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Supercharge your pantry, fridge and freezer + four recipes

Written by Lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Gluten Free, gut health, Heal Your Gut, intermittent fasting, Organic, Seasonal, Spotlight On, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Yeast Free

Have you noticed a lot more articles popping up about food waste and frugal living and the effects it can have on healthy eating?  Me too....so I today figured I’d share my thoughts on eating well on a budget. It is possible!

Being thrifty doesn’t mean we need to compromise on health or taste.  Often, frugality means not splurging on organic groceries and choosing the home brand when it comes to stocking up on necessities because their organic counterparts are jaw-droppingly expensive. But, eating well shouldn’t be expensive or difficult. Food is part of our everyday lives so it’s important to make eating well as easy and enjoyable as possible!  

Whether you’re a meat-eater, flexitarian, keto lover, paleo, vegetarian, vegan or somewhere in between, there is a way that healthy eating can work for everyone. 

So, how do we begin?

Let’s start in the kitchen, by supercharging your pantry, fridge and freezer!

Every Sunday morning, I take stock of what I have in my kitchen. I then make a list of the ingredients I need to buy so I can use up what’s already in there. If you're on a budget it helps to do a quick price comparison and check the prices at your supermarket or local grocer and think about bulk options that are available in your area.

With the busy lives that most of us lead, we tend to do many of our tasks online. We catch up with our friends online, shop for clothes online, order products online, and now, we can do our groceries online!

Sometimes, online grocery shopping can be even cheaper than your usual store and as an added bonus, it's delivered straight to your door. How easy is that?  For busy people, (working moms and dads I’m looking at you!) switching over to online shopping means you'll also avoid the hustle and bustle of the supermarket.  Plus, online stores often have special offers so keep an eye out for them. 

Depending on how often you cook and how many people you're food shopping and prepping for, you might find it worthwhile to invest in an annual membership at stores such as Sprout Market which allow you to buy natural groceries at cheaper prices. Who doesn’t love a bargain?

When I'm cooking, I like to cook simple recipes from scratch and use natural foods, herbs and a range of oils such as olive and avocado which are great for seasoning a variety of foods. When you cook yourself, you avoid buying ready-made foods which can often be loaded with unwanted ingredients and lacking in taste. So the trick to economise is,  supercharge your pantry and use economically-friendly ingredients, then choose simple recipes that make meals last the distance.  To get into this flow, all it takes is a little upfront planning.  Today I'm going to share four recipes that really go the distance from my eBook The Renewable Table, a way of eating that produces less food waste, saves money and is healthier than the average convenience meal. I call it continuum cooking.

Like good wine and cheese, some foods only get better with age (but not too much age!). Foods that improve with taste the following day have an important commonality; they consist of a multitude of herbs, spices and ingredients that add loads of flavour to a dish – think onions, garlic and peppers! Yum! 

Here is how I like to supercharge my pantry fridge and freezer with the basics so I always have options on hand to create quick, easy and affordable meals.

Herbs and spices

Keep a wide range of herbs and spices lined up in your pantry to lend a punch of flavours to your dishes. Adding an alluring blend of your favourite herbs and spices will ensure your dishes taste even better a day or even three after you’ve prepared them.

The herbs and spices you keep on hand will depend upon your particular tastes and preferences. Start by looking through the recipes that spark your interest and check to see which flavours you’ll need. They all add a delicious aroma to your meal in addition to loading your dish up with health- promoting properties. These are some of my favourite herbs and spices:

Always stock some good quality sea salt or pink Himalayan salt, which you’ll find packed full of minerals to add even more nutrition and great flavour to your cooking.

Flavour providers

Onions and garlic both from the Allium family are two of my favourite flavour accompaniments to use in cooking. Onions and garlic don’t just play an important culinary role; they also contain a plethora of health benefits.

When you start by sautéing onion or garlic at the beginning of your cooking, you’ll find they’ll unleash a powerful flavour that lends itself to releasing the aromas of other ingredients in your dish.

When continuum cooking, this is a really important first step, as the strong flavour combinations will only increase the longer you wait to eat it. This is perfect for renewable dishes you plan on reheating in a few days’ time.

Both onions and garlic can play a vital role in protecting your immune system and keeping you feeling strong and well. Onions can reduce the symptoms of bronchitis and the common cold. Garlic has antibacterial and antifungal properties that can strengthen your immune system overall, making you less vulnerable to contracting infections.

Some of my favourite flavour providers:

Grains and Staples

An absolute staple, grains, are one of the most affordable ingredients you can add to any meal of the day. Use grains and seeds such as brown rice, quinoa, and quinoa flakes to create hearty and nourishing dishes.

Each one of these grains and seeds is versatile, budget- friendly and last for months, sealed in a jar in your pantry, alleviating the need for excess waste.

When reheating renewable meals, add some brown or green rice to bulk up the dish, allowing it to serve a larger group of people whilst at the same time, becoming even more affordable. Both brown and green rice are full of fibre and a great way to satisfy your tummy when you’re famished or in need of an injection of B vitamins.

Re-purposing last night’s roast meat or vegetables into a fried rice is super-fast and makes for a tasty and convenient work lunch.

Quinoa has become more popular over the last few years and is one of the more affordable and versatile ‘powerfoods’ of today. One of my favourite renewable sequences that you’ll enjoy going on a culinary adventure with is my garlic and lemony chicken roast, and then the following day, turning the uneaten portions into a chicken quinoa meal with roast vegetables.

Supercharged Tip: Be sure to soak your quinoa the night before. This century-old process of soaking helps to break down the anti-nutrients and hard-to-digest components of the seed to avoid tummy upsets or bloating.

Buckwheat is another grain that has become popular in recent times and is a scrumptious alternative to rice or made into porridge for a warming winter breakfast. Diets that contain buckwheat have been linked to lowered risk of developing high cholesterol and high blood pressure. If you’re feeling adventurous, try scattering some activated buckwheat grains over your berries or yoghurt to add to your daily nutrient needs and for added texture.

On a cold winter’s morning, creating porridge with oats is a perfect way to start the day. Affordable, tasty and tremendously satisfying, oats are high in fibre and a perfect way to ensure the family are ready and alert for an energised day ahead.

If you’re gluten intolerant, you may find discomfort with ordinary oats, so look for the gluten-free oats or use organic quinoa flakes, to ensure your tummy has a pleasured experience and not an excruciating one.

Tinned Tomatoes

From pasta sauces, to vegetable bakes, soups to casseroles, there’s no limit to what trusted tinned tomatoes can do for your kitchen.

Adding a richness of flavour to your meal, tinned tomatoes are a versatile and low-calorie product imperative to have on hand in your pantry.

When transforming a roast into a stew, or converting unused vegetables into pasta, tinned tomatoes and tomato puree are essential for simple and budget-friendly continuum cooking.

Dressings, oils and vinegars

To add some instant flavour and bring your ingredients together, maintain a few basic dressings, oils and vinegar. Start with wheat free tamari, apple cider vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.

Wheat free tamari is a thicker, less salty, fermented soy sauce and can be used in Asian and non-Asian cooking to add a full, savoury, umami flavour to your dishes.

