Tag Archives: health

Chicken and vegetable cauliflower rice

A budget friendly, nutritious and easy to prepare meal. I used a whole cauliflower for this recipe and was amazed at the plentiful quantity it made. Cauliflower rice is a great alternative to real rice, and you will be amazed at how similar it looks and tastes. 

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Enough to feed the whole family.

Ensure that you use fresh ingredients. You can use your favourite vegetables but l used mostly greens in this one such as bok choy, celery, broccoli, spring onion tops and snow peas, plus some carrot and bean sprouts.

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A beautiful fresh cauliflower.

This is a dish that can be pre-prepared early in the day so that at dinner time it will take a very short time to cook. It is a matter of processing the cauliflower, washing and chopping all of the vegetables and dicing the chicken. This can all then be kept in separate bowls or containers in the fridge until required.

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Preparation is the key! One whole cauliflower, 2 free range chicken breasts and your favourite vegetables.

My favourite way to make cauliflower rice is to cut the fresh cauliflower into smallish pieces and then blend it in the food processor. This takes about 10 seconds to turn into cauliflower rice. You don’t want it in the food processor too long or it will be a pulp and wont cook nicely.

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Wash the raw cauliflower and cut it into pieces that will fit into the food processor.

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Process the cauliflower until it resembles rice and is an even consistency.

Steps:

I used a largish fry pan which l pre-heated on a low temperature and added some olive oil. You know the pan is too hot if the oil is smoking. High heats will damage the oil so go gently with the heat.

Add the diced chicken to the pan and lightly brown. Next add the cauliflower rice and let it cook for a few minutes, followed by the vegetables and any spices you are using. I just used pink rock salt and ground black pepper, but l have in the past added fresh garlic, ginger and lots of spices such as tumeric, cumin, paprika and cinnamon. You can also add some sauces such as a fish sauce or Tamari, but l have been having food intolerance reactions to a lot of spices at present so kept this dish plain. The cauliflower rice often changes colour depending on the spices or vegetables you use and can look so stunning.  Don’t over cook the vegetables or rice to retain the nutrients. I put mine on a nice large platter to serve and it looked wonderful.

You can take this to work the next day for lunch to have cold and use different meats, or just have it as a side dish. A very fresh and clean cauliflower is essential to the success of this dish and it is so light and healthy that it is a great meal to have at night when you don’t want to overload your digestive system.

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Green smoothies: A masterpiece every time!

A few hashtags to describe a green smoothie!

#nutritious #fibre #filling #colourful #healthy #fun #vegetables #fruit #raw #vitamins #minerals #antioxidants #tastesamazing #healthychoice #green

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Filled with green goodness.

Mental and practical roadblocks people use to not have a green smoothie in their life.

It it scary to drink a green smoothie

I don’t want to drink vegetables, especially green ones

There are things in there l won’t like

I’ve never had a chia seed

I don’t have a blender

The ingredients are expensive

It will taste awful

I’d rather have a normal fruit smoothie

Do any of these sound familiar? They can all be overcome if you can think out side of your comfort zone. If you don’t have a blender they can be purchased very cheaply or you can borrow one, and if you grow your own green leafy vegetables that is another one crossed off the list.

Take the plunge and try a simple recipe for your first smoothie that is guaranteed to be delicious. You can even leave the chia seeds out.

Cos lettuce (fill up half the blender with this, but make sure it is well washed), one small banana, one navel orange, 1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional), some fresh mint and enough plain coconut water to give a good consistency to drink or you can eat it with a spoon.

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Just pile all of the ingredients into the blender and process. Pour it into a glass and enjoy!

 

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An amazing colour with a wonderful sweet flavour.

A green smoothie is different to a green juice. A juice has most of the fibre removed and is much lighter to drink and digest. When l was very unwell last year l loved having a green juice as the nutrients were quickly and easily broken down and absorbed for use in the body, whereas a smoothie was too heavy for me and l just couldn’t digest them.

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A green juice made with the Cold Pressed juicer.

Part of the joy of drinking a green smoothie is that it is green!

A green smoothie can quickly turn a not so nice colour if you add certain ingredients to it such as raspberries, blueberries or blackberries. It could go a brown colour and will taste great, but won’t look so appetising.

