VEGGIE SKEWERS, SUPER QUINOA SALAD & PEANUT SAUCE

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DSC_0035

Preparation & cooking time: 20-30 minutes
Makes: 4 portions

This is a really tasty and really nutritious meal. I had this over the weekend for a post workout meal and I enjoyed it so much! All of the ingredients in this meal will do you a world of good and make you feel energised and help you prepare for your next workout. In my meals I really enjoy having a wide variety of flavours coming from a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, herbs, grains and so on. I like my meals to be packed full of flavour and I think this one really delivers on that front.

Ingredients:

For the salad:

  • ½ a cup of pre-cooked quinoa
  • ½ a cucumber, cut into cubes
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into cubes
  • A handful of ripe cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • A large handful of coriander, roughly chopped
  • 5-6 dates, pitted and roughly chopped
  • A large handful of frozen peas, thawed out in boiling hot water
  • A teaspoon of cumin
  • A teaspoon of ground coriander
  • A pinch of chilli powder
  • Sea salt and pepper

For the skewers:

  • 2 courgettes, cut in half lengthways and into inch thick chunks
  • 2 bell peppers, cut into chunks
  • 2 handfuls of mushrooms
  • A das of olive oil
  • A pinch of cumin
  • A pinch of ground coriander
  • A pinch of chilli powder
  • Salt and Pepper

For the peanut sauce:

  • 3 heaped teaspoons of peanut butter (I use meridian peanut butter because it uses only blended peanuts without any added salt, sugar or oil)
  • 6 tablespoon of water
  • The juice of half a lime
  • A small handful of coriander
  • ½ a spring onion
  • A dash of soy sauce

Skewer collage

Method:

1.   Preheat your grill on the highest heat setting and boil a kettle full of water.

2.   Put the skewer vegetables into a large bowl followed by the oil, cumin, coriander, chilli powder and a pinch of salt and pepper. Using your hands toss all of the vegetable together and make sure that they are all coated in the spices. Once coated, evenly distribute the vegetables onto 10 to 12 skewers and place on a large baking tray. Place the skewers under the grill until they have got some nice colour to them; this should take between 5-10 minutes.

3.   Now you can make the salad. Follow the cooking instructions on the pack for the precooked quinoa. The usual instruction is to use a ratio of 2:1 boiling water to quinoa and leave to soak for 3 -5 minutes until the quinoa has absorbed the water. Once the quinoa has been cooked through, add it to a large bowl followed by the remaining salad ingredients and mix together well.

4.   Finally, you can make the peanut sauce. Simply put all of the ingredients into a blender and blitz until you have a smooth sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needs be.

Now you can serve up the skewers, salad and sauce. I like to put the skewers on a board in the middle of the table with the salad and the sauce and left everybody dig in.

Nutrition:

(see Know Your Food Page)

Quinoa: Quinoa is a great source of protein for vegans. It consists of around 20% protein; it is also a good source of lysine and is a good source of iron and potassium. High levels of B vitamins, in part responsible for the conversion of carbohydrate into energy, are also found in quinoa. Quinoa is commonly referred to as a grain, but it is actually a pseudograin. Pseudograins are actually seeds and they don’t contain gluten, which makes them easily digestible.

Cucumber: Cucumbers are made up of around 90% water and are a moderate source of vitamin K.

Bell Pepper: Bell peppers are a rich source of antioxidants and vitamin C. Red bell peppers have a higher vitamin C content in comparison to green bell peppers. They are also a moderate source of vitamin B6.

CorianderI love putting coriander in literally everything, luckily for me it is rich in vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K. Coriander is also a moderate source of vitamin B2, vitamin B9 and vitamin E as well as ironmanganese and potassium.

Dates: Dates are high in glucose and are sometimes referred to as ‘Nature’s fuel’. Upon consumption glucose is rapidly converted into glycogen in the liver. It is a great ingredient to eat before, during or immediately after a workout.

Peas: Peas are starchy, but high in fibre, protein, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc.

Courgettes: Courgettes are a moderate source of folate, potassium and vitamin A.

