Goodness is….

tamari-toasted pumpkin & sunflowers seeds

tamari 1

I went to India last week and came back….

Six days full of joys, challenges, moments of confusion and clarity, abundance and grace in so many ways.

I came back with a piece of gold inside my heart.  I have been holding it with heartfelt gratitude, inner joy & eternal honouring.

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early morning perfection

tamari 2

tamari – toasted seeds

These make a great satisfying, salty snack to travel with on a long plane journey; also great to have on hand to add as a finishing touch to salads or any grain dishes.

makes 1 cup

1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup raw sunflowers seeds

1 Tblsp tamari sauce

Heat a skillet over medium heat, then add the pumpkin seeds & sunflower seeds. To avoid burning, shake and stir the seeds constantly as they are toasting.  When the seeds start to pop open and release their aroma, they are done – approximately 2 – 3 minutes.  Turn off the heat.  Drizzle with tamari sauce and stir until combined.  Set aside to cool.  Store in a sealed jar.

tamari 3

Goodness shared by Stacey


Jonathan’s weekend uppma with charred okra


My husband has a few signature dishes, the most favoured is his pasta sauce, an Indian lemon rice and this one, which he makes for us every Saturday morning.


Jonathan’s weekend uppma

a savoury semolina pilaf

serves 4

(Cut the vegetables into similar sized pieces, so they cook evenly.  Vary your choice of vegetables to what is in season)

2 cups of course semolina

1/4 cup ghee/oil

1/4 tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 green/red chilli

1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger

6 fresh curry leaves

1 green/red capsicum

1 carrot, finely chopped

3/4 cup finely chopped green beans/celery/fresh peas

3/4 cup finely chopped broccoli

4 cups of boiling water

1/2 cup dry/fresh coconut

juice of one lemon

salt to taste

1 tsp brown sugar/jaggery

Pan-toast the semolina over moderate heat with 2 tablespoons of ghee until it turns golden brown or emits a pleasant smell.  Transfer to a bowl.

Warm the extra ghee/oil over moderate heat in a heavy-bottomed pan.  When it is hot, add the mustard seeds, and when they begin to pop, drop in the cumin seeds, whole chilli and ginger.  When the spices darken, stir in the carrot, green beans/peas, broccoli and green peppers.  Stirring frequently, cook until the vegetables are almost tender, 4 – 5 minutes.  Add the salt, sugar, lemon juice, coconut and boiling water.  Pour in the semolina, stirring well for a minute on medium heat.

Turn off the heat, cover and allow to sit for 5 – 10 minutes.  When ready, fluff up with a fork and add more salt if desired. When serving, drizzle with ghee and garnish with fresh coriander.

charred okra

300 g small okra

drizzle of oil

sprinkling of salt

Using a small knife, trim the okra, removing the stem, slicing in half lengthwise and half again.

Place a heavy-based frying pan on high and leave to heat for a few minutes.  Once hot, drizzle in a tiny bit of oil/ghee, throw in the okra, stirring every few minutes.  The okra should start to have dark blisters and a charred look.  Cook for 5 minutes until charred and soft.  Sprinkle with salt and serve immediately over the uppma.


Goodness shared by Stacey & cooked by Jonathan

spelt brown rice bread with sesame


” Live quietly in the moment and see the beauty of all before you. The future will take care of itself………” (Paramahansa Yogananda)


angels & wings – Jaffa, Israel

getting ready to fly into the unknown.  Again…..


spelt brown rice bread with sesame

Since discovering this bread, I have been making it often.  It is quite special in the fact that it doesn’t feel heavy to digest and it has a slight sourdough taste.  The original recipe uses brown rice and sweet rice.  As  I didn’t have sweet rice,  I used amaranth which has a sweet and nutty flavour and has the same sticky quality as sweet rice when cooked.

‘ The dough needs to ferment at room temperature for 14 hours.  I like to make the mixture at 5 p.m., then continue the process at 7 a.m., and enjoy the bread by 10 a.m.  The recipe is pretty forgiving, so don’t worry if you’re slightly off with the timing.’ –  Amy Chaplin.

Recipe from At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen

makes one 9-inch loaf

2  1/2 cups whole spelt flour or sprouted spelt flour

1/2 cup organic cornmeal

1/2 tsp instant yeast

1  1/2 tsp fine Himalayan salt

1  1/2 cups warm filtered water

1 tsp unrefined sesame oil or coconut oil, for oiling the bread pan

2 cups cooked round brown rice and amaranth (1/2 cup brown rice & 1/4 cup amaranth)

1/4 cup unhulled sesame seeds, divided

Combine spelt flour, cornmeal, yeast, and salt in a medium bowl.  Add water and mix until combined. Dough will be sticky and quite wet.  Cover bowl with a plastic bag secured with a rubber band, or plastic wrap, and allow to sit at room temperature (70F/21C) for 14 hours.

