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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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!

Bulgar Wheat Sushi with Wasabi Ginger

I just got back from visiting the sun in Arizona and wow did I miss it! But I was fortunate to come back to London just in time for the sun to finally visit us here too! While basking in the Arizona sunshine, I was craving light meals which go hand in hand with the very light and bright days, this is where this week’s recipe was born! Here I’m going to share the recipe with you to make four rolls for yourself.

You’ll have to start out by making the vinegar wasabi liquid, or as I refer to it, the ‘tincture’! This will pickle your ginger AND season and dress your bulgar wheat.

For the Tincture:

4 tbsp of brown rice vinegar
2 tsp of coconut nectar (or raw honey)
2 tbsp of water
2 tsp of himalayan pink salt
1/2 a tsp of wasabi
2-3 inch pieces of peeled fresh ginger root

Whisk all ingredients together, leaving out the pieces of fresh ginger root, and divide in half. Set aside one half to season the cooked bulgar wheat.

bulgar_wheat_sushi_with_wasabi_ginger_grassrootsandgrains (3)You can then slice the ginger very thinly or if you have a mandolin, use it as it’s fantastic for getting clean, thin slices. Coat the sliced ginger, both sides, with salt and let sit and sweat it out for 30 minutes. After 1/2 an hour, squeeze the ginger out and then rinse under cold water. Give it another good squeeze until it is as dry as you can get it. I used paper towels to help with this so feel free to do so to really get them dry. Then, submerge and soak the sliced ginger in the ‘tincture’ and let it marinate for 15-20 minutes.

The next stage is to make the actual Bulgar Wheat Sushi, for this you’ll need the following ingredients:

1 cup of bulgar wheat
2 cups of water
1 small cucumber, sliced into 2-3 inch matchsticks
2 baby gem lettuces
4 radishes, thinly sliced (mandolin good for this too)
1 carrot, grated
1 and a 1/2 avocados, thinly sliced
4 nori sheets
Toasted sesame seeds
Pink himalayan salt to taste

bulgar_wheat_sushi_with_wasabi_ginger_grassrootsandgrainsSo to begin, place the bulgar wheat into a pot and add the two cups of water. Bring to the boil, reduce to simmer and then cover with a lid and cook for 15-20 minutes until all the water has been absorbed. Once cooked, transfer to a bowl and allow the bulgar wheat to cool down. When this has been achieved, add half of the ‘tincture’ that you set aside and fold into the bulgar wheat. You can then add some pink himalayan salt to taste.

While the bulgar wheat is cooking, start your slicing and dicing of the veggies so that they are ready to be rolled!

bulgar_wheat_sushi_with_wasabi_ginger_grassrootsandgrains (2)To roll the sushi, place a nori sheet, matte side up onto your sushi mat. Using wet hands, spread a thin layer of bulgar wheat evenly around the the nori sheet. Make sure to leave a two inch border at the top. Next, arrange all of the vegetables, starting with the baby gem lettuce, across the centre of the bulgar wheat and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

bulgar_wheat_sushi_with_wasabi_ginger_grassrootsandgrains (4)Pick up the edge of the mat closest to you and start to roll it away from you while holding the filling in. Pull the mat gently while rolling in order to get a nice firm roll. Keep rolling until you have a nice, neat and tight roll and then use a wet and very sharp knife to neatly cut the nori roll into pieces. Arrange on a pretty platter and serve with your ginger and some tamari, which is also wheat & gluten free!

The combination of vegetables in this recipe provide a massive variety of nutrients, vitamins and minerals that’ll keep you healthy while you’re filling up! The sesame seeds in particular are a great source of niacin which you may not get in abundance from many of your other food sources. Niacin helps reduce bad cholesterol levels in the blood and can also enhance certain brain functions which work to reduce anxiety and neurosis.

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Avocado, Chocolate and Lucuma Mousse

This is GREAT for kids and for dinner guests!  In fact, your dinner guests will be shocked after they discover that this pudding is very nutrient dense and consists of NO refined sugar!  I started making this for my six year old as he’s addicted to chocolate, chocolate, chocolate!  But on the other hand my eight year old is addicted to avocados, avocados, avocados!

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To keep everybody happy, I decided to combine the two, with some lucuma for a little Peruvian Maple flavour, and voila! This mousse was born! To make enough to happily serve two, you’ll just need the following ingredients:

1 medium ripe avocado
1/3 of a cup of raw cacao powder, or more to taste
3 fresh dates, pitted and roughly chopped
1/3 of a cup of coconut milk, nut milk or filtered water
½ a teaspoon of natural vanilla extract (or you can use pure vanilla bean powder)
A pinch of unrefined sea salt
1 tablespoon of lucuma

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So all you need to do to create this dish is blend everything together and then leave to chill in the fridge for an hour. Then you can top it with your favourite super food and enjoy this awesome ‘avocacao’ treat!

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Raw cacao is a fantastic ingredient to use when trying to make a healthy dessert. It has been associated with several health claims ranging from improving the function of the heart to helping to reduce cataracts. Many studies have also suggested that theobromine, which is a non-addictive stimulant naturally found in raw cacao, can be used to combat depression. Additionally, it is high in antioxidants and essential fatty acids. If you want to increase your good cholesterol levels whilst decreasing bad cholesterol levels then raw cacao is the perfect thing to include in your diet.

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Using avocado in a dessert might not seem like a conventional idea but they are full of so much goodness that you really can’t go wrong! Be sure to pick a ripe one to make your mousse and always scrape it out well as the portion nearest the skin is where the most nutrients can be found! Avocados are crammed with good fats that help to protect the heart against disease.

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The Lucuma fruit, which is native to Peru, provides the perfect sweetener! The fruit is dried out at a low temperature and then turned into powder. It rates low on the glycemic scale and is full of nutrients like iron, zinc, beta-carotene and calcium. The maple-like taste makes it great for sweet dessert dishes whilst keeping you healthy at the same time!

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