Autumn Round Up

What a glorious start to autumn; crisp sun-shiny days, just a hint of the changing season as the leaves slowly turn from fluorescent greens to mellow russets. Salads still abound in my kitchen at this time of year but I confess that meals become a little heartier, with hints of heat in my morning chia bowls (more on that below) and warming soups in place of smoothies . I hope you find some inspiration this month and enjoy the recipes shared below. The recipes are designed to inspire you to get back in the kitchen; to remind you of dishes you may forgotten about, to reiterate the importance of colour of colour on your plate ensuring you provide your body every thing it needs to perform optimally and occasionally to introduce some new ingredients to tempt you out of your comfort zone, Happy Cooking, Camilla x

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Chilli Chocolate Chia bowls

Breakfast has edged firmly into the comfort zone as a grey mist hovers over the crisp morning grass, hints of a warm dawn waiting to erupt, but first a hunger to slake. Chia has long been my breakfast of choice, packed with healthy omegas, blood sugar balancing proteins and fats, satiating fibre, antioxidants, and the perfect foundation for adding extra bits at the last minute or simply preparing the night before for breakfast on the go… and the warmth? My secret ingredient of a pinch of cayenne pepper….
Ingredients

2 cups of unsweetened almond milk
1 small banana
2 tbsp. chia seeds
1 tbsp.  maca powder (optional)
1 tbsp. raw cacao powder
A pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp of ground nutmeg

Blitz and blend; pour into a bowl; leave for a minute to thicken or overnight. Sprinkled here with cacao nibs and almonds for extra crunch.

Power Pancakes with Omega-3s

Power Pancakes
These are fool-proof and make an excellent start to the day.
Serves 1
1/4 cup of buckwheat flour ( I buy Doves Farm from Ocado)
1/4 cup wholewheat flour (I use whole wheat spelt flour)
2 tsp of ground flaxseed (as you get used to it I add more flax and less spelt, go slow to start.)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk
Salt to season

Blend all of the above ingredients in a Nutribullet, blender or Vitamix. Add a tsp of coconut oil to a hot pan and spoon a little of the pancake mix into the pan, cook approx. 2 minutes on each side. (depends a little on the size of the pancakes.) Served here with chopped fresh figs.
The health benefits of these pancakes are derived from the ground flaxseeds, containing Omega-3. Omega-3 is such an important and essential (means the body cant produce it on its own) nutrient. It is ant-inflammatory, helps to balance blood sugar and is heart healthy, helping to lower blood pressure.
And if you prefer your pancakes for lunch, try adding a big bunch of fresh spinach to the batter as you blend it for vibrant green spinach pancakes; serve with hummus, or alongside some home-made soup x see picture below…

Spinach Pancakes with Omega-3s

(see recipe above)

Midweek Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a fantastic source of B Vitamins and Vitamin D, nutrients shown to boost energy levels and mood, so they absolutely earn their place on my autumn menu board x8 Portobello Mushrooms
1 tbsp. coconut oil for sautéing
1 large Spanish onion
1 large garlic clove, peeled
1 cup of cooked quinoa (may be from a ready cooked pouch… try Merchant Gourmet brand)
Few springs of fresh thyme (or dried mixed herbs)
Large handful of frozen spinach (or fresh)
2 tsp of date syrup/pomegranate molasses or aged balsamic vinegar
seasoning and fresh parsley to garnish


 

First saute your garlic and onion in the coconut oil, next add 2 of the chopped mushrooms plus the stalks and gills from the remaining 6 (to create cups). Add all the rest of the ingredients and simmer down; you are looking for a rich umami flavour. Add the stuffing to your 6 scooped mushrooms and cook on a hot griddle for approx 5 minutes. Garnish with parsley and season to taste. You can play around with the stuffing as you like… sun dried tomatoes, pesto, capers, cooked first then heaped with guacamole… let me know your favourite combination x

       Feeling a little lack-lustre? A raw kale salad always gets you glowing; add in some lightly toasted walnuts and pumpkin seeds, chopped apple with skin on, a small handful of frozen peas and a chopped spring onion and you have all the ingredients to support radiant skin • kale is packed with antioxidants to help combat damaging free radicals in the body; large amounts of Vitamin C, needed to produce collage, you know, the protein that keeps our skin springy and fresh; an excellent source of a vitamin K; important for strong bones and protection against osteoporosis; minerals, fibre…. really, what is not to love x just a cup, rough stalks discards, knead away with some good olive oil til you get the glossy green and enjoy several times a week for optimum glow

GLOWING GREEN GORGEOUSNESS

Tuscan Bean Dip

Something about the soft warm light of early autumn reminded me of this gorgeous simple dip; creamy white cannellini beans blitzed with 10-12 drained sundried tomatoes and a few sprigs of fresh rosemary. You can add some finely grated raw garlic, I did, just don’t go crazy… I started with a 400g tin of cannellini beans, Biona brand. Then served on Nairn’s oatackes, or Gluten Free Millet toast for simple delicious snack

This simple salad is packed full of colourful vegetables, brown rice and chickpeas, an excellout source of fibre and antioxidants and it keeps well for leftovers.
First soak a mugful of brown rice in a bowl of fresh water and leave for several hours. This can be done overnight, or in the morning if you are planning on cooking your rice later in the evening. The process of soaking this grain, renders it far more digestible and the nutrients within, more available to the body.
Rough Guide Ingredients List…
I Used
1 handful of brown rice, cooked and cooled
1/2 can of drained chickpeas
A big chunk of raw red cabbage (grated in my mixer)
2 peeled carrots grated in my mixer
A handful of frozen peas
A couple of chopped spring onions
**** But the star **** is the dressing ****
A tsp of fresh grated ginger
1 tbsp. of soy sauce
1 tbsp. of sesame oil
Squeezed juice of half an orange… I just ate the other half… quartered like they do in sports matches at school… yum!
salt and pepper

Mix all your salad items together; then mix all your dressing ingredients together; then mix your salad with your dressing x
This salad is a potent mix of resistant starch from the cooled brown rice and soluble fibre to support digestion; sulphorofanes and anthocyanins in the red cabbage to support detoxification and boost antioxidants. Vitamin C and Beta carotene in the carrots, healthy prebiotics in the onions to nourish your good bacteria and it is satiating to encourage weight loss…. and it tastes really good x

That’s about all from me here now, I hope you enjoy these recipes and if you have any questions you know you are welcome to email me below.

Eat healthy and go well,

Camilla x

 

Buckwheat, Beetroot and Edamame Salad

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A delicious alternative to bulgar wheat or couscous is Buckwheat, which is not a wheat at all, but a seed, (referred to as a pseudo grain…. as is quinoa) • so like quinoa, buckwheat is naturally gluten free (despite its name!!!!) • it also has an amazing antioxidant profile! This means that is it incredibly good at clearing toxins and fighting off the damaging effects of all the toxins our bodies regularly have to fend off, both dietary (sugar, processed foods and alcohol), and also environmental (dirty air, pesticides, cleaning products, fragrances cosmetics etc) • so we LOVE Buckwheat • it has lots of B Vitamins and minerals • you can buy buckwheat as a flour and it makes delicious pancakes, but you can also buy the grain, (soak overnight) and simmer for 15 mins • here it is made into a delicious salad with roasted beetroot, toasted walnuts, edamame beans, chopped spring onion and a ginger + Dion dressing with chopped fresh mint and parsley • give it a try, and substitute it for anywhere you would use rice, pearl barley or couscous …. ignore the reviews in the following link btw! Buckwheat is perfect in salads, once you have cooked, 15 mins max. Just refresh under cold water and it keeps biteIMG_9443.

