I was in Costa Rica last year and one of my favourite dishes was an avocado salad served on a yoga retreat and plantain chips which was readily available throughout the country. I was at the Subiaco market last weekend and they had some lovely green plantains so I got some to make my own chips at home. I made this zesty fresh salad to go with it for a South American inspired night. An abundance of basil in my garden was a blessing as it was key to create the perfect dressing.
My garden is overgrown in summer now with this aromatic fresh herb - basil is a wonderful herb to use in culinary dishes, as well as containing beneficial medicinal properties. The oils from basil contains antibacterial properties as well as provide anti-inflammatory effects, giving relief from rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel diseases. This simple oil dressing compliments any salad and incorporates all the benefits of this herb. Check out the avocado salad with this as a dressing.
This is a great dressing to compliment any Mexican or Latin inspired cuisine. I made this to go with a Mexican stuffed sweet potato and we finished it all in the one sitting. I've used this for toasties and wraps as well, adding a fresh zesty flavour to any dish!
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.
I have an abundance of basil right now in my garden, and I was catching up with my friend Ken for lunch so I thought I'd use it and make some pesto. To make it into a healthy lunch, I made raw pasta with zucchini. The whole thing took about 15 mins to make, and the result is fresh and flavoursome with enough left for my dinner.
Last week I went through a brownie phase and ended up having one every day for an entire week, and since I had just gotten back from holidays I was too lazy to make them so I went to several difference places and sampled theirs. One thing I found was if I take a couple of bites it's great, but if I were to eat a whole one, it was way too sweet, so tonight I thought I'd make some that wasn't as sweet, but just as rich and yummy. These took 10 mins to make and tastes great!
For Chinese New Year my family and I went to a Thai restaurant to celebrate, as non of us are a fan of the Chinese food served in restaurants, and had a delicious meal of papaya salad with several curries. While the food was delicious the amount of salt and palm sugar they put into the food showed the next day as we were all a little bit puffy and bloated. Thai flavours are so nice though, so I thought it was better if I made my own. The sauce is what defines this dish, the peanuts and spices gives it a lovely kick and the crunchy components of the salad brings all the flavours together nicely!
Tamarind sauce can be easily found in Asian stores, however if you don't have access to it you can omit it. The rest of the dressing ingredients are sufficient, what it does so is give it a savoury sweet flavour traditional to Thai cuisine. This recipe makes about 4 side salad servings, or you can have it as a main as it is filling. I often make up some quinoa and have it with this salad for a main meal.
I made this recipe up for my friend Peter, who's favourite fruits are mangoes and bananas. He came over and helped me sort out my computer and as a thank you present, I thought I'd make lunch - taco salad and a fruit dessert, as he is on a health kick right now, being a cycling enthusiast, so a healthy desserts seemed in order.
As it's the height of summer I wanted to create something light and refreshing, and having the fruit by itself seemed a bit boring so I added coconut into the mix to give it a bit more texture as well as added flavour. One has coconut milk, the other coconut butter, and the extra chia seeds adds both nutrition as well as a more pudding like consistency.
This keeps easily in the fridge, you can use any fruits that you like, blueberries, kiwifruit etc. I have even made more exotic ones with dragon fruit and lychees before. Some fruits if they have a lighter taste, you can add coconut water instead and up the chai seeds. Get crazy and start mixing the fruits together as well, this is a great recipe to experiment with!
"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...