I’m a big fan of breakfast! It’s so important to start your day out right, and what better way to do that than with a big bowl of quinoa porridge?

Recently, quinoa has become a staple in our house- and with good reason! It’s so nutritionally complete, filled with fiber and protein, vitamins and minerals. It’s no wonder that the ancient Aztecs relied upon it for years to sustain their bodies and fill their bellies. It is so delicious, too! Slightly nutty, with a good chew factor, quinoa really does have it all!

This recipe is pretty versatile, and you can definitely change up the toppings to fit your own personal tastes. However, I decided to make a quick puree of papaya, just to add a big hit of vitamin C and flavour, as well as dates (for that extra sweetness!), walnuts (for crunch!), coconut (just because I love it!), blueberries (for antioxidants, vitamins and flavour!), and maple syrup- which, by the way, is full of complex B vitamins, riboflavin, protein, potassium and calcium (and you thought it was just a yummy topping for pancakes!).

One piece of advice when making this porridge- don’t leave out the maca powder! It adds a fair bit of sweetness, and is full of benefits. As a woman, I find it important to keep my hormones balanced, which maca helps to do. It’s also incredibly high in calcium (more so than cow’s milk!), which is not only important to me as a woman- women have a higher chance of developing osteoporosis than men later in life- but is also extremely important for my childrens’ growing bodies. I put a high priority on making sure my family gets as much nutritional value as possible, and little additions like maca powder are an easy way to ensure that they can eat delicious, nutritionally dense food on a daily basis.

I hope you enjoy my quick, easy porridge recipe! How do you like your porridge? Let me know in the comments below! Thank you for reading, and as always- eat well to live well!

 

QUINOA PORRIDGE WITH MACA & PAPAYA SAUCE.

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Breakfast

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp quinoa flakes
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp coconut cream
  • 1 tsp Goji berries
  • 1 tsp Maca powder

For Papaya puree

  • 1/3 papaya chopped into quarters

Toppings

  • 2 dates chopped
  • walnuts
  • coconut flakes
  • blueberries
  • maple syrup

Instructions

  • 1. Cook Quinoa flakes and goji berries in almond milk until done, roughly 30 minutes. Add coconut cream and maca.
    2. Meanwhile, puree the papaya in a high power blender until smooth.
    3. Pour the quinoa porridge into a bowl. Top with a generous spoonful of papaya sauce, and finish with toppings.

As a busy mum, sometimes I find it difficult to sit down for a full breakfast. I mean, who has the time, right? On those days when we’re running around and I can barely find a second to breathe (phew!), I whip up a quick healthy smoothie to keep my energy up and my stress levels down!

 

I love avocados. They’re full of nutritional value, including monounsaturated fatty acids as well as a host of phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals. Avocados are great for keeping my hair and nails healthy, they reduce the risk of heart disease, and they regulate blood sugar levels. Beyond that, their neutral, buttery flavour and texture work well in a variety of applications- it’s really no wonder why avocados are such a popular fruit!

 

Spinach is another nutritional powerhouse, which is why it’s so commonly found in smoothie recipes. It contains a good amount of protein and calcium, as well as fiber, vitamins A, E, C and K, thiamin, manganese, phosphorous and potassium. Wheatgrass is also gaining in popularity these days, mainly because it’s such an effective healer, and aids in cellular regeneration. Did you know that wheatgrass contains all the minerals known to man? It’s also 70% chlorophyll, which is important for your blood. Ever since I started incorporating wheatgrass into my diet, I’ve felt my energy levels increase- which I definitely need, considering I have three active boys to keep up with!

 

When I make this smoothie, I start with a juice base of spinach, pears and wheatgrass. Juicing is a fad that I don’t particularly love- it’s great, but it removes all the beneficial fiber from the food, and juice doesn’t keep me full as long as a smoothie does. That’s why I just use my juice as a base for my smoothie- that way, I can have a little extra hit of concentrated wellness from the juice (as well as an extra punch of flavour!), but I also benefit from all the fiber of my blended fruits and vegetables. I recommend investing in a high speed blender, such as a Vitamix. It is fairly pricey, but if you love smoothies, it’s an excellent investment to make.

