MIND + MEDITATION
Today’s Yoga + Nutrition workshop with Helen Bishop was a total treat as ever. Not only did Helen have us meditating on a raisin, but also with chocolate buttons… what’s not to love? We also had a wonderful dynamic strength and flexibility session, opening up our lungs and our airways for some deep relaxing breathing.
Yoga was followed by lunch in the kitchen. To keep in line with the theme of mind + meditation I focused on a mix of healthy proteins, omega-3 fatty acids and a wealth of antioxidant nutrients, Vitamin C and E, Zinc and magnesium provided by an array of dishes from seeded snack bars, to a dairy free mackerel pate, baked falafels and 2 superfood salads. Here are some recipes from todays workshop. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!
SEEDED PROTEIN BARS
These delicious snack bars from The Functional Nutrition Cookbook combine a mouthwatering array of nuts and seeds providing all the essential amino acids needed as the dietary raw materials to synthesise vital neurotransmitters. As well as the dietary proteins themselves, the seeds also provide zinc and magnesium, essential co-factors in their conversion. With no added sugars and plenty of low glycemic carbohydrates these bars would make a great post-workout snack to take to the gym.
INGREDIENTS 225g pitted dates Juice + Zest of 3 lemons 115g almond butter 60g melted coconut oil 150g gluten-free oats 150g buckwheat flakes 50g protein powder (eg. pea / hemp) 30g pumpkin seeds 30g dessicated coconut 30g sunflower seeds 2 tbsp chia seeds 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
METHOD Preheat the oven to 190*C and line a baking tray with baking paper. Place the dates, lemon juice, zest, nut butter + coconut oil in a food processor and blend to a thick paste. Place all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Pour over the date paste and mix again. This may be easier by hand. Press the mixture into your prepared baking tray and flatten firmly. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until the top is light gold. Remove from the oven, leave to cool and cut into 15 bars. Store in the fridge or freeze for up to 1 month.
BAKED VEGETABLE FALAFELS
FOR HEALTH: Chickpeas, when consumed even over a relatively short period of time have been shown to improve blood sugar regulation and insulin secretion. Chickpeas have a remarkable antioxidant composition. They contain small but valuable amounts of co-factor Vitamin C and E but also more concentrated supplies of phytonutrients and ALA. The dietary fibre found in chickpeas is especially beneficial to lower LDL cholesterol, which makes them healthy for our hearts. They are also an excellent source of manganese, which our body uses to support strong bones and healthy skin.
INGREDIENTS 1 tin chickpeas, low-salt, drained and rinsed 1 small medium onion 1 clove of garlic 1 tbsp. parsley 1 large carrot (2 medium carrot) Juice of half a lemon 2 tbsp of buckwheat flour 1 tsp ground coriander 1 tsp ground cumin ¼ cup of frozen peas Salt and peps
METHOD Preheat the oven to 200”C and cover a baking tray with baking parchment Place all of the ingredients except for the frozen peas into a food processor and blitz until fairly smooth. Transfer the mixture into a large mixing bowl and stir in the peas and season to taste. Now form your mixture into 8 – 12 patties with your hands and place them on your prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, then carefully turn over and bake for a further 15 minutes on the other side. Serve with a little cucumber raita of full fat yogurt, mint and cucumber or with a serving. Also lovely with broad beans in a cashew nut dressing and chopped fresh mint.
LEON SUPERFOOD SALAD
Old favourites • this was my original superfood salad using the recipe from the first @leonrestaurants cookbook ?it’s packed with antioxidants, cruciferous vegetables, healthy Omega-3s and I’d forgotten how amazingly delicious it is on hot sticky days.
INGREDIENTS 2 tbsp cooked quinoa, 1 head of steamed broccoli (refreshed under cold water to keep its vibrant green colour), frozen peas, sprouted mung beans, toasted seeds; pumpkin, sesame and sunflower and a hefty squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a drizzle of flaxseed oil and KAPOW. Here with a crumble of FETA cheese for added protein.
METHOD Assemble with grace and flourish
Quinoa Tabbouleh with mindful raisins
This recipe was in the Sunday Times Magazine this weekend from a selection of dishes at The Ivy. I was really surprised to see so many nutritious dishes on the menu, I’m not sure why I felt like that as I have never eaten at The Ivy, but other examples included a cauliflower tabbouleh… (check! Love that!), Pan Fried Sea Trout with white beans, fennel and herbs (Check!), and this quinoa tabbouleh…. the mindful raisins are in particular homage to Helen!
INGREDIENTS 100g cooked quinoa 2 tbsp raisins 1 tbsp sunflower seeds 1 tbsp chia seeds 1/2 red onion, finely chopped 1/2 preserved lemon, skin shredded, fleshy bits discarded Seeds of half a pomegranate bunch each of mint, coriander, parsley Juice of half a lemon, 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbs pomegranate molasses, pinch of salt.
METHOD Comine all your ingredients in a bowl, add your dressing allowing all the flavours to mix and mingle. Quinoa is a unique grain, or pseudo-grain as it is rightly known, being more seed than grain and containing a full complement of the essential amino acids we require from our diets. The combination of raisins and herbs with the smokey preserved lemons makes this a vey Ottolenghi-esque salad that has a place on every summer menu for me, being as quick to assemble as it surely is x delicious!
And there you have it, a delicious summer menu jam packed with antioxidants to shield our brains from the dizzying array of toxins which can deteriorate our health. Vitamin C + E, Vitamins B6, B12 and Folate, found in foods with foliage, broccoli, spinach, asparagus, beans, peas, whole grains. Eat a variety of nuts and seeds, including flax seeds and walnuts for Omega-3, so too oily fish.
A note on toxins. Aluminium is one toxic metal, found in research papers to be present in higher levels in individuals diagnosed with Alzheimers disease. It is worth considering ways to limit your exposure to aluminium, where possible; consider filtered water, the use of baking parchment instead of aluminium foil for coverage foods and also anti-perspirants. There are deodorants on the market which do not contain aluminium.
Exercise is also important to keep our arteries clear and open, delivering oxygen in and waste out! So too brain exercises, sufficient sleep and of course meditation.
Namaste, Shanti, Shanti, Shanti x