Athena Lamberis

Posts Tagged ‘healthy’

Educational Food Topics: Mind-Fuel Learning with young South African students

In Events on May 30, 2014 at 19:26

 

Youth education programs around food topics-The Culinary Linguist

Youth education programs around food topics-The Culinary Linguist

 

Our future is bright!

 When I got the opportunity to help design and facilitate environmental education lessons around various food topics with students around the Western Cape-I was amazed by what these fresh young minds are thinking.  Two different workshops hosted by the City of Cape Town’s Youth Environmental Programme YES and Leaders of the Future Oranjezicht City Farm youth workshop, students engaged in critical thinking discussions around food, energy, water through various systems thinking activities.

It was outstanding to witness discussions on global environmental topics and examining solutions to apply locally and personally.  I was especially inspired by the creativity they expressed through their vegetarian lunch challenges – definitely a generation to watch out for – move over MasterChef!

Youth education programs around food topics-The Culinary Linguist

Mind-Fuel Creations for Lunch!

  My involvement with youth education programs around food topics has encouraged me to brainstorm and develop more food education and cross-cultural experiences.  Stay tuned for more insight on home cooking cultural exchanges in various South African homes with students from abroad.

Culinary Linguistics – Mind-Fuel Learning – Exploring the way food is used as a social tool. 

South Africa: youth capacity building, training, education and awareness programme providing a variety of projects, programmes, campaigns, resources and opportunities for all schools South Africa: youth capacity building, training, education and awareness programme providing a variety of projects, programmes, campaigns, resources and opportunities for all schools urbanfarming

Youth education programs around food topics-The Culinary Linguist

Beetroot-orange and apple salad

Youth education programs around food topics-The Culinary Linguist

orange cucumber zesty bites

Youth education programs around food topics-The Culinary Linguist

Rainbow couscous salad

Youth education programs around food topics-The Culinary Linguist

Teams make delicious lunch platters to share

 

How to Harvest Seaweed: Superfood Nutrition from our Ocean

In Events, Friend's Kitchens, Recipe, Stories, Travel on May 16, 2014 at 13:44
Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed: Recipes and How To Harvest

Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed Some seaweed varieties on the Cape Peninsula


Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed: Recipes and How To Harvest

   Edible Sea Vegetable: SeaWeed

confess, my kitchen turns into edible science experiments almost every day. Seaweed is my new ingredient in the kitchen lab. Once you get to know the nutritional facts and the familiar taste of popcorn it has when nori (a type of seaweed) is roasted on the fire, then you’ll definitely give this superfood a chance.  When I first moved to Cape Town, I was mesmerised by the huge kelp forests that were washed onto the shorelines.  On low tides, I observed the variety of seaweeds that clung to the rocks and naturally wondered, “Can we eat that?”  You’ve probably already have if you’ve gone to a sushi joint or visit the snack aisle at an Asian supermarket.  When we see an ingredient in it’s natural state – outside of a food product/market/restaurant, we’re often surprised by how it grows, what it looks like and what it may actually taste like?  This is what I call the spark of our own natural whole food education, also known as the moment when our culinary linguistics expand.  I’m a self proclaimed phyco-nerd. Phycology: Greek φῦκος, phykos, “seaweed”; and -λογία, -logia) is the scientific study of algae and was so happy to find fellow wild food foragers on the Cape Peninsula.

Beyond Basic Nutrition: Seaweed Benefits

Contains vitamin B12 (which is rarely found in plants)

  • Rich in iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc, manganese (overall 13 vitamins, 20 amino acids, 60 trace mineral elements)
  • Highest source of plant protein and zero calories
  • It’s fiber is helpful for the digestive system, making you feel full and satiated
  • Contains iodine which aids the function of the thyroid to release iodine in our blood to help prevent disease.  Our bodies don’t make iodine so we have to get it through our food – why not seaweed?
  • Reduces water retention and contains higher levels of calcium than beef and cow’s milk
  • Natural occurring sodium that resembles human amniotic fluid
  • Alkalinizes and purifies blood as it’s chemical composition is similar to the plasma in human blood
  • Optimum nourishment for hormonal, lymphatic, urinary and nervous systems

Marine Flora: Wild and Crazy? 

