Aurora Spa Retreat

WINTER WARMING RECIPES BY KIRSTI PESSO

Sweet Potato, Eggplant, Cauliflower and Lemongrass Curry + Lime Coriander Cauliflower Rice (Serves 3)

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Ingredients: 

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 tablespoon red Thai curry paste or curry powder to taste

4 spring onions, sliced – more to garnish

2 teaspoons turmeric, freshly grated

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 medium sweet onion, roughly chopped

4 large garlic cloves, minced

1-inch freshly grated ginger

1-2 stalks lemongrass, bottom third, tough outer layer removed and smashed with back of knife to release flavour

1 sweet potato, cut into chunks

1 Japanese eggplant, cubed

1 small cauliflower, cut into florets

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

4 tablespoons tomato paste

¼ teaspoon chilli flakes (optional)

1 cup coconut milk

½-1 cup low sodium veggie broth – more for desired consistency

2 cups kale, stems removed and chopped

Fresh coriander and basil

A squeeze of lime – optional

Directions: 

  • In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the curry paste or powder and stir until fragrant, for about 1 minute. Add spring onions, turmeric, cinnamon and toss to coat.
  • Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring often for about 3 minutes.
  • Add the ginger, lemongrass, sweet potato, eggplant and cauliflower and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Stir in the tomato paste and coconut milk and add water as needed. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer until vegetables are tender, for 10 minutes.
  • Add the chopped kale and mix through. Allow kale to wilt and soften a little, check seasoning, and add freshly chopped coriander, basil, more spring onions and a squeeze of lime if desired. Remove lemongrass before serving.

Lime & Coriander Cauliflower Rice

Ingredients: 

1 head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1⁄4 cup light coconut milk

A handful fresh coriander, chopped, (1/4 more to garnish)

Juice of 1 lime

Salt and pepper to taste

Dash curry madras powder

A dash cinnamon

½ cup spring onions, thinly sliced

A handful toasted almond flakes

Directions:

  • Place the cauliflower in a food processor fitted with the grating attachment and pulse until it resembles the size of ‘rice grains’. (You could also grate the cauliflower with a box grater)
  • Heat the coconut oil in a wok or large skillet over a medium-high heat.
  • Add the rice cauliflower and sauté for 3-5 minutes.
  • Add all the remaining ingredients, except the spring onions and almonds. Continue to cook for 10 minutes on a very low heat or until the cauliflower is tender.
  • Toss through with extra coriander, spring onions, almond flakes.
  • Check seasoning, add another squeeze of lime and serve with lemongrass curry.

Winter Warming Recipes by Kirsti Pesso

Broccoli, Leek and Ginger Detox Soup + Garlic Chickpeas

Serves 2-4

 

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Ingredients for soup:

2 tablespoons olive or coconut oil

1 large leek, sliced and rinsed well

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon grated ginger

6 cups broccoli

6 cups low sodium veggie stock

2-4 tablespoons miso, mixed in some warm water

2-3 cups kale, shredded

½ cup parsley, chopped

Half the garlic chickpeas, from recipe below

½ lemon, juiced

¼ cup light coconut milk

Salt and pepper to taste

Additional garlic chickpeas, for garnish

Ingredients for chickpeas:

1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed well and dried on paper towel

1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil

3-4 garlic cloves, minced

Pinch red pepper flakes

½ – 1 lemon Juice

Salt and pepper

Handful chopped parsley

Chickpea Directions:

  1. Prepare the chickpeas. Drain and rinse them, then dry them on paper towel.
  2. Heat oil on medium to high in a heavy pot and add chickpeas and garlic, stirring so the garlic doesn’t stick.
  3. Season with salt, pepper and ¼ teaspoon chili flakes.
  4. Cook, stirring often, until the chickpeas are coloured and some are crunchy – add a little more oil if you need to. Cook for about 15 minutes.
  5. Finish with lemon juice and a handful of chopped garlic and season with a little more salt and pepper. Divide in half. Reserve half for remainder of recipe. Refrigerate the other half to top a salad or eat as a snack.

Soup Directions:

  1. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a soup pot and sauté leeks, garlic and ginger for 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add the chopped broccoli and season, cooking for 3 to 4 minutes
  3. Add veggie stock and miso. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer, covering and cooking for about 10 minutes.
  4. Add shredded kale and simmer until it wilts, a few minutes.
  5. Add half the parsley and half the garlic sautéed chickpeas and lemon juice.
  6. Puree in a blender, in batches, until smooth. Return to pot.
  7. Check seasoning, and serve with garlic chickpeas on top and some fresh chopped parsley.

 

Q & A with Lyndall Mitchell – inside my life

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 I know a lot of people struggle to find their career path, how did you find yours?

When I left school I went straight into midnight to dawn shifts at Sea FM on the Gold Coast.  I discovered it was not the pathway for me for the long term, how could I get up and run at 6am if I was just getting home from my radio shift!  Also, the party life that went with radio back then was done and dusted for me, I was passionate about my health (don’t get me wrong – I had some partying/night clubbing/ drinking years). I was health conscious from such an early age and I think growing up on a farm instils this healthy love of nature, and because ours was a fruit farm (bananas, avocados, custard apples, oranges, lemons, tamarillos) I had only every experienced produce direct from the farm.  We also had a community of locals that traded fruit and vegetables so I was surrounded by whole-foods and passionate lovers of nature and health.  The passion in taking this into a career was ignited when I could see it all come to life in front of me at Eden Health Retreat (work experience at the age of 14).  All the pieces of the puzzle came together and I could see how health and wellness could benefit so many other people.   Once I got my foot in the door at Eden I worked really hard from the ages of 18-23… whilst my friends were out partying.

