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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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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

screen-shot-2016-09-24-at-8-27-34-am

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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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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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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