Autumn Glow Soup

Autumn Glow Soup

 

gluten-free, dairy-free option, vegan option, vegetarian

Perfect for fending off colds as the weather turns damp and cold.  Makes enough for 4-5 servings.

Ingredients

500g carrots, peeled and diced

500g butternut squash, peeled and diced

Generous size piece of root ginger (about the size of the end of your thumb) peeled and grated

1 large onion peeled and chopped

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Ground black pepper – to taste

1-2 teaspoons ghee / coconut oil

250ml passatta

1.5-2l vegetable stock

Optional: soya or cashew cream to drizzle

Melt the ghee or coconut oil in a large pan.  Once warmed, add the onion and cook gently for 5 minutes.  Add the spices and ginger and stir well.

Add all the vegetables and passatta, stir well, and cook for 2 minutes.  Add the stock, bring to the boil, then simmer until vegetables are soft.

Allow to cool, then blend till smooth.

Serve with an extra dash of black pepper and drizzle of soya or cashew cream.

 

Lunches On The Go – #1 Small Step

Lunches On The Go – #1 Small Step

Prepared vegetables for lunch

Midweek lunch has to be the most neglected meal.

Squashed in between meetings, deadlines, errands, phonecalls, school runs, it’s too often relegated to Boring Sandwich, ‘Meal Deal’ or Nothing.  Unless you’re in France, in which case take two hours off and dine like you mean it.

Let’s change this.  Let’s spark things up.  Let’s make lunch something you can’t wait to eat, and gets others drooling with envy…

First things first: preparation.  As with all good meals, the magic is in the prep.  Create a list of foods to purchase every week so you always have the necessary bits to hand to make lunches.  If you don’t buy it, you can’t eat it!  Think about vegetables, salad leaves, fruit, tinned fish, fresh meat (see below), and grains like rice, quinoa and buckwheat for salads.

Once you’ve stocked up, take a few minutes to think about the week ahead: how many lunches do you need to prepare?  Where will you be eating?  Does it need to be cold food, or are reheatable items an option?

Use the free  7-Day Meal Planner to capture ideas!

Lady eating lunch

These lunch ingredients can be made in advance and will keep in the fridge for days, giving you plenty of mix-and-match options;

 – Slow cooked meat: at the weekend I like to slow cook a chicken.  I use a slow-cooker so it’s merrily cooking away while I get out and about.  We eat some for Sunday dinner, and the rest is left for pack-ups.  Slow-cooked ham works well too, just shred it with forks and you have pulled-pork filling for pittas or salad.

 – Houmous: there’s a classic houmous recipe from my friend Gina, or try these varieties from Deliciously Ella.

 – Roasted vegetables: chop peppers, aubergine, courgettes, and fennel into chunks and roast in coconut oil for 30-40mins.

 – Hard boiled eggs

 – Pesto: this works well with cashews instead of pine nuts.

 –Homemade soups

 – Brown rice or quinoa: remember to cool rice quickly and store in the fridge until eating.

All prepped?  Now to spend 10mins each morning creating that knockout lunch*….

(*or dinner as it’s known here in Yorkshire.  Breakfast, dinner, and tea.)

Salad Box: rice or quinoa topped with a protein (shredded ham / hardboiled egg / houmous / fish) and a mixture of roasted vegetables and handful of salad leaves.  Dress with a drizzle of olive or flax oil, squeeze of lemon, and black pepper.

Sandwiches: not the boring ones.  Swap dull bread for good quality sourdough or for gluten-free options think creatively and use nori wraps, corn tortillas, or large butterhead lettuce leaves to hold the fillings.

Soups: my all time favourite lunch.  Enjoy with oatcakes and houmous or small chunk of good quality cheese.

Pasta Box: leftover pasta (regular or gluten-free) with pesto, roasted vegetables and cherry tomatoes.

Eating Out

This can be tricky when you have specific dietary needs like gluten or dairy free, but it is getting easier.  I was deliriously happy to discover a ‘Leon’ outlet at the motorway services recently and enjoyed a delicious wheat and dairy-free chicken and brown rice meal!

People eating lunch in a cafe

If you know your options are limited when eating out, carry some basics with you like trail mix and a piece of fruit so you can top up if there’s not much available.

Most city centres have a Pret and an M&S: Pret have a good selection of soups, salad boxes, chopped fruit, and snacky things like nuts and hardboiled eggs with spinach.  Marks & Spencer offer mixed grain salads, picnic sized cheeses, chopped fruit, nuts, and houmous pots.

Stuck at a tiny cafe in the middle of nowhere?  How about a baked potato, omelette, or soup.

Whatever your day holds, a nourishing lunch is essential to sustain your energy and wellbeing.  Symptoms of fatigue, irritability, anxiety, poor concentration and depression are all influenced by the foods we eat, so give your body it’s best shot at working well by feeding it with love and care.

Try these ideas and see what a difference they make to your life – do let me know via email or over in the Facebook group!

You might also like;

Does Food Affect Your Mood? Find out with this FREE Food, Mood and Movement Tracker #1SmallStep

Get Organised with this FREE 7-Day Meal Planner! #1SmallStep

7 Energy Boosting Breakfasts – #1SmallStep

 

PHOTO CREDITS: UNSPLASH

Behind the scenes at Nutty Health Almond Milk

Behind the scenes at Nutty Health Almond Milk

A couple of months ago I had the pleasure of meeting Kim Broderick, co-founder of Nutty Health almond milk, and learned the inside secrets behind their amazing products.

The story began when Kim received an unusual gift for Mothering Sunday last year: a bottle of homemade almond milk.

