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My Favourite Mince and Pea Dish

Written by lee on . Posted in Autumn, Ayurveda, Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Dairy Free, Dinner, Eat Right for Your Shape, Healthy Meals, Lunch, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Recipe Book, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, supercharged food, Supercharged Food Menu, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

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When investing into quality food; organic and free of chemicals, it can unfortunately be quite a hit on the family food budget without some wallet friendly recipes up your sleeve.

If frugality is just as important to you as nourishment, then I have the perfect recipe for you. This tasty Mince and Pea dish, also known as Keema Matar is one of my favourite budget friendly Ayurvedic recipes from my book Eat Right For Your Shape, and is ultra wholesome and balancing for finance fearing Vatas who require affordable and grounding comfort food at the end of their day.

Keema is a traditional Indian meat dish, and it’s believed that the word may have been borrowed from Greece and originally meant ‘minced meat’. Traditionally, this dish uses minced mutton (lamb or goat) with peas or potatoes. Keema can be made from almost any meat, can be cooked by stewing or frying, and can be formed into kababs. Keema is also sometimes used as a filling for samosas or naan.

If you’re a Vata, it’s no wonder you have money worries. Vata’s are governed by the flighty element of air- naturally cold, light, dry, dynamic and ever changing. Complexities and changes in financial situations will stress you out, so when it comes to your food budget, you need a stable set of money saving recipes that you can rely on week in and week out. Your thoughts and your physical body are completely interlocked, so if money is a stress for you, it will manifest also in physical ailments like poor circulation, brittle nails, frizzy hair, dark eye circles, insomnia and muscular aches and pains.

As a Vata, you’ll definitely want to choose foods that are warming, oily, heavy, sweet and salty to help ground your anxious thoughts and bring a sense of stability to your body and mind. This scrumptious Keema Matar will tick all of these boxes:

WARMING- through the use of fiery grounding spices like chilli powder and ginger, which will rev up your sluggish digestion; a link to anxiousness.

OILY- through the use of gorgeous ghee. This nourishing golden oil is slightly sweet and lubricating for your dry and cold constitution.

HEAVY- through the keema (mince); lamb or beef will provide a heavy and earthing quality, igniting a sense of groundedness and pacifying the effects of worry and stress in your life.

SWEET- through the use of gorgeous green peas. These really are the lollies of the vegetable kingdom; reducing Vata which is typically sharp and cold.

All the ingredients in this dish are also super affordable. A pack of frozen peas, even in organic form will cost around two or three dollars, and mince is one of the most affordable animal proteins you can purchase.

This is a recipe I love to batch cook and freeze in single portions for those days when you’re really not in the mood for cooking but need a quick lunch to take to work, or a speedy dinner instead of spending on takeaway.

It's a true saviour!

KEEMA MATAR (MINCE WITH PEAS)

SERVES 4

  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 1 large onion, finely sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 11⁄2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh turmeric or ground turmeric
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon Himalayan salt
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) minced (ground) lamb or beef
  • 200 g (7 oz/3⁄4 cup) sheep’s milk yoghurt
  • 215 g (71⁄2 oz/11⁄2 cups) frozen baby peas
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala (optional)
  • freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • filtered water (optional), for moistening

To serve

  • Rice of choice  large handful coriander (cilantro) leaves, almonds, roughly chopped, to serve

Heat the ghee in a wok or heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3–4 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook for 2 minutes, taking care not to burn the garlic. Add the turmeric, chilli, cumin and salt, and stir for a few seconds.

Add the meat and cook, stirring frequently, until it breaks up and colours. Stir through the yoghurt and peas, then reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Stir through the garam masala (if using) and pepper to taste. If you prefer a moist dish, add some filtered water.

Serve with pilau, sprinkled with coriander and almonds.

Happy Cooking 🙂

Lee xo

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The U.S Version of Heal Your Gut is here!

Written by lee on . Posted in All, Autumn, Blog, Blog Breakfast, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Blog Salads, Blog Snacks, Candida Friendly, Dairy Free, Dessert, drinks, Gluten Free, Heal Your Gut, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Sauces, Seasonal, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Supercharged Food Menu, Vegetarian, Wheat Free

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Hello U.S and Canadian friends 🙂

I'm so happy to announce that my #1 Selling book, Heal Your Gut, is now available for pre-order in America and Canada.

