White Bean Dip

If you haven’t discovered my YouTube channel yet then don’t worry! I am going to be bringing the videos from my channel straight to you here on my blog!

Today I want to share my recent White Bean Dip Recipe video! This dish takes less than ten minutes to create and is great for serving as a side during a dinner party, or also just as a snack for one!

Several of the ingredients in my White Bean Dip, such as the garlic and olive oil, are fantastic for providing your body with the energy that it needs, as well as being helpful for protecting the immune system. Additionally, the cannellini beans are an amazing source of fibre, making them great for weight loss and optimum digestion.

Turmeric is one of my star ingredients and is something that I try to include in my diet every single day. One of the best things about turmeric is that it is super anti-inflammatory, meaning it can keep levels of inflammation in the body at a positive level. It also helps to protect against the onset of certain health conditions, such as some types of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and liver damage.

Ingredients:

400g cannellini beans
1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp of turmeric
1 inch of fresh ginger, chopped
Pumpkin Seeds
Pistachios

Method:

Take the canned cannellini beans and drain the water before adding them to your food processor with a quarter cup of olive oil. You can then add in the tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, the teaspoon of turmeric, the minced garlic and the chopped ginger.

Blitz the contents of your food processor until your dip has the consistency of hummus. You can then scoop it out and place it into a bowl to serve. Top with pistachios and pumpkin seeds and you are good to go!

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Plant Based Foods to Beat Anxiety

Anxiety is a worldwide problem and manifests in many different shapes and forms. It can range in seriousness from slightly inconvenient to completely debilitating and relief is sought in many different places. Approximately 40 million adults in the United States currently suffer, have suffered or will suffer from some form of anxiety disorder. This equates to over 18% of the population! That huge number demonstrates just how many of us are afflicted with this condition.

Many people immediately turn to medication to manage their anxiety but in some cases it can be addressed through diet and exercise. Medication can cause some unfavourable side effects so if it is possible to avoid it then it is always worth exploring alternative options. Additionally, medication often only masks the root of the anxiety and as soon as treatment stops the problem can resurface. Finding ways to naturally treat imbalances in the body is the optimum way to move towards better long term mental health.

So let’s take a look at the things you can aim to include in your diet to combat the causes and symptoms of anxiety.

Green tea is cheap, simple and delicious. It is generally calming for the mind and when consumed regularly can work to decrease anxiety overall. Some variations of green tea are believed to have a positive effect on cortisol production in terms of balancing levels of this stress hormone in the body.

Turmeric is an amazing spice, both in terms of colour and taste and is known to enhance your mood. This spice contains antioxidants called curcuminoids which has neuroprotective qualities. Studies into the effectiveness of turmeric to combat depression have yielded encouraging results.

Avocados are an all round super food and can be useful for tackling anxiety. They contain high levels of potassium which works to control blood pressure, which in turn can help to keep your mood balanced. Avocados also contain a wealth of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which help to keep your brain functioning as it should!

Finally, asparagus can also be consumed regularly in an effort to reduce feelings of anxiety. This is because it contains folic acid which is connected to the health of your neurological function. Impaired neurological function can be an underlying cause of anxiety and it is always worth making sure you get ample amounts of folic acid in your diet. As an added bonus, asparagus contains a small amount of potassium too, which as mentioned previously helps with that all important blood pressure!

Bulgar Wheat Red Peppers

Bulgar wheat is a low cost, high nutrition whole grain food that can be used in a huge variety of meals! It has a light nutty flavour and actually ranks quite low on the glycemic index. With high fibre and protein levels, bulgar wheat is also fantastically low in fat and will give your body a helping hand in keeping your digestive system healthy! Combined with red peppers, this whole grain makes a great main meal that is sure to keep those late night snack urges away!

In total this dish will take between 40 and 50 minutes to prepare.  To make enough for two people you’ll need the following ingredients:

Four red peppers

Three medium mushrooms

Fresh or frozen spinach

A dash of turmeric

Fresh parsley

Two carrots, diced

125g of bulgar wheat

One onion

Two tomatoes

Coconut oil

Firstly, cut the tops off of the peppers and scoop out the seeds. Next, lightly brush them with coconut oil and place them in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees C. Leave them for twenty minutes while you get on with the next step.

