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Butternut Squash & Lentil Curry Recipe

It’s nice to have warm, comforting meals in the cold autumn evenings. This tasty butternut squash & lentil curry recipe is my favourite dinner to have. It makes the most of butternut squash which is in season in the UK in autumn.

The brown rice is lower in sugar than white rice and as it is wholegrain it contains more B vitamins and magnesium.

Serves 2

Time to prepare & cook: 1 hour

Ingredients

1tbsp Coconut Oil

1 Red Onion

1 Garlic Clove

1inch Root Ginger

1/2 tbsp Ground Cumin

1 tsp Ground Coriander

1/4 tsp Ground Turmeric

345ml Passata

1/4 block Coconut Cream

125g  Red Lentils

1 Butternut squash

I large leaf Swiss chard

1 tsp Olive oil

600ml Filtered Water

150g (75g/serving) Brown Rice

¼ tsp  Himalayan Pink Crystal Salt

¼ tsp Black Pepper

Instructions

Firstly preheat the oven to fan 180C.

Now chop the butternut squash in half. Scoop out the seeds with a dessert spoon and discard. Chop a grid into the surface of the butternut squash flesh. Place the butternut squash halves in a baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil.

When the oven is ready, add the butternut squash halves into the oven and cook for 40 minutes.

Next melt the coconut oil in a medium pan.

Now add the chopped onion, and salt, black pepper, cumin, coriander and turmeric and stir.

When the onions start to look clear, add in the chopped garlic.

Boil some water. Cut off a quarter of the coconut cream block and place it in a small glass. Pour in 200ml boiling water to dissolve the block.

Now add in the passata and water. Pour in the red lentils. Next pour in the coconut cream. Also cut up 2 inch pieces of the Swiss chard and add to the curry. Simmer on a low heat for 25 minutes stirring regularly. Add in extra water if necessary.

While the curry is cooking, pour the brown rice into a pan of filtered water at the ratio 1:2 brown rice:water. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 25 minutes on a low heat. Do not stir.

When the butternut squash is cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool.

Once cool. use a dessert spoon to scoop out the butternut squash flesh and put into the curry.

Serve the butternut squash & lentil curry with the brown rice. Enjoy!

Healthy Salad Dressing Recipe

I often get asked by my clients for a healthy salad dressing recipe. So here is a tasty and healthy salad dressing recipe to make your salads zing!

In the hot summer days it’s nice to having a hydrating, fresh salad for lunch with seasonal vegetables such as tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, rocket and cucumber.

Make sure you add a portion of protein such as chicken, sardines, mackerel anchovies, eggs, tofu, walnuts or feta.

Also you want some healthy fats to help you absorb the fat-soluble nutrients including vitamins A, D, E and K such as avocado, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and your healthy salad dressing! The olive oil in the salad dressing also helps you to absorb fat-soluble nutrients.

Healthy fats and protein also keep you feeling full for longer and prevent the urge to have a sugary snack a hour later!

Check out this yummy and healthy salad dressing recipe below:

Ingredients

2tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1tbsp apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar

1 clove garlic crushed

1tsp dijon mustard

¼tsp sea salt

¼tsp black pepper

Instructions

Add the olive oil, vinegar, crushed garlic, mustard, sea salt and black pepper to a glass jar and shake well to mix.

If you would like more guidance on what foods to eat and avoid in a healthy diet, contact Kate for a free 15 minute consultation to discuss how I can help you.

For more healthy recipe inspiration click HERE.

3 Must Eat Breakfast Foods

Do you love your breakfast? Do you have a short list of “go-to” recipes? Would you like a bit of inspiration to start eating breakfast again? Check out my 3 must eat breakfast foods.

Getting some protein at each meal can help with blood sugar management, sustaining energy levels through the day and weight loss. This is because protein helps you feel fuller longer and releases energy slowly through the day. So I’m going to show you how to get the protein, as well as some veggies and healthy fats that will be your soon-to-be favourite new “go-to” breakfast foods.

Breakfast Food #1: Eggs

Yes, eggs are the “quintessential” breakfast food. And for good reason!

No, I’m not talking about processed egg whites in a carton. I mean actual whole “eggs”.

Egg whites are mostly protein while the yolks are the real nutritional powerhouses. Those yolks contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fats.

Eggs have been shown to help you feel full, keep you feeling fuller longer, and help to stabilise blood sugar and insulin.

