Aubergine Dip

This dip is absolutely amazing both hot and cold, and is bursting with both flavour and nutrition! Aubergines are packed full of vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre. They are particularly prized for their ability to help lower cholesterol and assist those who are trying to lose weight.

Sweet red peppers are an excellent source of carotenoids, which are thought to help to prevent the onset of several diseases. Carotenoids are particularly beneficial for preserving the health of the eyes, as well as the appearance of the skin.

To make this dip you will need the following ingredients:

1 aubergine
2 sweet red peppers
1 clementine, peeled
1 tsp of miso paste
Pitta bread
Olive oil
Sea salt

The first thing that you will need to do is take your aubergine and chop it into small chunks. You can then slice the sweet red peppers in half. Place the aubergine chunks and the sweet red pepper halves onto a baking tray and drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil. Add a sprinkling of sea salt on top of the olive oil and then you can place the tray into your oven at 180C.

Leave the aubergines and the sweet red pepper in the oven to roast for approximately 30 minutes. After this time you can remove the baking tray from the heat and place all of the aubergine into your food processor with half of the sweet red pepper. You should also add the clementine into the food processor with half a teaspoon of sea salt and the miso paste. Before you turn the food processor on to blitz your dip, add in four tablespoons of olive oil and then you’re good to go!

Once you have blitzed your dip you will notice that it is still hot once it is ready! This means you either have the choice to serve as a hot dip, or leave to cool down and enjoy it later. All that is left to do is break up the remaining sweet red pepper and add it to the top of your dip as a garnish.

Enjoy this dip with hot or cold pitta bread, or as a creative side-dish to a main meal!

If you want to see this recipe in action then you can head to my YouTube channel and watch me creating it!

If you have seen my new 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 2017!

Miso Aubergines

This recipe is super simple to make and does not take a large amount of time either! It is a great choice when you practically want dinner to just cook itself whilst you get on with other tasks in the evening. It is also a fun plant-based dish to whip together when you have guests over for a BBQ, as you can cook them in advance and then keep them warm on the grill wrapped in aluminium foil!

Aubergines are a vegetable that are at their seasonal best between August and October, so now is the perfect time to make this recipe! This delicious vegetable contains phytonutrients with antioxidant properties which help to protect the body against existing and future damage. Studies have shown that regular consumption of aubergines is great for cardiovascular health as they can help to lower cholesterol levels.

The addition of sesame seeds to this dish brings further health benefits as they are high in copper, calcium, manganese and magnesium, all of which are essential to the proper function of the body. Including sesame seeds in your diet often will help to promote healthy skin, as well as maintaining your oral health. Sesame seeds are also a great plant-based source of protein, with 4.7 grams of protein per ounce of seeds. Additionally, sesame seeds contain an anti-cancer compound known as phytate. Studies have shown that an adequate presence of this compound in the body can slightly lower the risk of a person developing particular types of cancer, such as colorectal cancer.

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

2 aubergines
Rapeseed oil
1 tbsp of miso paste
1 tbsp of maple syrup
1 tbsp of tamari
2 tbsp of sesame seeds

Screen Shot 2016-07-31 at 10.01.02To get started you will first need to slice the aubergines in half and score before drizzling with rapeseed oil. You can then cook them in the oven at 240C for 30 minutes.

While the aubergines are cooking, take a bowl and combine the rest of the ingredients bar the sesame seeds. Once the aubergines are cooked, remove them from the oven and mix the ingredients from the bowl onto them. Place the aubergines back into the oven for five minutes to finish cooking. You can then remove them again, sprinkle them with sesame seeds and serve!

For more recipes like this one that will fill you with goodness, head over to The Flexi Foodie Academy!

Tofu and Vegetable Miso Soup

 This soup is an absolute secret weapon against any nasty colds or flu you might pick up this spring! With the weather still not fantastic it is essential to give your immune system as much help as you can to keep illness away. As we know, food is the best preventative medicine and this soup is packing some serious nutrition! There are some foods, like garlic and ginger for example, that are known to help the body through periods when you’re not at your best. Getting these foods into your diet isn’t difficult but discovering new and interesting recipes may not be something you have time for. Hopefully my blog has removed all of the leg work for you on that front though! Although this soup is great for kicking germs out of the body, that doesn’t mean you have to wait until you’re feeling sick to try it! The following ingredients will make enough for four or five generous servings.

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One red onion, sliced

A handful of ginger, finely sliced

Two cloves of garlic, finely chopped

One fresh chilli, sliced

A handful of bean sprouts

One carrot, sliced

Three or four spring onions, sliced at an angle

Brown rice miso paste

150g of sweetcorn

Four or five sliced mushrooms

200g of tofu

Brown rice noodles

Soya butter

Veg stock

1 litre of water

So to begin, fry the onion in some soy butter with most of the ginger (leave some for later), chilli and garlic. Once they have had a few minutes to fry add in the mushrooms and carrot. Stir everything together and leave on the hob to cook. While this is happening, slice the tofu in half and press a paper towel against it to help remove any excess water.

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Next, take some of the miso paste and rub it into the tofu before frying it in a separate pan. Once you have begun frying the tofu you can add the sweetcorn and the veg stock in the litre of water. Once the tofu is crispy, remove it from the heat. However, leave the other pot to simmer for about 40 minutes.

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Once this time has passed, add four tablespoons of miso paste to the simmering pan and prepare the brown rice noodles by covering them in hot water. Next, cool the noodles by running them under cold water and then put them into the soup. Chuck the fried tofu in too with the sliced spring onions and the rest of the ginger. You immune boosting soup is now ready to serve!

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