As our wellness weekend is fast approaching, 17th-19th of July, it´s just over a month away now. Here in the kitchen on Inis Meáin we have been busy cooking away, trying out new recipe´s for something a bit different from our usual fare, but still consistent with our need to create flavours to excite the palet and using ingredients to nourish the body using a variety of local ingredients, literally from our back garden. Luckily I am a more than willing participant in the quality testing of these meals, it´s been a tough job, but it´s all been so good and healthy so I don’t feel too bad. There is always room for improvement and a few tweaks to be made, and we do tend to be our own toughest critics. We have the pleasure of working with such fresh and wholesome ingredients which makes it hard to go wrong.
We are trying to create a menu for the weekend which will exploit the freshness of the ingredients. We have beautiful cabbages, radishes, beets, cucumbers, onions, herbs, lettuces, rocket, spinach and of course potatoes growing in our garden. We will also be making use of some of the wild plants of Inis Meáin such as sea spinach, samphire and a variety of edible seaweeds. We will also be cooking with our sustainable line caught fish, reeled in by Padraic our very own fisherman. These recipes will depend on what he catches on the day.
These pictures are a tasty teaser of just some of the things that we will be serving up on the date.
For people visiting Inis Meain at the the time drop in to see if you can reserve your place to take part in any of the segments of the wellness weekend, from, yoga, group gourmet meals or holistic treatments. Places are extremely limited so make yo bookings in advance by phone or by email. Details available at http://www.inismeainbb.com
I really love hummus, it’s just great, so tasty, so versatile, you can have it for breakfast on a piece of toasted brown bread, as a snack with some vegtable sticks, in a sandwich on a salad, I could go on……. I make it all the time, it’s just a great protein rich go to food.
So what’s so great about chickpeas? Well, everything! They are a great source of both soluble and insoluble fibre which is good for digestion and your heart. Also good for stabilising blood sugars. Combined with a piece of brown bread they are comparable to meat in levels of protein making them an awesome source of protein without the saturated fat. They contain super beneficial levels of manganese which is a mineral needed for energy production and immune defence, I’ll take all the energy I can get, thanks! And iron which we need adequate amounts of in order to carry oxygen around our bodies. So those are just some of the benefits, what are the down sides, none! Not that I could find any way.
Obviously variety in the diet is hugely important not just for our tastebuds also for happy functioning of all the body systems,which is why I know I’ve already posted a hummus recipe here before but this one is pretty amazing so I just had to share. I got really into sprouting starting about two years ago, sprouted seeds, nuts, beans etc. are loaded with even more nutrients than there dormant versions and raw food is fantastic as it retains all nutrients that can be lost through cooking. So, I thought how fabulous would it be to make hummus that contains all the nutrients and flavours of the raw sprouted chickpea. What is also cool is that I wouldn’t have to spend all that time waiting for the chickpeas to boil, which is also a nice way to save energy, though you do have to wait for them to sprout. They pretty much do all the work for you though, win!
Okay so here is how;
Soak your dry (not canned, that won’t work, haha) chickpeas, overnight is perfect. Than place them in a jar with some air holes/sprouting dish. Rinse daily. They start coming to life and sprouting shoots really quick, say two to three days. Day four or five they should look like this.
2-3 cloves of garlic or a bunch of wild garlic leaves(I like it really garlicky, so tone it don’t or spice it up as you please)
200g of sprouted chickpea
3/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
Pitch of salt I use Himalayan pink salt (just to be fancy)
1/2 a juicy lemon or more if you like it lemony
I tablespoon of tahini or toast up some sesame seeds this also tastes great.
Place all your ingredients into a container/ blending dish. I’ve got this great container I can blend stuff in and it comes with a lid, that way I don’t loose anything when transferring for storage. Blend away, make it as chunky or smooth as you like.
It’s so good the flavour of the raw chickpeas gives it that extra freshness that makes it so tasty!
So as usual, the Irish summer provides a mixed bag of sunny spells with always the chance for rain,so on these inbetween days of general gloominess and yet again not a glimmer of sun, I have been inspired to create a simple and refreshing treat which to taste reminds me of far off tropical lands. Also great for the skin and to keep the blues away.
So first i boiled up a brew of my favourite green tea, poured it into an ice cube tray. And left to freeze for about an hour. Green tea has a multitude of benefits, it contains Theamine which gives us a natural relaxing sensation, regular consumption is thought to help reduce the risk of high blood pressure. And because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties it is suppose to keep the skin looking good!
Get your cocunut water, check the label for ingredients try to get one that is as natural as possible. Coconut water is a great source of potassium, this is a vital ingredient for the body for proper hydration, it can even help counter act some of the nasty side effects of a high sodium diet.
A squeeze and some slices of orange, oranges keep your skin healthy, as they are full of beta-carotene an anti-oxidant which protects the cells from damage. And they are full of polyphenols which protect against viral infection.
I think mint would be a great addition to this mix, but unfortunately my mint plant has not yet sprouted.
Peacock (mayurasana) on a rock pose, with a beautiful Inis Meáin sunset in the back ground.