Brussels Sprouts and Quinoa Salad

Hello, Everyone, I hope you are having a great day.

I think I ate quinoa 3 days in a row one week because I was loving it so much. It takes little time to cook and the quinoa is such a light grain that which makes it perfect for late evening meals. Usually after eating rice you can feel quite full or bloated even after a small portion but with quinoa you don’t feel full afterwards at all. This is a very basic recipe and sometimes the simplest things really are the best. There’s different components in this meal which adds to the taste, texture and aroma making it such a delight to eat.

Recipe: Quinoa and brussels sprouts salad (serves 1)

Ingredients

30g quinoa

1 tbsp red lentils, soaked over night

150ml vegetable stock

1 tbsp pumpkin seeds, toasted

1 tsp desiccated coconut

1 inch spring onion, finely sliced

3 Brussels sprouts, shredded

Pinch of chilli powder

Method

  • Wash the quinoa and lentils in a small pan the pour in the vegetable stock. Place on a medium heat and leave to simmer gently for 20-25 minutes until both are fully cooked.
  • In the meantime, prepare the other ingredients and set aside in a bowl. Toast the pumpkin seeds in a dry pan, slice the Brussels sprouts and cook in a dry pan for 3 minutes until slightly cooked and slice the spring onion. Also, add the desiccated coconut to the bowl.
  • Once the quinoa is done, mix everything into the pot and serve.

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Jamaican Festival

Hello Everyone, I hope your day has been well.

For me this is comfort food, making it perfect for a late Autumn evening. Although I’ve only had festival a handful of times in my life, eating this warm, sugary dough always feels so comforting to me. Festival has only a mild sweetness to it and is often served with savory dishes like ackee and saltfish or a chicken curry. I have used water for the liquid in this recipe but milk is also commonly used for more flavour. The cornmeal is great for a golden outer colour and gives it a nice crunch. In a way, Festival is like the Jamaican version of churros and could also be eaten as a dessert, dipped in melted chocolate or sprinkled with sugar.

Recipe: Jamaican festival (makes 6)

Ingredients

65g plain flour

35g fine cornmeal

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp cinnamon powder

1 tbsp caster sugar

Pinch of salt

50ml water or milk

Method

  • Heat some oil in a deep pan.
  • Mix all of the dry ingredients into a large bowl and gently pour in the water.
  • Use your fingers to mix everything together until it form a soft dough.
  • Next, split the dough into six equal pieces and roll into finger shapes.
  • Once the oil is hot, add the dough pieces to the pan and turn every 2 minutes until fully cooked and golden brown (roughly 6 mins, depending on the heat and size).
  • Place on a plate with kitchen paper to drain off the excess oil and serve warm.

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Sources of Iron

Hello Everyone, I hope your day has been well.

Today, I’m sharing some information about iron because many women in their menstruating age are likely at some point to have low iron levels due to the loss of blood every month. Often the Doctor will prescribe Iron tablets which are usually quite harsh on the stomach, not only that but they can cause many side effects like tummy pain, dark stools and nausea. It is sometimes recommended to take iron tablets alongside a meal or gradually increase the dose.

I am sharing two Iron alternatives to get your levels up and help you feel more energised throughout the day. Of course I would say that food is your best option however, it is not always that effective and you would usually have to be consuming copious amounts of a specific item for it to actually make a difference. As a child, my mother introduced us to Floridax, commonly sold in a dark bottle from Holland & Barratts. The taste is okay once you get used to it and it contains fruit juice concentrates and herbal extracts. Floridax is best taken on an empty stomach, approx. 30 minutes before a meal or 2 hours after. More recently, I have become aware of Spatone, which is natural source of iron and fast absorbing. The great thing about Spatone is that it come in a box with 30 individual sachets inside so can easily carry some with you when travelling or on the go making it easier to achieve your intake.