 

The next time you’re feeling rushed and stressed in your day, whip up one of these green smoothies! I guarantee, you’ll feel the benefits immediately, and will continue to feel revitalized and energetic throughout the day. Do you have any favourite smoothie add-ins? Let me know in the comments below! And as I always say, eat well to live well!

WHEAT GRASS & AVOCADO SMOOTHIE

Cook Time3 mins
Total Time3 mins

Ingredients

  • Handful of Spinach
  • 2 cups fresh Wheatgrass, or ¼ cup powder
  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 2 pears
  • ½ lemon, zested and juiced
  • ½ avocado
  • ice cubes
  • Juice of spinach, wheatgrass, and pears

Instructions

  • 1. Make about 1 cup of juice from spinach, wheatgrass and pears.
    2 .Pour the juice into a blender with the lemon juice and zest, avocado and ice cubes. Blend together until smooth. Serve immediately.

 

Usually, I have to think of family-friendly recipes that will satisfy my three boys, as well as my husband and I. But every now and then, I like to make something special for just the two of us. Afterall, date night is important in a marriage, wouldn’t you agree?

 

So, I decided that I was long overdue for a nice adult meal with just my husband and myself, and I whipped up this easy, light, adult meal. Sure, you definitely could feed this simple courgette salad to children- it has the makings of a great side salad for a family dinner- but I think the simple elegance of a cheese-stuffed flower would be lost on my three young boys, and I wanted to bring a bit of elegant simplicity to my dining table this evening.

 

Ever since I started making cashew cheese, my world has opened up, and a whole new culinary dynamic has been made possible to me. If you’ve cut out dairy completely from your diet as I have, I’m sure there have been times when you’ve missed cheese. It’s easy to use in recipes, makes everything more delicious, and it is a staple in almost every diet across the world. Unfortunately, conventional cheese is laden with saturated fats and cholesterol, and is the source of many of the diseases that plague Western society. That’s why vegan cheese- like this cheese made from cashews and nutritional yeast- is such a welcome item in my home. It has all the creamy, tangy goodness of regular cheese, but is significantly better for you! I love it paired with this simple saute of ribboned courgettes and blossoms.

 

With the warm weather quickly approaching, I think this salad will quickly find itself in my regular meal rotation. It’s excellent hot, or can be served cold, meaning that it can be made in advance and kept in the fridge for an hour until you’re ready to serve. As far as date night meals go, I like to keep my prep work and cleanup at a minimum, so I can focus on enjoying a night of dining and conversation with my husband.

 

Whether you’re feeding this recipe to your entire family, eating it at your desk for a quick lunch, or creating an intimate dinner for two as I did, you’ll love this simple preparation and beautiful combination of whole ingredients. Even on a date night, you should always remember- eat well to live well!

 

STUFFED COURGETTE FLOWER WITH CASHEW CHEESE

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Appetizer
Servings: 2 People

Ingredients

  • 2 courgettes
  • 2 courgette flowers
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Himalayan pink salt
  • white pepper, to taste

For Cashew Cheese

  • 125 g cashew nuts soaked in water
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • seaweed dulse
  • white pepper

Instructions

  • 1. First, make the cashew cheese- soak the nuts in water for at least 2 hours (up to 12 hours in advance)
    2. Transfer the soaked cashews to a food processor, and add the lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and pepper. Puree until smooth.
    3. Transfer the mixture to a piece of parchment, and roll into a log. Cover with seaweed dulse, wrap well and refrigerate for at least 40 minutes.
    4. Using a mandolin or peeler, slice courgettes into long, thin ribbons.
    5. In a heavy bottomed pan or skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Fry the courgettes for about a minute per side, until crispy and fragrant. Set aside.
    6. In a medium sized pot, bring 6 cups of salted water to the boil. Quickly submerge the flowers into the boiling water for 20 seconds, and then transfer directly into an ice bath. Remove the flowers from the ice bath, and lay them onto a clean towel.
    7. Carefully spoon some of the cashew cheese into the center of the flower, making sure not to tear the delicate petals (if you do, don’t worry- just use the cheese as glue to hold the petal together!)
    8. To plate, lay the courgette ribbons onto individual plates, and garnish with slices of cashew cheese. Top with a flower, and serve.

