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Spicy Lamb Koftas

Written by lee on . Posted in Autumn, Ayurveda, Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Blog Salads, Dairy Free, Dinner, Eat Right for Your Shape, Gluten Free, Healthy Meals, Kids' Recipes, Lunch, Lunch Box Ideas, lunch box ideas, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Salads, Seasonal, Spring, Summer, supercharged food, Supercharged Food Menu, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

kofta

In need of a little umph and energy?

These Spicy Lamb Koftas from my Ayurvedic bible Eat Right For Your Shape are the perfect energy building food.

Lamb's gamey taste will remind you of the strong blood building qualities of red meat which also helps you build internal heat; a serious requirement of the flighty vata, who tends to feel the cold and become destabilised physically and emotionally. Vatas out of balance caused by a lack of warmth, grounding and digestive fire will be prone to dry skin, poor circulation, muscular aches and pains and arthritis.

Koftas are such a comfort food; even their name is filled with an ultra-cosy vibe. Their hearty nature will warm up your metabolism, so you feel warm from the inside out but can be eaten any time of the year. Rosemary & cumin highlights add to the warmth and spiciness of this rustic and sturdy dish.

Where possible, it’s important to purchase organic and 100% grass fed and finished lamb, which will contain higher amounts of healthy fats including omega-3 fatty acids, bringing another level of wholesome nourishment to build energy and stamina.

Pastured meat’s EPA fatty acid components are also incredibly important for mental health, as EPA is directly linked to brain function and emotional stability.

The fat content in these lamb kofta’s will bring an increase in digestive fire, as will the inclusion of fiery spices like warming ginger and the grounding zing of fresh parsley.

Lamb's natural oily and warming qualities will make you feel capable and maybe even a little competitive. It’ll bring the bounce back to your step, and make you feel more focused and driven.

Enjoy these delightful ayurvedic kofta’s as a midweek meal that’ll be enjoyed by the whole family.

Kids will especially find them fun to eat on their little skewers, and they’re a great way to ground littlies as a trusty witching hour meal to bring them back down to earth!

For busy families, double the recipe for lunch the next day. You can even serve them minus the skewer as a great protein addition to a salad made with seasonal vegetables.

I hope you enjoy them 🙂 Let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Spicy Lamb Koftas

Serves 4 makes 8 koftas

  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) minced (ground) lamb
  • 1 small brown onion, chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 2.5 cm (1 inch) piece of ginger, peeled and grated

  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint

  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley

  • 1 teaspoon mild paprika

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Celtic sea salt, to taste

Preheat a chargrill pan or barbecue hotplate to medium.
  To make the koftas, mix all the ingredients in a bowl until well combined. Divide the mixture into eight portions and form each into a short sausage shape. Thread each onto a bamboo skewer and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Place the skewers on the prepared pan or hotplate and cook for 10 minutes, turning halfway through.

Serve with a garden salad in warmer months or roasted vegetables in winter.

 

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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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Lemon and Blueberry Ice Cream

Written by lee on . Posted in Autumn, Blog, Blog Lunch, Blog Snacks, Breakfast, Dairy Free, Dessert, Desserts, Desserts, Gluten Free, gut healing, gut health, Heal Your Gut, Heal Your Gut Powder, Heal Your Gut Powder, micro flora, microbiome, Nutrient Rich, Recipe Book, Seasonal, Snacks, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, supercharged food, Supercharged Food Menu, Vegetarian, Videos, Wheat Free, Yeast Free

lemon-and-blueberry-icecream

The world is a sweeter place with ice cream in it. I must admit I find it very hard to say no to a bowl of that kind of deliciousness when I’m offered it, but a little scratch beneath the surface of what we currently accept as ice cream has turned the traditional version of this gorgeous treat into a colossal turn-off.

Ice cream originated back as far as the second century B.C, with speculation that Alexander the Great enjoyed snow and ice flavoured with honey and nectar. The bible speaks of King Solomon being a fan of iced drinks during harvesting. During the Roman Empire, Nero Claudius Caesar (A.D. 54-86) would send runners into the mountains to collect snow, which he would enjoy flavoured with fruits.

