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Immune Boosting Japanese Soba Noodle Salad

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It’s hard to believe it’s still winter here in Sydney. The weather has been just amazing with sunny blue skies and temperatures of 24 degrees! There are, however, still lots of flus and viruses going around and some crazy cold winds and even hail are apparently coming tomorrow, so it’s not summer yet! Now with this cold weather coming I don’t want to get sick and when you are around young children like I am (I teach preschool children) you need to make sure your do as much as you can to keep your immune system up and running! If I want a smooth sailing to summer too I need to do just that.

 As you are probably aware (or should be!) food is the one of the first ways to affect our health and if we eat the fresh organic variety it can have a positive effect, supporting a strong immune system. It is from good quality, nutritious (preferably organic) food that we get all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals needed for a strong constitution.  So yesterday, with this in mind, I made a dish that compliments this great warm weather but still gives an immune boosting punch! Read the rest of this entry

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Prawn Ceviche`

This is a delicious combination of prawns, roasted capsicum, coriander and lime. Ceviche` usually uses raw seafood that is cured in citrus juice. However for this recipe I have used cooked prawns. Enjoy as is in a bowl or with some crisp lettuce cups to scoop it up in. You can also serve as some delicious nibbles for a party by spooning the mixture into small lettuce cups and serving on a platter with small wedges of lime. I call these prawn tacos! For those eating grains a mix of wild and brown rice goes nicely with it too.

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Recipe

Ingredients

1 kg cooked, peeled and deveined prawns (shrimp)

1 red bell pepper/capsicum

1 orange bell pepper/capsicum

1 yellow bell pepper/capsicum

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp jalapeno slices, finely chopped

1 Lebanese or continental cucumber, seeds removed and diced

Dressing

4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Juice of 2 limes

1 shallot, finely diced

1/2 bunch coriander (cilantro), leaves and stem finely chopped, plus 2 extra tbsp of chopped leaves to serve.

To serve

4 tbsp of roasted macadamias, roughly chopped

Cos lettuce leaves removed and washed

1 cup mix of cooked brown rice and wild rice

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180C. Place capsicums (peppers) on a baking tray and drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil, making sure they are covered. Place in oven and bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until the skin starts to bubble and comes away easily from the flesh.

2.Meanwhile chop prawns into 1/4 inch pieces and place in a large bowl.

3. When the capsicums (peppers) are ready remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes. Peel all the skin off, and remove the seeds. You can discard these. Chop the flesh into a small dice and add to the chopped prawns along with the cucumber and jalapenos.

4. For the dressing, combine the oil, coriander, shallot and lime juice in a jar and shake well to combine. Pour over the prawn and capsicum mixture.  Mix the mixture with your hands to cover everything in the dressing and adjust the dressing as needed. Use your own judgement. You might want more lime juice or coriander. You shouldn’t need any salt as the prawns will have quite a bit in them and there is a lot of flavour from the jalapenos, lime and coriander. But if you feel you do, add it!

5. Chill the mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes. Before serving sprinkle over macadamias and some extra chopped coriander. Serve as is or with lettuce cups. If you are using rice, mix it into the ceviche` before serving.

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Mayonnaise

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You can put the knife down for this recipe! All you need is a bowl, a whisk and some elbow grease. In fact, Mayonnaise is so simple and easy to make that once you’ve made it yourself you’ll wonder why you ever bought it from a shop. It only has 5 ingredients and if your careful with combining the oil into the egg yolks you’ll have a beautiful creamy mayo in no time at all. It also tastes delicious and of course has the nourishing nutrients filling fats of fresh egg yolks and olive oil and no sugar or preservatives that often come in the jars on supermarket shelves. Spread it in your favourite lettuce wrap or on some sprouted bread with tomato, use it as a dip for some vege-sticks put a dollop with some sweet potato chips or add some extra flavours and serve with some freshly baked fish. The perfect condiment for a healthy wholefood/paleo meal or snack!

RECIPE

Ingredients

2 egg yolks

260 ml olive oil (or you can use grape seed oil which will have a milder taste)

1 – 2 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp Dijon mustard

Pinch of celtic sea salt to taste

Method

1. Combine the yolks and oil, using a hand whisk or blender/food processor. You need to take care with this part, so take it slowly to make sure the oil and egg yolk emulsify and do not split.

– To hand whisk:

a) Place egg yolks in a metal or glass bowl and whisk to break up.

b) Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking with the other hand. You will need to stop pouring the olive oil at times to ensure it is incorporated into the egg yolk. Make sure you whisk very fast and thoroughly so as to ensure the yolks and oil emulsify and don’t split.

– To use a blender/food processor:

a) Add yolks to the blender/processor and blend at low-speed.

b) Slowly drizzle in oil and keep blending until smooth and emulsified.

2. Once all oil is incorporated, add mustard, salt and lemon to taste. Whisk to combine and adjust seasoning as needed.

3. Store in refrigerator and use as needed.

Should keep for 10 days in an airtight container.

Variations

Make garlic aioli by adding 2 cloves of garlic, crushed

Make tartare sauce by adding 2 tbsp chopped capers, 2 tbsp chopped baby cornichons, 1 chopped eschallot and 1 clove of garlic, crushed.

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