The Chakra Kitchen

Three Squash Soup

This soup celebrates three of my favourite squash varieties, but you can substitute others if these are not available. The contrast of sweet and nutty flavours is delicious, working well with the paprika to create a satisfying vitamin A packed soup to primarily support the sacral, solar plexus and throat chakras.

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Serves 4

1/2 crown prince squash

1/2 uchiki kuri (red onion squash)

1/4 Turk's turban squash 

(you need 1 3/4 lbs/800g squash flesh in total)

1 1/2 tbps olive oil

3 1/4 cups/750ml hot vegan stock (made from cubes of bouillon powder)

1 tsp paprika

freshly ground black pepper

pumpkin seeds to garnish

Preheat the oven to 200C/425F/gas mark 7

With some squash varieties you can eat the skin, so check before preparing. Cube the squash (peeling where necessary), and discard the inner seeds. Place in a large roasting pan and toss in the olive oil. Roast for 35 minutes, turning halfway through.

Once the squash is cooked, transfer to a large bowl. Add the stock and paprika and use a hand blender to combine until smooth, season and add more water to thin as required. Reheat if necessary, season with black pepper, and scatter with pumpkin seeds to serve. 

Recipe taken from the winter section of The Chakra Kitchen: Feed your Body to Nourish your Spirit.

Bean Feast Chilli

Fire up your chakras

A traditional chilli is one of those all time classics that works very well as a wholesome vegan dish. I decided to use adzuki alongside the black beans as they are low in fat, full of protein, soluble fibre and help to lower harmful LDL cholesterol.

The dish works with all the chakras, primarily to warm up and stimulate the root and brow chakras so great to boost a sluggish / cold system during the winter months. 

 Photography by Adrian Lawrence, 2015

Photography by Adrian Lawrence, 2015

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

1 Cup / 185g Dried Adzuki Beans (soaked overnight in cold water and drained)

1 Cup / 180g Dried Black Turtle Beans (soaked overnight in cold water and drained)

2 tbsp Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil

1 Red Onion, sliced

2 Garlic Clove, sliced

1 Red Chilli, finely chopped

1 Green Bell Pepper

1 Yellow Bell Pepper

1 ¾ cup / 100g Fresh Shiitake Mushrooms, sliced

1 tsp Ground Cinnamon

1 tsp Cumin Seeds

¼ tsp Cayenne

2 x 14 oz / 400g Canned chopped tomatoes

Bunch of Fresh Coriander, chopped

2 Cups / 320g Brown Basmati Rice

Sea Salt and Pepper

Garnish:

1 Lime cut into wedges

4 tsp Chia Seeds

2 Avocados, chopped

METHOD

Rinse the soaked adzuki and black beans separately in fresh cold water. Place in separate pans of water and boil for 15 minutes, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Drain and set the beans aside.  

Warm the oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and garlic, and sweat for 5 minutes. Add the chilli to the pan, stir through, and sweat for a further 5 minutes. Add the peppers and mushrooms to the pan with the spices and stir thoroughly for 2-3 minutes over a medium heat. Add the tomatoes, beans, and coriander. Simmer for 30 minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste. 

Meanwhile, rinse the rice. Place it in a medium-sized pan with 4 cups / 950ml water and a pinch of salt and cover with a lid. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 25 minutes until all the water has absorbed. Serve the rice and chilli on warmed plates. Add lime wedges, scatter with the chia seeds, and serve with the chopped avocado on the side, if using.

Recipe from The Chakra Kitchen: Feed your Body to Nourish your Spirit, CICO Books, 2015

Christmas Jam

Sweet comfort for all your chakras

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Ingredients

Makes 4 x 8oz/225g jars

4 mandarins

3 tablespoons agar agar flakes

6 pears

2 1/2 cups/250g cranberries

1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger

zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon

1 teaspoon ground star anise

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

1 cup/140g coconut palm sugar

½ teaspoon edible gold dust (optional)

In this recipe the fruits are barely cooked in order to preserve their nutrients. Low GI coconut palm sugar acts as the sweetener. The cranberries resonate with the root chakra, are full of phytonutrients and are renowned for their support of the urinary and digestive tracts. Pears resonate with the heart chakra and can support cardiovascular health. Sea plant agar is a source of calcium, iron and fibre, and helps to eliminate toxic waste from the body.

