Puy Lentil Quinoa, Roasted Aubergines and a Tahini Dressing

This could be one of my favourite creations so far! I was running late for the school run and in fact my entire day was just a LATE day….. I was late for everything!  So I had to whip up something quick but of course, good for the family!  And quinoa is one of the quickest grains to cook.  So while I was cooking that, I roasted some aubergines and boiled some lentils at the same time.  Mixed them together with some soaked goji berries and topped it all with a yummy tahini dressing that I knew the kids love.  So, here’s one family recipe for you that is now a favourite amongst my four kids……

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Serves 4-6

1 large or 2 small aubergines, cut into 1 cm rounds

2-3 Tbsp. Coconut oil, melted

2 tsp. cumin

200g quinoa

250g puy lentils

large handful of sultanas

large handful of pumpkin seeds

For the dressing:

1 Tbsp. tahini

2 Tbsp. tamari

2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp. honey

Squeeze of lemon

Heat your oven to 200C.  Bring 400ml of water to the boil and add the quinoa.  Bring back to the boil and then cover and simmer until the quinoa is cooked approximately 20 minutes.   At the same time bring a pot of water to boil and add the lentils.  Cook until soft, again another 20-25 minutes.  Coat the sliced aubergine in coconut oil and cover with the cumin.  Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until soft.  In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, lentils and aubergine.  Top with the pumpkin seeds and sultanas.  In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, tamari, apple cider vinegar, honey and lemon and pour over the quinoa mixture.   And voila… that is one delicious and nutritious family meal or even great as a side dish for a dinner party!

For more health and wellness tips, follow me on Instagram @juliemontagu OR keen to learn more about nutrition?  Head to my first online nutrition course:  Nutrition for Optimal Health at www.theflexifoodie.com.

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Warm Dal with Spinach (from ‘tibits at home’ cookbook)

First and foremost, HUGE apologies for the 2  month delay in posts!  We’ve had a very busy summer and then getting all 4 kids back to school and other work life bits has consumed me…… until NOW!  So, posts are officially back and I’m so excited that they are!  I can feel the chill in the air in London that Autumn has officially arrived – and I love it!  The crisp air, the leaves falling and my kids playing so much sport…… every weekend has definitely made me crave something warm and grounding!

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So when I was sent a lovely cookbook called ‘tibits at home’ from the incredible tibits restaurant – I couldn’t wait to cook from it! Not only is there a restaurant in Soho (London), but there are locations in Zurich, Winterhur, Berne and Basel.  tibits has been serving healthy vegetarian food for over a decade and was established by three brothers and the according to the Guinness Book of World Records, their restaurant in Zurich is the oldest vegetarian restaurant in the world!  The cookbook is filled with delicious, seasonal recipes and it was hard to choose which one to do for this blog!  But after much deliberation, the Warm Dal with Spinach won!  So, let’s get started….

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Grab yourself these ingredients:

250g red lentils

1 onion

1 garlic clove

20g fresh ginger

4 tbsp rapeseed oil

1 tsp mustard seeds

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp garam masala

1 tsp turmeric

500g fresh spinach

400ml coconut milk

200ml water

freshly ground sea salt and black pepper

1/2 lemon, juiced

P1040086I was lucky enough to have some super fresh, organic spinach on hand from my inlaws kitchen garden.  I especially love the photo of the spinach in the basket, basking in the sunny autumn day!  But remember you can use any dark green leafy vegetable if you don’t have spinach on hand…. kale works just as well too!

P1040114Serves 4 as a main and 6 as a side….. you decide!

Method:

1.  Cook the lentils for about 8 minutes in water and then drain.

2. Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic.  Peel the ginger and grate finely.  Heat a frying pan, then add the oil and sweat the onion until transparent.  Add the garlic, ginger and spices and fry for 1 minute, until the mixture develops its fragrance.

3.  Wash and pluck the spinach, add to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes.

4.  Add coconut milk and water, and stir well.

5.  Add the drained lentils, mix in well and cook for a further 5 minutes.

6.  Season to taste with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and lemon juice.

P1040121Serve in warm bowls with some wholewheat pita bread or brown rice or maybe just a simple side salad!  YUMMY!  The flavours in this recipe are perfection.  And I love it that it has turmeric, the new queen of spice that research says may help ward of dementia and reduce the risk of cancer.  I’m in!  Be sure to check out ‘tibits at home’ cookbook at www.tibits.co.uk and also their restaurants too!  I’m lucky enough to be heading to their Soho location in mid-October to check out their Autumn menu and will be posting my review here!  So stay tuned!!!!

And if you like this post then why not like my Facebook, or follow me on Twitter or Instagram!

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Mung Bean & Sweet Potato Casserole

I haven’t really done a proper bean post before and one of my favourite beans are…. mung beans.  I actually think they’re really sweet and cute, and they do taste amazing too.  A wonderful trait about mung beans is that they are easier to digest compared to larger beans and you don’t need to soak them for hours.  You can just pop them in and let them cook for about 45 minutes.  Hurray!

