Apologies for not posting any recipes for a wee while. Life has been fairly hectic recently, but in a good way! The house has been like a hotel these past few weeks, which although hard work, is quite wonderful!
I am blessed indeed that people want to come and stay and I love feeding people!
Anyway I've been meaning to share a recipe for stuffed peppers for a while. Peppers are in season just now and so cheap and they make a rather delicious meal when stuffed with something! Red, yellow and orange peppers are packed with vitamin C, beta carotene, loads of vitamins and minerals and are easier to digest than the green ones, which are just unripe red ones! So always go for the red, orange or yellow ones!
Peppers boost the immune system, can help flush toxins from the body, due to their high water content, and also contain lycopene, a cancer fighting phytochemical, also present in tomatoes.
There are so many options here, I normally use couscous or brown rice as the base then add veggies and flavourings but I was intrigued by this recipe from The Minimalist Baker.
Smoky Mexican inspired gluten free cauliflower rice stuffed peppers sounded rather wonderful, healthy and packed with flavour which ticks a lot of boxes for me.
Cauliflower rice is becoming very on trend among those avoiding gluten and carbs and since I am a massive fan of veggies, I am constantly on the lookout for new ways to incorporate more of them into our diet. Cauliflower rice along with courgetti and sweet potato noodles have been a total revelation and I love them all!
Both Alastair, myself and Laura decided to do a wee 3 day juice and soup cleanse last week and this was an ideal intro back to solid food! Admittedly Laura was the only one who didn't cheat! Its so tempting when you are surrounded by food so I did have some oatcakes and some coconut chips and I tricked Alastair into having a glass of red wine! We were watching Outlander which I have become very fond of, mostly due to the rather fit and handsome Jamie! I thought I needed a glass of wine so poured myself one, took a sip then decided against it and had some coconut water instead. Alastair then had to drink it although he could have easily poured it back into the bottle!
Anyway we are all back to eating normally again, though I am still having juices every morning and feeling the benefits!
So back to the recipe, its main filling ingredient is cauliflower, which has become extremely popular as a low carb substitute for rice, plus its packed with cancer fighting phytochemicals, minerals, fibre, vitamins and antioxidants. It is almost as good for you as broccoli but I think gets overlooked because its not green, so not perceived as so healthy!
Cauliflower is pretty much in season all year round in Scotland so its always available and it really is very worthwhile including in your diet.
I think those of us of a certain age remember soggy cauliflower smothered in cheese sauce which does not bring back good memories!
Cooking it quickly and adding flavourings like garlic, spices and herbs really make it versatile and surprisingly delicious, so if you have been avoiding cauliflower, this could be the recipe to get you back on the cauliflower loving train!
I adapted the recipe and added sun dried tomatoes and sweetcorn but this is one of those recipes you can add whatever you like and make your own combinations.
I served mine with sliced avocado and basil and added a big green salad with garlickly balsamic dressing. The next time I make them I will be drizzling them with a delicious coriander tahini lemon dressing to make them even more delicious! They would be equally good served cold for lunch and you could easily freeze these too!
So to recap these are a delicious, versatile, nutritious, gluten free, vegan main course or lunch and I can highly recommend them!
So without further rambling, here is the recipe....
CAULIFLOWER RICE STUFFED PEPPERS
Ingredients - Serves 4 for main course
I'm a huge fan of potato salad and usually make it with a delicious garlicky vegan mayo, until I came across this recipe by Deliciously Ella. The photo caught my attention first, I love anything green, anything with avocados and I'm a sucker for a lovely big vibrant serving bowl and since
Deliciously Ella had all three I had to try it!
I have to admit I wasn't disappointed! This takes potato salad to new heights of flavour and nutrition. Avocado, lemon, asparagus, mint, basil chives, olive oil and new potatoes are a wonderful combination, all green, healthy and delicious.
It is the end of British asparagus season so frozen peas or edamame beans are great alternatives!
I grow lots of herbs in the summer and I have loads of mint, basil and chives and I'm always looking for new recipes to use them in. They just taste great and are packed with all sorts of beneficial antioxidants, minerals and vitamins along with essential oils.
And now for the sciency bit......
I came across some research on resistant starch recently, which is present in many foods to varying degrees. It is resistant to digestion so reaches the colon intact, where our gut bacteria use it for food and convert it into short chain fatty acids, namely acetate, butyrate and propionate.
Butyrate is of most importance and has unique health benefits including increasing metabolism, reducing inflammation and increasing insulin sensitivity;
and guess what....?
Resistant starch is much higher in cold cooked potatoes than hot ones, a
good enough reason to eat lots of this delicious cold potato salad!
Add a delicious creamy dressing packed with healthy fats and vitamins, some heart healthy olive oil, alkalising lemon juice and a nice crunch from the asparagus with digestive benefits from the mint and you have a superstar salad, which is a perfect accompaniment for a summer BBQ or buffet spread. This salad will keep quite happily in a covered container in the fridge for a few days, if it lasts that long!
