Mango “Cheeze” Cake

This incredible “Cheeze” Cake is another of the amazing dishes that I discovered during my stay at the Amatara Wellness Resort in Thailand! It makes for such a beautiful dessert and the added bonus is that it packs a healthy punch too! Continue reading Mango “Cheeze” Cake

Mixed Nut Burgers

Not keen on veggie burgers? Well, I urge you to give this recipe a try! Top with your favourite relish, pickles, onions, tomatoes, or mustard and enjoy!

Eating a range of nuts on a daily basis is amazing for your health. Although every nut is different when it comes to its nutritional profile, they can all bring bountiful benefits to your body. This recipe calls for three different types of nut, and they all have something fantastic to bring to the table!

Cashew nuts are a good source of plant-based protein and also contain a wide range of minerals, such as zinc, magnesium and iron. Consuming an adequate amount of magnesium has been connected to maintaining your memory function as well as reducing anxiety.

Almonds are a good source of calcium which is essential for healthy bones. They also contain an abundance of vitamin E which is great for the appearance of your skin. Some people opt to eat the flaked version of this nut but I always recommend the whole thing. This is because the skin of the almond is full of heart healthy compounds known as flavonoids.

Brazil nuts are a fantastic source of selenium which helps to regulate your thyroid levels. Selenium also contributes towards the function of your immune system and helps wounds to heal faster.

Mixed Nut Burgers2.pngTo make six of these mixed nut burgers, you will need the following ingredients:

1 cup / 8oz / 225g bulgur wheat, uncooked
1/3 cup / 1.8 oz / 50g raw cashew nuts, finely chopped
1/3 cup / 1.8 oz / 50g raw almonds, finely chopped
1/3 cup / 1.8 oz / 50g raw Brazil nuts, finely chopped
2 tbsp of ground flaxseeds
6 tbsp water
1 tbsp coconut oil plus extra for cooking
1 tbsp wholewheat (all-purpose) flour
1/2 tsp ground cumin

The first step is to bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook the Bulgur wheat for 10 minutes, or according to packet instructions. After this time, you can drain any excess water and set aside to cool.

Place the chopped cashew nuts, almonds and Brazil nuts into a large bowl. (To ensure that the nuts are finely chopped, you might want to give them a quick blitz in your blender or food processor.)

Mixed Nut BurgersAdd the ground flaxseed, water, coconut oil, flour, and cumin into the bowl with the nuts. Stir well to ensure that all of the ingredients are well combined. Once the Bulgur wheat is cooled to room temperature, add it to the bowl and stir well to combine.

Divide the mixture into six equal parts and then form your patties by rolling into balls and gently flattening with the heel of your hand. You can then drizzle a little coconut oil into a large skillet (frying pan) and leave to heat for a couple of minutes. When the oil is hot, add the patties and fry for five minutes each side.

Serve in whole-wheat buns or with your favourite salad dish.

This is one of the recipes from my book – Eat Real Foods – which was released this week!!! You can order your copy in the UK by clicking here and order your copy in the U.S by clicking here!

Goji Berry Quinoa Bars

These bars make a wonderful on-the-go snack or quick breakfast, and they are full of goodness! I find it is a great idea to make up a batch over the weekend and then you will have a supply of healthy snacks during the week. These delicious bars do not require many ingredients and they do not take long to make either.

You may not use cherries very often in your baking, which is a shame as they are bursting with flavour and nutrition! Consuming cherries regularly is known to soothe aching joints, protect the health of your colon, help to keep your cholesterol levels down and also to maintain your eyesight. Regular consumption of cherries can also help you to get a good nights sleep as they are a natural source of melatonin. Cherries can be expensive when compared to other fruits so shop around and check out your local markets for a good deal!

Goji Berry Quinoa Bars2To make six of these bars you will need the following ingredients:

1 tbsp of coconut oil
1 cup / 6.5oz / 185g of quinoa, cooked
1 cup / 5oz / 140g of almonds, chopped
1 cup / 5 1/2 oz / 150g of dried cherries, chopped
1/2 cup / 2oz / 55g of goji berries
2 tbsp of brown rice syrup
1/2 cup / 4fl oz / 125ml of water

The first step is to preheat the oven to 425F / 220°C / gas mark 7 and grease an 8 × 8 × 1inch (20 × 20 × 2.5cm) square bake pan (cake tin) with a light layer of coconut oil. On a separate baking tray, you can spread the cooked quinoa and almonds together before placing in the preheated oven for ten minutes.

