After finding ourselves sitting from one dinner table to the next by the end of each year, the holiday celebrations of incessant feasts now call for a healthier and cleaner successor.
In a predictable fashion, the first months marked on our calendars are associated with a need for rejuvenation as most of us feel like we have to recoup a certain path of clear goals. With that thought in mind we’ve invited yoga instructor and chef, Belén Vazquez Amaro, to guide us through a series of vegan lunches for a fresh yet palatable start. Everybody complains about the gluttonous urge that overcomes us during the last days of every year that leaves our taste buds perplexed and our stomachs possibly inflamed from over consuming sugars and alcohol. As we’re back at square one, we forget about our indulgent cheats and prepare for a road paved with kale leaves and wheatgrass dust. But quite often flavor is lacking and certain dietary restrictions seem so overbearing that might cut our determined new habits midway. Sometimes bad food happens to well-intentioned people.
Perhaps the key to go about this is by embracing food as both physical and mental nourishment in tandem. Belén from In the Making by Belén notes that, “Your body is the vehicle of your mind and soul so it is very important to treat it good. From paying attention the way you breathe, the food from which you get nutrients and to have a positive attitude. Food can be medicine!”
Belén has incorporated yoga, mindful eating and balanced plant-based eating habits in her daily life for a holistic approach to health that’s easy to abide to without compromising taste and pleasure deriving from food. Often misunderstood by many, health can in fact go hand-in-hand with taste and enjoyment. Bold colors, textures and a variety of ingredients is what characterizes Belén’s dishes upon first glance which stimulate a more spherical eating experience where all senses are engaged. We found her in Stockholm where she prepared for us a series of lunches whose deliciousness would satisfy even the most devoted carnivore.
The first dish is a quinoa salad with greens and mung bean hummus which Belén refers to as “the perfect yogi lunch.”
“Something that we always have in the fridge, is a jar of homemade hummus. I make hummus with different kinds of beans – chickpeas, red lentils, white beans – i just love it! I mix it with lemon and fresh herbs, sometimes with tahini sometimes not, and I add spices like turmeric, cayenne or cumin. After yoga practice, my body asks for a healthy enriching meal. It doesn’t need to be fancy just a bunch of fresh veggies, greens, grains and a bit of hummus. The good part of this one is that it contains turmeric, lemon and you can even add a pinch of cayenne, so you get a fantastic anti-inflammatory elixir. Good for the body and it tastes amazingly.”
For Two People
For the hummus
- 1 1 ½ cup mung beans (cooked previously)
- 2 1 lemon
- 3 1/2 garlic clove
- 4 5-6 tbsp olive oil
- 5 5 tbsp water
- 6 1 tsp cumin powder
- 7 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 8 Sea salt
- 9 Black pepper
- 10 Fresh parsley (to garnish)
For the salad
- 1 1 big or 2 small sweet potatoes
- 2 2 tbsp yellow curry paste
- 3 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 4 1 1/2 cup mixed quinoa grains (cooked previously)
- 5 Green salad (spinach, kale, rocket)
- 6 Purple cabbage
- 7 Cherry tomatoes
- 8 2 apples
- 9 Olive oil
- 10 Sea salt & black pepper
Rinse and drain the mung beans. Squeeze the lemon to get all the juice out. Place all the ingredients for the hummus into a blender or use a hand mixer. Mix in high speed until smooth.
Preheat the oven to 250°C. Peel and cut the sweet potatoes in small bites. Put them in a big plate, adding the curry, lemon juice and salt to marinate them. Cover an oven tray with parchment paper and place the sweet potato bites. Roast for approximately 20-25 minutes.
Prepare the salad ingredients by washing the greens and slicing the cabbage, tomatoes and apples. Make a nice salad bowl by combining the quinoa and the veggies.
Drizzle the salad with some olive oil and sprinkle sea salt and pepper. You can add the hummus on the plate or spread it over some rye bread toasts.
Thank you Belén for sharing this great recipe and your ideology of mindful eating. And many thanks to House of Radon for the space, Albin Holmqvist and Caro Crespi for helping out and Karin Eriksson for some of the ceramics depicted.
Stay tuned as Belén will continue preparing delicious vegan lunches for us in the weeks to come. Until the next dish, keep your cooking inspiration levels up by browsing all of our FvF Cooks and don’t forget to look up our FvF Breakfast Series.
Photography: Marta Vargas
Text: Effie Efthymiadi