The book features 90 gut-loving recipes that aim to cleanse, restore and nourish your insides.  It features a four-week treatment program and a natural cleansing regime that will have your insides happy and smiling and your energy levels though the roof!

I'll be heading to the US in October and will be doing events in New York and LA and I absolutely cannot wait to meet everyone in person so stay tuned for event times and locations.

From the bottom of my heart and my healed gut, I thank you so much for your support and hope that you'll love this book just as much as I do.

It's been such a fulfilling journey to bring this book into your hands and I’m so excited to share everything I have learnt along the way with you.

You can pre-order the Heal Your Gut book now at these retailers;

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

IndieBound

Indigo 

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Foods That Boost Happiness :)

Written by lee on . Posted in All, Autumn, Blog, Blog Breakfast, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Blog Salads, Blog Snacks, Breakfast, Candida Friendly, Dairy Free, Dessert, Desserts, Dinner, Gluten Free, Lunch, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Salads, Seasonal, Snacks, Soup, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegetables, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

StirFryBEef

Want to improve your mood?  Did you know that food may be a significant piece of the puzzle?  

The science behind food's effect on mood comes down to chemical and physiological changes in our brain structure which can lead to altered behaviour. Today I'm sharing my favourite mood foods that have been proven to alter your metabolism and brain chemistry, ultimately affecting your energy level and mood.

There is so much hope for your mood in food! The science is showing that you can literally eat your way to happiness, so here are some of my top picks for foods that can boost your emotional health...

Fish oils

sardines avo

A 2012 study reveals that fish oil increases transmission of serotonin in the brain which controls emotion. Because of their ability to increase serotonin levels, fish oils are a lovely mood food to include in your diet. Sardines are my all time favourite source of omega-3 fatty acids and are an affordable and potent source of mood boosting fish oils. Try them in my smashed sardines with avocado on quinoa and flaxseed loaf for your next breakky option.

Brazil nuts

bliss balls

Did you know that brazil nuts are the richest source of the mineral selenium, which helps combat depression? Studies have shown that a small handful of brazil nuts everyday can help improve your emotional health. I like to enjoy them as an on-the-go snack, or chopped and sprinkled over yogurt with grated dark chocolate. Enjoy a hit of happiness by throwing some extra brazil nuts in these delightful Coconut and almond bliss balls.

Broccoli

Broccoli-Soup

Broccoli is a staple veg in my diet. It’s rich in B vitamin folate, which is essential for a healthy mood. Low intakes of the B vitamin folate has been linked to depression, and the great news is that Vitamin B also promotes healthy hair and skin, which boosts your self confidence as your complexion glows. I like to steam broccoli and enjoy with white fish, or in a risotto. I also adore cramming in this mood boosting green in my earthy Broccoli soup.

Ginger

StirFryBEef

Ginger is a gorgeous warming root that has been shown to increase neurotransmitters in the brain. Neurotransmitters are chemicals used by brain cells to communicate with each other. They control your ability to focus, concentrate, remember, and regulate mood, cravings, addictions and sleep.

Ginger increases levels of these important brain chemicals, including dopamine, which is considered the “motivation molecule” that helps you get focused and be productive. It’s also in charge of your pleasure-reward system. Fresh ginger root (especially when sliced into a mug with hot water) also assists in stabilising anxiety and panic. One of my favourite ways to enjoy ginger is in my Stir fried ginger beef; a super speedy and delicious dinner mid week.

Blueberries

Kakadu plum and blueberry icecream

Blueberries can help prevent the release of cortisol, a hormone produced by the adrenal gland during stressful situations, that travels to the hippocampus (a major portion of your brain) and provides emotional responses. Berries can help control and counter the effects of this hormone’s impact on your mood.

Berries are loaded with anthocyanidins, known to boost brain function and antioxidants, which promote brain and nervous system health. Berries are also low in sugar and calories, so pile them on! Enjoy a boost of blueberries in this super antioxidant filled Blueberry and Kakadu plum ice cream which will impress your guests with its unique blend of superfood flavours.

Here's to eating your way to a happy mood!

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Green Bean Subji

Written by lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Ayurveda, Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Blog Salads, Candida Friendly, Dairy Free, Dinner, Eat Right for Your Shape, Gluten Free, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Salads, Snacks, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, supercharged food, Supercharged Food Menu, Vegetables, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Winter

green bean subji

Whoever said that veggies are boring and time consuming deserves a rap across the pork knuckles!

