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Ten Vegetable Based Recipes to Live Life on the Veg

Written by Lee on . Posted in All, anti-inflammatory, Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Blog Salads, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Organic, Seasonal, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

Let’s talk about vegetables.

To be frank, many of us are simply not getting enough of them. 

As a whole, our society is in need of a total food choice revamp. While I'm not saying that we all need to run around being 'vegan hippies' and changing our name to Lola Granola, I do think it's fair to say that there are many people who don't have enough vegetables in their diets, eat way too many refined, processed foods and some that consume copious amounts of animal protein and fat.

If this resonates with you, then I'd love to share a few of my favourite veg based recipes.  

Including more vegetables in your diet doesn't need to be a scary thing. In fact, it can be fun and easy; it's sure to ease up your digestive system, make your skin glow and leave you feeling lighter and cleaner. You can always combine it with my vegan Love Your Gut powder to help the process along. 

Going more plant-based means you increase your intake of micronutrients that help the body thrive, not just survive. Vegetables and fruit are high in dietary fibre, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, phytonutrients and more that have proven to help boost immunity, fight infection and help to protect against disease.

If we examine diets of those living in the Blue Zones, populations who have the most number of centurions (people living over the age of 100), such as the Okinawan’s, they consume a largely plant-based diet.

The proof is in the pudding (if that pudding was vegan and made of avocado and cacao obviously...).

These people live high-quality lives with minimal medicine, relying on their food as medicine. I don’t know about you but that sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

If you want to get in on all the vegetable action, I’ve put together my Top Ten Favourite Veg Recipes to help you Live Life on the Veg.

Are you ready?

Vegetable Marrakech Casserole

There’s nothing better than a hearty vegetable casserole. Inspired by the spices of Marrakesh, this delicious casserole filled with hearty vegetables, chickpeas and delicious spices makes vegan eating exciting! When you eat this casserole, be sure to eat it mindfully and slowly. Enjoy it, take in all the flavours and give your gut some real love. Check out the mind-blowing recipe here.

Smashed Avo on Golden Gut Loaf

Nothing says breakfast to me more than my Smashed Avo on Golden Gut Loaf. Before you roll your eyes because you can barely look at the words smashed avo with amazement anymore, let me tell you, this recipe is seriously next level. It's smashed avo like you've never seen before! Avocado is rich in heart-health. monounsaturated fats, boosting skin health, reducing LDL cholesterol in the blood and lowering risk of heart disease. It’s high in Vitamin K which is great for bone health and also, assists our absorption of calcium. Combining avocado with my favourite Golden Gut Pumpkin and Nut Loaf is one veg breakfast you don’t want to miss. Get the recipe here.

Supercharged Dahl

If I had to say one of my favourite meals ever, it would definitely be Dahl. I love Dahl – it’s dahl-icious. If you’ve never heard of Dahl, it’s a curried dish of lentils and includes a whole heap of spices including anti-inflammatory turmeric, digestive-improving cumin and nausea-relieving ginger. It’s warming, grounding and super simple. If you’re following a veg diet, you’ll know just how crucial little lentils are. Lentils are a low-calorie, nutrient-packed legume with a nutty flavour. They contain a great source of prebiotic fibre as well as protein and iron. These lentils pack a serious punch and so, are the stars of our favourite Indian dish. Check out the recipe now.

My Bestest Ever Vegetable Stock

Vegetable stock is a must-have in any kitchen but did you know you could make your very own stock at home? Homemade vegetable broths made mindfully at home are one of the easiest and cheapest ways to use up leftover veggies, making it a fabulous environmentally-friendly household staple. You can use this stock as a base for sauces, stocks, soups and stews. While you can make your own amazing veggie stocks by simply throwing veggie scraps like celery, carrots, garlic, herbs and other garden favourites into a pot, this is by far my favourite recipe for it. Get ready to knock your socks off with this awesome stock here.  

Anti-Inflammatory Spring Pea Soup

Pass the peas, please! Peas contain dietary fibre and a load of antioxidants to help reduce inflammation within the body and encourage healthy gut bacteria. They’re low in calories but high in protein, antioxidants and micronutrients. This anti-inflammatory soup is full of delicious spices and veggies to help ground the body and reduce inflammation . It's a green, lean, gut-healing machine! Get the recipe here. 

Vegan Caesar Salad

You know your friend who watched one of those vegan documentaries, guilted themselves into going vegan and invited you over for gross faux soy meats and soggy tofu dinners? Don’t be that friend. Ever. With my Vegan Caesar Salad, you can show the world just how delicious vegan food can be! I’ve used tempeh in this salad to add plant-based protein and beneficial bacteria to take this Caesar-inspired salad to the next level. If you want to read about my thoughts on soy and try out this delicious salad for yourself, click the recipe link here.

Bohemian Baked Vegetable Bowl

If you’re a keen foodie, you’ve no doubt already jumped on the Buddha Bowl bandwagon. Buddha bowl's are made to be absolutely beautiful. The vegetables are roasted perfectly and placed in delicate coconut bowls, ready to be forever instagrammable. My Bohemian Baked Vegetable Bowl is nothing like that. It’s totally messy, care-free and fun-loving. It’s not trendy; it’s a recipe you can enjoy forever. My Bohemian Baked Veg Bowl is made of deliciously roasted veg, a creamy tahini dressing and some kale, because well, kale. I’ve also included some sunflower seeds and pepitas for a delicious crunch. Let’s spread the messy veggie love with this recipe here.

Savoury Smashed Root Vegetables

Forget boring mashed potato and say hello to this delicious vegetable smash! Think turnip, parsnip, sweet potato and carrots. It's the perfect side to literally everything. My Savoury Smashed Root Vegetables are full of prebiotic-rich fibre for good gut health and delicious spices for mouth-watering approval. I’ve topped it with nutritional yeast flakes and you can use either Golden Gut Blend or Love Your Gut Powder for the ultimate gut-loving boost. Get smashing those vegetables with the unstoppable recipe here.

Oven Baked Veg and Garlic Soup with Toasted Seeds

This baked veg soup is absolutely fool-proof. It’s sure to warm you up from the inside out. It’s full of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory rich cauliflower to help fight off inflammation. Plus, the garlic in this soup can help lower cholesterol and combat heart disease. It’s seriously soupercharged! Think of the toasted seeds atop like the cherry on the cake – seeds are rich in zinc, a crucial but often forgotten mineral that helps with growth, skin health and immunity. Get the recipe here.  

