Ambika Yoga

Sivananda yoga classes in Brussels


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Quick pasta dish with leek, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and garlic Ⓥ

So one night I got home late & was hungry but hadn’t done groceries that day. Luckily I still had some fresh vegetables in my fridge and made up this quick dish. It’s great warm for dinner, but equally yummy as a (cold) lunch.

Screen Shot 2016-06-12 at 15.22.31Ingredients (4P)

  • Pasta (for 4 people), I used 300g whole wheat penne.
  • 1 leek (medium)
  • 10 mushrooms (medium)
  • 10-15 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 garlic clove (or 1 tsp asafetida powder)
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves
  • Good quality olive oil
  • Salt & black pepper

Preparation

  1. Boil water for pasta.
  2. Wash and cut the vegetables (leek: sliced; tomatoes: halves; mushrooms: quarts).
  3. Slice and dice the garlic clove.
  4. Heat olive oil in a skillet or wok and add leek, fry for 2 minutes, add mushrooms, fry until golden. Add garlic, stir for about 2 minutes. Add cherry tomatoes and let simmer.
  5. Add pasta to boiling water and cook according to instructions on packaging.
  6. Before draining the cooking water of the pasta, take out a small amount in a cup and set aside.
  7. Drain the pasta & splash with cold water.
  8. Add the pasta to the vegetables, add olive oil, salt, pepper & fresh basil and stir well.
  9. Add a bit of the cooking liquid if the mixture is too dry.
  10. Serve with a side salad (in picture: lettuce, tomato, nutritional yeast, roasted pumpkin & sunflower seeds with ume su vinegar) with a mustard dressing.

TIP: You can also add fresh spinach or endives or whatever you have in your fridge at that moment and you feel like adding. The tomatoes and cooking liquid give you a simply but deliciously light sauce.

Om shanti -ॐ शान्ति

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Vegan recipe: quinoa & lentils with roasted cauliflower & tahini dressing Ⓥ

On a lazy sunday evening I decided to cook some soul food. Hence I came up with the following recipe. You can replace the parsley with cilantro or mint. You can replace the cauliflower by broccoli or kale. The quantities are estimates, I used these and have enough food for 3 to 4 meals :-).

I’ve shared the recipe for the roasted cauliflower before here.

You can make the tahini dressing in a larger quantity, it stays well for a couple of days (or even a week) if you keep it in the fridge and tastes great on a variety of dishes (in wraps, on salads, …).

Ingredients (4P)

  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 1 cm ginger root (or more)
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves (optional)
  • Coconut oil
  • 1 cauliflower
  • Spices mix (garam masala, turmeric, cinnamon, paprika, cumin, …), about 1 tsp of each of the herbs of your choice
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh parsley
  • 1 cup of lentils (I used brown lentils)
  • 1 tsp of summer savory (dried herbs, to improve digestion)
  • 2 tsp of tahin
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon (1 to 2 tsp)

Preparation

  1. quinoa lentils cauliflower tahiniCut the cauliflower in florets (equal size) and wash
  2. Prepare the spice mix for the cauliflower: mix enough olive oil with the spice mix to coat all the cauliflower florets, add some salt & pepper, leave to soak in the spice mix for about 15′
  3. Rinse the quinoa
  4. Rinse the lentils
  5. Boil water (2 cups for the quinoa and the lentils each)
  6. Preheat the oven at 180°
  7. Put the cauliflower florets on a baking sheet in the oven for about 30′, turn the florets after about 15′
  8. Meanwhile, add 2 cups of boiling water to the lentils, add the summer savor herbs and leave to simmer until all the water is absorbed (about 20′), add salt only when the lentils are cooked
  9. Peel and cut the ginger & garlic, stir fry in some coconut oil
  10. Add the rinsed quinoa and stir for 1 or 2 minutes, add some salt (if desired)
  11. Add the boiling water to the quinoa mixture and leave to simmer until all the water is absorbed (about 20′)
  12. Wash the parsley and cut using scissors
  13. Mix the tahin with 1 or 2 tsp of lemon juice and 2 to 4 tbsp of water to obtain the desired consistency. If it’s too thin, add more tahin, if it’s too thick, add more water. You can add a pinch of salt & some pepper
  14. Blend the lentils in with the cooked quinoa, add the parsley, decorate with the roasted cauliflower florets and sprinkle the tahini dressing on top.

