Beef Stir-Fry with Peaches, Plus Tips to Stock Your Pantry.

It's crunch time.

When it comes to quick cooking, there’s nothing better than a stir-fry. Whether you’ve got unexpected guests to impress on short notice, walk into your house absolutely ravenous after a long day at work or just don’t really feel like cooking, it’s your go-to, foolproof, delicious and time-efficient meal that’s even better than takeaways.

Stir-fries are a perfectly light dish that allow you to mix and match ingredients, embrace your creativity, brush up your cooking skills and most importantly, use your kitchen leftovers. They’re the ideal, hearty and vegetable-packed dish to create on a Sunday with leftover produce, or to have in your cooking arsenal for an easy midweek dinner.

If you haven’t picked up what I’m putting down, they’re the perfect meal for anytime because sometimes, all we really need is something quick and easy for lunch or dinner that provides warmth, comfort and nourishment.

Oh, and before you ask, I far prefer stir-fried vegetables over boiled veggies as they retain more nutrients and quite frankly, taste a heck of a lot better than sad boiled Brussels sprouts and carrots! In other words, if your favourite way to cook carrots is to boil them, then maybe you should unfollow me now, (joking :))

The Beef Stir-Fry with Peaches from my latest book, Supercharge Your Life is a delicious and convenient dish that is always within arms-reach when you have a fully stocked supercharged pantry!

When you’re starting to transform your kitchen into a supercharged paradise that’s equipped for serving up fulfilling and tantalising meals, work on getting a few basics in place. Here are a few tips and ideas...

  1. Stock your pantry with essentials that bring oodles of flavour and texture to your dishes. Not only will this turn them into enticing meals your whole family will enjoy but knowing everything is ready to go will also make it simpler and faster to get cracking, saving you time and energy.
  2. A well-stocked pantry, fridge and freezer are critical tools for planning ahead. Getting your pantry right and always having the basics on hand means fewer trips to the supermarket in the long run, and smaller trips where you’ll just be topping up your perishable items – which is better for your wallet and the environment! Along with your spice rack, slowly and systematically building up your pantry is the best way to ensure you always have staples and dry good on hand. Buying staples in bulk will help you and your wallet too.
  3. To add some instant flavour, maintain stocks of a few basic dressings, oils and vinegars. Start with mustard, wheat-free tamari or coconut aminos, apple cider vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Wheat-free tamari is a thicker, less salty, fermented soy sauce that can be used in Asian and non-Asian cooking to add a full, savoury umami flavour to your dishes.
  4. Onions and garlic, both from the Allium genus of plants, are two of my favourite flavour accompaniments to use in cooking. They don’t just play an important culinary role, they also provide a plethora of health benefits. When you start by sautéing onion or garlic at the beginning of cooking, you’ll find they unleash a powerful flavour that helps release the aromas of the other ingredients in your dish, (or use garlic/onion infused oils if you're in a hurry. This is a really important first step, as the strong flavour combinations will only increase the longer you wait to eat it. This is ideal for dishes you plan to reheat the following day and I mean, who doesn’t love leftovers? Whenever I can, I cook large batches of food, so my family and I can have lunch prepared for the following days. Onions stay fresh for well over a month in your pantry, and garlic can last for more than three months, so you’ll have your flavour friends right by your side for a good length of time. 
  5. If you have a bit of a sweet tooth, keep alternatives to refined sugar and artificial sweeteners on hand. I personally use raw honey, stevia, coconut sugar or coconut milkrice syrup, and various fruits like banana, mango or berries to satisfy your sweet tooth and balance out savoury flavours.
  6. When it comes to the freezer, frozen fruit, stocks, sauces, snap frozen peas and veg plus additional meat are key to have on hand. I usually have mince meat in my freezer in case of emergency and can do a quick savoury mince for the kids.

In the case of this stir-fry, we call upon a beef or sirloin to provide the protein which can help with muscle protein synthesis and strengthening the immune system. Beef also contains iron, zinc and selenium to improve metabolism and help break down fats in the body.

To counteract the meatiness, I love adding fruits to my stir-fries which is why I’ve included peaches here. Before you look at me and think ‘why are you ruining a perfectly good peach by adding it to a beef stir-fry?’, you’ve got to just trust me on this one. Peaches add a natural sweetness that’ll send your tastebuds to paradise. I always forget how much I love peaches until I have a peach and then I can’t stop eating them! Plus, once they’re baked, their deliciously juicy texture embodies everything nice in the world. So, let’s start adding fruit into our savoury meals and keep everyone on their toes - that’s my idea of exciting. Peaches (or nectarines, if you swing that way), are best in this recipe when they’re firm and cut into wedges.

No supercharged stir-fry is complete without vegetables. I love bok choy, also known as pak choy, into a stir-fry to ramp up the nourishment. This Chinese cabbage provides fibre and antioxidants to look after our digestion, skin health and even our livers!

Now that we’ve got some of the largest components of this dish in order, it’s crunch time. When I was initially creating this dish, I realised I had the flavours in order and all of the textures I needed but there was just one thing missing. I opened my fridge and had a look at my cauliflower and I could see it looking back at me, knowing its fate: it was so ready to be riced. Cauliflower rice is a great addition to any stir-fry because it’s light and neutral-tasting but adds the texture of a crunchy rice that complements a stir-fry so perfectly.

This dish is satisfyingly balanced when it comes to savoury and sweet flavours, as well as crunchy and juicy textures. My favourite part? This dish is popping with colour which makes my food-styling heart sing with joy. It’s the little things, isn’t it?

Next time you walk into your house at a time that’s far too late to start organising a five-star gourmet feast, think of me and of course, our beloved stir-fry. I hope you give this dish from Supercharge Your Life a whirl and love it as much as I do!

If you haven’t had a chance to look at it yet, Supercharge Your Life makes for the perfect gift. It provides tips on living a purposeful life and will help any reader fall in love with food all over again. Just like this stir-fry, all of the recipes are hearty, wholesome and energising. You can grab a copy here.

