Combine yoga with food and what do you get? Men, says Aaron Brunet.
What’s most surprising about combining yoga and food is that it has a magical power to draw in the elusive male of the species. We’ve been doing a class called ‘power munch’ for the last few months and have often had more guys than girls coming along. After 45 minutes of powered-up yoga with cool music, everyone stays for a meal prepared by me and has a good catch-up.
It’s very sociable and I suspect the smells of food cooking during the class have been a good motivation for everyone. Without fail the most popular theme has been the Mexi meal and this week I’m sharing a couple of the dishes that people have remarked on most. Both are about making the most of coriander’s many charms - using the different personalities of the seeds, roots, stalks and leaves. You can find good hearty coriander with the roots still on at most fruit and vege shops, along with big bags of coriander seed and dried black beans at great prices.
I love to cook the beans myself from dried, you can get them extra soft and it’s super economical. If we’re lucky enough to have any leftovers from ‘the munch’ my daughter Ariana loves taking a container of Mexican yummies for school lunch the following day. Tune in next week for the girls’ favourite food + yoga combo: a long yoga session followed by coffee and cake! Who said yoga had to be all serious eh?
Black beans with coriander
Black beans (also known as black turtle beans) are small but packed with flavour. I like to keep these really simple and just pair them with coriander, using lots of the seeds and serving with the leaves. My favourite way to eat these is to appreciate their status as a staple food, putting them beside rice on a plate with some finely chopped lettuce and tomato, with a spoonful of hot salsa on top.
2 Tbsp whole coriander seed
1½ Tbsp canola oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
½ tsp salt (or to taste depending on your beans)
½ tsp ground black pepper
Approx 900g cooked black beans with their juices (or use two cans)
½ cup chopped coriander leaves
- Grind the coriander seed in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, then add to a heavy pan on a medium heat and allow to toast for a few seconds before adding the oil and onion.
- Cook the onion and coriander for about 5 minutes to soften, then add salt, pepper and the black beans with their juice.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes to allow the flavours to meld. Mash gently with a fork so some beans are nicely squished while others stay whole.
- Sprinkle with chopped coriander leaves to serve.
How to cook black beans
Soak a 500g bag of black beans (available at speciality and whole food stores) for at least a couple of hours in lots of cold water. Drain then put in a heavy pot with about 3 litres of water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to lowest and simmer until cooked soft, at least 1 hour. Remove from heat, add ½ tablespoon salt and leave to steep for an hour or two (or overnight). This makes the equivalent of 4 cans of beans for about $4 worth of dry beans, and you can easily freeze half to use later.
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Everything goes salsa
This salsa thrives on lots of fresh coriander. It’s a great way to make use of the stalks and roots, which are full of flavour and sometimes overlooked. I called it ‘everything goes’ because you can mix and match ingredients, throwing in whatever you have in the fridge. I really like the intense zing of lime zest so I just use a whole lime, and a golden kiwifruit for extra sweetness. This makes quite a bit, but you can happily keep leftovers in the fridge for a few days.
1 red onion
2 cups chopped coriander stalk and root
5 cloves garlic
1 whole lime, finely chopped
2 fresh chillies (or to taste)
3 tsp ground black pepper
3 tsp salt
1 red capsicum, chopped
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 golden kiwifruit (skin on)
3 medium tomatoes (300g) chopped
- Place the red onion, coriander, garlic, lime and chillies into a food processor and run until finely chopped.
- Add the remaining ingredients and pulse to chop while still retaining a bit of texture.
Make a change
- Frozen corn or fresh pear for sweetness
- Lemon instead of lime for acidity
- Good-quality canned tomatoes instead of fresh
- Silverbeet stalks or celery instead of capsicum for freshness
- Spring onions instead of red onion
- Dried chilli instead of fresh