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The Part-Time Vegetarian’s Year by Nicola Graimes is available to buy NOW!

How things have moved on since my original The Part-Time Vegetarian was published five or so years ago. The culinary climate has definitely changed for the better, with more of us choosing to eat plant-based meals on a regular basis. And to prove the point, research figures show that, impressively, one in three in the UK have cut down on the amount of meat they eat, with 60 per cent of vegans and 40 per cent of vegetarians having adopted their dietary preference over the last 5 years.

While the health benefits of a plant-based diet – the reduced risk of major chronic diseases, obesity and diabetes – are well documented, it has been the growing concerns over the environmental impact of intensive animal farming that has spurred much of the move towards flexitarianism, vegetarianism and veganism over the past few years. Recent research has revealed the hefty footprint of intensively reared meat, with the conclusion that the single most effective way to reduce our environmental impact is a global shift towards a flexitarian diet that contains only small amounts of ethically reared, good-quality meat and dairy, eaten once or twice a week with a plant-based diet being predominant.

For me, one of the most exciting aspects of the shift towards flexitarianism is how inspiring and creative plant-based cooking has become. Nowadays, no chef worth their salt would forget to include a vegetarian or vegan dish on their restaurant menu. What’s more, many openly relish the exciting culinary possibilities of plant-based cooking.

As a family, we have become more mindful of what and how we eat over the years. Like many families, our eating preferences vary and I’m constantly on the look-out for meals that both meet our differing tastes and that can be adapted if need be. Whether we eat meat just once a week; just at weekends; as part of an extended family get together; for a dinner party; or not at all, I’ve found that flexitarianism is a way of eating that can be moulded to suit our individual needs.

I’m hoping that this sense of versatility, adaptability and variety shines brightly in the recipes in this book. Importantly, vegetables always take centre stage with a focus on what’s in season. Where meat (or seafood) are included they are in cost-, eco- and health-conscious small amounts and treated as a garnish, side, topping or second to the plant-based components of the meals. At the heart of this book is the growing relevance of a mindful connection with what and how we eat.

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.

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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This Salmon & Courgette Frittata from The Aussie Body Diet  is a high-protein start to your day and it is great for detoxing, with its combination of chelating agents, parsley and coriander. To get rid of excess water from the courgette, grate directly into a clean tea towel and twist until the courgette is completely dry. If courgette is not your thing, you can substitute any vegetable you prefer. Serve with a fresh garden salad.

Aussie Body Diet

 

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

80 ml extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing

1 large onion (220 g), roughly chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

10 small courgettes (1 kg), coarsely grated and excess water squeezed out

6 large eggs

2 x 85 g tins salmon in spring water or brine, drained; flesh, bones and skin mashed with a fork

1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves

1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 180 C. Grease base and sides of a large baking dish with oil.
  • Saute onion with olive oil in a large, deep saucepan or small frying pan over medium– high heat until brown (about 5 minutes). Add garlic and courgettes and cook over medium– high heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Turn off heat and leave to cool for 20 minutes.
  • In a mixing bowl, beat eggs lightly with a fork, then add salmon, coriander and parsley. Add courgette and onion mixture, season with salt and pepper and mix until thoroughly combined.
  • Pour egg mixture into prepared dish. Bake for 40–45 minutes or until golden brown on top and cooked when tested at centre with a skewer.
  • Take out of the oven, leave to cool for 10–15 minutes and cut into large slices.

Aussie Body Diet

Saimaa Miller

The Aussie Body Diet: A Happier, Healthier You in 14 Days

£14.99, available from Nourish Books

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For this recipe of buckwheat pancakes from The Aussie Body Diet: A Happier, Healthier You in 14 Days by Saimaa Miller, you do need a blender or food processor to break up the coconut into the desired consistency. If you don’t have one, you can substitute coconut cream. These pancakes are very versatile and can be served sweet or savoury – try sheeps’ yogurt, fresh fruit and almond butter, or avocado, wilted spinach and cherry tomatoes.

Aussie Body Diet

 

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

1 young coconut

80 g buckwheat flour

30 g flaxseed

1 teaspoon coconut butter, melted a pinch of sea salt or Himalayan rock salt

1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds

1 tablespoon sunflower seeds

olive oil, for frying

Method:

  • Blend 175 g of the flesh and 250 ml of the juice of the coconut until smooth.
  • Mix all ingredients except pumpkin and sunflower seeds in a large mixing bowl until you have a smooth batter. The mixture should be quite gelatinous and sticky.
  • Mix pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds together in a small bowl. Scoop out 11/2 tablespoons of mix and set aside in a small bowl. Add remainder of seed mix to buckwheat batter and mix together.
  • Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and drop about 3–4 tablespoons of batter into the pan. Cook for 1 minute and then sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the seed mix on top. Cook for another 30 seconds and then flip the pancake over. Cook for a further 2–3 minutes until pancake is golden brown and repeat with the rest of the mixture.

