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My Bestest Ever Roasted Vegetable Stock

Written by lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Blog, Candida Friendly, Dairy Free, Dinner, Fasting, Gluten Free, gut healing, gut health, Heal Your Gut, healthy gut. digestive health, Healthy Meals, micro flora, microbiome, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Sauces, Seasonal, Shopping List, Soup, Soups & Salads, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, supercharged food, Supercharged Food Menu, Vegetables, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

roasted-veg-stock

“Good broth will resurrect the dead,” reads a South American proverb.

Escoffier claimed “Indeed, stock is everything in cooking. Without it, nothing can be done.” A staple and medicinal cure-all in traditional households and the prime ingredient in classic gourmet cuisine, stock or broth made from meat or vegetables is a beautiful meal-base ingredient to always have on hand in the freezer, and has been revered for generations for its ability to nurture the sick and nourish families.

For chefs, stock is the charmed elixir for making soul-warming soups and spectacular sauces.

Vegetable broths made mindfully at home are one of the cheapest and easiest ways to use up leftover veggies, making it a fabulously frugal and environmentally friendly household staple.

If you’re looking to be a more conscious consumer, a homemade stock using up all of your on-hand veggies are the perfect way to enter into the world of frugality, and can help you to justify spending a little extra on quality organic ingredients as you find use for every last skerrick of produce to create delicious meals for you and your family to enjoy.

Beyond adding delicious flavour as the bases of sauces, stocks, soups and stews, they also act as a supercharged “tonic” that are wonderful for adding a dose of healing nutrients that are empowering for health.

Many of the minerals and vital nutrients contained within vegetables are actually bound up within the cell walls of the raw product. Long, slow and gentle cooking actually allows for the breakdown of the cell walls of veggies so that your digestive system can have easy access to the uptake of nutrients.

This is an especially helpful process if you suffer from leaky gut or malabsorption.  Adding broths and stocks is an extra insurance policy to ensure that your body is being flooded with easy-to-digest nutrients and it's one of the staples in my book Heal Your Gut and Heal Your Gut online programs.

I love to experiment with different flavours of seasonal vegetables, herbs and scrap leftovers to create nourishing stocks and tasty, nutrient-rich broths that are both delicious and healing.

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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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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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Gut Healing Salmon Chowder

Written by lee on . Posted in Autumn, Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Candida Friendly, Dairy Free, Digestion, Dinner, Gluten Free, gut healing, gut health, Heal Your Gut, healthy gut. digestive health, Lunch, micro flora, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Soup, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

salmon chowder

 photo by a happy HYG'er

The votes are in, the #HYGers have had their say and Salmon Chowder has come out on top for the most popular gut healing recipe from my four week Heal Your Gut program!

It’s also a great way to up the anti-(inflammatories) on your Omega 3 quota too.

If time is of the essence you can make it ahead and enjoy the next day, giving a chance for the flavours to meld together even further.  It’s a hearty, comforting and satisfying bowl of deliciousness featuring beautiful pieces of salmon floating across a sea of creamy broth. It’s an ideal meal for the whole family too so you don’t have to just cook for one.

Why is gut health so important?

The gut is the gateway to your body and not only significantly influences your physical health, but it has a major impact on your mental health.  The stomach or gut is one of the key connections to your brain and emotional health and the health of your immune system.

The world within your gut is multifaceted and involves an interdependent relationship between living organisms called micro flora.  Micro flora is the complex, diverse microorganism species that live in your digestive tract. These organisms are also referred to as gut flora and are most easily understood as fitting into the categories of either "good bacteria" or "bad bacteria."

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Avocado Soup Mexican Style

Written by lee on . Posted in Recipe Book, Soup

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 avocados, ripe, pitted, peeled, and mashed 
  • 2 TBS EV Olive Oil
  • 1 brown onion, chopped
  • 3-4 cups homemade vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 lemon freshly squeezed
  • 1 TBS lemon rind
  • 1 tsp. paprika 
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin 
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • Celtic Sea Salt 
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Lime quarters to garnish

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until combined
Place in bowl and chill until served

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Tomato Soup

Written by lee on . Posted in Recipe Book, Soup

Serves 4

  • 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cans chopped tomatoes no additives
  • 1 cup tomato sauce (no additives)
  • 1 small bottle sugar-free tomato puree
  • 2 fennel bulbs wash and chopped
  • 2 cups filtered water or stock
  • 1 brown onion diced
  • 3 garlic cloves chopped
  • 2 TBS freshly squeezed lemon
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 large leek, washed sliced
  • 1 red capsicum chopped finely
  • 1 bunch celery sliced thinly
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • Celtic sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
  • Tsp. stevia to taste

Sauté onion, garlic, pepper and celery in a large stainless or enamel soup pot, keeping a few fresh basil leaves aside
Place the remaining ingredients into the pot and pour in water so vegies are covered
Sprinkle in the stevia
Cook on high until boiled and then turn temp down and simmer with a lid on for 45 minutes
Garnish with fresh basil leaves and a squeeze of fresh lemon

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Thai Fish Soup

Written by lee on . Posted in Recipe Book, Soup

Serves 4

  • 4 cups home-made chicken or vegetable stock 
  • I x 5 cm piece of ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves sliced thinly
  • 2 lemongrass sticks cut into 5cm pieces 
  • 4 kafir lime leaves whole
  • 1kafir lime leaf shredded
  • Handful of mint
  • 2 fish fillets 
  • 2 green chillies , sliced
  • 2 red chillies sliced
  • 2 TBS fish sauce (anchovies, filtered water and stevia)
  • 1 lime juiced plus 1 tsp. lime rind
  • Pinch sea salt
  • Stevia to taste