 

I have a confession- I LOVE ice cream! Like, I could probably eat ice cream every single day! It’s refreshing, it’s sweet, it’s cold, and it brings back all sorts of fun childhood memories for me. My boys love ice cream too, which is why I whip up this easy coconut flavoured treat whenever a craving hits us.

Coconut cream is the perfect dairy-free ice cream base. It’s rich, creamy and has a mouthfeel similar to regular cream. I’ve made other flavours of ice cream before that use coconut cream as a base, but this time, I decided to go all out with the coconut flavour. The taste is tropical, light, and the epitome of summer!

For this recipe, I just went with the simple blender-to-freezer method. However, if you’re looking for a smoother ice cream texture, you can transfer the blended product to an ice cream maker, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Either way works, but the ice cream maker method does make a smoother end product. I, however, happen to like the slightly frozen, flakey texture given off by this recipe- it’s still creamy, but it has a slightly more refreshing feel that is almost somewhere between an ice cream and a granita. Either way, the flavour is intensely coconut, and very light!

Because flavours mellow when they’re cold, I found the need to add a bit of maple syrup to the mixture. It adds some much needed sweetness, and also helps smooth out the texture slightly. Maple syrup is also full of beneficial nutrients, such as calcium, iron, vitamin B6, phosphorus and magnesium. Just to add a bit more interest to my little bowl of goodness, I also decided to top my ice cream with coconut flakes, cranberries and maca powder. I’ve discussed the benefits of maca on this blog before, because it really is a wonderful food! It’s sweet, tangy, helps balance hormones and contains calcium, as well as several vitamins and minerals! I always keep my pantry stocked with maca, so that I can add it to baked goods, smoothies, porridges, and my ice cream sundaes. Of course, feel free to substitute the toppings listed with your own favourites- blueberries, walnuts, or goji berries would all be delicious on top of this creamy coconut treat!

Next time you’re in need of a sweet summer treat, try whipping up a batch of this coconut ice cream. Eating well doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice flavour or fun! Eat well to live well!

 

VEGAN COCONUT ICE CREAM

Cook Time10 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Dessert

Ingredients

  • 500 ml coconut cream
  • 500 ml coconut milk
  • 100 g coconut meat
  • 30 g desiccated coconut
  • 50-70 ml maple syrup

Toppings

  • coconut flakes
  • Maca powder optional

Instructions

  • 1. Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth.
    2. Transfer mixture into a freezer proof container. Freeze for 2-4 hours until solid.

 

People have this misconception about clean diets, as if you have to give up all the delicious foods you love once you’ve eliminated animal products and gluten from your lifestyle. This couldn’t be further from the truth! I love a good brunch as much as the next person, and I don’t feel I should have to sacrifice flavour or substance just to maintain a healthy vegan, gluten free diet.

 

Case and point- my family are HUGE breakfast and brunch fans! While our weekday breakfast routine tends to be a little more simple due to our hectic schedule, I do like to make time for a nice family breakfast or brunch on the weekends. It’s a great chance for us to spend a few hours together, talk about the highlights of our weeks, and just enjoy some family time. For those special meals, I like to make my lentil and sweet potato frittata for my hungry gang!

 

Frittatas are almost synonymous with brunch. They are light, fluffy, and can have a variety of fillings and toppings, which is why they’re an excellent vehicle for any leftover veggies you have in the fridge. Of course, traditional frittatas are made with egg, and usually loaded with meats and cheeses as well. My frittata is lentil based, which lends a richness to the frittata, almost mimicking egg. Lentils are a pantry staple in my house- they’re versatile, easy to cook, and jam-packed with protein, fiber, magnesium and complex carbohydrates. Sweet potatoes also help add a richness (and a hint of sweetness!) to this frittata, while also enhancing the nutritional content with vitamin C, complex B vitamins, dietary fiber, niacin and phosphorus.

 

If you haven’t noticed by now from my recipes, I like to mix up the types of gluten free flours I use. There’s a reason for this- different grains provide different nutritional value, flavour and texture, and I like to use the grain best suited to the job. Buckwheat actually isn’t a grain at all, it’s a seed, and it’s loaded with protein and fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It’s been proven to reduce both cholesterol and hypertension, and can help regulate blood sugar. It also has a rich, nutty, almost buttery flavour, making it a welcome addition to this breakfast recipe. I also added a bit of gluten free white flour, just to help smooth out the texture of the finished product, and make it a bit fluffier.

