Juice House In Rishikesh 

April 10, 2016 § Leave a comment


One of my favorite juice places in all of India has to be the popular Juice House in Ram Jhula, Rishikesh. The city is situated on the foothills of the Himalayas and along the Ganges river. It is a place of pilgrimage and a very holy and peaceful place.

The juice stall is a popular travellers’ hangout and is always full. Usually you need to squeeze into a shared booth and it can take 20 minutes to get served but it’s worth the wait. The mango lassi as featured above is full of mangos and has fresh pomegranates on top with shredded coconut $2. They have many fresh fruit and veggie juice combos along with smoothies including some which have avocado.

Their other popular menu item is their fruit salad and the one shown above is a replica that I made at home. I usually get the vegan version which comes with muesli, bananas, watermelon, papaya, mangos, pineapple, coconut, pomegranate, soy milk, date syrup and mint $2.80.

The date syrup was difficult to find so I decided to make my own. I soaked a cup of dates in warm water for a couple hours. Then I puréed the dates and water in a Vitamix blender. Squeezed out the date pulp and put the liquid into a saucepan and brought to a boil. I cooked the liquid until it thickened, allowed it to cool and poured it over the fruit. It was so heavenly that I ate it everyday for over a week.

 Sunset in Rishikesh

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Nuba Restaurant

January 22, 2016 § Leave a comment

 

This Lebanese restaurant is a favourite of mine and the lunch special comes with a variety of healthy and vegetarian items. I often meet one of my good friends there for lunch as her office is right around the corner from their Kitsilano location. I usually get either the Falafel($12.75) or Najib’s special($13), crispy cauliflower tossed with lemon and sea salt.  The lunch plate comes with hummus, salad, pickled cabbage, pita, olives and brown rice or potatoes. I get the potatoes and my friend orders half and half.

It’s a pretty big plate of food so I time my appetite and go fairly hungry. The service is quick at lunch and it caters to those who work in the area. Sometimes I get a seat a few minutes before my friend arrives and place our order so that we can relax and not feel rushed. The great thing about Nuba is that each of their four locations are designed differently and each one has its own unique personality.

I often run from Kitsilano beach along the Burrard Street bridge and eventually end up at the one downtown on Seymour Street. This one is more like a quick service cafe and after a 10K run, it’s a great reward. www.nuba.ca 

 

Thai Tom Kha Soup

January 20, 2016 § 2 Comments

  
This soup had to be my all time favourite for warming my bones on a cold winter day. The coconut milk makes it very creamy and the sweet and sour flavour is perfectly balanced on the palate. I like to serve it with cooked quinoa or vermicelli rice noodles to make it into a meal. 

The lemongrass and lime leaves are critical to the flavour, so it’s best to buy them fresh. You can buy them in produce or Asian stores but I go to Granville Island Public Market as the quality is best there. This soup does take some time to make but trust me it’s worth it.

Cooking Time 45 minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 Tblsp (15 ml) olive oil x 2
3 cloves crushed garlic
1 small onion diced
3 cups (750 ml) boiling water
2 stalks lemon grass cut into big pieces
8 lime leaves
1 Tbsp (15 ml) Bragg or soy sauce
1 tsp (5 ml) salt
1 lime juiced
1 tsp (5 ml) Siracha
1 tsp (5 ml) agave or sweetner
1 400 ml can coconut milk
2 cups (500 ml) chopped kale
1 cup (250 ml) crimini mushrooms
chopped thai basil and cilantro(optional)

Directions:
1. Heat 1 Tblsp of oil in a medium stock pot. Sautee the garlic and onions. Add water, lime leaves,lemongrass and simmer for 25 minutes or until fragrant.
2. Add the Bragg, salt, lime juice, siracha, agave and coconut milk. Bring to a boil.
3. Remove the lime leaves and lemongrass. Puree the liquid and set aside.
4. Heat 1 Tblsp oil in the stock pot and the kale. Sautee until wilted. Add the mushrooms and sautee for a minute and add the liquid. Bring to a boil and serve. Garnish with thai basil and cilantro.

