green coconut smoothie

breakfast, dessert, food, recipes, snacks

I think we can agree fruits and vegetables are good for you. But do you struggle to get all of your greens in for the day?

Maybe you are ready to mix up your morning routine. Want to feel like Superwoman (or man…) from all the greens you consume before your 9am start at work? Raise your hand if you want brighter skin, happy bowels and a slimmer waist?! Give green smoothies a go- they are super healthy, easy to make, and they just might turn you into a morning person.

This smoothie recipe uses fresh fruits and dark, leafy greens. Green smoothies are defined by their use of leafy greens like spinach, kale (most nutrition value per calorie out of any plant!), chard, collards, and even dandelion greens (so good for detoxing) to get tons of vitamins and minerals and give your body the plant-based nutrients it craves.

5 REASONS TO LOVE GREEN SMOOTHIES

  1. Easy way to get 5 servings of fruits and vegetables into your diet every single day. If you struggle with salads and eating green, you might find this doable.
  2. Natural weight loss can be an additional side effect of enjoying these in place of a typical breakfast. Be sure to include healthy fats and protein to make it a more complete and balanced meal.
  3. The immune-boosting benefits of green smoothies are a good preventative measure to keep the flu bugs away. And a simple way to boost your immune system when you are feeling under the weather.
  4. Green smoothies provide natural energy. I have cut back on my caffeine intake as a result because I feel a pep in my step and they help to keep the morning slump at bay.
  5. Quick, easy to make, and portable (if it even lasts long enough to make it out the door) and delicious! It is the best ‘fast food’ for the morning especially if you prep ahead.

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This book peaked my interest in a morning smoothie ritual. Eat. Nourish. Glow by Amelia Freer- the Queen of all things delicious and healthy. Check out her entire archive of juice and smoothie recipes and how we can use food as medicine. Full of practical advice, I find myself empowered to make healthy decisions about the food I buy and kick unhealthy habits that can make me feel sluggish and exhausted. Amelia makes it easy.

This green coconut smoothie recipe is full of fresh greens and fruit; avocado +coconut that provide healthy fats; banana that creates a creamy, sweet base; coconut milk adds creaminess and complements the flavours from fresh produce.

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Ingredients

  • 8oz/230ml coconut milk (or dairy-free alternative)
  • 8oz water
  • 1 kiwi fruit or granny smith apple
  • ½ banana (preferably ripe and frozen pieces)
  • 3 handfuls of kale or spinach
  • 2 celery sticks
  • ½ cucumber
  • ½ avocado
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • ground ginger
  • shredded unsweetened coconut

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Method

  1. Start with dairy-free milk and water, pour into blender.
  2. Add leafy greens, blend until smooth and leafy chunks are gone.
  3. Add remaining, diced fruit + veg, blend again until smooth.
  4. Pour into a large glass (or a mason jar, you hipster, you).
  5. Gulp, sip or pour into a bowl and add some delicious toppings (see below).

Notes

  • If your smoothie is too thick, add some extra liquid (water or dairy alternative) and blend for a few seconds to thin.
  • If your blender is struggling to make things smooth, try blending your greens and liquid together first, then add the fruit and blend a second time.
  • Enjoy getting creative with some nutritious toppings: a quality protein powder, dried coconut, fresh berries, cacao powder, cinnamon, maca powder, nuts, seeds or a spoonful of nut butter.

Use this helpful guide from simplegreensmoothies.com to get your creative juices flowing and try your own variation

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What are you favourite smoothie recipes? Looking for some additional smoothie or juicing inspiration? Here are my all time favourites:

  • Green Kitchen Stories  – an entire cookbook dedicated to smoothies. Yes, dreams do come true and the photography (if you’re into it) is top notch.
  • Minimalist Baker – lots of delicious smoothie bowl recipes. For those of us that prefer to shovel it in with a spoon and can’t be bothered with a straw.
  • Deliciously Ella  –  known for her nutritious and healing recipes, Ella has loads of quick smoothie and smoothie bowl recipes available for free on her website.

 

Enjoy! x

 

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citrus + pomegranate mint salad

breakfast, dessert, holidays, salads, treats

 

I don’t know about you, but when I like something I stick to it.