Originally used as a food preservative, vinegar is a must-have condiment in your kitchen to add flavour and an acidic balance to your dish. Apple cider vinegar, different to apple cider is delicious as a marinade or salad dressing, and is known for its vast list of medicinal benefits, including balancing blood sugar levels, promoting heart health, aiding weight loss, supporting digestion and providing an energy boost.

Try adding two tbsp of apple cider vinegar to 1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil, crushed garlic and pinch of sea salt as a delightful dressing to drizzle over your next salad or vegetable dish.

Extra virgin olive oil is a necessity in a renewable kitchen and you may find yourself using this tasty condiment daily.

The “extra virgin” refers to the oil being of the highest quality and usually has to pass a large number of tests and meet a range of strict standards to be classed as extra virgin. It should be produced by olives that are disease-free, harvested at the right time and processed immediately.

Extra virgin olive oil is completely natural, very high in antioxidants and contains anti-inflammatory qualities, making it a nutritious addition to your dish. Plus it tastes so rich and charming; no wonder the Italians add it to everything!

Other Dressings and Oils I'm loving at the moment include: 

Seeds and nuts

Nuts and seeds are some of the most versatile ingredients, adding a rich flavour to your sweet or savoury recipe. When creating a renewable table, the addition of nuts or seeds can transform the texture of your next meal while adding a boost of nutrients to help you meet your daily nutrition quota. They also taste great on their own as a cheeky little nibble.

Keep on hand almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, pecans, walnuts, pine nuts and pistachios. Each of these nuts contain essential good fats that promote skin and heart health and are a good source of plant-based protein.

If you haven’t experimented much with seeds, try chia and flax seeds. Sprinkle chia seeds over your breakfast parfait, or simply scatter over a fruit salad for some added protein and fibre.

When handling flax seeds (sometimes referred to as linseeds) you can eat them whole, sprinkling over your breakfast or using them to create homemade muesli bars – a great afternoon snack for the kids. 

Another way to consume flaxseeds is by blending them into a meal, or you can buy the flaxseed meal already blended at your local supermarket or health food store; this is a handy grain-free ingredient for creating breads and muffins.

Nut and seed butters are becoming more popular and are a tasty and nutritious spread to add to biscuits or for dipping vegetable sticks. A favourite of mine is tahini, which is made from ground sesame seeds. You can purchase hulled or unhulled tahini; however the unhulled version is more nutrient-rich, with more than ten times the amount of calcium.

Other nuts and seeds I'm loving:

Non-Dairy Milks

For those who are dairy intolerant or looking to reduce dairy intake, start celebrating for the vast selection of non-dairy milks now available. A natural nut milk or oat milk is a delightful non-dairy option to add to your breakfast muesli or porridge. If you want an extra treat, I'm going nuts over hazelnut chocolate milk and the almond-chocolate milk. If you’re extra handy in the kitchen, make your own!

Natural sweeteners

An alternative to refined sugar or artificial sweeteners, natural sweeteners like rice malt syrup or raw honey, are the perfect solution to satisfy your sweet tooth whilst protecting your waistline.

Creating fun recipes like my Coconut Banana Bread will enable you to stay on track and avoid binge eating or ice cream remorse that can often accompany a overdose of processed sweet stuff.

After a natural sweetener with zero calories? Try stevia, which is a sugar substitute extracted from the leaves of the plant species stevia. Add a pinch of stevia to your tea or in place of other sweeteners while creating sweet treats. As stevia is much sweeter than natural sugar, you only need to use a fraction of stevia. For example, for every tsp of sugar, you only need a pinch of stevia. Taste as you go, and then add more according to your liking. If stevia's not your thing, coconut sugar and coconut syrup are a great alternative. 

Fresh vs. Frozen 

Contrary to popular belief, 'fresh produce' doesn’t always necessarily mean it’s really fresh. The fresh fruits and vegetables you buy at your local supermarket may already be a week old by the time they put on display. If you don’t have access to a farmer’s market nearby, it’s not a bad idea to opt for frozen. Whilst the texture might not be the greatest, frozen produce might sometimes be even healthier because they are frozen immediately which locks in all the essential nutrients.

You get home from work hungry and tired, and there are no fresh ingredients in the refrigerator but you want to eat something right away. Your first thought might be what’s the number to order in?

The perfect solution is to have a couple of packets of snap frozen vegetables in your freezer. Stock up on edamame peas, spinach, broccoli and green beans. They’ll come in handy when you need a quick healthy bite.

Then all you need to do is fling open the doors of your pantry and add your choice of pulses and tinned tomatoes or a pre-made sauce, and voila! You have everything you need to create a nutritious dinner that takes just minutes to prepare.

Frozen berries

A final must-have for your freezer is frozen berries. Anti-oxidant rich berries assist with aiding weight loss, diabetes management, and lowering blood pressure. Loaded with vitamin C, berries can protect with health of collagen, promote radiant skin and healthy hair, and may reduce the risk of cataracts, arthritis and macular degeneration.

Apart from the extensive list of health benefits, you’ll find yourself eating berries simply because they taste so sweet and satisfying.

Fresh berries are delicious, however if you know you have a busy week and may run the risk of wasting those sweet fruits, keeping frozen berries on hand gives you that sense of security knowing you won’t have a wastage situation on your hands.

Frozen berries are a convenient solution for an uplifting smoothie or a refreshing breakfast idea, scattering berries over a granola or yogurt. Try mixing frozen berries in your next sweet dessert recipe,

So, now we've stocked the cupboards, what's next?

It's cooking time!

I know you’re probably taking out your phone and about to open your favourite delivery app because cooking your own food every day sounds like a hard task but listen up! It can actually be easier AND cheaper to go from takeaway meals to homemade meals.

This may sound like a hard task but when we replace the convenience of buying store bought meals in a bid to be savvy and eat healthy, food choices don’t need to be a challenge.

I have come up with four recipes that are part of a renewable table. This means that we can use base ingredients to create four (yes you heard that right, four!) meals over four days. Have a cooking day on a Sunday and you'll save yourself a lot of time through the week.

Recipe A: Chickpea Curry 

Serves 8

Ingredients

Method

  • Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped onion and cook for 2-3 minutes until onions slightly sweat.
  • Add the garlic and spices, cooking for a further 2 – 3 minutes.
  • Add vegetable stock and tomato, and then bring to the boil and let simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add chickpeas and let simmer for a further 5 minutes.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Split the mixture into 2 portions, setting aside half to be used for the remainder of recipes in this sequence. Store as per instructions below.
  • Add the cooked brown rice to 4 serving bowls, and top with 1/4 of the chickpea curry in each. Add steamed vegetables and serve.

Once the unused portion of curry has cooled to room temperature, place in a sealed glass container and store in the refrigerator. Curry will last for 4 days in the fridge.

