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The Yogi Menu – Light, Spicy & Loaded with Good Energy

After several discussions with my best and wisest advisers, hours spent to reflect on and design new recipes, hundreds of shots taken, a new idea came in like a light bulb turns on…sharing originals, whole & tasty menus, either being designed for an entire day plan or for one special occasion. Throughout this brand new series, you’ll get to have little peeks of what I eat in a normal day as well as having access to many more healthy, simple and thematic recipes.

As you might have learnt throughout my Instagram account, I am right in the middle of a Hot Yoga Teacher Training. I guess that describing this marvellous experience, which is not over yet, would be senseless for now, and way too long I admit. Since I have not yet grasped all the beauty it has filled me with so far, talking about it seems not to be relevant. Anyway, throughout the following weeks, I’ve eaten quite the same food from day to day, testing my body, health, resistance as well as my belly’s fulfilment; therefore, before sharing any new recipe, I wanted my body to adapt and see how it would react, in such athletic conditions. One of my goals within this training also is to establish a list of the foods that suit my energy needs and tastes when exercising a lot, things that are accessible to everyone, delicious and easy to prepare.

In this special yoga menu, one may discover three simple and scrumptious recipes throughout the day, kicking things off with a “Banana, Almond, Maca & Vanilla Smoothie”, creamy, glossy and full of good carbohydrates and protein, essential components for our organism to work properly when working out. The lunch suggestion is a “Buckwheat, Spicy Roasted Chickpeas & Cashew Cream Greens Salad”, which is sweet, spicy and simply delicious; this is the perfect lunch if one would like something light and yet filing, to replace all those lost calories while working out. Let’s end the day with a firework of flavours and with one of my all-time favourite recipe, a “Vegetable Dhal with a Hundred and one Spices”…heart-warming, aromatic and spicy, it prepares our body for a marvellous night of sleep and revitalisation. The common point between all these meals is that they all bring various sources of plant-based protein, which is essential for people like me, whether they are plantbased, vegetarian, vegan, etc.

What I actually forgot to mention is that, since I am doing three hours of Hot Yoga a day (which is a lot I promise), I do eat way more than three simple meals like that. Consciously aware that my organism works better with five small meals throughout the day, intense workout days like these are no exceptions. Thus, beside these three superb recipes, I am usually eating a banana, energy balls or a few spoonful of trail mix after the morning practice, around ten o’clock, and a piece of chocolate or again some trail mix before the afternoon practice, at four o’clock. However, I am aware that everyone’s organism and digestive system works differently, which is why I advise you to try a few things, to notice how you react to this special food and see if you feel good and light (which is kind of crucial if you’d like to enjoy your workout). My needs are not your needs, and this works for the plantbased diet as well! However, these previous tips and following recipes might be mixed, finished off, separated…there’s not boundary to your creativity.

I sincerely hope that this spark of novelty will seduce you and that today’s recipes will make their way into your bellies. They might eventually guide you and drive you to explore the marvellous and enriching path of yoga. If you’re interested about what Hot Yoga is (version that I practice), or about the reasons that should motivate everyone of you to start you own practice, be sure to visit this previous article!

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Breakfast – Protein Banana, Almond, Maca & Vanilla Smoothie

Portions: 1 serving.

Preparation time: 5 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1 big ripe banana
  • 1 tbsp of oats
  • 1 tbsp of chia seeds
  • A handful of walnuts
  • ½ tbsp of almond butter (or any nut butter)
  • 2 tsp of Maca powder
  • ½ tsp of vanilla
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 200ml of plantbased milk (spelt, almond, oat, etc.)
  • 1 tbsp of cacao nibs (optional)

Method

(1) Mix all the ingredients together in a blender or mixer; add the liquids before the powders so that they do not stick at the bottom.

(2) Mix it all until it becomes a glossy and creamy smoothie. Eat right away!

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Lunch – Buckwheat, Spicy Chickpeas and Cashew Cream Greens Salad 

Portions: 4 servings.

Preparation time: 20 minutes.

Cooking time: 25 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 200g of buckwheat + 4dl of water
  • 1 lettuce or green salad, washed and cut
  • 1 – 2 avocado, flesh cut in squares
  • 240g of chickpeas (canned)
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of chilli powder
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp of cashew nuts
  • 2 tbsp of sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 10 tbsp of water
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • Balsamic vinegar, to taste

Method

(1) Preheat your oven at 200°C. Rinse and drain your chickpeas, add the cinnamon, chilli pepper, paprika, one tablespoon of olive oil and the maple syrup. Once your chickpeas are well coated, lay them down on a parchment paper covered plate and bake for 20 – 25 minutes.

(2) Bring the buckwheat and the water to a boil for about 10 minutes, and then turn the fire off and leave it to swell on the side (takes about 10 minutes).

(3) Prepare the cashew cream. In a blender, mix the nuts, lemon juice, two tablespoon of olive oil, water, salt and pepper. Mix until obtaining a thick and creamy consistency. Add some olive oil if needed.

(4) Prepare the salad. Start with a bed of greens leaves, then add a few tablespoon of cooked buckwheat. Parachute the roasted chickpeas, the avocado cubes and then the cashew cream in the centre. Add one tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, which add some bitterness and sweetness to the plate. Bon Appétit!

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Dinner – Vegetable Dhal with a Hundred & One Spices

Portions: 8 servings.

Preparation time: 20 minutes.

Cooking time: 40 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 2 onions
  • 2 tbsp of grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp of chilli or 1 minced chilli (without the grains)
  • 1 tbsp of cumin powder
  • 2 tsp of coriander powder
  • 2 tbsp of turmeric
  • 2 tbsp of curry powder
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 sweet potato, skinned
  • 1 red pepper
  • 3 fresh red tomatoes
  • 600ml of vegetable stock
  • 350g of red lentils
  • 100g of baby spinach
  • 50g of raisins
  • 50g of dates, pitted and cut
  • Quinoa or brown rice
  • Any type of nut you like
  • Coconut cream*

*Turn a can of coconut milk upside down and leave it in the fridge overnight. The cream will separate itself from the water and you’ll be able to spoon it out.

Method

(1) Mince the onions as well as the ginger. Remove the stem and grains of the chilli pepper and mince it finely. Cut the carrot in small bites, as well as the pepper, sweet potato and the tomatoes. Prepare your stock and heat it.

(2) Cook the onion with the ginger in a tablespoon of coconut oil. After two minutes, add the chilli pepper, cumin, coriander, turmeric and curry powder. Cook it all for about three minutes, adding a small glass of water halfway through, or until it releases a delicious and spicy smell.

(3) Add the carrots and a small glass of water, cover and cook for about ten minutes, before adding the sweet potato and pepper; cook for five more minutes. At that point, add the tomatoes, lentils and stock, mix correctly, cover and cook for about 25 minutes, or until the water has been entirely absorbed. Be sure to mix a few times while cooking. Add some water if needed.

(4) Five minutes before serving, add the spinach, raisins and dates. Once the dhal is ready, serve with quinoa or brown rice, a few crushed nuts and a spoonful of coconut cream. Enjoy!

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