February Newsletter: Self-love

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Hello!

I hope January was good to you and that February has welcomed you into it’s loving arms. This month is all about self-love, more than ever! We must love ourselves first before we are able to fully spread our love to those around us. This is the time to nourish ourselves and look out for own well being and happiness, something which is easily put on the sideline. Here are some ideas on how you can do that this month:
Qatar National Sports Day
This is a great excuse to be outdoors and get active, there will be a lot of different activities going on around town. I’ll be starting my day by practising Swasthi yoga with Vishnu at 8:00am at the Sheraton Hotel, free of charge.
Here’s a link with a lot of the activity details for tomorrow!
Shakti Circles: Miraculous Relationships
The second edition of the Shakti Circles will take place on Saturday 20th February from 4 – 7pm. Wala’a and I will be showing you how colour and food are effecting your relationships. Exploring how they effect your overall vibration to attract love, miraculous relationships with yourself and others including attracting your soulmate.

This workshop will include:
– Meditation
– Color exercises
– Energy clearing
– Food for love
– Dinner made with love by me!

It will cost 350 riyals per person. Please email me to book your seats, we only have 12 spots for this one, so book early to guarantee your spot!
Recipe
Cook for yourself and your loved ones, I just posted a very comforting curry recipe, why not give it a go?! Here’s the link.
Products
Get yourself something from my product range to nourish your body with healthful treats as an alternative to processed factory made snacks. I’ve added a couple of new items such as a pink sauerkraut, which has a multitude of healing properties filled with natural probiotics which work wonders for your gut.
Here’s the link for the new product list.
Articles
Some interesting articles I’ve been reading recently:
Lots of love from the treetops!
Saba xx

Chickpea coconut curry with seasonal greens


This is a deliciously comforting meal to keep you warm in the winter months, my definition of comfort food. It is inspired by my  Iranian culture and travels to Sri Lanka & India. It’s also 100% whole food plant based made with nothing but pure goodness. I’ve recently started an online course in plant based nutrition with the Center for Nutrtion Studies founded by Dr. T Colin Campbell and it is such a joy to enhance my knowledge of this lifestyle. It has also influenced my food choices, I’m eating more greens than usual and using a lot less fat. The studies in this field are absolutely incredible and it’s so interesting to see how much research has been done in the field of plant based nutrition, especially in relation to chronic diseases. I would suggest reading Whole by Dr. Campbell or watching one of his many talks online if you’re curious to know just how much our diet affects our health.

Anyhow moving on to the recipe!

The rice and tahdig, crispy Persian rice literally meaning bottom of the pot, are made in a rice cooker. I’ve found that this is the most foolproof, and fuss-free way of making it without burning the rice. However if you don’t have a rice cooker you can also use a non stick pot, preferably a non toxic one like the ones Green Pan make. Follow the instructions to cook the rice as stated below, then when it comes to making the tahdig, make sure you cook the rice on low heat so that it doesn’t burn. I admit this is quite an art and gets better with experience and much easier if you use a rice cooker!

The greens can easily be replaced with whatever is in season in your part of the world.

(Serves 6)
*Use organic ingredients where possible

Curry
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 inch fresh turmeric, diced or 1/2 tablespoon turmeric powder
1 inch fresh ginger, diced or1/2 tablespoon ginger powder
2 teaspoons curry powder
6 plum tomatoes or 3 vine tomatoes, diced
1 kohlrabi, skinned & diced or 1 medium potato
4 teaspoons coconut butter
2 cups cooked chickpeas, I used brown chickpeas
4 mustard leaves, de-stemmed and chopped
6 spinach leaves, chopped

Coconut Rice & Tahdig
4 cups brown basmati rice
2 cups dried shredded coconut (unsweetened, organic)
8 cups water
Pinch of sea salt
1 1/2 tablespoons melted coconut oil (or another high smoke point oil)

Coriander vegan “yoghurt”
1 cup fresh coriander, leaves and stalks
2 handfuls cashew nuts
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tablespoon Apple cidre vinegar
1 tablespoon tahini
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
Pinch of sea salt & black pepper
1/2 cup water

1. Rinse the rice a couple times, strain and place in a rice cooker, add the 8 cups water, dried coconut and salt and leave to cook, approximately 30 mins.

