Today I went out to my local market, a fantastic place just outside the city where I live. Right now the market is booming with local strawberries, new potatoes, fresh herbs, tomatoes, spinach and so much more.
…and chickens wandered around in the shop while I was filling my basket – that’s my kind of place.
A basket full of goodness
I simply love this time of year when the markets are booming with the delicious fresh produce of the season- particularly the deep red sweet tomatoes! They are like candy in themselves and create a little party in your mouth – so intense with flavours!
When I saw them I immediately decided that I wanted to make fresh tomato soup. Continue reading →
As many of you know, every week we like to change some of our meals with vegan meals, and in particular, we love those vegan meals that are fresh delicious Raw Food meals.
The other night we had Raw Food Tacos and they were wildly good – and tonight we had Raw Food Falafel.
I love middle eastern food and falafel is one of my all time favourites – so I decided I wanted to create a Raw Food version of this wonderful dish – it turned out to be equally delicious. I love how I feel after eating Raw – I feel energized and light, full of energy.
Every bite nourishes the body.
Raw Food Falafel
Here’s the recipe
Raw Food Falafel with Creamy Tahini
This recipe makes 14 – 16 falafel
2 cups of walnuts
2 big brown mushrooms
1 celery stalk
1 glove of garlic
A little piece of red onion
1/4 red pepper
1 bunch of fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 tbs Braggs
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
You also need – sesame seeds to roll the falafel in
Diced tomatoes, cucumber and red onions as an accompaniment and
radicchio lettuce – as your “pita”.
Put the ingredients for the falafel into the blender and blend until smooth – leave in the fridge for 1/2 – 1 hrs, to make them easier to work with – then form them into little round balls and roll them in the raw sesame seeds.
Falafel in process
For the dressing:
3 small tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
4 heaped tablespoons of tahini
1 clove of garlic
2 teaspoons of agave sirup/maple sirup
4 teaspoons tamari
8 tablespoons of olive oil
1/3 cup water
a good squeeze of lemon
Put everything into the blender and blend it into a creamy tasty dressing.
Serve the falafel on a crisp red radicchio leaf, put some mixed leafy greens on top and add a good scoop of creamy tahini sauce. Top this with diced cucumber, tomatoes, red onion and fresh cilantro…. and Enjoy!
Served perhaps with a glass of wine?
On another note –
Many many weeks have gone by without my writing a single blog post…. so what happened?
I had surgery while I was in DK – hysterectomy – all went well, no cancer, a huge relief, and goodbye to the pain that has been with me for many, many months.
Recovery has been fast – incredibly fast, just 2 weeks after surgery I was biking through the forest, and now only 6 weeks later I am out running!
I am grateful!
I was privileged and happy to be in Denmark while having my surgery – surrounded by family and wonderful friends who spoiled me rotten! Taking turns to look after me!
Thank you for all your kind comments and emails asking about my health and well-being – I feel very lucky to have so many amazing people in my life – my virtual friends as well as personal ones!
It has been busy around here and life is not always as you plan it or want it to be …..
I had just accompanied my beautiful daughter to her new home. Helped her as she settled and got ready to start a new life at university. We had some amazing days together and my heart was filled with of love, tenderness and tears, as Ihugged her goodbye and headed to the airport to fly home, without her.
Back home again, I was busy giving workshops and it was fun, I love it, I was busy preparing for another 4 workshops that were already booked. I was running my beautiful 10 morning k’s every other day.
And then one day just after I had been out swimming in the lake, enjoying maybe the last swim this year — I got sick — really sick! And ended up being taken to the hospital in an ambulance! That, definitely, was NOT supposed to be!
I spent 4 intense days in the hospital, and gratefully I am now home recovering and feeling the strength and energy coming back. Wonderful!
But it definitely was not the food that healed me………..I know that for a fact. The doctors and nurses were absolutely incredible, they went out of their way to help me heal and feel comfortable. Amazing competent, warm and wonderful people!!
But the food……… that’s another very sad story!
During the 4 days, I was served 12 trays of food, each of them impossible to eat. I know I should be happy and grateful that I was served food at all ……. but honestly, it was the most unappetizing sad “food” I have ever seen in my life – I was chocked!
As a chef and a person who has been healed through food and lifestyle changes – I just couldn’t stop myself from thinking – why?
Food is so important for so many reasons!
Surely this can be done better!
Over and over again I was thinking how absurd it was that I was in hospital, a place of healing and there was no interest about the food. Fresh nourishing food is such a vital part in healing!
Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food – Hippocrates (year 431 BC!)
In those 4 days I did not see a single fruit or vegetable, never mind the fresh anything at all – no fresh fruit nor fresh vegetables – no – ZERO – none at all!
The food on the trays had perhaps never been fresh! Everything was processed and as far as I could judge, had nothing to do even with nourishment! And served in dull plastic containers on a dull plastic tray.
With a rumbling tummy and food fantasies on my mind, I talked to the nurse about the food – they said that over 70%!!! of all trays go back untouched!
70% -What a waste!!! What a shame, how sad, what a total missed opportunity!
We know that healthy food helps us heal faster, we know that healthy food has the potential to prevent disease. We know that sick people more than anybody needs nourishment.
We also know that a vast majority of diseases are caused and directly linked to unhealthy lifestyle and eating the wrong diet……..so why don’t the hospitals grab the chance and serve sick patients enjoyable, nutritious fresh food. Grab the chance to feed and inspire healthy living – and help the patients to heal themselves.
So why? …….. The argument is “It’s too expensive!”
But is it, really?
In Denmark, at one point in time, they went through the same gloomy experience! 40 tons of hospital food was chucked away every day, because it was so grim, no one wanted to eat it.
