Search This Blog

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sprouted Wheat and Banana Muffins

I know, yet another muffin recipe, but hey I like experimenting! :-)
The almond meal mellows out the sprouted wheat flavor abit and creates a lighter pastry. These are more like a sweet spice bread than a typical muffin and the flavor is remiscent of banana bread with a hint of coconut flavor. :-)


Approx 3 1/2 cups sprouted wheat flour
2 cups almond meal
3 tsp aluminium free baking powder
3 TBSP cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
1 tsp nutmeg powder

 Mix all the above evenly.

2 banana's peeled and chopped roughly
Approx 1/2 cup coconut oil
1 cup maple syrup
2-3 TBSP vanilla essence

Blend all the above ingredients til smooth.

Mix wet and dry ingredients with enough cool water to create a thick wet dough (sprouted wheat flour already has alot of moisure, so less liquid is better than more).

Spoon the mixture into a greased muffin tray or muffin cases. I also put a light dusting of almond meal in when I use a muffin tray, to help prevent sticking. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for approx 35-40 mins til dark golden brown.

Gently remove from tray while warm. Makes approx 12 large muffins.

Good served warm or cold. I like them warm with butter. :-)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sprouted Wheat Samosa's

Samosa's are a type of Indian bread filled with scrumptious spiced vegetables, typically cauliflower, potatos and peas. I like creating new fillings, and have come up with a few I really like and use regularly. Usually samosa's are deep fried, but I like to bake them instead for health reasons.

I have been experimenting with how to use sprouted wheat flour . It has a different texture than refined flour and takes abit of getting used to in that regard, but its much healthier for the body and it is tasty too. I finally created a pastry I was satisfied with today, so here it is. :-)


Approx 3 1/2 cups sprouted wheat flour
1 tsp sea salt
4 big TBSP soft ghee (clarified butter)
Enough warm water to make a smooth medium soft dough

Mix the flour and salt, and then rub in the ghee til it resembles coarse bread crumbs. Slowly add in the water (important that its warm), as you mix til you get the desired consistency. Knead for 5 mins til lovely and smooth. Set aside for 1/2 hr (this really helps it to bind together).


6 medium large potatos, peeled and cubed small
6 sticks of celery, washed, de-strung, and chopped small
1 large red bell pepper, washed, de-seeded, and cubed small
1 TBSP ghee
2 TBSP dried Oregano
1 tsp asafoetida
2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground blk pepper
1/4 tsp of blk salt (optional)
2 TBSP sea salt or to taste

Heat the ghee in a sautee pan over medium heat.
Add in the first 4 spices and stir-fry for a few seconds.

Add in the vegetables, and the rest of the spices and seasoning.
Stir well coating the veggies evenly with the spices. Sautee a few mins, stiring as needed.
Then add in 3 TBSP water, cover and cook til tender. Uncover and allow to cool somewhat.

Meanwhile preheat oven to 385 degrees Fahrenheit.

Break pieces off your pastry and roll in your palms - approx the size of a golf ball.
Roll out into round disks. (Dont use flour on the rolling surface as it will make them too dry).

Take approx 2 TBSP of the potato filling you prepared and place onto the middle of the rolled out disk. Gather one edge of the pastry and fold it over the filling to meet the other edge of pastry. Pinch or twist the edges together to seal them.

Place on a lightly oiled baking tray. Bake the samosa's for approx 20-25mins. Makes approx 12 servings.

Great served with a chutney, as a snack, or part of a larger meal. :-) Delicious either hot or cold.

Peanut and Paneer Barbecue

Yippeedoodleday..and some daft dancing around!! :-D I just created a new dish for lunch today, what fun!! I'm writing it down for you while its still fresh in my mind! :-)

Ingredients and method:

680 gm pressed paneer, sliced into medium thin strips (approx 1 inch long, 1/2 an inch wide, 3mm thick)

Bake in preheated oven at 385 degrees Fahrenheit til deep golden brown - but not dried out, turn slices over to bake more if necessary.
Remove from heat and set aside.


Blend together the following ingredients til smooth:

400 gm plain unsalted tomato sauce
Approx 150 - 200 gm smooth plain peanut butter (unsalted and no additives)
3 TBSP apple cider vinegar to taste
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 - 1/2 cup maple syrup to taste
2-3 tsp liquid smoke
3 TBSP dried basil (optional)
2-3 tsp blk pepper
2 tsp asafoetida
2-3 tsp paprika
3 tsp cumin powder
2-3 TBSP sea salt to taste

Pour the sauce over the baked paneer (in a baking dish obviously! I used a glass dish).
Coat the paneer evenly with the sauce.
Sprinkle a generous helping of red paprika flakes over the top, and bake in preheated oven til sauce thickens and begins to darken along the edges. Approx 20 mins - 1/2 hr. Avoid over-baking or the sauce will become too thick.

