Raw Spicy Thai Green Papaya Salad

This incredible salad is the last of the amazing dishes that I discovered during my stay at the Amatara Wellness Resort in Thailand! It takes just a few moments to throw together and is an iconic dish from this beautiful country.

The salad itself contains an abundance of ingredients that pack a healthy punch, and the pumpkin seed garnish gives it an extra nutritious boost! Also, if spicy isn’t really your thing then you can always make this salad without the addition of the chilli!

Pumpkin seeds are rich in healthy fats, as well as being an excellent source of magnesium and zinc. Studies have suggested that regularly consuming pumpkin seeds could help to keep your blood pressure down and to promote an optimum sleep cycle.

Papaya is another exciting ingredient from this exotic dish, and may not be one that you consume often! Papaya is a rich and colourful source of nutrients, in fact – it has one of the highest vitamin C counts of all of the fruits! It is also an excellent source of potassium, beta-carotene, and lycopene! As well as being a delicious addition to salads, you can also simply enjoy this fruit on its own, or as a juice!

Ready to make this salad for two people?

Ingredients:

Salad

  • 50g long beans, sliced diagonally in 1-2cm pieces
  • 100g green papaya, fine julienne
  • 50g carrot, fine julienne
  • 10g chilli, fine julienne
  • 10g coriander leaves

Dressing

  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ Tbsp lime juice
  • ½ tsp coconut nectar
  • 2 tsp tamari soy sauce
  • 5g garlic, minced

Garnish

  • 10g pumpkin seeds

Method:

Place all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl and lightly mix with a wooden spoon. Next, to make the dressing, mix lime juice, coconut nectar, sea salt, garlic and tamari soy sauce together. You can then pour the dressing over the salad and mix lightly.

Serve your salad onto plates and garnish with a few pumpkin seeds. So simple!

Raw Spicy Thai Green Papaya Salad Julie Montagu

Wellness for Women

If you have seen my 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 2018!

Also, if you wan to learn about how eating more plant-based foods can enhance your health and your energy levels, then click here now to check out my starter guide!

Fall Recipes with the Natural Gourmet Institute

Last week you may have caught my Facebook Live in collaboration the Natural Gourmet Institute! This was a super exciting session during which I prepared two delicious recipes from my first cookbook – Superfoods: The Flexible Approach to Eating More Superfoods. Continue reading Fall Recipes with the Natural Gourmet Institute

Chilli, Lime, Sweet Potato and Rice Bowl

This rice bowl is another one of my super simple to make recipes that doesn’t take much time at all to create! It’s essentially a selection of some of my favourite foods combined to make a delicious lunch or dinner option.

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If you know me then you will know that I LOVE all things hot and spicy – but that doesn’t mean that you have to spice yours up if you don’t want to!

The following recipe makes enough to serve two to three people – depending on how big you want your bowl to be.

Ingredients:

  • 125g of cooked brown rice
  • 400g of cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
  • A handful of coriander
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 inches of fresh ginger, chopped
  • 3 small sweet potatoes, chopped into small chunks
  • A handful of cashew nuts
  • 2 small handfuls of pumpkin seeds
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Tamari soy sauce
  • 1 lime, sliced in half
  • Maple agave (or your favourite natural sweetener)

Method:

Start by preheating your oven to 200C or 400F. Next, place your sweet potato chunks on an oven tray and drizzle a generous amount of olive oil over them. Roast the potatoes in the oven for 20 minutes.

Place the cashew nuts and pumpkin seeds in a separate oven dish and roast with the potatoes for the final seven minutes of the 20 minutes.

While the sweet potato and the nuts and seeds are roasting you can turn your attention to making your salad dressing. For this you will need to place the ginger, the red chilli, and the garlic in a bowl. You can then take the lime halves and squeeze as much juice as you can into the bowl. Add four tablespoons of olive oil to the mix with two tablespoons of the tamari soy sauce and two tablespoons of the maple agave – or your favourite natural sweetener! Whisk the contents of the bowl together.

Next, take a large handful of the rice and place into each bowl, alongside a large handful of the sweet potato and the black beans and the nuts and seeds. You can then pour the salad dressing over the top of each bowl and sprinkle with coriander.

