Shine Brighter Every Day by Danah Mor is available now! Read on for an exclusive excerpt…

 

No Food Is Forbidden, Unless Your Body Says So

When it comes to nutrition and our health, I like to keep it as simple as possible, to understand the science and the facts, and then make my own conclusions by listening to my body when it reacts with foods or chemicals.

There is no forbidden food,
unless your body says so. We can eat anything we want as long as
our bodies agree. We just need to learn to understand how our bodies communicate. The secret to vitality
is not being obsessed with what you eat or how often you exercise. It’s about getting in tune with yourself and your environment. Most of us are so disconnected from ourselves and nature that we don’t recognize a stomach ache as the body signaling a problem, we don’t know what vegetables grow in which season, how milk or meat really gets into our supermarket, or where our liver is located.

We need to re-tune our mindset and understand that we are an expression from the inside out
and not from the outside in. If our mindset is in tune with nature, we naturally make new choices without feeling restricted. Changing the way we think is the only way we can positively change our lives. When we change our perspective, we suddenly have new desires, different cravings; we no longer want the same things, and making positive choices becomes effortless. I’ve lived through this, and I can tell you how much better it is than forcing a new diet or lifestyle upon yourself. We might have to put in a bit of effort to achieve a new way of thinking, a new mindset, but then it becomes natural, even fun.

If your mindset is in harmony with your essence, you will make new choices naturally without having to sacrifice what you think you need. Instead, you choose what you want. How do we know what we truly want? The connection between our body and our spirit is the foundation of life. Our mindset can allow or interfere with this connection. When our personality is in alignment with our spirit, that is authentic empowerment. The capacity to listen and foster the connection between these two is a secret for true inner joy and happiness.

I have always heard a clear voice in me that sounded humble, generous and real. Then all the other voices invaded my head – what my parents, teachers, sports coaches, and anyone that came into my life thought they should tell me about how to live or even how to listen to myself. Now it’s hard to know which voice is really me. It may be the hardest thing to re-learn, because so much noise has invaded our bodies that it can be hard to know when it’s really us speaking. But taking care of our body relies on our ability to listen to ourselves.

When I was studying Ayurvedic medicine at university in London, we were constantly reminded that our modern medical system separates the body from the mind (forget the spirit). In Ayurvedic medicine, the body, mind and spirit are inter- connected. How you think and express yourself is reflected in your physical body. How you eat and act is reflected in your spirit and mood. Ideally your spirit should shine and be expressed all through your body and into your choices and actions. In every consultation with a client, I often speak about food last because, first of all, food isn’t everything.

Awareness and knowledge are the basis of conscious choice- making. Without awareness and the capacity to think, question, reflect, and make our choices, are we any more than puppets? The decisions you make and actions you take are the means by which you evolve. Each moment, you choose the intentions that will shape your experiences and where you focus your attention.

I’m so excited to share a drop of the wisdom and knowledge of Ayurveda with you, one of the oldest medical systems that exists. Ayurveda, the science of life, introduced me to a world I didn’t know existed; a world of peace and harmony for health and vitality. It is far more appealing to me than the Western medical and nutritional world that seems so obsessive. Ayurveda gave me insight and knowledge that allowed me to see and understand life from a point of view that simplifies and answers so many questions. Considered the mother of medicine, Ayurveda is more than 10,000 years old. It’s a holistic science that takes the whole person into consideration: body, mind and spirit. Every part of our body is connected. Our thoughts and emotions can affect our digestion, just as our physical sensations can affect our mind. If everything is interconnected, our bodies can constantly speak to us through physical signs. It was through the study of Ayurvedic medicine that I learned how important it is to listen to my body, especially when it comes to food, digestion and lifestyle – and how I understood the connection between food and mood. Ayurveda celebrates our bio-individuality, that everybody

 is unique, so we have to learn what diet and lifestyle best fits us.

So, the real secret to vitality is understanding your body’s language and improving your communication with it – on every level.

***

Shine Brighter Every Day is available now.

Shine Brighter Every Day by Danah Mor comes out on May 12th, and today we’re sharing a little peak inside. Read on to hear from nutrition expert and Ayurvedic practitioner Danah about how awesome our bodies are, and get a flavour of the book. 

