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Hong Kong healthy meals

Kicharee Cleansing

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Kicharee Cleansing

Cleansing the Ancient Way: Kichari 

Kichari (pronounced kich-ah-ree) is known as a staple food originating from India, and combines mung lentils with basmati rice. These two ingredients being the most digestible of the group, mung beans in particular are considered the most digestible of all its cousins. The word defines ‘mess’, meaning porridge. It is a warm dish, as digestion is in fact a warm process, and is packed with optimal protein and nutrition for nourishment of all the cells and ‘dhatus’ (tissues, in Ayurveda there are 7) of the body. 

The type of cleanse is compared to that of a mono diet, which helps the body reach homeostasis in its quest for optimal balance. From day 1 to 3, you may notice the boredom of the diet may urge you to cheat, however, by day 4, you’ll feel a slight and noticeable difference in your energy levels as the digestive system is given a much needed break. The journey of cleansing is not so extreme, it adds value to removing unwanted toxins without the negative effects of a total juice fast. However, leading up to any cleansing, one must try to avoid, animal products, even dairy and cheese, caffeine is a tough one but necessary, otherwise the body may go into major healing crisis with caffeine withdrawals. Sugar is another story, and if you remove refined sugar before partaking in this cleanse it can drastically help the removal of toxins and it has a less harsh effect on the healing. Gluten can be avoided as well.

So give the cleanse a try and see for yourself how beneficial fasting is. This coupled with a yoga and cleansing program can help city dwellers to reach a state of inner peace and calm without spending top dollar on health products or vacation spas or retreats. 

 

Happy Cleansing. Below is a recipe to help you along the way; 

 

Kitchari- Serves 4

Ingredients: 

  • 3 ⅓ cups (800ml) water
  • ⅓ cup (80ml) split mung beans
  • ⅓ cup (80ml) red lentils
  • ⅓ cup (80ml) basmati rice
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 12 curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon crushed fresh ginger
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 5 pepper corns
  • Step 3
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • ½ medium zucchini, chopped
  • 2 kale leaves, thinly sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon rock salt
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ⅓ cup (80ml) chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ lemon
  • ¼ lime

 

Procedure:

Bring water to a boil in a medium pot. Add mung beans, lentils, rice, turmeric, curry leaves, and fresh ginger. Once it is boiling again, reduce heat and simmer. In the meantime, grind cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and pepper corns in a coffee grinder. Add 1 teaspoon of the spice mix to the kitchari.

Add carrots, zucchini, kale, and salt. Cook uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes until the lentils are tender and the mixture resembles a thick porridge. Stir occasionally. Add more water if necessary.

Heat ghee in a skillet. Add . teaspoon cumin seeds and fry for 30 seconds. Add rest of the ground spices from step 2, then immediately add a little bit of the kitchari to prevent burning and stir well. Add the spice fry to the kitchari and stir.

Garnish with fresh lemon and lime juice and cilantro.

Variation: Add fresh chili peppers and fresh ginger in step 4 for a spicier version.

 

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Friends of the Earth

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Friends of the Earth

Check it out. Did a talk for Friends of the Earth regarding a vegetarian diet and how to cook healthy vegetarian food and make it tasty according to the principles of Ayurveda. We are all unique, and so our eating styles should be according to our unique constitution. This is why generic diets or lifestyle changes seldom work. Ayurveda notes that each individual should listen to their genetic code and vikruti to determine the types of foods that will bring the body back into alignment. 

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Chai - The Spicy Truth! - by Shivaun Dipshan

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Chai - The Spicy Truth! - by Shivaun Dipshan

If you’re tying to kick your coffee addiction, one healthy alternative is to drink chai, a spiced milk tea from India. Unlike coffee, chai has an array of health benefits due to its exotic blend of spices. 

Chai tea was created by Ayurveda, the traditional and holistic medicine of India. Since Ayurvedic medicine works with each individual’s body constitution, the spices used in chai can vary based on what your body needs. 