Beef Stir-Fry with Peaches

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil or coconut oil
  • 300 g (101/2 oz) beef rump or sirloin, cut into strips
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 × 5 cm (2 inch) piece fresh ginger, grated
  • 4 peaches or nectarines, halved, stone removed and cut into wedges
  • 800 g (1 lb 12 oz/2 small bunches) bok choy (pak choy)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos or wheat-free tamari
  • 2 tablespoons rice malt syrup
  • Cauliflower Rice, to serve

Method:

Heat the sesame oil in a wok over medium– high heat and stir-fry the beef strips until browned, working in batches if necessary. Add the garlic and ginger, and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the peaches and cook for 3 minutes, or until caramelised.

Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Return the wok to the heat, add the bok choy and aminos, and stir until the bok choy has wilted. Add the rice malt syrup and return the beef and peaches to the wok, stirring gently to warm through.

Serve with the cauliflower rice.

ACURE Under Eye Hydrogels and Foil-Time Masks

If you’ve ever read my blog or scrolled through my Instagram, you’ll know I’m 100% real and 100% against fakes, phonies and pretentiousness. This is the exact reason I have fallen hard for ACURE. This natural skincare brand makes cruelty-free natural beauty a walk in the wrinkle-free park.

ACURE creates convenient and easy-to-use products that are free from parabens (tick), sulphates (tick), phthalates (another tick), mineral oil (tick) petrolatum (tick) and silicone (Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!).

They’re a brand I know I can trust and that’s why I was so excited when I heard about their Under-Eye Hydrogel Masks and Foil-Time Sheet Masks. These vegan-friendly single-use masks are suitable for all skin types and are part of my travel essentials.

The Foil-Time Firming Gold Foil Mask contains vitamin C and turmeric. These activated ingredients help open up the pores to deliver a serious dose of serum. The mask is sure to give you a pregnancy glow (without the pain of childbirth, obviously!) and make it look a whole lot firmer. I used it and dabbed the excess onto my skin after I had finished and it left me hydrated all day.  I got so many positive comments on my skin as well!

The Foil-Time Fortifying Silver Foil Mask is a single-use face mask made for all skin types. It contains niacinamide and glacial glycoproteins, to keep your skin rejuvenated and oh-so refreshed. The Silver Foil Mask traps heat to open your pores and deliver the goodness right to your skin.

ACURE’s Seriously Soothing Under Eye Hydrogel will, as the name suggests, seriously soothe dark circles under the eyes. It contains blue tansy and arnica, making it suitable to soothe normal and sensitive skin. 

The Radically Rejuvenating Under Eye Hydrogels contain cucumber and silk tree, making it an intensely soothing under-eye elixir to rejuvenate the skin. This one’s great to combat aging, cool down your skin and keep your face hydrated. Be sure to keep this one in the fridge before use to offer a cooling boost – trust me, you won’t regret it.

ACURE’s Brightening Under Eye Supergreens Hydrogels contain caffeine and kale, to help smooth out and de-puff tired under-eye areas. It’s one that’s great for all skin types.

The Detox-Depuff Charcoal Lemonade Under Eye Hydrogels is your go-to for detoxifying and de-puffing the appearance of dark under-eyes circles through the power of activated charcoal and lemon extract. This one contains charcoal, lemon and cucumber, making it great for combination to oily skin.

ACURE’s whole new range is available globally and is sure to brighten, soothe and help detox your skin! With purely natural ingredients, cruelty-free skincare never felt so good. You can learn more about ACURE products here.

The Ginger People, Ginger Shot with Turmeric

It’s 7am on a Monday.

You’ve woken up with a tickle at the back of your throat. You’re feeling low on energy and that cold you’ve been trying to avoid is ever-lurking. You have a huge presentation on at work and all you want to do is stay home, curl up in bed and soothe your poor little throat.

But, alas, there’s no time.

So, what to do?

If you’ve been here before, like many of us, I’m sure you’ve tried it all – the fiery throat lozenges, zesty warm lemon water with honey or even gargling with dreaded salt water.

But there are times when nothing can seem to do the fix.

For a convenient way to meet your daily health needs, why not give The Ginger People’s Ginger Shot with Wild Turmeric a shot?.

That’s right; it’s about to get all sorts of zingy up in here. And by that I mean the good kind of zingy. The shots are caffeine free, yet naturally energising due to ginger’s circulatory boosting properties.

The Ginger People’s new vegan Ginger Shot with Turmeric is your golden ticket to more energy and get up and go so you can ace that presentation and soothe your throat simultaneously!

If you’ve never heard of The Ginger People, let me give you the low-down. Basically, they create some of the tastiest and purest ginger products by finding the world’s best ginger growing regions. Their ginger hails from the island of Vivi Levu in Fiji, one of the most pristine ecosystems in the world.

Why ginger you may ask?

Well, the main active compound in ginger, known as gingerol, is responsible for its medicinal properties. It has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, helping lower your risk of developing an infection. In fact, reports say that ginger can help inhibit the growth of many types of bacteria – (see you never, respiratory infections!), as well as being an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative.

The reason for the extra spring in its zingy step is because of the rhizome on the ginger root, making it great for your cold, tickly throat or flu. Plus, it’s a great remedy for nausea, making it the perfect companion for pregnant women with morning sickness and travellers everywhere.

The new ginger shot harnesses the benefits of organic ginger and turmeric in a little shot you can take anywhere. It has 30% organic ginger juice, wild turmeric, black pepper for activating the goodness and creamy coconut milk. This gives the product it’s earthy and peppery taste, along with the aromatic wild turmeric, that provides a spicy-herbaceous flavour.

These daily health shots also come in a single-serve glass bottle for all your recycling needs.

To find out more about The Ginger People’s Ginger Shot with Wild Turmeric head to their website here. 

Healthy Recipe Swaps for the ‘Whole’ Family

Do you know your local Uber Eats driver on a first name basis or have them on speed dial? Or the exact place the instant mac and cheese sits in your grocery store aisle?

We live in an extremely fast paced world that has made us forget that good things take time and effort. Right now we can send messages instantly, receive food deliveries in a jiffy and expect 'health' results to come quicker than you can say DIET. In this "fast generation", we want food and we want it right now. This means that we often lean towards foods that are quick and convenient to fulfil our need for instant gratification.

When it comes to delicious food and enjoyment of food, the time has come to slooooowww it right down. While we're aware that eating healthy can take a bit of time, many of us often overestimate the time we need to cook it and, underestimate just how good it can make us feel; not to mention the surge in our energy levels.

