It’s the season of resolutions, self-renewal and, all too often when it comes to matters of diet, remorse. But it needn’t be that way! This January, we’re calling in outside help to guide you in resetting your eating habits the realistic way.
Introducing Clem Balfour founder of the Yoga Brunch Club and chef Josephine (Joey) O’Hare. Together they take residence in our dedicated Reset space on 4 every Sunday in January, offering a morning yoga class followed by a delicious, healthy feast. Here, discover Clem’s top tips for staging a dietary overhaul, while Joey shares her favourite veg-centric recipes.
CLEM BALFOUR “The idea of resetting your diet should not be about restricting and deprivation but more about small changes that genuinely make you feel better. A happy body creates a happy mind after all, so don’t deprive it of food just because it’s January.
The Yoga Brunch Club is about moving your body mindfully, and then coming together around a large communal table to eat the freshest seasonal ingredients for a delicious post-yoga brunch. Sitting around a big table highlights that eating should be a conscious and mindful interaction to be enjoyed and shared together. Or put more simply: Yoga, Eat, Repeat.
Here are my tips for small changes that can make a big difference:
1 – Practise yoga. Get into the habit of fitting in 10 - 15 minutes of sun salutations to start your day. Yoga has so many benefits, from helping you sleep better, boosting your immune system and circulation and fighting food cravings.
2 - Reset your diet in line with the season; so fruits and salads in spring and summer and heavier foods in winter. Many of us already eat this way by default to a certain degree. Responding to natural cravings allows the body to thrive in the growth periods and to enjoy rest in the slower months.
3 – Ensure variety in what you eat. It is easy to unthinkingly get into a cycle of having the same meals and ingredients. Consciously select new ingredients to create a healthy twist on a classic - try pearl barley instead of rice, or more dark leafy vegetable which boost magnesium, a known stress-reliever.
4 - Try not to skip breakfast. You need that boost of energy in the morning otherwise you will just snack or overeat later in the day to keep up your energy levels. If you’re strapped for time in the mornings, simply prep the night before. Overnight oats make for a great grab-and-go breakfast – experiment with different fruit and seeds for an extra energy hit!
5 - Make time to breathe, a few deep breaths before eating helps reset the central nervous system, allowing us to eat more consciously. Regulating your breathing helps alleviate stress so you’ll be less prone to emotional eating and making snap decisions when it comes to mealtimes.
THE RECIPE BOOK
Readjusting the proportions of our diet - by that I mean going longer on seasonal vegetables, and eating less meat but better meat - is a great way to 'reset' at the beginning of the year; it's about choosing a way of eating that is mindful, sustainable, and totally delicious
For the miso marinated mushrooms:
2 large portobello mushrooms
1 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp brown rice vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp nam pla (fish sauce)
1 tsp runny honey
1 tsp brown rice miso paste
For the rice:
1 - 1 ½ cups cooked wholegrain rice
2 stalks of celery
4 spring onions
½ small cucumber
For the sweet chilli pickled carrots:
2 - 3 medium organic carrots
½ cup vinegar (white wine or brown rice is best)
1 tbsp tamari soy sauce
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp water
1 red chilli (or ½ tsp of chilli flakes)
Peanuts, sesame seeds, fresh coriander & lime
Cook the rice as per the packet’s instructions, drain and allow to cool.
If you are garnishing with peanuts, toast these in a preheated oven (approx. 5 minutes at 180°C); or toast sesame seeds in a dry frying pan on a gentle heat for 3 minutes.
In a saucepan, gently warm the ingredients for the carrot’s pickling liquor, just until the honey has dissolved – there’s no need to bring it to simmer. Take off the heat and allow to cool slightly (so the carrots don’t lose their crunch!).
Peel the carrots, then use the peeler to make carrot ribbons. Submerge the carrot ribbons in the pickling liquid. This will last for up to a week in the fridge.
Whisk together the ingredients for the mushroom marinade then wipe the mushrooms clean with dry kitchen paper. Slice them about 1cm thick across their full width. Submerge these in the marinade for at least twenty minutes; the longer they marinate the softer they become.