Choosing your ingredients:

1. Start by picking your choice of greens. You can have just the one such as cos lettuce, kale, spinach or silverbeet or a mixture. Cos lettuce is so sweet and lovely and l love the smaller green spinach leaves.

2. What liquid are you going to have in your juice? I would advise either plain coconut water or filtered water.

3. Choose the fruit you are going to add. This could be banana, apple, peach, apricot, pear, mango, pineapple, orange and mandarin as examples. Citrus is wonderful as it will help your body absorb the iron from the greens.

4. Add a few interesting things to your smoothie. Limes and lemon’s with the skin on will give the smoothie a kick, while fresh ginger and herbs such as parsley and mint will help to enhance the flavour.

5. Add additional nutrients such as chia seeds, green powders or nuts.

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This smoothie has lots of greens, a few strawberries, chia seeds, activated almonds, orange and filtered water.

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This was such a filling smoothie and there are speckles of red through it from the strawberries.

A way to combine a green smoothie with a more colourful ingredients and still have it looking good is to have some fun putting it together as in the one below. Both the green and pink sections tasted wonderful, but when mixed together were a not so nice brown colour.

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A green smoothie with a dash of colour!

The green section is cos lettuce, banana, green apple and coconut water. The pink layer is strawberries, blueberries, acai berry powder, chia seeds, banana and coconut water. I make the green part first and pour it into two glasses and wash the blender, then make the pink part. The decorative pointy bits l do with a stainless steel straw and it looks nice to drink!

A smoothie can easily be a meal if you add in good sources of protein such as chia seeds and nuts. I drink them slowly as it is a lot of liquid going into the stomach all at once and adding the nuts and chia seeds make it a bit heavier and thicker as well as slowing down the digestion of the sugars in the drink. Sometimes l have a handful of nuts with the smoothie if it has a lot of fruit in it and this balances out the snack.

The best way to get started on your smoothie adventure is to fill up your fridge with lots of healthy fresh food. Here is a quick snapshot of my fridge as it looks most of the time.

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I really need a bigger fridge!

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Eat a fresh rainbow everyday!

Better than medication

Let nutrition be the focus of our eating habits.

There are so many ways to add colour to your meals, but the best way is to include a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables in your daily diet. The health benefits of eating a diet filled with a rainbow of colours is well known, but as l have tried to incorporate more vegetables into every meal, l have discovered the joy of eating food that is a range of bright colours. Not only are the range of flavours so amazing, but eating fresh colourful food is exciting, motivating and makes me feel happy.

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A green pancake for breakfast. Paleo recipe, gluten, dairy and sugar free filled with loads of parsley, bok choy, spinach and kale. Topped with activated almonds, organic coconut flakes and organic maple syrup. Served with fresh avocado and a daily magnesium drink.

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Breakfast pancake topped with fresh fruit, activated walnuts, coconut flakes and organic maple syrup.

A food as Medicine approach underpins my nutritional motivation, and everything l eat has a purpose and a high nutritional value. Eating a rainbow of fresh, healthy food will ensure you are consuming healthy vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and fibre that will help you on your wellness journey.

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Lunch: A beautiful fresh raw salad.

If your daily rainbow consists of peas, carrots and corn then it is time for a change. Our taste buds can get a bit lazy and are a victim of our comfort zone just like the rest of our habits are. Trying new foods can be challenging and it can take a number of goes at eating a food, or preparing it in a variety of ways before we become accustomed to its taste, texture and how it feels in our mouth when eating. There is also the challenge of learning how to prepare new foods, but if you add one in at a time then it can be exciting and an adventure.

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Lunch: Spiced beetroot & vegetable cauliflower rice, with tuna, avocado, tomato and seeds.

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Lunch: Poached free range eggs & bacon with fresh avocado and carrot strips.

The first step after deciding you want more colour in your food is to buy a selection so it is available for you when preparing meals. If you need guidance, use a recipe that appeals to you as a starting point. I have found Instagram to be an amazing source of inspiration as l can visually see what other people are cooking and eating which helps my motivation to try new foods.

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Cold pressed green juice made from bok choy, celery, green apple, lime and ginger.

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Amazing red juice of beetroot, celery, pear, carrot & fresh ginger.