If you'd like to take a step towards a supercharged lifestyle, one of the things I recommend is preparing a few healthy foods once or twice a week to begin with. I understand sometimes it’s late and all you’re dreaming about on your ride home from work is THAT favourite takeaway Pad Thai, but these kinds of foods shouldn’t be your everyday go-to’s if you're in the business of Supercharging Your Life

I'd love to share with you a selection of ten classic convenience foods and their healthified counterparts. I promise that they won't take as much as time or effort as you may think and the taste levels are beyond the convenient options.

They're not only better for your health than packaged foods, they’re also better for the planet. Ok enough waffling lets start with waffles...

Swap This:

  1. Nanna’s Waffles

  • Water, Wheat Flour (Contains Thiamine, Folic Acid), Sugar, Raising Agents (500, 541, 341), Vegetable Oils, Milk Solids, Soy Flour, Iodised Salt, Egg Powder, Emulsifier (Soy Lecithin, 471), Natural Flavour, Colour (101).

Any product that’s full of numbers is definitely one you can do without. This processed food has little nutritional value; just additives and artificial ingredients to enhance flavour and taste. While there are some 'vegetable' oils, don’t be fooled by the word vegetables– these aren’t the kind of vegetables that are good for your health!

For this:

Waffles with Fresh Strawberries and Coconut Yoghurt

These waffles are easy to make, great for a Saturday morning and they taste even better because of their whole-food ingredients. The waffles from my latest book Supercharge your life are necessary, because everyone deserves a delicious waffle with all the toppings. The waffle-making is a super simple process. Simply make the batter, set it aside, heat the waffle-iron up and watch all of your waffley dreams come true. These light, delicately crisp and totally drool-worthy waffles are naturally sweetened with honey. And, they taste delicious, with no numbers needed.

Swap This:

  1. Tinned pineapple in Syrup

  • Pineapple (58%), Water, Sugar.

Pineapple is sweet enough – we don’t need added sugars!. Why get the tinned form when you can get the real thing? The syrup, made purely of sugar, is an unnecessary addition that can easily be cut out for a healthier waistline and better gut health.

For this:

Pain-fried pineapple with mint and coconut yoghurt

These pan-fried pineapples are naturally caramelised, making them sweet with no syrup necessary. Yes, you can enjoy this treat fully and wholly. Plus, cooking it, as opposed to eating the tinned variety, helps break down the cell walls of the fruit which makes it easier to digest. I love pineapple because it’s tasty, versatile and contains an anti-inflammatory digestive enzyme that can help rebuild gut health.

Swap This:

  1.  Snickers

 

  • Sugar, Peanuts, Glucose Syrup (Sources Include Wheat), Milk Solids, Cocoa Butter, Cocoa Mass, Vegetable Fat, Salt, Emulsifier (Soy Lecithin), Egg White, Flavour.

We all know you’re not you when you’re hungry, but you’re also not you when you’re lethargic and bloated after eating one too many of these; just nix the snicks!. While they make for a delicious treat, for those among us who want to slow down on soy, wheat or sugar, this is certainly a chocolate treat you wouldn’t go near.

For This:

Layered Salted Caramel Peanut Fudge

This is one of my favourite freezer desserts, and I like to keep it ready to grab at a moment’s notice. A decadent delight, it hones in on the irresistible flavour combo of caramel and sea salt. This beauty is gluten-free, dairy-free, refined-sugar free and is full of healthy fats to improve cholesterol levels, lower risks of heart disease and can be extremely beneficial on improving your mood… I mean, who isn’t smiling when they’re gobbling down a gooey and chocolatey caramel slice? Plus its a one bowl masterpiece and so quick and easy to make.

Swap This:

  1. Campbell’s Beef Noodle Soup

  • Beef Stock, Water, Enriched Egg Noodles (Wheat Flour, Eggs, Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Seasoned Beef (Contains Up To 10% Of A Solution Of Water, Salt, Sodium Phosphate), Tomato Puree (Water, Tomato Paste), Contains Less Than 2% Of: Salt, Vegetable Oil, Yeast Extract, Potato Starch, Monosodium Glutamate, Flavoring, Beef Flavor (Contains Beef Stock, Yeast Extract), Caramel Color, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Hydrolyzed Wheat Gluten, Dextrose, Onion Extract, Celery Extract, Garlic Extract.

Does this one really require an explanation? I mean really?! The consumption of additives, particularly Monosodium Glutamate here (MSG), can cause a wide array of health issues especially for people with a sensitive gut. Reactions from these additives vary but can have an overall impact on the immune system and increase toxic load on the bodies.

For This:

 Chicken, Edamame and Zucchini Noodle

Swap the numbers for real ingredients and don't skip out on the noodles! Creating a homemade soup, rather than drinking one from a can, can increase your intake of veggies, water and fibre. This can help relieve sluggishness that often accompanies the colder weather. If you’re attempting to satisfy your cravings for your favourite warming soup by picking up a can of soup, this soup is definitely a better alternative, with no additives and double the taste and nutrients. 

Swap This:

  1. Melting Moments

  • Butter (Cream (Milk)), Wheat Flour, Filling (33%)(Icing Sugar(contains Wheat Starch),Water, Shortening (Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil(Palm),Vegetable Emulsifiers (435, 471), Antioxidant (307b from Soy), Natural Butter Flavouring)),Wheat Starch, Sugar, Maize Starch, Natural Vanilla Flavouring, Dusting Sugar (contains Vegetable Emulsifier (322), Salt.

I'll be honest: traditional Melting Moments are one of my favourite cookies, but they're full of unfamiliar ingredients that are bodies aren't able to fully recognise. These two biscuits sandwiched together with cream are full of cream, sugar, shortenings, spelling mistakes and more. 

For This:

Meghan and Harry’s Melting Moments

These are better than the original, and I won't take no for an answer. Whether you like them super soft and delicate or crumbly and crispy, they’re definitely a crowd-favourite. I’ve recreated these cookies with a delicious lemon filling, because while they’re delectable on their own, there’s something extra special about the lemon filling. I know you’ll just love this royal partnership.

