Recipes

Leek and Sweet Potato Soup

Healthy Admin - Sunday, March 06, 2016

Written by Mussarrat Butt


Ingredients

3 leeks
2 sweet potatoes
1 green chilli
Juice from 1/4 - 1/2 a fresh lemon
1 garlic bulb
1 inch piece of fresh ginger
4 inch strip of kelp seaweed (optional)
3 cups of vegetable broth or bone broth 
1 tablespoon organic butter ghee  
Unprocessed salt such as Celtic sea salt or Himalayan salt to taste (optional)
Spices of choice, I used black pepper, turmeric, cumin and dried red chilli (optional)
Fresh or dried herbs of choice, I used oregano, marjoram and basil (optional)
LeekSweetPotato1

Method


  1. Cut root off leeks and cut lengthwise. Fan each piece out and wash thoroughly. Chop into medium pieces
  2. Peel and wash sweet potato, chop into medium pieces
  3. Peel ginger and garlic, chop ginger into small pieces
  4. LeekSweetPotato2
  5. Melt ghee in a large pan and add chopped ginger and garlic. Gently fry until they start to soften. 
  6. Add a little water if the mixture starts sticking to the pan.
  7. Add sweet potato and stir
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  9. Add chopped leek, green chilli and pour over vegetable or bone broth 
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  11. Add salt to taste and spices of your choice . 
  12. I added Himalayan salt, turmeric powder, cumin and black pepper
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  14. Add seaweed if you are using it. I added a strip of kelp.
  15. Bring soup to the boil then turn heat down to a simmer. Cook until vegetables are tender
  16. LeekSweetPotato6
  17. Blend soup, add more broth or water to bring soup to your desired consistency
  18. Add herbs of your choice. I added dried oregano, marjoram, basil, some red chilli flakes and simmered for a few minutes more
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  20. Just before serving I added the juice of 1/4-1/2 a lemon 

Split Red Lentil Dhal with Spinach

Healthy Admin - Sunday, March 06, 2016

Written by Mussarrat Butt

Ingredients


3 cups of split red lentils (masoor dhal)
1 medium sized onion
1 garlic bulb
1 inch piece of fresh ginger root
3-4 green chillies (optional)
2 tbsp of either coconut oil or organic clarified butter (ghee)
1 tsp unrefined salt like Himalayan or Celtic (or to taste)
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1-2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 fresh tomato chopped
3 cups fresh chopped spinach
1/4-1/2 freshly squeezed lemon (optional)
1/2 cup of chopped fresh coriander

  1. I measured 3 cups of dhal into a bowl and then rinsed it through allowing 4-5 changes of fresh water until the water becomes clear.
  2. I let the dhal soak for around 30 minutes. As the dhal soaks in water it absorbs water and expands. This helps speed up the cooking process and makes the dhal easier to digest.
  3. I then added water to completely cover the dhal so that there was around 2 inches of water above the dhal.
  4. Dhal5
  5. Next, I placed the dhal to cook on a medium heat.
  6. In a separate pan, I toasted a teaspoon each of peppercorns, cumin and coriander seeds and then ground them up. In my opinion, toasting and grinding whole seeds really makes a difference to the taste as it helps to release the aromatic oils from the seeds. When seeds are already ground and packaged they quickly lose this aroma and taste.
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  8. I blended the ginger by slicing it up and adding it to the fresh green chillies along with some water. If you don't have a blender then just slice the ginger and use chillies whole.
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  10. I peeled/thinly sliced my onions and finely chopped the garlic. If you've got a food processor then use them to save time. 

    As you can see, I have blended the ginger and chilles and ground the cumin, coriander and peppercorns in my spice grinder.
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  12. As the dhal comes up to the boil, foam builds on the surface of the water. I scooped the foam off as they are impurities, which may cause bloating. I did this a few times as the foam kept forming.
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  14. I poured in the blended chilli and ginger and turned the heat to a simmer. Fresh ginger helps prevent bloating and spasm when eating dhal. For some people the high levels of fibre in dhal can be an issue.
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  16. Next I added to the dhal a teaspoon of each of: Himalayan salt, turmeric powder. I also added a couple of bay leaves and a cinnamon stick. You may add more or less spices, it's up to your personal taste. I also stirred in all of the toasted and freshly ground black pepper, cumin and coriander.
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  18. I'm adding some red chilli flakes too (can't resist but again totally optional)
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  20. I left the dhal to cook until it started to break down. At this point I prepared the dhal toppings.
  21. I toasted a teaspoon of black mustard seeds in my frying pan using no oil until the seeds start popping.
  22. For the remaining dhal toppings, I melted around 2 tbsp of organic clarified butter into the frying pan. I then sautéed the chopped onions until they started to brown. You may use coconut oil if you wish but please do not use any refined vegetable-based seed oils which are highly refined and inflammatory.
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  24. I made a space in the middle of the frying onions and stirred in the chopped garlic. I add my garlic in after the onions have cooked a bit as they brown very quickly.
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  26. I stirred the garlic and onions around in the pan until they were golden brown. I quickly mixed the browned onion and garlic into the dhal. By now the dhal had broken down.
  27. I then stir-fried the chopped tomato in the frying pan and added them into the dhal.
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  29. I poured some hot water into the frying pan to deglaze and remove as much flavour from the pan and then poured this into the dhal.
  30. Finally, I added in some chopped baby spinach and let it cook for a minute before adding my chopped coriander and some freshly squeezed lemon juice to give it a zing.
  31. Dhal15