 

Once you’ve perfected this recipe, it’s easy to mix up the ingredients to create your own spin on this frittata! Try adding roasted tomatoes, basil and vegan cheese (such as daiya), and omitting the sweet potato and nutmeg, for a mediterranean twist! Or, add black beans, salsa and cilantro to the lentil-flour-sweet potato base for a fun latin spin! The possibilities truly are endless.

 

This weekend, gather your family and friends, press some good coffee or some fresh juice, and whip up this healthy, low fat, flavourful treat! I guarantee it’ll be an instant favourite in your house, as it is in mine! Eat well to live well!   

LENTILS & SWEET POTATO FRITTATA

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course

Ingredients

  • 300 g cooked lentils
  • 2 tbsp buckwheat Flour
  • 3 tbsp gluten free white flour
  • 1/2 sweet potato cubed
  • 1/2 cup oat milk
  • Chopped Parsley
  • Pinch of Nutmeg
  • pinch of Pink Himalayan salt

Instructions

  • 1. Preheat oven to 185 C (360F)
    2. Mix all ingredients together.
    3. Lightly grease a baking mold, and pour the mixture in evenly.
    4. Bake for 25-35 minutes. To check doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the fritatta. If the toothpick comes out clean, it’s ready. Otherwise, allow to cook longer, checking at 10 minute intervals until finished.

 

There are so many overnight chia pudding recipes floating around right now, it’s hard to tell which ones are worth trying. Let me tell you right now– this recipe has it all! It’s light, healthy, and has just the right amount of sweetness- perfect for breakfast or a mid afternoon pick-me-up.  

 

Chia seeds are amazing little things! Packed with more calcium than cow’s milk, more omega 3’s than salmon and more antioxidants than blueberries, it’s no wonder they’ve really gained in popularity over the past few years. I use chia seeds in all kinds of ways, but one of my favourite things to eat them is in this pudding. Matched with a fruity, sweet pear and fig compote, my wholesome little seeds really have the chance to shine as the star of my morning breakfast routine.

 

Soaking the chia in almond milk and date syrup adds a nice amount of sweetness, as well as an extra bit of calcium. While the date syrup adds enough sweetness already, I like topping my chia pudding with fruit compote to add another layer of flavour. Cranberries add a nice amount of tartness, but when cooked down slightly with ultra sweet fruit like apples, pears, and figs, they lend balance to the finished compote and make it a bright, rich, appealing colour (we eat with our eyes first, so don’t be afraid to use all the colour you can in your cooking!).

 

This chia pudding is sweet enough for even my kids to enjoy on a morning, but healthy and light enough to eat every day! For a fun twist, try adding blueberries and almonds, or sliced bananas and coconut flakes. Breakfast should be fun- it is, after all, the most important meal of the day! Eat well to live well!

 

 

CHIA SEED WITH PEAR & FIG COMPOTE

Course: Breakfast
Servings: 2 People

Ingredients

  • 10 tbs Chia Seeds
  • 250 ml Almond milk
  • 3-4 tbs Date syrup

For Compote

  • 2 pears
  • 3 figs
  • 1 apple
  • 1/2 cranberries
  • 3-4 tbsp honey

Instructions

  • 1. Soak the chia seeds in almond milk and date syrup overnight.
    2. To make the compote, chop the fruit into small chunks, and cook them in a little water on low heat until they’ve softened slightly, about 20 minutes.
    3. Once cooked, add a touch of honey for added sweetness.
    4. Pour the compote over the chia pudding before serving.

This muffin recipe contains two of my all-time favourite superfoods- pumpkin, and Baobab powder. These muffins are dense, sweet, and gooey- perfect for an afternoon snack, or a burst of energy in the morning. I usually make a batch or two of these at the beginning of the week, keep them sealed in an airtight container, and pack them in my boys’ lunch boxes on a morning. They have quickly become a staple in my home.

 

Baobab powder, which is full of vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber, is perfect for a recipe like this. It has a light, fruity flavour and is full of nutritional properties, such as vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants. As a busy mum, I like to make sure that I get as much vitamin C as possible, to keep my skin glowing and fresh, and my immune system working at maximum capacity! I have started using Baobab quite a bit in my day to day recipes, and I have found its uses are endless. Pumpkin is another vitamin C stronghold, but also contains high amounts of potassium and fiber. Beyond that, it has a dense, gooey sweetness that really makes this recipe work. Cinderella can keep her carriage, I’ll take the pumpkin any day!

