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Light Up Your Summer Table with Four Seasonal Salads

Written by Lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Blog Salads, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegetarian

It’s beginning to look a lot like summer,

Everywhere you go! 

Imagine your ideal holiday period.

Are you cuddled up by the fire with your special someone, or perhaps caravanning by the beach with family, tripping overseas in a foreign kitchen, or maybe even camping in the bush?  You may even be lying on the grass at your annual picnic?

Wherever you are, there’s one thing we all can agree on – it’s spending time with your special ones that matters the most… and the food. Okay, maybe two things we can all agree on then.

While festive feasting in Australia may not look like steaming hot chocolates, roads studded with fairy lights and snowflakes, stuffed chooks and bellies filled with pudding, holiday season is still holiday season! While it’s a little too hot for full roasts and mashed potatoes here in Australia, we can still celebrate the season with fresh produce and delicious salads – what could be better?

I’ve created four delicious salad recipes you can make wherever your festivities may take you. Just make sure that when you do enjoy these beauties, you’re enjoying them with your special people.

The only Kale and Strawberry and Avocado Salad you'll need this holiday season.

What do you get when you combine sweetness, bitterness and bright colours?

My Kale and Strawberry Salad, of course!

This totally good-for-you salad is filled with veggies, berries and healthy fats which make a nutrient-dense meal suitable for anyone.

Our forest friend, kale, delivers protein, fibre and impressive amounts of vitamin A and C, making it a powerful antioxidant.

Kale’s dynamic partner in crime (and by crime, I mean tasting good because there’s literally nothing harmful about this salad!), strawberries, are full of vitamin C that’ll help boost immunity and even keep wrinkles at bay! 

The combination of the green and the pink make this salad almost too pretty to eat. Almost.

Seeing as this salad is simple and easy to make, it means you’ll have more time to spend with your friends and family this holiday season. You’re welcome.

This welcoming dish brings a touch of summer to your table. and right down to the dressing is a total knockout that'll blow your mind!

Who knew healthy could taste so good?

Kale, Strawberry and Avocado Salad with Speedy Jam Jar Dressing

Serves 2-3


Ingredients:

Speedy Jam Jar Dressing


Method

  • In a large bowl place lemon juice and olive oil and stir then massage it into kale leaves adding a pinch or two of sea salt. Keep massaging until leaves are soft and dark green
  • Add remaining ingredients and toss
  • To make the dressing whisk all ingredients together

Fig and Goats Cheese (Yum!)

Get ready for an ultimate platter that’ll make you forget all about your run-of-the-mill, sad garden salad.

This Fig and Goats Cheese Platter will wow your guests and make you change the way you think about cooking altogether. This throw-together salad is so simple that it just might work!

I can’t believe it when I hear people say they dislike the taste of figs! Who can possibly deny themselves the pleasure of lusciously sweet and summery figs that have a chewy flesh, smooth skin and crunchy seeded centre? My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Figs are high in potassium that’ll help lower blood pressure. They’re also high in fibre to get things moving on your insides, which is essential with all the over-eating we tend to do around the holiday season! Or you can always try my Love Your Gut powder to remove the junk from your trunk.

Another summer fruit that’s ready to finally get in the spotlight, peaches, are tantalizing for our tastebuds and high in antioxidants which help reduce our disease risk.

Now that we’ve got our fruit sorted, we need to find an edge. This is where Goat’s cheese comes in. Goat’s cheese is high in calcium and essential fatty acids and can be much easier to digest than other cheeses. It’s also known to cause less inflammation in the body than regular dairy and helps aid nutrient absorption. Goat to love that!

Combine these three ingredients with antioxidant-rich greens and one delicious dressing and you’ve got one heck of a platter! Grab the recipe here. 

 Teacup Watermelon Salad

 

As a foodie, there’s something about the changing of season that always brings me joy. I love to see what each season provides me and, form recipes that celebrate produce of the season. While in winter we tend to crave soups and stews, summer provides us with a need for hydrating and fresh produce. Namely, watermelon.

To me, summer just yells watermelon. There’s nothing that adds more bliss to a hot summer day than eating the right piece of sweet and juicy watermelon. While you can enjoy watermelon just on its own, I love putting it into a good watermelon salad. If you’ve never tried watermelon in a salad, you’re in for a treat with this recipe! This salad comes from my book Fast Your Way to Wellness which is full of summer recipes that are as good for your waistline as they are for your soul! It’s perfect for sustaining abounding energy and a healthy weight year-round. 

I’m not sure which genius thought it would be a good idea to combine watermelon with cheese and mint, but whoever it was, I owe them! This interesting collaboration knocks your socks off and keeps you coming back for seconds every time.

While the sweet juiciness of watermelon comes through, it’s balanced by the bite of the crumbled Goat's cheese and cooling zing of fresh mint.

Watermelons are about 92 percent water, making every bite perfectly hydrating! They're also rich in vitamin A, B6 and C, as well as beauty-boosting antioxidants that’ll keep your skin glowing all summer long.

This dainty teacup salad can bring joy on warm days as a refreshing snack, light meal or even dessert.

I’ve dressed this bad-boy with a zesty mixture of lemon and lime, with floral notes of coriander of course, creamy sheep’s milk yoghurt.

Check out the recipe here.

Vegan Caesar Salad

I've taken an alternative approach to your summer menus and created a #meatlessmonday extravaganza! If you’re looking to cater for vegetarians, flexitarians or vegans, you’re definitely going to want to try this one!

While meatless meals are great for our digestion and can make us feel lighter than other ones, often times, meat-free dishes, like faux soy meats, are full of processed ingredients and chemicals that make the whole vegetarian thing not so good after all!

When cooking without meat, be sure to use fresh and natural ingredients. Also remember to include a source of protein, such as beans, seeds, tofu or tempeh.

What’s tempeh, you ask?

Tempeh is made of fermented, cooked soybeans, meaning it’s less processed than tofu and high in protein and fibre. This makes it easier for us to digest and richer in probiotics which are key to increasing our gut microflora; an aspect of health that tends to go out the window in holiday season. Probiotics help break down sugars, control harmful bacteria and improve our immune system so we can enjoy summer and the holidays sniffle-free.

Tempeh has a slightly earthy and sweet taste and is firm and chewy in texture.

My Vegan Caesar salad, made with tofu’s lesser known tempeh, is the perfect Christmas dish. This delicious Caesar salad is so good, you’ll be looking forward to Mondays from now on!

Check it out here.

Enjoy these four seasonal salads and let me know what you think in the comments below.

Lee xo 

How to Prepare for Christmas Mindfully

Written by Lee on . Posted in Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Dairy Free, Supercharged Food Menu, Wheat Free, Yeast Free

All you little Christmas elves, welcome aboard my sleigh! Today we're going to explore the best way to prepare and budget for Christmas, how to enjoy it mindfully, the most delicious things to cook and what to do with all those darn left-overs!

