Monday, 29 December 2014

Cruelty-free Christmas Feast

Crimson Pohutukawa Sentry stands guard at Beach Road Harbour jetty, New Zealand's Christmas Tree!

Note the bee coming in to land on a sea of crimson
Red puffballs of colour bedeck our coastal trees, why - it must be Christmas!!
Twas the night before Christmas though, when the Man of the House, inspired by River Cottage, a TV cooking show, decided to cook up a feast - exotic Asian noodles with beans and roasted peanuts with Toasted Sesame Oil.  This is an event of Magnitude 5 on the Richter Scale.  Hasn't happened too often.  Said guy is a salad maker, not comfortable near the stove!  I applaud all these cooking shows with men as the star role model in the kitchen!  Bring it on!  I've reserved a spot in front of the TV for Monday night's show of River Cottage for him, in the hope another inspirational dish might result!
Nothing sexier than a man in the kitchen!!
Exotic, Sexy Asian Man-cooked Noodles

The day before Christmas, I prepared some dishes for our celebratory family meal on Christmas day.  They are tried and true recipes that form a bit of a tradition in our home, and which the kids have always looked forward to.  They are caponata, rice salad and 3 bean salad
Home-made pita with organic white flour and ground chia seeds
 Our traditional Christmas breakfast dish is a cupful of oats soaked in 2 cups of natural yogurt, along with spices of choice (I use a medley of cinnamon, cardamom and ginger) and handful sultanas.  This is soaked overnight in the fridge.  In the morning, I grate a peeled apple and add that with a tablespoon of honey and stir it all together.  It's a lovely cold breakfast that keeps you energized until lunchtime!

Yogurt soaked oats, spices and sultanas.

Total Vegetarian Feast

3 Bean Salad Recipe
3 tins different beans, drained and rinsed
1x green and 1x red capsicum chopped
1x onion, chopped
1 handful sultanas
Throw above ingredients into a heat-resistant salad bowl

125ml each, Apple Cider Vinegar, sunflower oil and soft brown sugar
Boil marinade for 5 mins till sugar is dissolved.
Pour marinade over salad mix and allow to cool.

Best eaten the next day but will keep in the fridge up to 3 weeks (as if!!).

Cruelty-free meal.  A taste sensation!

2 cups diced celery
1/2 cup olive oil
1 medium eggplant, cut into cubes
1 large onion, chopped
1/3 cup wine or ACV vinegar
1 tspn sugar
2 Large tomatoes, peeled and diced
1 cup water
1 Tbspn capers
1/4 cup pimento-stuffed olives
1 can sliced ripe olives
2 Tbspn minced parsley
salt to taste

Cook celery first in oil, till soft.  Remove with slotted spoon and cook eggplant till browned and tender.  Add onion and cook till soft.  Remove from pan, adding to celery.  Put vinegar, sugar, tomatoes and water into pan, cooking for 5 mins.  Return veggies to pan, stir in olives, capers and parsley.  Cook uncovered on low heat for 20 minutes.  Add salt to taste.  Cool and serve at room temperature.  Keeps in fridge for 2 weeks (as if!!).

Rice Salad
2 cups cooked Basmati rice, while still hot, add:
1/2 cup melted butter or olive oil,
1/4 cup vinegar (ACV)
1 tspn salt
1 tspn black pepper

Cool, then add:
1/4  each chopped green and red peppers
1/4 cup chopped parsley
4 stalks diced celery
1 small cucumber, chopped
watercress or radish, finely chopped
Toss all together, garnish with olives.

I pride myself on the knowledge that nothing with a face or a mother had to die for us to celebrate in style!  I shudder to think of how many cows, sheep, pigs, turkeys, ducks and chickens lost their lives over the festive feasting season across the world!  A massacre of mammoth proportions.  If there is one New Year's Resolution you can make to help climate change, why not adopt 3 cruelty-free meals per week?  Do the planet and your body a massive favour!  I am planning 2-3 green smoothies per week as a health boost. And a plan to slow things down a little in my life -; life in the stress-free lane!   How?  Still thinking on that one..........
Empty plate.  Seconds anyone?
We had the traditional gift-giving session and delighted in showering our family members with small tokens of love and appreciation for one another.  True to form, my daughter had hand-made her gifts - brilliant artworks.  Our son's talented girlfriend too, painted a stunning art piece for us.  Our son gifted me with a companion for Stumpy Feldenkrais, the garden gnome he gave me last year!  I think I'll name him Bashful Feldenkrais!  Why Feldenkrais? Cause they look Norwegian!
The art of giving and receiving with gratitude and love!
Later in the day, we went for a walk and a few doors away from us, I spied this great little postbox festooned with accessories of the season!  The spirit of Christmas is everywhere!
No junk mail required, but a Merry Christmas to all!

Hydrangeas.  My Christmas Roses!

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas celebration
with loved ones.   Look out!
Here comes New Year celebrations!!

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