Her daughter-in-law was missing the rich nutty taste of New York almond milk, so decided to make her own – and Kim was more than impressed with the result.

Fast forward a few months to September 2017 and ‘Nutty Health’ launched themselves at the York Food & Drink Festival.  “I was full of doubts when we arrived at the Festival” says Kim, “but we sold out within hours.”

NuttyHealthI met Kim at Nutty Health HQ: her immaculate kitchen workshop in the beautiful South Yorkshire countryside.  As we chat, Kim dons her rubber gloves and gives me a demo of how the milks are made.

Unlike any of the standard supermarket milks which only contain 2% almonds, Nutty Health is made with 14% high quality Californian almonds – a difference which is immediately noticeable in the rich creamy taste.

The nuts are soaked in spring water for 11-20 hours, before being rinsed, blended, strained twice through a cheesecloth bag, then pressed through a custom made fruit press.  The only additive is a tiny amount of sunflower oil (1ml per 250ml bottle of milk) which acts as a natural preservative, giving the product an 8 day shelf life.

Kim now has the milk-making process down to a fine art; while listening to Ken Bruce on Radio 2 (of course!) she can now produce 200 bottles in just 4 hours!  That’s a lot of almond-milking!

No artificial sweeteners, sugars or thickeners are added – the milk is beautifully simple and pure, brimming with vitamin E antioxidant goodness.  And the almond pulp doesn’t go to waste – Kim uses this to make energy balls to sell at Festivals and shows alongside the milks.

The plain almond milk is accompanied by 3 flavoured varieties: cacao made with organic raw cacao; vanilla, and organic green matcha – a flavour which is surprisingly popular with male customers and cyclists!  Flavoured milks

Since launching last year, Nutty Health has blossomed and expanded into health stores and farm shops across our region (you can find a list of stockists here).  Kim offers a delivery service in Leeds and York, allowing customers to buy direct if the products aren’t available locally.

To find out more about the Nutty Health range, contact Kim at https://www.nuttyhealth.co.uk/

If you have any top tips for making dairy-free milks do share your thoughts in the comments below or come and join the conversation in the Facebook group 🙂

 

 

Elena’s Colourful Farinata

Elena’s Colourful Farinata

vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free

This recipe comes from Elena Holmes, a fellow nutrition consultant and superb vegan cook!  Based on a traditional dish from northern Italy, Elena has added more vegetables and spices to increase the taste, colour and nutritional quality.

Ingrediants

200g Gram flour (also sold as chickpea flour)Veg_snip

approximately 400ml water

1 medium leek

1 red onion

1 red pepper

1 large courgette

4-5 medium tomatoes

1 bunch fresh (or dried) sage

Optional spices: crushed chillies, turmeric, curry, smoked paprika – select according to taste

Olive oil to grease the tray and drizzle over the farinata

Pinch of salt

Carefully mix the flour, water and salt until it has the consistency of cream or gravy – use a whisk to avoid lumps.  Leave this mixture to rest for 40-60mins.

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Dice the vegetables and sage.  Oil a standard sized baking tray and scatter the veg and sage evenly over it.  Add your chosen spices.  Pour the flour mixture over the vegetables, drizzle sparingly with olive oil and bake for 25-30mins until the vegetables are cooked andthe farinata has the consistency of soft flat bread.  Allow to cool for a few minutes then cut into pieces and serve.  Leftovers can be eaten cold the next day.

Elena can be contacted at www.elenahealthfood.com

8 Warming Breakfasts (that aren’t porridge!)

8 Warming Breakfasts (that aren’t porridge!)

Leaving the snug confines of the duvet is a little bit easier if you have a delicious breakfast to look forward to and at this time of year, we need something warming to fend off the cold damp weather.

Porridge is the obvious hot breakfast and this doesn’t have to be made with oats: quinoa flakes, buckwheat flakes, millet and polenta all make tasty porridge-like dishes.

But what if you can’t stand the texture of porridge?  Try these tempting alternatives instead and enjoy a warming, porridge-free start to your day!

1.Buckwheat pancakesblog_Ggle

For the pancake mixture blend buckwheat flour with whichever milk you enjoy and either a mashed banana or an egg.  Serve with blueberries and yoghurt (natural, soya or coconut).

2. Poached eggs with spinach, grilled mushrooms & grilled tomatoes

Protein, greens and antioxidant nutrients are all packed together in this simple breakfast!

3. Warm Smoothies

A lot of people go off smoothies once the weather turns but you can switch them round to suit the winter months.  Simply warm the milk and add 1/4 teaspoon each of cinnamon and turmeric before blending in your fruit and greens.

4. Stewed Fruit Crumble

Apple, pears and plums are perfect stewing fruit and plentiful at this time of year.  Top with homemade sugar-free granola, flaked almonds and seeds and a dollop of yoghurt (natural, soya or coconut).

5. Pumpkin & quinoa bowldreamstimefree_251099

Mix pre-roasted pumpkin (or butternut squash) with cooked quinoa, chopped walnuts and a sprinkle of cinnamon – add yoghurt too if you like!

6. Veggie omelette

In coconut oil gently fry chopped peppers, mushrooms, spinach and a handful of cherry tomatoes then add beaten egg to make a speedy, healthful breakfast omelette.

7. Toasted rye bread with sliced avocado and chopped fresh figs

Use gluten-free oatcakes for a G/F alternative to rye bread, and drizzle a little raw honey over the figs…blog2_Ggle

8. Tofu Scramble

Tofu is a great alternative to scrambled eggs and a rich source of calcium, magnesium and protein.  For full recipe details click through to www.thekitchn.com