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Soothing drinks to set you up for a good gut day

Written by Lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Ayurveda, Blog, drinks, Heal Your Gut, Heal Your Gut Powder

When it comes to looking after your gut, one of the most important lessons in gut health is learning how to slow down, take time for yourself and savour every single little moment in your life.  This helps to relax the digestive system and make the digestive process easier.

Today I’m sharing three gut-health secret weapons, my Chamomile and Lavender Tea, a little Cumin Digestive Aid; the perfect liver detox and my delicious Anti-Inflammatory Toddy.

As soon as you wake up and reach for your daily cup of coffee- if you want to improve the health of your gut, why not try making a delicious digestive tea instead?  Certain teas are one of the easiest ways to start the day right and set you up for a good gut day.

Tea can help rejuvenate you, lift your spirits, bring you comfort and soothe an irritated gut or worried mind.  Coffee on the other hand can be acidifying, chemically laden and highly processed, for some people too much coffee can cause pain and irritation in the gut and for others who have it in latte form, the dairy can be hard to digest and lead to symptoms such as bloating and pain.

So much satisfaction can be found from hugging your favorite tea-filled mug with your hands. It’s a ritual you should never take for granted. Engaging in such a ritual helps you reconnect to yourself and digest not only the tea, but the day you’ve had or the one you’re about to embark on!

If you or your digestive system are feeling out of whack, teas and toddys can help hydrate you, relieve tension and settle down anxiety, switching your digestive system over to rest and digest mode; exactly where you need to be for optimum digestion and zero discomfort.

Some of my favorite gut-healing beverages contain the soothing blend of chamomile and lavender.  I’m also sharing my favourite anti-inflammatory warming toddy which contains cinnamon, ginger and turmeric, a pungent household spice with a long history.

If you're feeling time poor and need an instant golden latte or smoothie, my Golden Gut blend is your golden ticket to glowing gut health.  For an iron-rich morning pick me up, Love Your Gut powder can also be stirred into a smoothie or warm drink of choice.  Just taking that extra five minutes in the morning to set yourself up for a good gut day means no more bloating, aching belly, quick dashes to the loo or falling asleep at your desk. 

Particular herbs for the gut, such as chamomile and lavender are natural stress relievers. They’re both lovely herbs to soothe an upset stomach, so they’re great for people who suffer from poor digestion or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The delicate combination of these two calming herbs will settle your nervous system and simultaneously relax your digestive system.  It can also act as a brilliant tonic for the liver; remember this drink after a big night when you’ve had too much to drink! 

Chamomile settles down the stomach due to its antispasmodic properties. Delving in a bath filled with chamomile can bring a state of calmness to your stomach and your mind. Chamomile’s dynamic partner in relaxation, lavender, slows down the nervous system. If you’re struggling with sleeping issues, spraying some lavender oil on your pillow can help lullaby you softly to sleep.

Chamomile and Lavender Tea

Serves 2

  • 2 teaspoons lavender buds
  • 2 teaspoons chamomile buds
  • 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) boiling filtered water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Put the lavender and chamomile in a teapot. Pour over the water, then add
the lemon juice. Infuse for 10 minutes, then pour into mugs or glasses (or strain it if you prefer) and serve.

In the cooler months, I often turn to herbal teas to hydrate me. In traditional Ayurveda and Indian style, cumin digestive aid (Jeera Vellam) is consumed like water and sipped throughout the day.

In Hindi, Jeera translates to cumin, while vellam in this context means water. In Ayurveda, India’s 5,000-year-old approach to health, agni, known as digestive fire is kind of like the Western term for metabolism. It helps the body absorb nutrients, eliminate waste, generate warmth, and transform physical matter into energy.

At the start of the day, agni is said to be quite low, and so, it needs an easily digestible meal followed by Jeera Vellam. This beverage is also often consumed after a meal or after celebrations to help aid digestion.

