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...
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....
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...
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...
Looking for a quick and easy, carbohydrate and sugar-free snack?
Take a stick or two of celery and fill them with some almond butter. The protein and the healthy fats in the almonds will fill you up for longer than a sugar-laden biccie. High sugar snacks only provide very instant gratification and usually leave you hankering for something else 5 minutes later.
Snacking helps to keep your blood sugar levels more stable which helps with energy, weight loss and headaches. Just be sure to include a good source of protein will all your snacks, such as nut butter, houmous, avocado or seeds. Combine these with some vegetables instead of a carb-based cracker and you’ve also got yourself a grain-free, paleo friendly snack!
I am currently a little bit obsessed with the incredible and inspirational Kris Carr and her Crazy Sexy movement. I am devouring her lifestyle book Crazy Sexy Diet and and the accompanying cookbook Crazy Sexy Kitchen at every opportunity and trying her sensational plant-empowered recipes and enjoying the side effects of a much greener diet – I am sleeping better, have more energy, clearer skin and may even have lost a couple of pounds! Veggies Rock!
So my latest discovery from her cookbook had my tastebuds in a tailspin this afternoon and turned a simple salad into a flavour sensation. I followed the recipe in her book and used the dressing on a salad of shredded kale (run the kale leaves through the slicer attachment of your food processor), celery and carrot, but I think it would go on almost any salad. I have converted the measurements from American cups. I urge you to give this dressing a try – you may never go back to bog-standard olive oil and vinegar!
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!...
You know you need to get out more often when you whoop with excitement at receiving a bag of kale in your organic veggie box. Yes, this is what it has come to. But then I am a nutritionist, kale is supposed to excite me. The best thing about the kale that comes in a veggie box as opposed to in a bag from a supermarket is that the leaves are so thick and leafy. The supermarket stuff is always a bit limp. So I highly recommend trying to source your kale from a farmer’s market or an organic store. Kale is one of those lovely cruciferous dark green leafy vegetables that us nutritionists are always banging on about eating more of. It’s packed full of nutrients and antioxidants which help to reduce the risk of cancer, lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation, improve digestive function and balance hormones. And it’s so delicious and versatile, you can can add it to almost anything. For example:
Who says wholesome healthy food has to be bland, boring, expensive and complicated? Not me! Obviously! And here’s a recipe to prove it. I could happily eat this every night of the week, though I suppose it might get a tad tedious, but I do wheel it out at least once a week and could literally eat a bottomless bowl of it. It is honestly the perfect warming, comforting supper (and I always make enough to have the leftovers for lunch the next day). If you want to give it to the kids, don’t add the chilli. I don’t really measure out the ingredients on this sort of dish so you’ll have to excuse the descriptions in the recipe, it’s been adapted over time! Also, it doesn’t really matter, the flavours are all there.
Ingredients – for the dhal:
1 tbsp light oil such as groundnut oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped or crushed
A couple of good handfuls of mushrooms (any kind, large or small), sliced
Some cherry tomatoes (about 10-15?)
You can’t have failed to notice that squashes and pumpkins are just a little bit in season at the moment. I fully appreciate that cooking with them can be a bit of a faff with the chopping and the peeling, but once you’ve got over that, they are so tasty and warming, especially in a soup. Having been presented with two consecutive Celebration Squashes (pictured) in my veggie box, I was started to panic a bit about what to do with them. But a can of coconut milk soon inspired me to whip up a really easy soup.
I made it without any chilli, as I was saving some for the kids, but it would definitely benefit from a little kick of heat if you’re not sharing it with your little ones; some fresh ginger would give it another awesome zing. Give it a go, it really couldn’t be easier.
2 Celebration squashes (or any other type of squash/small pumpkin), cut into quarters, skin on, seasoned and drizzled with olive oil and roasted in the oven for about 45...
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