Veggie Fritters

You guys are always asking for more easy lunch box recipes and these are absolutely perfect to make in batches and add to your lunchbox!
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This recipe was developed and tested by @essentially.emma and myself and we are confident that you will love them!

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INGREDIENTS
Fritters: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
½ cup quinoa
1 egg
½ carrot, grated
1 courgette, grated
3 tbsp flour
100g sweetcorn
1 tbsp chives, chopped
½ tsp cumin
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Dip: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
½ cup Greek yogurt
1 tbsp chives, chopped
½ lemon, juice of ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
1. Cook the quinoa according the pack instructions.
2. Meanwhile, grate the courgette and carrot.
3. Wrap the grated courgette in a paper towel and squeeze well to remove some of the liquid.
4. Once the quinoa is cooked, mix all of the fritter ingredients in a bowl.
5. Scoop out around ¼ cup of mixture and shape it in to a ball with your hands and then flatten on a chopping board to make a disc shape. Repeat with the rest of the mixture.
6. Heat a large frying pan with a little olive oil over medium heat.
7. Once hot, add the fritters and cook for 3 minutes on each side.
8. Meanwhile, mix up the dipping sauce.
9. Serve the fritters with the dipping sauce and enjoy!

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Sweet potato breakfast muffins

I absolutely love whipping up foods that can be taken on-the-go for breakfast or as a snack! We all lead busy lives and some mornings you choose an extra 20 minutes in bed over having breakfast before you leave! But why not have the best of both world and prepare yourself with a batch of nutritious muffins that you can grab and go!

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These go perfectly with Greek yoghurt!
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INGREDIENTS
1 large sweet potato or 2 small ones
2 small bananas, mashed
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp pumpkin spice (or a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg & ginger)
1 egg (or flax seed egg)
1 tbsp flax seed
1 cup wholemeal flour
1/2 cup oats
1 tsp baking powder
Chopped walnuts to decorate (optional)
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METHOD (makes 6)
Bake your sweet potato in the oven for around 40 mins until completely cooked and nice and soft. Remove the skin. Mash the sweet potato in a bowl and add the banana, egg, vanilla, baking powder and flax seed. Mix well until combined then add the spices and the flour and oats. Once combined, distribute the mix in to 6 cupcakes cases and bake in the oven for 15 mins – Enjoy!

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Lunch time meal prep

Need to prep your lunch? Can’t think of something quick, easy and deliciously nutritious? I got you covered!

To get the most out of a lunch box, I like to make sure its well balanced and contains carbs, protein, essential fats and veggies! And of course tastes delicious! I always get messages on Instagram asking for on the go lunch ideas and whilst I have many recipes, I thought it would be helpful to put them all in one place! So below are my top 5 lunch box recipes to help get you through the week… (I recommend making

Herb tofu with mixed grains, wheat berries & greens

Simply steam the veg and add the tofu and grains cold, ready to heat up at work!

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Veggie box

This one is super easy to cook and then reheat at work but you can also eat it cold and on the go!

Ingredients: 125g cooked quinoa, 3 beetroot falafels, 100g cooked black beans, 80g steamed asparagus

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Bean & Lentil stew

This can be made in batches to freeze in lunch boxes too!

  • BEAN & LENTIL STEW (serves 3-4)
  • 1 x 400g tin of Black beans, drained
  • 1 x 400g tinned chickpeas, drained
  • 2 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
  • 200g Green lentils, dry
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 x 400g tinned Tomatoes
  •  400ml Vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp Chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

    1. In large pot add vegetable broth and lentils.
    2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to med-low and simmer for 20 minutes.
    3. While lentils are cooking, in a large pan add olive oil, onion, red pepper, and garlic.
    4. Saute 5-6 minutes until softened.
    5. When lentils have simmered for 20 minutes, add the mix from the pan and remainder of ingredients to lentils pot.
    6. Simmer the stew for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    7. Do occasional taste tests and add more or less spice to your liking. Add to your lunch boxes!
    8. Serving mine with freekah – Enjoy!

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Plant based box

  • 125g mixed brown rice and quinoa (cooked)
  • 100g black beans, cooked
  • 100g chickpeas, cooked,
  • 160g mixed greens
  • 3 tbsp tomato and basil pasta sauce – I use one straight from the jar!