Cumin has been hailed to help us assimilate nutrients and even speed up our metabolism!  Also if you’re in need of a liver detox my Cumin Digestive Aid may just be the answer. It’s filled with antioxidants to help excrete toxins from the body and help regulation.

The longer you allow the cumin seeds to soak in the water (if you have time, overnight is preferable), the more effective this drink can be. It’s my answer to reflux, gas, diarrhea and bloating.

The zing of ginger in this drink complements the earthy aroma of cumin so beautifully, I would love you to try this one and it’s so easy to make with a just a spice from your spice rack and a knob of ginger.

Cumin Digestive Aid (Jeera Vellam)

Serves 4

Drink this shot after eating to improve digestion.

  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) filtered water
  • 1 heaped teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2.5 cm (1 inch) piece of ginger, peeled and cut into thin sticks

Put all the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to
the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
Remove from the heat and set aside for 2 minutes before straining. Cool
to room temperature and divide between four glasses to serve.

And now, for the moment you’ve all been waiting for: it’s turmeric toddy time!

My delicious anti-inflammatory toddy is perfumed with healing spices to help soothe the body.

Turmeric is one of the wonder foods we’ve heard so much about lately. The compound curcumin found within turmeric is the reason why. Curcumin is reported to reduce inflammation and pain in the digestive system.

Maybe you’ve tried making turmeric recipes before and you’ve noticed that it says to sprinkle on some black pepper?  Adding black pepper, like I do in this recipe, helps the body absorb and digest the curcumin due to its pungent piperine content. 

Black pepper has a myriad of anti-inflammatory properties too.  It’s an antioxidant that’s anti-bacterial and full of anti-inflammatory benefits. 

Another one of my favorite root herbs, ginger, is also having it’s time in the spotlight.  Ginger is rich in anti-inflammatory properties and is good for soothing headaches and aiding stomach upsets.

Turmeric and ginger can pacify the lining of the stomach and soothe the digestive tract. This is why both herbs are often prescribed as digestive aids in traditional medicine.

Some of you may be thinking – this sounds more like an intense shot or some like drinking a curry, but don’t worry.  This is where cinnamon comes in, as it’s great for adding flavor with a subtle sweetness. It’s a healthy sugar-substitute which can be sprinkled over warm beverages, breakfast cereals and desserts.

More than its flavor enhancing ability, this sweet spice can help to ease swelling after injury, lower blood sugar levels and increase immunity.

This healthy tea can be enjoyed by anyone at any time and if you don’t have cashew milk don’t worry you can use any milk you prefer, coconut is nice. By the way if you don't have all the ingredients, an easy way to make this toddy is by using one tablespoon of my Golden Gut Blend in warm milk. It's delicious! and can be used in baking and cooking too.

You’ll find these and many more recipes in my book Heal Your Gut.

Turmeric Toddy

Serves 1

  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) cashew or coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4  teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4  teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4  teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • pinch of vanilla powder
  • pinch of freshly cracked black pepper
  • 6 drops liquid stevia (optional) or raw honey
  • 2 star anise (optional)

Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat for 2–3 minutes or until just warmed. Add the spices, ginger, vanilla and pepper, and then stir to remove any lumps.
Remove from the heat and pour through a fine sieve to remove the grated ginger. Add the sweetener and enjoy warm.

Enjoy these soothing teas for a healthy sparkling gut. 

Supercharged Dahl (It’s Totally Dahl-icious!)

Written by Lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Autumn, Ayurveda, Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Dairy Free, Eat Right for Your Shape, Flavour of the month, Gluten Free, gut healing, gut health, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Summer, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

I think we all know those people who love and embrace everything about India, the sights, the culture, the colours and especially the FOOD!

Some of them take trips every year, stay at a minimalist yoga retreat and come back totally ‘spiritual’, #cultured and a changed person. 

If you're one of those people or anything like me, half Indian and half English and living between two cultures, or if you're just looking for a gentle reminder to get your 'Eat Pray Love' on, then you’ve come to the right place! 