Swap This:

  1. Cherry ripe

  • Sugar, Coconut (Contains Sulphites), Glace Cherries (Cherries, Wheat Glucose Syrup, Colour (163), Sulphites, Acidity Regulator (330)), Wheat Glucose Syrup, Cocoa Mass, Sweetened Condensed Milk, Vegetable Fat, Cocoa Butter, Milk Solids, Cocoa Powder, Gelatine, Invert Sugar, Emulsifiers (Soy Lecithin, 476), Colours (120, 160(C)), Flavours, Mineral Salt (500).

I’m just going to say this once: no one likes Cherry Ripe. Forever the bottom of the Favourites box, we could all do without these. For those who (somehow) love these chocolates, I’d recommend a rethink. While they contain cherries, they’re covered in sulphites, acidity regulators, wheat glucose syrup and artificial colours... not exactly a welcome addition to your 'two fruits a day'.

For This: 

Cherry Ripe Easter Eggs

If you never really liked cherry ripe (same), but you’re a fan of cherries, coconut and chocolate, these are your new surprising treat. They’re wholesome, more delicious and have zero numbers. Satisfaction guaranteed.

Swap This:

  1. Heinz Big'N Chunky Canned Soup Chilli Beef

  • Tomatoes (42%), Red Kidney Beans (26%), Beef (9%), Green Capsicum, Onion, White Rice, Jalapeno Peppers, Sugar, Maize Thickener (1422), Tomato Juice, Beef Stock (Contains Wheat), Salt, Potato Starch, Spice, (Including Chili), Natural Colour (Paprika Extract), Natural Garlic Flavour (Contains Soy), Food Acid (Citric Acid), Mineral Salt (Calcium Chloride).

Whilst the exotic flavours of Mexico are delicious, typical Mexican food is filled with creams, refined carbohydrates and chemically-filled packet mixes and sauces. This can harm the gut, leaving us tired, lethargic, bloated and running to the bathroom. This chilli beef contains high amounts of table salt, which can contribute to high blood pressure and heart disease. The maize thickener, derived from GMO corn, as well as food acid, can cause all types of issues that could definitely turn anyone off eating it! Full on flavour = full on flavour enhancers!

For This:

Mexican Taco Beef Stew with Guacamole

Sure, it’s a bit more effort, but let’s taco about how superior this stew is in taste and ingredients. This home-made stew is sure to leave you satisfied and supercharge your gut in the process. The stewing process enables the cell wall of foods to be broken down, releasing maximum nutrition in an easy-to-digest and delicious form. This authentic stew, loaded with delicious flavours and plenty of vitamins and minerals, is seriously life-changing.

Swap This:

  1. Gummy bears

  • Corn syrup, sugar from beets, water, gelatin, sorbitol from fruits and vegetables, citric & malic acid, FD&C yellow 5 & 6, blue 1, red 40, natural and artificial flavors, vegetable oil and carnauba wax. 

Gummy bears are an easy go-to snack for kids, but the traditional kind are not the things we should be filling lunch boxes with. These gummies are sweetened with corn syrup which is one of the worst sweeteners, typically made with GMO corn.

For This:

Apple Cider Gummy Bears

Everyone’s favourite treat has just become supercharged. I’ll be the first to admit it, while apple cider vinegar sounds great for our health, it isn't usually the most palatable of ingredients to kids (and pretty much everyone else out there too... if your friend says they LOVE apple cider vinegar, they're probably lying).This is why I’ve combined it with a gut-healing guru, gelatine, and some natural apple juice to make these gummies yummy and good for the tummy! If you're ready to have some seriously devoted healthy gummy fans, you have to give these a whirl.

So please try these swap outs and let me know if we're going to give these multinationals a run for their money with real food and real ingredients 😉

Lee xo

The Supercharge Your Life Cooking Video Series Launches on FMTV

If you're into cooking shows, I have just the 'foodventure' for you.  My brand new Supercharge Your Life cooking series has just landed on FMTV. I have written about Food Matters TV before here, it’s basically the Netflix of the health world. Don't fight me on this.  

Whether you're looking for some quick inspiration, a feature-length documentary or anything in between, FMTV has got your back and your heart and gut!. FMTV is a wonderful online streaming channel that brings together an amazing group of dedicated yogis, meditators, moviemakers, speakers and chefs (including yours truly!) into one location to provide the best experience possible at just the touch of your fingertips. I mean who needs Netflix and Chill when you can FMTV and transform? Amirite?

I'm so excited to launch my first cooking show with them! It's called Recipes to Supercharge Your Life and is a series of delicious and beautiful recipes that I know you will love, enjoy and rotate regularly. 

All of the recipes in the series are underpinned by my supercharged principles of anti-inflammatory, balanced meals that draw from the traditional wisdom of Ayurveda.

Don't worry there are no fan-dangled ingredients in these recipes; just honest, real, accessible food as close to nature as possible. I'll walk you through each recipe, holding your hand, every step of the way.

In the world of wellness, I’ve seen the waves of fad diets, exotic superfoods and kale smoothies rage and settle. I’ve also observed the underbelly of the wellness movement; where the extreme focus on clean eating can create more anxiety than it’s really worth. The aim for my recipes is that they will be a breath of fresh air for our relationship with food; widening our focus from the meaning of food simply being a potential catalyst for health or harm, towards a much broader and truly holistic perspective.

Food ties through every part of our lives, and when we perceive a broader appreciation of food and its power, we can lighten up a little, connecting food with purpose and joy once again!

In the series you will learn how to create these supercharged recipes:

  • Chocolate and Raspberry Smoothie Bowl
  • Golden Gut Lassi 
  • Layered Salted Caramel Peanut Fudge
  • Oven Baked Broccoli and Cauliflower Steaks
  • Roasted Fig, Walnut and Goat’s Cheese Salad
  • Infused Water Jars

You can find out more about the series in the video below and enjoy the full series over here at FMTV.

Make cooking at home more convenient

Many of us have grown up enjoying home-cooked meals made by our loving parents. Some people would have picked up valuable cooking skills and continued to make great use of their kitchen when they finally moved out of home – for others it’s not so easy.

With all of today’s options for fast food and home delivery, it’s increasingly harder for some of us to find the motivation to buy raw ingredients and cook a healthy meal at home. This is especially true for those people who work long hours and really don’t have the energy to prepare an elaborate meal from scratch every single evening.

