All Posts by vitalassurance

Healthy Natural Muesli

For most of us, mornings are a rush to get out of the house. Whether it's to get the kids to school, or to get to work on time, breakfast - which is the most important meal of the day - needs to be a quick and easy meal. After a good night's sleep where our metabolism has slowed down, the first meal of the day needs to kickstart it and get us going for the day. That's why this muesli is such a great option. Once completed, it's sitting there waiting for you in the fridge. The combinations are endless depending on your taste, but here is a simple well balanced recipe to get you started.

Ingredients

250g organic oats
100g almonds, flaked
100g walnuts, chopped
100g sunflower seeds
200g dried fruit (I like to use a combination of mulberries, apple, jumbo raisins, & apricots)
2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
1 tablespoon chia seed
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of ground vanilla



Method:

Combine ingredients and store in a glass container in the fridge until needed.

Muesli can be stored for 1 month.

Serves 10

Acai Bowl

Acai berries are considered one of the healthiest berries and one of nature's superfoods. They are low in sugar, anti-oxidant rich, and high in calcium, fibre, iron and vitamin K. The properties contained in acai berries are linked to the prevention of health problems such as arthritis, inflammation, obesity, heart disease, oxidative stress and cancer. With each mouthful you get that burst of chocolate, berry flavour, so no wonder why people question whether it actually is healthy!

Ingredients

1 cup coconut water / almond mylk
1 packet frozen acai
½ frozen banana
¼ cup blueberries
1 handful spinach
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon macca (optional)

Method
Place all ingredients in a high speed blender. Blend until smooth.
Pour into a bowl and serve with toppings such as shredded coconut, fresh berries, cacao nibs, granola or chia seeds.

Serves 1

Baba Ganoush

Middle Eastern Cuisine has always been a favourite of mine. The food is so fresh and bursting with flavours. I will always have a freshly made dip in the fridge ready as an option for a snack. A little extra time is needed to make my baba ganoush dip due to the initial roasting of the eggplant, but at the end of it, you will be thankful that you made it.

Ingredients

2 large eggplants, roasted
½ lemon, juiced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons tahini
salt and pepper to taste

Method
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Pin prick the eggplant and place on a baking tray in the oven, roasting for 35-45 minutes until the eggplant begins to look sunken.
Place eggplant in a bowl of cold water once removed from oven and wait a few minutes.
Once eggplant has cooled slightly, peel the skin away and add the flesh to a blender.
Add all other ingredients and blend until nice and smooth. Adjust seasoning as required.

Makes approximately 1.5 cups

Chicken Bruschetta Style

Italian meets Greek in this one pot wonder. The flavour combination of the oregano seasoned chicken cooked in a classic tomato and basil sauce will make you want to go back for seconds. This dish can be prepared one day ahead to allow the flavour to be absorbed, and is also a dish that freezes well (if there are any leftovers!).

Ingredients

8 chicken steaks
2 tablespoons dried oregano
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
8-10 Roma tomatoes, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, crushed
½ cup fresh basil, chopped

Method

Prepare chicken steaks by cutting them in half and seasoning with oregano, salt and pepper.
Heat the oil in a heavy based saucepan that can be also transferred to the oven.
Brown the chicken steaks on each side for 3-4 minutes. Whilst the chicken is cooking, prepare your tomatoes, garlic and basil, mixing them together in a bowl and seasoning with salt and pepper.
Remove the chicken steaks and keep aside.
Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees.
In the same saucepan, place your tomato mixture and simmer on low heat for 5-6 minutes, stirring constantly.
Return chicken to saucepan, cover and place in the oven to cook for 35-40 minutes until chicken is tender. Check regularly to ensure that chicken is covered in sauce.

Serves 8

Kale and Papaya Salad

This recipe was inspired by my visit to the local fruit and vegetable store. It’s simple with only a few ingredients, but exotic. This is the first time that I have used papaya in any of my dishes, but now that I have found it, I think it may become a regular. The sweetness of it really balances out the bitterness of the kale.

Ingredients

1 bunch kale, de-stemmed and washed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
¼ papaya, deseeded and thinly sliced
1 carrot, peeled and grated
2 spring onions, sliced diagonally
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Dressing
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
1 tablespoon miso paste
1 teaspoon honey
1 garlic clove, minced

Method
Prepare dressing by placing all ingredients in a small jar and mix well. Set aside.
Place kale in a bowl and massage in the oil, lemon and salt until kale is soft.
Add the remainder of the salad ingredients.
When ready to serve, drizzle with dressing and mix well.

