I’ve never been a big fan of sandwiches; all bread and no substance. So, this Do It Yourself Noodle Pot floats my boat entirely. It is also full of ‘bitter greens’. These are an array of plant compounds which stimulate digestion therefore fabulous for anyone with digestive issues. These greens include rocket, watercress, endive and radicchio some of which are regularly stocked at your local greengrocers and can be found in their wholly natural state; unwrapped in plastic. This easy lunch has the benefit of avoiding the requirement of plastic wrapping in general; Tupperware boxes and clingfilm are replaced by a brilliantly re-useable jar. So, rest assured that your lunch is both plant-based, healthy and more eco-friendly than a shop bought sandwich.Read More
All good things must come to an end. It’s back to school time after a long and beautiful summer. My house feels very quiet. This morning we made another batch of Fregola salad with the intention of starting out as we mean to go on. It’s a very British thing to stick some cheese between 2 pieces of bread – simple, easy, cheap but very lacking in the nutrients that will keep those little minds ticking throughout the day.
The preparation and imagination involved in getting a more Mediterranean style lunch box together can be such a collaborative experience and gives kids some ownership over what goes into their food. This dish is great with some walnuts on the top (if school allows) or a boiled egg for some extra protein. An apple, some bread sticks and a Nakd bar.
Good to go.
3 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoon fresh orange juice
150g green pitted olives, drained & finely diced
1 teaspoon garlic paste
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
12 large fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1 Large unwaxed lemon, grated zest
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
A large pinch of pink Himalayan Sea Salt
To taste Freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the fregola and simmer for about 8 or 9 minutes. Avoid over-cooking as if the grain is al dente it will absorb more of the orange and oil flavours. Drain thoroughly in a sieve using a large spoon to move the grains encouraging proper drainage. Toss with 3 tablespoons of the orange juice and one of oil. Allow the grains to cool by spreading out on a large plate or tray.
While the grains cool, put the olives in a large bowl with the garlic paste, thyme, mint and lemon zest. Add the remaining oil, juice and the vinegar. Combine well.
Stir in the fregola. The addition of the crunchy Himalayan sea salt and freshly ground pepper are crucial to give the salad bite and texture. Toss the ingredients well. Tastes best at room temperature however can also sit in the fridge overnight, the flavours will be further accentuated over time so this is a great dish to make ample of for packed lunches the next day.
Pink Himalayan is a great addition to the pantry as a nice visual in addition to its mineral profile. This salt is chemically similar to table salt. It contains up to 98 percent sodium chloride. The rest of the salt consists of trace minerals, such as potassium, magnesium, and calcium. These give the salt its light pink tint. These minerals also explain why Himalayan salt tastes slightly different from regular table salt.
Last week saw our first Longevity Kitchen pop up event. A heart-warming evening in which so many longevity boxes were ticked. We started our pop-up journey with Ikaria, one of the Blue Zone areas in which residents have higher than average chancec of living healthily and actively into their 90’s.
Fasting is nothing new to the human race. Though historically, it is unlikely that we imposed a calorie deficit upon ourselves, more that over the course of a year sometimes food was scarcer than at other times.
Why fast now we live in a state of plenty? There are many different theories on this.
Advocates of fasting, for intermittent periods, report that this approach may help to burn fat rather than store it, may help to regulate other important hormonal levels that help to reduce your risks of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and many others. Also, there is the potential for the hormones which regulate appetite to be rebalanced. These, which include the all-important leptin and ghrelin may well be out of kilter in our 21st C world off food abundance, stress and poor sleep patterns.Read More
Bone health is something we may entirely disregard until we discover, perhaps later in life, after an injury or a DEXA scan that we have poor bone mineral density. Unlike our teeth, hair or nails we can’t visualise our bones therefore keeping an eye on bone health doesn’t often sit at the top of our priority list. But is should. Particularly if, as women, we have had periods of under-nourishment especially in our teens when our skeletons were still forming, chunks of time when menstruation has ceased (generally over 6 months is known as amenorrhea), vitamin D deficiency, over-exercise, a hysterectomy, alcohol misuse, pituitary issues or early menopause. That’s quite a list!
As women our bone density begins to reduce around the age of 35. This is normal. But the risk factors above may accelerate this loss. So, it’s wise to remain bone aware as losing our mobility in later life is one of the factors which most reduces happiness levels as we age.Read More
It’s half-term so producing simple lunches is so important and making up some pancake mixture to pop in the fridge before bedtime can be hugely helpful when it comes to lunch or dinner the next day.Read More
A beautiful blend of plant-based colour and spicy chickpeas designed to get the taste-buds tingling and provide some warmth on these chilly days. Serve with soured cream and guacamole.Read More
You may be working your way through Dry January or some form of health-kick so this recipe will help to maintain the New Year healthy vibe whilst using up the last dregs of the festive white wine.
