Fresh Berry Coulis

coulis berries and honey

This is a great way of using up berries if they have become a little old and soft as they waited to be used in your morning bowl of yoghurt, fruit and nuts, but you kept deciding to have eggs and spinach for breakfast instead. Like I did.

In this easy recipe, the berries’ natural sweetness is amplified by adding a couple of tablespoons of honey. The mint leaves lend a cooling freshness that enlivens the tastebuds. Berries are absolutely brimming with phytonutrients and antioxidants, working to reduce inflammation in your body and also nourish and restore your cells to optimum health.

Use berries of your choice. Any mixture or ratio of varieties of berries will be delicious and health-edifying! Frozen berries are, of course, just as acceptable. I promise this coulis will give you and your loved ones a skip in your step and a smile on your face.

Fresh Berry Coulis

2 cups of berries of your choice

1 1/2 tablespoons of honey

5 or so medium mint leaves, torn

Combine all ingredients in a blender and serve with cakes, or ice-cream, or both!

 

Green Eggs, No Ham

green eggs

Whisk 2 eggs, salt and pepper, and one teaspoon of spirulina powder (if you’re into that like I am; Chlorophyll and good bacteria = great detoxification and gut health).

Scramble in a pan. Add crumbled goats cheese.

Toss in one handful of baby spinach. Stir and cook with a firm hand until all is combined and well done.

Serve on a pretty plate, with a sprinkle of sunflower seeds and some slices of avocado.

DELICIOUS. This will keep me going for hours.

The Power of GREEN

Check out why Chlorophyll (the natural chemical found in all green plants) is so good for you. Below, I have quoted health guru Jason Vale. You can read the full article here.

“Concentrated Sunlight”

Chlorophyll has been described by many as ‘concentrated sunshine’ or ‘liquid sunshine’ and this is about as accurate a description as you can get. Chlorophyll is literally just that – the natural sunlight energy trapped within the fibres of the plant. When you separate the juice from the fibres you effectively release that liquid sunlight energy, liquid energy which improves the functioning of the heart, the vascular system, the intestines, the uterus and the lungs.

The same liquid energy which can help assist the body to clean the blood and liver, strengthen the immune system and reduce high blood pressure. Chlorophyll has strong anti-oxidant properties and it can act as a natural defence against free radicals, which are a damaging by-product of your metabolism. Free radicals encourage an acidic cell environment and contribute to all disease and the ageing process. The chlorophyll molecule itself is structurally very similar to the iron-carrying component of haemoglobin.

“Curry Con Carne”

The other day there was 200g of premium beef mince in our fridge that needed to be used. So I let my nose and intuition guide me and came up with this curried version of Chilli Con Carne.

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My husband and I had already eaten, so I prepared the “curry” in under 20 minutes (it’s that easy), popped it in the fridge, and invited a dear friend to come and stay the following night so that we could reheat it and enjoy it together.

Because food is always better enjoyed and digested in fine company!

A few thoughts before we get down to business

Firstly, about meat portion sizes. The recommended daily intake of red meat for an adult is about 70 grams – much less than many people consume in one sitting. This recipe is great in that it combines meat with legumes for a lighter portion of meat per person, as well as “stretching” the meal out to feed more people. Another thing I like about the legumes in this recipe, called Black-Eyed Beans, is that they are deliciously al-dente and provide a lovely firm bite alongside the softer mince.

Secondly, about having a great supply of spices. If you want to be a great cook, spend the money on stoking up on a wide range of fragrant herbs and spices. Your cooking will benefit from the vast range of flavours that you can create, using natural, whole food ingredients, as long as you have a pantry full of little boxes of spicy goodness.

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A versatile dish

My dear friend Lucy and I enjoyed this meal simply, with grated carrot, zucchini, cheese, a dollop of sour cream, a squeeze of lemon, bound together with a fresh lettuce cup. This was a meal that was completely satisfying, with no grains, and full of wholesome vegetables. Fantastic for the body and mind!

My husband enjoyed the leftovers the next morning by reheating the Curry Con Carne in a pan, cracking in two eggs and covering the pan to allow the eggs to cook in the Curry mixture; reminiscent of the dish Shakshouka. Mr B served his meal on a bed of spinach with a squeeze of lemon. He wished there was enough for seconds!

Without further ado, here is this simple recipe:

Curry Con Carne

Ingredients

2t fenugreek seeds

1t coriander seeds

1t turmeric

1/4t ground ginger

1 large clove of garlic

1 onion, diced

1-2T coconut oil for frying

200g premium beef mince

1 can of organic black-eyed beans

Salt and pepper

Method

1. Over a medium-low heat, gently toast the fenugreek and coriander seeds until the seeds start to darken and become quite fragrant (about 3-4 minutes).