I’m in total awe of the power of veg and constantly surprised by the depths to which I can go in exploring different ways to express the beauty of these gorgeous ground dwellers.

In India, and particularly the Ayurvedic realm; veggies are prized and highly emphasised, not to mention a handy frugal option with high levels of nourishment.

Today I'm sharing a special dish I discovered when I was studying in Kerala. You can read more about my Indian cooking adventures here or in my recipe book Eat Right for Your Shape.

I’m especially proud of Ayurvedic cuisine for its wholesome and innovative approach to preparing quite elaborate meals out of simplistic veg. This glorious green bean subji is a prime example.

Subji is an Indian term that literally means ‘vegetable dish’- and can be in connection with any vegetable in a variety of different cooking methods. Subji’s can be dry, wet, or in curry form.

This spectacular subji is based on the humble green bean, but is impressively dressed up with a list of medicinal and flavourful Ayurvedic ingredients like cumin, ginger, mustard seeds, shredded coconut for texture and the freshness of coriander leaves. In minutes your regular bean is transformed into an exotic, aromatic vegetarian dish that’ll really blow your hair back and widen your eyes.

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Cheaper Alternatives to Superfoods Plus Four Recipes

Written by lee on . Posted in Blog, Blog Breakfast, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Candida Friendly, Dairy Free, Dessert, drinks, Gluten Free, Heal Your Gut, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free


Superfood soup - image 1

You’ll find no shortage of celebrities endorsing various superfoods all over the world wide web and their social media accounts; which is all well and good until you get a closer look at the price of these super-expensive life enhancers!

WARNING: Beware of the following hash tags when scrolling:

#superfoods #functionalfoods 

But really, you don’t need to burn a hole in your wallet to achieve a healthy and balanced diet. Keep reading for some delicious, healthy, and very affordable alternatives to so called superfoods! I like to call them Supercharged Foods.

Many of you may be wondering, what makes a food a ‘superfood’? Well, to be honest there’s no concrete definition, however, the name ‘superfood’ is actually a marketing term, not a scientific one. A superfood is described as being any food that contains high levels of antioxidants, flavonoids, vitamins and minerals. Antioxidants are well known for their ability to strengthen the immune system, thereby warding off diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes.

The health benefits of these ‘superfoods’ are the result of studies done on specific essential nutrients, that are known to prevent disease and improve immunity, and the foods that they can be found in, in large amounts. If studies show that a specific food contains high concentrations of antioxidants, trace minerals and vitamins, such as Vitamin C, K and B, it can then be referred to as a superfood.

Each time a new study is released shedding light on the health benefits of a specific food, the media runs with this information, publishing their own news stories about these newly researched superfoods. In 2014 kale farmers struggled to keep up with the new demand for kale after several studies reported that kale contained high levels of antioxidants and other essential nutrients, leaving many supermarkets out of stock. The media has a lot of influence over consumers, and with consumers becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of eating healthy wholesome foods, it’s no surprise that supermarkets take advantage of this by drastically increasing the price of these foods!

However, some studies can be misleading, and the results reported can be misinterpreted by the media and consumers. Just because studies have reported that a specific food, such as blueberries, contain large amounts of antioxidants, it doesn’t mean that you have to start eating blueberries every day to maintain vibrant health! Superfoods aren’t the only foods that contain essential nutrients. And by eating a balanced diet that is full of variety, you can guarantee that you’re eating enough essential nutrients without even picking up a superfood. 

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Warm Quinoa Salad with Roasted Sweet Potato and Beetroot

Written by lee on . Posted in Autumn, Blog, Blog Dinner, Gluten Free, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegetarian, Winter

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Today’s recipe on the blog is absolutely delicious and good for the waistline too!

I was so excited to receive a WW freshbox from Aussie Farmers Direct this week. It was conveniently delivered to our home with enough fresh food and veggies to feed a family of five.

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An abundance of colour was revealed when we opened our box that was filled with fresh vegetables from zucchinis and cabbages to tomatoes and sweet potatoes.

It also included Australian farmed meats as well as garden-fresh herbs, citruses and spices.

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My daughter and I were home when the box arrived so we planned a mother daughter cook up! We both loved how all of the ingredients were 100% Australian made and grown.