 

If we knew how amazing our bodies were designed to feel, we wouldn’t think twice about our choices. 

How do you explain to someone driving a car from 1970 that the ride doesn’t have to be uncomfortable, smell like petrol, or constantly break down? It’s likely they’re just happy their car gets them around. And even if it doesn’t cost much to get it fixed, they will take some persuading to change to a newer model! 

Most of us have become accustomed to disease, pain and discomfort in our bodies and minds. We are happy enough to have a body that simply gets us around, rather than making an effort to see how we could improve things for ourselves. Sometimes, even, we don’t want to leave our comfort zone of discomfort and disease; we prefer not to know and just stick with the disease. 

Shine Brighter Every Day is about improving your quality of life, preventing disease, and manifesting the best version of yourself. It unlocks a lifestyle, a way of thinking – a state of being – that is in tune with your body, inspired by the unwritten laws of nature, cutting-edge modern nutrition science, the ancient wisdom of Ayurvedic medicine and my own personal experience. I’m urging you to have the courage to be interested and try a few little steps to see how your body responds and thanks you. 

You can only feel as good as you think you can. 

When I was around thirteen, I lost a large portion of my vision, and this has given me a new perspective on life. Ultimately, it has shown me how many things are possible. Life is what you make of it. It’s not what you have – it’s what you make of what you have. I can’t change my condition. But by perceiving my condition in a different way, I was able to overcome bigger barriers than most of us can imagine and as a result build a life that I love living. I did this by not focusing on my problem and what I couldn’t see, but rather focusing on what I could see. And I realized that I actually see much more than many people. I realized just because we have ears, it doesn’t mean we listen, and just because we have eyesight, it doesn’t mean we look. The curiosity to look without projecting an illusion is harder than I ever imagined. Looking without expectation, with courage to see the truth, is one of the hardest things I have come to learn. Your willingness is your biggest asset; wanting to be or do anything is the beginning of truly becoming the driver of your own life. 

 

Shine Brighter Every Day is published on May 12th, and is available to preorder now.

The Easy Indian Cookbook by Manju Malhi comes out next month, and we decided to take a look at some of the beautiful ingredients which Manju introduces in more detail at the beginning of the book. First-time cooks often find the number of spices and ingredients used in Indian cuisine to be quite daunting – but the simple truth is that preparing an Indian meal is very straightforward. Mastering just a few basic techniques and becoming familiar with some of the essential ingredients will strip away the mystery and make preparing Indian food less time-consuming, much more satisfying and incredibly rewarding.

YOGURT (DAHI)
An essential ingredient in Indian cooking, yogurt is a staple for many vegetarians and many homes in India still make their own practically every day. There are countless uses for yogurt but the main ones are making yogurt drinks and chutneys, such as raitas, and using yogurt as a souring agent, a thickening agent, a meat tenderizer and a flavour enhancer.The yogurt in India comes from buffalo’s milk and is thick and rich. Greek-style yogurt and natural unsweetened yogurt are the nearest substitutes.

 

BAY LEAF (TEJ PATTA)
The type of bay leaf used in Indian cooking is the leaf of the cassia tree. These leaves are long, thin and light green in colour, with a mellow, spicy aroma and a sweet taste. In Indian cooking, the bay leaf is used as a flavouring in meat and rice dishes and it is an important component in the Moghul style of cuisine. One or two dried leaves are sufficient to scent a dish and they can be removed easily before serving.

 

CURRY LEAF (KARI PATTA)
These small, shiny leaves, about 2.5cm/1in long, are used whole in Indian cooking, much like bay leaves. The leaves, which have a citrus scent, lend a dish a distinct curry aroma. Curry leaves are generally heated in oil to release their flavour. Once heated, they look shrivelled and crispy. Fresh curry leaves can be stored in a sealed plastic bag in the fridge for up to 1 week.

 

DRIED BEANS
After lentils, dried beans are the second-most common pulse consumed in India. They need soaking and the longer you store them, the longer you need to cook them because they toughen with age. The green split mung bean (moong dal) is light and delicate when cooked, looking cream or yellow in colour with flecks of green.

