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Oven roasted Aubergine and Tomato soup

With the seasons easing their way into winter and the hustle of autumn leaves bustling about our feet as we move homeward bound after a hectic day at work or just out and about doing the parenting chores, what better way to nest up for the afternoon or evening than with a hearty healthy and nutritious soup with that added bit of TLC. 

This is jammed with essential vitamins and minerals. The array of health benefits within tomatoes can be attributed to their wealth of nutrients and vitamins: vitamins A, C, and K, as well as significant amounts of vitamin B6, folate, and thiamin. Tomatoes are also a good source of potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, and copper. They have bioflavonoids in them too which have a number of health benefits. They act as a potent antioxidant, binding to toxic metals and escorting them out of the body. Bioflavonoids have a synergistic effect on Vit C stabilising it in human tissue, and they have a bacteriostatic and antibiotic effect, which accounts for their anti-infection properties! 

Then we have the aubergine! Wow! Well Aubergines are a superb source of dietary fibre. They are also a good source of vitamins B1 and B6 and potassium. In addition it is high in the minerals copper, magnesium and manganese. Aubergines are rich in antioxidants, specifically nasunin found in aubergine skin – which gives it its purple colour.

Without further ado – let’s get cooking this amazing soup! 

Recipe (serves two hearty bowls)

1/2 aubergine diced 

4 organic green tomatoes  

4 organic red tomatoes (any variety) 

2 spoons of Extra virgin olive oil 

I pint of freshly filtered water 

1 vegan veg stock 

Drizzle of balsamic glaze 

Fresh basil 

Fresh parsley 

1 spring onion diced 

I cup of passata tomato or purée 

Salt and pepper to taste 

1 tablespoon of dried majoram

Directions

Oven roast the aubergine in a dish with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic glaze. And in a separate dish quarter the tomatoes and chop the spring onion then drizzle olive oil and balsamic glaze with a spoon of majoram sprinkled on top. Roast for about 20 minutes at 190c. 

In a saucepan boil water, stock and passata and then add the roasted veg when they come out of oven. Add in a handful of chopped basil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. 

Blitz in processor. And serve with a dollop of vegan creme cheese and chopped parsley and basil garnish. 

Enjoy! 


   

 

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Red and Green Cabbage Stirfry with Spirulina sauce 

Today’s lunch comprised of a quick and easy Stirfry with a beautiful green spirulina sauce! It was light and refreshing and adding the edamame and broccoli meant it was jammed with plant based protein! 

The content of goodness within this dish is off the cuff with an ancient algae form of anti-depressant : spirulina. (As used by the Aztecs). This can be sourced in any good nature store or in the specialist health food aisle in supermarkets. 

The crispy Bean Sprouts are a storehouse of nutrients too. Bean sprouts contain vitamins B, C, B1, B6, K and A. In addition, sprouts are also a source of food rich in iron, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, and manganese, and omega 3 fatty acids. Sprouts are a good source of enzymes and is needed by the body. This enzyme can increase the body’s energy and make us feel fit and healthy. Sprouts contain much oxygen. It can increase blood flow in the body, kills bacteria, boost the immune system, and others. 

Let’s get cooking !!! 

Recipe

1 cup of edamame peas

1 Cup of Green Cabbage – shredded 

1 cup of Red Cabbage – shredded 

Sprinkle of Sesame seeds

1/2 Red onion – sliced 

2 cups of fresh organically sourced bean sprouts 

1 cup of mini broccoli florets 

1 cup of Swiss chard 

1 cup of peashoots

1 cup of organic spinach (or Chinese YU Choy if you can get it! And Chinese water spinach)

1 large carrot 

1 cup of fresh organic kale 

Recipe for the Spirulina Sauce 

In a small bowl mix the below until a smooth green creamy mixture: 

1 large tablespoon of creamy peanut butter (palm oil free and organic) 

3 tablespoons of tamari sauce or gluten free soy sauce (normal soy if you’re not a coeliac)

1/2 spoon of fresh lemon juice 

1 tablespoon of agave 

1 teaspoon of spirulina 

Directions

Wash all your veg, chop the cabbage, onion, carrot and kale and toss in a heated wok with a drizzle of peanut oil along with the edamame, broccoli and bean sprouts. Cook for about 5 minutes. 

