Monthly Archives: September 2013

Strawberry Tofu Dessert (No Added Sugar)

Tofu is a brilliant ingredient; way more versitile that just a meat replacement. Silken tofu especially can be used for all kinds of things and is one of my favourite dairy replacements in sweet treats.

It does need some help though. Tofu is bland – the perfect blank canvas. I have made Tofu Chocolate ‘mouse’ before but it requires a lot of sugar to sweeten which I am trying to avoid at the moment. So I took a leaf out of my smoothie book and decided I would use fruit this time and not add any sugar or syrup.

Recipe

1 block of Silken Tofu
Frozen Strawberries
1 sachet Stevia (optional)

(I used the same volume of strawberries as Tofu, not the same weight. Just fill the tofu package with the berries)

Microwave the frozen strawberries for up to 2 minutes to release the juices. Put everything into a blender and blend until completely smooth. It will have more of a yogurt texture due to the liquid from the fruit but you would never guess that there is no added sugar. Chill for at least 30 minutes and then enjoy.

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Coconut Oil Porridge (Oatmeal)

Look up coconut oil online and you will be bombarded with pages boasting the health benefits. Reading all that makes it hard not to give it a go.

I have been told by two different natural health professionals that I have a problem with yeast overgrowth in my stomach due to lack of good bacteria. I have been taking probiotic tablets for years and still can’t eat yeast or drink alcohol without consequences, so the anti fungal properties of coconut oil led me to take the step to buy a rather expensive little jar of the raw, extra virgin variety.

Coconut flesh and coconut milk tend to irritate my IBS but so far I have had no problem with the oil; probably due to eating it in small quantities. The raw oil has a beautiful subtle coconut flavour and compliments many dishes.

While the coconut oil detox of having nothing but 10 tbsp of the stuff a day didn’t appeal, I am adding it into my daily diet in the hope that I will start to notice a difference soon.

Here is one of my favourites; porridge made with unsweetened almond milk and a spoon of coconut oil mixed in after cooking.

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I also spread it on gluten free crackers or corn crispbreads, or add some to buckwheat noodles just after they are cooked to add another dimensions to other Asian flavours.

Do you have any other ideas for using coconut oil? Have you noticed a difference in your health and wellbeing since introducing it?

Tomato Courgette Bake with Pine Nut Crumb Topping

The weather has taken a turn for the worse here and there is a autumn bite in the air. So gone are the lazy summer sundays in the garden and bake are the lazy sundays indoors cooking warming foods and keeping warm by the oven in the process.

First up I roasted some beetroot that needed using up. These sweet little chunks are great thrown into a salad or just as a snack when you are craving something sweet.

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I also had a courgette that needed using up, aswell as a giant basil plant that I had barely touched. That’s why I decided to make a simple Tomato Courgette Bake. The pine nut crumb was an afterthought but really added something special to the dish.

Here’s how I did it…

1 medium Courgette
1 carton Chopped Tomatoes
Tomato Puree
1 Garlic Clove
Salt and Pepper
Small handful of Fresh Basil

2 tbsp Pine Nuts, lightly toasted
A pinch of Dried Oregano, Dried Basil, Cayenne Pepper, Salt & Pepper
2 tbsp finely grated Lactose or Dairy Free Cheese

Finely slice the courgette and do a single layer in a medium sized baking dish or 2 smaller ones. These can be pregrilled if you like but I put mine in raw and slow cooked the dish.

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Again, you can precook the tomatoes with the puree and crushed garlic but you don’t have to. Just make sure you add the shredded basil before you put in the oven. Layer the courgette with the sauce in a medium low oven for 30-40 minutes.

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Meanwhile you can make the crumb. Chop or pound the nuts with the seasonings until a crumb like texture is reached. It is nice to have some chunkier nuts for texture too. Mix in the cheese and set aside.

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I sprinkled this over the bakes and cooked for a further 5-10 minutes until the cheese melted and the crumb crisped up a bit. You could use breadcrumbs; I just didn’t have any in.

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Baked Mixed Vegetable Fries

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Cravings are tough to ignore. We’ve all been there in those moments when you can think of nothing else and end up at the drive thru or at the bakery. It’s not easy. I don’t quite understand why our bodies make us crave things that will only harm us but what can you do.

I crave potatoes constantly. Whether is deep fried, boiled, mashed, baked. I just can’t help myself. Maybe it’s because I am a quarter Irish. Who knows. But potatoes are something you can prepare at home. They just aren’t that great for you. And here lies the theory behind todays recipe. These mixed vegetable fries are baked to cut down on fat and contain some potato to get my fix, aswell as some more nutritious alternatives.

They say colour in a vegetable shows it contains certian nutrients so the more colourful your plate of fries, the more nutritious it is. Here is how I did mine.

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Recipe

2 small potatoes, skin on
1 large parsnip
2 carrots
Half a small squash (the brighter coloured the better…mine was pretty pale
1-2 tbsp olive oil
Pinch of salt and pepper

Peel everything but the potatoes and cut into desired shapes. Pour oil onto baking tray and sprinkle on salt and pepper. Add vegetables and mix well. Bake at 200c (slightly lower if you have really thin fries) for 10 – 20 mins, depending on size, until cooked through with crispy bits but not burnt.

You can add a little extra salt if you crave it or maybe some apple cider vinegar for a more British experience. Yum!

Prevention is better than a cure

I have been following the work of Kris Carr for a while now. She has dazzled me with her enthusiasm for healthy living and inspired me with her story of how healing diet can be. This month is prevention month over at her website/blog and that, along with losing two family members to the big C last month has pushed me to try a little harder with my own healthy living. I’ve been talking the talk but not really walking the walk lately and something has to give.

I have no recipe or wise advice to share at the moment but I will be hitting to books, and coming up with some new alkaline recipes to share. Not to mention getting back to exercise. I also love reading other peoples blog posts with pictures of what they have been eating lately so I will probably give that a go too. I haven’t been blogging as much as I would like to recently!

And here is a rose bush my nan bought not long before she died. It now lives in my garden where I will take care of it for her.

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