So this week I was inspired by these very colourful beetroot and spinach wraps from Marks and Spencer.
I just love colourful food and try to eat the rainbow every day, and no I don't mean a bag of multicoloured skittles or smarties! I mean naturally brightly coloured food, which translates to lots of my favourite food, vegetables!
Orange sweet potatoes, yellow sweetcorn, purple kidney beans, red onions, green spinach and coriander, red tomatoes and red pepper.
Add a delicious avocado dressing and you have all the colours of the rainbow!
These wraps are just fantastic and so vibrant. I have to say the beetroot ones are my favourite, they are soft and slightly earthy and sweet which is just delicious! The spinach ones tasted a bit too vegetably so I wasn't quite so keen on them!
White tortilla wraps are perfect for this recipe too, I just fancied making something eye catching to post on my Instagram account!
So the filling for these delicious enchiladas are simply mashed sweet potato and spicy mexican flavoured beans, a perfect combination!
A tomato based sauce and a creamy avocado and coriander sauce finish these off rather nicely, although they would still be delicious with just the bean filling, if you don't have time to make the sauces!
So although there are a few different elements to this recipe, none of them are difficult and they can be prepared in advance, making these perfect for a weekend crowd pleasing dinner, which is also extremely healthy!!
So first of all you need to cook some sweet potato, then mash it! Then you need to prepare the beans, easy just open a tin and stir fry a few veggies with some seasoning. Next you need to make the tomato sauce, see recipe, or you can use salsa, mild, spicy, shop bought or home made! It's always good to have options!
We are a divided family when it comes to spicy food, so just adjust the amount of chilli powder accordingly!
I prefer to keep the mashed sweet potato as a separate layer but you can easily just mix the beans and mashed sweet potato together, which will incorporate all the lovely flavours!
So here are the ingredients you will need to make these awesome enchiladas!
Ingredients - makes 6 large enchiladas
For the Filling
1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat oil and add all spices. Cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about a minute. Add onions, a couple pinches of salt and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another couple minutes. If the pot gets dry at any point, add a little of the tomato juice from the can.
2. Pour can of tomatoes into the pot and cook for 5 minutes. Season to taste.
3. Carefully transfer the tomato mixture to a blender. Add pitted dates, tahini, lime juice and a couple tablespoons of the water. Blend on high, adding water to thin as needed, until desired consistency is reached. Season to taste.
4. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to one week.
Avocado Coriander Cream Sauce
Simply add all the ingredients to a food processor or blender and process until smooth and creamy. Add more water for a thinner consistency.
So although there are a few different elements to this recipe, you have options, and can buy shop bought salsa or spicy tomato sauce but do be aware of added sugar!
Just make the filling up, then you are good to go! The Avocado Sauce is optional but it is really delicious and simple to make. I really hope you give these a go, I have high hopes these will become a family favourite...!
......your health in your hands......
I've been running a series of Healthy Eating Workshops with North Glasgow Homes in Springburn.
The focus is on healthy, cheap, tasty food, made with ingredients that can be bought locally.
All of my workshops are plant based with a heavy reliance on lentils, beans and pulses which are cheap, versatile and extremely healthy. Add in loads of seasonal veggies and you have an extremely climate friendly, healthy, inexpensive way of eating.
This week the theme was Indian so we made lots of delicious rice, lentil and bean dishes. The favourite dish was this Coconut Lentil Dhal so I thought I'd reshare the recipe! I posted this one last year, it really is one of our go to family favourites.
It's perfect comfort food, like a big warm coconutty hug! Richly flavoured with spices, this lentil dish is good enough to impress your friends, your husband/wife and kids!
It's made with orange split lentils, the easiest to digest and fastest to cook so its a perfect dish for the weekend. You can rustle it up in no time!
All lentils are high in protein, fibre, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and literally support every system in the body. They are also incredibly cheap, versatile and you can store them for ages and they won't go off ( less waste!) so they do tick a lot of boxes!