 

Method

Place stock ginger, lemongrass, garlic, stevia, fish sauce and the lime leaves into the saucepan and bring to the boil and then simmer for 10 mins 
Strain off the soup over a bowl so the soup is now clear and place the liquid back into the saucepan
Add fish and lime juice and rind and bring to boil then simmer for 5 mins
Ladle into a bowl and garnish with mint, chillies, shredded lime leaf and thinly sliced lemon grass

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Chilled Out Cucumber and Avocado Soup

Written by lee on . Posted in Recipe Book, Soup

Serves 2

  • 3 small avocados
  • 1 small cucumber, seeded and peeled
  • Fistful of coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • Juice of one lemon or lime
  • 2 cups of homemade chicken stock 
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Spring onion/mint for garnish

In a blender place all of the ingredients on high until pureed
If too thick add a bit more lime or lemon juice
Pour into a bowl and refrigerate until chilled
Ladle into chilled soup bowls and add sea salt and pepper to taste
Garnish with mint and spring onion

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Cauliflower & Turnip Soup

Written by lee on . Posted in Recipe Book, Soup

Serves two

  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 small round turnips, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 sticks celery chopped
  • 1 TBS fresh ginger, crushed and sliced into 2 or 3 chunks
  • 2 TBS nutritional yeast flakes
  • Handful of continental parsley
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ocean sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cracked pepper
  • 3 cups homemade or no additive chicken stock or filtered water

Warm oil in a large pan and add onions, celery and garlic
Sauté over medium heat and stir until well coated with the oil then add cauliflower and turnip and cook for 10 minutes
Add ginger, ocean sea salt and pepper, yeast flakes, parsley and stir well 
Add chicken stock and bring to boil stirring a couple of times
Reduce heat and cover, cooking for 20 minutes
Transfer to blender and puree
Once pureed return to pan to heat

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Vegetable Soup on a Cold Night

Written by lee on . Posted in Recipe Book, Soup

Serves 6-8

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 140 g (5 oz.) sugar-free tomato paste (concentrated purée)
  • 400 g (14 oz.) tin chopped tomatoes (sugar and additive free)
  • 150 g (51/2 oz.) green beans, topped, tailed and cut into 34 cm
  • (11/411/2 inch) lengths
  • 1/4 cabbage, coarsely shredded
  • 1/2 cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • 2 zucchini (courgettes), diced
  • 1 red capsicum (pepper), diced
  • 1 green capsicum (pepper), diced
  • 1 bunch kale or 1/2 bunch silverbeet
  • (Swiss chard), stalks trimmed and leaves coarsely shredded
  • 1 litre (35 fl oz./4 cups) additive-free vegetable stock or filtered water
  • 1 handful herbs, such as parsley, thyme, rosemary and basil, chopped

 

Heat the coconut oil in a large heavy-based saucepan and lightly brown the onion, garlic and celery over medium heat for about 5 minutes. 
Stir in the tomato paste and chopped tomatoes and cook for a minute or two. 
Add the beans, cabbage, cauliflower, zucchini, capsicum and kale, and cook for 12 minutes more. Add the stock or water and, if necessary pour, in enough extra filtered water to cover the vegetables. 
Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour. 
If you prefer a smoother soup, transfer to a blender or use a hand-held blender and whiz until the desired texture is reached. 
Serve hot, sprinkled with the herbs.

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Broccoli Soup

Written by lee on . Posted in Recipe Book, Soup

Serves four

  •  2 broccoli heads and stems roughly chopped
  • 2 TBSP coconut oil-melted 
  • 2 cups homemade vegetable stock
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 sticks celery copped
  • Sea Salt to taste 
  • 1 handful fresh mint
  • 1 handful fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup coconut milk (optional)
  • Handful of slithered almonds to garnish

In a large heavy bottom saucepan place coconut oil, heat and add garlic and onion and cook until translucent
Throw in chopped celery and cook through
Add the broccoli including stems and pour in stock
Bring to boil, reduce heat and add seasoning and herbs
Simmer for 15 minutes and stir in coconut milk
Place in blender then blend together until smooth and return to pan if it needs reheating
Garnish with slithered almonds

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Creamy Spinach and Celery Soup

Written by lee on . Posted in Recipe Book, Soup, Uncategorized

Serves 6

  • 1 bunch celery with leaves sliced 
  • 6 cups homemade chicken stock
  • 1 bunch spinach chopped
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 turnips peeled and cubed
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 large brown onion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Celtic Sea Salt and freshly cracked pepper

Reserve a couple of celery leaves for garnish and refrigerate
Heat EV olive oil over medium heat and add onion, garlic, celery, thyme and cook for 20 mins until celery is softened
Add chicken stock, turnips and spinach and turn heat to high until it reaches boiling point
Reduce heat and cover and simmer for 10 minutes until turnips are tender
Turn off heat and let cool then ladle mixture into a food processor to puree in batches
Return mixture to saucepan add coconut milk and simmer for 10 minutes
Ladle into earthenware soup bowls, garnish with celery leaves and season to taste

Serve with crispy kale chips

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