Preparing for Christmas

  • Be organised Start buying things that you need now so you’re not panicking when you’ve only got a few days left to figure everything out
  • Plan your menu and figure out what everyone’s bringing to the table
  • You may want to make a dessert you can freeze and use on the day
  • Figure out your budget properly – factor in food, cutlery, presents, decorations and everything else you may need
  • Set the table a few days before the big day so it’s one less thing to worry about

Budgeting – time and money

  • Cooking for Christmas on a budget may seem like an impossible feat, but it’s totally possible . be a scrooge online.
  • Buy things in bulk from bulk food stores, online shops or get fresh produce delivered to you if you don’t have time!
  • Plan what you’re making before you go Christmas grocery shopping go with a purpose don’t spend unnecessarily, Make a list and check it twice
  • Use herbs and spices to pack a flavour punch to dishes – buying spices doesn’t need to be expensive but adds a whole other element to your dishes
  • Personalise your wrapping- kitchen or brown paper and twine and rosemary from the garden

A mindful Christmas

  • Don’t buy for the sake of buying – look around your house and see if you have any leftover decorations or even try going DIY, it can be much more fun and less wasteful that way . My Christmas tree branches or real tree. Upcycle.
  • Use Christmas as a time to disconnect from your phone and re-connect with special people. Maybe consider a social media switch-off
  • Give to those less fortunate

How to avoid a Santa Belly

  • Eating mindfully is a great way to refrain from overeating and overindulging in this period
  • Really pay attention to the flavours and textures of what you’re eating. Instead of mindlessly gorging on food, try to slow down and enjoy every bite of every meal.
  • Don’t deprive yourself – enjoy treats in moderation

What to cook

  • Balance is key
  • Roasted lamb is delicious
  • Chicken cooked in rosemary and lots of spices like garlic and turmeric
  • Can’t go wrong with roasted vegetables – roasted root vegetables, Brussel sprouts and more scream Christmas! You can even stuff them with nuts, seeds, rice or anything else you please.
  • Lots of delicious salads
  • Healthy desserts - I have a delicious healthy Supercharged Christmas Fruit Cake on my blog or a great Studded Pumpkin Pie recipe 

Dealing with leftovers

  • If you’ve made a roasted lamb for dinner, you can enjoy it in a salad, curry or soup over the next few days
  • You can use roasted vegetables in a quiche, an omelette or a salad
  • Leftover healthy desserts make for delicious snacks
  • You can freeze some items for up to 3 months and use them for those nights where you can’t stand the thought of cooking

This Christmas I've created three new recipes - a main of spiced leg of lamb roast and two sides, a tray of roasted root vegetables and pan-fried toasted greens which you can start salivating over here.

These dishes look delightfully festive and taste super scrumptious…even Scrooge wouldn’t be able to help but smile! I like to marinate a leg of lamb overnight so it really soaks up all the flavours of herbs and spices. But also, so the only thing I have to do on Christmas day is just pop it in the oven #sneaky. I do the same thing with the veggies too. Wash, chop and prepare everything the previous day or night, then just place it under meat when ready.

That's it! If you guys have any Supercharged Christmas tips, be sure to leave them below! 

Happy holidays everyone 🙂

Lee xo

Supercharged Christmas Recipes

Written by Lee on . Posted in Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Blog Salads, Gluten Free, Organic, Seasonal, Summer, Supercharged Food Menu, Wheat Free, Yeast Free

With Christmas just around the corner, I can hear the sleigh bells ringing, the summer barbeques sizzling and the Christmas crackers snapping! It truly is the season to be jolly, indulge and celebrate with family, friends and loved ones. But, one sound we don’t want to hear as we head into summer is the popping of our jean buttons!

So how can we indulge without overdoing it? Is it really possible to have healthy Christmas meals that are fulfilling and still kind to our bodies? Well, you can probably guess my answer to that question is a big fat yes! While some people can’t wait to get stuck into that huge roast ham or enjoy a plateful of prawns, others have mixed emotions about sitting at the family dinner table or heading to the office parties at Christmas. For some, holiday seasons can cause feelings of fear and guilt around food. But, the good news is, it doesn’t have to be that way!
With the right ingredients, scrumptious recipes and a mindful approach to food, Christmas can be enjoyably satisfying and guilt free!

Here are a few tips to Supercharge your food this Christmas:

  • Don’t be afraid to get extra spicy this Christmas. Rather than turning up the heat, create a sizzle by using flavoursome and fragrant spices like cumin, turmeric and ginger. These have an abundance of anti-inflammatory properties and help to ease digestion.
  • Skip those white potatoes and reach for root vegetables like sweet potato, parsnips and turnips instead. These have more nutritional value as they are loaded with vitamins and have fewer calories per serve!
  • Opt for natural, organic, wholefood ingredients. Instead of buying pre-made desserts or packaged chocolates, try baking your own treats from scratch.
  • Recipes like my pumpkin pie or fudge brownies are simple to make and better for our bodies than any of the store bought stuff!
  • Eating mindfully is a great way to refrain from overeating and overindulging. Really pay attention to the flavours and textures of what you’re eating. Instead of mindlessly gorging on food, try to slow down and enjoy every bite of every meal. Focusing on the look, smell, taste and feel of your food will help you to listen to your body more. So, you can let go of any anxiety or guilt around eating and really celebrate the food and the people you’re with!

This Christmas I've created three recipes - a main of spiced leg of lamb roast and two sides, a tray of roasted root vegetables and pan-fried toasted greens. These dishes look delightfully festive and taste super scrumptious…even Scrooge wouldn’t be able to help but smile! Whilst they are full of nutrient-rich ingredients, these recipes are simple and straightforward to put together. You won’t need a Christmas miracle or any elves to help this year!

The great thing about these recipes is you can do a lot of the preparation the day before. So when your friends and family are over you’ll have more time to spend with them, instead of prancing and dashing around in the kitchen.

I like to marinate a leg of lamb overnight so it really soaks up all the flavours of herbs and spices. But also, to ensure the only thing I have to do on Christmas day is just pop it in the oven #sneaky. I do the same thing with the veggies too. Wash, chop and prepare everything the previous day or night, then just place it under meat when ready. This makes for a super simple and stress-free Christmas lunch!

Leg of Lamb Roast with Spiced Marinade
This leg of lamb recipe is packed with a variety of herbs and spices that will have your taste buds singing and your insides glowing. Combining lamb with aromatic sprigs of fresh rosemary adds flavor and fragrance to the meat, whilst also offering numerous health benefits to your digestive system. Since it's rich in antioxidants and contains anti-inflammatory properties, rosemary eases indigestion and naturally relieves tummy pains that often accompany festive fare.

What I love about the spice marinade is that it doesn’t just season the lamb and enrich the taste, but it also combines nutrient dense ingredients like garlic, ginger, turmeric and cumin that boost the immune system and help your overall well being. These herbs and spices smooth the ingestion of food by lowering inflammation in the intestinal tract and stimulating the activity of digestive processes. This makes it easier for our bodies to digest and absorb the iron, protein and other vital nutrients in the lamb. It’s like a match made in Santa’s workshop…after just one bite, everyone will be oohh-ing, ahh-ing and tra-la-la-la-la-ing!