To cook the rice & amaranth, place the rinsed brown rice and amaranth in a small saucepan with 1  1/2 cups of water ( add more water if brown rice hasn’t been soaked) and simmer covered until cooked.  Set aside to cool completely.  I usually make extra the night before to have with dinner and use the left-overs in making this bread.
Brush loaf pan with oil.  Remove plastic from bowl (save it for covering the bread again), add brown rice and half the sesame seeds to the dough.  With your hands,  mix together the rice and seeds, taking a moment to enjoy the process.  Sprinkle some of the left-over seeds into the loaf pan, they should stick to the sides and bottom.  Leave some for sprinkling over the top.

Place the dough in the oiled pan and press lightly to distribute evenly.  Sprinkle the top with remaining sesame seeds and cover with the reserved plastic wrap.  Place in a draft-free place to rise for 1 hour.

Pre-heat oven to 350C.  Bake bread for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until crust has formed and bread sounds hollow when tapped.  Remove bread from pan and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing.

This bread is simply delicious with a good quality olive oil, a sprinkling of Maldon salt, a few rounds of freshly ground pepper and spring greens, compliments from the garden!  Enjoy with your loved ones.


Goodness shared by Stacey

banana bread with toasted walnut cinnamon swirl


Just before we left for Israel for the holiday break, I was trying to use up most things in the kitchen and had many over- ripe bananas.  With this in mind and the arrival of a new cookbook, ‘At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen’ by Amy Chaplin, I was perusing through it the night before where I was drawn to a recipe for pumpkin bread with a small note of a variation – “When pumpkin isn’t available, replace with four large ripe bananas.”  I had no pumpkin, but four very ripe bananas.  It is an amazing book full of delicious recipes, that has inspired me to try when I come back to Portugal.

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be still…a whole other world away.


banana bread with toasted walnut cinnamon swirl

Inspired by ‘At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen’ with a few tiny variations

Makes one 9 inch loaf pan

cinnamon walnut swirl:

1 cup toasted walnut halves, chopped

2 tsp cinnamon powder

2 Tbsp maple/coconut or regular sugar

2 Tbsp maple syrup

banana batter :

4 large very ripe bananas

2 cups whole spelt flour/sprouted spelt flour

2 tsp aluminum-free baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons coconut oil – melted to a liquid form

1/2 cup maple syrup

2 Tbsp almond milk

2 tsp vanilla essence

1 flax egg  (1 Tbsp flax meal + 3 Tblsp water – allow to sit for 5 minutes)

1 Tbsp vinegar

Make the cinnamon walnut swirl – Place walnuts, cinnamon, maple syrup, and sugar in a bowl.  Mix to combine and set aside.

Make the banana batter – Preheat the oven to 350 F/180 C. Lightly oil a loaf pan and line bottom and sides with parchment paper.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, add the flour, baking powder and salt and stir to combine. In another bowl, peel the bananas and mash with a fork.  Add the oil, maple syrup, almond milk, vanilla essence, flax egg and vinegar.  Whisk until smooth.

Using a rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture into the banana mixture until just combined.  Spread half of the batter over the bottom of loaf pan.  Layer cinnamon-walnut mixture evenly over batter and top with remaining batter. To create a swirl, use a small rubber spatula or butter knife to zig-zag back and forth, finishing with one stroke through the center (Oops…I forgot to do this part).

Place in the oven and bake for 45 – 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Remove from oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before turning out and placing on a wire rack.  Slice and serve warm or at room temperature. I also look forward to trying the pumpkin version!


Goodness shared by Stacey

baked vegetable samosas with a spicy mango chutney


I woke with a feeling of peace in my heart….

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all day I breathed softly, moved slowly

afraid it might disappear….


baked vegetable samosas with spicy mango chutney

makes 13 half-moon samosas

I made these for a special dinner to have sitting around the fire outside.  I used a good quality ready-made puff pastry for my first attempt, but the second time I made my own pastry, which was a recipe tried and tested from Noa.  Both were great – it just depends on how much time you want to spend making them.  

 I keep the filling mild, as the chutney adds the spark it needs, but if you like strong flavours, increase the spices by 1/4 teaspoon each.

 Recipe inspiration

for the dough

350 grams flour (I used 200g white & 150g wholewheat)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

200g unsalted pure butter

100mL very cold water

for the filling

1 large bulb of fennel/2 sticks of celery

1 Tblsp finely grated ginger

1 cup sweet potato/pumpkin

1 carrot, grated

1/2 cup finely chopped cabbage

1/2 cup green beans

1 cup finely chopped cauliflower

1  teaspoon of cumin seeds

1/2  tsp brown mustard seeds

1/2 tsp garam masala

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 cup coconut milk or water

3/4 cup frozen peas

to make the dough :

Place the flour, sugar and salt into a bowl and mix.  Cut the butter into hazel-nut size pieces and add to the flour, making sure all the pieces of butter are well coated with the flour.  Cover and place in the freezer for a minimum of an hour or overnight.

