Vegetables

8 Ways To Cure A Constantly Bloated Belly

Because no one should have to take recluse in bed every time they eat. 

April 7, 2017

10 Minute Salmon And Vegetable Stir Fry

Looking for a healthy dinner the family is going to enjoy on a short time frame? A quick stir fry is the best option since it’s made with wholesome vegetables, healthy salmon and takes just 10 minutes create.

RELATED: Quick and Easy Smoked Salmon Recipe

Ingredients

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 cup baby carrots

1 cup asparagus, sliced

2 cups salmon fillet

1 red pepper, diced

1 green pepper, diced

2 tablespoons rice wine

1 tablespoon soy sauce

Method

  1. Heat the oil over a large wok, and fry the garlic until it begins to brown.
  2. Add the vegetables and cook for 2 minutes. Then add the salmon (feel free to cube or slice it into thin pieces so it can cook faster). Keep cooking for another 2 minutes until it begins to crisp.
  3. Combine the rice wine and soy sauce, and stir every few seconds. Cook for another 5 minutes, then serve immediately.

Image via iFoodReal

August 1, 2015

5 Most Wasted Foods (And What You Can Do About It)

According to the Love Food, Hate Waste campaign, around 15 million tonnes of food is thrown away in the UK every year – and almost 50% of this comes directly from our homes. At a time when households and families are increasingly stretched financially, struggling to cope with essential obligations such as mortgage or rent costs, utility bills and fuel prices – not to mention groceries – it seems incredible that as a nation we’re so casual in the use of our food and the rejection of it.

The UK is not alone. Similar behaviour is present around Europe – the whole EU wastes around 90 million tonnes per annum. We are, in fact, a continent of food wasters.

It doesn’t have to be this way. With a little organisation, preparation and education, food which might otherwise have been tossed away and wasted can be saved and recycled into meals. This interactive guide from ao.com is a useful place to start, suggesting quick and easy recipes for five of the most commonly wasted foods. There are some very simple solutions for food types which are typically trashed.

Bread

The No.1 disposable food item in UK cupboards, according to Defra, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. Yet it’s so easy to avoid throwing bread away. The main problem appears to be packs of bread which are opened but then not finished. Avoid this by buying a smaller pack, or freezing half of it. Don’t forget, sliced bread can be frozen. If you forget to do that, don’t worry. Blitz stale bread into crumbs for use in a wide range of recipes or tear it into chunky handfuls to make a bread and butter pudding.

Potatoes

A staple in the UK cupboard but too often chucked prematurely especially when bought in large bags. The main lesson here is not to dispose of spuds too early. Most will last a week or two longer than the use by date on the packaging – if a potato has small sprouts appearing it’s still safe to eat. Just slice them off. However, if they’re turning green or brown, time to go. Again, just like bread, potatoes can be frozen. Rather than getting rid, produce masses of mash which can be used again later.
A quick and simple, yet delicious, recipe for potato cakes can be found here.

Bananas

Bananas go ripe very quickly. A top tip is to always buy the greener ones in the supermarket, as they’ll have a longer shelf life, if only for a few days. But even if the bananas in your fruit bowl turn a dark brown colour they can still be used perfectly well. Mush them up and with just a couple of very simple other ingredients – which many households usually have – you can produce a delicious banana cake; like this one here.

Carrots

Again, regularly bought in large bags and not always completely used. Fortunately, carrots are extremely versatile vegetables and there really is no excuse for wasting a single one. Slice each into batons for quick and healthy snacks, grate them and use in a tasty carrot cake, or blend up with stock and onion to make carrot and coriander soup. That can be eaten immediately, or batches can be frozen and used in the coming weeks. Worried your freezer is getting a little full? It might be worth considering a larger model or even a chest freezer in the garage – the investment will eventually pay for itself in the savings made on food.

Apples

High time to change the attitude when it comes to the humble apple. It has far more potential than just being eaten cold, by hand. Coring and slicing up ageing fruit, then heating it gradually to cook it down, provides a base for crumbles and pies. Same for making apple sauce, which can then be stored and used as an accompaniment to roast pork, which saves you buying a new pot of the stuff from the supermarket every few Sundays. Slice and fry into tasty apple fritters, or bake whole with a filling of raisins and sultanas. These are just a few suggestions – the bottom line is, don’t throw apples in the bin!

May 19, 2015

Meet The New Supermarket Superfoods

Move over kamut and kale- the age of the superfood is dwindling. There’s no need to search for berries from the Amazon or ancient Mayan grains, the best buys are in your local grocery aisle. We take a look at the everyday supermarket buys that are bursting with nutrition benefits, minus the superfood price tag.

RELATED: Zoe Bingley-Pullin’s Top 5 Food Swaps For A Better Diet

Here’s your guide to the best supermarket superfoods:

Beets

Superfood, health, diet, weight loss, vegetables

When world-renown chef Jamie Oliver was asked what his all-time favourite vegetable was, his answer was simple: beets. “I’m obsessed with them at the moment. You can roast them, smash them, cook them in the fireplace… the options are endless,” he said in a recent Australian interview.

Oliver’s not the only one who thinks it’s time for beetroots to return to the limelight. “Beets have strong detoxifying properties as they’re high in chlorine, which assists in cleaning the liver, kidneys and bloodstream,” says nutritionist and chef Samantha Gowing. “They’re also rich in potassium, which balances the metabolism.”

