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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Super Clean & Green Chicken Minestrone

With the chilly weather upon us and all our over indulging in heavy hearty meals which is always so comforting at this time of year, it is a nice change to enjoy a super clean and nourishing soup from time to time to cleanse the body and give the heavy meals a break.

I know I’ve posted a lot of soups lately, but here is one I like to have when I’m feeling lethargic, bloated and to feel nourished or just because it is so good for you.

The warmer weather isn’t too far from sight and in only a few months we will be out in singlets and shorts again before we know it. After all we know how easy it is to get off track, so let’s get active and enjoy this nourishing bowl of superfood goodness to revitalise our body and souls.

+ I have given the options to add some quinoa, or rice noodles if you like and vegan/vegetarian options

 

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Spiced Pumpkin, Turmeric and Coconut Soup

Time to spice things up, A twist on an old classic soup. If you like Thai flavours of ginger, coconut cream and coriander well this is a simple yet tasty dish to help change-up the everyday pumpkin soup recipe.

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Sweet Potato & Cauliflower Turmeric Quinoa Curry

imageContinuing my love of Turmeric with this healthy vegan one pan vegetable curry.  I am always attracted to one pan dinners, when our weekdays are busy enough it makes meal time that much easier to know you can throw a few quality ingredients in a pan and let it cook away for half an hour giving us some free time to do other things. With three children all wanting my attention this is very handy let me tell you. Seems to be always when I am cooking dinner when they all want my undivided attention  for one thing or another.

My husband isn’t a big fan of curries so I don’t get to make them as much as I’d like to but today I had a craving for it so I made it for myself and the rest will go in the freezer for when I have another curry craving moment. Leftovers are good for work lunches too as this keeps well in the fridge for 3-4 days and the freezer 3-4 months.

Super healthy with added quinoa so no need for heavy rice. I do like something to soak up all the sauce though, I had some of my Homemade Naan Bread in the freezer. Quick heat up and it’s good to go!

Sweet Potato & Cauliflower Quinoa Turmeric Curry

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 35mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

250g sweet potato peeled and cubed (around one small)

250g cauliflower florets (about half a small cauliflower)

2 cloves garlic crushed

3 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp chilli powder (for a mild curry leave this out)

1 tsp ground ginger

400g can coconut milk

1 tbsp tomato paste

salt and pepper

1 cup white uncooked quinoa

1 cup water

400g can chickpeas

1-2 cups baby spinach

Directions

  1. In a large pan add garlic, turmeric, coriander, chilli, ginger, coconut milk and tomato paste stir all till well combined.
  2. Bring to the boil then add sweet potato, cauliflower, and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add quinoa and water to the pan and mix well. Reduce heat to a simmer and place the lid on.
  4. Cook for 25mins stirring occasionally making sure it doesn’t stick to the pan.
  5. Add the chickpeas and cook for a further 5-10 mins. It is ready once the quinoa has absorbed most of the liquid and quinoa is tender.
  6. Stir through baby spinach. Serve with Homemade Naan Bread

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Japanese Miso Soup With Vegetable Dumplings


Japanese food has come a long way in western countries with Japanese, sushi and teppanyaki restaurants popping up in nearly every neighbourhood. With sushi readily available makes a  quick grab and go lunch. Japanese ramen noodle bars are also becoming a popular pit stop for healthy lunches. Japanese food said to be one of the healthiest in the world  along with their healthy lifestyle, no wonder we are finally catching on to their secrets of longevity.

Miso is made from fermented soybeans, is low in fat and carries a long list of health benefits including:

  •  Aiding of digestion
  • Contains high levels of antioxidants
  • Strengthens blood quality
  • Lowers cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Strengthens immunity
  • Is a complete protein
  • Reduces the risks of some cancers such as breast, colon, prostate and lung

Miso soup is the most popular way in which it is used with miso paste as the main ingredient. You can buy white or red miso paste in your asian section of the supermarket. It is also very quick to make and  versatile, adding which ever asian vegetables, noodles, meats, dumplings you like.

I’ve shared my favourite recipe with vegetable dumplings which can also be bought frozen in the supermarket or asian grocers. You can always make your own which I like to do sometimes but other times if I am in a hurry I have some stocked in the freezer for super quick dinners. We often eat Japanese food at home as the kids also love it. This healthy soup makes for a happy mum and  family at meal time.

Miso Soup with Vegetable Dumplings

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 10-15mins
  • Print

Ingredients

2L water

3 tbsp white miso paste

1 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce

1-2 tsp grated fresh ginger

1-2 fresh long chillis sliced (optional)

1 cup sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms or dried

500g frozen vegetable dumplings (you can use pork if you prefer)

1 large bunch of Bok Choy (chinese greens)

2 green onions sliced diagonally

Black sesame seeds to top

Directions

  1. Place water, miso paste, soy sauce, ginger, chilli (leaving some to garnish), mushrooms in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil, then immediately turn to a simmer. Simmer  for 2-3 mins.
  2. Add dumplings and simmer for 5-6mins
  3. Add Bok choy cook for 2 mins
  4. Spoon into  bowls, top with sliced green onions, extra chilli and sesame seeds

Note: You can add some chopped Nori (seaweed) sheets and cubed tofu into the miso soup in step 3.

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