Chocolate Maca Chia Pudding

Chocolate Chia Maca Pudding

People are constantly looking for healthy and easy to make alternatives to artificial, cardboard-like breakfast ‘cereals’ and toast. We are the biggest lovers of breakfast here at Two Kitchens! We have more breakfast recipes on our site than any other recipes.

This one is amazing for the whole family. It is packed with chia so it is full of bioavailable plant-based, organic protein, has maca powder in it so gives instant but long-lasting natural energy, the raw cacao is another source of plant-based protein, the almonds in the almond milk add calcium and you can add whatever fruit you like to it for more fibre and fruit intake. I added bananas but you can add strawberries or other berries too. The kids will honestly love this, you can send them off to school knowing they have been given the best start to the day and if you make enough, you can save some as a snack or even dessert for after dinner – so versatile!

Ingredients

1 cup almond milk
3 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp maca powder (I use Organic Burst)
1 heaped tbsp raw cacao powder
1 tsp organic maple syrup or other natural sweetener of choice
1 banana, sliced
Small handful organic vegan chocolate chips (optional)

Method

Put all the ingredients except the banana and chocolate chips into a saucepan and heat gently over a low heat. It will seem dry at the beginning but eventually it will all melt into itself, just keep stirring. You want it to heat but not boil as boiling chia seeds will take the goodness out of them but we still want them to soften and swell.

Once it’s ready, transfer to a bowl, wait for it to cool then leave in the fridge for half an hour. Alternatively you can make it the night before and leave in the fridge overnight. The chia will then swell even more and be softer.

Transfer to a glass or any bowl of choice and top with your favourite toppings.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Broccoli & Pea Buckwheat Pasta

Pasta

Easy dinners, easy dinners. It’s all about easy dinners that you can just throw together quickly. Usually the meals that are considered ‘easy’ or ‘convenient’ are not particularly healthy so I’m always trying to invent new ones to add to the website so I can go back to them when I am short of time.

I’m trying to keep my folate and calcium levels up during my pregnancy so broccoli is a must-have in my diet right now. Buckwheat also helps control blood sugars which is essential during pregnancy to prevent gestational diabetes, and avocados, well, you all know how I feel about this wonder-food!

Ingredients

Enough buckwheat pasta for two people – double up all ingredients if you need more. (you can also use brown rice pasta or quinoa pasta. Try and stay away from processed pastas, even if they’re gluten free.)
A head of organic broccoli
1 cup frozen peas
1 ripe avocado
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
5 tbsp lemon juice
5 Brazil nuts
Handful pine nuts
1 clove of garlic
Handful fresh mint
Pinch Himalayan salt

Method

Cut your broccoli into florettes and add to a pan of boiling water. Once it’s been in for five minutes, add the peas and leave for around three minutes until all the vegetables are ready but not too soft. Drain, and set to the side until you are ready to use them. Rinse the saucepan and add the pasta and boiling water and begin to cook as per packet instructions.

While this is cooking, make your vegan pesto sauce. Add the avocado, olive oil, lemon juice, Brazil nuts, pine nuts, garlic, mint and salt to the food processor and process until totally smooth. If it is too thick, add a little more oil and lemon juice. Taste to see if it needs more salt or lemon.

Drain the pasta once it is ready and return it to the pan, then add in the vegetables and pesto sauce and turn heat on low just to heat the vegetables and stir to heat it all through.

Serve once hot.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Tahini / Tchina (depending on where you’re from!)

Tehini

Sorry for the strange title… in the west, this is called Tahini (the paste itself is called that) but in the Middle East, where this originated, it’s called Tchina. Whatever it’s called, it’s yummy, easy to make and is one of the best sources of calcium out there. So if you read our article about why to stay away from milk and you are wondering where to get your calcium, tahini is one of the best places to find it.

Ingredients

3 tbsp tahini paste
Quarter cup purified water
5 tbsp lemon juice
Half tsp Himalayan salt
Half tsp garlic salt
Quarter tsb paprika
Drizzle extra virgin olive oil

Method

Spoon the tahini paste into a medium size bowl (it gets quite messy so you want to make it in a separate bowl to the one you’ll be serving it in), then add the water and mix really well. You will see it go from a weird texture to smooth quite quickly and it will become much more pale. If it still seems quite thick (it should be relatively runny) then add some more water; gauge it for yourself. Then add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

Taste to see if it needs more of anything and add to your taste. Transfer to a smaller bowl.

Great with other dips and salads (have a look on both those pages on our website for more ideas) and with bread or crackers.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Pan-fried Kingklip with Exotic Mushrooms, Spinach and Canihua

Pan fried Kingklip with Mushrooms, Spinach & Canihua

As I don’t eat meat often, I try to eat fish once a week. Whether you eat meat or are vegan or vegetarian, it’s very important to be aware of your protein intake, especially if you train regularly. While it’s perfectly possible to get enough protein on a vegan diet, you have to be much more aware of it and put in more effort. It won’t happen by accident! That said, fish is a great clean source of protein for those of us who are not vegan.