If an Ashram sounds a little too hard-core right now, I’ve got the perfect dish that’ll make you feel as if you’re ‘connecting to your core’ and being healed internally by the local medicine man.

Transform your kitchen into an Indian land of spices with all of the aromatic colours and flavours of this beautiful country. I’m helping you put the authentic back into Indian food with a DAHLiciously easy dinner that is equally warm, comforting, wholesome and supercharged!.

Indian food has a way of catering to everyone’s food preferences – whether you’re gluten-free, vegan, sugar-free or anything else-free, this dahl can be catered to suit your needs. It’s Indian cooking made easy and people-friendly.

So, what is Dahl (or daal or dal)? It’s an Indian dish of curried, spiced lentils. It’s one of my favourite meals to make when I’m in a CURRY because it’s quick and simple. I’ve included anti-inflammatory turmeric, high-fibre lentils, antioxidant-rich garlic, nausea-relieving ginger and digestive-improving cumin to make this dahl rich in nutrients and perfectly grounding. This superb combination is warming and immune-boosting to help fight off colds all year long.

Growing up with my Indian background, lentil dahl has always made me feel at home.  If you want to know more about my ever-evolving love of India and Ayurveda, you can read about my Indian adventures or check out my Ayurvedic-inspired book, Eat Right for Your Shape

Let’s talk about the star of this Bollywood show - Lentils!

Lentils aren't just a good option for plant-based enthusiasts. These legumes punch way above their weight when it comes to protein, iron and nutrients.

Lentils are a low-calorie, nutrient-packed legume with a nutty and earthy flavour. They contain a great source of prebiotics which means they benefit our existing gut bacteria and feed our communities of healthy flora to keep  everything running smoothly :oops:.  Lentils also contain dietary fibre, protein, iron, B1, zinc, potassium and more!

Because they're high in insoluble fibre, they can help prevent constipation and even relieve irritable bowel syndrome.  They're a plant-based source of both protein and iron that can help lower cholesterol, stabilise blood sugar and look after heart health. These little legumes can also help with weight loss because they’re high in nutrients like fibre, protein, minerals and vitamins and low in calories which means they keep us full and satisfied - Bonus!

Just remember, lentils aren't everyone's best friend. They can increase flatulence so if you're trying them out for the first time, I suggest eating them with close friends or family or soaking them beforehand. 

Supercharged Dhal

Just like fine wine and cheese, there’s something about dahl that only gets better with age. This dahl makes for the perfect lunch the next day. That's, if you haven’t finished it before then!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups red lentils rinsed
  • 4 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 2 tsps turmeric
  • 2 knobs unsalted butter
  • 2 tsps cumin seeds
  • 3 cardamom pods lightly crushed
  • 4 cloves
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh green chilli deseeded and finely sliced
  • 1 inch piece ginger grated
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick or 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • pinch sea salt

Method: 

Place the lentils in a pan add stock or water to cover and bring to the boil (skimming off any scum that rises to the top).  Once boiled turn heat down to a gentle simmer and add turmeric and 1 knob butter. Cover with a lid, and let simmer (about 15 mins) stirring occasionally and adding more liquid if required.

In a small frying pan, over a medium heat place a small amount of butter and add cumin seeds, cardamom pods, cloves and fry for about a minute until fragrant (the seeds may pop).

Remove the tempered spices from the pan and set aside in a small bowl.

Melt remaining butter in the same frying pan over a medium heat and fry garlic, onion, chillies, grated ginger and tomatoes, add the cinnamon, coriander and tempered spices and cook until onion is translucent.

Remove from the heat and set aside until lentils are cooked through, then stir through spice mix.

Season to taste, ladle into bowls and serve with fresh coriander.

