Porridge with pear and pistachio nuts.

The humble pear is in season and what a joy that is. Nothing quite like a nice pear. 🙂 My kids love them and no matter how many I buy, they are always gone the following day. It is the perfect snack and after a bit of swatting I am delighted by all the health benefits that are related to pears. Who knew?  Continue reading “Porridge with pear and pistachio nuts.”

Blueberry Super Smoothie

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When I prepare breakfast smoothies for my children I’ve learned that the trick for immediate consumption is the use of colour – and green is not the colour of choice! Instead, using red or black berries of any variety gives the smoothie that required pink/purple wow factor needed for a thumbs up. Following easter’s sweet fest I felt they needed a much-needed boost of nutrition that did not come out of an easter egg. They just got over a pesky cold so I also wanted to make sure they got a big dose of vitamin C, coupled with some vegetable protein and important omega-3 fatty acids. Smoothies are good that way – you can put all kinds of goodies inside and no one will know!

Top tip! Until the season is here when berries start to grow locally again, buying frozen fruit (organic if possible) is a great way of always being five minutes away from a great smoothie.

Here is what went into this morning’s smoothie! Continue reading “Blueberry Super Smoothie”

Super quick Pesto ‘Pasta’

glutenfree pasta and pestoI used to be the world’s biggest pasta lover. Weren’t we all? Pasta was the staple, the go-to and the ultimate comfort food. A quick and easy friend who mixed well with anything.  It was a mutual love affair.  As with lots of yummy things there is an underbelly and the boring thing about refined carbs is that, unfortunately, the more you consume, the more you crave. It’s like a bad cycle that never ends.

These days I still crave the satisfying feeling that only a dish of pesto pasta and a salad can give you but I recreate it into my new vegan, gluten free version which is surprisingly tasty. It’s quicker than cooking regular pasta and the vegan pesto recipe uses nutritional yeast which is an excellent cheese substitute in savoury vegan dishes should you want to avoid dairy. I don’t rule out dairy completely myself but love to experiment with vegan substitute to see how it compares and nutritional yeast is a great way to include in your cheesy dishes if you have chosen the dairy free road. You can find it in most health food stores as well as online.

The good news is that you avoid the pasta pot belly by consuming only veg and grains that are actually good for you and your digestion.  Here is the low-down on the nutrients from my favourite menu items;

  • Courgettes – contain potassium (good for lowering blood pressure) and vitamin C which strengthen your immune system.
  • Basil – good source of magnesium, vitamin A (good for eyes) , anti-bacterial.
  • Pine nuts – vitamin A, C, Magnesium, iron, can aid weight loss due to feeling full faster.
  • Olive oil – great source of monounsaturated fats, anti-oxidants and vitamin E.

This lunch or dinner dish is simply jam packed with nutrients and healthy fats to re-charge your body and mind. Add veggies of your choice, such as steamed broccoli, tomatoes and peppers. It looks lovely and will add a crunch to your dish.

Quick and Easy Pesto ‘Pasta’ (serves 1)

Courgetti

1 large courgette, julienned or spiralized

Vegan Pesto

1 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

1/3 cup olive oil

1 cup pine nuts

4 cloves garlic

1/3 nutritional yeast

Salt + Pep

How to:

Stick all ingredients in your food processor or high speed blender. Be prepared to stop the machine occasionally to scrape the mixture off the sides until you have the consistency you like. I prefer a slight crunch to my pesto instead of a fine puree but that is entirely personal. You do what works for you.

Slightly wilt the courgetti in a pan of boiling water (but with heat turned off). No longer than 2 minutes, then drain, toss and pour the pesto over the warm vegetable noodles. Add your vegetables of choice (broccoli, tomatoes, peppers or spinach for example) once the noodles have been thoroughly coated in pesto. Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

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