So that's it, my dhal recipe. At the end of cooking, I always check my flavouring and make any adjustments. If this recipe seems a little complex then simplify it by cutting down on some of the spices but do try to include adding turmeric, ginger and fried onions and garlic at the end along with the coriander.
Dhal16
Adding leafy green vegetables like coriander, spinach and fenugreek helps to enhance the mineral content of this dish further. My mother's method of creating a bone broth for cooking her lentils in helped to mineralise the dhal. Split dehulled lentils do still contain some phytates, which bind to minerals like magnesium, iron and calcium. So try adding vegetable, seaweed or meat-based broths to add flavour and minerals to this dish.

Carrot, Pumpkin and Sunflower Seed Salad

Healthy Admin - Sunday, March 06, 2016

Written by Mussarrat Butt


Ingredients

5-6  medium carrots
1 orange
1/2 lemon
1 inch piece of ginger
4 tbsp pumpkin/sunflower seeds (pre-soaked for at least 6 hours, this helps them to be more digestible)
CarrotPumpkin1

Method


  1. I toasted the pre-soaked pumpkin/sunflower seeds in my cast iron skillet to dry them and release some aroma and essential oils. 
    CarrotPumpkin2
  2. I then let my toasted seeds cool, whilst I peeled and grated my carrots.
  3. Next I grated the zest from my orange and lemon, juiced the fruits and then added the zest to the orange/lemon juice.
  4. I grated my ginger piece and mixed it into the lemon/orange/zest juice mixture to make a dressing.
    CarrotPumpkin3
  5. Finally, I mixed the dressing with the grated carrots and then added the toasted seeds.
    CarrotPumpkin4
  6. An easy salad to make which may be stored in the fridge for around a week. It combines well with other salads like beetroot, date and fennel salad or dips like hummus and pesto.
    CarrotPumpkin5

Beetroot, Date and Fennel Seed Salad

Healthy Admin - Sunday, March 06, 2016

Written by Mussarrat Butt


Ingredients

1 large beetroot
2 tsp fennel seeds
6 pitted dates
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper


Method


  1. I toasted my fennel seeds in my cast iron skillet to help release aroma and essential oils from the seeds.
    BeetrootSalad1

  2. I let my toasted fennel seeds cool, whilst I peeled and grated my beetroot.
  3. I chopped the dates and added them to my grated beetroot along with the cooled toasted fennel seeds
    BeetrootSalad3

  4. I then added some olive oil, apple cider vinegar and black pepper to help balance the sweet earthy flavors in this salad.
    BeetrootSalad4

  5. I teamed my beetroot salad with some spinach, tomato, cucumber and feta.
    BeetrootSalad5

Perfect for lunch on this hot day.

Hemp and Date Protein-Energy Balls

Healthy Admin - Sunday, March 06, 2016

Written by Mussarrat Butt


Ingredients

1 cup dried pitted dates
1 cup mixed nuts (walnuts, Brazils, almonds, cashews)
1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
1 tablespoon of ground up hemp seeds (I used Pulsin Hemp Protein but you could also just grind hemp seeds in a coffee grinder)
1 tablespoon of maca powder
1/2-1 teaspoon of ginger powder
1/2 cup sesame seeds (for coating the balls with)


Method


  1. I always check the dates have been pitted by cutting them with a knife before washing them in water. The last thing you want is to hear the crunch of a date pit in your food processor.
    ProteinBalls2
  2. I placed the mixed nuts in my food processor with a chopping blade attachment.
    ProteinBalls3

