Orion Healing Detox and Yoga Center

The Orion Healing Retreat Center is nestled in the serene Srithanu bay in Koh Phangan, Thailand. Amid soothing sounds and rippling waters, the center specializes in detox, healing retreats, and holistic therapies which help to balance your mind, body and soul, restoring a sense of serenity and vitality.

Eggplant Steak

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A Detox client asked me today for a special recipe to impress her family when she goes back home. During her stay here, she has decided to change her diet to a whole, plant based diet. She came here as a meat eater but she discovered the benefits of eating vegan, for her health and also for the environment.

 

When she goes back, she wants to cook dinner for her whole family and show them how good a vegan meal can be. She also asked me to think of a dish that would remind them of a traditional “meat and side dish” meal. So for this request, I needed to think of something yummy and filling, to make everyone happy. I think a good Eggplant steak will do, with some veggies and a salad.

 

eggplant bacon

 

For this recipe you need 1 or 2 eggplants, depending on how many people you are going to feed. Usually, I serve 2 steaks per person. And I like to have leftovers for a badass sandwich the next day!  You can peel the eggplant or not. If you don’t, wash them well.

 

1- Cut eggplant lengthwise into four ½-inch-thick slices to resemble steaks. (Some of the slices will be smaller than others, but all should be of equal thickness.) You can also slice them into rounds. It’s all for the look.

 

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2- Sprinkle the slices with coarse salt and layer in a colander to drain for at least 30 minutes or for up to 2 hours. Rinse the eggplant slices under cold running water and dry well with paper towels, pressing to remove as much moisture as possible.

 

3- In a bowl, mix together:

 

1 cup of almond milk, 1 1/2 Tbs Dijon mustard and a few drops of Tabasco sauce (or hot pepper flakes).

OR

2-3 TBs of ground flax seeds and 6-9 TBs of Spring water. Mix for a minute, until you have the texture of eggs. (1 TBs Ground flax seeds for 3 TBs water)

 

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4- For the breadcrumb, mix in a blender:

 

2 toasted pieces of bread of your choice (whole wheat or gluten free), 1 TBs of nutritional yeast, some salt and pepper.

OR

1 cup of sunflower seeds, 1 TBs of nutritional yeast, some salt and pepper.

Set aside on a plate.

 

breadcrumbs

sunflower seeds

 

5- On another plate, put some flour of your choice (whole wheat or gluten free). Coat the eggplant steak on both sides.

 

6- Soak the eggplant slices in the wet mixture, then in the breadcrumbs, on both sides.

 

7- Place all slices on a baking sheet with aluminum foil or wax paper. Poor some extra virgin olive oil on both sides.

 

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8- Broil for 10 minutes, turning once, until the eggplant is tender and lightly browned on both sides.

 

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9- I like to fry some mushroom and onion with that dish, to recreate the traditional Steak dinner.

 

10- You can serve this with the steamed veggies of your choice(carrot, broccoli, green beans, …), baked potato or home fries. Don’t forget to make a nice salad with a bunch of greens (kale, lettuce, arugula, spinach,…)

 

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Steamed Cabbage Rolls

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I have always been a fan of spring rolls. The problem is that they are really not good for you.  They are fried in oil, making them high in saturated and trans fat, something we really don’t want in our system. Those fats not only make us gain weight, they also circulate in our bloodstream and clog our arteries. Who wants to be at risk for heart disease? Not me!

 

So, the solution is to find healthy alternative to spring rolls. One of them would be those steamed cabbage rolls that are so simple to make. The secret is in the sauce. Those rolls don’t taste anything like spring rolls. They usually come filled with rice or meat, but I make my own vegan version, with a nice peanut dressing, you will forget about the old, oily and unhealthy spring rolls.

 

 

steamed cabbage roll with fried rice/mushroom/red pepper

steamed cabbage roll with fried rice/mushroom/red pepper

 

 

 

What you need for the rolls:

- Green cabbage leaves

- Minced red cabbage

- Julienne carrots

- Sewing thread or tooth picks

 

I use the first leaves of a cabbage for the rolls. They are huge so they can contain a lot of goodies. When I buy a cabbage, usually to make coleslaw, I take off the fist 4 leaves and keep them for steamed cabbage rolls.

 

In a leaf, I place the carrots and the red cabbage, then I roll it and close it with one or two toothpicks, or with sewing thread. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It only needs to stay closed when steaming it.

 

 

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steamed cabbage roll

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My steamer is a bit small so for those rolls I use a big pot and my strainer. I steam the rolls for about 5 minutes. Before serving, I take the toothpicks or thread off. It looks better!

 

What you need for the sauce:

- A blender

- 1 handful Peanuts

- 1 Garlic clove

- 1 piece Ginger

- 2 Tbs Organic Tamari sauce

- 1 tsp Honey or maple syrup

- 1 Tbs Nutritional yeast

- 2-3 Tbs Spring water

- hot pepper, to taste

 

You can adjust those quantities, of course, depending on how thick you want your sauce. I use one hot pepper, but if you don’t like too spicy, use less.

Just blend everything together, until smooth.

 

I like to sprinkle black sesame seeds on my rolls. They are good for you and they look beautiful!

 

Steamed cabbage roll, baked butternut squash and avocado/tomato/cucumber/salad

Steamed cabbage roll, baked butternut squash and avocado/tomato/cucumber/salad

Sprouting at Home: Easy and cheap!