2. Add 1T coconut oil to the pan. Spoon in the turmeric and ginger and allow the spice mixture to cook to further release the aroma.

3. Add the diced onion, stirring occasionally while the onions become translucent, followed a few minutes later by the garlic. More oil may also be necessary at this point if mixture starts to stick to the pan.

4. Now add the mince, quickly breaking it up in the pan with a wooden spoon. Then allow the meat to cook for 5 -7 minutes largely undisturbed.

5. Finally, add the black-eyed beans and season liberally with salt and pepper.

6. Cook on a low heat for another 5 or so minutes, and then presto! It’s time to eat.

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Nut Jumble Granola

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Crunchy and delicious, this granola is a perfect snack anytime of day! Serve with natural Greek yoghurt for a creamy and satisfying breakfast, or equally delicious, serve with almond milk and berries for a dairy-free option. I eat it straight from the jar.

Nut Jumble Granola is gluten-free and refined sugar-free. I try to keep things as natural, whole, and unprocessed as possible. Sadly, many supermarket cereals and muesli are packed full of sugar and additives. High levels of sugar, hidden in most packet foods, increase insulin resistance and body-fat storage. Additives and synthetic ingredients overwhelm the liver with its job – to detoxify your body.

Nuts, seeds and coconut are nutrient dense. They contain a wide variety of vitamins and minerals that are essential to growth and repair. Not only that, but the mono- and poly-unsaturated fats are heart-healthy; working to manage inflammation and lower cholesterol. Coconut contains medium-chain triglycerides, which are absorbed and converted by the liver directly into energy to be used by the body, and so they are unlikely to be stored as body fat. As the experts are saying – you have to eat fat to burn fat!

Cacao powder has been used in this recipe. Cacao is labelled a superfood for its high levels of antioxidants, magnesium and iron. It makes Nut Jumble Granola chocolatey and decadent, however, if you are not such a sweet-tooth feel free to omit the cacao and/or honey. Try adding cinnamon or ginger to create something a little different.

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Recipe

1.5C brazil nuts
1.5C almonds
1C coconut flakes
1C pumpkin seeds
1/2C chia seeds
1/2C sesame seeds
1C goji berries
3/4C coconut oil
1/3C honey
2 to 3T cacao powder

– Preheat oven to 130 degrees Celsius, fanbake.
– Roughly chop all nuts and spread out on large baking tray. Melt oil and honey together and pour over the nuts. Add the cacao powder. Stir to coat evenly.
– Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes. Keep an eye on this process – there is nothing worse than burning a tray of expensive nuts!
– Remove from the oven and stir through the coconut flakes, seeds, and goji berries. Return to the oven for a final 5-10 minutes.
– Cool before storing in sterilised jars. Will keep for 2 – 3 weeks.

Emma xx

I am inspired by the Whole Pantry App’s Cinnamon and Cacao Granola. This a wonderful app with beautiful recipes – find out about it here. The Whole Pantry App

Parmesan, Parsley and Pistachio Pesto

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This is an easy-breezy, beautiful, and flavoursome condiment. Use as part of an antipasto platter, to flavour a salad or sandwich, or in my recipe for Pesto Baked Chicken and Prosciutto. Recipe for that one later.

What’s more, this pesto is overflowing with goodness that will bless your health.

Each of the five simple ingredients – garlic, olive oil, parsley, pistachios, and parmesan – are powerful in their own way. Today I’ll share with you a bit about the first ingredient, as I use it in almost everything, and for good reason!

Garlic

The multifarious medicinal properties of this herb have been bragged about down the centuries. In medieval times, garlic was said to cure the common cold, the flu, and even the plague. Perhaps due to the strength of its odour, strings of aged garlic were strung around houses to ward off evil spirits, such was garlic’s perceived potency!

The two components of garlic worth mentioning are allicin and diallyl sulphides. Both compounds have antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. They have been used to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, to fight cancer and other degenerative diseases. They also function as antioxidants. There you go – so many reasons to flavour your food with garlic!

The digestion of allicin any diallyl sulphides are what lead to garlic breath, and can even cause a pungent skin odour for days after consumption. But don’t let that put you off! Read about garlic here.

Recipe

4 small-medium cloves garlic (use less if you’re not as much of a fan as I am)
3/4C extra-virgin cold-pressed olive oil
2.5C parsley, chopped
1.5C pistachios
3/4C parmesan, finely grated

Place all ingredients into food processor and blend until well combined. Add more or less olive oil to taste.