  3. I processed the mixed nuts until they were finely chopped and then emptied the chopped nuts into a separate plate.
  4. I then chopped the dates in my processor until they stuck together and formed a ball
    ProteinBalls4
  5. At this stage, I added my chopped mixed nuts, 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, 1 tablespoon of ground up hemp seeds, 1 tablespoon of maca powder and 1/2 a teaspoon of ginger powder. I then processed them until they were properly mixed.
    ProteinBalls5
  6. I then emptied out the mixture into a bowl. At this stage the mixture is dry and needs a little water to bring it together.
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  8. I added some water by just wetting my wet hands, I then scrunched the mixture until it all stuck together. 
    ProteinBalls8
  9. You may need to add a little more water to your hands as it depend how dry the mixture is.
  10. Finally, I rolled small amounts of the mixture into balls.
    ProteinBalls9
  11. As the texture was a little wet at this stage, I rolled them in sesame seeds. This added a nice crunch and some more protein too. I then put them in the fridge to firm up.
    ProteinBalls11

These protein-energy balls will keep in the fridge for a month, so they can be pre-made in advance. This recipe makes around 12 protein-energy balls so if you want to make up a batch then it's a good idea to double or triple this recipe.

Cacao and Cashew Nut Truffles

Healthy Admin - Sunday, March 06, 2016

Written by Mussarrat Butt


Ingredients

1 cup dried pitted dates
1 cup cashew nuts
1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
1 tablespoon of cacao powder
1/4 cup desiccated coconut (for coating the truffles with)


Method

  1. I always check the dates have been pitted by cutting them with a knife before washing them in water. The last thing you want is to hear the crunch of a date pit in your food processor.
    ProteinBalls2
  2. I placed the cashews in my food processor and processed until they were finely chopped. 
    I emptied the mixed nuts into a bowl and set them aside for later.
    NutTruffles2
  3. I then placed the dates in my processor and processed them until they stuck together and formed a ball. 
    ProteinBalls4
  4. At this stage, I added in my chopped cashews, 1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil and 1 tablespoon of cacao powder.
    NutTruffles3
  5. I then processed all the ingredients in the food processor until they were properly mixed and then emptied out the nut/date mixture into a bowl.
    ProteinBalls7
  6. Using wet hands scrunched the mixture until it all came together. You may need to add some water as it depend how dry the mixture is.
    ProteinBalls8
  7. The next stage is easy, I rolled small amount of the mixture into balls and then coated each ball with desiccated coconut.
    NutTruffles4

These truffles will keep in the fridge for around 28 days.
When introducing new foods like cacao into your diet, observe how it makes you feel as everybody has a unique digestive system. If cacao has any adverse affects like making your heart race, you feel more anxious, headaches then leave it out of the recipe or substitute cacao with other ingredients like carob or maca powder.

Pomegranate, Rice and Mung Bean Salad

Daniel Nicholls - Sunday, March 06, 2016

Written by Mussarrat Butt


Ingredients

2 cups cooked brown rice
2 cups cooked mung beans
2 cups fresh pomegranate seeds
1 cup chopped coriander (could also use flat leaf parsley, mint or any combo of your favourite herbs)
1 cup chopped spring onions
Unprocessed salt like Celtic or Himalayan to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tsp pomegranate powder  
1 tsp dried mint (or use fresh)
Virgin Olive oil (3-4 tablespoons)
Fresh lemon to taste
PomSalad2


Method

  1. I mixed the pre-cooked brown rice/mung beans and then added all my seasonings (salt, black pepper, pomegranate powder, dried mint and olive oil). In this way, the blander base of rice/mung ingredients are properly seasoned to my taste.
    PomSalad3
  2. Next, I added the pomegranate seeds
    PomSalad5
  3. I then added the freshly chopped spring onions
    PomSalad6
  4. Finally I mixed in chopped coriander and had a quick taste.

This salad develops flavor as it sits.

Just before serving I like to add some extra olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon.

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I love eating this type of salad on its own or with fresh green leaves and some chicken, fish or tangy goat's cheese on the side.

References:

Seeram NP, Aviram M, Zhang Y, et al: Comparison of antioxidant potency of commonly consumed polyphenol-rich beverages in the United States. J Agric Food Chem 2008, 56:1415-1422.
Aviram M, Rosenblat M, Gaitini D, et al. Pomegranate juice consumption for 3 years by patients with carotid artery stenosis reduces common carotid intima-media thickness, blood pressure and LDL oxidation. Clin Nutr 2004;23(3):423-33.
Aviram M, Dornfeld L, Rosenblat M, et al. Pomegranate juice consumption reduces oxidative stress, atherogenic modifications to LDL, and platelet aggregation:studies in humans and in atherosclerotic apolipoprotein E-deficient mice. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;71(5):1062-76. Aviram M, Dornfeld L. Pomeganate juice consumption inhibits serum angiotensin coverting enzyme activity and reduces systolic blood pressure. Atherosclerosis 2001;158(1):195-8.