Recipe B: Gourmet Sandwich with Indian-spiced Hummus

Makes 4 sandwiches

Ingredients:

Hummus

Leftover curry from Recipe A above (half of the original curry recipe)

Sandwich

  • 8 slices of gluten free bread or bread of choice
  • 20 slices of eggplant, grilled (setting aside 12 slices for future recipes in the sequence.)
  • 8 cos lettuce leaves
  • 1 large tomato slice.
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  • Separate the chickpeas from curry liquid. Place chickpeas into a high-speed blender and all other hummus ingredients.
  • Blend until smooth and combined.
    • (Note: save the remainder of the curry liquid as a nourishing drink or as a base for your next curry or stew by storing in a jar and leaving in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or freezing for up to 2 months).
  • Set aside 2/3 of the prepared hummus for Recipe C and D of this sequence by storing in a tightly sealed bowl and refrigerating for up to 4 days.
  • Prepare sandwiches by laying out 4 slices of bread, spreading hummus evenly across each slice, and then adding 2 slices of eggplant, 2 lettuce leaves and ¼ of the sliced tomato across each slice.  Season with salt and pepper, then cover with partnering slice of bread.

Recipe C: Mezze Plate

Place all of the below recipes onto your mezze plate.

Ingredients:

Hummus

  • ½ of the leftover hummus from Recipe B, with the remaining portion for Recipe D below
  • Drizzle extra virgin olive oil
  • Sprinkle paprika

Parsley, goat’s feta and pine nut dip

(Tip: Make a batch of this on your cooking day to save you time later)

  • 2 bunches of parsley, without stems
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • 200g goat’s feta (reserve 100 gms for Recipe D)
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Extra pine nuts and parsley leaves to garnish

Wheat-free Tabbouleh

(Tip: Make a batch of this on your continuum cooking day to save you time later!)

  • 70g quinoa, rinsed
  • 80g flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 handful mint, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 80ml lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small Lebanese cucumber, diced
  • 4 vine-ripened tomatoes, diced
  • 3 spring onions, sliced

Method

Hummus

  • Add leftover hummus to a serving bowl and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
  • Sprinkle with paprika.

Eggplant

  • Chop 4 slices eggplant into squares and sprinkle with sea salt.

Parsley, goat’s feta and pine nut dip

  • Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix until combined.
  • Place into a serving bowl and sprinkle with extra pine nuts and parsley leaves to garnish.

Wheat-free Tabbouleh

  • Cook the quinoa in a saucepan of simmering water until tender, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • In a bowl, place the parsley, mint, garlic, salt, lemon juice and zest, olive oil, cucumber, tomatoes and spring onion, mixing all ingredients until well combined.
  • Season with freshly ground black pepper.
  • Stir through the quinoa and mix thoroughly.
  • Place 2/3 of the mixture into a bowl to serve. With the remaining 1/3, set aside for Recipe D below, placing into a sealed container and storing in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Recipe D: Baked Falafel Burgers with Tabouleh and Spicy Hummus

This the perfect mid-week dinner, or a mouth-watering lunch meal that’s easy to store and take to work. With most the elements already prepared, you’ll effortlessly create this gourmet burger with plenty of time to sit and enjoy.

Makes 4 burgers

Ingredients:

Falafel balls

  • 75g sunflower seeds
  • 80g cashews
  • 1 tbsp organic nut butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp basil leaves, chopped
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp chopped coriander leaves
  • 2 tbsp chopped red capsicum
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ shallot, chopped
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 40g toasted sesame seeds, for coating

Burger

  • 8 x slices of gluten free bread/quinoa bread/rosemary and flaxseed bread to make 4 burgers
  • Leftover Hummus
  • Leftover tabbouleh
  • Leftover eggplant slices
  • 8 crispy lettuce leaves
  • 100 gms leftover goat’s feta
  • Pinch of sea salt to taste

Method

Falafel balls

  • Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  • Place all falafel ingredients, except sesame seeds, in a food processor and pulse until thoroughly blended.
  • Use a spoon to form 4 falafel balls, flattening out the ball to form patty shapes.
  • Coat in the sesame seeds, transfer to the baking tray and bake for 15 minutes until crispy.

Burger

  • To build burger, heat each slice of bread under a grill for a few minutes to slightly heat and colour the top.
  • Lay out 4 slices and spread hummus on each.
  • Stack the 2 slices of eggplant, goat’s feta and falafel patty on top, place crispy lettuce on the plate and spoon in some tabouleh.  Top sandwich with the second piece of bread to form the burger.

I hope this has given you a few ideas to supercharge your kitchen and meals!

Lee xo

Two Upcycled Zoodle Soups

Written by Lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Autumn, Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Dairy Free, Fast Your Way to Wellness, Fasting, Gluten Free, gut healing, gut health, Heal Your Gut, Organic, Seasonal, Summer, Supercharged Food Menu, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

Here in Sydney we're in the midst of a cold snap.  Food-wise, soups are one of the most popular winter meals for chilly nights. They’re warm, simple, nourishing and oh-so-satisfying. And they’re healthy too.  Creating a homemade soup can increase your intake of veggies, water and fibre which can help relieve that sluggish feeling that often accompanies the colder weather.

When you think back in time to your favourite winter soup, do you dream fondly of grandma’s homemade chicken noodle soup, or a massive bowl of fragrant Thai noodle soup?.

Today I’ve recreated these favourites with a modern zoodle twist.   If you’re attempting to satisfy your cravings for your grandparent’s famous soup by picking up quick takeaways like pho or ramen all winter long, I’ve got an easy trick for you to make your own healthy versions, minus the additives and sugar and double the taste!

I’ve modernized two of my favourite old school noodle soups and they do indeed, feel like a cuddle for your insides. They’re as warm and nourishing as they are delicious and perfect for the cold weather. I’ve created a Chicken, Edamame and Zucchini Noodle Soup plus a Thai Prawn and Peanut variety.

But first, I bring you – Zoodles.

If you’re unfamiliar with zoodles, they’re zucchinis, or courgettes, that’ve been spiralised into a noodle-like shape and texture. Spiralizers are inexpensive and super handy. You can spiralise so many vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, carrots and even cucumbers! If you don’t have a spiralizer and aren’t sure you’re ready for the commitment yet, you can try improvising with a peeler or mandolin.

For those of you avid noodle fans who think that zoodles are just an impasta, you may be rolling your eyes and not willing to try out zoodles but hear me out! Zucchini’s are high in fibre so they’ll keep you fuller for longer and help get things moving on the inside. They’re also known to help you lose weight and boost the nutrient value of your diet. Zucchini’s are high in vitamin C and vitamin A which means they’re great for your overall immunity, heart and eye health.

It’s so easy to zoodle your way through winter with some delicious zoodle soups! They’re just like grandma used to make, only upcycled.  

Chicken, Edamame and Zucchini Noodle

There’s a reason mum used to make chicken soup when you were sick! Chicken soup is satisfying and the perfect meal to help cure a cold and supercharge your winter.