Chai typically consists of black tea, milk, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and pepper. Other popular spices used are fennel seeds, star anise and saffron. 

All of these spices contain medicinal and healing properties such as aiding the digestive tract, boosting your metabolism and excreting toxins from the body.  Although the spices are infused together to make chai, it’s important to analyze the health properties of each ingredient so you can create your own therapeutic concoction. 

Black tea

Black tea contains many antioxidants which help boost the immune system and fight inflammation.

Cardamom

Widely used in Indian cooking, this spice helps detoxify the body and is especially beneficial for the lungs, kidneys and heart. 

Cinnamon 

Aside from its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, studies show that cinnamon can increase circulation and help reduce fatigue. 

Cloves

Cloves help aid the digestion process and have pain-relieving and antiseptic
properties. 

Fennel seeds

This powerhouse herb has many antioxidant properties, helps relieve water retention and aids digestion. 

Ginger

This root has been used for centuries to aid digestion and reduce inflammation. It is also used as a stimulant for the immune and circulatory systems. 

Black pepper

Commonly used to support our metabolism and circulation, black pepper also provides antibacterial and antioxidant benefits. 

Saffron

Saffron has been used to relieve a plethora of aliments since it provides a good source of essential minerals and vitamins.

Star anise

The star-shaped fruit is known to contain antifungal, antibacterial and antioxidant properties.

Given the aromatic flavors and vital health benefits chai provides, its no wonder that it has grown in popularity and is now being offered in coffee shops. However, to gain the full health benefits of this drink, we would recommend making your own brew at home since many of the commercial chai concentrates contain added sugars. 

How to make Masala Chai - Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup milk (if you are using skim, 1 percent or a milk substitute, use half milk and half water)
  • 1-2 black tea bags (Assam, Darjeeling, Ceylon)
  • 2 cardamom pods 
  • 2-3 whole black peppercorns
  • 1-2 pieces of cinnamon
  • 2-3 slices of fresh ginger
  • 1 strand of saffron (if available)
  • sugar or sweetener to taste

Directions:

1.    Press the cardamom seeds until they crack. Bring the water, tea bags and spices to a boil. 

2.    Boil for 3-5 minutes or until the tea is black and the water has been reduced. The boiling process is very important because it helps infuse the spices together. 

3.    Add the milk and continue simmering on a low flame. 

4.    Turn off the heat and let the mixture steep for 2 minutes. 

5.    Strain out tea and spices. 

6.    Add sugar or a sweetener to taste. 

 

If you would like to find out about your Ayurvedic constitution and receive LTF news and updates, visit http://www.lovetruefood.com/lakshmi-harilela/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Turmeric for Inflammation

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Turmeric for Inflammation

The best spice for inflammation is turmeric. It helps ease digestive disturbances and is used fairly often in Indian cooking. Not only does it have anti inflammatory properties but it is used extensively in beauty products. Incorporating small doses into food and drink can really help the gut heal. I've seen this first hand . Especially with those suffering from digestive issues like IBS, gastritis, heartburn and pain. 

 

So the next time reach for your turmeric. 

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Feeding Hong Kong - rooftop garden

It was a great and successful event at the rooftop garden. Three students from HKU Space participated in this then. It was one of those events that was conducted on a very hot day, yet we all managed to pull off the feeding of 60 people

 

According to Gabriele, this event was to raise awareness on the need to have more rooftop gardens for Hong Kong to become a more sustainable and environmental place. 

 

These gardens can provide food where there is a need. It also educates children and adults alike on the benefits of planting rooftop gardens in urban areas.  This can be used as a carbon offsets tool. 

 

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If you would like to volunteer for the next event, please contact me at LTF@lovetruefood.com 

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Gokul Vegetarian Review

There comes a time in everyone's life when one considers the thought of becoming a vegetarian . Like many before me, there have been many cravings of meat after the transition to vegetarianism.

