Recipes & Blog

Chicken Fajitas with Guacamole and Salsa – Dairy-free

This recipe is so easy to make. One of the great things about it is you can leave the chicken to marinate in advance or if you don’t have time you can just leave it to marinate whilst you prepare the rest of the dish.

Smoked paprika is made from a combination of dried sweet peppers and dried chilli peppers, the colour varies depending on the type of peppers used. Paprika is rich in Vitamin C and carotenoids, it is rich in beta-carotene which is converted into Vitamin A in the body which plays a vital role in maintaining healthy skin, preventing wrinkles and promoting a brighter complexion.

Paprika contains high levels of iron; 1 tsp contains 6% of men’s and 3% of women’s recommended daily intake of iron.

Ingredients:

Serves 4

  • 3 chicken breasts, diced
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 red pepper
  • 300g mushrooms
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 8 wholemeal wraps

For the Guacamole:

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 lime
  • 6 cherry tomatoes

For the Salsa:

  • 20 cherry tomatoes
  • 6” cucumber
  • 10 basil leaves
  • ½ lime

Method:

  1. Place the chicken into a bowl, add the cumin and paprika stir well and cover. Set aside to marinate (depending on how much time you have this can be a few hours or just the amount of time it takes to prepare the other ingredients)
  2. To make the guacamole remove the skin and pip of the avocado and place in a blender with the tomatoes and the juice of 1 lime. Blend until combined and then set aside
  3. To make the salsa chop the tomatoes into quarters, dice the cucumber and then add both to a bowl with the juice of ½ a lime. Finely chop the basil, add to the bowl and stir well
  4. Slice the peppers, mushrooms and onions
  5. Put the coconut oil into a wok and heat
  6. Add the onions and chicken stirring regularly
  7. When the chicken is sealed (about 5 minutes) add the mushrooms and peppers and cook until the chicken is cooked through
  8. Place a wrap on to a plate, add some of the chicken and pepper mixture, top with guacamole and salsa and then roll into a wrap
  9. Serve 2 wraps per person

Granola

This granola is quick and easy to make and keeps in an airtight container for a few weeks. It has a lot less sugar than shop bought granola. For a vegan version replace the honey with maple syrup.  The recipe also works well with gluten-free oats if required.

Ingredients:

Makes 15 servings

  • 2tbsp/30ml of vegetable oil
  • 75ml honey
  • 75ml fresh orange juice (about 1.5 oranges)
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 300g oats
  • 125g mixed seeds (I use sunflower, pumpkin and a few sesame seeds)
  • 100g dried fruit (I use sultanas and apricots)
  • 50g desiccated coconut

Method:

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 2/150C

  1. Mix the oil, honey and vanilla in a bowl
  2. Add the remaining ingredients except the dried fruit and coconut
  3. Mix well
  4. Spread the mixture evenly on to two baking trays
  5. Bake for 15 minutes then add the coconut and mix it in
  6. Bake for a further 10 minutes
  7. Add the dried fruit and bake for a final 5 minutes (you can add the fruit at the same time as the coconut but I find it burns a bit)

 

Frittata Cups Dairy-free and Gluten-free

These are my favourite thing at the minute, so quick and easy to make and they can be eaten cold as a breakfast on the go or taken to work for lunch. I tend to use whatever vegetables I have in the fridge so feel free to mix it up and add any herbs you like. If you like your vegetables crunchy then use diced vegetables, it you prefer them softer then grate the harder vegetables. You can easily double the recipe to make more so you have plenty left for lunch or switch it up by adding some grated cheese.

Eggs are a great source of protein and omega 3 they also contain Vitamins A, B5, B12.