Ginger, garlic and onion, are full of wonderful flavours and anti-virals that help reduce inflammation, stimulate circulation and boost the immune system. The edamame beans are the perfect swap for your regular croutons because they’re high in protein, don’t raise blood sugar levels and may help to lower cholesterol.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 brown onion chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 5 sage leaves
  • 1 inch knob ginger grated
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • Pinch smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 4 chicken thighs, bone-in
  • 7 cups chicken broth
  • 1 lime juiced plus 1 tsp zest
  • 2 TBS coconut aminos or tamari sauce
  • ½ cup edamame beans
  • 3 medium zucchinis spiralised

Method:

  • Sauté the onions, garlic and sage leaves in the olive oil in a pot on medium heat.
  • Once the onions become transparent, add ginger, celery and carrot. Sauté until browned
  • Add in the paprika, thyme and oregano and cook for another 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  • Place chicken thighs into the pan and add broth, lime and zest and bring to the boil then simmer for 25 minutes
  • Add the coconut aminos or tamari, edamame beans and zucchini noddles and cook for a further 5 minutes being careful not to over cook the zoodles.

Thai Prawn, Peanut and Zoodle

Why order takeout Thai when you can enjoy the pure flavours of this exotic zoodley soup? Prawns provide you a filling source of protein, whilst zucchini noodles (zoodles) offer a more easily digestible option to wheat and white rice noodles that send your blood sugars on a rollercoaster. Enjoy as a light lunch or dinner, or throw in a thermos and savour at the office.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbs coconut oil
  • 1 TBS green curry paste
  • 2 TBS smooth peanut putter
  • Thumb sized piece of ginger cut into matchsticks
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 anchovies chopped (optional)
  • 1 400 ml can coconut milk
  • 200 ml fish stock
  • 2 TBS wheat free tamari
  • Juice one lime
  • 1 red chili finely sliced
  • 200 gms prawns washed and patted dry
  • 2 zucchinis spiralised
  • Handful of coriander

Method:

  • Heat oil and add curry paste, nut butter, and sizzle for one minute
  • Add ginger, lime leaves, anchovies if using, coconut milk and stock and bring to the boil stirring for about five minutes. Add tamari, lime, and chilli and cook for one minute
  • Stir in prawns and zucchini noodles and cook for a 4-5 minutes until prawns are cooked and zucchini is softened but still aldente
  • Serve with coriander

Give these soups a whirl and let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Photography (Blue Rust Images). 

Two Fast Fish Recipes Perfect for the Weekend

Written by Lee on . Posted in Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Blog Salads, Candida Friendly, Dairy Free, Fast Your Way to Wellness, Fasting, Gluten Free, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Spring, Summer, Supercharged Food Menu, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free


It’s been a long and laborious day at the office. You’re already peeved because you had to stay overtime to finish up some work. This means you’re coming home late to a messy house, hungry tummies and a glaringly empty fridge, standing there staring back at you.

You’re oh so tempted to dial in a cheap takeaway but your internal dialogue is torn. Then again, you’re way too tired to prepare a gourmet, organic three-course meal for you and the whole family. To even think about what to make feels like way too much hard work! Still you want to enjoy a healthy meal with all the right nutrients, but without a lot of effort required on your part.

Sound familiar?  If this feels like you, I'm giving you a chance to win the internal debate with two deliciously simple fish recipes from my book Fast Your Way to Wellness. I don’t want you to have to do one ounce of thinking, or over preparing for your meal to appear on the table in a flash.

These are a couple of my favourite go-to weekend recipes that have come to my rescue on many occasions during an "I-need-something-tasty-and-fast" crisis.

What I love about these recipes is that they’re super simple, healthy and don’t take more than 25 minutes each. The first one is the ultimate dinner winner!

Sautéed scallops with mushrooms and spinach

If you’re looking for something light for a dinner for two, this is a great recipe that not only tastes delicious, but also can be on the table in ten minutes.  Shellfish such as scallops are a beautiful source of fat-soluble vitamins, especially vitamin D. Always buy shellfish fresh from your local fishmonger and eat as soon as possible.

Serves 2

179 calories per serve (749 kJ)

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 200 g (7 oz/10 small) scallops, rinsed and patted dry
  • Celtic sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 140 g (5 oz) mixed mushrooms, whole or sliced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh or dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 200 g (7 oz) baby English spinach leaves
  • Splash of apple cider vinegar
  • Chopped parsley or rosemary sprigs, to serve
  • Lemon wedges, to serve

Method

Heat the oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat.

Season the scallops with salt and pepper, sear in the pan for 1–2 minutes on each side, until golden brown, then remove from the pan and set aside.

Add the garlic, mushrooms, rosemary, thyme and oregano to the pan, then cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.

Add the spinach and apple cider vinegar, then cook for 1–2 minutes, until the spinach just begins to wilt.

Return the scallops to the pan and cook for 1 minute to heat through.

Serve topped with the parsley or rosemary and with lemon wedges on the side.

When you crave a lazy weekend and want to bring the fancy cafe Buddha bowl into the comfort of your own home, here's your go to recipe.  A bowl overflowing with protein-rich, and low cost lentils, chlorophyll-filled greens and deliciously smoked salmon brimming with omega-3s will provide a lunch of stately standards.  Whilst the lentils are cooking you can take off your shoes and put your feet up on the couch, then all you need to do is serve it up and add your other elements.

For those of you who find lentils hard to digest and you want to gain maximum nutritional value and make them more digestible, you can sprout them by placing them in a fine-mesh sieve or a sprouting jar and rinsing a few times a day for 2 days before you cook them. The lentils will grow little tails! Now there's a great weekend project.

Smoked salmon living lentil bowl

Serves 2

181 calories per serve (758 kJ)

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small brown onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 50 g (13/4 oz) brown lentils, rinsed
  • 375 ml (13 fl oz/11/2 cups) chicken stock or filtered water
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 handful coriander (cilantro), chopped
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
  • 100 g (31/2 oz) baby English spinach leaves
  • 100 g (31/2 oz) smoked salmon
  • 35 g (11/4 oz/1/2 cup) snow pea (mangetout) sprouts
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste (optional)
  • Squeeze of lemon juice

Method

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.

Add the onion, garlic and ginger, then cook for 3–4 minutes, until softened.

Add the lentils, stock or water and cumin.

Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20–25 minutes, until the lentils are tender and the liquid has been absorbed.

Stir through the coriander and capers.

Arrange all the ingredients in serving bowls, then season with a grind of pepper (if using) and finish with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Enjoy your weekend 

Lee xo

 

Oven Baked Veg and Garlic Soup with Toasted Seeds

Written by Lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Candida Friendly, Dairy Free, Flavour of the month, Gluten Free, gut healing, gut health, Heal Your Gut, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Soups & Salads, Sugar Free, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

I'm going back to the future.

I love blogging and sharing my food adventures with you.

And you sharing right back.

It's what Supercharged Food is all about and why I started blogging in the first place.

So, I’ve decided I’m going back to basics.

You know, when the blogger make a recipe at home in their kitchen, away from the hullabaloo that is life?

Forget FaceTime! Let's get back to face to face time.

Say hello to good old-fashioned, simple Supercharged food blogs.

Here’s the first…

Curate your date night with my Oven Baked Veg and Garlic Soup with Toasted Seeds.

Whether you’re facing first-date butterflies and you want to seriously impress your first date or, you want to make your long-time partner feel a little more special, this SOUPercharged recipe is sure to do the trick. 

