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!

Green Bean, Courgette and Coconut Soup

This soup is incredibly quick to make and also fantastically filling. It also involves minimal preparation which makes it the perfect choice when you’ve had a long day but still want a healthy choice! Adding coconut milk into a soup will create a creamy consistency that isn’t usually possible when you only use stock.

It is the coconut milk that is responsible for the high levels of nutrients in this soup. When consumed in moderation coconut milk is amazing for your health and can actually help to fight infection in the body. This is because of a compound found within, known as monolaurin, which is antibacterial and antiviral. The most notable benefits of consuming coconut milk are that it is rich in fibre as well as a range of vitamins and minerals. That includes Vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5, B6 as well as iron, selenium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous!

To make enough soup for 4 – 6 people, find the following ingredients:

600g of courgettes, cut into 1 inch chunks
200g of top and tailed green beans
1 cup (240 ml) of coconut milk
1 cup (240 ml) of veggie stock
Radishes and dill, to garnish
Black pepper and sea salt, to taste

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This one is just so so simple to whip up when you’re in a rush! All you have to do is bring a large pot of water to the boil and then add in the courgettes and beans. Boil this pan for 3-5 minutes and then drain and rinse with cold water. Next, in a high speed blender, combine the beans, courgettes, coconut milk and veggie stock. Once this mixture is smooth pour the soup back into a large pot and heat it until it is warmed. you can divide the soup between your bowls and top it with sliced radishes and dill. You can also add a good sprinkling of black pepper and sea salt. Enjoy!

If you want to discover more easy, healthy recipes like this then head over to Amazon to pre-order my first cookbook!

Courgetti Spaghetti, Grapefruit and a Brazil Nut, Coriander and Lemon Pesto

Courgette/Zucchini noodles are seriously becoming the biggest craze and I absolutely love them not only because they taste so good, but that it’s actually rather fun to spiralize them!  Even Nestor, my youngest, always wants a go and I always love to find new ways to get the kids involved in the kitchen!

Courgettes are incredibly low calorie with approximately just 17 calories in a 100 grams! They have immense anti-oxidant value which, as we know, means fantastic things for your body and overall health. Although they contain a great range of vitamins and minerals, potassium is one of the best components contained within and is found in abundance! This means that your heart will really feel the benefit when you include courgettes in your diet frequently. Adding grapefruits into this recipe also means amazing things for your heart as they are a tasty source of potassium too! Grapefruit also boasts a healthy dose of vitamin A which has many essential functions in the body.

Getting an adequate amount of essential fats in your diet is important for maintaining your health and can also aid weight loss. Brazil nuts are a great source of this kind of fat and eating even a small amount of them can provide huge benefits. Some people choose not to eat nuts because of the high calorie count but in moderation this is not something that you need to worry about!courgetti_spaghettiTo make enough for four people, find the following ingredients:

2 large courgettes
2 grapefruits, peeled and in segments
1 cup brazil nuts
1/4 tsp. sea salt
3 Tbsp. of water
1/2 cup basil
1/2 cup of coriander
2 Tbsp. of olive oil
1/2 lemon, squeezed
1 small garlic clove

So let’s get started making your spaghetti! Using a spiralizer or mandolin, create spaghetti like ribbons and then put them to one side. Next, in your food processor, combine the brazil nuts, sea salt, water, basil, coriander, olive oil, lemon and garlic to create the pesto. If necessary then you can add more water if you like to make your pesto smoother. You can then thoroughly mix the pesto into the courgette noodles and top with the grapefruit segments after serving into bowls.

Courgetti Spaghetti with Sundried Tomato & Almond Sauce

My good friend Russell James, the Raw Chef, is KING in the RAW arena.  I’ve pretty much tried all of his recipes, bought his amazing e-books, and think he’s one cool dude.  So, this recipe is dedicated to him and his awesome RAW recipes!  To find out more about Russell, head to:  www.therawchef.com and find even more amazing RAW recipes!

Before I get into the way to prepare this awesome recipe, I thought it best to explain why RAW is so important in our diets.

Now that summer is nearly here, we are more likely to eat raw food in summer because we are crave lighter, cooler dishes such as salads, juices, chilled soups and smoothies.   And that’s great as raw fruit and vegetables deliver far higher levels of nutrients to our body than cooked food.  I always try to have ONE RAW DAY.

One day of the week; immerse yourself into raw foods – it’s awesome!  Go to the your local store and buy a huge amount of organic fruits and vegetables. Having one 100% raw day per week can give your body a rest and let it heal and rebuild. Think of it as like a ‘detox’ one day a week.  If you’re new to RAW, then why not sign up for my Green Smoothie Challenge.  Click here for details!

And now onto the recipe!  It’s easy peasy, lemon, squeezy.  My 14-year old even said so as she helped me make and then we ate it!

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Okay, one more thing.. if you don’t have a spiralizer… it’s okay!  Although they are very inexpensive so if you think you’re going to do more recipes like this, definitely invest in one!  You can then use a mandolin or julienne slicer instead of a spiralizer.