Delicious, nutritious and super healthy; with superstars turmeric, garlic, ginger and coconut providing bags of anti inflammatory, pain relieving, circulation boosting, energy boosting, immune boosting benefits.
You can up the nutritional benefits even more by serving with brown rice and steamed greens! Dinner, in my opinion, is just incomplete without some kind of greens. My favourites at the moment are kale, cavolo nero, pointed cabbage and spring greens, all highly alkalising, and packed with minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and fibre.
Food is medicine right enough and what a delicious way to improve your health! I hope you give this a go and consider at least having one or two meat free days a week, your body and the planet will thank you!! All the recipes I share are plant based so you won't be short of ideas and inspiration! If you haven't already then consider subscribing to the blog so you won't miss any posts! They will all be sent directly to your inbox, the power of technology!! And its free so go ahead and fill in your details, it could be the best decision you make for your health! Well you'd have to actually make and eat some of the food before it would benefit your health! Just reading the posts won't do a thing so follow up with action steps! Go out and buy some healthy staples including lentils and beans and no I don't mean Heinz baked beans, they are high in sugar and salt! I've just had an idea for another post, Healthy Shopping List..., coming soon....!
Here is my recipe...
COCONUT LENTIL DHAL WITH TOASTED ALMONDS
Wee point to note, I added a spoonful of Coriander Detox Pesto to mine instead of fresh coriander. This adds bags more flavour! I just dolloped a spoonful on each portion before serving, then topped with toasted almonds. Delicious!
.......your health in your hands......
Happy Pancake Day everyone! I've been busy recently running healthy eating sessions and Big Cook Little Cook sessions with parents and kids at St Bartholomews in Castlemilk.
It's so rewarding seeing kids excited about cooking classes and to be honest kids are far more likely to eat something if they have made it themselves!
I've been trying out lots of new fast, simple, kid friendly recipe ideas. The limitations are we only have an hour to prepare, cook, eat and clear up, the school have very limited cooking equipment and we have 7 kids with a parent at each session, all keen to do some hands on cooking!
A big saving grace was a couple of mini ovens I bought from Aldi for £10 each, they are so good and perfect for wee mini pizzas!
I have to do a fair bit of the old Blue Peter, here is one I made earlier!!
So far we have made Lentil Soup, Soda Bread, Mini Face Pizzas and Berry Smoothies!
Next session is tomorrow and I'm contemplating either mini filo pastries with apple and cinnamon and veggie fillings or these rather awesome pancakes!
I did an earlier banana pancake post using only banana and egg but for most kids its a bit too eggy, so when I came across this recipe I was immediately excited to try it!
This one has the addition of oats and the eggs are separated, the whites are whisked which makes these light and fluffy.
Anything which avoids added sugar and white refined flour gets my vote, as do these lovely pancakes!
These would be fun to make with your kids at the weekend when time allows for a more leisurely breakfast! Added sliced fruit and a drizzle of maple syrup or honey adds a lovely natural sweetness. These would also be lovely served with some ice cream! These are also a great way to use up over ripe bananas!!
So without further ado, here is the recipe!
BANANA OATY PANCAKES
Ingredients - makes 8 pancakes
....your health in your hands....
So Jenna and I have been busy developing a few recipes for Susie at Dollop and Scoff, who makes a lovely range of jams, chutneys and relishes, all from her kitchen, using locally sourced ingredients where possible. She uses an open pan method and makes small batches for superior flavour. She makes some very interesting flavour combinations! Our favourite was Raspberry, Basil and Black Pepper Jam, which we made a delicious dressing from and spread liberally on our sourdough toast and coconut scones!
You can order from Dollop and Scoff direct on this link
So our remit was to come up with a range of vegan recipes, using jams, chutneys and relishes. Most of the range is vegan, apart from a few containing honey so we came up with five winning recipes, of which I'm sharing one of my favourites,
Spiced Carrot, Lentil and Oat Burgers.
I just love making burgers, the options are endless and often I just use up leftover rice, quinoa or veggies and add beans, seeds, nuts, flavourings and cram in as many veggies as I can, either grated or cooked.