Health benefits of tahini

  1. t’s rich in minerals such as phosphorus, lecithin, magnesium, potassium and iron.
  2. It’s a good source of Methionine, which aids in liver detoxification.
  3. It’s one of the best sources of calcium out there.
  4. It’s high in vitamin E and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5 and B15.
  5. Helps to promote healthy cell growth.
  6. Prevent anemia.
  7. Helps to maintain healthy skin and muscle tone.
  8. It has 20% complete protein, making it a higher protein source than most nuts.
  9. It’s easy for your body to digest because of its high alkaline mineral content, which is great for assisting in weight loss.
  10. It is high in unsaturated fat (good fat!)


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Vegan tartiflette

According to Wikipedia, tartiflette is a typical dish from the Savoie and Haute Savoie region of France. It is made with potatoes, reblochon cheese, lardons and onions. I wanted to try this dish that my Belgian friends love so much so made a vegan version. Obviously, I can’t compare with the ‘original’, but I do know it was GOOD ! Real comfort food for the upcoming winter season. It’s not a sattvic recipe, as there are onions and garlic in it, which you can leave out, please share your variations of this recipe!

bacon vegIngredients (4p):

  • 1- 1,5 kg medium sized potatoes
  • 2 leeks, thinly sliced
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • Some garlic cloves, crushed (to your taste)
  • 2 packages of vegan bacon (any brand you can get your hands on, I used ‘de vegetarische slager’ available in The Netherlands and Belgium)
  • 2 cartons (200 ml) of soy cream (I used Provamel), or more if you use more potatoes
  • Vegan mozzarella or other vegan cheese (optional)
  • Olive or coconut oil
  • Salt (Himalaya or sea)
  • Black pepper

Preparation

  1. IMG-20141008-WA0002Peel the potatoes and boil them in slightly salted water in about 20′ or until tender (put a fork in them to find out).
  2. Cut as much as possible from the leeks in slices, wash and set aside.
  3. Peel the shallot and garlic.
  4. Heat up some oil in a non sticky skillet, stir fry the sjalot and leek and add the garlic and ‘bacon’ after 4 minutes or when the sjalot is sligthly golden.
  5. Stir fry for another few minutes.
  6. Once the potatoes are done, pour out the water, rinse with some cold water and slice the potatoes in equal slices of about 0,5 cm lengthwise.
  7. Preheat the oven to 180°C
  8. Grease a baking dish with some of the oil.
  9. Add a layer of potatoes, follow with a layer of the leek, shallot, garlic and ‘bacon mixture and continue until the baking dish is full, ending with a layer of potatoes.
  10. Fill the baking dish with the soy cream until the potatoes are completely covered with the cream.
  11. Add a layer of the vegan cheese on top of your dish.
  12. Put the baking dish in the oven and back for about 30 minutes or until the cheese has melted.

You can add nutritional yeast and/ or mushrooms as well in the veg and ‘bacon’ mixture.

Serve with stir-fried green beans (see photo) or some other vegetables of your liking or a salad.


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Vegan recipe: roasted miso-and-ginger-glazed eggplant

Eggplants are one of my favorite vegetables. They are purple (my favorite color) & so versatile: use them either oven-roasted, in a stew, on the BBQ, as a spread, … It took me some time to understand how to prepare eggplant well, to obtain the perfect tenderness of the flesh of this beautiful vegetable, without the bitter taste.

Eggplants are in season from august to october. They are a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin B1 and copper, as well as a good source of vitamins B6 and K and of manganese. Make sure you eat the skin as it’s rich in antioxidants. It is generally discouraged by healthcare practitioners to eat eggplant if you have untreated kidney or gallbladder problems, because of the high content of oxalates. More information about the health benefits of eggplants can be found here.

