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Posts Tagged ‘healthy recipes’

Raw Mini Lime Tarts

Written by Lee on . Posted in Autumn, Blog, Blog Breakfast, Dairy Free, Dessert, Gluten Free, Heal Your Gut Powder, Organic, Seasonal, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Yeast Free

Do you know what ingredient needs more recognition?

Lime.

While we all praise lemon like the holy grail – drinking it in the morning, squeezing it onto salads and making lemonade with it, it’s poor little sidekick, lime, always gets left behind. He’s literally the middle child of the citrus family.

Lime is so much more than just zest to add to a drink; it can boost your overall complexion, immunity and help cleanse the body.

So, what do you do when life gives you lemons?  Push them to the side and ask for limes instead.

Limes are an extremely good source of Vitamin C, as well as dietary fibre, calcium, iron, potassium, copper, magnesium and phosphorus. They can be consumed orally or used topically to protect the skin from infections. Similar to lemon, limes can even aid the digestion process and relieve constipation.

What’s the best way to celebrate mother nature’s beautiful limey gift?

Lime Tarts.

There’s something about lime tarts that make me really happy. They’re equally creamy and tarty, tangy and sweet, satisfying and crisp with a crumbly texture.

Supercharge your pantry, fridge and freezer + four recipes

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

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

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

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

So, how do we begin?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Herbs and spices

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

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

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

Flavour providers

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

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

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

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

Some of my favourite flavour providers:

Grains and Staples

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tinned Tomatoes

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

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

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

Dressings, oils and vinegars

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Seeds and nuts

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other nuts and seeds I'm loving:

Non-Dairy Milks

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

Natural sweeteners

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

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

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

Fresh vs. Frozen 

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

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

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

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

Frozen berries

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

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

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

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

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

It's cooking time!

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

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

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

Recipe A: Chickpea Curry 

Serves 8

Ingredients

Method

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

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

Recipe B: Gourmet Sandwich with Indian-spiced Hummus

Makes 4 sandwiches

Ingredients:

Hummus

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

Sandwich

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

Method:

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

Recipe C: Mezze Plate

Place all of the below recipes onto your mezze plate.

Ingredients:

Hummus

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

Parsley, goat’s feta and pine nut dip

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

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

Wheat-free Tabbouleh

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

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

Method

Hummus

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

Eggplant

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

Parsley, goat’s feta and pine nut dip

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

Wheat-free Tabbouleh

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

Recipe D: Baked Falafel Burgers with Tabouleh and Spicy Hummus

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

Makes 4 burgers

Ingredients:

Falafel balls

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

Burger

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

Method

Falafel balls

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

Burger

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

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

Lee xo

Easter Bliss Balls

Written by Lee on . Posted in Blog, Blog Snacks, Create, Dairy Free, Dessert, Desserts, Gluten Free, gut healing, gut health, Heal Your Gut, Heal Your Gut Powder, Lunch Box Ideas, Organic

hyg bliss balls

Are you getting ready to hop into Easter?

I have the perfect sweet treat for you this Easter. Some healthy and tasty treats that won't melt while you’re on the Easter egg hunt.

Introducing my Easter Bliss Balls, or as I like to call them LEEaster Balls!

These are the greatest hunter gatherer snack you can find for Easter. They’re nutritious, delicious and won't tie you down in between eating (or overeating) sessions. I like to think of them as a little good thing amongst all the decadence.

Whilst everyone knows that bliss balls are a 'healthy treat', a lot of the time they're filled with a LOT of dried fruit - I'm talking double the quantity you would eat in one sitting! Dried fruit is delicious but it can be hard going on the gut because of the high levels of sulphites and sugars - giving you some unwanted digestive problems.

These balls don’t contain any unwelcome ingredients, which means your tummy won’t be frustrated with you during the Easter holidays. In fact LEEaster balls will make you and your insides happy.

I’ve included two different  variations for you – chewy chocolate and anti-inflammatory attack!

When hosting Easter meals, the chocolate balls go down as a terrific treat and for times when you're in need of a health boost, the anti-inflammatory turmeric balls are the way to go.

I’ve also included my Love Your Gut powder into the mixture for some much-needed gut-loving;  a true necessity after the over-indulging we usually do around holiday time. The powder also has remarkable health benefits, improving nutrient absorption and taking care of your hair, skin and nails, not to mention it's absorbable iron content that is wonderful for energy levels.  You can watch and read more about the health benefits of it here.

