We had a fabulous class hosted by Christina Childs and Holly Martinson of Blue Nectar Yoga this past weekend. Thank you to the hosts and also to the fabulous participants. I got to talk about spices and their centuries old uses as well cook some simple recipes for the amazing participants of the class. What a perfect place to be!
We started with warming Turmeric Latte with Almond Milk and Honey, then had some Quinoa Pilaf, Bean Salad and Masoor Daal. Paired well with the cold and rainy weather. Here are the recipes:
All you need is your favorite milk, Aromatic Spice Blends Turmeric Latte Blend and a bit of honey (totally optional)
Warm a cup of milk until it boils gently. Stir in 1/2 tsp. of the Turmeric Latte Blend, add honey if you like your drink sweet. Enjoy! Makes a soothing drink just before bed time and a nourishing drink any time of the day!
Ingredients required: Regular Quinoa, about 2-3 cups; Bay leaves-1; Salt (optional); Mixed Vegetables (any that you like, we used a frozen Succotash blend), 2 cups; onion, 1 small; Dried Cranberries (1/2 cup), optional; Olive Oil or any cooking oil that you regularly use at home; Aromatic Spice Blends Pilaf Spice and a handful of fresh herbs like Cilantro / Parsley (optional).
Method: Wash and rinse Quinoa thoroughly about three to four times. Add Quinoa and twice the amount of water, plus one bay leaf, salt to taste and 2 tsp. oil to a pot. Let this come to a boil, reduce heat and cover the pot with a lid. Allow to cook on low heat until the liquid is absorbed. Turn off the heat.
In the meanwhile, thinly slice the onions, heat a tablespoon oil in a pan and fry them until golden brown and crisp. Add frozen vegetables and cranberries and 2 tsp. Aromatic Spice Blends Pilaf Spice and salt to taste. Stir until well mixed. Turn off the heat. Add cooked Quinoa to this mixture. Stir gently, garnish with finely chopped herbs (even a sprig of rosemary will be delicious) and serve warm as an entree or as a cold salad. Either ways, it is delicious.
Option: You can use Rice instead and Quinoa; add more vegetables; use fresh instead of frozen vegetables.
Masoor or Red Lentils are warming lentils and pack great plant proteins plus an added benefit is that they cook very fast.
Ingredients needed: Dried split red lentils, about 2 cups; one small onion; one medium tomato; salt to taste; cooking oil, any that you prefer, about 1-2 tsp.; Aromatic Spice Blends Panch Phoran (Indian Five Seed Mix); and Aromatic Spice Blends Mild or Hot Curry or Lentil Curry, Lime juice to taste. A few sprigs of fresh Cilantro
Method: Wash and rinse lentils thoroughly 2-3 times. Set aside. Heat oil in a deep pot and add a pinch or two of Panch Phoran. Allow them to splutter so that they temper the oil with their aromatics, then add finely chopped onion and tomato and stir well. Now add the lentils, stir so that the lentils are coated with the onion mixture. Add about 3-4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and allow the lentils to cook through until they are mushy. Add 3 tsp. Mild Curry or 1 tsp Hot Curry (taste and adjust according to your heat tolerance), salt and lime juice to taste and garnish with finely chopped cilantro. Enjoy as a soup or with steamed rice.
Options: Add your favorite vegetables with the onion and tomatoes, like Zucchini, Radish, Green Beans, Spinach or Carrots, all chopped bite sized so they cook through.
I used canned beans in this recipe since it is an easy way to use in a class where time is precious. You can use pre-soaked and cooked beans of your choice. I used 1 can of Garbanzo beans and 1 can of Red Kidney beans, plus 1 cup of frozen and thawed corn kernels. You will also need one small onion and one tomato, both finely chopped; one each Red and Green Bell Pepper, diced; one lime; a few sprigs of cilantro/ parsley/ mint; salt to taste; Aromatic Spice Blends Harissa.
Method: Drain beans and transfer to a salad bowl. Add all the chopped vegetables. Add salt to taste, herbs, generous amounts of lime juice and 2 tsp of Harissa or more if you like (it's hot!). Mix or toss well and just eat it up! It really is addictive!
Options: You can add some of Aromatic Spice Blends Mango Chutney for an added complexity of flavor.