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ayurevdic chef hong kong

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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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A home-style private dining experience

One of the things I miss most about living in the US is having the space to entertain. My friends would come over, open a bottle of wine and sit around the kitchen table while I cooked. We could be ourselves and didn’t have to worry about reservations, crowded tables or bad service. Now every time a special occasion occurs or I want to plan an intimate gathering, I have to rack my brain to think about where to book. I’ve tried multiple private kitchens in Hong Kong, but some of them have an insane waiting list or aren't very flexible with special food requirements. At the end of the day, planning these get-togethers turns out to be more work than I bargained for.

Luckily, one of my friends introduced me to Love True Food’s private dining. It’s unlike any other private kitchen I’ve been to because the home kitchen studio consists of an island where 12 people can sit around the kitchen. So, not only do you get a delicious meal, but you get to be part of the cooking experience. During our four-course dinner, we got to watch Chef Lakshmi Harilela create a flavourful South Indian lentil stew and succulent cumin rubbed lamb chops. The fragrant aroma of the spices left us all salivating, and we couldn’t wait to dig in. I felt so at home because all the food was served in the middle of the table, so it was just like family-style dining. We were also able to bring our own wine at no extra cost and play our own music

health chef hong kong, food photographer hong kong-2
health chef hong kong, food photographer hong kong-2

One of the things I liked most was how easy it was to plan the dinner. Love True Food offers a variety of menus featuring different cuisines from Tex-Mex to Moroccan. There are also menus for vegetarians, vegans and people who follow the macrobiotic diet. Since Lakshmi Harilela trained at New York’s Natural Gourmet Institute and is a certified Ayurvedic Nutritional Therapist, she’s equipped to deal with all types of dietary requirements. Another aspect that differentiates Love True food is that they only serve high quality ingredients, including grass-fed organic lamb and sustainable seafood.

So, if you’re looking for a place to celebrate a special occasion or just want to enjoy a home-cooked meal with your nearest and dearest, my stomach and I would highly recommend visiting lovetruefood.com to learn more about their private dining experience.

All about Kiwi's (the fruit) and Chilis

Kiwis are a great source of vitamin C and E. They aid in proper elimination of food items and have a great effect on the overall digestion. It is no doubt that these fruits are super foods. Kiwis help with skin conditions such a acne (the cystic kind) because they help cleanse toxins from deep within the gut and system. In addition, the have potassium, folate, polyphenols (phenolic acid), and fiber.  In particular they break down hard to digest proteins from the system... as they contain actinidin (an enzyme that breaks down proteins into amino acids).

So the next time you feel constipated... reach for a kiwi and in time you'll be sailing smoothly again.

Chilis on the other hand are also an excellent source of vitamin C. They are great relievers of intestinal parasites. And did you know that in remote villages in India, they eat raw green chills to help ward of flus and colds, especially during the Monsoon season.

Here at Love true Food we have began to test the market for our chill and coriander chutneys, excellent accompanies to breads and rice dishes. As the chills help to break down the carbohydrates...

Find us at the Green Queen Event on the 15th March, 2014 at the Space...

 

 

FENUGREEK

Your Friend, Fenugreek! Words: Lakshmi Harilela

 

Fenugreek known as methi in Ayurvedic medicine, is classified as a bitter, medicinal herb, plant or spice. It is comprised of the the seeds, leaves and the twigs, these are mainly used for cooking, although there are many other uses of this powerful herb. In Indian cuisines there are popular dishes that incorporate methi leaves and seeds into them, examples include the popular ‘methi aloo’ (fenugreek leaves with potato) and some various curry bases which are considered tasty and nutritious. The seeds and leaves in particular are considered to be the more nutritional and medicinal part of the plant, thus are used in various Ayurvedic medicines and treatments. There are references to fenugreek in Egyptian times, as the plant was used to embalm the mummies.

 

Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, favored fenugreek as one of his favorite medicinal herbs to use. In fact even nowadays it is used for nursing mother’s to increase their milk flow. For women that breastfeed they usually see a difference in their milk production within 24 to 72 hours of taking it, this is an indication of how powerful and potent this healing herb can be. Not only used for the production of milk in breast feeding women, but also used to ease the anxiety of childbirth itself, fenugreek is said to stimulate the uterine contractions that induce childbirth.

 

Fenugreek seeds have a high vitamin A and C count as well as containing iron, calcium and trace minerals. The seeds are considered great sources of protein and carbohydrates. For digestive issues such as digestive inflammation, heartburn or gastritis, fenugreek seeds soaked in water overnight can relieve such symptoms. It can also aid in the prevention of constipation and digestive disturbances or ulcers in the mouth or stomach. This is probably the reason why in Ayurvedic cooking, the seeds and leaves are used quite generously. A great Ayurvedic secret is soaking the seeds in water overnight and mixing it with grated ginger and ingesting a little before the meal for the digestion. This works especially well for those with little digestive fire or ‘agni’ as Ayurveda terms it.