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Add 125g of bulgar wheat to 600ml of water in a pan and bring to the boil before adding in a dash of turmeric, covering and leaving to simmer for 10 – 15 minutes. If you’re using frozen spinach then add a small handful in half way through the simmering process, if you’re using fresh then wait until later!

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Whilst the wheat is simmering chop the mushrooms into small pieces, dice the carrots, onion and tomatoes. In a separate pan, boil the carrots for a few moments and then after draining the bulgar wheat add it together with the mushrooms, carrots, onion and tomatoes. If you’re using fresh spinach then now is the time to add it in!

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You can now take the peppers from the oven and fill with the bulgar wheat mix. Position the peppers back in the oven for a further ten minutes before taking out and garnishing with the parsley before serving!

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!

Warm Dal with Spinach (from ‘tibits at home’ cookbook)

First and foremost, HUGE apologies for the 2  month delay in posts!  We’ve had a very busy summer and then getting all 4 kids back to school and other work life bits has consumed me…… until NOW!  So, posts are officially back and I’m so excited that they are!  I can feel the chill in the air in London that Autumn has officially arrived – and I love it!  The crisp air, the leaves falling and my kids playing so much sport…… every weekend has definitely made me crave something warm and grounding!

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So when I was sent a lovely cookbook called ‘tibits at home’ from the incredible tibits restaurant – I couldn’t wait to cook from it! Not only is there a restaurant in Soho (London), but there are locations in Zurich, Winterhur, Berne and Basel.  tibits has been serving healthy vegetarian food for over a decade and was established by three brothers and the according to the Guinness Book of World Records, their restaurant in Zurich is the oldest vegetarian restaurant in the world!  The cookbook is filled with delicious, seasonal recipes and it was hard to choose which one to do for this blog!  But after much deliberation, the Warm Dal with Spinach won!  So, let’s get started….

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Grab yourself these ingredients:

250g red lentils

1 onion

1 garlic clove

20g fresh ginger

4 tbsp rapeseed oil

1 tsp mustard seeds

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp garam masala

1 tsp turmeric

500g fresh spinach

400ml coconut milk

200ml water

freshly ground sea salt and black pepper

1/2 lemon, juiced

P1040086I was lucky enough to have some super fresh, organic spinach on hand from my inlaws kitchen garden.  I especially love the photo of the spinach in the basket, basking in the sunny autumn day!  But remember you can use any dark green leafy vegetable if you don’t have spinach on hand…. kale works just as well too!

P1040114Serves 4 as a main and 6 as a side….. you decide!

Method:

1.  Cook the lentils for about 8 minutes in water and then drain.

2. Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic.  Peel the ginger and grate finely.  Heat a frying pan, then add the oil and sweat the onion until transparent.  Add the garlic, ginger and spices and fry for 1 minute, until the mixture develops its fragrance.

3.  Wash and pluck the spinach, add to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes.

4.  Add coconut milk and water, and stir well.

5.  Add the drained lentils, mix in well and cook for a further 5 minutes.

6.  Season to taste with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and lemon juice.

P1040121Serve in warm bowls with some wholewheat pita bread or brown rice or maybe just a simple side salad!  YUMMY!  The flavours in this recipe are perfection.  And I love it that it has turmeric, the new queen of spice that research says may help ward of dementia and reduce the risk of cancer.  I’m in!  Be sure to check out ‘tibits at home’ cookbook at www.tibits.co.uk and also their restaurants too!  I’m lucky enough to be heading to their Soho location in mid-October to check out their Autumn menu and will be posting my review here!  So stay tuned!!!!