Ingredients:

Makes 6

  • 4 eggs
  • ½ courgette
  • 1 small carrot
  • 5 mushrooms
  • ½ an onion
  • 5 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 large handful of spinach
  • Black pepper (to taste)
  • Fresh coriander leaves (or any herbs you like)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 6/200C
  2. Chop the vegetables into small pieces or if you prefer grate the courgette and carrots. Chop the spinach in to small strips and finely chop the coriander
  3. Whisk the eggs in a bowl and add the vegetables and coriander and stir well
  4. Using a muffin tin, divide the mixture evenly between the muffin moulds
  5. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, until the egg is set
  6. Serve with salad

The Truth Behind My Passion for Nutrition and Yoga

Most of you know I’m passionate about Nutrition and Yoga but up until now I’ve struggled sharing with you the truth about my story and why I’m so passionate about it. I didn’t just wake up one day and think “Hey lets become a Yoga guru that will be fun”. Like most of you, I had a busy and stressful job, when in 2006 my life changed as I received the diagnosis that I have ME. On some levels it was a relief to know that I wasn’t going completely crazy and there was a reason I was in pain and exhausted all the time. Whilst travelling during my gap year after university I became ill with glandular fever. On returning home after a period of recovery I started working in the ‘real world’ and working my way up the career ladder but I never fully recovered and whilst I was successful in my career the reality was I came home every night and crawled into bed without even the energy to make anything to eat. My weekends were spent in bed and my social life was non existent.

Eventually I hit rock bottom and realised that I was in danger of spending the whole of my 20s either at work or in bed. Something had to change. I moved back to Yorkshire to be nearer to my family and started a new job in a quest to find a better work/life balance. However, I soon discovered that this wasn’t enough to make me better so I reduced my hours at work and began my journey of using food and yoga to help improve my health.

For a while now I’ve been wanting to take the plunge and share my knowledge and experiences of living with ME/CFS but I haven’t known how to do it! The longer I have kept quiet the harder it has become as I began to worry that people might not believe me or that they would say the one thing that really winds me up ‘It’s so good to see that you’ve fully recovered’. Unfortunately, I haven’t fully recovered, I’d love to say that I have and that I have a magic formula that will make it all go away but the reality is I don’t, I’m not even sure that I believe that there is a cure or if there ever will be. I don’t mean this in negative way but in a realistic one, a number of years ago I consciously made the decision not to keep chasing every miracle cure in the false hope that this time there would be a solution but rather to try my best to live in the moment to make the most of what I have and to strive to gradually make improvements. As a result, I have improved, I have got stronger but I’ve also got better at hiding my symptoms!

I have come to the conclusion that I have a duty to share my knowledge with others to hopefully create hope, inspiration and to share the mistakes I’ve made along the way to hopefully stop other people having to make them, and believe me there have been many including forcing myself to go swimming at 6:30am before work thinking that exercising would increase my energy levels – trust me it didn’t and was definitely a recipe for disaster!

Whilst improving my nutrition was a massive turning point in improving my health it wasn’t the only factor. Along the way I had some hard knocks and set backs whilst working in an incredibly stressful environment – my health began to suffer and my relationship broke down. I made a decision that something had to change and that I was the only one that could control my destiny. After attending my weekly yoga class and literally falling apart in the middle of it I realised I how much better I felt. Every day I did a little bit of yoga and gradually I began to get stronger. When I started my yoga teacher training there were days when I was unable to physically do yoga so I would lie in bed and visualise it. It was during these times that I realised the power that stress has on our body, the way in which our body responds to it and the impact managing stress level s has on improving our health. In my experience stress is often a key trigger to low energy levels which is why I work with people to help them to tackle their stress levels through nutrition, yoga and relaxation. I have come across people whose bodies have physically shut down due to stress and they have been unable to function on a day to day level and have seen them improve by changing their diet and daily routines. My aim is not to just help people that are chronically ill but to help stop people before they get ill.

So that’s why I’ve decided to share some of my experiences and my best tips for increasing my energy levels based on first-hand experience. You don’t have to have a long term health condition to be low on energy, speak to any parent, employee, employer or person in their 20s, 30’s, 40’s, 50s and beyond and they will tell you that anyone can experience low energy levels.  I don’t get it right all the time, I still have days or weekends were I overdo it but I now have the tools to make sure that my recovery time is much shorter and this testimony from one of my clients is an example of how I help others.