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Some people have difficulty digesting beans and legumes. They may develop gas, intestinal problems, irritability, or unclear thinking. Here are a few techniques for preparing and eating legumes that will alleviate most problems.

  • Soak beans for several days, changing the water twice daily, until a small tail forms on the beans.
  • Chew beans thoroughly and know that even small amounts have high nutritional and healing value.

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  • Avoid giving legumes to children under 18 months because they have not developed the gastric enzymes to digest them properly.
  • Experiment with your ability to digest beans. Smaller beans like adzuki, lentils, mung beans and peas digest most easily. Pinto, kidney, navy, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, lima and black beans are harder to digest. Soybeans and black soybeans are the most difficult beans to digest.
  • Experiment with combinations, ingredients and seasonings. Legumes combine best with green or non-starchy vegetables and seaweeds.
  • Season with unrefined sea salt, miso or soy sauce near the end of cooking. If salt is added at the beginning, the beans will not cook completely. Salt is a digestive aid when used correctly.

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So what’s the scoop on mung beans, you ask?  Well, for starters, ancient China used mung beans for detoxifying the body, so a high five to the Chinese on that one.  Mung beans are high in soluble dietary fibre.  What’s soluble dietary fibre  you say?  Read after the pic of the green chilies!

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Here’s Soluble Fibre 101: Dietary fibre refers to certain food particles that cannot be digested. Dietary fibre comes in two forms: soluble and insoluble. Insoluble fibre aids in normalizing bowl movements, but it does not do much for lowering blood pressure. Soluble fibre when mixed with water in the digestive tract will form a gel-like material, which in turn aids in supporting essential bodily functions. And foods rich in soluble dietary fibres have been show to help lower the bad cholesterol (LDL).   So, another high five there.

Let’s get started on creating this delicious dish!

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Grab these goods and you are ready to go!  Serves 6 – great for a dinner party!

1 Tbsp. coconut oil

1 tsp. fenugreek seeds

1 tsp. cumin seeds

1 tsp. turmeric

3 garlic cloves

1 inch ginger, grated

4 green chilies, sliced

2 small onions, diced

2 red bell peppers, chopped

2 sweet potatoes, 1 1 /2 chunks

350g mung beans

1 litre vegetable stock

400g spinach

3 large tomatoes, chunked

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Heat the coconut oil in a large pan.  Once the oil has melted, stir in the fenugreek seeds and cumin for about 2 minutes until you smell the lovely frangrance of the spices.  Add in the garlic, ginger, chillies, onion and red peppers, sauté until the onion is soft.

Toss in your chunked sweet potatoes and top with the turmeric for about 2 minutes.  Then you’re ready to stir in the mung beans and the vegetable stock.  Bring to the boil and then let simmer for about 45 minutes or until the beans are cooked.  Lastly, add in the spinach and the tomatoes until both are soft but not over cooked – again, about 7-10 minutes.  Season with your limes, sea salt and black pepper.  This dish is incredibly filling so you probably won’t need any grain to go with it!

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Puy Lentils, Sweet Potato & Pomegranate Bake

Lentils have become a real staple in our house.  From red lentils to green lentils and now to puy lentils!  But what has been so amazing about these cute lookin’ discs, is that my 6 year old LOVES them!  In fact, he loves them so much that he practically asks for them every night.  So, we’ve had to get really creative in the ‘lentils’ department to make the dishes fun (and tasty) for all 6 of us!  And this is how and why this particular ‘bake’ was born.  For those of you who sometimes wonder or get asked – like I do – where you get your protein from other than the meat slogan that’s force fed to us, well – this little legume is your answer because…… Lentils have a higher protein content than beef! No joke.

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Lentils may be small but they are a huge player in the legume family.  They are an awesome source of cholesterol-lowering fibre but they also help manage blood-sugar disorders since their high fibre content prevents blood sugar levels from quickly rising after your meal.  But there’s more!  Lentils also provide amazing amounts of 6 important minerals, 2 B-vitamins, and like I mentioned above – the full monty: protein.  And can you believe it, all of that with virtually NO fat!  Just 230 calories for whole cup of cooked lentils.  This tiny nutritional giant fills you up – not out. ImageServes 6!

250g puy lentils

600g sweet potatoes

400ml (1 tin) coconut milk

1 pomegranate

1 red chilli

2-3 garlic cloves

2 Tbsp. coconut oil

1 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. turmeric

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)

handful of parsley, to garnish

ImagePre-heat your oven to 180C/350F.  Place the lentils in a small pot, cover with water and bring to the boil then reduce to simmer for 10-15 minutes or until al dente.  Drain and then just set aside.

Pierce the sweet potatoes, rub with coconut oil, place on a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes or until tender.  Once cooked through, leave to cool but keep the oven on!  Once completely cooled, dice into 1 1/2 inch chunks.

