Black Bean and Tomato Soup

During these hot summer months the last thing you want to do is eat a heavy meal during the day. That is why soup is such a great seasonal option at the moment! It fills you up without leaving you feeling like you have over-indulged. There are countless delicious ready made varieties in the supermarkets, but if you want to be sure that you are getting the nutrition you need then it is best to make your own! Making soup at home is also a low-cost way to cook a large amount that can then be frozen and eaten at a later date.

Making soup with black beans is a fantastic way to thicken the consistency as well as to massively boost the health benefits of your meal. They are very high in protein but contain very minimal amounts of saturated fat and absolutely no cholesterol! They are also crammed full of micronutrients, fiber and those all important antioxidants. So, it is easy to see how regular consumption of black beans can do wonders for your body!

To make a batch of this soup, gather and prepare the following ingredients:

2 cups of cherry tomatoes
1 red onion, diced
2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
400g tin of cooked black beans
1 stalk of celery, chopped
¼ cup of coriander, chopped
2 cups of veg stock
Salt and pepper
Coconut oil

The first thing you will need to do is heat a tablespoon of coconut oil in a large pan and then fry the onion, garlic and jalapeno peppers. When the onion starts to brown, lower the heat slightly and add in the celery and carrots and then continue to fry. As the vegetables start to soften, add in the tin of black beans and the veg stock, You must then stir this pan occasionally for the next ten minutes.

After this time, add in the cherry tomatoes and continue to heat for a further ten minutes. Season with the salt and pepper and then pop it all in your food processor and whiz away until smooth. Pour into bowls, top with the fresh coriander and serve!

For more delicious recipes like this one, head over to Amazon to buy my cookbook!

Roasted Tomato and Sweet Potato Dip

Summer is just around the corner and that means picnics, barbeques and all manner of outdoor parties! The problem with going to so many of these events is that the food on offer can often be quite calorific! So, to avoid your waist-band increasing over the next few months, it’s a great idea to whip up your own dishes and dips to take with you. This doesn’t have to be a time consuming task and you can easily create a small selection of things to bring with you in under an hour. My Roasted Tomato and Sweet Potato Dip is just the thing for those summer days spent outside and goes well with practically everything!

Tomatoe and sweet potato in the same dish is a powerful fruit-veg combination. They are both full of antioxidants as well as their own range of vitamins, minerals and nutrients. A fun fact about tomatoes is that certain aspects of their nutritional value actually improves as they are cooked! When tomatoes are heated in the cooking process, the amount of lycopene, which is a chemical compound contained within, is increased. This beneficial compound is known to be effective in protecting the body against cancer and is also just useful for all round health!

So to get your summer off to a healthy start, gather the following ingredients:

8 vine tomatoes
2 medium sweet potatoes
2 spring onions, chopped
A large handful of coriander
2 Tbsp. of olive oil
1 Tbsp. of honey
Salt and pepper

roasted tomato and sweet potato dip2So to get started, pre-heat your oven to 180C and roast the tomatoes until the skins start to peel away (which should be after about 15-20 minutes). You should then remove the skins and allow the tomatoes to cool. In the same oven (even at the same time!), peel and bake your two sweet potatoes. I advise creating a few holes in the potatoes with a fork before you place them in the oven. The sweet potatoes will take a bit longer to cook than the tomatoes and you should give them about 25-30 minutes. After this time they should be adequately soft. Once they are ready, remove and allow to cool.

Once the tomatoes are cooled, peel away the skin and discard. Then you can place the tomatoes, chopped spring onions, coriander, olive oil, honey and salt and pepper into a food processor. Once the sweet potatoes are cooled, cut into chunks and add to the mix. Whizz until mixed well – close to the consistency of a puree. And voila, you have a gorgeous, easy dip to serve to your family or guests! Cut some chunky rye, spelt, wholewheat bread and top with the dip. Delicious!

For more healthy recipes like this one, head over to Amazon to buy my cookbook!

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:

leafy_green_curry_with_mushrooms_the_flexi_foodie2

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!

Grass, Roots & Grains Veggie Burgers

So the snow has fallen in abundance in London causing the schools to close and all four of my children to be at home! My kids are so active and into every sport imaginable, therefore chaos is the norm in our house. For this reason it’s not very often that the six of us are all together at the same time so what a treat it was to be snowed in! I relished the opportunity to get them all cooking together in the kitchen and that’s where this week’s recipe was born.

My kids are definitely lovers of veggie burgers. They’re the kids who order them at burger restaurants, at pool side cafes or even birthday parties and I’m so proud of them for it! Eating a wholesome veggie burger is like getting an injection of so many nutrients rather than cholesterol and saturated fat. So it was a unanimous decision – we would make their favourite and my speciality, Grass, Roots & Grains Veggie Burger….served, of course, with a side of sweet potato chips and green peas!

If you’re getting ready to make this dish at home yourself then first you’ll need to raid the supermarket for the following ingredients:

125g or 3/4 cup of whole-wheat couscous
100g or 1/2 cup red lentils
1 tbsp. whole meal flour
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1/2 a bunch of coriander
1 courgette, diced
1 large tomato, diced
1 tablespoon, tahini
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. coriander
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
Sea salt and black pepper

Once you have gathered the necessary ingredients you can begin by putting all of the couscous into a bowl and pouring 200ml of seasoned boiling water over it. A simple bouillon is perfect for this and will really flavour the couscous. Quickly mix together before covering and placing to one side.P1050292

You can then rinse your half a cup of lentils and place in a pan with 300ml of water and bring to the boil. After about twenty minutes in the pan, the lentils should have become soft so it’s now time to drain and chuck them into your food processor. Now is also the time to include the diced onion, carrot, courgette and tomato along with all of the spices and herbs, flour and tahini.

Once all of your ingredients are blended together you can remove the mixture from the blender and add it to the bowl of couscous that you prepared earlier. You must now mix the two concoctions together vigorously with your hands. As soon as your couscous combination is ready, you can wet your hands and have some fun moulding the mixture into burger shapes. With the amount of ingredients used you will have enough burger mix to make four burgers, or alternatively you could make more slightly smaller burgers.P1050299

Your burger patties can now be added to a frying pan with a tablespoon of coconut oil and cooked for three or four minutes on each side. As soon as they’re ready you can pop them out of the pan and into wholemeal baps. Garnish in any which way you like and enjoy!

The combination of vegetables inside these burgers is a great mix and provides a generous amount of nutrition in each portion. Tomatoes are an amazing source of antioxidants, especially lycopene which protects the body from those nasty free radicals. Courgettes are also prized for their antioxidant values as well as their high potassium count which is great for your blood pressure. Similarly onions and carrots are rich sources of vitamins and nutrients, especially beta-carotene for the latter which helps maintain your vision.

Although the burgers are technically cooked, the amount of time they are heated for will allow for lots of nutrients that are normally lost through cooking at high temperatures to remain.

If you want to find out more about nutrition then click here!

Also, if you love this recipe then why not like my Facebook Page!

Click here to sign up to my newsletter and get my Top Ten Healthy Living and Eating Tips!