Raw Spicy Thai Green Papaya Salad

This incredible salad is the last of the amazing dishes that I discovered during my stay at the Amatara Wellness Resort in Thailand! It takes just a few moments to throw together and is an iconic dish from this beautiful country.

The salad itself contains an abundance of ingredients that pack a healthy punch, and the pumpkin seed garnish gives it an extra nutritious boost! Also, if spicy isn’t really your thing then you can always make this salad without the addition of the chilli!

Pumpkin seeds are rich in healthy fats, as well as being an excellent source of magnesium and zinc. Studies have suggested that regularly consuming pumpkin seeds could help to keep your blood pressure down and to promote an optimum sleep cycle.

Papaya is another exciting ingredient from this exotic dish, and may not be one that you consume often! Papaya is a rich and colourful source of nutrients, in fact – it has one of the highest vitamin C counts of all of the fruits! It is also an excellent source of potassium, beta-carotene, and lycopene! As well as being a delicious addition to salads, you can also simply enjoy this fruit on its own, or as a juice!

Ready to make this salad for two people?

Ingredients:

Salad

  • 50g long beans, sliced diagonally in 1-2cm pieces
  • 100g green papaya, fine julienne
  • 50g carrot, fine julienne
  • 10g chilli, fine julienne
  • 10g coriander leaves

Dressing

  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ Tbsp lime juice
  • ½ tsp coconut nectar
  • 2 tsp tamari soy sauce
  • 5g garlic, minced

Garnish

  • 10g pumpkin seeds

Method:

Place all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl and lightly mix with a wooden spoon. Next, to make the dressing, mix lime juice, coconut nectar, sea salt, garlic and tamari soy sauce together. You can then pour the dressing over the salad and mix lightly.

Serve your salad onto plates and garnish with a few pumpkin seeds. So simple!

Raw Spicy Thai Green Papaya Salad Julie Montagu

Wellness for Women

If you have seen my wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and I would love it if you would join me on this journey as we keep moving through 2018!

Also, if you wan to learn about how eating more plant-based foods can enhance your health and your energy levels, then click here now to check out my starter guide!

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.

If you are interested in receiving a downloadable version of this recipe straight to your inbox then enter your email below!

[convertkit form=5070317]

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!

Gut Health and Your Diet

In recent years there has been an emergence of research that has shown just how important the health of the gut is! When your digestive system isn’t doing its thing, all other areas of your health can soon become compromised. Continue reading Gut Health and Your Diet

Chickpea and Avocado Salad

This salad is so incredibly simple to make that even with the busiest of schedules you could still whip it up for lunch for yourself every day! Gathering and preparing the ingredients will take less than five minutes and then you will be enjoying it in no time! This salad contains a delicious range of ingredients that are all bursting with nutrients. Choosing this recipe for lunch is a great way to boost your energy levels and your mood as you head into the afternoon, especially if you have begun to feel your energy drop mid-morning.

Cumin is a super nutritious spice and, in my opinion, isn’t used nearly enough in cooking! It is most popular in cuisines from the Middle East and India, but it brings such a great punch of flavour that it can really improve a wide range of dishes, both in terms of taste and nutrition. Studies have been conducted into the possible anti-diabetic properties of this healthy little seed. The results of these studies demonstrate that cumin can help to reduce low blood sugar. Cumin has been used throughout history to aid the digestive process and ease indigestion. It is also rich in magnesium which you must obtain through dietary sources as the body does not produce it.

Chickpea and Avocado Salad2.pngTo make this salad for two people you will need the following ingredients:

1 ripe avocado, diced
1 cup of cherry tomatoes, chopped
1 cup of black olives
2 cups of pre-cooked quinoa
400g of canned chickpeas, drained
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
A handful of fresh coriander, chopped
1/2 a cup of raw cashew nuts
1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
A dash of salt and pepper

Chickpea and Avocado SaladSimply add all of the ingredients into a big salad bowl and mix together well before serving onto two plates. It’s that simple! 

