Mung Bean Curry

IMG_6473

So happy its raining today. No, it’s true – I love it when the weather give you permission to hibernate. I’ve even lit a candle as I’m having my lunch of which you will hear more soon. So often we are after the really heady stuff – great weather, the best holidays, amazing nights out, best restaurants or fastest times on our weekly runs. We’re always striving for perfection and our personal best. But I think the mediocre is underrated. The ordinary, every day stuff which lives are made of can be utterly beautiful and nourishes the soul as much if not more than extremes. Continue reading “Mung Bean Curry”

Raw Super Salad Sunday

20141005-131914.jpg

Lunch time!!! This raw super salad, filled with sprouts, nuts and seeds, will kick your energy levels to a new high whilst ensuring you are getting maximum nutrients into your bod. I’m actually eating it as I’m writing this blog. Why raw? Well, eating raw veg is important as many enzymes do not survive the heating process in normal cooking procedures – in other words you are not maximizing the goodness in the ingredients. Therefore, I try to keep at least 50% (or more) of all things on my plate raw.

With this multi coloured salad I also say farewell to the batch of soaked mung beans that I made a few days ago and that have proved to be such a fab and frugal ingredient in my soups, smoothies, salads and juices. Not bad for a couple of handfuls of mung beans soaked in an old glass jar. I highly recommend you try this at home. Sprouts contains live enzymes which we need for the body to thrive and aid its functions. Eating sprouts, whatever kind (radish, broccoli, mung bean, chick peas etc) is probably one of the best things you can do for your health. Here is what went into it:

Raw Super Salad, Green Swede Style

1 cup sprouted mung beans (or any other sprouted legume)

4-5 broccoli florets, cut in small pieces

1 romano pepper, cut into small pieces

1 handful spinach

1/2 LARGE avocado, or 1 small, cubed

1/2 cup ground nuts (cashew, brazil, walnut, almond, sunflower and pumpkin seeds)

Crumbled feta cheese

Dressing:

Olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper

Chop all veggies and mix in with the nuts so that you get a lovely multicoloured salad. Pour dressing on top. If you don’t have chopped nuts, get out your blender or food processor and put all the nuts you’d like to mix into it. Grind. I prefer to still have a slight crunch to the nut mixture so I don’t mix it until it is a powder but you may feel differently. Do what works for you. Put in jar and keep in cool dark place. It is a great way to have instant nuts at hand for smoothies or salads later in the week. Enjoy! X

Mung bean casserole with brown rice

20140502-120006.jpgOne of the most remarkable aspects of living in a large multicultural city, such as London, is the diversity of foods on offer. Supermarkets will tailor their wares depending on demographics and this makes for some interesting grocery shopping from one district to the next. In London you can find foods from all corners of the world and everything in between. Should that not be enough, however, the abundant Borough market in the city is on hand with anything you may be missing – it is a gem and a must see destination. Funnily enough, tourists tend to visit more than locals. Go figure. Still, we are truly lucky to be living in this melting pot of cultures and colours. Diversity is the key to acceptance, tolerance, interaction as well as education of the palate.

No where is this more noticeable than when travelling. The homogenous output of dishes and ingredients as well as the physical similarity of inhabitants in less diverse societies are stark reminders of how far we’ve come with integration in this country. Let’s celebrate our differences and share ways in which to heal our bodies and minds, whether through Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, acupuncture, homeopathy, Buddhist meditation, yoga, stillness, being kind and so on. We can all learn from each other.

Which leads me to the humble mung bean.  Used in Ayurvedic medicine and a staple in Indian cooking, it is considered a cleansing bean which can rid the body of toxins and bacteria. Folks suffering from gastric problems and irritable bowl syndrome could try to incorporate mung beans into their diet. They are high in potassium and contain vitamins A, C and E, folacin, phosphorous, magnesium, iron and calcium. They are also a source of phytoestrogens.

Todays recipe was inspired by my glass jar of dried mung beans that has been sitting on the kitchen counter for quite some time. I bought the beans in an Indian convenience store last year as my mother used to cook mung bean casseroles when I was a child. A spontaneous purchase for sure but my intention was to replicate her recipe and last night’s constant downpour was the catalyst I needed. Mung bean casserole it was. I can highly recommend this dish for anyone wanting a comforting veggie dish when all the elements are against you. It was super delicious and it didn’t leave me feeling too full or bloated either.20140502-113556.jpg

 

Mung bean casserole:

(serves 4 generously)

250 g mung beans, pre-soaked for at least 8 hours in cold water

1 stock cube or 2 tsp Marigold bouillon powder

1/2 – 1 tsp turmeric powder

1/2 – 1 ground cumin

1 onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 carrot, finely chopped

1 courgette, finely chopped

1/2 can organic coconut milk

1 tbsp coconut oil

1′ ginger root, chopped

3 tbsp freshly chopped coriander

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Rinse the soaked mung beans well. Heat the coconut oil in a large casserole pan. Add the onions and cook for a couple of minutes until soft. Add 500 ml of boiling water to the pan with the stock cube/powder and mung beans. Bring to boil, then cover and simmer for about 30 minutes – you want most of the water to evaporate and for the mung beans to be soft. Add the coconut milk, carrots, courgettes and spices then simmer for another 10 minutes until carrots have softened. Let sit for a few minutes then stir in the fresh coriander and serve with brown rice, chopped tomatoes and yoghurt. Enjoy x

 

The thing about sprouts..

imageI recently started using sprouts in my green smoothies. Nothing fancy, just some alfalfa sprouts from Whole Foods, but I’ve noticed a definite boost in my energy levels and the more I read about it the more I think it may not be a coincidence. Raw food is packed with food enzymes which we need in order to thrive. They are for example responsible for our digestion and how well our immune system functions.  But sprouts takes it all to a different level, filled as they are with goodness such as antioxidants, proteins, minerals, vitamins, enzymes and so on. The good news is that you can sprout almost anything – AND you can do it in your own home. Common varieties besides alfalfa seeds are mung beans, chickpeas, wheat, barley, lentils, soybean, sunflower seeds, oats, broccoli seeds to name a few.

Here is how simple it is: Rinse the seeds/beans thoroughly in a colander and place in glass jar with air holes in the lid. If you are using  dried beans you must first soak them overnight then rinse and place in glass jar. Place in a warm and dry position. Rinse frequently and when the little tails have started to appear from the seed/bean and measures about an inch they are ready to eat. Store the left overs in a jar in the fridge. Voila!!

You can of course buy purpose made receptacles from health food or online shops if you are that way inclined but you don’t have to. I love simplicity and want to monitor just how frequently I will manage to do this before investing in a new gadget. I’ll keep you posted on my sprouting progress. x