Massaged Kale Salad

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Kale, not just for green smoothies, you can also use this nutrient powerhouse in your salads! As Kale is course and tough the best way to make it palatable is to massage it.  Yes, literally give it a good massage to soften it up and turn it into your new favorite salad base.  Of course you will need a tasty dressing and the one in this recipe is a winner.

Use the massage kale as a side dish or pile lots of your favorite foods on top and create an epic salad.

Salad Ingredients:
1 bunch of kale
1 cup edamame beans
1/2 red onion, sliced
1/3 cup walnuts
1/2 avocado, sliced

Dressing: 
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
2 Tbsp Balsalmic vinegar
Salt and Pepper to season

Method:
1. Remove spine from the kale leaves and discard spine so that there are just the leaves left.   Wash them thoroughly and dry off.  Chop the leaves into small pieces and place in a bowl.
2. Mix all of the dressing ingredients together. Pour into bowl of kale leaves and with your hands massage the kale gently for a few minutes.  It will soften, go shiny and turn a dark green colour.
3. Add the rest of salad ingredients on top and serve.

Jx

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Paleo Coconut Chicken

 

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New Zealand consumers eat more chicken than any other meat protein source, yes that is a fact.  Around 84 million birds are processed for consumption each year.  Sadly most from factory farming, however Organic farming methods are becoming more popular thanks to consumer demand.  I was vegetarian for a few years, the sight of meat make me feel sick and I was mainly eating this way for ethical reasons.  About 18 months ago I had to go on a special “diet” where my Naturopath told me to eliminate grains, all gluten, sugar (including fruit), beans, starchy vegetables, mushrooms, alcohol, dairy and a few other foods for 12 weeks. This left me with errr, vegetables?!.  My Naturopath went over my diet and said I was not consuming enough protein so asked If I was open to re introducing animal protein back into my diet.  “Yes”, I said “But just for 12 weeks right?”, my Naturopath replied with a “Yes”.  That was good enough for me.

One of the first things I did was look for yummy chicken dishes that suited my new dietary requirements.  Now if any of you follow the “Paleo” diet you most probably do not eat grains, dairy or gluten.  Easy I thought, so had a look around on some Paleo recipe sites for some inspo.  The first dish that I made was Coconut Chicken.  It is SO simple to make and if you are a coconut fan, lactose intollerant or follow the Paleo diet than you are going to love this dish.

After 3 months on my special “diet” (boy it was hard!) I was free of my leaky gut and felt like a whole new person.  I would say it was largely due to not eating anything processed and significantly reducing my sugar intake.  My skin was clear, energy levels higher and I had no “brain fog”.  This is why it is so important to listen to your body and look out for any signs of it telling you that something may be wrong.  Take charge of your health and always seek advice from a professional if you feel you need some guidance.

Sovereign are all about empowering New Zealanders to take charge of their health and well-being, so thanks to them I am sharing with you my recipe for Paleo Coconut Chicken with Mango Salsa.

Ingredients:

500 grams Organic Chicken Thighs (you can use breast, however I prefer thighs as they are cheaper and cook faster).
2x Organic Eggs
1/2 cup Coconut Milk
1x cup Almond Meal
1x cup Desiccated Coconut

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To make the mango salsa

1/2 mango, diced
1/2 avocado, diced
1/3 spanish onion, diced
1/3 cup fresh coriander
Juice of 1x lime

Method:

1. Turn oven on fan bake, 180 degrees celsius.  Set aside a baking dish that will fit all of the chicken and line with baking paper.
2. In a bowl mix the eggs and coconut milk together.  In a separate bowl mix the desiccated coconut and almond meal together.
3. Take the chicken pieces and dip into the egg/milk mixture, then dip into the almond meal/coconut mixture.  Place each piece of chicken into the baking dish.
4. Bake for 30 minutes.  You will notice that the coconut will go crispy on the outside, keep an eye on it so that the coconut does not burn.

To make the salsa throw all of the diced ingredients into a  bowl and pour the lime juice over. Place into the fridge to marinade while the chicken is cooking.

Enjoy!

Jx

This post was made possible thanks to Sovereign.