Mushrooms: Mushrooms are an excellent source of B vitamins, an excellent source of the essential minerals, selenium and copper, and a good source of phosphorus and potassium.

Peanuts: Peanuts are rich in essential and are an excellent source of several B vitamins, vitamin E, several dietary minerals, such as manganese, magnesium and phosphorus, and dietary fibre. They also contain about 25 g protein per 100 g serving, a higher proportion than in many tree nuts.

Lime: Limes, like with other citrus fruits, are an excellent source of vitamin C and dietary fibre.

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AVOCADO CRISPBREADS

#MeatfreeMonday, avocado, Breakfast, brunch, dairy free, exercise, fitness, food, free from, fruit, fun, health, Healthy, healthy food, meat free, meat free monday, nutrition, quick, quick food, raw, raw till four, recipes, rt4, seeds, Vegan, what vegans eat, whole food, wholefoods

Avocado crispbreads

Preparation & cooking time: 5 minutes
Makes: 8 crispbreads

Today I am giving you such a simple recipe that is really tasty, healthy and so quick to make that no matter how busy you are, you will be able to have something that is nutritious and tasty. This is a base recipe that can be played with which is great for breakfast, as a snack or even a light lunch. I always love putting hot sauce on to the top the avocado as well as a sprinkle of cumin and sprinkle of pumpkin seeds. I have used a multi seed ryvita cracker for ease and efficiency but you could always use some toasted wholemeal bread or some baked tortillas if you have a spare couple of minutes. This recipe is really aimed at the people who find it hard to have a quick and healthy breakfast or snack.

Ingredients:

  • 8 ryvita multigrain crispbreads
  • 1 large, ripe avocado
  • 1 large, ripe tomato, thinly sliced (8 slices at least)
  • Salad leaves (rocket, spinach, watercress etc.)
  • 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper

Avocado crispbreal

Method:

1.   Pit the avocado and scrape the flesh into a bowl. Immediately squeeze some lime juice over the top of it to stop it from discolouring. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and mash with a fork until you have a relatively smooth texture. I like my avocado to be a little chunky so I only mash it lightly.

2.   Evenly spread the avocado over the top of the ryvita crispbreads and then top with the tomato slices and salad leaves. I love lime juice so I tend to squeeze over some the salad leaves. As mentioned above, you can put some chilli sauce on to the top it as it goes so nicely.

I know this isn’t really a recipe but it is a good way of getting some extra vegetables into your diet if you are strapped for time. This will be so much better for you than grabbing something from a fast food restaurant.

Nutrition:

(see Know Your Food Page)

Avocado: Avocados are such a good ingredient; not only are they delicious, they are also really healthy for you. They are a good source of vitamin B5, B6, B9 and vitamin K. They are also an amazing source of essential fatty acids. 

Tomato: Tomatoes are not significantly rich in any particular vitamin or mineral, but they are a moderate source of vitamin C.

Spinach: Spinach is another ingredient that is delicious but it is also so good for you and will do a lot of good when it is incorporated into your diet. Spinach is a great source of vitamin A, vitamin B9, vitamin Cvitamin K, magnesium, manganese and iron. It is also a good source of vitamin B6, vitamin E, calcium, potassium and dietary fibre.

Lime: Limes, like with other citrus fruits, are an excellent source of vitamin C and dietary fibre.

VANILLA ‘NICE CREAM’ BREAKFAST BOWL

Breakfast, brunch, dairy free, Desserts, exercise, fitness, food, free from, fruit, Fruits, fun, Gluten Free, health, Healthy, healthy food, ice cream, meat free, nice cream, nicecream, nutrition, nuts, plant based, quick, raw, raw till four, recipes, rt4, seeds, smoothie time, smoothies

B&V smoothiebowl main

Preparation & cooking time: 5 minutes
Makes: 1 large portion

Here is another delicious nice cream breakfast bowl recipe for you today. They make such good, nourishing breakfasts getting you ready for the day ahead! The nice cream in this recipe is so good and is probably better than any vanilla ice cream that I have ever tried before! The good thing with making a vanilla nice cream is that you can literally put anything that you would like on the top as it will go with everything. I just can’t believe how simple, quick and delicious nice cream is and on top of all that it is healthy for you! You cannot go wrong making this! At the moment there are so many delicious fruits that are in season, so you can be as creative as you would like with the toppings. As I have said before in other recipes, use this as a general guide to create your own favourite versions with your favourite fruits and seeds etc.