Tamsin who is studying philosophy commented, “So mum, this means we’re supporting Australian farmers and manufacturers, and promoting a sustainable life that isn’t detrimental to the environment”. I was really happy that she had thought about that and that it was something she was interested in knowing more about.

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All of the fresh food is delivered in recyclable cardboard boxes and because all of the ingredients are locally sourced product, the carbon footprint of boxes is much less than imported goods that may have travelled from the other side of the world. On top of that with such fresh and healthy ingredients, it really encourages families to eat well and live more sustainable and healthier lives.

Another great thing about the WW freshbox is that you’re not only provided with an abundance of ingredients but also given easy to make recipes that are simple yet healthy, and can be greatly enjoyed by anyone.

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My daughter and I decided to make the warm quinoa salad with roasted sweet potato and beetroot. The recipe was fairly straightforward with only a few simple steps, and took only 45 minutes until it was ready to eat!

I loved this recipe and especially enjoyed the warm quinoa; it is such a nutritious food that is gluten-free, high in protein and one of a small number of plant foods that incorporates all nine essential amino acids.

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Tamsin loved the dish because of the crispy roasted sweet potato and beetroot, which she dutifully sliced and popped into the oven to roast and when they appeared 30 minutes later, claimed they were absolutely mouth-watering. Not only that, sweet potatoes are also a great source of vitamin A…healthy and delicious!

It was super fun spending time with my daughter and sharing time cooking together.

WW freshbox makes eating healthy super easy and convenient with farm fresh produce and recipes delivered directly to your door.

To get $25 off your first order use promo code WWSUPERCHARGED on checkout www.getwwfreshbox.com.au (conditions apply).

Terms & Conditions: For new customers on first order only. Minimum spend $65. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer. See AussieFarmers.com.au for full Terms & Conditions. Valid until 31.10.16

And now for the scrumptious family friendly recipe….

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Warm quinoa salad with roasted sweet potato and beetroot:

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins

Ingredients

  • 500g sweet potato unpeeled, cut into thin wedges
  • 500g beetroot, trimmed, peeled, cut into wedges
  • 1 cup (200g) quinoa, rinsed, drained*
  • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
  • ⅓ cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tbs finely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tbs extra-virgin olive oil*
  • 1 tbs red wine vinegar* (we used Apple Cider Vinegar)
  • 3½ cups (875ml) chicken stock*
  • 50g marinated feta, drained

*From your pantry

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Place the sweet potato and beetroot in a large roasting dish in a single layer. Season with salt and pepper and lightly spray with oil. Roast for 30 minutes or until golden and tender.
  2. Meanwhile, rinse the quinoa under cold water and drain. Place in a medium saucepan with 2 and 1/4 cups stock. Use remainder to serve 2. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender.
  3. Add the warm roasted vegetables, onion, parsley, mint, oil and vinegar to the quinoa. Season with salt and pepper and gently toss to combine. Serve topped with marinated feta.

Full disclosure: Please note this is a sponsored post.  Sponsored posts go towards the running of Supercharged Food.

 

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Healthy Rhubarb Crumble

Written by lee on . Posted in Autumn, Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Candida Friendly, Dairy Free, Dessert, Desserts, Desserts, Dinner, Gluten Free, Organic, Recipe Book, Seasonal, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, supercharged food, Supercharged Food Menu, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

rhubarb pies

Crumbles would have to be one of the most simple and comforting desserts on my list for entertaining friends. I love that they can be so versatile; utilising virtually whatever seasonal fruit you have on hand and they’re also very difficult to mess up!  This recipe is from my eBook The Renewable Table.

A crumble, traditionally known as a brown betty, is a dish of British origin that can be made in a sweet or savoury version, depending on ingredients used. A sweet variety is much more common and usually contains some form of stewed fruit topped with a crumbly mixture of fat (usually butter), flour, and sugar.

The most common of the crumbles is the illustrious apple crumble, but they extend to the common use of berries, peaches, plums and delicious rhubarb.

Crumbles boomed in popularity in Britain during World War Two when the nation was in rationing mode and a crumble topping offered a more economical alternative to pies due to shortages of pastry ingredients.

I somehow find a soul connection to the generations of housewives throughout this time in history, who had to learn to be resourceful and frugal, yet still had the desire to put delicious and nourishing meals on the table for friends and family.