Kingklip is a deep sea fish widely found in the coastal waters of southern Africa. It is low in fat and as well as being high in protein, also contains calcium, iodine and iron. If you cannot get kingklip you can use another solid white fish for this recipe.

Canihua is a close relative of quinoa and is native to the Andes. It is gluten-free and scores higher than quinoa in levels of protein, iron, magnesium and calcium. It has a similar flavour to quinoa, but the grains are much smaller.

Ingredients (serves 2)

150g shiitake mushrooms, sliced
150g shimeji mushrooms, separated
6 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
extra virgin olive oil for frying
2 big handfuls spinach, sliced into ribbons
2 tbsp organic tamari
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 tsp raw honey
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp raw sesame seeds
1/2 cup canihua (or quinoa)
400g fresh kingklip (2 fillets), skinned

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 C.

Place the canihua in a small pot with 1 cup of water and 1/4 tsp himalayan salt. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and cover with a lid. Simmer until all the water has been absorbed and the grains are cooked, about 20 – 25 minutes.

Slowly fry the mushrooms in some olive oil until they start to brown. Add the garlic and fry for a further 2 minutes. Add the spinach and stir. Add the tamari and lemon juice and quickly put the lid on so that the steam will cook the spinach. After a couple of minutes remove from the heat. Add the honey, sesame oil and sesame seeds.

Heat some olive oil in a frying pan and place the kingklip down. Fry until golden and crispy then turn and do the same on the other side. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to an ovenproof dish and roast for about 5 – 7 minutes, until the fish is cooked through. The flesh should be opaque and starting to flake, but not dry.

To plate, put the canihua on the bottom, then the mushrooms and spinach, and top with the fish. Squeeze some lemon over the top and enjoy.

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine

Chocolate ‘Nice’ Cream & Overnight Oats Breakfast Parfait

Parfait 2

Oh how I love a breakfast parfait. It’s so important to get your protein in in the morning, I’d say especially if you’re a veggie but it’s for anyone really. It’s the most important time of day to have a good protein intake so most of my breakfasts are packed with plant-based protein. I see some people doing nana ice cream parfaits in massive jars but for me it’s too much, this amount is just the right portion size for breakfast, I’d say. My protein today came from the almond butter in the oats, the almond milk in the oats (calcium also), the cacao in the ice cream, and the quinoa pops layered in the middle and sprinkled on the top. I also added maca powder to the overnight oats to give me extra strength and endurance.

Ingredients

Overnight oats layer
1 cup organic jumbo rolled oats
2 cups almond milk
1 tbsp almond butter
1 tsp maca powder
1 tsp organic natural maple

Chocolate nana ice cream layer
2 frozen bananas
1 heaped tsp raw cacao
1 tsp organic natural maple

Extras
Puffed quinoa pops

Method

The day before, combine all the ingredients for overnight oats, mix well, cover and leave in the fridge overnight.

When you’re ready to make the parfait, take the bananas out the freezer and put them in the blender with the cacao and maple and blend until smooth and creamy.

Layer a few spoonfuls of the overnight oats on the bottom, put the quinoa pops in the middle, then spoon the ice cream on the top and sprinkle with more quinoa pops.

You should have a big bowl of overnight oats left so you can have this for breakfast for the next few days in whichever variation you like…

Enjoy!
Love,
Lauren

Baobab & Melon Nice Cream (African Superfoods Part 1)

Baobab & Melon Ice Cream

There’s a lot of hype about Central and South American superfoods, but here in Africa we have some amazing plants too! I think it’s important to both be proud of your country & heritage, as well as to support locally grown and manufactured products. Over the next few weeks I want to do a series of posts on various African superfoods. For those of you in other parts of the world, I hope it will be interesting and informative (most of them are becoming more well known and popular in health circles so you should be able to get hold of them.) For fellow South Africans, I hope this will encourage you to make use of our beautiful continent’s bounty 🙂

baobab tree copy

According to African legend, long, long ago the first baobab tree sprouted beside a lake. As it grew, it surveyed the other trees and admired their colourful flowers, their tall, straight trunks and their beautiful green foliage. One day the little tree was tall enough to see its own reflection in the lake. It was dismayed at the sight! Its trunk was short and fat, its leaves were sparse and dull and its bark looked like the wrinkled hide of an elephant. The tree implored the Creator to change its appearance, but its request was ignored. Day after day, it watched the beautiful trees, compared them to its own reflection, and cried to the heavens. One day the Creator had had enough, reached down and unearthed the tree. Turning it upside down, the Creator replanted the tree with its branches in the earth, and its roots in the sky. From that day on the baobab tree was silenced, and as penance has served animals and humans with good deeds ever since.
Source: http://www.ecoproducts.co.za

These beautiful trees are grown in 32 African countries, and are revered by many tribes, even worshipped by some. The fruit is a highly nutritious food source, the seeds provide oil (I used baobab oil during and after my pregnancy to prevent stretch marks) and the fibre in the bark is used to make fishnets, cord and clothing. The trunks are a good source of timber and are often hollowed out and used for shelter, grain storage or as water reservoirs.