Ingredients:

  • 3 frozen bananas
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoon ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract/paste
  • A handful of strawberries
  • A handful of blackberries
  • A handful of blueberries
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon mixed seeds (sunflower, linseed, pumpkin)
  • The zest of 1 lime

B&V SB second

Method:

1.   Put the bananas, ground flaxseed, ground almonds and vanilla extract/paste into a blender with a tiny dash of water and blitz until you have a thick and deliciously smooth nice cream.

2.   Pour the nice cream into a bowl and in whatever decoration that you fancy arrange the rest of the ingredients on the top.

There you have it, a really healthy and quick breakfast that will leave you feeling amazing and energised! I hope you like it.

Nutrition:

(see Know Your Food Page)

Bananas: Bananas not only taste great but they are also a great source of vitamin B6 as well as a moderate source vitamin C, manganese and dietary fibre.

Flaxseed: Flax seeds are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. They are high in vitamin B1, dietary fibre, magnesium and phosphorus and also offer moderate levels of vitamin B3, B5 and B6.

Almonds: Almonds are a nutritionally dense food rich in the B vitamins, vitamin E and the essential minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and zinc.

Strawberries: Strawberries are a great source of vitamin C and a good source of manganese.

Blackberries: Blackberries are a really good source of dietary fibre, vitamin C and vitamin K.

Blueberries: Blueberries are a good source of dietary fibre, manganese, vitamin C and vitamin K.

Chia seeds: Chia seeds are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids which contribute to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels.

Sunflower seeds: As with nuts, seeds are a really great nutrient dense food that will provide so much when they are incorporated into your diet. Sunflower seeds are a great source of protein, dietary fibre, all of the B vitamins (B1, B3, B6 and B9 in particular) and they are an amazing source of vitamin E. They also contain high levels of dietary minerals including, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, iron and zinc.

Pumpkin seeds: Pumpkin seeds are a great source of protein, dietary fibre, vitamin B3 (niacin), iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus. They also offer good levels of riboflavin, folate, sodium and potassium.

Lime: Limes, like with other citrus fruits, are an excellent source of vitamin C and dietary fibre.

Tropical ‘Nice Cream’ Brunch

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Tropical Brunch

Preparation & cooking time: 15-20 minutes
Makes: Enough for 4 people

When the summer comes around and the weather gets better (which is quite rare in the UK!) all I want to do is eat fresh fruit as I feel so good, hydrated and energised for the day ahead. There is so little energy used in digesting and converting fruit into energy that you instantly feel better and more awake. My girlfriend and I recently went to Barbados, where the weather was absolutely amazing, and all both of us wanted to eat was fresh fruit! There was nothing else that made us feel as good as eating watermelon in the sun every morning for breakfast! Recipes like this are a really easy way to impress people whilst there is literally no effort in making it. If you put a dish like this in the middle of the table it will WOW people as it looks so colourful and appealing but it is also amazingly tasty! It is also a great way to get a wide variety of fruits, nuts and seeds into your diet which will give you a wide array of vitamins, essential fatty acids and minerals. Use this recipe as a general guideline and not something that has to be followed meticulously as you can easily use any fruits , nuts and seeds that you wish. 

Tropical Brunch 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 small watermelon, cut in half, scoop one half out so you can use peel as a bowl and slice the other half into slices.
  • 1 honeydew melon, sliced
  • 1 large orange, sliced
  • 1 apple, sliced
  • 2 mangoes, that have been frozen
  • 3 bananas, that have been frozen
  • 1 peach, cut into slices
  • A handful of raspberries
  • A handful of pecan nuts
  • 1 tablespoon of mixed seeds (pumpkin seeds, linseeds, sunflower seeds etc.)