Add in the sauce and stir for about 3-5 minutes. 

After you wash the salad – do not chop the leafy greens or Swiss chard – as it will cut the nutrient lines in the veins of the leafy salad and you will be at a loss on the natural goodness- instead just loosely break them up with your hands and add in at the end when you are plating up. 

Garnish with coriander and some salt and pepper 🙌🏼🌿 enjoy ! 

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Strawberry & Kale Salad

When the sun comes out it means it is time for fresh summer food. And this delicious strawberry & kale salad is freshly made in minutes and jam packed with one of Summer Times natural remedies for Hay Fever – Strawberries!

Nature usually provides a solution to cope with ailments – and in the case of hay fever, it’s strawberries. Strawberries, as well as other berries, are especially high in a bioflavonoid called quercetin. Quercetin, can also improve the health of capillaries and connective tissues. Because of this, the many benefits of quercetin include alleviating bruising, oedema, varicose veins, and fragile capillaries. A major benefit of quercetin is its ability to inhibit the release of histamine. So eat this lush salad and know that you are also being looked after by natures pharmacy.

PREP TIME: 10 MINS

RECIPE:

  • 4 cups fresh organic curly kale
  • 8 strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1/2 a large avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1/4 cup crushed walnuts (You can gently crush them with your hands)
  • balsamic vinaigrette (recipe below)

BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE – mix all the below together:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic glaze
  • 1 tablespoon of agave (honey will also do if you are a vegetarian or a vegan who eats honey – it’s a never ending battle and still open to debate)
  • sprinkle sea salt & pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Steam the curly kale for about 60 seconds until it becomes a rich dark green and the leaves start to slightly wilt. Simply toss all ingredients together and a drizzle of dressing.

Serve immediately, preferably in the sunshine!

 

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Brussels sprout with cauliflower 

Sometimes simple is best. This Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower combo is tasty, full of nutrition and packed with natural vitamins and minerals not to mention plant based protein. It is also low in calories. Which makes it an optimal food for watching the weight. 

One cup of cooked Brussels sprouts contains just 56 calories but is packed with more than 240 percent of the recommended daily amount (RDA) for vitamin K1, and nearly 130 percent of the RDA for vitamin C.

Plus, Brussels sprouts are a good source of fiber, manganese, potassium, choline, and B vitamins. They even contain protein. But not only do Brussels sprouts contain well-known antioxidants like vitamin C.

They also contain others that are much less known – but equally as important, like kaempferol, isorhamnetin, caffeic, and ferulic acids, and the relatively rare sulfur-containing compound called D3T (3H-1,2-dithiole-3-thione).

This means that when you eat Brussels sprouts, you’re helping your body to ward off chronic oxidative stress, which is a risk factor for many types of cancer and other chronic diseases.  

Remember, if your Brussels sprouts become overly “smelly,” mushy, or turn a muted green, they’re probably overcooked. Ideally, they should be bright green with a slightly crisp texture and pleasant, nutty/sweet flavor, even after they’re cooked. Read more here.

Recipe

2 cups of Brussels sprouts 

1/4 head of cauliflower 

Drizzle of Olive oil 

Directions : 

Boil the cauliflower and Brussels stouts in a saucepan of water for 10-15 minutes. Drain and drizzle with balsamic glaze.

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Rosemary and Thyme vegan potato cakes 

I’ve declared today a Rustic food day. And what better comfort eating rustic food is there than potato cakes?!

Here is a recipe I’ve come up with that includes one of my favourite herbs : thyme. 

Potato cakes are such a wonderful rustic warm comfort food- served either hot or cold- I hope you enjoy. But first why choose these wonderful herbs? 

Well, Thyme is an herb from the mint family. You probably recognize from your spice set. But it’s so much more than an after-thought ingredient.

With about 400 subspecies, its range of uses is impressive. Ancient Egyptians used it in their embalming practices, while ancient Greeks used it as incense.