Buckwheat, Beetroot and Edamame Salad

2 beetroot;

1 cup buckwheat groats;

1 cup of edamame beans

2 spring onions

1 handful of walnuts

Chopped fresh herbs

You could buy ready roasted beets, but the often have quite a strong vinegar taste, so I like to buy organic raw beetroot and roast them myself; approx 45 minutes in a hot oven (depends slightly on the size of the beetroot). Roast with the skins on and some of the stalk left in tack. Once cooked, cool and peel and cut into small slices

Meanwhile, cook your buckwheat groats for approximately 10 minutes in boiling water so that they retain some crunch. Ince cook, run under cold water as you drain to prevent the steam for carrying on cooking them… drain thoroughly and add to a mixing bowl with your liked cooled beets, a cup of edamame beans (from frozen if you like, they will defrost in the bowl), finely chopped spring onions, chopped walnuts and herbs (here I used fresh mint and parsley).

I love the healthy combination of protein from the buckwheat and walnuts, Omega-3 from the walnuts, antioxidants from the beetroot and digestive carminatives from the herbs. Altogether a feast for the eyes and the tummy.

 

 

 

 

Walnut Banana Bread

Walnut Banana LoafIMG_8615

This grain free and protein rich loaf was adapted from a recipe by Christine Bailey. She uses pecans in the original, which are also delicious, but walnuts add in some extra anti-inflammatory Omega-3 and I just love that holy trinity of walnut, banana and cinnamon, it makes the house smell soooo good.

I made this loaf at the weekend. My husband suffers with colitis, a flaring autoimmune condition, which can really come on strong at this time of year; every so often we just need to stop everything and reset with a real focus on anti-inflammatory foods; bone broths, gentle ginger and turmeric curries and this delicious loaf. Leftover slices went down a treat spread with butter (or coconut oil) as an after school snack .

INGREDIENTS

3 cups walnuts

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

1/2 tsp baking powder

Pinch cinnamon

4 organic eggs

1 large ripe banana

2 tbsp olive oil (I used coconut oil)

1 tbsp honey

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Step one; whizz up the dried walnuts/pecans into crumbs in the food processor (as fine as you can get); then add in the rest of the dried ingredients •

Step 2; whisk the eggs, banana, oil and honey in a separate bowl

Step 3 is to tip the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix thoroughly

Step 4; spoon into a lined loaf tin and bake for 40-45 mins at 180’C

Allow to cool for a few minutes before turning out xxx

 

Reign it in or let it all hang out this Christmas?

I spent a lot of time planning some healthy balanced dishes to include in my menu plans over the coming weeks. I am all about menu planning, it is my number one TOP TIP piece of advice to any busy person trying to keep their diet on track and the lead up to Christmas has got to be the worst! Before you know it, boom, you are trailing in it’s wake, getting home late from school nativity plays, Christmas concerts, impromptu drinks, the cupboard is bare and all you can rustle up is some cheese on toast and a packet of biscuits…. the dishes in my Christmas Menu are not  exactly there for the rustling, but if you put aside a bit of time at the weekend, you can have a fridge full of treats to keep you on track and feeling your best. Have a read and you will find all the recipes listed in the post below x

Omega-3 is an Essential Fatty Acid for good reason; it is essential to support a healthy heart and brain as well as helping to manage blood sugar, control diabetes and strengthen bones, but Omega-3 is also important for healthy nourished skin, something which can be sorely lacking at Christmas. Too many late boozy nights leave us dehydrated and our skin sluggish – so our starters contain a variety of ingredients high in Omega-3. Mackerel pâté is quick to make and can be prepared in advance, so that you always have something to feed to drop-in guests. The date and goats cheese bites have added walnuts which are pretty much the best  vegetarian source of Omega-3 (along with flax seeds and chia seeds).

Most shop-bought canapés are made with pastry, high in pro-inflammatory Omega-6 as well as refined white flour which will spike your blood sugar levels – the combination leaves us  feeling stressed out and grumpy.

Instead I have included a pumpernickel bread and homemade oatcakes, both high in fibre and low on Glycemic Index, shown to help promote weight loss . I often make a big batch of oatcakes in advance (they store well in an airtight tin) and you can also freeze the dough. The kids love helping with the cutting out, smaller shapes are perfect for party food, and larger oatcakes are great for lunches alongside pâté, cheese, soups and my personal favourite… shop bought hummus!

Kimchi  (recipe below) can be substituted for a few small capers, a flake of pickled ginger or small slices of pickled gherkin.
Colour, texture and flavor are vital to encourage all the family to indulge in some healthy new treats over the Christmas period. Christmas is a time so entrenched in tradition that introducing new dishes must be handled with diplomacy.

So, the main dishes served here are not designed to replace the turkey and roast potatoes and Brussels sprouts, (although trust me when I say that sprouts can be the most delicious dish, sautéed lightly with fresh ginger and sesame seeds…) but these are dishes are to accompany your traditional table.

Walnuts as we discussed earlier are a fantastic source of Omega-3; the lentil and walnut loaf would be delicious served as a standalone lunch with a big green salad. Lentils are a good non-meat source of protein for days that you wish to choose something lighter to enjoy.

Raw slaw salads are one of the most useful things to have on hand in the kitchen, they last well, mellowing in intensity as they cook ceviche in the citrus dressing and the inclusion of raw cabbage, fennel and apple. Cabbage is part of the family of cruciferous vegetables, along with sprouts, and the strong smell we all recognize form overcooking the cabbage comes from the phytochemicals known as sulporaphanes. Sulphoraphanes reduce oxidative stress, the damage caused to our bodies from an excess of external and internal toxins; including sugars, alcohol, processed foods. Overcooking destroys these phytochemicals and they are therefore best eaten raw.

Don’t let this put you off cooking an enormous dish of braised red cabbage however. It is always a crowd pleaser, freezes well and leftovers are delicious served alongside an omelette for breakfast!

Christmas is a time when the glycemic load of all our meals creeps up, artisan loaves freshly served alongside homemade soup, handy mince pies and sausage rolls, and of course roast potatoes, gratin potatoes, potatoes dauphinoise, baked potatoes, and then of course fish and chips on New Year’s Day… (or is that just me?)  I know folks who don’t eat potatoes at all during the whole of the rest of the year and suddenly can’t live without them between 24th December and January 2nd. There is nothing wrong with potatoes per say, but to balance our blood sugar levels, thereby managing mood, stress levels, energy balance and ultimately our waistlines it is good to consider a few potato free alternatives.