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Vegetarian Burgers

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These vegetarian burgers are guaranteed to satisfy the most committed carnivores. They are full of flavour, high in protein and are so satisfying. Fill the burgers up with toppings of your choice. I find that the beetroot spread adds a sweet flavour and gives them a vibrant colour . Any leftover patties make the perfect sandwich or wrap for the next day.

* Makes 5 mini burgers

Ingredients:

5 mini buns (I used focaccia buns)
420 grams of Chickpeas (equal to one can of chickpeas)
400 grams of Brown Lentils
1 shallot, finely diced.
2 organic free range eggs
1/4 cup of gluten free rolled oats
1/4 cup of hummus
1/4 cup of beetroot spread
1/4 cup of sprouts
1 teaspoon of paprika
1 carrot, grated
1/4 cup of gluten free flour (not coconut flour)
1 cup of baby spinach
3 cloves of garlic, crushed.
1 chili (optional)
1 avocado (optional)
Salt + pepper

Method: 

1. In a bowl mix the chickpeas and lentils together. Pour into a sieve and rinse under cold water.  Place lentils and chickpeas onto a dry tea towel and pat dry, try to remove as much of the excess water as possible.
2. Roughly dice the shallot and chill.  Crush the garlic.  Place in a food processor along with the chickpeas, lentils, eggs, paprika, flour, oats, carrot, salt and pepper. Blend all the ingredients up until they are a thick paste.
3. Place the buns in the oven for 1-2 minutes on a light grill to heat them.
4. Heat up a frypan on medium heat with 1 tablespoon of good quality cooking oil. Separate the mixture into 5 portions and roll into patties.  If they are very sticky sprinkle some flour onto your hands/
5. Place the patties into the frypan and cook for 5-6 minutes on each side or until lightly golden.
6. Cut the buns in half and layer with hummus, sprouts, a pattie, beetroot spread, spinach and avocado.

L x

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Mini Eggplant Pizzas

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This is an easy recipe to make for dinner served alongside a salad or it can be served as an appetiser for a party.  You can add extra vegetables to the pizzas or leave out the cheese for a vegan option.

Recipe makes approximately 12 mini pizzas.

Ingredients

1 eggplant
1 chili, diced finely (optional)
1/4 cup of pesto
1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
2 tomatoes
1 bunch of fresh basil
Salt & pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil to drizzle over pizzas.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to Fan Bake 180C. Line an oven tray with baking paper.
2. Slice the eggplant into 1cm thick slices and place onto the baking tray.
3. Spread pesto on each eggplant slice and sprinkle with parmesan.
4. Chop up the tomato into small cubes and dice the chili finely.  Place ingredients evenly onto the eggplants slices.
5. Top each slice with a basil leaf and season with salt and pepper.
6. Drizzle slices with some olive oil and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

Enjoy. L x

 

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French Bean Salad

IMG_1321My best friends Mum made this dish one night when I had dinner with her and it is something I have re created several times since as it is so delicious!  The combination of mustard, vinegar and capers is beautiful – a little bit tangy, sour and the crunch of the beans is a lovely texture.  I would say that this dish is best used as a side dish and not a main.  The perfect accompaniment to a BBQ meal, Sunday Roast or with some vegetable protein.

This recipe is taken from a  Jamie Oliver cook book so a big thank you to him.  The original recipe does not include spinach, however, I have added some in for extra nutrients.

This recipe is gluten free, vegan, dairy free, nut free and sugar free so suitable for everyone.

Ingredients:

 

4 handfuls French beans, stalk ends removed
1 handful spinach leaves, chopped into small pieces
2-3 heaped teaspoons French mustard, to taste
2 tablespoons good-quality white wine vinegar
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
himalayan salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 medium shallot, peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon capers, optional
½ clove garlic, finely grated

Method:

 

Bring a pan of water to a fast boil, add your beans, put a lid on the pan, and cook for at least 4 to 5 minutes. Boiling the beans fast like this helps them to retain all their nutrients. Meanwhile, put the mustard and vinegar into a bowl and, while stirring, add the olive oil to make a good hot French dressing. Season carefully with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then add the finely chopped shallot, the capers if you’re using them and the garlic.