I can always count on my Oma to have full, juicy bowls of oranges and grapefruits around during Christmas and Easter. Maybe because she knows it is the perfect antidote to all the overindulgence of the holidays. I have fond memories of watching my Papa sit at the kitchen counter helping her to peel all of the membranes from every slice- he hated the white stuff, he was determined, and checked and re-check that every seed was out of the bowl.

This year as we celebrated Easter brunch with friends, I decided to keep the tradition going with a little twist – pomegranate and mint. Best served chilled, it is perfectly sweet and slightly tart, refreshing and very easy to put together.

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This salad is a showstopper, requires very little work and feels like a fancy salad despite it only being four ingredients. It is easy enough to make for yourself for breakfast but also to serve guests. This recipe is AIP (auto immune protocol) compliant, in season (yep, November till July) and packed with nutrients.

  • Grapefruit is extra good for you this time of year with plenty of immune-boosting Vitamin C to help fight off colds, lycopene for glowing skin, and free-radical fighting antioxidants. I eat a grapefruit every day because it is perfect for hitting the metabolism-reset button. Pow!
  • Pomegranates contain high levels of antioxidants that protect against heart disease and cancer. A glass of pure pomegranate juice has more antioxidants than red wine, green tea, blueberries, and cranberries.
  • Mint is a great palate cleanser and promotes digestion. It also soothes stomachs in cases of indigestion or inflammation.

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Ingredients

1 pomegranate

2 large navel oranges
2 pink grapefruits
Fresh mint 

Method

  • Place the pomegranate on a surface that won’t stain. Do not wear white. And follow this link for the easy way to remove pomegranate seeds. When finished, pick out any bits of the white membrane so all that remains in the bowl are seeds and juice.
  • For the oranges and grapefruits, cut a small slice off the top and bottom so the fruit can sit flat on a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, work your way around the fruits to remove all peel. Carefully cut the segments cross-wise or cut around each segment.

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  • Sprinkle pomegranate seeds and fresh mint leaves over the sliced citrus
  • Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to share with your people
  • Slurping up the extra juice at the end is an extra treat

Enjoy! x

 

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warm mushroom + toasted hazelnut salad

appetizer, dressing, mains, recipes, salads

Most of us know that our tastebuds react to four tastes – sweet, sour, bitter and salty. But did you know there’s a fifth taste called ‘umami’?  Uuuuumami! (That’s oo-ma-mee.)

Umami has been translated from Japanese as ‘yummy, deliciousness’ or a ‘pleasant savoury taste’. It is the taste sensation we often associate with food items that are ‘meaty’ and have a slow-cooked taste. This is why Black Bean Burgers, Lentil Meatballs and Portobello Mushroom Pizzas exist and make perfect vegetarian and vegan alternatives- it’s the umami! Again, this is the stuff I nerd out on. Very interesting TED talk on the topic and all you have to do is google ‘what is umami?’ and you can go down my same rabbit trail.

I enjoy this mushroom salad because it’s warm, colourful, nutty, packed with flavour from the vinaigrette and makes a great light dinner option that is quick and inexpensive to make.

Ingredients

Serves 2-3

For the salad:

1/2 cup hazelnuts (or preferred nut)
2 tablespoons finely diced shallots

2 handfuls of small cherry tomatoes
2 pounds mushrooms (chestnut or button are delicious, cleaned and sliced)
6 ounces salad greens (kale, arugula, spinach or a mix of your choice)
1 cup mix of fresh herbs (optional) such as chives, tarragon

2 tbs coconut oil

 

For the dressing: 

3 tbs white wine vinegar or balsamic

9tbs extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp fresh thyme + rosemary

salt+ pepper

 

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Method

Preheat the oven to 375°F/190C. Toast the nuts on a baking sheet for 8 to 10 minutes, rolling them around once or twice to make sure they toast evenly.

Chop the hazelnuts and mushrooms coarsely in a small food processor.

Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons coconut oil, add the mushrooms, thyme, salt + pepper.

Sauté the mushroom mix for about 5 minutes, softened but not limp (your cooking time will depend on the type of mushrooms you used). Add tomatoes, cook till soft not mushy.

Spread salad greens on a plate. Sprinkle fresh herbs on top. Spoon hot mushrooms + tomatoes over the salad greens.

