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!

French Green and White Bean Salad

Salads are among my favourite meals as they are so simple and quick to make whilst also being incredibly good for the body! By using a variety of ingredients in a salad you can quickly provide your body with the nutrients it needs to get through the day. This salad is perfect for lunch or dinner and will leave you feeling satisfied and nourished.

The crushed, toasted walnuts give this salad an interesting twist, both in terms of flavour and nutrition. As you may know, eating walnuts every day will help to protect your heart as well as work to lower your risk of developing certain cancers. This amazing nuts contain the plant-based omega-3 fat which is great for battling inflammation in the body. Omega-3 has also been linked with helping to prevent blood clots from forming. Studies have also shown that walnuts can aid weight loss efforts as well as boost the reproductive health of men.

Ready to make this healthy salad? It will serve two people as a main or four as a side! You will need the following ingredients:

250g of french white beans, rinsed and drained
150g of french green beans
2 large handfuls of spinach
2 large handfuls of rocket (arugula)
1 large handful of coriander
1 large handful of flat-leaf parsley
4 medium tomatoes, quartered
A large handful of walnuts, toasted and then crushed
1 avocado, cut into small chunks
2 spring onions, thinly sliced

For the dressing:

The juice of 1 lemon
The zest of 1/2 a lemon
2 Tbsp. of apple cider vinegar
1 shallot, finely diced
1 tsp. of dijon mustard

French Green and White Bean Salad2The first thing you will need to do is cook the french green beans for five minutes in a pot with boiling water. After this time you must remove them from the pan and drain and rinse with cold water. Next, in a large bowl, combine all of the salad ingredients together and toss well. Finally, in a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad.

It is simply a stunning, green and ‘French’ salad that tastes fantastic! For more recipes like this one that will fill you with goodness, head over to The Flexi Foodie Academy!

Chia Mushroom Meatballs

Meatless meatballs are not as difficult to create as you might think and it is more than likely that you already have the necessary ingredients in your cupboards! The use of chia seeds is a fantastic way to get the consistency just right and to hold the meatballs together. As you will no doubt already know from previous posts of mine, chia seeds are an absolute nutritional powerhouse and something I recommend including in the diet every day! If you are unaware of their amazing health benefits then click here to find out!

To make these meatballs you will need the following ingredients:

1/2 cup of Puy lentils
1 pack of button mushrooms
1 cup of walnuts
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2 garlic cloves
1 small handful thyme
2 small handfuls coriander
The juice from half a lemon

To get started making this recipe you will first need to preheat your oven to 180C. Next, soak your chia seeds in six tablespoons of water for 10 minutes. While the chia seeds are soaking you can begin to cook the lentils according the back of pack instructions.

Next, finely chop the mushrooms and fry with a tiny bit of tamari sauce over a medium heat until they begin to go soft. This should take between five and seven minutes. After this time you can remove the pan from the heat. You must then combine the cooked lentils, mushrooms, walnuts, chia seeds, nutritional yeast, garlic cloves, thyme, coriander and lemon juice in your food processor. Blitz all of these ingredients until a paste is formed and then roll this paste into golf ball sized balls.

Once all rolled, place the balls onto a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 10 minutes before turning the balls and baking for another 10 minutes. After this time is up you can remove from the oven and they are ready to eat! You can either enjoy them on their own or add to your favourite pasta dish!  They are especially delicious with courgetti spaghetti!

Chia Mushroom Mushrooms

Superfoods for Seniors!

Food is one of the most enduring and consistent parts of our lives – and the old adage “You are what you eat” has never been truer, especially for seniors looking to improve their diets and their bodies.

As we get older, there’s a certain tendency to wonder if healthy eating still matters – after all, we may not have long to experience any effects, right? That’s true, but our daily nutrition still has a major impact on how well our body functions. Today, we’re going to look at a collection of fantastic superfoods for seniors that could help reduce the chances of certain medical issues.

How To Make A Super Meal

Before that, though, we need to know how to make a great meal. Blueberries are fantastic for getting dietary fiber and antioxidants, but a meal consisting of nothing but these tiny blue marvels wouldn’t be a good idea. Instead, let’s think about combining these foods with a few simple recipes.

The Super Salad

Start with a base of Kale, whose impressively high levels of omega-3 fatty acids can help fight off pain in your joints. Top with a handful of Blueberries, as fresh as you can get them, and a small handful of Walnuts. Add your favorite dressing, and congratulations – you’ve just created a super salad that’s full of nutrition.

The Ultimate Smoothie

It takes practice to make smoothies just by eyeballing them, and we all prefer to drink different amounts – so think about proportions, not size. Once you’re ready to start, pour in equal amounts of pomegranate juice and acai juice – making sure you’ve got actual juice, not merely a fruit-flavored sugary drink. Add some ground flaxseed (whole seeds aren’t nearly as nutritious), greek yogurt, and as much fresh fruit as you’d like. This last one will determine the ultimate thickness of your drink – if you prefer meal replacement smoothies, the fruit should make up at least half the drink.

