Seasonal Seducer: Courgette

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MOST ATTRACTIVE FEATURES

Packed with fibre and low in carbs and calories, this green squash is a dieter’s best friend.

WHY WE FELL IN LOVE

1 whole courgette = just 18 calories and is made up of 94% water. Bring on the skinny comfort courgetti!

Sun dried tomato and cashew nut pesto

Posted in: DF, N, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Delicious with just about anything, this is a grazing plate and BBQ’d burger’s best friend. But given our monsoon weather, maybe opt for the slathered over toasted sourdough, avocado and / or bacon option. The ‘clarted over courgetti’ (or pasta) variety makes a regular appearance on my instant healthy supper table. With jamón and cold meats; stirred through tomato dishes to give them, well… more. I’m sure my tips are superfluous, I doubt anyone’s a stranger to pesto. Add parmesan if you want but the flavour’s so good, it really isn’t necessary. This lasts for weeks, I make a big batch ensuring I’m never without.

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INGREDIENTS

200g sun dried tomatoes
2 tbsp cashew nuts
4 tbsp olive oil – I use the oil from the tomato jar.
1 tsp dried red chillies. Or 1 tsp Kema Kulo if you have it.
1 clove garlic – optional.
Pinch sea or Himalayan pink salt
1/2 tsp turmeric – untold health benefits

METHOD

Add all ingredients to a blender, Magimix or Vitamix and blitz until you a have rough paste. Basically as you would pesto.

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Store in the fridge in an airtight jar or container for as long as you would sun dried tomatoes. My guess would be you’ll eat it long before it goes off.

Cranberry & lemon amoretti

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Thanks to your calls to action post my supper clubs, fitness events and yoga holidays, this superhero stars again. Almost 2 years after I first shared the recipe, it really is a good one. True Wholesome Seduction: a super tasty snack that’s healthy, low carb and protein packed. These mini morsels are even vegan, dairy, gluten and refined sugar free and still somehow taste of un-compromised indulgence. Ideal for pre / post exercise; a (very buff) friend now keeps them at the ready for his relentless triathlon training hunger. Groan! If iron man fitness doesn’t float your boat, they’re perfect with coffee.

Cranberry-&-lemon-amaretti

Makes 10 – 12 amoretti.

INGREDIENTS

200g ground almonds, bought or home made (skin off almonds)
zest of one lemon
20g / 1 tbsp dried cranberries, rough chopped
2 medium egg whites
2 dsp maple syrup, raw honey or agave

METHOD

Pre-heat oven to 150C. Mix almonds, lemon zest, almond extract and cranberries and set aside.

Lemon-zest-amaretti

Whisk together egg whites, agave and honey until you get soft peaks. Fold in almond mix. You should have a sticky dough.

Cranberry-amaretti-dough

Break off chunks and roll into pieces slightly smaller than a golf ball. Coat with icing sugar (optional) and place on greaseproof lined baking tray.

Cranberry-&-lemon-amaretti-dough-balls

Bake for 12 – 14 mins until lightly browned on top. With a knife, unstick the bottom and transfer to a cooling rack.

Cool before eating and store in an airtight container.

Eating out: The Good Life Eatery’s Top 5

Posted in: DF, Featured, LF, N, Reviews, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Lunchtime queues have been unavoidable since this shrine to LA and New York clean eating opened its doors 18 months ago. Brainchild of Yasmine Larizadeh and Shirin Kouros, The Good Life Eatery is a long time coming for the ever growing allergy friendly and fitness obsessed hoi polloi. True Wholesome Seduction, recipes include Red Velvet cake made without gluten or refined sugar that tastes better than ‘the real thing’ (trust me), skinny eggs royale (ditto), protein superfood shakes, detox salads and kale, kale, kale! We like kale.

Skinny-eggs-royale-on-sunflower-seed-rye

I may be a little obsessed with this place and as such, have worked my way through most of the menu. I’m pretty sure any of the Top 5 listed in this post will plead my case: click on the images and re-cap at the end.

Where The Good Life Eatery really gets my vote (apart from for its evidently passionate and ingredient savvy staff) is that while raw and vegan fare are standard, meat and eggs are also on the menu. Love an egg. You’re not out of place (or a pain in the ass) if you order a cappuccino, almond ‘mylk’ flat white or a Ninja Turtle avocado and spirulina shake to kick start your day. Hail non-despotic Good Life.

So-Clean-So-Fresh

Almond-milk-flat-white

While I’m not vegan, vegetarian or following a 100% raw diet, I eat a lot of plant based recipes,. I love the passion and relentless creativity inherent to this world. The traditional rulebook of “gourmet cooking” is thrown out; gluten, dairy and (refined) sugar-free are a given and honestly taste better than the real thing. In my opinion. And my dog’s apparently.

The-Good-Life-Eatery

Maybe I’m biased because I feel better when I avoid certain ingredients – sugar is an insatiable drug that instantly sucks me back in. Green juices, and Kale Lime Pie, (Oh yes!) not only satisfy my sweet tooth, they give me energy, make me happier and don’t pile on extra pounds to haul through chataranga. If you’re cutting out certain ingredients, want more energy, or just love food, give my Good Life Eatery Top 5 a go and see for yourself:

The Good Life Eatery Top 5

  1. Skinny eggs royale. The star of the show and the drool shot that pulled you in. As good as it looks.
  2. So Clean, So Fresh. Basically The Good Life bowl for brunch (remember those eggs?). And the most versatile salad staple. For a similar recipe try my Meanest, greenest (& meatiest) superfood salad.
  3. Ninja Turtle shake. Will turn you into a ninja. Obvs. 
  4. Dr Green Love or Drink Your Salad green juices. I can’t pick just one. 
  5. Raw cacao mousse. You’ll be amazed by how good this tastes, and it’s actually super healthy. Think: antioxidants, iron, calcium, potassium, zinc, fibre etc. For a DIY version so easy a toddler could nail it, try my Raw Chocolate Orange Mousse.

