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Repurpose a halloween pumpkin + five delicious recipes

Written by Lee on . Posted in Blog, Flavour of the month, Golden Gut Blend, Halloween, Seasonal, Summer, Thanksgiving, Vegetarian

Halloween is here, and with it comes jack 'o' lantern making and trick or treating. Once the hullabaloo of halloween is over, the question is, what to do with the leftover pumpkins?

I'm taking the horror out of your carved to perfection creations with some not so scary repurposed pumpkin recipes.

At midnight your cinderella coach can be transformed into the crunchiest crisps, spiced up porridge, raspberry studded pie, golden loaf or a hearty salad for the whole family.  

And if you're keen for more recipes and ways to understand your pumpkins better, read my spotlight on pumpkin here.

Here are five delicious tricks for pumpkin treats!  Let me know how you chose to repurpose yours?

 

 

Pumpkin Porridge Recipe here.

Pumpkin Pie recipe here.

Golden Gut Pumpkin and Nut Loaf recipe here.

Lamb and Spiced Pumpkin Salad

Serves 2

Warm salads are colourful, packed with nutrients and wonderful for digestion. The slow-roasted baby tomatoes and spiced pumpkin can be prepared in advance and warmed prior to serving to allow for quick assembly. For a dairy-free option, omit the goat’s cheese.

  • 150 g (5½ oz/1 cup) cherry tomatoes
  • 1 butternut pumpkin (squash), skin on and cut into small wedges
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted, plus extra for pan-frying
  • Celtic sea salt and freshly ground
  • black pepper
  • 3 large handfuls of mixed baby mesclun
  • 250 g (9 oz) lamb backstrap
  • 1 handful of basil leaves
  • 60 g (2¼ oz/½ cup) goat’s cheese

DRESSING

  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • good pinch of Celtic sea salt and freshly
  • ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F/Gas 2).
To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a jug. Whisk thoroughly, gradually adding a little warm water until the dressing is smooth, thick and creamy.

Place the tomatoes on a baking tray and cook for 2–3 hours, turning every hour or so, until they are shrivelled and bursting with sweetness. This step is best done ahead of time to allow for a very quick assembly. Reheat the tomatoes slightly before serving.

Increase the oven temperature to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6). Place the pumpkin, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and ginger in a bowl and use your hands to mix well. Place the pumpkin on a baking tray, drizzle with the melted coconut oil, and season with salt and pepper. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes, or until golden and crispy.

Season the lamb. Add the coconut oil to a frying pan over medium heat and pan-fry the lamb for 3 minutes on each side (it should still be pink in the centre). Let it rest for
a few minutes before slicing into 5 mm (¼ inch) pieces.

To assemble the salad, make a bed of salad leaves and top with the warm pumpkin, lamb and tomatoes. Drizzle the tahini dressing generously over the top, scatter with the basil leaves and goat’s cheese and serve warm.

A Supercharged Tip
Lamb backstrap is a tender, grade-A cut of lamb that can be prepared simply and easily. Try pan-frying, searing, grilling (broiling), or oven roasting.

Oven-roasted pumpkin crisps

The best way to achieve evenly thin pumpkin slices is by using a mandoline, or the slicing blade on your food processor.

1/2 small pumpkin (winter squash) extra virgin olive oil, for brushing

Preheat the oven to 150oC (300oF/Gas 2). Cut the pumpkin into two or three chunks, then peel, if desired, and seed each chunk. Using a mandoline or the slicing blade on your food processor, cut the chunks into very thin slices, about 2 mm (1/16 inch) thick. Dry the slices on paper towels. The tail ends and odd sizes can be used for other recipes, such as mashed pumpkin.

Place the pumpkin slices in a single layer on two
lined baking trays. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with a good pinch of sea salt. The salt helps draw moisture from the vegetables, so let them sit for 5 minutes before placing in the oven.

Bake the pumpkin slices for 25 minutes, or until crisp and golden.

Remove from the oven to cool completely — the slices will crisp up as they cool. The crisps will stay fresh in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Makes lots!

*Supercharged tip If you’re ever buying commercially prepared vegie crisps, check the packet for added flours such as corn and potato, along with artificial colourings and flavourings.