The trick to making great burgers is to taste your mixture before you shape them into burgers. Sometimes a bit of extra seasoning, herbs, spices or chutney can really make the difference. If your burger mix doesn't taste great before you cook them, they won't taste any better cooked!
Another tip is to make sure the mixture is firm enough to shape. You can add extra breadcrumbs, oats, flour or polenta to get the right consistency.
Chilling them for an hour or so in the fridge will also firm them up.
So back to these lovely burgers. the main ingredients are three popular Scottish ingredients, carrots, red lentils and oats. I always have these ingredients and use them constantly, they are cheap, nutritious, quick to cook and delicious so tick a lot of boxes for me!
I really detest frying burgers and to be honest find they break up and and are never that good but on the other hand I have made loads of delicious veggie burgers in the oven so no faffing about with hot oil and a frying pan for me!
I have used mango chutney in this batch, since we had no Carrot, Orange & Coriander Chutney left, to give these a delicious sweetness, sunflower and pumpkin seeds for a bit of crunch, baby spinach for colour and turmeric, cumin, and smoked paprika for flavour.
These are delicious served with potato wedges and a big salad or in a wrap or pitta bread for lunch, smeared with some extra chutney or relish. These are most definitely on my favourite burger list and I hope they are soon on yours too!
They also freeze well, if you have any extra leftover!
So here is the recipe....
Spiced Carrot, Lentil & Oat Burgers
Makes 10-12 burgers
....your health in your hands....
So I've had a lovely time lately! Alastair and I had a great few days away in Northumberland, at a fabulous 5 star Gastro Pub, called The Joiners Arms! Its well worth a visit, the rooms are gorgeous and the food was delicious!
We were also blessed with lovely weather, blue skies and sunshine so we had lots of lovely beach walks and fresh air!
We have all managed to avoid coughs, colds and viruses this year and long may that continue! However we don't put our good health down to luck, we eat really well and include lots of immune boosting foods in our diet!
Which brings me to this totally awesome and delicious immune boosting broth, which supports health on every level.
Alastair came across the recipe by the brilliant Anna Jones in The Guardian and immediately wanted to make it! I'm really glad he did, it is the most delicious, nourishing and bright green thai broth I have ever eaten.
Do yourself a favour and make this, your body and your taste buds will thank you, as will anyone you share it with!
In this season of detoxing, the buzz is all about depriving yourself of comfort food, but this soup has it all, its nourishing, healing, restorative, immune boosting and it just tastes amazing!
This is comfort food you can truly eat without feeling guilty, bloated or sluggish!
Its packed with the most health giving ingredients including coconut oil, ginger, garlic, chillies, coriander, turmeric and spinach.
There are so many benefits to this soup and its also really filling due to the rice noodles and chunks of butternut squash.
Some recipes have lots of ingredients and are a bit complicated and faffy and the end result really isn't worth the bother but not this one! Massive thanks to the awesome Anna Jones for this recipe.
I have both of her books A Modern Way to Eat and A Modern Way to Cook
and highly recommend both of them. She just talks so much sense and her passion for great flavours shines through.
I would seriously give this soup 10 out of 10 so here is the recipe so you can try it for yourself! Please leave a comment if you do!
BEST EVER THAI BROTH
4 tablespoons coconut oil
a thumb of ginger (50g) peeled and roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves peeled
1 or 2 small green chillies
4 spring onions, trimmed and roughly chopped
a bunch of fresh coriander leaves and stalks
a few sprigs of mint
1 heaped teaspoon turmeric
15 green peppercorns, fresh or brined
2 x 400ml tins of coconut milk
1 tablespoon vegetable stock powder or 1/2 stock cube
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
a stalk of lemongrass
1/2 butternut squash, peeled
handful of spinach or spring greens
100g brown rice noodles
1 tablespoon honey (optional)
I hope everyone had a lovely break over the holidays and are now back to normality!
