Chilli and garlic poached eggplant

Poached Eggplant

Ingredients
2 eggplants, cut into quarters lengthways
1 Lt vegetable broth
4 red chilli, cut into quarters lengthways
4 garlic cloves, smashed
8 dates, roughly chopped
2 inch ginger, grated
1 Tb sesame oil
2 Tb sesame seeds, toasted
3 spring onions, trim ends and slice
1 lime, cut into wedges

Pour broth into a large pot; add chilli, garlic and dates. Bring to boil then add eggplant. Lower heat and simmer with lid on for 20 min, gently turning eggplant halfway. Remove eggplant and set aside. Reduce broth with lid off until it thickens, then add ginger cooking for 1 min. Pour broth through a sieve into a bowl, discard solids. Add sesame oil to remaining sauce.
To serve pour sauce over eggplant, top with spring onion, a squeeze of lime and sesame seeds.

FACT
Eggplant also known as aubergine is a fruit. They should be eaten when still young because they contain fewer seeds, making them less bitter.

Sumac salted fries with green ‘aioli’

Sumac salted fries with green aioli

Ingredients
2 sweet potatoes, (1 per person) skin on, if washed dry thoroughly- moisture will make fries soggy
2 Tb sumac
1 tsp cumin
2 Tb olive oil
1 tsp sea salt

Aioli
1 avocado, scooped out
3 Tb parsley
½ lemon, juiced
1 garlic clove
½ tsp paprika or cayenne pepper (hotter)
Pinch sea salt & white or black pepper
1Tb olive oil

Chop sweet potatoes into approx. 1cm cube lengths, trim thin ends of to avoid burn.
Place on a tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle with olive oil, sumac, cumin and salt. Toss to coat and place in single layer with separation. They will not crisp up if touching.
Bake for 15 min at 200°, turn and bake for a further 15 min. Cool for 5 min and serve with aioli.

For aioli, place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until combined. Season to taste. Sprinkle with paprika to serve.

FACT
Sumac is a dried berry; it has a tangy and lemony flavor. It can be cooked or sprinkled over dishes, particularly good over salads.

Crunchy broccoli salad

Crunchy broccoli salad

Ingredients
1 medium broccoli head
1 red chilli, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 Tb olive oil
1.5 tsp sea salt
1 tsp white pepper
½ lemon juice and zest
3 Tb parsley leaves, sliced
3 Tb Oregano leaves- optional
½ C slivered almond, toasted dry in frypan

Sit broccoli head (upside down) in a bowl of boiling water for 3 minutes, remove and rinse under cold water. This will wash and slightly soften broccoli. Shake off excess water and chop finely, discarding the stalk.
Heat 2 Tb oil of in a fry pan, add chilli, garlic, lemon zest, salt and fry for 1 minute then remove from heat.
Stir in broccoli, parsley, oregano, lemon juice, pepper and remaining oil, coating well. Season to taste.
Top broccoli mix with almonds to serve.

FACT
Broccoli florets are good source of Vitamin C (antioxidants), vitamin A (for healthy eyes) and folate (helps red blood cell production, particularly important for pregnancy).

Green smoothie

Green smoothie

An alkaline blog is not complete without a nutrient rich green smoothie recipe!
It is best to blend over juicing so that the fiber content is not lost.
Fiber has many benefits, some include slowing down the release of sugar into the blood stream (avoiding sugar rush or spikes), it binds with toxins and cholesterol preventing absorption and helps you stay full longer.
Juices oxidize so its so it is best to drink straight away or within 24 hours and kept airtight.

Ingredients
5 kale leaves, washed stems removed
½ cucumber, cubed
1 C coconut water
½ lemon, juiced, slice for garnish
2 Tb mint leaves
1 banana, peeled

Place all ingredients in blender and mix until smooth.

Ingredient options
Pear, watermelon, pineapple, mango, lime
Celery, spinach, parsley
Ginger, cinnamon
Green tea
Almond milk, unsweetened
Chia seeds, psyllium husks

Spiced vegetable curry with mint yogurt

Spiced vegetable curry

300gm firm tofu, cubed
1 onion, diced
1 sweet potato, diced
½ cauliflower, cut into florets
200gm green beans, ends trimmed
1 Tb garam masala
1 Tb ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp chilli powder or 1 red chilli
10 curry leaves (recipe remains flavoursome if leaves or one of spices is unavailable)
1 inch ginger, grated
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 C vegetable broth
Coconut oil (or olive oil)
Sea salt
1 C natural yogurt
4 Tb mint (or coriander), chopped
2 tomatoes, diced – optional

Heat 1 Tb oil and fry tofu until golden, remove and set aside on paper towel.
In a large pot with a lid, saute onions in 1Tb of oil. Add spices, curry leaves, ginger and garlic and fry for 2 min.
Stir in sweet potato and fry for further 1 min.
Add broth and pinch of salt. Simmer with lid on for ½ hour.
Add cauliflower, cook for 5 min with lid on, then add beans cook for a further 2 min.
Sweet potato will mash down and thicken sauce.
In a small bowl mix mint with yogurt.
To serve, top curry with yogurt and fresh tomato.
Serves 4

FACT
‘Garam masala’ means warm spices (warming for the body). A typical Indian mix has cumin, cinnamon, cloves, pepper and cardamom.

Asparagus with fennel infused almond cream

Asparagus

1 fennel top, washed and roughly chopped
½ C boiling water
½ C blanched almonds
1 garlic clove, peeled
½ tsp sea salt
¼ C sunflower seeds, toasted
black pepper

Smash fennel in a mortar and pestle, reserving some leaves for garnish.
Place in boiling water and allow to infuse for ½ hour, stir occasionally.
Then strain and discard fennel pieces.