When the mixture is toasted, remove the tray from the oven and reduce the heat to 350°F / 180°C / gas mark 4. You can then place the cherries, goji berries, brown rice syrup and water into a food processor and blitz for a couple of minutes until everything is smooth. Once this is complete, transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and add the toasted almonds and quinoa. Stir well to combine.

Goji Berry Quinoa BarsNext, spoon the mixture into the bake pan and press down firmly with the back of a spoon. Ensure the mixture covers the bottom of the pan evenly. Then place in a preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. Once cooked, cut the mixture into bars before turning out onto a wire rack to cool. These bars will keep fresh in an airtight container for up to five days.

This is one of the recipes from my book – Eat Real Foods – which was released this week!!! You can order your copy in the UK by clicking here and order your copy in the U.S by clicking here!

Almond and Red Lentil Stew

The great thing about lentils, compared to other legumes, is that they don’t require any pre-soaking before you cook with them! This means that you can whip up this stew with minimal fuss and preparation. Lentils are also fantastic because they are generally inexpensive whilst also being high in protein, vitamins, minerals and fibre but also virtually free from fat! What’s not to love?! Additionally, a cup serving of red lentils contains an impressive 6 milligrams of iron. The average woman needs around 18 milligrams of iron everyday whereas men need only 8, so a cup of lentils helps everyone to be well on the way to reaching this quota!

almond and red lentil stew2To cook this stew up for yourself, you’ll need the following ingredients:

2 Tbsp of coconut oil
1 carrot, chopped
1 leek, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 sweet potato, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
250g of red lentils
2 pints vegetable stock
A tsp of dry coriander
A handful almonds

To get started making this stew, the first thing you’ll need to do is heat the coconut oil in a large pan. You can then fry the carrot, leek, onion, garlic and sweet potato in the coconut oil until it has softened. At this point you can then add the lentils in to the pan. The next step is to pour the two pints of vegetable stock into the pan and then add the coriander. Bring this to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for approximately 45 minutes. Just before the end of the cooking time for the stew, in another pan, fry the almonds in a splash of coconut oil for two minutes. You can then serve the lentil stew with the almonds and tomatoes.

Smoked Paprika, Black Beans and Sprouting Broccoli Salad

Purple sprouting broccoli is generally at its best in the spring months so now is a great time to make the most of it in your cooking! This kind of broccoli brings an amazing combination of colour and crunch to a dish and is also, of course, rammed full of nutrients. The high vitamin and mineral count of broccoli, coupled with its exciting antioxidant count, make it an all round winner for your health.

Paprika is amongst my favourite spices but not one that I use all that often! Including paprika in a dish is such a great way to boost the flavour of that meal and it packs a subtle spicy punch without completely dominating the existing taste. As well as containing a range of vitamins, paprika also has a healthy dose of iron which is essential for carrying oxygen around the body.

To quickly whip up this salad for four to six people, gather the following ingredients:

250g of purple sprouting broccoli
1 x 400g of tinned black beans, drained and rinsed
2 spring onions, thinly diced
1 avocado, cut into small chunks
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 Tbsp. honey

For the dressing:

A handful of coriander
A small handful of almonds, ideally soaked for a few hours but don’t worry if not!
Juice of 1 lime
2 Tbsp. almond milk

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So the first thing you need to do is bring a large pot of water to the boil and cook the broccoli for five minutes. Be careful not to over cook the broccoli so that you don’t lose any of the nutrients. After these five minutes are up, you should drain and rinse. Next, in a frying pan over a medium heat, combine the drained and rinsed black beans and then add in the smoked paprika, cumin and honey. You can then stir this together well and cook for five minutes.

In a large bowl, you can then combine the sprouting broccoli, seasoned black beans, spring onions and avocado. And finally, combine the dressing ingredients in your food processor and blend. It will be a lovely, chunky dressing (tastes great too!) that you can coat the broccoli and bean salad well with. This is one of my favourite salads of all time!