Not to mention how easy it is to boil a bunch of eggs and keep them in the fridge for a “grab and go” breakfast when you’re running short on time.

And…nope the cholesterol in eggs is not associated with an increased risk of arterial or heart diseases.

One thing to consider is to try to prevent cooking the yolks at too high of a temperature because that can cause some of the cholesterol to become oxidised. It’s the oxidised cholesterol that’s unhealthy for the heart.

The healthiest way to cook eggs is to poach them in boiling water for 5 minutes so the egg yolk is still runny. Frying, scrambling and boiling are also ok too.

Breakfast Food #2: Nuts and/or Seeds

Nuts and seeds contain protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and fibre. Nuts and/or seeds would make a great contribution to breakfast.

You won’t be fooled by “sugared” nuts, sweetened nut/seed butters, or chia “cereals” with added sugars – you know I’m talking about the real, whole, unsweetened food here.

Nuts and seeds are also the ultimate fast food if you’re running late in the mornings. Grab a small handful of almonds, walnuts, or pumpkin seeds as you’re running out the door; you can nosh on them while you’re commuting.

Not to mention how easy it is to add a spoonful of nut/seed butter into your morning breakfast smoothie.

They’re also great in granola or muesli, or chopped up on your porridge.

Hint: If you like a creamy latte in the mornings try making one with nut or seed butter. Just add your regular hot tea and a tablespoon or two of a creamy nut or seed butter into your blender & blend until frothy.

Breakfast Food #3: Veggies

Yes, you already know you really should get protein at every meal including breakfast; but this also applies to veggies. You know I would be remiss to not recommend veggies at every meal, right?

Veggies are powerhouses of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, fibre, and water. You can’t go wrong adding them into every single meal of the day so if you don’t already you should definitely try them for breakfast!

And no, you don’t need to have a salad or roasted veggies for breakfast if you don’t want to but you totally can! You wouldn’t be breaking any “official” breakfast rules or anything like that.

Adding some protein to leftover veggies is a great combination for any meal. Including breakfast.

If you like me to look over your diet and give you more healthy breakfast ideas, book an appointment on the contact page here.

I’ve included a delicious recipe below for you to try (and customise) for your next breakfast.

Recipe: Veggie Omelette

Serves 1

1 teaspoon coconut oil

2-3 eggs

¼ cup veggies (grated zucchini and/or sliced mushrooms and/or diced peppers)

Pinch salt, pepper and/or turmeric

Add coconut oil to a frying pan and melt on low-medium heat (cast-iron pans are preferred).

In the meantime grab a bowl and beat the egg(s) with your vegetables of choice and the spices.

Tilt pan to ensure the bottom is covered with the melted oil. Pour egg mixture into pan and lightly fry the eggs without stirring.

When the bottom is lightly done flip over in one side and cook until white is no longer runny.

Serve & Enjoy!

Tip: Substitute grated, sliced, or diced portion of your favourite vegetable. Try grated carrots, chopped broccoli or diced tomato.

References:

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/eggs-worse-than-fast-food

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/encyclopedia/food/eggs/

https://authoritynutrition.com/eating-healthy-eggs/

https://authoritynutrition.com/12-best-foods-to-eat-in-morning/

How To Go Dairy-Free

If you’re reading this, then you’re likely or are considering how to go dairy-free . You may have a food intolerance, have been told to eliminate dairy, or just want to have less of it.

Either way, dairy is not an essential nutrient, and there are lots of things you can have instead. Dairy foods include not just milk, but also yoghurt, butter, parmesan, and ice cream!

Calcium is important for bone health and there is a good amount in dairy products but don’t worry.  There are lots of other foods that contain calcium such as broccoli, almonds, tahini, salmon, collard greens and spinach.

Dairy-free products are becoming more and more popular. Nowadays you can easily find them in the grocery store. But read your labels! Some contain way too much sugar, or other ingredients you may not want to eat or drink.

Read below to learn how to go dairy-free.

I’ve put together some simple recipes to make delicious dairy-free foods right in your kitchen. Go ahead and try my dairy substitutes.

Delicious dairy-free milk

Dairy-free milk is so easy to make and flavour yourself. You can make milk out of just about any nut or seed. You can even make alternative milk out of grains like rice, oats, or quinoa. And you can flavour them too.

It just takes a high-powered blender, some water, and cheesecloth to filter out any remaining bits.