To harness these health properties, Gowing recommends dry roasting them. “Simply scrub them with a vegetable brush – be careful not to break or prick the skin – and cook in a moderate oven until tender. Trim the stalks and roots, carefully peel and slice as required.” Done!

Avocado

Superfood, health, diet, weight loss, vegetables

“Everyone should eat more avocado!” says Larina Robinson, wholefood dietitian and founder of The Body Dietetics. “The healthy fats in avocados help your body to absorb more of the nutrients from other foods you eat. They’re loaded with fibre supporting a healthy gut, possess anti-inflammatory compounds, and are rich in heart healthy oleic acid – the main fatty acid found in olive oil.”

What’s more, a new study by Penn State suggests that an avocado per day may lower bad cholesterol, which can benefit your heart health.

If you’re stumped when choosing the best ripe avocado, Robinson says there’s a fool-proof test. “Pop off the dried little button at the top to check the colour underneath. If it’s green, then it’s good to go. If it’s brown, it’s too ripe.”

Pineapple

Superfood, health, diet, weight loss, vegetables

Nature’s golden fruit is the perfect nutrient-packed sweet snack. “Pineapples contain bromelain, supporting protein digestion, and are rich in vitamin C for healthy eyes and immunity,” says Robinson.

That’s not all though. “Pineapples are also rich in the trace mineral manganese, an essential cofactor in a number of enzymes important in energy production, antioxidant defenses and maintaining healthy bones,” she says.

Robinson says they’re an ideal fruit to have some fun with. “I usually serve up pineapple icy cold or frozen, in wedges, juice, or made into a frozen sorbet with fresh mint and lime.”

For maximum health benefits, avoid the tinned variety though. “You’re just adding extra sugar to an already sweet food, and most of the juice blends are reconstituted, reducing its vitamin C content and nutritional value,” she explains. Head straight to the markets or grocery aisle and grab one fresh.

Broccoli

Superfood, health, diet, weight loss, vegetables

“Broccoli is one seriously underrated vegetable!” says Robinson. “It’s packed with essential vitamin C, A, K and foliate. Plus it’s also loaded with sulforaphane, a powerful compound that helps to boost the body’s natural detoxification pathways,” she says. Not bad for a simple vegetable sitting in your local grocery aisle.

To get all the goodness from this green plant, be sure to steam it. A study by the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University has found that if broccoli is cooked until it’s too soft, it’s health value takes a dive. Instead, throw it in a steamer or sauté some stems for 2-3 minutes.

Cabbage

Superfood, health, diet, weight loss, vegetables

The humble cabbage might not sound as sexy as kale, but according to chef and nutritionist Samantha Gowing, it packs a seriously healthy punch.

“Cabbages are rich in chlorophyll and Vitamin B9, also known as folic acid. They cleanse and rejuvenate the digestive tract,” she explains. Not all cabbages are equal though. “The darker the outer leaves the more concentrated the chlorophyll and calcium content,” she says. Opt for cabbages with deep green leaves and add them diced to salads or fermented with traditional Chinese food for a twist.

Images via Maryam Makes, Real Fruit Jewelry, Taste, Green Kitchen Stories

April 10, 2015

9 Fruits and Vegetables For Clear Skin

They say you are what you eat, so give your skin the extra help it needs by investing in delicious fruits and vegetables to make it shine from the inside out. Clueless about where to begin? Our easy guide below mentions a few options which should be in your shopping cart each week.

RELATED: The Beauty Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables

Oranges

While we’re all aware that oranges are packed with vitamin C, did you actually know they are also a great source of natural collagen? Squeeze 2-3 oranges every morning and use them as a daily scrub to nourish the skin.

Spinach

Although it might not be to your liking, spinach is another vegetable which is also packed with vitamin C. Enjoy it with your eggs, in a salad, or even in a green smoothie.

Blueberries

Ranked as one of the number one source of antioxidants in berries, these delicious little fruits will keep your hair, skin, and nails looking healthy.

Tomato

Did you know that the secret anti-ageing properties of tomatoes are better absorbed when a dish is cooked rather than raw? Keep the pantry full of canned tomatoes and use them in your fresh and healthy pasta sauce!

Kiwi fruit

Since kiwi fruit is packed with vitamin C and antioxidants, you know it has to be good for you! One kiwi fruit a day is enough to keep your wrinkles away, and prevent anti-ageing.

Kale

The mention of kale might be a touchy subject for some, but you can’t deny that it’s great for clear skin. Boasting a plethora of vitamins (A, B, C, E, K from memory), no wonder it’s good for your skin!

Cherries

On to something a little sweeter, cherries have high levels of polyphenols which actually help to clear simple blemishes.

Figs

Did you know that figs are packed with fibre and potassium, which clears any skin issues and helps to detox the body from the inside out? Well now you do.

Beetroot

While this superfood is usually used as a main ingredient for detoxing, it also has significant benefits for fighting against skin damage and premature ageing. Add a few slices into your daily juice for that extra healthy kick each morning.

Image via Redbook Magazine

March 30, 2015

4 Easy Ways To Eat More Fruit And Veges

It’s a shame that coffee isn’t considered a serve of fruit and veges because that I have no problem consuming! I have struggled getting the recommended 5 veg and 2 fruit serves into me every day though. It’s not that I don’t like them either. It’s just seems an awful lot of food.