The Easiest Dinner

While cooking a slice of salmon in the oven, arrange a set of beans and an avocado on your plate. For added value, you can add some pumpkin seeds to the beans – mixing them in to make the meal even healthier while adding a nice degree of crunch. Every part of this meal is packed with nutrients that will help boost your body up, giving you the energy you need to continue enjoying your life.

Mixing It Up

These recipes focus on packing as many superfoods into your diet as possible, but they’re far from the only way to do things. For example, you could also mix greek yogurt and blueberries into a bowl of steelcut oats, topping the whole concoction with chia seeds – or you could make superfoods a part of your meals instead of the focus. Other foods also have nutritional value, and it’s important to have a balanced diet.

To get the most benefit, though, you’ll need to get up and move around as best you can – summer activities are particularly helpful for staying active and allowing the body to process nutrients, though it’s important to avoid excessive heat, which is one of the most significant dangers to any senior. Activities should be enjoyed in the morning or evening hours – or at least somewhere that has air conditioning.

How Much Do Superfoods Cost?

That depends on a wide variety of factors, including the season, your geographic location, and various matters in agriculture and business. However, most superfoods are widely available at grocery stores and supermarkets, and many of them can be purchased in bulk at a reasonable price. You don’t have to destroy your savings just to eat healthy foods – so go ahead, take a look around, and start making a plan to add these fantastic treats to your diet!

This post was a contribution by Felicity Dryer. Check out her infographic below!

Originally born in Flagstaff, Arizona, Felicity Dryer was raised by her parents (more or less modern-day hippies) to always make her health a top priority. She moved to Los Angeles to pursue her career as a freelance health writer, and continues to help those seeking encouragement to keep moving forward to achieve their goals. @FelicityDryer

SeniorSuperfood+(updated)

tibits; A Buffet with a Difference

I recently checked out tibits, a vegetarian restaurant and bar, and I absolutely loved it. Tibits offer a wide variety of vegetarian buffet food, which makes it the perfect place to dine out if you’re not quite sure what you want to eat yet! It’s brilliant for splurging or scrimping on the pennies too – it can cost as little or as much as you want. With a twist on the more conventional buffet idea, the protocol here is to select what you want from the range of dishes, take your plate up to the counter to be placed on a scale and then pay for your meal depending on the weight. It’s a pretty novel system but I thought it was great!

tibits_a_buffet_with_a_difference_the_flexifoodie (4)The buffet is apparently changed daily, and each option is helpfully labeled so that you can distinguish between the vegetarian, vegan and gluten free food. If you don’t eat meat or dairy and you’ve ever tried to dine at a regular buffet, then you’ll understand just how much easier and enjoyable this makes your dining experience. I liked the fact that there is a great selection of organic wines and beers on offer, as well as the typical fresh juices and hot drinks.

tibits_a_buffet_with_a_difference_theflexifoodieRight now there are some amazing autumn specials on the menu, such as the Onde con Funghi al Tartufo (a mushroom pasta dish) and the Focaccia Mexicana pizza, both of which are delicious! I always think the dessert is the most important part of a meal though and the dessert menu here was a treat.  The selection of sweet dishes on the list is fantastic, and with the desserts being vegan I couldn’t be happier. Needless to say, I’ll be bringing all 4 of my kids along next time for the sticky toffee pudding! The staff at tibits are really child friendly as well, great for people like me who want both quality food and good service for their kids (a rare find).

tibits_a_buffet_with_a_difference_the_flexifoodie (2)The location for Tibits is great for me as I pass through central London often. I find the problem with a lot of restaurants in this part of town is that they’re overly busy with minimal seating – not the best for sitting down with friends or for having kids running underfoot. It’s the complete opposite at tibits – as you walk down from Regent Street, Heddon Street is a blissful sea of calm away from the mad flow of tourists.

Inside the restaurant, everything is decorated to give a cheerful atmosphere, and I’d recommend it as a good spot to meet friends for lunch or for a relaxed evening meal. Tibits also offers a take away option! I’ve often wanted to grab a vegan snack as I pass through central London and seeing that all their hot food is vegan, this is ideal – it’s practically open all day. I also saw that they have “vegan day” events that are every eleven days, details on their website www.tibits.co.uk, so I’m definitely coming back for that!

I have to say that tibits is definitely one of the few vegetarian or vegan restaurants to which you can take your carnivorous friends. The friend who came with me eats meat, and to have her actively enjoy the meatless dishes is pretty astounding. I’m sure many of you reading this know just how tedious pleasing carnivores can get!

All in all, I had a great experience here and would recommend it as a vegetarian hotspot in London!  Check them out here: www.tibits.co.uk