On Real Health this week, I made a delectable vegan curry. It’s a North Indian treat, and it’s unbelievably creamy with the cashew gravy. It takes about 15 minutes to prep the ingredients, and another half hour to make the curry.
I use two mixed masala’s: Garam masala and a mixed masala. South african’s usually call masala ‘curry powder’, but there is a lot more to it than that 🙂
Garam masala is an aromatic blend of spices used extensively in Indian cuisine. This all-purpose seasoning adds warmth and slight peppery heat to a curry. it usually contains coriander, black pepper, cumin, cardamom, clove, cinnamon and crushed bay leaf.
Mixed masala really differs family to family. My fabulous mum makes the most amazing masala. I swear I can’t eat a curry without it. It’s a blend of 13 spices.. of which are a secret. You can also buy many varieties in spice shops, or bump some off your nearest indian friend!
Cooking utensils required:
Medium sized pot
Let’s start with the gravy preparation. It can be prepared before hand and left aside until you fry the veggies later.
Ingredients for the gravy:
12 ml grape seed oil (maintains stability in high heat)
2 teaspoon mustard seed
1 sprig of curry leaf
1 cup of finely chopped onion (I just threw this in a liquidiser)
1 tablespoon of ginger garlic paste
1 green cardamom pod
2 cinnamon sticks
1 star anise
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tablespoon crushed cumin and coriander seeds
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 tablespoon of mixed masala
1/2 teaspoon of tumeric
125g of raw unsalted cashew nuts
1 cup of warm water
Heat the oil in the frying pan on medium heat, add the mustard seed. When they start popping, add the curry leaf and the chopped onion.
Let the onion fry until a light caramel brown.
Add the balance of the spices: 1 green cardamom pod (bruise the pod and leave it slightly open, 2 cinnamon sticks, 2 cloves, 1 star anise, 1 tsp fenugreek seeds, 1 tablespoon crushed cumin and coriander seeds, 1 teaspoon garam masala, 1 tablespoon of mixed masala, 1/2 teaspoon of tumeric powder, 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste. Stir for 2 minutes.
Add the cashew nut, let this cook for another 5 minutes.
Remove the cinnamon stick, star anise and cardamom pod and place aside. We will add it in the curry later.
Let the ingredients cool down. Transfer the rest of the ingredients into your liquidiser, add the warm water, and whiz it up until it’s as smooth as you can get it. You can add more water for thining it out.
Place aside for use later. Let’s make the veggies.
Ingredients for vegetable mix:
2 tablespoons of grape seed oil
1- 2 slivered fresh chilli (red or green)
250g mushrooms (I used a mix of exotic mushrooms- Shimeiji, oyster and enoki- and normal white button mushrooms)
1 cup of cubed red capsicum
1 cup of chopped green beans
1/2 cup liquidised tomato
1.5 teaspoon salt
1 cup of warm water
Fresh Coriander for garnish
Add oil to the medium sized pot on a medium heat.
Add the chilli, fry for 2 minutes, and add the mushroom, capsicum and green beans. Let the mushrooms fry down, and the capsicum and green beans cook until there’s a slight crisp.
Add the tomato, and salt and cook for a further 5-10 minutes
Add the cashew nut paste and water and cook on low heat for another 10-15 minutes. Now its ready to eat!
Garnish with coriander leaves.
I served it with earthy brown and wild rice. You can serve it with rye roti, or brown basmati rice.
This morning’s smoothie experiment was successful! I used apple, pineapple, spinach, beetroot, ginger and coconut milk.
The humble apple is high in fibre and vitamin C. Pineapple is loaded with Vitamin C and has a very cool enzyme- Bromelain- which acts as an anti- mucolytic. Spinach is rich in micronutrients such as folate and zinc. Beetroot has powerful anti inflammatory properties and that beautiful red pigment provides tons of anti- oxidant phytonutrients. Ginger is anti inflammatory and warming for winter, and coconut milk is rich in good fat, dairy free and adds some silky creaminess to this mix.