‘I cannot recommend Active-Eat highly enough.  My Chronic Fatigue symptoms are completely under control, I haven’t had a cold or a virus (which I used to get all the time) since I started working with Jenny (about 6 months ago).  My nails, which had been flaky since primary school (despite an already well-developed interest in wholegrains and organic foods)– have grown long and strong and beautiful– I can’t believe it!  My powers of concentration, energy levels and mood are all greatly improved.  I have lost weight without ever feeling hungry once, and everywhere I go people tell me how well I am looking.’ Rebecca, Hampshire

 

So if you or someone you know is suffering from low energy levels, I can say with absolute certainty that I know exactly how they feel. And I have many tried and tested tips, tricks and tools that can help. Please do get in touch if you’d like support.

Jenny xx

 

Raw Carrot Cake Bites (Nut Free and Vegan)

This recipe came about as I needed a snack that was nut-free and all of my date ball recipes contain nuts.  I love carrot cake so I thought why not create a healthy snack based on these flavours.

Carrots are a fantastic source of beta carotene. Beta carotene is converted into Vitamin A which has many fantastic benefits to eye health hence the saying that eating carrots help you see in the dark!

Vitamin A acts as a antioxidant to cell damage, some studies suggest that it can slow down the ageing of cells whilst protecting the skin from sun damage.

This recipe is quick and easy to make, for a gluten-free version simply replace the oats with gluten-free oats.

Ingredients:

Makes 30 (depending on size)

  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 2 tbsp apple sauce (1 small apple, stewed)
  • 4 dried apricots
  • 1 heaped tbsp date paste or 50g Medjool dates
  • 1tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g jumbo oats (or gluten-free oats)
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp mixed spice
  • The juice of 1 orange

Method:

  1. In a food blender, blitz the dates and apricot until they are chopped.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and blitz until well combined
  3. Roll the dough into small balls and place in an airtight container
  4. Store in the fridge, or they can be frozen.

Rhubarb Overnight Oats

This recipe is great if you are short on time in the morning. You can make it the night before, leave it in the fridge and the next morning it is ready to eat before you leave the house.

Rhubarb is in season and it is packed full of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to help keep the body healthy. Rhubarb has a high fiber content and as a result is often used in Chinese medicine to relieve constipation and other stomach ailments. Rhubarb also has very high levels of Vitamin k which not only supports healthy bone growth but some research suggests that it may help with the prevention of Alzheimer’s. Among its many health benefits a key one that is often unknown is that rhubarb is a great source of calcium, it is up there with salmon and spinach!

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 30g fresh rhubarb
  • 1 orange
  • 1/4tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 130g jumbo oats
  • 50ml of dairy-free yoghurt or plain natural yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • ¼ banana
  • 1 tbsp pump[kin seeds

Method:

  1. To make the compote chop the rhubarb and place in a small saucepan with the juice of ½ the orange and the grated ginger. Simmer until the rhubarb is soft, about 15 minutes
  2. Leave the rhubarb compote to cool
  3. When the rhubarb is cool add the yoghurt, and stir well. Next add the oats and chia seeds and stir well. If the mixture is too thick add some more yoghurt
  4. Place the mixture into a bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight
  5. In the morning remove from the fridge, top with banana, orange slices and pumpkin seeds

Vegan Pesto

This recipe is a great way to make the most of seasonal ingredients. The addition of wild garlic leaves gives it a great colour and flavour; however it works just as well with a garlic clove. This dairy-free pesto works well with both pasta and salmon.

Ingredients:

  • 40g cashew nuts, pine nuts or almonds
  • A small handful of wild garlic leaves (or 1 clove garlic)
  • 2 large handfuls of spinach
  • 1 small handful of basil
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Olive oil

Method:

  1. Put the nuts and garlic into a hand blender and blend until they are roughly chopped.
  2. Add all the other ingredients except the olive oil and blend.
  3. Add a little bit of olive oil at a time so that there is just enough to make a paste consistency.
  4. Optional extra: add a couple of tbsp. of tomato puree to make a tomato pesto, great on pizzas!