Happy Halloween!

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.

Two Upcycled Zoodle Soups

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

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

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

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

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

But first, I bring you – Zoodles.

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

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

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

Chicken, Edamame and Zucchini Noodle

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

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

Serves 4

Ingredients:

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

Method:

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

Thai Prawn, Peanut and Zoodle

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

Serves 2

Ingredients:

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

Method:

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

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

Photography (Blue Rust Images). 

Two Fast Fish Recipes Perfect for the Weekend

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


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

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

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

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

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

Sautéed scallops with mushrooms and spinach

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

Serves 2

179 calories per serve (749 kJ)

Ingredients

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

Method

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Smoked salmon living lentil bowl

Serves 2

181 calories per serve (758 kJ)

Ingredients

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

Method

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.

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

Add the lentils, stock or water and cumin.

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

Stir through the coriander and capers.

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

Enjoy your weekend 

Lee xo

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Supercharged Dhal

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

Ingredients:

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

Method: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Teacup Watermelon Salad 🍉

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

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

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

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

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

Rosemary and thyme chicken stew

Written by Lee on . Posted in Autumn, Blog Dinner, Dairy Free, Fast Your Way to Wellness, Fasting, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Spring, Summer, Winter

rosemary-and-thyme-chicken_sml

Winner winner chicken dinner!

Today I'm sharing one of the many fast friendly recipes from my new cook book Fast Your Way to Wellness.

Chicken is a staple in my house. I love all its parts, from the darker leg meat, a perfectly poached breast, or a slowly cooked thigh. The way it absorbs flavours and its impressive versatility means it’s always on my mind for meal ideas ranging from soups, roasts, broths and slow cooker delights.

Chicken is the most common type of poultry on the planet. It’s believed that chickens were first domesticated somewhere in India thousands of years ago, initially for cockfighting and later for meat consumption. From there, chickens spread to other parts of Asia, Africa, and Europe and eventually to the Americas; brought from Europe by the early colonists. In the U.S , we now see chicken popularized by fast food giants in the form of nuggets and fried chicken.

Apple Pancakes Y’all

Written by Lee on . Posted in Blog, Blog Breakfast, Dairy Free, Dessert, Fasting, Gluten Free, gut healing, gut health, intermittent fasting, Kids, Lunch Box Ideas, lunch box ideas, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Spring, Summer, supercharged food, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Yeast Free

appleThe humble apple is one of my greatly adored kitchen staples and today I'm sharing an apple recipe from my brand new book Fast Your Way to Wellness.

Affordable, nutritious and versatile, they’re a scrumptious fruity must-have that I love to continually replenish within my kitchen. Whether sliced thinly and thrown into salads, baked and stuffed with nuts and oats, stewed and made into apple sauce, or lovingly formed into a classic crumble, apples are the jack of all trades and a loyal friend that awaits transformation into all kinds of delectable creations.

Apples are nutritional ninjas, boasting loads of wellness boosting properties. Did you know that apples are a wonderful ingredient for regulating blood sugar? Recent studies have shown that the polyphenols contained within apples can help to prevent rollercoaster blood sugar spikes. Particular flavonoids like quercetin have the effect of inhibiting enzymes like alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase which normally break down carbohydrates into simple sugars. Therefore when you eat apples, your body deals with less simple sugars and releases you from spikes in blood sugar.

One Pan Roasted Fish & Vegetables

Written by Lee on . Posted in Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Candida Friendly, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Heal Your Gut, intermittent fasting, Nutrient Rich, Sauces, Seasonal, Summer, Wheat Free

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There’s only one word I can use to describe this one pan meal from my brand new cook book Fast Your Way to Wellness and that is Delicious!  

I cannot tell you how many times a good old one-pan has rescued me from the potential stress of last-minute dinner guests, and tired weeknights where it would be ever-so-easy to order in.

With a kitchen filled with plenty of veg and a variety of proteins, herbs and spices, there’s always the possibility of a creative and delicious one-pan that will satisfy the belly and nourish your body.

This particular meal is of the seafood variety, so it’s perfect for warmer days, and a great way to tick off your fish quota for the week.