Services that deliver pre-portioned ingredients for healthy and easily prepared meals have become popular with people who want to cook from home without all of the stressful grocery shopping. A dukkah steak with lemon and feta greens, for example, is very nutritious, low in carbohydrates and easy to cook once you have the ingredients!

There are also plenty of tips and tricks you can use to make cooking at home more convenient and/or appealing to you. The following will take a look at some of the best methods you can employ.

Cook several simple meals at once

One of the main things that turn people off cooking at home is the fact that they need to make an effort in the kitchen every evening. As mentioned earlier, this can be particularly unappealing for people who come home physically and/or mentally exhausted from their jobs.

A great way to avoid this is to simply cook several dinners at the same time. There are plenty of healthy, filling meals you can create in bulk and easily re-heat on different days of the week.

The only disadvantage of this strategy is that it’s not really practical with more elaborate dishes, so you might end up getting bored of eating similar meals over and over again. However, it is still a great way to ensure you are getting a nutritionally wholesome meal each night of the week.

Plan your meals ahead of time

Another great way to make cooking at home less of a chore is to build a weekly meal plan that sets out what dishes you want to eat and what ingredients you will need to prepare them. Doing this means you won’t waste as much time in the supermarket or staring at the contents of your pantry thinking about what you want to cook.

For many people, the act of supermarket shopping for healthy, raw ingredients can be a stressful experience. Being bombarded with so many different decisions about food can be overwhelming and lead people to simply opt for a quick takeaway or microwavable option.

Writing down what you plan to eat and how you are going to prepare it will make you far more likely to actually commit to that plan. This helps motivate you to continue cooking healthy meals and lessens the temptation of unhealthy choices.

Involve other people

If you find the prospect of cooking an entire meal from scratch daunting, why not try to lessen the workload by asking for some help? If you live with family members, a romantic partner or a flatmate you can ask them to help you cook a healthy dinner that you can enjoy together.

Not only does this lessen the overall workload and speed up the cooking process, but it also helps bring you closer together through a shared experience. Cooking can be a wonderful bonding exercise that can help make your interpersonal relationships much more dynamic and meaningful.

Invest in time-saving cooking appliances

If the length of time it takes for you to cook a healthy dinner is holding you back, you should look into acquiring new appliances that can save you a lot of time and effort in the kitchen. Modern technology is truly amazing and you’d be surprised how much quicker you can do things with a new cooking gadget.

A rice cooker is a great investment for those who find the manual method of preparing rice frustrating. They make it easy to cook several pounds of rice with little to no-effort required.

A slow cooker or crockpot is another amazing cooking device that allows you to simply chuck in a load of ingredients before heading to work so you can come home to a hot, healthy meal.

Learn better cooking techniques

If cooking is a skill that doesn’t come naturally to you then it never hurts to try to get some extra training and guidance on how you could improve. The reason you’re not cooking as much in your kitchen may be just a simple case of you not knowing the most efficient way to make use of everything in your pantry.

If you have a friend or relative who is an excellent cook, ask them to come around and show you some tricks. They’ll be flattered you asked them for their expertise and should be happy to train you free of charge.

Otherwise, you can always sign up to a professional cooking class. While this will cost money, you will learn a lot of really useful skills incredibly fast.

Hopefully by using the above techniques you can get yourself utilising the full potential of your kitchen while also ensuring you are following a healthy diet.

Delicious Lamb Mulligatawny

Food is magical.

I mean purely magical.

Not only does food nourish our bodies and keep us thriving, it also has the transformative ability to unite families, friends and strangers across the globe.

Think about it: when was the last time you dipped some vegetables into a Middle Eastern hummus, slurped up a classic Italian stew or sweated out some delicious dahl from India?

Globalisation has given us the opportunity to open our eyes, and stomachs, to a whole new world of cultures through our palates. Our tables are constantly filled with foods that are inspired by flavours of the Middle East, Asia, India and beyond, through spices and special cultural recipes.

Unfortunately, some might say that the rise of globalisation has also shifted the way that we cook. Many people find the kitchen to be a stressful place; some even despise cooking, preferring to fork out money for convenient takeaway meals on the regular. 

We’re able to pick-up Japanese, Thai and Indian food from every street corner these days. While this is okay on occasion, it’s important to remember that the money that you spend sends a message; you’re not only paying for the food, you’re paying for a business. Where you choose to spend your money is a direct and daily vote for the kind of world you want to live in. (more…)

How to Gather and Arrange Wildflowers

Just in time for Mother's Day.  I'd love to share with you a few tips on making the perfect bunch of wildflowers for that special person in your life.

Picture this.

You’re at the farmer's markets.

Bikes of varying colours and degrees of rust are littered on the outskirts of the gates.

There are elegant girls effortlessly roaming around in pale yellow linen sundresses and glasses that are too big for their faces, holding woven baskets filled with organic mangoes and crispy kale leaves. Every stall has freshly-picked daffodils and orchids, giving off the freshest of aroma’s and a delightful sense of calm. You're having the perfect day, so much so that you’ve almost forgotten what you’ve come for.

But then, out of the corner of your eye, you see it: the perfect arrangement of exquisite wildflowers.

You start floating towards it. This will be the day that you’ll finally be united with the floral arrangement of your dreams.

It’s looking at you while you’re looking back at it.

It’s magical.

And then something terrible happens.

You see…

The price tag.

Uh oh.

While arranged wildflowers do make beautiful centrepieces, they do tend to come at a hefty price. Making your own arrangement of wildflowers is a fun activity that can allow you to unleash your inner creative and florist while not breaking the bank.

Wildflowers add atmosphere to any home but also make for wonderful bridal bouquets and even small bedside table arrangements. There’s nothing I love more than walking into a home with freshly-cut flowers with a healthy dose of greenery interspersed with some tea lights.

If you’re wanting to live out that fantasy, the way to begin is by finding the perfect vessel.

Some people love to use a big vase on a mantlepiece to create a focal point for a room. You may choose to use a simple vase, upcycle your flea market finds, unearth treasures in junk shops or use different old tins, jars and cans to create a bohemian theme. Find the vessel that works best for your space and style.