 

When I first went gluten free, there weren’t as many options available as there are now. We’re lucky to have so many great gluten free flours in regular grocery shops, and I love being able to pick and choose the flours that I feel will work best for the recipe I’m creating. The reason I use gluten free white flour so much in recipes is because it is as close to plain flour as I’ve seen. It’s light and fluffy and predictable, but it also isn’t that nutritionally beneficial. That’s why I paired it with buckwheat flour. Buckwheat isn’t actually a grain at all, it’s a seed. It’s high in both protein and fiber, and very easily digested. It also has a nutty, rich taste that makes these muffins so appealing.

 

The entire recipe comes together in about half an hour. Make sure the coconut oil is fully melted and cooled before adding it into the batter, as it keeps the muffins moist while they’re baking. Keep some coconut oil available to grease your muffin molds as well- I’ve ruined quite a few cakes in my time by not properly greasing my molds in advance, and I wouldn’t want that to happen to you! Once they’ve baked, let them cool completely and store them in an airtight tin for up to 5 days. I wish you happy baking, and, as always- eat well to live well!

 

 

PUMPKIN & BAOBAB MUFFINS

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Dessert
Servings: 5 Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup Gluten Free white flour
  • 7 tbsp Brown Rice Syrup
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Oil melted
  • 1/2 tsp Baking powder
  • a pinch of Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 tbsp Baobab powder
  • 1/4 cup Brown rice milk
  • 1/2 cup Pumpkin purée

Instructions

  • 1. Preheat oven to 175C (370F)
    2. Mix all ingredients together and pour into greased baking molds.
    3. Bake for 35-40 minutes. To check doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of one of your muffins. If the toothpick comes out clean, the muffins are finished. If not, allow to cook further, checking on them at every 10 minute interval.
    4. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Making delicious, healthy breakfasts for an entire family has its challenges. My husband likes heavy, rich breakfasts. My kids like sweet. I’ve always enjoyed a light, fruity start to my morning. Sometimes, mum wins!

This refreshing acai breakfast is rich in antioxidants, easy to make, and perfect for fruit lovers like me!  It has enough sweetness for my boys, and even though it isn’t heavy or rich, it’s filling enough to satisfy even my busy husband!

The blend of fresh fruits, maca and acai powders, nut butter and vanilla protein powder basically makes the a super healthy mousse, full of protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Protein is important when you have a big day ahead- it provides a long, slow stream of energy that will last the entire day. Likewise, the complex carbs found in this mixture of fruit (and granola, if you choose to use it as a topper!) will give you a burst of energy so that your morning starts off right.

You can top your healthy mousse with whatever you like best, but I chose a blend of fresh fruit, bee pollen, granola, cashews and goji berries. If you haven’t tried bee pollen, you really should! It tastes mildly like honey, and is the food eaten by young bees. It contains almost every nutrient required by humans, and is very high in protein. It also gives a nice crunch and a hit of bright yellow colour to whatever it garnishes. Goji berries are a staple in my house, because of their numerous health benefits- while you can definitely rehydrate them beforehand, I prefer to leave them in their dried form for a gummy, almost candy-like texture.

This recipe is so incredibly easy, so I usually make it on days when I have a lot going on in my house. The next time you have a busy morning ahead of you, make this healthy, fun, fruity breakfast. Eat well to live well!

 

ACAI PROTEIN & MACA BOWEL

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Breakfast

Ingredients

  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 cup raspberries frozen
  • 1 banana frozen
  • 1 tsp cashew butter
  • 1 tbsp vegan vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tsp Maca powder
  • 1 tbsp Acai powder
  • 3 soft medjool dates
  • 1/2 tsp flaxseed oil

Toppings

  • coconut flakes
  • bee pollen
  • banana slices
  • balckberries
  • raspberries
  • strawberries
  • goji berries
  • granola
  • cashew nuts
  • dragon fruit
  • cranberries

Instructions

  • 1. Blend all ingredients until smooth.
    2. Top with sliced fruit, granola, nuts, bee pollen, and anything else you can imagine!