RELATED: Using Psychology Instead Of Diets To Control Your Weight

So having reached the mature side of forty, I’ve become increasingly aware of my eating habits. The diet’s not too bad, but it’s when I eat that seems to be the major problem. Only eating once or twice a day really limits the amount I can eat, so the thought of consuming 5 serves of veggies in one meal is just ridiculous.

Thankfully things have changed so, I’d like to share my tips on ways to get these goodies into you. If a confirmed one-two meal a day person can do it, you can too!

Liquid form

If the thought of eating during the day or between meals make your stomach want to repel it, projectile style, you’ll need to adapt the form of fruit and veges you consume. I’m talking about vegetable juice, smoothies, V8 juice and alike. Homemade is great but don’t kid yourself into thinking you’ll actaully do it if you never have before. Go and spend the cash on pre-made varieties rather than buying fresh produce and throwing it out in a week or two. I’m actually saving you money here.

Ideally have it for breakfast, lunch or anywhere in between. It’s awesome as a 3pm pick up when your energy is at it’s lowest. Try not to drink it after 3pm if you do plan to have a main meal later in the evening because it’s very filling.

Cut and graze

Now, being a non-grazer for 40 years, I’ve discover that cutting up fruit and veggies and leaving it in front of me, just like I used to do with my kids, is a great way to get these in. It’s got to be enjoyable finger food though or it will just be thrown out.

If raw veggies aren’t a favourite, thrown them in the microwave with a dash of water for a bit. You can buy prepared varieties or cut it up yourself. Who cares, just nibble away at them and by the end of the day, they plate will hopefully be empty.

Adding

If you’re having a meal with some sort of sauce or gravy, add finely chopped veges to it. You’ll hardly know they are there and neither will the family. I do this with heaps of different recipes even if they don’t include them. There are plenty of different varieties so find something which will blend in.

Smother and disguise

If plain veges don’t float ya boat, smother them in some sort of sauce, condiment or something to disguise them. I steam a large amount of seasonal veggies, make a low-fat white sauce to cover them and place them in the oven. If your watching your weight, watch the amount of cheese you consume. It might be tempting to add cheese to this dish, but you will be adding a lot of fat, so just be aware of that. This freezers really well and makes for a great side-dish. That is, if you have any left after the family devours it all!

It’s a simple matter of retraining the way you eat. Mix it up, get some variety happening and before long it will become a habit and those 5 veges and 2 fruit serves will no longer be an issue.

Image via rhodescountrymarket.com

January 27, 2015

Healthy Foods For Flat Abs

Ever wondered which foods will de-bloat your body, and actually help to carve out those killer abs?

Eat your way to flat, defined abdominals by cutting down on sugar and processed foods and increasing your intake of vegetables and protein.

Combined with regular physical activity, you’re bound to notice a difference in no-time at all!

RELATED: How To Naturally Boost Your Memory

Green tea

Who doesn’t love a bit of green tea in the afternoon? Green tea helps to boost our metabolism, and is loaded with antioxidants to aid the entire body in functioning at its best.

Avocado

Avocados are packed with monounsaturated fats which actually help to trim your waistline, and keep the entire body in shape. Add a few slices of avocado into your salad, sandwich and even with your eggs to receive all the healthy benefits.

Apples

Did you know that about 80% of apples are just water? Whether you like Granny Smith, Red Delicious or Braeburn, they are all a yummy snack to munch on between meals.

Yoghurt

Greek yoghurt actually helps to flatten abdominal muscles, and can be eaten for breakfast or as a small snack throughout the entire day. It’s also a fantastic alternative for those suffering from digestive issues, which means that it helps to curb any bloating and gas.

Salmon

Fish such as salmon are a good source of omega-3 oils and fatty acids which help to speed up the metabolism, and avoid feeling bloated. If you don’t like the taste of salmon, add some strips into your salad with lots of crunchy fruits and vegetables to disguise the taste.

Blueberries

Not only are blueberries an amazing source of antioxidants, but they help to tighten and tone abdominal muscles. Keep an extra pack in your freezer, and add to smoothies and juices if you require a snack on-the-go.

Image via Get Real Living

December 30, 2014

Delicious Ways To Cook Green Beans

Green beans are an excellent source of dietary fibre, and can be cooked in a variety of different ways. Keep a pack of frozen green beans in your fridge for a quick stir-fry, or even add into your favourite soup for a boost of Vitamin A, B, and an excellent source of Folate.

Below are just a few different ways to steam, bake, puree, or boil green beans for a tasty meal at any time of the day.

RELATED: Chicken Salad with Greens and Peas Recipe

Balsamic Green Bean Salad

Whip-up a delicious summer salad with cherry tomatoes, a splash of balsamic vinegar, and white feta for a fresh taste. Boil the green beans under they are tender, then strain and finely chop some delicious cucumber over the top.

Delicious Ways To Cook Green Beans

Baked Parmesan Green Bean Fries

While this option may not be the healthiest alternative, it’s definitely one to try out! Try a fresh Parmesan cheese if you love it’s distinct taste, and sprinkle with some sea-salt for extra Mediterranean taste.