Lentil and Sunflower Seed Moussaka

Last but certainly not least is my Lentil and Sunflower Seed Moussaka from Eat Clean, Green and Vegetarian. It’ll turn any carnivore into a #meatlessmonday fanatic. It’s a seriously delicious recipe that’s oh-so-easy. Instead of using traditional dairy in this recipe, I’ve created a creamy and delicious alternative topping made of sunflower seeds. This moussaka’s topping is made with sunflower seeds to satisfy creamy winter cravings and offer you a healthy dose of vitamin E and B vitamins. I know - crazy talk! Try out the recipe below because it seriously needs to be made to be believed.

Lentil and Sunflower Seed Moussaka

Ingredients:

  • 100g sliced eggplant
  • 100g zucchini, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 1  shallot chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbs Apple Cider vinegar
  • 2 cans of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cans of lentils, lightly drained
  • 2 tsps oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock 

Topping: Sunflower Seed Cheese 

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200C.
  2. Sprinkle eggplant and zucchini slices with Celtic Sea Salt let sit in a colander to drain for roughly 30 minutes, then rinse off the salt.
  3. Brush eggplant and zucchini with olive oil and  place in 200C oven for 20 mins until browned.
  4. Moving on to the sauce, sauté garlic and onions in a pan on your stove top until browned.
  5. Add apple cider vinegar, tomatoes, lentils, stock, oregano and cinnamon and cover and simmer on medium to low heat for about 15 minutes.
  6. To make the sunflower nut cheese, place pre-soaked seeds in a food processor and mix until a smooth paste. Then place into refrigerator to chill and firm. (Tip: For a creamier cheese add filtered water.)
  7. In a casserole dish place a layer of the cooked eggplant and zucchini, and cover layer with sauce. Repeat until casserole dish is full, or you have used all your vegetables and sauce. Ensure the top layer is vegetables.
  8. For the final layer, cover the vegetables in the sunflower nut cheese.
  9. Sprinkle nutritional yeast flakes on top. (Optional)
  10. Bake in oven at 220C for about 15-20 minutes or until the top is crispy.

Do you like cooking with veg?  Let me know your favourite recipes in the comments section below.

Supercharge Your Christmas + Roast Turkey with all the Trimmings

Written by Lee on . Posted in Blog, Blog Lunch, Christmas, Seasonal

The festive season has arrived yet again, and boy do I have some ridiculously good sustainable ideas and recipes to grace your table this Christmas!

This celebratory season is all about love, connection and gratitude centred around the best food you'll cook all year. My latest book Supercharge Your Life features lots of festive recipes from decadent grazing platter morsels to gorgeous roasts and pot luck favourites to share with family and friends over the Christmas break.

Supercharge Your Life centres around food as the catalyst for pleasure, enjoyment, love and connection. To ramp up the love even further, I’ve put a huge focus on how our food and entertaining choices can be a gift to heal our planet.

The Australian Retailers Association predicts that Aussies will spend approximately $48 billion over Christmas, which results in a massive increase in the waste we produce. The average western country is estimated to throw away around 300,000 tonnes of card packaging, 8000 tonnes/approximately 50,000 trees worth of wrapping paper, 125,000 tonnes of plastic, and 200,000 tonnes of meat!

This doesn’t sit well with me.

So here are some tips straight from my own personal Christmas plans that will hopefully inspire you and your family this year. Why not curate a Christmas experience that will help to save the environment and your wallet, whilst savouring a wholesome feast to delight the senses and warm the hearts of everyone.

Full Tummy, empty bins: Meal plan, meal plan, meal plan! To cut down on waste, be sure to carefully plan your Christmas day spread, being mindful not to over cater. Ask your guests to bring along some containers so that they can take leftovers home for boxing day lunch rather than tossing all that beautiful food in the bin. Compost or worm farm all your food scraps; it’s good for the garden and the planet!.

Use brown paper bags and newspaper: Instead of using wrapping paper, opt for leftover newspaper to wrap your gifts. Tie with ribbons or twine (tip- I always save these from gifts and keep them in a special box. This saves me money too!) and poke some foraged flowers, foliage or herbs into the bow. Brown paper bags can be used to bag up cutlery- just tie the top with twine and again pop in some rosemary. Brown paper can also be used to write up menu cards or to gift wrap fresh herbs for your guests.

Forage baby forage! Real plants and foliage offer a free way to decorate your table or create Christmas decorations. Walk through your garden or search for overhanging plants on your street on Christmas morning with a basket and scissors. Snip flowers and/or greenery and place in jars of water. Herbs like rosemary can be tied with string around cutlery or bunched up and given as gifts. Natives like eucalyptus can be woven into a wreath for your front door, or laid out across the middle of the table for a rustic tablescape. Dry eucalyptus leaves can also be used as name tags for your gifts. Simply hole punch them, thread ribbon on twine through them and write the persons name on the leaf for a unique and thoughtful touch.

Ditch the plastic tableware: Straws, cups, plates, and other plastic tableware are simply terrible for our environment and find their way into our oceans; destroying our marine life. Stick to your regular ceramic ware and metal cutlery or invest into some bamboo eco tableware that is more durable and biodegradable. Metal straws and beeswax wraps are widely available now and significantly cut down on single use plastics.

Make a mason jar snow globe: Skip on the plastic Christmas ornaments and make your own out of mason jars and desiccated coconut! Simply glue small ornaments or beautiful small items already available to you into the inside of the mason jar lid. Place a handful of the coconut into the jar, screw the lid on and place upside down for your very own DIY snow globes. Your guests will love the creativity!

Make a herb garland: Herbs are the perfect Chrissy decoration because they reflect the theme of greenery that we all love at Christmas, but they’re also an edible decoration! Weave together herbs like rosemary, oregano, basil, thyme, bay leaf branches, mint, or any others you like. Add red chillies, cherries or garlic bulbs for hits of other festive colours. Give sections of it away as gifts or use them to flavour your meals.

Explore the beach: Hit the seaside with kids and collect beautiful pieces of driftwood, stones, shells and feathers to express a beachy vibe for your Christmas table. Driftwood can be collected in different lengths to be glued together in the shape of a Christmas tree. Sand can also be placed in small jars and topped with a tea light candle.