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Puy Lentils, Sweet Potato & Pomegranate Bake

Lentils have become a real staple in our house.  From red lentils to green lentils and now to puy lentils!  But what has been so amazing about these cute lookin’ discs, is that my 6 year old LOVES them!  In fact, he loves them so much that he practically asks for them every night.  So, we’ve had to get really creative in the ‘lentils’ department to make the dishes fun (and tasty) for all 6 of us!  And this is how and why this particular ‘bake’ was born.  For those of you who sometimes wonder or get asked – like I do – where you get your protein from other than the meat slogan that’s force fed to us, well – this little legume is your answer because…… Lentils have a higher protein content than beef! No joke.

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Lentils may be small but they are a huge player in the legume family.  They are an awesome source of cholesterol-lowering fibre but they also help manage blood-sugar disorders since their high fibre content prevents blood sugar levels from quickly rising after your meal.  But there’s more!  Lentils also provide amazing amounts of 6 important minerals, 2 B-vitamins, and like I mentioned above – the full monty: protein.  And can you believe it, all of that with virtually NO fat!  Just 230 calories for whole cup of cooked lentils.  This tiny nutritional giant fills you up – not out. ImageServes 6!

250g puy lentils

600g sweet potatoes

400ml (1 tin) coconut milk

1 pomegranate

1 red chilli

2-3 garlic cloves

2 Tbsp. coconut oil

1 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. turmeric

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)

handful of parsley, to garnish

ImagePre-heat your oven to 180C/350F.  Place the lentils in a small pot, cover with water and bring to the boil then reduce to simmer for 10-15 minutes or until al dente.  Drain and then just set aside.

Pierce the sweet potatoes, rub with coconut oil, place on a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes or until tender.  Once cooked through, leave to cool but keep the oven on!  Once completely cooled, dice into 1 1/2 inch chunks.

Heat the remaining of the coconut oil in a pan and saute the garlic until soft.  Stir in the lentils, chunked sweet potatoes and spices with the 400ml of coconut milk and leave to simmer for 5 minutes.  Pour this glorious mixture into an ovenproof baking dish and bake for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, de-seed and thinly slice the red chilli.  After the 15 minutes, place the sliced red chilli on top of the bake and bake for an additional 5 minutes until those red chillies are a bit charred!

Serve with lots of pomegranate seeds and chopped parsley.  YUM!

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Cauliflower, Sultana & Almond Salad with Turmeric Dressing

As crazy as this dish sounds, it is frickin’ unreal – like SO good!  So, I urge you to try it as soon as possible!  And the great news is that this dressing can be used to top a load of steamed or roasted veg as well.   I did an earlier post on turmeric called Turmeric is the New Kale!  So, check that one out to  read about all the amazing benefits of turmeric.  However,  I wanted to post just a quick blip on some of the benefits of turmeric anyhoo….. So check this list out below.

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Turmeric is SHAMAZING because…..

  1. It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.
  2. Reduces the risk of childhood leukemia.
  3. It’s a natural liver detoxifier.
  4. Turmeric may prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain.
  5. It may prevent metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer.
  6. It is a potent natural anti-inflammatory that works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects.

P1080799But the reason I combined this turmeric dressing with cauliflower is this….When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer.  So there you have it guys, let’s go and make this salad!

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Grab these ingredients which I bet most of which you probably already have in your kitchen!

For the Salad:

1 Cauliflower, broken into small florets

2 small red onion, sliced

1/2 cup sultanas

1/2 cup toasted, shaved almonds

large handful of chopped coriander

For the Dressing:

4 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

Juice and zest of 2 lemons

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/4 large avocado

1 Tbsp. turmeric

1 Tbsp. raw honey

pinch himalayan sea salt

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Heat your oven to 180C.  Toss the cauliflower florets with coconut oil -really rub it into them.  Season with black pepper and sea salt and roast for 15 minutes.  After the 15 minutes, add in the sliced red onion and cook for another 15-20 minutes until nice and tender.  Once cooked, you can add the cauliflower and red onion mix to a bowl and toast the flaked almonds in the same heated oven for max. 5 min.  Watch them carefully so that you don’t burn them.  Combine the almonds, sultanas and chopped coriander to the cauliflower and red onion mix.

