Whole Wheat Couscous Salad
Combine V cup of cooked whole wheat couscous with a V4 cup diced red bell pepper and 2 chopped green onions. Next add a cup diced white button mushrooms and a Va cup diced cucumber. In a small dish, whisk together 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and a Vz teaspoon of curry powder. Add a teaspoon of ground black pepper. Pour this dressing over the couscous and toss to coat all the ingredients.
You can add more protein to this grain salad by substituting a V4 cup cooked beans for a l/ cup of the couscous. Adding sliced cherry tomatoes and using a different spice such as ground cumin is a great way to reinvent this recipe.
Huffington Lifestyle, by Journalist, Columnist, b Editor, Katy Harrington
Jane Egginton discovers a unique holistic experience rooted in its Tuscan landscape.
The church bells chime in the village square against a burble of late afternoon conversation and the gentle thud of footsteps on the cobblestones. They are sounds that have continued at the private hamlet of Borgo San Felice since medieval times.
Borgo San Felice sits on a hill in the heart of Tuscany’s Chianti Classico Classico region, surrounded by huge swathes of vineyards and olive groves, just 15kms from the historic town of Siena. This is a classically beautiful landscape with dense chestnut forests, dramatic valleys dotted with cypress trees and ancient castles. Yet it is one that offers a real sense of the true Tuscany a world away from any tourist trail.
Borgo San Felice’s once crumbling stone houses and historic palaces have been lovingly restored to form a luxurious and authentic boutique hotel that is now a member of the prestigious Relais & Chateaux hotel group.
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The 29 rooms, many boasting local, handcrafted antique furniture, are all housed within the original buildings of the historic hamlet. As well as the rather formal Tuscan Poggio Rosso restaurant, a relaxed barbeque restaurant on the terrace offers simple traditional dishes and charming waiters serve cocktails in the sitting rooms, complete with fireplace and billiard room.
The hotel s core values of authenticity, charm and cuisine sing out from every corner. Despite the world-class cuisine, wine and wellness centre, all offered in the hotel, there is not a hint of pretension here. Instead guests are treated to an authentic, holistic experience that is truly of the terroir. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the spa. where the fine wines and organic olive oils produced on the hotel’s own estate are used in its uniquely designed treatments.
All are deeply rooted in the Tuscan landscape, making full use of its unique characteristics and its famed olive oil and wine. Innovative processes using the local red grape provide natural antioxidant qualities, with the grape skins acting as an organic exfoliator. Alongside a full menu of beauty treatments and massages, guests can enjoy the innovative wine therapy experience.
A massage with Borgo San Felice olive oil is followed by a luxurious, sweet-smelling bath of wine essences rich in polyphenols to regenerate the skin as you enjoy a glass of fine wine produced on the estate. The wine therapy uses only the best ingredients – that are both restorative and anti-ageing. i
In the spa, the aim is physical and psychological harmony, balance and relaxation, which is created by involving all the senses. The new Wellness Center and Spa has been designed by the charismatic Dr. Paolo Vranjes. The skilled cosmetologist, pharmacist and chemist has personally devised the personal, multi sensory spa journeys. His unique fragrances, sold in Harrods and created using groundbreaking research and high quality raw materials, are a key element of the experience. ‘Perfume is s a special way to express emotions because the olfactory system is closely connected to the part of the brain responsible for memory, he explains.
‘Terroir is so important, and not just for food and wine. I pay attention to the smells of the terroir from all over the world; each one is unique, each one is natural, declares Vranj. My job is to take the essence from the landscape, for example, wild mint, which is the smell of the countryside here.
Dr Vranj has 30 years experience working with fragrances. ‘I like to take natural aromas – the smell of the sea, the Chianti countryside – and recreate them with natural essential oils’ Vranj works with 2,000 essential oils to create new fragrances.
The modern spa has been deliberately designed along the lines of a clinic to be both highly contemporary whilst staying true to its Tuscan roots. The locally created fragrances are some of the most beautiful and high quality in the world, yet with an artisan production and rooted in the scents of the land.
The food, wine and spa experiences at Borgo San Felice are somehow seamlessly combined. Packages combine the stand out experiences on offer at the hotel, including gastronomy with wellbeing, food and wine. Achille Di Carlo, the delightful general manager, is justifiably proud of Borgo San Felice’s eco-friendly ethos, which is highlighted by its meticulous restoration of the village, the wine production of Agricola San Felice, the use of locally grown products and the real respect of the culture and traditions.
Smiling broadly, Achille beautifully sums up the hotel’s concept. It blends together authentic rural luxury with a region renowned for it exceptional products matched only by the beauty of its surroundings, all under the Tuscan sun.”