Collaboration is essential to us. It has always been a huge part of me, especially when it concerns food. I am energized by the opportunity to interact with friends (new and old) on the subject of all things gastronomy. Whether it is a new dish or a classic, a forgotten ingredient or a fresh discovery, it is the coming together in a global community that I truly relish.
Last week produced another unique experience, where several well versed culinarians brought their diverse perspectives from across the globe. On the 140th episode of Healing Our Earth, the team presented a range of special dishes and ingredients, worth sharing with you.
The Voice of Food
I refer to this as The Voice of Food (which I’ll write about soon); but not just any food. Vegan/Vegetarian dishes that are independently curated, conscious of origin, diversity, locality, wholesome and nutritious food. This artistic force even delves into Fusion Cuisine and Sub-Regional Fusion.
The global creative team of Director, Producers, Technology Expert, Hosts, Panelists and Roving Reporters are all ignited with a passion for Seva (selfless service). Food connects communities. However, each of us bring our own voices and dishes to the “table”.
Reporting from Hong Kong, Seema Bhatia took us on a special adventure via the magic of technology to visit Spice Box Organics, Market & Café. Located on Caine Road in Hong Kong and founded by Punam Chopra, this fine food establishment offers some of these unique products, in sustainable packaging: Black Chickpeas Humus, Organic Ghee, and Vegan Coconut Ghee, which we were informed “tastes just like butter”. Yellow Garam Masala spice mix, Vegan Bone Broth, Green Moong Tempeh!
Their vegan-friendly Organic Café boasts beverages such as Bulletproof Coffee, Turmeric Latte, Tulsi Tea Selection, Antioxidant Glow. A welcoming and creative space to meet a friend over an innovative and refreshing beverage and shopping together.
For those of you who may not know what Black Hummus is, basically the same recipe as the yellow garbanzos and white sesame seed tahini. Essentially here we are substituting with the black garbanzo beans. A little bit smaller than the yellow garbanzos, the color ranges from dark brown to black, nuttier than their counterparts. I took the liberty of sharing my easy recipe. Let me know if it works for you.
Ingredients: 4 cups black garbanzo beans soaked overnight to soften and cooked. They are not as mushy as the yellow ones and tend to hold their shape as they cook. A great garnish too, so save a few. 4 large cloves of garlic, 1 cup black tahini (black sesame seed paste), 1 teaspoon celtic sea salt, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, juice of 2 lemons, 1 cup ice cold water, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.
Method: Puree the chickpeas into a thick paste. Add garlic, salt, paprika, and lemon juice. With the blender running, add the tahini, drizzle in the cold water, should take about 5 minutes or less. Taste for seasoning, plate, drizzle olive oil, mix it in and drizzle a bit more on top for aesthetics. Garnish with a few whole cooked black garbanzos, paprika, and mint leaves.
The Power of Super Foods
Hong Kong based, Shobha Nihalani: Life Coach and Author of 10 books (currently working on 11th one!), joined the panel with Seema and myself.
The three of us touched on some of forgotten, otherwise underused, super foods. Seema, self-appointed taste tester was chewing away as Shobha, and I were left with our imaginations….
Red Dates – otherwise known as Jujubes, soft on the outside, sweet, and moist inside, broken apart and brewed in teas, used a s a traditional herb in Asian cooking. Can be eaten dried as it is sweet and chewy. Rich in Vitamin C helps detox and blood flow. My favorite benefit is that these improve sleep patterns!
Goji Berries – related in the night-shade family, rates high in the immunity builder category. I tend to enjoy mine sprinkled on top of a bowl of porridge for the extra punch.
Dried White Fungus, relatable to wood ear mushroom, also known as Snow Fungus or Silver Tree Fungus – Immense medicinal properties, primarily used in slow cooked broths and or soups with the added umami flavors of shitakes.
Longans – these sweet, luscious babies are sometimes called nuts or berries, but are neither. They are actually in the lychee family. Sufficiently packed with fiber, allowing for improving gut flora and lowering cholesterol, thus controlling blood sugar levels in diabetes. Juicy fruit with a natural sugar content, easy to snack on during the day.
Strawberry Pear, love the sound of this, commonly known as Dragon Fruit. Cactus family origin, packed with magnesium therefore helps promote sleep.