  I was honestly hesitant to harvest seaweed in South Africa before doing a bit of research.   I needed a bit of local knowledge to boost my confidence and to verify that I wasn’t the only crazy who wondered about eating ocean algae.  If people in other parts of the world have seaweed-based cuisine, why aren’t we eating it here?  Has there ever been a history of it in South Africa?  Stay tuned for more about that in a future post.

Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed: Recipes and How To Harvest  I took my mom, one of my favorite foragers for whole foods, to Scarborough to learn more about the beautiful seaweed varieties available for us to harvest responsibly.  In the quest of learning to harvest wild food, you also develop a respect and knowledge for conserving the ocean environment.  I’ve found that becoming more aware of what makes a healthy flourishing balanced ecosystem allows me to make more educated decisions about harvesting and foraging wild foods in nature.

 Some Foraging Facts

Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed: Recipes and How To Harvest

Seaweed skin mask

Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed: Recipes and How To Harvest

Wrack-the beginnings of seaweed coleslaw

Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed: Recipes and How To Harvest

Scarborough coastline in Western Cape, South Africa

Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed: Recipes and How To Harvest

Rinsing and preparing after the harvest

The Good Hope Nursery in Scarborough did such a great job in creatively sharing their experience in sustainably harvesting, tasting and creating with ocean seaweed.  Roushanna Gray still runs courses through her company: Veld & Sea https://veldandsea.com/

It was great to ask questions with avid foragers while enjoying the cosmetic and nutritional benefits of this sea vegetable.  We were greeted on the shoreline with seaweed scones and spoke about the red, green and brown varieties of seaweed below our feet.  Snippets of seaweed varieties such as kelp, wrack and ulva were gathered to ensure regrowth, conservation and abundance for our ecosystem (about 1/3 of what was growing on the rock near the tideline.) No random bits of floating seaweed was harvested, only healthy clean varieties that were attached to ocean rocks.

Edible Science: Seaweed Recipes

 Since that positive coastal foraging experience, I’ve been able to share what I’ve learned along the way, convincing brave and even unadventurous eaters to enjoy the tasty healthy benefits of sea vegetables.  On a recent trip to Elandsbaai, we harvested, rinsed and tossed nori in a bit of olive oil before placing it on a wood-burning fire.  The result was super flakey, crunchy, tasty green seaweed snack.  Get creative and incorporate seaweed in any of your favorite recipes for extra added health benefits. I’d love to hear more about what you discover.

Seaweed Recipes: Superfood Nutrition from the Ocean

Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed: Recipes and How To Harvest

Good Hope Nursery’s Chocolate Agar Agar and Candied Kelp with Ice Cream. YUM! Sign up for their foraging course.

Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed: Recipes and How To Harvest

That’s me in total seaweed face mask bliss. Rejuvenate, revitalise. Is there nothing seaweed can’t do?

Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed: Recipes and How To Harvest

A young culinary linguist exploring the texture of kelp. Wait for bath time! Yes, with seaweed:)

Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed: Recipes and How To Harvest

Seaweed couscous salad, mussels, kelp and avocado salad, wrack coleslaw . . . the feast continues.

Resources:

Easy Spicy Zesty Sweet Chickpea Salad Recipe

In Recipe on June 27, 2013 at 14:34

Easy-Pineapple-Carrot-Chickpea-Salad-The Culinary-Linguist

What happens when you juice pineapples, carrots and fresh green serrano chiles?

A spunky zesty salad with sweet and spicy flavours can be created to fuel you through the day.   Last week, we bought lots of great farm produce from the City Bowl Market.