In a food processor with a S-blade attached, add the very cold flour and butter, process for 20 seconds (the mixture should resemble fine meal).

Add the very cold water and pulse in short bursts.  The dough will still look crumbly, but if you press it between your fingers, it should become smooth.  If the dough is too dry and is not coming together, add iced water a tablespoon at a time.

Turn dough out onto a clean work surface.  Gather and press the dough together to form a unified mass.

Cut the dough in half and put each half on a large piece of plastic wrap.  Loosely cover the dough with plastic. Using the wrap as an aid (to avoid warming the dough with your bare hands), shape the dough into a flat rectangle.  Wrap each piece tightly in the plastic and refrigerate for at least one hour and up to 24 hours.

to make the filling :

In a small pan dry-roast the cumin seeds, then place in a mortar and pestle and ground coarsely.  Add the turmeric and garam masala into the pestle.  Set aside.

Remove the outer leaf of the fennel and the middle core.  Finely chop into very small pieces.  Set aside.

On another chopping board, peel the sweet potato and finely chop the rest of the vegetables (except the carrot). Remove the thicker stems of the cauliflower and chop into thin shreds.  Grate the carrot.

In a large skillet on moderate heat, add a tablespoon of oil/ghee.  When hot, add the mustard seeds, and then when they pop and splutter, add the ginger and rest of the spices.  Saute the spices in the ghee for a few seconds.

Add the fennel, cauliflower and sweet potato, cabbage and beans, and saute for 5 minutes.  Stir in the coconut milk/water. Add the peas and grated carrot and saute for 1 minute.  Turn off the heat, cover and allow to rest longer so that the vegetables continue to soften.  Set aside and allow to cool for 30 minutes.

Remove the discs of dough from the fridge.  If they are very firm, let sit for a few minutes at room temperature until dough is pliable enough to roll.  The dough will soften and become easier as you work with it.  Dust your work surface generously with flour and using a floured rolling-pin, roll the dough out into a very thin rectangle about 2mm thick.  If the dough sticks, slide a pastry scraper under the dough and dust the work surface again with flour.  Be generous with the flour when it is needed.

Using a cutter of your choice (I used a 5  1/2 inch bowl), cut the dough out.  You could use any shape you like – I like all things round.  Lay the cut-out dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Gather up the left-over scraps of dough, roll out and cut again.  Place the tray into the fridge and repeat with the second dough, adding any left-over pieces to this dough.  Flour, roll, flour, cut and refrigerate.

Make the chutney (recipe below).

Take out the dough and with a rolling-pin, lightly roll each circle to thin and level out.  Place two heaped tablespoons of the vegetable mixture into the middle of each circle (I like to put as much filling as I can in).  Brush the edges with milk/ghee, and flip the corner over the mixture to create a half-moon.

Press the edges together with a fork and prick the top twice to allow the heat to escape.  Repeat until all the pastry circles are used up.  Brush the top with melted ghee/milk, then sprinkle over black sesame seeds.  If not cooking immediately, cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to bake.

when ready to bake:

Place the tray into a preheated 180C/350F oven and bake for 20 – 25 minutes.

(If using ready-made puff pastry, they will take longer to bake – about 30 minutes or until golden brown)


4V7A3472spicy mango chutney

inspired by South Indian yogic cookbook

(I make this quick & easy chutney when I see green mangoes in the stores.  It is so tasty and deeply fragrant.  I use it as a replacement for pickle in dishes like this one.   It makes a great dipping sauce for these samosas.  Also great as an accompaniment to any rice dish or Indian meal.  Rasam powder can be bought at any Indian Store.)

makes about 1   1/2 cups

2 green mangoes (half-ripe, green outside & yellow inside)

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

2 small whole chillies

6 fresh curry leaves (optional)

1/2 tsp asafoetida

1/4 tsp turmeric

2 heaped tspns rasam powder

1 tsp salt

2 Tbsp jaggery

Peel the mango and cut into tiny cubes, then set aside.

In a heavy based saucepan, heat a little ghee/oil.  Add the mustard seeds, then when they start to pop, add the whole chillies, curry leaves and asafoetida.

Saute for 20 seconds, then add the turmeric and mango.  Saute until the mango becomes soft, adding 1/2 cup of water when it starts to stick.  Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Turn off the heat, and add the salt, jaggery and rasam powder.  Allow to cool.  Puree half the mixture with a hand- immersion blender. (I try to puree at least one of the chillies for a really spicy chutney.)


Goodness shared by Stacey