The barley gives this recipe a great chewy texture adding to the general heartiness of the combined ingredients and the gremolata topping offers a wonderful zesty Italian flavour, allowing us to dream of sunny summer days in far flung places.Read More
Children have access to so much more sugar and processed foods over the festive period. But does it really matter, how concerned do we need to be?
My priority is always to allow kids to feel relaxed and happy around food so I’m fine with some grazing of festival foods. Food items that are denied or restricted become taboo. Off-limits is exciting. Out of bounds can become a bit like a game of hide and seek.
Do you ever get a little bored with those Christmas staples – cranberry sauce is a great example. Same old, same old. Well maybe using the traditional bulk ingredient but allowing it some alternative flavours would do the trick.
This is exactly what I have done with this creation. I’ve taken the tangy but sweet cranberry character and jazzed it up with a more Mexican slant, including lime, spring onion, garlic, chilli and coriander. The result offers a huge step towards less being less sugar loaded than the traditional cranberry sauce whilst enabling a recognisable and wonderful clash of flavour with the tanginess of the berries against the sweetness of the honey.Read More
As Black Friday lurks beyond the midnight hour will we be tempted by further material possessions? Do we need them? Only this morning did I trip once more over my Harlequin Wallpaper which I purchased now a whole 12 months from this date. I love it. It is undeniably beautiful but the fact that it still lies, wrapped in plastic, like a draft excluder by my office door is a constant reminder that what I need more of is ‘time’.Read More
Green because this omelette is rich in leaves pigmented with chlorophyll therefore rich in nutrients, plumped out with lightly boiled soya and French beans and sprinkled with Matcha tea powder for an additional longevity boost.
Mean – well, I’m drawing on urban slang to give it an enhanced level of attraction! Meaning ‘extreme’ in taste and nutrient content and satiability.
Bulking up your lunches with fibre and nutrient rich proteins can keep us fuller for longer, improving concentration during your work day and potentially the decreased likelihood of reaching for unhealthy snacks later in the day.Read More
Plant based food plan can be so satiating, rich in flavour and low in calories. I loathe calorie counting as it so often sets up an unhealthy relationship with food. However, we also know that eating a diet rich in nutrients and keeping within a reasonable weight range promotes longevity so its important to strike a balance.Read More
An autumnal plant-based lunch in which warm salad meets spiced Indian curry.Read More
Autumn is a great time to add some more plant-based recipes to your usual light lunch options before the indulgences of the festive period begin. This is a recipe from our 5:2 well-being evening at Marram trading last night. Coming in at around 250 calories per serving, this dish works well as part of an Intermittent Fasting Plan or purely to boost your nutrients with tasty, simple eating.Read More
I know its autumn but I’m just not quite ready for warming soups and pumpkins. Maybe this is a vague attempt at clinging onto the summer; then so be it.
This salad brings into play the orange hues of the season but adds an exotic twist with its tropical main contender – the Papaya. This fruit has many health properties. Renowned as a digestive aid so fabulous for those needing an anti-oxidant fruit boost without all the acidity of common fruits such as apples and oranges.
Papayas contain an enzyme called papain that aids digestion; so much so in fact, historically it has been used as a meat tenderizer and perhaps still is. Papaya is also high in fibre and water content, both of which help to prevent constipation and promote regularity and a healthy digestive tract.
It is not true that picky eating is always indicative of a mental health issue but it is important to try to nip pickiness in the bud early on as selective eating deprives a child of the building blocks of good physical and mental health. A child is more likely to experience calm and rationale feelings if their diet provides suitable amounts of complex carbohydrates, essential fats, amino acids, vitamins and minerals and waterRead More
This traditional and colourful Spanish take on the French ratatouille dish uses delicious seasonal ingredients which can be easily sourced. It’s also a plant-based low-calorie dish which fits well into a weight loss programme. Counting calories is a habit I tend to avoid as food is about pleasure, taste and enjoyment … not Maths! However, this autumn I’m working with clients to get into the habit of producing high nutrition meals yet low in calories. This recipe is part of my 5:2 weight loss/healthy eating programme. Once you’ve got the hang of eating in a low-calorie style there is no need to calculate.Read More
This recipe uses "beni-imo" – the wonderful sweet potato. I once read in my bible (The Okinawa Way) that the sweet potato is so well respected as part of this healthy culture that a common greeting in which we, in the UK, may offer ‘How are you today’ in Okinawa you may hear
‘Nmu kamatooin’ which translates as ‘Have you had your Imo today’?
A delicious sweet dessert or nibble for any age group! But this is an especially great recipe for getting children involved in both cooking and also for creating their own lunchbox items. This could be a gluten free dessert if the flour is substituted. Also low in sugar with the replacement of half the sugar with ground almonds.Read More