Ingredients:
Lamb

  • 2kg leg of lamb with bone
  • 4 garlic cloves, whole
  • 2 fresh rosemary sprigs, chopped
  • 1 fresh chili, seeded and chopped
  • 150g of truss vined berry tomatoes
  • Sea salt and black pepper, freshly ground, to taste

Spiced Marinade

  • 2 tablespoons sheep’s milk yoghurt
  • 3cm piece of ginger, grated finely
  • 4 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons of cumin, ground
  • 2 tablespoons of paprika, ground
  • 1 tablespoons of tumeric, ground
  • 1 tablespoon of coriander seeds, ground
  • 2 lemons, squeezed to juice

Method:

  • Start with the marinade, mixing all the ingredients together in a large bowl.
  • With a sharp knife, make some deep cuts evenly across both sides of the lamb leg.
  • Rub a generous amount of salt and pepper into the meat. Then spoon the marinade over it, and massage in making sure it gets deep into the incisions.
  • Scatter half of the chopped rosemary and chili over the meat, pushing them into the cuts. Place the lamb in a bowl and cover with cling wrap. Leave overnight to marinate and let the meat soak up all the flavours and spices!
  • Remove the lamb from the fridge and leave in room temperature for at least 30 mins before cooking.
  • Preheat the oven to 200C. Place the lamb, left over rosemary, tomatoes and garlic cloves into a tray lined with foil and roast for 20mins.
  • Turn the heat down to 150C and cook for a further 1hr and 40mins for lamb that is pink in the middle.
  • Halfway through roasting or once the lamb is crisp and golden on the outside, shake the tray, cover with foil then rotate and return to oven the opposite way.
  • Remove from the oven, leave foil on loosely and let it rest on a lamb rack for at least 15mins.
  • Slice and Serve!

Roasted Root Vegetables
While that creamy, cheesy potato bake might seem like a good idea at first. It usually leaves us feeling bloated and sluggish. Substituting white potatoes for roasted root vegetables is a great and delicious way to make Christmas that little bit more nourishing.

Root veggies like sweet potato, carrots, turnips, and parsnips are loaded with antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin B, beta-carotene and iron. These nutrient rich veggies work to cleanse our system and lower inflammation, increasing the absorption of vital nutrients in our digestive tract. 

While white potatoes and other grains tend to cause digestive or inflammatory issues. Root veggies offer complex carbohydrates and fibre that can stay in the digestive system longer, so our bodies have more energy and can maintain a feeling of fullness. With fewer calories and more essential nutrients, these simple vegetables sure do have loads of power. They slow down digestion, help control our appetite and reduce cravings...exactly what we need when we’re faced with mountains of feasts at Christmas time!

Pairing these veggies with herbs and spices like rosemary, garlic and cumin not only gives them more depth of flavour, but also further enhances the health benefits. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of dutch baby carrots w skin on, whole if small or halved
  • 2 parsnips, peeled roughly and cut into wedges
  • 1 turnip, peeled roughly and cut into wedges
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled roughly and cut across to make round pieces
    about 1cm thick
  • 4 baby radish, some whole some halved
  • 2 baby fennel bulbs, cut into small wedges
  • 6 garlic gloves, whole
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of cumin, ground
  • Sea salt and black pepper, freshly ground, to taste

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Add all the vegetables to a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  • Toss them with cumin, half the olive oil and a generous amount of salt and pepper.
  • Roast for 30mins, shaking and rotating the tray halfway through.
  • Add rosemary sprigs and left over olive oil and turn up the heat to 200C.
  • Roast for a further 20 - 30mins or until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.

Tips:

  • Make sure your veggies are all cut to similar sizes to ensure they bake evenly.
  • If you're cooking the veggies at the same time as the lamb leg, place them above the meat once it has about 45 mins of cooking time left.
  • Then once the lamb is ready and removed from the oven, turn the temperature up to 200C and roast for a further 15 mins or until tender.

Pan-fried Toasted Greens with Pomegranate and Cauliflower Rice Salad

This middle-eastern inspired salad is a healthy take on the classic tabbouleh. It’s a perfect compliment to the lamb or a filling vegetarian option! Not only is this recipe super healthy, it looks like Christmas in a bowl and tastes like a flavor party in your mouth…even the not-so- health-conscious eaters will be drawn back for seconds (probably even thirds!). 

Substituting white rice or cous cous for cauliflower is a great way of sneaking in that little bit of extra veg, whilst also offering fewer calories and a higher intake of essential nutrients like protein, vitamin C, and vitamin k. These help to support various functions in our body like the formation and repair of muscles, bones and skin cells.

Loaded with green veggies like asparagus, green beans and spinach, this salad is full of vitamins and minerals that can regulate our digestive processes and protect our bodies from toxins, especially in the gut. Whilst being low in calories, these greens are high in fiber and provide a good source of protein for the non-meat eaters!

Supercharged Tip:

  • Serve with goat’s cheese on the side and substitute butter for extra virgin olive oil for a substantial vegan option!

Ingredients:

  • 200g of green beans, halved
  • 100g of asparagus, halved
  • 1/2 large cauliflower head, chopped roughly
  • 1 cup of baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 pomegranate, seeds
  • 1 cup fresh herbs - parsley, coriander and mint
  • 1 tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 lemon, squeezed to juice
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of goats cheese, chopped

Method:

  • In a large bowl mix the spinach, herbs, tomato, onion and pomegranate.
  • Place cauliflower in a food processor and blitz until the consistency resembles rice. Briefly steam over boiling water for a couple minutes just to soften and warm the cauliflower rice
  • Heat a frying pan over a medium high heat. Add butter and garlic, stirring continuously. Once browned, add the green beans and asparagus, toasting them for about 3-5 minutes. Squeeze half the lemon juice over the veggies while cooking. You want them to be cooked but still crunchy and green.
  • Stir the cauliflower rice into the salad adding the rest of the lemon juice and tossing together.
  • Place the green beans and asparagus on top of the salad and crumble the goat’s cheese across.
  • Sprinkle sea salt and black pepper generously across the dish and serve!

Six ways to improve your gut health + Vegetable Marrakesh Casserole

Written by Lee on . Posted in Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Flavour of the month, Golden Gut Blend, gut healing, gut health, Heal Your Gut, Learn, microbiome, Seasonal, Vegetarian

You know that old saying: ‘happy life, happy wife’? If you want my personal opinion, I think it should be changed to ‘happy tummy, happy mummy’.  As many of you know, the gut is the cornerstone to health and linked to many other bodily systems and parts. It can affect your hormones, immune system, your emotions and mental capacity and of course the way that you absorb and digest food. If your gut isn’t happy, there’s a fairly good chance that you won’t be happy either.

Today I’m sharing six of my favourite tips to improve your gut health, so you can get on with life!

