Sweet potato coconut soup served with fresh Thai pesto

This soup is a flavourful adventure. An explosion of flavours in your mouth that will make your taste buds dance.

Creamy, intense and deeply satisfying.

I make this with either yams or sweet potatoes. Sometimes I add garlic fried prawns which suit the soup fantastically.

An old time favorite in our house especially on a cool winters day!

Sweet potato coconut soup

Sweet potato coconut soup

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Easy Beets

I love this time of year – so great to cook with the great harvest from the garden or the market. I am not a gardener, have never had a single interest in the gardening before, but this year, something changed.

I love my garden – It is magical to go out in the garden early in the morning while the day is fresh, to water and then later to pick lettuce for salads, kale for greens smoothies, spinach for salads and pies. And now the garden is booming with juicy cherry tomatoes and plums. Yesterday I went out and harvested beets – delicious beets.

The garden has been so generous! Today a recipe for Easy Beets

 

8 beets, wash them, clean them and cut off the tops and ends. Put them on a baking tray, drizzled with olive oil and sea salt – put them in the oven to bake for about 20 min at 360F all depending on the size of the beets.

While the beets are baking, put a big pot of water to boil with added salt. When the water is boiling  throw in the beet leaves, leave them in til they are just wilted . Take them out and run cold water over them to stop the cooking process.

When the beets are cooked, take them out to cool. The cooking time depends on the size of the beets so check to make sure they are right. I cooked mine for about 20 min

When everything is cool –  skin the beets and cut them into quarts, arrange them on top of the wilted leaves.

Make a dressing of the juice of one lemon, mixed with 1/2 cup of olive oil, some sea salt, freshly ground pepper and some freshly chopped parsley, mint and basil – pour the dressing on the top and VOILA, one delicious salad!

Strawberry, basil and lime popsicles

Summer has come – with a vengeance – to the West Coast of Canada – 30C in the shade, gorgeous summer! Being used to the rain and the clouds this year, I am loving it, soaking it in!

I found some amazing, locally grown strawberries , deep red, sweet, and delicious. As sweet and tasty as I remember them from my childhood! I bought 2 trays and hurried home to make some refreshing, delicious – and healthy Popsicles. Pure, refreshing and delicious. on a hot summers day.

 

These are so easy to make and they are so tasty!!  It took me 5 min to blend them together and pop them in the freezer!

Strawberry, basil and lime popsicle

800 g of strawberries

6-8 dates

small bunch of fresh basil

freshly squeezed lime juice from 2 limes

Wash the strawberries and remove the green top, put them in the blender along with the lime juice , the basil and the dates – blend them smooth and pour them into popsicle moulders – pop them in the freezer and wait patiently for them to freeze. This is truly the hardest part!!

Now enjoy!

Plant-wild week-day 5

Wow – this is one effective diet! I wasn’t trying to loose weight, all I wanted was to boost my health – give myself a serious health kick. That has happened in a big way, but on top of it, I have lost 2kg!!!

I’m feeling great, so great, that I’m excited about continuing this plant-wild adventure another day!

Here’s today’s breakfast

Slices of fresh watermelon and a delicious fruit smoothie made from summer berries – strawberries, raspberries, almonds, ice and filtered water.

Lunch

Baked tomatoes and red pepper fattoush – one of my absolute favorites – full blown taste of summer!

6 big ripe tomatoes

4 red peppers

1/2 cucumber

fresh mint

large-leaved parsley

1/2 red onion

some black olives

olive oil

4 pita bread

Cut the tomatoes into quarters, half the peppers and take out the seeds – put them on a baking tray (on baking paper), drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt – and bake slowly in a 300C oven for about an hour – checking so see that they don’t burn. Once they are done, take them out and leave them to cool.

Cut the pita breads in half and then separate them – put them on a baking tray in an 400F oven – bake till they are slightly brown and crisp. Put aside to cool.

Cut the cucumber in half length-wise and then cut into bite sized slices. Wash and roughly chop the parsley and the fresh mint, cut the red onion in half and slice it. Remove any skin of the red peppers that is burnt. Cut the red pepper into smaller pieces. In a bowl put the cucumber, the herbs, the baked tomatoes and pepper and the olives. Mix carefully, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar,

Serve with pieces of the crispy pita bread on top – and enjoy, preferably outside in the shade with a cool drink!

