Published Cookbook *Lunch to go* + Herbed Pilau Recipe

Val_birthOn this day, December 4, one year ago, one beautiful soul came into this world. With my husband by my side, with mixed feelings of excitement, happiness and a dose of fear, we witnessed an amazing moment that will change our lives forever. I will never forget my son’s first look after they put him on my chest. He was gazing, eyes wide open, showing I was chosen to guide him on his life path. Every single cell of my body vibrated, and has been vibrating ever since. I’m a mom now – no more fussing around, endless talks and planing about the future. I got my biggest teacher and lessons have started coming with incredible speed.

Version 2I became aware of the only priority I have in life – being the best possible mum I can be, every single day. By embracing my new life, I needed to embrace myself, my needs and emotions. I wanted to show my son that only by loving ourselves first, we can love others even more. I sat down and while he was asleep I started creating something that will later turn into my professional career as a holistic health coach and an author of a recently published e-cookbook Lunch to go – where Ayurveda, Macrobiotics and modern vegan diet meet. Yeah, it was one wild year! And we have so much to celebrate today!

The idea of writing this cookbook came out of numerous inquiries my clients and friends had about how to eat healthy when out of home, travelling or at work, avoiding store-bought meals that even when declared healthy are far-away from a home-cooked food prepared with love and suitable for your own needs. As my own diet is a blend of ayurvedic, macrobiotic and mediterranean cooking, I created 30 recipes that will keep you inspired and nourished throughout the year.

Lunch to go-coverWith beautifully illustrated, quick and easy to follow recipes, along with a number of tips, suggested variations and seasons when to consume, gluten-free options, this cookbook has plenty of inspiration for everyone. Though recipes have a strong foundation in Ayurveda and Macrobiotics, they are created in a relaxed manner, to satisfy your palate and deeply nourish your body. If you have any health disturbances, you might consider an Ayurvedic consultation to help you understand your body constitution and specific needs, and learn how to make adjustments in the way you choose, prepare and combine foods.

This is one of the recipes from the Lunch to go – Where Ayurveda, Macrobiotics and modern vegan diet meet, published on Amazon, on November 16, 2017.

Vegan_pilau

HERBED PILAU

Time of preparation: 30 minutes

Season: all year

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown basmati rice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • spices:
    • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
    • 1 cinnamon stick or 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 4 cardamom pods, crushed to open, *optional
  • 1 slice of ginger
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 cups boiling hot vegetable stock, or water
  • 250 g fresh baby spinach, trimmed, well washed, patted dry
  • 1/2 cup sultanas
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs – mixture of marjoram, thyme, parsley and oregano,
  • salt, pepper
  • 1/4 cup pistachio nuts/pine nuts, toasted then chopped
  • seasonal vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, zucchini, pumpkin…

Method:

Wash the rice under cold running water, then drain well. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the onion has softened. Add the spices followed with rice, and cook gently until the rice gets coated in spices for a minute or two. Add ginger, lemon zest and hot vegetable stock or water. Bring to a boil then cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the rice has softened, but will be still al dente. Remove the pan from the heat, then mix in the spinach, sultanas and chopped herbs. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes so the spinach wilts slightly. Garnish with chopped pistachio nuts or any other nut you like. Serve with steamed or blanched seasonal vegetables.

Notes:

  • If you have any rice leftovers you can use them in this recipe. Omit the stock and fry the rice with onion and spices. In this case the step of simmering the rice for 20 minutes should be skipped. However, freshly cooked rice will absorb all the flavours and the result will be much tastier.
  • Use any herbs you have, even simple parsley will be enough. However, I love the above  mentioned mixture since it really results in a wonderfully aromatic pilau.

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