Include Fibre

When considering the health of your gut, consider fibre! Getting the right type of fibre into your diet will help you to create a healthy and diverse community of gut bacteria and regulate your digestion. There are two types of fibre. Insoluble fibre this is the one that doesn’t dissolve in water and helps speed up the passage of food and keep you regular, like some grains, nuts, seeds, beans, fruit and vegetables. The other type of fibre, soluble fibre, dissolves in water and helps form a gel in the body. Foods rich in soluble fibre include oatmeal, psyllium husks, berries, lentils, fruit and vegetables. Insoluble fibres are wonderful for flushing out the body but an excess of these fibres can be irritating. Soluble fibres on the other hand, are the ones you can also focus on for improved gut health.

When you eat the soluble fibres from whole plant foods, your gut bacteria ferment these fibres into short chain fatty acids which act as prebiotics to feed the good bacteria in your gut. When you eat adequate levels of soluble fibre, they pass through the stomach and small intestine and land up in the large intestine where they help grow your probiotic bacteria.  This helps maintain the lining of the gut, improves digestion, increases absorption of minerals and can even increase immune system function.  You can read more about probiotics and prebiotics here or learn abut it in my new book Supercharge Your Gut.

Some foods rich in soluble-fibre include sweet potatoes, carrots and root vegetables, green leafy vegetables, berries, nuts and seedsgrass fed, organic butter and ghee. Some of these delicious prebiotic and probiotic-rich foods can be found in my Marrakesh Casserole below!

Glowing skin is an inside (and outside) job

The skin is the largest and arguably, one of the most important organs in your body, it’s the barometer to measure and notice what is really going on inside. Dry skin brushing is an easy and calming technique that looks after your skin, stimulates the digestive and lymphatic systems, liver and adrenal glands, and assists these organs in decongesting. It also helps to give the body a gentle internal massage to stimulate circulation. Whenever I suggest dry skin brushing to someone when they’re suffering from gut health issues, they often look at me as if I’m crazy – how does brushing my skin make my stomach work properly? Well, by performing this technique you’ll actually be assisting the gut, by stimulating the digestive system, nutrient absorption and detoxification!

All you need to do is invest in a long-handled bath brush which contains natural bristles. Use long strokes, in a circular motion towards the heart. Before you dive straight in to brushing, ensure both your skin and your brush are dry. Begin with the soles of your feet and continue brushing upwards on both sides of your legs, then move to your back, then around to your abdomen where you can work in a clockwise direction following the direction of your colon and then head up towards your heart being careful with the chest region. Then, have a shower to remove debris and dead skin cells. Turns out you CAN brush your way to good gut health – who knew? 

Keeping stress levels at bay

Coming into one of the most frantic seasons this time of year, stress can be at a high. Long-term stress lingers for weeks and can be incredibly damaging to the gut. Evidence shows that our gut bacteria respond in a damaging way to negative emotions and stress out our bodies! When you’re stressed, your body produces hormones that can contribute to the proliferation of bad bacteria in the gut, sending it off kilter and this can lead to cravings, skin disruptions, fatigue and weight gain. In order to keep our guts happy and humming, keeping stress at bay is key. Obviously, decreasing stress can look a little bit different to everybody, so find out what works best for you. A few good stress-busting techniques include calming yoga, walks, ocean swims, meditation, spending time out in the sun, good talks with friends and connecting with nature. I guess it’s time to get your ‘om’ on!

Goodbye sugar-free sweeteners

Of course, there’s more to gut health than the practices we do – it’s also important to look at what you’re feeding your gut. Unfortunately for some of you, this may mean saying sayonara to sugar-free sweeteners. Sugar-free sweets, snacks and diet soft drinks can aggravate the gut and cause bloating because of all the artificial chemicals they contain. These chemicals, that our DNA doesn’t recognise or can’t digest properly, get completely swept up in the digestive tract and end-up in the colon, which is not what you want to happen when healing the gut! Large amounts of these additives can also cause flatulence; definitely another reason to stay away. There are far better ways to blow someone away.

Hydration

I know what you’re thinking, if I hear another nutritionist talk about hydration being the key to good health, I’ll roll my eyes so far backwards they won’t come back to place! But, the simple technique of staying hydrated helps flush out negative bacteria within the gut and balance out the digestive system. This helps your body undergo all the complicated biochemical mechanisms to keep your gut happy and functioning. So yes, drinking water may be simple, but it does remarkable things for your gut health.  I usually stir a tablespoon of my Love Your Gut powder in the mornings into a cup of warm water.  It helps to clean the debris and keep my insides happy.  If you want to stay hydrated throughout the day, my Golden Gut Blend is a great way to mix it up- just add a tablespoon to warm milk of choice; it makes a gorgeous and tasty golden latte!

Stop gulping!

Eating is not a race. And yet, we all tend to scoff down our food so quickly you’d think we were going for gold at the Olympics! Our modern lack of mindful, slow eating and our forever on-the-go approach has a definite link to our gut heath issues. Gulping down food, guzzling down drinks and moving while eating inhibits your body’s ability to digest nutrients properly. Chewing more thoroughly while sitting down to a meal mindfully helps you tune into your body more and send your body into rest and digest mode. You’ll be less likely to overeat when you know you’re full! Plus, when you chew properly, your food is able to mix with saliva and increase the ease of digestibility before it reaches the stomach. This means it’s less hard work for your gut and less chance of that food-baby feeling. 

Getting hungry? Enjoy this prebiotic-rich Marrakesh Casserole, from my book Eat Clean, Green and Vegetarian, slowly and mindfully. If done correctly, it'll nourish your gut, your body and your soul! 

Marrakesh Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cm (3/4 inch) piece of ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • 2–3 teaspoons dried harissa
  • 400 g (14 oz) tin diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon rice malt syrup
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup coriander (cilantro) leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint leaves
  • 1 small pumpkin (winter squash), peeled and cut into 5 cm (2 inch) pieces
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 5 cm (2 inch) pieces 
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 5 cm (2 inch) pieces
  • 1 zucchini (courgette), cut into 5 cm (2 inch) pieces
  • 400 g (14 oz) tin chickpeas
  • cooked quinoa, to serve
  • coriander (cilantro) sprigs, to serve
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest, to serve
  • mint leaves, to serve
  • 80 g (23/4 oz/1/2 cup) almonds, to serve

Directions:

  • Heat the olive oil in a flame-proof tagine pot or casserole dish over medium heat and sauté the onion for 5 minutes, or until translucent.
  • Add the garlic, ginger and spices and stir well to combine.
  • Add the harissa, tomatoes, rice malt syrup, lemon juice, coriander and mint, bring to the boil and then reduce the heat.
  • Add the pumpkin, sweet potato, carrot and zucchini, stir well so they are all well covered in the sauce and simmer, covered, for 1 hour.
  • Add the chickpeas and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  • Serve on a bed of quinoa topped with the coriander, lemon zest, mint and roasted almonds.