Dinner

Pasta with sun dried tomatoes and olive pesto – topped with garlic, chili and herb bread crumbs and served with summer salad

Spaghetti 75 g pr person

Pesto

Big bunch of fresh basil

100g of sun dried tomatoes ( I used about half a small glass)

15 black pitted olives

1 big clove of garlic

1/2 olive oil

2 table spoons of nutritional yeast

2 table spoons of pine nuts

Add all the ingredients in to the blender and blend into a perfect pesto sauce

Bread crumbs

1 cup of bread crumbs

a bunch of basil

a bunch of fresh oregano

2 cloves of garlic

some red fresh chili ( depending on how hot you like it baby)

grated lemon peel

sea salt

I used some of the good, but now stale, bread and chopped it into tiny bread crumbs. Finely chop the herbs along with the garlic and the chili, grate some lemon peel and mix everything all together.

In a frying pan – add some olive oil and heat – add the bread crumbs, stirring and tossing all the time to prevent them from burning, fry until they are slightly golden, then add the herb mixture and mix well. Leave on the heat for another minute still mixing. Take off the heat.

Cook the pasta – detente – drain and mix with the pesto sauce, serve on big plates with the bread crumbs. Serve with a summer salad, with tomatoes, of course.

Summer salad from my own harvest!

Okay, today I’m going to brag. I, have grown my very first lettuce, ever! And then I made a delicious salad, with lettuce and herbs – right out of my very own garden. The lettuce in my high beds has finally grown so much that I can go out and “harvest”, exactly what I need for my salad. I am thrilled! I went out with my little wee basket and picked the lettuce we had for lunch!  Hey, it was an awesome feeling, really special!

The tomatoes I used are from the best greengrocer in the area. These local tomatoes are incredible, dark red and full of intense fragrance and taste.

Cut the tomatoes in half, add a slice of garlic on each half and a fresh leaf of basil, drizzled with a bit of olive oil. Sprinkle on some sea salt and freshly-ground pepper. Bake them slowly for about an hour in a 300F hot oven. Take them out of the oven and let them cool before using. By baking them slowly you get  a really great intense flavor that the garlic and basil accents – making a memorial lunch experience.

To give the salad some body I used freshly cooked and cooled chick peas or you can use canned ones (1 can), drained and rinsed.

The dressing:

2 table spoons of good balsamic vinegar (don’t skimp on the quality – this is essential)

8 spoons of good olive oil (again – really good olive oil makes a great difference)

some sea salt

2 cloves of garlic

Mix together the balsamic vinegar with the olive oil, sea salt and freshly squeezed garlic – set it aside.

Cut a couple of slices of great bread, preferably slightly stale – cut them into cubes and fry them in a bit of olive oil – until very slightly golden. Turned off the heat and add some freshly squeezed garlic and some sea salt. Mix it around and set aside.

Rinse the lettuce and herbs carefully and put them on a clean cloth to drain excess water off.

Tear the lettuce and herbs into smaller pieces and put them in a salad bowl along with the chick peas, the baked tomatoes and the bread. Pour on the dressing and mix all well together, leave it to rest for a few minutes, so the salad and the bread soak up the dressing and absorb all the flavours. Arrange the salad on plates or in bowls and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

Stuffed baked Portobello mushrooms

I was in a hurry and I needed to have dinner ready quickly – but — no compromises! I wanted it to be healthy and delicious too.

Luckily in-house I had a tray full of incredibly red and ripe tomatoes – sweet, locally grown and with intense flavor and aroma. I also had some Portobello mushrooms and a bunch of fresh basil.

Not only that but I also had some really good bread (from the greatest Italian bakery)! and, oh and a big clove of garlic. Everything I needed to make a quick feast!

 

I cleaned the mushrooms – took out the stalks, chopped them and some tomatoes, found a good bit of fresh basil and added some olive oil to the pan. When it was hot I added the Portobello stalks — left them to brown and then added the tomatoes and cooked them until they were soft. Added the fresh basil and some garlic. I flavoured with sea salt, freshly ground pepper and a fresh  squeeze of lemon. Then I added a slice of that great bread which I had cut into little cubes. I mixed it all together and added the mixture into the Portobello “cups” –  I put them in a baking dish drizzled with a little olive oil and put them into a 350 F hot oven to bake for about 20 min. I kept an eye on them because they are ready when they are just slightly browned and the Portobello meat is tender.

In the meantime, I cooked some sprouted quinoa in slightly salted water. When it was cooked I added a dash of olive oil, some freshly squeezed lemon juice and a sprinkle of ground coriander. This made the perfect match to the baked Portobello.

There is nothing like cooking with fresh ingredients, tomatoes together with the fresh basil and the Portobello were so good. A perfect summer meal!