Green detox salad

The human body is an amazing being. Its ability to naturally cleanse itself is remarkable. The proliferation of celebrity  photo (9)endorsed juice diets, skinny teas and quasi-starvation detox programs is not only irresponsible, but scary. It never ceases to amaze me however, the way in which fast detoxes are being marketed and sold to people as a ‘get thin quick’ scheme. To be honest, I have actually never met anybody that had long-term sustainable healthy weight loss through starving themselves, limiting their diet to lemon juice and a load of diuretics.

A detox should be about restoring balance to your body by using food to help nurture and restore health and eating high fibre whole foods which eliminate toxins from the body and aid elimination. To me, a detox is about eating normal things. Things that grow in the ground and have the ability to nourish you. This salad is amazing for its ability to do just that. It contains nutritionally dense green super foods such as broccoli and kale.

Kale – increases alkalinity and detoxification to promote healing. Rich in so many nutrients.

Chilli – a detoxifier which removes waste products from our body and increases the supply of nutrients to the tissues and helps in the digestion of food.

Ginger –  high in gingerol and shoga, stimulates digestion, circulation and sweating. Its digestive actions serve to cleanse the build-up of waste and toxins in the colon, liver and other organs. Relieving stomach discomforts such as gas and bloating.

Lemon juice – a host of detoxing qualities such as balancing calcium and oxygen levels in the liver and aiding in the production of digestive juices.

Ingredients (Makes 4 side or 2 main servings)

  • 1 x head of broccoli, roughly chopped
  • ½ bunch kale, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crush
  • 2cm knob ginger, grated
  • 2 tab olive oil
  • 1 x lemon, juiced
  • 1 x long red chilli, seeds removed and chopped
  • 1 x cup red quinoa

 To prepare:

  1. Prep your quinoa by running it under a sieve of cold water and rubbing it. This will get rid of the yukky bitter coating.
  2. Add 1 cup quinoa to 1 1/2 cups of boiling water
  3. Simmer gently (stirring occasionally) for 15-20 minutes until quinoa has soaked up all the water. Taste the quinoa, it should be soft and nutty. Drain.
  4. Sauté the broccoli for 5 minutes in a large pan with the olive oil, garlic and ginger over a medium heat.
  5. Toss through the quinoa, kale and chilli. Keep tossing until the kale is wilted. (Around 2 minutes)
  6. Add the lemon juice and serve.

Handy tip: don’t add the lemon juice until right before serving as the quinoa will soak it up and cause it to go slightly soggy if stored for too long.

Lush cleansing green smoothie

top with a dateGreen smoothies remind me of Monday mornings. They are usually made following a weekend filled with lots of indulgent creamy sauces, cheeses and carbs. All the guilt associated with having a few cheat meals here and there is washed away and my body feels nourished, cleansed and detoxed yet again. Now I know one green smoothie does not outweigh having double servings of desert but it is definitely a great way to get you back on track for the week ahead.

This smoothie is a complete meal. It is packed with nutrient dense foods – spinach, banana, ginger, avocado, a date for extra sweetness and delicious tahini for added protein and a lush creaminess. The recipe below is for two massive servings. The lemon juice stops the avocado from browning, meaning you can keep one serving for the next day.

Ingredients: (Makes 2 main meal servings or 4 snack size)      creamy green smoothy

  • 2 x massive handfuls of baby spinach (about 2 cups)
  • 2 x cups coconut water (you can use filter water if you don’t have this)
  • 2 x medjool dates (pitted)
  • 1 x 2 cm knob of ginger, roughly chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 x banana
  • 1 x avocado
  • 2 x tab tahini

To prepare:

  1. Blend all of your ingredients together.
  2. Add topping of your choice.

Salted Chocolate brownies

Ingredients:

  • 10 mejool dates, pitted    Serve with fresh berries
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 x cup walnuts
  • 1 x cup almonds
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 4 tab protein powder
  • 2 tab water
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

To Prepare:

  1. Combine nuts into a food processor until roughly chopped.
  2. Remove 1/4 of the nut mixture and set aside.
  3. Add the dates, vanilla, protein powder, cocoa and sea salt to the food processer. Process again until combined.
  4. Add the water and blend until it becomes like cookie dough.
  5. Add the nuts that you set aside and mix well
  6.  Press into a small square baking tin lined with grease proof paper.
  7. Refrigerate for 3 hours and then serve 🙂

Delicious gluten-free risotto

If you’re like me risotto is one of those foods that is so hearty and comforting when you eat it but then makes you feel so bloated and sick about 20 minutes later. This recipe came about after a lovely lady at work gave me a bag of barley. She uses it to detox and cleanse and has been advised to drink barley water daily. With all the negativity that grains have been receiving lately, we are completely missing the point. Some grains are highly nutritious and do wonders for our body. All grains are definitely not created equal and barley is one of those. It is rich in fibre, unbelievably nutritious and has a yummy nutty flavour. It absorbs almost 5 times it’s size in water making it a great substitute for arborio rice in risotto.

I must warn you, this recipe takes a while. It took me almost an hour and a half although I have learnt to cut a few corners and slow down the cooking time. I have gotten it down to around an hour! Make a whole batch and freeze them into individual portions. It stores really well and is great for work lunches/dinners when you’re craving comfort food but do not want to cook. You can use any vegetable combination that you like. For this one, I have used pumpkin and mushrooms. Asparagus would be a great addition as well.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 3/4 cup barley      Deliciously indulgent
  • 1 litre water
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • coconut/olive oil spray
  • 200gm mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • 300gm pumpkin, cut into small cubes
  • 2 x brown onions, diced
  • 2 x cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • rosemary sprigs (optional, to garnish)

To Prepare:

  1. Combine the water and stock in a medium saucepan, bring to the boil, reduce heat and let it simmer covered.
  2. Spray a separate medium saucepan with olive oil spray, heat on medium.
  3. Add garlic and mushroom and cook until the onion softens.
  4. Stir in barley, add 1 cup of the stock, bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer until the stock is absorbed.
  5. Keep adding 1/2 cup of stock at a time, until liquid is absorbed.
  6. While your barley is cooking, prepare your vegetables.
  7. Heat a fry pan sprayed with oil on medium, cook pumpkin until tender (about 5-6 minutes).
  8. Add a generous amount of sea salt and pepper, the oregano, mushrooms and cook until tender. Set vegetables aside in a bowl (this will stop the cooking process and prevent them from going mushy).
  9. Once the barley has absorbed all of the stock (about 50 minutes), add the vegetables and heat through.

Creamy bircher muesli

top with banana mint and coconut

This muesli is inspired by a recent holiday in Hawaii. We stayed at the beautiful Moana surfrider and apart from amazing ocean front views and the most hospitable staff on the planet, the breakfast was delicious. Amongst the array of delicious fruits on offer, they had the creamiest bircher muesli I had ever tasted. Whereas bircher muesli is usually made by soaking rolled oats in apple or orange juice, I have tried to model their bircher to the best I can. It took a couple of tries, but I think I have something similar.

I love bircher muesli for its simplicity and decadence. Prep it the night before and then add your favourite toppings the next morning. I’ve kept it in my fridge for 3 days, but you will need to make sure it is sealed really well and you give it a good mix before serving.

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Ingredients (makes enough for 3 servings)   food prep

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups your choice of milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
  • 3 tab honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tab cacao nibs
  • 2 tab chia seeds

To prepare:oranges and apples

  1. Mash raspberries using a fork in a small air-proof container.
  2. Add all of your ingredients to raspberries and ensure honey is mixed through evenly. Seal and soak overnight.
  3. Garnish with your choice of topping the next day. I just add whatever fruit I have in the kitchen. 🙂

The creamiest carrot, sweet potato + coconut soup

This is the first soup recipe I have ever created and it is freaking delicious. I kid you not. I was in absolute heaven when I had my first taste and immensely proud of myself. I honestly can’t believe how little calories there are in this recipe. I’ve calculated approximately 250 per massive bowl.

