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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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Layered Berry and Rhubarb Breakfast Pudding

Written by lee on . Posted in Blog, Blog Breakfast, Blog Snacks, Breakfast, Breakfast, Candida Friendly, Christmas, Dairy Free, Dessert, Desserts, Desserts, Gluten Free, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Recipe Book, Seasonal, Sugar Free, supercharged food, Supercharged Food Menu, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Yeast Free

rhubarb jar copy

Need a break from your regular granola? Why not try my Layered Berry and Rhubarb Breakfast Pudding? The rhubarb/berry mix can be pre-made the night before, so it's easy to pull together during morning rush hour.

Stewing fruit is a kitchen art that has been lost in modern times. Even the thought of the word “stewing” tends to evoke images of a housemaid hundreds of years ago, stirring a large pot slowly over a bubbling stove; something that many of us just don’t feel we have the time for in our rushed modern lifestyle.

But I think culturally it’s so interesting to see the 180 degree cultural shift towards more “artisan” ways of living and preparing food. There’s a genuine desire to get back to the way things were traditionally made and prepared through fermenting beverages such as kombucha, and making sauerkraut and sourdough from scratch. Stewing fruits is a beautiful, simple and frugal way to enjoy the mindful practice of traditional food preparation in your own home.

Stewed fruit recipes were extremely common in the past, before enhanced storage facilities and modern processing techniques. Pre the days of year-round fruit availability in supermarkets, home cooks would savour the flavours of the seasons by preserving fruit in different ways. After a seasonal haul of apricots for example, kitchen folk dried as much as they could and found other ways to plump it up throughout the winter. Fruits could also be extended in their lifespan by cooking and stewing if they were looking like they were passing their used by date.

Stewed fruit is perhaps the best way to use up all of that fruit you've hoarded on a fruit picking excursion. It’s also a great way to enjoy frozen fruit you may have stored as a result of a berry picking session or bargain bulk buy at your local farmers market.

This Layered Berry and Rhubarb Breakfast Pudding recipe is a gorgeous breakfast or dessert that can utilise seasonal berries and lovely fresh rhubarb. As a rhubarb fan I can tell you that there's nothing quite like the tangy taste and radiant rose-red colour that these divine stalks bring to a dish, especially when baked in pies and crumbles or stewed and spooned over porridges.

Stewing the rhubarb and berries slowly together releases the bright red colours; indicating high amounts of beneficial antioxidants such as heart-friendly proanthocyanidins. Enjoy these traditional stewed fruits with the coconut cream for a delightful and cosy dessert, or make extra of the stewed fruits to eat as a snack with yoghurt and toasted nuts and seeds, or if you really can't give it up just yet, spooned over your morning granola.

From my ebook The Renewable Table

Layered Rhubarb and Berry Breakfast Pudding

Serves 4

To make rhubarb:

Ingredients

  • 750 gms rhubarb trimmed and chopped into 2-3 inch pieces
  • 250 gms strawberries
  • 125 gms raspberries (reserve some for topping)
  • 100g coconut sugar or sweetener of choice
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced (reserve some zest for topping)
  • 1 inch knob ginger grated
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean powder
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 270 mls coconut cream

Method

Place rhubarb and berries in large saucepan and place coconut sugar, orange juice and zest, ginger, vanilla and water over the top.

Bring to a boil and simmer gently until soft, about 10-15 minutes until rhubarb/berry mixture is cooked but still holds it shape.

Remove from pan and place layers into a jar. Start with rhubarb mixture and then coconut cream and repeat until all ingredients are used. 

Top with extra berries, orange peel and shredded coconut.

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Gut Healing Pancakes

Written by lee on . Posted in Autumn, Blog, Blog Breakfast, Blog Snacks, Dairy Free, Dessert, Easter, Gluten Free, Heal Your Gut, Heal Your Gut Powder, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

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Hello pancake fans.

Need some motivation to get out of bed in the morning?  Today I'm sharing my favourite pancake recipe what a gut healthy twist.  It's my favourite weekend go-to breakfast.

Sometimes the flipside of pancakes is their unhealthy reputation, think refined white flour, white sugar, additives and homogenised milk.  I'm hoping you'll prefer my delicious fluffy, gut healing pancakes that use a secret weapon; my Heal Your Gut dinosaur powder or diatomaceous earth, a raw whole-food which helps to cleanse the gut, allowing you to absorb your nutrients more effectively.  