Place almonds, garlic and salt into food processor. Blend until granulated.
Add fennel water and mix until a smooth cream.
Plunge asparagus into boiling water for 4 min. Remove and drain on paper towel.
To serve lay asparagus in a dish, top with almond cream, sunflower seeds, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.
Garnish with fennel leaves.

Fact
Adding lemon or vinegar to cooked asparagus will cause skin to wrinkle and colour to fade.

Betel leaves topped with Thai tofu

Betel leaves topped with Thai tofu

18 betel leaves, remove stems, wash and dry (available from Asian grocers)
300 gm firm tofu, place on paper towel to absorb excess water
1 Tb coconut oil
1 carrot, grated
2 inch ginger, grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 spring onion, white end finely sliced
2 red chillies, slice, remove seeds unless you like it hot!
8 coriander sprigs, finely chop stems, pick leaves
1 tsp sea salt
¼ C mint leaves, chopped – optional
1 lime, cut into wedges
¼ C coconut chips or flakes, available preservative free from health food store

Heat coconut oil in a wok; add ginger, garlic, spring onion, chilli, coriander stems and salt. Stir fry for 1 min. Add carrot and tofu; break up tofu with a fork. Fry for 3 min. Remove from heat and stir in coriander and mint leaves.

Lay betel leaves on a platter shiny side up and place a small pile of tofu mix in the centre. Top with a squeeze of lime and coconut.

FACT
Betel leaves have a peppery fresh flavor. They can be eaten raw or cooked. In Ayurvedic medicine they are used as an aphrodisiac.

Date and spice poached pears

Poached pears

4 pears, peel and trim bottom if required so that they stand straight for serving
(Firm pears will hold shape better)
4 C water
10 cardamom pods, bash in mortar and pestle to release seeds
1 cinnamon quill
1 Tb ground cinnamon
Zest of ½ Lemon
¾ C dates, chopped
Pinch sea salt
¼ C roasted almonds, crush in mortar and pestle

Place all ingredients, except almonds, in a saucepan with a lid.
Pears can lie on side to be submersed in liquid, turn through cooking time.
Cover and simmer on a medium heat for 30 min or until pears are tender.
Remove pears with a slotted spoon. Reduce liquid until it is approx. 1 cup.
Strain liquid through a fine sieve; pushing through sticky date pulp.
To serve pour sauce over pears and top with crushed almonds.
Serves 4

FACT
Cardamom belongs to the ginger family. It is a pod containing seeds, which have a spicy sweet flavor.

Pumpkin tart on a millet pesto base

Pumpkin and onion tart on a pesto millet base

¾ C Millet
2 ½ C water
2 Tb ground flaxseed, in 4 Tb warm water (egg substitute)
2 onions, sliced ( red or white)
600 gm pumpkin, deseeded, peeled & diced 1cm cube
Sea salt & pepper
1 bunch basil
1/4 C almonds
1 clove garlic, peeled
Olive oil
1 Tb water
¼ C pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

For the base.
Pre heat oven to 180°
Toast millet dry in a medium saucepan for 2 min, toasting gives a nuttier flavor.
Add water, good pinch of salt and simmer on low heat with lid on for 20 min, stirring half way.
Mix flaxseed with warm water to make paste.
Turn heat off and stir flaxseed paste into millet and mix well to make a creamy consistency.
Spread mix evenly into tart tin (any shape tin works approx. 30cm, spray with olive oil if not non-stick). Use the back of a wet spoon if mix is too sticky. Place in freezer to cool for 10 min then bake at 200° for 15 min, allow to cool before topping.

Filling
Heat 1tb olive oil in a fry pan and cook onions on a low heat for 10 min, add a little water if they are sticking. Add pumpkin, pinch salt, pepper, drizzle of olive oil and fry on medium heat for 10 min.

Pesto
Blitz basil (reserve some leaves for garnish), almonds, 2Tb olive oil, water, garlic and good pinch of salt in food processor until combined. Add dash more water if required.

Assembly
Spread pesto over millet base. Top with onion, pumpkin mix and sprinkle pepitas over. Bake in oven at 200° for 30 min. Allow to cool for 10min before removing from tin. Garnish with basil leaves and salt & pepper to serve.

FACT
Millet is a small round ancient seed. It is very nutritious, particularly high in protein, magnesium and fibre. The method of cooking allows it to be creamy like polenta or fluffy like cous cous.

Fennel slaw with avocado & mint mayonnaise

Fennel slaw

I love this substitute mayonnaise!
It’s also great with other salads or as a dipping sauce.

1 fennel bulb, trim ends and discard any tough outer layer, keep top leaves for garnish
¼ red cabbage
1 granny smith apple
1 avocado, remove stone and scoop flesh out
Handful mint leaves, reserve some for garnish
3 Tb lemon juice
1.5 Tb olive oil
3 Tb water
good pinch of sea salt

Cut fennel in half to remove core. Slice fennel, cabbage and apple finely.
A mandolin works well.
Coat apple with 1Tb lemon juice and combine ingredients in a bowl.

For the mayonnaise place avocado, mint, remaining lemon juice, olive oil, salt and water in food processor/mixer. Blitz until combined; add extra water if consistency is too thick.

Coat salad well with mayonnaise and top with herb leaves to serve.

FACT
Avocados only ripen once picked, so they are hard when fresh.
Once the stem comes out easily they are ready to eat.