Interestingly, in all my years of studying, researching, reading, and searching for supercharged foods, seafood has recurred as one of the most healthful ingredients humans can fill their bodies with. Studies show that people who consume fish regularly have a lower risk of heart attacks, strokes, and death from heart disease. More studies have shown that people who serve fish up on their plate have lower rates of cognitive decline, and scientists believe that it may increase grey matter in the brain, protecting it from age related degeneration. Grey matter is the stuff that acts as the major functional tissue in your brain; containing the neurons that are responsible for storing your memories, processing information, and basically making you human!

Fish is a dream to cook with, as it provides protein in a lighter form, it digests beautifully, is versatile, and is high in one of my most highly adored nutrients for inflammatory conditions: omega 3 fatty acids.

Fish oils are one of your best whole food sources of anti-inflammatory fatty acids. There are two types of these fatty acids in fish oil; EPA and DHA. These guys are total legends, as they inhibit the signals of inflammation within the body.

Salted Caramel Slice

Written by Lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Blog, Dairy Free, Dessert, Desserts, Flavour of the month, Gluten Free, Organic, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, supercharged food, Vegetarian, Winter

salted caramel slice

Today I'm supercharging a classic cake stall favourite straight outta the 80's.  Back in the day when fashions and seasons were mixed; leg warmers and mini skirts, lace with acid wash jeans, now I'm combining salt and caramel!  

Say hello to my gooey and melt-in-the-mouth Salted Caramel Slice, a dessert sure to be a sell out at every school fete across the country.

These beauties are gluten-free, dairy-free, refined-sugar free and full of healthy mood boosting ingredients.  I mean, what kind of person doesn’t break into a smile when they’re gobbling down a piece of chocolatey caramel slice? You’ll be surprised at how something so delicious can actually be so nutritious!

To reach their supercharged potential, I've rounded up some cashews and almonds to make the base. Cashews are great for zinc, iron and vitamins E, K and B6 and almonds are known for their fibre levels, protein, iron, magnesium and vitamin E.

These slices are full of lip-licking and tongue-tingling goodness, and satisfy your sweet cravings without adding inches to your waistline! They partner well with a pot of tea and best served chilled.

If you're looking for a healthy dessert to wow your guests or a superfood snack for afternoon tea, you've come to the right place! 

So, what are you waiting for?

Here’s what you need:

Ingredients: 

Base

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat groats
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tbsp rice malt syrup
  • a few cracks of sea salt

Filling: 

  • 1 cup cashew butter
  • 1/3 cup rice malt syrup
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil 
  • a few cracks of sea salt 

Chocolate topping:

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil 
  • 1 tbsp cacao butter
  • 2 tsp cacao powder

Method: 

  1. For the base, combine cashews, almonds and buckwheat in a food processor
  2. Transfer to a bowl and add coconut oil, rice malt syrup and sea salt. This is best combined using hands and then pressing into a brownie tin. Leave in fridge for an hour or freezer for half an hour while preparing the filling. 
  3. To make filling, combine all ingredients in a bowl and spread on top of the base. Leave in the fridge for an hour or freezer for half an hour. 
  4. To make the topping melt coconut oil and cacao butter, add cacao powder and stir until there is no lumps... Drizzle on top of slice and set in the fridge or freezer. Top with shredded coconut and a few more cracks of sea salt!

Give them a whirl and let me know what you think in the comments section below 🙂

Fast Your Way to Wellness Book + Mint and Ginger Prawns Recipe

Written by Lee on . Posted in All, Autumn, Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Blog Salads, Candida Friendly, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Heal Your Gut, Healthy Home, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Supercharged Food Menu, Wheat Free, Yeast Free

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Lose weight, supercharge your energy and feel great with my brand new cookbook!

I’d love to introduce you to my latest book; one that is so close to my heart and part of my own weekly lifestyle. It’s called Fast Your Way to Wellness and it’s fast becoming my favourite book (please don’t tell the others). You can order a copy over here.

I like to think of the new book as one that can be read in conjunction with my bestseller Heal Your Gut; you can think of it as your very own all-in-one fasting resource. It’s the perfect read for everyone – from the fasting newbie to those who are committed to their own fasting regimes or even for the fasting curious.