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For the dressing: whisk the shallots, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt together in a bowl and let sit for five minutes (this will soften and almost pickle the shallots), before whisking in 5 tablespoons olive oil. Drizzle dressing over salad  and toss

Adjust to taste — you may need more salt, pepper, vinaigrette or even more vinegar.

Share with your people. x

 Notes

  • If you tolerate dairy, add some freshly grated parmesan or crumbled goat cheese
  • Not a hazelnut fan? Use almonds or pumpkin seeds for a crunch
  • To be AIP compliant, omit nuts/seeds, dairy + tomato. Can substitute a roasted vegetable of your choice. Toasted shredded sweet potato or parsnip perhaps?

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menu plan monday

food, recipes

Happy Monday, y’all.

I hope your weeks are off to a great start. This week, I’m focusing on AIP recipes that I can batch cook for convenience and that bring more of a variety than justing relying on the paleo go-to of grilled chicken and vegetables. I love food and I am feeling encouraged by some of the improvements in my health and wellness over the past several weeks as I continue diving into the AIP community. Here’s to another week of and culinary adventure, may your days be delicious!

Breakfast Recipes 

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This N’oatmeal (not oatmeal) Breakfast Bowl from Grok Grub, seems like the perfect start to these winter mornings. I made a variation of this last week with pumpkin and coconut and it was surprisingly quick, filling, and sweetened with fruit. I am a huge fan of anything with coconut, and it’s perfect for anyone sensitive to grains, nuts, or eggs.

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This Banana Zucchini Bread from the Saffron Girl is a weekly staple. I have been playing around with so many bread recipes over the past couple of weeks. And this one is a winner! I used apple puree and banana which gave it a nice moist texture that can sometimes be difficult when baking with coconut flour.

 

Warm + Comforting Vegetarian Recipes 

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Carbs are so delicious, am I right? I am missing the ‘full’ factor of grains these days and looking forward to trying this Butternut Squash Risotto from the brilliant ladies over at Autoimmune-Paleo.com. This is a perfect dish for winter and butternut squash always on hand in our kitchen. I love the roasted, nutty and sweet flavour it has. I love incorporating it into lots of our meals- I will probably make this in bulk to have on hand during the week.

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This time of year, a warm bowl of spicy chili is such a comfort. Unfortunately, traditional chili is not very AIP friendly as it is full of nightshades, beans, and dairy. However, the ladies over at Autoimmune-Paleo.com have done it again, and mimicked the texture of tomatoes with carrots and sweet potatoes. Chili is a slow-cooker tradition of ours and I am really excited to try this Carrot + Sweet Potato Chili  recipe that fits the AIP bill.

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This recipe for Stuffed Acorn Squash from Deliciously Organic looks so yum. I anticipate this being an easy mid-week meal and I love that you can fill it with anything that is on hand. I plan on using some shredded carrot, celery, leeks and courgette. At this stage, I will omit the nuts and honey but I think the burst of sweetness from the raisins will be delicious with the savory baked vegetables. I would also consider adding some lean ground turkey with thyme + rosemary for extra protein.

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Have you heard of Buddha Bowls?! Well, they seem to be all the rage, and every recipe I come across looks a-mazing! There seems to be a formula to this delicousness: mixture of greens + grain + beans + seeds + any variety of vegetables + sauce/dressing = Buddha Bowl. I have been totally inspired by this post from the Roasted Root for a Roasted Root Vegetable Buddha Bowl.  The problem (reframe that… challenge…) is how to fit something like this into an AIP lifestyle, but I am convinced to make it happen for my lunches at work this week.

  • Greens: lettuce, spinach, kale, beet greens, chard, arugula, etc.
  • Starch: roasted sweet potato cubes, apple slices, cooked winter squash, zucchini noodles, butternut squash risotto, cauliflower rice, or sweet potato ‘rice’
  • Protein: garden peas, salmon, tuna, shredded chicken
  • Extra Veggies (cooked, or raw, or a combo of both): cauliflower, broccoli, cucumbers, mushrooms, carrots, zucchini, onions, avocado, beets
  • Toppings: toasted coconut, toasted sweet potato hash, plantain chips, olives, pickles, sauerkraut
  • Dressings/Sauce: AIP Kale PestoGreek Tzatziki , Green Curry SauceHummus , Olive Oil + Lemon Juice or Balsamic Vinegar

