Creamy Braised Lentils with Mushrooms and Kalettes

After a huge weekend, actually I should say this week of party celebrations. It was nice to get back to healthy eating and to kick off the week with a meatless Monday dish of braised lentils was just the thing I needed.

As I become more in tuned with my body and health over the past few years, I honestly do enjoy meat free meals more and more. I cannot say I am a totally converted vegetarian, though I have cautiously reduced my intake on red meat. My digestive system has notably changed for the better.

There are so many different "diets" "labels" of lifestyle these days. Apart from ethical reasons I believe you don't need a label to live your life the way you want, you know your own body and what makes you feel good and works for you. If you are eating a high quantity of protein and iron enriched foods from other sources such as lentils, brussels sprouts, other legumes and leafy greens then reducing or cutting out your red meat intake won't hurt you contrary to what we have been lead to believe over the years. Increasing your intake of plant-based foods you are providing your body with not just protein and iron but an array of vitamins and minerals that support a healthy, functioning body.

Whatever your dietary requirements this meal will make your taste buds sing and dance, leave you feeling full yet less sluggish and provide you with the protein your body requires. Enjoy on it's own as a meal or as a side with your meat or fish of choice if you prefer.

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The Real Deal Mac ‘N’ Cheese with Peas & Broccoli

One thing I’m big on is hidden preservatives in food. I try to avoid them like the plague. Sadly there is too many quick meal options targeted at us in the supermarkets that a filled with the stuff.

We have kind of been sucked into the ‘quick’ and thoughtless way of cooking that makes dinner an easy option. Grabbing a pre-packed jar or powder packets of sauces that we think are an easy option when we are pushed for time. But if we stop to look at the ingredients on the back you would be shell-shocked to see what’s actually in them numbers, artificial flavours, colours and additives that just aren’t necessary and actually quite harmful to us over time.

I really want parents to know out there that cooking good food doesn’t have to be hard or complicated. It is usually a few ingredients put together simply that takes not a lot of time at all.

I called this “The Real Deal” because it is just that REAL. Made with REAL ingredients and tastes fresh, light and tasty. Took me 35 mins to make from start to finish so if you ask me I’d rather feed my family this fresh old favourite than a jar full of who knows what any day of the week.

I added some veggies of course for extra nutrition but if you have fussy kids just leave them out or add some veggies they like.

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Portuguese Chicken Skewers with Garlic Yoghurt

This is such a handy spice recipe to have I use this on a variety of chicken dishes such as whole roast chickens, chicken drumsticks, chicken burritos and these char grilled chicken skewers. You have the option to have it hot and spicy or by leaving out the Cayenne Pepper you can have it mild for the kids if they prefer.

Serve it with some soft tortillas, charred lemon or cooked corn cobs but my favourite now is with myΒ Hasselback Sweet Potatoes with Basil PestoΒ . A family feast to satisfy a hungry brood.

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Homemade Ricotta Gnocchi

It is actually easier than you think to make your own gnocchi at home. This is an easy time saving recipe anyone can make.

I like making it with ricotta instead of potato like traditional gnocchi. It gives a lot lighter and less filling result and to be honest so much quicker than having to boil potatoes mash and cool, it can become a timely process. Great if you have the time but if you would like a quicker and still delicious recipe than I would suggest trying this one.

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Orecchiette with Pork, Broccoli Mushrooms and Roast Tomatoes

Such a quick and easy family favourite that satisfies every member of the family and still with some added veggie goodness.

I have used orecchiette pasta shells but you can use any type of pasta with this. For vegetarian version leave out the pork.

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