By the way, I forgot to munch-ion that these balls are approved by the Easter Bunny, so please be sure to give them a go!


hyg bliss balls 2LEEaster Balls

Ingredients

Directions

Makes: 12

  1. Place almond meal, LYG powder, coconut flakes and nuts into food processor and mix.
  2. Add stevia, almond nut butter and tahini and continue to mix until combined.
  3. Chill the dough in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove and roll into balls on a flat tray.
  5. Place extra sesame seeds in a bowl and roll balls to coat the surface.
  6. Refrigerate and enjoy.
  7. Chocolate version: Add in a 1 tsp of cacao to the base mixture or more if you like them chocolaty!
  8. Anti-inflammatory: Add 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp cinnamon and 1⁄2 tsp ginger to base mixture. 

Supercharged Tip

You can make a big batch and keep a few of these in the freezer for later. 

Happy LEEaster,

Lee xo

Moroccan beef stew with spiced tahini yogurt

Written by Lee on . Posted in All, Autumn, Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Candida Friendly, Dairy Free, Organic, Seasonal, Spring, Sugar Free, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

Moroccan Beef Stew

I've come out of hibernation to share a recipe from one of my  favourite health coaches Madeleine Shaw.  

This recipe is from her new book Ready Steady Glow which is full of show stopping recipes that are bursting with flavour and goodness.   

This gorgeous recipe not only tastes delicious but is perfect for those Autumn days when it's still warm outside but the evenings are starting to feel a little chilly on the extremities. 

Nothing quite compares to a warming stew. It’s no secret that I have an ongoing love affair with slow cooking; I just love the way this style of cooking transforms even less-popular cuts of meat into restaurant-worthy meals that continue to improve with age.

You can switch it up to and if you fancy a change, this recipe works just as well with lamb.

Designed to be shared, it serves 2–3 people

Ingredients

1 tbsp coconut oil or butter
2 red onions, finely sliced
3 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp cayenne
4 garlic cloves, crushed
½ tsp turmeric
500ml beef stock or chicken stock
400g stewing beef or lamb, cut into inch cubes
2 carrots, cut lengthways into 5cm chunks
100g green beans
grated zest of 1 lemon
50g toasted pine nuts

Spiced tahini yoghurt

3 tbsp tahini
150g Greek yogurt
juice of ½ lemon (2 tbsp)
1 garlic clove, crushed
½ tsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves, plus extra for serving
salt, to taste

Method

Heat the oil or butter in a pan, add the onions and cook for 5 minutes. Add in the cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne, garlic and turmeric and a few tablespoons of the stock – to prevent the spices burning. Stir well for 30 seconds until fragrant, then add in the meat and brown it for 30 seconds. Throw in the carrots and pour in the remaining stock, bring to a boil then reduce to a low simmer and cook with the lid on for 1½ hours. After this time, add in the green beans and cook for a further 10 minutes.

To make the tahini yogurt, mix the ingredients together well with a pinch of salt. Finish off the beef by sprinkling it with the lemon zest and pine nuts and serve with a dollop of tahini yogurt and some extra fresh mint leaves.

Happy Hibernating!

Lee x

 

My Top Ten Sit-Down Family Meals

Written by Lee on . Posted in Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Dairy Free, Dessert, Healthy Home, Kids, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

HEALTHY-LATIN-2

Nowadays, after school sport, play dates, working overtime, activities, and a range of other scheduling conflicts mean family meal times are being squeezed out as we spend huge lumps of time in the car and less time at the family dinner table. 

It’s not unusual for a child to be given a high sugar breakfast snack in the car during the mad rush morning commute. On the way home from a long day at work, it’s just so convenient to jump in a line at your nearest drive thru and secure a fast food meal instead of cooking.

Even when all family members are at home, research shows that more than a third of Australian families eat their meals on the sofa while watching TV rather than sitting together at the dinner table.

The problem with sitting down and eating in front of the TV is that it can lead to mindlessness eating. We’re blissfully unaware of not only what we are consuming, but also how much. We are autopilot eating.

Instead of cherishing our meals, we are distracted by technology, be it TV, mobile phones, games, and because of that, we are not fully appreciating and enjoying the food we are consuming.

