Green Goddess Soup

If you have made my Green Goddess Salad Bowl before then you will know how delicious and nutritious dishes with the Green Goddess label are! This soup is absolutely bursting with flavour thanks to the amazing ingredients it is created with.

Purple sprouting broccoli is great to use in cooking and is in season in the UK from January to May. When you select yours, make sure it is fresh and firm, as opposed to being dried out, as this makes for the best taste! Broccoli is thought to help prevent cancer, lower blood pressure and help to protect against cardiovascular disease – with several studies to support these ideas! Broccoli is especially high in vitamins A and C as well as folate, fibre and calcium!

To make a big batch of this soup, you will need the following ingredients:

1 litre of veggie stock
200g of silken tofu
250g of purple sprouting broccoli
2 good handfuls of Swiss chard and kale
1 heaped Tbsp. of white miso
Sea salt and pepper to taste
A large handful of pumpkin seeds, toasted

IMG_4796To get started, bring the veggie stock to the boil and then add in the broccoli.  You can boil the broccoli in the stock for five to seven minutes until the broccoli becomes soft. At this point you can lower the heat to a gentle simmer.

Once the stock is simmering, add in the tofu, Swiss chard, kale and white miso. Continue to simmer for another ten minutes and season with the pepper and sea salt. The next step is to either transfer the contents of the pan into your high speed blender, or simply use a hand blender to puree in the pan. You can then pre-heat your grill, place the pumpkin seeds on the top tray and toast for five to seven minutes. Finally, spoon the green soup into four bowls and sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds. Also, if you like, you can add the red colourful stems of the chard as a garnish too!

For more great recipes like this, as well as extensive information about optimum nutrition, head over to The Flexi Foodie Academy

Blue Ballet Squash Boats with Black Rice, Swiss Chard and Cranberries

Oh, how I LOVE autumn! Because with autumn comes so many delicious and amazing varieties of squash! It’s so much fun going into Whole Foods and seeing the shelves covered with the brightly coloured squashes so when I saw this Blue Ballet Squash sticking out amongst the red, orange and yellow varieties, I knew I had to have it!

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I mean, look at how gorgeous this Blue Ballet Squash is!  I nearly didn’t cut it up and was thinking about having it for decoration.  My four kids even thought it was the coolest looking vegetable they’d ever seen.

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I don’t think we all actually realise what  a power house of a food squash really is.  I mean, look at its size – these guys are big players in the game of well-being.  They’re like the big linebackers on an American football team. Plus, they simply are delicious!

P1050422Although winter squash has long been recognized as an important food source of carotenoids, only recently have research studies documented just how fantastic winter squash can be when it comes to these key antioxidants. For some groups of study participants, winter squash turns out to be the primary food source of alpha-carotene and beta-carotene in the entire diet! For lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-cryptoxanthin (three other health-supportive carotenoids) winter squash also comes out among the top three food sources in several studies.

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And don’t forget about the SEEDS!  Seeds from winter squash make a great snack food, just like pumpkin seeds. If you scoop the pulp and seeds from inside the squash and separate out the seeds, you can place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and lightly roast them at 160-170°F (about 75°C) in the oven for 15-20 minutes. By roasting them for a relatively short time at a low temperature you can help minimize damage to their healthy oils. Linoleic acid (the polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid) and oleic acid (the same monounsaturated fatty acid that is plentiful in olive oil) account for about 75% of the fat found in the seeds.

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So this lovely, quick and easy recipe serves four.  Here’s what you’ll need:

1 large ballet blue squash (or another type of round winter squash will do just fine!)

A large bunch of Swiss chard

1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted

1 cup black rice

2/3 cup dried cranberries

2/3 cup brown lentils

1 tsp. black mustard seeds

1 Tbsp. coconut oil

Sea salt and black pepper

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Heat the oven to 180C and cut the squash into four boats.  Remove the seeds and save them for later!  You’ll want to roast them for a delicious snack!  Place the squash into the oven and let them back for app. 20-25 minutes or until the flesh is beautifully bright orange and soft!

Bring two and a 1/2 cups of water to the boil, add the black rice and reduce to simmer until all the water is absorbed.  Rinse then let it cool.  Next, melt the coconut oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds.  This is a great way to really fragrant the lentils.  Allow the mustard seeds to start popping to release their flavour and then add the lentils and just enough water to cover 1cm above the lentils.  Again, bring the bowl and then let simmer until all the water has been absorbed.  Then, mix the cooked lentils in with the black rice.

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Coarsely chop the Swiss chard and steam for seven minutes or boil for two minutes.  Again, add to the black rice/lentil bowl along with the cranberries and toasted pine nuts.  Season with sea salt and black pepper and scoop a large dollop onto each of the boats so that they are overflowing with goodness!  And voila, you have the most gorgeous looking, delicious tasting, nutrient dense meal for a cold autumn night!

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