Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Let's Feel Great Cooking Plant Based Foods

Cooking with Chef Mel

Fresh Pea and Mint Soup
Lemon Coriander Soup
European Fried Rice
Simple Garlic Rice
Colourful Lettuce Wraps
Roasted Sweet Potato and Arugula Salad
Shiitake Mushroom Tea for Stress and Weight Loss
Spicy Kuzu Drink

Fresh Pea and Mint Soup

This soup is very easy to prepare in no time at all and is soothing and calming.

4 cups fresh or frozen organic peas
1/2 head lettuce shredded
1 onion diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 inch piece of kombu rinsed
1 clove garlic minced
½ cup mint leaves finely chopped
Sea salt
Pepper (optional)
4-6 cups spring water
Mint for garnish

Heat the oil in a pan and add the onions and garlic.
Sauté for about 2 minutes and add the lettuce.
Continue to sauté for a further minute.
Add the peas and enough water to cover the vegetables.
Add a pinch of sea salt.
Bring to a boil and simmer on a low flame for about 5 minutes.
Remove from the flame and add the mint leaves.
Place in a blender and blend to a smooth puree.
Place the puree back in the pan and warm. Add more water if desired.
Season with salt and pepper. Cook for a minute on a low flame and mix gently.
Serve garnished with mint.

Lemon Coriander Soup

3 Chinese cabbage leaves shredded
¼ cup red cabbage shredded
1 carrot julienned
Small handful Spinach shredded
3-4 fresh shiitake mushrooms finely sliced
1 cup fresh coriander (cilantro) 
4 tablespoons fresh coriander finely chopped
2-3 tablespoons white or brown rice miso diluted in a little cold water
Juice of a lemon
4-6 cups water

Bring the water to a boil and add the chopped coriander. Simmer for about 5 minutes and remove the coriander.
Add the vegetables, and a pinch sea salt.
Bring to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat and add the white miso. Mix gently
Serve hot, garnished with the remaining fresh coriander and fresh lemon juice

*miso is packed full of protein, amino acids, living enzymes, vitamins and minerals. Amazing for energy, stamina, and mental focus

European Fried Rice

2 cups brown basmati rice cooked
1/2 cups spring water
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 onion diced
1 carrot washed and grated
1/2 cup round cabbage rinsed and shredded
1 cup cooked chickpeas (can use a can of organic beans)
2 cloves garlic sliced 
1-2 tablespoons olive oil 

Warm the skillet over a high flame for a few seconds and add the oil. You can use water instead of oil if desired.
Add the onion and garlic (optional) to the oil and sauté for a few minutes.
Add the cabbage and sauté a further minute. Add the carrots and continue to sauté for another minute.
Add the chickpeas and mix through the vegetables.
Place the cooked rice on top of the vegetables.
Add the water and season with salt.
Cook on a low flame, with a lid, for about 
5 minutes.
Mix the rice and vegetables together and serve from the skillet.

*Brown rice helps with mental clarity and focus and keeps energy levels stable.

Simple Garlic Rice

2 cups basmati brown rice soaked in 3.5 cups of water for at least 4 hours
3 cloves garlic sliced
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2-1 teaspoon sea salt

Warm the garlic and oil in a pan and sauté
for about 1-2 minutes.
Place the rice and soaking water on top of the garlic.
Add the  sea salt.
Cover and bring to a boil on a medium flame.
Simmer on a low flame for about 30 minutes or until the rice is tender.
Mix gently and serve.

Colorful Lettuce Wraps
Sauce Ingredients
¾ cup tahini
2 tablespoons rice syrup
1 tablespoon shoyu
1 teaspoon mustard
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
8 lettuce leaves, tough stems trimmed
Filling Ingredients
½ cup grated carrots
½ cup grated raw beets
½ cup cucumbers peeled julienned
1/4 cup mung bean or sunflower sprouts
8 large fresh basil leaves
4 sprigs fresh mint

In small bowl, whisk together all ingredients for the dipping sauce with 1/4 cup water and set to one side.
Fill each lettuce leaf with pinch of carrots, beets, cucumbers, and sprouts. Top with basil and mint. Fold in the sides of the lettuce leaf and roll up to create a wrap. Serve with Dipping Sauce or place a few spoonfuls inside the lettuce leaf.
*For fun, place the filling ingredients on a pretty serving tray/dish and let your guests make their own roll.

*Vegetables are full of minerals and vitamins and are anti-inflammatory helping the body and mind to stay youthful.

Roasted Sweet Potato and Arugula Salad


2 cups sweet potato cut into chunks 2 tablespoons basil finely chopped 
Olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 
2 cups mushrooms, thickly sliced 
4 cups arugula 
½ block firm tofu crumbled
1 tablespoon umeboshi vinegar
Balsamic vinegar
Fresh basil chopped

Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
Put the sweet potato on a baking sheet with a Little olive oil, and season well.
Roast for about 40 minutes, stirring once, until the sweet potato is soft and a little darker around the edges.
Add the umeboshi vinegar to the crumbled tofu and mix well. Set aside.
Place a tablespoon of oil into a skillet over a medium heat. Add the mushrooms and a little salt and pepper, and sauté for a few minutes, until any liquid they release has evaporated, and set aside.
Combine the squash, mushrooms and the tofu. Mix gently.
Place the arugula into a serving bowl and add the squash mixture on top.
Garnish with the basil and a generous dash of balsamic vinegar.

*umeboshi vinegar can be purchased at your local natural food store. It is wonderful for the digestion and is alkaline forming

Shiitake Mushroom Tea

1 dried shiitake mushroom soaked for 10 minutes or until soft
2 cups spring water
Pinch sea salt

Cut the shiitake into quarters.
Place in a pan and add 2 cups of water
Bring to a boil on a medium flame.
Reduce the flame to low and simmer for about 10 – 15 minutes.
 Add a pinch of sea salt and drink warm.

Helps to lower cholesterol
Good for tense or stressed condition
Helps weight loss

Spicy Kuzu Drink

Snuggle up with this soothing and relaxing yet spicy drink. Wonderful as a destresser after a long day at the office

1/2 cup apple juice (organic, sugar free)
½ cup water
1 tablespoon rice syrup
1 tablespoon kuzu powder
Juice of half a lemon
1 teaspoon fresh ginger juice

Place the kuzu into the water and mix well. Make sure the water is cold.
Place the kuzu mixture and apple juice into a pan.
Heat on a medium flame, stirring constantly until the mixture begins to thicken.
Add the lemon, ginger and rice syrup. Bring to a boil, mix gently and pour into your favorite mug. Drink hot.

*Kuzu is an amazing super food that is soothing to the digestion and helps to calm the mind. This drink is also relaxing for tense muscles.

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