Delicious Dhal Recipe

Some days you can’t beat a delicious Dhal for lunch! I love Dhal as it is so easy to prepare and it’s a great Ayurveda recipe for reducing pitta, which is something I’m usually in need of. Pitta dosha is known as your inner fire, it controls your digestion, metabolism and energy production. Therefore, during the summer months pitta dosha can be high due to a number of things including the warmer weather.

So getting back to the dhal recipe I’m loving my new Instant Pot (for those of you’ve who have never heard of it, it’s a 7-in-1 cooking gadget that does slow cooking as well as pressure cooking, as well as lots of other things) and playing around with recipes. This Dhal took just 30 minutes to cook. This dhal recipe will work equally well in a normal pan or a slow cooker it will just take longer for the lentils to soften.

Not only is this Dhal vegan and gluten-free it is packed full of protein so will keep you full for hours.

Ingredients for the Dhal:

Serves 4

  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2tbsp coconut oil
  • 2tsp turmeric
  • 1tsp cumin seeds
  • 2tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 1tsp ground coriander 
  • 2tsp curry powder
  • 160g Moong Dhal
  • 700ml water
  • 2 large handfuls spinach
  • 1 small handful fresh coriander

Method:

  1. Chop the garlic and onions and grate the ginger
  2. If using an Instant Pot set it to the sauté function and add the coconut oil. If using a pan heat the coconut oil in the pan
  3. Add the onions, garlic and ginger and fry until softened
  4. Add the cumin seeds, ginger, cumin, coriander and curry powder and stir for a few minutes until the flavour of the spices is released
  5. Add the moong dhal and water, stir well. If using the Instant Pot set to manual pressure cooking for 10 minutes and left it to release for 10 minutes. If using a pan, reduce the heat and simmer for about 45 minutes (check with the cooking instructions on the Moong Dhal packet)
  6. Stir in the spinach, lemon and coriander and left it for a few minutes on keep warm setting (instant pot) or on a low heat (pan) to cook the spinach
  7. Serve with rice or chapati

If you’ve enjoyed this recipe why not check out my other lunch ideas and add a comment below.

Sweet Potato and Chickpea Salad

I find it can be hard to think of things to have for lunch especially if like me you’re not a big fan of sandwiches. Many of my clients also struggle with what to eat at lunch time.

I’m a big fan of leftovers and often I advise people to make more of their evening meal and have it for lunch the next day. However this dish is good if you are working from home or maybe on a weekend when you have a little bit more time but don’t want to spend to long doing prep work.

For a long time I wasn’t a fan of roasted chickpeas, I just didn’t get it! However, I tried again recently and realised why everyone raves about them! I think the trick is to roast them on a high heat so that they go super crispy.

So why do chickpeas feature so heavily in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes?

Chickpeas are cheap, versatile and have many health benefits too. As well as being a good source of plant-based protein they are a great source of fibre which means they are great option for diabetics as they may help to improve blood sugar, insulin and lipid levels.

According to some research the high levels of fibre may also help to reduce cholesterol and are therefore a good option for people who are at risk of heart problems, however, they should be consumed in moderation by people taking beta-blockers.

Due to the high levels of protein chickpeas are great to add to vegetarian and vegan dishes.

Ingredients

Serves 2

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 courgette
  • 150g button mushrooms
  • 1 tin chickpeas
  • 3 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • pinch chili flakes
  • 3 large handfuls of spinach
  • 1 lime
  • chili oil or olive oil

Method:

  1. Heat the oven to 200C/ gas mark 6. Put the oil on to two oven trays and heat in the oven
  2. Cut the sweet potato, mushrooms and courgette into large chunks
  3. Rinse and drain the chickpeas
  4. On one tray place the sweet potatoes and chickpeas, on the other place the courgettes and mushrooms. Sprinkle both with chili flakes and seasoning and shake well. NB I found that putting them on separate trays helps the chickpeas to go crispy
  5. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until the potatoes, courgette and mushrooms are soft and the chickpeas are crispy
  6. Cut the avocado into bite size pieces
  7. Place the spinach onto plates and then top with the remaining ingredients, drizzle with lime juice and chili oil, to taste

If you’d like more tailored information on how to fit healthy eating into your life then why not email me for a consultation?