Next, it’s time to find some greenery. When it comes to picking the greenery, I love foraging or as I like to call it, community gardening. When it comes to the rules of picking wildflowers, it is not normally an offence to pick the 'Four Fs' – fruit, foliage, fungi or flowers – if the plants are growing wild and it is for your personal use and not for sale.  But back away from flowers in council parks, roundabouts and verges, community gardens, protected or threatened plant species or nature reserves.

Foraging has broadened my view of all of the beautiful wild things growing around me. Once I start looking for greenery, it’s hard to stop. The more you allow yourself the time to simply stop and smell the roses (ha!), the more you realise how much beauty there is around you.

However, if you do choose to forage, please be respectful of other people’s properties and only take what you need. You may like to grab greens from trees, bushes or overgrown, weeded areas. Insert your greenery at a variety of heights. I recommend pulling off the leaves that you can see are going to fall below water-level to keep your arrangement in line. This will keep the arrangement looking pristine and help reduce bacteria too.

Now, the best part: it’s flower time! When picking your flowers, always be sure to get a few more than you think you’ll need; you’ll be surprised how many flowers get stage-freight and break when they’re on display. Add your taller flowers to the center and edges of the bouquet.

I love Australian native wildflowers. They have a rich fragrance and add vibrant colours and textures and last a really long time too. There are so many to choose from so, have fun with it! Some of my favourite Australian wildflowers that are not threatened or protected are Eucalyptus, Wattle and Hakea. The wilder, the better. Make sure to cut each stem on an angle with secateurs or sharp scissors and cut to suit the length of your vase, you can also mix locally bought flowers with them to.

When it comes to arranging the flowers, simple works best and remember less is more.  Don’t try to over-do things with too many different plant varieties rather, let your instincts guide you and choose the flowers that you love. You may choose to gain inspiration from Instagram, magazines or your favourite artists.

And if you don't have any wild flower areas around you that you are able to use then, shop local.  One of the best parts about wildflowers is while they look fancy, they can be kept within budget. Whenever I shop for my produce, flowers included, I support local businesses. Not only is this a great way to reduce your carbon footprint, it also sends a message about where you decide to spend your money which has a greater overall impact on the economy.

When you’re done with the bigger flowers, insert your smaller filler flowers at different heights where you see fit.

Finally, it’s time to add some water to the arrangement. Be sure to keep your wildflowers out of direct sunlight. To keep your flowers fresh, cut the stems and change the water daily.

Don’t stress too much about getting the perfect arrangement; working with wildflowers means there’s no right or wrong. They look effortlessly beautiful however you choose to arrange them. As they say, there are many ways to … make a floral arrangement? Whichever way you arrange them, you can’t go wrong. Use your creative eye, have fun and enjoy!

Once you’re done, be sure to stand back, admire your arrangement and make any adjustments if you need to.

Then give them to the person you love with a smile.

If you're keen to spoil mum with breakfast in bed, here's a delicious recipe.

Happy Mother's day!

Lee xo

The Only Cauliflower Fried Rice Dish You Need

On my way back from a meeting the other day, I walked past a Chinese takeaway shop and all of a sudden, my nostrils were filled with nostalgia... and by that, I mean I could smell fish, sesame oil, garlic and a heck of a lot of MSG. While a part of me knows that Chinese takeaway isn’t the healthiest option, I can't help but be brought back to days of eating fried rice in a white takeaway box on the couch, laughing while watching TV with Tamsin and attempting to use chopsticks. 

I thought I really wanted some but I knew my gut couldn't quite handle it. I decided it was time to combine the authentic taste of Chinese food with my supercharged cooking skills.

But, where to start?

As soon as I got home, I started googling traditional Chinese recipes to gather a few ideas: there were sweet and sour noodles, Kung Pao chicken, dumplings and wontons but, nothing was hitting the spot. Then, I thought back to my old-school favourite, fried rice, and knew what I had to do.

When creating a dish, I liken it to creating a piece of music. You start with the bass and then add layers as you go. Obviously, the base of fried rice is rice, so start from the base, because if there’s something you, Meghan Trainor and I all have in common, it’s that we’re all about that base.

I hear my phone beep and check to see what notification I’ve received, and it just so happens to be a like on insta of my cauliflower steak. Suddenly, it feels like the universe is sending me a message and the stars are aligning, because duh, obviously I have to use cauliflower rice in this fried rice! I mean, in case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been on a bit of a cauliflower rampage recently, adding it to my soups and using it as a base for some delicious Italian-style pizza so, it’s the perfect choice.

Cauliflower rice is super simple to make, and offers a low-calorie, gluten-free, low-carbohydrate and grain-free alternative to regular rice. The best part is that it actually tastes like rice, not the fake ricey thing a lot of us have come to accept. I say no more poorly chosen vegetable replacements! Who’s with me?

Just be sure when you’re blitzing the cauliflower in the food processor that you don’t over process it to avoid cauliflower mush – that’s not mush of a fried rice!

If you’re low on time and your family’s begging for food or, you can’t think of anything worse than chopping up some cauli (it’s okay, you can be real with me. We’re all friends here), most supermarkets have pre-riced cauliflower to help save you cooking and cleaning time.

Once the base is sorted, it's time to think about the flavour profiling. Cauliflower is subtle and understated, quick to absorb whatever flavour you throw its way, making ginger and garlic an obvious addition here. Not only do they add to that authentic Chinese flavour we’re going for, they also pack a nutrient nunchuck ;). I’ve used sesame oil here to add to the authenticity, but feel free to use coconut oil or whatever oil you prefer instead.

As any stir-fry maker knows, the key to easy and quick stir-frying is preparing all of your ingredients beforehand. Chop up your ginger, mince your garlic, cut the carrots and dice your onions. While I’ve chopped up my nitrate-free bacon rashers and chicken as my source of protein (and deliciousness) here, feel free to swap it out with seafood, tempeh or anything else you fancy. Make it your own. I believe in you. 

This meal is healthy and hearty; a perfect main meal or large side dish. So, next time you wander past a Chinese shop and get the cravings, walk straight past, pick yourself up a cauliflower instead and enjoy this magic. Be sure to add it to your weekly dinner rotation and get excited about it for leftovers the next day because sometimes, the Chinese cravings are super real.

If you’re in need of more quick dinner recipes and tips, check out my book Supercharge Your Life.