Now I’m not saying we have to inspect everything we eat and have a “Sherlock Holmes” approach to food, but simple enjoyment and time spent with others whilst eating is joyful and nourishing. When you’re not distracted by technology you can take time to truly taste your meal and experience each bite from start to finish.

As juggling work and domestic commitments becomes increasingly hectic, time-strapped parents are reporting they simply don’t have the energy to prepare a home-cooked meal. However, when looking at the research, the benefits of having regular family dinner times are just too big to ignore.

Studies show that children who eat dinner with their families are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables, even when given the option in their parent’s absence, and less likely to pig out on soda and fast foods. Impressionable children are also more likely to choose wholesome foods when family dinners allow for discussions about nutrition and the provision of healthy foods.

Smashed Sardines with Avocado on Chia and Flaxseed Loaf

Written by Lee on . Posted in Blog Breakfast, Blog Lunch, Blog Snacks, Candida Friendly, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Organic, Seasonal, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Supercharged Food Menu, Wheat Free, Winter

sardines avoPeople often ask me what my favourite recipe is from my new book Eat Yourself Beautiful and although I love them all my special favourite is Smashed Sardines with Avocado on Chia and Flaxseed Loaf.  It’s probably because I eat it a few times and week and always feel so happy afterwards. Clap along if you agree. 

Sardines may not immediately strike you as a happy food, but these little guys are sky high in mood boosting omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin B12 and loaded with minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc. They can also make your wallet happy because they’re an inexpensive meal to bring the table.  A can of sardines in extra virgin oil will set you back about $1.80 AUD.

A 2012 study reveals that fish oil increases transmission of serotonin in the brain which controls emotion.  Because of their ability to increase serotonin levels this makes fish oils a good mood food to include in your diet.

Hair, skin and nails benefit too; sardines are one of the most powerful beauty boosters because their omega-3 content benefits the circulatory system, hydrating the skin, and helping you to avoid incoming wrinkles.

Omega-3s are brilliant at oxygenating your skin tissue, revitalising and improving your skin tone and giving you a healthy glow.  They're an integral component of the cell membrane and without them the cell membrane becomes stiff and dehydrated, resulting in dry, flakey skin. 

The most intriguing benefit of sardines is that they help to slow the aging process. They’re rich in the vital enzyme CoQ10 which promotes a healthy immune system, restores vitality and is a potent antioxidant. If you’re working towards glowing skin and maintaining skins elasticity, preventing sagging and a more youthful appearance, sardines are a better choice than any toxic skin product that you can buy. Another  good reason to step away from the cosmetics counter. 

Although fresh is best, canned sardines in extra virgin olive oil are a convenient option, as they require minimum preparation.  The good news about sardines is that they’re not mercury heavy like tuna.  You can add them to salads, or combine with lemon juice, olive oil, Celtic sea salt and cracked pepper on a gluten free cracker for a tasty, nutrient dense snack.

sardineBut I'm not a sardine fan!

Swap out your oil for flaxseed, chia, or extra virgin olive which are also high in Omega 3 and will give you similar benefits.

 

For a match made in heaven, pair sardines with avocados, a beautifying tool which has been used for centuries. The high levels of vitamin E found in avocados mean that they work as a skin-soothing, moisturizing agent and the vitamin A helps to remove dead skin cells from the body.  It’s often used as a remedy for dry skin or by those who experience eczema.

Because it’s easily absorbed into the deepest layers of the skin, creating the smoothest skin by restoring nutrients, stimulating new cell growth and improving blood circulation avocado is a wonder-food to add to your diet. The healthy oils found in avocados are also used to increase shine and inject moisture into the hair, and work as a great remedy for dry and brittle hair.

To boost your beauty naturally serve up this dish immediately.

Smashed Sardines with Avocado on Chia and Flaxseed Loaf

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1/2 avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon chopped red chilli (optional)
  • pinch Celtic sea salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 slices gluten-free bread
  • small handful of rocket (arugula) leaves
  • 120 g (41/4 oz) tinned sardines, smashed
  • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

 Method

  • Place the avocado, lime, chilli, salt and pepper in a bowl and mash together with a fork.
  • Toast one or two slices of your favourite gluten-free bread (I use chia and flaxseed loaf the recipe is below).
  • Spread the avocado mixture over the bread and top with rocket and smashed sardines.
  • Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve.

