In Search Of The Buddha Bowl

BLOGbuddhabowlI am a fan of instagram.  I like the idea of communicating thoughts, trends  and products using images. Quite often when I’m browsing through  posts, I discover something I didn’t previously know existed. An example of this is the Buddha Bowl.

The Buddha bowl is a very ‘on trend’ healthy eating concept and seems to be particularly popular amongst vegans and vegetarians.  Aside from looking incredibly delicious and appealing, the attraction of this dish lies in it’s simplicity, versatility and health benefits.

Originating in Japan, the Buddha bowl is traditionally the largest of three bowls used in Zen temples. It is part of a ritual of meditative eating practised to encourage mindfulness. While not everyone embracing this culinary delight claims to be a Zen Buddhist, they are certainly pursuing a cleaner, purer way of eating using natural, healthy produce.

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The idea of the Buddha Bowl is to mix it up as much as possible. Have some leftover chick peas? No problem, just mix them with some sesame oil, chilli powder, lemon and minced garlic and you have a staple of the BB. Add in some pinto beans, an avocado, grated carrot and some beetroot and you have a colourful and healthy dish. Foodie instagrammers are going wild for the Buddha Bowl and it’s no surprise as they are incredibly photogenic. Check out @choosingchia for some pretty, creative bowls and @rebeccas_vegan_journey for some fruity options. Get in touch with your Zen side and ‘Aisatsu‘.

Picture credits: foodwellsaid.com and eatthis.com

 

 

Calling All Chocoholics: 5 Healthy Chocolate Recipes

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I don’t just like chocolate, I love it.

I’m a magician: present me with a box of chocolates and I’ll turn it into an empty box. 

I am a self-confessed chocoholic and my crimes are endless. I could tell you about the time I bought Easter Eggs for my nephews and nieces; twice. I ate the first lot, yes, all nine of them …. in one sitting. I could tell you about my ninja-like ability to sneak chocolate from the cupboard into my open mouth in a matter of seconds whilst pretending to do dishes.  I could reveal my insanely extravagant hiding places for ‘Mommy’s special chocolates’ …. but I’d fear for your safety.  There are some secrets that should just remain hidden.

As well as I know my Hershey’s from my Cadbury’s, I know that I am not alone in this obsession. I recognise my fellow chocoholics.  We stand in the supermarket buying not one, but two bags of chocolate chips. We acknowledge each other’s presence with a slight nod of the head. We know what we are doing. One bag is for the cookies we’re making, the other bag is for us to place in the refrigerator door and surreptitiously eat on the hush, hush. We are professionals.

Here at Stick Insectz, I’m not out to point the finger.  Everyone has their vices and I understand yours. We all try to be good, but as my Grandma used to say: if you can’t be good, at least be careful. So here, just for you, are 5 Healthy Chocolate Recipes. Now you can enjoy your guilty pleasure without the guilt!


5 Healthy Chocolate Recipes:

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1.Banana and Chocolate Oatmeal.

Cook up one cup of ready rolled oats with almond milk. You can do this on the stove top or in the microwave. The amount of milk is really up to you according to your tastes. Sweeten with a teaspoon of honey and add a tablespoon of cocoa powder. Chop two ripe bananas, mix them gently into the oatmeal and add a handful of blueberries. If you are feeling really sinful, add a sprinkling of chocolate chips. Not only is this a great way to start the day, it also makes a delicious dessert if you are craving something sweet but want to avoid too much refined sugar.

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2. Chocolate and Strawberry Salad.

You heard right, chocolate and strawberry salad. For this recipe you will require strong tasting lettuce leaves. A combination of arugula (rocket), loose leaf lettuce, chicory and dandelion leaves would be perfect. We recommend choosing these over iceberg lettuce, which has a fresh, crisp taste but does not compliment the chocolate and strawberry quite so well.

Wash and dry the leaves and place them in a salad bowl. Add a handful of sliced strawberries. Throw in a sprinkling of chia seeds for extra taste and some fresh cucumber sliced or cut into small cubes. Now for the fun part. For the chocolate balsamic dressing there is a little experimentation involved according to which taste you prefer to be dominant – the chocolate or the vinegar. Melt 2 squares of good quality dark chocolate and stir until creamy. Add a splash of extra virgin olive oil and 6 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Stir vigorously and pour over the salad. Serve immediately. If you prefer a more chocolatey taste, add an extra square of chocolate. If the dressing seems a little too bitter, gradually add castor sugar when you melt the chocolate until you reach the desired flavour.

This dressing is sublime with cheeses such as mozzarella and stilton. For a mozzarella based salad, add thinly sliced beef tomatoes and fresh basil leaves. Our recommendation for the stilton would be to combine with lightly poached pears and a handful of walnuts. Delicious!

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3. Chilli-Chocolate Dessert Dip

If you like spicy, this one is for you. It works equally well as a quick-fix or as an interesting dinner party shared dessert and it’s super easy.

Heat a little almond milk in a saucepan or the microwave and dissolve 5 tablespoons or brown sugar and 3-4 tablespoons of cocoa powder.  Allow the mixture to cool and stir in 3/4 cup of natural Greek yogurt. Add a pinch of red chilli powder and mix well. That’s it! Serve with dippers of your choice and enjoy.

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4. Black Bean Brownies

Yes. They’re brownies. And they have black beans in them.  Without getting too scientific, the beans replace the flour, so this is a great recipe for anyone with a gluten allergy.  If that’s you, then please omit the oats as well unless your doctor has added them to your diet.

This recipe is super easy. First, blend a can of beans to a thick paste and add 1/4-1/2 a cup of oats. Now mix in the following ingredients: 1/4 cup of vegetable oil, 1 egg, 2 tbsp cocoa powder , 2 tbsp of maple syrup or 1/3 cup of soft brown sugar and 1 tsp of baking powder.

Pour the mixture into a baking dish/tray that is at least 2″ deep and bake in the oven for 30 minutes at 350.

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5. Great-Aunt Margaret’s Chocolate Fudge Cake

OK, so this one isn’t technically, “healthy”, but four out of five ain’t bad, right?

My Great Aunt Margaret was a cook back in the early 1900s and she wrote all of her recipes down in a notebook. I am lucky enough to own this notebook and this is her recipe for chocolate cake.  I swapped out the lard she used originally for butter, but if you would like to include lard instead, knock ourself out!

Cream together 2ozs brown sugar, 2ozs butter, 1 large egg and 1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda. Add 3 ozs desiccated coconut, 1 tbsp of cocoa powder, 6ozs of plain flour and 2tbsp black treacle. Add a little milk. Bake in the centre of the oven at 350 in two 61/2″ baking pans for 25 minutes. Use any kind of frosting you wish.

 

IS THAT IT?

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You can also check out my Pinterest boards on clean eating, detoxing and healthy lifestyle tips.

Health Chocolate Recipes PDF