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For the dressing, combine all the yummy ingredients into your food processor or blender and blitz away until you get this amazing bright orange looking dressing.  It’s wonderful to look at and to taste!  Coat the cauliflower salad with this dressing and you are good to go.  This salad could be one of my all time favourites!  Enjoy!

P1080913If you like this recipe, then whey not LIKE my Facebook page too!  Or if you’re interested in learning more about your diet and nutrition, why not set up an online nutrition counselling session with me HERE!

Baked Sweet Potato Chips

Although traditionally made from standard potatoes, chips made from sweet potatoes are much healthier and are actually of great nutritional value. Just 7 ounces of this vegetable contains approximately 65% of your recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C! They are also rich in calcium, potassium and beta-carotene. As a rule, use one sweet potato per person you are feeding, I used six to feed all six of us! To make this simple recipe all you will need is the following ingredients:

Sweet potatoes (1 per person)
Olive oil
Herbamare (pure sea-salt infused with organic, garden-fresh herbs and vegetables)
A dash of turmeric or cumin

So to start, heat your oven to 180C then wash and peel your potatoes. Once they are peeled, slice each potato to 1cm thickness and then again to 1cm longways. Once they are all sliced into shape, coat them all generously in corn flour.

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You must then apply olive oil to each chip. I prefer to spray the oil on instead of pouring it, but either method is absolutely fine. Next, give your chips a good sprinkle of Herbamare and then add a dash of turmeric or cumin, completely up to you!

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Now that your chips have been prepared, align them on the baking tray side by side, making sure not to place them on top of each other as this will prevent them becoming crunchy. Place the tray in the oven for 15 minutes and then take them out, turn all of the chips over and put back in for an additional 15 minutes.  Your chips are now ready to eat so serve them with some decent ketchup, preferably made with Agave or Brown Rice Syrup, not sugar!!!

The high nutritional value of sweet potatoes isn’t the only reason you should be including them in your diet. They also score impressively low on the glycemic index which makes it great for your blood sugar levels. The rich content of Vitamin A and beta-carotene makes sweet potatoes fantastic for your skin and also work to combat the free radicals which cause visible ageing effects.

The high potassium content of this vegetable helps to alleviate muscle cramps, making them great to eat if you’re particularly tense! Sweet potatoes are easily grown in your garden and you don’t have to be especially green-fingered to be successful at it!

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Sangita’s Tofu Curry

My friend Sangita was kind enough to share this recipe with me although it was originally intended as a prawn curry dish! To give this recipe my own touch, I’ve substituted tofu in to create a veggie alternative! Curry is a wholesome dish that is perfectly satisfying at the end of a long day and with ample opportunity to include a combination of herbs and spices, it is great for your body too! To make this recipe for yourself and three others, you’ll need the following ingredients:

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2 medium onions
450g block of firm tofu, cut into small chunks
½ a block of coconut cream
1 teaspoon of cumin
4 ground cardamom pods
2 teaspoons of coriander
2 teaspoons of turmeric
2 teaspoons of chilli powder
Lime juice to taste
1 inch of root ginger
3 tablespoons of safflower oil
Lemon juice
Salt and pepper

Before you start preparing the curry, you should first add your desired amount of rice to a pan of hot water and leave to cook.

So to begin, you should chop the onions into small pieces and peel and slice the ginger. Next you can drizzle some of the safflower oil into a pan and fry these two ingredients together for two to three minutes. Whilst continuing to fry, include the cumin, cardamom, coriander plus the turmeric and chilli powder. Stir the contents of the frying pan together well before adding in all of the tofu.

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Now you can turn the heat down a tad whilst you create the coconut milk. Do this by mixing the block of coconut cream with 475ml of boiling water in a jug and stirring well before pouring into the pan. Turn the heat back up and allow everything to cook together for between five and ten minutes.

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Before you take the curry off the heat, check to see if the rice is ready and if so drain off any excess water and serve onto dishes. You can then season the contents of your pan with salt and freshly ground black pepper before serving over the rice. Garnish with a dash of lime juice and enjoy!