Delicious and very filling! :-) Serves 4-6 depending on how hungry you are, lol! :-)
Great served hot with rice, a vegetable dish, and a salad on the side.

East meets West - Dr. Cornel West & HH Radhanath Swami - Dialogue at Princeton

Good morning folks! 

I've got some great videos to share with you today!
I'm so delighted I found these recordings as I'd only been able to catch the tail-end of this event in real time. :-) 

This is a wonderful dialogue between Princeton scholar Dr. Cornel West and HH Radhanath Swami, a spiritual teacher, activist and author, in a discussion titled "East Meets West: A Dialogue Between Cornel West and Radhanath Swami". 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011 in Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall.

Video 1

Video 2

Here is an introduction to Radhanath Swami for some background:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Frozen Mango Yoghurt

This is delicious and super quick to make, you just need a heavy duty food processor to blend up the frozen mango.
Serves 3 generous portions.

2 cups frozen mango cubes
350 grams Greek yoghurt
1/4 cup maple syrup or to taste
1 TBSP vanilla essence (optional)

Blend up all ingredients til smooth and creamy. It will be thick and you may need to stop the processor
to stir it. Serve within 20 mins of preparation for best results. :-)

Mini Muffins

I made mini muffins today using reusable silicone baking molds from the world market.
Im not sure how healthy it is to use these, but they make the cutest pop in your mouth muffins ever!

Approx 1 1/2 cup almond meal
Approx 3/4 cup tapioca flour
Approx 1/4 cup Red Mill buttermilk pancake and waffle mix
2 TBS cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
1 TBSP baking powder
1/4 cup dried cranberries

Blend together:
1 banana
1/4 cup safflower oil
1/4-1/2 cup maple syrup to taste
2 TBSP apple cider vinegar

Mix wet and dry ingredients, and spoon into baking molds.
Bake at 385 degrees Fahrenheit for approx 20 minutes or til deep golden brown.
Serve cool. Makes approx 36 mini's.

Avocado Cranberry Salad

Ok, so after all my talk about salad making at Burning Man, I better post a recipe! :-D

This recipe is a basic salad which I make most often at home:

Approx 3-4 handfuls spring greens herb mix
1/2 handful fresh basil leaves, rinsed and roughly torn (optional)
Approx 10 cherry tomato's, washed and chopped in halves
2 large avocado's, de-skinned and chopped into medium small pieces
1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds
1/4 cup roasted almond slivers
1/4 cup dried (but semi moist) cranberries (Trader Joes or Moms)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
half that amount of apple cider vinegar
1-2 TBS honey to taste
2-3 TBS nutritional yeast
A pinch each of asafoetida, black pepper, paprika
A pinch of black salt (optional)
1 tsp dried dill
1 tsp sea salt

Whisk all dressing ingredients together until thickened.
Add in the cranberries to soften and set the dressing aside.
Mix all other salad ingredients together in a separate bowl.

Add in the dressing just before serving - unless you want soggy salad!
(That's for you, Jagannath Kirtan my friend)!! ;-)

Serves 4 generous portions.

Burning Man Adventure

Hi Folks,

I'm glad to be finally back after an extended absence! My old faithful laptop crashed more than once, dying in slow increments, and it’s hard to keep up blogging from random computers without my stash of recipes and pic’s to keep things going! Be as it may, I have promised many of you an update so here we go! :-)

I have had plenty of adventures over the last few months. The most unique, and first of its kind for me, being a trip out to Nevada for the Burning Man event. Burning Man -- to the uninitiated -- basically translates as a 24/7 week long arts carnival, with a city of 50,000 peeps camping in a dried out lake bed, in the middle of nowhere, and decompressing in every imaginable way!! Burning Man is described by its organisers an annual art event and temporary community based on radical self expression and self-reliance in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. Yep, you heard me right! I did indeed go, and stayed there for one week, helping a few friends out in Krishna Kitchen, where we cooked up a storm, amidst dust storms and all!

Krishna Kitchen was stationed in the Red Lightening camp, who are a great crew to be with. It was quite the operation to work with no running water, and with a small, often sleep-deprived crew of cooks and helpers, to create meals for 800+ hungry Burners every day!! All credit to Nitai and his team for doing this stint year in and year out. It was wild, crazy, fun and a great big adventure from beginning to end, and yep, I’d do it again!! This little report may also serve anyone who might want to do what I did i.e. volunteer in a Kitchen, so you may be more mentally prepared for the event.

In the mornings I'd help out my friend Nanda, who was one of our core cooks. She would typically prepare 2 or 3 items for the 11am brunch e.g. one day she made chocolate pancakes with a fantastic sweet fenugreek syrup, and a big fruit salad, and another day it was fluffy muffins and a hot veggie soup. The evening meals were created by our other cooks -- Puspavan and Sunanda -- and they always had a gourmet dinner menu of 5 or 6 items up their sleeves. Typically there would be a grain e.g. rice, a subji (Indian veg stew), a savory e.g. pakora’s (veggie fritters), chutney, salad, and a sweet dish. One day, on top of our regular cooking, Krishna Kitchen also catered finger food for the TED conference, and on another day - the meal for the organizers of the Burning Man event. So we were a very busy team indeed!