Buy second hand or recycled: Buy a bundle of unique clothes, accessories, books or retro ceramics from your local thrift store as gifts and invest into the circular economy. Chances are that if they’ve survived one person’s ownership, they’ll be of the quality that can be enjoyed for years to come.

Give thoughtful gifts: Common Christmas gifts like i-pads, phones, clothing and fashion accessories are encased in layers of styrofoam and plastic packaging. To eliminate waste, opt for experiences such as tickets to a concert or shout them a cooking lesson. If the kids are into video games, get them off their screens and into a real life experience like a go-karting class rather than giving them more “stuff”.

Use old magazines as place mats: For Christmas last year I used decorating magazines as place mats. They were the talking point of the table and everyone wanted to take them home afterwards! Simple, creative thoughts like this can be a great way to upcycle things you already have in your home that would simply go straight to land fill.

If you really want to create a show stopper meal this Christmas, get organised, roll up your sleeves and throw yourself into the joy of creating and devouring this gorgeous recipe from my new book Supercharge Your Life:

I hope you have a lovely Christmas filled with good cheer, friendship, family and the kind of food that shares love and brings people together!

Xx Lee

Christmas stuffing balls

{ makes 12 }

These can be made the day before and warmed in the oven while the turkey rests – 10 minutes at 150°C (300°C) should do the trick.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large brown onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) minced (ground) pork
  • 1 tablespoon dried mixed herbs (e.g. sage, rosemary, thyme)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, plus extra to serve
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 110 g (334 oz/12 cup) cooked quinoa or 95 g (314 oz/12 cup) cooked brown rice
  • 115 g (4 oz/34 cup) pine nuts or crushed nuts
  • 100 g (312 oz/1 cup) almond meal
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

METHOD

  • Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) and grease a baking tray.
  • Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, then sauté the onion, garlic and celery for 3–4 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add the pork, mixed herbs, parsley and lemon zest, then cook until the pork is no longer pink. Add the quinoa and allow to cool.
  • Once cool, add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  • Roll 60 g (214 oz/14 cup) portions of the mixture into balls, sit them on the prepared baking tray, then bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.

Cranberry sauce

{ makes about 500 ml [17 fl oz/2 cups] }

INGREDIENTS

  • 310 g (11 oz/212 cups) fresh cranberries, rinsed and drained, or frozen cranberries
  • 180 g (614 oz/12 cup) rice malt syrup, plus extra as needed
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/12 cup) filtered water
  • grated zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 12 teaspoon ground cinnamon

METHOD

  • Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium–low and simmer, stirring, for about 10 minutes, until the mixture thickens.
  • Taste for sweetness, add more rice malt syrup if necessary, then cool and seal in a sterilised jar until ready to use.

Roasted whole turkey

{ serves 1012 }

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 × 6 kg (13 lb 4 oz) turkey, giblets removed
  • large handful flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 170 g (6 oz) butter, softened
  • grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • large handful thyme
  • small handful sage
  • 3 bay leaves (optional)
  • 2 brown onions, peeled and halved
  • 2 leeks, pale part only, halved lengthways
  • 4 baby carrots, halved
  • 2 celery stalks, halved lengthways
  • 2 garlic bulbs
  • 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) chicken stock

METHOD

  • Preheat the oven to 210°C (410°F).
  • Pat the turkey dry with paper towel. Place the parsley in the cavity. Season the turkey with salt and pepper, and place in a large roasting tin. Spread the butter all over the bird. Drizzle over the lemon juice, sprinkle over the zest, and tuck the remaining herbs under the bird.
  • Arrange the onion, leek, carrot, celery and whole garlic bulbs around the turkey, then pour in the stock. Cover the tin with foil and roast for 45 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 170°C (325°F) and roast for a further 3–4 hours. About 10 minutes before the end of cooking, remove the foil, increase the oven temperature to 200°C (400°F) and roast until the turkey skin is golden brown and crisp, and the juices from the thickest part of the leg run clear.
  • Remove from the oven and set aside to rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.

Enjoy your Christmas and let me know what you think of the recipe in the comments section below.

Eating for Digestibility + Apple and Fennel Soup

Written by Lee on . Posted in All, Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Heal Your Gut, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

Do you spend half your time at the grocery store looking at the nutritional properties of the food you might buy?

While this is something I do encourage, we often forget that even if we eat a certain amount of food, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we digest all of it. This is particularly true if you’re suffering from digestive issues. While you can be powering down the protein, zapping in the zinc and including all the iron, it doesn’t mean anything if you’re not absorbing it. After all, you are what you digest! 

While chowing down on raw salads sounds like a good idea in theory, those with a compromised gut can find raw foods hard to digest.  For great health, focusing on the digestibility of our food is a good place to start.

In traditional Chinese medicine, raw foods are actually considered too yin or ‘cold’ in nature which places a damper on digestive fire. Consuming foods that are hard-to-digest over long periods can burden and irritate the gut lining; causing more harm than good. They can wear down our epithelial cells and microvilli which are in place to help us consume foods without damaging the gut. If we keep damaging them, we have no hope of healing our precious little guts! 

By eating foods that are easier to digest, you can help create an environment that enables your cells to do the complex job of digestion. This also means you’ll be increasing your absorption and digestion of these foods.

Once I let go of the idea of salads being the be-all-and-end-all to healthy eating, my gut healing truly began. I really began to notice the difference that cooked and what I like to call, pre-digestible, foods were making to my health and energy levels.

If you’re looking for foods to ease your digestibility, I’ve written my go-to’s and no-go’s.

The best foods to eat for IBD (Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis) + Ginger-Seared Tuna with Avo Recipe

Written by Lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Blog, Blog Breakfast, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Blog Snacks, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, gut healing, gut health, Seasonal, Spring, Summer, Winter

If you’ve been diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), you’re not alone. Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, form part of a group of digestive diseases under the umbrella term IBD, and are common and chronic conditions of the small and/or large intestine. Whilst some people can be genetically predisposed to IBD, it can also be linked to a traumatic experience, inflammation and poor immunity.

The goal of inflammatory bowel disease treatment is to help to lower the inflammation that can trigger your signs and symptoms. By lowering inflammation this can lead to relief from symptoms and also help you to get into long-term remission and reduce flare ups. 