Diatomaceous earth is also know as fossil shell flour, a stone-age natural food that has many healing qualities and is rich in silica so great for hair, skin and nails. You can watch a video about it here.

The pancake batter is very adaptable and stays fresh in the fridge for up to four days, you can freeze it too if needed for later usage.

When it comes to additions, the rice malt syrup can be replaced with stevia if you prefer and fruit can be swapped out with whatever you have in your nut stash.  Sprinkled on coconut flakes also add a nice crunch! 

I often serve mine with a dollop of chai spiced coconut whipped cream (recipe below).  Now here's a new reason to smile and jump out of bed in the morning.  Why not whip up a batch and let me know what you think in the comments section below? 

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Gut Healing Pancakes

Serves 3

  • 100g almond meal
  • 1 tbs Heal Your Gut Powder
  • 2 tablespoons rice malt syrup, plus extra to serve
  • ½ teaspoon Celtic or Himalayan sea salt
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla extract
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) coconut, almond or rice milk
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or butter
  • 125 g (4½ oz/1 cup) mixed berries to serve (optional)


Place the almond meal, HYG powder, rice malt syrup, salt, eggs, lemon zest and vanilla in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Gradually pour in the milk, whisking until smooth. Heat oil or butter in a frying pan until melted or brush the pan evenly to coat the surface.
Scoop or pour the batter into the pan to form pancakes to your liking. 
Cook the pancakes for about 1-2 mins until small bubbles appear on the surface and the undersides are nicely browned.
Flip the pancakes over and cook until the second sides are nicely browned, another minute or so. 
Transfer to warmed plates until all batter is used and then tumble on your favourite toppings.

Chai spiced coconut cream

  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • stevia to taste

Place the can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight (or even up to 24 hours).  When you open the can, scoop out the thick layer of cream on top. Take only the cream and leave the coconut water (use in your next smoothie!)  Place the coconut cream in your blender or hand mixer and whip on high for 1 minute.  Add in cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract and stevia and whip for another couple of minutes or until you get a whipped cream consistency.

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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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Homemade Kombucha

Written by lee on . Posted in Autumn, Blog, Candida Friendly, Dairy Free, Digestion, Drinks, drinks, gut healing, gut health, Heal Your Gut, healthy gut. digestive health, micro flora, microbiome, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Snacks, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Supercharged Food Menu, Vegetarian, Winter

kombucha

Fermented foods are a beautiful way to increase gut health when your gut is strong and ready.

If you’re familiar with my four week online Heal Your Gut program, (the next round kicks off soon), you'll know that after giving your digestive system a rest and healing the gut lining, when your gut is feeling stronger you can start adding fermented foods to your diet to boost beneficial gut flora. Go gently and see how your gut reacts – try small amounts each day and see how you feel.

Kombucha is one of the most enjoyable and delicious ways to introduce the world of cultured foods into your life, as it basically replaces the need for soft drink, providing a mildly sweet, slightly sour and naturally fizzy beverage that is enjoyed by adults and kids alike.

Kombucha begins life as an ordinary sugary tea, but the addition of a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) transforms it into a fermented drink. The SCOBY bacteria and yeast eat most of the sugar, yielding a drink full of natural probiotics that will dance around happily in your intestines. A small amount enjoyed daily has many gut-healing properties.

Aside from colonising the gut with probiotic bacteria that are wonderful for your immune system, this delicious fermeted tea holds an impressive collection of health promoting properties that have been enjoyed in Russia, Japan, Poland, Bulgaria, Germany, Manchuria and Indonesia for generations. According to the Weston A Price Foundation:

Kombucha is rich in B vitamins and a substance called glucuronic acid which binds up environmental and metabolic toxins so that they can be excreted through the kidneys. Glucuronic acid is a natural acid that is produced by the liver. Kombucha simply supplies the body with more and boosts the natural detoxification process.

Glucuronic acid is also the building block of a group of important polysaccharides that include hyaluronic acid (a basic component of connective tissue), chondroitin sulfate (a basic component of cartilage) and mucoitinsulfuric acid (a building block of the stomach lining and the vitreous humor of the eye).