Thanks to its distinctive taste, it has remained a culinary staple to this day. But thyme is also fast gaining a reputation for its medicinal qualities too, such as its ability to help treat acne and high blood pressure.

Read more about it here: http://www.healthline.com/health/health-benefits-of-thyme

Rosemary : This herb, especially the flower tops, contains antibacterial and antioxidant rosmarinic acid, plus several essential oils such as cineol, camphene, borneol, bornyl acetate, and α-pinene that are known to have anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and antiseptic properties! 

And now to the Recipe :  

250g of potato, chopped into cubes and cooked in boiling water for about 10 minutes – until fluffy 

50g of self raising gluten free flour  

Teaspoon of Himalayan salt 

1 teaspoon of glutenfree baking powder 

1 teaspoon of fresh chopped thyme and fresh rosemary 

1/2 cup of soy milk 

Olive oil for cooking 

Soya butter for spreading 

 Directions 

When the potatoes are cooked take the cubes out of water and strain. Then mash together with the flour & thyme mix. Mashing all ingredients together until it all forms into a ball of dense fluffy goodness!

Place the mix onto a rice flour dusted flat surface and roll out to about 5mm thick then cut into triangles. 

Brush a griddle or nonstick frying pan with some oil and cook the scones for about 5 minutes on medium heat each side until golden brown. 

Spread your butter on top and Garnish with parsley and thyme and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. 

Enjoy! 


   

 

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Irish Vegan Brown bread with Dillisk seaweed 

This bread recipe is one that’ll please any bread lover. It echoes of the past and tastes like a staple of old Ireland. Fully gluten free and vegan with the salty addition of Dillisk seaweed- its rich flavour will leave anyone oblivious to the fact that it’s vegan and gluten free because it simply tastes so good. 

Bread to me was always close to my heart. Yet the tradition of bread making is getting more and more diluted with convinience foods taking precedence to the shelves. The old art and enjoyment of smelling freshly baked bread coming from the oven after some kneading labour is something that can not be beaten. 

So without further ado, let’s get to it. 

The history of bread…way back at least 30,000 years, the first bread produced was probably cooked versions of a grain-paste, made from roasted and ground cereal grains and water, and may have been developed by accidental cooking or deliberate experimentation with water and grain flour. It is the most widely consumed food in the world. 
Recipe :

2 cups of mostly ground porridge GF porridge oats

1/2 cup of GF flour

1 tablespoon of agave syrup 

1 tablespoon of date syrup or fig syrup 

1 teaspoon of salt and a sprinkle of pepper 

1/2 cup of chopped Dillisk 

1 cup of nut milk or soy milk 

1 teaspoon of baking power and bicarbonate of soda 

1 tablespoon of linseed 

1 tablespoon of pumpkin seed 

1 tablespoon of chia seeds 

Mix together and place in a lined tray and pop in the oven at 180c for about half hour until golden brown and cooked. Best served with some jam and butter ! 

Vegan Protein bars 

These protein bars  are a great source of natural energy. They allow for a healthy digestive system and help keep cravings at bay by being a slow energy release food.
They also have an abundance of dietary fibre making them great for avoiding constipation. It’s high content of potassium outdoes bananas (which are overrated anyway!) and they even make you look better by aiding with muscle tone so these guys are perfect for when you are training and in the throes of an exercise regime! 

The recipe is easy and can be altered. You can add cranberry, blueberry or gogi berry. Today I used Gogi berry. They are yum eaten straight away or else left in the fridge where they can go that little bit harder. They can last about a week or more too! So make a great meal prep energy food!

Recipe

1/2 cup of creamy organic peanut butter 

1/2 cup of gluten free oats  

1/2 cup of gogi berries

1/2 cup of medjool dates – pitted   

2 tablespoons of cacao powder 

1 small tablespoon of vanilla essence 

1/2 cup of mulled linseed  

1 spoon of chia seeds

1 Teaspoon of Maca  

3 tablespoons of agave 

Directions : 

Mix ingredients altogether, in a food processor. 

Separate the mixture and mould into either protein balls or brownies/bars. 

 And enjoy!