yum Chi – mind/ body/ soup has a new address

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(Dis)Orderely Conduct

Lovely Legumes

The ongoing reorganization of the kitchen and pantry is taking a lot longer than I anticipated. In theory I’ve always liked to keep the pantry supplies in glass jars if only because they look so pretty. In reality though, what with being so busy with other more interesting things, the jars were rarely labelled and most of the time left unfilled. Instead lots of stuff was left in packages, piled haphazardly onto shelves and inevitably ended up looking like this..

Pantry Pandemonium

I’m still busy decanting and labelling, moving and tweaking but already I’m noticing such a difference. Time spent in the kitchen is  much more efficient, I’m wasting far less time looking for required ingredients and I can see at a glance when I am running low on items. 

And I’d quite forgotten how much more of a pleasant experience it is to be chopping and cooking in an organized space.

Ria xx

Spiced Fruit Stew

Apple, cranberry, cinnamon, star anise fruit stew
Have I mentioned I’m not a morning person?   I’m far worse in the winter months, its almost impossible to remove myself from the warm cocoon of the duvet. The thought of  fruit stew for breakfast does entice me into the kitchen though.  I can keep warm from the heat of the stove whilst I stir  with a big wooden spoon and as the fruit and spices  bubble away the house is filled with a deliciously spicy aroma. 

This is one of my favourite kind of dishes that can have as many flavour combinations as your imagination can come up with, plus it’s quick and easy to prepare.

Spiced Fruit Stew

Mix & Match Ingredients (quantity’s dependent on appetite)
Fruit- I often use apples, pears and berries
Dried fruit  – optional – it’s usually sweet enough but sometimes I throw in  a few goji berries, raisins, mango, date etc.
Liquid – I most often use water with a squirt of citrus or a little pomegranate or cranberry juice.
Vague Directions
Core any fruit and peel if not organic that needs coring or peeling. Chop and throw into saucepan. Add chosen liquid, not too much about an inch or two. Add spices and dried fruit if using. Bring to the boil and simmer with the saucepan lid on until the fruit has softened, remove lid and cook until the liquid has reduced and stew is desired consistency.

This is good eaten as is, served with porridge or mixed/topped with lightly toasted oats and nuts.

Ria xx

How to…

Courgette Chips

 … a huge dehydrator into a 7.8ft by 4.6ft kitchen?
With no available counter space. 
I know technically it doesn’t need to go in the kitchen and I’ve tried it everywhere else I can think of. Either the whirry noise is too distracting or the whiff of flavourings too strong.
Nutritional yeast = phooey. Though it does taste good in the finished product the whiff permeating during the drying process gets up your nose after a short while.

But I do love the dehydrator even if I haven’t found a permanent spot for it yet. The courgette-y (zucchini) chips pictured above were delicious and  all crunchy and crispy like  a potato chip only much more healthier. 
So I’ll be handing out pegs for noses when anyone asks what that funny smell is when they visit. 

Ria xx

Goody Mary Blended Salad

Over the New Year holiday I refined the ingredients for my favourite blended salad so it’s even gooder than the first time I made it.  This is  the only blended salad I’ve made so far that I’ve found myself making over and over again. Ssshhh…. don’t tell Dr Fuhrman but I don’t really like blended salads all that much, I prefer  fruity sweeter green smoothies. My Goody Mary blended salad really hits the spot on a cold day though, when I can’t really face the prospect of chewing a green leaf salad and in warmer months it’s refreshingly good when served on the rocks.

(Quantities to taste)
Tomato paste – a squirt
Chilli pepper – a little or use chilli powder
Tamarind – the prepared pulp, a little bit(or vegan Worcester sauce)
Filtered Water
Ice – optional
Lemon juice – just squeeze
Black pepper
Organic celery
Blend the first 5 ingredients together with the filtered water and pour into glass over ice if desired.  Add a squeeze of lemon,  a grinding of black pepper and stir with a celery stick.
Best consumed immediately but can be stored for a little while in a glass container in the refrigerator.

Ria xx

Happy Yummy Fresh New Year

Deconstructed nut loaf

Don’t you just love the start of a new year,  the feeling of optimism, the excitement of new adventures and experiences to come…..I do…… but as usual I’m behind schedule!  After a late late night I’m really not up to the keeping of those New Year resolutions and never make it to the gym to start my new exercise regimen, nor do I manage to spend all day in the kitchen  planning, organizing and prepping to get a head start on the week of yummy healthiness ahead.  So I like to postpone  the starting of my new page, clean slate, whatever you like to call it for a little while.  We are all still in holiday mood here and 1st January for us is another day (or 2 this year) to spend quality time with loved ones.

I do like to serve a healthy main meal though with absolutely no additions or alternatives for the others ( because it will do them good to have a completely Nutritarian meal for once, they are welcome to make there own food if preferred)
This year I decided on a deconstructed nut loaf with a tomato gravy and sides of various steamed vegetables. I’ve never actually made a nut loaf mind but I’m sure I’d use similar ingredients only blitzed in the food processor if I ever  get around to making one. This dish was delicious and looked like I’d spent way more time making it than I had.  I used lentils, mushrooms, kale, pecans and hazelnuts. Next time I’ll try a different combination, it’s one of those dishes that  I’m sure has lots of variations and now joins my collection of greenprints (templates for dishes I make regulary but vary the ingredients).