Cauliflower Fried Rice

Serves 3-4

Ingredients: 

  • 1 head cauliflower (I used an amazing purple variety here)
  • 5 nitrate-free bacon rashers (slices), chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sesame or coconut oil, plus extra as needed
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • Large handful chopped spring onions (scallions)
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped
  • 90 g (31/4 oz/1 cup) sliced carrots (see tip)
  • 140 g (5 oz/1 cup) frozen peas
  • 6 anchovy fillets, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons wheat-free tamari
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • handful coriander (cilantro) leaves, plus extra to serve(optional)
  • sesame seeds, to serve 
  • lime wedges, to serve

Method:

Roughly chop the cauliflower into florets, then pulse in a food processor until it resembles rice. Set aside.

Heat a large wok over medium heat, then fry the bacon until brown and crispy. Set aside in a bowl.

Add a splash of sesame oil to the wok, then add the eggs, tilting the wok to spread them evenly, and fry, without stirring, until cooked through. Remove from the wok and roll up, then cut into slices. 

Add a little more oil to the wok, increase the heat to high, then stir-fry the spring onions, ginger and garlic for 1 minute. Add the chicken and cook, stirring, to seal on all sides. Add the carrot and stir-fry until just tender, then turn out into a bowl with the chicken.

Add a little more oil if needed, then add the cauliflower rice to the wok. Stir-fry for 3–5 minutes, until tender, then return all the cooked ingredients to the wok, along with the peas, anchovies, tamari, vinegar, lime juice and coriander, if using. 

Serve warm, topped with sesame seeds and extra coriander, with lime wedges on the side. 

Supercharged Tip:

For a bit of fun for the kids, cut star shapes from some of the carrots.

Life in Flow by Kate Kendall Book Review

There are some books that you half-read once, put down and never think about again.

And then, you get books like Life in Flow.

Life in Flow is an everyday book. It’s one that you reflect on whilst on your way to work, an afternoon walk and every space in between. It has lots of dog-ear bookmarks, underlined sentences, notes scrawled and pages you refer back to whenever life feels like it’s getting away from you.

But, before you begin, be sure to sit down, find stillness and enjoy it properly.

Kate Kendall, known as the Active Yogi, is not only the author of Life in Flow, but also the co-founder and director of Sydney's yoga and gym space, Flow Athletic in Paddington. She hosts a podcast titled The Space Between (I feature on this episode here, just by the way), is the creator of Flow After Dark, a beautiful friend, new mum and all-round inspiring woman. If you’ve ever had the chance to speak to her in person though, you’ll realise Kate’s a humble and inspiring yogi who merely followed her path.

Life in Flow explores Kate's story in its entirety. 

After experiencing a crash and burn on her way to the top, Kate managed to turn her life around through yoga and meditation. She quit her full-time job to go to India and study yoga. While this story is one of epic proportions, Kate explains throughout the book that it’s not about changing your whole life journey but rather, finding your own personal ‘dharma’, or life purpose. Kate explores what it means to be a yogi in the everyday, and shows us that there's a lot more to it than meditating uncomfortably in a lotus pose or getting sweaty at a yoga studio.

Kate effortlessly combines ancient yoga practices with modern mindfulness, making it the perfect book to assist you in practicing yoga on and off the mat. The book radiates Kate’s positivity but is also a very raw and inspiring exploration of how to find your own flow. It’s spiritual, open-minded and will help you slow down, spark joy and connect.

The book is sectionalised into four parts to help guide you through the journey: grounding, joy riding, connection and devotion. Each chapter follows Kate’s own story and musings, holds helpful tips and yoga poses to help solidify the messages.  

The book starts with an exploration into being grounded, and how to be ‘in your body’. From this place, Kate explains, you’re less reactive, and more clear-headed, creative and calm. It investigates the idea of slowing down and is full of practical tips to help you feel grounded and inhabit your space more fully.

Joy riding is a chapter of clarity; being clear on what brings you happiness. The yoga flow in this chapter follows the mantra love and light, which I absolutely love.  

While our generation is connected in so many ways, the deep, soul-touching connection we aspire for often goes amiss, leaving us feeling, ironically, disconnected. This chapter is full of tools to help us get back to connection. It also contains one of my favourite parts in the book, a section about phones and digital detoxes. Admittedly, I have a love-hate relationship with my phone. Kate eloquently explores the relationship we have with our phones and how much beauty there is if we just look up from the screen. Oh, and you can also learn how to have a conscious yogi’s phone etiquette – think turning it off with friends, at meal times and before bed.

The last chapter, devotion, perfectly sums up the whole book. In essence, it showcases how being of service to others gives life a purpose. However, life is about giving and receiving, reminding us to give, but still remember to give to ourselves through self-care.

This book is truly a game-changer for the modern mindfulness guru. From the yoga-curious to the yoga legend, there are nuggets of yogi wisdom for everyone.

I had the opportunity to interview Kate and ask her some juicy questions. Enjoy it below!

What was the spark that made you want to write the book and kept you going during the lengthy process?

I knew I had a book in me. I'd flirted with the idea for a while but it wasn't until a sit down with you, Lee, when you said you'd introduce to your book publisher. That was the head start I needed. I'm lucky for that.

I wrote the book the whole nine months I was pregnant - every spare moment I got away from the studio.  I'd spend Sundays in the library or sitting in our living room in Bronte looking at the beach. Some days I wouldn't feel super inspired but there would always be something that would come in to share. I really loved the creative process of writing the book. 

You talk in your book about wholehearted living can you elaborate on this?

Wholehearted living is about being 'all in' and showing up as your whole self - taking nothing away nor adding anything. It's about feeling what you're feeling, unashamedly, and taking responsibility for your actions. It's about living fully and skimming over nothing.

I love that the book is an ode to the true meaning of yoga, and less about self-help and more about helping others, strengthening relationships and community, what are some of the ways people can strengthen relationships?

By practicing compassion and kindness. 

And by listening.  Yoga is very much so about 'listening' and most people just want to be heard and felt understood. 

What does it mean to have an open, playful and curious heart and what steps can we take to achieve it?