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Buddha bowl style

Here it is pretty simple – you choose a grain, a protein and some veggies! For this bowl you will need a mix of brown rice and lentils (around 125g in total – cooked), 30-40g of grilled halloumi, 4 veggie falafels, spinach leaves and steamed broccoli. Bang it in a lunchbox and you’re good to go!

 

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My Vegetable pasta recipe is also a great one to box up and enjoy hot or cold!

To keep up with new recipes, make sure you follow me @sophieshealthykitchen

Vegan Meatballs

You guys know I am all about easy recipes and this one is no exception! If you’re looking for a meat free alternative to meatballs, then look no further! These 6 ingredients bites can go in a stir fry, with spaghetti or even taken on the go as little snacks!

Vegan meatballs (makes 12-16 meatballs)

  • 1 can of lentils, drained (about 220g or 1 cup of lentils)
  • 2-3 tbsp of fresh basil and parsley, chopped
  • 1 small onion (75g of onion), peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 flax seed egg (1tbsp flax seed + 3 tbsp water)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 cup (15g) nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp (15g) ground almonds
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Method

  • Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  • In a food processor, pulse the onions until broken down, then add the garlic and lentils, pulsing until the lentils are broken up too.
  • Add in all of your remaining ingredients, mixing until combined.
  • If you mix is too wet, add a little extra ground almonds, so it’s just firm enough to pick up with your fingertips. The mix will be very moist, however, this is how you want it!
  • Roll the mix into balls, placing each of the balls onto your prepared baking tray.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until the outsides look golden and crunchy. (They’ll firm up when they cool).
  • Optional: Fry them up in a little olive oil like I do – it makes them extra crispy!
  • ENJOY!!

 

You can see more of my sweet and savoury recipes that are uploaded daily to my instagram page!

Intuitive Eating

I am often asked about ‘eating intuitively’ but as a Registered Associate Nutritionist, it is something I am continuing to research. I believe it to be a very powerful way of eating but with ongoing CPD courses under my belt, this is not something that I have studied enough, to give an expert opinion on. Therefore, I have invited the wonderful Kirsten Ackerman, MS, RD to collaborate with me and help break down what ‘eating intuitively’ really entails and whether or not it is for everyone….

Kirsten, could you talk us through the principles of IE?
 