Cauliflower rice is a well-known replacement for white rice and delicious served with boxing day curries. But quinoa is a simple and easy way to bring together delicious winter dishes. It is a pseudo grain, that is to say it is a seed, a good source of protein, but also a source of high fibre carbohydrate, so ensure you stock up on those fabulously easy pouches to have on hand… a few snips of spring onion, some fresh squeezed lemon juice and it becomes a tasty blank canvas for anything you wish to add to it.

Speaking of seeds. Can I recommend making a large jar of toasted nuts and seeds to keep in the cupboard. They will add instant crunch, protein and healthy fats to most dishes. A sprinkle over some soaked chia or overnight oats in the morning. Leftover pumpernickel toast with avocado and omega-sprinkles for brekkie or lunch. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds or toasted sesame seeds on your soup. An excellent source of both zinc and magnesium, Dr Michael Mosely has recently been talking about magnesium as a useful supplement for depression, migraine, PMS, sleep and insomnia. Magnesium is a helper molecule, which is implicated in hundreds of processes in the body and the symptoms of deficiency are standard for many people over the Christmas period.

Puddings

Dark Chocolate Bark with cranberries and pistachio nuts
Protein cacao truffle Christmas Puds

Following on from talking about magnesium strikes me as a good time to introduce the benefit of dark chocolate. Rich in antioxidants and another good source of magnesium, I wanted to include my chocolate bark recipe. ( it is not really a recipe; just melt a couple of cars of Lindt 85% dark, in a bowl over a simmering pan, once melted pour out flat onto baking parchment and sprinkle with jewelled berries, seeds and nuts… a bit of edible gold leaf wouldn’t go amiss either…. no such thing as too much bling!). Christmas to me is always linked to reds and greens, colours which we can easily incorporate into a healthful diet. This bark makes a great gift too, and is always a winner at the end of a meal, when everyone has already consumed more than they comfortably planned on eating, yet there is still room for a little taste of something sweet. I included cranberries because they are heart protective, rich in antioxidants and so perfect for Christmas. Cranberries are very sour, so all the dried ones will contain some added sugar, whilst not as beneficial as fresh, it is the dried ones I recommend you using here. And chocolate truffles, well these are just a more refined version of a regular energy ball, with the almond blitzed really fine, if you don’t have a super strong blender, try using a jar of almond nut butter and adding that to a pack of 9-10 medjool dates instead.. add your raw cacao and once rolled into truffle shapes, roll again in powdered cacao… I swear no-one will know they are not the chocolate and cream version!. This is another job for the children over Christmas, the craft shop in Cranbrook sells little confectionary boxes, they make a great gift. If however these are purely for home then the best way of storing them is in stacked egg boxes in the fridge!

If you would like any more information on any of the things we talked about please get in touch or follow me on instagram where I post daily @thekitchenproject_kent
Love and thanks
Camilla x

Healthy Balanced Christmas Menu

I spent a wonderful evening cooking up some healthy nourishing recipes to see you through the festive period. I mean it really shouldn’t be stressful should it, this is the most magical time  of the year with so much excitement and anticipation, but somehow there can be that little something known as  “too much of a good thing”….  long days, late nights, an overpacked diary and the steady regular intake of alcohol, rich meals and pick-me-up coffees leave us feeling burnt out, sluggish, bloated and grumpy…  not the look I am going for on the big day…. so read on for some recipes which help redress that balance; packed with omega-3, blood-sugar-balancing ingredients, a mass of stress reducing nutrients in the form of magnesium, B Vitamins and anti-oxidants, this is a menu which is both delicious and sanity-saving…. before I go on, I must thank Kali, from Hamerton + Jones for inviting me to put on this event, we are utterly blessed in our local vicinity to have the support of so many positive people, encouraging our goals toward self-care xx

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THE MENU

Canapés

Smoked Mackerel Pate on homemade oatcakes with beetroot crisp

Smoked salmon and kimchi on a toasted pumpernickel toast

Medjool Dates stuffed with goat’s cheese & walnuts with fresh mint

 

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Main Course

Lentil and walnut loaf

Quinoa, red pepper and pomegranate tabbouleh

Detox raw slaw salad with cabbage, fennel and apple

Kale and mango salad with sunflower seeds

Tarka Dal with spring greens

 

Something sweet

Dark Chocolate Bark with cranberries and pistachio nuts

Raw Cacao Truffles

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Smoked Mackerel Pate on homemade oatcakes with beetroot crisp

Ingredients

Mackerel Pate

1 pack of smoked mackerel fillets
Cashew Nut Dressing
1 cup cashew nuts
juice of half a lemon
1 tsp of dijon mustard
Water to mix

Oatcakes

500g oats (blitzed in the mixer to a flour)
300ml warm water
150ml olive oil
1 tsp sea salt

Method

To make the oatcakes. First blitz 500g of oats in your mixer until they form a flour. Add the salt, olive oil and gently mix in the warm water. You can do this bit by hand in a bowl as you want to have the consistency of a sticky dough.

Roll out and cut into rounds to bake on a flat baking tray in the oven (170’C) for 30-35 minutes.

Leave to cool and store in an airtight container for a couple of weeks
Oats are a fantastic source of soluble fibre, also known as fermentable fibre, oats act to nourish the microflora in the large intestine • betaglucans in oats are known to lower high cholesterol and are one of seriously few ingredients allowed to make such a health claim • I know it’s easy to buy really good quality oatcakes, and I often do, but it’s a very satisfying home bake, the children can help too and they last well in an airtight tin. I also like to top them with avocado and pumpkinseed butter for any anytime snack.

SMALL DAILY IMPROVEMENTS ARE THE KEY TO STAGGERING LONG-TERM RESULTS

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Rainbow Slaw with a Cashew Nut Dressing

Serves 8 as a side salad or 4 as a main, with leftovers J

Ingredients

Salad

6 medium carrots, peeled

2 beetroot, peeled

½ red cabbage

1 fennel bulb,

1 apple,

1 tbsp lightly toasted sesame seeds

1 sml handful of fresh coriander

Dressing

1 cup (150g) raw cashews

1 tsp Dijon mustard

Juice of ½ lemon

1 cup (120ml) water

Method

Chop all your vegetables into fine slivers for the salad. For really fine slices try use a hand held julienne slicer. Once sliced, mix all the veg ingredients together in a large bowl. (TIP: Try substituting vegetables seasonally, including cabbage, onion, fennel, courgette, sweet potato, parsnip).

Combine all your dressing ingredients together and blast with a stick blender until smooth and creamy!

(TIP: You can adjust the amount of water you use depending on the consistency you would like, as this dressing will also make a delicious thick dipping sauce for raw crudités).

Serve your crunchy salad slaw on a large platter. Drizzle over your tangy cashew dressing, sprinkle with toasted almonds and fresh chopped coriander. Devour!

Rainbow slaw contains a variety of brightly coloured vegetables, rich with phytonutrient antioxidants to support the immune system. “Phyto” from the Greek word meaning ‘plants’. The greater the variety of colour pigments in our diet from assorted fruit and vegetables, the greater the breadth of protection, they are able to provide against damage from toxins. Remembering that the antioxidants are those super bouncers that manhandle the drunken free radical hooligans out of the club!