Cold Busting Chinese Broth

I often hear people complaining at this time of year that they are feeling more run down and getting more colds and winter bugs. Because of this I recommend this cold busting broth to my clients as it’s a fantastic way to give your immune system a boost.

It is packed full of anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, is quick and easy to make and tastes delicious! My friends often request that I make it when they come to visit.

It can be made with tofu for a vegan version or chicken, if you prefer. Alternatively, I like to make it with left over roast chicken.

The soya sauce can be replaced with tamari to make the dish gluten-free. I recently made this cold busting dish with a large pinch of grated fresh turmeric instead of powder, I love how versatile this dish is.

Cold Busting Broth Ingredients:

Serves 4

  • 900ml of vegetable stock (I use reduced salt bouillon powder)
  • 220g of firm tofu, cubed or cooked chicken
  • 1cm piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 chilli, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder
  • 100g rice noodles
  • 1 large handful sweetcorn (frozen or canned)
  • 1 large handful frozen peas
  • 200g mix of shiitake and button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp soya sauce
  • Small handful of fresh mint or basil
  • Sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds (optional)

Method:

  1. Put the stock, ginger, garlic, half the chilli and tofu/chicken into a pan and simmer for 5 minutes
  2. Add the sweetcorn, peas, mushrooms, 2 spring onions, rice noodles and soya sauce. Simmer until the noodles are cooked
  3. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with the remaining chilli, spring onion and mint/basil and drizzle a tiny bit of sesame oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds to finish
Cold busting broth made with chicken or tofu

If you’d like more tailored information on who to support your immune system during the winter months then why not email me for a consultation?

Warm Grain Salad – Vegan

I’ve recently embarked on an Ayurvedic journey, looking at tweaking my diet and yoga practice to balance my doshas. Ayurveda is an ancient Indian holistic healing system that focuses on bringing your body, mind and spirit into balance in order to maintain and promote good health. Since having my daughter my health has been better than it has been for a long time, however, the underlying fatigue is hard to manage when I can’t guarantee the length and quality of my sleep in the same way I used to. I therefore felt that it was time to make some changes and get a fresh pair of eyes to look at my body as a whole. As a result of this I am currently working on eating a pitta reducing diet, I am making these changes slowly as I’m fitting it around being a mum and so it’s not as simple as throwing myself into it full throttle. It’s been a fantastic chance for me to experience what my clients do when they have a consultation with me. Why they ask the questions they do and what additional support I can offer.

Anyway, enough of me waffling on. Changing the way I eat has given me an excuse to play around with some new recipes and this recipe makes a delicious lunch or evening meal. For the grains I used a bought mix of different grains, but you can use whatever you have in the house.

Ingredients:

Serves 2

  • 125g mixed grains
  • 1 tsp vegetable stock powder
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1tsp ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 courgettes
  • 4 large handfuls of spinach
  • 2 spring onions

Dressing:

  • 1 avocado
  • Juice of 1 lime

Method:

  1. Cook your choice of grains in stock as per the instructions on the packet
  2. Whilst the grains are cooking dry roast the seeds in a frying pan until they are lightly toasted, then set to one side
  3. To make the dressing blitz the avocado and lime with a hand blender and set aside
  4. 5 minutes before the grains are finished going heat 1 tbsp of coconut oil in a frying pan, add the cumin, coriander and turmeric and heat for about a minute stirring constantly
  5. Slice the courgettes and add fry them in the spices until they are tender
  6. Slice the spring onions and add them to the frying pan
  7. Add the spinach to the frying pan and allow to wilt
  8. Drain the grains and stir the dressing through them, serve with the greens and enjoy

Pumpkin, Red Pepper and Tomato Soup – Vegan & Gluten-Free

This is a great autumn soup, hearty and healthy. Pumpkin is in season and we are just coming to the end of British tomato season, this is a great way to use up and left over tomatoes. Pumpkins contain Vitamin A which aids vision, beta-carotene which plays a role in fighting cancer , fibre which can help you lose weight and help your skin and Vitamin C to help ward off colds.