Historians estimate that the recipe evolved into the ice cream we understand today sometime in the 16th century. The Brits and the Italians seem to have discovered ice cream at around the same time. "Cream Ice," as it was called, would appear regularly at the table of Charles I during the 17th century, but it wasn't until 1660 that ice cream was made available to the general public, when the Sicilian Procopio introduced a recipe blending milk, cream, butter and eggs at Café Procope, the first café in Paris.

Until 1800, ice cream was a rare and exotic dessert only accessed by the elite classes. Around 1800, insulated ice houses were invented and the ice cream industry emerged in America where it was enjoyed by the masses and increased because of technological innovations, including steam power, mechanical refrigeration, the homogenizer, electric power and motors, packing machines, and new freezing processes and equipment.

After WW2, ice cream became a national symbol for the Americans, and the end to the war was celebrated with ice creams all around. As food technology increased and the supermarket emerged, more pre-packaged ice cream was sold through supermarkets after the 1970’s, and traditional ice cream parlours started to disappear.

These days, rather than the traditional use of cream, whole milk, sugar and egg yolks; ice cream has an ingredients list from another planet. Last time I checked in supermarket freezer section, here are some of the additives I discovered:

A popular vanilla ice cream ingredients label:

Reconstituted Low Fat Milk (56%), Glucose Syrup (Wheat), Sugar, Water, Milk Solids, Cream, Maltodextrin, Vegetable Origin Emulsifiers [477, 471 (Soy)], Vegetable Gum (412), Flavours, Colour (160b).

And a “raspberry” flavoured ice cream creation contained:

Reconstituted Low Fat Milk (53%), Glucose Syrup (Wheat), Water, Sugar, Milk Solids, Cream, Maltodextrin, Raspberry Juice (0.8%), Vegetable Origin Emulsifiers [477, 471 (Soy)], Vegetable Gums (412, 415, 440), Food Acids (330, 334, 331, 327, 260), Flavours, Colours (163, 120, 160b).

Is it just me or is there something seriously wrong with this picture? What have we done to this beloved sweet treat? With fandangle marketing suggesting green fields with cows, and “traditional” “pure” farm motifs, a quick look at an ingredients list on the current top selling supermarket ice creams show that they’re nothing more than a mix of trimmed, skimmed and adulterated ingredients and numbers formed in a chemical laboratory, not a kitchen!

With many people in the modern age struggling with wheat and even dairy intolerances, I’ve made it a bit of a mission to formulate a super speedy but delicious ice cream substitute that’s made from wholesome ingredients, and this is the next best thing to real ice cream prepared the traditional way with cream and full cream milk.

This is a family friendly ice cream recipe that all ages will adore, and is full of antioxidant rich blueberries, gut flora loving coconut milk and delectable creamy avocado which is high in lovely monounsaturated fats that will make your hair shine and your skin glow. It’s also free from sugar, making it a completely guilt free treat at the end of the night that won’t have any negative effects on your blood sugars, or cause any digestive troubles. You’ll just love its creamy sweetness, and trips to the supermarket for a quick sweet-tooth fix will be a thing of the past with this baby up your sleeve!

Here's a little video about how to make it and the recipe is below.

                             

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 TBS Heal Your Gut Powder (optional)
  • 155 g (51/2 oz/1 cup) frozen blueberries

  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/ 1/4 cup) coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla extract

  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 
1/2 medium avocado, pitted and peeled

Method

Purée all the ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy. Serve immediately. 

Enjoy! 

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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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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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Cumin Scrambled Eggs and Greens

Written by lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Autumn, Ayurveda, Blog, Blog Breakfast, Blog Lunch, Breakfast, Breakfast, Candida Friendly, Dairy Free, Eat Right for Your Shape, Gluten Free, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 8.38.44 amFor many of us breakfast is the most looked forward to meal of the day, but it’s especially significant in the Ayurvedic philosophy because a properly prepared breakfast that works with your unique dosha has the potential to set you up for a day of ease- physically, mentally and emotionally.

What we eat definitely impacts our moods, the way our body will function throughout the day, and therefore it will directly have an influence on our capacity to outwork our purposes for the day, whether that is wrangling children, studying, taking care of your home, or working.

