Quinoa Lunch Bowl

lunch, dinner, gluten free, quick lunch ideas, health lunch, packed lunch ideas, healthy weekday lunch ideas

This is an incredibly easy and simple dish to put together. It’s really quick to change up with what you have in your fridge or cupboards and it tastes really delicious! It’s a great way to up your serving of veggies into your day as well. I love to make this for lunch; it really keeps me going during the day and helps you to avoid feeling sluggish come the afternoon.

This version has a quick guacamole, roasted sweet potato, crispy cucumber, and quinoa with a fresh herb dressing. My favourite thing to add to this is a handful of roasted chickpeas.

Ingredients:

1 small sweet potato

1/3 cucumber

1 avocado

Handful of cherry or plum tomatoes

½ cup quinoa

1 cup filtered water

Fresh herbs- approx.. 1 cup worth, I used coriander, basil, and parsley

Juice of 1-2 lemons

1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

Coconut oil

Optional: veggie stock to substitute the water; lime juice for the guacamole and/or herb dressing

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Add a knob of coconut oil to a baking tray and allow to melt in the oven. Peel the sweet potato (unless it’s organic, then leave the skin on) and chop into cubes. Add to the melted coconut oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for about 20 minutes.
  1. Rinse the quinoa well and add to a saucepan with the water or veggie stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 12-15 minutes. Don’t constantly stir, the quinoa cooks best when it’s left on its own so all is cooked evenly.
  1. Scoop the flesh from the avocado and add to a small bowl and mash. Dice the tomatoes and add to the bowl. Add lemon or lime juice and salt and pepper to taste.
  1. Chop the cucumber into bite size pieces and set aside then make your herb dressing by adding the various herbs to a blender along with olive oil, the juice of a lemon, and a little water as needed. Blend the dressing until you have a consistency you like.
  1. Assemble the bowl: Remove the sweet potato from the oven and add to the bowl. Add the quinoa, the guacamole, and the chopped cucumber, and then finish everything off with a drizzling of the herb dressing.

 

 

 

 

Cinnamon Vanilla Bulletproof Coffee

bulletproof coffee, coffee, healthy coffee, cinnamon vanilla bulletproof coffee, vegan, dairyfree, coconut oil

If you’re going to have coffee, bulletproof is a great way to enjoy it. Especially if you’re partial to those big frothy mochas with whipped cream…!

I’ve never been a big coffee drinker. It’s only been recently I’ve started to enjoy one now and then but I do believe that coffee in moderation, and good quality coffee can actually benefit us as it contains antioxidants.

I like to have mine after warm lemon water in the morning, when the body has had a chance to wake up. The timing of coffee also seems to be a factor and is best taken in the morning so the caffeine isn’t still in your system come the evening.

So what makes this coffee different? Bulletproof coffee is the idea of emulsifying healthy fats with your coffee in order to sustain a slower release of caffeine into the system. Hence you avoid the “jittery” feeling and the crash from being stimulated by the coffee and feel more energized.

You might think it’s weird to add butter here but it just makes for an incredibly smooth and creamy cup without adding any cream. The key bit to bear in mind is to make sure the butter you’re using is of the organic and grass fed variety. And if you’re vegan or just want to avoid the butter, adding only coconut oil is also great. I’ve been adding coconut oil to just about all my hot drinks since I started consuming it a few years ago.

Ingredients:

1 cup of coffee- use a shot of espresso or a black coffee

1-2 tbsp almond milk or coconut milk

1 tbsp organic, grass fed butter

1 tbsp coconut oil

½ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp vanilla

Optional: a little maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar, to sweeten

Directions:

  1. Gently melt the butter and coconut oil together in a saucepan over low heat.
  2. When almost melted, add in your milk, cinnamon, vanilla, sweetener of choice if using, and coffee.
  3. Blend everything together either by adding to a blender or using a hand blender until emulsified and frothy.

Banana Berry Smoothie Bowl

smoothie bowl, banana berry smoothie bowl, banana, berry, blackberry, raspberry, purple smoothie bowl, smoothie

I consume smoothies pretty much on a daily basis. I love making one to accompany breakfast or for an afternoon snack. Sometimes however, they get a little repetitive. You’d be surprised how different it actually seems once you make a smoothie bowl. It sounds silly but just by changing it up to make the smoothie a bit thicker and edible by spoon makes such a difference. This is an antioxidant smoothie bowl of goodness thanks to the blackberries, which is also what gives this its pretty hue of purple.