Let’s talk about some of the main things you can do to keep on top of your IBD and reduce flare-ups. First of all, it’s vital to look after your gut health and stay hydrated, as your gut is central to your overall health and energy levels.

When it comes to eating, one of the easiest places to start to show your gut some love is by reducing foods that can contribute to inflammation.  These foods can be anything from processed foods and additives to heavily refined foods like bread and pasta. Also when having a flare up, be mindful of raw seeds, excessive fibre, nuts, vegetable and fruit skins, artificial ingredients and coffee and alcohol. 

Seasonal Allergy Food Guide + Zucchini Eggplant and Turmeric Stew

Written by Lee on . Posted in All, Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Heal Your Gut, Seasonal, Sugar Free, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

Spring loving, had me a blast.

Spring loving, happened so fast.

I met a girl, crazy for me.

Met a boy, cute as can ah… ahh... ahh… ahchoo!

Spring fever got you down?

While Spring brings with it a sense of lightness, florals and warmth for so many, for others, the only thing that comes to mind when I say spring is suffering with sneezes and sniffles – bless you!

If the very thought of seasonal change makes your nose itch and eyes water, you’re not alone. While you can plough through the anti-histamines, decongestants, tablets and sprays or even wear a mask to protect you from days with a high pollen count, there are easier ways to clear out seasonal allergies. And it all starts in one of my favorite places - the gut.

Today at Supercharged Food HQ, we’re talking about seasonal allergies and how looking after your gut can actually help you reduce your seasonal sniffles!  If you don’t believe me, let it be known that about 70-80% of your immune tissues actually live in the gut. This means that by looking after your gut you’re also caring for your immune system.

On the other hand (or other side of the soggy tissue), if you have problems with your gut, it can trigger immune-related conditions such as seasonal allergies.

So, if your gut health is compromised by, for example, consuming seven chocolate mud cakes and three bottles of wine for several weeks in a row, you can increase the inflammation in your body and worsen your reactions.  

Today I'm sharing my Supercharged Seasonal Food Guide.

Six Top Probiotic-Rich Foods + Fermenting Your Own Veggies

Written by Lee on . Posted in Blog, Blog Breakfast, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Heal Your Gut, Summer, Wheat Free

Are you looking to become a pro of the biotic?

Well first up, I'm going to let you in on a little secret, one between us pro's. Not everyone necessarily needs to take a probiotic supplement. Sometimes, just a spoon full of Sauerkraut keeps the good gut microbes satisfied.

If you’re reading this and you’ve never really understood probiotics, I’ll start from the beginning.

Our gut microbiome is made up of a community of bacteria that’s responsible for far more than our digestive health. The health of our gut can impact our immune system, sleep, hormones, energy levels, weight, skin and more.

A healthy microbiome involves a great number of probiotics, known as our friendly bacteria, and a smaller number of pathogenic bacteria. To keep our guts flourishing, probiotics are necessary to help the growth of the good bacteria within your gut.

To replenish your strains of good bacteria, try consuming a small amount of probiotic-rich foods at least a few times each week. Personally, I take a probiotic supplement daily and consume a range of prebiotic and probiotic foods to widen the diversity. 

However, some sensitive tummies can suffer from gas and bloating when consuming probiotic-rich foods initially. It’s best to start slowly with a teaspoon and build up from there.

Below are my top six probiotic-rich foods and their benefits. By including a range of the following ingredients into your daily meal rotation, you'll be helping contribute to a thriving digestive system that will benefit the wellbeing of your entire body!

Sauerkraut is finely cut cabbage that’s been fermented, making it more nutritious than its raw variety. It can help improve digestive health and even contains high levels of iron which is great for boosting energy. Although, be mindful of the salt!

Sauerkraut can be high in sodium, so be wary when choosing store-bought varieties. Look for sauerkraut that's in the fridge at your local deli or health food store, as those kept at room temperature often contain additives and preservatives that can cause more harm than good. I love to top off my salads, such as my Bohemian Baked Vegetable Bowl, with a spoon of sauerkraut. I've included my cultured vegetable recipe below for you to try your hand at too! 

When you were a kid, did you ever enjoy drinkable yoghurt?. Nowadays, a handy drinkable yoghurt to try is kefir, a thick, nutrient-dense and deliciously creamy fermented milk product that can help support immunity, enhance detoxification and of course, reduce digestive issues.

It’s made using kefir grains that help grow live bacteria and yeast cultures. You can find it in a dairy form or, if you avoid milk, there are some vegan varieties available. How to have it? You can drink it straight, add it to smoothies, whip it up like cream cheese or use it as a dressing.

You may have heard of ‘superfood’ green powders that include vegetables from the sea and algae. While that may sound a little bit off-putting, do not be turned off by the sea! Chlorella and spirulina are not just for the lovable grass-chewing hippies. They can act as wonderful probiotics that provide a nutrient-boost with every spoonful. These green powders are made of nutrient-dense organisms found in salt water. Spirulina is comprised of more than 70 per cent protein, as well as vitamin E, chlorophyll and fatty acids. While, chlorella is a green microalgae that’s rich in chlorophyll, protein and carotenoids. Chlorophyll is a probiotic that’s seriously powerful for the gut. You can mix green powders into a glass of water or, add them to your smoothie, like my Berry and Avocado Smoothie Bowl and you won’t even know that they’re there!

Kimchi is traditionally a Korean fermented vegetable that’s made with a mix of veggies including cabbage with seasonings such as chilli, garlic, turmeric and ginger. This antioxidant-rich mix contains bacteria to aid digestive and immune health. Kimchi is rich in digestive enzymes, making it the perfect fix for a sluggish digestive system. You can use it to add a kick to your seasonings or on its own but use it sparingly as you may run the risk of burning your mouth!

Move aside regular pickles, we’re talking about the real dill! Pickles that have been lacto-fermented (i.e. fermented in salty water, not vinegar), are bouncing with probiotics and full of live bacteria. They’re best served organic and locally made, if possible. Feel free to include them in your sandwiches, toss them through your salads, or serve them next to my Turmeric Scrambled Eggs.

I couldn’t write about probiotics without including yoghurt. Both Greek yoghurt and most coconut yoghurts contain a probiotic known as Lactobacillus Acidophilus which helps show pure love to your gut. Biodynamic organic yoghurt (dairy or plant-based) is where it's at! Be sure to read the labels and watch out for any high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners and flavours added to it. Also, look for “live and active cultures” – this is what you’re after. The probiotics within yoghurt help quickly build up healthy microbes in the gut lining which helps increase the absorption of food and reduce bad bacteria. You can try your hand at making your own Coconut Frozen Yo-Gut here. 