  

Broccoli Ramen with Kale and Bok Choy

January 19, 2016 § 1 Comment

  

My son loves those noodles soups that come in a package and so I started to experiment with a healthier version. This recipe is very healthy as it has lots of greens and I use organic noodles made from brown rice. It makes a hearty meal on its own and warms the soul on a cold day. 

Cooking time 30 minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients:
2 Tblsp (30 ml) olive oil
1 cup (250 ml) each, broccoli florets, chopped kale, bok choy
2 tsp (10 ml) Bragg or soy sauce
2 Tblsp (30 ml) miso paste
5 cups (1.25 ml) boiling water
1 tsp (5 ml) siracha
1 Tblsp (15 ml) sesame oil
1 tsp (5 ml) each dried onion & garlic
1/4 tsp (1 ml) each tumeric, dried ginger
1 cup (250 ml) cooked ramen noodles per bowl

Directions:
1. Heat a medium stock pot on medium heat. Add the oil and 3 veggies. Cook until soft about 10 mins.
2. Add the remaining ingredients except the noodles. Bring to a boil.
3. Cook the noodles as instructed and add 1 cup to a bowl and top with the soup.

Bring Balance into 2014 with a Cup of Tea

January 1, 2014 § Leave a comment

I want to wish all my readers a Happy New Year and prosperous 2014. Thank you all for following and I hope to share more insightful information, recipes, restaurant reviews and food stories with you this year.

Guest contributor and local Ayurvedic practitioner Madhuri Phillips has co-written the book “Your Irresistible Life” with Glynnis Osher where they share how to stay in balance by following Ayurvedic practices during the various season. I have been following Ayurveda for over 20 years and use its simple practices in my daily life. This book is great a resource for staying in balance throughout the year. ~Lily

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The Top 5 to Thrive in 2014: Ayurveda Has Solutions

By Madhuri Phillips

Ayurveda, the sister science to yoga is gaining popularity here in the West as it teaches us how to return to living in harmony with nature amongst the busy-ness of our daily lives. This 5000 year-old system of natural medicine has sound, effective and simple tools for helping us to maintain balance in mind and body. Here are 5 Ayurvedic tips to keep you thriving:

1) The very first thought of your day sets the tone for how your day will unfold. Consciously set a positive intention because what you focus on expands. If you’re not sure where to start, a simple affirmation such as “Today is a great day!” gets you moving in the right direction.

2) Scrape your tongue. Before you drink or eat anything use a tongue scraper (buy a your health food store) or even the back of a metal spoon to scrape the toxins (in Ayurveda we call this ama) off of your tongue.

3) Drink warm water with a squeeze of lemon in the morning to cleanse the body and organs and assist with elimination.

4) Breathe deeply and often. Meditate and be still for at least 5 minutes a day. And, get your body moving. Be sure to exercise daily too: walk in nature, dance in your living room, play with the kids, allow it to be fun and invigorating!

5) Drink CCF Tea to keep your digestion strong and healthy. This is Cumin, Coriander and Fennel tea (recipe below) and assists in detoxification, reducing gas, indigestion, bloating and balancing the ph levels of the body.

Ayurvedic CCF Tea

Take 1 tsp of each cumin, coriander and fennel seeds. Put 4 cups of water and the seeds into a pot and bring to a boil. Once the mixture has reaches a boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Madhuri is an Ayurvedic Practitioner (CAS), Bio-Energy Practitioner & Yoga Teacher Trainer (ERYT). Along with her popular Ayurvedic Yoga DVD, her book, “Your Irresistible Life: 4 Seasons of Self-Care Through Ayurveda & Yoga Practices that Work” is now available. Explore how to work one on one with Madhuri at: www.madhuriayurvedayoga.com. Purchase Madhuri’s book at http://glynnisandmadhuri.com/your-irresistible-life/

Indian Coconut Curry with Japanese Vegetables

September 3, 2013 § 1 Comment

coconut curry

When I decided to cook dinner for my hosts one night,  I chose one of my favourite dishes, vegetarian coconut curry. I make this dish all the time, especially when I’m craving fat in my diet. This coconut curry is not overly spiced and has a warming effect on the body and soul. Better yet, it matures overnight and continues to dazzle the next day. All you need is a little water to heat it up.