There are ten principles of Intuitive Eating:
1. Reject the Diet Mentality – Essentially, diet mentality is rooted in external food rules that dictate our choices are food. For example, eliminating carbohydrate based foods (ahem, keto). There are rules that someone else set that we decide to blindly follow. They are not based on INTERNAL cues that we can physically experience ourselves.
2. Honor your Hunger – Pay attention to the sensory feedback of different levels of hunger in your body, For example, some people can very easily miss out on early signals of hunger in their body (irritability, dull headache,etc). For other people, subtle hunger is very apparent in the form of grumbling in their stomach or starting to daydream about lunch. But even so, many times in our hectic culture, it can still be easy to go hours before eventually eating. This can create so much chaos in our relationship to food. Learning to notice and honor your hunger when it shows up will help to foster a more peaceful relationship to food.
3. Make Peace with Food – There is no moral value to food choices. You are not good for eating a salad and you are not bad for having dessert. Learning to neutralize your perceptions of the morality of different food is so important. It is also important to start experimenting with unconditional permission to eat all foods. When we set restrictions for ourselves around food, it drives us to feeling more cravings for that food. It also increases the reward of having that food when we eventually give into the craving. By allowing for full permission to eat all foods, we will eventually find a balance that works for us. And, as scary as this principle can be, it is powerful when you experience it for yourself. P.S. You really won’t eat chocolate chip cookies 6 times per day for the rest of your life. Once the restriction dissipates, your body will ask for a return to balance.
4. Challenge the Food Police – Start questioning the diet mentality thoughts and rules that pop up in your mind. Examples: “I shouldn’t eat past 8pm” or “I shouldn’t eat any added sugar”.Call these thoughts out when you notice them and recognize them as food police thoughts.
5. Feel your Fullness – Similarly to honoring your hunger, to feel your fullness you have to start recognizing the sensory feedback of different levels of fullness in your body. Subtle fullness can be hard to detect. With practice, you’ll find a stopping point that feels best for you most of the time. Remember: if you do eat past fullness, this is not a moral shortcoming. It is simply an opportunity to ask yourself what this might suggest: did you go too long without eating and you were ravenous? Were you feeling emotional in some way and looking for comfort in food? Stay curious.
6. Discover the Satisfaction Factor – Allow yourself to find pleasure in your eating experiences. Choose foods that sound delicious and satisfying to you in the moment. Choose a comfortable eating environment without distractions. Of course, this won’t be every time you eat. But pay attention to how satisfied you are when you are truly paying attention and being mindful during your meal compared to when you rushing.
7. Honor your Feelings Without Using Food – Again, there is nothing morally wrong with emotion eating. However, there are ways to cope with emotions that will address what is going on for you in a more direct way and, ultimately, will leave you feeling better. Start tuning into and recognizing your emotions, particularly in moments when you find yourself reaching for food outside of physical hunger. Consider ways of addressing your emotions more directly. For example, after a long stressful day at work, maybe you could use some gentle joyful movement like exercise or a walk.
8. Respect your Body – Accept your genetic blueprint. Accept general body diversity. Bodies come in all shapes and sizes. Recognizing this is step one. The next step is finding ways to treat your here and now body with more respect. How can you provide it nourishment and energy in a way that feels good? How can you honor its cravings in a way that feels good? How can you move it in a way that feels good? How can you shift your negative thoughts about your body to something positive? How can you express gratitude towards your body?
9. Exercise – Feel the Difference – Rather than choosing movement for the purpose of its calorie-burning effect, choose movement that is enjoyable and feels good to you in the moment. It can be gentle, it can be a short period of time, it can be anything. Movement is so supportive of health regardless of the impact is has (or does not have) on your body size. You deserve enjoyable movement, whatever that is for you.
10. Gentle Nutrition – After exploring your relationship to food and working to heal it, consider how to nourish yourself based on basic nutrition principles can feel really good. This is not always a top priority for every person, and that is okay, too. But if it is, my recommendation is always to consider what you can add to your plate and your overall diet rather than what you can eliminate or avoid. All foods fit.
 
Can anyone eat intuitively?
The fact of the matter is that we were all born intuitive eaters. As children, we knew what and how much our bodies needed. Environmental and cultural influences often lead us away from this intuition. So, I really view the practice of intuitive eating as a returning back to something we already know how to do. That being said, there are always exceptions. A couple examples I can think of would be someone who is receiving treatment for a medical condition and on many medications may lose their appetite entirely and, if left entirely up to their intuitive, might not choose to eat at all. Another example is in the early stages of eating disorder recovery, hunger signals are usually entirely muted and fullness signals can be premature. In these cases, internal cues around hunger/fullness are not reliable. However, outside of these extreme cases, intuitive eating is really the most peaceful way we can relate to food.
 
How about if someone is suffering from an eating disorder  how might they be able to benefit from IE?
 
Eating disorders occur along a spectrum. I consider this spectrum to start with dieting and progress towards a full blown eating disorder. I think everyone on this spectrum can benefit from the intuitive eating framework. However, those that are in early stages of recovery from a full blown eating disorder, as mentioned above, cannot rely fully on their hunger/fullness cues. Everyone can benefit from many of the other principles such as rejecting the diet mentality, learning to cope with emotions without using food, and making peace with food.
Please do let us know if this was helpful. You can find Kirsten on her instagram page @theintuitive_rd and informative podcast ‘Intuitive Bites’ available on iTunes and Spotify.

Carrot cake bread

carrot cake bread

I am so excited about this recipe! Carrot cake is such a classic and I love all the spices you can add to it to make it even more delicious. I used a mix of ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg to really enhance the flavour of this recipe and topped it with a creamy vanilla icing.

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Ingredients 

  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 eggs (can use flax seed to make it vegan)
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • 1/3 cup ground almonds
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup wholemeal bread flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

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Method 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and line a 1lb loaf tin with either baking paper or coconut oil to grease it. You can also buy silicon tins that work really well too!
  2. In a bowl, mash the banana, whisk the eggs, and add the milk, maple syrup and vanilla. Then add the cinnamon, ginger, salt and nutmeg.
  3. Add the flour, ground almonds, desiccated coconut and baking powder to the bowl and mix until combined. Fold in the grated carrot. If you’re using chopped walnuts, add those too!
  4. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 30-40 minutes until knife comes out clean.