To change that, they employed professional chefs along with dieticians and they designed menus for people to enjoy, to look forward to every day and to help them heal faster!
Serving meals, 3 times a day became a thing of the past — because when you are sick you are not necessarily hungry on the dot. Instead every patient has a menu and a telephone. And when hungry, they simply take the menu, pick their fancy and call the chefs in the kitchen. The meal is then prepared, cooked from fresh natural ingredients and brought up to the patient. Nutritious, fresh, delicious — real food from real people – who care and love cooking!
What they found was, not surprisingly, that there was hardly any food waste, patients got well, out of bed and home faster, too.
And, it was not more expensive!
But unfortunately, it is in general the same story – no matter where you are in the world – hospital food has a bad reputation.
Hospitals around the world are missing a huge opportunity. Hospitals, our health care system, could be the greatest example of health! Show us how to enjoy food, teach us what to eat to stay healthy and nourished, thebest food for our bodies – to assist us heal, to help fight disease and prevent it.
Great food in hospitals would not only help us heal, but it would also inspire us all to practice more healthy living when we got back home.
Imagine how we could assist the body in healing if we were served something like this:
Freshly squeezed carrots
Freshly prepared green smoothies with fresh spinach leafs and juicy fruits
Creamy Raw Food Oatmeal, with almonds, dates and apple – a glass of freshly squeezed orange
Free access to fresh fruits and veggies
Crispy Spring Rolls
A bowl of freshly made tomato soup made of REAL tomatoes
Instead of this –
Jello for breakfast?
On the fourth day I cried…….
If we have to spend money – why not spend it well?
I know there are other places that have changed the concept of tasteless grey hospital food – and with great success – that’s here in Canada.
Listen to this inspiring talk by Joshna Maharaj – an amazing passionate woman who helped change the hospital food in Toronto.
People frequently ask me – “really, do you make your own bread?”
– I would never have time for that, they say, but really, it doesn’t take that long to make delicious homemade bread. Once you have gotten into the routine, it’s the easiest thing on earth! Honestly! And fun! And rewarding!
Actually, mixing up the dough takes less than 5 min. And then the secret is to leave it to raise for at least 4 hours, the longer the better – I usually mix it in the evening before going to bed. Put it in the fridge or leave it on the counter with a wet cloth, to do it’s magic overnight.
In the morning I let it rise a second time, while the oven is heating and then I pop it in to bake, which it does while I’m in the shower.
Freshly baked bread in the morning is such a treat for everyone.
Just imagine waking up to the smell of homemade bread – a day starting like that, is bound to be a good one!
Not all bread now-a-days is honest as there are so many additives that go into store-bought bread today. Unless of course you get it from a good baker!
When you make your own bread you know what goes into it.
Bread from the good baker
2 cups of water
1 teaspoon dry yeast
2 teaspoons of salt
2 tablespoons of raw sugar
3 tablespoons of olive oil
4 cups of organic unbleached flour
1 cup of chopped walnuts
1/2 cup of extra flour
Dissolve the yeast in the water, add the oil, the salt and the sugar, add the chopped walnuts and add the flour little by little while stirring.
Leave the dough to raise with a wet cloth overnight or at least for 4 hours.
Fold in a little extra flour and sprinkle some on a clean countertop. Place the dough on the flour and gently fold the the sides of the dough underneath – without kneading it.
Allow the dough to raise on the table while you heat the oven to 450 F – place a cast iron pot with the lid in the oven for 1/2 hour to heat it.
Take the cast iron pot out and carefully place the dough in the very hot pot, put the lid back on – please don’t burn yourself! And place the pot back in the hot oven and bake for 30 min.
Take the lid of and bake for another 10 min
Take it out, and try to let it cool a little before cutting it, I know it’s difficult :-).
A total craving for Green Papaya Salad lured me out into the cold and windy day, on the hunt for green papaya. I love my local China town – it’s always full of life, hectic, intense, full of colors, smells and hints of adventure. Then, the sun came out, and what more can you really ask for?
I found the freshest and most beautiful green papaya fruit, a deliciously sweet pineapple, fresh herbs, big juicy oranges, tangy lime fruit and dried cranberries. That’s when I knew I was fully ready to go home and create a delicious Green Papaya Salad.
Papaya in Julienne
Filets of Orange
Mint, Cilantro and Basil
Green Papaya Salad
1/2 green papaya
1/4 fresh sweet pineapple
1 big orange
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 bunch fresh basil
1 bunch fresh mint
A handful of cranberries
Cut the papaya and the pineapple into julienne strips and cut the orange into fillets. Wash and finely chop the herbs, mix everything in a bowl. Add a handful of dried cranberries
3-4 sps of maple syrup or agave
1 -2 cloves of garlic
some freshly grated ginger
Squeeze the lime, add maple syrup, squeeze garlic and grate some fresh ginger – mix well.
I have been so spoiled lately! Last weekend I went to Montreal with my beautiful daughter – just the two of us! Wow, what a treat, spending time alone with her was so precious!
Then this weekend I went skiing with some girl friends. Both of these experiences were like big-time tonic for my soul.
The down side is however that while traveling it can be hard to maintain healthy habits and routines. I love joining the party and eating what everyone else is eating and I treasure visiting interesting restaurants and eat whatever takes my fancy.
But I also love to get back home and squeeze myself a rejuvenating green juice. Its the perfect way to recoup and getting back into the rhythm again .
Green Juicy Juice
This juice is made in minutes and served on ice.
A bunch of fresh spinach
3 sticks of celery
Put it all through the juicer (or blender, but then you need to add some water) to make a delicious, refreshing green juice.