*If you don’t have a rice cooker please read the notes above.

2. While the rice cooks, add the tablespoon of coconut oil to a medium sized pot and on medium/high heat until the oil melts.
Add the diced onion and let cook for a couple of minutes, then add the garlic, turmeric and curry powder, stir to combine let cook for 1 minute, until fragrant.
Then add the diced tomatoes, reduce heat to medium/low and allowing the tomatoes to reduce for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Finally add the kohlrabi/potato, coconut butter, chickpeas, and enough water to cover the ingredients by half an inch or so. Turn up the heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 15 minutes, uncovered.

3. Once the rice has cooked through, gently scoop the rice from the edges of the pot towards the middle to form a pyramid shape. Make 5-6 holes in the rice pyramid by gently poking the back of a spatula through to the bottom of the pot. Pour a small about of the melted coconut oil into each hole, and leave to cook for another 15-20 mins, this is how you get the crispy rice.

4. Add the chopped spinach and mustard leaves to the curry, cover the pot and let cook for 5 minutes, until wilted. Stir to combine, remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes or so to allow the flavours to settle.

5. In the meantime place all the “yoghurt” ingredients in a blender (I used my magic bullet), and blend until smooth.
6. Take most of the rice out the pot, except for the bottom layer touching the base of the pot, and using a wooden spatula gently cut and flip over the thin crispy bottom layer.

7. Serve up the dish and enjoy!
**This will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days and usually tastes better the next day as the flavours infuse further.

Fauxtella Warm Chocolate

I wrote this recipe as a guest post for www.pantry.qa they are an awesome online family run business based in Doha which provide the local residents with lots of wonderful health and wellness products, while 30% of their profit goes to different charities such as Happy 4 Life. They also stock a selection of my homemade nut/seed butters, granolas etc. Here’s the post:

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With all the cold weather in Doha lately, I’ve been drinking lots of hot (well, warm) chocolate to keep me snug. This is not the type which is laden with milk and processed sugars, this hot chocolate is 100% plant-based and is guaranteed to give you an excellent boost of nutrients as it’s bursting with superfoods. In order to preserve the superpowers of the superfoods, especially the maca, this hot chocolate, is more warm rather than piping hot. The other advantages being that you don’t have to wait until it cools to consume it, and you’re very unlikely to burn your tongue!

The fauxtella is already sweetened with 100% pure date syrup, therefore I don’t feel I the need to add more sweetener, however you can add your sweetener of choice to the blender with everything else if you would like it slightly sweeter. This is a delicious and nutritious way to keep the winter bugs at bay and an excellent excuse to have chocolate – need I say more?

Ingredients: (serves 2)

2 tablespoons VegetarianTreehouse fauxtella (can be replaced with 1.15 tbs cacao powder & 1 tbs almond butter)

1 tablespoon refined coconut oil

2 cups water

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoon maca powder

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Pinch of Himalaya pink salt / Celtic sea salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder

Method:

– Bring one cup water to a boil in a kettle.

– Add all ingredients to your blender, including hot water and blend until combined.

– Pour the mixture into two separate mugs, sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on top and enjoy!

January Newsletter – New Beginnings

Nayyira WaheedPoem by Nayyira Waheed

Hello,

I hope you’re all feeling fresh and ready to take on 2016 with a healthful mindset and lots of positive energy! So far it looks like it’s going to be a wonderful year filled with lots of inspiration and collaborations for the Vegetarian Treehouse, of which I cannot wait to share with you.

Colour Your Plate

The first thing I wanted to share is an excerpt of a mini colouring cookbook I put together for the “Juicy Tips for a Healthy Child” Panel I was a part of during the Ajyal Youth Film Festival last month. Colour Your Plate was made with the intention to encourage both parents and kids to get more involved with healthy eating. It was printed in black and white so that the children could use it as a colouring book, while their parents use it as a reference for healthy recipes for their family.