While you wouldn’t usually think of Apple Cider Vinegar as a probiotic, it actually has probiotic enzymes that help balance gut bacteria, helping improve nutrient assimilation and balancing pH levels. It’s also seriously good for our overall wellbeing – in fact, it’s one of the first things I pop out of my cupboard when I feel a cold or flu coming on.  ACV is one of the star ingredients in my Apple Cider Gummy Bears. Yes, I said gummy bears. However, if you’re not into all things tasty, delicious and chewable (but seriously, who isn’t?), you can also drizzle some over your salads like I’ve done here.

If you want to try out fermenting for yourself, I've included my Fermented Vegetable recipe for you below! Once you get to learn the process, fermenting can be lots of fun. Start by choosing vegetables you’re familiar with, so it doesn’t feel intimidating. Fermented vegetables can be served as a side dish — just start with a small amount, such as a teaspoonful, and work your way up.

Also just a final tip if you’re not absorbing your food well or have a sluggish digestion cleaning it first with Love Your Gut Powder can help! You can find the powder over here www.superchargeyourgut.com

Fermented Vegetables

MAKES 2 X 1 LITRE MASON JARS

Ingredients:

  • 4 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz/4 cups) cauliflower florets
  • 1 red or yellow capsicum (pepper), chopped or sliced
  • 3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 90 g (31⁄4 oz/2/3 cup) Celtic sea salt
  • filtered water, to cover

Combine the vegetables, ginger and garlic in a sturdy bowl. Pound them with a pestle or rolling pin until slightly smashed and softened.

Add the salt and toss well. Press the mixture into two sterilised 1 litre (35 fl oz) mason jars, leaving about 2.5 cm (1 inch) of breathing space at the top of each jar, to allow for expansion.

Pour in enough water to just cover the vegetables, adding more salt if needed to submerge them — the mixture needs to be very salty.

Cover the jars with plastic wrap, then screw the lids on tightly. Leave to ferment in a warm place for 3–5 days.

Do a taste test until you’re pleased with the flavour, removing any mould that may form on the surface. The vegetables should taste tangy.

Store in the fridge and use within 1 week.

NOTE : To sterilise jars and lids, you can run them through a dishwasher, or wash them in clean soapy water, rinse well and dry them in a low oven. 

Sailors Broccoli and Stilton Soup with Honeyed Carrot Chips

Written by Lee on . Posted in Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Gluten Free, Seasonal, Sugar Free, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

If you've been following me on the gram, you'll know that I've just been working back home in the beautiful UK, one of my favourite places in the world. I was doing in-stores over at Planet Organic and sampling the Love Your Gut powder and Golden Gut Blend.

Whilst I was home, I also managed to squeeze in a short sailing trip to The Isle of Wight, which is a quaint island off the coast of England and home to wonderful wildlife, natural beauty, absolutely delicious food (I had one of the best soups of my life- the one I'm sharing today) and little nooks and crannies to explore.

This cute island is situated just off England’s South coast and is only a few hours away from London. Most people travel to it by ferry, or if you're like me and enjoy sailing and get the chance, you can sail over there too.  

The best part is that it's an island that's protected from the busy mainland, offering more of a calm and peaceful environment.  In true English fashion, the Isle of Wight was home to many famous poets and Queen Victoria (who knew?). She built her summer residence and final home there - and we all know I’m a sucker for a good Royals story!

Not only is the Isle of Wight home to the Queen, it's also home to the most
beautiful, fresh and absolutely delicious produce you can find. Many restaurants and pubs offer delicious menus based on locally grown produce.

If you talk to anyone in town and even mention the g-word (garlic), you won’t hear the end of it! Garlic is practically the national treasure of the Isle of Wight. It’s been successfully grown there for many years and is even exported to France – so be sure to send them a 'thank you' postcard next time you go to France and enjoy a croissant with garlic butter…

Greened Up Shakshuka and Tips to Supercharge Your Gut

Written by Lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Blog, Blog Breakfast, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, gut health, Heal Your Gut, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Sugar Free, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

Are you looking for recipes to supercharge your gut?

Or, are you thinking to yourself: “why on earth do I need to look after this irrelevant part of my body?”

Whether you’re one extreme or the other, help is on the way!

Looking after the gut is your gateway to the health of your overall body. Inside you there are trillions of living microorganisms and the majority of them live very happily in the gut.  It's not just the area where you digest food, it also has important connections to your brain and immune system, as well as influencing the interplay of hormones in your body.  Can you believe that your gut health can even affect the length and quality of your sleep?

When your tum's a little disgruntled and out of whack, it makes your body more susceptible to a multitude of  conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, inflammation, obesity, and anxiety and depression, as well as insulin resistance.

If you’re keen to improve your health and maintain energy levels one way to do it is through nutrition and by eating high-quality, wholesome food, just like this lovely Greened up Shakshuka recipe from my book, Supercharge Your Gut

That sounds great and all, but surely, it’s easier said than done. Who has time to slave over a stove every day?!

That’s where you’re wrong!

Much of your gut health is in your own hands. When looking to supercharge your gut, it’s so ok to be simple with it. By taking one easy step at a time, and not stressing about being perfect, you can be on your way to looking after your body’s most influential part for good. If you want to find out more about just how to supercharge your gut, be sure to check out my latest book or my two-day Supercharge Your Gut Program.

Roasted cauliflower, fennel and ginger soup

Written by Lee on . Posted in Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Heal Your Gut, Organic, Seasonal, Sugar Free, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

It’s officially time of the year for stews, pho, dessert (or maybe that’s just me?), and of course, we can’t forget soups.

If you’re a meal-planner like me, this soup is a kitchen staple; you need to get it into that plan ASAP. It’s my secret new recipe and it may or may not change your life.

That’s right – I said secret. Consider yourself part of the Supercharged Food Secret Soup Community!

Welcome one and all!

I’ve created this roasted cauliflower, fennel and ginger soup to provide a super simple, delicious and healthy soup that's brimming with robust flavours and prebiotic rich vegetables to boost your gut health and immunity this winter.