There are also a multitude of other creamy protein shakes and tangy energy juices, along with excellent coffee. Every cake I’ve tried has been delicious: The raw cacao brownie bites are happily, without a whiff of date, and the banana muffin is suitably sweet and gooey yet feels like an acceptable breakfast.

Did I mention I was a little obsessed? Said love has seeped into my eating habits and I’m starting to feel so much better as a result. I have more energy, feel lighter and need less sleep – I normally live by the minimum 8 hrs a night dogma. Over the coming weeks I’ll blog my go-to recipes here.

The Good Life Eatery, 53 Sloane Ave, SW3 3DH.

Mon – Fri: 7.30am – 8pm. Sat: 8am – 7pm. Sun: 9am – 6pm.

 

Watercress, avocado & passionfruit smoothie

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Green shakes are a great start to the day, possibly none more so that those containing superhero, watercress. It does wonders for cleansing the liver and brightening the skin and eyes, amongst other things. The good news: veg shakes (genuinely) taste delicious… provided the fruit ratios and options are right! The passionfruit, cucumber and watercress give this recipe a refreshing tang, while the avocado, mango and almond milk make it creamy and filling. Frozen fruit not only adds to the creaminess, it makes more sense in winter.

Watercress,-avocado-&-passionfruit-shake

Feeds 1

INGREDIENTS

200ml coconut or almond milk – I like Rude Health
100ml coconut water or water
1 good fistful of watercress
50g / 1/4 cucumber
50g / 2 tbsp frozen mango
1/2 avocado
1 passionfruit
1/2 tsp spirulina – optional

METHOD

Put all ingredients in the order listed above into a blender and blitz. I use a stick blender for speed and minimal early morning washing up.

TIP

The beauty of shakes is that, once you have the fruit to veg ratios sussed, pretty much anything goes. Swap ingredients depending on what’s in the fridge, in season, your hunger levels or dietary requirements.

Nut butters and milks are filling and protein packed, although OD’ing probably won’t help your waistline. You can add a scoop of whey (sweet and inoffensive) or hemp (not to everyone’s taste but dairy-free) protein powder for a low fat hit that fills you up all morning.

I like Pulsin protein powders as I’m told they don’t skimp on the quality of ingredients.

Mushrooms with poached egg & spicy sesame

Posted in: DF, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Make the most of wild mushrooms while they’re in season with this uber recipe. OK, so the picture is of the less sophisticated (and less expensive) chestnut mushroom. A technicality. Just proof this dish works with any fungi you can get your hands on. In my quest for the meatiest, most comforting version of this mushroom classic, I’ve played around with the ingredients a lot. As such, you don’t need the seasoning, but I find it cranks everything up a notch, while adding protein and being more filling. Similarly, you can lose the egg; I have a bit of a thing for gooey yoke running into crunchy, chilli salt coated mushroom denseness.

Mushrooms & poached egg with spicy sesame
Feeds 2

INGREDIENTS

400g chestnut mushrooms
2 slices rye or sourdough. I love Village Bakery 100% rye
20g / knob of coconut oil (or butter) – this works incredibly well!
sea salt
black pepper
thyme, leaves picked
2 eggs
1 dsp extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 dsp cream cheese or creme fraiche – Vegan’s, you can drop this.
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp Sesame & rosemary spice – optional

METHOD

Brush mushrooms clean and slice into chunky strips. Set bread to toast and butter to heat in frying pan, adding mushrooms once bubbling.

Keep on a high heat and season with salt, pepper and thyme. Leave to cook for 3 – 4 minutes, tossing just once during cooking. Too much stirring causes the mushrooms to stew.

While your mushrooms are cooking, set eggs to poach for 4 mins. You don’t want these to overcook so I tend to leave this until the mushrooms are just about done so I can pop on top at the very end. Alternatively, you can do olive oil fried eggs.

Squeeze lemon onto mushrooms and fold through the cream cheese. Transfer toast to plates and drizzle with olive oil.

Top each with mushrooms, Sesame & rosemary spice and poached egg. Sprinkle with some thyme leaves and black pepper and serve.

Mushrooms-&-poached-egg

Also delicious without the seasoning or the cream cheese.

Basil pesto

Posted in: Featured, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Is there an ingredient which tastes of summer more than basil? Thanks to Mum Garcia’s tireless efforts to appease her offspring, you can store up summer and dollop it on your salad, chicken, salmon or pasta whenever the sun shines. Or doesn’t. I’m pretty confident this is the best pesto recipe I’ve eaten. Ever.

basil-pesto

Ingredients

60g basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, crushed
50g pine nuts
50g parmesan, grated
¼ tsp sea salt
150ml olive oil – increase this if you like a runner pesto or more of a dressing

Method

Blitz all ingredients except the olive oil into a Magimix or food processor for 10 secs.

Scrape down the sides and turn on the machine again, adding the olive oil in a steady stream. Decant to a jar and store in the fridge.

Note: if using a Vitamix or tall blender, add the oil at the beginning. Depending on your blender, you may need to stop to press the ingredients down several times throughout blending. In spite of the hype around new blenders available on the market (which I have), I still find the Magimix hard to beat. Such a shame it doesn’t clean itself.

I always seem to inhale before it goes off but mum has an almost constant supply, keeping in the fridge for a couple of weeks at a time. I make double quantities and store in the freezer. Because I’m lazy.

Top tip: Stir in some olive oil to make a dressing for a simple side salad of spinach, watercress, rocket, tomatoes (sun dried outside of summer) and toasted pine nuts. Great with roast chicken for a picnic.