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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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Supercharged Raw Pad Thai

Written by lee on . Posted in Blog, Blog Lunch, Blog Salads, Candida Friendly, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Lunch, Nutrient Rich, Salads, Sauces, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

Zucchini Pad Thai

Step away from the take out menus here comes my Raw Pad Thai recipe.

 I love a seriously good Pad Thai just as much as the next person.

What I don’t love is a bowl full of sugary, vegetable oily noodles, laden with a scant handful of veggies and pieces of puffed tofu sponged in oily dressing. Nor do I like forking out $14 for it when I know I can make something just as indulgent (if not more), far more nutritious and a hundred times more satisfying. With no cooking involved this recipe can indeed be made in a flash!

 First things first - this is a Raw Vegan Dish. While I don’t advocate one type of diet to anyone and I’m all for balance, incorporating raw foods into your diet is important to ensure you’re getting the full enzymatic properties of the veggies you eat. And yes – while some veggies actually release their nutritional properties once cooked (think tomatoes) others such as culinary coriander or beautifully versatile zucchini are a nutrient powerhouse when consumed as is.

 For example when you boil zucchini it destroys over a half of its potassium and one third of its phosphorous. When you cook zucchini it loses more of its all-important protein rather than its carbohydrate count. As a result, your body has to work harder to obtain all the nutrients it needs from your diet.

 I’ve played around with different flavor combinations in order to replicate THE BEST Raw Pad Thai I possibly could. Hours of whisking different proportions, has finally yielded a taste bud sensation. With an abundance of ginger and garlic, colorful fresh veggies and crispy activated nuts, all ensconced in a creamy coconut and tahini dressing – this is one Supercharged Dish!

 If you’re not a fan of raw food dishes, give this one a go, I promise it won’t disappoint.

Here’s a video to watch so you can  see it being made in action.

Zucchini Pad Thai

  • 4 Cups spiralised or ribboned zucchini
  • ½ cup ribboned carrot
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 2 spring onions chopped
  • 1/3 cup coriander
  • ¾ cup chopped activated nuts (cashews, almonds) crushed
  • 1 red capsicum cut into thin strips

 Dressing

  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 TBS Olive Oil
  • 3 TBS wheat-free soy sauce
  • 2 ½ TBS tahini
  • 2 TBS lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 red chilli cut fine
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 6 drops liquid stevia

Method: 

  • Place all Pad Thai ingredients in a bowl and mix
  • Combine dressing ingredients in a jar and shake
  • Pour dressing over mixture to evenly coat
  • Serve with lime wedges, bean sprouts, coriander and activated almonds

Let me know what you think 🙂 Lee

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Pepper and Tomato Salad

Written by lee on . Posted in Recipe Book, Salads

Serves 2

  • 5 vine ripened Roma tomatoes, diced 
  • 1 sweet onion, diced 
  • 1 red pepper, diced 
  • 1 yellow pepper, diced 
  • 1 bunch basil, finely minced 
  • 1 TBS parsley, chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced 
  • 1 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste 

Place all dry ingredients into a bowl and stir
Drizzle in lime and EV Olive Oil

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Simple Waldorf Salad with Homemade Mayonnaise

Written by lee on . Posted in Recipe Book, Salads

Serves 4

  •  1 cup celery, sliced 
  • 2 granny smith or red apples sliced
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • 8 lettuce cups (Cos or Iceberg)

Firstly prepare mayo and refrigerate

Now toast the walnuts in frying pan on medium heat and let cool
Combine celery, apples and walnuts in a bowl and add dressing and mix
Spoon the mixture into the lettuce cups

Mayo

Makes 2 cups

  • 1 egg
  • 2 TBS lemon juice
  • 1 cup olive oil or oil of choice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ocean sea salt, to taste

Let’s Get Cracking:

Place egg in blender and blend on a medium speed

Now you can pour in the lemon juice and add the sea salt blend again for 30 seconds

Very slowly drizzle in olive oil through the top of the blender and turn the blender speed to low and blend until smooth

The mayo can be stored in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 7 days

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Green Bean and Leek

Written by lee on . Posted in Recipe Book, Salads

Serves 2

  • 300g French beans
  • 500g leeks 
  • Tapenade Dressing:
  • 75g pitted black olives 
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 anchovy fillets
  • 1 small red chilli 
  • 125ml olive oil
  • 5 basil leaves
  • 1 TBSP chopped parsley
  • Freshly cracked black pepper

Put all ingredients except oil in a food processor and make a rough paste
Add olive oil gradually and mix 
Add chopped parsley and basil 
Blanche beans in salted water so they are crispy
Trim leeks slice in half lengthways, toss in a little olive oil and grill until crispy
Mix beans and leeks together and add tapenade to taste

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Nicoisesque

Written by lee on . Posted in Recipe Book, Salads

Serves 4

  • 2 eggs boiled and cooled
  • 2 cups English spinach salad Leaves
  • 200g steamed crispy green beans
  • 2 vine ripened tomatoes cut to wedges
  • 1 large can tuna in spring water
  • 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 TBS lemon juice 
  • Celtic sea salt
  • 1 cup small black olives 
  • 8 anchovy fillets split lengthways

Peel the boiled and cooled eggs and then cut into quarters
Wash and dry salad leaves and let stand for a few moments
At this point make up dressing with lemon and olive oil place in jar and shake
Arrange the lettuce on a serving plate, and scatter the green beans, tomato, anchovies and olives around
Tuck the tuna and eggs in and carefully toss to mix together 
Finish with olive oil, lemon and sea salt

Serve immediately

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Chicken and Lime Salad

Written by lee on . Posted in Recipe Book, Salads

  • 1 cup oven roasted chicken roughly torn
  • 1 cup spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup yellow pepper diced
  • ½ cup sea salt and apple cider vinegar almonds 
  • 2 sticks celery sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes 
  • 1 cucumber thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado diced

 Tangy Lime Dressing:

  •  1 TBS Olive Oil
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1 TBS apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. lime zest
  • 1 clove garlic crushed and minced
  • Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste

 

In medium sized bowl toss together all salad ingredients 
Combine lime juice, zest, garlic and apple cider vinegar and drizzle in olive oil and whisk slowly to create an emulsified dressing 
Add salt and pepper to taste
Assemble salad on a plate
Crown with roasted chicken and dress lightly

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Tuna Salad

Written by lee on . Posted in Recipe Book, Salads

Serves 2

  •  1 can of large tuna in spring water
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes sliced 
  • 1 cucumber thinly sliced
  • 1/2 avocado cubed
  • 1 handful English spinach leaves
  • 1 handful of peppery rocket leaves
  • Sprinkle of pumpkin seeds
  • 1 TBS Olive Oil
  • 1 clove garlic crushed and minced
  • 1/2 lemon juiced

Toss all salad ingredients together
Combine stevia and lemon juice then drizzle in olive Oil
Swirl dressing over and enjoy

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Quinoa Salad

Written by lee on . Posted in Recipe Book, Salads

Makes 4 to 6 servings

  • 1 cup Quinoa cooked
  • 1/2 tsp. of sea salt
  • 1 cup water
  • I red onion chopped
  • 10 Basil Leaves washed
  • 10 vine ripened cherry tomatoes halved
  • 2/3 cup parsley, minced

 Dressing

  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. sea salt 

 

Place cooked quinoa in serving bowl
Add basil, tomatoes, onion and parsley to quinoa
To make dressing combine garlic, lemon juice, oil, and sea salt
Pour dressing over quinoa salad and toss making sure it’s thoroughly coated 
Serve and enjoy

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