For the Courgette Spaghetti:  2 green courgettes or in America, we say zucchini 🙂

For the Sundried Tomato & Almond Sauce:

1 cup sundried tomatoes, soaked

1/2 cup almonds, soaked for 4- 6 hours

zest and juice of one lemon

1 garlic clove

1 Tbsp. olive oil

sea salt and fresh pepper

Marinated Red Peppers

1 red pepper, sliced

50 ml apple cider vinegar

50 ml tamari

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Red peppers, red peppers, red peppers, where for art thou red peppers?  Remember, I was Captain of my Cheerleading squad in High School so my brain is all about poems, rhymes and cheers.  Well, red peppers are an awesome ‘super’ food.  A quick summary: All peppers are rich in vitamins A & C, and K, but red peppers are simply bursting with them. Vitamins A and C, awesome antioxidants, help to prevent cell damage, cancer, and disease related to ageing (am all over that one!) , and they support our immune system. They also reduce inflammation like that found in arthritis. Vitamin K promotes proper blood clotting, strengthens bones, and helps protect cells from free radical damage.  There’s LOADS more information on what Red Peppers can do for you health wise, but if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, I try to keep it simple so that you can remember snippets here and there rather than slamming you with a War & Peace novel of information. 

So, slice your red pepper and marinate it with the tamari and the apple cider vinegar.  Cover your peppers and set aside in the fridge to allow the tamari and the apple cider to absorb in the red peppers.

Next, get your spiralizer… so fun!  But don’t worry , you can still have fun without one and use a mandolin or julienne slicer instead.  You’re aim is to create spaghetti or taglietelle like strips out of the courgettes.  If you think you’ll use this recipe again and again, then spiralizers are actually very inexpensive to buy.  Put your strips into a bowl to have ready for the sauce.

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Now put all of the Sauce ingredients into your blender  and whizz away.  You should get a paste-like sauce, but if that’s too thick for you add just a bit more water to thin it out.

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Pour the sauce over your Courgetti, mix well and top with your marinated red peppers!  If my 14 year-old raved about this and ate it all up, then I hope you will too!  If you like this, then why not LIKE my Facebook page too!

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Grass, Roots & Grains Veggie Burgers

So the snow has fallen in abundance in London causing the schools to close and all four of my children to be at home! My kids are so active and into every sport imaginable, therefore chaos is the norm in our house. For this reason it’s not very often that the six of us are all together at the same time so what a treat it was to be snowed in! I relished the opportunity to get them all cooking together in the kitchen and that’s where this week’s recipe was born.

My kids are definitely lovers of veggie burgers. They’re the kids who order them at burger restaurants, at pool side cafes or even birthday parties and I’m so proud of them for it! Eating a wholesome veggie burger is like getting an injection of so many nutrients rather than cholesterol and saturated fat. So it was a unanimous decision – we would make their favourite and my speciality, Grass, Roots & Grains Veggie Burger….served, of course, with a side of sweet potato chips and green peas!

If you’re getting ready to make this dish at home yourself then first you’ll need to raid the supermarket for the following ingredients:

125g or 3/4 cup of whole-wheat couscous
100g or 1/2 cup red lentils
1 tbsp. whole meal flour
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1/2 a bunch of coriander
1 courgette, diced
1 large tomato, diced
1 tablespoon, tahini
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. coriander
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
Sea salt and black pepper

Once you have gathered the necessary ingredients you can begin by putting all of the couscous into a bowl and pouring 200ml of seasoned boiling water over it. A simple bouillon is perfect for this and will really flavour the couscous. Quickly mix together before covering and placing to one side.P1050292

You can then rinse your half a cup of lentils and place in a pan with 300ml of water and bring to the boil. After about twenty minutes in the pan, the lentils should have become soft so it’s now time to drain and chuck them into your food processor. Now is also the time to include the diced onion, carrot, courgette and tomato along with all of the spices and herbs, flour and tahini.

Once all of your ingredients are blended together you can remove the mixture from the blender and add it to the bowl of couscous that you prepared earlier. You must now mix the two concoctions together vigorously with your hands. As soon as your couscous combination is ready, you can wet your hands and have some fun moulding the mixture into burger shapes. With the amount of ingredients used you will have enough burger mix to make four burgers, or alternatively you could make more slightly smaller burgers.P1050299

Your burger patties can now be added to a frying pan with a tablespoon of coconut oil and cooked for three or four minutes on each side. As soon as they’re ready you can pop them out of the pan and into wholemeal baps. Garnish in any which way you like and enjoy!

The combination of vegetables inside these burgers is a great mix and provides a generous amount of nutrition in each portion. Tomatoes are an amazing source of antioxidants, especially lycopene which protects the body from those nasty free radicals. Courgettes are also prized for their antioxidant values as well as their high potassium count which is great for your blood pressure. Similarly onions and carrots are rich sources of vitamins and nutrients, especially beta-carotene for the latter which helps maintain your vision.

Although the burgers are technically cooked, the amount of time they are heated for will allow for lots of nutrients that are normally lost through cooking at high temperatures to remain.

If you want to find out more about nutrition then click here!

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