Want to learn more about how eating more plant-based foods can enhance your health? Click here now to check out my starter guide!

Prioritising Plant-Based Foods

We all know that there is much to be gained health-wise from including more fruits and vegetables in our diets. You do not have to always be eating the latest superfoods in order to stay healthy, and there is an abundance of goodness to be found in common fruits and vegetables.

If you know how great these plant-based foods can be but struggle to include them in your diet, then the following tips can help you overcome this problem.

Learn to Love Salad

Salad is something that you may more commonly enjoy as a side dish than a main meal, and adjusting your thinking on this is encouraged! There are many amazingly filling and super healthy salad recipes that you can enjoy regularly as a main meal. Doing so will go a long way to ensuring that you eat more greens, as well as all the other exciting fruit and vegetables that you can easily include in a salad.

Say Yes to Healthy Snacks

Snacking on junk food late at night is where many dieters find their downfall to be. Making the decision to only snack on fruit after dinner, instead of trying to avoid snacking entirely, is a great way to satisfy your cravings whilst also nourishing your body. Frozen bananas are a particularly good choice for those with a sweet tooth, and they can be enjoyed with a light topping for extra flavour, such as peanut butter or maple syrup.

Fresh Fruit for Breakfast

The majority of breakfast dishes can be very well complimented by the addition of one piece or more of fresh fruit. Try adding berries to your cereal, avocado to your toast or cherry tomatoes to your eggs. Whatever your go-to breakfast dish is, the chances are you will enjoy it even more once it is accompanied with some plant-based goodness!

Mix Up Your Smoothies

Smoothies are a simple and delicious way to consume several portions of fruit and vegetables at one time. If you primarily make your smoothies with fruit then the time has come to throw some vegetables into the mix. Try carrots, beets and fennel to get started!

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!

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!

Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad

This salad looks fantastic as a side dish to a main meal at a dinner party but can also make an indulgent meal for one! Not only does it look amazing but it will also do great things for your body due to the wealth of goodness found within! Brussels sprouts are cruciferous vegetables that contain a unique range of antioxidants. They are super low in calories at just 28 calories for half a cooked cup! Brussels sprouts are also full of fibre which makes them perfect for digestive health as well as preventing constipation and keeping your colon healthy.

The addition of raisins to this salad not only helps to make it look more interesting but also gives the flavour a nice twist. Raisins are known to improve eye health and the health of your bones so double bonus!

To make a huge portion of this for yourself, you will need the following ingredients:

For the salad:

450g of uncooked Brussels sprouts
2 large handfuls of rocket
A large handful of parsley
100g of toasted pine nuts
A large handful of raisins
A large handful of dried cranberries
1 avocado, sliced or cut into cubes

For the dressing:

Juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp. of apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. of honey
1 Tbsp. of olive oil

Using a hand grater or mandoline, grate the Brussels sprouts and then add the shaved Brussels sprouts to a large salad bowl. You can then add the rocket, parsley, toasted pine nuts, raisins and cranberries into the bowl too. And, of course, the avocado. Next, in a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together and pour them over the salad. 

This is wonderful and delicious salad where you and your guests will be surprised that Brussels sprouts make such a wonderful meal!  I also find that it is perfect for American Thanksgiving too!

For more healthy recipes like this one plus some great nutrition advice, head over to The Flexi Foodie Academy!

Burnt Corn, Kale and Lime Salad

Creating delicious variations on the traditional side salad is something that I love to do in the kitchen! This recipe requires minimal preperation and can be put together in the ten minutes before you serve your main meal. Kale is an ingredient that I tend to use a lot at home because of its amazing nutritious value. For those of you who don’t know, kale is among the healthiest foods in the world! With over 45 different flavonoids contained within, it provides a range of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. It is also great for lowering LDL cholesterol levels and lowering risk factors for cancer development.

Adding the juice of one lime to the salad dressing not only helps to bring out the flavour of the other ingredients but also brings a healthy boost to this side dish. They are a fantastic source of vitamin C and folic acid, the latter of which is important for cell growth and metabolism.

