” their children. Instead of the traditional Chinese school of long hours of memorization, these children study academics in the morning and then develop their own passions (music, art, crafts) during the afternoons. The school encourages innovation and hands-on learning. The students learn to cook and garden and make mud bricks and develop new skills.
The school also invites Couch Surfers to stay at the school and share their experiences. One evening I saw a program presented by Eurate & Sam who have been traveling for 2 1/2 years – by bicycle! Coming overland from the Basque region of Spain, they are on their way to New Zealand – and they have had many adventures.
Eunate says all you need to travel is a smile. She says money causes trouble, so she and Sam have traded work for places to stay and food wherever they have gone. I love their spirits and sense of adventure.
Barry and I loved our stay in Old City Dali. Our Dragonfly Hostel with its friendly staff, comfortable rooms, rooftop garden, and reading/music room became our home in Dali.
Zaì jiàn, Renée