 

Ultimate Lentil Walnut Loaf (recipe courtesy “OhsheGlows.com)

Vegan, soy-free

This lentil walnut loaf is so delicious, you’ll find it hard to resist. Raved about by readers, husbands, children, and recipes testers alike, many claim it’s better than traditional meatloaf. The beauty of creating a lentil loaf (as opposed to a meatloaf) is that you can taste the mixture as you go without having to worry about the raw meat. This results in a perfectly seasoned loaf and, trust me, the batter tastes so good! Lentil loaves can be temperamental, so it’s best to follow the directions exactly as written as I’ve tested this multiple ways. Even minor changes to this recipe can result in a loaf that doesn’t stick together as well. I love to serve this loaf with my stunning Cauliflower Carrot Mash, applesauce, and/or steamed broccoli or greens. This lentil loaf is inspired by Terry Walters’ Clean Food Lentil Loaf recipe. (Angela, OhSheGlows)

Ingredients:

For the Lentil-Walnut Loaf:

  • 2 (14-ounce) cans of lentils, drained and rinsed*
  • 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups finely chopped sweet onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1/3 cup peeled and grated sweet apple
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries (chopped) or raisins
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Fine sea salt, to taste (I use about 1 teaspoon)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons ground flax
  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 cup spelt bread crumbs (or bread crumbs of choice)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

For the Balsamic-Apple Glaze:

  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce or apple butter
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan, and then line it with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit the length of the pan.
  2. If using canned lentils, rinse and drain them in a colander. If using lentils cooked from scratch, follow the directions in the note below. After draining, add them into a very large bowl and mash the lentils with a potato masher. The goal is to create a lentil paste while still leaving about 1/3 of the lentils intact.
  3. Spread the chopped walnuts onto the baking sheet. Toast the nuts for 8 to 12 minutes until fragrant and lightly golden. Set aside to cool.
  4. Increase the oven heat to 350°F.
  5. Add the oil into a large skillet, and increase the heat to medium. Stir in the onion and garlic and season with a pinch or two of salt. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes until the onion softens.
  6. Stir in the celery and carrot, and continue cooking for another few minutes.
  7. Finally, stir in the grated apple, dried cranberries (or raisins), thyme, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Cook for a couple minutes longer.
  8. Into the bowl with the mashed lentils, stir in the walnuts, ground flax, oat flour, and bread crumbs until combined.
  9. Stir in all of the the veggie mixture until combined. Add the red pepper flakes, if using. Taste and add more salt (I usually add another 1/2 teaspoon). If the mixture seems dry, add a tablespoon or two of water and mix again.
  10. Press all of the lentil loaf mixture into the prepared loaf pan. Pack it down as firmly as you can as this will help it hold together after cooling.
  11. In a small bowl, whisk together the ketchup, applesauce, vinegar, and maple syrup until combined. Using a pastry brush (or simply a spoon), spread all of the glaze over top of the lentil loaf.
  12. Bake the lentil loaf, uncovered, at 350°F for 50 to 60 minutes until the edges start to darken and the loaf is semi-firm to the touch. Place the loaf pan directly onto a cooling rack for 15 minutes. Then, slide a knife around the ends to loosen, and carefully lift out the loaf (using the parchment paper as “handles”) and place it directly onto the cooling rack for another 30 minutes.
  13. After cooling, carefully slice the loaf into slabs. Serve immediately. The loaf will continue to firm up as it cools. Some crumbling is normal if sliced while warm.

Tips:

  • * If you’d like to make lentils from scratch, swap the two cans of lentils for 1 cup of uncooked lentils. Add the lentils into a pot and cover with water. Bring to a low boil over high heat, reduce the heat to medium-high, and then simmer the lentils uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes until tender. Drain well.

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POMEGRANATE, PEPPER AND QUINOA TABBOULEH

 

(recipe + photo: Camilla Elms Nutrition)

 

Here is a fantastic quinoa salad to have on hand over Christmas, beautiful rich twinkling colours, full of antioxidant-dense nutrients (read on for more on that…) from the pomegranates and of course the protein packed quinoa, which helps balance blood sugar levels keeping you feeling full but not lethargic… sounds just about the perfect salad doesn’t it?

Ingredients

———–

250g quinoa (I used the mixed reds, blacks and white)

2 red peppers

1 yellow pepper

(1 garlic clove and a sprig of thyme to roast with the peppers)

2 tbsp of olive oil

2 fresh pomegranates (or 2 tubs of pomegranate seeds)

Coriander

Pre heat your oven (and roasting tray) to about 200^ for roasting the peppers.

Method

——–

Bring the quinoa to the boil in a pan of cold water and simmer for 8-10 minutes until the quinoa is cooked but still retains some bite.

Drain and set aside to cool.

While the quinoa is cooking, place your peppers in your preheated roasting tray with a couple of tbsp. of olive oil, an unpeeled clove of garlic and a sprig of thyme. Roast until the peppers are softened but still retains some bite, 10 minutes or so.

Discard the garlic and thyme but keep the lovely scented oil.

Add the peppers and the garlic/thyme scented oil to the drained cooled quinoa.

Add the pomegranate seeds

Add a handful of fresh chopped coriander

Toss everything together with your hands, the olive oil from the peppers and the fresh pop-tang-kapow from the pomegranates serves as a dressing by itself, you can of course season with a little salt and pepper to taste.

This would be perfect served with cooked ham or leftover turkey on boxing day and I’m just going to put it out there now that I will be serving this on Christmas day itself, so pretty will it look on the table! So road test this now guys and let me know what you think!

Potent Health Benefits of Pomegranates

Pomegranates are in season at this time of year although you can of course also buy the little packs of seeds. To get the seeds out of a fresh pomegranate, cut it in half, lightly pull the bowl-shaped halves apart a little, cracking them softly to release the seeds from the claws of the pith and then turn the pomegranate-half upside-down over a large bowl and tap, hard, with a wooden spoon, watching the seeds come tumbling out!

Pomegranates have got to be up there as one of the original Superfoods. And don’t just take my word for it, research Reviews espouse the potent antioxidant benefits of pomegranates for the prevention of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, reduction of oxidative stress, hyperglycaemia and inflammation markers and for the prevention and treatment of several cancers (Zarfeshaney et al. 2010). Greater in anti-oxidant activity than either Green Tea or Red wine, (both of which I’m certain will also feature over the Christmas period)! pomegranates are rich in anthocyanins and will make for a beneficial addition to your diet at this time of year. Clink on the link below for more information on the cited article.

*As always with the potent superfoods, be aware of contra-indications with certain medications including Warfarin and ACE inhibitors where it may have additive effects.

Zarfeshaney et al. (2014) Potent health effects of pomegranate. [Online] Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4007340/ [Accessed: 25 Nov 2016]. 