Get changed out of your tracksuit pants and throw on your fanciest get-up because date night at home need not be casual!

You don’t need a specific day to show someone you love them. Sometimes love can come through in the simplest of gestures - like making a warming pot of soup with some candles and soft tunes to gently sway to on the couch. 

This baked veg soup is husband-approved and absolutely fool-proof. You can even throw it together while you're getting home from a long day. It's sure to warm you both up from the inside out. 

So, what makes this soup so soupercharged? The cruciferous vegetable, cauliflower, can help fight inflammation because it's rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. Whilst garlic can help lower cholesterol and combat heart disease!  Who knew healthy eating could be so sexy?

Don't forget the seedy topping! Seeds are rich in  zinc - a crucial but often forgotten mineral that helps with growth, immunity and can even improve our skin.

And of course, the best part of having a date night at home is what happens after dinner...... 😉

Get your head out of the gutter - I'm a food blogger after all! 

I'm talking about DESSERT. 

Be sure to try out my love heart chocolates. These indulgent delights, with their special smooth and velvety texture and chocolaty buttery taste, are melt-in-your mouth good.  

You'll wonder why you ever made reservations in the first place...

Oven Baked Veg and Garlic Soup with Toasted Seeds

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cauliflower cut into florets
  • 2 zucchinis chopped into cubes
  • 1 carrot chopped into cubes
  • 1/2 bulb garlic unpeeled (about 6 cloves)
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • Pinch chili flakes
  • 1 knob butter or 1 tbs olive oil
  • 500gms veg or beef stock
  • 2 tbs tomato paste
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 2 tbs wheat free tamari
  • 1 tsp ginger grated

Top with:

  • 1/4 cup toasted seeds
  • Fresh coriander

Method:

Heat oven to 240 degrees Celsius

Place veg and garlic on a baking tray and splosh with olive oil then add spices and stir to coat

Bake for 25 to 30 mins

Once ready heat butter/oil in heavy based saucepan

Squeeze garlic into pan and break up with a wooden spoon

Place veg into pan and stir

Add stock and remaining ingredients and stir then bring to the boil and reduce heat place on lid and simmer for 10 mins

Ladle into bowls and top with toasted seeds and fresh coriander

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.

Slow cooking is the key to a healthy winter + Rosemary and Thyme Chicken Stew Recipe

Written by Lee on . Posted in Autumn, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Candida Friendly, Dairy Free, Fast Your Way to Wellness, Fasting, Gluten Free, Heal Your Gut, Heal Your Gut Powder, Organic, Seasonal, Sugar Free, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

It's time fire-up those kettles into full gear, keep the soup spoon handy and pull the fluffiest blanket out from the back of the cupboard – winter is here!

Winter is a time of hibernation, where we crave comfort foods and warming drinks. But we're usually so busy keeping warm, we tend to spend more time eating, less time cooking and even less time working out - which inevitably adds to that extra winter pudge! (Hello... Love Your Gut powder!)

But it's important to keep in mind that winter is also one of the best times of year to stock up on those essential nutrients and eat healthy.

My winter menu generally rotates between comforting soups, spicy stews, crispy stir fries, perfect porridges and spiced teas - all of which can be packed full of nutritional whole foods. Curries and stews are perfect for packing in your veggies and protein, but the misconception is that these delicious wintery meals take a lot of time to cook.

Enter your new best friend: the slow cooker!

Basically, a slow cooker does all the hard work for you, and they're easy to clean - which I know will have most home cooks cheering! If you're time-poor in the evenings, find some slow-cooker recipes - lamb shanks, curries and stews are perfect - throw the ingredients into the cooker, and it'll be ready for you at dinner time. 

Three Supercharged Workout Meals + Pear and Walnut Oatmeal, Hemp and Tahini Bliss Balls + My Ultimate Roasted Veg Bowl

Written by Lee on . Posted in Blog, Blog Breakfast, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Blog Salads, Blog Snacks, Gluten Free, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Shopping List, Vegetarian, Wheat Free

This one's for all you exercise and gym lovers and likers, hikers and bikers, buffs and bunnies.

If you're planning to fit a workout into your daily schedule, nourishing your body with the right foods is essential.

It can be difficult to find a pre or post workout meal with just the right amount of nutritious ingredients to make you feel satisfied AND energized.

If you're pressed for time or honestly can't be bothered after a long day at work (it’s alright, we've all been there), having a few supercharged ingredients on hand can make a real difference to your motivation levels.

Before we begin, I’m going to have to break a bit of a myth that’s circulating about how to build or tone specific muscles in the body. There’s no miracle food that can tone your physique or build specific muscles. What I can tell you however, is that by eating supercharged foods, with an adequate amount of protein, healthy fats and unrefined carbohydrates, and a great exercise regime, you can be on your way to #breakingtheinternet with your fabulous body.

Supercharged foods are everyday super foods full of antioxidants that are easily accessible and relatively affordable. It’s all about making it easier for you to make healthier food choices so your mind and body don't fall into temptation and undo all your hard work.

That's why I’m a huge fan of bowl food. Personally, I find that eating food out of a bowl has made me more conscious and mindful of what and how much I'm eating. Plus, it’s quick and easy to make and you can come up with as many healthy combinations as possible. It's the best motivation for smashing out another set of squats! 

Usually I opt for a healthy mix of protein, vegetables and grains. It’s nutritious and a great way to exercise portion control. More importantly, the great thing about bowl food is its convenience. You can easily whip up a meal by using whatever you have sitting around in your fridge and pantry.

Did you also know that food eaten out of a bowl can trick your mind into feeling full? Studies have shown that when we're exposed to various sensory stimuli, this can impact our perception of flavour – including how full we feel after a meal.

Eating heathy meals served in bowls simply because they seem to taste better and eating smaller portions sounds like a win-win situation to me!

And now I've concocted three new reps to add to your repertoire!

Carbohydrates are a go zone when it comes to helping to build muscle, especially if we’re burning through energy while exercising. Carbohydrates help keep our energy levels steady and fuel our muscles so we can be twerking the night away.  Some of my favourite carbohydrates are brown rice, quinoa, pumpkin, sweet potato and fruit. Just be sure to stay away from refined products like pasta, pastries and white bread to keep your butt looking fab instead of drab.

If you plan to workout in the morning, the Pear and Walnut Oatmeal bowl is a great option. Pears are in season now so I've included them in this recipe but the best part is that you can swap them out for other fruits and they’ll taste just as good! 

I try to stock up on oats, nuts and seeds when I can. Sometimes I use fresh supercharged foods such as berries in my breakfast bowl but oats and nuts are a great alternative and non-perishable so you don’t have to worry about them turning to mush within a week.

Pear and Walnut Oatmeal bowl

Serves 2

Ingredients:

Method:

  • Place pear, vanilla, cinnamon, nut butter and milk into a medium saucepan and heat to medium high, cook stirring until pears are softened and milk has reduced to a thick sauce, about 10-15 mins.
  • Add oats to a small saucepan and add water and salt and bring to the boil then simmer until the water is absorbed and oats are cooked.
  • Scoop oats into a bowl, top with caramelised pears and top with walnuts and pumpkin seeds and cacao nibs

I've also included a simple bliss ball recipe, as an on the go snack so you have all your bases covered.