This is a recipe from an upcoming course on my e-learning portal, The Flexi Foodie Academy – head there now to check out what’s already on offer!

Lemon Coconut and Radish Noodle Salad

This dish is fantastic if you want a light and refreshing yet filling meal that is full of flavour! It doesn’t take long to make and is a great excuse for getting your spiralizer out! I often make it as an accompaniment when I’m having people over for dinner but it also works as a main dish.

Radishes are incredibly under-appreciated when it comes to cooking and making an effort to eat them more brings variety to your meals as well as nutrition to your body! They have a crunchy texture and are actually naturally cooling which helps to keep your body temperature steady. In just a few months radishes will be in season, making them the perfect choice to include in spring dinner party dishes. If you are suffering with a sore throat or are experiencing poor digestion then radishes can help to improve both of these things! They are also very useful at preventing viral infections because of their high vitamin C content. Add to that, that they work to eliminate toxins in the body, as well as protecting against certain cancers, and you have an all-round amazing vegetable!

The following ingredients will serve two people as a main dish or four people as a side:

2 x watermelon radishes
1 small cauliflower
Zest of 1 lemon
A large handful of desiccated coconut

For the dressing:

Juice of 1 lemon
1 ripe avocado
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. olive oil
A small handful of coriander
A dash of sea salt and pepper

IMG_4347The first thing you will need to do is peel the watermelon radishes and use a spiralizer to turn them into spaghetti noodles. Once complete, place the noodles in a large salad bowl. You must then chop the cauliflower into small florets and place in your food processor. Next, pulse the cauliflower until it looks like white rice and add it to the salad bowl. 

You can then sprinkle the radish noodles and cauliflower rice with the desiccated coconut. Next, in a small bowl, mash the avocado and add the lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, olive oil and torn coriander.  This can then be seasoned with sea salt and pepper. The final step is to mix the dressing into the noodle salad and garnish with the lemon zest. Delicious! 

To learn more about which foods are great for your body, head over to The Flexi Foodie Academy!

3 Bean Spicy Chilli

Being American, chilli is a big deal!  And growing up in the cold Chicago winters….well, chilli was an even bigger deal! Of course, chilli recipes ideally have meat in them which of course is fine if you’re not vegetarian or vegan. However, I’ve found that adding in a selection of beans (three in this recipe) definitely makes a great and hearty substitute for the meat.  So, on those cold, rainy days – let this heart warming chilli be your go to super easy supper.  Oh, and PS, chilli is super easy to freeze so feel free to double this recipe so that you’ll always have it on hand when the downpours arrive!

Eating a range of beans is great for your health as they are bursting with nutrients. This recipe uses white beans, which are high in potassium and calcium, black beans, which are great for protein and magnesium, and kidney beans, which are packed full of dietary fibre! What’s not to love!

To make this dish for four people, you will need the following ingredients:

1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 celery sticks, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 x 400g tin white beans, drained and rinsed
1 x 400g tin black beans, drained and rinsed
1 x 400g tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 x 400ml tin chopped tomatoes
1 tsp. chilli powder
A small handful of basil, chopped
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. cumin
A small handful of coriander, chopped
1 avocado, sliced
1 lime, quartered
1 Tbsp. coconut oil

FullSizeRender (1)To get started you will need to take a large pot and melt the coconut oil over a medium to high heat in it. You can then add the onion, crushed garlic, carrot and celery and then cook for five minutes. Next, add all of the beans, chopped tomatoes and the spices and then cook for ten minutes over a medium heat. Once this time is up, you can then stir in the fresh basil until soft, which should just take a minute. Finally, serve into bowls and top with sliced avocado, fresh lime juice and chopped coriander. You’ll soon agree that it is SOOOO good!

Remember, for more amazing recipes like this and nutrition information and advice, head over to The Flexi Foodie Academy!

