Ambika Yoga

Sivananda yoga classes in Brussels


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Hachis parmentier Ⓥ

20161127_201230Hachis Parmentier* is a typical French cuisine dish, that I’ve never tasted in it’s original form (with meat). I discovered it while working on a project for the vegan/ vegetarian organisation EVA vzw in Belgium. It’s a perfect recipe for winter evenings, very comforting food actually. By the way, it’s great for kids! And as often with oven meals, it’s even better when you reheat it (in the oven) the day after.

Ingredients (4P)

  • 800 g potatoes
  • 300 g lentils (brown or yellow (blond))
  • Vegetable stock
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 small (red) onions
  • 250 g mushrooms
  • Optional: 2 x leek
  • 250 ml soy cream
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp savory (in French: sarriette; in Dutch: bonenkruid)
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • Tamari or soy sauce
  • Olive oil
  • Nutmeg
  • A pinch of chili flakes
  • Salt & pepper
  • A small piece of black chocolate
  • Optional: 1 handful ground walnuts, or other nuts

20161128_130551Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (gas oven: 5).
  2. Peel and wash the potatoes and cut in quarters. Boil for about 15 minutes with a pinch of salt (until tender), drain and set aside.
  3. Rinse the lentils thoroughly and boil in a pot with at least double the amount of vegetable stock and the savory for about 15-20 minutes, or until tender. Then rinse directly with cold water and set aside.
  4. Cut and wash the onions, garlic and leek.
  5. Trim and clean (with paper towels) the mushrooms.
  6. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher and mix with olive oil and soy cream until you have a nice cream texture, add a few pinches of ground nutmeg. Set aside.
  7. Heat some olive or coconut oil in a skillet; fry the onions until golden; add the mushrooms, stir fry for a few minutes; add garlic and lentils, stir fry for a few minutes; add tomato paste, chocolate, thyme, tamari/ soy sauce & chill flakes and crushed nuts (optional). Mix everything, turn of the heat and set aside.
  8. Optional: stir fry the leek for a few minutes, add the remainder of the soy cream, season lightly with some salt & pepper. Turn of the heat and set aside.
  9. Take a large oven dish; add a thin layer of mashed potatoes; all the lentils; the leek & cream mixture (optional); end with a thick layer of mashed potatoes; spread evenly.
  10. Optional: add some vegan cheese on top if you like (this version had some mozzarisella).
  11. Put the oven dish for about 20 minutes in the oven.
  12. Serve with some seasonable vegetables or salad, in my photo version I stir fried some endives until lightly roasted and then added a tbsp of sugar and a dash of balsamic vinegar.

*Inspired by @evavzw & @picnikcatering

 

Om shanti -ॐ शान्ति


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Vegan recipe: pear vinaigrette

Nothing beats changing your salad dressing in order to add a whole new taste to your regular veggie side or main dish or green salad.

Ingredients (for a big salad)20140822_134229

  • 0,5 a ripe pear
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • A dash of lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Dried parsley (can be fresh)
  • Himalaya or sea salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp of agave sirup or ginger & pear jam (recipe will follow) – optional

Preparation

Put all the ingredients (except the salt & pepper) in a blender and mix until you obtain a nice consistency. If the consistency is too liquid, add some more pieces of pear. If it’s too thick, add a bit more olive oil and lemon juice.
Season with salt & pepper.

Tip: replace the ripe pear with red fruits such as strawberries, or with Cantaloupe melon. If you don’t have jam at home, use some agave syrup if you like.


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Vegan recipe: beet & humus spread

Years ago when I discovered humus I was so happy ! I was even happier when I started making my own humus and its variations. It is a very nutritious and healthy snack that’s so easy to make yourself, and cheap as well.

Ingredients (all organic)

  • 2 small raw beets
  • About 200 g cooked chickpeas*
  • 1-2 tbsp sunflower paste
  • Sesame oil
  • Himalaya salt
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • Filtered water

Preparation

  1. Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 10.05.58Peel the beets (to have a less earthy taste) and cut them in 4 pieces.
  2. Drain the chickpeas and rinse.
  3. Put the beets in your blender/ food processor and turn it on, let it run until the beetroots are finely chopped.
  4. Add the sunflower paste and cumin powder and turn on the blender for 1 minute.
  5. Add the chickpeas and let it run for at least 1 minute or until nice and smoothly mixed. You can add some more chickpeas if you want a thicker paste.
  6. Add some sesame oil and water for texture, blend it in.
  7. Add salt at the end to your liking. Save it in a jar in your fridge, it’ll keep for a couple of days.

This spread is fantastic on toast but also with a salad, with grilled potatoes, in a wrap, … 

  • Discover the health benefits of beetspromote optimal health, antioxidant benefits, anti-inflammatory benefits, support of detoxification, …
  • Discover the health benefits of chickpeas: digestive tract support,unique supply of antioxidants, decrease cardiovascular risks, better regulation of blood sugar. 
  • Discover the health benefits of sunflower seeds:  anti-Inflammatory and Cardiovascular Benefits from Sunflower Seeds’ Vitamin E, sunflower Seeds’ Phytosterols Lower Cholesterol, calm Your Nerves, Muscles and Blood Vessels with Sunflower Seeds’ Magnesium, improved Detoxification and Cancer Prevention from Sunflower Seeds’ Selenium.

* Discover this great blogpost by my friend & yogini Katariina on how to cook and store chickpeas.


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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).