Kombucha has also been linked to a myriad of other benefits such as improved digestion, fighting candida (harmful yeast) overgrowth, mental clarity, and mood stability. It truly is a tonic rather than simply a yummy beverage.

Don’t be afraid of the fermenting process which can seem like a complex lab operation rather than a kitchen recipe. Honestly, you just have to take the plunge and enter into the world of fermentation to realise that with some basic knowledge of the way bacteria feed on a constant supply of sugars, the process of keeping your culture alive and enjoying it’s wonderful and delicious creations is actually a very straightforward, common sense process that will become part of your daily rhythm.

Once you get the hang of making it, you can flavour it up with ginger and turmeric or even berries. Purchase a SCOBY online or, if you’re very lucky, a friend might give you one. You can buy kombucha online or at a health food store, although once you’ve made your first batch, you won’t need to buy it any more.

You’ll also need a breathable cloth such as muslin (I use a nut bag), a rubber band, and one sterilised wide-mouthed, 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cup) capacity glass jar with a lid (Mason jar).

Homemade Kombucha

Ingredients:

  • 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) filtered water
  • 2 organic black tea bags
  • 55 g (2 oz/ 1/4 cup) organic sugar
  • 1 SCOBY (see above)
  • 100 ml (3 1/2 fl oz) homemade or store-bought kombucha (see above)

Method:

Put the water in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, add the tea bags, and steep for 20 minutes. Remove the tea bags, add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Set aside to cool.

Pour the tea into the sterilised jar, then add the SCOBY and the kombucha. Cover with muslin, secure with a rubber band and write the date on the jar.

Store undisturbed in a cool, dark, dry place for 7 days, then test it to see if it’s ready. It should be fizzy and slightly sour/vinegary. If it’s still sweet, let it ferment for a day or so longer (usually up to 10 days).

Once the kombucha is ready, carefully remove the SCOBY using a clean long-handled spoon and place it on a plate with a little of the liquid to stop it drying out (then use it to make another batch straight away). Pour out 100 ml (3 1/2 fl oz) of the kombucha and keep aside to make another batch, then pour the remaining liquid into a jug through a sieve and then into a clean glass bottle with a lid. Secure the lid tightly and make a note on the bottle of the date. The kombucha will keep in the fridge for 2–4 weeks.

Yum! 

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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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Bircher Muesli Bowl +Video

Written by lee on . Posted in Autumn, Ayurveda, Blog, Blog Breakfast, Blog Snacks, Dessert, Gluten Free, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegetarian, Videos, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

 

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 12.54.02 pm

A sweet little video about a breakfast you can make the night before.

I’m using rolled oats, the standard bircher base plus grated apple but you can swap out for pear if you prefer.

There are other crafty switches you can make too, the apple juice gives it a light sweet flavor, but it can be swapped for coconut milk or almond milk for a much creamier and deeper complexity and consistency.

Crunchiness is a must, so topple on seeds and flaxseed meal or depending upon your personal preference just about any kind of nuts such as chopped hazelnuts or walnuts will give you a bit of texture and crispiness.

Gently stir in some yoghurt of choice during the process remembering to leave some to dollop on top in the morning.

I hope you’ll embrace this bircher and make it a regular part of your breakfast routine.

From my recipe book Eat Right for Your Shape.

And just in case you need it, here's the recipe. 

Bircher Muesli

Serves 1

  • 1 apple, cored and grated

  • 95 g (31⁄4 oz/1 cup) gluten-free rolled oats
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/1⁄2 cup) apple juice

  • 130 g (41⁄2 oz/1⁄2 cup) sheep’s milk yoghurt, plus extra to serve (optional) 2 pinches ground cinnamon

  • 2 tablespoons pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 
2 tablespoons sesame seeds

  • 1 teaspoon flaxseed meal

  • fresh blueberries, to serve

Method

Combine the apple, oats, apple juice, yoghurt and cinnamon in a bowl and stir well. Cover and refrigerate overnight (or if making the same morning, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour).

When ready to serve, stir through the seeds and flaxseed meal, and top with the blueberries. Serve with extra yoghurt if using.

Let me know what you think about this recipe in the comments section below.

Happy Cooking

Lee 🙂

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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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