Method:

1.   Put the frozen mango and frozen bananas into a blender and blitz together until you have a nice thick and velvety smooth texture. This will take a couple of minutes. If the blender is having to work overtime and is struggling to blend the fruit then add a little drop of water to make the mixture a little looser, but don’t add too much as you want your nice cream to be nice and thick.

2.   Whilst the nice cream is blending, you can prepare your dish. In a big flat bottomed dish place the hollow half of the watermelon and arrange the rest of the sliced fruit around the outside so that people can just grab pieces easily.

3.   Once the nice cream is nice and smooth, spoon it into the hollow watermelon bowl and top it with the seeds, raspberries, pecans and peaches. I really like to grill the peaches as it gives them such a good flavour but if you are following a raw diet then you don’t have to do this.

That is it! Just put the bowl into the middle of the table and watch everyone dig in and really enjoy themselves!

Nutrition:

(see Know Your Food Page)

From now on, I am going to provide nutritional information along with my recipes to help me further my own knowledge and to hopefully help you understand what and why foods are good for us. By using this nutritional information you can start creating your own meals with the understanding of the composition of foods and what different foods will do for your body enabling you to get a really good balanced diet. I will deliver this information on an ingredient by ingredient basis detailing their composition and attaching links to a separate page where the benefits of all of the vitamins and minerals will be listed. I hope that you find this information helpful and that it plays a good role in the understanding and improvement of your diets.

Bananas: Bananas not only taste great but they are also a great source of vitamin B6 as well as a moderate source vitamin C, manganese and dietary fibre.

Mango: This is a really delicious stone fruit that is native to South and Southeast Asia (it is definitely one of my favourite fruits). Mangoes provide a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A and folate.

Watermelon: Watermelon is such a good fruit to eat on a hot day; for me it is one of the most refreshing fruits to eat as it is so hydrating. Watermelon, as you can probably tell by its name, has a high content of water (around 90%). It is also a good source of vitamin C and it is low in fat and sodium.

Honeydew melon: Like watermelon, honeydew melon is a really refreshing fruit and is made up of mostly water. Similarly, it also is a good source of vitamin C.

Oranges: As with most citrus fruits, oranges are an amazing source of vitamin C and they are also good sources of folate.

Apples: Apples are a significant source of dietary fibre with modest vitamin C content.

Raspberries: I love raspberries and I am just grateful that they are healthy for you! They are a great source of vitamin C, manganese and they are among the highest known in whole foods for dietary fibre (this represents 6% of their total weight).

Peaches: Peaches taste really nice (especially when grilled like in this recipe) and they contain diverse essential nutrients, however, they offer no significant values. They are a moderate source of vitamin C, vitamin B3 and vitamin E.

Pecan nuts: Nuts in general provide so many health benefits when included into your diet. Pecan nuts are a great source of manganese, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and vitamin B6. They are a good source of protein and unsaturated fats as well as being rich in omega-6 fatty acids. The list continues! They are also a moderate source of vitamin B2, B5 and B6. Including nuts into your diet can really have great effects as you can see from this copious list of vitamins and minerals that they contain.

Sunflower seeds: As with nuts, seeds are a really great nutrient dense food that will provide so much when they are incorporated into your diet. Sunflower seeds are a great source of protein, dietary fibre, all of the B vitamins (B1, B3, B6 and B9 in particular) and they are an amazing source of vitamin E. They also contain high levels of dietary minerals including, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, iron and zinc.

Linseeds (Flax): Linseeds or flax seeds are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. They are high in vitamin B1, dietary fibre, magnesium and phosphorus and also offer moderate levels of vitamin B3, B5 and B6.

Pumpkin seeds: Pumpkin seeds are a great source of protein, dietary fibre, vitamin B3 (niacin), iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus. They also offer good levels of riboflavin, folate, sodium and potassium.

Spicy Tomato Zoodles!