Back at home, I put pineapple and carrots and threw in a couple fresh green serrano chiles into the juicer to see if anything would come out.  Some great juice was made, but the pulp left inside was looking equally nutritious and delicious.

Spontaneous creations is how I would describe my kitchen technique.  I love creating recipes that make ordinary whole foods into unique delicious dishes.  Like James Beard once said, “When cook, you never stop learning.  That’s the fascination of it.”  With any chance to experiment in my kitchen with fresh ingredients, I let the space between mistakes and alchemy emerge.  Adding chiles into the juicer seemed natural and somehow, necessary.

I’ve shared some fun recipes before that have worked out great like: Strawberry-Beetroot Flapjacks, and Banana-Pecan Sorbet.  When creations in the kitchen lead to easy vibrant dishes, I get excited to share them with you.  Here’s what happened when I decided to juice green chiles with pineapples and carrots:

 The Spicy Zesty Sweet Chickpea Salad

Instead of throwing the pulp from the centrifugal juice extractor away or into your compost bin, try adding it to recipes like this one:

Juice and fiber of three medium sized carrots

 Juice and fiber of half a small pineapple

 Juice and fiber of two green serrano chiles

 Juice of and fiber of large lemon and zest

500 grams of sprouted or cooked chickpeas  (garbanzo beans)

1 finely chopped fresh red pepper

1 finely chopped red onion

1 diced roma tomato

Salt, pepper and cumin to taste

Handful of fresh cilantro leaves and stems, finely chopped dhania

Handful of coarsely crushed unsalted cashews

2 Haas avocados

Easy-Pineapple-Carrot-Chickpea-Salad-The Culinary-LinguistJuice the carrots, pineapple, chillies, and lemon in a juicer (with any centrifugal, one-gear, etc).  Empty the juice into a large mixing bowl, and scrape the pulp from inside the juicer into the same bowl.  Add the diced tomato, red pepper, chickpeas, onion, salt, cumin, pepper and lemon zest into the bowl with juice and pulp.  Mix well and let it sit and marinate for 20 minutes.  Mix dhania into the salad, leaving some leaves for garnish.

Cut the avocados into half and remove the flesh from the avocado shell.  Slice the avocado into long slices.  Scoop the salad into the halves of the avocado shell as an appetizer serving bowl.  Place avocado slices and dhania leaves on top as garnish.  Enjoy!  The salad can definitely be stored in the fridge and be enjoyed the following day.

Tip:  It’s best to stir in the dhania and avocado when you plan to serve and eat it immediately.

Keep it Fresh with Juice and Beets

In Friend's Kitchens, Recipe on November 10, 2011 at 13:15

When my amigaFresh Carrot and Beetroot Juice on The Culinary Linguist Blog #juice, talented singer/songwriter, Ernestine Deane, was preparing to migrate to Germany, she generously gave her juicer a new home, which is now my new favourite kitchen instrument.  Up until Ernestine’s last week in Cape Town, the Le Dou MagiMix spun out delicious alchemy for her family, most importantly fresh orange juice to keep the immune system boosting during the last winter months in the Cape Town peninsula.  Now that oranges are less in abundance and spring has come into play, the iron and folic acid powerhouse: beetroot is added to every juice mix I make. Find out more what beets have to offer at: Juicing for your Health.Fresh Carrot and Beetroot Juice on The Culinary Linguist Blog #juice

The recipe below is my morning favourite.  Rich in beta-carotene, anti-oxidants and iron . . . It makes me feel that I’ll never have to wear blush again if I keep consuming such colourful produce. Turn up the volume to soulful dub while you juice your carrot sticks and beets.  It will brighten your insides and out: Play it here and wash your veggies nice.

In your juicer:

Six whole carrots

1 beetroot

Six strawberries

Healthy Juice on The Culinary Linguist Blog #juice #recipe

Chop some fresh mint for a natural mouth freshener while you gulp down the goodness.

Makes almost a pint of juice!  Chug it down.

