Simple Summer Salad

Simple Summer Salad

Sorry for not posting for a long time- been travelling for over a month- and still have nearly two months to go! My semester ended in April, so I have been travelling the west coast of America since, which I have fallen in love with, especially San Diego. Also one thing I love about the US compared to the UK is their selection of health foods. Although Americans are known for their obesity,  in actual fact they have more health food stores, fresh juiceries than England, meaning a green juice is never more than a few blocks away…!

I promise will be very active once I return in the summer! Have a lot of university work to catch up with once I return to the UK, as well as preparing medical school applications, so will liven up this work load with new recipes! I want to focus more desserts, full of nuts and fruit, as well as perfecting nut cheese and maybe some videos! In September I hopefully will be starting a part time course in nutrition, at the College of Naturopathic Medicine, so will be learning more about what I put into these recipes, and more ways to nourish your body.

I made this salad when spring started to show it’s head in Canada, it was so delicious and refreshing, it has been made any more times since! The pistachios, avocados and strawberries compliment each other perfectly, with a great mixture of textures.

Ingredients (Serves 1)

Two Large Handfuls of Rocket (Argula)
Half a Cup of Strawberries
Small Handful of Chopped Pistachios
Half an Avocado Diced

For the dressing
Blend a small handful of raspberries with a quarter of a cup of balsamic vinaigrette, before adding in a tablespoon of honey for a gorgeous, sweet dressing!

Enjoy

Image | Posted on by | Leave a comment

Quinoa and Prawn Risotto

IMG_7766

 

This was a recipe that came together fantastically while trying to use up miscellaneous ingredients in my kitchen! I cooked a dish for a tapas dinner party a couple of weeks ago, and had a lot of prawns left over, so utilised the excess in this dinner! When people think of protein, the mind automatically conjures up thoughts of meat; quinoa is often overlooked, but it shouldn’t be. It has a secret ingredient; an amino acid called lysine, making it a complete protein. This means it is a great addition to the diet, partially for vegetarians or vegans looking for an animal-free protein source.

Ingredients

1 Cup Quinoa
1/2 White Onion, chopped finely
3 cloves of Garlic, chopped finely
1 Red Chilli, chopped finely
1 Cup/1 Punnet of Cherry Tomatoes (halved)
1 Tbsp Tomato Paste
300 ml Vegetable Stock
1/4 Cup White Wine (optional)
1/2 Cup Peas
1 Cup of Prawns (or how ever many you like- I like as many as possible!)

IMG_7755

Begin by preheating the oven to 180°C.
Add the halved cherry tomatoes to a baking tray, drizzle in olive oil, and place in the oven.
Add some olive oil to a large frying pan, and add the prawns. (Defrost if previously frozen). Fry these for around 3 minutes, then remove from the pan.
Add the garlic, chilli and onion to the same pan, and cook until the onion softens. Stir in the tomato paste.
At this point add the quinoa, and stir for a minute, before adding the wine.
Once the alcohol has reduced, add the stock and bring to the simmer.
Cook for approximately 20 minutes, until the quinoa is soft.
At this point cook the peas by boiling them in water on the stove for a couple of minutes.
Add the cherry tomatoes, peas and prawns, and let it  carry on cooking on low heat for 5-10 more minutes. Ensure the risotto doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan here.

Posted in Dinner | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Overnight Chia Seeds

IMG_7726

Chia seeds are the most perfect little seeds for this raw recipe. They absorb over ten times their weight in liquid, making them the ultimate for an overnight breakfast. I have a friend who seems to be confused on the concept of what over night oats/chia seeds seems to be… By soaking these little buggers overnight you get a rich, creamy texture, similar to porridge, which you can top with any desired fruit or smoothies for a dreamy breakfast.

Chia seeds have been relatively unknown in Europe and North America until recent years, when a lot of research was done on them, declaring them a wonderful superfood you should add to anything and everything! Sprinkled on salads, added into smoothies, porridge and ice-cream, the possibilities are endless. They are a great source of antioxidants, which help combat again a lot of age related, and chronic diseases. Also being rich in omega-3, an important fat for brain health, you can’t go wrong by adding these to your diet.

IMG_7728

Ingredients

1/4 Cup Chia Seeds
1/4 Cup Almond Milk
2 Tbsp Honey
1/2 Banana mashed

Smoothie:
1/2 Cup Frozen Blueberries
1/2 Banana

Add the chia seeds, milk, honey and mashed banana to a jar, mix well together.
Chill for at least 4 hours- but overnight is best.
Blend the smoothie ingredients and pour on top, after you have let the chia seeds expand overnight.
Top with your favour extras, I used raspberries and walnuts.

Posted in Breakfast, Snacks | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Butternut Squash and Pear Soup

Butternut Squash and Pear Soup

This is another great soup, so much good flavour. While in Canada it seems we are never getting out of winter- it certainty is warming up in the UK. This addition of pear to this soup adds a much lighter tone to the mix, giving a taste of spring! This soup was inspired by a local café called My Dog Joe, a really quaint, friendly hideout in the centre of Westdale; a minute walk from where I live. It does an amazing mix of sweet treats, including gluten free options, and well as a whole host of sandwiches. They seem to have a different soup on special everyday, and when I tried their version of this I was inspired to make my own!

