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Bone Broth Soup ā€“ Gut-Healing and Immune-Boosting

There seems to have been a flurry of winter bugs doing the rounds, so you definitely need this gut-healing, immune boosting Leek, Mushroom and Bone Broth Soup to ward them off.

The vegetables I have selected for this soup will have your immune system ready to attack any virus that comes its way, and your healthy gut bacteria doing a little victory dance all over your digestive system. Not only does this soup help boost immune activity, but it is a powerful restorative remedy if you have been struck down with a tummy bug or respiratory virus.

Here's a run-down of the nutritional superstars that make up this Leek, Mushroom and Bone Broth Soup:

Leeks- leeks are in a category of foods known as "prebiotics". This means that they stimulate the growth of the healthy bacteria (PRObiotics) throughout the digestive system (primarily the small intestine). Having a good population of beneficial gut bacteria strengthens the immune system. 

Mushrooms- mushrooms have been used...

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Spiced Roasted Pumpkin Soup

I was so excited to find this gorgeous selection of different pumpkins, they were just screaming at me to be turned into a Roasted Pumpkin Soup!

As we know, the season of ghosts and ghouls is not just about dressing up in scary, polyester costumes and letting your children eat more sweets than they would consume across the entire year. The falling leaves and the chill in the air also bring a whole new selection of sumptuous seasonal foods. And pumpkins are not just for carving! 

This Roasted Pumpkin Soup recipe is so simple; it's all bringing out the flavour of the pumpkin with complementary spices.

Simply slice the pumpkins in half, drizzle with a light oil, and sprinkle with spices - I used smoked paprika, nutmeg and caraway seeds. Roast them in the oven for a delicious smokey flavour, and scoop out the flesh into the softened onions and garlic, and simmer in stock before you blend. Full instructions can be found in the recipe below.

The soup is delicious...

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Roasted Butternut Squash, Lentil and Spinach Curry

This hearty and warming butternut squash, lentil and spinach curry was one of those dishes that came about from having next to nothing in the fridge and a bag of frozen spinach in the freezer. I have just discovered frozen spinach (no, really), and I am using it in everything at the moment from soups to curries to smoothies. The days of giant bags of spinach taking up my whole fridge and always going off too early may well be over!

I just love easy, midweek one-pot suppers, especially if there is enough for lunch the next day as well. Just knowing that I haven’t got to think about what to make for lunch in between school pick-ups, swimming lessons, nutrition consultations and keeping up with my blog is a big weight off my mind. I am just not a ‘throw together a ham sandwich’ kinda gal. In order to avoid the mid-afternoon tea and cake slump, lunch has to be hearty!

This butternut squash, lentil and spinach curry is my idea of a Ready, Steady, Cook challenge heaven....

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Cleansing Detox Soup

So it's detox season - that's come around again hasn't it? And what better way to celebrate (?) than with this hearty warming Cleansing Detox Soup. I'm just not very good at being hungry so whilst I agree that January is a good time to take stock of your dietary goals, I'm not prepared to starve myself doing it!

There are lots and lots of detox plans doing the rounds at the moment, from full-on juices cleanses, to quitting sugar, to dry January and more. However you choose to take a break from the foods and drinks that contribute to symptoms of sluggishness, fatigue, headaches, bloating etc, do make sure you include plenty of cleansing foods to help your body feel the best it possibly can.

This simple soup packs a real punch in both the flavour and the detoxifying departments, combining a powerful blend of vegetables and herbs which give the liver a little nudge in the right direction. It's also wonderfully hydrating and balancing for the kidneys which could well be...

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Gluten Free Crispy Duck and Hoisin Sauce

By some act of miraculous fate this incredible recipe for Gluten Free Crispy Duck and Hoisin Sauce found its way into my life courtesy of the very clever Natural Chef Ceri Jones and her blog Natural Kitchen Adventures.

In my previous life as a slightly more unhealthy version of my current self, my go-to take-away/dirty meal out of choice would always be a Chinese. And what is a Chinese without Crispy Duck and Pancakes? Not a Chinese I tell you! Even when I was a teenage vegetarian, I would make an exception for Crispy Duck (and spaghetti bolognese on the odd occasion – I was a pretty crap vegetarian). And then sometime in my late teens/early 20s I discovered that I was very sensitive to MSG and it gave me palpitations. Disaster! No more Chinese! Until I found a few restaurants that served MSG-free food and was reunited with my favourite dish again.

