Friday, 24 January 2014

Thai Satay (gluten, dairy, sugar + meat free)




It is Friday after all....and time for take out! Just try this if you want to cut the calories and the cost!

All of the ingredients are healthy and nourishing. This is a vegan recipe but you can add chicken if you're not a veggie! It only takes about 20 minutes....enjoy your Friday evening x

Ingredients + Instructions:


  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil (or another oil)
  • 1 Can of Light Coconut Milk
  • 2 Tbsp Red Curry Paste (I use Thai Taste brand as theirs has no sugar)
  • 3 Tbsp Crunchy Peanut Butter
  • 1 Tbsp Zylitol (or brown sugar if you don't have zylitol)
  • 400ml veggie stock
  • 4 Tbsp Soya Sauce (I use Tamari Soya Sauce)
  • Brocolli (washed and broken) Spring Onion (chopped), Corn + Mange Tout (washed)
  • Noodles (I use Brown Rice Noodles)




  1. Heat your oil in a wok. 
  2. Once it's hot pour all the coconut milk into the wok and leave it on a high heat until the milk begins to slightly thicken. (3-4 minutes)
  3. Turn the heat down a little and add the curry paste and peanut butter and stir it until it's well mixed in with the milk.
  4. Add the sugar, soya sauce and stock and bring it to the boil. (2-3 minutes)
  5. Meanwhile cook your noodles according to their instructions (if they're 'add to wok' noodles then you can just wait and bung them into the wok in the end).
  6. Add the corn, broccoli and mange tout and spring onion to the sauce in the wok and cook on a medium heat for another 4-5 minutes. (If you'd prefer your broccoli to be softer boil it separately and add it to the wok in the end).
  7. You can add herbs at this point; coriander and basil work well but the dish tastes amazing without them too.
  8. Add your noodles to the wok, sprinkle with crushed peanuts if you like and serve!










Thursday, 23 January 2014

Top 10 healthy ingredients to add to your shopping list

A lot of people have been asking me about some of the ingredients I mention in my recipes and so here's a list of all the essentials I use daily. It took me some time to build up my cupboards with all these goodies and some of these ingredients can seem expensive at first; but they last so long, and do such great wonders to your body that they are definitely worth the money!
1. Raw Cacao Powder.  So this is NOT cocoa!  A lot of people get the two mixed up. Raw Cacao (as in pic) can be bought in a health food shop.  It comes in powered form (which i use for desserts, smoothies etc) or little nibs -on the table in the pic - (which i use to top smoothies).  This is incredibly healthy. It's chocolate in its purest form, before all the chemicals and sugar.  It gives me a real energy boost, is full of anti-oxidants and it tastes amazing.


2. Almond Milk.  So when i mention this to some people they think it sounds gross! I think cows milk sounds (and tastes) a whole lot worse.  This almond milk has a really mild taste and it's unsweetened.  You can buy it in most supermarkets and it holds for ages in the cupboard.  You can make your own...but i prefer to just buy it and Blue Diamond is my favorite. Rice / Soya milk etc are also good (although too much Soya is not good for the body)

3.  Coconut Oil. This baby has it all! It's great to cook with (it has a really high smoke point), it makes delicious chocolates and truffles and it is the best hair and skin conditioner out there! Plus...it's raw, it's natural, it's healthy, its available in most supermarkets.


4. Vegan Stock Cubes. These stock cubes are vegan friendly and so no animals are harmed! Again..they are available in most supermarkets and don't cost the earth! I use these in stocks, soups and sauces.

5. Chia + Flax seeds. Chia seeds are cool.  When you soak them in any liquid they create a gel substance.  So they are super if you want to make a thick smoothie, bircher (i'll be doing a post on this soon), chocolate mousse. I put them in all my juices and smoothies.  They are a super source of omega and because they expand they are really filling. Flaxseed and all other types of seeds are also great to pop into salads, juices etc.  The fiber and omega are needed!


6. Maca Powder. This is basically a Peruvian root that has been ground down.  It has quite a strong taste and so i use a teaspoon of it in my smoothies. It is super for women, and for helping with any hormone issues.