Ingredients
(Gives around 4-5 servings)

1-2 cups of Butternut Squash
3 Ripe Pears
1 Red Onion
3 cloves of Garlic
1 cube of Ginger
2 tbsp of Curry Powder
1 tbsp of Garam Masala
Scattering of Sunflower seeds to garnish

IMG_6936

Start by preheating the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
Then, add the butternut squash cubes to a roasting tray, cover them in olive oil, season with salt and pepper and put in the oven.
You next want to finely chop the onion, garlic and ginger. Add these to a large pot with olive oil, the spices and seasoning, and cook until the onion is soft.
Add 1 cup of water to the pot, bring it to the boil, then add in the pears diced.
Once the butternut squash is soft, add this to the pot and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
Pour the soup into the blender- you will want to do this in batches so the blender is never more than half full, or else you could have a mess on your hands. Puree these batches individually until smooth.

Image | Posted on by | 2 Comments

Guilt Free Sweet Potato Brownies!

IMG_6916

I said this about a batch of cacao balls I made last month- but these have over taken them in my favourite treats! These are amazing- and surprisingly had my housemates fooled as to what the secret ingredient was- sweet potatoes!
My housemate Julia had her 21st birthday last weekend, and to celebrate we are travelling to Chicago for a long weekend away! But before the celebrations begin, we have to endure a 12-hour coach journey. Luckily the weather was so bad in Ontario we had a snow day at McMaster, and uni was cancelled! Which meant I had the time to cook up a batch of these for the long trip.

The benefits of cacao are incredible; I have preached about them in many a blog post! Cacao is the raw cacao bean itself, the precursor to the unhealthy processed and refined brother cocoa. It is full of antioxidants, as well as theobromine, a chemical the alleviates stress. So if you ever feel a little down, make a batch of these and trust me, they will cheer you up!

The sweet potatoes keep them extremely moist, with a fudgy texture, just like the traditional brownie. They are one of the few food sources you can get Vitamin D from, a vitamin the sun normally gives us. Yet in these winter months the majority of us are deficient it in, so adding it into your diet is key, as well as taking supplements. Vitamin D has a substantial role in health, being linked to decreasing your risk of developing multiple sclerosis, to reducing skin problems such as psoriasis, as well as much more common problems such as fatigue and a general low mood.

IMG_6912

Ingredients

3 Sweet Potatoes
2/3 Cup of Dates
2 Cups of Ground Almonds
1/4 Cup of Cacao
1/4 Cup of Organic Honey
I Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

First you want to start by preheating the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Next microwave the potatoes until they are super soft- a knife should be able to pierce them incredibly easily.
Once these are done, add them to the food processor along with the dates, and process until you get a delicious smooth mixture.
Place the rest of the ingredients the processor and mix. You should end up with a sticky brownie mixture.
Pour this into a lined baking tray and bake for 30 minutes- or until a fork can pierce the brownies and come out clean.
Let them cool down and enjoy!

Enjoy!

Posted in Dessert, Snacks | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Peanut Butter Balls

IMG_5860

Another super easy snack. I can make a batch of these in under 20 minutes and damn, do they taste good! Be cautious about how many you make at once, as you may fall into the trap of eating them all at once. When photographing these I ate half the batch trying to get a satisfying bite mark into one of them to show you the inside…

Peanut butter is a popular snack amongst people trying to build up muscle. My housemate is a personal trainer, and will snack on a banana dipped in peanut butter to get the protein. He even takes a jar to uni… As peanut butter is a protein rich food, eating it will help you feel fuller for longer, as well as helping to rebuilding and repairing your muscles after a work out.

IMG_5874

Ingredients

Inside

1/2 cup Peanuts
2 tbsp Peanut Butter
3 tbsp Manuka Honey
1/4 cup Oats

Outside

2 tbsp Peanut Butter
2 tbsp Manuka Honey
2 tbsp Cacao Powder
2-3 table Almond Milk

Crushed Peanuts for the coating

Process all the ingredients for the middle in a food processor, until it turns into a ball.
Shape that into smaller balls, and put in the freezer while you make the chocolate

Process all the outside ingredients together
Dip each ball in this liquid chocolate and roll them in the crushed peanuts
Leave in the freezer to set overnight.

Posted in Breakfast | Leave a comment

Carrot Juice

IMG_5879

The simplest veggie juice of them all, and so delicious. It really surprised me how nice this was..! I was sceptical about the flavour, but it is really sweet. I drink this around the middle of the morning or afternoon, its a great snack as it really fills you up and is purely full of nutrients! Although carrot juice has a high sugar content, the sugar actually is a good blood sugar regulator, as ironic as that sounds!

Carrot juice is great for your skin, being very high in vitamin A it helps cells rebuild tissue and detoxifies the liver. Drink a glass a day to tackle acne, as this is caused by the toxicity of the blood. The high vitamin C content also helps tackle dry skin and psoriasis problems. Overall, it drinking the carrots as a juice is a great way to get more out of them. I juice 8 per large glass, and there is no way I’d eat 8 carrots in one sitting, so drinking them makes it much easier!

IMG_5880

Ingredients
(for one large glass)

8 carrots

Make sure you clean the carrots well, but don’t peel them.
Add them to the shot of the juicer, and juice!

Posted in Breakfast | Leave a comment