If you fit into the Kapha dosha, you'll be the most robust of all the other Ayurvedic types, with thick skin, a well built frame, and strong immune system. However because you are governed by the element of earth, you are cold, heavy and static- so if you're living a lifestyle that is cold, heavy and static such as a sit down desk job during the cooler months, you will find that your will become unbalanced- which can bring on sluggishness, weight gain and even depression.

These imbalances can sabotage your personality linked giftings of peace-making, nurturing, your ability to help others, your level of tolerance and your strong relationships.

Other than living a lifestyle of plenty of exercise and movement, a varied routine, and avoiding too much sleep and lying around the house; Kaphas can choose light meals and foods that help “bring you out of the ground” so to speak.

Using pungent spices in your cooking will help to achieve this, as well as avoiding dairy and heavy foods in the morning.

These cumin scrambled eggs with greens are from my book Eat Right For your Shape, and are the ultimate Kapha start to the day.

It's a light and satisfying bowl of scrambled eggs with loads of stimulating spices and nourishing greens that will help to see heavy kaphas brought into balance through lightness in their emotional life and also a physical lightness through weight normalisation.

Enjoy!

By using just the egg whites in this recipe and bulking it up with a boost of healthy greens, you’ll be adding a good punch of vitamins and minerals to boost kapha.

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon ghee
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 small green chillies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1⁄2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1⁄3 capsicum (pepper), diced
  • 4 egg whites
  • Celtic sea salt, to taste
  • 60 g (21⁄4 oz/2 cups) baby spinach, lightly steamed
  • small handful coriander (cilantro) leaves, chopped, to serve

Method

Heat the ghee in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add the cumin and coriander seeds, and cook, stirring frequently, until they start to pop. Reduce the heat to low.

Add the turmeric and stir for 1 minute. Add the chilli, onion and capsicum, and cook for 2–3 minutes or until the onion is translucent.

In a bowl, lightly whisk the egg whites, season to taste, then pour into the pan. Stir with a fork until cooked to your liking. Serve on a bed of wilted spinach, sprinkled with coriander.

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Seven ways to supercharge your child’s snacks

Written by lee on . Posted in Before and After School Snacks, Blog, Kids, Kids Recipe Book, Kids' Recipes, lunch box ideas, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Supercharged Food Menu

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There are many challenges that parents face in the daily rhythms of raising children, and one thing that can take the edge off the chaos is ensuring that your child is nourished with the right foods. I cover this in my new kids cookbook Supercharged Food for Kids.

Whilst I'm a firm believer that the three main meals should be the greatest priority for filling your little one with the bulk of their nutrients and fuel, I also think snacks need to be well thought out as they are what regulate their blood sugar and moods.

Here are seven ways you can supercharge your child's snacks.

1. Load them up on protein

Protein is the building block of your child’s growth. Really, there is little that goes on within the body that doesn't require protein. When paired with carbohydrates, including protein in a snack will help to keep a turbulent tantrum at bay by regulating the uptake of sugar. Eggs, meat, fish, cheese and combining grains with nuts or seeds, or pulses with grains will provide a hit of protein.

2. Be generous with fat

Do not fear fat! Saturated fat from animal (butter, ghee, chicken skin, full fat dairy, and fats from pastured meat) or plant (coconut oil) sources are responsible for many critical functions in the body, and will keep your child full and nourished between meals when added to snacks. Unsaturated fats from avocado, nuts and seeds are also wonderfully nourishing to growing bodies. Nut butters, cheese, avocado, labna or yoghurt are lovely snack additions for kids. Try making these Cucumber Sailing Boats.

Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 4.29.11 pm

3. Focus on complex carbs

There is absolutely no place for many of the commercial snack foods available today that are high in simple carbohydrates that spike sugar levels and are highly processed. When using carbohydrates in snacks, always opt for wholefood sources of carbohydrate like wholegrains like quinoa, millet, brown rice, amaranth, buckwheat, spelt, lentils as well as potatoes and sweet potatoes.

4. Explore colour

Once you’ve covered the macronutrients through fats, proteins and complex carbs, you can be liberal with colourful fruits and vegetables that will fill your child’s body with vitamins, minerals, enzymes and phytonutrients that will cover an enormous range of compounds to contribute to good health. Try to cover all colours of the rainbow to supply a diverse range of protective antioxidants.

