I hope everyone has been out enjoying all this fine weather and topping up their vitamin D levels!
I certainly have and apologies for not posting anything on the blog last week but to be honest I have just been chilling out, doing some gardening and spending time with my lovely hubby Alastair. We found ourselves in the most unusual position this bank holiday weekend of having the house to ourselves, apart from the three dogs!
Kathryn and Laura had gone to London to stay with their cousin Sarah and catch up with their big sis Emma and Jenna is currently living it up in a stately home in Oxfordshire! She is helping in the gardens!
Anyway we have had such a lovely time and we bought an outside wood-fired pizza oven!
I'm so excited about it, it only cost £99 from Aldi!
Since we don't eat meat, we are not huge BBQ fans but sourdough wood fired pizza is a different thing altogether!
I attended a sourdough workshop last week too so I can now add sourdough to my ever expanding range of fermented foods and drinks. My gut is going to be extremely happy!!
Anyway enough of my ramblings, I just wanted to share this very simple, delicious raw red pepper & walnut sauce.
Its extremely versatile and perfect for the summer months when red peppers are in abundance and cheap as well.
Red peppers have a high water content which helps to flush toxins from the body and are also packed with vitamin C, beta carotene and lycopene.
I added olives which give it a Meditteranean flavour and of course garlic, which I add to pretty much everything!
Sun dried tomatoes give it a delicious intense flavour and of course are packed with lycopene too, which protects us from cancer.
Walnuts are another of my favourite foods and as their shape suggests they support brain health due to high amounts of omega 3 fatty acids. They are also a great source of protein, fibre and vitamin E.
Extra virgin olive oil and olives adds more omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants and keeps our heart healthy.
Tahini is one item I couldn't live without, its packed with calcium and magnesium to support bone health and its alkaline so easy for the body to absorb. It adds a delicious creaminess to any dish and is especially useful for dips, dressings and sauces.
Right so all you do is add all the ingredients to your blender or food processor and that's it, leaving you lots of time to relax and enjoy the sunshine!
It will keep in the fridge in a covered container for a week or so.
Over the summer months we don't want to be spending hours in the kitchen so expect lots of fast, simple and delicious recipes, all tried and tested! I only share favourite recipes and my criteria are flavour, simplicity, nutrition and versatility.
There are so many recipes out there which use loads of ingredients, are very time consuming and don't even taste that good!
So if you like what I share, consider subscribing to my blog so you won't miss any of my brilliant creations!
So here is the recipe I promised......!
RAW RED PEPPER & WALNUT SAUCE
This is the most versatile sauce. I use it like pesto stirred through pasta, as a sauce with spiralised veggies, as a topping for bruschetta, pizza topping,
as a dressing for salads thinned down with some water. It can also be mixed with some cream cheese (vegan options) to make a lovely topping for baked potatoes or a delicious dip with oatcakes or raw veggies.
1 red pepper, deseeded
6 sun dried tomatoes
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup olives, pitted
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons of your best oil, extra virgin, avocado, walnut or flaxseed
1 tablespoon tahini
Himalyan sea salt to taste
1 drizzle of raw honey, maple syrup or brown rice syrup (optional)
Simply add all the ingredients to a food processor and process until smooth.
Taste the sauce and add a drizzle of sweetener if you like!
......your health in your hands....
This is a brilliant and incredibly easy dish I adapted from a macrobiotic recipe, originally using adzuki beans. It works equally well with tinned kidney beans and literally takes minutes to make!
We made it at The Jeely Piece Club this morning, as one of our dishes, and everyone loved it so I thought I'd share it!
This has to be one of the easiest recipes ever and its perfect for a quick weekend meal.
It really is about the healthiest fast food recipe I know!
The hardest bit is chopping the onions!
Don’t use cheap soy sauce which is artificially flavoured with MSG and really bad for your health. Shoyu and tamari are naturally fermented healthy alternatives. Clearspring do a good range of organic sauces.
Beans are literally the perfect food, they can lower cholesterol, protect your heart, balance your blood sugar making you feel fuller for longer and improve your digestion.
This is delicious served with some brown rice and simply steamed greens for a healthy, balanced meal which will support every system in your body. Give it a go, your body will thank you!
Ingredients (serves 4-6)
....your health in your hands.....
I still can't decide whether summer has arrived or not! I'm going between boots and fit flops at the moment, that's Scotland for you, every season in one day!
Anyway I was in Waitrose earlier this week when the sun was shining and bought a rather lovely big salad bowl!
I love colourful salads so I thought I'd share one of our family favourites.
It's Tabbouleh, a middle eastern dish, based on bulghur wheat with loads of vibrant herbs, lemon, olive oil, tomatoes, cucumber and red onion.
It really does taste of summer, all herby, lemony and nutty!
I have mint popping up all over the garden at the moment, which pleases me no end! I can't begin to explain the warm fuzzy feeling that envelops me when I just go out and pick plants that I've grown myself for our dinner.
Its just awesome and miles ahead of buying them from the supermarket wrapped in plastic!
As you probably know I am a big advocate of eating loads of colourful fruits and veggies and this recipe doesn't disappoint!
We have lemons, packed with Vit C and antioxidants.
Vine ripened tomatoes, packed with vitamins, minerals and lycopene an antioxidant proven to reduce risk of several cancers, including prostate, lung and stomach cancer.
Cucumber, really hydrating and cleansing. Its 90% water and also contains useful amounts of vitamins and minerals, notably silica and vit C great for skin health.
Mint, which is great for the digestion and relieving symptoms of IBS
Coriander, a brilliant detoxifier, especially of heavy metals
Red onions, great infection fighters and really high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
Extra virgin olive oil contains a great balance of essential fatty acids and vitamin E, great for skin health. It can lower blood pressure and cholesterol so great news for your heart.
A point to note is the wonderful synergy going on in this salad. The high levels of vitamin C enhance the absorption of iron from the herbs. The olive oil enhances the absorption of lycopene and also of the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.
This is one of the things I love about eating real food, combining natural ingredients to amplify the health benefits. A wee bit of knowledge goes a long way and in actual fact so many traditional dishes have been developed in this way to take advantage of these natural synergies.
That's where many supplements pale into insignificance, once the active ingredients have been extracted from the whole food, they don't work in the same way.
Nature is so clever, and in my humble but informed opinion, we can't improve upon it.
It's real seasonal best quality organic food for me every time!
Tabbouleh is a brilliant dish for lunch and will keep in the fridge in a covered container for 3 or 4 days. You can add chickpeas, goat’s cheese, feta cheese, sundried tomatoes, olives, avocado and chopped peppers.
Frozen peas and sweetcorn are also good. It's also great at a BBQ or any other gathering where lots of people need fed!
Bulghur wheat is a high fibre wholegrain, containing all the B vitamins, iron, potassium, zinc, selenium and magnesium. Topped with pumpkin seeds and toasted walnuts lifts it to superstar status in the nutritional stakes!!
Bulghur wheat comes in fine, medium and coarse grain and all the supermarkets stock it. It doesn't require cooking, just add boiling water, cover with a plate and leave it for 20 to 30 minutes. Perfect!
Feel free to use any combination of herb; flat leaf parsley, basil, coriander and mint are all good, even better if you've grown it yourself!
So I give you TABBOULEH...
.......your health in your hands......
🍃 Health educator🍃