It turned out to be a very delicious mix, and my body was like-‘ Yessss! Thank you!’. The Nutribullet has been my knight in shining armour, especially in the time and texture category.
The recipe is below:
1/2 cup of red apple
1/2 cup of pineapple
2 spinach leaves
1 raw small beetroot
3 tablespoons of coconut milk
2 cm stick of fresh ginger
water for consistency
Throw everything into the double cup attachment, with water.
Serve and enjoy! It should make about 600ml of deliciousness.
Last week Sunday I had the most serendipitous encounter with a fabulous Nutribullet. I have ALWAYS wanted one, so I feel very blessed to have won it! I attended a seminar, and won this beautiful machine as well as two delicious medical food shakes!
I made my first simple and easy smoothie this morning. I could not believe how fast this little thing goes. In 30 seconds, I had a delicious smooth drink, ready for the road. I love having smoothies for breakfast. They’re quick, easy and convenient for a busy morning breakfast.
I wanted to share a quick and easy smoothie recipe:
1/2 green apple
1/2 golden pear
1/2 large banana
2 medium sized spinach leaves
1 scoop of Metagenics/ Amipro Ultrameal Original
Water for consistency
Place everything in the Nutribullet double cup
Blitz for 30 seconds
Pour into a cup and drink! That’s how easy it is.
If you have the opportunity of owning one of these- please do!
Invest in your health and your body will thank you.
On Real Health this week, I mentioned a traditional South Indian soup that has been my go-to for winter sniffles. In Tamil, Rassam means “juice”. It can refer to any juice, but rassam is commonly referred to as a soup prepared with tamarind with spices and garnish. It has a savoury and spicy taste, which is pungent and flavourful. It is my all time favourite when I feel a sore throat coming on, or if I’m already sick with a cold or cough. All the tangy spices clear up the sinuses super quick, and allow for some inner warming when ill
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 cloves of garlic
2 medium size dried red chilli
1 sprig of curry leaf
1/2 thinly sliced onion
2 teaspoons of cumin seeds
1 teaspoon of black pepper corn
2 teaspoons of toasted mustard seed
1.5 teaspoons of salt
2 tablespoons of tamarind paste (I used the Tamicon brand)
3 cups of boiled water
6 sprigs of fresh coriander
Heat the oil in a medium sized pot (heat number 4 on the stove), and add the sliced onion. You’ll want to fry this until they are golden- dark brown.
In a mortar and pestle, combine the garlic, cumin, black pepper and mustard seed and crush to a medium texture.
Once the onions have browned, add the spice mix, curry leaves, and break up the red chilli into 1cm pieces and let it all fry for about 2-3 minutes.
In a bowl, add the two tablespoons of tamarind paste, and to that, add two cups of boiled hot water. Stir the paste until it dissolves fully.
Now, slowly add this tamarind water to the pot of spices and reduce the heat to 3 on your stove. Add the salt and another cup of boiling water to the pot, and let it simmer for another 5 minutes.
Garnish with chopped coriander. It does taste better after a few hours. Best served plain- pour a quarter cup into a mug and sip slowly. Make sure to eat all the spices! That is the medicinal part. Another traditional variation is and serve hot over steamed rice and pan fried crispy potato. Perfect for winter!
This morning I had a delicious smoothie, that I thought I have to share.
I know many people cringe at the thought of putting veggies into a smoothie… It is the only way to reap the full benefit of a raw meal! Veggies (as well as fibre) stabilise the blood sugar levels, as opposed to just a fruit based smoothie. This recipe makes one litre. I usually have 500ml for breakfast and reserve the other half for the next day or an after gym meal.