Our normal is rather odd, I am pretty much under the radar when it comes to work, I suit myself and weeks go past when I just chill and enjoy life and I have to admit I rather enjoy this way of being! Alastair, my husband has been self employed for 20 years so doesn't have a set work routine either, he works overseas and does a lot of voluntary work so we have lots of time to spend together enjoying ourselves! Jenna my daughter is also at home at the moment and is an awesome vegan cook so we just generally try out lots of lovely recipes, spend time outdoors, go for walks and read lots of books!
Looking back over the last year I can't say I achieved a lot but I did start an Instagram account and have almost 500 followers so thats an achievement for me!
I have kept up with my blog and still really enjoy sharing recipes and I'm thinking of sharing more factual and health posts so I have a bit of thinking to do as to how to move forwards and do what I feel is my life purpose, which is to help people to live a healthier life!
I have joined the commitee of Slow Food Glasgow and I'll be involved with a new government initiative called Peas Please, which you may have guessed is to promote the eating of more vegetables, which is right up my street!
I ran various workshops for community groups and schools, which were very well received and will continue to spread the word this year on how important and how simple it is to eat real food, and give veggies the starring role!
So on that note, there are no sermons on New Year New You, from me, I will simply say that the most important advice I can give anyone is to eat more veggies and that is very much the focus of this blog!
I'll say that again, your No 1 resolution should simply be to
............EAT MORE VEGGIES.....!
Nothing will impact your health more than eating lots of seasonal veggies, add wholegrains, lentils, beans and pulses and you have the basis for the healthiest way to eat. Not to mention the massive and positive impact on the environment of reducing your consumption of meat and dairy and not contributing to animal suffering. So there are many reasons to make veggies the starring role on your plate!
Its veganuary and 50,000 people have signed up to go vegan for the whole month of January! The vegan movement is steadily growing and Glasgow is a great hub of vegan restaurants and businesses, which I am delighted about!
So back to eating more veggies! Soup is one of the easiest ways of sneaking more veggies into your diet and the possibilities are endless so I've decided to share a new soup recipe as my first post of 2017.
This one is based on a recipe by Dana Shcultz over at the minimalist baker. She writes an awesome blog with the most delicious vegan recipes.
So this soup has some of my favourite and most healthy ingredients, sweet potatoes, lentils, kale, garlic, ginger, turmeric and leeks.
The thing I love about soup is how versatile it is, its a great way of using up whatever veggies you have hanging out in the fridge. The addition of either lentils or beans adds loads of fibre and protein and will take your soup to another level of nourishment and filling power.
Using nature's superfoods garlic and turmeric will add flavour and loads of health benefits so you really end up with a pot of amazing nutrition and flavour. Oh I forgot to mention that soup is great for detoxing and its really easy to digest too so its a great food to include in your diet, especially after all the festive excesses!
We always have at least one pot of soup on the go athough it doesn't last long in our house!
There are loads of delicious and healthy soup recipes on my blog. Just click on the soup category for lots of ideas and please consider subscribing to the blog so you don't miss any posts. All the recipes I share are nutritious, plant based, seasonal and mostly really simple and suitable for everyone.
It doesn't cost anything to subscribe and it could just be the best decision you make, to start the year with access to loads of delicious, healthy, plant based recipes, for yourself and your family!
So a very happy and healthy New Year and remember to eat more veggies!
So here is the recipe for this amazing soup....enjoy!
CURRIED LENTIL, POTATO & KALE SOUP
1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
1 leek or medium onion, washed and sliced
2 medium carrots, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
1 teaspoon finely chopped or grated ginger
500g of potato and sweet potato (I used 2 of each), washed and diced
1 cup of green or puy lentils (200g) washed and rinsed
2 good handfuls of chopped kale, cavolo nero or dark green cabbage, finely shredded
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 heaped teaspoon turmeric
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1.5 litres veggie stock (I use Marigold Bouillon or Kallo Organic Stock cubes)
.....your health in your hands....