Intermittent fasting, meaning a calorie reduction for two days a week, is scientifically proven to help you lose weight and improve your overall health. I want to show you how fasting can fit in with your lifestyle, how you can eat abundantly using real foods for fasting, and how you can enjoy your food too!  The most important thing is that you can fast on wholefoods and make it a healthy fasting day instead of reaching for low calorie junk food.

As I’m sure you’re aware by now, I’m all about good gut health! If you want to feel your best physically and emotionally (and let’s be honest – who doesn’t?) gut health is key. Eating fibre rich veggies, digestible foods and sipping on delicious drinks and smoothies are all amazing ways to keep your gut health at bay but sometimes, your digestive system also needs a bit more of a rest.  This is where intermittent fasting comes in. Intermittent fasting gives your body some time to heal, so it can carry on being supercharged and fabulous!  Dramatically reducing calories on two days per week not only kick-starts weight loss, but also rejuvenates the body’s systems, repairs cells and restores vitality.

Here are just a few facts to show you why I live by intermittent fasting:

It reduces blood pressure, reduces inflammation, increases fat burning, improves beneficial gut bacteria and normalises your hunger hormone for better appetite control.

Coming from someone who’s personally experienced autoimmune issues, I’ve seen how much I’ve benefited from intermittent fasting.

When writing Fast Your Way to Wellness, I was keen to share everything I know about fasting and health with you and, most importantly get you on your way to looking and feeling the best that you can naturally.

The book is a gentle guide to different fasting methods to suit your own plans. I share my personal tips for what I do when I get cravings, how I manage my portion sizes and what foods are best for fasting and non-fasting days. I’ve created over ninety new delicious recipes to nourish and sustain you throughout your fast days and keep you motivated.

While many ‘fasters’ often eat low-calorie junk foods or skip meals altogether, Fast Your Way to Wellness provides easy and flavourful meals that will keep you satisfied and happy.  My tasty, nutritious recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and portable snacks include calorie counts, and the menu plans will help get you in the swing of planning your fasting days so they sail by effortlessly. You'll reap the benefits of increased energy and vitality — the bonus will be watching those numbers on the bathroom scale go down, and stay down.

One of my favourite new recipes from the book is a Mint and Ginger Prawns with Coleslaw.  Prawns are delicious summertime food, packed with protein to fill you up. In fact, did you know they have approximately the same amount of protein as chicken or beef, yet half the calories? This means they’re ideal for a fast day!

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At only 202 calories per serve (846kJ), it just shows that fasting can be satisfying to your tummy and tastebuds.

Prawn, Mint and Ginger Prawns with Coleslaw

Serves 2

  • 1 small carrot, grated
  • 180 g (61/4 oz/1/4 small) cabbage, finely shredded
  • 180 g (61/4 oz/1/4 small) red cabbage, finely shredded
  • 2 kale leaves, stalks removed, roughly chopped or torn
  • 1 spring onion (scallion), thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 150 g (51/2 oz/10 medium) peeled and deveined prawns (shrimp), tails left intact
  • mint leaves, to serve

Dressing

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons wheat-free tamari
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped mint

Combine all the dressing ingredients in a small jar, then seal and shake well.

Combine the carrot, cabbages, kale and spring onion in a serving bowl.

Heat the oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add the prawns
and cook for 1–2 minutes on each side, until cooked through.

Put the prawns on top of the vegetables, pour over the dressing and serve topped with the mint leaves.

You can purchase the book here.

Supercharged Summer Popsicles ☀️

Written by Lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Blog, Blog Breakfast, Blog Lunch, Blog Snacks, Breakfast, Dairy Free, Dessert, Desserts, Gluten Free, Heal Your Gut, Heal Your Gut Powder, Heal Your Gut Powder, Kids, Kids' Recipes, Nutrient Rich, Push Ups and Icy Poles, Seasonal, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Yeast Free

PopsiclesIn the searing heat of summer, I want my food to be refreshing, full of supercharged ingredients, and speedy to prepare. Balmy evenings and the dry warmth of the summer air begs for our energy to shift from the comforting presence of the stove and lengthy food preparation, towards simple alfresco food solutions that can be enjoyed by adults and children alike.