Delicious Ways To Cook Green Beans

Shrimp and String Bean Pesto Pasta

Why not add a few chopped string beans into your pasta for taste and texture. Lightly boil the beans so they still hold some of their signature crunch.

Delicious Ways To Cook Green Beans

Baked Green Bean Fries

Hold back on the calories and serve some green beans for a healthy alternative to traditional potato chips. Bake with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and lightly simmer until they are golden brown in colour.

Delicious Ways To Cook Green Beans

Images via Dashing Dish, Pinterest, How Sweets

November 12, 2014

Oven-Roasted Roots Frittata Recipe

Ever find it difficult to stick to your daily serving of greens and vegetables? Not only are frittatas a delicious lunch-time meal, but they work with almost any filling you give them! Although this recipe better suits autumn/winter veggies, you can still experiment with your favourites for an irresistible midday snack.

RELATED: Smoked Salmon, Asparagus and Ricotta Frittata Recipe

Ingredients

600g autumn/winter vegetables (shallots, onions, carrots, squash, pumpkin, parsnip, celery, beetroot, and potatoes for the filling).

1 large garlic clove (chopped)

3 tbsp olive oil

7-8 large eggs

Mixed herbs (parsley, chives, thyme)

20g Parmesan cheese

Sea salt and cracked pepper

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC, and while that’s heating up peel the shallots or onions and slice into halves.
  2. Peel the carrots and cut into small slices, deseed the pumpkin/squash then cut into 2-3cm cubes. Do the same to the parsnip, celery, and beetroot before cutting the potatoes slightly smaller (1-2cm cubes).
  3. Load the vegetables into an oven-proof dish and garnish with garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper before tossing well. Roast for 30-40 minutes until the vegetables are tender and beginning to caramelise.
  4. Beat the eggs with a handful of chopped herbs, seasoning with salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables, then carefully place the Parmesan cheese over the top. Cook for a further 10-15 minutes or until the egg starts to colour.
  5. Leave to cool, then transfer to a chopping board before cutting into thin slices.

Image and Recipe courtesy of The Telegraph

November 2, 2014

Healthy Baked Asparagus Fries

Do you want something crunchy and filling without packing on the extra calories? Create this healthy alternative to traditional fries which are crispy, healthy and delicious! Pop these straight into the oven for a guilt-free meal which is perfect for picky eaters, and even children.

RELATED: Check out the 5 Healthy Comfort Foods here

Ingredients

1 cup breadcrumbs

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 pound asparagus (trimmed)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 large eggs (beaten)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF or 200ºC, and apply a baking sheet on tray or even coat with Canola oil.
  2. Combine the breadcrumbs and Parmesan into a large bowl, then set aside.
  3. Work in small batches to cover the asparagus in flour, then eggs, and finally into the Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs.
  4. Place the asparagus in a single layer on the baking sheet, then bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Image and Recipe via Damn Delicious

October 7, 2014

Healthy Cucumber and Lettuce Vichyssoise

Do something good for your body by creating this delicious cucumber and lettuce vichyssoise, which is a light spring/summer soup. Add a cup of spinach leaves for a deep-green version for an extra hit of flavour, and make sure to enjoy with a healthy summer juice! 

Serves 6

Ingredients

Croutons

4 tablespoons olive oil

4 slices of bread (crusts removed, cut into cubes)

Chopped chives

RELATED: Check out the Zurek Or Polish Ryemeal Soup Recipe here

Soup

50g butter

2 leeks (trimmed, washed and sliced)

1 large onion (sliced)

1 large floury potato (peeled and cut into chunks)

1L vegetable stock

2 cucumber (peeled and cubed)

2 butterhead lettuces (washed and shredded)

3 tablespoons double cream

Sea salt and black pepper to season

Method

  1. Melt the butter over medium-low heat and add the leeks or onion before softening for 10 minutes.
  2. Include the potato and stock, and bring to a slow boil then simmer for 10 minutes (or until the potato is mostly cooked). Add the cucumbers and shredded lettuce, then simmer and boil for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Remove the potato chunks, then run them through a sieve. Purée everything else in a blender, then add the remaining potatoes into the mixture – it should be of a creamy consistency.
  4. Stir in the double cream and season with sea salt and black pepper. Leave the mixture to cool completely, then pop it into the fridge to chill.
  5. For the croutons, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and fry the bread until golden-brown.
  6. Serve the soup with chopped chives and a touch of cream over the top.

Image and Recipe via Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall from The Telegraph

September 22, 2014

Yummy and Healthy Afternoon Snacks

Do you ever feel that your healthy eating goes out the window by the time 3:30pm hits? This is usually the time of day when your blood sugar drops, and you crave something sweet and fast. Instead of snacking on high sugar and heavily processed foods, below are just a few quick snack recipes you can prepare to fight 3:30itis.

Strawberry chips

How did we not think of this ourselves? Strawberry chips are very easy to prepare and taste extremely delicious as well! Simply chop into small pieces then pop them into the oven at 180ºC, and cook for 10 minutes on each side.

Yummy and Healthy Afternoon Snacks

Smoothie

A smoothie is a great idea if you’re low on time, but still want to prepare something quick and easy to curb that afternoon slump. Throw in some of your favourite fruits and vegetables to create a filling drink which will tide you over until dinner. Don’t forget to add some yummy baby spinach, blueberries and banana for extra flavour and texture.