Dried Shitakes and White Mushrooms – Cultivated white Enokis with tiny caps that grow in thin long clusters are ideal for soups and broths, mild tastes, sometimes used in salads.
Fermented Bean Curd/Tofu – one of the three treasure of Guilin China, perfect companion to rice congee, a salve for the digestive system.
Promoting Healthy Living
For Seema’s recipe, please visit healingourearth.com.
Resident Vegan Expert from India; Alisha Jain, Psychology Masters Graduate, promoting Healthy Living through Naturopathic and Ayurvedic Teachings.
Gada-Gado an Indonesian origin from the region of Jakarta. One of my favorite salads as a teenager. My lovely sister-in-law shared her secret recipe when she married my brother and trust me, I took pride in developing this into my own and served this to my clients every catering opportunity I received. The secret of course is the home-made peanut sauce.
The Art of Healthy Cooking
Alisha demonstrated her own version, using a plethora of vegetables. An original implementation of curry toasted chickpeas boasting an impressive nutritional profile, simultaneously offering an added crunch. An alluring visual, vibrancy of colors, the camera loved this.
It takes great perseverance for the likes of me to sit there and watch these mouth-watering demonstrations that we cannot taste upon completion!
From the UK, Chef Daksha Parek, specialist Vegan/Vegetarian, recipient of MFDH Awards 2018 & 2019. Nutritionist, Coach and Mentor, promoting The Art of Correct Healthy Cooking.
“Where and how we lose most of our Nutrition from our cooked meals.”:This proficient Chef demonstrated Aloo Gobi, a plant-based curry dish, layering the root vegetables at the bottom of the pot and topping off with the softer ones. This reminded me of tagine cooking as I explored Morocco a short while ago.
I enjoyed her teaching techniques on why we should not peel carrots, keeping chopped/sliced onions covered, to avoid contamination and oxidation.
It was interesting to hear Chef Daksha’s passionate elaboration on The Specialist Health Cooking System. Uniquely designed internal material; 316TI surgical grade titanium steel, that enables a 360 -heat distribution, engineered to enable cooking without oil/trans-fats, excessive water, and high heat.
The advantage of this method helps retain nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Her message is clear: why do we bring home seasonal produce and then strip them of their nutrients, simultaneously adding toxins into the mix!
Some vitamins and nutrients such as B, C and folate are heat sensitive and likely to be destroyed. To learn more about this state-of-the-art equipment, please visit www.surti-fiedbychefd.com/book-a-presentation.
Teaching the Younger Generation
As an educator, this humanitarian’s passion is to “reach and teach the younger generation, travel the world and help as many people as possible!”
Follow this dynamic personality, a pioneer in vegetarian and vegan cooking, learn about her twenty-five-year journey in the world of nutrition as she brings her collective expertise to all who want to heal.
Hearing our call to seva is only a planting of the seed that has been whispered in our ears and echoed in our hearts.
It is when we recognize that inclusivity and solidarity go hand-in-hand, then we attract like-minded people who are ready to seva alongside us in genuine partnership. It is during these times that we learn to welcome and trust each other’s talents and gifts. We learn to collaborate before we go out and deliver to our community.
Congratulations to the partnership at Healing Our Earth on your recent press coverage:
[An article from Blitz India, New Delhi, Monday, May 2 2022]
Healing Our Earth E- Community Channel, has been a global initiative to promote healthy, and inspired global communities by delivering multi-cultural, online edutainment.
As COVID-19 pandemic careered across the world, there was a sense of trepidation amongst people, apprehensive about their well-being and future.
It was no different for Nil Kumar and his community of friends. Nil felt a sense of calling. He reached out to many and sensed a momentary relief as he engaged with them. But he wanted to help a larger segment of affected people, wherever they may be.
Touched by the support and camaraderie of his community, Nil put together his well-honed leadership skills to build Healing Our Earth, an E-Community Channel.
They produce and promote a variety of FREE Sessions and Summits for global online audiences on subjects that are significant to the community including health, and spirituality. It is open to people of all age groups and organizations seeking inclusivity and nourishment.
To date, this initiative has audiences in 190 countries. Each episode attracts on average 4,000 people from at 30 countries.