 IMG_8499CHICORY, QUINOA AND MANGO SALAD

Chicory, quinoa and mango salad • Chicory leaves are incredibly bitter, and it is this bitterness which makes them a wonderful digestive aid, with anti-inflammatory properties as well as being a carminative Food, shown to reduce stress and anxiety • I have balanced the bitterness with a sweet mango and a citrus, chilli honey dressing • it’s delicious and can be assembled in minutes

Ingredients

1 head of red chicory

1 pouch of ready cooked mixed quinoa (red+white)

1 chopped fresh mango

3 spring onions

 

Dressing

1/3 cup olive oil

Juice of half a lemon

1 tbsp Apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp raw honey

A few drops of Worcestershire sauce

Pinch of chilli flakes

Seasoning

Mix all your salad ingredients together, add the dressing and serve immediately • to make this more substantial you could add a few steamed broccoli florets or some toasted pumpkins seeds for extra crunch • what I love about chicory is it retains its crunch really well in winter salads •

 IMG_8498Raw Cacao Truffles

(Allergens: Contains Nuts) Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Protein Rich, vegetarian, paleo, processed sugar free, low sodium

Makes 18 truffles

 

Ingredients

1 cup (150g) of whole almonds

1 cup (180g) of Medjool Dates (the jammy ones!)

2 tbsp cacao nibs

2 tbsp raw cacao powder (you may also use unsweetened cocoa powder)

Method

Pulse 1 cup of almonds in your food processor until they resemble the texture of fine breadcrumbs.

Add the pitted dates, cacao nibs and cacao powder to the crumbed almonds and pulse everything together in the processor.

Once well blended, tip the crumbly contents of the mixture into a large clean bowl and using your hands roll the mix into balls to form your truffles. The mix will look crumbly to start but the jammy dates will hold the truffles together as you roll them in the palm of your hand. This mix should make approximately 18 truffles. Empty egg boxes are the prefect shape for storing rolled truffles in the fridge!

Place them in the fridge to set.

Notes

These truffles are protein packed the almonds, perfect for keeping you full for longer; raw cacao contains many more antioxidants than chocolate and 20 times the amount of antioxidants found in blueberries. Dates are a rich source of fibre as well as many vital minerals including magnesium and calcium. This is an excellent snack to provide sustained energy as well as balancing blood sugar levels.

Dark chocolate bark with cranberries, pistachios and pomegranate seeds x

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Chicory, Quinoa and Mango Salad

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Chicory, quinoa and mango salad • I want to share this amazing health promoting salad with you in time for the week ahead • do you use chicory leaves in your salads? They are incredibly bitter, and it is this bitterness which makes them a wonderful digestive aid, with anti inflammatory properties as well as being a carminative Food, shown to reduce stress and anxiety • I have balanced the bitterness with a sweet mango and a citrus, chilli honey dressing • it’s delicious and can be assembled in minutes
Ingredients
1 head of red chicory
1 pouch of ready cooked mixed quinoa (red+white)
1 chopped fresh mango
3 spring onions
Dressing
1/3 cup olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp raw honey
A few drops of Worcestershire sauce
Pinch of chilli flakes
Seasoning

Mix all your salad ingredients together, add the dressing and serve immediately • to make this more substantial you could add a few steamed broccoli florets or some toasted pumpkins seeds for extra crunch • what I love about chicory is it retains its crunch really well in winter salads •

Inflammation Workshop

I enjoyed a fantastic morning cooking up foods which help to support our immune system and fight inflammation. A menu packed with brightly coloured vegetables, rich in Omega 3 and literally packed with super food heroes known to help combat inflammation such as ginger, garlic, flaxseeds, chia, berries, and of course some fermented probiotics.

Inflammation is the body’s means of self-protection; it can be acute and sudden, caused by an injury, or it may be chronic and persistent, acting as a precursor to many grievous disease states. Inflammation is part of the body’s adaptive immune system; it is a fast-acting chain reaction of events. Whether we strain a muscle in the gym or stub our toe on the way out of the door, the swelling, pain, heat and redness, which flare up at the site of the injury, are all signs of the inflammation cascade leaping into action; blood vessels dilate, enabling white blood cells to rush to the area, engulfing and destroying bacteria and toxins that have entered the damaged cells. The result of this first line defence initiative is to eradicate infection, but it may also result in collateral damage of surrounding cells, leading to the production of damaging free radicals.

Acute inflammation, whilst aggravating and sometimes painful, is a ‘necessary evil’ to help us recover from injury or infection and all living organisms depend upon the ability to protect and heal themselves from trauma. Nevertheless, the effect of chronic and recurring inflammation resulting in over-reactivity of the adaptive immune response, is now shown to be a trigger for many chronic diseases.

 

The chronic inflammation response can be activated by food sensitivities, by toxins in our external environment, by stress and by over exercising; in short it may be aggravated by a modern Western lifestyle

Omega-3 rich Flaxseed and carrot crackers

Flaxseed Crackers

Flaxseed Crackers

(recipe @hemsleyhemsley )To help reduce the action of pro-inflammatory white blood cells in our bodies it is important to increase the quantity of anti-oxidant polyphenols in our diet, those found in richly coloured fruit and vegetables and especially abundant in anti-inflammatory super heroes, including turmeric, ginger, green tea, dark chocolate and berries. We should also look to increase our intake of Omega-3 fatty acids, found in oily fish, flax seeds, chia, walnuts, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. Omega-3 is used by our bodies to produce ALA, EPA and DHA, required by the body to reduce the action of the body’s’ inflammatory response system.

Ingredients

1 large carrot; peeled and chopped

100g ground almonds

100g flaxseeds

1tsp raw honey

1/4tsp chilli flakes

Method

Mix all the ingredients together in your food processor until they form a dough • roll out to cracker depth between 2 sheets of baking paper (so that the sticky dough doesn’t stick to your rolling pin) • remove the top piece of baking paper and bake for 10-12 in a moderately hot oven (190) and then leave to cool •if the middle crackers are still soft, cut them up and put them back in the oven for a further 5 mins) once cool I break off into pieces and store in an airtight tin •  (or cut them out with a cookie cutter as i did today). Delicious with dips, for breakfast and just as a simple anti-inflammatory boost during the day

The modern Western lifestyle exposes us to myriad conditions including diets high in saturated animal fats, salt and sugar leading to an increase in the prevalence of obesity; exposure to external toxins including pesticides, chemical pollutants and solvents is associated with an increased prevalence of asthma and allergies (Yang et al. 2014) and high levels of stress. Studies show us that a high BMI and obesity are strongly correlated with inflammatory conditions including the metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease (Manzel et al. 2015) and many cancers are known to arise from sites of infection, chronic irritation and inflammation (Coussens and Webb).

High-fat, high-salt, high-sugar diets are associated with an increase in Leptin, a key hormone, crucial in the regulation of energy expenditure and body weight, but also associated with stimulating white blood cells during an inflammation response. White blood cells are implicated in almost all autoimmune diseases and also in sensitivities including gluten intolerance. These flaxseed crackers are a great gluten free alternative to regular crackers and pack a mighty omega-3 and protein punch.