 

Enjoy your week! With love, from Scotland. x

 

 

 

 

 

 

menu plan monday

food, recipes

Change, cha-cha-changes….  Last month, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder of the thyroid gland called Hashimoto’s Disease. I am four weeks into my treatment and my doctor has been an incredible support and resource for us during this transition. As part of my treatment and efforts to heal my body I am following a diet and lifestyle called Autoimmune Paleo. I am finding that there are lots of amazing bloggers, cookbooks, researchers and supportive online communities. Rather than make life difficult by focusing on the foods that I can’t have, I am embracing the opportunity to try new things and experiment with the things that I can have and at the same time will best support my body.

Here are some of the delicious meals we came across this week. They were full of flavor, easy to make and kind to our budget. Let me know if you try any of these and be sure to give these blogs a peek online or on Pinterest.

Friends, may your weeks be blessed and your hearts be full! x

 

 

Breakfasts: An autoimmune paleo approach does not mean that baking is out. It requires a bit more creativity and patience, but I am loving bananas and apple puree as an egg replacement. Coconut flour and arrowroot flour have also earned a secure spot in our pantry.

Paleo Parent’s, Banana Pumpkin Pucks

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Empowered Sustenance, Banana + Blueberry Muffins

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Warm and Comforting: Perfect time of year with the weather and our work schedules to pull out the slow cooker. Nothing beats coming home from work and dinner is ready!

Comfort Bites, Herb + Coconut Chicken Soup

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Paleo Leaps, Thai Coconut + Sweet Potato Soup 

For AIP, omit nightshade spices. I used chopped garlic, turmeric and ground ginger. 

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Stupid Easy Paleo’s, Zucchini Fritters

For AIP, omit egg (and nightshade spices) + use gelatin replacement or a bit extra coconut flour/oil. 

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In-Season Recipe: I recently saw this salad on display at our local Earthy Cafe. It inspired me to go to the produce section and pick up some blood oranges. They are a gorgeously colorful, juicy and special fruit. I have been slicing it and putting it in my water with sprigs of mint and mixing in with my morning bowl of grapefruit, so yum.

Food52, Fennel + Blood Orange Salad

For AIP, omit walnuts. I used shredded coconut and it was a delicious alternative for some crunch. 

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Be sure to check out all of these incredible cooks and bloggers! x

Thrive on Five + The Detox Kitchen Bible

cookbook, reads, recipes

There was a cartoon I watched when I was a kid called ‘Arthur’. Yep, it was one of those feel-good, educational cartoons, that your parents didn’t feel too bad letting you binge watch because it always taught you a lesson. Anyways, Arthur and his friends used to sing a song that went a little something like this… “Having fun isn’t hard – When you’ve got a library card!” Over and over about eight times. Perhaps this fostered a love for the library at a young age but I do find it really fun and addicting to get as many free books as you want, week after week!

Sign. me. up!

This week I picked up two cookbooks that have been on my reserve list for quite sometime, Thrive on Five and The Detox Bible. I was looking for some vegetable inspiration and let’s be honest, I am a sucker for nice recipe pictures. Give me all the picture books.

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Thrive on Five 

We all know we need to eat our five-a-day, but sometimes it can be hard. No longer. Over half the recipes in this book are carefully created to include all five in just one dish. Some of the recipes I will definitely be adding to my menu plans over the next couple of weeks include;

  • Rainbow Stuffed Peppers
  • Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup w/ Ginger + Tumeric
  • Aubergine Curry w/ Coconut + Tumeric
  • Sweet Potato + Courgette Falafel
  • GF Spiced Carrot + Date Muffins

All the recipes are meat-free, but are easily adaptable to include meat or fish. It is also very friendly for particular diets; 5:2, low fat, low carb, vegan and gluten-free.  I like that all the recipes appear to be quick, inexpensive, good for bulk batches, and using local British larder or easily available produce.