It’s the perfect soup for when you feel a sniffle coming on or you feel like something a little zestier than your run-of-the-mill vegetable soup. But to be totally honest, you don’t need a special occasion to whip up this magic – it’s the kind of soup you could have every single day. It’s my everyday kind of soup.

Seeing as you’ve now officially joined the Supercharged Food Secret Soup Community, you’re probably wanting to know the "perks of being a cauliflower" oops member. Well, the main administrators for this soup are fennel, ginger and cauliflower. So, I’ll do the introduction – everybody, meet fennel, ginger and cauliflower.

Fennel loves looking after your bones and can even improve your skin health. If you’re feeling a little bit sluggish, it can help aid digestion and improve your mood and that's always a bonus.

Ginger is a bit of a zesty character but not one to be missed in this mighty trio! Single-handedly helping to fight off inflammation, whilst ginger can be very zesty, it'll always be there to pick up the pieces if you’re feeling nauseous or experiencing muscle soreness.

Finally, cauliflower is the head-honcho in this bowl of goodness. Full of vitamins and minerals to improve your overall health and  high in anti-inflammatory properties to keep you fighting winter bugs all pretty much year long, cauliflower is a long standing ingredient in the SCF soup community!

Add these three together and you’ve got quite the combination.

I've included my anti-inflammatory Golden Gut Blend in this recipe because it loves your gut. Containing diatomaceous earth, along with turmeric and other deliciously healing spices, it works to aid digestion and reduce inflammation to keep your insides glowing and happy. No soup is complete without it. Trust me on this one!

So there you have it - a new recipe for your weekly meal plans.  I hope you feel welcomed into our soupercharged community and feel ready to take on simple soup-making, one veggie at a time!


Roasted cauliflower, fennel and ginger soup
 

Ingredients:

  • 1 red onion quartered
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • ½ head large cauliflower (cut into florets)
  • 2 fennel bulbs chopped and cored
  • 500 gms stock of choice
  • 3 tbs hummus (optional, I had this in the fridge)
  •  1 TBS Golden Gut Blend   (or use 1 tsp tumeric and pinch cinnamon and black pepper)
  • 1 tsp sage leaves
  • pinch fennel seeds
  • 2 tbs wheat free tamari
  • 2 tbs lemon
  • 1 knob ginger (peeled) 

Method: 

  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius 
  • On a baking tray place red onion, garlic cloves, cauliflower and the fennel. 
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes until crispy. 
  • Remove from the oven and place in a blender with remaining ingredients. 
  • Blend until creamy. 
  • Pour into heavy bottomed saucepan and place on stovetop. 
  • Heat through on low to allow flavours to meld. 
  • Season to taste. 
  • Let cool slightly and serve warm. 
  • Decorate with fennel fronds.

Happy cooking,

Lee x 

Mexican Taco Beef Stew with Guacamole

Written by Lee on . Posted in Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Organic, Seasonal, Sugar Free, Summer, Wheat Free, Winter

Vegan and vegetarian friends – this post comes with a warning!

Even if you’re seriously dedicated to your plant-loving life, I suggest you look away. This recipe could convert even the hippiest of vegans. It’s absolutely, positively delicious.

Now that we’ve got that in order, It’s time to talk business. If you’re looking for a seriously good fiesta that won’t make you feel like you’re in need of a siesta, do I have the perfect recipe stewing for you.

I don’t know what it is about Mexican food, but I absolutely adore it. Maybe it’s the fact that they love their chilli's hot or that they share my deep love for avocados. Whatever it is, Mexican food and I go together like avocado and… well… everything.

My Taco Beef Stew with Guacamole from Supercharge your Gut is life-changing. If you’re a fan of Mexican food, like myself, but always feel sluggish after eating it, this stew is for you. You’ve guac to try it!

If you don't believe me, I cooked it this morning on Channel 10's Studio 10 and everybody loved it! Watch how to make it here.

Before you give me strange looks, telling me that Mexican food can’t possibly be good for you, keep reading! Cooking your own home-made Mexican stew is a great way to supercharge your gut as the stewing process enables the cell wall of our foods to be broken down, releasing maximum nutrition in an easy-to-digest  and oh-so-delicious form. 

If you’re ready to fulfil your Mexican dreams, while still feeling like you’re ready to take over the world, just like that dancing lady in the red dress emoji, you’ve got to keep your gut in mind!  

Whilst the exotic flavours of Mexico are delicious, typical Mexican food filled with creams, refined carbohydrates and those chemically-filled packet mixes and sauces (seriously… would you like some meat with that oil?!) which can harm the gut, leaving us tired, lethargic, bloated and running to the bathroom. Instead, this recipe will take you on a journey of authentic Mexican food, loaded with delicious flavours and plenty of vitamins and minerals like vitamin B3, B6 and B12, as well as zinc, selenium and iron. Let’s dive a little deeper in, shall we?

We wouldn’t have a Taco Beef Stew without beef. Beef is an excellent source of muscle-nourishing protein. It’s extremely high in Vitamin B5 which helps produce energy in the body by breaking down the carbohydrates in our body into fuel for us to use, known as glucose. Vitamin B5, part of the energy-providing B-vitamins, also assist our bodies in utilising fat and protein properly. Beef is full of protein which we need to build and maintain lean muscle mass. After all, you can’t hit that Sombrero-shaped piñata without your biceps! Eating an adequate amount of protein can help discourage food cravings too.

Another ingredient which totally supercharges this recipe is garlic. Did you know that garlic was originally thought of as medicinal, not as a food source? While some people absolutely love garlic and put it with everything (hellooooo garlic bread), some people can be a bit hesitant because of the smell. If you’re a hater, be ready to be converted. Garlic is anti-microbial, anti-viral and anti-fungal, helping fight infection and disease. Yay for the garlic fan-club… just no kissing or use parsley for fresh breath!

Another supercharged ingredient in this recipe is coconut oil! Similar to garlic, coconut oil is anti-fungal and anti-microbial, helping boost our immune system and show our guts some much-needed TLC.

No Mexican recipe is complete without guacamole. Seriously, it’s about time we give thanks to the holy avocado. Avocado is surprisingly high in prebiotic-rich fibre, helping move things along in the gut and acting as a natural detoxifier. Avo's are also known to help reduce our likelihood of developing heart disease and obesity!