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Low Iron symptoms can include:

  • Low energy
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headaches

Iron food soucres:

  • Liver
  • Oysters
  • Beef
  • Fortified breakfast cereals
  • Kidney beans
  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • Raw cashew nuts
  • Sesame seeds

Iron found in animal flesh products is called heme, which supports the body in many cardiovascular processes. Iron found in plant foods is non-heme iron, usually added to iron enriched/fortified foods. Non-heme iron is not as easily absorbed by the body therefore it is always advised to consume a varied, balanced diet. Iron helps to reduce tiredness and supports a healthy immune system and normal cognitive function.

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*If you feel you have any low iron related symptoms, please seek professional help.

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Coconut and Cinnamon Pancakes

Hello Everyone, I hope your day has been well.

I love switching up my breakfasts every now and then and pancakes is something I’ll always experiment with because they are so versatile. I have to admit this isn’t the healthiest choice but it surely is delicious. This is a twist on the classic American fluffy pancakes for a little more spice and flavour. Coconut and cinnamon taste really good together and these pancakes are great for breakfast or dessert depending on your preference. I have drizzled a little maple syrup and sprinkle on some desiccated coconut for serving.

Recipe: Coconut and cinnamon pancakes (makes 4)

Ingredients

66g self raising flour

1/3 baking powder

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp caster sugar

1 egg

8g melted butter

66ml coconut milk

1/2 tsp oil

Drizzle of maple syrup

Sprinkle of desiccated coconut

Method

  • Sieve the flour, baking powder and cinnamon into a large bowl and mix in the caster sugar.
  • In another bowl, whisk the egg, butter and coconut together until well combined.
  • Gently whisk the liquid mixture into the flour mixture until smooth and then leave to rest for 20 minutes. Resting the pancake batter allows the gluten to relax and the grain to swell so that when you finally cook it, the pancakes will be more fluffy and light.
  • Use kitchen paper to rub oil over a frying pan and place on a medium heat to get hot.
  • Once the pan is hot add 3 tablespoons of the batter into the pan, cooking for 3 minutes on each side until lightly golden and fully cooked.
  • Repeat until all of the batter in done and leave on a plate covered to stay warm.
  • Once done, drizzle with a little maple syrup and sprinkle over some desiccated coconut.

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Sautéed Vegetable Pasta

Hello Everyone, I hope your day has been well.

There’s so much going on in this dish, from the colours, flavours and textures, which make it so exciting to cook and eat. Although there are many components to the dish, a lot of it can be prepared in advance and it doesn’t take too long to make overall. The inspiration behind this recipe was to create something comforting and warming, using mainly low-glycemic index foods like kale, onion, peas and wholewheat pasta. As we are moving into the Autumn season, with slightly cooler weather it is so nice to consume meals which are perfect for cozy nights in. This is so tasty and very filling in the most perfect way. For added protein, you can sprinkle in some lentils.

Recipe: (1-2 portions)

Ingredients

1/2 tsp olive oil

1/4 red onion, diced

Pinch of: salt, dried herbs and chilli flakes

1/2 tsp tomato puree

250ml vegetable stock

1 sweet potato, cubed

l kale, roughly chopped

1 large handful, fusilli

2 tbsp frozen peas

2 slices ham, cut into squares

Sprinkle of sesame seeds

Sprinkle of pumpkin seeds, roasted

Method

  • Prepare all of the ingredients from the list above and put into separate containers.
  • Heat the oil in a deep pan and once hot add the onion and cook for a few minutes until soft. Season the onions with roughly a pinch of salt, chilli flakes and dried herbs, then mix in the tomato purée and vegetable stock.
  • Cook your fusilli according to the packet instructions, drain and set aside.
  • In the meantime, add the cubed sweet potato to the onion mix and leave to simmer for 10-15 minutes until fully cooked.
  • Once the pasta is done, add to the pan along with the kale, peas and ham cooking for a final 5 minutes.
  • After everything is fully cooked, give it a final stir and sprinkle on the sesame and pumpkin seeds.

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*This recipe uses low-glycemic foods but doesn’t support dieting.