Yummy and Healthy Afternoon Snacks

Kale chips

Prepare this the night before and pack in an air-tight container if you’re constantly on the go. Kale chips are an extremely healthy option if you love the crunch of a chip (without the extra salt or guilt which comes along with it). Tear pieces of kale then pop them onto a lined tray, then into the oven for 175ºC for 10-15 minutes. Throw in some chopped strawberries or blueberries to bring a sweet taste to this often bitter dish.

Yummy and Healthy Afternoon Snacks

Crispy edamame

Green soybeans make for a delicious snack since they are packed with vitamins and minerals, and are perfect if you’re constantly moving around during the day. Sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese over the top for an extra kick of flavour, and enjoy with cold water and a slice of lemon to boost your metabolism. Pop into a zip-lock bag and carry them in your handbag for easy accessibility!

Yummy and Healthy Afternoon Snacks

What are some of your favourite afternoon snacks?

Images via This Beautiful Day Blog, Park City Foods, A Whisk and Two Wands, Wise Geek

September 13, 2014

5 Ways To Eat Quinoa

While you’ve probably heard about quinoa (pronounced keen-wha) and of it’s various health benefits before, there is really no reason why you shouldn’t adapt this whole grain into your diet. Not only is it packed with protein, but has a texture which is similar to couscous and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

Stuffed vegetables

Quinoa makes for a really tasty and filling stuffing, especially if you don’t plan on using rice. Why not try quinoa and mushroom with stuffed zucchini or even with tomatoes and peppers!

Salad

Add some quinoa into your usual salad for a pop of nutty flavour and texture, which will surely keep you full for longer. Pair with fruits such as grapes, strawberries and blueberries for a sweet and savoury flavour.

Eggs

Try quinoa for breakfast as a tasty side to your boiled egg, avocado and tomato! The high protein found in quinoa will keep you from snacking on fatty foods, since it is super filling (especially when paired with an egg!).

Fruit and nut bars

Create your very own homemade quinoa fruit and nut bars to snack on whenever you’re feeling that 3:30itis come around the corner. This is a perfect alternative to fatty foods since they are gluten-free, and loaded with vitamins and essential nutrients to keep your body satisfied.

Breakfast bowl

Can’t get your hands on some genuine acai berries? Why not try a quinoa breakfast bowl which is quick, easy and extremely healthy for your body! Add some of your favourite fruits such as blackberries and blueberries for extra taste and colour with some Greek yoghurt for that genuine savoury taste.

How do you enjoy quinoa?

Images via He Needs Food

September 11, 2014

6 Stomach-Flattening Foods

Who knew it was possible to eat your way to a flatter stomach? To avoid having a food baby-after breakfast, lunch or even dinner, it’s best to avoid salt or highly processed foods which could be causing your body to bloat. Instead, swap them for a healthier alternative if you want to slim down, or simply just to fit into that dress!

Greens

Add a slice of lettuce to your meal and you’ll instantly notice the significant difference it makes to your tummy. Kale, spinach and lettuce are all low in calories and help to reduce water retention after a meal.

Yoghurt

But not any old yoghurt will do! Choose one that has active cultures – this means that good bacteria such as lactobacillus and bifidobacterium are introduced into the body which help to reduce bloating.

Banana

The potassium which is found in bananas works perfectly to counterattack the amount of sodium in your system. If you’re feeling bloated after dinner, just one banana will help to settle down your stomach.

Olive oil

Oleic acid found in olive oil helps to breakdown excess fats found in the body. Add some olive oil to your salad or fish to avoid excess bloating.

Cucumber

Cucumbers are an easy way to tame bloating since they are packed with water and as a result, increases urination.

Peppermint

Traditionally known for its healing properties, peppermint is a great option if you’re looking to slim down your tummy. Enjoy it in your tea, juice or simply infuse it in your water.

Images via Wikipedia

August 23, 2014

Grilled Peach And Burrata Salad Recipe

Tired of having the same old, plain salad? Spice it up by trying out this grilled peach and burrata recipe, which is simple and easy to recreate. If peach isn’t in season, feel free to use another sweet fruit, which will also work just as well. Onto the recipe!

Ingredients

1 small red onion

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp brown sugar

2 peaches or nectarines (sliced in half, pitted)

1 tbsp olive oil

3 cups argula

1 ball burrata cheese

Method

  1. Prepare the caramelised onions by first heating the olive-oil over low heat. Spread them carefully in a single layer across the pan, and let them cook slowly for 20-30 minutes. When onions are brown, add a touch of the balsamic vinegar and cook for just a few more minutes. Then set aside.
  2. For the glaze, combine the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar into a saucepan over medium heat. As the mixture starts to simmer, turn down to a low heat and cook for 10 minutes before setting aside to cool down.
  3. Brush the peaches with olive oil, then heat up a pan over medium heat and sizzle until they are brown. This should only take a few minutes, then set aside.
  4. Layer the argula, peaches and caramelised onions to create the salad. Then slice the burrata into small pieces before adding the balsamic glaze.

