Artichoke and Lentil Salad with Raspberry Dressing

This dish is amazing for all round nutrition as it combines fruits, vegetables and legumes in one delicious creation. The inclusion of maple syrup in the dressing gives it an extra nourishing kick and because this meal doesn’t take long to make, it is the perfect choice after a tiring day at work! When I’ve had a long day teaching yoga and then running the kids around after school, this is one of my first choices as it means less time between getting in the door and filling everyone up! The raspberry dressing is a great fit for most salad dishes and if maple syrup isn’t to your tastes then it can be swapped out in equal measure with any other natural sweetener!

To feed two people you will need the following ingredients and just double up for a family of four!

One cup of puy lentils

Pink Himalayan salt

Two cups of kale

50 grams of raspberries

One lemon

Apple cider vinegar

Maple syrup

Olive oil

One cup of pre-cooked artichoke

One red onion

Half a cup of sun-dried tomatoes

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It’s always best to soak puy lentils before you use them. Upwards of four hours will do the trick but if you want to leave them soaking in the fridge overnight then that’s great too. Once your lentils have been soaked, boil them in a pan with two cups of water and a dash of salt.

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As soon as this pan is heating up, chuck your kale into a separate pan with three cups of water and boil. Next, in a jug or mixing bowl take your raspberries and blend them with one teaspoon of lemon juice, two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar, two tablespoons of maple syrup, one tablespoon of olive oil and two tablespoons of water. Sieve this mixture and place in the fridge for now.

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After approximately 10 – 15 minutes your kale and lentils should be cooked. So the next step is to transfer the kale into cold water to cool down and then drain the lentils before returning to the pan (with the heat turned off). Finely dice your red onion and mix with half a cup of sun-dried tomatoes into the pan of lentils. Once the kale is cooled it can also be added into the pan with the lentils, onion and sun-dried tomatoes. Your meal is now ready to serve so spoon onto two plates, drain the artichokes before you add them and finally take your raspberry dressing from the fridge to drip on as required.

Leafy Green Curry with Mushrooms

As much as I love the Christmas season I’m not too keen on the weather that comes with it! Having a delicious hot meal in the evening can make all the difference to your mood, especially if you are beginning to feel drained by everything that goes hand in hand with the festive season. This Leafy Green Curry with Mushrooms is just the thing to fill you with nutrition and satisfy your appetite at the end of your day. To make enough for two people you’ll need the following ingredients:

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1 tsp of coconut oil

½ a tsp of turmeric

1 tsp of cumin seeds

¼ of a cup of fresh basil

2 large tomatoes, finely chopped

1 tbsp of fresh grated ginger

1 cup of mushrooms

2 cups of fresh spinach, finely chopped

1 cup of kale, finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

1 red chill, finely chopped

2 cups of fresh broccoli

leafy_green_curry_with_mushrooms_the_flexi_foodie5So to begin, heat the oil in a medium sized frying pan and once hot, add the cumin seeds and leave for just 30 seconds before including the chopped tomato too.

leafy_green_curry_with_mushrooms_the_flexi_foodie3Next, grate the ginger into the pan and add the chopped chilli. Lower the heat and chop your mushrooms into thin slices.

leafy_green_curry_with_mushrooms_the_flexi_foodie5If the pan begins to get dry at this point then feel free to add a splash of water. Once the mushrooms are sliced, stir together for four or five minutes before adding the kale, spinach and broccoli into the pan.

leafy_green_curry_with_mushrooms_the_flexi_foodie7Let this cook for a few more minutes and then include the chopped garlic. At this stage you can add a little bit more water if necessary as well as salt and pepper to taste if you require. Your curry is now ready to serve!

Seven Cancer Fighting Foods

Combining an active lifestyle with a healthy diet is a great way to defend your body against many forms of cancer. Some cancers develop due to genetic factors however the way you take care of yourself can play a part in preventing the onset. By incorporating a wide variety of plant based foods into your meals you can stay on top of your health! Include these seven foods in a balanced diet to help your body defend against cancer and a huge range of other health issues.