Dankie Erniewam! x

TIP: Juice the carrots first and remove the carrot fiber from the juicing blades and place in your garden compost.  The worms will thank you. Then juice the beetroot and strawberries and save the fiber so you can later transform it into a scrumptious breakfast. (I made pink pancakes with it.)  Stay tight for that yummy post soon.

Fresh Carrot and Beetroot Juice on The Culinary Linguist Blog #juice #recipe

It’s not Rabbit Food, It’s Rainbow Raw Salsa Salad.

In Recipe on November 9, 2011 at 12:34

Call it rabbit food, but it is damn delicious and surprisingly filling too.  Inspired by Raw-vember, I made a spicy salad that is bright and tangy in flavour and festive on the eye.

Raw Salsa Salad on The Culinary Linguist Blog #rawrecipes

This is a super quick, easy and yummy crunch salad that has major nutrients because it is a whole bunch of raw vegetables and fruit at its best.  It can easily be a dish in a non-raw setting and served with tortilla chips and used as a salsa or sambal to any main dish.

I recently bought an organic cold-pressed Omega 3-6-9 (Hemp, Sesame, Pumpkinseed, Flax) oil blend and added that to the raw ingredients thanks to Crede Oils.  It gave a delicious but different flavour instead of using extra virgin olive oil.

Try this recipe out with whatever produce is freshest in your fridge but this combination is a great balance of colour and flavour.

Rainbow Salsa Salad: a Raw food discovery

2 Roma tomatoes

1 large carrot

1/4 red onion

1/2 lemon with peel

1 yellow pepper

1 Serrano chile

1 kiwi

2 tablespoons of Crede’s Omega 3-6-9 Oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

2 TB sunflower seeds

Wash your vegetables and fruit thoroughly and quarter the tomatoes, carrot, onion, yellow pepper, lemon and chile. (Leave the chile out if you don’t want the kick)  Put all in a food processor and pulse for 6 seconds so they have been chopped in small chewable pieces.  Place chopped vegetables and fruit into a bowl and drizzle Omega 3-6-9 oil.  Put salt and pepper and sunflower seeds on top and stir until the salad is coated in the oil, salt and pepper and the sunflowers are distributed around.  Garnish with slices of kiwi.  Eat immediately. Enjoy the chew!

Raw Spicy Salsa Salad on The Culinary Linguist Blog #rawrecipes

Fresh Fruit Smoothie (Batida)

In Recipe on November 19, 2010 at 23:52

 

Strawberry Pineapple Apple Batida

An apple a day plus some other amazing ingredients will definitely keep el doctor away.   I am self-medicating with an abundance of fruits in season.  In my own kitchen I took the fruits in season in South Africa with some inspiration from the beloved country, Brazil, and I blended the fruit together to make an awesome fruit smoothie (batida). Papaya and orange are an amazing combination but anything fresh will go down easily.  I added baobab fruit powder for some calcium, bee pollen and honey for medicinal and sugar-energy purposes.  If breakfast can be made as a preventative medicinal meal with essential vitamins and antioxidants, than you can be sure to maintain a healthy immune system during the change of seasons with this batida.

 

How to make a batida:

1 apple

half cup fresh peeled pineapple

4 frozen strawberries

tablespoon honey

teaspoon bee pollen

tablespoon baobab fruit powder

4 ice cubes

1 cup water

 

Cut the apple into quarters and the pineapple and place in a blender.  Then add all the remaining ingredients and blend into a smooth consistency.  Garnish with some fresh mint and a squeeze of lemon juice on top. Drink right away, and if the contents start separating, just stir it with a spoon.

 

Refreshing Breakfast Appetizer 🙂

 

Tip 1: If you have made too much, then freeze the rest of your smoothie into an ice cube tray and add cubes at different times to any blended fruit mix or cocktail in the future.

 

Tip 2: Consider this batida to be a mixer for a delicious spiked punch.