What inspires/ motivates you to get out of bed in the mornings?

So much!  I have an incredibly blessed life.  I love my health, my family, my friends and I am able to do something to help make a difference to people’s lives that I am passionate about…that’s motivating.

 What is your mantra that you live by and that motivates you?

I don’t have one specific mantra; I like to be continually inspired by what my body needs and what other inspiration I have in my life.  I create an intention every day for myself; today it is “calm confidence”.  For me my words, actions and behaviours are consciously in alignment with this for a great day ahead.

 How do you switch off after a long day?

We have just put in a pool and spa, so recently we have been having a family spa every evening and it is so divine to be under the stars in a warm spa engaging in conversation with your family and being completely present with no other distractions.  Before I go to sleep I will do my gratitude practice, by writing down the one thing I am grateful for every day, putting on my ASPAR Lip Balm (for an overnight hydrating lip treatment), and applying some Rosemary and Clove Thermal Balm to my chest to clear my thoughts and prepare me for a peaceful night’s sleep.

Owning a successful business can take its toll, how do you maintain a work and family life balance?

I think this is an ever evolving part of life, as our girls (8yrs and 11 yrs) get older their needs change and the balance needs to shift.  My take on it, is it doesn’t come down to luck.  It is taking control of your week in advance and scheduling what is realistic for the week ahead not what you would love to get done if you had 3 weeks (that may be completely unrealistic and put high expectations on yourself).

What is your favourite ASPAR product and why?

It changes with the seasons and my skin.  Right now the Wattleseed & Walnut Resurfacing Skin Body Scrub is my weekly post summer body exfoliation treatment, as I tend to get really dry skin.  This exfoliator is textually and aromatically amazing and is so luscious that I find it an easy ritual to keep up when my skin really needs it.

What is your favourite treatment at Aurora Spa?

When we purpose built Aurora, I was very clear that I wanted to have treatment steam rooms, as these treatments are my all-time favourite.  Our Kitya Karnu Steam Treatment is a complete top to toe experience and I always walk out of that treatment having being transported to a place of bliss.  I love the steam enveloping you in the warmth and how my skin feels afterwards, not to mention how completely relaxing it is.

Have you ever experienced an F moment and what was it? (Failing)

Heaps!  I guess I like to look at them as learnings, as I think we are all hard enough on ourselves.  An F moment I experienced not that long ago was that I forgot to get my daughter to school at a certain time for an excursion.  I then found myself needing my husband to stop work and help as he then had to try and catch the bus, as I was about to do an interview with The Age on time management!  That was a hilarious moment looking back, and yes I did tell the journalist that I don’t always get it right (hence that mornings example)!  I think being able to learn from these experiences and move forward without replaying guilt and that inner harsh critic is what I aim for.  Everyone can be a critic but how often do you give yourself a pat on the back for something awesome that you did.  Another example is that whenever I over-schedule myself I tend to become a cranky mum, draining wife and not the role model or person that I want to be.  When I hit that point it is time to reassess what my diary looks like as I am only as busy as what I have said yes to.

Mother’s Day – a global day to appreciate the admirable women in your life!

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These beautiful human beings have nurtured us since conception, raised us, fed us, provided shelter and supplied us with unconditional love and affection. Some people call this special day unnecessary and a Hallmark hoax; but those people haven’t experienced a special woman in their life that deserves one day in the year to be sincerely acknowledged for being an exceptional mum – this special day is Mother’s Day.

Anna Jarvis in 1912 trademarked the phrase, ‘Mother’s Day’. She also made Mother’s Day a global day to stop and thank mothers around the world. ‘she specifically noted that mothers should be a singular possessive, for each family should honour their mother, not a plural possessive commemorating all mothers around the world’. Wikipedia

Mother’s around the world are flourished in gratitude and love; this is displayed differently around the world, yet the one similarity is that Mother’s Day falls on the second Sunday of May for everyone.

People in India write cards to their mothers and give them the cards on Mother’s Day. They also express their gratitude through preparing a meal for their mother, which allows the mother to have a day off in the kitchen.

People in South Africa use flowers as a way to thank their mothers on Mother’s Day. The traditional flowers that are used are carnations. People in South Africa wear pink or red carnations to recognise their mothers that are still alive, while people wear white carnations to pay tribute to those that are no longer living. In South Africa, grandmothers are also gratified, not just mothers.

At ASPAR and Aurora Spa we believe it is essential to show gratitude to the special women in your life with a gift that rises above expectations and expresses love and acknowledgment.

References:
http://www.mothersdaycelebration.com/mothers-day-in-india.html
http://www.mothersdaycelebration.com/mothers-day-southafrica.html

ASPAR Me Moment – Refresh & Renew

Our spa inspired Me Moments are a chance to take time just for you, they are a moment for you to pause, refocus and relax your mind. In this Me Moment our founder, Lyndall Mitchell shows you how to refresh and renew your skin with our ASPAR Exfoliating Body Mitt, Grapefruit & Seaweed Revitalising Body Cleanser and finish with our Ultra Rich Body Cream or Lavender & Patchouli Body Oil. This Me Moment helps you to increase circulation through the body, smooth skin and infuse calm into your day. This is your time to relax and unwind.

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