CHICKPEA OR GRAM FLOUR (BESAN)
This flour is pale yellow in colour, silky in texture and has a pleasant, nutty aroma. It is used in the preparation of both savoury and sweet Indian dishes. Be careful not to confuse gram flour with graham flour, which is made from wheat. Like all flours, gram flour should be stored in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight, as exposure to heat can cause it to go off and take on a stale, rancid taste.

 

RICE FLOUR (CHAWAL KA ATTA)
Rice flour is a fine, white powder made from grinding white long grain rice. Free from gluten, it is often used in Indian cooking as an alternative to wheat flour to make Indian-style flatbreads such as South Indian appams or soft breads. Rice flour also acts as a binding and thickening agent. You can make your own rice flour by pulverizing uncooked Basmati rice grains in an electric grinder but it is also available in speciality shops and in most supermarkets.

The Easy Indian Cookbook is available from 10th March.

 

Whether you’re taking part in Veganuary and looking for inspiration, or have been eating plant-based for ages and just want to freshen up your weekday menu, we’ve got some great books for you to check out.

 

Rose Elliot’s Complete Vegan 

Rose Elliot has been at the forefront of vegan and vegetarian food writing for over 35 years. In this book,
Rose gives readers a masterclass on vegan cookery, with over 150 recipes from basics including vegan milks, butters, cheeses and creams to breakfasts, labor-light midweek mains, spectacular dishes for entertaining and delicious desserts and baked goods.

The recipes range from the comforting and familiar like Vegan Macaroni Cheese to more exotic fare, such as a fragrant Aubergine Pilaf Cake. Following a vegan diet doesn’t mean missing out on your favourite foods!

 

Virtually Vegan

This modern collection unlocks a whole host of inspirational vegan dishes – with delicious suggestions of meat and dairy variations to add in the later stages for those who want it.

Try a classic breakfast of Vegeree (eggs optional), master the ultimate lentil and ale pie, or enjoy the flavours of a niÇoise salad (with or without fish). And with a dedicated, dairy-free baking section, learn how to make sweet treats that everyone can enjoy.

With over 120 delicious, flexible recipes, from Sort of Sushi to Almost Paella, rice pudding to pavlova, discover how easy it is to eat vegan (or not!) whenever you want.

 

The Best Gluten Free & Dairy Free Baking Recipes 

 

Grace Cheetham reveals how to perfect the art of baking without gluten and dairy. Try your hand at Thyme Biscuits or Olive & Rosemary Foccacia for a delicious snack, make a quick Fig, Rosemary & Olive Pizza for friends and family, or go for full-on indulgence and bake Chocolate & Beet Cake, Fondant Fancies or Passion Fruit & Coconut Cheesecake (or all three!)

 

You’ll find straightforward instructions carefully worked out to keep cakes moist, pastries and pies in once piece, and cookies with just the right amount of crunch. Grace offers up a whole host of delicious treats so that you don’t have to give up on one of life’s greatest pleasures.

This winter, we published Rose Elliot’s Complete Vegan, the ultimate bible of plant-based eating by the renowned vegan cook. We spoke to her about what lead her from her long-held vegetarian diet to going fully vegan.

***

One of my earliest memories is of watching my mother preparing herrings for supper and realising that they were dead. I asked her whether they had been killed specially for us to eat, and I can still remember the shock that ran through me when she replied that they had. As it happened, she and my father were practically vegetarian; they had given up red meat some time ago, but still ate fish and chicken occasionally. I think my outburst that night hastened their transition to being complete vegetarian, which wasn’t particularly easy in those days (the early 1950s). My younger sister and I were the only vegetarians at our primary school; vegetarian lunches could not be provided, and our wholemeal salad sandwiches, carrot sticks and salad leaves, nuts and raisins, and bottles of fresh juice were objects of stunned amazement to the rest of the school. It was difficult at first, but we got used to it, and I really admire my mother for being a pioneer of healthy and compassionate eating.