Berries
Berries

Berries

Antioxidants are great for stopping those free radicals from travelling around your body causing damage and berries are absolutely crammed full of them. Although it’s never possible to completely avoid toxins, it is possible to put up a good fight and berries are a great weapon for this. There’s so many different types of berries that you’re bound to find a selection that you love!

Garlic

Studies have shown that garlic is especially great for inhibiting the growth of cancer in the prostate, colon, stomach and bladder. Garlic will also give your immune system a boost and work to detoxify the body. You can include it in soups, stir fries, salads – in fact, practically any dish!

Garlic
Garlic

Kale

Kale is full of fiber and studies show that it is most effective in preventing cancer of the colon, stomach and lungs. Kale is a delicious addition to many meals but if it’s not your thing, then you can also get similar nutritional goodness from other vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts.

Spinach  Spinach is fantastic and works to prevent cancer when carcinogens enter the body. Research has shown that consuming spinach will decrease the chances of tumours occurring and growing. Spinach is delicious with salads or as an accompaniment to many main meals.

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Mushrooms

Broccoli Sprouts

Broccoli sprouts are full of compounds that aid the liver in the detoxification process. Several of these compounds also work to stimulate the production of enzymes which protect against carcinogens. Broccoli sprouts are three-four day old broccoli plants which have been likened in flavour to the radish. These awesome sprouts will also help with lowering cholesterol levels and can be easily grown at home.

Mushrooms

Because of their ability to suppress the enzyme in the body which converts testosterone into estrogen, mushrooms are great for inhibiting breast cancer. They also contain lentinan which is thought to prevent tumour growth. Certain types of mushroom, like shitake, are also fantastic for kick-starting the immune system.

Turmeric

Turmeric

Turmeric is predominantly used in curry dishes but can also be used to flavour many other meals. Curcumin is the component of turmeric which makes it of such great value to our health. Studies have shown that curcumin helps in the fight against cancers such as that of the mouth, intestines, breasts, skin, and stomach and is also especially useful for treating colorectal cancers.

When it comes to preventative medicine, plant-based foods are a great way to go! You can have effective control over your health and your body just by making some simple lifestyle and dietary choices. Try it for yourself and see the difference!

My Plenish Cleanse

When my lovely box of 6 juices for my ONE Day Cleanse last week arrived at the door…. my inner cheerleader came through and this is what I said in my head:  ‘Let’s Go, Let’s Fight, We’re Rockin’ the Gym Tonight!’  Because that is how excited and thrilled this giddy cheerleader was to start her cleanse.  First and Foremost, it must be said that the packaging is totally awesome and it comes chilled and ready to be put in your fridge.  And how cute are the straws?!?  During this cleanse day, I never felt hungry as I was spacing each juice by 2.5 hours.  So, I drank my first one at 8am (after my hot water and lemon tea!), next one at 10:30am, followed by 1pm, 3:30pm, 6pm and last one at 8:30pm.  I then headed to bed early…..9pm! And slept like a baby!

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I ordered the Plenish’s Pick of Green Dream Team which included 3 Mind Body Green and 3 Sweet Sexy Green.  Why is this their pick of the litter?  On their website www.plenishcleanse.com they say: ‘Supplement your regular diet with Plenish’s green juice. Drinking chlorophyll-packed green juice is one of the best things you can do to boost immunity, fight disease, lower acidity and balance pH’.  And after reading that, I was SOLD!

The Mind Body Green has over 5lbs of organic greens (yes, in ONE bottle!) so it really packs a chlorophyll punch while alkalising your body.  What’s in this one, you ask?  Nothin’ but goodness:  Pear, Parsley, Kale, Spinach, Lemon, Ginger, Cucumber and Romaine.  Delicious.

Sweet, Sexy Green is chock a block of antioxidants and calcium and rids your body of toxins!  Hello?!?  How amazing is that!!!  This one is filled with:  Pear, Kale, Celery, Spinach, Broccoli, Cucumber and Romaine. Yummy.

But what’s so awesome about Plenish is that you can do a 1-Day, 3-Day or 5-Day Cleanse and choose from not only the two juices I had, but also Cashew Milk, Pineapple, Spicy Lemonade and Beet Box.  Summer is here, holidays and vacations are right around the corner – so get your body back by doing one of these awesome cleanses!

