Spice Up Your Rice – Sticky Coconut & Coriander

coconut rice

The second part of my Spice Up Your Rice mini-series, this has become a firm favourite in boosting my clean bulk. Super easy (as ever) but with a richer, creamier taste than standard Basmati and a perfect compliment to Asian style dishes. Cooking the rice in coconut milk does increase the fat content of this rice, but it’s all monounsaturated, meaning your body utilises it for energy quickly, instead of storing it.

Ingredients:

  • Basmati rice (75g per person)
  • 1 can Coconut milk
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

Method:

Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the rice grains and coat evenly in the oil. If you’re doing a large portion, you might want to add a bit more oil, so all the rice is coated.

Tip the contents of the coconut milk into a bowl and mix to a smooth consistency. Measure out the same volume as the rice, eg. 75g rice = 75ml coconut milk. Add to the pan, along with the same amount of water. Bring to a strong simmer, whilst stirring; then cover and turn the heat right down to it’s lowest setting. Cook the rice like this forĀ  10-15 mins, stirring regularly to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. The rice should be slightly sticky and not watery in texture when it’s done – you shouldn’t need to drain it.

Top with fresh chopped coriander and serve.

Let me know if you want a particular rice recipe via twitter or the comment box below!

 

Instant Gratification Chocolate Mousse

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Ok so the title for this post is a little weird…but this really is instant gratification in so many ways! It takes barely 2 minutes to make (plus a little refrigeration), uses only a few ingredients and is genuinely good for you! That, and calling it ‘instant, sugar-free, dairy-free, vegan, clean chocolate mousse’ didn’t really work.

The secret ingredient is avocado, which seems weird in a dessert, but actually does a similar thing to what bananas do to smoothies. A blended avocado gives a velvet texture, a whole bunch of decent fats and a creamy taste to this pudding. Plus, it’s angelic just for the fact it’s a mousse without cream and sugar!

Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fat that is easily burned for energy. This makes them ideal for meeting calorie intake and getting in some healthy fats without seriously increasing your carbohydrate intake. Monounsaturated fats are vital for glowing skin, strong hair and nails. They’re also an excellent source of fiber, B vitamins and folic acid, which women are often deficient in. So there literally is no reason not to make a massive vat of this mousse and eat it all guilt free!

For 2 mousses:

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 3-4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp 70% organic cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp 100% cacao, melted (optional – increase cocoa powder to your own preference, or use 70% dark chocolate instead)

You might want something to serve it with, I used hazelnuts and raspberries.

Method:

Squeeze the avocado flesh from their skins into a blender & blitz with all other ingredients, until smooth. Chill in the fridge for 40 mins or so and serve!

mousse

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Nourishing Nut Milks

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It was only a couple of years ago that if you were lactose or dairy intolerant, soy or rice milk were your only options. All well and good if you actually liked them but with such a distinctive taste and weird texture, I always thought they were terrible in cereal, tea or coffee. Now, even small convenience stores at least have almond milk available and larger stores, a plethora of oat, hazelnut and coconut milks as well.

I started trying nut milks in smoothies and protein shakes to add some more nutrients and a different texture. If I have one of these drinks for breakfast, I want something that’s going to keep me full and not make me bloated like dairy can. Nut milks are also fantastic in baking, desserts and cocktails (particularly coconut milk in the latter) and I love an almond milk chai latte.

I still drink dairy as I’m not intolerant, but I much prefer nut milks for a more luxurious depth of flavour and better nutrient profile: tons of calcium and vitamins B2, 12, d and E and no added preservatives, artificial flavouring, colours, lactose or animal fat. Great for those who like to eat clean, vegans, or anyone looking to increase the nutritional value of their food. Alpro come out on top for their broad range of milks, both original and unsweetened. Rude Health also have an amazing oat and almond drink, which almost tastes like a milkshake in itself.

Don’t pass up nut milks – whether you can tolerate dairy or not – they’ll fit right into your routine and are a great change from the norm, particularly at breakfast time.

 

 

 

 

2 minute Guacamole

guacamole

There seems to be a bit of a dip theme going on at the moment on my blog, but hey, it’s Superbowl this weekend and so having a few speedy ideas for entertaining snacks is always handy.

I eat a lot of home made dips like this because they’re highly nutritious, satisfying and portable! Great to take to work with a few Ryvitas.

Guacamole is a great way of getting healthy fats via avocado and if you make sure they’re ripe enough, you can just squeeze the flesh out of the skin with your hand instead of fiddling around trying to slice it up. This recipe really does take minutes, just chuck everything in a blender, blitz and serve!

  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 ripe avocado’s
  • 1/2-1 red chilli
  • a handful of cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 bunch of corriander
  • 4 spring onions

I like to serve it with organic gluten free corn chips, so crunchy and way better than standard Doritos.

Incredible Indian – Super Curry Sauce!