Switch it up with the fruit you like best, and adorn with toppings according to your taste.

Serves 1

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups frozen blackberries

1/2 cup frozen raspberries
1/2 cup frozen spinach
1/2 avocado
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp goji berries
4 tbsp coconut milk

3/4 cup filtered water or almond milk

Optional Toppings: 1/2 banana, chia seeds, extra berries, nuts, seeds, etc.

Directions:

Add everything to a high speed blender until smooth. Add more liquid as needed to thin the mixture to desired consistency. Pour into a bowl and top with whatever you’d like. Enjoy!

May Classes

Wheel Pose, Crab Pose, Yoga Pose, Yoga Class, New Yoga Class, Hertfordshire yoga class, Ashtanga Vinyasa

NEW for May: My 9:00AM Ashtanga Vinyasa class at All Saints Studios in St. Albans begins again next week on May 8th.

Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga works on detoxifying the body with the breath. We build heat in the body through a series of postures in a 1-hour class. This practice helps to relieve stress, tone your physique, build strength and stamina, and bring balance to body and mind.

Although sometimes challenging in the beginning, this style of yoga will feel like you’ve had a workout. Think Bikram without the heated room: we build our own! We go through the sequence to induce a natural sweat to upbeat playlists to keep it fun and relaxed. In time, you’ll notice more definition in your body and a revitalized mind.

The first class for the month will be tailored for the first time yogi. The class is taken a bit slower with a little background of Ashtanga yoga intertwined allowing you to feel more comfortable with the poses and prepped for a full Ashtanga Vinyasa class. Then if you like, join me for every Friday morning for the rest of the month.

You can book 4 classes for £35 or £10 drop-in.

For more details and to book online, click on “Classes” which will take you through to the booking site: http://www.popupyogaclasses.com

Red Lentil Curry

Red Lentil Curry, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, vegan, vegetarian, simple curry recipe, vegetarian curry recipe, vegan curry recipe, gluten free curry, Indian curry, veggie curryThis recipe is sort of between a curry and a stew but it somehow feels a little lighter while still full of hearty flavour.

When curry comes to mind, I often think of a cozy, warming winter dish. However, it’s become a staple of mine throughout the year as it’s really easy to change up and suit to what you like. Plus there are so many flavours and textures to experiment with. It’s also a great way to use up any veggies you have.

What I really love about this dish is adding the chilli in whole. It softens while everything simmers and the seeds “melt” into the dish leaving a subtle heat distributed throughout.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 carrots, chopped

2-3 sweet potatoes, chopped

2 cloves of garlic

1 red chilli

1 tbsp grated fresh ginger

½ -1 bunch fresh coriander

1 ½ cups red lentils, rinsed well

1 x 400mL tin of coconut milk

800mL of water (use the tin from the coconut milk)

½ tbsp turmeric

2 tsp cumin

2 tsp coriander

1 tsp cinnamon

salt and pepper

1 lime, juice and zest of

1 tbsp coconut oil

½ cup toasted flaked almonds and/or pumpkin seeds

Optional add-ins: 450g prawns, 2 chopped onions

Directions:

  1. In a large casserole pot, add the coconut oil to melt over a low-medium heat. If using onions, finely chop and add to the pot. Mince the garlic, grate the ginger and add, along with the spices. Chop the stalks of the fresh coriander and add them as well.
  1. Chop your carrots and sweet potato and add them to the pot allowing them to soften for about 5 minutes. Then add the rinsed lentils, coconut milk, water, and the whole chilli.
  1. Bring everything to a boil, then turn the heat down, pop the lid on, and let everything gently simmer for 35-45 minutes. Give it a stir every once in a while and add more water as needed.
  1. Lightly toast the almonds/pumpkin seeds in a frying pan until golden. When ready to serve, remove the chilli from the pot. Taste to season, add the zest and juice of the lime, the toasted nuts/seeds, and a sprinkling of fresh coriander.