For flavouring, you can add a pinch of cinnamon, cardamom, or vanilla extract. You can also sweeten your milk with soaked dates, maple syrup, or honey.

To make a super-simple dairy-free milk just soak ½ cup of almonds, cashew, coconut, or even hemp seeds for a few hours (if you have the time). Soaking is optional, but it makes the blending process easier and the final milk creamier. Then drain the soaking water, rinse, and add to a blender with 2 cups of fresh water. Blend on high until smooth (about 1 minute). Add your flavourings, if desired. Then strain through a nut milk bag, fine mesh strainer, or a few layers of cheesecloth.

If you want to make a dairy-free cream, just blend your nuts, seeds and/or grains with 1 cup of water instead of 2 for a thicker, creamier, dairy-free milk.

Delicious dairy-free yoghurt

Technically, with the right yoghurt starter probiotic culture, you can make yoghurt out of any dairy-free milk. The most common one to ferment into yoghurt is coconut milk. But you can use almond milk or other nut or seed milk.

The trick here is with the fermentation. Follow the instructions on the label of the yoghurt starter culture, and enjoy delicious dairy-free yoghurt in a few days.

Delicious dairy-free butter alternatives 

Have you tried coconut oil? It’s a great dairy-free substitute for butter. You can fry with it, or even bake with it. You can even use it to pop popping corn in a pot on your stove.

I love the mild flavour of coconut oil in anything I bake with bananas. It tastes better than butter anyway.

Delicious dairy-free parmesan

If you haven’t tried nutritional yeast, you will be pleasantly surprised at how much it tastes like grated parmesan. Plus, it contains some B vitamins as well.

It’s a salty, cheesy, flaky powder that you can use wherever you want to add a pop of savoury flavour to any dish.

TIP: After you’ve popped your popcorn, sprinkle it with a bit of nutritional yeast for a salty, cheesy flavour.

Delicious dairy-free puddings

Did you know you can make a delicious and thick pudding without dairy? That’s right; the plant kingdom has some natural thickeners that are full of fibre.

You can make a chocolate pudding with avocado. Take one whole avocado and blend it up with ¼ cup cocoa powder, ¼ cup dairy-free milk, 1 tsp vanilla extract, and honey or maple syrup to taste. Then add dairy-free milk to thin if desired.

For chocolate chia pudding, use ⅓ cup chia seeds and place in food processor with 1.5 cups dairy-free milk. Wait for 5-10 minutes until the seeds soak up the liquid. Then add ¼ cup cocoa powder, tsp vanilla extract, and honey or maple syrup to taste. Blend into a smooth pudding.

Delicious dairy-free ice cream

Chocolate almond ice cream is another delicious dessert made with frozen bananas. I’ve included the recipe for this below.

Conclusion

Dairy-free is easy! Making delicious dairy-free yoghurt, milk, butter, parmesan flavour, and even pudding and ice cream is simple.

Are you going to try any of these recipes? Do you have a great one to share as well?

Reply to this email and let me know.

Recipe (dairy-free): Chocolate Almond Ice Cream

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 bananas, chopped and frozen

1 tbsp cacao powder, unsweetened

2 tbsp almond butter, unsweetened

Instructions​​​​​​​

Add chopped frozen bananas to a food processor. Pulse or lightly blend until almost smooth. Add cacao powder and nut butter. Pulse or lightly blend until mixed.

Serve immediately & enjoy!

Tip: Try different nut and/or seed butter. Or instead of cocoa powder and/or seed butter, use just the bananas with a ½ cup of frozen berries. The recipe combinations are endless.

 

Finally for more information on how to go dairy free and dairy free substitutes, contact Kate to book an appointment today.

 

How Much Protein Do I Need?

Protein is not just for great skin, hair, and nails; it’s critical for health. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to repair damage, digest food, fight infections, build muscle and bone, create hormones, and even think and have good moods. Higher protein diets can help fight high blood pressure, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Not to mention protein’s great benefits for metabolism boosting, satiety (feeling full after a meal), and weight management.

Protein is important, and this is a given.

There are a few factors to consider when calculating how much protein we need. I go through those calculations with you. Then I list the amount of protein in some common foods.

How much protein do I need?

There isn’t a real rule that applies equally to everyone. There are a few factors to consider when figuring out how much protein you need.

Start with the minimum recommendation of 0.8 g/kg (0.36 g/lb) per day.