5. Be savvy about sweetness.

Kids love a good treat, and there’s no reason to deprive them if they are homemade and full of nourishing ingredients. My favourite real food sweeteners include raw honey, coconut sugar, rice malt syrup, stevia, and dried unsulfured fruits like apricots and dates. Use these to make sweet treats. They'll love these fabulous Chocolate Popsicles.

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6. Persist with diversity. Snacks are a great opportunity to introduce a range of foods to your children. Supercharging your child’s diet means exposing them to a diverse range of foods that will provide a range of nutrients for their growth and development. Persist through rejection. Sometimes it takes four or five introductions to a food before a young child will accept the new taste.

7. Cram the goodness into a smoothie. Smoothies are a great pick-me-up snack for kids, especially in the afternoons after a big day out. They are hydrating and potentially highly nutritious—you’ll be able to add sneaky ingredients that they’d normally reject.

You'll find more delicious recipes for kids in my book Supercharged Food for Kids.

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Supercharged Lamb Bone Broth

Written by lee on . Posted in Autumn, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Candida Friendly, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, gut healing, gut health, Heal Your Gut, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Sauces, Seasonal, Soup, Soups & Salads, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

lamb bone broth

Today I’m going to introduce you to gelatin-rich liquid gold.

Heralded as a staple in cultures across the globe, bone broth is a key ingredient in gut health and can be enjoyed as a healing elixir, soup, or a welcome addition to casseroles, and slow cooking.

While generally made from chicken or beef bones, my supercharged version is nourishing and comforting and provides similar nutritional benefits to traditional gelatin-rich recipes, but with the comforting flavour of lamb to add variety to your gut healing repertoire. It’s a recipe taken from my new book Heal Your Gut.

Rather than ditching the trimmings and bones from your next lamb roast, keep them stored in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer and pull them out when you’re ready to make this healing soup. Lamb is a versatile ingredient, and, if prepared correctly, one of the healthiest meats you can eat. In addition to their love of olive oil, the good health of many Mediterranean populations has been partially attributed to their love of lamb.

Lamb is high in tryptophan, an essential amino acid that regulates the control of serotonin, one of the key brain chemicals involved in regulating your mood, and making you feel calm, relaxed and sleepy, three things I’m sure we could all use more of! Because your body can’t produce tryptophan on it’s own, including plenty of tryptophan-rich foods in your diet is helpful for a contented disposition.

Incorporating lamb in your diet will help you build a strong immune system, due to its generous antioxidant content. Lamb is rich in a very highly absorbable form of zinc, important for strength, hormone production, cardiovascular and bone health. When slow cooked as in this recipe, the succulent, slightly smoky flavours of the lamb are drawn out and absorbed by the fork-tender vegetables. The result is comfort food perfection and a helpful meal to heal and seal the gut lining.

Lamb bones in particular house a variety of powerful nutrients that become released when they are slowly simmered in water. Among these nutrients, bone marrow provides the raw materials for building healthy blood cells and a strong immune system. It seems our grandparents were onto something feeding us bone broth to combat the common cold.

Want gorgeous skin, hair and perfect posture? Other valuable nutrients in bone broth include collagen, gelatin, hyaluronic acid, chondroitin sulfate, glycosamino glycans, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium. Known as “beauty nutrients” these components combine to promote beautiful skin and hair, as well as help the body maintain proper structural alignment.

Bone broth is also one of the best foods to consume for those suffering digestive issues, as it is rich in glycine and proline. These two nutrients are essential for connective tissue function – they literally heal and seal the gut, making this broth essential for those suffering chronic inflammation or auto-immune issues.

When creating your Lamb bone broth, try to use a variety of both large and small bones, as each have unique health benefits. Larger bones (such as the humerus and femur of the arms and legs) contain more bone marrow and can be beneficial for those with anemia, lung and immune disorders. Smaller bones contain more gelatinous materials, and are especially beneficial for promoting digestive health. This is why bone broth fasts are often recommended for treating leaky gut syndrome or Candida.

To get the most health benefits from your broth, look for grass-fed lamb. Conventionally raised animals are often fed a diet of inflammatory genetically modified grains, which contain herbicides, pesticides, and often contaminated with a range of heavy metals that can further weaken an already sensitive stomach.