7. Flour. I love all of Dove's Farm flours.  Here I have pictured Rice Flour from their range.  I also use their White Flour.  They are naturally gluten, wheat and yeast free.  I used it this morning to make pancakes and it tasted delicious.

8. Brown Rice Pasta. Another Dove's Farm product.  This is organic pasta.  It's gluten and wheat free.  The ingredients are as follows: 100% Brown Rice! This is a no brainer! Some gluten free pastas taste weird in my opinion and many go mushy when you cook it.  This tastes great and stays in tact like whole wheat penne. I found this in Tesco but it's probably available in lots of other shops now.

9.  This is Bee Pollen.  Just do a quick internet search on this wonder product and you'll uncover a whole myriad of it's benefits.  It is a superfood. I use it to top smoothies and salads. It's quite strong and quite sweet so a little does go a long way.  A small bag of this costs about €3 in most health food shops.
10. These are dates! Pitted organic dates to be exact. If you want to eat a primarily healthy and sugar-free diet then these will become your best friend. I would never eat a date straight up! I think they look and taste yuck.  But when you use them to make your very own sugar free desserts they turn into yummy, creamy, gooey heaven. They are also really good for your body.


Sunday, 19 January 2014

The Ultimate Green Smoothie

This smoothie is just bursting with goodness.  It's incredibly filling and tastes really good. Drinking it as often as you can will ensure you have bright eyes, clear skin and for me the greatest benefit is energy.  Drinking this juice each day will keep a real pep in your step and help you avoid having to take any naps during the day or reach for chocolate / coffee to keep you awake. You'll need a juicer and a blender.  Buying a juicer is one of the best investments you can make for your health.  They range from expensive to mid range to pretty cheap.  I use a Phillips Juicer (as a present from my lovely mum for my 30th birthday) and it cost about €100.  I am hoping to buy a Matstone juicer this year as my old one is definitely on it's last legs.  So...if you want to join the juicing world then get yourself whatever type of juicer you can afford and get going....you will never look back!

Ingredients + Instructions 


  • 1 organic apple (use 2 if you'd like to sweeten the juice)
  • 1/2 organic cucumber
  • 2 sticks of organic celery
  • 1/2 a peeled lime
  • an inch of peeled ginger
  • 2/3 leaves of organic kale (washed)
  • a handful of organic spinach (washed)
  • 1/2 a ripe avocado


(If you eat broccoli then keep the stem...roughly peel it and then pop it into the juice for extra nutrition. If you want to sweeten the juice at any point then add a little banana when blending or more apple when juicing)


  1. Pop all of the ingredients (apart from the avocado) into the juicer (avocado doesn't juice!)
  2. Pour all the juice into the blender with the avocado and some ice and blend it up
  3. Pour it all into a big glass and enjoy!
Supplements + Toppings...
I spoon in Hemp Protein (I need the protein as I don't need meat) + Spirulina into my juice just before I blend it.  You can top your juice with anything you want....blueberries, goji berries, chia seeds, nuts, bee pollen, sprouts, cacao nibs etc....or just drink it as it is.




Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Pancakes!!! (gluten and dairy-free)




These are simple and taste fab...minus the gluten that comes in most white flour pancakes. I use Dove's Gluten Free flour. This is available in all main supermarkets and health food shops.  Also I never drink cows milk and so I substitute with almond milk (it might sound gross but it doesn't really taste of almonds at all). You can substitute with soya milk (I avoid this as too much soya is not healthy) or rice milk etc.  Use Xylitol instead of white (refined and crappy) sugar.  Refined sugar has been shown to be one of the worst substances you could put into you body and so Xylitol or Stevia are great alternatives. Again, most supermarkets are realising the market for these and are stocking them now...they are worth buying. Xylitol tastes better in my opinion; it's pretty much tastes the same as regular sugar. So here's the very simple recipe for weekend pancakes:


Ingredients + Instructions             

Friday, 3 January 2014

Chili Bean Fajitas...(Vegetarian + Gluten Free)



These are so yum; so yum that even Kev (fiancĂ©), who is more of a pizza and chips kind of guy, craves these. We make this dish every week, and whenever I feed them to visitors they all ask for the recipe.  They take about 20 minutes in total and are very cheap! And the best thing is that they are free from meat, sugar, wheat, gluten and dairy and a vegan version is simple to make.  Kids also seem to love them which is an added bonus. The ingredients below will make enough for 3 large adult portions. Just double the beans, tomatoes and red pesto (there's no need to double the rest) and you'll have a huge pot of dinner to feed 5/6 people easily.