Pumpkin-top Lamb Curry Pie

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Today for dinner all I wanted was pie. Hot, tasty, comforting pie. Ever in search of making food more creative and more nourishing, I made a dairy and gluten free pie using only whole food ingredients. So not only does this special pie suit all dietary requirements, it is sweet, creamy, and scrumptious.

For the pastry I have used only almond meal, coconut oil and eggs. Coconut oil has many health benefits, one being that it is able to be converted directly into energy by the liver, and therefore is less likely to be stored as body fat. Almond meal (simply ground almonds) offers all the nutrients that are packed into almonds: vitamin E, copper, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and iron. These nutrients are essential to many bodily functions – including skin and nail health and function.

Serves 6-8.

Ingredients

Pie Filling

1kg lamb leg steak, cut into chunks
3 onions, diced
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3T fresh ginger, finely chopped
3T mild curry powder
2T mixed spice
1 long red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
400g tin crushed tomatoes
3T tomato paste
165mL coconut cream
2C beef or lamb stock
3T coconut oil (for frying)

Pie Crust

350g almond meal
3T coconut oil
2 eggs

Pie Topping

2/3 medium butternut pumpkin, grated without skin
1T coconut oil

Method

I recommend chopping and preparing all ingredients before starting to cook. This makes the process more enjoyable and relaxed, and you are less likely to come out the other side with a kitchen that resembles a bomb site!

– Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
– In a deep pan, brown the lamb in batches and set aside.
– Lightly fry the onion, garlic, ginger, chilli and spices in a few tablespoons of coconut oil, stirring regularly to avoid burning. Keep a eye on this as the spices suck up a lot of moisture.
– When the onion is translucent and the spices are fragrant, put the browned lamb back into the pan. Follow with the stock, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes and coconut cream.
– Allow the curry to simmer for half an hour while the other ingredients are prepared.

To make the pastry, simply combine all ingredients in a food processor. Mould the pastry thinly to the base and sides of the pie dish. Prick the base with a fork, and blind bake in the hot oven for 8 minutes, until lightly browned. Turn oven down to 180.

Grate pumpkin and combine with 1 or 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, to encourage it to bind together a bit more when baked.

Spoon the curry into the prepared pastry base. Cover with the pumpkin topping and press down lightly with your hands.

Pop the pie into the oven, and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve with a light green salad. Torn kale leaves, lettuce and crunchy cucumber compliment the creamy, sweet pumpkin perfectly. Enjoy!

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Chocolate super mousse

Here I present you with a chocolatey, smooth and satisfying treat. However, it is a treat you can enjoy every day and know you are blessing your body!

This recipe can be enjoyed as a smoothie (slacken with added water to preferred consistency), or it can be savoured as a tasty dessert mousse, sure to satisfy even the sceptics out there (you know who I’m talking about!).

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You need:

1 large avocado
2 ripe or frozen bananas
Big handful pumpkin seeds
1C blueberries and strawberries
1t vanilla bean extract
2T honey
3T cocoa
1 large cup water, or to taste

Put all ingredients apart from honey and water into food processor and blend until the consistency is smooth. Taste and add honey to sweeten to taste, and water to reach desired consistency. Pour into a glass to drink as a smoothie or into a dessert glass to enjoy as mousse!

Start your day well

What routines or rituals do you do to start your day well? Whatever you do – whether it is a cup if tea and 20 minutes reading, writing in a journal, a brisk walk, time to sit and reflect or plan the day ahead – these routines can be vital in getting off on the right foot. Take time for yourself first, so that you may then give of yourself to others.

It is also vital to give yourself a healthy and hearty breakfast. A good breakfast will bless you with sustained energy and vitality throughout the day.

What are you having for breakfast today? Why not try this: crisp iceburg leaves, lightly pan fried ham served on oven baked portobello mushrooms and blue cheese. Rich in vitamins and minerals, high in protein and healthy fats. You will be sustained for hours.

Fresh, clean, and delicious!

What a great start to the day.

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The wonder of fresh, simple ingredients

It is my opinion that too often we over complicate the process of preparing a flavoursome meal. Yet, the old adage holds true – fresh, beautiful ingredients create the best-tasting dishes.

We are on holiday at the moment, and that means a few things – stunning summer produce, easy trips to orchards and the farm gate, and not wanting to spend time in the kitchen when we could be at the beach.

Last night we found ourselves in transit, short on the usual spices, herbs and condiments, so we got creative with what we had: fresh, beautiful veges from the orchard near where we were staying!

So we used our intuition and creativity, and whipped this up in about 20 minutes:

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And what a flavoursome meal it was! Healthy, whole,and nourishing. Smashed avocado and lemon, crudités, quinoa and amaranth gently flavoured with wild mint and parsley, and of course, salt and pepper steak. Delish!