Deconstructed Nut Loaf
Pick n Mix Ingredients
Cooked beans or lentils, drained and squished a little to get rid of excess liquid.
Sauteed vegetables in your choice of flavorings.
Steamed green vegetable, chopped finely
Nuts and oatmeal mixture, lightly toasted in oven.
Gravy or sauce (Mr Y made the tomato gravy we served)
Vague Directions
Put a chef ring/square mold thingy onto your plate and spoon in a layer of beans/lentil mixture, then a layer the sauteed veggies and green vegetable and more lentils and so on. Finish with the nut oat layer and carefully remove the mold thingy.  Serve in a puddle of gravy/sauce. 

Wishing you a wonderful year full of fun, new adventures and yummy healthy food.

love Ria xx

New Year Cheer

New Years Eve Pre-Dinner Cocktails (or Mocktails)
The Green Fizz Bomb

The Green Fizz Bomb
created by Ria  (aka Mixologist Extraordinaire)
Blend baby spinach, pineapple chunks and  some clementine segments in blenda until smooth and fill a cocktail glass about halfway.
Top up (slowly it really fizzes up) with sparkling mineral water or champagne.
Garnished with a chunk of pineapple and baby spinach leaf.
Quantities are to taste. Store extra smoothie in the fridge until refills are requested.
You Can Eat The Orange Snow
You Can Eat The Orange Snow

created by Mr Y (quote to capture the flavours of the season because no one is going to want a spinach cocktail)

Add  handful of ice to blenda, squeeze 1/2  an orange and set aside juice, add rest of the orange to blenda, some orange zest and a sprinkling of cinnamon. Pour “snow” into cocktail glass and top up with the reserved orange juice. Drop of whiskey (or rum or champagne) optional.  Sprinkle with unsweetened cocoa and garnish with a segment of orange and a cinnamon stick stirrer with decorative zesty dangly bits. 
Quantities per person.

I may have been dreaming about a white Christmas but now I’m dreaming of a green New Year.
Ria xx

My Merry Holiday Unwrapped

The  ginormous box (pictured above) was not under the tree (nor sat on the over sized chair or behind the sofa – I looked) early  Sunday morning when I emerged from my slumber to see if Santa had been!  
Instead Mr Y presented me with a carefully wrapped book I already owned – not a new copy, the actual book off my shelf with the accompanying cd missing. The title?  Lose Weight Now by Allen Carr, a good book that ties in with Nutritarian principles and that I enjoyed reading in June! And he wonders why he’s on Santa’s naughty list!
I was then presented with some beautifully wrapped gift boxes, the first one I unwrapped  contained a carrot, the next a banana,  then an apple, followed by a sweet potato and then some organic broccoli.  Mr Y said he was just following the “theme” I chose for this years festivities! He did get me the new tin opener I asked for though. And re-gifted some grocery store gift vouchers he was given which will  be spent on outrageously priced exotic fruit as and when it is in season.
Healthy Festive Decorations-clockwise from left: orange tree; paper pineapple; nuts

I’ve already mentioned the Nutritarian themed festive decorations, I used greens and oranges and cocoa with a few paper pineapples thrown in. I did put some brown shiny baubles on the tree but the cocoa element was mostly consumed. And the fantastic Brussel sprout printed wrapping paper I used for my gifts this year is pictured in this post.

The menu was mostly the traditional foods similar to those we grew up with but cooked in a healthier way (e.g we didn’t boil the vegetables until they resembled mush and then throw the nutrients down the sink with the cooking water ) – organic free range chilled turkey for those who wanted a little, steamed Brussels sprouts, carrots, broccoli, parsnips and potatoes with a fresh unsweetened cranberry orange sauce followed with a steamed dried fruit pudding with a vanilla non dairy iced rum sauce. The after dinner “mints” were 100% Fuhrman friendly as were the table favors.

Gift of Health favors – gold santa sacks full of nutritious delights
The favors were little gold sacks containing the cutest tiniest orange colored citrus fruit I could find – the label was Chinese so I’ve no idea if it was a clemetine or mandarin or tangerine – some unshelled nuts, a pineapple mangococo gift in a box which was a variation of the tropical paradise bites formed into square presents with dried mango or pineapple “ribbon” trim and placed in a tiny gold gift box and a brown paper package of pili nuts. The pili nuts were a last minute addition as I had wanted to include some of the Heavenly Holiday fudge I made in this post. But I just couldn’t get it to set and stay in a fudgey shape. 

The after dinner mint bites are another variation on the tropical paradise bites using cocoa and fresh mint and pistachios.

After dinner pistachio date mint bites

Of course the best gift is to spend quality time with family and loved ones, (living in a different country means it isn’t always possible but we do get to talk on the phone) and peace on earth and goodwill and health and all that….
but ….

this  has to be the next best gift ever………

I luv Santa

Coming soon to a blog called yum Chi…


love Ria xx