All Posts by vitalassurance

Middle Eastern Shakshuka

This dish is a trip down memory lane for me. The delicious aroma of the spices cooking off when preparing this dish definitely reminds me of the fabulous food I ate whilst visiting Israel a couple of years ago. It's a very quick and easy dish to prepare and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
½ red onion, diced
1 large garlic clove, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 red capsicum, seeded and diced
1 yellow capsicum, seeded and diced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon Mingle ‘Sofia’ spicy seasoning or pinch chilli flakes
salt and pepper to taste
3 truss tomatoes, diced
½ cup tomato passata
4 eggs
Fresh coriander (optional for garnish)
Pinch sumac (optional for garnish)

Method:

Heat a pan (that has a lid) on the stove with olive oil on a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, celery and capsicums and sauté for 5-8 minutes until the vegetables are soft and tender. Add the seasonings and mix to combine.

Add the tomatoes and stir for a couple of minutes until they are soft. Add the passata and mix so that all vegetables are well covered. Bring sauce to a simmer.

Crack the eggs one at a time on top of all the vegetables. Place the lid and allow to simmer for 5 minutes until the eggs have been cooked.

Sprinkle with fresh coriander and sumac. Serve with a side salad.

Serves 2

Honey Tahini Smoothie

This smoothie was inspired by seeing the bees on the beautiful flowers in this photo. Raw honey is packed with over 80 substances important to human nutrition. Most processed honey today has been filtered, heated and stripped of it's nutritional value, therefore raw honey is the best one to use. You will find this smoothie to be quite sweet in taste and creamy in texture thanks to the tahini. It has the perfect balance of protein, good fats and fibre.

Ingredients:

1 frozen banana, chopped
2 tablespoons hulled tahini
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon raw honey
1 tablespoon goji berries
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup cashew milk

Method:

Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend for 60 sec until smooth and creamy. Pour into glass and enjoy.

Serves 1

Veggie Packed Chicken Nuggets

Chicken nuggets is an all time favourite dinner for kids (& adults). Here is a version that has 4 different veggies added to it and will make this meal extremely wholesome for everyone. They have that beautiful crispiness and crunch from the panko crumb coating. Mix and match whatever veggies your kids enjoy!

Ingredients:

500g chicken mince
1 carrot, grated
1 zucchini, grated
¼ cauliflower, cut into florets
½ broccoli, cut into florets
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon sweet paprika

Coating
½ cup brown rice flour
1 egg + 2 tablespoons water
1 cup panko crumbs
seasoning (I used 1 tablespoon Mingle Garlic & Herb seasoning)

Method:

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees. Line tray with baking paper and set aside.

Place rice flour in a bowl and set aside.

In a separate bowl lightly whisk egg and water together and set aside.

On a plate, combine panko crumbs and seasoning and set aside.

Place the cauliflower and broccoli into high speed blender and process for a few seconds until it is cut into fine pieces.

Place chicken mince, all vegetables, garlic powder and paprika in a bowl and mix until well combined.

Shape 2 tablespoons of the mince mixture into nugget shapes. Coat it in the rice flour, then dip into egg wash, making sure all sides are covered. Toss them gently in the panko crumbs so that they are well coated. Bake for 40 minutes, turning after 20 minutes.

Serves 4-6

Newsletter 21 – Spring Clean Your Health

The flowers are starting to bloom, the mornings aren’t so dark, and the evenings are longer and lighter…. Warmer weather has finally arrived and it’s time to get that SPRING back into your step.

We all know the saying “it’s time to do a spring clean” and this is usually associated with cleaning and de-cluttering our houses, but why don’t you think outside the box and include your heath and wellness in your spring clean??

Surely there are habits that we have developed over the colder, darker months that need to be kicked to the curb. Its time to stop feeling sluggish and lethargic and get those energy levels back.

Here are 3 simple tips on how you can start spring-cleaning your body.

1. Eat seasonal produce – fruits and vegetables taste there best when they are eaten during the times that they should be harvested. Our bodies crave different foods at different times of the year depending on their water content and their ability to heat or cool our bodies.
Vegetables in season – avocado, artichokes, cauliflower, celery, asparagus, spinach, radishes, purples sprouting broccoli, rocket, salad leaves, peas, leeks, spring onions, spring cabbage,
Fruit in season – banana, grapefruit, blood oranges, honeydew, rhubarb, mandarin, mango and apricots.

2. Get moving – during the winter months many of us turn to hibernation and lose the enthusiasm and motivation to exercise. There is no doubt that exercise helps us with cardiovascular fitness and losing weight, but it has so many additional benefits too. With the weather starting to warm up, there is no better time than now to get back into that rhythm and even take your exercise outdoors. Meet a friend for a walk, join an outdoor boot camp or even enjoy a game of tennis with your kids. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you are moving.

3. Clear out your mind – the strain we put on our bodies by being stressed is significantly understated. It affects the way we eat and sleep, our ability to concentrate and our mood. Adopting stress management strategies into your daily routine is a fantastic way to start removing all that ‘junk’ that is clogging up our minds. Now this doesn’t mean that you have to start meditating for 1 hour a day, it can be by introducing simple techniques such as doing 5 minutes of deep breathing on the way to or from work, carrying a little journal with you so that you can write down what you are feeling during a moment of stress or even something as simple as remembering to smile and planting seeds of positivity.