So, for a 68 kg (150 lb) healthy non-athlete adult, this is about 55 g protein/day.

Mind you, this is a minimum to prevent protein deficiency. It’s not optimal for good repair, digestion, immune function, muscle/bone building, hormones, thinking and great moods. It’s not enough for athletes, the elderly, or those recovering from an injury, or an illness such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, either. If you fall into one of these camps, you may need to increase the minimum protein intake. Aim closer to 1.3 g/kg (0.6 g/lb) per day.

Athletes need more protein for their energy and muscle mass. Seniors need more to help ward off muscle and bone loss that’s common in old age. And injured people need more for recovery and healing.

How much protein is too much?

As with fat and carbohydrates, eating too much protein can cause weight gain. Extra protein can be converted into sugar or fat in the body. The interesting thing about protein is that it isn’t as easily or quickly converted as carbohydrates or fat; this is because of its “thermic effect.” The thermic effect is the amount of energy required to digest, absorb, transport and store a nutrient. To digest protein, your body needs to spend energy (i.e., burn calories). More calories than when metabolising fats or carbohydrates.

If you’re concerned that high protein intake harms healthy kidneys, don’t be. If your kidneys are healthy, they are more than capable of filtering out excess amino acids from the blood. The problem only occurs in people who already have kidney issues.

FUN FACT: Plant proteins are especially safe for kidney health.

How much protein is in food?

  • A 3.5 oz chicken breast has 31 g protein.
  • A 3.5 oz salmon has 20 g protein.
  • ½ cup cooked beans contain 6-9 g protein.
  • A large egg contains 6 g protein.
  • ¼ cup nuts contains 4-7 g protein.
  • 1 medium baked potato contains 3 g protein.

Conclusion

Protein is an essential nutrient we should all get enough of. How much protein do I need? “Enough” is about 0.8 – 1.3 g/kg (0.36 – 0.6 g/lb) per day. If you’re a healthy non-athlete adult, you can aim for the lower level. If you’re an athlete, senior, or injured person, aim for the higher level.

Too much protein can cause weight gain, so it’s best to have just enough.

I’d love to know: Are you one of those people who needs more protein? Leave a comment and let me know.

Recipe (high-protein): Baked Chicken Breasts

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic
1/4 tsp sea salt
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp paprika

Instructions

Preheat oven to 450°F. Place a layer of parchment paper on a baking dish.

Place the chicken breasts in the prepared dish. Brush on both sides with olive oil.
In a small bowl, mix spices until combined. Sprinkle the spice mixture evenly over the chicken on both sides.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through to at least 165°F at the thickest part.
Serve & enjoy!

Tip: Serve with lots of veggies.

For more information about protein or if you are interested in purchasing my high protein vegetarian or non-vegetarian meal plan, contact Kate on 07562868342 or send a message in the contact form below! I would love to hear from you.

Golden Milk Recipe

Turmeric is a rhizome that grows under the ground like ginger. It has a rich, bright orange color and is used in many foods. Originally used in Southeast Asia, it’s a vital component for traditional curries. You can find dried powdered turmeric in the spice aisle of just about any grocery store. Sometimes they carry the fresh rhizome too (it looks like ginger root, but smaller).

Turmeric contains an amazing anti-inflammatory, antioxidant compound called “curcumin.” The amount of this bioactive compound is around 3-7% by weight of turmeric. Curcumin has been studied like crazy for its health benefits. Many of these studies test curcumin at up to 100x more than that of a traditional diet that includes turmeric.

Health Benefits of Turmeric

There are dozens of clinical studies using curcumin extract (which is way more concentrated than ground turmeric).

Curcumin is an anti-inflammatory compound. It fights inflammation at the molecular level. Some studies even show it can work as well as certain anti-inflammatory medications (but without the side effects).

Curcumin is an antioxidant compound. It can neutralise free radicals before they wreak havoc on our biomolecules. Curcumin also boosts our natural antioxidant enzymes.

These two functions of reducing inflammation and oxidation have amazing health benefits. Chronic inflammation plays a major role in so many conditions. Including heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, dementia, mood disorders, arthritis pain, etc.

Curcumin has other amazing functions too:

  • Boosts our levels of “Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor” (like a natural growth hormone for your brain) which is great for brain health.
  • Improves “endothelial” function” (the inner lining of our blood vessels) which is great for heart health.
  • Reduces growth of cancer cells by reducing angiogenesis (growth of new blood vessels in tumors), metastasis (the spread of cancer), and even contributes to the death of cancer cells.