Baked Fish with Flaxseed Crust

Written by Lee on . Posted in Autumn, Ayurveda, Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Dairy Free, Eat Right for Your Shape, Sauces, Seasonal, Spring, Sugar Free, supercharged food, Wheat Free, Yeast Free

fish

Fish is one of the most beautiful proteins, and I'm always looking for interesting and flavourful ways to enjoy a simple piece of fish. Whether it’s steamed, sautéed, fried or baked in the oven, there's just so much you can do with fish; and taking on the wisdom and culinary genius of Ayurveda means that you can take hold of an impressive pallet of healthful, balancing ingredients that will not only bring fish to life flavour-wise, but will target your unique dosha in order to bring healing and balance to your entire wellbeing.

This Baked Fish with Flaxseed Crust is one of the most beautiful dinner recipes in my book Eat Right For Your Shape. You only need a handful of ingredients, but do make sure you source them well, especially the fish! Head to a good local fishmonger who sells it fresh, as an un-fresh fish can take a potentially beautiful food experience into something disappointing, if not horrible!

The recipe is beautiful for pacifying Vata (Air) and Kapha (Earth) doshas. In balance, airy Vatas’ are full of creativity and flexibility, however a diet too high in cold foods or absent of oils and healthy fats can bring imbalance to Vata’s leading to dry skin and hair, constipation, digestive problems, malabsorption, fear and anxiety. This warming fish meal with heating and grounding ingredients like black pepper and ginger will bring Vata’s back down to earth and also provide some lubrication and digestive support through the use of ghee.

Kapha’s are super nurturing peace makers in balance, but can be cold, heavy and static when eating a diet that is too high in dairy and heavy proteins, making fish an excellent choice.

Kaphas need light, warm and spicy foods to uplift and generate more digestive fire without weighing them down. This Crusted Fish really ticks all the boxes as its light protein and the use of warming spices like pepper, ginger balanced with the light mint and coriander chutney means that they will be pacified against the tendency towards weighty conditions like depressed mood, sluggishness in digestion and weight gain.

I love this recipe because you can turn a plain fish fillet into a crispy yet moist and flavourful delight covered in a special crunchy flaxseed crust that you mightn’t see every day. Flaxseeds are also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids that will help to lubricate Vatas’ dry intestinal tract.

Baked Fish with Flaxseed Crust

Serves 4

Turn a simple fish fillet into a crispy yet moist and flavourful delight covered with a special crunchy flaxseed crust. Flaxseeds are an excellent source of omega-3 fa?tty acids and will help to lubricate vatas’ dry intestinal tract.

  • 4 rainbow trout fillets, bones removed
  • 2 tablespoons ghee, melted
  • 50 g (13⁄4 oz/1⁄2 cup) flaxseed meal
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • Serve with brown rice and Coriander and mint chutney 
  • lime halves, to serve

Preheat the oven to 175°C (345°F) and line a baking tray with baking paper.

Place the fish skin side down on the prepared baking tray and brush with the ghee. Combine the flaxseed meal, rosemary, salt and pepper in a small bowl, then spoon the mixture over the fish and press it down gently.

Bake for 25–30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

Serve on brown rice with coriander and mint chutney on top and lime halves on the side.

Coriander and Mint Chutney

Serves 3-4

  • 65 g (21⁄4 oz) mint
  • 80 g (23⁄4 oz) coriander (cilantro) leaves
  • 1 green chilli, seeded
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 6 drops liquid stevia
  • pinch of Celtic sea salt

Combine all the ingredients in a blender until smooth.
The chutney will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 days.

Teacup Watermelon Salad 🍉

Written by Lee on . Posted in Ayurveda, Blog, Blog Breakfast, Blog Salads, Blog Snacks, Eat Right for Your Shape, Fast Your Way to Wellness, Fasting, gut healing, gut health, intermittent fasting, Organic, Salads, Seasonal, Snacks, Spring, Summer, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Yeast Free

watermelon saladSeasons are one of life’s most beautiful designs. I love that as the earth turns and seasons change, there is a completely unique expression of foods and patterns that cause culture and behaviour to shift. In the depths of winter, the earth provides the perfect earthy foods that beckon to be served hot, whilst in the height of summer, there’s the miraculous provision of hydrating fruits that are the perfect solution to a searing heatwave. As a cook, I find it extremely joyous to work with what each season provides me, forming recipes that celebrate and compliment our needs and desires that change at different times of the year. This salad is from my new book Fast Your Way to Wellness.