Method

First sterilize the jars by boiling the jars and their lids in a large pan of water for 10 minutes, then place in the oven on a low temperature to dry.

Juice the mandarins—you should end up with 1 cup/240 ml. Place the juice in a medium-sized pan with the agar and leave to stand for 10 minutes. Cover and bring the agar mixture to the boil momentarily, then simmer for 5 minutes.

Chop the pears and place in a food processor with the cranberries, ginger, lemon juice and zest, and the spices. Process until combined. Add to the agar mixture with the sugar, bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Leave the jam to cool for 10 minutes, then stir through the edible gold dust, if using. Ladle into the jars, and seal the lids tightly. Label and give away as the perfect Christmas gift or serve with English muffins. Store for up to 3 weeks in the fridge.

Moroccan Pumpkin Stew

Spark your creativity and personal power with this great recipe from the Autumn section of my recipe book The Chakra Kitchen: Feed your Body to Nourish your Spirit. 

 Photography © Adrian Lawrence for CICO Books, 2015

Photography © Adrian Lawrence for CICO Books, 2015

Chakras: Root, Sacral, Solar Plexus, Brow, Crown 

I love spices for their fragrance and health benefits and this North African-influenced dish is a great way to introduce a sweetness which negates the craving for dessert. You can easily purchase ras el hanout spice blend or make your own as below. The sacral and solar plexus chakras are supported predominantly with balancing pumpkin and protein- and mineral-rich amaranth and chickpeas.

Serves 4

1 cup/200g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in water

2 tablespoons coconut or rapeseed oil

1 red onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

4 teaspoons ras el hanout

1 cup/225g amaranth

1 large sweet potato, cubed

1 pumpkin—you will need 735g/2lb cubed flesh

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup/65g raisins

1 cup/90g toasted slivered/flaked almonds

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Gently heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion and garlic with the spices and sweat over a low heat for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the amaranth into pan with 2 cups/500ml of water and bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes. Take off the heat and allow any remaining water to be absorbed (I like it a bit crunchy and couscous-like in texture, hence cooking for a shorter time than some may suggest).

Drain the chickpeas. Place the chickpeas, chopped sweet potato, and pumpkin in the pan containing the onions. Add 3 cups/750ml water, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir thoroughly, then add the salt and raisins and simmer for a further 5 minutes.

Season the amaranth to taste and stir in three-quarters of the almonds. Serve with the pumpkin stew, garnished with the remaining almonds.

Tip

To make your own ras el hanout spice mixture, toast 3 tablespoons cumin seeds, 2½ tablespoons coriander seeds, 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon, 2½ teaspoons ground ginger, 2 teaspoons black peppercorns, 1½ teaspoons ground turmeric, 1 teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon cardamom seeds, ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon cloves, and a pinch of saffron, then place in a grinder with a few dried rose petals. Store any leftover spice mixture in an airtight jar.

Baked Pears with Cinnamon and Blackberries

Time to share an autumnal recipe from my book The Chakra Kitchen ... perhaps the simplest and most economical one in there and very healthy and alkalising for the body. It contains delicious blood sugar balancing cinnamon and heart chakra supporting pears and brow chakra balancing blackberries to help get your heart and mind on the same page! Get out picking in the hedgerows while the sun is shining!

 Photography by Adrian Lawrence for CICO Books © 2015

Photography by Adrian Lawrence for CICO Books © 2015

Chakras: Root, Solar Plexus, Heart, Brow, Crown

Serves 2

2 ripe green pears

1 cup/150g blackberries

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon raw coconut nectar (granules)

Preheat the oven to 160ºC fan /180ºC/gas mark 4.

Slice each pear in half and scoop out the core with a spoon. Place the pears in a row on a foil-lined baking tray (cut a piece of foil large enough to form a parcel before baking).

Mix the cinnamon with the coconut nectar in a small bowl. Add a handful of the blackberries to the centre of each pear, followed by a good sprinkling of the cinnamon mixture. Fold up the sides of the foil to form a parcel, sealing at the top. Bake in the centre of the oven for 25–30 minutes.

Once the pears are soft to touch and the juices are flowing, remove from the oven and serve two halves per person in shallow bowls.