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Author Archives: Madhava.Sangini

Why we are doing an elimination diet with our vegetarian toddler

Narottam has had moderately bad eczema slowly creeping up his back for the last few weeks. Its not exactly surprising as both Arjuna and I have a tendency towards eczema too, and we both have flare ups and remissions.

Last week he had a gastro bug which wiped him out for a few days poor little man, but his eczema cleared up. I am suspicious that this could have been because he wasn’t eating at all and therefore there were dietary triggers during this time.

While many people including naturopaths are into allergy testing, my preference is always the humble elimination diet, if you can do it. Why? Well, allergy and intolerance testing is complicated, and there is no one test that “does it all.” You would have to do multiple tests to get a clear picture. In New Zealand, functional medicine testing is also really expensive.  And personally I am really into evidence based medicine, so things like resonance testing etc. are not something that gel with me.

There are many different types of tests- some test for IgA mediated reactions, some for IgG reactions, some for IgG. Here is a great explnantion of the different types of immune reactions one can have to foods over on naturopathic pediatrics: http://naturopathicpediatrics.com/2017/02/10/understanding-food-allergy-food-sensitivity-iga-igg-ige/

Yes elimination diets can take months unfortunately, and as I am breastfeeding too I also have to follow the diet. That’s the bad news: it takes quite a bit of perseverance. The good news is that I am already vegetarian, gluten, sugar and peanut free and was vegan for many years, so all I am really cutting out is dairy, soy, citrus and nightshades.

Narottam just woke up from his nap so I need to finish this spiel, but I will write a second post sharing some ideas of vegetarian todder friendly elimination diet meals and snacks next.

Take care

Madhava xx

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Gluten free sourdough bread <3

The other day, my friend Eve and I did a food pet swap- I gave her a jar of water kefir, and she gave me a jar of buckwheat sourdough starter. I did know that you could make gluten free sourdough, but so far I hadn’t got round to it.

I’ve tried a ton of gluten free bread recipes, and I’ve also invented a fair few myself, but although a lot of them taste great on the day they are made, they go stale so ridiculously fast that its almost not worth bothering, unless you’ve got  a bunch of people to feed (or you want to eat a lot of bread *ahem* ( After a lot of googling, I found a recipe that I though I could probably tweak and adjust, to make it vegan and sugar free, and the result was absolutely delicious~ and the best part- this bread is still good to eat 3 days after its made- without toasting! Its also moist, and tangy.

Here is the link for the original recipe which I tweaked. Image

So, after a few adjustments, here is the recipe I’ve been making:

Recipe:

2 cups of buckwheat sourdough starter

1 cup of buckwheat flour

1 cup tapioca starch

1 and a bit cups of sourghum flour

1 cup of millet flour, or millet finely ground up in spice grinder (way cheaper 😉

2 Tbspn xantham gum

4 eggs worth of “no egg” or another egg replacer, mixed with twice as much water, and whisked to make a fluffy mush

1/3 cup melted coconut oil

3/4 Tbspn salt

sesame seeds, for sprinkling

2/3 cup of water

The original recipe had sugar in it, but as I avoid sugar, I left it out and then let the bread rise for longer, so if you don’t care, 2 Tbspn sugar

Method:

Mix “egg” fluff, water and sourdough starter. Add flour salt and xantham gum, then pour coconut oil on top of flour, rub the oil into the flour a bit with your hands, and then mix the whole bowl together. It should be semi dough like, not too wet, not too dry.  Now. Oil another bowl, put it all in there, cover with a cloth and leave to rest, overnight, in a warm place (I used my hot water cupboard.) Then the next day, put a piece of waxed baking paper on a baking tray, and put your dough onto the  tray. Put into oven at a really low heat- 40 degrees C ish, and let it rise for half an hour (This might be different if you used sugar, you could probably just leave it on the bench with a tea towel covering it). Then, heat oven to 200degrees C, and just before you put it in the oven, slash the top with a knife and sprinkle seeds over the top. Bake for about 20 mins, until it makes a hollow sound when you hit the top of the loaf. That’s it! Done.

I highly recommend finding a buckwheat sourdough starter somewhere- it makes a beautiful loaf of bread.

Have a beautiful Friday xx

Round here we call sweet potatoes kumaras. They are such a beautiful vegetable, full of beta carotene and so flavoursome.

The other day I was feeling really wholesome, and I imagined a kumara salad, made with golden, roasted kumara, with coriander, toasted sunflower seeds and cous cous. I think it would be even better with red quinoa though 😉

The outcome was this:
Image

A colourful mish mash of textures a flavours

Ingredients

2 medium sized orange flesh kumaras, cut into small chunks

a little extra virgin olive oil, for roasting

1/4 tsp hing

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup lime juice

1 bunch of coriander, finely chopped

2 cups of cooked cous cous (or quinoa/ millet/ wholewheat cous cous) (I think quinoa would be best, actually, millet, cous cous etc keep absorbing more and more water even once they’re cooked, so it is hard for the salad to be moist- quinoa doesn’t do this so much?

Put the kumaras on a baking tray and toss with half of the salt, all of the hing and a splash of olive oil. Bake the kumaras on a high heat. I used about 200 degreees celcius, and I roasted them so that they stuck to the bottom of the pan and went brown. A well roasted kumara is brown and crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. They took about 25 mins to get to that point.

Meanwhile, cook your grain and dry roast your sunflower seeds in a fry pan. I do it over a low heat, stirring often so that they all go golden and none burn.

Mix the cous cous, kumara, corainder, seeds and add the lime juice. Add another splash of olive oil, black pepper, the rest of the salt and the paprika, and gently combine them together

Serve while still warm 🙂

Ok…. I’m back!