This is a really simple dish to put together, layered with lots of delicious flavours. It fills you up for dinner and is perfect for a leftover lunch the next day.

 

 

 

 

 

Blackberry Walnut Breakfast Bars

Blackberry Walnut Breakfast Bars, granola bars, quick breakfast, snacks, breakfast on the go, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, gluten free breakfast, gluten free granola bars, vegan granola bars, vegan, organic

These breakfast bars are great if you’re short on time or need a mid-morning snack. They have quinoa for protein, chia seeds and walnuts for a healthy dose of omega 3s, and coconut oil for an energy boost.

These can easily be made completely vegan as well substituting the honey for an alternative sweetener and the egg for mashed banana. The egg is used to bind the ingredients together to make everything compact. A mashed banana or two works just as well and will add a little more sweetness!

I use organic ingredients as much as I can. I specify it for the coconut because often times the kind you find the in the shops tend to have preservatives and added sugar and not very much coconut at all. Buying organic means you should find 100% coconut but always read the labels to make sure.

Makes 8 bars

Ingredients:

1 ½ tbsp chia seeds + 4 tbsp almond milk

1 ½ cups oats (gluten-free if necessary)

½ cup organic desiccated coconut

½ cup quinoa (soaked overnight is best)

¾ -1 cup chopped walnuts

¾ cup fresh blackberries

3 tbsp coconut oil

3 tbsp honey (or maple syrup, date syrup)

1 egg (or 1 mashed banana)

Pinch of sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  1. Mix the chia seeds with the almond milk and set aside to “gel”.
  1. Add the oats to a food processor and pulse until you have a flour. Chop your walnuts, drain and rinse the soaked quinoa, and add to a large bowl along with the oats, desiccated coconut, and sea salt.
  1. Mash the berries (or pulse in a food processor) then add those to the bowl along with the chia seeds and almond milk mixture. Fold everything to combine.
  1. In a small saucepan on the stove, melt the coconut oil and add your sweetener. Add this to the oat mixture and make sure everything is coated nicely.
  1. Add the egg or mashed banana last. Depending on your ingredients you may not even require this step.
  1. Line a 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper leaving extra to hang over the sides and add the mixture to it patting it down well into the corners and smoothing the top with a spatula.
  1. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden at the edges. Allow this to cool completely before removing from the dish and cutting into bars.

You can keep these stored for a week or more in the fridge. Wrap them individually in parchment paper for a snack on the go.

 

 

Sweet Potato Hummus

sweet potato hummus, sweet potato, hummus, hummus recipes, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free recipes, quick snacks, snack recipes

There are so many varieties of hummus out there. I’ve made it before using beetroot, tahini, different spices and herbs, and all have turned out well. It seemed only natural to combine some sweet potato by this point.

Traditionally, hummus is made from a blend of chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and garlic. I’m not a big fan of tahini. I really want to like it but trying it in salad dressings, hummus, and other recipes, I still have yet to acquire a taste for it. It’s very good for you however so if you like it, feel free to add a teaspoon or two here.

Hummus makes a great snack and also works well alongside a lunchtime bowl of goodness (think: cut up veggies, quinoa, roast veggies, etc.)

Choose an organic variety of canned chickpeas that are soaked in water. Alternatively, purchase the dried variety, then soak and cook them yourself to add to the recipe. Purchasing dried chickpeas is more economical and I personally think they actually taste better too.

I’ve also used turmeric in this hummus which has great anti-inflammatory properties and is fantastic for your immune system. It also brightens up the orange hue even more alongside the sweet potato.

Makes 1 large bowl

Ingredients: 

1 small sweet potato

2 cups of chickpeas (soaked & cooked first OR 1 x 400g tin)

2 tbsp lemon juice (1 whole lemon juiced)

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

½ tsp turmeric

¼ tsp paprika

Optional: 1 clove of garlic, minced

Directions: 

  1. Peel and chop the sweet potato into 1-inch pieces and add to a saucepan on the stove. Add water, bring to a boil, and then simmer until the sweet potato becomes soft (approx. 10-12 minutes)
  1. Drain the sweet potato and let cool slightly before adding to the food processor along with the chickpeas and the rest of your ingredients.
  1. Blend until completely smooth then season to taste with more salt and pepper.