Remove one of the beans from the pan to check if it’s cooked. If it holds its shape but is also soft to the bite, it’s perfect. Drain in a colander. Now, while the beans are steaming hot, this is the perfect moment to dress them – a hot bean will take on more of the wonderful dressing than a cold one. Mix through the raw spinach and it will slowly wilt with the heat of the beans.  It is best to serve the beans warm, not cold, and certainly not at fridge temperature because the flavours will be muted and boring. Serve the beans in a bowl.

Jx

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Cauliflower Pizza Base

 

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A few months ago I posted a recipe for a gluten free pizza base which is a staple in my household. After making this pizza almost every week I thought it was time to try a new recipe.

I have been experimenting with this cauliflower pizza base, which needed to be altered a few times before sharing but I have finally perfected it.
If you are like me and love the taste of pizza but struggle to enjoy it due to the additives, gluten and heavy dough causing havoc in your body then this healthy twist will go down a treat.

The sesame seeds give it a crunchy and chewy texture and the garlic and pesto add a flavorsome kick.  The cauliflower is hard to taste in this pizza base which makes it a great option for fussy children who do not like the taste of vegetables.

Get creative with your pizza toppings. I used pesto, sun dried tomato’s, fresh basil leaves, mozzarella and seaweed flakes.

This base is:
* Gluten Free
* Dairy Free
* Vegetarian

Base ingredients:

1 medium sized cauliflower
2 organic eggs
¼ cup of sesame seeds or linseeds
2 tablespoons of gluten free flour
¼ cup of pesto (I used another ¼ cup for the topping)
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
Salt + Pepper

Method:

1. Pre heat the oven to 180C.
2. Wash the cauliflower and cut into cubes. Place into a food processor and blend the cauliflower until it is pureed.
3. Place the cauliflower into a tea towel or milk bag and over the sink squeeze all the water out, put aside.
4. In a bowl add the remainder of the ingredients and combine well.
5. Re squeeze the cauliflower to get any more excess water out and then add to the mixture making sure it is well combined.
6. On a piece of baking paper spread the dough out into an even circle. Try to keep the dough around 1.5 cm’s thick to avoid it from cracking once cooked.
7. Bake the base for 15 minutes and then add the topping of your choice. Place back into the oven for another 15 minutes or until topping is done.
8. Let the pizza cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy! L x

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Colourful Capsicum Cups

Loaded with vegetables, chickpeas, quinoa and herbs these capsicum cups provide nutrition needed for a wholesome and balanced meal. These are incredibly filling and the quinoa and chickpeas provide a high vegetarian source of protein.

These are great to make for lunch, dinner and snacks. Try to choose a variety of coloured capsicums to make the meal bright and colourful.

* Vegetarian
* Vegan
* Gluten Free
* Dairy Free

Ingredients:

3 capsicums
3/4 cup of quinoa
1 400g can of chickpeas.  I used half a can.
1/4 pumpkin
1 avocado
1 fresh chill pepper- diced
2-3 cloves of garlic- diced
1 small bunch of chives
1 bunch of parsley
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Note: For a non vegan meal, feta cheese can be sprinkled over the capsicums after the capsicums are roasted in the oven.

Method:

1. Cut up the pumpkin into small cubes, drizzle with olive oil and place in a baking tray.  Roast the pumpkin in the oven on 180C for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden.
2. Place the quinoa in a pot with 1 1/2 cups of water and a pinch of salt.  Cook for around 15-20 minutes or until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is light and fluffy.
2. Cut out the stems of the capsicums and remove the seeds then cut the capsicums in half, lengthwise.
3. In a bowl add the quinoa, pumpkin, diced garlic, chili,  half of the parsley and chives and salt and pepper. Mix well.
4. Stuff the capsicums with the mixture, then place them in the oven for 10-15 minutes on bake.
5. Sprinkle the remainder of the parsley and chives onto the capsicum, along with the sliced avocado. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Enjoy!

Julia & Libby xx

 

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Broccoli, Feta and Pine Nut Fritters

Broccoli is a favourite staple in my house.  I am always trying to find new ways to include it in my diet as it is a powerful superfood with high nutritional value. These fritters are the perfect way to enjoy broccoli even for non broccoli fans.
The fritters are creamy and soft on the inside and the toasted pine nuts give them a beautiful crunchy texture.

