This sweet concoction can be used as a dressing, dip and spread. The sweet onion mixed with cashews gives it a filling yet non oily texture. Cashews have a wonderful delicate creamy flavour, they have a lower fat content than most other nuts. About 3/4 of their fat is unsaturated fatty acids, which is a healthy fat, helping to lower bad cholesterol and promote heart health and cardiovascular health. It also has a milder taste than other nuts which makes it a great base for most things. This keeps in the fridge for a couple of weeks an it's nice to have on hand.
This dish isn't vegan as it contains goat and milk cheese, however it's still suitable for vegetarians and some of those who suffer from dairy allergies and sensitivities. Goat and sheep milk is different from cows milk, this has to do with a particular protein in cow's milk called alpha s1 casein which people react to, making sheep and goat milk products an alternative. Since my husband is a vegetarian, and gave up cows milk products to make my life easier, I incorporate goat and sheep cheese into his diet quite regularly. I also make a vegan version of this with almond milk which I'll post up in the next week!
Moussaka is traditionally a Greek layered dish made of minced meat, eggplants, tomatoes potatoes with a thick béchamel sauce on top. I replaced the minced meat with lentils which tastes delicious and is a much healthier alternative, so much so that I actually had to double check I didn't accidentally put meat into it when I was serving it. The béchamel sauce is made from a mix of soft goat cheese and hard sheep cheese giving it just the right texture to match the rich vegetable layers.
The last two weeks I've had crazy cravings for Japanese food, which means looking up menus to see if there are things I can eat, as both vegan and gluten free are hard to find. Apart from edamame beans, and eggplant, buckwheat noodles are a filling healthy Japanese speciality. My favourite Japanese restaurant has got to be Nobu; they have so many vegetarian options, but Edosei in Perth has the best buckwheat noodles I've had. They cook it over a stone stone, so it comes out crispy, slightly charred and with a wonderful taste. Once I had these noodles a few times I was on a mission to find buckwheat noodles to cook at home.
A super fruit bowl packed full of antioxidants and vitamins to start the day, this maqui bowl took 5 minutes to make. Cutting up the toppings actually took longer than the base part! If you can't get maqui then use acai, they're both similar in taste, and contain similar health benefits. I added granola and goat yogurt for the hubby, giving it a little more substance.
Still trying to make my way through the kilo of maqui powder I have, I used some to make high energy, filling and delicious bars. Maqui berries contains exceptionally high levels of antioxidants, which are vital in overall wellbeing, and boosts the body's ability to fight against free radicals. Other benefits include anti-aging, weight loss, cardiovascular health, and provides plenty of vitamin C and potassium.
Blueberries offer similar health benefits and their sweetness offsets the slight tart flavour of the maqui powder. The two combined together makes for a great healthy sweet treat. Instead of adding nuts, which sometimes can be quite dense, I opted for pumpkin seeds and tahini instead. The overall taste of this is a sticky, slight sweet slice which is nutrient dense, so a little goes a long way!
I often buy health products in bulk, but sometimes it leaves my pantry overflowing, and every now and then when I go through it and do a clean up, I find hidden treasures, this time a kilo of maqui powder. I remember doing some research before I purchased it and after comparing them to acai, I found they contained slightly higher nutrients overall. So now I'm on a mission to use it all up making lots of treats. I started with a breakfast chia pudding, combining it with juicy blueberries.
Lentils are a great way of getting your protein in, and with the winter chills, a hot hearty stew is the way to go! There's no set ingredients for a stew, so it's a great opportunity to play around with the fresh veggies and spices you add in for some variety in flavour and cooking experiments. Last week we had some rich tomato sweeter stews so this one is more of a fragrant herb savoury dish, making good use of the earthiness taste from the puy lentils and mushrooms.
Last week my husband and I visited Melbourne for 5 days and made a list of all the vegan restaurants we had to go see. One particular place Smith & Daughters, and their New York style grab and go Deli, Smith & Deli stood out. They differ by offering 'meat' items on the menu, from chorizo, turkey, prawns, bacon etc but they're all vegan! It really was a different dining experience and our meals there were some of the best we had there. One evening we stopped by the deli and grabbed Beef Goulash and Chicken Salad for take away and whilst it wasn't the traditional meat taste, it was flavoursome and quite enjoyable. I used that as inspiration last night and created this thick hot stew full of carrots and mushrooms, then added chickpeas for the extra heartiness.
The last few weeks I've been making variations of these patties with chickpeas and soy beans, but I've been a little lazy posting up recipes so finally got around to it with this simple one. The great thing about these patties is that you can easily add spices or other vegetables into it and it's still delicious. Play around with curry powder, carrots, sweet potato etc and it's versatile enough to use in wraps, burgers and salads.
"I am not what happened to me,
I am what I choose to become"
Carl Gustave Jung
I'm Binny, a full time Bikram Yoga teacher that lives in Perth, Australia.
I started this blog to share the things I love the best in the world: being healthy and happy, food (especially raw), yoga, traveling and most importantly, learning how to love and be true to myself.
I suffered from severe digestive problems when I was younger, being gluten and lactose intolerant, and developed compartment syndrome and fibromyalgia in my teens. I have lived with constant pain for over 13 years now.
Over the past 10 years, I've shifted to a mainly plant based diet and realised that being well and healthy is a way of life. I have been teaching Bikram yoga since 2011, in the US and Australia. Due to my health issues I've also had a lot of bodywork done as well as explored alternative therapies.
I've become much more aware of myself as a result of all this - physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally. Right now I love my life. In my career I love what I do and I do what I love. I have traveled to some amazing places around the world and made lifelong friends. In between working and traveling, I cook up a storm in the kitchen, especially raw desserts, spend time with the people I love the best and also my dog Caileag, and I try to listen to my body the best I can.
I truly believe that we all have the power and the capabilities to heal our own bodies, to nourish the spirit and seek our own happiness and life's purpose. This my journey...