DSCF6005[1]I first found Panjaban sauces on a recent trip to a farm shop near my mum’s in Northamptonshire, where they’re made. I have to admit, I’m not a huge curry fan. I like the odd takeaway but I’m not crazy about making curry at home, it takes so much practice and patience to get a good blend and balance of spices and aromats and after dealing with teenagers at work all day, I don’t have either of those in boundless quantities.

Panjaban makes it foolproof to whip up an insaaaane curry in no time. I’m talking absolutely delicious! In case you need more convincing, the sauces are free from gluten, nuts, sugar, ghee, yeast, wheat and dairy AND contain no preservatives, colours or additives. Just completely natural, simple combinations of ingredients.

For example, their Curry Base sauce contains…Onions, tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, ginger, spices, salt, lemon juice and cumin seeds. THAT’S IT.

I know I sounds like a shameless PR rep and I promise, this isn’t a paid post or something I’ve been asked to do. I just think it’s incredibly refreshing to find a well priced, home made product that is easy to use and contains 100% natural ingredients. They also make fab chapattis and chutneys.

Visit http://www.panjaban.co.uk/home to order online or for stockist list

5-A-Day Tabouleh

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Tabouleh has to be THE best salad in the world. It’s insanely healthy, crazy tasty AND it fills you up for hours, which is more than can be said for most dishes consisting solely of raw veg & herbs. Even the dressing does you good! A squeeze of fresh lemon juice keeps the crunch and vitality of the ingredients and a good quality, extra-virgin olive oil can help lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Tabouleh is really simple to make, just chop everything up really small & don’t overdo the bulgar wheat. It’s a herb –not a couscous salad – the wheat just gives texture and interest. A great dish to take along to a garden party or barbeque and super cheap to make, this is really a recipe everyone should have on their roster.

For the Tabouleh:

+1 red onion

+3-4 tomatoes

+1/2 cucumber

+large bunch of fresh mint

+large bunch fresh corriander

+50g bulgar wheat/couscous

 

For the dressing:

+2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

+4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

+sea/rock salt flakes

+freshly ground black pepper

Chop everything up finely. Squeeze the tomatoes in your hand, over a bowl. Too much moisture will ruin the tabouleh, so don’t skip this process. Add the tomatoes and cucumber just before serving (up to an hour before should be fine).

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Fast, Fresh, Fun: Vietnamese Noodle Salad

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I haven’t posted in an age…hectic end of term teaching and then on holiday lushing it up in Morocco. I would LOVE to post images of amazing Moroccan tagines, full of sweet fruit and heady spice, but the honest truth is it was an all inclusive, lie-around-drinking-cocktails-and-overindulging holiday, so the culture was pretty limited.

Since I’ve been back, I’ve been desperate to eat healthily and cut back to fresh, simple ingredients with tons of flavour. Kind of a food lovers detox if you will. Without anything involving the words ‘grass’ ‘germ’ or ‘seed’. This salad is adapted from a JOliver recipe. SO healthy and so refreshing, but with giant flavours that will give you a big smack in the mouth …in a good way. The key is the five spice and lime juice, it gives it a smokey, sweet but sharp and zingy flavour, while the peanuts add a distinctly Asian texture.

I like to make it before I go the gym and then gobble it down afterwards, feeling like I’m in a health food advert.

  • 300 g cellophane noodles/1 pack instant stir fry rice noodles
  • 2 teaspoons five-spice
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated
  • 2 heaped teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 100 g cooked peeled prawns (smaller are better)
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 bunch spring onions, finely sliced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 fresh red chillies, deseeded and finely sliced
  • 1 handful fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 handful fresh mint, chopped
  • 2 handfuls roasted peanuts

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Put all these cold salad ingredients into a large bowl and add the fish sauce and lime juice.

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Heat the oil in a hot pan. Add the five spice, then the ginger, sugar and garlic mix. Fry for one minute then add the prawns and coat in the aromatic mix for 2 minutes until juicy and tender. Add the noodles and heat through for a minute, stirring through the mixture. Doesn’t look great now but it will!!

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Et Voila! Make extra because you WILL want seconds. And why shouldn’t you?! It’s probably still only 2 calories…

Easily adapted to vegetarian/vegan diets, just leave the prawns out, obvs.

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super quick – beetroot & mint dip!

Seasonal stars title 2

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This dip is amazing – earthy, fresh and tangy. Perfect with bruschetta, spread on crusty bread, pitta, with tortilla chips or veg sticks; it goes with everything AND it’s bright pink! Ok, so I’ve used vac-pack beets for ease and speed, but beetroot is in season and you can’t beat the velvety texture of the fresh stuff, so if you’re not as lazy as me then get some. This is vegetarian and easily adapted for vegans too. Just replace the feta with almond feta andĀ  instead of creme fraiche, use vegan cream cheese cut with a little lemon juice.

ingredients

Blend the beetroot and cumin together to get a course paste

step 1

step 2

step 3

Decorate with a few small mint leaves and serve with..pretty much anything!DSCF4051[2]

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