Practicing yoga for some time now I think that vegetarianism really helps the mind and the clarity, not to mention the body and flexibility. 

As a chef myself I find it very difficult to cook meat but not eat it. The saying that you must try what you eat is not very relevant for a vegetarian chef. Due to my ethical principles right now I just can't bring myself to break this vegetarianism.

So whilst I was in Singapore for just one night I tried a vegetarian restaurant called Gokuls. They have a range of Malaysian, Chinese and Indian vegetarian items.

My Masi Dolly brought me and my sister there. We ordered the chicken rice Hainan style, of course vegetarian, The mutton Roganosh which was vegetarian as well, vegetarian satays and lastly a mee Siam, a dish indigenous to Malaysia with the sour yet sweet aftertaste. 

Being a foodie, I found the food to be spectacular. The flavors were so good that you didn't even know you were not eating meat. In fact, all those cravings of fried chicken wings and mutton that I've had in the past clearly vanished away whilst I savored the beautiful flavors of this food. So in truth, being a vegetarian is not that bad when you have access to restaurants such as this. Now the question of whether this is healthy for you can be a debate. However how healthy is meat anyway?

Not only is being vegetarian  good for your health, but it's good for the economy, ecology and every part of the earth.  (less methane gas in the atmosphere if you know what I mean)!

So now I'm stuck between either serving meat at my private kitchen here in Hong Kong or converting it to a fully vegetarian place of dining. Any opinions would be well noted. I just need to get those recipes down, and I'm sure I will have a following a vegetarian patrons. 

I wish you the best food journey and I do hope that one day you will consider becoming a vegetarian; helping our earth and ourselves. Not only is it practical but it also can help with the starvation problem in the world, and the disease so aren't in society such as obesity, type two diabetes and heart disease. 

If you're still not convinced I urge you to try it out for yourself!!! 

Vegetarian chicken satays

Vegetarian chicken satays

 

chicken rice 

chicken rice 

Mee SiamSiam

Mee SiamSiam

 

Mutton curry 

Mutton curry 

 

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Indian Fever Prep

We are prepping for the love true food special 'Indian fever' private dining. It is going to be an excellent experience for the participants as we have been cooking up a storm all day. 

 

We will start off with an amuse bouche, minced keema with guacamole and toasted sunflower seeds followed by a beautiful dhal soup and Kati kebabs. 

This is the set up of the kitchen. 

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 We are even serving special beer purchased by LTF. The beer brewery is called Moonszen by Laszlo and Michelle. Only hk$60/bottle. 

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Here are some of the "party in the mouth" canapés... We will top them with organic toasted sunflower seeds... 

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And keema... Yum 

 

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Stay tuned for more amazing menus... 

 

Lots of love and great food experiences ...

 

chef Lakshmi 

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Ayurvedic Health Meals Now Available

 Did you know that half the battle of weight loss is making the decision to change? Well if you are a busy person with little or no time to cook, then you can make a quick meal by simply re-heating...YES it is that easy.  LTF have come out with a new range of Ayurvedic health meals, frozen and available at i-Detox. Best of all, the containers they come in are 100% biodegradable and can be composted too! So you are being kind to the environment. Most importantly you are being kind to yourself by nourishing and strengthening your immune system and preventing dis-ease.

You can choose from a range of organic foods which help heal the gut, but most importantly, these meals are designed with the intention to help you detox your body properly and maintain a healthy lifestyle without compromising on taste and/or quality.

Sometimes, all it takes is a bit of courage to make that decision, so what's stopping you.

Choose from the following;

Prices (regular/VIP) in HKD:

Tri-Doshic Dhal ($74/ $70) Coconut Basmati Rice ($60/ $57) African Chickpea Stew ($115/ $106) Un-Cream Lemongrass Pumpkin Soup ($74/ $70)

Note: To keep freshness, i-Detox only keeps a low stock level.  Please check with them if you would like us to put aside for you to pick up.  (Available items or exact ingredients may change according to season.)

 

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