 

 

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Today I want to share with you how to grow your sprouts at home. When I first got into the healthy food, I discovered the wonderful world of sprouting. I knew about Mung beans, of course, just like everybody. We’ve all had them in a Stir Fried or a Pad Thai… But what about the other sprouts? Buckwheat, sunflower, broccoli, peas, etc… Did you know you can sprout almost anything?

The only problem with sprouts these days is that they are very expensive. You can buy a little container at the grocery store for 5 to 10$! And that’s only for one or two meals. Too expensive for me!

Although, if you decide to grow your own at home, you will end up spending less than 1$ for a big tray, which will last you for a week if you eat them every day, at every meal! They will taste better than the ones coming from the store, and they will make your home look beautiful! You can have a special piece of furniture for all your sprouts. I keep mine all around my living room.

 

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My favorites are the Sunflower sprouts. They taste amazing eaten alone, in a salad or a sandwich. You can even juice them. They are low in calories and high in nutrition, and that’s what we all need!

Sunflower sprouts are considered to be one of the best sources of amino acids (protein). They are packed with vitamins A, B complex, D and E. They also contain high amounts of zinc, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus.  Sunflower sprouts are also rich in chlorophyll, which helps building blood supply, revitalizing tissue, calming inflammation, activating enzymes and deodorizing the body, and they are a natural expectorant for chest congestion.

 

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Ok, so what do you need to grow your own sunflower sprouts at home?:

 

- Organic sunflower seeds (with shell)

- Natural soil

- spring water

- 2 trays (1 of them with little holes in the bottom)

 

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1. For one tray, I use 1 cup of sunflower seeds. I soak them in spring water over night (8 to 12 hours)

 

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2. In the morning, strain and rinse the seeds.

 

3. Fill the tray with no holes with soil (about 1 inch of soil).

 

4. Sprinkle the seeds on the soil.

 

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5. Water them with a spray bottle filled with spring water. Do not use tap water. Tap water has traces of chemicals, waste and heavy metals.

 

6. Cover the seeds with the other tray. Place something heavy on it, like books. It will give the sprouts something to push on. You will be very impress when they will actually lift the tray!

 

7. Place them in the dark, like in a closet. But do not forget them! Check on them every day and water them with the spray bottle, if needed.

 

8. When the sprouts are showing their faces, take them out of the closet and leave them in a room with sunlight. Water them every day, when needed.

 

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9. You can start eating them when they are about 3-4 inches long. You can cut them as you eat them, or cut them all and keep them in the refrigerator, rolled in a Scott Towel, in a plastic bag. They will last for about a week.

 

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Turn Eggplant into Raw Vegan Bacon!!!

eggplant bacon

 

 

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Wanna make the best vegan sandwich ever??!! The secret is Bacon! Not real bacon, of course. Eggplant bacon. It’s raw, it’s delicious and you can keep it in the frig for a couple of months. You can use it in sandwiches, wraps, burgers, or you can cut it up and sprinkle it on salads. When the eggplants look beautiful at the market, I buy a basket full of them and I take my dehydrator out of the closet! The sliced and marinated eggplants will give you tasty bacon that will impress all your friends.

 

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You need a dehydrator for this recipe, in order to cook the eggplants under 105 F so that they are raw. If you wish to make the eggplant bacon in a conventional oven, it is possible but it will take longer. You can read how at the end of this post.

 

 

Marinade

For each eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/8 inche slices, you need:

 

- 2 Tbs organic soy sauce (or Nama Shoyu)

- 2 Tbs maple syrup or honey

-2 tsp Olive oil

-1 minced hot pepper

 

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Drown the eggplant slices in the marinade and let sit for a couple of minutes. Then, place the slices on a sheet in the dehydrator. Do not let them touch. Cook for 4 to 6 hours, until crispy. Check occasionally.

 

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To dry in the oven: Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Lay eggplant slices on sheets and place in oven on lowest setting for 10 to 12 hours (ovens’ lowest setting varies, drying time will also vary) or until dry and fairly crisp, turning strips partway through. Check occasionally. If there is any oil pool on the sheets, blot with a paper towel.

Tofu Scramble: Wrap it up!

 

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In my last post, I told you about one on my favorite breakfast to replace eggs: Tofu scramble. I wanted to add today that you can use this recipe to make breakfast burritos! This dish will fool any meat eater! Super filling and delicious, you will impress your guests with this vegan wrap. You can use your left over of tofu scramble to make your roll, or start from scratch. Add some home fries and dairy free cheese to make your burrito even more delicious.

 

 

- ¼ brick of firm Tofu, well pressed and crumbled

- 1 potato, diced

- 1 Tomato, diced

- ½ Onion, diced

- 1 Garlic clove, minced

-  4-5 sliced Mushroom

- ½ cup diced Red bell Pepper

- 1 handful Cashew nuts

- 3 Tbs Nutritional Yeast

- Hot pepper flakes

- Turmeric, Paprika, cumin, to taste

- Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste

- Romaine leaves or sprouts

- Tortillas (whole wheat)

 

1- In a pan, fry the potato in extra virgin olive oil. When brown, add onion. Stir for 2 minutes.

2- Add the garlic, mushroom, red pepper. Cook for 5 minutes.

3- In a blender, mix the cashews with 1 cup of spring water.

4- When the veggies are cooked, add tomato, tofu, cashew milk, nutritional yeast, and spices. Stir and cook for 5 minutes.

5- On a tortilla, place 1-2 scoops of the tofu scramble. Roll with lettuce or sunflower sprouts, and serve!

You could add some vegan cheese like Daiya Mozzarella or cheddar. You could also add some raw tomato or hot sauce. The choice is yours.

 

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