Finely slice the spring onions for the rice, and dice the cucumber and celery. Mix these green veggies into the cooked rice. The rice is deliberately plain, as it will soak up both the miso marinade and the sweet chilli dressing.
Simply spoon the rice into bowls, followed by the carrot ribbons and a tablespoon of pickling liquid, and then the mushrooms with the miso marinade.
Garnish with toasted sesame seeds, peanuts and chopped fresh coriander as you like.
For the leeks, mushrooms & quinoa:
1 cup quinoa
4 cups of water or vegetable stock
4 tbsp of rapeseed oil, or cooking oil of your choice
2 shallots, or 1 small brown onion
1 clove garlic
4 medium leeks
16 chestnut mushrooms
1 tbsp mushroom ketchup
Salt & pepper
Squeeze of lemon
For the cauli puree:
2 tbsp rapeseed oil, or cooking oil of your choice
1 brown onion
2 stalks celery
1 tin cannellini beans
400ml vegetable stock
Toasted hazelnuts & parmesan
Put the quinoa into a saucepan with the salted water or stock. Bring this to a simmer over a medium heat and cook for 18 minutes, until the quinoa has ‘sprouted’. Drain and allow the steam to billow off.
Meanwhile, make the cauli puree. Dice the onion and celery; heat the rapeseed oil in a large saucepan, and sauté for 10 minutes until soft before adding your herb of choice. Prep the cauliflower by removing the outer leaves and finely slicing into a ‘cauli couscous’ texture - no need to break the head down into flourettes first. Finely slice some of the softer stalks and add these to the onions and celery.
Season well and add the hot vegetable stock, and the drained beans. Place the lid on and cook for 10 minutes, stirring every so often. Check the cauliflower is soft, before transferring to a blender or food processor. Use a slotted spoon, as you may not need all the cooking liquid. Blend until as smooth as possible. Keep warm. To finish the quinoa fricassee, heat the rapeseed oil in a saucepan then finely slice the shallot, and crush the garlic; gently sauté these in the oil, along with the thyme.
Top and tail the leeks, remove the outer layer and rinse. Finely slice into rounds. Wipe the mushrooms clean and chop into sixths. Add these to the saucepan and season. Sauté for about 8 minutes, stirring often.
Add the cooked quinoa, and the mushroom ketchup. Mix well and heat through.
Serve a generous spoonful of the cauliflower puree in warm bowls, laden with the quinoa, leeks and mushrooms. Add a squeeze of lemon then a few generous dollops of kale pesto to stir though.
Toasted hazelnuts are a wonderful topping here and some freshly grated parmesan never goes amiss!
For the carrots:
8 medium/large organic carrots
Thumb-sized hunk of ginger
1 tsp toasted and ground coriander seeds
1 tsp honey
2 tbsp of roasting oil
Salt & pepper
For the coriander & coconut sauce:
250ml coconut cream
Juice & zest 1 ½ limes
Large bunch fresh coriander, stalks as well as leaves
1 stalk lemongrass, tough exterior removed
Preheat the oven to 210°C.
Peel the carrots and chop any way you choose then peel and grate the ginger.
Toss the carrots in a bowl with the oil, honey, ginger, coriander and salt & pepper, mixing really well.
Tip onto the lined roasting tray, using a spatula to scrape the marinade from the bowl.
Roast for 25 minutes, until slightly charred, but retaining some bite. If you like a little extra charring, pop the grill on for the last 3 - 4 minutes.
For the coriander & coconut sauce:
Top and tail the lemongrass and roughly chop.
Quite simply, blitz all the ingredients together to a smooth, pale green sauce. Keep in the fridge until needed. It will stiffen on standing so stir well before serving. I like to dollop a little of this sauce on the serving plate first, underneath the roasted carrots, as well as served in a bowl at the table.
Scatter the dish with toasted cashews, and squeeze over a little extra lime before serving.
You can find more recipes from Joey O’Hare at http://www.josephinescooking.com/
Follow @joeyscooking on Instagram