 

Korean Kimchi

Korean Kimchi

Korean Kimchi

Kimchi is a Korean sauerkraut, quicker, easier and (if you ask me)
 tastier than a more traditional sauerkraut • it’s made with cabbage, ginger, garlic and chillies so your kimchi will pair beautifully with simple salmon or chicken dishes • the natural sugars and starches in the cabbage are converted into lactic acid, a natural preservative and probiotic superfood (lactobacillus) • during fermentation, the lactobacilli produce numerous beneficial digestive enzymes as well as antibiotic and anti-carcinogenic compounds • start with a whole Chinese cabbage, and shred into small slices • next add a bunch of chopped spring onions, a thumb of peeled and grated ginger, 3 grated garlic cloves and a generous tsp of chilli flakes • add these to your bowl with 1 tbsp of sea salt (here I used Himalayan pink salt packed with minerals) • the next part is really important, get a rolling pin or a wooden pounder / pestle and really thump the cabbage and spices in your bowl, mashing them down until all the juices run from the cabbage (see pic) • now add to a mason jar with an airtight lid • ensure all the cabbage is submerged in its liquid juices and close up the lid • leave the kimchi out in the side for about 3 days before transferring to the fridge to store.

Boosting the beneficial bacteria in your gut is a valuable means of boosting your immune system. Today we also tried Kefir, a fermented milk drink, but you may also like Kombucha or regular pickles and sauerkrauts. Sourdough bread is also easily digested.

Inflammatory foods
Anti-inflammatory Foods
Foods high in saturated animal fat 
red meats, cheese, processed meats of any kind including ham, bacon, sausages.

 

A high intake of salt and sugar

 

Fried foods

 

Diets generally low fibre

To improve the mechanisms by which the body converts food into energy and to reduce inflammation you need a diet containing:

Foods rich in Polyphenols
including flavonoids and non-flavonoids, Resveratrol, Quercetin and Curcumin,       

Resveratrol: pistachios, grapes, red & white wine, blueberries, cranberries and dark   chocolate and cocoa

Quercetin: citrus fruits, apples, onions, parsley, sage, tea, olive oil and dark berries

Curcumin: Turmeric, you can now buy this fresh from supermarkets looks like         ginger, so get adding this magic spice to your curries

Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3: your oily fish, mackerel, sardines, salmon and also flax seeds, walnuts and    soybeans

Foods high in fibre
High fibre: (avoiding gluten proteins found in wheat), alternatives include oats,             dried fruits and almost all fresh fruits especially apples and pears; black beans,             chickpeas, avocado (around 10g in a whole avocado ) brown rice. Raspberries are             fibre rich and also full of Polyphenols (these are great bought frozen and added to             a flaxseed or oatmeal porridge for brekkie). Think also peas, broccoli and almonds.

 

A commitment to regular physical exercise

These foods all activate the transcription factors involved in inflammation, these are the genes that switch a cells’ activity potential either on or off; these foods also induce an imbalance of your gut microflora causing DYSBIOSIS (an over-accumulation of bad bacteria) and prevent the breakdown of food molecules to release energy.

So start thinking of your meals as an opportunity to support your athleticism, to reduce inflammation and speed up recovery after exercise.

Thinking about what you eat in this way changes the perception of “treat” foods from something that harms to something that heals.

Tropical Fruit with a ginger and mint dressing

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Pineapple and Papaya with fresh ginger dressing

Serves 4

 

2 papaya, peeled, seeded and sliced

100g pineapple, peeled and cut into chunks

100g coconut slices

 

Ginger and mint dressing

 

Thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated

10 – 20 leaves of fresh mint, finely chopped

grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 tsp coconut palm sugar or maple syrup

First slice your fresh papaya and pineapple – you can also buy ready chopped pineapple and coconut slices. To serve, mix all the dressing ingredients well and drizzle over the fruit.

This delicious zingy fruit platter is rich in digestive enzymes and fibre to support bowel health and soothe the digestive tract. Ginger is anti-inflammatory and fresh mint soothing on the digestive system. Serve with full fat probiotic natural yogurt to further boost the healing properties of this lovely plate.

 

Chia Breakfast Pots

IMG_4328

Acai Chia Pudding

 Serves 1

2 tbsp chia seeds

half a cup of almond milk

1 tsp of acas powder (optional)

Soak your chia seeds + acai in half a cup of almond milk the evening before and stir well. The chia seeds will swell and become gelatinous in the liquid.

In the morning you can add toppings. I take my chia out of the fridge as soon as I’m up and leave it to come to room temp before eating.

Toppings including; raw caca nibs, bee pollen, crushed almonds, berries, banana, kiwi, toasted pumpkin seeds, a grated apple, coconut flakes…

Excellent source of soluble fibre, omega-3 and antioxidants from the toppings. Seeds are a source of protein and this breakfast will keep you going all morning long! Due to the high fibre content of these mighty little seeds, go slow to start… 2 tbsp / day is ample.

https://authoritynutrition.com/11-proven-health-benefits-of-chia-seeds/

Bone broth

Bone broth is really just a fancy word for chicken stock. Start with an organic chicken… Riverford sells great value organic chicken. I get an organic meat delivery once a fortnight. Once you have cooked your chicken and are left with the carcass (and the giblets, which can be stored in the fridge until you are ready to start making your stock), you are ready to get started. Find a large heave pan / crockpot or slow cooker if you have one and add the chicken carcass, the giblets and cover well with water. Add a tbsp.. of apple cider vinegar to help leach all the collagen and gelatine out of the chicken bones. Add a couple of bay leaves, a carrot and a peeled onion to the mix and some salt and pepper. Cook overnight or simmer for several hours on a low heat with the lid on.

Once you have your lovely gelatinous stock you can either leave it to cool and freeze (ice cube trays are good for this), bag it up to be used for soup or casseroles or make it into an Asian broth as I did today.

Take your broth and reduce it down on the hob. This is also a good idea even if you are freezing as it concentrates the flavour and reduces the volume…. You can always add more water back at a later stage of cooking!

To your reduced broth add a tablespoon of toasted sesame oil, a tbsp. of Tamari Soy Sauce, an inch of peeled ginger. For more of a soup you could add a couple of chopped spring onions and chopped coriander to serve.

Other serving ideas include adding a sachet of miso paste. Miso is a fermented soy product, which is probiotic and good for gut health). Itsu sells a version in the supermarket. https://www.ocado.com/webshop/product/Itsu-Miso-Soup-Pouch-Original/100004011

 

Chicken Liver Pate

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Chicken liver pate

A rich source of Vitamin A and Zinc. I love this recipe because it doesn’t contain cream or butter, it leaves me feeling light and nourished.

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 onion, peeled and diced

4 chestnut mushrooms, sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

250g organic chicken livers (Ocado)

2 tbsp port or red wine

1 tsp tamari soy sauce

2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme and parsley

Salt + peps to season.

Heat the coconut oil in a heavy bottomed pan and fry the onions, musrooms ad garlic until soft and translucent. Add the chicken livers and brown, before adding the port, soy sauce, and fresh herbs. Keep cooking for a further 5 minutes until the livers are cooked through.

Blitz the mixture in your processor or blender until smooth and season to taste.

 

Cauliflower tabbouleh

IMG_4283

5 tbsp pine nuts

1 cauliflower

1 tsp coconut oil

1 small white onion

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

Handful each of mint, parsley and coriander

Juice of 1 lemon

1 preserved lemon, rind only

60ml olive oil

½ cucumber, chopped and deseeded

6 baby plum tomatoes, chopped and deseeded

4 spring onions finely chopped.

This is one of my favourite recipes for summer lunches. Packed with nutrient dense cauliflower it is perfect for boosting detoxification pathways and makes a nutritious gluten free alternative to a traditional wheat based tabbouleh.