In this recipe I’ve added another digestive aids – coconut oil – to increase the healthy anti-inflammatory fat content, and to promote nutrient absorption. There’s a reason a number of vitamins A, E, D and K are labeled “fat-soluble”. In order for your body to absorb these nutrients, you need to eat them with a healthy fat. Coconut oil adds a luxurious, creamy texture to any dish, it has also been found to be superior in aiding the absorption of antioxidants and other nutrients from the foods it is partnered with. It is also rich in lauric acid, which converts in your body to monolaurin, a nutrient found in breast milk that strengthens immunity. When choosing a coconut oil, look for an organic oil that is unrefined, unbleached, and made without heat processing or chemicals.

Make a large batch of this versatile broth over the weekend, and then store any leftovers to use throughout the week. It freezes brilliantly and can be placed in ice cube trays for convenience. You can use the liquid from this broth as a stock base in a range of dishes, or enjoy the soup as is. The longer it is left to sit, the more the tastes of the onion, garlic and bay leaf will meld and develop, and the more aromatic and flavoursome this dish will become.

I hope you’ll enjoy my gut healing broth. It’s comfort and nourishing food at its finest!

You can find the Heal Your Gut print book here or the eBook here.

Supercharged Lamb Bone Broth

 # Supercharged tip

You can make bone broth in a slow-cooker. Cook on low for up to 24 hours, topping up with filtered water if they reduce too much.

Think before you throw out the trimmings and bones from your next lamb roast. Lamb broth provides similar nutritional benefits to a gelatine-rich beef broth, but with the comforting flavour of lamb to add variety to your soups.

Ingredients

  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) lamb marrow bones

  • 2 litres (68 fl oz/8 cups) filtered water

  • 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves

  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 
1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • Celtic sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
  • Place a flameproof casserole dish on the stovetop over medium heat and melt the coconut oil. Add the bones and stir to coat. Add the lid and transfer the casserole dish to the oven. Bake for 30 minutes or until bones are browned.
  • Transfer to the stovetop, cover with the filtered water and add the remaining ingredients, including seasoning. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to as low as possible and simmer for 4–6 hours. Add a little more filtered water from time to time if necessary.
  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool, then strain and refrigerate until the fat congeals on top. Skim off the fat and store the stock in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer, or freeze in ice-cube trays.

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Free-Spirited Nachos

Written by lee on . Posted in Before and After School Snacks, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Blog Snacks, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Healthy Meals, Lunch Box Ideas, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Sauces, Seasonal, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

  nachos Now that the New Year is in full swing, you’ve probably already firmly set your customary resolutions.  Perhaps you’d like to try and eat healthier, exercise more, or maybe you’ve bookmarked a few blogs and cook books and you’re busting to get back into the kitchen and reacquaint yourself with your food processor?
Healthy cooking can be a breeze when you have time on your hands, the luxury of being able to source fresh ingredients and the desire to cook.  The challenge is striking the balance between affordability and quality, ensuring you’re not spending all your free time preparing food and finding recipes that are not only convenient and easy on the wallet, but simple to make with ordinary nutritious ingredients.
Spoiler alert…
So often we’re strongly encouraged to buy an ingredient or health product because it’s good for you, or because someone has told you that it’s healthy, but healthy eating shouldn’t be about strategically placed health claims.  It is really just about simplicity and keeping it real. Buying fresh ingredients in their truest form and preparing them to your liking is the key to being healthy as is leaving packeted processed foods with a string of unfavourable ingredients on the shelf.
When it comes to ‘healthy eating’ why not make 2015 the year to discover what YOU believe in?  Make a stand to eat by your own rules, your way, without self-doubt or others trying to persuade you otherwise?
In the new year, instead of being overly health obsessed and bounding in with gusto to try the next “super berry from the Amazon” or being hoodwinked by a more restrictive, bigger, better fad diet, you know the ones that hustle, race and elbow each other out of the way to weasel their way into your apprehensions and anxieties faster.  Maybe it’s time to begin to believe in you and your inner sense of self knowing and wisdom when it comes to being healthy?
I believe that finding real food that makes you feel happier, more energised, alive and other adverbs can be produced easily without all of the punchlines and sensationalism.  It certainly feels like the right time to throw 2014’s faddish ‘optimal’ diets out the door, broaden your horizons and do what feels right for you.
Healthy eating is not about deprivation and it doesn’t mean that yummy dishes like nachos need to be abolished.  These angelic nachos from my new book Eat Clean, Green and Vegetarian are an easy to make healthy alternative to traditional nachos that are often laden with dodgy ingredients and leave you feeling bloated afterwards.   I’ve reinvented traditional nachos to give them a renewed sense of freedom that the new year can bring.  Nachos can be enjoyed regardless of how old you are, in fact they’re the kind of dish which improves with age; much like kombucha, good cheese or Dominic West.  Yes really. 🙂