Serving size: 1 litre ( or 2x 500ml cups)
1 stick of celery (insoluble green fibre )
1 teaspoon turmeric powder (anti-inflammatory)
1/4 cucumber (fibre and potassium)
1/2 cup grapes (anti- oxidant and adds natural sweetness)
1 golden delicious apple (fibre and adds natural sweetness)
3 tablespoons of plain full cream organic yoghurt (good fat and protein, probiotic boost and also adds creamy texture)
3 tablespoons pomegranite seeds (high in vitamin B & C, fibre and sweetness)
1 cup spinach leaves (high vitamin A and lots of green insoluble fibre)
Water for consistency
Rinse and roughly chop up the fruit and vegetables
De-seed the apple and grapes
Chuck everything into a liquidiser/ smoothie maker and switch on
Add water gradually for desired consistency. I prefer a liquid like consistency that I can drink easily
Make sure that the ingredients are well blended. Nobody likes chunky bits at the end!
I decided to share this very easy recipe with everyone who watched the show this week on Real Health. All the ingredient can be found in your local spice shop or your pantry!
It’s a great for warming up the chest and throat, and helps your body fight off any signs of a cold. There are variations that add brandy, however, this is safe for everyone, including children and pregnant woman.
The beneficial qualities:
Turmeric acts as a wonderful anti inflammatory
Cinnamon is an antimicrobial
Black pepper promotes sweating and helps rid the body of toxins
Ginger eases pain and acts as an anti- inflammatory
Cayenne pepper is a mucous decongestant and a natural pain reliever
Raw honey contains Propolis which has antibacterial and antiviral qualities
Lemon has lots of vitamin C and has immune boosting properties
2 cups of water
1/2 teaspoon ground (or fresh) turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon bruised black pepper
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon raw honey
slice of lemon
In a small pot, add the water and gently heat on a medium heat
Add the turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper, ginger and cayenne pepper
When starting to adopt lifestyle habits into your daily life, it’s better to start slowly and up the tempo gradually! Here are some ways to start those small changes:
When eating out:
Don’t pig out: Figure out what you are going to eat in advance. Avoid starters, and choose veg as a side. Try avoid potato, chips, mash or bread as a side. If you take rice, half maximum 6 tablespoons of the portion.
Get salad dressing on the side: Restaurants usually put about a quarter cup of dressing on a salad, which is often too many calories. Best to stick with 1 to 2 tablespoons. Dip your fork into the dressing and then into the salad. Otherwise, have a tablespoon of olive oil and two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar.
Pace you eating: Force yourself to eat more slowly and savor each bite. This allows you to feel fuller, quicker. The faster we eat, the more you will eat in order to feel full
Hydrate before meals: Drink two glasses of water before meals may help you eat less.
Downsize plates and bowls: Using smaller versions of your serving ware will help you eat less and help with portion control.
Adopt the motto “after 8 is too late” for food/snacks after dinner.
Sleep: Sleep deprivation alters levels of hormones in the body that regulate hunger, causing an increase in appetite.
Spring clean: Start by evaluating the content of you cupboards and fridge. Get rid of all the high calorie food, the highly processsed foods, as well as junk that may sabotage your weight loss journey.
Plan your meals ahead of time: for example, if you want to have a salad daily, make a week supply and store in your fridge. That way you’re less likely to make an unhealthy last-minute food choice, and it is easily accessible.
Never skip a meal: This causes your body to go into a fat-storing starvation mode, making it harder to burn calories. Eat regular meals and snacks. Make sure you have some protein foods such as yogurt, tuna, beans etc. for most meals. Protein helps you feel full longer.
Go hard core: Cut out sugar in your tea, coffee and cereal. Don’t bake with lots of sugar. Cut out liquid calories by eliminate cold drinks and sugary drinks. This includes iced tea, sports drinks and alcoholic beverages. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.
Treat yourself: Allow yourself one high- calorie snack daily. This means one biscuit, or two blocks of chocolate, and stick to that! When you have met a personal weight loss step (eg. 2-3 kg per month), treat yourself to something — but not food. Buy a CD or DVD you’ve been wanting, by a new piece of clothing or go out to a movie with a friend.