To make enough of this salad to serve six people, you will need the following ingredients:

2 x corns on the cob
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. cumin
250g kale, shredded
Sea salt
1 avocado, cut into small chunks
A squeeze of honey

For the dressing:
The juice of 1 lime
A handful of coriander, torn

Burnt Corn, Kale and Lime Salad2Firstly, using a sharp knife, cut the corn away from the cobs and separate the corn into kernels. In a frying pan, dry fry the corn with the paprika and the cumin for about 10 minutes until the corn starts to blacken! Next, remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool.

In a large bowl, massage the kale with sea salt for ten minutes or until it becomes soft. Add the burnt corn, the avocado, the lime and the coriander. Toss well and serve!

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Asparagus and Bulgur Wheat Salad

Bulgur wheat might not currently be a common feature in your kitchen but once you discover its amazing nutritional benefits combined with its great taste, that’s sure to change! Bulgur wheat is a kind of pre-cooked cracked wheat that is very quick to prepare. It is low in calories and extremely high in dietary fibre, making it fantastic for your digestive health. It also provides valuable amounts of protein as well as an impressive variety of vitamins and minerals.

Right now is the perfect time to buy deliciously fresh asparagus as spring is the best season for it! Although most people will know that this veggie is a health powerhouse because of its vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, they might not know that it contains chromium! Chromium is an essential mineral that aids the transportation of glucose from the bloodstream and into the cells! Asparagus is also a rich source of the detoxifying compound, glutathione which helps to combat free radicals in the body! On top of these incredible health benefits, it is also believed that asparagus helps to fight disease and slow the inevitable process of aging!

To whip up this salad for yourself, find the following ingredients:

1 cup of uncooked bulgur wheat
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
1/2 a tsp. of paprika
500g of asparagus, trimmed
1 cup of cherry tomatoes
Coconut oil
Salt and pepper
The juice of one lemon

Asparagus & Bulgar Wheat Salad2To get started making this dish you must first cut the asparagus length ways and then into chunks. However, while you’re doing this, preheat your oven to 200C. Once you’re done preparing the asparagus, you can then roast these chunks in your oven with a drizzle of coconut oil for 25 minutes.

The next step is to cook the bulgur wheat as per the package instructions. Once it is ready, drain and then add the spring onions, the paprika and dash of salt and pepper. Once the asparagus is cooked, chop the cherry tomatoes in half and then add both ingredients together with bulgur wheat. The final stage is to trickle the lemon juice over the top and then serve.

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Smoked Paprika, Black Beans and Sprouting Broccoli Salad

Purple sprouting broccoli is generally at its best in the spring months so now is a great time to make the most of it in your cooking! This kind of broccoli brings an amazing combination of colour and crunch to a dish and is also, of course, rammed full of nutrients. The high vitamin and mineral count of broccoli, coupled with its exciting antioxidant count, make it an all round winner for your health.

Paprika is amongst my favourite spices but not one that I use all that often! Including paprika in a dish is such a great way to boost the flavour of that meal and it packs a subtle spicy punch without completely dominating the existing taste. As well as containing a range of vitamins, paprika also has a healthy dose of iron which is essential for carrying oxygen around the body.

To quickly whip up this salad for four to six people, gather the following ingredients:

250g of purple sprouting broccoli
1 x 400g of tinned black beans, drained and rinsed
2 spring onions, thinly diced
1 avocado, cut into small chunks
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 Tbsp. honey

For the dressing:

A handful of coriander
A small handful of almonds, ideally soaked for a few hours but don’t worry if not!
Juice of 1 lime
2 Tbsp. almond milk

broccoli_sprouted_salad_flexi_foodie

So the first thing you need to do is bring a large pot of water to the boil and cook the broccoli for five minutes. Be careful not to over cook the broccoli so that you don’t lose any of the nutrients. After these five minutes are up, you should drain and rinse. Next, in a frying pan over a medium heat, combine the drained and rinsed black beans and then add in the smoked paprika, cumin and honey. You can then stir this together well and cook for five minutes.

In a large bowl, you can then combine the sprouting broccoli, seasoned black beans, spring onions and avocado. And finally, combine the dressing ingredients in your food processor and blend. It will be a lovely, chunky dressing (tastes great too!) that you can coat the broccoli and bean salad well with. This is one of my favourite salads of all time!