However, more recently, since the discovery of my gluten intolerance, Chinese food has been completely off limits altogether as it...

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Quick lunch: Warm Kale and Quinoa Salad

You all know that I love a salad but at this time of year I sometimes fancy something a bit more warming at lunchtime. This warm kale and quinoa salad does just the trick and takes less than 15 minutes to make. If you want to be super lazy, you can even use ready cooked quinoa which is a great staple to have in the food cupboard.

When I’m feeling the need for some vegan or vegetarian inspiration I always turn to Kris Carr, author of Crazy Sexy Kitchen. Her book is packed full of incredible plant-based recipes and tons of advice on following a really clean vegan lifestyle. Not that veganism is for everyone, and nor should it be, but it’s an extremely healthy way of eating so even if you only incorporate one vegan meal into your life every few days, your body will thank you for it.

Quinoa is such a versatile ingredient and can be used in place of rice, couscous or pasta and adapted to any flavour. Just make sure you rinse it before cooking it. The best nutritional...

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Easy Midweek Supper: Lemon and Zatar Chicken with Quinoa

This supper was one of those accidental meals up-cycled from leftovers of the kids’ tea. I love doing this and I do try and create more than one meal out of a single ingredient (in this case, chicken) as much as possible.

‘Up-cycling’ is one of the mainstays of The Fairy Food Mother’s philosophy on making life easier for mums.

We don’t always eat at the same time as our kids, and we don’t always want to eat the same meal as them. Nor do we want to be a slave to our kitchens, churning out meal after meal like a factory line or a fast food restaurant.

So why not use their leftovers and make them into a more grown-up meal for yourself later on?

I often buy chicken leg and thigh portions as these are cheaper than breast, especially when buying organic (which I highly recommend for chicken), and actually more tasty. I roasted the chicken portions and the children had drumsticks with noodles and vegetables for supper. But I fancied something a...

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Simple Supper ā€“ Baked Turkey Meatballs

These delicious little turkey meatballs are so easy to throw together. They spend most of their time in the oven leaving you free to spend some quality time playing with your darling children/folding a load of laundry/emptying the dishwasher/painting your toenails* (*delete as appropriate).

It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut of cooking the same old family suppers. Therefore, I am always on the lookout for new recipes and flavours that can break the monotony of the weekly repertoire.

Turkey is not an ingredient that I use an awful lot of at home. I’m not usually a fan of the dry, roasted, Christmas kind but it’s a great alternative to chicken. These turkey meatballs are just so tasty, I’ll definitely be cooking with it more often. Turkey is a very rich source of protein which helps to stabilise post-meal insulin levels. It is also high in B vitamins, needed for energy production, amongst many other functions.

Another nutritional benefit of turkey...

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Easy Summer Holiday Supper

With the summer holidays now upon us, you might not have time to do as much food shopping as usual. This easy summer holiday supper is made entirely from frozen vegetables and store-cupboard ingredients!

Keeping your freezer well-stocked with things like vegetables, fish and prawns means you can always put together a healthy meal with little preparation when you’ve not managed to do a fresh food shop.

Having a good variety of other non-perishable ingredients like tinned beans, herbs and spices, brown rice, quinoa and noodles means you can create different flavoured suppers at the drop of a hat.

I’m usually quite good at having plenty of fresh food to hand, but last week I found myself with…shock, horror…nothing for supper! Thankfully I had half a bag of frozen butternut squash and half of bag of frozen cauliflower lurking in the freezer and so I whipped up this delicious veggie curry using those two ingredients as my inspiration. As luck would have it, I...

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Delicious and beautiful detox salad with Dijon dressing

So, as everyone’s still in detox mode, I wanted to create a beautiful and delicious detox salad, packed full of ingredients which encourage detoxification but which won’t leave you hankering for something else when you’ve finished eating it. The key to this is to include plenty of good fats and protein, and this dish provides these in abundance. But hey, guess what? It’s not fattening! The ingredients that I used for the salad, and their health properties, are as follows:

Watercress – classed as a ‘bitter’ vegetable, it stimulates the production of digestive secretions in the stomach, and also supports the liver. It is also packed full of Vitamin C and beta-carotene, which are important anti-oxidants.

Grated carrot – another great source of the anti-oxidant beta-carotene, of course, as well being cleansing for the liver.

Grated beetroot – just the deep colour of this vegetable raw tells you it’s packed full of goodness!...

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