In following an Ayurvedic philosophy, summertime can cause an overabundance of the fire element within our constitution, which explains why we can get so angry and irritable during a hot day. However nature has its wonderful way of providing the exact kinds of foods that calm this fire; balancing us out and bringing our mind and body back into a happy, ‘cooled down’ state.

The hot months can very easily cause dehydration within our bodies as we sweat more. Apart from keeping on top of our water intake, we can also work with the seasons and capitalise on some of the hydrating and cooling foods that are growing at this time of year, and base our meal planning around these foods. In summer, juicy hydrating foods like berries, cucumbers, tomatoes, mangoes and watermelons are in abundance, and for this reason they’re also really cheap to buy!

We are having an extended Indian summer in Sydney this year, yesterday we spent the day at Bondi Beach to soak up the last rays of the east coast sunshine. To me, summer just screams the name WATERMELON. I love the sound of a knife cutting wedges of juicy watermelon, and the sensation of an icy cold piece of its watery sweetness is something of pure bliss on a day of sweltering heat. Enjoying it straight up is a joy on its own, but I’m definitely a fan of a good watermelon salad! If you haven’t tried watermelon in a salad before, you’re going to be in for a treat with this recipe!

One-Bowl Turmeric Fudge Masterpiece!

Written by Lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Ayurveda, Blog, Blog Breakfast, Blog Snacks, Candida Friendly, Create, Dairy Free, Dessert, Desserts, Gluten Free, gut healing, gut health, Heal Your Gut, Heal Your Gut Powder, Heal Your Gut Powder, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Sugar Free, Vegetarian

Turmeric Fudge naomi sherman blue rust images
 
If you weren't aware by now, I'm happy to admit that I love love LOVE turmeric! 
 
There's a big reason this powerful spice has taken over the kitchens and menus of 2016 and will continue to do so in 2017.
 
The compound within turmeric, known as curcumin, is the main active ingredient and gives turmeric it's famous golden colour.  It's responsible for a host of anti-inflammatory properties and the ability to offer your immune system a boost. Turmeric can be extremely beneficial in weight-loss, lowering insulin resistance and activating fat-burning genes too.
 
If you're keen to add more turmeric-y goodness to your life this year,  why not try making my Turmeric Fudge, it's super fun and tasty as a quick treat.
 
Not only does using coconut oil make this recipe bond beautifully, using a healthy saturated fat in conjunction with turmeric makes it easier for your body to make the most of the benefits of this powerful golden spice. Coconut oil can also promote heart health and improve blood cholesterol, so turmeric and coconut oil truly are a match made in heaven.
 
To make this recipe even more gut-friendly, I’ve added in my Love Your Gut powder which gently cleanses and sweeps away plaque built up in your gut over time. Since using my powder daily, I've found that I no longer experience that dreaded bloated feeling and know that my inner-microbes are in their perfect environment to flourish!  
 
If you're looking to further the process of healing your gut and restoring balance within your body, why not try out my Heal Your Gut programs here? You can choose between the four-week program course or the two-day-a-week program depending upon what works best for your lifestyle. They both provide fantastic results, you can read testimonials from our community here and you can start at anytime!
 
By the way, these delectable fudgey pieces will surprise you with how easy and quick they are to make. You just need one bowl, a baking dish and a few minutes to spare. They're a simple and delicious treat so give them a go and enjoy their benefits.
 
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Turmeric Fudge
 
Ingredients
1/2 cup tahini
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 tbsp LYG Powder
2 tsp turmeric 
1 tsp ginger 
 
Method:
Stir all ingredients in a bowl, poor into a small lined baking dish, set in the fridge for an hour and cut into slices!

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.