Start by lightly toasting your pine nuts in a dry pan and then setting aside.

Next heat the diced onion in 1 tbsp of coconut oil, add the ground cumin and coriander and gently fry to release the fragrant flavours of the spice and sweeten the onions. Set aside.

In a food processor, take your raw cauliflower, break up the florets and gently pulse until you have a fine rice like consistency of raw cauliflower to form the basis of your tabbouleh. Transfer the cauliflower rice to a large bowl, but keep the processor out to now add the fresh herbs, lemon juice, preserved lemon rind and olive oil and blitz to make a lemony herby dressing. Pour this over your cauliflower rice. Add the sweetened spiced onions from earlier and stir over your cauliflower rice. Add in the toasted pine nuts, the chopped cucumber, tomatoes and spring onions and mix really well. Season to serve.

Pad Thai Dressing for raw veg.

I ran out of time to make this today, but I really recommend you try it – so delicious… you’ll never think of pad thai in the same way again! I love spiralising raw veg and serving in a really fragrant nutritious dressing. This is one of the best.

2 tbsp almond butter

Juice from half a lemon

1 tsp of maple syrup

1 tbsp of tamari soy sauce

1 tbsp of coconut oil

½ tsp. ground cumin

pinch of chilli powder

Ground black pepper

Almond butter has greater health benefits than peanut butter (peanuts are actually classified as a legume, rather than a true nut) and almonds are an excellent source of Vitamin E and antioxidants as well as being a nourishing source of protein.

Combine all the dressing ingredients in a small blender and mix well. I love to stir this through raw carrots and red peppers, and sprinkle with toasted cashew nuts, almond flakes and a scattering of fresh herbs such as coriander, mint and basil.

 

YOGA + NUTRITION WORKSHOP

IMG_4520     MIND + MEDITATION

 

Today’s Yoga + Nutrition workshop with Helen Bishop was a total treat as ever. Not only did Helen have us meditating on a raisin, but also with chocolate buttons… what’s not to love? We also had a wonderful dynamic strength and flexibility session, opening up our lungs and our airways for some deep relaxing breathing.

Yoga was followed by lunch in the kitchen. To keep in line with the theme of mind + meditation I focused on a mix of healthy proteins, omega-3 fatty acids and a wealth of antioxidant nutrients, Vitamin C and E, Zinc and magnesium provided by an array of dishes from seeded snack bars, to a dairy free mackerel pate, baked falafels and 2 superfood salads. Here are some recipes from todays workshop. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

 

SEEDED PROTEIN BARS

Seeded Protein Bars

Seeded Protein Bars

These delicious snack bars from The Functional Nutrition Cookbook combine a mouthwatering array of nuts and seeds providing all the essential amino acids needed as the dietary raw materials to synthesise vital neurotransmitters. As well as the dietary proteins themselves, the seeds also provide zinc and magnesium, essential co-factors in their conversion.  With no added sugars and plenty of low glycemic carbohydrates these bars would make a great post-workout snack to take to the gym.

INGREDIENTS 225g pitted dates     Juice + Zest of 3 lemons      115g almond butter    60g melted coconut oil      150g gluten-free oats     150g buckwheat flakes    50g protein powder (eg. pea / hemp)      30g pumpkin seeds      30g dessicated coconut      30g sunflower seeds      2 tbsp chia seeds       1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

METHOD Preheat the oven to 190*C and line a baking tray with baking paper. Place the dates, lemon juice, zest, nut butter + coconut oil in a food processor and blend to a thick paste. Place all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Pour over the date paste and mix again. This may be easier by hand. Press the mixture into your prepared baking tray and flatten firmly. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until the top is light gold. Remove from the oven, leave to cool and cut into 15 bars. Store in the fridge or freeze for up to 1 month.

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BAKED VEGETABLE FALAFELS

Baked Vegetable Falafels

Baked Vegetable Falafels

FOR HEALTH: Chickpeas, when consumed even over a relatively short period of time have been shown to improve blood sugar regulation and insulin secretion. Chickpeas have a remarkable antioxidant composition. They contain small but valuable amounts of co-factor Vitamin C and E but also more concentrated supplies of phytonutrients and ALA.  The dietary fibre found in chickpeas is especially beneficial to lower LDL cholesterol, which makes them healthy for our hearts. They are also an excellent source of manganese, which our body uses to support strong bones and healthy skin.

 

INGREDIENTS             1 tin chickpeas, low-salt, drained and rinsed             1 small medium onion             1 clove of garlic             1 tbsp. parsley             1 large carrot (2 medium carrot)             Juice of half a lemon             2 tbsp of buckwheat flour             1 tsp ground coriander             1 tsp ground cumin             ¼ cup of frozen peas             Salt and peps

METHOD          Preheat the oven to 200”C and cover a baking tray with baking parchment          Place all of the ingredients except for the frozen peas into a food processor and blitz until fairly smooth.             Transfer the mixture into a large mixing bowl and stir in the peas and season to taste.             Now form your mixture into 8 – 12 patties with your hands and place them on your prepared baking sheet.             Bake for 15 minutes, then carefully turn over and bake for a further 15 minutes on the other side.             Serve with a little cucumber raita of full fat yogurt, mint and cucumber or with a serving. Also lovely with broad beans in a cashew nut dressing and chopped fresh mint.

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LEON SUPERFOOD SALAD

Leon Superfood Salad

Leon Superfood Salad

Old favourites • this was my original superfood salad using the recipe from the first @leonrestaurants cookbook ?it’s packed with antioxidants, cruciferous vegetables, healthy Omega-3s and I’d forgotten how amazingly delicious it is on hot sticky days.

INGREDIENTS 2 tbsp cooked quinoa, 1 head of steamed broccoli (refreshed under cold water to keep its vibrant green colour), frozen peas, sprouted mung beans, toasted seeds; pumpkin, sesame and sunflower and a hefty squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a drizzle of flaxseed oil and KAPOW. Here with a crumble of FETA cheese for added protein.

METHOD Assemble with grace and flourish

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QUINOA TABBOULEH

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Quinoa Tabbouleh with mindful raisins

This recipe was in the Sunday Times Magazine this weekend from a selection of dishes at The Ivy.  I was really surprised to see so many nutritious dishes on the menu, I’m not sure why I felt like that as I have never eaten at The Ivy, but other examples included a cauliflower tabbouleh… (check! Love that!), Pan Fried Sea Trout with white beans, fennel and herbs (Check!), and this quinoa tabbouleh…. the mindful raisins are in particular homage to Helen!

INGREDIENTS           100g cooked quinoa          2 tbsp raisins          1 tbsp sunflower seeds                     1 tbsp chia seeds          1/2 red onion, finely chopped          1/2 preserved lemon, skin shredded, fleshy bits discarded          Seeds of half a pomegranate          bunch each of mint, coriander, parsley          Juice of half a lemon,           1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil,           1 tbs pomegranate molasses,      pinch of salt.