Ingredients:

Makes 6 portions

  • 1 small pumpkin (or butternut squash)
  • 3 red peppers
  • 10 tomatoes
  • 5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1tbsp Coconut oil
  • 1tsp smoked paprika
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 1tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 2tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tins chickpeas (or any beans you fancy)
  • 3 large handfuls of spinach

Method:

  1. Cut the pumpkin into chunks, about 2” in size, cut the peppers and tomatoes into quarters
  2. Place the pumpkin, pepper, tomatoes, spices and coconut oil into a large saucepan. Put a lid on the pan and heat the vegetables to allow them to caramelise slightly
  3. Add the stock and tomato puree and boil until the pumpkin is soft
  4. Using a hand blender roughly blend the soup so that there are still some chunky bits in it
  5. Add the chickpeas and heat them through
  6. Serve the soup and place a small handful of spinach on top of each bowl

Quick and Easy Butternut Squash 7 Grain Salad

This recipe was inspired by a recipe from Rachel Kelly’s book The Happy Kitchen. I made a few tweaks to it including adding 7 grains to it to make it more filling. I love this recipe it is super easy to make and can be made in advance, just leave adding the avocado until ready to serve so it doesn’t go brown.

Spinach is great for every part of the body as it is high in niacin and zinc, as well as protein, fibre, vitamins A, C, E and K, thiamine, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and manganese.

Spinach is particularly good for your colon due to the high levels of flavonoids which protect the body from cholesterol and free radicals. The folate in spinach is good for a healthy cardiovascular system, and magnesium helps lower high blood pressure. Studies also have shown that spinach helps maintain your brain function, memory and mental clarity.

Ingredients:

Serves 6

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • Sprinkle chilli flakes (to taste)
  • 1 250g packet of quick cook 7 grains
  • 200g spinach (washed and ready to eat)
  • 2 avocados
  • 3 spring onions
  • 2 tbsp mixed seeds

For the dressing:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp soya sauce
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp maple syrup

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6
  2. Peel the butternut squash and cut into 1” cubes, place on a baking tray and toss in the oil and chilli flakes
  3. Bake the butternut squash for 20-30 minutes, until tender. Once cooked remove from the oven and leave to cool
  4. Cook the grains according to the packaging, I got them from Tesco and they just need to be boiled for 10 minutes. Once cooked drain and leave to cool
  5. To make the dressing , place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well with a fork
  6. Chop up the spring onions and avocado
  7. Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well, add the dressing and stir well

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

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

Spelt Bread – Vegan

I try to avoid eating too much wheat as it makes me very bloated, however, I find that I cope a lot better with spelt flour. Spelt flour has a different structure to wheat and it is high in fibre making it easier to digest.

Spelt has a number of nutritional properties including: high levels of protein, iron, copper, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, zinc, selenum, Vitamin B6 and folic acid. Therefore spelt can help with digestive health, lowering cholesterol, circulation, hormone regulation, bone health and the immune system.

Wholemeal spelt flour can be purchased in most large supermarkets and can be used for a variety of baking recipes. I love how simple this bread is to make. It only takes about 10 minutes of work the rest of the time is spent proving the dough, so you can get on with something else.

Ingredients:

  • 450g of wholemeal spelt flour
  • 7g dried yeast
  • 1tsp Himalayan Salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 325ml tepid water
  • 75g pumpkin seeds

Method:

  1. Place the spelt flour, yeast and salt in a bowl and stir well
  2. 
Spelt Bread
  3. Add the olive oil and water and mix well using your hands
  4. Turn the dough out on to the side or place in a mixer with a dough hook and knead for approx 5 minutes
  5. Proof the dough by placing the dough into a bowl and covering with a tea towel before placing in a warm place for about an hour, until it has doubled in size
  6. When it has doubled in size, place the dough on the work surface and sprinkle on the seeds then knock the air out of it a little bit before kneading for a few more minutes
  7. Shape the dough and place it into the tins you are going to use, cover with a tea towel and leave to proof in a warm place for a further 30 minutes

Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for about 30 minutes (depending if you have made one big loaf or 2 smaller ones)