Bettina, aka appetite for decoration, is a chameleon of styling of interior, food and fashion with the emphasis on ethics and sustainability. Her diverse talents make her a sought after brand consultant as well as ambassador and agency that supports new talents and upcoming artists.
She has started the concept Feed the Minds on her blog to inspire people to explore vegan food with epic recipes that are easy to pull off for everyone. For a couple of issues I am honoured to contribute plant based recipes. We are approaching food from a playful viewpoint and choose one colour every time and then based on that ingredients that are seasonal. This time it is yellow because it is spring and we are overflowing of joy and excitement. This way we endeavour to work ourselves through the rainbow and maybe a little beyond as we like to bend the rules and conventions a bit.
….and it was all yellow
As colour yellow is associated with happiness, optimism, enlightenment and creativity, sunshine, spring and warmth. Interestingly it also stands for caution such as on traffic lights and is associated with some illnesses like jaundice. Nutritionally, a lot of yellow foods are also significant sources of Vitamin C and Riboflavin (B2). They are high in beta-carotene and phytochemicals called flavonoids like orange and red fruits and vegetables are too.
Vitamin C is commonly known to be essential for immune system function and makes a great ally with zinc to fight colds but is also forming a dream team to boost collagen production, is integral for gut lining integrity as well as essential to nourish our adrenal glands (for all of us stressed peeps).
Riboflavin (B2) is a precursor to the coenzyme FAD which is needed to produce energy in our body. After taking a B-Vitamin complex our urine often turns fluorescent yellow – this is the riboflavin excess that our body does not need and hence excretes as this vitamin is water soluble.
Curcumin in Turmeric, the current super star of complementary medicine has been used for centuries in Ayurveda for its great healing properties. It is well known for its antioxidant (fighting free radicals and hence anti-aging) , anti-inflammatory and hepato- and neuroprotective activities. To increase absorption and bioavailability eat with fat as it is a fat-soluble phytochemical and add black pepper to boost uptake even more.
In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) yellow corresponds with earth in the five elements. Earth is linked with late summer, thinking, sweetness, as well as the spleen and stomach. Thus, eating yellow foods is believed to be an effective way to help reinforce and protect the digestive system.
Harvest Fresh Recipes
We are showcasing stuffed zucchini flowers on a crunchy spring salad and heavenly smooth and creamy mango mini tarts in this edition. Please scroll down for the recipes and some inspo on presentation.
Stuffed Zucchini Flowers on crunchy Spring Salad
Makes 4 serves
Stuffed Zucchini Flowers:
1 ½ cups macadamias, soaked for 4 hours
½ cup preserved lemons, rinsed and chopped inklucuding pits
¾ cup water
Juice of ½ lemon
Lemon rind approx 2×2 cm of one organic lemon
⅛ cup coconut oil
Put all ingredients in this order into a high speed blender and blend until you get a consistency like creamed ricotta.
Per person wash 3-4 pieces of zucchini flowers and wash gently and remove the stamps from the flowers. Hold the petals open and fill with macadamia ricotta. Keep the rest of the macadamia ricotta and serve with the salad to dip the crunchy zucchini flower ends into it.
4 medium sized zucchini, cut into thin stripes with a vegetable peeler
1 ½ or 4-5 small summer squash, washed, halved and then cut into discs
2 baby fennel, washed, core removed, sliced thinly
Keep some of the fennel greens and add to the salad as herb for a dill-like flavour
Add all ingredients into a big mixing bowl and season to taste with lemon juice, sea salt and olive oil. Serve stuffed zucchini flowers on a bed of spring salad and a side of macadamia ricotta.
Mango Mini Tarts with Turmeric
1 cup activated almonds, ground into small pieces
½ cup dates, soaked for 1-2 hours and pressed dry
¼ tsp salt
2 Tbsp coconut oil
Add the activated almonds into a food processor first to grind into small pieces. Then add remaining ingredients and blend until you get a sticky dough.
Line tart tins with glad wrap – a little water in the tin first helps it to stick easier. Add equal amounts to all tins and press in firmly so you have a crust at least 2-3 mm thick.
1 ¼ cup cashews, soaked for 2 hours, drained
½ cup water
1 mango, large & ripe, peelen and chopped
1 tsp fresh turmeric root, peeled
⅛ tsp turmeric powder
1 Tbsp coconut butter
⅛ cup coconut oil
2 tsp raw honey
1/2 tsp vanilla powder or 1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tsp Bee Pollen to decorate
First make a thick cashew milk in a high speed blender by blending ¼ cup of cashews with ½ cup of water.
Then add all remaining ingredients into the high speed blender by adding the cashews and chopped mange first at the bottom. Blend all ingredients until you have a creamy thick custard like consistency. Fill the cream into the mini tart bases and keep in freezer to set overnight.
Take out the mint tarts in the morning and let them slowly thaw in the fridge. Before serving take them out of the fridge for 10-15 min depending on how soft you want the cream to become.
Decorate mini tarts with fresh cut mango, edible flowers and bee pollen.
I would love to hear from you if you try any of the recipes. Leave a comment or tag me on Instagram on your version.
Styled by Bettina McILwraith
Creative Direction, Styling & Mentorship: Bettina McILwraith
Copy, Recipes, Styling & Photography: Rita Ince
Ceramics: A selection from Marie-Helene Clauzon, Milly Dent, Seema Stamou, and Trade the Mark
Set and flowers: The Nest Creative Space