A crumble is an extremely versatile and budget friendly option, as toppings can be made from an array of pantry wholegrains and fats like butter, ghee or coconut oil, and glutinous grains can easily be switched up to include a mixture of nuts, seeds, gluten free grain flours and coconut. I sometimes add gluten free oats as a crunchy topping too. Sweeteners are also up for negotiation; utilising wholefood and low fructose sweeteners of your choice.

This crumble uses gorgeous rhubarb, which is packed with vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that are wonderful for supporting a thriving and energetic life. In traditional Chinese medicine, rhubarb is hailed for soothing stomach ailments and relieving constipation, and is also used as a poultice to reduce fevers and swelling.

Rhubarb is also high in vitamin K which makes it a lovely ingredient for improving bone health, and limiting neuronal damage to the brain in the case of Alzheimer’s.

Rhubarb is also an immune system supporting ingredient due to its high levels of vitamin C along with vitamin A for infection fighting and antioxidant protection that will extend to glowing skin, healthy mucous membranes and improved vision.

Enjoy this scrumptious crumble as a delightful and cosy dessert that will bring that joyous element of sweetness into your life without overloading your system with inflammatory wheat and sugar.

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Gut Healing Lamb and Zucchini Soup + Join the Heal Your Gut Program

Written by lee on . Posted in Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Candida Friendly, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Heal Your Gut, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Wheat Free, Winter

lamb and zucchini soup

On my expedition into gut healing, I’ve been so blessed to discover that eating in a way to maintain or heal gut troubles doesn’t have to be a deprivation. In fact I have enjoyed it. I’ve discovered so many wonderful healing ingredients along the way that when paired together in mighty gut-healing strength, also work to bring gorgeous flavour and enjoyment. That has always been my mission- to target gut troubles effectively whilst also providing a joy-factor.

Today's recipe is one of the favourites with the participants of my Heal Your Gut online program 

The next round of the four week online program starts on Monday 12th September 2016, and you can join up here and read testimonials from our participants here.  

When it comes to gut health, one of the ingredients that gets me giddy is the humble zucchini. They’re really cheap, but absorb so much flavour, are incredibly versatile and are super-dooper good for your gut. First of all they're incredibly low in starch, so it’s much simpler for your gut to digest than some other higher carbohydrate veggies.

They’re also bursting with potassium and Vitamin C, two nutrients that help to reduce inflammation of the gut lining if you suffer from leaky gut or gut pain and intolerance symptoms. They’re also going to give you a good dose of fibre to keep things moving!  

Zucchini also promotes regularity because of the balance of soluble and insoluble fibre it contains- which also acts as a lovely pre-biotic to feed all the good guys living in your gut that are responsible for your immunity.

This stupendous squash also helps to soothe the stomach lining and microvilli that perform all your digesting work, being naturally alkalising due to high amounts of chlorophyll and water. That means say goodbye to indigestion, stomach inflammation and high acidity that just leaves you feeling blah.

Zucchini should definitely be purchased organic since its high in pesticides in its conventional form, and unfortunately it’s also one of the most common crops to be genetically modified.

If you get the chance visit your local farmers market, community agriculture program, the organic section of your supermarket or an organic delivery service to source chemical free and higher nutrient zucchinis.

I love to use a slicer or mandolin to turn zucchini into noodles (zoodles) in place of grains in lasagne and pasta dishes, or topped onto salads. You can also grill or roast it, and even freeze it into cubes and make your smoothie creamy and frosty without the need for bananas!

This lamb and zucchini soup is just one of many soups that I've created to bring ultimate enjoyment as well as helping you to either maintain gut health, or do some serious rebuilding in the context of the full protocol.

Here the illustrious zucchini takes on the comforting flavours of lamb to bring you a low starch, candida friendly soup that your gut will adore.

Don't forget the next round of the four-week online Heal Your Gut program  starts on Monday 12th September 2016 and if you feel like it could be right for you, find out more about it here.

Lamb and Zucchini Soup

serves 4

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Pistachio Truffles

Written by lee on . Posted in Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Blog Snacks, Christmas, Dairy Free, Dessert, Gluten Free, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegetarian, Videos, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

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Are you craving something sweet and nourishing just because? It's time to satisfy your tastebuds with my delicious Pistachio Truffles.