 

My Favourite Mince and Pea Dish

Written by Lee on . Posted in Autumn, Ayurveda, Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Dairy Free, Dinner, Eat Right for Your Shape, Healthy Meals, Lunch, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Recipe Book, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, supercharged food, Supercharged Food Menu, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

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When investing into quality food; organic and free of chemicals, it can unfortunately be quite a hit on the family food budget without some wallet friendly recipes up your sleeve.

If frugality is just as important to you as nourishment, then I have the perfect recipe for you. This tasty Mince and Pea dish, also known as Keema Matar is one of my favourite budget friendly Ayurvedic recipes from my book Eat Right For Your Shape, and is ultra wholesome and balancing for finance fearing Vatas who require affordable and grounding comfort food at the end of their day.

Keema is a traditional Indian meat dish, and it’s believed that the word may have been borrowed from Greece and originally meant ‘minced meat’. Traditionally, this dish uses minced mutton (lamb or goat) with peas or potatoes. Keema can be made from almost any meat, can be cooked by stewing or frying, and can be formed into kababs. Keema is also sometimes used as a filling for samosas or naan.

If you’re a Vata, it’s no wonder you have money worries. Vata’s are governed by the flighty element of air- naturally cold, light, dry, dynamic and ever changing. Complexities and changes in financial situations will stress you out, so when it comes to your food budget, you need a stable set of money saving recipes that you can rely on week in and week out. Your thoughts and your physical body are completely interlocked, so if money is a stress for you, it will manifest also in physical ailments like poor circulation, brittle nails, frizzy hair, dark eye circles, insomnia and muscular aches and pains.

As a Vata, you’ll definitely want to choose foods that are warming, oily, heavy, sweet and salty to help ground your anxious thoughts and bring a sense of stability to your body and mind. This scrumptious Keema Matar will tick all of these boxes:

WARMING- through the use of fiery grounding spices like chilli powder and ginger, which will rev up your sluggish digestion; a link to anxiousness.

OILY- through the use of gorgeous ghee. This nourishing golden oil is slightly sweet and lubricating for your dry and cold constitution.

HEAVY- through the keema (mince); lamb or beef will provide a heavy and earthing quality, igniting a sense of groundedness and pacifying the effects of worry and stress in your life.

SWEET- through the use of gorgeous green peas. These really are the lollies of the vegetable kingdom; reducing Vata which is typically sharp and cold.

All the ingredients in this dish are also super affordable. A pack of frozen peas, even in organic form will cost around two or three dollars, and mince is one of the most affordable animal proteins you can purchase.

This is a recipe I love to batch cook and freeze in single portions for those days when you’re really not in the mood for cooking but need a quick lunch to take to work, or a speedy dinner instead of spending on takeaway.

It's a true saviour!

KEEMA MATAR (MINCE WITH PEAS)

SERVES 4

  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 1 large onion, finely sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 11⁄2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh turmeric or ground turmeric
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon Himalayan salt
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) minced (ground) lamb or beef
  • 200 g (7 oz/3⁄4 cup) sheep’s milk yoghurt
  • 215 g (71⁄2 oz/11⁄2 cups) frozen baby peas
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala (optional)
  • freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • filtered water (optional), for moistening

To serve

  • Rice of choice  large handful coriander (cilantro) leaves, almonds, roughly chopped, to serve

Heat the ghee in a wok or heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3–4 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook for 2 minutes, taking care not to burn the garlic. Add the turmeric, chilli, cumin and salt, and stir for a few seconds.

Add the meat and cook, stirring frequently, until it breaks up and colours. Stir through the yoghurt and peas, then reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Stir through the garam masala (if using) and pepper to taste. If you prefer a moist dish, add some filtered water.

Serve with pilau, sprinkled with coriander and almonds.

Happy Cooking 🙂

Lee xo

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.

Bircher Muesli Bowl +Video

Written by Lee on . Posted in Autumn, Ayurveda, Blog, Blog Breakfast, Blog Snacks, Dessert, Gluten Free, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegetarian, Videos, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

 

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 12.54.02 pm

A sweet little video about a breakfast you can make the night before.

