Chilli, Lime, Sweet Potato and Rice Bowl

This rice bowl is another one of my super simple to make recipes that doesn’t take much time at all to create! It’s essentially a selection of some of my favourite foods combined to make a delicious lunch or dinner option.

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If you know me then you will know that I LOVE all things hot and spicy – but that doesn’t mean that you have to spice yours up if you don’t want to!

The following recipe makes enough to serve two to three people – depending on how big you want your bowl to be.

Ingredients:

  • 125g of cooked brown rice
  • 400g of cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
  • A handful of coriander
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 inches of fresh ginger, chopped
  • 3 small sweet potatoes, chopped into small chunks
  • A handful of cashew nuts
  • 2 small handfuls of pumpkin seeds
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Tamari soy sauce
  • 1 lime, sliced in half
  • Maple agave (or your favourite natural sweetener)

Method:

Start by preheating your oven to 200C or 400F. Next, place your sweet potato chunks on an oven tray and drizzle a generous amount of olive oil over them. Roast the potatoes in the oven for 20 minutes.

Place the cashew nuts and pumpkin seeds in a separate oven dish and roast with the potatoes for the final seven minutes of the 20 minutes.

While the sweet potato and the nuts and seeds are roasting you can turn your attention to making your salad dressing. For this you will need to place the ginger, the red chilli, and the garlic in a bowl. You can then take the lime halves and squeeze as much juice as you can into the bowl. Add four tablespoons of olive oil to the mix with two tablespoons of the tamari soy sauce and two tablespoons of the maple agave – or your favourite natural sweetener! Whisk the contents of the bowl together.

Next, take a large handful of the rice and place into each bowl, alongside a large handful of the sweet potato and the black beans and the nuts and seeds. You can then pour the salad dressing over the top of each bowl and sprinkle with coriander.

Want to learn more about how eating more plant-based foods can enhance your health? Click here now to check out my starter guide!

Broccoli and Cauliflower Pilaf

Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower have unique nutritional properties compared to other vegetables. This is because they are packed with phytonutrients—potent anti-cancer agents.

Broccoli is great for fighting disease in the body and can really help to keep you healthy when you consume it regularly. As with many foods, it is best for your body if you eat it raw, but there are still health benefits to be gained when you cook it first. Broccoli is an excellent source of vitamin C as well as vitamins A, E and K! Cauliflower is also fantastic for your health and can be very beneficail when consumed often. Cauliflower is particularly good for the immune system because of the folates and vitamin C found within. Your heart also stands to benefit when you eat cauliflower because it helps to lower your cholesterol levels.

To make this dish for two to three people, you will need the following ingredients:

1 tbsp of coconut oil
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1 /2 a cup / 3oz / 100g of broccoli
1/2 a cup / 3oz / 100g of cauliflower
1 inch (2.5cm) of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 cups / 14oz / 400g of brown rice, cooked to packet instructions
1 tsp of ground turmeric
1 tsp of ground curry powder
1 tsp of ground chilli powder
1 tbsp of ground cilantro (coriander)
1⁄2 cup / 2 3 ⁄ 4oz / 75g of cashew nuts, chopped

Broccoli and Cauliflower Pilaf2To get started you will need to place the coconut oil in a large saucepan on a high heat to warm for a couple of minutes. You can then add the garlic and then gently sauté for two to three minutes.

The next step is to add the cauliflower and broccoli and continue to cook for 10 minutes, or until it becomes slightly crisp. You can then add the ginger and brown rice to the pan before stirring in the turmeric, curry powder, chilli, and cilantro. You must then reduce the heat and cook on a low setting for a further 10 minutes, adding a splash of water if the mixture becomes dry. Finally, divide between plates, garnish with cashew nuts, and serve immediately.

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!

Sangita’s Tofu Curry

My friend Sangita was kind enough to share this recipe with me although it was originally intended as a prawn curry dish! To give this recipe my own touch, I’ve substituted tofu in to create a veggie alternative! Curry is a wholesome dish that is perfectly satisfying at the end of a long day and with ample opportunity to include a combination of herbs and spices, it is great for your body too! To make this recipe for yourself and three others, you’ll need the following ingredients:

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2 medium onions
450g block of firm tofu, cut into small chunks
½ a block of coconut cream
1 teaspoon of cumin
4 ground cardamom pods
2 teaspoons of coriander
2 teaspoons of turmeric
2 teaspoons of chilli powder
Lime juice to taste
1 inch of root ginger
3 tablespoons of safflower oil
Lemon juice
Salt and pepper

Before you start preparing the curry, you should first add your desired amount of rice to a pan of hot water and leave to cook.