Spiced Coconut Kale with Avocado

The key to making a proper kale salad taste good is to not cook the kale!  You just need to give it some love and soften it with an acidic ingredient or dressing. In my view this side is perfect for any main dish! Eating this dish regularly alongside your main meals also brings a nutrition boost to any meal. Kale is one of the healthiest leaves on the planet and can really help to reduce your LDL cholesterol levels. It has also been explored extensively for its potential cancer preventing abilities. It is believed to reduce the risk of developing at least five different cancers (bladder, colon, breast, ovary and prostate). With over 45 different flavonoids contained within, with both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, kale is an absolute winner for your the health of your body.

The addition of avocado and almonds to this recipe also ensures you are getting a good dose of good fat that is essential for many functions in the body. Getting an adequate amount of good fat through your foods can also help towards your weight loss goals. Both of these ingredients will also help to keep your cholesterol levels at an optimum level, and will also help to protect against heart disease!

 

kale avocado saladTo make a big bowl to divide between everyone at the dinner table, find the following ingredients:

For the salad:

 

A bunch of kale, torn into pieces and chunky stems removed

40g of coconut flakes
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
A large handful of almonds, toasted
 

For the dressing:

 

1 shallot, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp. of olive oil
1 Tbsp. of apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. of dried chilli flakes
1 tsp. of maple syrup
 

This is a really quick and easy one to make! First you have to do whisk the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Once it is combined, put the kale in a large serving bowl and pour half the dressing over the top.  You can then use your hands to massage the dressing into the kale for a few minutes in order to soften it.  Next, add the coconut flakes, avocado and toasted almonds and mix together well. Finally, pour in the rest of the dressing and serve.  YUM!

 

For more recipes like this, head over to Amazon to buy my cookbook now!
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Top Five Foods to Make Your Skin Glow

There is so much varying advice when it comes to taking care of your skin. Whilst one person swears by one thing, another person might be totally against it altogether! However, even though it can be confusing, skincare is definitely something that we should pay attention to – especially as we age!

As a teenager, I wasted a lot of money using different skin care products, trying to find an amazing product to do absolutely everything I wanted it to do. It’s only when I stopped looking at creams and lotions and turned to food that I found a genuine answer! By eating a well balanced, plant based diet, your skin will soon begin to glow and feel a great deal healthier.

Although eating well and eliminating animal products will get you on the road to having better skin, there are certain foods that you can aim to include to speed the process up. These five foods are my top suggestions!

figs_theflexifoodieFigs

Figs are full of vitamins and minerals that aid the body in the process of removing toxins and mucus from the body. It is only when these things exit the body that your skin will truly have a chance to shine. It’s easy to include figs in your diet and they’re delicious whether eaten on their own or even in a smoothie. Blending them down into a smoothie is actually a great idea as more antioxidants are released as the seeds become pulverised!

cucumber_theflexifoodieCucumbers

The enzyme-rich water in cucumbers makes them perfect for improving the health of your skin. Cucumbers are also packed with B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron. All of these things combine together to create some serious hydration.

rocket_theflexifoodieRocket

Rocket (or Arugula as we know it in the States!) is rich in Vitamin A which has shown to help with acne. It is even thought that a Vitamin A deficiency could be partially responsible for the occurrence of acne. On top of that, rocket is highly alkaline which assists in cleansing and neutralising toxins in the blood system. This in turn contributes to the overall health of our skin!

almonds_theflexifoodieAlmonds

Like most nuts, almonds are a great source of Vitamin E. Vitamin E is the antioxidant found in human epidermal tissue and goes a long way to promoting smooth, supple skin. It is particularly important to up your Vitamin E intake if you have unwittingly allowed the sun’s UV rays to cause damage to your skin.

Red Bell Peppers

Red bell peppers are so incredibly high in Vitamin C that they actually help to regenerate collagen in the body! Although they are technically a fruit, red bell peppers are very low in sugar which makes them perfect to snack on throughout the day. They also contain silicon which has been shown to help keep wrinkles at bay by strengthening the connective tissue!bellpepper_theflexifoodie

So there you have it, five great food choices that will have you positively glowing! Why not include all of these things in one incredible salad to really take advantage of their fantastic benefits!