Hemp and Tahini Bliss Balls

Makes 10 large

Ingredients:

Method:

  • Place nuts, almond meal, hemp seeds, coconut flakes and coconut milk into food processor and mix

  • Add honey, almond nut butter and tahini and continue to mix until combined

  • Chill the dough in the freezer for 20 minutes
  • Remove the dough from the freezer and using hands, roll into balls and placeon a flat tray

  • Place extra hemp seeds in a bowl and roll balls to coat the surface

  • Refrigerate and enjoy. These can also be kept in the freezer

If you truly don’t have the time to make your own bliss balls, Sprout has quite the selection, including gluten-free, paleo or vegan-friendly options.

Now that you're finally done with the daily grind and your workout, it’s time to nourish your body with the good stuff. The urge to eat a big old bowl after a workout can be strong and why not? You deserve it. Reward yourself by eating smart and opting for the Ultimate Veg Bowl, which allows you to not only avoid undoing all your hard work but also tastes delicious at the same time!

The Ultimate Roasted Veg Bowl

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • ½ butternut pumpkin cubed
  • 2 zucchini sliced lengthways and quartered
  • 4 yellow squash quartered
  • ¼ cup hemp seeds
  • 3 TBS extra extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cauliflower chopped into florets
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • squeeze of lemon
  • small bunch broccolini
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 2 tbs tamari
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 avocado quartered

Method

  • Boil eggs and set aside
  • Make quinoa and once cooked fluff with a fork and set aside
  • Place pumpkin, zucchini, squash, on a roasting tray and drizzle with 2 TBS olive oil and sea salt, sprinkle pumpkin with hemp seeds
  • Place in oven 210 degrees for 35 mins
  • Meanwhile coat cauliflower with turmeric and remaining olive oil and a squeeze of lemon and place on a smaller tray in the oven for 20-25 mins
  • Place broccolini in a tray drizzle with oil and place in oven for 15-20 mins
  • Mix tahini, tamari and lemon with water to create a pourable dressing
  • Once roasted layer all ingredients into a bowl and top with tamari and tahini dressing
  • Add avocado and egg and top with extra hemp seeds

Totally Totable Recipes for Workdays + Supercharged Bento Box and Nori Rolls Recipes

Written by Lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Fast Your Way to Wellness, gut health

I know that after a busy day at work, the last thing that most people want to do is figure out what they should have for dinner, let alone lunch the next day!  Working for hours on end and trying to be healthy may seem like two things that don’t necessarily go together but I’m here to show you that healthy eating doesn’t have to be time consuming or over complicated. I’ve got some great recipes for you to take to work with you that are fast and easy to prepare.

Sometimes, the thought of picking up something on your lunch break from the local food hall or fast food chain might seem like the only available food option. However, pre-preparing healthy food for work can not only save you money, but it can also save you time in the long run so that you can sit down and enjoy your lunch that has already been made by you. 

Eating healthily and preparing meals to nourish can also help to improve your work performance, and it can be simple to prepare healthy food the night before so that you can just grab it and go in the morning. If you’re reading this and it seems to you like an impossible feat, I’m here to show you that healthy lunches can be an achievable change in your workdays and really, it all comes down to mindset. 

The number one word I’m going to use here is preparation.  Preparing food, the night before or even preparing a few meals on the weekend, can save a lot of time and unnecessary stress in the morning. I’ll often cook more for dinner and take the rest as a takeaway. For example, if I’m making a salad, I’ll take some out before serving and put it in a container, and then dress the rest. This means the next morning it will still be fresh and delicious for the day and then all it needs is a protein source like a can of tuna in olive oil which I put in my bag and I’ll take a lemon with me to work (I work from the local library) and then at lunchtime, I'll dress the salad from there.

I’d love to share with you two of my favourite "Totally Totable" recipes from my latest book Fast Your Way to Wellness.

The first is a scrumptious Bento Box and secondly my Vegie Nori Wraps which are fun to make. Not only are these meals simple to prepare and delicious, they’ll also make all your co-workers extremely jealous by how good they look! They’re easy enough to transport to work and will help keep you focused for the day ahead.

The Supercharged Bento Box is a combination of everything to satisfy you fully! There’s a section packed with protein, another filled with complex carbohydrates, the third with vibrant veggies and of course the last one has a sweet little treat. I like to keep my meals balanced and like most, love having dessert to look forward to.

Nori is the main star of my Veggie Nori Wraps. Nori is an edible seaweed that is low in calories and rich in protein, iodine and fibre, making it a perfect lunchtime mix. Nori is packed full of B vitamins, especially B12, which is hard to find in vegetarian foods. This simple seaweed is also high in minerals and amino acids to maintain health as it controls everything from the immune system to mood.

Supercharged Bento Box

421 calories per serve (1763 kJ)

Serves 1

This meal has saved me time and time again! It’s a little bit like a throw-all-the-good-contents-from-the-fridge-into-a-container and it will no doubt taste delicious kind of meal.  This is easiest to eat from a bento box or lunchbox with four separate sections. Once it’s assembled, just refrigerate it for lunch the following day. Easy!

Sesame slaw with tahini and orange dressing

  • 15 g (1/2 oz/1/4 cup) shredded green cabbage
  • 15 g (1/2 oz/1/4 cup) shredded red cabbage
  • 40 g (11/2 oz/ 1/4 cup) grated carrot
  • a few mint stalks, chopped
  • a few parsley stalks, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped spring onion (scallion)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted in a dry frying pan

DRESSING

Combine all the slaw ingredients except the sesame seeds and put in a section of the box. Combine the dressing ingredients, adding filtered water as needed, then pour over the salad. Top with the sesame seeds.

Sardines with Lemon and Pepper

  • 45 g (11/2 oz) tinned sardines
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 lemon wedge

Drain the sardines and place in a section of your box. Season with pepper and add the lemon wedge.

Zesty Quinoa

  • 110 g (41/4 oz/1/2 cup) cooked quinoa (make this the night before or on the weekend and store in fridge)
  • finely grated zest of 1 lime
  • Celtic sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Combine the quinoa and lime zest, then season with salt and pepper.

Transfer to a section of your box.

Sweet treat

Put a small handful of berries in the last section of the box for dessert.

Vegetable Nori Wraps

181 calories per serve (758 kJ)

These wraps are satisfyingly simple. Feel free to make them your own – add any additional veggies you like to the mix! Packing these nori rolls for lunch will keep your nourished and grounded when you’re on the go.

Serves 2

  • 1 tablespoon wheat-free tamari
  • 2 teaspoons rice malt (brown rice) syrup or raw honey
  • 2 nori sheets
  • 1 tablespoon nut butter (cashew nut butter works well)
  • a few handfuls of baby English spinach leaves
  • 40 g (11/2 oz/1/2 cup) shredded red cabbage
  • 1/2 large carrot, grated
  • 100 g (31/2 oz/about 1/2 large) avocado, sliced
  • small handful of coriander (cilantro), chopped

Note; You can add a protein source to this recipe too, tuna or salmon is nice!

