Tag Archives: Vegetarian

Hooray for Pineapple Iced Matcha!!

DSC06255My matcha bag is still quite full, so I decided to start experimenting a bit. I was treating the tea as if it were gold, and that’s silly.

Mornings are sometimes hard, so I’m always trying to come up with nice food to start the day with. In this case, I wanted something tasty, healthy and with a hint of holidays, so that it would also have a positive psychological effect on those “cranky” mornings.

And so I went out yesterday and bought a pineapple, because what says “Holidays!” more than a pineapple? No…not mango. Mango has become too mainstream 😉 Pineapple it is.

So, this morning I made an Iced Matcha with Pineapple & Lime juice and it was simply delicious! Great for the summer, soooo refreshing and icy! Great way to start the day:

Pineapple has calcium, magnesium, potassium and vitamin C. It contains bromelain (which aids digestion) and clears bacteria and parasites.

Lime is highly alkaline, is rich in potassium and vitamin C. It’s a natural antibiotic and a potent antiseptic.

You can read all about the benefits of Matcha on this recipe for Matcha Latte.

DSC06237I found that this drink left me full of energy, but also feeling quite full. I would normally have had toast by now (2 hours after having the drink), but I’m not in the least hungry. Whether this has something to do with the weight-loss properties of matcha or not, I haven’t got a clue.

In any case, it was lovely! Summery from the pineapple, sharp from the lime and refreshing from the matcha. This drink wasn’t sweet at all, despite the pineapple, so if you like things on the sweet side, you may want to add a teaspoon of sugar or some stevia, otherwise you’ll find it too sharp.

DSC06242

Ingredients (for 1 Iced Matcha):

1/4 teaspoon Matcha green tea.

1 slice of fresh pineapple (about 2cm thick)

Half a lime.

2 tablespoons water

Ice cubes.

How to:

1.- Place your matcha on a cocktail shaker, add the 2 tablespoons of water and mix until the powder is completely dissolved.

DSC062462.- Place the lime and pineapple in a juicer. You should obtain about 200ml of juice. If you don’t, add some more pineapple.

3.- Put some ice cubes on the cocktail shaker and add the juice.

DSC062494.- Shake vigorously until you see that there is condensation on your shaker:

DSC062535.- Pour into a glass with some ice cubes and enjoy!!

DSC06254If you don’t have a cocktail shaker or don’t feel like using one first thing in the morning, dissolve the matcha in a glass, add the juice and whisk everything together before adding ice. Or you could also place everything in a blender and see what happens 🙂

DSC06258

Have a great day!

Namaste,

Paula

Advertisements

Exotic Butternut Squash Soup

DSC05993It’s Summer, (or Spring, I’m never sure) and normally people don’t have soup during these months, unless it’s cold soups, which to me are just plain wrong. Except for Gazpacho. Gazpacho is completely right, I love gazpacho!! And for that anomaly, I blame Catalunya. Catalunya and Almodovar.

Anyway, even during the warmer months of the year we have the occasional rainy, colder day. This was only last Saturday:

DSC06127It started as a lovely day, so we decided to go for breakfast at the Hill Bakery. We had only been seating there for twenty minutes when all of a sudden buckets of water descended on Richmond Hill washing everything and everyone away. People had to leave their coffees and half eaten cakes and look for shelter. Luckily we were comfortably seated by the window, enjoying the best of two worlds: still getting sunshine (until it started to rain) but protected from the treacherous London weather.

On days like this I like to make either carrot or butternut squash soup. I discovered recently that by adding a topping of toasted coconut and pumpkin seeds my sweet butternut squash soup turns into something completely different,  a bit like adding accessories to a beautiful but plain dress.

So, instead of posting about the humble carrot, I’m writing about the sexy butternut squash. I mean…look at this:

DSC06007

There is a creaminess to this soup that has nothing to do with any added cream, it is just the way the vegetable is after blending: smooth and sweet and creamy. And when you cook it with curry powder, the house simply smells like exotic, faraway lands and you can almost forget where you are and picture a beautiful beach with turquoise waters outside your window… old alleys, filled with unknown smells and sounds… a sun that feels like a presence when it falls on your skin… A life full of bright colours and the distant sound of waves…

DSC06136

But I digress, it happens every time I listen to Joaquin Sabina: it’s like poetry walks into my room and hits me in the head with a bag full of  images and metaphors… Quite distracting. Specially if you are writing about soup such an un-poetic meal and yet… and yet…there is poetry in soup, is there not? Something to do with home and warmth and the beauty of simple things.

If I could choose to come back as any musician, as the author of any songs in the world, I’ll choose his. There is something so wonderful, in the way he uses language as a paint brush to conjure up complex images with just a couple of words. A whole story in a line.

I know, I know,  you don’t want to read about musicians, you want to read about soup!

Well, if you try this one you won’t feel disappointed. It is also so easy to make!

So, here is what you need to feel like you too are in exotic lands:

Ingredients:

1 butternut squash. Peeled (the easiest way to peel it is using a potato peeler. A Dad trick that works like magic).

3 cloves of garlic

1/2 a big onion or a small one.

1 heaped teaspoon of curry powder.

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 tablespoon of oil.

For the topping:

2 tablespoons coconut

2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

DSC06004

How to:

1.- Chop the garlic and the onion. Dice the butternut squash.

2.- In a pot at medium heat add the oil, then the spices. Let them heat for 1 minute, so that they release all their flavour (this technique is called Blooming and you can read about it here and learn all about helping your spices come alive). Be careful for they burn easily.

3.- Add the chopped garlic and onions to the pot. Let them cook until the onion goes translucent.

4.- Add the butternut squash, salt and pepper and cover with water. Let it cook for about 40 minutes, until the butternut squash is soft.

5.- While the soup cooks, you can prepare the topping. In a pan place the pumpkin seeds and toast for 1 minute. They have a tendency to pop a bit like popcorn, so be careful. You can add the coconut as soon as the first seed looks toasted. Coconut takes only a few seconds to brown. Set aside to use when serving the soup.

DSC06147

DSC061486.- Once the soups is ready, blend until smooth. If your soup is too thick, add a bit more water. Serve with a sprinkling of coconut and pumpkin seeds.

Another way to enjoy the topping (highly addictive though) is by spreading a bit of honey or a nut butter on a rice cake and then sprinkling the coconut and seeds. Finish with a bit of Himalayan salt.

DSC06155

A delicious snack for any time of day! (or so I tell myself).

Have a great day!

Paula