 

Coconut Milk Borscht with Drunken Rice Noodles

In Recipe on October 15, 2010 at 20:04

Quite possibly the most delicious comfort soup on the planet.  If soup is as old as the history of cooking, then this one surely makes history.  Why?  Cause we’re marrying Thai and Eastern European flavors into one incredibly colorful noodle dish, this ain’t your everyday ramen, folks.  Rice noodles and beets get dunked and drunk and wake up in a broth of spiced coconut milk. This was created on a rainy spring day in Cape Town with the craving for noodles, coconut milk and something colorful.  Anything with coconut milk will taste good, and sorry if you are one of the those kids who can’t stand coconut, but you are missing out.  This one is easy and fast and impressively gorgeous and delicious.

How to hook up Borscht with Drunken Noodle:

Ingredients:

1000ml/1 litre water

400ml of coconut milk

3 medium-sized carrots

50 ml of fresh or dried lemongrass

half of a medium-sized red onion

1 large beet root

1 cup of diced butternut

2 cups of sliced baby cabbage

2 small cloves of fresh garlic

1 TB sesame oil

1 TB fish sauce

1 TB rice vinegar

1.5 TB tamarind paste

1 tsp salt

1 TB Thai red curry powder or paste

1 TB fresh grated ginger

1 cup of fennel stalks

120 grams of rice noodles

First, dice/chop/slice the beet, carrots, cabbage, onion and butternut to your heart’s desire.  Add them to boiling water and reduce after 5 minutes to a simmer.  Use a hand blender after 10 minutes to make a thicker broth or let the vegetables stay in bite size pieces.  Toss the fennel stalks to flavor the broth and remove them after 10 minutes.  Cut the two cloves of garlic in half and toss them into the broth.  Stir in the can of coconut milk, rinsing the can with water to add the excess coconut milk left in the can to the broth.  Stir in the salt, tamarind paste, rice vinegar, fish sauce, curry, sesame oil, ginger, and lemongrass.  Let it simmer while you soak the rice noodles in tap water for 5-8 minutes.  Drain the noodles and add them to the simmering pink coconut broth.  The noodles will naturally thicken the soup into a drunken mess of flavor so good you want to slurp and lick the chopsticks clean.

Garnish with fennel or coriander and fresh cucumber slices.

Morning Power Smoothie with Baobab Fruit Powder

In Recipe on September 8, 2010 at 16:05

A morning smoothie that uses super-powered natural foods to the best of their ability. You’ll consider fruit and nut gathering as a hobby after making this potion.

Baobab Smoothie on The Culinary Linguist Blog #smoothie

Ingredientes:

1 cup Oats (ground)

2 cups water/tea

1 TB wheatgrass

2 tsp Maca

2 TB flax powder

1 TB hemp powder

1 TB baobab fruit powder

1 TB unheated honey

1/2 TB coconut oil

10 almonds

4 medium sized pitted dates

2 frozen bananas

Garnish: Raw Bee Pollen, Cacao

The story:

The Coffi Thermoazzo.  I bought the saucy little number at a China Shop in Kalk Bay.  I loved the look of it, the old 50’s candy red and white, it was only R25 and it still worked eagerly.  Now it is my most prized appliance to assist in the random grind of the kitchen.  It barely grinds coffee beans these days though, but can grind and finely dice many other things.

This is what is it used for in the morning potion:

-Grind a cup of Oats.  Grinding a cup of oats is an easier and fresher way to give your smoothie a dairy-free base. Instead of adding two cups of water to the base I sometimes add cooled green or rooibos tea for extra bonus anti-oxidants  rather than just plain ol’ agua.

Next, adding all these powders, proteins, grains and nuts completes this potion into a full vitamin meal.  Your morning potion will naturally sustain your energy through the first quarter of your day.

Why the potion is so deliciously fine?