I followed her lead and remember sending to the Vegan Society for information and my sister and I trying to make vegan milk from whole soya beans in our little kitchen at home when I was about 12 years old. It involved soaking, boiling and sieving (no liquidizers or food processors then), and I think we used every saucepan available. My sister who was tackling the mountains of washing up I had created, remembers to this day how, with the kitchen piled high with used bowls, sieves, saucepans, jugs, and every other piece of equipment you can imagine, I said brightly ‘now let’s try making vegan butter…’

Being vegan – even, let’s face it, being vegetarian – was so difficult in those days. But the desire never left me. I was ‘practically vegan’, giving up eggs and dairy produce; and then reverting back to being vegetarian, for a long time. Over the years however my vegan times became longer and longer; I wrote two vegan cookbooks, The Green Age Diet, and Vegan Feasts, and included vegan variations and alternatives in my vegetarian cookbooks. I have been wanting to write a more comprehensive vegan cook book for some time, so I was thrilled when Nourish approached me with the possibility of writing this book: Rose Elliot’s Complete Vegan. It’s the result of years of vegetarian/vegan cookery writing which started in response to the many requests I had for the recipes for the dishes that I cooked up for the visitors to the retreat centre where I worked from the age of 16.

Writing this book has been such a joy; the enthusiasm everyone has expressed for knowing more about the vegan diet and way of life; and for trying the food; the challenge of ‘veganizing’ some of my most popular vegetarian recipes from the past, and of creating new and original recipes that are vegan in their own right. I have loved seeing the mixture of pleasure and amazement on the faces of those who have tasted my inventions. And I have been so grateful as well to those dear friends and family who have been kind enough to share their own favourite recipes and inventions with me for this book: in particular, my three daughters, who have travelled the vegan journey with me, and given me for this book some wonderful recipes that they have created.

Although I was vegetarian from birth, it was some years before I became completely vegan. During that time, public awareness of the effect of our food choices upon the planet, wildlife, the rain forests and indeed our own health have become more and more evident. I truly love making, eating (and writing about!) vegan food, but it also gives me great satisfaction to know that in doing so I can, and I am, helping to protect the wildlife, the animals, and the whole ecology of this beautiful planet. As Joseph Poore at the University of Oxford, said: ‘a vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gasses, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use.’ The foods we choose to cook and eat truly can change the world.

***

Rose Elliot’s Complete Vegan is available now, online and in store. Find out more by clicking here.

Running from 23rd-29th April, this week marks the Allergy Awareness Week 2018, a time to raise awareness of people living with allergies. Their focus this year is on the issues that people with allergy face while they are traveling.

We would like to take this opportunity to introduce one of our upcoming books, My Kids Can’t Eat That, written by Award-winning functional nutritionist Christine Bailey. As the mother of three children with auto-immune conditions, Christine knows first-hand how confusing and scary the diagnosis can be. But in this brilliant book, she will show you how to take control of the situation and make sure you and your family can still eat healthily and safely.

This is a friendly, no-nonsense guide to take a functional, holistic approach to food allergies or intolerances in your child. In simple language, Christine helps you make sense of the diagnosis, explaining the difference between food allergies, intolerances and sensitivities.

Cathrine gives you all the top tips and techniques, as well as nutritional know-how and delicious substitutes you need to ensure that at home, eating out, and going on holiday is yummy, healthy and fun for everyone.

The book includes 60 allergen-free recipes and simple, practical advice on eating out, travel, shopping and more, plus sympathetic advice on how to deal with schools, babysitters and other parents.

You can find more information about the author, visiting her website here.

The book is published on 16th August in the UK, and on 18th September in the US.
To read more about the book and for pre-order, visit the Amazon page here.

 

 

From steaming to stir frying, deep-frying to braising and even smoking, I Love My Wok will show you exactly how versatile the wok really is. Showcasing over 100 delicious and nutritious recipes for all occasions, Nicola Graimes shows how one pan really can do it all.

To showcase these fantastic recipes we have chosen just three of our favourite recipes…

Golden Purses

Serves: 4, Prep Time: 15 minutes, Cooking Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

1 tbsp. sunflower oil (plus extra for deep-frying

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

5 spring onions/scallions, finely chopped

5cm/2in piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

250g/9oz minced/ground chicken

2 tsp. Chinese rice wine or dry sherry

20 wonton wrappers

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Sweet chilli sauce, for dipping

 

Method:

  1. Heat a wok until hot. Add 1 tablespoon of oil, then the garlic, spring onions, ginger and chicken and stir-fry for 4 minutes until cooked through.

