Spiced Leek & Sweet Potato Soup

Apologies for not posting in a while. I’ve been busy making countless cookie jar gifts and various balms in the run up to the festive season. These are just from today…

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Anyway, after a productive day of jar layering and labelling, I realised that the school run was looming, we had a parents evening appointment and the church prayer meeting, and I hadn’t thought about dinner. It had to be quick, it had to be nutritious and it had to be warming; it’s freezing today in the North West!

I sliced two large leeks and sautéed in a saucepan with some coconut oil and a couple of cloves of garlic. After a few minutes I threw in two diced sweet potatoes leaving the skin on. A teaspoon of ground coriander, one of madras curry powder, salt, pepper and a couple of dashes of lemon juice provided the seasoning. When the spices had had a couple of minutes to cook out I added some stock, tossed in a good handful of frozen spinach and left to simmer until the sweet potato was tender.

Meanwhile I roughly chopped some cavalo nero, sprinkled it with rapeseed oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin seeds and a little ground coriander.

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Spread the greens out in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 160oC for about 10-15 minutes until crisp.

I love using my nutribullet to blend soups, it makes them beautifully silky smooth.

To serve I mixed some non fat Greek yoghurt with chopped coriander, salt, pepper and a little lemon juice and put a dollop on top of the soup, added a little mango chutney for sweetness, topped with the cavalo nero crisps, some more coriander and some finely chopped red chilli. We enjoyed a little treat of peshwari naan to dunk too. Delicious.

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Enjoy!

Caramelised doughnut peach

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I was craving something sweet after lunch today, but didn’t want to fall off the wagon too catastrophically. So, what do you do when a piece of fruit won’t cut it? Caramelise it and serve over Greek yoghurt. This is so simple it doesn’t warrant the title of recipe; merely a method for serving fruit is more fitting.

Simply slice a doughnut peach (or pretty much any fruit you fancy), add to a dry, non stick, searing hot frying pan for a few minutes tossing frequently, until the natural sugars start to caramelise and the fruit takes on some colour. Now, for the super health conscious you could serve it as it is over yoghurt and it would be fine, however, adding a little knob of butter to the hot pan means the residual natural fruit sugars are picked up and you’ll be left with a tiny amount of delicious buttery caramel to elevate your pudding to a new high. Spoon over some yoghurt, drizzle over the caramel and sprinkle with fresh mint. Yum!

Watermelon "Cake"

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On my eternal quest to provide healthy but interesting cake alternatives at the social action and outreach events our church puts on, I had a go at a watermelon “cake” I’d seen on Pinterest, adapting the recipe to use a healthier buttercream alternative.  I say “cake” as it is actually just fruit, yoghurt, vanilla bean paste, cream cheese and toasted flaked almonds.

Cut a watermelon into a rough cake shape.

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Beat 100g light cream cheese then add 250g fat free Greek yoghurt and a tablespoon of vanilla bean paste.  Taste the frosting and if it’s not sweet enough for you add in one or two tablespoons of icing sugar. I don’t think it’s necessary  really as the vanilla sweetens it beautifully.

Cover the melon with the frosting.

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Lightly toast a couple of handfuls of flaked almonds in a dry pan, allow to cool then sprinkle on around the base. Decorate with whatever fruit you fancy and leave in the fridge for the frosting to set a little. Slice and enjoy… Guilt free!

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Cacao nibs and peanut butter Nutriblast

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If you haven’t heard the hype about Cacao Nibs where have you been hiding? Apparently high in magnesium, flavanoids, potassium and antioxidants these bitter little chunks of goodness are the most raw form of chocolate you can get. You can read more about the benefits here.

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Now, I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned on here that I’m on a bit more of a health kick than usual, trying to replace a few lunches a week with an additional nutriblast (I usually have one for breakfast). I’m allowing myself to add in a couple of ingredients I wouldn’t usually add to make it a bit more substantial and fill me up until we have dinner with our four year old, which is generally around 5pm.

In this blast I added the following:
20g cacao nibs
20g unsweetened peanut butter
100g spinach
80g frozen banana chunks
100ml milk of your choice (I had to use cows as had run out of almond)
Top up with water to the max line.

Blast for thirty seconds and enjoy. If you want, and I’ll probably do this next time, put the cacao in the cup first and grind to a powder using the milling blade before adding the rest if the ingredients and swapping to the extractor blade. It just makes it a little smoother.