Supercharged Savoury Mince

Written by Lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Blog Snacks, Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Wheat Free, Yeast Free


When I started living a healthier lifestyle, I wanted to find quick staple meals that were easy enough to swap-out with my older, less healthy and more traditional recipes. Being the full-time, mum that I was, I wanted recipes I could make once and use again… and again… and again. It was just SO HARD to find anything that was both easy and healthy. It seemed like an impossible feat; a tale of two star-crossed lovers who were never meant to meet.

I was stuck.

Cook, they said.

It’ll be fun, they said 😐

I just wanted something simple that was nourishing for my body and versatile. How hard could that be?! You know what I mean – the patty for burgers night that could be re-made into the topping for your salad at lunch, the fillings for your lettuce-cup, an easy fridge snack on it’s own and then the base for a Shepherd’s pie. The filling. I wanted the filling. Because let’s be real, who has time or energy to cook for hours on end just for one small meal?

Nobody. Absolutely nobody.

And this is something that still rings true today for many people. Whenever I cook, I like everything I make to be versatile. I only ever cook something that I can eat for the next week. A Renewable Table as I like to call it (and yes, that was a cheeky plug to The Renewable Table eBook which you can check out here). I'm not trying to say I'm a big deal or anything but, I guess you could say I was into meal prep long before it was cool.

If you’re looking for a healthy swap for your burger patty, a substitution for your meat-balls or a dish to just enjoy on its own – you’ve come to the right place. My savoury mince makes for an easy weeknight meal or weekend communal dinner and delivers a flavour-packed dish that's not only big on taste, but also great for the family and able to be modified into any of your favourite meals down the line.

While the regular ground beef you find at the supermarket is typically low grade, my mince is high and mighty in taste. My savoury mince is a healthy alternative that's filled with only good-for-you ingredients that's ground up into a convenient form. If you’re a lover of all things burger, spaghetti or lettuce cups – I’ve found your perfect filler. It’s comfort food without the pressure of stodgy ingredients.

To add to the meatiness of this mince recipe, I’ve added some mushrooms. Not only are mushrooms high in copper which helps look after heart health, they’re also high in vitamin D. There's been a huge rise in vitamin D deficiency simply because we don’t spend enough time outside (helloooo indoor gym sessions, 9-5 desk jobs and Netflix). Vitamin D deficiency can cause both bone and muscle pain as well as a whole other list of other symptoms. It’s good to try and get at least twenty minutes of sun exposure every day. But, I have a little trick for you. If you want to up your vitamin D intake, leave your mushrooms outside in the sun for 15 minutes before cooking them. I know, it sounds a little bit crazy BUT similar to own bodies, exposing mushrooms to UV rays helps increase the vitamin D. Mushroom magic!

This mince is almost like the cold meat of every salad, sandwich, snack and sushi recipe you can find at the petrol/gas station. Except this time, it's enjoyable for both you and your tummy. 

Supercharged Savoury (Mighty) Mince recipe

Serves 2-3

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks sliced
  • 200g button mushrooms, quartered
  • 500g beef or lamb mince (grass fed is good)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch nutmeg 
  • Pinch chilli flakes
  • 2 tbs wheat free tamari
  • Squeeze of lemon juice 
  • 1 cup spinach (optional)
  • 1 cup frozen peas  
  • Fresh coriander to serve

Method

  1. Place olive oil, garlic, onion, in heavy based saucepan over medium heat and cook until softened.
  2. Add celery, carrot and mushrooms and cook
  3. Stir until cooked through.
  4. Add mince and break apart with wooden spoon and stir to cook until browned.
  5. Season with spices and add tamari and lemon stirring well. Letting spices infuse and turn heat to low.
  6. Add peas and spinach and cook on low until cooked through
  7. Spoon into bowls and enjoy
  8. Serve with fresh coriander 

Vegan Caesar Salad

Written by Lee on . Posted in Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Blog Salads, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Organic, Seasonal, Supercharged Food Menu, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Yeast Free

Whether you’re a vegetarian, flexterian, #meatlessmonday follower, vegan or just trying to cut down on your overall meat intake, everyone can benefit from eating meatless meals. Sometimes it's just hard to know the best way to go about this. Is it okay to eat soy? How good are those faux soy meats? Why is my tofu forever-soggy and tasteless?

Ever had a friend that you dig but everyone seems to misunderstand them?

This friend only ever has good intentions; they're always kind and caring. Yet, people seem to create rumours about them and demonise them.

This, my friends, is how I feel about soy.

I think it’s fair to say that as a society, we’ve created a fair bit of fear around soy. I’ve heard some crazy rumours about soy in the past - like that it'll make men grow man-boobs, ruin female hormones and be harmful to heart health.

While I do agree there are soy products that aren’t so good for us, like non-traditional, GMO soy cereals, soy thickeners used to emulsify products or plastic-tasting fake meats, there are good quality and traditional sources of soy that can be beneficial to your wellbeing in moderation.

Organic and non-GMO soy products such as miso, tempeh, natto and tofu are all great sources of protein, vitamins and minerals. Consuming non-GMO soy products is a great way to get a tasty source of protein and minerals in while cutting down on your meat intake. 

There’s a little-known community of people known as the Okinawans in Japan. They follow a plant-based diet which involves low levels of dairy and grains, and a plethora of colourful vegetables and soy products. They have one of the lowest risks of atherosclerosis, hormone issues and hypertension in the world. They’re one of the healthiest communities on the planet and they regularly consume healthy versions of soy - something must be up here!

Tofu's less popular, but definitely better-looking older cousin, tempeh, is also made of soybeans. However, tempeh is made of fermented, cooked soybeans,  meaning it's less processed than tofu and higher in both protein and fibre. This fermentation process makes it easier for us to digest and makes it rich  in probiotics which are key to healthy gut microflora. Probiotics help us break down sugars, control harmful bacteria, fight diarrhoea, relieve indigestion, resist against chronic inflammation and boost immune system function.

Tempeh is also rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that can help protect blood vessels from oxidative and inflammatory damage. Tempeh is also high in protein so it can be a beneficial addition to your diet if you're trying to lose weight and/or build muscle.  While soy may not contain as much calcium as regular milk, it does contain triple the amount of magnesium which is a great mineral for maintaining bone and muscle health. 

For those of you who've never tried tempeh before, it has a slightly earthy and sweet taste and is firm and chewy in texture.

If you want more vegetarian and vegan recipes, my cookbook Eat, Clean Green and Vegetarian has over 120 delicious and nutritious plant-based recipes. They're seriously good. 

I've spiced up this tempeh and placed it into a delicious caesar salad and let me tell you, your meat-inclined friends won't even know the difference!

 I'd love to know what you guys think! Leave a comment below 🙂

Vegan Caesar Salad

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 block of tempeh, chopped into (1/4 inch) cubes
  • 3 tablespoons wheat-free tamari
  • 1 Cos lettuce, washed, dried and torn
  • 1 small bunch shallots, roughly chopped

Dressing

Method

  • Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and fry the tempeh for five to ten minutes, or until golden. Add the tamari and heat until warm. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  • To make the dressing, mix all the dressing ingredients together in a bowl.
  • Place the Cos and shallots in a bowl and spoon over the dressing, tossing to ensure the salad is evenly coated. Sprinkle the cooled tempeh over the top and serve.