I’m using rolled oats, the standard bircher base plus grated apple but you can swap out for pear if you prefer.

There are other crafty switches you can make too, the apple juice gives it a light sweet flavor, but it can be swapped for coconut milk or almond milk for a much creamier and deeper complexity and consistency.

Crunchiness is a must, so topple on seeds and flaxseed meal or depending upon your personal preference just about any kind of nuts such as chopped hazelnuts or walnuts will give you a bit of texture and crispiness.

Gently stir in some yoghurt of choice during the process remembering to leave some to dollop on top in the morning.

I hope you’ll embrace this bircher and make it a regular part of your breakfast routine.

From my recipe book Eat Right for Your Shape.

And just in case you need it, here's the recipe. 

Bircher Muesli

Serves 1

  • 1 apple, cored and grated

  • 95 g (31⁄4 oz/1 cup) gluten-free rolled oats
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/1⁄2 cup) apple juice

  • 130 g (41⁄2 oz/1⁄2 cup) sheep’s milk yoghurt, plus extra to serve (optional) 2 pinches ground cinnamon

  • 2 tablespoons pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 
2 tablespoons sesame seeds

  • 1 teaspoon flaxseed meal

  • fresh blueberries, to serve

Method

Combine the apple, oats, apple juice, yoghurt and cinnamon in a bowl and stir well. Cover and refrigerate overnight (or if making the same morning, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour).

When ready to serve, stir through the seeds and flaxseed meal, and top with the blueberries. Serve with extra yoghurt if using.

Let me know what you think about this recipe in the comments section below.

Happy Cooking

Lee 🙂

Cumin Scrambled Eggs and Greens

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

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

Serves 2

Ingredients

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

Method

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

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

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

Calming Brown Rice Nori

Written by Lee on . Posted in Autumn, Ayurveda, Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Blog Snacks, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Spring, Summer, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

Brown Rice Nori sml

Calm your vata with this delicious recipe from Eat Right for Your Shape.

If vata is your dominant dosha, this Ayurvedic brown rice nori is a deliciously filling and nutrient dense vegetarian meal. Vata is governed by the element of air, which means you'll likely be the kind of person who's always on the go, with a tendency to skip meals or eat irregularly due to your flighty, quirky and impulsive personality. 

Whipping up these nori rolls and packing them for lunch will bring you grounding and nourishment when you're on the go, or busy flitting from task to task.

Conventional sushi that's made on sweet white rice can cause blood sugar chaos for many, so this version favours the wholesome goodness of brown rice, combined with fermented soy in the form of tempeh and tamari and a seed component with the addition of tahini. 

A cute combination of different plant based ingredients creates a more complete protein that'll keep you fuller for longer and ensure a slower, steadier uptake of the carbohydrates in brown rice. 

Containing the sweet (madhura) tastes of ghee, carrots and rice, this dish will provide energy while also grounding vata's nervous and stressed energy. 

The salty (lavana) nature of the tamari and seaweed will also stimulate digestion in vata; bringing some much needed warmth to the body and will help the organs and tissues achieve optimum hydration. 

The addition of cucumber is also a beautifully hydrating ingredient that will add some water to vata's airy and dry emphasis.

Vata's aren't the only ones who can enjoy this meal, and with a few little switches it can be made tailored to your dosha. If you're kapha dominant; you are governed by the elements of water and earth, with a tendency towards weight gain, sluggishness and oily skin. 

For this reason you should omit the avocado and carrot which will aggravate you due to an excess of oil and sweetness.

 If you're a pitta- fiery and hot with robust digestion and an athletic strong build; you should switch the brown rice for quinoa to avoid a fast spike in energy and to achieve more mellowing.