Combine the tamari and rice malt syrup in a small bowl. Lay one of the nori sheets on a clean work surface with a long side facing you and the shiny side down, then evenly spread half the nut butter over it, leaving a 3 cm (11/4 in) border on the top side.

Spread about one-third of the tamari mixture over the nut butter. Spread a tiny bit of tamari on the top side to help the wrap stay rolled up.

Put your desired amount of spinach on top of the nut butter and tamari layers, followed by half of each of the remaining ingredients. Be sure not to pile on too much or the wrap could break when you roll it up.

Roll the nori up away from you until sealed. Cut into three. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Wrap in plastic wrap, seal in an airtight lunchbox and refrigerate until ready to eat.

I hope you enjoy these totally totable work day recipes.  Make them and let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Be your own health ‘influenzer’ this winter + My bestest ever vegetable broth recipe

Written by Lee on . Posted in Blog, Blog Breakfast, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Blog Snacks, Dairy Free, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Winter


Is it just me or does it feel like we’re never truly prepared for winter? It’s like winter arrives and we’re always so shocked that our sun-loving country has turned wintery and cold. June has barely begun but winter has well and truly arrived in Australia and it’s safe to say it's fffreeezzzing.

Apart from the nippy weather, many of us start to notice change is in the air when the local chemist has started advertising flu vaccines to prevent seasonal influenza and more throats become scratchy and noses sniffly on our morning commute.

To stay on top of things this winter and become your own health ‘influenzer’, why not look towards supercharged foods to bulletproof your immune system? Rather than relying upon regular cold and flu medication, which can weaken your immune system’s ability to respond naturally to illness, try leaning towards natural ways to boost immunity and fight of colds and flu.  

One of the first places to look when building immunity is your gut, where 70-80% of your immune tissue resides.  Because your gut is often the first entry point for pathogens, you’ll want to ensure that you have enough friendly gut flora (the good bugs that are allies for immune cells) to prevent pathogens and infections from being absorbed through the gut lining.

As well as a healthy balance of microflora, you’ll want the gut lining to be robust to assist in nutrient absorption.  The best way to ensure good gut health is to eat a diverse diet, filled with anti-inflammatory, fibre-rich, prebiotic and probiotic rich foods. Plus my Love Your Gut powder.

This month I'd love to share some of my favourite foods that are wonderful for supercharging your winter immunity. The grocery items I’ve used are available at Sprout Market.  You can find out more about Sprout Market here

Turmeric

One of my must have natural medicine-chest items for winter immunity is turmeric.  Whenever I use turmeric, I like to think of it as nature’s golden fairy dust. It has recently gained popularity and rightly so!

Turmeric’s dazzling golden colour is derived from curcumin, a natural antioxidant that helps fight off and repair damaged cells. Turmeric is also a powerful secret weapon when it comes to good health. I love using turmeric because it’s so versatile. You can enjoy this supercharged spice in anything from drinks, bakes, smoothies, curries, stir-fries to main meals.

Turmeric not only holds an abundance of antioxidants; it also has anti-inflammatory properties. An easy way to incorporate some turmeric this winter is to add it into hot drinks. If you haven’t tried it yet, you must get into my Anti-inflammatory Toddy Drink, a wonderful warmer for boosting your immune system and best of all, it tastes super delicious! If you’re willing to give up your morning coffee, this golden goddess is a serious pick-me-up. If you’re pinched for time in the mornings, Sprout has a coconut latte version here or try my delicious and versatile Golden Gut Blend.

And you can pick up the individual ingredients for the recipe too;

During winter, the days are shorter and the nights are longer (cue guitar solo here). Cold and early nights mean we can often become more susceptible to caving into unhealthy food cravings. A fast food diet comprised of takeaway food can lead to poor digestion. This means that when food is broken down by enzymes within your stomach and pancreas, some food molecules can still remain in your small intestine.

The small intestine is the place where nutrient absorption occurs. These molecules are then able to pass through the gut wall into the bloodstream, which can result in bloating, irritation, inflammation, fatigue, aches and most importantly, low immunity to colds and flu. A good way to help maintain the integrity of the gut is to eat an easily digestible diet with non-aggravating foods that don’t damage the lining of the gut.

Gelatin is one of my winter immunity boosting ingredients and an excellent source of special proteins, which help to seal the gut wall and greatly improve the integrity of the gut lining by restoring the mucosal layer. One of gelatin’s gut healing attributes is to absorb water and retain fluid in the digestive tract, which is required to promote transportation of waste and healthy bowel movements. When you optimize your gut health, this can also help with nutrient absorption.

A simple gut healing dessert to fill up on is my Almond Milk Jelly Cup. Generic vanilla custard can have your tummy doing backflips and somersaults, because of the refined sugar and cream, so in my recipe I use powdered stevia.

Hearty Broths

Some main meals to grab hold of to boost immunity and fight off colds and flu this winter are garlic filled tummy warming broths, soups and casseroles.  These tasty recipes have become a staple in many households (mine included!) because of their numerous health boosting qualities.

At the heart of a tasty casserole is a homemade broth or stock.  Want my supercharged tip? Make lots of broth and keep leftovers in the freezer, it can supercharge any dish for that restaurant quality finish. 

Beyond adding delicious flavour and being used as the base of sauces, stocks, soups and stews, broths also act as a supercharged “tonic” and are wonderful for adding a dose of healing nutrientsperfect for empowering your health.  You’ll love my Bestest ever roasted vegetable stock recipe please try it and let me know what you think! You enjo have it as a warming drink too.

Apple Cider Vinegar is a worthwhile component to any broth recipe, known for its ability to nurture the sick and nourish the body. Fats in meat-based broths pair well with vinegar since it helps to draw out all those valuable minerals in the bones into the broth. Raw apple cider vinegar is a good choice since it’s unfiltered and unpasteurized. 

If you’re pressed for time, you can buy your own ready-made stock. Just be sure to check the ingredients list to make sure there are no hidden nasties! I’ve tried these stock mixes myself and love that they're made the traditional way, plus they’re delicious and nourishing all at once.

Pantry items to stock up on are;

Coconut is an ideal ingredient to boost the health of your digestive system. Coconut oil has wide-spreading medicinal quantities to improve immunity and it’s anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-microbial and has anti-bacterial properties.

The transition to winter has resulted in many simple raw meals being replaced with warmer, flavorsome comfort foods. Soups can be supercharged with a range of nutritious ingredients that’ll ensure your immune system is powered up whilst you remain cozy indoors, snuggled up on the couch.

If you haven’t had a chance to try my pumpkin and coconut soup, you should! It uses coconut oil as base along with garlic and onions, both well known for their immune boosting properties, next just add some pumpkin and coconut milk, ginger, stock and nutmeg; it’ as easy as pumpkin pie!