This is my life's work - and perhaps the most challenging - or Michael Singer in his book (one of my faves) The Untethered Soul, would say that it's also the easiest thing to do. He says that nothing is worth closing your heart over. The idea is that we remain open, no matter our situation and be optimistic about the lessons that can be learnt in any situation - as challenging as they may seem. Singer says that whatever feelings come up for us, the ideas that we feel them and let them go without holding onto anything. This is the key to keeping the heart open, playful and curious.

When it comes to connection what are your top three 'real life' ways to take kindness off the mat and into the real world?

Listening

Random Acts of Kindness (doing something for others - even strangers - without expecting anything in return or even telling them you've done that thing for them)

Practicing compassion and putting yourself in other's shoes. The ability to come 'unstuck' and be open to other viewpoints is a skill. It doesn't mean you have to sway from your values but rather accept other people's opinions.

What is your idea of self-care and what does the practice of self-care cultivate in a person?

Self care is very much related to cultivating a relationship with oneself based on kindness. If we think of ourselves as an 'energy body' - which is what we are - we can see that rests imperative, as is a healthy lifestyle

I love your popular podcast The space between. What exactly is the space in between and why do we need to go there?

The Space Between is a concept that actualised itself to me one day when I was practicing yoga. I noticed the space between my breaths as being expansive and still. I had this blissful moment of no thoughts - it was a point little pause where I felt completely present. I then expanded it to explain the space between to-do's, activities and events or a place in which you practiced presence; A place where you slow down enough to listen to the sound of your breath and do nothing but 'be'. I think this concept and philosophy is so relevant in today's obsession with busy. Have you ever stopped to wonder where we're racing to anywhere? Sometimes I think we're just 'being done' and the more we can step back and go with the flow, go with this current of 'being done' the more exciting, blissful and purposeful our life will be. 

Do you think that our mobile phones have the upper hand and do you yourself do a one-day digital detox each week? 

You only need to look around to notice on a daily basis that our phones have the upper hand. Everywhere you look people are lost in a vortex. It's crazy. Me too at times. I really have to practice some discipline to not waste hours on instagram. When I'm walking down the street and notice a person observing the world around them as opposed to being on the phone I want to stop them and say, "I love you - you're here." 

Don't get me wrong, our phones are also incredible and social media has played a huge role in any amount of success we're had at Flow Athletic. It's been a great way to communicate and learn. But like anything - food and alcohol for example - if we overuse it and abuse it, it can have some harsh results and become addictive.

If I find myself getting a little anxious army nervous system seems racy, I'll take a day off my phone. For me the best days are Sundays. 

You bring your own personal experiences into Life in Flow which help make the book very relatable.  What is one of the biggest lessons you have learnt through the years of studying, opening and running a successful business and being in a relationship?

To speak your truth. Only always. I've been guilty of committing to things or saying things so that I wouldn’t offend someone or because I thought that's what people wanted to hear and it got no where but burnt out and addicting to busy, not to mention unfulfilled and depressed. 

You're a new mum, how have things changed for you since having your baby girl and is it harder to stay in flow with the change in routine?

I can say, for sure, that I've never been happier. Sure - Motherhood present mega confrontations and struggles but they are all so worth it. My daughter has been my greatest teacher yet. I stress less about getting my hair and nails done and focus way more on playfulness and quality time with family. And it's only made the way I teach feel more meaningful. I love being a Mumma and I'm only doing it once so I'm savouring every moment.

You can pick up a copy of Life in Flow here.

Namaste.

Raw Chocolate Tart with Berry Sauce

It’s time to let go of production line chocolate bunnies, my Raw Chocolate Tart with Berry Sauce is here for Easter!

A trusty blender makes this showstopper cake so easy you could almost make it blindfolded. It comes straight out of the pages of my latest book Supercharge Your Life

And the even better news is that you can whiz together this magnificent dessert in about 15 minutes – the rest of the magic is done in the fridge. What is this 'saucery'? 

This beautiful cake just screams romance, and is a gorgeous act of love at the end of a Easter Day feast, or any celebration.

If you are looking for an excuse to invite close friends and family over for a scrumptious, flavour-filled Easter lunch, you have just found it.

Hop to it, you’ll find the recipe below.

Serves 6

Edible flowers and fresh berries, and mint leaves (optional), to serve

Base

  • 155 g (5 1/2 oz/1 cup) raw cashews
  • 65 g (2 1/4 oz/1 cup) shredded coconut

  • 1/4 teaspoon stevia powder
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) lemon juice 25 g (1 oz) coconut butter, melted

Filling

  • 6 very ripe avocados, peeled
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) almond or coconut milk
  • 180 g (6 1/4 oz/1/2 cup) rice malt syrup or your sweetener of choice
  • 80 g (2 3/4 oz/3/4 cup) raw cacao powder
  • 70 g (2 1/2 oz/1/2 cup) chia seeds
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract

Berry sauce

  • 325 g (11 1/2 oz/2 1/2 cups) mixed fresh or frozen berries
  • 2 tablespoons coconut nectar or rice malt syrup
  • 1 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla extract

Grease an 18 cm (7 inch) loose-based flan (tart) tin.

To make the base, process the cashews and coconut in a blender until finely chopped. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in the remaining ingredients, adding a little filtered water if necessary – the mixture should be stiff and hold together while not being too crumbly. Using your hands, mould into a dough and press into the prepared tin. Freeze for 20 minutes to set.

Blend all the filling ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor for 30 seconds
or until smooth and creamy. Pour over the base and smooth the top using a spatula. Refrigerate for 1–2 hours, until set.

To make the berry sauce, whiz all the ingredients in a blender or food processor.

Top the cake with the berry sauce, and serve decorated with edible flowers, fresh berries and mint leaves, if using.

Supercharged Fish Tortillas

If you’ve already picked up a copy of my latest book, Supercharge Your Life, you’ll know all there is to know about my food philosophy and the seven keystones of life.

If you’re yet to pick up your own copy, or need a refresher, pop on the kettle, grab your notebook and be prepared for a class that may just change the way you look at the world and more importantly, the way you look at fish tortillas!.

While some of us may eat just to merely exist, I believe food shouldn’t be a mundane and repetitive ritual. Eating is such a central practice in the lives of all humans, including you and me. The way we interact with food and value it has the ability to affect our lives and futures. That’s a lot of pressure on making a piece of smashed avo, right? (more…)

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