If you’re on the hunt for a whole food party offering that is quick and simple to whizz up, then make and take these blissful balls to your next weekend or holiday gathering, they not only look the part, they’ll go down a treat too.

Click on the video to play or see below for the recipe.

PISTACHIO TRUFFLES

MAKES 24

  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) additive-free coconut milk
  • 125 g (41⁄2 oz) cashew butter

  • 65 g (21⁄4 oz/1⁄2 cup) coconut flour
  • 140 g (5 oz/1 cup) pistachio kernels
  • 75 g (21⁄2 oz/1⁄2 cup) sesame seeds
  • 75 g (21⁄2 oz/1⁄2 cup) sunflower seeds
  • 21⁄2 tablespoons rice malt syrup

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • pinch of Himalayan salt

  • shredded coconut, for rolling

Pulse all the ingredients except the shredded coconut in a food processor until smooth. Use your hands to roll tablespoons 
of the mixture into balls.

Roll in the shredded coconut and refrigerate until ready to serve.

These can be stored in the freezer too!

This recipe is from my recipe book Eat Right for Your Shape.

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A guide to batch cooking

Written by lee on . Posted in Autumn, Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Healthy Home, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Spring, Summer, Supercharged Food Menu, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

batch cooking

I’m such a fan of kitchen organisation. I really believe that just about anyone can live out a healthy lifestyle full of vibrant, nourishing meals made from quality ingredients. You don’t have to outsource your food preparation, no matter how time poor you are. It’s all about priorities and time management.

One of my favourite ways to ensure I’m set up to thrive with beautiful food in a chaotic week is to batch cook. I cover this in my eBook The Renewable Table which is a loaves and fishes” philosophy and centres around the concept of ‘continuum cooking’, a resourceful and environmentally friendly way to cook that reimagines your original meals into two, three or even four more, delicious dishes.  You can read more about the eBook here.

There are so many different ways to incorporate batch cooking into your life that will free up time and energy in the kitchen so you can focus on other priorities. Rather than cooking dinner every night, you might like to make two dinners that will give you the next night off. Or you may like to go hard and cook up an entire weeks’ worth of meals in one day.

Here are some tips to help you take up this liberating system in your home.

Equipment and storage

Firstly you’ll need a freezer with enough room to store the amount of meals you want to make. If you have a deep freezer you’ll be able to batch cook for more meals; potentially a month or even more! A deep freezer is also a great investment for buying bulk organic foods like meat, dairy, nuts and grains.

A freezer section of your fridge is also fine but you will just have to work with the space you have. I often clean my freezer out regularly to make space for more meals.

You’ll also need all of your regular cooking equipment, but if you have two saucepans instead of one, you’ll be able to have more meals cooking at once.

Lastly you'll need storage containers of your preferred size. If you’re just feeding yourself you'll need smaller potions, or larger containers for family meals. I often use glass jars in the freezer too. Just remember not to fill them too high or you'll break the glass!

Build a menu

Plan the period of meals you'd like to cook for. Is it just dinner? Or lunches too? Do you want to have snacks on hand for yourself or the kids? I often eat leftovers for lunch the next day so focus on making large dinners and I also throw a few snack, dip and smoothie recipes in the mix.

Look at your schedule and get out some recipe books or blog recipes that you love. Meals with some liquid in it; soups, stews, casseroles, lentil dishes and curries are my favourites to freeze. Muffins, cakes and slices can also freeze well.

List the recipes you’ll be cooking including the page numbers or website and remember to double or triple recipe quantities if needed. Write a corresponding shopping list for everything you need.

Have a cooking day

Here’s the fun part. Choose a free day in your week, tie your hair back, get your kitchen ready, and put on some music—it’s time to party! Cook all your meals, as many as you can cook at once.

I like to do all my food prep first- all the organisation of ingredients including the peeling and chopping. Then get cooking. You might have a stew in the slow cooker, one casserole in the oven, a curry plus a soup on the stovetop, and while they’re bubbling away you might be making almond milk, smoothies, pesto or other staples in your blender.

Preparation Tips

If preparation is where you feel most challenged, clear off the counter tops and get ready for some fun and interesting  meal preparation ideas.