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Curry is often thought of as an indulgent dish that is neither good for the body or your waistline, however when prepared with the correct ingredients and not full of fatty products, curry can actually be a healthy meal. Not only this but it isn’t too difficult to make and is loved by many! Also, by using tofu as an alternative to meat in your curries, you are providing the body with numerous healthy benefits. These benefits range from lowering your cholesterol count to helping protect against certain cancers. It is also believed that consuming tofu will help keep bones strong as it is a great source of calcium. Tofu is also full of vitamin E and is a fantastic source of protein. Every 100g of tofu contains approximately 17.19g of protein, making it easy to see that you can still meet your daily recommended allowance from this meat alternative!

The inclusion of spices like turmeric, cumin and coriander are also good ways to boost the nutritional value of your meals and also add to the taste. Also, when cooking it is preferable to avoid the traditional oils which have become the norm and instead opt for a healthier alternative. Safflower oil has been used since the Ancient Egyptian times and is a bi-product of a plant which is also widely used for colouring, flavouring and medicinal purposes.

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To find out more about nutrition click here!

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Red Velvet Soup

When it comes to getting lots of nutrients into one dish, soup is the perfect way to do it. Within reason there’s no limit to how much goodness you can blend into any recipe and you can also mix in supplements without compromising the taste! Choosing to prepare soup is also a great way to make a lot of food with minimal fuss – which is perfect when you’ve got many mouths to feed at dinner time! This tasty dish takes just five minutes to prep for and a further 40 to cook, meaning you can easily make it fresh in the evening. My eight year old calls this his “favourite meal in the whole wide world” and he can easily polish off seconds and then thirds if there’s any left! To see what all the fuss is about and make some yourself, you’ll need the following ingredients:

red velvet soup grassrootsandgrains12 tbsp. of unrefined virgin coconut oil
1 & 1/2 tsp. of cumin seeds
1 & 1/2 tsp. of black mustard seeds
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp. of fresh ginger, grated
2 tsp. of turmeric
2 tsp. of ground cumin
Pink Himalayan salt
2 cups of chopped tomatoes
8 cups of veggie stock
2 cups of red lentils, rinsed
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 a lime, freshly squeezedred velvet soup grassrootsandgrains3
1/2 tsp. of agave nectar
1/4 cup of chopped coriander, to garnish

To begin, heat the coconut oil at medium heat in a large pan and add only the mustard and cumin seeds. Sauté the contents of the pan until they begin to pop and then quickly include the onion, ginger, turmeric, ground cumin and a pinch of the salt. Continue to sauté for a further two or three minutes and then chuck in the two cups of chopped tomatoes and an additional quarter tablespoon of salt. Now give your ingredients a quick stir and continue to sauté for another two minutes.

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Now you can include your first half cup of veggie stock and cook until the liquid is reduced by approximately a half. When you can see that this has happened, it’s time to add the red lentils and stir well before adding the remaining seven and a half cups of stock and the cinnamon stick. Next you must turn the heat up to bring your concoction to the boil and then lower the heat again before covering and allowing to simmer for a good 30 minutes.

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After 30 minutes the lentils should be tender so you can now add another quarter tablespoon of the Pink Himalayan salt and leave to simmer again for another five minutes. Now you can remove the cinnamon stick and stir in the juice of your lime and the agave nectar. Then it’s time for the fun part, blending it all up! Pour the entire contents of the pan into your blender and blitz it until it’s smooth.red velvet soup grassrootsandgrains6

You can now serve into bowls, garnish with the chopped coriander and enjoy!

The combination of everything in this recipe will do great things for your energy levels as well as providing many other health benefits. Red lentils in particular are often spoken of as a super food with anti ageing properties. They are incredibly rich in protein and fibre as well as containing high levels of manganese, iron, potassium and vitamin B1. Including red lentils in your diet is a fantastic way to lower cholesterol whilst also maintaining blood sugar levels.

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As we already know, turmeric is brilliant for the system and cumin, coriander and ginger are also amazing ways to give the body a subtle boost. The chopped tomatoes included in this recipe bring a happy dose of lycopene to the table which research suggests prevents many types of cancer.

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