So, I think the last time I posted was new year.. and its now August. *ahem* Yeah, my life took a very interesting and wonderful turn and I stopped blogging.

First thing’s first, I moved to a farm community in west Auckland, new varshana. Its a temple on a  and its so incredibly beautiful. I moved into a tiny tiny unit that has a very limited kitchen, and I’m still living there.

Then, I realised I was in love with a friend of mine, Alex. It was like a completely overwhelming rollercoaster. Through Alex, I met my guru HH Bir Krishna Goswami. Long story short, my guru accepted me as his disciple on the 30th of April, and Alex and I got married on the 19th of July.

Image

So now I’m a married woman with a husband who I really love to feed. Now we’re moving house in about a week to somewhere with a much larger kitchen… and I think its time to resume blogging where I left off! I’m also studying naturopathy full time so I think maybe that will also become part of this blog. Let’s see what happens.

Please forgive me everyone, for my prolonged absence.. watch this space 😀

Best ever gluten free sugar free vegan carob slice nom nom nom

Photos to come!

I made up this recipe yesterday and it received rave reviews. I tried some and have to admit, it was one of the better gluten free sweets I’ve ever made. The best thing about it is that it only takes about 15 mins in the oven max, and about 3 mins to throw together! Oh, and did I mention it tastes amazing?

Because I was in a hurry I didn’t measure the ingredients as I went, I just went on consistency to check that it was ok. Read the method for texture details, and let me know how yours go!

Base:

5 cups soaked cashews (this is the volume AFTER they are soaked)

2 cups dates, soaked in boiling water

1 cup tapioca starch

50ml coconut cream

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 cup dessicated coconut

Topping:

3 cups Soaked cashews:

1 cup coconut cream

1/2 cup carob powder

1 cup dates soaked in boiling water

stevia leaf powder – 2 small pinches

1/2 tsp chocolate essence

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

dessicated coconut, to top.

Method:

You could be organised and soak your cashews overnight, or you could do what I do and gently simmer them for 10 mins. Depends on how raw you like to be 😉 Either way, you’ll be baking this slice a little bit!

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C

Drain the cashews and the dates. Put in food processor. Process until smooth. Then add rest of base ingredients. You should be able to easily mould it, and it shouldn’t be too sticky. It almost looks like you could eat it already. Press it into a lightly greased pan and bake for about  10 mins.

Meanwhile, prepare the topping. Drain cashews and dates. Process it all together in food processor. It should have a pudding like thickness- you should easily be able to smooth it over the base. If its too wet, add some more cashews. If its too dry, add some of the date water.

Spread it over the partially cooked base, and return to the oven for a few mins, about 5, until its hardened up a bit.

Sprinkle with coconut and serve!

Long time no post…. Mexican feast tomorrow!

So, I haven’t posted in ages, as you all know. I moved out to a farm and have no internet at home now. *withdrawals* gasp. Actually, its quite nice once you get used to it! Anyway, I will probably be organising some internet sometime soon.. but for now, I’m staying at riverslea retreat centre in otaki for a week and tomorrow I’m cooking a  mexican menu for about 170 people. That’s a lot of people!

We’ll be making:

  • Chilli with refried beans and kidney beans
  • mexican millet
  • home made corn chips
  • guacamole
  • stuffed quesadias
  • salad and cashew mayo
  • chunky salsa
  • sparkling ginger and lime drink
  • carob strawberry torte
  • strawberry coulis..

Plus, everything will have a gluten, sugar and soy free option.

What a mission! Wish me luck and I will post a photo and recipes once mission is complete!

Have a beautiful day

XX

 

Potato cauli mash bake, the epitome of comfort food methinks

I made this last Wednesday to rave reviews. I didn’t actually think it was going to be THAT good.. after all, I’ve made so many vege and white sauce bakes before, but somehow this had everyone drooling, and I got a comment here the next day from April asking me to post this.. so, here goes! Sorry, no photo, as I said, I didn’t think it was going to be worth posting but it seems it was. 🙂 Anyway, its gluten, dairy and sugar free!

Serves 10

10 large potatoes, peeled and chopped into circular disks. I used Agria

3/4 regular sized head of cauliflower

1 L soy milk

1/3 cup rice flour

1/2 cup light tasting oil

6 drops stevia liquid

paprika, for sprinkling

1/8 tspn nutmeg, ground

2 tspn salt

3/4 cup sunflower seeds

1 recipe vegan cheese (recipe here)

Method: Chop the potatoes and cook them on the stove until just cooked. Chop the cauliflower into tiny pieces and boil it too until soft.

In the meanwhile, make a white sauce. Heat the oil at low temp. Saute the rice flour, nutmeg and 1 tspn of th salt for half a minute. Turn off heat and add soy milk. Stir well. Add the stevia. Now bring to the boil. Your element should be on moderate heat, and you’ll need to stir heaps to stop it from sticking.

Make the vegan cheese. The recipe for it is in this post

Toast the sunflower seeds until slightly browned, and grind them, either in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle.

Now, put it all together. In a large shallow baking dish spread out all the potatoes. Now sprinkle them with some salt. On top of this, arrange the cauliflower. Press it all down so it’s nice and compacted. On top of this, pour the white sauce. On top of the white sauce, sprinkle the toasted seeds. On top of that, drizzle some of the vegan “melted cheese.” And to top it off, sprinkle some paprika.

Bake at 200 degrees celcius for around 25 mins, or until the white sauce/ cheese layer is bubbling and golden. Serve hot!

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