Image and Recipe via Two Red Bowls

August 18, 2014

Whole Wheat Rigatoni with Roasted Vegetables Recipe

Indulge in this healthy pasta dish which is packed with essential vitamins and minerals to keep you full and satisfied. Substitute your usual pasta for whole wheat, which is not only a healthier alternative but also tasty and full of heart-healthy fats!

Ingredients

1.5 pound squash, cut into thick rings, with seeds discarded

1 small red onion, sliced

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

6 large tomatoes, halved and cored

12 unpeeled garlic cloves

1/2 pound whole wheat rigatoni

2 tbsp pine nuts

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

4 kalamata olives, pitted

1/4 cup thinly sliced basil leaves

2 tbsp chopped parsley

2 tbsp freshly grated pecorino cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC), and line a large tray with baking paper. Toss the squash, onion and 1 tablespoon of oil and season well with salt and pepper.
  2. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of oil on another lined tray, and add the tomato and garlic pieces. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook in the oven for approximately 40 minutes, before transferring just the garlic into another bowl. Keep cooking the tomatoes for about 20 minutes, or until soft. Roast the squash and onion for a total of 45 minutes until golden brown.
  4. Prepare a pot of boiling water, then cook the pasta until al dente. Drain the water, only keeping 1/2 cup, before putting the pasta back into the pot.
  5. In another pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil before adding the pine nuts until they’re golden brown. Now include the crushed pepper and olives before cooking for another minute. Add the vegetables, and stir through for another 2 minutes.
  6. Season with salt and pepper before combing with the pasta. Serve with 1/2 tablespoon of pecorino.

Image and Recipe via Slothful Slattern, Food and Wine

August 14, 2014

Top 5 Tofu Recipes

Tofu is a staple edition to any vegetarian or vegan diet. A great substitute for meat, tofu is high in protein, calcium and iron, and is even thought to lower cholesterol. If you’re looking for something new to cook for dinner, try these healthy and delicious tofu recipes.

Tofu San Choy Bow
San Choy Bow is a traditional Chinese dish, usually served with pork mince. However, it’s so easy to turn this dish into a vegetarian dream with this recipe.

tofu-san-choy-bow-300x250

Laksa
Tofu is a central part of this Malaysian favorite. Laksa is a spicy noodle dish with coconut milk, prawns, bean sprouts and vegetables.

rasamalaysia.com

Sweet Potato and Tofu burger 
Some people think a burger has to be unhealthy to be tasty. This great recipe proves that’s simply not true. Sweet potato is high in vitamins B, C and D, and is rumored to fight stress and aging!

Recipe: Sweet potato and tofu burger

Paul McCartney’s Super Vegetable Salad
Who doesn’t want to know what a member of The Beatles eats for dinner? This gem is inspired by Meat Free Mondays, a movement that promotes healthier and more sustainable living through cutting meat from your diet, one day every week.

PaulsRecipe107893

Stir Fried Tofu and Asian Greens 
The great thing about a stir-fry, is that it can take less than 15 minutes to cook. It is also one of the best cooking methods, as it allows you to preserve all their healthy nutrients.

shesaidImage via asianfoodgrocer.com

August 11, 2014

Authentic Ukrainian Borscht Recipe

My buba (grandmother in Ukrainian) brought this recipe with her after fleeing her homeland after WWII. At 90 plus, she’s still well known for her soup, that eats more like a meal. Loaded with veggies and jam-packed with goodness, it actually tastes best on subsequent days. Most people make a big batch so they can freeze it, feed the entire mob around or have a ready-made meal for several days.

Ingredients 

5 litres of water

2 lamb shanks

2 diced onions

4-5 cloves of crushed garlic

2 diced beets or a can of sliced beetroot

2 diced carrots

3 sticks of diced celery

4 diced potatoes

3 diced tomatoes or a large can of diced tomatoes

1/4 finely grated cabbage

1 tsp sugar

1 tbsp vinegar

1/4 cup fresh copped parsley

1/4 cup fresh dill

3 bay leaves

black pepper and sea salt to taste

Garnish

A sprig of dill for garnish

Sour cream

Method

  1. Place lamb shanks and chopped onion in an extra large 10+ litre saucepan.
  2. Add water, onion, garlic, bay leaves, vinegar, sugar, black pepper and sea salt to saucepan.
  3. Cook on high until water boils, then lower to a simmer and cook until meat separates from the bone. This may take several hours. Remove the bones.
  4. Add remaining vegetables, except dill and parsley. Stir vegetable through mixture and cook for another 30-45 minutes. (If using canned beetroot and tomatoes, add the entire can, including the juice).
  5. Add dill and parsley and cook for a remaining 15 minutes.
  6. Serve with a sprig of dill and dollop of sour cream.

Tip

Serve with warm bread for the ultimate traditional Ukrainian experience.

Image via air.news.gr/cov/-/NEO-KOSTAS/Mundial-Faghta/Russia-Borscht.jpg

By Kim Chartres 

August 4, 2014

Spaghetti Bolognese With Hidden Veggies

Good old spag bog has been gracing family dinner tables for decades. The great thing about it, is you can feed a big crowd on a budget, the kids will eat it, you can freeze the bolognese mixture for a quick meal and even pop in a few veggies for extra flavour and added fibre.