I've been meaning to post this recipe all week since its a fab vegan alternative to that old Scottish staple, steak pie, traditionally served on New Years Day!
Note to self, stop procrastinating!!
As you will be aware, we are plant based and don't eat animals so steak pie has been off the menu for us for a number of years. However we are all very partial to a nice crispy pastry filled with veggies, which brings me nicely back to this lovely roulade!
I first tried this last year at the awesome Lee Watsons vegan cooking retreat, which was filled with the most delicious, flavoursome vegan food and it just looked amazing and most definitely good enough for a celebration dinner.
I tweaked the filling and my version has 3 layers, sauted leeks with thyme, oven roasted butternut squash and sauteed mushrooms with spinach and balsamic or tamari for extra flavour.
You can be inventive here and use whatever veggie combination you fancy, you can add beans or feta or goats cheese as an extra layer for non vegans.
Olives and sun dried tomatoes are a great addition too.
We are having two of these roulades on New Years Day, Jenna is making vegan haggis from scratch and will be filling her roulade with this and a layer of greens and will be serving a whisky sauce with it, she is an awesome vegan cook!
Jenna is also making vegan cranachan, that old traditional Scottish dessert, made with oats, double cream, whisky, honey and raspberries.
Her version will use coconut cream and maple syrup and will probably have a selection of healthy seeds and nuts through it too! Sadly she hasn't made it yet so I can't share her recipe or show you a photo. I will post it in the New Year.
So back to the roulade! Its actually really easy but does involve a few different steps since all the veggies for the filling are precooked and cooled before filling the pastry. I just use standard shop bought puff pastry, which is surprisingly vegan!
I used to think that puff pastry was made with butter but its actually made with vegetable oils now so perfect for anyone avoiding dairy!
A wee important point to note, any filling needs to be fairly dry so drain any liquid off or you will end up with soggy pastry, which is not what you want!
Take your pastry out of the fridge and let it rest at room temperature to make it more supple and less likely to crack and break. I always buy the pre rolled puff pastry sheets, rather than the block of pastry, which you have to roll out yourself.
I'm all for making life easier and just prefer the pre rolled version. Jus Roll do a good one and its widely available, all the supermarkets stock it!
This roulade will make 10 slices and looks lovely with all the colourful layers!
So have a wonderful Hogmanay and New Year, count your blessings, and enjoy precious time with your loved ones!
1 pack of shop bought puff pastry
2 medium leeks, washed and thinly sliced
few tablespoons fresh herbs, thyme, sage or rosemary, or a teaspoon dried herbs
1 250g pack of mushrooms, chestnut, or any mixture you like
good few handfuls of spinach, washed and chopped
250 - 300g butternut squash, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons rapeseed oil
1 teaspoon tamari or balsamic vinegar
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
soya or other plant based milk
.........your health in your hands.....
I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas! I'm so glad the weather has improved, we were all going stir crazy!
We're now on a mad cleaning and tidying spree before the new year but as always, food still takes centre stage at our house!
There are so many parsnips and brussel sprouts in the shops just now for next to nothing! I bought two bags of parsnips yesterday for 5p each!
I can't resist a bargain, especially a foodie bargain and I detest food waste so I had to buy some!
I thought I'd share this lovely recipe for parsnip soup, which is a great way to use them up!
We've been eating a lot of roast parsnips recently which we love but I have to admit I'm generally not a fan of parsnip soup. The classic parsnip and potato has a texture like wallpaper paste which I find most unappealing!
I came across this lovely recipe in The River Cottage Veg Everyday book by the lovely Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, which I adapted to make it vegan and I have to say it was rather delicious and not like wallpaper paste at all!
I am a big fan of adding lots of flavour to my dishes and am especially fond of ginger, garlic and turmeric, all great immune boosters at this time of year!
All of these superfoods are in this lovely soup, along with cayenne & cardamom, imparting a lovely warming, subtle flavour.
I topped it off with some toasted flaked almonds and a swirl of soya cream and I have to say it looked lovely and could happily grace a dinner table!