 

  1. Pour in the soy sauce and wine and cook, stirring for a further minute or until all the liquid has evaporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

  1. Place one wonton wrapper on a flat surface, keeping the others covered with a damp cloth. Put a tablespoon of the chicken filling in the middle of the wrapper. Brush the wrapper with a little water, then gather the sides up around the filling and pinch together to make a bag, enclosing the filling. Set on one side, covered with a damp cloth. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.

 

  1. Heat enough oil in the wok to deep-fry the filled wontons. When the oil is hot enough to brown a day-old cube of bread in 35 seconds, add 3-4 wontons and cook for 1-2 minutes until golden. Repeat with the remaining wonton.

 

  1. Serve immediately with sweet chilli sauce, for dipping.

 

 

Yakisoba Noodles

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 15 minutes

(plus 1 hour marinating time)

Cooking Time: 25 minutes

 

 

Ingredients:

350g/12oz firm tofu, drained, patted dry and cubed

250g/9oz dried ramen noodles

2 tbsp. rice vinegar

1 tbsp. tomato ketchup

2 tbsp. vegetarian ‘oyster’ sauce

1 tsp. soft light brown sugar

1 tbsp. sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing

1 tbsp. sesame oil

5cm/2in piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

1 red pepper, sliced

1 carrot, sliced diagonally

2 courgettes/ zucchini, slice diagonally

250g/ 9oz Chinese leaves, shredded

6 spring onions/scallions, white and green parts separated, sliced diagonally

Handful of toasted sesame seeds

 

For the marinade:

3tbsp Japanese soy sauce

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 tbsp. sweet chili sauce

3 tbsp. mirin

 

Method:

  1. Mix together all the marinade ingredients in a dish. Add the tofu and stir to coat. Leave for 1 hour, turning the tofu occasionally. Drain, reserving the marinade for later.

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 350°F/ Gas 4. Put the tofu on a lightly oiled baking sheet and roast in the oven for 20 minutes, turning halfway, until crisp and golden.

 

  1. Meanwhile, cook the noodles following the packet instructions. Rinse, refresh under cold running water and set on one side. Mix together the rice vinegar, ketchup, oyster sauce and sugar in a small bowl and set on one side.

 

  1. Heat a wok until hot. Add the oils, then toss in the ginger, red pepper and carrot and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the courgette/ zucchini, Chinese leaves and the white part of the spring onions/scallions and stir-fry for another 2 minutes.

 

  1. Mix the rice vinegar mixture and the reserved marinade together and add to the wok with the cooked noodles. Toss over a medium heat until combined and heated through, then serve with the tofu, sesame seeds and the green part of the spring onions/scallions sprinkled over the top.

 

Crispy Pork Balls with Spinach

Serves: 4, Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus 30 minutes chilling, Cooking Time: 20 minutes

 

Ingredients:

500g/ 1lb 2oz. lean pork fillets, roughly chopped

2 birds eye chillies, deseeded and thinly sliced

5cm/2in piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

Handful of fresh coriander/cilantro leaves, roughly chopped

2 sticks lemongrass, peeled and finely chopped

4 spring onions/scallions, chopped

4 tbsp. groundnut oil

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 tsp. mustard seeds

½ tsp. chilli powder

500g/ 1lb 2 oz. fresh spinach, tough stalks removed

4 tbsp. Chinese rice wine or dry sherry

3 tbsp. light soy sauce

1 tsp. sugar

Juice of 2 limes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper.

 

Method:

  1. Put the pork, bird’s eye chillies, ginger, coriander/cilantro leaves, lemongrass and spring onions/scallions in a food processor and process to form a coarse paste. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then form into 16 walnut-sized balls and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

 

  1. Heat half the oil in a wok and fry the pork balls, four at a time, for 4 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden. Add more oil if necessary before cooking the next batch and keep the cooked balls warm while cooking the remainder.

 

  1. Wipe the wok clean; pour in the remaining oil and heat. Add the garlic and mustard seeds and stir-fry for 30 seconds, then add the chilli powder, spinach, rice wine, soy sauce and sugar. Stir-fry for 2 minutes, then add the lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve, topped with the warm pork balls.

