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Roasted Pumpkin & Walnut Soup with Salsa Verde and Halloumi Croutons

pumpkin walnut soup 1

Halloumi croutons! That’s all I really need to say, isn’t it? No, but the best part is that the actual soup is completely delicious! Sweet and creamy with the nuttiness of the walnuts shining through – yum! And for those not yet acquainted with the goddess halloumi, she is a salty, super delicious cheese made traditionally from mostly sheep and some goat’s milk, and hailing from Cyprus. Because of it’s high melting point, halloumi is often cooked or grilled, only adding to it’s wonderful-ness.

But back to soup. I love soup. I love that you can make it out of whatever you have on hand, that you can inject so much nutrition into it, and that it is so comforting to enjoy. And you don’t even need teeth, ha ha! Actually with my soups, teeth are required, because I’m all about exciting toppings and side bits that make the soup a bit special.

I’ve added walnuts into this soup, not just for their flavour profile, but for their protein and omega 3 goodness! I like to add them at the very end as specified in the recipe, to protect the delicate oils within the nuts from oxidation with too much heat.

pumpkin walnut soup

Roasted Pumpkin and Walnut Soup with Salsa Verde and Halloumi Croutons

Serves 2, or one hungry person

1/2 cup raw, unsalted walnuts

3 cups peeled and chopped pumpkin, I like butternut

1/2 brown onion, peeled and diced

2 cups vegetable stock or broth

100g halloumi

For the salsa:

1 cup, tightly packed of herbs, roughly chopped – I used a mixture of coriander, mint and parsley

1 small garlic clove, peeled

1 tbs lemon juice

1/4 cup olive oil

A good pinch of sea salt

Preheat oven to 180C / 350F

Pop the walnuts in a bowl and cover …

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A Super Salad and a Special Treat

Super Salad with chilli lime dressing

Happy March everyone! Actually, it’s almost April isn’t it, and I have no idea how that happened. I’m even more bewildered that it’s almost Easter, but at the same time I’m very happy to see some sourdough hot cross buns popping up in my favourite bakeries – delicious!

I haven’t posted in a little while, mainly because I have been busying away working on some really fun projects. One of them has been designing a wholefood menu for Ocean Soul Retreat, a surf, yoga and wellness retreat for women set in Bali. It’s been a huge job, but now that it’s done it is so very wonderful to think that the lucky guests will be enjoying delicious, balanced, real food meals and snacks while they surf and yoga their stresses away. Fresh and fragrant curries, zesty salads, nourishing snacks and luscious wholefood desserts. Yum!

Plus they get to stay in a place that looks like this:ocean soul accom

Mmmm, looks terrible doesn’t it?

So, in addition to sharing one of my favourite recipes from the retreat menu with you today, I also have the pleasure of passing on a little something something. If, by chance, any of you are feeling the need for a little R & R and this is ticking your boxes, head over to the Ocean Soul Retreat website for some more information. If you choose to book a retreat, make sure you enter ‘My Wholefood Romance’ as the promo code when booking and you will receive $250 off your package – awesome!

But on to this sensational salad. I tried something along the lines of this salad at one of my favourite cafes in Melbourne, and knew I wanted to recreate a version for this retreat. It’s fresh, spicy, full of interesting textures, and it tastes delicious. …

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Overnight Lemon and Blueberry Pancakes

overnight pancakes 1

 

A stack of pancakes – do you agree it’s one of the more universally appealing breakfasts? For me, this is true not only because you can vary the thickness, sweetness (or savoury-ness), size, toppings, amount, and ingredients to suit almost anyone, but because it is a labour of love to stand there, mix them up and make a whole stack! Given that it is Pancake Day tomorrow, it seems a perfect opportunity to make the effort. I particularly like this recipe though because it really cuts down the time spent in the morning putting all the bits together, and essentially almost takes you straight to flipping.

I was inspired by the ever wonderful and fabulous Sally Fallon and her bible cookbook ‘Nourishing Traditions’ with this pancake recipe. Continuing the soaking theme from last week, soaking the grains for these pancakes not only increases nutritional value and makes them easier on digestion, but as I mentioned it also saves time in the morning!

You can use different whole grains to make these if you prefer, or make them into savoury delights by adding a few shredded veggies, herbs or spices!

Overnight Lemon and Blueberry Pancakes

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup quinoa

2 cups water

2 tbs yoghurt with live cultures, milk kefir or lemon juice

2 free range eggs

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tbs maple syrup

1/4 cup coconut milk (or milk of your choice)

Zest of one lemon

1/2 tsp pure vanilla

Blueberries, lemon juice and maple syrup for serving

Rinse the quinoa well and add to a large bowl the the oats, 2 cups of water and the yoghurt. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to soak on the bench overnight, or for around 12 hours. Measure out and add …

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Vanilla Rooibos Bircher Muesli with Rhubarb Compote, and soaking your oats.

vanilla rooibos bircherBircher muesli is a wonderful traditional recipe, developed around 1900 by Swiss physician and nutritionist Maxilmillian Bircher Benner. The basic idea was to soak the oats overnight making them more digestible, and to eat with grated apple and yoghurt. In a time when meat and white bread was all the rage, this would have been pretty hippy stuff. But jeez am I glad for Maxy! I LOVE Bircher muesli (or overnight oats as it’s often called). It’s easy, nutritious, and delicious – winning.

I was inspired to write about Bircher muesli after a number of recent situations have come to my attention where people have had problems with toasted muesli. Now don’t get me wrong, I lurve a good granola, but sometimes it’s just not for everyone. Those with sensitive digestive systems, or certain digestive disorders may well find a toasted granola too harsh. Soaking the oats to make a Bircher on the other hand, gives you maximum benefits in terms of absorption and assimilation of nutrients. And oats have some lovely ones – B vitamins in particular, but also magnesium, iron, zinc, fibre and protein among others. Plus it makes a nourishing, gentle food that will not dehydrate the body and membranes like dry oats due to the lovely soaking that has been done.

If this is all sounding too hard, it’s really not! Basically, it is the same as making regular muesli or cereal, but with one extra step of popping the oats in a bowl the night before – easy!

For an extra twist, I’ve included some delightful rooibos tea in the soaking liquid to add a lovely flavour, and some antioxidants. You could change this up and use different herbal teas of your liking as an experiment. I have also served it with an OUTSTANDING rhubarb …

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Meg Thompson

Naturopath & Holistic Nutritionist
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