Prawn Pho – Dairy-Free and Gluten-Free

One of my favourite dishes when I go to a Vietnamese restaurant is Pho is a hearty, healthy broth packed full of delicious ingredients. This is my take on a prawn pho, the prawns can easily be replaced with chicken or tofu if you prefer. If I make it with chicken I use homemade chicken stock to add extra goodness.

This recipe uses cloves which are often an ingredient that get bought for a particular recipe, like ham at Christmas, and then sit in the cupboard for the rest of the year. However there are many health benefits to cloves they have anti-fungal, antibacterial, antiseptic and analgesic properties. Due to these properties they are commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine.

Ingredients:               

Serves 6

  • 7 whole cloves
  • 4 star anaise
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • 6 black pepper corns
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1” fresh ginger, grated
  • ½ red chilli (to taste)
  • 2 pints vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp soya sauce
  • ½ packet rice noodles
  • ½ packet mushrooms
  • 1 packet of baby corn
  • ½ packet green beans
  • 2 packets cooked prawns
  • 2 spring onions
  • 2 limes
  • Small handful of fresh coriander
  • Small handful of fresh mint

Method:

  1. Put the star anise, cinnamon, black peppercorns and cloves in a dry frying pan and heat until the aromas of the spices begins to release
  2. Put the spices in a pestle and mortar and roughly grind up, then wrap them in a muslin cloth and secure
  3. Place the stock in a large pan and add the spice parcel, ginger, garlic and half of the chilli, simmer for minimum of 10 minutes to allow the flavours to merge
  4. Slice the mushrooms and chop the baby corn and green beans in half and then add them to the stock along with the rice noodles, fish sauce and soya sauce
  5. Simmer until the noodles are cooked
  6. Divide the prawns between the bowls and then place the pho on top
  7. Add slices spring onions, fresh coriander, mint and squeeze with lime to serve

 

NB if you don’t have muslin you can place the spices directly in the pan and simmer for at least 10 minutes and then strained the stock before adding the remaining ingredients.

Quick and Easy, Baked Salmon, New Potatoes and Vegetables (Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free)

I love this dish, it is so quick and easy to do when you get in from work and it is packed full of omega 3 fatty acids which are essential to your overall health.

Omega 3 and Omega 6 are two types of fat that are essential for human health, the body cannot create them, and we must consume them. However, most people don’t consume enough omega 3 and too much omega 6, the ideal ratio is 1:1 of omega 6:omega 3 research shows that many people consume a ratio of between 20:1 and 50:1.

Eating enough omega 3 has been linked to helping prevent or ease symptoms of the following health conditions: coronary heart disease and stroke, essential fatty acid deficiency in unborn babies (retinal and brain development), lupus, nephropathy, osteoporosis, cancer, Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis. In addition to this Omega 3 can support general brain health including memory loss and osteoporosis.

Ingredients:

Serves 4

  • 750g new potatoes, halved
  • 2 red onions, quartered
  • 4 salmon fillets
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled (no need to chop)
  • 250g cherry tomatoes
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 head broccoli
  • 220g green beans

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to gas 6/200C
  2. Place the new potatoes in a pan of boiling water and cook for about 10 minutes, until tender. Then drain and shake
  3. Place the potatoes, onion, garlic, rosemary and 1 tbsp of oil into a roasting tin, stir well and roast for 20 minutes
  4. Remove from the oven and add the cherry tomatoes and salmon fillets, sprinkle with the zest of the lemon, then cut the lemon into quarters and squeeze over the ingredients, before placing the lemon wedges in the baking dish. Drizzle with 1 tbsp oil and a cooked sprinkle of black pepper. Return to the oven for a further 15 minutes, until the salmon is cooked and the potatoes are cooked
  5. Cut the broccoli into 2” florets, remove the ends of the green beans and cut in half. Steam the broccoli and green beans for 5 minutes
  6. Serve the salmon dish with the greens and enjoy