I hope you try this, it really ticks a lot of boxes for me in the nutrition and flavour departments.
So here is the recipe....
CREAMY AVOCADO POTATO SALAD
1kg new potatoes, washed
Bunch of spring onions, 4 or 5
2 tablespoons olive or rapeseed oil
Bunch of asparagus or a cup of frozen peas or edamame beans
1 lemon, juiced
2 ripe avocadoes
Mint, basil and chives, to taste, roughly a small handful of each
......your health in your hands.....
After much deliberation, I have a new logo which I think encompasses all I stand for and believe in.
I'd like to share my ethos and thinking behind it.
I have hearts and love signs all over my house and I think that love is the most important and powerful emotion. Passion comes from the heart and it is a wonderful thing indeed to find your passion in life.
Our heart is our most important organ and does an incredible job of pumping oxygenated blood around our body, nourishing every cell and keeping us alive. It is massively affected by what we eat, as is every other organ in our body.
Plants are most beneficial, especially vegetables and we should all be eating lots of them, in all the colours of the rainbow for optimum health!
Hearts are something that everyone relates to and we all have something and/or someone to love. I certainly hope so anyway!
One of my favourite sayings is
"Don't love things that can't love you back"
I agree with this wholeheartedly, life is about creating relationships and opportunities to share and spread love. It's not about amassing stuff, which sadly lots of folks do, in the mistaken belief that lots of possessions bring happiness!
I have learned many life lessons, as we all have and have come to the conclusion that what makes me happiest is doing the things I love, spending time with the people I love and sharing my knowledge and helping and supporting others to lead the best life they can, in terms of their health and well being.
Nothing is more important than your health, without it nothing else matters.
Have you ever heard of anyone in their last days, wishing that they had bought more stuff, or spent more time working!
No I don't think so.
I read a very interesting article a few weeks ago, written by Bronnie Ware, a nurse who cared for terminally ill patients, and
asked them what they regretted most in life. She has written a book called
"The Top Five Regrets of the Dying"
Here are the top five answers.
1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard
3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.
I have reached a stage in life where I am immensely grateful for the life I am living, one which is in every sense aligned with my true passions and interests and it feels so right. It's not without challenges but its feels so good to follow my passion to help and support others.
I created Nourished by Nature through my love:
I believe that life has become over complicated and so far removed from the one we are designed to live, and we are paying the consequences big time!
Climate change, chronic disease, disruption of natural pathways, endless stress, lack of time, no work/life balance, loss of traditional cooking skills
I hope to redress that balance by going back to nature and to the many lessons to be learned.
In my opinion, we cannot improve upon nature. There are miracles all around us, if only we would take the time to notice them.
Nature doesn't rush things, all happens in perfect timing.
Growing plants and crops and raising animals without chemicals, antibiotics, growth hormones, fungicides, pesticides, insecticides is perfectly do able and is the natural order of things.
The problems have arisen from our incessant need for cheaper food, produced faster, cutting corners, replacing natural processes with artificial ingredients to speed things up and knocking everything out of balance and creating toxic by products and nutritionally suspect food products which negatively impact our health.
There are so many synergies in nature, co operation for mutual benefit is everywhere.
Our relationship with our gut bacteria or microbiota is absolutely paramount in its importance. It literally affects every system in our body, from digestive health, brain health, our emotions, our ability to lose weight, our ability to deal with stress, our susceptibility to chronic disease and it's one that the majority of us are unaware of.
If we nurture our good gut bacteria with the food they need to thrive, and that's fibre, lots of it, found mostly in plants and wholefoods, then they will repay us a thousand fold with health benefits too numerous to mention in one blog post!
On the other hand, processed, refined food, chemicals, antibiotics, sugar, artificial sweeteners and stress all negatively affect our good gut bacteria.
Stress is a killer and negatively impacts on every organ in the body.
It's unrealistic to be continually busy and firing on all cylinders.
We need downtime, time to rest and relax, away from computers and TV and junk food, alcohol and caffeine.
Recent research actually proved the real health benefits to be gained from gardening in terms of reducing stress, all due to the microbes in the soil positively influencing our happy hormones!
I, for one, am at my happiest in the garden; one of my lovely mums favourite sayings was:
"You are closer to God in the garden than anywhere else on earth"
I have a lovely garden which has been created over many years, with the help of The Beechgrove Garden, who I was fortunate enough to have along twice to help me create a wonderful nurturing healing space which has continued to unfold into its natural beauty over the years.
I am blessed in so many ways and I feel guided to help others to find their natural balance in life; I look forward to sharing recipes, health tips and natural health magic with you all.
.....your health in your hands....
🍃 Health educator🍃