Serves 4

Cherry Ripe Smoothie

Who doesn’t like a little indulgence in the morning? This recipe brings me back to my childhood days where I used to enjoy the odd cherry ripe every now and again. There’s no guilt in this “guilty pleasure”, as the creation of this smoothie enables me to still get the flavour combination that I love (chocolate and cherries), whilst nourishing my body from the inside out.

Ingredients:
1 cup frozen cherries
1 cup almond mylk
1 large ripe or frozen banana
1 tablespoon cacao
2 pitted dates
1 tablespoon almond butter
1 tablespoon cacao nibs

Method:
Place all ingredients except for the cacao nibs into a high speed blender and blend until smooth.
Add cacao nibs and pulse one or two times. This adds a great crunch to the smoothie.

Serves 1

Coleslaw Salad

From a young age I have always enjoyed eating coleslaw, especially on a warm summer’s night when we had barbecues. However, coleslaw as you know it is full of mayonnaise, and not very good for you. This coleslaw is a fresh healthy take on the old classic, but still hits the spot.

Ingredients:
¼ white cabbage, thinly sliced
¼ red cabbage, thinly sliced
5 gherkins, diced
¼ cup dill, chopped

Dressing:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Salt & pepper to taste

Method:
Using
a food processor, mandolin or knife thinly slice the white and red cabbage.
Prepare gherkins and dill and toss it all together.
Add dressing ingredients to salad and mix well.

Serves 4-6

Broccoli Salad with Vegan Mayonnaise

Sometimes what makes a salad is the dressing, and I would say that this is true for this one. The salad only has a handful of ingredients, but the creamy vegan mayonnaise dressing makes it absolutely delicious. It’s slightly more complicated than some of my other recipes, but definitely worth the effort.

Ingredients:
2 heads of broccoli
2 celery stalks, finely diced
2 spring onions, finely sliced
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

Dressing:
1 cup vegan mayonnaise
2.5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon celtic seas salt
2.5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2.5 tablespoons raw honey

Vegan Mayonnaise:
1/4 cup filtered water
1/4 cup cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup raw cashews (soaked for 2 hours)
1/4 cup raw cauliflower
1 1/4 teaspoon yellow mustard (like you put on hot dogs)
1 teaspoon raw coconut sugar or 1 chopped pitted date
3 tablespoons lemon juice or more to taste
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Celtic sea salt or more to taste

Method:
Make vegan mayonnaise first by placing all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
Chop broccoli to fine pieces or place in blender for 3-5 seconds until you get the size that you want.
Place broccoli on serving platter and add additional ingredients.
Continue to make the dressing using the vegan mayonnaise that was prepared earlier.
Pour enough dressing on the salad to make sure that it is all coated.

Serves 4-6

Rainbow Salad

Not only does a rainbow salad look great but it provides our body with the best sources of nutrients to maintain long term health. The vibrant colours of fruits and vegetables come from phytonutrients, which are healing plant chemicals and each colour carries its own unique disease fighting nutrients. This is why when we put together a salad we should endeavour to include fruits and veggies from all the different coloured groups. This is how my rainbow salad came about.

Ingredients:
3 medium sized zucchinis, grated
1 red capsicum, sliced
¼ purple cabbage, sliced thinly
150g orange cherry tomatoes, halved
2 spring onions, sliced diagonally
handful parsley chopped

Dressing:
80 ml lime juice
80 ml coconut aminos or tamari
½ teaspoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Method:
Prepare dressing and set aside.
Grate zucchini and place in colander to remove excess liquid.
Combine all ingredients in salad bowl and dress prior to serving.

Serves 6

Chicken San Choi Bao

These make delicious little appetisers or tapas for when you are entertaining, or can be a quick and easy meal to prepare for dinner. I used chicken this time, but there is no reason why you can't change the protein or even have it purely vegetarian. The best thing about this recipe is that you can add any vegetables that you have in your fridge at the time.

Ingredients:

1 cos or iceburg lettuce
1 tablespoon coconut oil
600g chicken mince
1 zucchini
5 shitake mushrooms
100g snow peas
2 small bunches bok choy

Marinade:

½ cup tamari
¼ cup raw honey
1 garlic clove, minced

Method:

Prepare marinade and set aside.
Finely dice all vegetables.
Heat coconut oil in hot wok.
Add chicken mince and as it is cooking break it up into small pieces. Once chicken is mostly cooked, add diced vegetables and marinade. Mix well and cover with lid.
Whilst mixture is cooking, gently peel leaves of lettuce so that they remain whole. Wash well, dry and set aside.
Cook mixture for about 10-15 minutes until all vegetables are soft and have absorbed flavour of marinade.
Place 2-3 heaped tablespoons of the mixture in the lettuce cups and enjoy.

Serves 4-6 people