For 4 persons, as a side dish

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sized eggplants
  • 2 tbsp of olive or sesame oil
  • a dash of lemon juice
  • 1 cm of ginger
  • 1 garlic clove (optional)
  • 0,5 tsp of miso (I used black miso)
  • Himalaya or sea salt

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. Cut the stem end and bottom off the eggplant, then cut it in half lengthwise. Cut the flesh with a knife, cutting deep into the flesh but not through the skin. Cut diagonal lines going about 2 cm apart, then turn the eggplant around and cut again so you have a diamond pattern.
  3. Sprinkle salt on the eggplant halves and leave to rest (sweat) for about 30 minutes or longer.
  4. 2014 - 1In the meantime peal the ginger, and add it to the blender with the rest of the ingredients and blend into a nice liquid mixture.
  5. Gently squeeze out the excess water and salt from the eggplant halves above the sink and pat dry with paper towels or a clean towel.
  6. Apply the mixture (prepared under 4) on the eggplant halves with a brush making sure it also seeps into the cut flesh.
  7. Put the eggplant halves face-down on a baking sheet.
  8. Roast the eggplant for about 35-40 minutes, or until the back of the eggplant looks collapsed.
  9. Let the eggplant cool for 10 minutes, then season with salt and pepper. It can be scooped out of the peel for use in dips, or eaten plain with its antioxidant-rich peel and a extra sprinkle of lemon juice.

I used 1 halve of a grilled eggplant per person for a dinner with home-made fries & veganaise, a green salad tossed with pear vinaigrette and seitan gyros (Wheaty).


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Yogi recipe: vegan dahl

As a first yogi recipe, I’d like to share the most common Indian dish: rice and dahl. A typical dahl is composed of some type of lentils, water, mustard seeds, lots of spices and often carrots, ginger and coriander. It’s a very easy dish to prepare and very filling as well. I never cook dahl just for one meal or person, mostly I cook enough for several meals or people.

Ingredients (serves 2/3)

1 cup of lentils (red or yellow)
2 or 3 carrots sliced
A piece of fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp of mustard seeds
1 tsp of coriander seeds (optional)
1 bay leave
2 tsp of turmeric powder
1 tsp of cumin powder
1/2 tsp of garam masala powder
Salt & pepper to taste
Water
Some wedges of lemon or lime
Fresh coriander leaves
Vegetable oil or choice (I always use coconut oil)
Optional: garlic/ onion to your taste, chili powder/ crushed chili

Preparation

Dahl recipeWash the lentils thoroughly, until the water runs clear. Peel & grate the ginger. Cut the garlic/ onions if using. Peel & slide the carrots.Heat the oil in a wok. Add the mustard seeds and wait until they ‘pop’.  Add the freshly grated ginger (and garlic/ onion if using), stir until golden. Add the turmeric and cumin powder. Stir everything until the spices become very fragrant.

Add the carrots, stir fry to coat the carrots with the spices for 2 minutes.
Add the washed lentils, mix everything well.
Add 3 cups of filtered water, the bay leave and bring to boil. When the water boils, lower the heat, let the mixture simmer for about 15 minutes, make sure to keep on adding water if the mixture becomes dry. The dahl needs to ‘swim’.
Taste the mixture when the lentils become soft, then add salt & pepper to taste.
You can add half of the dahl mixture in a blender, blend it for a short while & add it back to the pan to have a more firm dahl.

Serve with quinoa or rice and add some freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice and coriander leaves.

This is a very hearty meal for cold winter nights but I admit I can eat it any day of the year. Try to experiment with different types of lentils, mung beans, etc. It’s also nice to add some coconut milk to your dahl for a softer flavour.

You can find all the ingredients in your local Indian or oriental shop. I prefer to buy mostly organic, most of the ingredients can also be found in your organic foodstore (except for garam masala I haven’t yet found an organic version in Brussels).