Apart from brunch help, I created the salads for dinner every day, and whoa, for someone like me who has never cooked for more than 200 before, that’s a hell of a lots of chop-up to do! To give you an idea, this is an approximation of what you might use for one salad; 8 heads of cabbage, 20 - 30 heads of lettuce, 50 sticks of celery, 30 carrots, 30 apples, 20 avocado's, 10 sweet potatoes, 20 bell peppers, 10 cucumbers, 20 mini boxes of cherry tomatoes, 20 handfuls raisins or cranberries, 20 handfuls sunflower seeds, a few bunches of grapes, 16 bags of mixed salad greens, etc., etc., etc. And prepping the salad dressing, of course!

Now that may not to be too big a deal, but add to it the following; you probably need to locate water, and the transfer containers from the previous meal, wash those in a sink already stacked with dishes where the faucets didn’t work because the pump motor had burned out, and it cost a fortune to repair - never mind find a fix-it man in the middle of nowhere (and cell phones don't work). Then find, clean and set up multiple containers to wash and rinse off the salad veggies (no running water remember), cooperate with the other cooks over how many of the limited chopping boards, knives and other utensils you need to use, dust off surfaces and disinfect, and set everything up so you can actually begin prepping.

And essential to the success of all this, you need to find, beg and cajole a minimum of three Burners wandering around in the vicinity to help you prep all of the items, turning a blind eye to external appearances, whether someone is dressed as a fairy, a horned devil, or in nothing at all and wants to hug you!! :-O (As an umarried and thus celibate Krishna girl that was sometimes embarrassingly awkward ).The camps signed up with Krishna Kichen had an agreement to provide two volunteers to help out per meal, but volunteers arent always easy to find, hence the search. Once I had a crew it was my task to make sure everyone followed the conscientious Krishna Kitchen protocol of cleanliness, including not eating any of the items as we prepped, etc. Thankfully most of the time I had a willing crew of volunteers, and the people I engaged with were genuinely friendly, helpful, open minded and good fun! Some were so sweet they came back the next day to help out again of their own accord, and you know who you are! :-)

Given all of the above, if you began prepping the salad by 3pm with a good, steady crew of helpers, you would be ready in time for the 6pm dinner serve out. Of course, most of the time there would be some kind of unexpected hitch or delay e.g. running out of water. And, as Murphy's Law says, on that day, all camps will promptly send their people to pick up their meals at once and suddenly you feel like you are expected to be supermen and superwomen in all regards. Learning not to take it personal if someone loses their cool with you, when you are just a volunteer yourself, was one lesson I had to encounter. I found that to remain functional it was important to take some quiet time out for myself each day. Key to functioning smoothly was to keep hydrated, be proactive and ask for help, keep a cool head, a loving heart and the patience of a saint.

Oh, and if you do decide to go, be sure to bring ear plugs so you can sleep through the pumping music at night and remain sane. And good comfy goggles to wear, so your eyes don’t burn like hellfire from the corrosive dust everywhere - or you'll have to go to a medical camp and get your poor 'ol peepers washed out with a saline wash and liquid painkiller like I did! I sure was glad there was a medical camp nearby. One unique feature of Burning Man is that there is no monetary exchange on site, so everything is more focused upon offering and receiving in a spirit of service and friendly reciprocation. I was also impressed with the degree of environmental awareness as far as the ecosystem there was concerned e.g. no garbage lying around. Burning Man is great exposure for all exhibiting artists, and there is alot of cool stuff to see and do.

If you are busy all day serving in a camp somewhere like I was, make sure to get a couple of hours out in the evening to relax and see some of the fun exhibits e.g. art cars in the form of dragons shooting fire from their noses, to pirate ships, octopuses, and whatnot. One of my favorite experiences was heading over to the huge wooden temple in the morning and participating in a meditative Kirtan, with some hardcore Krishna Kitchen crew and other random Burners. The temple looked like a labor of love, beautifully constructed with 5 domes, decorative cut out panels, and arching walkways bridging up either side.

On the last night of the camp the temple was burned down, which was a spectacular fire to say the least. The temple had served many functions from a place of cathartic release where people wrote their pain on the walls, to a place of meditation. I even saw several marriages and other rites of passage take place there. Although to me it initially seemed counter-intuitive to burn down a temple structure, on reflection, given that nothing can be left behind when the Burning Man event is over, and given the nature of the event itself, it seemed a fitting end to the whole week. And interestingly, everyone was reverentially silent as the structure burned. It was like a digestive pause before transitioning back into the world of norms.