Photography: ©Lisa Cohen
Looking for some culinary inspiration to nourish your mind, strengthen your body and bring more balance into your life?
Try these recipes from The Yoga Kitchen by Kimberly Parsons, a leading London health chef and naturopath…
SOBA NOODLE BUDDHA BOWL
A buddha bowl has become a very popular yoga meal. Typically they are meal-sized bowls filled with simple, pure food. To create your own buddha bowl, find a unique bowl which you can use as a symbol for your nourishment and gratitude.
A buddha bowl is supposed to excite your mind with its rainbow coloured ingredients which are full of energy. Enjoy the creation of this dish and be mindful of how nourishing it is for your body.
For the broth
1.2 litres (40fl oz/5 cups) mushroom stock
1 star anise
2 cardamom pods
1 tablespoon peeled and julienned fresh ginger
100g (3 1⁄2 oz) soba noodles
250g (9oz / 2 3⁄4 cups) fresh chestnut (cremini) and enoki mushrooms (or mushrooms of your choice)
For the bowl
75g (2 1⁄2 oz / 1 cup) finely shredded red cabbage leaves
150g (5 oz / 1 cup) peeled carrots
75g (2 1⁄2 oz / 1 cup) finely shredded Savoy cabbage
75g (2 1⁄2 oz) sugar snap peas
90g (3 oz / 1 cup) bean sprouts, washed
juice of 1 lime
fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves
1 fresh chilli, cut into thin slices (optional)
mixed sesame seeds
s tamari soy sauce, to taste
Place all the ingredients for the broth, except the noodles and mushrooms, into a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Once boiling reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Add the buckwheat noodles and mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes or until the noodles are cooked through.
Divide the mixture among 4 serving bowls, discarding the cardamom pods and star anise if you prefer. Begin to add the vegetables into the broth by piling a little of each type around the outside of the bowl.
Add a squeeze of lime to each bowl, followed by soy, the fresh coriander leaves, chilli (if using), a sprinkling of sesame seeds and a lime wedge. Serve immediately with chopsticks, a spoon to drink the broth at the end and add tamari to taste.
CINNAMON YOGHURT BARK WITH STRAWBERRIES
The types of bacteria in our intestines have a profound effect on our health. Good bacteria are anti- inflammatory, whereas bad bacteria secrete highly inflammatory substances into the gut. The word probiotic literally means to promote life.
The term is used to describe living microorganisms in the intestines that have positive health effects. Along with regularly eating fermented foods, consuming unflavoured, sugar-free, natural yoghurt is an excellent way to increase your healthy bacteria.
Flavour the yoghurt in any way you want, I’ve roasted the strawberries, which increases their flavour, while the addition of balsamic vinegar diffuses their sweetness.
For the yoghurt bark
500g (11b oz / 2 1⁄4 cups) full-fat natural yoghurt or Greek yoghurt
4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
200g (7oz / 2 1⁄3 cups) fresh blueberries, or blackberries if blueberries are unavailable, stray stems removed
25g (1oz / 1⁄6 cup) cacao nibs
50g (2oz / 1⁄3 cup) raw pistachios, roughly chopped, plus a few extra for scattering over serving plates
For the roasted strawberries
500g (1lb 2 oz / 3 1⁄3 cups) fresh strawberries, washed and quartered
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon filtered water
Line a 20 x 20cm (8 x 8in) shallow baking tin (pan) with baking paper (parchment paper). In a medium bowl, stir together the yoghurt, maple syrup, cinnamon and vanilla. Gently stir in the blueberries and cacao nibs and mix until everything is combined.
Pour the mixture into the tin, spreading it out evenly, making sure the blueberries are evenly distributed. Sprinkle the chopped pistachios over the yoghurt surface. Cover with clingfilm (plastic wrap) and place in the freezer overnight or until required.
On the day of serving (you still need to be working ahead of time as the mixture needs time to cool), preheat the oven to 160°C fan/350°F/ Gas 4. Place the strawberries in a glass baking dish and spread out in an even layer. In a small bowl, stir the vanilla, balsamic vinegar and water together.
Pour this mixture over the strawberries and place in the oven for 20 minutes or until the strawberries are tender and cooked. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Drain the liquid from the strawberries into a small saucepan. Bring to the boil until reduced to a thickened sauce. Leave to cool.
When ready to serve, spread a little of the strawberry sauce over 6 serving plates and add the roasted strawberries with the yoghurt bark. Scatter a few chopped pistachios over the top and serve immediately.
BEETROOT, PINK GRAPEFRUIT & GOAT’S CHEESE CARPACCIO
2 tablespoons flaxseed oil
2 tablespoons za’atar spice mix (see below)
1 large red beetroot (beet), peeled and thinly sliced with a mandolin
1 large golden beetroot, peeled and thinly sliced with a mandolin
1 pink grapefruit, peeled and thinly sliced
4 thin goat’s cheese slices, chilled
12 Kalamata olives, pitted
4 radishes, washed and sliced in half
a few rocket (arugula) leaves
1 tablespoon balsamic
glaze red chard or spinach leaves (optional)
For the za’atar
1 tablespoon fresh oregano,
finely chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried oregano)
1 tablespoon fresh
marjoram, finely chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried marjoram)
1 tablespoon sumac
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon toasted fennel
1 tablespoon toasted sesame
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked
Using a pastry brush, brush 1⁄2 tablespoon of flaxseed oil over 4 serving plates. Sprinkle a little of the za’atar spice mix over the oil, then begin to layer the red and yellow beetroot and pink grapefruit slices over the plate.
Place 1 goat’s cheese slice onto each plate, then scatter the olives, radish slices, rocket leaves over the plate. Add the balsamic glaze to the plate and scatter over a couple of red chard or spinach leaves. Serve immediately.