METHOD Comine all your ingredients in a bowl, add your dressing allowing all the flavours to mix and mingle. Quinoa is a unique grain, or pseudo-grain as it is rightly known, being more seed than grain and containing a full complement of the essential amino acids we require from our diets. The combination of raisins and herbs with the smokey preserved lemons makes this a vey Ottolenghi-esque salad that has a place on every summer menu for me, being as quick to assemble as it surely is x delicious!

And there you have it, a delicious summer menu jam packed with antioxidants to shield our brains from the dizzying array of toxins which can deteriorate our health. Vitamin C + E, Vitamins B6, B12 and Folate, found in foods with foliage, broccoli, spinach, asparagus, beans, peas, whole grains. Eat a variety of nuts and seeds, including flax seeds and walnuts for Omega-3, so too oily fish.

A note on toxins. Aluminium is one toxic metal, found in research papers to be present in higher levels in individuals diagnosed with Alzheimers disease. It is worth considering ways to limit your exposure to aluminium, where possible; consider filtered water, the use of baking parchment instead of aluminium foil for coverage foods and also anti-perspirants. There are deodorants on the market which do not contain aluminium.

Exercise is also important to keep our arteries clear and open, delivering oxygen in and waste out! So too brain exercises, sufficient sleep and of course meditation.

Namaste, Shanti, Shanti, Shanti x

 

 

 

Falafels with peas and lemon

Moorish and Delicious, fresh baked veggie falafels

Chickpea falafels

Homemade falafel’s are a world away from the deep fried versions you can buy; fragranced with warm spices and fresh with a squeeze of lemon, these fibre dense falafels are quick and easy to make and impossibly easy to devour!

Chickpeas, when consumed even over a realtively short period of time have been shown to improve blood sugar regulation and insulin secretion. Chickpeas have a remarkable antoioxidant composition. They contain small but valuable amounts of co-factor Vitamin C and E but also more concentrated supplies of phytonutrients and ALA.  The dietary fibre found in chickpeas is especially beneficial to lower LDL cholesterol, which makes them healthy for our hearts. They are also an excellent source of manganese, which our body uses to support strong bones and healthy skin.

Ingredients:

1 tin of chickpeas

1 medium onion

1 clove of garlic

2 carrots

1 large handful of fresh parsley

1 tsp found cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

juice of half a lemon

handful of frozen peas.

Add all of the ingredients to your food processor, except for the frozen peas. Blitz until you have a coarse mixture, then season and add the frozen peas.

Told the falafel mixture into patties about the size of your palm. Lay them on baking parchment on a flat baking tray, as shown, and bake in a medium hot oven, approx 190″C for 15 minutes on each side.

Serve with a cucumber raita or, a cashew nut dressing, stirred through with fresh mint and parsley.

These falafels will also freeze well X

Cafe Crush

So my latest cafe crush is the stylish hideaway Hamerton + Jones in Goudhurst. This tiny cafe has a beautifully curated selection of artisan gifts, a super cup of coffee and a offers a quiet moment of calm in the heart of my local village – I think they call that win win win xxx

Hamerton + Jones Goudhurst

Hamerton + Jones
Goudhurst

HALF TERM HEALTHY

♥ COOKING WITH KIDS – HEALTHY HALF TERM RECIPES

Who doesn’t love Peanut Butter? This chicken satay is such a winner with kids and has masses of wonderful processes when preparing with aspiring young chefs; peeling, measuring, blitzing, seasoning, as well as a whole discussion about food safety, healthy fats, meat and vegetarian sources of protein, the list goes on… so with half term coming up, why not give Chicken Satay ago with the young chefs in your house?

CHICKEN SATAY WITH CUCUMBER SALAD

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CHICKEN SATAY

Makes 12 small skewers

 

INGREDIENTS

Small thumb of ginger, peeled and sliced

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced

1 lime, zest and juice

1 tsp honey

1 tsp red chilli, chopped fine

1 tbsp tamari soy sauce

2 spring onions, chopped small

3 tbsp whole earth peanut butter (or similar – no added sugar)

400g organic chicken breasts

165 ml coconut milk

1 tsp coconut oil

CUCUMBER SALAD

1 cucumber

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

1 tbsp runny honey

1 tbsp. chopped fresh coriander

Salt + Peps to season

PREPARATION

Peel and slice all your fresh ingredients so that they are ready to be made into a marinade.

Blitz together the ginger, garlic, lime zest, juice, honey, chilli, tamari soy sauce, spring onions and peanut butter. You will make a fragrant spicy marinade. Go easy on the chilli to sart if you do not like your satay too fiery.

Marinade the diced chicken breasts in the spicy dressing and at this point you can leave them for up to 24 hours in the fridge to let the flavours develop.

When you are ready to cook your satay chicken, add the coconut milk to the marinade and mix well.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp of coconut oil in a large pan and when it is hot tip in the chicken and cook, stirring well, until the chicken is cooked through. This should take 6-8 minutes.

Once the chicken is cooked add a large handful of chopped coriander to the pan and stir through.

Serve with wild rice and your cucumber salad.

FOR HEALTH

Organic chicken is a healthy lean protein, excellent for building strong muscles. Peanut butter (the variety with no added sugar) is packed with nutrition, magnesium for building strong bones as well as Vitamin E and Vitamin B6, to keep your body protected against illness. Added to this we have limes, ginger, garlic and spring onions, all contributing to supporting a healthy immune system and warding off colds.

BEETROOT HUMMUS WITH HOMEMADE OATCAKES

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Why beetroot hummus you ask?

Have you ever met a child who prefers homemade hummus to shop-bought? I reply!

I thought not….

Add a shocking pink roasted beetroot to the mix and this is an altogether different beast!

An excellent source of fibre and rich in minerals from the tahini paste, hummus is also an excellent non-meat source of protein, great for satisfying snacks. Beetroot is awash with protective phytochemical, boosting our immune systems and packed with Vitamin C and heart healthy potassium.

BEETROOT HUMMUS

Super creamy roasted beetroot hummus featuring a whole roasted beetroot, lemon, plenty of garlic.

Ingredients

  • 1 small roasted beetroot

  • 1 15 oz. can (1 3/4 cup) cooked chickpeas, mostly drained

  • zest of one large lemon

  • juice of half a large lemon

  • healthy pinch salt and black pepper

  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 heaped Tbsp. tahini

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  • Once your beetroot is cooled and peeled, quarter it and place it in your food processor. Blend until only small bits remain.
  • Add remaining ingredients except for olive oil and blend until smooth.
  • Drizzle in olive oil as the hummus is mixing.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt, lemon juice or olive oil if needed. If it’s too thick, add a bit of water.
  • Will keep in the fridge for up to a week.

OATCAKES

Ingredients

500g oats (blitzed in the processor to a flour)

300ml warm water

150ml olive oil

1 tsp sea salt

Knead well and roll out into a dough

Cut into rounds and baked 35 minutes at 170 c

Leave to cool and set

Oats are a fantastic source of soluble fibre, also known as fermentable fibre oats act to nourish the microflora in the large intestine

Betaglucans in oats are known to lower high cholesterol and is one of seriously few ingredients allowed to make such a health claim • I know it’s easy to buy really good quality oatcakes, and I often do, but it’s a very satisfying home bake, the children can help too and they last well in an airtight tin

I like to top them with avocado and pumpkinseed butter for any anytime snack ?