Beetroot, Pear and Walnut Wrap

When I created this recipe, I did it entirely for my 14 year old who prefers to take her lunch to school since she recently proclaimed: ‘I’m Vegan!’  So school lunches at school, are rarely ever vegan…..(as much as I’d like them to be!)  I wanted to create something different for her that was also very portable too.  She does a lot of quinoa salads which is fantastic, but I wanted to surprise her with something truly different.  Being her mom, I knew she liked beetroot, wild rice, avocado, sultanas, pear and walnuts and she also likes her veggie burritos – so that’s why I incorporated a whole wheat tortilla as well.   Think of this a jam packed wrap of nutrients, vitamins and minerals.  Score, score, score.

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Let’s zoom in on Beetroot for a sec…..

These ruby red beets can definitely help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.  Research has shown that beets can help reduce blood pressure because of a gas that beets produce called nitric oxide which helps to lower blood pressure.  Hurray!  But there’s more…..

Beets are superior in antioxidants…I mean, just look at the colour! Betacyanin, the lovely pigment that gives beetroot its colour, is THE antioxidant.  And remember, antioxidants can help reduce the bad cholesterol (LDL), which in turn protect are amazing artery walls!

Pregnant or wanting to be?  Well, this beet is one of the best sources of folic acid.  And folic acid is essential to the development of the baby’s spinal cord especially during the first three months of pregnancy.  But not only are beets good for the developing baby, but they’re good for the mom-to-be as they contain iron which believe it or not is a fantastic fatigue fighter!

And for those of us worried about osteoporosis….well….beetroot contains the mineral silica which totally helps the body to utilise the calcium we consume.

Beetroot is low in calories and pretty much fat free.  Even though it has a Glycaemic Index of 64, it has an incredibly low Glycaemic Load of 2,9 which in layman’s terms means that it’s converted into sugars very slowly and in turn helps to keep our blood sugar levels at an even keel.

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And now to the creation which makes about 8 wonderful wraps.

For the Beetroot and Walnut paste:

4 – 5 cooked beetroots, roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

small handful of coriander

small handful of parsley

50g walnuts

1 tsp. coconut oil

2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

himalayan pink salt, to taste

Literally throw everything into your blender or food processor to create your amazing paste.  Transfer to a bowl for later.

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For the Wild Rice Filling:  (Also, you will need 8 whole wheat tortillas!)

200g wild rice

1 tsp. caraway seeds

finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime

75g sultanas

100g toasted, flaked almonds

4 large romain lettuce leaves (torn in half)

2 avocados

3 small pears, grated

pink salt, to taste

Bring app. 500 ml of water to a boil and add in the wild rice, caraway seeds and salt.  Simmer for about 15-20 minutes until tender and all of the liquid is absorbed.  Allow to cool.  Once cooled, add the lime zest and juice, sultanas and almonds – stir in well to combine!

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To Assemble:

Scoop 2 Tablespoons of the beetroot and walnut filling in the middle of each tortilla and cover with one of the torn romaine lettuce leaves.  On top of the lettuce leaf, place a couple of heaped spoonfuls of the wild rice filling.  Finish off with a couple slices of avocado and grated pear.

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Fold the top and bottom edges over the filling and roll the entire tortilla from left to right to wrap it all up.  Yum, Yum, Yum – you are Done, Done, Done!

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Rose Chocolate Truffles

Let’s face it, the reality is that 3 out of my 4 kids are boys.  And boys are like dogs: they need to be walked at least three times a day!  2 of my boys are WAY into their sports – from rugby to football to cricket and then there’s our frosting on the cake, Nestor, who is 6 and the baby of the family.  When asked what he wants to be when he’s older…. he proudly replies:  ‘David Attenborough.’  So, in order to keep up with these active sportsmen and an explorer-to-be, I’ve got to fuel them with some REAL energy, some REAL foods, some NON-chemical, NON-pacakged, NON-processed foods.  So the gist of the recipe was created for my boys…. but then I do have ONE girl and I needed to include something a bit girlie, right?  And that’s where the Rose Water came in and so in all fairness, these power truffles are 3/4 boys and 1/4 girl.  I think I managed to please everyone in the family with this one……. now that’s a first!