Chia and Flaxseed Loaf

Chia and Flaxseed Loaf

Makes one loaf

This is my daily bread and what a diva of a loaf it is. Use it for blissful open-top sandwiches or a mouthwatering and satisfying toasted sandwich. The perfect skin food.

Ingredients

  • 350 g (12 oz/21/3 cups) gluten-free self-raising flour
  • 30 g (1 oz/1/4 cup) ground flaxseeds
  • 20 g (3/4 oz/1/4 cup) chia seeds
  • 115 g (4 oz/3/4 cup) mixed sunflower seeds and pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 organic eggs
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • 80 ml(21/2 fl oz/1/3 cup) tablespoons additive-free coconut milk
  • 6 drops stevia liquid
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) filtered water

 Method

  • Preheat the oven to 175°C (345°F/Gas 3–4) and grease and flour a 20 x 9 cm (8 x 31/2 inch) loaf (bar) tin.
  • Combine the flour, flaxseed, chia, sunflower and pumpkin seeds and salt in a bowl and mix until combined.
  • In a separate large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the eggs for about 2 minutes – they should be pale and fluffy.
  • Stir in the apple cider vinegar, butter, coconut milk, stevia and water. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the flour mixture and stir well to combine.
  • Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and bake in the oven for 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the loaf comes out clean.
  • Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

This loaf will keep for one week in the fridge or two months in the freezer.

You can find my recipe books here.

Happy Cooking

Lee xo

Buckwheat Pasta with Flaked Trout

Written by Lee on . Posted in Autumn, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Candida Friendly, Christmas, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

buckwheat pasta LR

There’s no time like the present for a bit of self- reflection.  How did last year shape up for you? Was it smooth sailing or were there things that you would have done differently given the opportunity?

Many of us start to the New Year with a resolution or two, whether it involves assessing our relationships, financial decisions, deciding to clean out your proverbial closet or vowing to never drink again after one too many cocktails!

What are some of the changes you’d like to see happen in the year ahead?  I’d like to do some more travelling this year and experience life a bit more, instead of being chained to my computer and also start a restorative yoga class for people who want to do gentle yoga to help give them more energy and recover from illness.

Whatever it is you choose to do this year, if you’re ready to wipe the slate clean, start afresh and ring in the New Year with a resolve to be happier and healthier, then setting yourself a realistic resolution to make gradual changes to your eating habits and lifestyle will be a lot easier to maintain.  Making small changes might not seem like much at the beginning, but soon, these small changes really do become significant larger changes that you will notice.

In a dietary sense, a few examples of small changes might include swapping your daily coffee every second day for dandelion or herbal tea, or cooking with brown rice instead of white. Or it may even be that you will become less restrictive with your current eating habits and allow yourself the occasional treat without feeling guilty.

You might start becoming a bit more interested in inspecting the back of labels on your groceries and finding out what ingredients are used, or deciding to pack healthy lunches for work instead of purchasing them.

It’s good to them see how you feel after making small changes and check in with yourself. Do you have more energy? Do you feel happier? Is your digestive system working more efficiently? By making these small changes, and listening to our bodies, we really can achieve good health.

The recipe I’m going to share with you today is all about alternatives and it’s from my new cookbook Eat Yourself Beautiful.

Buckwheat pasta with flaked trout, is a recipe which is a healthy substitute for a number of ingredients, swapping out traditional, white pasta and add it nutrient rich eggs. Buckwheat, despite the confusing name, is not a grain, but in fact a seed that is related to the rhubarb family. It boasts many health properties, which you can read about in a previous post here, and enjoy another recipe buckwheat risotto with spinach and mushroom.

Buckwheat pasta gives the dish a beautiful earthiness, complementing the trout fillet exceptionally well. Adding crumbled Goat’s cheese, gives a luxurious creamy taste and is freshened up with zesty lemon and chopped chives.

A simple dish, wonderful for a hearty dinner or filling lunch and perfect for a healthy lunchbox to keep those resolutions in check.