This recipe is seriously Mexican food: The Supercharged edition! If you’re ready to put a supercharged spin on your next fiesta, you’ve got to try it out for yourself. I love to serve it with zucchini noodles or cauliflower rice to add some bulk without the refined carbohydrates, but you do you!

Live that Mexican fantasy.

Taco Beef Stew with Guacomole

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbs coconut oil
  • 2 red onions
  • 1 red capsicum
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground chili
  • 700 gms stewing beef (chuck/rump /shin)
  • 1 tbs tomato paste
  • 1 x 400gm tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cups beef or chicken stock

    Guacamole
  • 2 avocados ripe
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 garlic clove crushed
  • 2 tomatoes diced
  • 1 tbs lime juice

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 160°C (315°F).
    Melt the coconut oil in a large flameproof casserole dish over medium–high
    heat.
  • Sauté the onion, capsicum and garlic for 3–4 minutes, or until softened. Stir in the spices and beef and cook, stirring, for 5–7 minutes, or until the beef is browned on the outside and thoroughly coated in the spices.
  • Stir in the tomato paste, tomatoes and stock.
  • Put the lid on, transfer to the oven and cook for 1 1/2 hours, or until the beef
    is tender and pulls apart easily with a fork. The time will vary depending on the cut of meat you’re using.
  • To make the guacamole, scoop the flesh from the avocados into a large bowl. Sprinkle with the cumin, add the remaining ingredients and roughly mash together using a fork. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Serve the stew topped with the guacamole and your choice of accompaniment.

Chicken and Vegetable Anti-Inflammatory Soup

Written by Lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Heal Your Gut, Organic, Seasonal, Sugar Free, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

After an amazing trip to the UK I've hit the ground running and fallen straight into the arms of my trusted soup pot. Today I'm back into the kitchen and whipping up one of my favourite soups.  There’s something about chicken soup that feels like coming home. Chicken soup has a way of bringing comfort and warmth to even the coolest of autumn nights. I’m convinced that chicken soup has the power to heal anything - from the worst colds and flus to the winter blues and even jet lag. 

Not only is soup extremely nourishing, it's also the perfect way to sneak in a few extra veggies, increase your fibre and water intake! Soups are an extremely popular choice for cooler nights but they’re equally as delicious, and sometimes even better, the next day for lunch. This Chicken and Vegetable Anti-Inflammatory Soup is super satisfying and is extra special because it's home-made. Seriously. There’s nothing better. It can cure anything; it’s your new autumn staple. Please give it a try.

One supercharged feature of this soup, which deserves a lot more credit than I am giving it, is my favourite ingredient garlic. There’s a lot more to garlic than being a great flavour booster and toast companion. Garlic is a strong detoxifier which reduces inflammation and boosts the immune system. The compound within garlic known as Allicin is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, fighting off infections as the seasons change! It fights off colds, flus and first kisses (you’re welcome, parents)! I love garlic so much. In fact, I’d say it’s an essential ingredient in a Supercharged Kitchen.

Zucchini may be low in calories but it's extremely high in nutrients. This antioxidant-rich veg is rich in Vitamin C, lowering inflammation and oxidative stress. It's also high in the mineral potassium, which improves heart health and may naturally lower blood pressure. I've added it to the soup to up the green quota. 

Chicken soup is truly nourishing for your insides, particularly your digestive system. It's what I like to call Soul Food. Even Oscar likes it! He has impeccable table manners by the way.

Another green veg featured in this supercharged soup is broccoli. Broccoli is high in antioxidants and is actually a natural liver detoxifier! Even if you're not much of a drinker, your liver health can become compromised by the chemicals you ingest and medicines you take. Consuming broccoli is a great way to help your body naturally detoxify and get your liver working at it's prime!  Broccoli is also high in fibre, soothing the gut lining and preventing bacterial overgrowth. 

Another year-long essential that features in this soup is my Golden Gut Blend. It provides a dose of gut-loving golden spice that is rich in minerals, great for anti-bloating and creating an alkaline environment within the body. It’s also high in absorbable iron, boosting energy and brain function, so you can kick those cold weather blues for good! Golden Gut Blend is also a metabolism booster and can soothe the gut after eating too. 

You can make this soup in batches and keep it in the freezer for those nights when you can't think of anything worse than yawning while standing over the stove-top waiting for the water to start bubbling... been there, done that, bought the wooly jumper. This soup will stay good for about three months in the freezer and a week in the fridge. If you’re looking for a meat-free soup, swap out the chicken stock for vegetable stock – it really is that simple. Vegetarians I've got your back!

Supercharge your health tonight with my scrumptious Chicken and Vegetable Anti-inflammatory Soup.

Chicken and Vegetable Anti-Inflammatory Soup

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 4 large garlic cloves sliced 
  • 2 large carrots cubed
  • 4 zucchini cubed
  • 1 head broccoli chopped small 
  • 500 mls chicken stock
  • 1 lemon squeezed
  • 3 tbs wheat free tamari
  • 1 TBS golden gut blend 
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Warm 1 tbs oil in heavy based saucepan on medium heat 
  2. Pan fry garlic slices then remove and set aside
  3. Add 1 tbs oil and all veg and cook on medium until softened and browned 
  4. Add remaining ingredients and bring to the boil stirring then turn down heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes
  5. Remove from heat and let cool slightly so that you can blend all ingredients in a processor or blender
  6. Season to taste

Ten Work-Day Survival Tips + My Beef Pho Broth

Written by Lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Heal Your Gut, Organic, Seasonal, Sugar Free, Wheat Free, Yeast Free

Let’s talk about stress, baby. Let's talk about you and me...

While I know stress isn’t one of the sexiest topics out there, in our modern-day world, it’s become a major issue because we've all become super busy! While we praise busy-ness and love to talk about how busy we are (seriously, it's like a competition these days!), the stress that comes with it isn't always a good thing. When I'm feeling overwhelmed, I always try to remember to listen to my own gut instinct; by that I mean to take things slower when I'm feeling like everything is becoming a little too much and I try to reduce stress as much as possible by slowing down. 

Stress plays a huge role in gut health, altering the composition of the gastrointestinal microbiota and likewise, an unhealthy diversity of bacteria can impact emotional behaviour and exacerbate our stress response. While we all try to find balance by going to work, spending time with family, seeing friends, exercising, cooking healthy meals, and the list goes on, this kind of busy lifestyle can lead us down stress street! 

