Puy Lentil Quinoa, Roasted Aubergines and a Tahini Dressing

This could be one of my favourite creations so far! I was running late for the school run and in fact my entire day was just a LATE day….. I was late for everything!  So I had to whip up something quick but of course, good for the family!  And quinoa is one of the quickest grains to cook.  So while I was cooking that, I roasted some aubergines and boiled some lentils at the same time.  Mixed them together with some soaked goji berries and topped it all with a yummy tahini dressing that I knew the kids love.  So, here’s one family recipe for you that is now a favourite amongst my four kids……

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Serves 4-6

1 large or 2 small aubergines, cut into 1 cm rounds

2-3 Tbsp. Coconut oil, melted

2 tsp. cumin

200g quinoa

250g puy lentils

large handful of sultanas

large handful of pumpkin seeds

For the dressing:

1 Tbsp. tahini

2 Tbsp. tamari

2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp. honey

Squeeze of lemon

Heat your oven to 200C.  Bring 400ml of water to the boil and add the quinoa.  Bring back to the boil and then cover and simmer until the quinoa is cooked approximately 20 minutes.   At the same time bring a pot of water to boil and add the lentils.  Cook until soft, again another 20-25 minutes.  Coat the sliced aubergine in coconut oil and cover with the cumin.  Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until soft.  In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, lentils and aubergine.  Top with the pumpkin seeds and sultanas.  In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, tamari, apple cider vinegar, honey and lemon and pour over the quinoa mixture.   And voila… that is one delicious and nutritious family meal or even great as a side dish for a dinner party!

For more health and wellness tips, follow me on Instagram @juliemontagu OR keen to learn more about nutrition?  Head to my first online nutrition course:  Nutrition for Optimal Health at www.theflexifoodie.com.

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Goji Berry, Coconut and Matcha Cupcakes

I’m always trying to find creative snacks to create for my 4 hungry kids when they come home from school.  I know that they’re not about to make themselves a matcha latte or grab a handful of goji berries and eat them one by one.  But I do know, having been a parent now for 16 years, that they way to get your kids to eat the ‘good for you’ stuff – is to sneak it into something that they like and like the look of….aka cupcakes!

IMG_2389Matcha is well, just incredible.  In my recipe I used White Matcha (apparently the newest thing to hit the market) but of course, green matcha is fine too!  Matcha is definitely a superhero when it comes to teas.  The amazing thing about matcha is that energises you but at the same time calms the central nervous system.  Matcha has 137 times the antioxidants of regular green tea, 70 times the antioxidants of orange juice and 9 times the beta carotene of spinach!  So, if you’re kids definitely don’t like spinach then this is a clever way to get that beta carotene in!

IMG_2391For your cupcakes you will need this:

Makes 16 – 20 cupcakes

4 cups of oat flour (or rolled oats ground to a flour)

1/2 cup ground flaxseeds

2 Tbsp. of matcha

1 1/2 cups of soaked goji berries

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup desiccated coconut

1 cup coconut palm sugar

1 3/4 cup plant-based milk ( I used coconut )

2 tsp. baking powder

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

Preheat your oven to 350 F or 180 C.  And in a large bowl, simply combine the above ingredients one by one, stirring well until you get a nice, thick batter.  Line your cupcake tray with paper cases and fill to the rim with your delicious batter!  Bake for 20 minutes, remove from oven and allow to cool.  Even more delicious when you spread a bit of coconut oil on the insides!  YUM!

IMG_2397For more information on nutrition, head to www.theflexifoodie.com to sign up for the first of it’s kind online nutrition course:  Nutrition for Optimal Health.

 

Where Are All The Antioxidants?

We all know that eating a varied diet full of natural foods is the key to good health, however, there is an abundance of such foods to choose from. It is normal that everybody has certain foods that they prefer, but in order to maximise the nutrition in your diet it is important to eat as wide a selection of plant-based foods as possible. By consuming foods that are rich in antioxidants, you are giving your body the ammo it needs to keep your immune system healthy and fight rogue free radicals.

Even though antioxidants can be found in a large number of foods, there are several that have a much higher count than others. By choosing to include these foods in your meals, and as snacks, your health will benefit dramatically. These foods are often referred to as superfoods because of the benefits of eating them! When you include these superfoods in your diet, you will be able to stop buying and consuming pricy supplements and get all of your nutrition directly from natural food sources.

Blueberries have been used in research to determine the best way to protect cells from damage. It has been suggested that consuming them every day will go a long way to protecting your body in this way. Blueberries are also good for lowering inflammation and boosting the immune system. In addition to having a high antioxidant count, blueberries also contain high numbers of phytochemicals that are believed to protect the body against certain diseases.

All nuts in their raw form are fantastic for the body. The problem comes when these nuts are cooked in refined oils and covered in salt. When eaten raw, any type of nut will provide health benefits to the body and a happy dose of antioxidants. One of the best advantages of eating nuts is that they contain high numbers of good fats which the body needs to function properly. All nuts are high in antioxidants but amongst the best for your health are almonds, brazil nuts and walnuts.

If you’ve visited my online learning portal then you’ll know that dark leafy green vegetables are an absolute favourite of mine – and for good reason! Crammed full of antioxidants, vitamins, calcium, magnesium and much more, dark leafy green vegetables are all-round winners for the body. If you don’t know which ones to choose, then give kale, spinach and broccoli a go to start!

Red Lentil Quinoa with Greens and Seeds

IMG_2376I’m back!!!  Yes, after a LONG hiatus of posting recipes to my blog …. I’m finally back and here to stay!  So, first and foremost – an apology for the long hiatus but it was with I hope a good excuse!  In the summer, I received a publishing deal to write The Flexi Foodie Cookbook!!!!  YAY!  It is a dream come true and I am over the moon to share this book with you.  So my entire summer was pretty much spend writing recipes and of course the entire book.  The photos for the book have turned better than I could have ever imagined – they are beautiful thanks to my amazing photographer and food/prop stylist.  Stay tuned…. the book hits the bookshelves 12th March 2015.   I will keep you all posted but wanted to quickly say thank you to all of YOU who’ve been reading my blog for the past 2 years.   This dream couldn’t have happened without all of you, so THANK YOU!

And with that said… here is the latest and greatest post.  A nutritionally packed meal with everything from whole grains to green leafy veg to pomegranate seeds!  Here we go….

 

Serves 4

250g quinoa

100g red lentils

800 ml water

1 pomegranate, de-seeded

large handful of collard greens

1 small onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 Tbsp. coconut oil

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. black mustard seeds

For the dressing: 

1 Tbsp. tahini

1 Tbsp. tamari

2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp. honey

In a large pot over medium heat, melt the coconut oil and add the mustard seeds, chopped onion and garlic and fry for about 5 minutes until the onion is translucent and the mustard seeds begin to pop.  Add the quinoa, red lentils and water, bring to the boil and then reduce to simmer and cover for 20 – 25 minutes until the water has been absorbed and the quinoa and lentils are cooked.   Once cooked, gently stir in the cumin and paprika along with the collard greens.  Allow the greens to become soft as you stir.  Remove from the pot into a large serving bowl and mix in the pomegranate seeds.  In a small mixing bowl, combine the dressing ingredients and whisk together until smooth.  Pour the dressing over the quinoa and mix well.  Enjoy the great combination of flavours in this simple, but nutritional powerhouse of a meal!

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For more information on Nutrition, head to my very first online nutrition course:  Nutrition for Optimal Heath at www.theflexifoodie.com! Or be sure to follow me on Instagram for health, wellness, yoga and inspiration at @juliemontagu.