I’m using onion in the recipe as it contains significant amounts of quercetin – responsible for the protection and healing of damaged cells, as well as garlic which acts as a natural antibiotic.  Ginger is a great immunity-boosting tool, to help to reduce fevers, soothe sore throats, and encourage coughing to loosen mucus from the chest. The chemicals, shagaols and gingerols responsible for that ginger kick when you eat it, are what help to stimulate blood circulation and open up sinuses allowing you to breathe more clearly.

Soup ingredients to add to your trolley are;

Kombucha

Fermented foods like kombucha are another beneficial way to increase your good gut bugs when your gut is healed, primed and ready. Not only is kombucha a delicious way to introduce some cultured foods into your diet, it also easily replaces any soft drinks. 

Try my Homemade kombucha recipe.  Or if you’re worried that the fermenting process is too much like a complex lab operation rather than a kitchen recipe (it’s really easy once you get into the flow of it!) and you simply don’t have the time, kombucha is offered in plenty of flavors and readily available in stores. My personal favourite is Remedy’s Ginger and Lemon.

I’d love you to try these supercharged ingredients for boosting immunity and let me know what you make with them!

Lee xo

Brussellin’ into winter with Supercharged Sprouts

Written by Lee on . Posted in Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Gluten Free, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Vegetarian

The other day I was standing in the middle of my local supermarket and was stuck; bewildered by all the choices I could possibly make; especially in the tea aisle; there were about thirty five different types!

Instead of diving straight into the fresh produce as I normally would, I decided to observe my fellow shoppers and see how they made what was going to be one of the toughest decisions of the day: paleo bread or white bread? Organic brown rice or regular white rice? Organic apples or non-organic apples? stevia or steeeevia 😉

I noticed that people stopped and peered at the organic food, checked the price tag, proceeded to pick their jaw up off the floor and then trundle towards the non-organic produce.

With so many available products in the supermarket, for many of us we tend to end up choosing the cheaper, mass-produced options. 

I've recently partnered with Sprout Market, a new online grocery market, and the perfect helper to make healthy living affordable and accessible for everyone; especially people who don't have natural ingredients available at their fingertips. Sprout Market is a membership-based community that is focused on sharing organic and natural products with Australians at low prices.

With that thought in mind and as I picked up my usual Brussels sprouts, a new recipe idea overcame me and I knew I had to get into the kitchen and share it with you ASAP.

Cue: my delicious Honey + hemp oven roasted sprouts with goat's cheese. 

Brussels sprouts are rich in many valuable nutrients such as fibre and calcium. They help to cleanse the body (in the nicest possible way) and are loaded with antioxidants - Say hello to glowing skin!

I've also added hemp seeds into the mix because they're nutrient-dense and add a delicious crunch.  Hemp seeds have a perfect balance of proteins, essential fats, vitamins and enzymes. Hemp provides a wide range of health benefits, including sustained energy, increased immunity, lowered cholesterol and decreased blood pressure.

And let’s not forget the delicious combination of goat’s cheese and honey, two prime ingredients that marry beautifully together. I’m practically drooling at the thought of it are you?. A sweet drizzle of honey so perfectly complements the freshness of goat's cheese. I really hope you make this one.

If you're looking for affordable ingredients such as Manuka honey, good quality hemp seeds and lots of organic spices Sprout Online Market is a great place to start. For first time orders they have a 10% off plus free shipping Supercharged Special. (Full disclosure, I am an ambassador for Sprout Market).

For less than $5 a month ($59.95 annually), you are provided with a cream of the crop selection of quality food, supplements and products from some of the best brands at up to 60% lower than their RRP. Every product is categorised and tagged, with labels like vegan, paleo, GMO-free and more, to make it easier for everyone to select and shop according to their dietary needs.

Now, everyone can gain access to organic and natural products with prices that work with their budget.

I’m also delighted to announce that Sprout is 100% green, using biodegradable materials to package your goodies and ship them out to you wherever you are in Australia.

With that said, I can think of no better way to start the ball rolling than with some brussellin’ now that we are well on our way to winter and the wind is blowing a kale outside.

Honey + hemp oven roasted sprouts with goat's cheese 

Serves: 4

Ingredients
• 400g Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved (or whole if small)
• 4 garlic cloves halved
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 tsp cumin
• 1/2 tsp turmeric
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2 tbs raw honey (I used Manuka)
• 1/2 cup walnuts
• 1/2 cup goat's cheese


To serve (optional)
• Squeeze lemon
• 2 tbs Superseed sprinkle mix (I used Pimp my Salad Brand)
• 2 tbs hemp seeds

Method

Preheat the oven to 190°C and place Brussels sprouts and garlic and into a large roasting dish, sprinkle with oil, season with cumin and turmeric, salt and pepper and honey and toss to coat.
Roast for about 30 minutes, and halfway through stir then, at the 20 minute mark add the walnuts. Return to the oven until crispy and caramelised.
Remove from oven and crumble on goat's cheese.
Squeeze some lemon juice if using then sprinkle with super seed sprinkle mix and hemp seeds and serve. 

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.

6 Reasons I Love Sardines + Sardine Mash Pot Recipe

Written by Lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Digestion, Dinner, gut health, Heal Your Gut, healthy gut. digestive health, Learn, Lunch, Nutrient Rich, Recipe Book, Sugar Free, Super Foods, supercharged food, Supercharged Food Menu

sardine mash pot

Why on earth should I eat sardines? Now before you turn your nose up on these commonly rejected tinned swimmers, you may be surprised by the answer. In fact there is not just one answer to this question. There are several reasons why a good old can of sardines should make an honoured appearance in your pantry.

Sardines might not immediately seem like the most joyous of foods, but they’re so insanely beneficial you’ll be sure to fall in love with them. They’re rich in omega-3 fatty acids and energy-boosting vitamin B12, as well as minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc. This mash is an inexpensive and nutrient-dense meal for when you feel like a boost.

Here are the top six reasons why I love sardines, and why they're one of my favourite supercharged foods for good health.

1. A superior source of omega 3’s

Everyone needs more omega-3 fatty acids in their diets due to the use of processed vegetable oils in foods, and feeding livestock on corn and grains, rather than green pastures. Sardines are a wonderful source of high-quality omega-3 fatty acids. Research is showing that omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA may help to support the tolerance of probiotic strains within your gut microbiome; making sardines an excellent gut health superfood.

2. No worries about mercury

The small size of the sardine means that it has less opportunity to pick up and accumulate mercury. The skinless and boneless sardines are even lower in mercury, with up to 50% less mercury than regular sardines because the mercury is stored in the sardine’s spinal cord. Many people say they also taste better. Larger fish, even salmon contain significant more concentrations of mercury than the tiny sardine.

3. High in vitamin B12

A Vitamin B12 deficiency, even a mild one, can cause symptoms including nerve damage, poor mental function, problems with oxygen uptake into cells, and depleted energy. One can of sardines provides a whopping 338% of your daily Vitamin B12 needs!

4. Anti-inflammatory

The numerous benefits of omega-3 fatty acids are related to their ability to act as an anti-inflammatory, making them a super effective treatment and prevention of hundreds of medical conditions. Omega-3 rich sardines have a remarkable ability to help defend against mood disorders like depression and anxiety, ADHD, arthritis, infertility, heart disease and inflammatory gut conditions like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

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