Heat the remaining of the coconut oil in a pan and saute the garlic until soft.  Stir in the lentils, chunked sweet potatoes and spices with the 400ml of coconut milk and leave to simmer for 5 minutes.  Pour this glorious mixture into an ovenproof baking dish and bake for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, de-seed and thinly slice the red chilli.  After the 15 minutes, place the sliced red chilli on top of the bake and bake for an additional 5 minutes until those red chillies are a bit charred!

Serve with lots of pomegranate seeds and chopped parsley.  YUM!

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Gorgeous Green Glow Smoothie (3GS)

This is IT! I’m totally psyched to share this with you all!  I’ve spent a lot of time perfecting my perfect smoothie and one that gives me loads and loads of energy AND makes my skin, hair and eyes glow!  Thus the name:  Gorgeous Green Glow Smoothie!!!!  And once you get this totally going and whizzing away, don’t stop there!  Start adding super cool, super foods like:  wheatgrass, spirulina, bee pollen, camu camu, goji berries, chia seeds, lucuma, cacao, maca, hemp seeds, baobab and SOOOO much more!

But if you’re new to green smoothies and are like, ‘I have no idea where to begin or how to do this…’ Well, why not sign up for my 21-Day Green Smoothie Challenge!?!  I’ve helped 100’s of clients get their energy and glow back by simply helping them incorporate green smoothies into their every day life.  I promise you, I will motivate you during the 21-Days and even my inner cheerleader comes through to help get you across that finish line!

Do you answer YES to 3 or more of these questions?

1. Do you wake up in the morning and not feel refreshed?
2. Do you feel unusually tired most of the time?
3. Do you need coffee, soda, or sugary snacks to get going and keep you going?
4. 
Do you feel as if you are aging too quickly?
5. 
Is it a struggle to lose weight in spite of dieting and exercise?
6. 
Do you have gas, bloating, constipation, and/or indigestion?
7. 
Do you often feel depressed or have trouble concentrating and focusing?
8. 
Have you found that little or nothing seems to rejuvenate you?
9. 
Do you lack motivation to accomplish even small tasks?
10.
Do you find that you get ill more frequently and that it takes longer to recover?

What the 21-Day Green Smoothie Detox Will Do For You:

MORE ENERGY!
The more greens people add to their diet, the more enthusiastic and energetic they become! Reducing the demand on your digestive system will boost your physical energy as well as your emotional energy! When your body doesn’t have to process heavy foods and toxins, you will in turn feel energetic and invigorated!

HEALTHIER BODY WEIGHT!
Participants often tell us about weight plateaus that have been broken, workouts that yield better results, and clothes that just become too big! With simple nutrient-dense foods you will feel easily satisfied and overeating is much less likely to happen.

YOUNGER SKIN!
The more greens people add to their diet, the more enthusiastic and energetic they get! Reducing the demand on your digestion will boost your physical and emotional energy! When your body doesn’t have to process heavy foods and toxins, you feel energetic and invigorated!

BETTER DIGESTION
Changing to a diet that consists of fresh food will dramatically improve your digestion! You’ll feel better because food is being processed through your system much more efficiently. What’s going on in the gut has an affect on every part of your overall health and well-being!

BETTER MOODS
You’ll feel less irritable, more interested in spending time with others and less “on the edge of your nerves”. All because your body is feeling rested and peaceful right down to your cells!

BETTER FOCUS
You’ll be able to think clearly, feel more focused and get more done because your attention and energy won’t be tied up with digestion!

You can eat whatever you want, but you just need to drink your green smoothie every morning.

What will I need for the Green Smoothie Challenge?
You need fresh fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, raw nuts and seeds, plant-based milk of your choice, a decent blender and 20 quid and change in your purse, and then you’re ready to ‘sign up for The 21-Day Green Smoothie Challenge

Is this a diet? 
Absolutely not.  You can eat what you like, but while you do that – you’re adding more greens to your diet which seriously helps to ‘crowd out’ the unhealthy foods and all of a sudden you become less interested in those ‘old’ eating habits!

When you sign up for The 21-Day Green Smoothie Challenge you’ll receive:
• Access to other participants, exchange recipes, get support and make new friends!
• My e-Book of 21 Green Smoothies plus 4 bonus ones!
• Daily emails of Healthy inspiration, additional recipes, some great yoga poses and healthy eating and living tips
• And scroll below to see your bonus gift!

Sign Up Now and I’ll send you this additional bonus for FREE:
An awesome guide to a seven day detox program – recipes included!
This e-book is here to gently and safely guide you to a healthier,
more vibrant, and happier you. So, over  7 days, skip the
animal products and greasy, sugary foods, and enjoy the tastes
and great health that vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains
can bring.

CLICK HERE to find out more about my 21-Day Green Smoothie Challenge!