Take ownership of your food intake and start experimenting with new ingredients. It can be fun and rewarding to sit down to a meal that you have lovingly prepared for yourself and family, especially if it has an array of lovely stimulating colours that gets the family talking about what you have made.

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Dinner: Baked fish on a bed of beetroot noodles with a vegetable stir fry.

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Dessert: Banana, apple & mandarin ice-cream made with the cold pressed juicer and an avocado based chocolate mousse.

I try to make my meals interesting, flavoursome, paleo friendly and highly nutritious. It takes planning, thought, time, motivation and a strong commitment to staying on track when life inevitably throws a few challenges into the mix. I live in a busy household with a husband and three children who are mostly non-paleo. This is a major challenge for me and l am educating them, but this nutritional and lifestyle path that l am following is not without its challenges.

Top tips:

  • Take an interest in what you are eating. Help with the shopping and cooking and plan your meals.
  • Be prepared. Have a plentiful supply of fresh fruit and vegetables in the house.
  • Try to incorporate colour into every meal, ideally by using mostly vegetables and some fruit with a focus on raw or lightly cooked where possible.
  • Have a positive attitude to trying something new and do some research by looking at magazines, online or speak to a friend who inspires you. Better still, study Nutrition as l have done!
  • Take it slowly. Change is difficult and our old habits are comfortable and easy to fall back into when a challenge comes our way. Slowly form new habits and incorporate them into your daily life.
  • Have fun with it! Go to local markets and explore. Experiment in the kitchen with the fresh ingredients.
  • Have a good attitude. See it as a diet of abundance rather than a diet of deprivation.
  • Think of your short and long term goals and make every bite you take a nutritious one.
  • Eat because you are hungry! Cut out the emotional, social, bored or habitual eating.

Follow these tips and you will be on the road to a healthier you!

If you have enjoyed this post please share it with a friend. I post daily on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook with pictures of the food l prepare and eat, as well as a few wellness tips and healthy resources. Thank you Carolyn

Wake me up, morning juice!

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Sweet, tangy, invigorating, stimulating, nutritious, alive, enticing and smooth.

Take the juicer out of the cupboard, borrow one or buy one and put making a juice on top of your list of things to do this weekend!

Which juicer to buy is another blog which l have already done, but whether it is a centrifugal juicer or a cold pressed juicer, you can make a delicious refreshing and nutritious juice that will liven up your day. You can experiment with ingredients and use whatever suits. Don’t be afraid to add in vegetables such as beetroot, cos lettuce, spinach, kale, sweet potato or broccoli. You can make this a fun activity to share with family members or challenge yourself to try new and interesting flavours. Juices can literally be the colours of the rainbow!

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The first step in making a juice is to get all of your ingredients ready. If you have a centrifugal juicer then it is a matter of washing them, peeling and a bit of chopping. A cold pressed juicer required more preparation, but it is very good for leafy greens and retains more nutrients.

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This morning’s juice: Cos lettuce, 1/2 lemon, small piece pineapple, one green apple, mint and 4 carrots.

Have all the fruit and vegetables ready to go!

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Mix up the soft and hard ingredients and process the greens first.

The pulp is most of the fibre from the fruit. You could compost it or use it for some baking.

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Once your juice is finished it is time to wash your machine parts. Don’t wait until you have finished your juice as this is a job that needs to be done as soon as possible. The filter is a delicate piece of equipment in any juicer and can become blocked. Clean this first with warm water and the little brush that comes with the juicer.

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Lay all the clean pieces on a t-towel to dry.

I find it hard to just make enough juice for one person and usually have some to share. This morning’s juice was very sweet and just what l needed for an early start to the day. One glass of a sweet juice is enough for me and l would have it with a protein to balance my blood sugar levels and for me this will be my morning healthy pancake.

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The main thing is to enjoy your juicing. If you put too much fruit in it and find it doesn’t agree with you, then add in some more greens or other vegetables. Everyone’s taste buds are different. Try adding ginger or herbs to the mix and see how wonderful the flavours can be. This is a way to get the whole family involved and living a healthier life.

If you have enjoyed this post please share with a friend. I also share daily recipes and wellness tips on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Thanks Carolyn