Recipe: Buckwheat Pasta with Flaked Trout

Serves 2

Ingredients

  •  1 generous-sized fresh trout fillet
  • 125 g (41/2 oz) uncooked buckwheat pasta
  • 2 organic egg yolks
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Celtic sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 11/2 tablespoons salted baby capers, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra, to serve
  • 2 large handfuls of baby rocket (arugula)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
  • 90 g (31/4 oz/3/4 cup) crumbled goat’s cheese

Method

  • Line a bamboo steamer with baking paper and steam the trout over a saucepan of gently simmering water for 5–6 minutes, or until the fish flakes when gently touched with a fork. Remove from the steamer, flake the flesh apart with a fork, removing any bones, and set aside.
  • Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
  • Strain using a colander, reserving a little of the cooking water in the saucepan.
  • Return the pasta to the saucepan and quickly stir through the egg yolks, lemon juice and zest, and a generous pinch of Celtic sea salt and pepper. Gently stir through the flaked trout and capers and add the olive oil.
  • To serve, mix the rocket, chives, goat’s cheese and extra olive oil, if desired, through the pasta and pop a wedge of lemon on the side. It’s delicious served with a simple green salad.

You can read more recipes or buy my recipe books here.

Happy Cooking :)

Lee xo

Buckwheat Pasta with Flaked Trout

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

buckwheat pasta LR

There’s no time like the present for a bit of self- reflection.  How did last year shape up for you? Was it smooth sailing or were there things that you would have done differently given the opportunity?  

Many of us start the New Year with a resolution or two, whether it involves assessing our relationships, financial decisions, deciding to clean out your proverbial closet or vowing to never drink again after one too many cocktails!

What are some of the changes you’d like to see happen in the year ahead?  I’d like to do some more travelling this year and experience life a bit more, instead of being chained to my computer and also teach a restorative yoga class for people who want to do gentle yoga to help give them have more energy and enable them to recover from illness.

Whatever it is you choose to do this year, if you’re ready to wipe the slate clean, start afresh and ring in the New Year with a resolve to be happier and healthier, then setting yourself a realistic resolution to make gradual changes to your eating habits and lifestyle will be a lot easier to maintain.  Making small changes might not seem like much at the beginning, but soon, these small changes really do become significant larger changes that you'll notice.

In a dietary sense, a few examples of small changes might include swapping your daily coffee every second day for dandelion or herbal tea, or cooking with brown rice instead of white. Or it may even be that you will become less restrictive with your current eating habits and allow yourself the occasional treat without feeling guilty.

Black Bean Burgers with Green Salad

Written by Lee on . Posted in Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Blog Salads, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Nutrient Rich, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Yeast Free

Black Bean Burgers

A true enjoyment of food can never exist when your focus is constantly on what you can’t have. Instead of battling through lengthy diet rules, and running for the hills from your fast food foes, start focusing your creative mind on turning any sugar filled treat, or preservative laden burger into a meal full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.  This approach to food brings a joy to both your mind and your body, and is a fun, freeing experience. The journey of appropriating meals will open your eyes up to a world of exotic flavours and ingredients that you never thought existed, and you’ll be constantly surprised at the astounding impacts that the everyday components of your meals are having on your health and wellbeing. When you embrace this lifestyle of true appreciation and passionate interaction with your food, the local fast food franchises will be like a distant memory and the locavores will be top of mind.

Creamy Curried Cauliflower with Cashews

Written by Lee on . Posted in Autumn, Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Candida Friendly, Dairy Free, Dinner, Gluten Free, Lunch, Nutrient Rich, Seasonal, Sugar Free, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

Like humans, different foods can become better versions of themselves by association. Certain ingredients are taken up to another level when married to Mr. Right; think tomato and basil.  They’ve been soul mates all along, partners in crime, just waiting to bring the best out in one another. Cauliflower is another one that’s transformed when matched up with an eligible bachelor. She’s quite a plain-jane ingredient on her own, but a dead set knock-out when in the right relationship. Although if she were on facebook her relationship status would be “Its complicated". Rather than a sensible matrimony between two ingredients, she benefits greatly from more of an open-marriage, or a multiple-partnered approach.

Quinoa Porridge with Cinnamon and Apple

Written by Lee on . Posted in All, Autumn, Blog Breakfast, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Nutrient Rich, Seasonal, Sugar Free, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

Quinoa PorridgeThere’s something about the onset of cooler weather that makes you want to stay home and hibernate, standing in front of a purring stove, cooking deeply layered delights whilst the windows fog up and the warmth of your kitchen softens the wintry chills outside.