Like most fritters they taste best straight out of the frying pan. I drizzled these fritters with lemon juice and served them with grilled salmon and a leafy green salad, a perfect combination.

Enjoy these as a snack or include with your dinner for a meat free, high protein and high fibre meal.

Gluten free*

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Ingredients (makes 8 fritters)

1 medium sized broccoli
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 eggs
1 small bunch of parsley, chopped
150 grams of gluten free flour or buckwheat flour (put an extra 50 grams aside incase mixture is too wet)
80 grams of feta cheese
1/2 cup of pine nuts
1 lemon
Salt and pepper
Dash of oil

Method

1. Chop up the broccoli finely and steam for 5 minutes.
2. Beat the eggs in a bowl and add the flour, garlic, salt and pepper and parsley.
3. Chop up the feta cheese into small cubes and place into the mixture.
4. Place the pine nuts in a fry pan on a low heat and gently roast for 4-7 minutes or until pine nuts are slightly golden. Once cooked add them to the mixture.
5. Before adding the broccoli into the mixture make sure it is finely sliced.  I found that I needed to add an extra 50 grams of flour to the mixture as it was too wet.
6. Heat a large frying pan over moderate heat and add a dash of oil.
7. Scoop 1 large tablespoon of mixture into the frying pan, then flatten it slightly with a spatula. The mixture should make around 8 fritters. Cook the fritters for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden.
8. Place fritters onto a paper towel to soak up any excess oil.
9. Drizzle with lemon juice before serving. Enjoy!

L x

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Summer Antioxidant Salad

Eat the rainbow – this salad is packed with colourful fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds to give you an antioxidant boost and help nourish your body from the inside out.

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The pomegranate adds a beautiful crunch, nuts provide you with essential omegas and the spinach a good dose of iron and vitamin C.

With Christmas coming up this is the perfect salad to serve on Christmas Day, is guilt free and looks beautiful once prepared.

Ingredients:

3x cups of raw baby spinach leaves
1/4 purple cabbage, shredded
1/2 pomegranate, seeded
1x tomato, sliced
1/4 cucumber, sliced
1/2 orange, sliced
1/2 yellow capsicum, sliced
10 strawberries, cut in half
Handful of nuts and seeds (we used brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds and walnuts)

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Dressing:

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp  flaxseed oil
Juice of one lemon
2 Tbsp balsalmic vinegar
Himalayan salt and pepper to season

Method:

  1. Prepare all of the fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
  2. Lay all of the ingredients out on a chopping board or platter
  3. Make the dressing and drizzle over salad.

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Mexican Rice Quinoa Bowl

Mexican Rice Quinoa Bowl

One of my favourite cuisines is Mexican food. This recipe is inspired by the spanish rice you get at Mexican restaurants. This is such an easy recipe to make and it is also inexpensive. It is a great warming winter meal that tastes so fresh with the lime juice and coriander.

This meal takes minimal effort to put together and its packed with heaps of protein from the quinoa and beans. You can add chicken to this recipe it if you didn’t want the vegetarian option. This meal can also be served with tacos or burritos.

Ingredients 

1 cup of brown rice
1 cup of quinoa
1 can of kidney beans
2 tomatoes
1 avocado
1 handful of coriander
Olive oil or hemp seed oil
1 lemon or lime
Salt and pepper

Method

1. Add two cups of water to a medium sized pot. Add a pinch of salt and add the brown rice, bring to boil. Stir the brown rice and add the quinoa, cover and reduce heat to a medium low.
The brown rice and quinoa should take around 20 minutes to cook. I add the quinoa to the rice five minutes later. Check packaging of the brown rice and quinoa for cooking times so both are cooked around the same time. Once the brown rice and quinoa is cooked take off the stove and let them cool down.

2. Place the kidney beans in a fry pan and simmer on a low heat for 7 minutes. Dice up the tomato, coriander and avocado.

3. Place some brown rice and quinoa mix into a bowl, add some kidney beans. Pile the rest of the ingredients on top and drizzle with oil and squeeze lemon or lime on top. Add some salt and pepper. Enjoy.

L x

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