Baobab powder has recently become a very popular superfood, and for good reason. The powdered fruit contains 3 times more calcium than milk, 4 times more vitamin C then oranges, 6 times more potassium then bananas, 5 times more anti-oxidants than blueberries, a whopping 16 times more fibre than pears, and 5 times more magnesium than avocados. Its sweet-tart flavour makes the perfect addition to this quick and easy vegan “nice cream.”

Ingredients

350g melon, weighed without skin or seeds
2 bananas
3 tbsp baobab powder (I use EcoProducts)
1 – 2 tbsp raw honey
1/2 cup almond milk

Method

This requires some forethought, in that you have to freeze the melon and banana overnight (or you could freeze when you have it and use whenever!) I used canary melon, but you could also use spanspek (aka cantaloupe) or honeydew (aka musk melon.)

Place all the ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth and creamy, using your tamper to mix as you blend. The amount of honey required depends on the sweetness of the melon. I had a melon that was not very sweet, which is why I decided to freeze it and turn it into ice cream. You may have a melon so sweet that you won’t need any honey at all, so sweeten to taste.

This will serve 2 people as breakfast or 4 people as dessert. If you have any left over you can freeze it again. It won’t be quite as smooth and creamy, more like a sorbet, but still delicious.

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine

Cauliflower & Tahini Soup

Cauliflower & Tahina Soup

I love cauliflower, especially as a purée, because of the beautiful smooth texture it blends into. This soup makes use of that, and the addition of tahini makes it even creamier!

Cauliflower contains sulforaphane, which has been shown to kill cancer stem cells, thereby slowing tumor growth. Researchers believe that eliminating cancer stem cells may be the answer to fighting cancer. It is also packed full of anti-oxidants and phytonutrients, is good for your heart and your brain, and has anti-inflammatory properties.

Sesame seeds (the main ingredient of tahini) are high in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and iron. Need any more reasons to make this soup tonight? It’s simple to make and takes no time at all!

Ingredients (serves 4)

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 large onions, sliced
6 big cloves of garlic
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 whole star anise
a head of cauliflower (about 500g) cut into florets
one potato (about 200g) peeled and cut up
1 litre water
1 tbsp organic vegetable stock paste or powder
3 bay leaves
the juice of half a lemon
1/2 tsp himalayan salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
1/3 cup organic tahini
pomegranate concentrate (optional)

Method

Fry the onion in the olive oil until it caramelizes. The more colour you get on the onions, the more flavour you’ll be putting into the soup. You want them to look something like this:

IMG_0130

The trick is to keep it on a medium heat and stir every now and then. If you feel that they may start to burn, add a few drops of water and continue. You could brown them even more than I’ve done here, I was just in a rush to make supper!

Add the garlic, cumin and star anise. Fry for a few more minutes. Add the cauliflower, potato, water, stock and bay leaves. Simmer until the cauliflower and potato are tender. The smaller (and more evenly-sized) your pieces of cauliflower and potato, the faster they will cook.

Remove the bay leaves and star anise, then pour everything into your blender. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until completely, 100% smooth. The measurements I’ve given for lemon, salt and pepper are just a guideline – use your taste!

I’ve served it with a drizzle of pomegranate concentrate – the sweet tartness balances the soup beautifully.

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine

Chai Coconut Milk Chia Pudding

chai chia pudding2

That might sound like a mouthful, and it is… a mouthful of deliciousness and health! “Chia” is the ancient Mayan word for “strength” and these little seeds were prized for their ability to provide long-lasting energy. They provide high nutrition for low calories (almost all of their carbohydrates are in the form of fibre) so this is a great food if you’re trying to lose weight. They are high in protein, fibre, Omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and antioxidants.

You can sprinkle chia seeds over your breakfast or add them to smoothies, but my favourite way to eat them is by making chia pudding. When you soak these little nutritional powerhouses in liquid, they swell and absorb the liquid. The result is a creamy and delicious pudding. Great for breakfast or dessert… and who doesn’t love dessert for breakfast?!

I prefer to grind my spices fresh in a coffee grinder as the flavour is much more intense, but you could use pre-ground spices if you don’t have whole spices or a coffee grinder.


Ingredients

1 stick of cinnamon (3/4 tsp ground)
1 star anise (1/4 tsp ground)
the seeds of 8 green cardamom pods (1/2 tsp ground)
about 1/5 of a whole nutmeg (1/4 tsp ground)
1/4 tsp Himalayan salt
1 – 2 tbsp raw honey or organic maple syrup
2 cups coconut milk (I make my own but you can use an organic tinned one which contains only coconut and water)
90ml chia seeds
60ml hemp seeds

Method

Firstly, grind the spices until you have a fine powder. Place them in a bowl with the honey and salt and a few drops of the coconut milk. Use a whisk to dissolve the honey, and then add the rest of the coconut milk. Add the chia and hemp seeds and whisk well so that the seeds are well distributed through the liquid.
I normally leave it overnight in the fridge, stirring once before I go to bed. If you’re in a hurry, you could stir every hour or so and it should be ready in about 4 hours.

I layered mine with fresh mango, banana, brazil nuts and goji berries for a delicious and energising breakfast.

Health and happiness!

Love,
Raine