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IQS Aussie Splice Block Recipe and Book Review

Written by lee on . Posted in Blog, Blog Snacks, Dairy Free, Dessert, Kids, Kids Recipe Book, Kids' Recipes, Nutrient Rich, Push Ups and Icy Poles, Seasonal, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Yeast Free

Aussie Ice Blocks If you’re on the hunt for a cool down recipe to keep the kids happy this summer, there’s nothing more refreshing than a splice ice-block.  This tastes-like-summer treat is made with an infusion of creamy avocado, spinach and banana, making it a more nutritious layered swirl of thirst quenching goodness minus the artificial flavours and colours.
This energising recipe comes straight out of the pages of Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar Kids Cookbook, now available as a print edition. Earlier this year I reviewed the original e-book version and suggested trying out Sarah’s version of another Australian favourite The Bounty Bar which is a good-for-you recipe for the whole family and one that I make regularly.
The original e-book has since been updated with the addition of a whole lot more sugar-free recipes and released in a hard copy format. The sugar free Kids Cookbook has over 85 recipes to make delicious sweet and savoury foods, aimed at giving kids nutritious meals that don’t compromise on flavour or promote the dreaded artificial sugar high.
In the book you’ll discover a huge variety of recipes with an easy to read layout, separating recipes into chapters such as “Breakfast for Brain Power”, “Let’s Party” and “Grab n’ Run”.  A handy chapter for parents of school-agers is “Lunch Box Ideas and Snacks” packed with recipes to ensure your child’s lunchbox is the envy of all their school friends.  You’ll find some convenient suggestions about how to navigate school canteen menus, ensuring you and your kids make positive and beneficial choices.
Another great part of the I Quit Sugar Kids Cookbook is a section on tips and tricks for getting your child to help in the cooking process and growing ingredients. I’m a firm believer in teaching kids where their food comes from and how it’s made to ensure they begin healthy habits from an early age. I also talk about it in my Supercharged Food for Kids Book.  Why not include your kids when making one of these recipes, because you ever know, you could be nurturing a budding chef!
I Quit Sugar Kids Cookbook can be found online and at $24.99 it’s a good value for money addition to your recipe book shelf and one that can be used time and time again.
Aussie Splice Blocks
Makes: 8-12
Preparation time: 4 hours
Ingredients
Green Layer:
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup coconut water
  Gold Layer:
  • 400 ml can coconut cream
  • 1 tablespoon rice malt syrup
  • 1 cup diced, frozen mango
  Method
  1. Blend all ingredients for green layer in a high-powered blender. Pour mixture into Popsicle moulds halfway; freeze for 1-2 hours until firm.
  2. Blend all ingredients for gold layer in a high-powered blender. Pour mixture into moulds on top of green layer; freeze for a further 1-2 hours until popsicles are frozen.
 

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Feeding Fussy Eaters

Written by lee on . Posted in Blog Snacks, Bread and Wrap basics, Healthy Meals, Kids, Kids Recipe Book, Kids' Recipes, Lunch Box Ideas

Photo by the Whimsical Wife

Photo by The Whimsical Wife

This blog post goes out to all of the parents or caregivers of picky eaters, and ones who are raising children in a processed fast food nation. I think that covers just about every parent.

If your child is stuck in a pasta, nugget, boiled rice or potato mash commercial time warp, here are three no-nag ways to ward off an oncoming meal-time battle and have them eating out of your hands.

There’ll be no more shaking of heads and sealing of lips, look forward to saucer eyes and open mouths as kids hoover up these healthy meals like there’s no tomorrow. You can find more recipes in my Supercharged Food for Kids recipe book here.

But first, five tips to help you to encourage your children to eat well...