Supercharged Tips for Summer + Four Sizzling Recipes

Written by Lee on . Posted in Blog, Blog Breakfast, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Blog Salads, Blog Snacks, Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Yeast Free

Tis the season to be in the kitchen!

Tra la la la la la la la la.

It’s Summer here in Australia and you know what that means – long days spent at the beach (followed by a slathering of aloe vera on all those burns!), wiping grass off everywhere after lying down in the park, golden tans, endless road trips, arriving too early at the airport for your plane-ride out of here and of course, plenty of holiday feasting.

After months of being wrapped up in blankets and layered in our wooliest jumpers, it can be hard to switch out of hibernation mode. How are we supposed to go from tracksuit pants to bikini bottoms or board shorts within a week?! It seems impossible!

Well, I’m sharing some of my summer tips to help ease you into summer and the holiday season!

It’s so important to give yourself much needed you time. We sometimes get so caught up in our routine - whether it's work, schlepping the kids around, cooking, cleaning or running errands, that we sometimes forget to breathe. Whether it’s a bath, your favourite yoga class or even a massage, I’m giving you permission to slow down. I recommend trying earthing, a natural phenomenon that involves planting your feet on the ground. While this may sound silly, multiple tests have shown that this has proven to lessen stress and make you feel more grounded; go figure! Not only is this so good for our minds, it also enables our bodies time to rest and digest; key to a healthy gut, body and life.

If you’re trying to shed a kilo or two, I recommend increasing your intake of fibre-rich veggies and looking into intermittent fasting, my book Fast Your Way to Wellness has 90 great recipes that can help to keep you trim, supercharge your energy and feel great. I know what you may be thinking – should you be increasing anything when trying to lose weight? Yes! Not only do vegetables keep us full, they’re also high in fibre to help keep things moving in our bodies so we’re less prone to overindulging and unnecessary snacking. Eating veggies doesn't need to be boring. I like experimenting with a range of vegetables to keep me interested. Try out pairing them with different things, like kelp noodles, which are bursting with vitamins and nutrients.

Everyone knows how good it is for us to exercise so I won’t hit you with the hardcore facts but, I just want to send out a little reminder that exercise should be fun! If you hate the gym, try out something else. Maybe sign up with a friend for a new gym class or go for morning walks. Coming into summer it’s also a great time to take advantage of the ocean or to try out something new, I've recently taken up a body balance class which is just that; great for body balancing.

With summer comes an array of beautifully fresh produce and delicious opportunities for all your favourite meals and snacks. Check out some of my latest summer recipes below with staple ingredients from Sprout Market!

Goat’s Cheese, Fig and Peach summer platter

Does anything scream summer louder than a fruit and cheese platter?

I think not.

I’m so excited to see two of my favourite fruits back on shelves - figs and peaches.

Ahhh figs. There’s nothing quite like biting into a lusciously sweet fig that has a chewy flesh, smooth skin and a crunchy seeded centre. While dried figs are delicious and widely available, they’re much higher in sugar and lower in water than their fresher counterparts. Both dried and fresh figs are super high in fiber and a great source of potassium to help lower blood pressure. Plus, they’re so beautiful – an Instagrammer’s dream fruit!

Do you know what makes me extra peachy? Peaches! They’re high in antioxidants which means they help combat free radicals to reduce our disease risk and oxidative damage. They’re also great for supporting the gut and helping move things along the digestive tract.

I’ve featured goat's cheese in this platter, because it's delicious and much easier to digest than many other cheeses. Goat's cheese is known to causes less inflammation in the body than regular cheese and is high in calcium and fatty acids! It also helps us absorb nutrients better than regular cow’s milk. I guess you could say it’s the big cheese.

Combining these three fresh ingredients, alongside a delicious dressing filled with gut-friendly apple cider vinegar, heart-healthy extra virgin olive oil and mouth-watering rice malt syrup makes for one heck of a platter!

Serves 3-4

Ingredients

  • 4 cups mixed leaves
  • 1/2 cup rocket
  • 1 bunch Basil, leaves
  • Bunch fresh mint, leaves
  • 8 figs, washed stems removed and halved
  • 2 peaches, pitted and sliced
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • Pimp my salad superseeded sprinkle mix
  • 1 packet Goat’s cheese sliced

Dressing

Method 

Grab your serving bowl or platter

Lay a bed of mixed leaves and rocket

Top with figs, peaches, walnuts, goats cheese and super seeded sprinkle mix.

Combine the dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk

Dress the salad and serve!

Baked apple with prune, cinnamon and cardamom

I was going to say I loved apples but then I realized, I don’t think anyone dislikes apples. Seriously, try to find me someone who hates apples... I’ll wait.

Apples don’t need to just be a lunchbox-regular, they have the potential to be so much more! Apples are so versatile and will love their new makeover with this comforting summer dish. It’s a mix of sweet, spice and everything nice.

I’ve also added prunes to this mix for an extra dose of fibre. They help keep the digestive system squeaky clean and free from toxic build-up.

These baked apples are delicious on their own but could be enjoyed with some Golden Gut-time Soft Serve, coconut yoghurt or regular yoghurt. The options are endless.

Serves 1

  • 1 small apple, cored but left whole
  • 1–2 tablespoons filtered water

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 2 prunes, chopped
  • Stevia, to taste, optional

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).

Put the apple in a small baking dish with the water. Combine the cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, prunes and stevia in a small bowl, then spoon into the centre of the apple.

Bake for 35–40 minutes, or until soft. To test, pierce the apple with a sharp knife; it should slide through easily.

Note: The apple can be cooked up to a day ahead. It can be eaten cold or warmed in the oven before eating.

Asian Kelp Noodle Salad

Before I became the gut-loving, health-nerd I am today, I was a takeaway-junkie. Being a single mum and working full-time I found it so hard to manage cooking, working and mumming (I’m not sure if that's a verb but it very-well should be!). I had a special place in my heart for Pad Thai. It was an expensive habit but one that I didn’t feel I could change.The noodles, the oily sauces, the sweet and salty tastes – it was perfect.

It was, however, not so perfect for my gut. Regular Pad Thai is filled with a number of not-so-good sauces with more numbers in them than a phone book! They're often full of MSG, high in sugar and way too hot for summer anyway.

Ever since I started my supercharged journey, I’ve always wanted to enjoy that noodle feeling, just without that post-pad thai feeling (you know what I’m talking about).

My Asian Kelp Noodle Salad is a summer-friendly supercharged version of pad thai that will save you money and heal your body. It’s perfect for an outdoor picnic or BBQ.

This salad is absolutely bursting with flavor and goodness; the crispy cucumber, the iodine-rich kelp noodles and obviously, the delicious sauce. Unlike your regular Thai place, this dressing is made with real and wholesome ingredients. While Sesame oil contains essential vitamins and minerals for our whole bodies, tamari is especially rich in mood-enhancing tryptophan. I've also included limes because of their citrusy taste and ability to improve digestion and rejuvenate skin.