 

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The Detox Kitchen Bible 

Next up, you may have heard of Lily Simpson. She is dedicated to a philosophy of great health, amazing food, and has a very inspirational (and beautiful Instagram) @thedetoxkitchen

You can imagine that it doesn’t take long flipping through the pages of this book to see bright, delicious looking recipes with unique flavor combinations and nourishing options. It is an all-in-one cookbook for those of us looking for all things wheat, dairy and refined sugar free! Looking to add some of these beauties to my weekly repertoire;

  • Avocado Smash w/ Toasted Nuts + Seeds
  • Broccoli Stalk + Cashew Spread
  • Fennel, Apple + Butternut Squash Salad
  • Quinoa, Kale + Pistachio Burgers
  • Chicken Burgers w/ Beetroot Relish

And if it couldn’t get better, this cookbook is a very educational guide about daily well-being and detoxing. With nutritional guides and tailored plans to support your particular health needs, and issues that may be benefited from each recipe. It covers common health needs like gaining energy, getting clearer skin, relieving IBS, supporting fertility and alleviating osteoporosis. Health issues or not, sometimes it’s good to just reset our system with a nurturing detox.

Bonus! Here is a link to download your free pdf cookbook from the Detox Kitchen Facebook page.

What cookbooks have you been reading or can recommend with a big smile?

Happy weekending!

x

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Thrive-Five-Nina-Littler/dp/1849495874

Basil Vinaigrette

dips, dressing, recipes, salads

If you’re like me, I find a simple dressing recipe and then I tend to stick to it for a long time, like a long time. I am a creature of habit, a happy camper with a jar of good ‘ol balsamic vinegar, olive oil and spoonful of mustard seeds.  So I decided to mix things up a a bit. I know… crazy! This tangy and super simple basil dressing is the perfect friend for your veggies and your tastebuds. I also recommend using it as a light marinade for grilled veggies, tofu or protein of your choice.

INGREDIENTS

a good handful of fresh basil
1 large garlic clove

1/4 cup diced red onion
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup of olive oil

1/2 cup of white wine vinegar
salt + pepper to taste

*Optional 4-5 walnut halves if you tolerate nuts

METHOD

In a small food processor, blend the basil, walnuts, garlic and lemon juice, adding just enough olive oil and vinegar to reach your desired consistency. Store in a small jar

NOTES

* Best if used fresh, but will keep up to three days in the refrigerator

* Mixed with greek yogurt it would make a delicious chip or vegetable dip

For some extra inspiration or looking for the BEST dressings and sauces check out the delicious things over at Tessemaes Dressings. Their dressings and sauces have minimal ingredients, V/GF/DF/SF, Whole30 approved and full of flavor!

Use the code ‘NEWBIE’ for 20% your first order! 

 

east coast organics

recipes



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There is no such thing as the twelve month strawberry? Gasp!

Eat Seasonably celebrates eating the right things at the right time: a chilled fruit salad when it’s hot, a hearty root vegetable stew during the cold months; raspberries in June and butternut squash in October. We received multiple recommendations from our friends in Edinburgh to try East Coast Organics, Scotland’s highly awarded organic farm & vegetable delivery service. They offer seasonal fruit and vegetables along with organic cheese, bread and eggs.  We order the UK veg box with free-range organic eggs.The farm is close to the city, only 10 miles southeast of Edinburgh, and they deliver straight to our door!

I am loving the UK box for several reasons:

1. I am curious to learn more about local produce, currently reading The Allotment Cookbook 

2. I am trying new produce, “Hello celeriac and parsnips!”

3. I have to be more creative with meal planning and recipes, this Beetroot Walnut Hummus is a keeper

4. Because scrubbing the dirt from your carrots and potatoes is good wholesome fun!

There’s nothing like fresh vegetables at their seasonal best and eating food when it’s just been picked. It tastes better, it’s better value and it’s better for the planet. There are a number of good reasons to eat more local, seasonal food:

– to support the local economy

– to reduce the energy and CO2 emissions to transport the food we eat

– to avoid paying a premium for food that has travelled a long way

– to reconnect with natural cycles of planting and harvest

– to enjoy fresher, tastier and more nutritious food

Eating seasonably has its advantages and it’s challenges. Alas, I  sometimes crave and indulge in a good banana when it’s February. If you are in Edinburgh, give East Coast Organics a try! If you are elsewhere in this beautiful world, explore what’s in season in your area.

What are your favorite seasonal recipes?