Fruit and Veg Chocolate Smoothie

Creating the perfect smoothie involves a good balance of sweet and savoury. Although most would find zucchini quite an unusual addition to a smoothie, it has quite a neutral flavour therefore balances out the sweetness of the fruit without being too overpowering (and of course it's a bonus that it's green). You might hesitate, but I would recommend giving this one a go!

Ingredients:

1 red apple, cored and chopped
½ zucchini, chopped
2 tablespoons raw cacao
2 tablespoons natural coconut yoghurt
1 tablespoon flaxseeds
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1¼ cup cashew milk

Method:

Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend for 60 sec until smooth and creamy. Pour into glass and enjoy.

Serves 1

Sticky Date Smoothie

Yum, yum, yum. What a perfect way to start of the end the day. This smoothie can very easily be a breakfast or a dessert. It is a quite a sweet tasting smoothie so if sweetness is not your thing you may want to reduce the number of dates you use. I guarantee you though, you will be licking the glass clean 🙂

Ingredients:

5 Medjool dates, pitted
¼ cup hazelnuts
2 tablespoons oats
1 tablespoon hazelnut butter
pinch nutmeg
pinch Himalayan sea salt
1 cup almond milk

Method:

Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend for 60 sec until smooth and creamy. Pour into glass and enjoy.

Serves 1

Cauliflower and Broccoli Rice

It can always be quite challenging to think of alternatives to rice or pasta, especially when you are having a meal that is quite saucy and want something to absorb that yummy sauce. In steps your Cauliflower and broccoli rice.... You can do a combination of these vegetables or you can even do them separately. It will take no longer than 10 minutes to prepare and is an awesome way of adding more vegetables to you meal. There's even a Facebook Live video of me preparing it you can see here

Ingredients:

½ head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
4 spring onion, sliced thinly
2 cups silverbeet, finely shredded
Seasoning as you like – salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, fresh herbs or Sahara Mingle seasoning

Method:

Place cauliflower and broccoli florets into high speed blender for 3-5 seconds until it resembles rice. Set aside.

Heat a fry pan on the stove and add 1 tablespoon of water. Once the water has heated, add the spring onion and sauté’ for 3-4 minutes. Add the silverbeet and stir until it has wilted slighted. Add the ‘rice’ and seasoning. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally so that the rice does not stick to the pan.

Serves 4

Blueberry Nice Cream

With the warmer months approaching, our bodies crave refreshing, re-hydrating foods and there is nothing better than a delicious serve of ice cream. This recipe will enable you to succumb to your bodies cravings without consuming nay refined sugars, additives or processed ingredients. Naturally sweetened from the fruit and creamy from the cashews, you can enjoy every mouthful knowing your body is thanking you for it.

Ingredients:

¼ cup cashews, soaked for 2 hours prior to use
1 frozen banana, chopped
½ cup frozen blueberries
Splash coconut water

Method:

Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend for 30 secs at a time on a medium speed until you get your desired, creamy consistency. Use a spatula in between blending to ensure everything mixes well. You may need to add some extra coconut water during the blending if you find the mixture is too dry.

Remove from blender and you can top with coconut, cacao nibs, fresh fruit or muesli.

Serves 1

Coco-Pops No Bake Bars

I was inspired to create this after seeing a recipe on the Super Healthy Kids website. Together with my son, Nate, we were able to re-create a childhood memory of mine, Coco Pops, into a guilt-free, refined sugar free, nutritious bar that the kids can enjoy as a lunch box snack.

Ingredients:

½ cup sunflower seed butter
½ cup raw honey
50g unsweetened chocolate
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1¼ cups rolled oats
2¼ cups puffed quinoa

Method:

Prepare baking dish, 9cm x 13cm, by lining with baking paper and set aside.

Place the sunflower butter, honey and chocolate in a saucepan and on medium heat melt until it is all well combined. Stir in the vanilla extract.

Remove saucepan from the heat and then mix in the oats so that it is well combined. Add the quinoa and mix until well combined.

Transfer mixture into prepared dish and set in fridge for 1 hour. Can be stored in well sealed glass container for 2 weeks in the fridge.

Makes 15 bars

Crunchy Cucumber Salad

4 ingredients is all it takes to put this tasty salad together. It is a great salad to have in the warmer months with cucumber being so hydrating. The cashews adds a really nice crunch. This salad can be used as a side to any meal or even just add some chickpeas or lentils and you have an awesome vegetarian meal.

Ingredients:

2 continental cucumbers
100g baby spinach leaves, shredded
handful raw cashews, crushed
handful fresh parsley or corriander
sprinkle chili flakes

Dressing:
1 lemon juiced
1 teaspoon tamari
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons light coconut milk
¼ teaspoon grated ginger

Method:

Place all dressing ingredients in a jar, mix well until combined and then set aside.

Prepare your cucumbers, by scrapping out the seeds from the middle and then slicing them.

Place your shredded spinach on a plate, top with the cucumber, crushed cashews and herb of choice. Sprinkle with a little chili.

Drizzle dressing prior to serving

Serves 6 as a side salad