The BEST Refried Beans

This recipe comes from a wonderful company called Hello Fresh that I recently started using. And I can’t tell you how amazing they are! Their boxes include chef-created recipes and all the fresh ingredients you need to cook at home. Because I’m working full-time and have four kids, it’s sometimes hard to have to prepare a meal every single night of the week on those nights when I’m rushing off to teach and that’s why Hello Fresh is SO amazing. All the fresh ingredients are right there for me, with instructions and I’m easily done cooking a SUPER healthy meal for me and the kids in 30 minutes or less. And on those evenings when I can’t do the cooking… well, luckily I have a 17 year old daughter who not only follows the instructions but loves to cook too! So, here’s one of their fabulous recipes that we all love!

Refried beans are simple to make with just a few ingredients and with this delicious recipe is the BEST recipe I’ve discovered so far for this meal! Once you have prepped all of the ingredients it will take less than fifteen minutes to have it on the table!

Cumin is one of my favourite spices as it brings such an incredible flavour to food. It is crammed full of phytonutrients which have both antioxidant and anti-flatulent properties. It is also a great source of dietary fibre. Additionally, coriander contains a range of vitamins, minerals and essential oils. When eaten regularly, coriander can help to lower LDL cholesterol levels in the body.

This is the perfect meal to make if you come home late after a busy day and want something, quick but nutritious to fill your stomach. To make some for yourself, you will need the following ingredients:

1 x 400g tin of mixed beans, drained and rinsed
1 red onion, chopped
1 lime, zest and juice
1 tsp. cumin
2 Tbsp. tomato puree
1 tsp. of your favourite hot sauce or 1/4 tsp. chilli powder
Fresh coriander
1 Tbsp. coconut oil

The Best Refried Beans TheFlexiFoodie2To get started making this recipe, take a large pan and melt the coconut oil over a medium to high heat. You can then add the chopped red onion into the pan. It should take about five minutes for the red onion to become soft. You can then add in the beans, cumin, hot sauce/chilli powder and the tomato puree. Mix well and begin to mash the beans using a fork. Next, add the lime juice and zest and reduce the heat to low. You must then cover the pan for an additional five minutes. Once mashed, mixed and warm, put the beans in a large bowl and top with the fresh coriander – enjoy!

To learn about nutritious cooking and healthy foods head over to my e-learning portal – The Flexi Foodie Academy!

Courgette Pasta with a Mexican Bean Sauce

If you haven’t experienced the culinary delights of a spiralizer yet then this is the recipe to bring you on board! It is such a great way to bring a bit of variety to meal times and you can easily head over to my website and get one for yourself today! I love to spiralizer courgettes, not just because of the great texture and shape that it produces but also, of course, for the fantastic nutritional value of these vegetables. Courgettes are incredibly low value at just 17 calories per 100g and contains absolutely no saturated fat or cholesterol. Eating courgettes without peeling them is always the best option as there is a great amount of dietary fibre to be found close to the peel. Additionally, they are abundant in potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C, not to mention moderate amounts of folate, zinc, manganese, iron and thiamine!

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

2 courgettes – in long thin strips (best to use a spiralizer or a mandolin)
2 spring onions
1 red pepper
100g of baby spinach
1 tin of black beans, drained and rinsed
A handful of coriander – chopped
1 corn on the cob
1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
1 lime

Courgette NoodlesThe first and most enjoyable part of cooking this meal is to spiralize the courgette and put to one side in a large bowl. Next, finely slice the spring onions and cut the core from the red pepper and dice into 1 cm cubes. You must also shred the spinach with your hands and roughly chop the coriander.  Place the corn vertically on your chopping board and run your knife downwards to remove the corn pieces.

Next, over a medium to high heat, add the beans to a large skillet with the smoked paprika and a dash of olive oil. Mix well for two minutes. Then, in the same pan, add the corn and cook for five minutes before you then add the chopped spring onions and red pepper. Again, cook for a further five minutes and then add the spinach and coriander. Stir the contents of the skillet well until the spinach begins to wilt. You can then remove from heat and add to the courgette noodles.  Mix well and dress with the juice of your lime and finally, enjoy!