 

Nicola Graimes is an award-winning cookery writer and former editor of Vegetarian Living magazine. She has written more than 20 books, including The Top 100 Recipes for a Healthy Lunchbox, The Big Book of Wok, The Big Book of Low-Carb Recipes, Veggienomics, The New Vegetarian Kitchen (that was chosen as one of OFM‘s Top 50 Cookbooks of the Year) and The Part-Time Vegetarian for Nourish.

 

‘I Love My Wok’ is available to buy from the 17th August 2017 from Nourish.

This recipe of pistou from the book Top 100 Low-Carb Recipes by Nicola Graimes is a new take on the traditional soupe au pistou which is a specialty from the south of France, Provence to be exact and eaten in the summer months.

Low Carb Recipe 1

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil

1 leek, sliced

1 small carrot, finely chopped

1 stick celery, finely chopped

3 green beans, thinly sliced

700ml/11⁄4 pints/3 cups vegetable stock

150ml/5fl oz/2⁄3 cup pasta

1 bay leaf

30g/1oz/1⁄2 cup whole-wheat conchigliette (small shells) pasta

30g/1oz/1⁄2 cup canned cannellini beans, rinsed

sprig of fresh rosemary

salt and freshly ground black pepper

a few shavings of Parmesan, to serve

1 tbsp pesto, to serve

Method:

  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the leek. Cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Add the carrot, celery and green beans and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  • Pour in the stock and pasta and add the bay leaf, stir well. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, half-covered, for 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and using a hand-blender or food processor, semi-purée the vegetables.
  • Return the bay leaf to the soup, add the pasta, cannellini beans, and rosemary and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat slightly and cook for 10 minutes or until the pasta is tender. You may need to add some extra stock or water if the soup seems too thick. Remove the bay leaf and rosemary and season to taste.
  • Divide between 2 bowls. Serve with the Parmesan shavings and a spoonful of pesto.

Top 100 Low-Carb Recipes

Nicola Graimes

Top 100 Low-Carb Recipes

£5.99, available from Nourish Books

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Water kefir from The Supercharged Green Juice & Smoothie Diet by Christine Bailey is simple to make and an effective way to support your gut health and give your immune system a boost as well. By blending in fruit and supercharged foods you create an amazing, healthy, fizzy smoothie.

Supercharged Diet 2

 

Ingredients:

zest and juice of 1 lime

80g/2 ¾ oz fresh or frozen pineapple, chopped

1 tbsp lucuma powder

250ml/9fl oz/1 cup water kefir

1 tsp tocotrienols or oil of 1 vitamin

E capsule, plus the squeezed capsule

1 tsp probiotic powder

1 tsp manuka or raw honey, or coconut sugar

4 ice cubes

Method:

  • Put all the ingredients, except the ice, into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.
  • Add the ice and blend to create a slushy drink.
  • Serve immediately.

Supercharged Green Juice & Smoothie Diet

Christine Bailey

The Supercharged Green Juice & Smoothie Diet

£10.99, available from Nourish Books

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Rich with coriander and watercress, and with fruity highlights, this intensely green smoothie from the book The Supercharged Green Juice & Smoothie Diet by Christine Bailey packs quite a punch. It will keep your body clean and help to remove toxins and waste material – a great smoothie to include in a detox or cleansing programme. Freezing the banana keeps the taste fresh and light.

Supercharged Diet 1

 

Ingredients:

1 small banana

¼ tsp chlorella powder

¼ tsp wheatgrass powder

1 tsp ground flaxseed

1 small handful of coriander leaves

1 small handful of watercress leaves

¼ mango, peeled and chopped

100ml/3½fl oz/generous

1/3 cup coconut water or water

Method:

  • Chop the banana and put it into a freezer bag.
  • Exclude all the air, then seal and freeze overnight or until solid.
  • Put the banana into a blender or food processor and add the remaining ingredients.
  • Blend until smooth and creamy.
  • Serve immediately.

Supercharged Green

Christine Bailey

The Supercharged Green Juice & Smoothie Diet

£10.99, available from Nourish Books

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These little cakes from the book Healthy Speedy Suppers by Katriona MacGregor are free of gluten and dairy if you’re sensitive to either. The quinoa gives them a firm, nutty texture, which is delicious with the fresh herbs and courgette/zucchini. Dipped in a little garlic mayonnaise, chilli jam or tomato chutney, they’re wonderful.