Aussie Body Diet

Saimaa Miller

The Aussie Body Diet: A Happier, Healthier You in 14 Days

£14.99, available from Nourish Books

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These antioxidant-packed nuggets from The Gut Health Diet Plan by Christine Bailey are ideal for healing the gut and lowering inflammation. Matcha has anti-bacterial effects on the digestive system making it a useful choice for improving gut health. The raw cacao butter makes the snacks rich and creamy – an indulgent healing treat.

Gut Health Diet Plan

 

Makes: 10 bites

Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus 15 minutes soaking and 30 minutes chilling

Ingredients:

60g/2 ¼ oz/1/3 cup xylitol

60g/2 ¼ oz/ ½ cup dried cherriesor goji berries

120g/4 ¼ oz/ ½ cup cashew nut butter

zest of 1 lemon 1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp matcha green tea powder

a pinch of sea salt

2 tbsp raw cacao powder, lucuma powder or goji berry powder

60g/2 ¼ oz/heaped ¼ cup raw cacao butter or coconut oil, melted

30g/1oz/scant ¼ cup plain, vanilla or chocolate vegan protein powder, colostrum powder or collagen powder

½ tsp vanilla extract

matcha green tea powder, lucuma powder or cacao powder, for dusting

Method:

  • Line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Put the xylitol into a blender or food processor and grind very finely. Soak the cherries in warm water for 15 minutes. Drain.
  • Put the cashew nut butter into a food processor or a bowl and add the xylitol, lemon zest and juice, matcha, salt, cacao powder and cacao butter. Pulse, or stir, to combine. Add the cherries and the remaining ingredients, and process, or stir, to form a dough. Chill in the freezer for 30 minutes to firm up.
  • Use a spoon to scoop out walnut-size pieces. Roll into balls and put on the prepared baking sheet. Roll the truffles in a little matcha powder or use some or all of the powders for dusting. Serve or store in the fridge for up to 1 week.

The Gut Health Diet Plan

Christine Bailey

The Gut Health Diet

£12.99, available from Nourish Books

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The combination of spices, lemon and herbs from The Gut Health Diet by Christine Bailey provide plenty of flavour for this Turkish-inspired, one-pot dish. It’s ideal for a weekday meal because it can be prepared ahead of time. Serve with cauliflower rice or Paleo bread, if you like. A spoonful of sauerkraut or pickles alongside the dish will give it a probiotic boost.

Gut Health Diet Plan

 

 

 

Serves: 2

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 55 minutes

Ingredients:

1 small pinch of saffron threads

4 boneless chicken thighs

1 tbsp coconut oil

4 shallots, cut into halves

2 garlic cloves, sliced

¼ tsp ground turmeric

½ tsp ground coriander

½ tsp ground cumin

2 tomatoes, chopped

10 pitted green olives

250ml/9fl oz/1 cup chicken bone broth (page 39)

1 preserved lemon, chopped

1 handful of parsley leaves, chopped

sea salt and ground black pepper

Seeded Paleo Bread , to serve (optional)

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 
  • Put the saffron in a small mortar and crush using a pestle. Leave to one side.
  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole over a medium heat and cook the chicken on all sides for 2–3 minutes to brown it. Remove the chicken and leave to one side.
  • Add the shallots, garlic, saffron and spices to the casserole. Cook gently for 5 minutes or until the shallots are soft. Return the chicken to the casserole and scatter over the tomatoes and olives.
  • Pour in the broth and bring to the boil. Cover and cook in the oven for 45 minutes or until the chicken is tender and cooked through. Stir in the preserved lemon and parsley, then serve with Paleo bread, if you like.

 

This recipe of Thai green vegetable curry comes from the book Top 100 Low-Carb Recipes by Nicola Graimes. The Top 100 Low-Carb Recipes is the essential tool for anyone who is interested in controlling their weight by cutting down their intake of carbohydrates. The key to success is eating the right type of carb alongside good sources of protein and fat.

Low Carb Diet 2

 

Ingredients:

2 tsp sunflower oil

200ml/7fl oz/1 cup reduced-fat coconut milk

150ml/5fl oz/2⁄3 cup vegetable stock (see page 23)

115g/4oz/1 cup small broccoli florets

1 corn on the cob, husk removed, sliced into 2cm/3⁄4in pieces

1 small red pepper, seeded and sliced

55g/2oz/1 cup fresh spinach leaves, shredded

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander/cilantro, to garnish

Spice Paste:

3 green chillies, seeded and chopped

1 stick lemongrass, peeled and finely chopped

1 shallot, sliced juice and zest of 1 lime

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

1cm/1⁄2in piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated

2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander/cilantro

Method:

  • Place all the ingredients for the spice paste in a food processor and blend to a coarse paste.
  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the spice paste for 1 minute, stirring. Add the coconut milk and stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes until reduced.
  • Add the broccoli, corn and red pepper and cook for 3 minutes, then add the spinach and cook for another 2 minutes until the vegetables are just tender.
  • Season to taste and sprinkle with coriander/cilantro before serving.

Top 100 Low-Carb Recipes

Nicola Graimes

Top 100 Low-Carb Recipes

£5.99, available from Nourish Books

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