In the warmer parts of the year, my priorities shift away from indoor activity, to more outdoor, social engagements; morning yoga sessions and beach walks followed by throw-together breakfasts, inviting friends over for a shaded outdoor lunch of simple, seasonal ingredients, and family gatherings where common sense, last-minute entertaining or pot luck offerings are regularly required.

When enjoying the food of summer, I always tackle my food planning with a two-fold approach. Firstly, and most importantly, I focus on healing, supercharged ingredients that are full of the season’s well-curated nutrients that support immunity, energy and vitality that the summertime requires. Secondly, I love to embrace speedy simplicity by taking hold of the ritual of batch cooking, one pan options, and easy-peasy snacks and refreshments that allow less time in hands-on food prep, and more time enjoying the outdoors and the presence of those I love.

For summer breakfasts, you can’t go past a glorious granola topped with a mountain of seasonal fruits. My Cranberry and Walnut Granola is my favourite go-to. I find great contentment mixing and baking a large batch of this scrumptious stuff during a Sunday batch-cooking session. You should smell the aroma! The blissful scent of sweet cranberries and roasting nuts will fill the air of your home, comforting your mind with the assurance of nourishing breakfasts sorted for the week ahead. I love to immerse my granola in homemade almond milk topped with fresh organic farmer’s market fruits. You can’t beat passionfruit, mango or raspberries!

One pan meals minimise the need for hands on time in the kitchen, and you don’t have to miss out on flavour with a throw-together dish. My Seven Minute One Pan Salmon with Greens is one you could do blindfolded, and always delivers the light, fresh oceanic flavours of salmon, plus the anti-inflammatory benefits of this high omega 3 fish. It’s also surrounded by seasonal greens that are important for oxygenating the blood to increase energy levels for outdoor cricket or rugby and trying to keep up with chasing around my three step sons during the holidays. 

But if I were to uphold one of the greatest summer recipes that I know of, I’d have to wave my banner for these no-fail popsicles. For the amount of effort required to whip up a batch of these darlings, it never ceases to amaze me how many times they have brought a sense of delight to both adults and children on a sweltering summers day.

As guests drizzle in through the holidays, I love to have a few variations of this basic recipe stored up in my freezer to bless unexpected guests. At the point of their presentation, it’s beautiful to watch the kid come out of everyone in response to the offer.

When whipping these up, you can use the basic variation, add cacao for a cheeky chocolate flavour, or try some of these seasonal variations:

  • Blend in some mango chunks and scatter some whole macadamias into each mould
  • Drop a handful of chopped strawberries into the mix before pouring into moulds for a strawberries and cream popsicle
  • Stir the pulp of two passionfruit into the mix before pouring.
  • Blend in a handful of blueberries and the zest of one lemon.

The best thing about this recipe is that it utilises simple non-perishable food items that can be kept on hand for use at any moment. Aside from being conveniently canned, coconut milk is also highly nutritious and rich in fibre, vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 and minerals including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. It’s also dairy free, so your popsicles will still impress friends or children with dairy allergies.

My Love Your Gut powder is included in this recipe but is an optional addition. However I always love to prioritise a scoop, as it’s a simple way to cram in its remarkable gut healing benefits of improving detoxification, aiding nutrient absorption, increasing the health of hair skin and nails, and boosting hydration in the hot weather. You can read more about the benefits of the LYG powder and purchase it here.

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Popsicles

Makes 6-8 popsicles 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans of organic coconut milk 
  • seeds of one vanilla bean (or alcohol free vanilla/ vanilla powder) 
  • 2 Tbsp LYG Powder
  • 10 drops of stevia (or to taste) 

For chocolate version add in 1 tsp of cacao powder

Method:

  1. Blend all ingredients in a blender.
  2. Pour into popsicle mould and leave in freezer for 3-4 hours. 

*These are best eaten at this time, as if left overnight or too long in the freezer, the coconut milk sometimes splits. 

Make them and let me know how you go!  Viva la holidays 🙂

Lee xo

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