  1. Don’t be afraid to say no and express your love with healthy foods.  A way of nurturing kids is not to give them nuked processed foods full of sugar and bad fats. Show them you care by feeding them foods that will help them grow and develop.  They’ll also be able to understand and experience the taste of real food and set up their taste buds for life.
  2. Follow the 80/20 rule.  Don’t feed them squeaky clean food all of the time and let them indulge in treats in moderation.  They will develop a healthy relationship with food that way and not be the playground health nerd.
  3. Keep a healthy pantry, if you don’t have Tim Tams in the house it’s easier to offer an alternative and say try this ‘zoo poo” rather than yes we have a packet of Tim Tams but we’re not letting you anywhere near it.  Pester power will be in full swing if they can see it’s in the pantry and know it’s only a pincer grip away.
  4. Don’t force the issue.  If kids don’t want to eat something then let it go and have a healthy backup plan that you know they'll enjoy and can fall back on. Explain how certain foods will make them have strong bones and healthy bodies and why it will benefit them.
  5. Create kid friendly versions of your meals; for example if you’re making a delicious pumpkin soup, use the base mash for your little one and then turn it into a soup for you by adding herbs, coconut milk or stock. Talk to your child about the flavours and textures of the food you’re eating and if you can, sit down and eat meals together.

I'd love you to introduce these recipes into your child’s life and let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Supercharged Breakfast Bar

My breakfast bar is packed with good fats, zinc, dietary fibre and B vitamins and these bars make a quick brekkie, lunch box favourite or after school snack.

Makes 10 bars

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup almond flour or (flax seed meal for nut free)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Celtic Sea Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes (unsweetened)
  • 1 1/4 cup mixed nuts or (seeds such as pumpkin and sunflower for nut free)
  • 2 TBS dried blueberries
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup rice malt syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

  • Set oven temperature to 175 degrees Celsius
  • Line a baking dish with baking paper
  • Combine all dry ingredients, almond flour, salt, bicarb soda, coconut flakes, nuts/seeds and blueberries
  • In a large bowl, place melted butter, rice malt syrup and vanilla extract
  • Mix the dry ingredients into wet
  • Press the mixture firmly into the baking dish to prevent crumbling
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes
  • Chill to harden up before serving

Gluten Free Pita Pocket

Makes 4 pitas

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 TBS almond or rice milk
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 TBS coconut flour
  • 1 TBS flaxseed meal
  • 1/4 cup blanched almond meal
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch Celtic Sea Salt
  • 1 TBS mixed herbs chopped fine (optional)

Method

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  • Place baking paper on a baking tray
  • In a bowl whisk egg and add water, milk and olive oil
  • Add dry ingredients and stir well
  • Pour mixture onto baking paper in 2 medium sized circles about 12 cms across and spread
  • evenly with a palette knife
  • Bake for 20 minutes until golden and crispy around the edge
  • Let cool and with a sharp knife slice along the centre so that a pocket is created
  • Stuff with favourite fillings

 Zoo poo

 Cacao powder is loaded with antioxidants and although sometimes bitter in taste, it can be made sweeter with the addition of a natural sweetener.

Makes 8

Ingredients

  • 4 TBS coconut butter
  • 1/8 tsp. stevia powder
  • 1 TBS cacao powder
  • 4 TBS almond or rice milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes, unsweetened

Method

  • Melt the coconut butter in a bowl over boiling water
  • Add stevia and cacao and stir until combined
  • Add milk and stir until thickened
  • Place mixture in the fridge for half an hour to harden
  • Remove from fridge and take one TBS at a time and roll into ball
  • Roll in coconut flakes and place on a tray
  • Refrigerate until ready to eat

You can bu my Supercharged Food for Kids Recipe Book here.

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Rebooting Your Child’s Lunchbox

Written by lee on . Posted in Kids, Kids Recipe Book, Kids' Recipes, Lunch Box Ideas

vintage desk and bikeIt’s almost time to send the kids back to school, which means for many parents and caregivers busy schedules and challenging lunchbox fixing.  If you’re looking to reboot worn out and tired lunch box ideas and get creative then here are some of my simple tips.  Giving kids nutritious meals can really make a big difference to their mental clarity, focus and behavior in the classroom.

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