ImageGrab yourself these cool ingredients: For 16 truffles (4 for each child if you have 4 kids!)

20 dates, de-stoned

2 Tbsp. coconut butter or oil

2 Tbsp. cacao powder

3/4 tsp. carob powder

2 tsp. lucuma

2 Tbsp. chia seeds

and the final ingredient:  1 tsp. rose water (so amazing)

You will also need Goji Berry powder, Blueberry powder and ground almonds for dusting.  The flowers in the photos are optional, but highly recommended if you have a girl!

ImageTake all ingredients and either blend in your high speed blender or simply just use your food processor to create a gorgeous paste.  Scrape out as much paste as you can into a bowl and use about a heaped teaspoon per truffle – roll in your hands to create a lovely, round ball.

ImageNext, roll those amazing truffles in some goji berry powder, blueberry powder or ground almonds.

ImageAnd Voila!  Takes no time at all to appease everyone in the family, including yourself!  If you’re having a dinner party, these are great incredibly healthy ‘after-dinner’ treats with some fresh mint tea!  These deliciOSO treats have NO refined sugar.  I used my favourite sugar replacement…. Dates…. instead.  Here are my FOUR top facts about amazing dates.

  1. Dates are free from cholesterol and contain very low fat and are also rich in vitamins and minerals.
  1. They are a rich source of protein, dietary fiber and rich in vitamin B1, B2, B3 and B5 along with vitamin A1 and C.
  1. Dates help improve the digestive system as it contains soluble and insoluble fibers and different kinds of amino acids.
  1. Dates are great energy boosters as they contain natural sugars like glucose, sucrose and fructose.

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To learn more about my online programmes such as the Green Smoothie Challenge for Juice Cleanse, head to my WEBSITE HERE for more details.

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Cauliflower, Sultana & Almond Salad with Turmeric Dressing

As crazy as this dish sounds, it is frickin’ unreal – like SO good!  So, I urge you to try it as soon as possible!  And the great news is that this dressing can be used to top a load of steamed or roasted veg as well.   I did an earlier post on turmeric called Turmeric is the New Kale!  So, check that one out to  read about all the amazing benefits of turmeric.  However,  I wanted to post just a quick blip on some of the benefits of turmeric anyhoo….. So check this list out below.

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Turmeric is SHAMAZING because…..

  1. It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.
  2. Reduces the risk of childhood leukemia.
  3. It’s a natural liver detoxifier.
  4. Turmeric may prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain.
  5. It may prevent metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer.
  6. It is a potent natural anti-inflammatory that works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects.

P1080799But the reason I combined this turmeric dressing with cauliflower is this….When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer.  So there you have it guys, let’s go and make this salad!

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Grab these ingredients which I bet most of which you probably already have in your kitchen!

For the Salad:

1 Cauliflower, broken into small florets

2 small red onion, sliced

1/2 cup sultanas

1/2 cup toasted, shaved almonds

large handful of chopped coriander

For the Dressing:

4 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

Juice and zest of 2 lemons

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/4 large avocado

1 Tbsp. turmeric

1 Tbsp. raw honey

pinch himalayan sea salt

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Heat your oven to 180C.  Toss the cauliflower florets with coconut oil -really rub it into them.  Season with black pepper and sea salt and roast for 15 minutes.  After the 15 minutes, add in the sliced red onion and cook for another 15-20 minutes until nice and tender.  Once cooked, you can add the cauliflower and red onion mix to a bowl and toast the flaked almonds in the same heated oven for max. 5 min.  Watch them carefully so that you don’t burn them.  Combine the almonds, sultanas and chopped coriander to the cauliflower and red onion mix.

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For the dressing, combine all the yummy ingredients into your food processor or blender and blitz away until you get this amazing bright orange looking dressing.  It’s wonderful to look at and to taste!  Coat the cauliflower salad with this dressing and you are good to go.  This salad could be one of my all time favourites!  Enjoy!

P1080913If you like this recipe, then whey not LIKE my Facebook page too!  Or if you’re interested in learning more about your diet and nutrition, why not set up an online nutrition counselling session with me HERE!