Baobab Fruit Powder: The baobab tree found in Southern Africa is pure magic. So being able to have access to it as a local product makes my heart sing louder. The powder forms naturally inside the fruit. It’s rich in anti-oxidants (said to be more than double compared to cranberries and pomegranates, and three more times than blueberries). It contains pectin, which enhances the prebiotic bacteria in the large intestine, similar to what homemade yoghurt does for the body.  Plus its a source of iron, potassium, magnesium which promote a healthy body PH.  The main thing for all non-dairy or low-dairy eating habits: Baobab contains higher levels of calcium than milk and far easier to absorb and digest.  I apologise in advanced if you don’t live in Southern Africa and may not have access to the fruit of the African Baobab, but if somehow you want or need a care package, let me know:)

Hemp Seed Powder: No they don’t contain THC, and yes this seed is highly misunderstood. Yet, let’s get over that and focus on the bonus features.  Hemp seed contains all 10 essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein.  Proteins found in hemp seed manufacture antibodies and support liver and kidney health. The fiber in hemp seed keeps colon health in check and overall its a great aid muscle building and energy booster.

Maca: It comes from the Andes, super expensivo here, but nonetheless it was worth trying once and it lasts a long while. Its a root which always harbours fine minerals and vitamins that lead to overall health benefits than defaults.  Plus, its a natural aphrodisiac.   It balances hormones and increases energy, endurance and strength.  The legend is Inca warriors used to eat Maca before going into battle.  Well, why not put this in your morning potion?

Virgin Coconut Oil: a spoonful of this stuff is medicine! Virgin means it hasn’t been heated which means all the goodness hasn’t been lost due to heat.  Coconut oil does goodness outside and inside the body, so don’t worry about the saturated fats it has cause all the acids like lauric acid prevents high cholesterol and blood pressure. There is so much going on when you enjoy coconut oil, I suggest your do research to convince yourself and enjoy it inside and out! And if you don’t end up using it for recipes, your epidermeris layer will appreciate it.

Almonds: the lovely wonder nut. Nuts are high in essential fats and protein giving you energy, supplying your body with fiber and good doses of Vit E, plus it gives your  smoothie a crunch.

Dates: The sweet taffy of the palm. My favorite is when the processor doesn’t quite chop everything fine and I get a big chunk of the chewy date at the end of the smoothie. YUM!

Bee Pollen: New to this, but am loving it.  I feel like a   wannabe bumble bee or hummingbird, reaping all the benefits of flowers.  Do people harvest flower nectar? hmmm, anyway, more research to be done about pollen but the health benefits are convincing and the taste is scrumptious.

Unheated Honey: I love honey so much I just checked out a book on how to be an apiarist in southern Africa.  Unheated honey is used to get the maximum goodness from what honey provides.  Honey is used as a natural energy boost. And if I were to rewrite Mary Poppins, it would be just a spoonful of honey, makes the medicine go down.

Bananas: The potassium, the vitamins oh my.  Peel them when they’re brown, freeze them, and there you go: instant frozen smoothie elements that all frozen delicousness.

Cacao: An excuse to make this potion more like a dessert for breakfast? Natural boost of energy and anti depressant, pus a good natural appetite suppressant. No

Wheat Grass: because it’s green it must be healthy?  Well if you put too much your smoothie will taste straight up like you chowed a piece of lawn in solidarity of free-range cows.  So Go easy with this. I used a powder which seems to be very potent. I’d rather be chopping it from a wheat grass tray but I’m not speaking that green thumb kitchen garden language fluently yet. It’s the colour of Ninja Turtle ooze without the toxic waste.  Overall, wheat grass assists in overall gastrointestinal health.  The chlorophyll is a potent antioxidant, assists in anti-inflammatory, antibacterial red blood cell boosting.

So the list of what all these positive elements give is enough to say yes to this green morning potion.  At least for me, I will happily guzzle this a few times a week when I’ve got those frozen bananas around.

Maybe you can’t stand banana and used more frozen dates, or strawberries. Please share other elements or flavours you substituted with the ingredients.  Would love to learn!

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