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Kaleberry Ice Cream

This is great way to get your kids to eat a dairy free, sugar free ice cream that even has a dark, green leafy vegetable in it – which they can’t see.  Genius, right? Yes, some times parents have to think of clever ways to get these greens into our kids diets.  Well, I can tell you – this one works!  Last night, all 4 kids happily consumed this ice-cream and my greedy guts 6-year old even had seconds!  It take NO time to whizz together.  So, next time your kids ask for ice cream, how about trying this one instead!  Warning:  This does not contain SUGAR!
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Grab yourself these nutritious bits:
1 cup coconut milk; I prefer the brand ‘koko’ – yum.
Pop in 2 bananas in your freezer to make sure they’re nice and frozen before blending.
A super large handful of Kale (or even 2 super large handfuls if you prefer!)
2 pitted dates (love the medjool ones)
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch of himalayan sea salt
3-4 small ice cubes
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Put all the ingredients in a high-speed blender, Vitamix is a great one – and watch how quickly (about 30 seconds) your ingredients morph into a delicious and incredibly nutrient-dense ice cream!  Top with some mint and you are good to go!
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Blueberries are SHAMAZING!  They are always ranked as having one of the highest antioxidant capacities among all fruits, vegetables, spices and seasonings. Antioxidants are essential to optimizing health by helping to combat the free radicals that can damage cellular structures as well as DNA. So, I am in with a grin with the blueberries!  To change it up, go ahead and strawberries or raspberries or even blackberries or why not a big mixture of those amazing dark berries.
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Kale, Fig and Walnut Risotto

When I’ve had guests over for supper, and I’m making something plant-based, I usually go for the staple risotto – can’t go wrong there!  But I got bored of making the same ol’ mushroom risotto over and over again… and so did my dinner guests!   One time while visiting my in-laws down in Dorset, my father-in-law had this gorgeous fig in front of him that he meticulously sliced open and then slowly bit into it, savouring every juicy bite.  And that’s when it hit me, why can’t I do figs in my risotto?  So I started thinking, I wanted a ‘complete’ meal – the green leafy vegetable for my chlorophyll, the nuts for my protein and the fig for my anti-oxidants.  And bingo, this risotto was born!

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To make enough of my risotto to serve four people as a main course, you’ll need the following ingredients:

500g of Arborio Rice
1 onion
8 cups water of mixed with bouillon veggie stock (more if you need)
200g of Walnuts
2 large handfuls of kale (a good mix if you can find)
5 delicious figs – quartered
2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon of coconut oil to gently fry the onion

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The first thing you need to do is melt the tablespoon of coconut oil in a large pan and add the chopped onion. Fry the onion for between five and seven minutes, until it becomes translucent. You can then add the rice along with eight cups of vegetable stock. Bring the pan to the boil and then allow to simmer gently, giving it the occasional stir. If necessary then it’s okay to add more of the stock. Do this for about 25 to 30 minutes.

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Whilst you’re waiting for those 30 minutes to pass, you must dry roast the walnuts. You can either do this is a pan or in the oven. As soon as the stock has absorbed into the risotto, add the nutritional yeast, kale and walnuts then give it all a good stir. At this stage your risotto should be nice and creamy so it’s time to gently include the figs into your dish and stir slowly. Once all of your figs are in, your meal is ready to be served!

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Figs are a fruit and are uniquely nutritious. They have an amazing calcium count and are also a great source of fibre. Studies have suggested that fibre from fruit can lower the chances of a postmenopausal woman developing breast cancer. Additionally, they are a rich source of magnesium, potassium, iron, several B vitamins and vitamin K. If you are eating figs for the nutritional value then it’s best to choose those that are riper as there are more antioxidants present in ripe figs.

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Walnuts are a fantastic source of energy and health boosting properties. They are especially good for getting omega-3 into your diet and can help lower your bad cholesterol levels whilst increasing the amount of good cholesterol in your body. Eating walnuts regularly will help to prevent strokes and coronary artery disease!

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Kale is without a doubt, one of the healthiest vegetables you can find. Eating just one cup of it will provide you with a decent amount of fibre, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C. Eating kale is amazing for your body and your overall health, making it a much loved and much used ingredient for super food fans!

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