Healthy Speedy Recipe 2

 

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

140g/5oz/1 cup quinoa

300g/10 ½ oz courgette/zucchini, grated

3 spring onions/scallions, sliced

1 garlic clove, crushed handful of mint leaves, shredded handful of parsley leaves, chopped

10 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped juice of ½ lemon

55g/2oz/ ½ cup cornflour/cornstarch

1 egg

rapeseed/canola oil, for frying

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

garlic mayonnaise, chilli jam or tomato chutney, to serve

green salad, to serve

Method:

  • Tip the quinoa into a small saucepan and cover with 300ml/10 ½ fl oz/ 1 ¼ cups of cold water. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid and cook for about 5 minutes until all the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is cooked. Turn out into a bowl and leave to one side to cool.
  • Meanwhile, place the grated courgette/zucchini in the bowl of a food processor with the spring onions/scallions, garlic, mint, parsley, sun-dried tomatoes, lemon juice and cornflour/cornstarch. Crack the egg straight into the mixture, add the quinoa, and season with salt and pepper. Blend for about 30 seconds to mix the ingredients thoroughly and to form a thick paste. Tip the mixture out into a bowl and taste to check the seasoning.
  • Heat about 5mm/1/4 in rapeseed/canola oil in a large frying pan until the oil is hot enough to sizzle loudly when you drop in a tiny bit of the courgette/ zucchini mixture.
  • Drop a heaped tablespoon of the mixture into the hot oil, flattening slightly with the back of the spoon to form round patties. Repeat until you have 3–4 cakes in the pan at the same time, or as many as your pan will fit comfortably, with room to turn.
  • After 3–4 minutes the underside of the cakes should be nicely golden and holding their shape. Gently flip them over and cook until the second side is golden. Lift the cakes out of the oil onto some paper towels and keep warm. Repeat until all of the mixture has been used; you should end up with 12–14 cakes.
  • Serve the cakes warm with green salad and your choice of dip.

Part-time variation:

  • To make a very quick garlic mayonnaise or aioli, add 2 crushed garlic cloves to 4 tbsp good-quality mayonnaise along with a squeeze of lemon juice. Season with freshly ground black pepper and, if needed, a little sea salt.

Healthy Speedy Suppers

Katriona MacGregor

Healthy Speedy Suppers

£16.99, available from Nourish Books

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This recipe from Healthy Speedy Suppers by Katriona MacGregor, was given to the author by her good friend and fellow cook, Bella Thomas-Ferrand, it sings of indulgent Italian eating, both with its classic flavours and ease of preparation. A friendly greengrocer will find you figs, but failing that, good supermarkets have them out of season. After a few days in the fruit bowl and the help of sticky balsamic caramel they will be delicious. If sourdough isn’t available then any good-quality crusty loaf will work, the chewier and more rustic the better.

 

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

6 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp brown sugar

8 ripe figs

2 tbsp pine nuts

8 slices of sourdough bread

2 garlic cloves, peeled

extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

8 slices of prosciutto

100g/3 ½ oz Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

handful of rocket/arugula

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method:

  • Pour the vinegar into a small pan, add the brown sugar and heat gently. Once the sugar has dissolved, turn the heat up and simmer rapidly until the liquid is reduced and syrupy.
  • Slice the figs into quarters, vertically through their stalks, and place cut side down in the balsamic syrup. Cook over a medium heat, with the syrup bubbling, for 1–2 minutes, then turn the fig quarters, spooning the liquid over the figs. Remove the figs to a small plate, then boil the remaining syrup until reduced to a thick glaze.
  • Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts in a small frying pan for 1–2 minutes until lightly coloured, then leave to one side. Toast the sourdough on both sides using a griddle/grill pan or alternatively under a grill/broiler. Rub the garlic cloves over the toasted bread, then drizzle with olive oil.
  • While the bread is still warm, top each slice with 2 slices of prosciutto, followed by the caramelized figs, Gorgonzola and a drizzle of both the balsamic glaze and some more extra virgin olive oil. Scatter over the rocket/arugula and pine nuts and grind over some salt and pepper.

Healthy Speedy Suppers

Katriona MacGregor
Healthy Speedy Suppers
£16.99, available from Nourish Books

 

 

 

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