So to begin, you should chop the onions into small pieces and peel and slice the ginger. Next you can drizzle some of the safflower oil into a pan and fry these two ingredients together for two to three minutes. Whilst continuing to fry, include the cumin, cardamom, coriander plus the turmeric and chilli powder. Stir the contents of the frying pan together well before adding in all of the tofu.

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Now you can turn the heat down a tad whilst you create the coconut milk. Do this by mixing the block of coconut cream with 475ml of boiling water in a jug and stirring well before pouring into the pan. Turn the heat back up and allow everything to cook together for between five and ten minutes.

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Before you take the curry off the heat, check to see if the rice is ready and if so drain off any excess water and serve onto dishes. You can then season the contents of your pan with salt and freshly ground black pepper before serving over the rice. Garnish with a dash of lime juice and enjoy!

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Curry is often thought of as an indulgent dish that is neither good for the body or your waistline, however when prepared with the correct ingredients and not full of fatty products, curry can actually be a healthy meal. Not only this but it isn’t too difficult to make and is loved by many! Also, by using tofu as an alternative to meat in your curries, you are providing the body with numerous healthy benefits. These benefits range from lowering your cholesterol count to helping protect against certain cancers. It is also believed that consuming tofu will help keep bones strong as it is a great source of calcium. Tofu is also full of vitamin E and is a fantastic source of protein. Every 100g of tofu contains approximately 17.19g of protein, making it easy to see that you can still meet your daily recommended allowance from this meat alternative!

The inclusion of spices like turmeric, cumin and coriander are also good ways to boost the nutritional value of your meals and also add to the taste. Also, when cooking it is preferable to avoid the traditional oils which have become the norm and instead opt for a healthier alternative. Safflower oil has been used since the Ancient Egyptian times and is a bi-product of a plant which is also widely used for colouring, flavouring and medicinal purposes.

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Butternut Squash and Brown Rice Soup with Coriander

Here’s a great recipe if you’re looking for a meal to warm you up this winter that’s also packed full of goodness – Butternut Squash and Brown Rice Soup with Coriander. This is a fairly easy to make dish that doesn’t require too many ingredients; you’ll likely find that you have most of them in the cupboards already!

To get started creating this gorgeous meal, which will easily be enough to feed four people, this is what you’ll need:

Approximately 1 kg (2lb 4 oz) butternut squash
Coconut oil for frying or  a splash of vegetable stock
2 medium onions
2-3 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 litre (4 cups) vegetable stock
175g (6oz) brown rice
Fresh coriander (cilantro)

To start, take your butternut squash and cut it up into manageable chunks. Make sure you save all of the seeds as they will come in useful later! You then need to chop up the two onions and decide whether you are using coconut oil or veg stock to fry them in. Once you have made your choice, you can heat some in the pan and chuck the onions in. As the onions are frying you can then add the garlic, the spices and the chilli to the pan. Stir it all together for a few seconds and then add the butternut squash.

Make sure that you stir the contents of the pan well before you pour in your vegetable stock, then bring it to the boil. Once you’ve reached this point you can add half of the rice and set the pan to simmer.

You should now pop the seeds you’ve saved into the oven to toast! There are two things that you can do with these seeds later on, depending on your preferences. Either add them into the first pan which is to be blended later; alternatively you can use them on top of your soup with the coriander garnish. If you are going to add the seeds into the first pan then you will need a high performance blender, such as a Vitamix, to do this properly.

Whilst your first pan is simmering you can then boil the rest of the rice in water for approximately 15 minutes. Alternatively you can just use your rice cooker. If you decide to do the rice in a pan then make sure you set the rice to drain as soon as it’s ready.

After 30 or so minutes, the butternut squash should be soft and cooked through. This means it’s time to take it off the heat. You can now blend it before returning it to the pan and adding the other batch of drained, cooked rice. Now that everything is cooking together you can set the pan to simmer and season to your desired taste.

Your soup can now be garnished with coriander and served!IMG_0292

Whilst you’re enjoying your delicious meal it will also please you to know that what you’re eating is just as good for your body as it is for your taste buds! Butternut squash is full of antioxidants and vitamins, and is also a very low calorie vegetable. It contains absolutely no cholesterol or saturated fat but it is a fantastic source of fibre.

The most prevalent vitamin in butternut squash is vitamin A which is a powerful weapon for keeping your skin healthy. It is also a great vitamin for maintaining good eyesight and it has even been suggested that it can help the body in the fight against some cancers.

Whenever you use butternut squash, it’s a great idea to keep and use the seeds. These seeds are an amazing source of fibre and have many benefits for the health of your heart. They are full of minerals, proteins and vitamins that will do your body wonders.  Enjoy!

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