Chop up or spiralize raw vegetables such as carrots, celery, zucchini and capsicum into strips, batons and sticks and store in the refrigerator.  Then all you need to do is whip up a quick dip for a healthy snack.

batch-cooking

When roasting batches of vegetables on high heat to bring out the sweetness, find perfect partners with the same cooking times. Fast cooking vegetables are asparagus, capsicum, broccoli, leeks, mushrooms, tomatoes and zucchini and slow roasting vegetables include celeriac, parsnips, potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, rutabaga, daikon, butternut squash and onions.  If you require a mixture of fast and slow, cook slower vegetables on the stovetop first and then add to the baking dish.

Smoothies can be made in advance and placed in muffin trays in the freezer. When morning comes, take three out and simply place them into blender to whizz and refresh.

Cook up skewered kebabs and save some for ready meals for the oncoming days.

When cooking a renewable dish such as chicken, cook two at the same time but with a couple of different variations, one could be lemon and rose- mary and the other could be Moroccan spices with yoghurt.

Eggs can be hard boiled in muffin pans in the oven allowing you to cook a few batches of twelve at a time.  Just preheat oven to 350°F (175°C), place the egg in the muffin pan and bake for 30 minutes.

Make a tray of frittatas in muffin tins, which can be stored in the fridge for up to five days. You wont lose interest if you make them in different flavours.

Preassemble glass jars of soup ingredients, salads or layered gluten free oatmeal, buckwheat, coconut milk and berries. Using glass jars help the ingredients from getting tarnished, carry dressings separately or place at the bottom of the jar, layering sturdier vegetables such as capsicum and carrots then top with leafy greens. Use a section of paper towel at the top, this will absorb moisture and enable you to store your soups and salad jars for 3-5 days.

Snap frozen vegetables such as peas and green beans are easy to use and convenient if you don’t have fresh, they're great added to soups and stews.

Label and store

I’m a self-confessed label nerd. Your day will be so much easier when you can look in the freezer and see exactly what meals are in there.

Buy some stickers, write your meals on them and place them on your containers of food so you are never stuck rummaging through the freezer trying to work out what mystery meals you have before you.

Remember when freezing leftovers, be sure to freeze appropriate portions that you’ll know you’ll eat when it’s time to re-heat. For example, don’t freeze a whole tray of lasagne; rather split it into portions you know you want to eat – or even more importantly, you know are good for you to eat. This provides fantastic support for portion control.

Enjoy the bliss of free time, and knowing that you're looking after yourself through busy seasons.

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Moroccan beef stew with spiced tahini yogurt

Written by lee on . Posted in All, Autumn, Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Candida Friendly, Dairy Free, Organic, Seasonal, Spring, Sugar Free, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

Moroccan Beef Stew

I've come out of hibernation to share a recipe from one of my  favourite health coaches Madeleine Shaw.  

This recipe is from her new book Ready Steady Glow which is full of show stopping recipes that are bursting with flavour and goodness.   

This gorgeous recipe not only tastes delicious but is perfect for those Autumn days when it's still warm outside but the evenings are starting to feel a little chilly on the extremities. 

Nothing quite compares to a warming stew. It’s no secret that I have an ongoing love affair with slow cooking; I just love the way this style of cooking transforms even less-popular cuts of meat into restaurant-worthy meals that continue to improve with age.

You can switch it up to and if you fancy a change, this recipe works just as well with lamb.

Designed to be shared, it serves 2–3 people

Ingredients

1 tbsp coconut oil or butter
2 red onions, finely sliced
3 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp cayenne
4 garlic cloves, crushed
½ tsp turmeric
500ml beef stock or chicken stock
400g stewing beef or lamb, cut into inch cubes
2 carrots, cut lengthways into 5cm chunks
100g green beans
grated zest of 1 lemon
50g toasted pine nuts

Spiced tahini yoghurt

3 tbsp tahini
150g Greek yogurt
juice of ½ lemon (2 tbsp)
1 garlic clove, crushed
½ tsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves, plus extra for serving
salt, to taste

Method

Heat the oil or butter in a pan, add the onions and cook for 5 minutes. Add in the cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne, garlic and turmeric and a few tablespoons of the stock – to prevent the spices burning. Stir well for 30 seconds until fragrant, then add in the meat and brown it for 30 seconds. Throw in the carrots and pour in the remaining stock, bring to a boil then reduce to a low simmer and cook with the lid on for 1½ hours. After this time, add in the green beans and cook for a further 10 minutes.