Ingredients:

Makes 4 

  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) wheat-free tamari, plus extra to serve
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon ghee, melted
  • 65 g (2¼ oz/¼ cup) tahini
  • 100 g (3½ oz) tempeh
  • 370 g (13 oz/2 cups) cooked brown rice
  • 4 nori sheets
  • ½ avocado, sliced
  • 1 Lebanese (short) cucumber, sliced lengthways into eighths
  • ½ carrot, sliced lengthways into thin sticks
  • 2 spring onions (scallions), halved lengthways

Method

  • Combine the tamari, lime juice, ghee and 1 tablespoon of the tahini in a bowl. Add the tempeh and set aside to marinate for 10 minutes. 
  • Remove the tempeh from the marinade. Heat a dry frying pan over medium heat and pan-fry the tempeh until golden
    on both sides. Cut into thin strips and set aside.
  • Combine the rice with the remaining tahini. Lay a nori sheet shiny side down on the bench. With wet hands, take a quarter of the rice and press it evenly over the nori sheet, leaving a 3 cm (1¼ inch) border along the top side. Lay a quarter of the tempeh, avocado, cucumber, carrot and spring onion on top. Moisten the top edge of the nori with water and roll up securely. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
  • Cut each roll into four pieces and serve with extra tamari.

Chocolate Fudge

Written by Lee on . Posted in Autumn, Ayurveda, Blog, Blog Snacks, Christmas, Dairy Free, Dessert, Easter, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Spring, Summer, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

Chocolate fudge_sml

Looking for homemade Easter treats?  Yes? I was hopping you'd say that.

Well you've come to the right place.  This one's from my Ayurvedic cook book Eat Right for Your Shape.

If you're a lover of sweet treats, it'll be a keeper in your recipe collection for several reasons. Primarily, it's a cinch to make, but it looks like you’ve gone to a whole bunch of trouble. 

Your chocolate connoisseurs will never know the simplicity of the preparation. Just throw the ingredients into a food processor and pour into a tray, wait for an hour while it sets, and voila- like a rabbit out of a hat, an impressive dessert or sweet snack that'll knock the socks of your friends and family.

My secret ingredient is almond butter, a brilliant way to add in a shot of protein and bulk into a chocolatey treat that will help your body release the sugars more slowly. If you're into that kind of thing.

Almonds are one of my favourite 'pantry staple' ingredients because they embody beautiful ayurvedic benefits for pitta and vata dosha's due to their grounding and balancing fats and oils. These monounsaturated oils are beautiful for your skin, hair and nails which can easily suffer if you're facing the imbalances that accompany these dosha's. 

The cooling nature of extra virgin coconut oil is a wonderfully pacifying ingredient in the warmer weather where Pitta's can become aggravated with stress hormones. To top that off, the extra addition of cacao- whilst a mild stimulant, is also extremely grounding for stressed out and fiery pittas due to its high content of magnesium and 'feel good' chemical inducing compounds that will help to relax tension in your nervous system and muscles. 

This fudge is actually a great way to unwind!

It's not just for Easter either. Eat it religiously and keep your fudge regularly stocked in your freezer as a lovely afternoon pick-me-up with an ayurvedic herbal tea, as a well-appreciated kids lunchbox addition, or plate up as an angelic light dessert. 

Despite its simplicity it'll never disappoint, and your cells will relish in the sneaky stash of health benefits that its wholefood ingredients will deliver.

BTW, even though the fudge appears to be iced, that’s just the way it comes out! 

Happy Easter 🙂

Ingredients: 

Makes 15 

  • 270 g (9½ oz/1 cup) almond butter
  • 80 ml (2½ fl oz/1⁄3 cup) extra virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 30 g (1 oz/¼ cup) cacao powder
  • 90 g (3¼ oz/¼ cup) rice malt syrup
  • ½ teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla extract

Method

  • Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  • Process the nut butter and coconut oil in a food processor until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth and creamy.
  • Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin to 3 cm (1¼ inches) thick and smooth the top with the back of a spoon or a spatula.
  • Freeze for at least 1 hour before slicing and serving. If stored for longer in the freezer you may need to transfer to the fridge to soften a little.

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