This is a basic soup recipe which uses coconut water in addition to stock. Coconut water adds a sweet nutty texture to this soup and increases the levels of potassium and is super hydrating. This recipe freezes really well. Make a whole batch, separate it into individual servings and freeze for when you want a delicious comforting dinner. I had mine with a toasted slice of my delicious nutty flour-free bread. Addictive.

Ingredients (Makes 4 massive servings)       photo-18photo-19

  • 500gm carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 500gm sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 2 brown onion, diced
  • 2 tab ginger, grated
  • 750ml vegetable stock
  • 500ml coconut water
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tab coconut oil
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt

To serve:

  • fresh basil, torn
  • fresh chilli, sliced

 

To Prepare:

  1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add carrots, sweet potato, and onion. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables soften and brown slightly, about 15 minutes.
  2. Add ginger, stir, and cook 1 minute.
  3. Add chicken stock, bring to a boil, partially cover, then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes, or until vegetables are soft.
  4. Using a stick blender, puree until smooth.
  5. Add coconut water and blend to combine. Add lime juice, seasoning and curry powder. Stir, then heat through.
  6. Garnish with chilli and fresh basil. Yum.

Deliciously nutty, flour-free, gluten free bread.

I first learnt about psyllium husk after hearing the phenomenal Julie Meek speak. Julie is a dietician, sports nutritionist and author of Truth, Lies and Chocolate. Before chia was a hipster’s dream, Julie was advocating its benefits. She also spoke about the power of psyllium husk, its power to cleanse your system and regulate the most irregular of people. From that day on, I was incorporating both chia and psyllium husk into my daily diet. I would have 2 spoonfuls of chia every morning with breakfast and when feeling bloated or gluggy, 2 tablespoons of psyllium husk in the evening.

Psyllium husk is fantastic for your intestinal health. It contains a spongy fiber that soaks up a significant amount of water and improves digestion. In food it is pretty much tasteless, making it a fantastic binding agent for this bread. You can add it to your smoothies, cereals, recipes  or just suck it up; swallow it whole and down it with water. It is completely up to you.

I can not claim credit for this recipe, nor the technique used. I have adapted this from mynewroots life changing bread. I’ve  used the ingredients that I had in my cupboard and played around with ratios. The result was a delicious crunchy bread which is ah-ma-zing with soup and loved by everyone in the office. It is honestly so hard to believe this is healthy and flour free. You don’t get that yukky bloated feeling you normally feel after having bread and you can have it as toast in the mornings or to beef up your soups/salads at lunch.

Please note. You will need to prep this the day before and allow it to sit overnight for the psyllium husks to absorb the moisture and bind together the ingredients. This will keep it from falling apart and crumbling.

Ingredients:        photo-20

  • 1 ½ cups rolled oats
  • 1x cup  mixed seeds (sunflowers and pepitas)
  • 1/4 x cup slivered almonds
  • ½ x cup hazelnuts
  • 4 x tab psyllium seed husks (available in the health section at most supermarkets).
  • 3 x tab chia seeds.
  • 2 x tab maple syrup
  • 3 x tab macadamia oil, melted (you can use coconut oil if you prefer)
  • 1 3/4 x cup water

 

 

To Prepare: 

photo-22

  1. Prepare your bread pan. Spray it with coconut oil spray and line with baking paper.
  2. Combine all of the dry ingredients and pour them into the pan.
  3. With a fork, whisk together maple syrup, oil and water. Add it to the dry ingredients and make sure everything is soaked and the dough is really thick.
  4. Run a knife over the top to flatten. Wrap your pan in a tea towel and leave it out in room temperature overnight.

The next day:

  1. Preheat oven to 175°C.
  2. Bake the loaf for 20min in the pan.
  3. Remove bread from loaf pan, place it upside down directly on the rack and bake for another 40 minutes.
  4. Tap the bread and remove once it sounds hollow.
  5. Allow it to cool completely (otherwise it will fall apart when slicing).
  6. Hold it together firmly and slice it up. You can glad wrap individual servings and freeze for later or store in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Yum, Yum.