If an adult hasn’t inherited healthy lifestyle and eating habits from their family or community when young, it becomes increasingly harder to develop and implement them in later stages of life. We all know it’s a lot easier and more convenient to choose processed, take-away food over home-made food but really, in the long run it's not always the best choice for long term health. The thing with processed and instant foods are that they can be difficult to digest, really slow down our digestive systems and take a huge toll on the health of our gut micro biome.

If you’re looking to make ‘adulting’ at work a little more easeful, I'm sharing a few tips and tricks from my book Supercharge Your Gut to get you on the right track, because you know what - adulting is stressful enough. 

I recommend waking up early with the sun, drinking a large glass of warm filtered water with the juice of half a lemon or apple cider vinegar to kick-start that digestive system and liver into full gear. I love getting up and moving first thing in the morning. Not only does getting out into nature help start the day off on the right foot, it also resets the circadian rhythms which stimulates the pituitary gland, releasing feel-good hormones. Now you have no excuse to not be a morning person!

Once you’re home from your morning exercise, try dry body brushing with a long handled brush. Then shower and switch between bursts of hot and cold water to get the lymphatic system pumping. While you’re in the shower, try oil-pulling. Place 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin coconut oil or sesame oil in your mouth upon rising, before you’ve eaten or drunk anything. Swish the oil around your mouth for 10 minutes, then spit it out. Never swallow the oil, which will be full of bacteria.

Brush your teeth and tongue thoroughly afterwards, to remove any excess oil, or invest in a tongue scraper. Including this simple ritual in your day will offer benefits such as whiter teeth, clearer skin, healthier gums, fresher breath, clearer sinuses, an improved lymphatic system, better sleep and increased energy, and for pre-menopausal women better regulated menstrual cycles. 

When you’re ready and dressed, make yourself some Love Your Gut Powder in a glass with water. If you're low on time in the morning, I recommend preparing breakfast the night before. Recently, I've been loving my Golden Gut Nice Cream, Mocha and Banana Smoothie Bowl, Golden Gut Granola Clusters or Smashed Avo on Golden Gut Loaf for breakfast. They're all seriously delicious and can be prepared before-hand for ultimate convenience. 

Throughout the day, be sure to hydrate! Sip on ginger, lemongrass, fennel and fresh mint teas, and flask it. You can also stash pre-made tea mixes in your desk drawer at work to enjoy throughout the day.

And now, for lunch! If you can, use your lunch time as a break in your day. Try to enjoy lunch away from your desk, instead of doing that half-eating, half-typing or writing thing – not good! Go for a walk during your break, do some yoga poses or stretches and remember to breath!

If you've got a meeting after lunch, try warrior pose for strength and firm foundations.  It takes just a few minutes and you'll be surprised how different you feel afterwards. Find an empty meeting room or do it in the bathroom! Avoiding being sedentary can reduce stress and increase focus and productivity.

If you’re keen for an absolutely delicious lunch; one that’ll take your whole office to the streets of North Vietnam with its fragrant smell, you have to try out my Beef Pho Broth. Pho originated in the early 20th century and was sold at dawn and dusk by roaming street vendors, shouldering mobile kitchens. Don’t be put off by the list of ingredients, as this wonderfully fragrant broth is very simple to prepare. My advice is to make the broth beforehand on a weekend and freeze it.  That way you'll have it on hand when you need it. It also works beautifully in a slow cooker. Pho is as comforting as it is delicious – it’s like a mid-day hug for your insides.

If you’re prone to snacking, you may want to pack some snacks so you’re well prepared and not munching down on the packet of stale crisps that has been sitting at the bottom of your desk drawer for three weeks too long. Try vegetable sticks with hummus, tuna dip and/or an avocado. If you're feeling extra zesty, why not pop half a lemon in your bag for a citrus squeeze? 

Once you've finished work and got home, it's usually the time to start thinking about dinner. I know how hard it can be to motivate yourself to cook something after a long day of work, but it's so worth it! For me, I like to use cooking as a time to de-stress and reconnect. After a long day, I recommend choosing a meal with protein such as my Asian Kelp Noodle Salad,  Supercharged Savoury Mince or Vegan Caesar Salad!  They're quick and easy to prepare and so Yum.

Make sure you’ve had enough to eat by indulging in a gut-soothing dessert. Try some Turmeric Fudge (which can be pre-made on the weekend and frozen) and, if you’re still hungry, finish the night with a Maca and Tahini Latte.

For ultimate stress-busting benefits, be sure to try out my beautiful broth below! I promise you won't be disappointed. To make it easy for you, don't forget to make the broth on the weekend then it's so easy to heat up for mid-week dinners and lunches, just by adding the extra ingredients.

Beef Pho Broth

Serves 4-5

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) beef bones — shin, knuckles, marrow and gelatinous cuts are good
  • 6 star anise
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 2 litres (68 fl oz/8 cups) filtered water
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 brown onion, thinly sliced
  • 7.5 cm (3 inch) knob of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon wheat-free tamari
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) beef sirloin, thinly sliced
  • 3 zucchini (courgettes), spiralised
  • 1 handful of bean sprouts
  • 1 large handful of mixed fresh basil, mint and coriander (cilantro)
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges or cheeks

Directions:

To make the broth...

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Melt the coconut oil in a flameproof casserole dish over medium heat. Add the bones and stir to coat.
  • Put the lid on, transfer the dish to the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the bones are browned. Place the casserole dish back on the stovetop.
  • In a dry frying pan, toast the spices over medium heat for 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add them to the casserole dish with the filtered water and vinegar.
  • Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to the lowest setting, then simmer for 1 and 1/2 hours, adding a little more filtered water from time to time if necessary.
  • Using tongs, carefully remove and discard the bones. Allow the broth to cool, refrigerate or freeze, then scrape off any congealed fat on top (keep it for cooking with).

To make the soup

  • Add a bit of the stock fat to a frying pan and lightly sauté the onion and ginger. Transfer the mixture to the casserole dish.
  • Bring back to the boil, stir in the tamari and season to taste.
  • To serve, arrange the beef and zucchini in bowls. Pour in the boiling broth and top with the bean sprouts and herbs. (The boiling broth will book the meat. If you prefer the beef to be cooked longer then add it to the casserole dish when bringing to the boil). Serve with lime wedges.

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