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

1/2 pack spaghetti

1/2 kilo mince meat (try mince turkey for something different)

1 finely diced brown onion

1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic

1 jar tomato based pasta sauce

1 tin tomatoes or use freshly diced

1 tin baked beans in tomato sauce

1 cup frozen peas

1/2 finely diced red capsicum (optional)

1 teaspoon oil

1 tablespoon mixed spaghetti bolognese herbs or a combination of Basil, Oregano, Marjoram, Rosemary, Sage or Thyme

1 tablespoon water

Salt and pepper to taste

Grated cheese (Parmesan or something simple is preferable)

Method

  1. Bring a pot of water to the boil and add oil and spaghetti. Cook on high until al dente and strain. While this is cooking you can make the bolognese sauce.
  2. Heat a large non stick pan and brown onion, garlic and mince meat. Add water to keep from sticking. After the mince is browned, add the remaining ingredients and stir thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Lower the heat to a slow simmer and cook for 15 minutes with the lid on. Stir regularly so it doesn’t stick to the bottom.
  4. Remove from heat and serve on top of spaghetti with a sprinkle of grated cheese.

Tip

If you want to increase the fibre, replace the baked beans with a drained can of 3 bean mix. It will also add texture and is even appreciated by those who aren’t keen on beans.

By Kim Chartres

July 20, 2014

Fast Fajita Roll-Ups Recipe

Sometimes creating an extensive dinner from scratch isn’t an option if you’re running late from work, or simply can’t find the time. This quick fajita recipe is full of flavour, and will keep you feeling full and satisfied for the entire evening. Peppers and tomato are also the only vegetables in this recipe, but feel free to add an avocado filling or other seasonal vegetables into your own roll-up.

Ingredients

340g (12 ounces) beef/boneless chicken breast halves

4 whole wheat/spinach, or flour tortillas

1/3 cup finely chopped onion

1/3 cup finely chopped green peppers

1/2 cup tomato

2 tablespoons Italian dressing

1/2 cup reduced-fat cheese

1/4 cup taco sauce (or tomato sauce)

1/4 cup light dairy sour cream

Instructions

  1. Whether you’re trying out the fajitas with beef or chicken, start by chopping them into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Moving onto the tortillas; wrap them tightly in foil, then pop into an oven at 180ºC (or 350ºF) until crisp or golden brown.
  3. In the meantime, spray a frying pan with non-stick cooking spray and add the meat, onion and sweet pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes and remember to keep stirring so the mixture doesn’t stick or burn to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Remove from the heat, drain well, then add the tomato and salad dressing.
  5. Finally remove the warm tortillas from the oven and wait 2 minutes until they cool. Then serve with cheese, salsa or even sour cream sauce for extra taste.

Recipe and Image via Recipe.com, Life Made Delicious

July 19, 2014

Leftover Cooked Chook: 5-Minute Sensational Stir-Fry

If you are looking to turn last nights cooked chook or roast into something scrumptious, this very versatile recipe is for you. You can use up whatever type of left over meat or poultry you have, add whatever veggies you like and it’s a fast, healthy meal. 

Serves 4

Ingredients

1-2 cups left over cooked chicken, chopped or broken into small pieces

6 cups of frozen or fresh stir fry veggies

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons chicken stock powder

1/2 cup water

Method

  1. Heat non stick pan on high until it’s hot and add your veggies. Toss veggies for a couple of minutes as they cook and then turn down heat to medium.
  2. Add ginger, garlic, chicken stock and water. Stir though and place the lid on. Continue to toss veggies until they are about 2/3 cooked. The time will depend on whether you are using frozen or fresh.
  3. Add chicken and stir through veggie mix. Add soy sauce and replace lid. Cook for about 2 minutes and serve.

By Kim Chartres

July 19, 2014

How To Avoid The Dirty Dozen

We all know we need to be selective when picking which fruit and vegetables are best bought organic so, just in case you’re not yet clued in, here’s the list of the dirty dozen which record the highest level of pesticide residue so are best bought organic.

The dirty dozen:
Apples
Pears
Peaches
Nectarines
Grapes
Strawberries/blueberries
Cherries
Capsicum
Celery
Spinach
Lettuce
Potatoes

 

The best way to avoid the nasties is by eating your fruit and vegetables seasonally. This is often better for us as the nutrients are more accessible plus it tastes better when eaten within the seasons too. We source all our produce from local; chemical free and organic farms and because of this you won’t always find absolutely everything you might find in the big supermarkets – tomatoes in July anyone?

 

Food store Aboutlife aims to provide healthy, nutritious and organic food at reasonable prices so anybody, on any budget, can choose to preserve their health and the health of the environment whilst supporting their local farming community.

 

 

July 16, 2014

5 Easy Lunches To Bring To Work

How often do you find lunches which are both nutritional and tasty at the same time? Stop buying lunches from the store, and why not save some money and prepare a healthy meal at home. You can personalise the meal to your taste, and also create something new and different for each day. Well, what are you waiting for? Get inspired by some of these yummy lunch ideas which the entire family can try.

1. Salad in a jar

This is probably the perfect idea for a filling and tasty lunch meal. Although, why in a jar? Not only does it look more presentable, but it keeps the salad from getting soggy (then you’ll be less likely to throw it out!). Fill the bottom with dressing so it doesn’t interfere with the rest of the ingredients. The second layer will be mostly vegetables such as cucumber, carrots and beans. The third layer will hold avocado, meats, cheese and the main filling, the the top will be for the spinach or lettuce. When it’s lunch time, simply remove the food from the jar and mix together.