Ingredients + Instructions

Chocolate Truffles....(sugar-free, gluten-free & dairy-free)

If any of you, like me, have given up junk food for the New Year but loooove chocolate then here is a super easy recipe to make delicious Chocolate Truffles with natural, healthy ingredients.  I found variations of this recipe on a few websites but I chose this one as it's probably my favourite recipe so far.  I love these truffles...they do not have the same creamy taste as regular chocolate truffles; they are not regular chocolate truffles! In my opinion, this is a good thing, as the regular truffles are loaded with sugar and hence calories.  This is a nourishing alternative.  The ingredients may sound strange but I say "just give it a shot!"  Nothing ventured, nothing gained!  So here it is...I hope you like it....


Ingredients + Instructions
 
Truffle Filling:
  • 1/2 Cup of Cashew Nuts
  • 1 Cup of Gluten Free Oats
  • 1 Can Chickpeas
  • 4 tbsp. Raw Cacao Powder
  • 6 tbsp. agave or maple syrup (I use agave)
  • A pinch of salt
Chocolate Coating:
  • 50g of Raw Cacao Powder
  • 100g Coconut Oil
  • 1 tbsp. Agave syrup
 
  1. To make the truffle filling: Place the cashew nuts into a food processor and process until a butter-like texture is formed. This may take 4/5 minutes.
  2. Add the drained chickpeas, oats, cacao and agave and process.  This will take a little bit of effort as the ingredients are quite dry and so will stick to the sides a lot. Just keep pushing them back down to the blade and keep the process going until a smooth, dough-like texture is formed.  (all the chickpeas and oats should be well blended) I did add a tablespoon of cold water to help the mixture form. Don't be alarmed if your food processor sounds like it's about to die!  In the end your mixture should look something like this...hopefully...
  3. It's important to taste your truffle mixture at this stage..and add more cacao / agave if needed.  It should not taste like chickpeas! It should taste more like chocolate than falafel!
  4. Roll the mixture into medium sized balls and place in the freezer for 10 minutes
  5. Now make the chocolate covering: Melt the coconut oil in a bowl over hot water
  6. Whisk in the cacao and agave syrup
  7. Remove the truffles from the freezer and begin to dip them in the chocolate

       7. You can now coat the truffles in whatever you'd like: coconut flakes, chia seeds, cacao       powder, etc.  I chose to leave mine plain.
       8. Pop them back into the freezer for 20 minutes and then transfer them into the fridge and enjoy each and every one!

 

(I adapted the original recipe from www.keenongreens.com)

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Low Fat Hummus

I eat a lot of hummus.  If you make it yourself it's very cheap.  It's pretty handy for lunch and I often put a big blob on top of a salad and kind of use it as a salad dressing. But, often shop bought hummus is loaded with oil...so here's the recipe I use to make low fat hummus; using only 2 tablespoons of oil.

(P.S...I just had my niece visit and she spooned it into her mouth from the bowl so it must be nice!)


Ingredients + Instructions

  • 1 Can of Chickpeas
  • 1-2 Cloves of garlic (crushed, not thickly grated...you could leave this out if you didn't want to smell of garlic!)
  • 2 tbsp. dark tahini
  • 3-4 tbsp. lemon juice (I put in more as I love lemon)
  • 1/4 of the liquid from the can
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil ( extra virgin gives quite a strong taste so just use regular olive oil)
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I use a lot of seasoning as I think it needs it)
  • I have added a few sundried tomatoes to the mix on occasion and they make a really lovely sundried tomato hummus.
Pop all of the ingredients into a food processor and blend to your desired consistency.  I season to taste at the end and add more lemon juice if I want it.