My Asian Kelp Noodle Salad requires less effort, time and money than calling your local Thai place and getting takeaway. Trust me. It’s also great and super adaptable for my vegans, gluten-free and dairy-free friends.

If you do want to make this salad more of a meal, you can add a protein source, like tofu or chicken, of your choice. Or just enjoy it on its own.

How can something so simple, so easy and so minimal be so tasty?

Crazy world, kids.

Serves 3

  • 340 g (12 oz) kelp noodles
  • 150 g (5 1/2 oz) bean sprouts, trimmed

  • 3 medium spring onions (scallions), thinly sliced
  • 1 small carrot, cut into matchsticks

  • 1 medium Lebanese (short) cucumber, cut into matchsticks

  • 1/2 large red capsicum (pepper), cut into thin strips
  • 2 tablespoons chopped almonds
  • 2tablespoons chopped coriander (cilantro)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint

DRESSING

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

  • 1 tablespoon wheat-free tamari
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes

  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger (optional)
  • stevia, or honey to taste

Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.

Rinse and drain

Mushroom and Cacao Dessert Drink

You know how there are some foods you can eat in any weather? Let's take ice-cream for example. Even if it’s freezing outside and you need to layer up with blankets, while next to the fire, with all the windows shut, ice-cream is always worth it.

That’s me and hot chocolate. I can have hot chocolate any time of any day, no matter the weather.

When I found out about the medicinal mushroom craze, I thought it was pretty cool... not cool enough to ruin my hot chocolate, but you know, pretty cool. But now, I can officially say I'm a convert! I’m a proud mushroom hot cacao advocate. You must make some shROOM for this hot chocolate.  

This unique hot chocolate blend combines spices and reishi mushrooms to help relieve stress and improve sleep. Reishi is great for balancing our adrenal system to calm us down. The cinnamon and cardamom in this mix can even help combat sweet cravings! It’s also full of cacao which is full of antioxidants and has a high source of plant-based iron. 

A hot chocolate that's perfectly creamy, delicious and somehow super healthy. It’s the ideal treat to satisfy chocolate cravings and help you beat the 3pm energy slump.

It can be enjoyed by anyone and everyone. It’s organic, vegan, paleo and doesn’t contain any additives, gluten, lactose, white sugar or soy.

Ingredients

Method

Dissolve one packet into a saucepan with warm water, and milk of choice. Beat with a whisk until frothy and serve.

Smashed Avo on Golden Gut Loaf

Written by Lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Blog, Blog Breakfast, Blog Lunch, Blog Snacks, Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Yeast Free

I know what you’re probably thinking… how hard is it to dump some avocado on toast?

I, too, never thought of creating a smashed avocado recipe. That was, until I made this one. 

This smashed avocado is not your regular, run-of-the-mill smashed avocado on toast. This smavo (that’s smashed avocado for all you newbies) is deliciously supercharged. So, what makes my smashed avo so special?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (and if so, welcome!), you’d know that smashed avo has taken the world by storm. For all you waiters, waitresses, cooks and chefs, those two words are probably the ones you see in your sleep; the ones you’ve heard over and over again. It’s eaten for breakfast, brunch, lunch and even as a snack and it's one of the things that Australians do so well.

The mighty avocado is on the forefront of all our social media feeds, being used from anything from burger buns, to chocolate mousses and even avocado fries!

But, I’ve also heard that some people fear the lovely fruit, saying it’s too high in calories or fat. Is avocado actually a devil in disguise? 

Absolutely not! However, just like everything in life, avocado should be enjoyed in moderation.

Avocado is rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, meaning it helps boost skin health, reduces LDL cholesterol levels in the blood and can lower risk of heart disease and stroke. It’s also high in vitamin K which increases bone health and assists our absorption of calcium. Vitamin E is another strength of the avocado; an antioxidant that protects our cells from damage.

As I mentioned before, avocado is extremely versatile, making its way in my Berry and Avocado Smoothie Bowl, my Love Your Gut Lassi and Sardine Mash Pot.

So now we're on the same avocado-loving page, let's begin with my smashed avo... 

First thing’s first, we need to find the ripe avocado. When you're at the supermarket or farmers market, I recommend being that annoying person that presses all the avocados - this is a pressing matter after all! Gently squeeze your thumb into the avocado and if it gives a little, it’s the right one.

But, there’s more to smashed avo than just the avo. It takes two to tango... or should we say smavo? Avocado needs its mighty companion - the bread!

I’ve created the most perfect base for your smashed avo. It’s a simple and delicious recipe that will make you fall in loaf with smashed avo on toast. My Golden Gut Pumpkin and Nut Loaf is what you'll need. It's a gluten-free and dairy-free bread that almost tastes too good to be true. I've cooked it with pumpkin which is high in antioxidants and omega-3 rich fatty acids. It also has buckwheat flour in it which gives it a wonderfully earthy taste but keeps it gluten-free and low GI. Naturally, no golden recipe can be completed without my Golden Gut Blend. It’s an all-round winning bread recipe.

Now we’ve got the avo and toast together; one of the best duo's of all time, it’s time to supercharge this recipe with some seasonings! I've a new found obsession with garlic chips so they've made an obvious feature here. Garlic is part of the allium family and has the potential to control blood pressure,  treat colds and infections and may even benefit blood sugar levels. It’s also damn tasty.  Just be sure to eat it after your first date, rather than before, for obvious smell reasons.

Personally, I love getting hands on in the kitchen. While smashing avocadoes may not be as rewarding as smashing a punching bag in a boxing class, it can be much more therapeutic, less harmful and done in your pyjamas. Forget Mayweather vs McGregor, it’s just you vs. that avocado. 

Let’s take a toast to Smashed Avo on Golden Gut Loaf!

Smashed Avo on Golden Gut Loaf

Serves two

Two slices Golden Gut Pumpkin and Nut Loaf
4 cloves garlic sliced
1 tbs olive oil
1 avocado
1 tbs lemon juice
Pinch of cumin
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup feta (cubed) 
Extra olive oil for drizzling 

Coriander or flat leaf parsley to serve

In a small frying pan place olive oil and fry garlic til golden. Set aside
In a small bowl mash avocado with a fork and add lemon, cumin and olive oil
Toast gut loaf and place on plate 
Top with avocado, tumble on feta and add garlic chips
Drizzle with olive oil 
Season to taste (the feta makes it quite salty so black pepper is a good option)
Decorate with herbs of choice 

Bohemian Baked Vegetable Bowl

Written by Lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Blog Salads, Dairy Free, gut health, Heal Your Gut, Organic, Seasonal, Sugar Free, Vegetarian, Wheat Free


If you’re a keen foodie who's always riding with the food trends, there’s no doubt you’ve already jumped on the Buddha bowl bandwagon.

These flawless bowls are bouncing with all the veggies, perfectly-packed protein and avocado that's diced up a little too neatly (Seriously, HOW do they do it?!). 