So if you have a few parsnips leftover from Christmas, please give this lovely soup a go, I'm sure you will enjoy it!
On a last note, I detest food waste and making soup is a fantastic way to use up leftover veggies, even ones which you think are past their best, they still have benefits for your health so please don't throw them away!
So here is the recipe....
1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4-5 cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
500g parsnips, peeled and sliced
750 ml of vegetable stock
250 ml plant based milk, I used soya
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 or 3 tablespoons flaked almonds, lightly toasted
1 or 2 tablespoons of soya cream
.....your health in your hands....
Christmas is almost upon us so I thought I'd do a wee round up post of recipes to see you through the festive season. Almost all the recipes are vegan and some are also gluten free which means you can cater for most dietary needs!
It goes without saying that all of these recipes are tried and tested, simple, nutritious and extremely delicious!
A lot of the recipes can be made or assembled in advance so you don't have to spend too much time in the kitchen, leaving you free to enjoy yourself!
At Nourished by Nature this year, we will be well fed, as always, without any animals being harmed.
We are still trying to decide between a puy lentil and mushroom pie with sweet potato topping or a puff pastry roulade, filled with leeks, mushrooms, butternut squash and spinach. We may well end up with both!
As always there will be lots of veggies to accompany our dinner, oven roast parsnips and carrots are always delicious, especially drizzled with some maple syrup and himayan sea salt.
Brussel sprouts are also delicious oven roasted with some garlic and red onions!
I will be baking some delicious sourdough bread to accompany our soup, which we haven't decided but will probably be based on leeks, which we all love but not boring Leek & Potato! See below for my two favourite leek soup recipes!
As well as lots of new delicious ideas to try out this festive season, here is a collection of recipes from last year as well as a few others that are great for entertaining.
Have yourself a merry little Christmas!
leek chickpea soup
leek oat coconut soup
oven roasted veggie puff pastries
carrot seed loaf with mushroom gravy
super festive burgers
Snacks and nibbles
oven baked falafel bites
quinoa broccoli bites
best ever kale crisps
festive chocolate truffles
delicious decadent chocolate cake
magical chocolate mousse
apricot fig mini tarts
christmas chocolate crunch
chocolate ganache pot
...your health in your hands...
Mince pies are odd things. You wouldnt be alone if you believed they actually had mince in them! The mincemeat is actually diced dried fruits and peels mixed with spices and often some brandy.
This a lighter take on the classic. Why add sugar to dried fruit when it is already very sweet?! The filling is very simple and tastes like christmas in a bowl! I chose to make a gluten free oat crust which is very lightly sweetened with maple syrup. Its a bit fiddly but has a lovely crisp texture and doesnt feel like a stodgy lump as many pastries do!
If the pastry is a bit too faffy you can easily use ready made shortcrust pastry or follow this recipe for a simpler non-gluten free option.
makes 12 tarts with a bit of filling to spare. Keep in a jar in the fridge and try as a decadent festive porridge topping!
200g dried fruits (I used apricot, fig and cranberries but really any dried fruit would work)
50g nuts (almond, apricot, brazil, pecans, walnuts etc.)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground mixed spice
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
zest and juice of 1 orange
1 small pear, chopped very finely or grated
1 small apple, chopped very finely or grated
1 tbsp ground flax seeds
optional: 2 tbsp chcoclate chips
note: pastry is rather crumbly but very nice and crispy!
180g jumbo oats (certified gluten free if necessary)
20g dessicated coconut
4 tbsp oil (rapeseed, sunflower or neutral tasting olive oil)
4 tbsp cold water, more as needed
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of sea salt
Place a heaped tbsp of filling into each case then top with a star. Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Leave to cool in the muffin trays before carefully loosening each pie with a knife and sliding out on to a plate or into your mouth. Up to you. Heat them up in the oven again before serving if you like, for extra crunch. Dust with icing sugar for extra festive cheer.
...your health in your hands...
A healthy lifestyle blog with green living tips, plant-based recipes and natural health magic.