You can discover more fun meals like this one in my cookbook – SUPERFOODS – The Flexible Approach to Eating More Superfoods – Now available in the US too!

Burnt Corn, Kale and Lime Salad

Creating delicious variations on the traditional side salad is something that I love to do in the kitchen! This recipe requires minimal preperation and can be put together in the ten minutes before you serve your main meal. Kale is an ingredient that I tend to use a lot at home because of its amazing nutritious value. For those of you who don’t know, kale is among the healthiest foods in the world! With over 45 different flavonoids contained within, it provides a range of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. It is also great for lowering LDL cholesterol levels and lowering risk factors for cancer development.

Adding the juice of one lime to the salad dressing not only helps to bring out the flavour of the other ingredients but also brings a healthy boost to this side dish. They are a fantastic source of vitamin C and folic acid, the latter of which is important for cell growth and metabolism.

To make enough of this salad to serve six people, you will need the following ingredients:

2 x corns on the cob
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. cumin
250g kale, shredded
Sea salt
1 avocado, cut into small chunks
A squeeze of honey

For the dressing:
The juice of 1 lime
A handful of coriander, torn

Burnt Corn, Kale and Lime Salad2Firstly, using a sharp knife, cut the corn away from the cobs and separate the corn into kernels. In a frying pan, dry fry the corn with the paprika and the cumin for about 10 minutes until the corn starts to blacken! Next, remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool.

In a large bowl, massage the kale with sea salt for ten minutes or until it becomes soft. Add the burnt corn, the avocado, the lime and the coriander. Toss well and serve!

Follow me on Twitter so you never miss another recipe!

Roasted Chickpea, Cucumber and Purple Sprouting Broccoli Salad

Salads aren’t dishes that are often associated with the winter weather, however, this one is not only incredibly filling but also full of the kind of goodness that helps to keep you healthy and smiling through the cold season. Sprouting broccoli is an ingredient that I have used once before on my blog but you may not be all that familiar with it. Growing during the winter and sprouting during the spring, this colourful vegetable is a great way to add nutrition and character to any meal. However, it is chickpeas that are the true nourishment bringer of this dish.

A cup of chickpeas only contains 4 grams of fat and absolutely none of it is the bad kind! Add to that, that they provide a decent dose of fibre and can help to lower bad cholesterol levels whilst improving digestive health. When you eat chickpeas your red blood cells benefit hugely as they are full of folate which is essential for the development of these cells.

 the_flexi_foodie2

To make this salad for two people, you’ll need the following ingredients:

For the salad:

250g of purple sprouting broccoli
1 tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tsp of paprika
2 tsp of cumin
1 small cucumber
A handful of corianderFor the dressing:A handful of coriander
1/2 an avocado
A small handful of pitted olives
1 tbsp of tahini
1 clove of garlic, crushed
7 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
The juice of 1 lemon

Firstly, bring a pot of water to the boil and blanche the broccoli for 2-3 minutes. Whilst you’re doing so, pre-heat your oven to 180C and then spread your chickpeas out on a baking tray. Take the pre-measured paprika and cumin and sprinkle over the chickpeas. You can then place the baking tray into the oven for approximately 25 minutes. Remember to put the broccoli to one side on a large bowl once it is blanched.

Whilst you’re waiting for the chickpeas to cook, chop your cucumber into small chunks and add it into the bowl with the broccoli. As soon as the chickpeas are ready, you can add them into this bowl also.
the_flexi_foodie1

The dressing is equally as simple to make as all you have to do is chuck everything into your blender and blitz until you have a smooth mixture.

As soon as you have the broccoli, chickpeas and cucumber in the same bowl, you can serve onto two separate dishes and top with the salad dressing. Add a generous amount of coriander to the top of this and your salad is ready to eat!