I headed to the grocery store and when I arrived, I realized that I would need to substitute my veggies for Japanese ones. Their produce comes in small plastic packages with plastic wrap on it. The portion are about the size of a large handful because the Japanese value fresh ingredients and shop for groceries almost daily. I bought a whole bunch of different ones to create variety in the dish. I was also fortunate to find the right spices and was surprised that the quality was better than in Canada.

When I got back, I got organized in the kitchen. It was my first time cooking in Japan and also the first time that I felt a little Japanese.  I love  Japanese kitchen stuff as everything is good quality and made ergonomically. Saya is always laughing at me because I have a long list of kitchen items that I want to take home and that list gets longer everyday.

When we sat down for dinner, Saya decided to play music and put on a youtube video with Shahrukh Khan, the famous Bollywood actor. She told me that all the Japanese women love him which made me laugh. The meal was delicious and the Japanese veggies created a nice contrast in texture and taste. I will definitely make the curry using these veggies at home.

Serves 4
Cooking time 45 minutes

Ingredients:
one Japanese yam boiled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces and then quartered
one lotus root cut into thin slices
one handful broccoli florets
one handful green beans cut into 1/2 inch pieces
one handful okra cut into 1/2 inch pieces
one handful snow peas
two bunches bok choy cut into 1/3 inch pieces
one red pepper sliced into 1/4 inch pieces lengthwise
one handful mushrooms sliced into 1/3 inch pieces
1 package soft tofu diced

2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
1 small onion diced
2 -3 cloves garlic minced
1/2 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp cumin seeds or powder
1 tsp coriander seeds or powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp turmeric
1 small can plum organic tomatoes
1 large can coconut milk
chopped fresh cilantro

cooked rice
Japanese pickles

Directions:
1. Steam the veggies
2. In a large sauce pan on medium heat add the olive oil.
3. When hot, add the garlic saute until golden and add the onions. Cook until transparent and brown.
4. Add the spices, ginger and salt. Stir. Add the tomatoes.
5. Add the coconut milk, bring to a boil and puree.
6. Add the steam veggies to the pot and when the flavours are incorporated, turn off heat. Serve with rice and Japanese pickles.

Coconut curry with Japanese veggies

Chard Dip

July 26, 2013 § 1 Comment

chard dip

My spinach dip is quite famous and surprisingly only has 4 ingredients. Whenever I bring it to picnics or potlucks, people often ask for the recipe and I share it. The next time that I see them, they comment that they tried to make it but it wasn’t as good as mine.

I think the secret to cooking is to start with the best quality ingredients. I try to buy as much as I can from the farmers market and then I shop at organic food stores. The secret to this recipe is the organic sour cream which is the base of the dip. That alone will make or break this recipe.

People also comment that this recipe is so simple yet so flavourful. I believe in a less is more philosophy. All you need is to know how to cook properly and get a sense of how to combine ingredients that compliment each other. In this recipe I contrast the texture of the creamy sour cream to the crunchy water chestnuts. This creates a polar effect on the palate and keeps the dish alive.

To spice up my regular spinach dip and to get some chard into my kids, I decided to substitute spinach for chard. To be honest, it tastes exactly the same and turns the dip a little pink, my favourite colour. I thinly sliced focaccia bread which I toasted in the oven and served it with the dip.

Cooking time 20 minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 bunch swiss chard
1/2 tsp (2 ml) – 1 tsp (5 ml) salt
1 can 227 ml sliced water chestnuts – drained and chopped
2 cups (500 ml) organic sour cream

Directions:
1. Cut off stalks of chard and cut into 1 inch pieces and steam.
2. When the chard is wilted, drain any water, transfer to a cutting board and chop.
3. Place the chard in a bowl, add salt and let sit for 2-3 minutes.
4. Add the water chestnuts, stir and let sit another 2 minutes.
5. Add the sour cream and serve with crackers, bread or veggies.

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