 

Fenugreek has antiseptic and anti inflammatory properties, and if the seeds are soaked overnight and pulsed into a paste, the paste can be placed on the body for relief of inflammation from pain or swelling. With the addition of honey, this very same paste can be used as an acne treatment, especially for cystic type acne. It draws out toxins from under the epidermis and tones the outer layers of the skin. That is why in India fenugreek oil can be used for the skin or hair as a beauty aid. Adding honey to the mixture not only escalates its benefits, but makes it tastier as it can be used on the face as a mask or ingested internally. With the high vitamin C content, it gives skin the glowing beauty that is desired by many women.

 

Being well known as as a liver detoxifier, the tiny fenugreek seeds can help purify the blood and help the blood clot faster.  In addition, fenugreek can benefit those with high blood pressure or hypertension. Speaking of blood, it is also used amongst diabetics as it has the ability to reduce glucose levels as well as triglycerides and serum cholesterol levels. It also aids in PMS and menopausal symptoms and can deliver overall relief from period cramps and/or hot flushes. This indicates that it has a calming effect on the body, the muscles and the endocrine and hormonal systems of the body.

 

In highly polluted cities, there is always a risk of any respiratory infections. Fenugreek is the ingredient to use for dispelling mucus from entire respiratory tract. It is this very property that makes fenugreek unique, not to mention the fact that those that suffer from chronic sinusitis can benefit from taking fenugreek, as it clears the pathways of the sinuses, much like a nasal cleanse with salt. Sinusitis is increasing in areas of heavy or dense pollution, and it is advised to do a nasal cleanse daily with a saline solution, fenugreek coupled with a daily nasal cleanse can rid the body of any sinus or chronic rhinitis problems for good. Most people revert to steroid sprays, but if they slowly wean off them, a saline spray and fenugreek can not only decrease the nasty symptoms, but can cure the problem altogether and replace the harsh steroid sprays. With all this in mind, it is no wonder why fenugreek is well respected as a great medicinal herb.

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BEST YOU... we will see you again!!!

What a great workshop, filled with love light and laughter.  

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thank you to everyone who made it, and stay posted for more workshops of this kind...

With loves,

 

The Yoga and Ayurveda Sisters,

Lakshmi & Hersha

 

 

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CASHEW CHEESE RECIPE

REMEMBER THOSE DAYS OF DAIRY WHEN CHEESE MEANT THE WORLD!!!Well the dairy industry is corrupt and thus most milk products are tainted with hormones and the kind of stuff that wrecks havoc on your body. I'm not saying all dairy, but the majority of it is tainted. In Ayurvedic medicine, dairy is considered sattvic, meaning that it is a great food item for stilling the mind, and adheres to the principles of Sattva (purity).

In Ayurvedic medicine however, the milk is't tainted with growth hormones, and so its use is actually healing to the body and mind. Although some types of milk are still conducive to healing and health, at the LTF home kitchen studio, we've managed to find alternatives for the dairy and cheese cravings. One thing that we've found works great is cashew cheese. It's rich creamy texture gives way to amazing satiation on the taste buds.

Here is a great recipe for the cheese itself.

Vegan Cashew Cheese

Makes 4 cups

1 1/4 cups raw cashews 1/2 cup nutritional yeast (depending on the saltiness, use more or less according to taste) 2 teaspoons sea salt 2 teaspoons garlic powder 1/8 teaspoon chilli powder 1/8 teaspoon white pepper 3 1/2 cups plain unsweetened almond milk 1 cup (about 1 1/2 ounces) agar agar flakes 1/2 cup canola oil 1/4 cup yellow miso 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

How to do it:

1) In a Blendtec, ground the cashews (do not allow the cashews to turn into a paste). Next, add the nutritional yeast, garlic powder, salt, chill powder, and white pepper. Pulse 3 more times to blend in the spices.

2) In a saucepan, place the almond milk, agar, and oil and simmer over high heat. Decrease the heat to medium and continue to simmer for 10 minutes, until all the agar is combined with the milk.

3) Keeping the Blentec running, gradually add the almond milk mixture through the feed tube and into the cashew mixture. Blend for 2 minutes, the mixture will be a creamy smooth consistency, once this is achieved, add the miso and lemon juice. Readjust the seasoning if needed.

You can use the cheese as is, or place in the fridge until a harder cheese is formed.

The cheese lasts for 4 days, in the fridge

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