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CYP2

For those of you who are interested in receiving the full PDF file, please email me and I’ll forward it on to you.

Product Menu 

I’ve added a couple of savoury items to the new product menu, expect many more additions to come over the next few months. Here’s the link.

Articles

A few very interesting articles I’ve read recently which are worth sharing:

How to relearn the art of eating

2016 the year of pulses

Shakti Cirlces

I will be teaming up with my wonderful friend Wala’a from The Color Recipe to host group sessions on how to empower yourself through food and colour. The confirmed calendar will be launched soon so stay tuned!

Remember to always love and respect the one home we were given to live in, our bodies.

Lots of love from the treetops,

Saba xx

5 Minute Cleansing Sprout Salad

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This recipe is inspired by my friend Dan’s father, Mooky, who I mentioned in my post about my travels to London over the summer. He grows a lot of his own vegetables and herbs in his garden and makes a salad very similar to this with his homegrown produce. This version is a bit less intense but I do warn you, it is not for the faint hearted as it includes fresh garlic, chilli, and energy and nutrient rich sprouts, so be prepared for a boost of plant power!

I recently put some seeds in my germinator and a few days later had way more sprouts that I could handle so I thought of a way to utilise them without too much effort as I was feeling a bit lazy. I had a look in the fridge and saw parsley, fennel, jalapeño chilli peppers, cucumber…I was immediately transported back to Mooky’s garden picking fresh herbs and veggies and that’s when I knew I had to try and recreate the amazingly powerful green salad he made for us this summer. You can used whatever veggies and herbs you have at home but the key is to keep the flavours fresh and clean.

Germination and Sprouts

I’ve been the proud owner of a three tiered germinator for the past 4 years now and go through phases of using it. But when I’m on a roll, I absolutely love it because there’s always a quick nutrition rich pick me up at arms length which I can just eat as is or add to salads, soups, noodles etc.

A germinator is basically a fancy sieve which you put organic seeds/beans/grains, and add water to so that the seeds get activated at begin the sprouting process. However, you do not need to own a germinator in oder to sprout your own seeds, all you need are good quality organic seeds/beans/grains, a jar, some cheesecloth to cover the top of the jar and a rubber band, as this beautiful info-graphic by Victor Paiam explains:

Germination

Once you have your seeds, I use these, you need to soak them over night in a bit of water. The next day discard the water and put the seeds in your germinator, fill with filtered drinking water, enough to just cover the seeds then tilt upside down so that it drains out, keeping the seeds moist. Repeat the watering and draining process twice a day until you get some sprouts, this should take anywhere between 2-4 days depending on what you are using.

Sprouts are a great source of B vitamins, protein and antioxidants which are perfect for vegetarians and vegans alike. They also give your body a lot of energy. Image how much energy it takes for one seed/bean/grain to transform into a sprout, well when you eat it, all that energy gets transferred to your body and is very beneficial to your whole system. However be sure to use organic seeds/grains when sprouting as they will not have any chemicals added to them, and please use clean drinkable water too!

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As mentioned above, this recipe is not for the faint hearted as it is extremely strong in flavour, and is very cleansing for your body, so don’t say I didn’t warn you 🙂

Ingredients

1 big handful of sprouts (I used lentil, radish & mung bean sprouts)
2 small cucumbers (organic/pesticide free if possible)
1/2 bulb fennel
1 jalapeño chilli
1 handful fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic
Juice of 1 lime
1 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin cold pressed olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
Salt & pepper to taste
Dried chilli flakes, to taste (optional)

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Method:

1. Dice the cucumber, fennel, and jalapeño up quite finely and add to a medium bowl.

2. Roughly chop the parsley, and mince the garlic, add to the bowl.

3. Add the sprouts, lime juice, olive oil, cumin, and a pinch of salt & pepper and combine all the ingredients until everything is coated in the salad dressing. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed, and sprinkle some dried chilli flakes on top if you want an extra kick of flavour.

Enjoy!