#MeatfreeMonday, exercise, fitness, food, free from, Gluten Free, Healthy, Herbs, Italian, plant based, quick, raw, recipes, salad

zoodles

Preparation & cooking time: 25 minutes
Makes: 2 large portions

First off I will tell you what a zoodle is! The other week I bought a spiralizer, which has completely changed the way I have been eating at home and has really increased the amount of vegetables that I eat. They are pretty cheap to buy as well; I got mine from Amazon for around £25. They are so fun to use! The word zoodle comes from zucchini and noodle (also called courgetti (courgette spaghetti)). The spiralizer is a great tool to make amazing colourful salads full of lots of different vegetables. For this recipe I made a spicy tomato sauce to top the raw zoodles! Zoodles are a great healthy alternative to spaghetti. I definitely recommend buying a spiralizer, they are easy to use and would also be a great way of getting kids to eat a lot more vegetables. Alternatively, if you do not have a spiralizer you can get julienne graters for very cheap which will do the job perfectly as well. I hope you like it. 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 2 courgettes
  • 1 tin of tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, roughly sliced
  • 1 red onion, roughly chopped
  • A pinch of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon of chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper
  • Small bunch of parsley, roughly chopped (leaves and stalks separated)

Method:

1.   Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and parsley stalks and fry for 5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic, sugar, chilli powder, cumin, paprika, a pinch of salt and pepper and tomato puree and cook together for a few minutes. Then add the tin of tomatoes. Bring to the boil and then turn the heat down to low and leave the sauce to simmer and thicken for 10 minutes.

2.   Whilst the sauce is reducing you can prepare your zoodles. Using the spiralizer or julienne peeler create your zoodles and place one courgette worth of zoodles into each bowl. So easy and quick!!!!

3.   The recipe is now done! All you have to do is top the zoodles with the lovely sauce. You can blend the sauce to make it smooth before you do this (like I have in the photo) but you don’t have to at all. Once you have poured on the sauce, sprinkle some of the parsley leaves on top and enjoy!

 

Banana and Chocolate Breakfast Bowl

Breakfast, food, free from, Fruits, Gluten Free, Healthy, quick, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian, what vegans eat, wholefoods

Breakfast bowl

Preparation & cooking time: 5 minutes
Makes: 1 bowlful

This type of recipe has become my go-to breakfast recently! Since I have started to eat these in the morning instead of cereals etc. I have felt so much more energised and ready for the day ahead. You can pack so many good ingredients into these that will give you energy for a really good amount of time. It is a really good opportunity to use superfoods *(flaxseeds, chia seeds, cacao etc.)* and is such a great way to incorporate them into your diet.

Ingredients:

  • 3 frozen bananas
  • 1 heaped teaspoon raw cacao powder
  • 1 heaped teaspoon ground flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoon ground almonds
  • A few drops of vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons mixed seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, linseed etc.)
  • 2 teaspoons chia seeds
  • A small handful of raspberries
  • A few gratings of orange zest

Method:

1.   Place the bananas, cacao powder, ground flaxseed, ground almond and vanilla extract into a blender and blend until you have a lovely smooth texture. You may need to give the blender a jiggle to get everything started. This should take a few minutes. Scrape down the sides of the blender if needs be as well.

2.   Place the smoothie into a bowl and then decorate the top with the raspberries, mixed seeds, chia seeds, and orange zest. You can be as creative as you like at this point. I like the look of making lines with the chia seeds and mixed seeds but you can make circles etc.

I hope you like this 🙂

* Flaxseeds are one of the richest, natural sources of the omega-3 fatty acid Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA) which is great for brain power! This essential fatty acid is not naturally produced in the body so must be sourced from food. Flaxseed is also a great source of calcium which is needed for the maintenance of normal bones and teeth. It also contains Iron which is important in the formation of red blood cells and the transportation of oxygen in the body.

* Chia seeds are another great source of omega-3 fats which contribute to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels.

* Cacao rich in calcium, iron, vitamin C and magnesium to help normal energy-yielding metabolism.