Here at Supercharged HQ, we're not into the neat and the pretty - the flat-lays of life. We love the messy, the real and the raw (or baked in this case). That's what life is after all. There's beauty in the irregularity and that's why my Bohemian Baked Veg Bowl, brewed in the hinterland of Byron Bay is a forever recipe.

Have you heard of the Bohemian Baked Veg Bowl ever?

Probably not because it's a Supercharged special!  Until someone decides to permanently borrow it of course. (Blogger jokes ;))

The Bohemian Baked Veg Bowl is all about getting real and letting out your true colours. Finding your loosest pair of harem pants, letting down your flowy hair (or at least pretending to) and getting the groovy music going, man. I’m starting a revolution and inviting you to get amongst it, baby!

Viva le bowlolution!

My Bohemian Baked Veg Bowl is also full of nutrients to tell you the truth. It’s truly a melting pot of flavours where everything is welcome and loved, in all it's mess and glory!  

This bowl is aesthetically pleasing (perfect for the keen instagrammer), versatile and well… delicious. Plus, it’s super simple to make and not very time consuming either. Essentially, it’s a bowl with all the good stuff – lots of veggies, greens and seeds. Oh, and let’s not forget a creamy tahini dressing that’s almost too good to be true. *Wipes drool from side of mouth*.

The best part about my bohemian veg bowl is that it’s fool-proof! Yep, almost anyone who knows how to work an oven and shake ingredients in a jar can make this one. Plus, you probably have everything lying in your fridge and store cupboard anyway.

I know you're just as excited as I am by this discovery so let's dive straight to it!

Anti-inflammatory spring pea soup

Written by Lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Candida Friendly, Dairy Free, gut health, Heal Your Gut, Organic, Seasonal, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegetarian, Yeast Free

Inflammation.

What does the word even mean?

We’ve all heard the term inflammation before – whether it’s a stiff joint, achy back, fever or stomach issue, many of us at some point in our lives have experienced it too. Mild inflammation is normal and can be good, showing that your body’s natural defences are working properly. 

For example, let's say you're walking or doing some kind of activity and you fall over, hurt your knee and it starts to swell, that's inflammation in action! Basically, what's happening is your body senses the pain, rushes blood to the site and antibodies are produced which causes swelling to occur. Inflammation here is part of the healing process and it's something we require. 

However, when the body starts to overreact to causes of harm, inflammation can be an issue. Inflammation can have a much bigger impact on our bodies than we realise. It has the potential to spread throughout the body, spiral out of control and cause a whole list of health conditions like arthritis, IBS and more!

Houston, we have a problem. 

More often than not, in cases of inflammation, doctors prescribe anti-inflammatory medication which when taken long-term can have unwanted side effects such as gastrointestinal issues, ulceration and liver or kidney problems. In typical Supercharged Food fashion, one way to alleviate inflammation is by looking at what's on your plate. Taking a more natural approach to reducing inflammation through diet can play a HUGE role in reducing inflammation in the body.

Today I'm sharing some of my key ingredients for reducing inflammation;

Let's start with fibre. By eating lots of fibre-rich fruits, like fruit, vegetables and well prepared whole grains; we can help to reduce inflammation. The aim is to eat about 25 grams of fibre per day.

Some of my favourite vegetables high in anti-inflammatory properties include onion, garlic, peas, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. However, these foods can cause bloating and flatulence in some people so test out small amounts before going full steam ahead.

An easy way to enjoy lots of anti-inflammatory veggies is to sneak them into a hearty soup. Try my  Oven-Baked Veg and Garlic Soup or you might like to the gorgeous Anti-inflammatory spring pea soup down below.

Spice it up! There are so many anti-inflammatory herbs and spices you can use in your everyday cooking to reduce inflammation. Turmeric and Ginger are great. Ginger contains anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial compounds, which block inflammation-producing genes. Whilst the golden hued-spice that’s taken the health world by storm doesn’t need much of an introduction. Turmeric shuts down inflammation in the body and can help prevent liver disease and take care of joint problems.  If you’re in need of these two spices in your life, why not make my Golden Gut Oatmeal Cookies or Turmeric Fudge? Both of these magical spices can be found in a delicious and ready-to-go form in my Golden Gut Blend.

If you're looking at lowering inflammation levels, be sure to cut down on refined sugar, processed foods and trans fat as much as you can. These all increase inflammation in the body. When you’re looking to cut out trans fats, look for their secret code word -  hydrogenated!  Hydrogenated is commercial talk for trans fats. Producers sneak it into vegetable oils, cookies and some margarines, and they can be cleverly disguised. Trans fats can cause toxicity, increase blood pressure and of course, increase inflammation in the body.

Never know what oil to buy at the shops? Do you sometimes want to omit it altogether? The truth is, our bodies NEED fat to function properly, so it’s important to choose fats with benefits. Extra virgin olive oil and extra-virgin coconut oil contain anti-inflammatory properties and a good option for everything – from stir fries, baking vegetables or salad dressings, they have multiple uses and add a delicious taste to everything.

My next suggestion is to become acquainted with Omega-3 fatty foods. I'm talking walnuts, chia seeds and fish such as salmon. Chia seeds are more than fancy little superfood seeds that make delicious puddings (although, that’s a pretty good function on it’s own for breakfast on rush hour mornings!). Chia seeds help to reduce spikes in blood sugar which decreases bodily inflammation. Delicious recipe to try is my Chia and Berry Overnight Breakfast Jar.

If you're a fan of fish and looking for a delicious oceanic dinner, salmon is absolutely brimming with Omega-3's! My Smoked Salmon Living Lentil Bowl will have you swearing by omega-3's everyday. 

While inflammation can cause a huge impact on the body, we don’t necessarily need to seek out pharmaceutical remedies all the time, and natural remedies are available in the kitchen. By monitoring the food you eat and adjusting what you eat accordingly, you can be assured that you’ll be helping to reduce inflammation in your body with every mouthful of these key ingredients.

To get you started on your anti-inflammatory way, I’m sharing my Spring Pea Soup. Peas contain dietary fibre and antioxidants so they reduce inflammation AND encourage healthy gut bacteria. They’re also low in calories but high in protein, antioxidants and micronutrients. 

Pass the Peas, Please!

Anti-inflammatory spring pea soup

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil or ghee
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 litre vegetable stock (preferably home-made)
  • 700 g peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • handful of mint, chopped, plus extra leaves to serve
  • handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped, plus extra leaves to serve
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons Celtic sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • sunflower seeds, toasted in a dry frying pan, to serve

Method:

  • Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes or until softened.
  • Add the stock, increase the heat to medium and bring to the boil.
  • Add the peas and cook for 3-5 minutes or until tender (frozen peas need half that cooking time).
  • Add the lemon juice, herbs, spices, salt and pepper, and stir to combine.
  • Remove from the heat, allow to cool slightly, then purée to your preferred consistency in a blender or food processor.
  • Serve sprinkled with sunflower seeds and topped with extra mint and parsley leaves.

Enjoy this beautiful spring soup and let me know if you love it as much as I do in the comments section below.

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). 

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