This hearty breakfast is a classic wintery warmer and a wonderfully tasty, fluffy and delicate in flavour dish that will soothe the soul and warm you from the  inside out.

A simple home cooked breakfast will nurture and heal the body and supercharge you for the day ahead. You’ll be starting your day off on the right foot with this delicious porridge and by adding almond milk and apple, you’ll be fuelled with essential protein and vitamins and enough energy to sail through until lunchtime.

Quinoa Porridge with Cinnamon and Apple

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa (rinsed)
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 8 drops stevia liquid concentrate
  • 1 TBS coconut oil or butter
  • 1 apple, cored and cubed
  • Almond milk to serve

Method:

  • Bring 2 cups of water to boil in a wide saucepan
  • Add quinoa, sea salt, cinnamon, stevia and coconut oil or butter
  • Bring to the boil; now add apple and cover, reducing heat to let it simmer for 12 minutes
  • Remove from heat and spoon into a breakfast bowl adding almond milk to taste

For more gluten, wheat, dairy, yeast and sugar-free recipes visit www.superchargedfood.com

Tuna stuffed Capsicums

Written by Lee on . Posted in All, Autumn, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Candida Friendly, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Nutrient Rich, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

Tuna Stuffed Capsicums

If you are going to have cans of anything, BPA free tuna is the thing to keep stored away in your pantry. Every now and then it is fine to dust the cobwebs off of one of these little lads, as the humble tin of tuna can be the basis for a spectacular mid week feast when you are strapped for time or cash.

Tuna is a seriously nutrient dense food. It is the perfect pantry staple because it can quickly add an excellent source of high quality protein to your meal. While the importance of eating fresh fruit and vegetables is drummed into us regularly, we have to remember not to forget the importance of including an adequate protein intake throughout our day. Protein is not just for people trying to gain an Arnold Swarzenegger physique. Every one of us need an adequate, consistent supply of protein at every meal. After all, it is a vital macronutrient that is involved in almost every process in the body!

Structural proteins are the material that literally hold us together, by maintaining the structural integrity of nearly all cells in the body. Enzyme proteins help to catalyse chemical reactions, and transport proteins are responsible for the transportation of substances within the body, and are vital to the growth and life of all living things. The protein in tinned tuna provides all nine of the essential amino acids our body requires from the diet and is a complete source of protein.

Canned tuna is a very rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, containing both eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA, and docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA. DHA is a building block in the tissue of the brain and the retina of the eye, and therefore consuming DHA regularly will help to ensure the healthy function of both of these areas. When consumed, both EPA and DHA are converted into hormone like substances called prostaglandins which help to regulate cell activity and healthy cardiovascular function. Consuming foods rich in EPA and DHA may also prevent and help with mental abnormalities such as Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia.

Tuna also contains significant amounts of vitamins and minerals. It boasts high levels of vitamins B6 A, E, K, B12 and niacin, and minerals selenium, phosphorous and potassium. Interestingly, studies have shown that niacin has the unique ability to help you naturally relax and get to sleep more rapidly at night. It has also been found to greatly reduce anxiety and depression.

If you want to enjoy all of these wonderful benefits of tuna, you don’t just have to slap a tin full onto a sandwich. Try this spectacularly flavorsome and spectacularly simple meal, and you will be pleasantly surprised what you can create with a simple pantry item. Supercharging your diet does not need to be a mission to the end of the earth. In half an hour you can have this lovely dish plated up and ready to devour!

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 2 red capsicum
  • ½ cup brown rice (cooked)
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 large can (425 gms) tuna in extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 2 TBS basil chopped
  • 2 TBS lemon juice
  • 2 TBS nutritional yeast flakes

Method

  • Preheat oven to 200 Celsius
  • Cut top off capsicums removing seeds and veins
  • In a separate bowl combine brown rice, tuna, onion, garlic, egg, lemon and herbs
  • Spoon mixture into capsicum
  • Place capsicums in a baking dish
  • Sprinkle with Nutritional Yeast Flakes and cover with lid
  • Place into the oven and bake for 25 minutes
  • Remove when ready and serve with a crunchy green salad

For more gluten, wheat, dairy, yeast and sugar free recipes visit www.superchargedfood.com

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