To make the tahini yogurt, mix the ingredients together well with a pinch of salt. Finish off the beef by sprinkling it with the lemon zest and pine nuts and serve with a dollop of tahini yogurt and some extra fresh mint leaves.

Happy Hibernating!

Lee x

 

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Three Ways with Turmeric

Written by lee on . Posted in Autumn, Blog, Blog Breakfast, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Blog Salads, Blog Snacks, Candida Friendly, Dairy Free, drinks, Gluten Free, Heal Your Gut, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Spring, Summer, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

anti-inflammatory toddy low res

There are numerous spices and herbs in the world and one of my favourites, turmeric, certainly holds the title crown of Mother Nature’s most perfect all-rounder.

A deep orange plant displaying glorious golden hues, this spice is one transported unswervingly and with conviction from the spice gods.

Not only does its dramatic colour provide an award winning status, so does its medicinal properties and health correcting expertise. 

The dazzling golden colour of turmeric is provided by curcumin, a natural antioxidant that will fight off and repair damaged cells and everyday bombardments of anything from petrol fumes to pesticides.

Turmeric is a powerful secret weapon when it comes to good health, and enjoying this supercharged spice frequently in anything from drinks, bakes and main meals is encouraged.

Holding an abundance of antioxidants is not its only healing saving grace, this rich staple from your spice rack also holds an assortment of anti-inflammatory properties and can float effortlessly between traditional and modern medicine. 

It’s no wonder that turmeric has really built a name for itself as a front-runner in natural painkillers!

In fact, numerous studies show the powerful healing properties of turmeric and if you’re interested in delving in deeper, you can find an assortment of interesting studies here.

With this in mind, today I’m sharing with you my three favourite ways with turmeric and a short beginners guide detailing how to use this secret weapon in everyday life.

Firstly if you haven’t tried it yet you must get into my anti-inflammatory Toddy drink. This soothing hot drink boasts it’s sweet flavour with a peppery tingle from the combination of the turmeric and cashew milk.

It’s an ideal pick-me-up if you’re feeling a little run down and a wonderful comfort for an upset tum, gas and bloating. Having long been used to nip unhappy bellies in the bud in Chinese medicine, it’s also used widely in Ayurvedic practices for various respiratory conditions such as asthma, bronchial hyperactivity, and allergy, as well as for liver disorders, anorexia, rheumatism, diabetic wounds, runny nose, cough, and sinusitis.

In both Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine, turmeric is considered a bitter digestive and a carminative. Unani practitioners use turmeric to expel phlegm or kapha from the body and as a blood circulation booster.

Being a cholagogue, it helps to stimulate bile production in the liver and encourage excretion of bile via the gallbladder, which improves the body’s ability to digest fats, that’s why adding coconut milk to this recipe can boost your therapeutic benefits.

If you’re in need of a liquid rescue remedy click here. Enjoy it in the moment, and whenever needed relish in my natural form of SSRI, remember this acronym; Sip, Soothe, Relax and Improve. 

Being native to Southern India and Indonesia, turmeric, a cousin of ginger is a key ingredient for curries. A dish with an abundance of flavours, smells and textures, curries can strike your senses with a flavoursome knockout punch.

Tuna Tikka sml

One of my newer much loved curry recipes is a Tuna Tikka Curry from my latest cook book Eat Right For Your Shape It’s composed around my favourite Ayurvedic healing ingredients.

Now this is the kind of recipe that is sure to get your taste buds tingling and your belly satisfied.

Revive your senses and fill your happy belly with my Tuna Tikka Curry go here to learn more.

Because all good things come in threes, I want to take you on an adventure to Mexico now and share with you my healthier take on nachos.

If you’re a little hesitant of this luminescent ingredient, a great way to include more turmeric into your diet is to pop it into healthy bakes and crackers.

I find that the nacho recipe is a more laid back way to introduce children to this wonder ingredient.

I like to serve my nachos with a bowl of cooling guacamole and chopped tomatoes for a mouth-watering free for all and one that the whole family can get stuck into enthusiastically.

nachos

Go here to discover my not so naughty nachos! 

Now it’s over to you to unleash this golden super spice turmeric into your kitchen and recipes.

I invite you to give it a whirl and charge forth towards less inflammation and better health.

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