2. Vegetable pizza roll-ups

Not only do these rolls look exactly like cinnamon buns, but they are filled with loads of vegetables and are extremely rich in protein. This fun meal will surely keep you fuller for longer, and works perfectly with any of your favourite vegetables for a yummy taste.

3. Grilled eggplant and capsicum salad

This extremely filling sandwich is certainly unlike any other you’ve seen or tasted before. Packed with nutritious eggplant, red capsicum and avocado on wholewheat bread, it is a perfect lunch which is sure to keep you full until dinner time, at least.

4. Spring rolls with peanut sauce

These aren’t your typical spring rolls, but a much healthier alternative packed with carrots, cucumber, fresh chicken and broccoli pieces. Prepare the spring rolls overnight, then simply bring them into work and warm them up when you’re ready to eat. If you want an even healthier alternative, make the wrap out of lettuce instead of rice paper for an added crunch.

5. Greek salad sandwich

A portable and easy meal to eat if you’re constantly on-the-go, and want a snack to tide you over for the rest of the afternoon. On the bread, prepare a cream spread made from chickpeas, parsley, feta cheese and lemon juice. For the toppings be sure to include some chopped red onions, cucumber and tomato for genuine Mediterranean flavour.

Ideas via Petit Foodie, Closet Cooking, Babble, Food and Other Stuff

Images via Food and Other Stuff

By Felicia Sapountzis

July 3, 2014

7 Foods For Detoxing The Body

If you’ve had a few too many glasses of champagne over the weekend, or pigged out on some chocolates and are looking for a way to detox the body, then listen up. Don’t buy into expensive juice cleanses that require you to stick to a liquid diet, rather clean your body with fresh fruits and vegetables from the pantry instead.

Certain plant based foods will give you enough vitamins and nutrients to detox the body naturally, and avoid living on juices for days on end.

1. Garlic

Garlic is right at the top of the list since it’s packed with sulphur which is a very useful mineral to help rid the body of bad toxins. This doesn’t require you to eat it raw to get it’s nutrients (gross!), but add into stir fries and soups for an extra kick. Make sure to cook at a low temperature to really take in the vitamins and minerals.

2. Carrots

If you’re suffering from an intense hangover and want to give your body a simple detox, then carrots are the best solution for you. Carrots are rich in glutathione which is a protein that specifically detoxes the liver. Carrot juice, or simply eating it raw will have you feeling brand new, and is full of vitamin C and potassium.

3. Beetroot

You either love them or you hate them, but beets are a natural way to detox your entire body. They are a high source of iron, magnesium, zinc and calcium which are all essential qualities when detoxing. Add beetroot to your sandwich, salad or fruit juice for the added health benefits.

4. Lemons

Ever tried adding some lemon to lukewarm water in the morning before breakfast? This amazing fruit has been used to detox the body for hundreds of years, and is definitely something we all have in the kitchen. Lemons release enzymes and convert toxins into water which can easily pass through the body.

5. Green Tea

Is there anything green tea can’t do? Pour yourself a cup of tea if you’re feeling sluggish and want to fasten your metabolism. It’s packed with heaps of antioxidants which help to reboot the liver.

6. Avocado

This fruit is rich in an essential protein called glutathione which works wonders at detoxing the liver. Avocados are also a source of good monounsaturated fats; perfect for anyone who wants to lower their cholesterol levels. Just make sure that they’re ripe enough to eat!

7. Water

Remember to replenish your body and drink at least 1L of water a day to avoid dehydration. The amount of water in a human body ranges from 50-75%, and will start to drop depending on how thirsty you are. Water helps to flush bad toxins out, and will get you mentally and physically back to good health.

Image via Doctor Oz

By Felicia Sapountzis

May 18, 2014

Easy Ways To Eat Your Greens

Eating your daily serving of vegetables can often be a painful experience of trial and error, that only gets more difficult when it comes to feeding kids. Vegetables have many health benefits, which include contributing to healthy skin, increased energy, assisting in weight loss, and should form a balanced diet filled with exercise that suits you. Here are some tips on how to go green and still feel content with your food.

Smoothies

The easiest way to eat your greens is by making green juices. They are a treat to drink since they include sweet fruits which cancel out the bitter taste. Perfect if you’re constantly on the go, and easy to make at home if you have the time. Green juices are filled with vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K which help to run a clean body, and provide a boost of energy which is essential to avoid 3:30itis. Don’t over-do it with the fruit and vegetables, keep to a realistic amount since they do contain lots of added natural sugar.

Green chips

Kale chips are just as tasty and hold added health benefits such as iron and fibre which are essential to a healthy diet. Add a seasoning of olive oil and lemon, then pop into the oven until crispy.

Soups

Add some greens into your favourite soup for added health benefits, that your body will thank you for in the longterm. Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale and celery taste amazing in any soups, since they have a distinct flavour.

Salads

Replace what you currently eat in your salad with kale, chard and collards since they are rich in nutrients and help to detox the body. To balance out the bitter taste of kale, add almonds and strawberries to create a yummy salad you can eat all year round.

What are some of your tips to eat more greens?

By Felicia Sapountzis

May 13, 2014
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