Do you think these make turmeric deserve the “miracle spice” title?

How to get the most out of your turmeric

Curcumin is not easily absorbed by your gut. For one thing, it’s fat soluble. So, as with fat-soluble nutrients (like vitamins A, D, E, and K), you can increase absorption by eating it with a fat-containing meal.

The second trick to get the most out of your turmeric is eating it with pepper. Interestingly, a compound in black pepper (piperine) enhances absorption of curcumin, by a whopping 2,000%!

Conclusion

Turmeric is a delicious spice, and it’s “active ingredient” curcumin is a great health-booster.

Curcumin has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which are great to bust chronic inflammation. It also has other amazing health benefits, like brain- and heart-boosting properties, and even cancer-fighting properties.

Curcumin supplements can be great for your health, but they’re not for everyone. Check the label or speak with your practitioner before taking it.

I want to know: What’s your favourite turmeric recipe? Try my golden milk recipe and let me know in the comments below.

Golden Milk Recipe

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 can coconut milk
100ml hot water
1 ½ tsp turmeric, ground
¼ tsp cinnamon, ground
½ tsp honey

Instructions

Add all ingredients to a small saucepan. Stir to combine.

Warm over medium heat, stirring frequently. Heat until hot, but not boiling.

Serve & enjoy!

Tip: You can substitute 2 cups of almond milk instead of the 1 cup coconut milk and 1 cup water.

Dairy-Free Blueberry Cheesecake Recipe

One of my clients came up with this idea! She was looking for a way to make a healthy dessert. So she combined Coyo Vanilla Coconut yoghurt with flaxseed and blueberries to create this tasty and healthy treat! This dairy-free blueberry cheesecake recipe takes 5 minutes to put together and only has 4 ingredients! It is a great solution for a tasty dessert for those with lactose intolerance. It is also gluten-free!

The health benefits of the ingredients in the dairy-free blueberry cheesecake recipe

  • Flaxseed – contain omega 3 ALA, fibre and is a phytoestrogen to balance hormones in the menopause.
  • Coconut yoghurt – contains live vegan cultures to give you good bacteria to support digestion in the gut.
  • Blueberries – are rich in antioxidants called polyphenols to reduce free radical damage in the body, great for anti-ageing! They also contain vitamin C to fight infections.

 

Ingredients

2 tbsp Ground Flaxseed

6 tbsp Coyo Vanilla Coconut Yoghurt

10g Blueberries

1tsp Honey

Instructions

Firstly place the ground flaxseed into a 3 inch dessert dish. Smooth down with the back of a spoon until the flaxseed forms the flat base of the cheesecake.

Now add in the coconut yoghurt. Again flatten down the top of the layer with the back of a spoon.

Now place the blueberries on top of the coconut yoghurt until the whole top layer is completely covered.

Next drizzle the honey over the blueberries to sweeten the cheesecake.

Finally place the cheesecake in the fridge to set for 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Water Kefir Recipe

You can make this water kefir recipe at home. If you are intolerant to lactose in dairy, this water kefir recipe is a good option to get your daily dose of probiotics. It will save you money buying probiotic supplements or kefir yoghurts as you can make it yourself. This water kefir recipe is simple to make but requires you to strain it every 2-3 days.

Benefits of Probiotics

  • Improve your digestion
  • Prevent overgrowth of bad bacteria in your gut e.g. Candida
  • Boost your mood

Ingredients

2tbsp Kefir grains

500ml Filtered water

2tbsp Brown sugar

Instructions

Firstly in a large 1 litre glass jar, dissolve the sugar in 100ml hot water. When the sugar is dissolved add the remaining cold water. make sure the water is room temperature.

Now add the kefir water grains into the jar and cover the top of the jar with a muslin cloth. The kefir grains are living organisms and feed on the sugar to ferment it.

Leave the jar in a warm, dark place such as an airing cupboard for 2-3 days. Do not leave it for too long or it can starve the grains if there is no sugar left. The longer you leave it, the more acidic the taste is.

After 2-3 days strain the mixture through a small sieve into another glass jar. You can now drink the kefir liquid and store it in the fridge. Try a small glass to see if you like it and if it agrees with you. Keep the kefir grains to reuse.

Wash the fermenting jar and repeat the process again.

If you are going away you can freeze the kefir grains and defrost them to start the process again on your return.