Vanilla icing

  • 2 cups of icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • water
  1. Mix the icing sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl, and gradually add water until you achieve your desired consistency.
  2. Ice the bread once the bread is completely cool and top with a dusting of cinnamon (optional)

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Vegetable Casserole

Growing up, my Mum would always make these incredible casserole dishes that she would ‘pack full of goodness’! I was a very fussy eater growing up but I could always reply on my Mum’s heart casserole dish to help with my veggie intake! Now, I have decided to create my own recipe (inspired by hers of course) and share with you my signature veggie casserole! Carbs, protein, essentials fats, plenty of micronutrients – all packed into one dish!

As a little bit of nutrition information to go along with this recipe, I have listed some of the ingredients below with a bit about their nutritional value…

Butter beans – Good source of protein, dietary fibre, copper and manganese. They also contain folate, phosphorus, protein, potassium, vitamin B1, iron, magnesium and vitamin B6.

Chickpeas – Chickpeas also provide a variety of vitamins and minerals, as well as a good amount of fibre, protein and iron.

Lentils –  Good source of folate, fibre, copper, phosphorus and manganese. Additionally they are a good source of iron, protein, vitamin B1, zinc, potassium and vitamin B6.

Onions – Onions are a natural source of the prebiotic inulin, which helps your body produce colon-protecting butyrate.

You’ll love this filling meal!

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INGREDIENTS (Serves 4)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 80g celeriac, chopped into small cubes
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 x 400g tinned tomatoes
  • 250ml vegetable broth
  • 1 x 400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 x 400g can butter beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large sweet potato cut into chunks
  • 2 large parsnips cut into chunks
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 400g green lentils, rinsed well
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Optional: a few basil leaves, chopped

METHOD

  1. Pre heat the oven to 160 degrees celsius.
  2. Heat the oil in a large casserole dish over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic. Cook a few minutes or until the onion becomes softened.
  3. Next stir in the paprika and cayenne pepper – cook for 30 seconds to a minute until spices are fragrant. Add the tinned tomatoes, broth, butter beans, chickpeas, celeriac, lentils, carrots, parsnips and sweet potato and salt & pepper. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and cook in the oven for 30-40 minutes.

Enjoy!

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Chocolate Fudge Cake

Feast your eyes on this guys! An indulgent chocolate fudge cake, iced and served with figs! I haven’t made a proper chocolate cake in ages (surprisingly, as chocolate is one of my favourite foods) so I have been playing around with recipes and I think I have landed on a winner!

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Ingredients

  • 200g self-raising whole meal flour
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 125g dark chocolate
  • 2tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 2 eggs
  • 200g softened butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 100ml oat milk

You can convert these ingredients into cups using this tool. 

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Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.

Sieve the flour and bicarbonate of soda together in a large bowl. Place the dark chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave, for 30 seconds or until melted. Add the oil, water, milk, eggs, butter and vanilla to the melted chocolate and stir until smooth.

Make a well in the middle of the flour and then pour in half the chocolate mix. Stir well, then add the other half and mix till smooth. Add a little extra water if you want it less ‘fudge’.

Pour the mixture into a prepared cake tin (grease with coconut oil or line with baking paper) and bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer to the centre comes out clean.

Chill completely and cover with icing!

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Icing – gradually mix water into 200g of icing sugar, until you achieve desired consistency. Make sure the cake is completely cool before icing!

Serve with some fresh figs or berries!

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Miso Tofu Stir Fry

The perfect go-to recipe when you’re in need of something quick and nutritious! Miso may be the most delicious ingredients you can add to your food (in my opinion anyway)!

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INGREDIENTS

  • 100g firm tofu (cut into cubes)
  • 100g tinned black beans
  • 80g broccoli (cut into small florets)
  • 100g wheat berries mixed grains (or any mixed grains of your choice)
  • 1 tsp of Brown miso paste (mixed with 1 tbsp of water)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

METHOD (serves 1)

  1. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over a medium – high heat. Add the cubed tofu and allow to cook for a few minutes before turning over until it starts to turn golden.
  2. Add the black beans and the broccoli. Then stir in the miso paste mixture.
  3. Heat the grains in a bowl (I used the microwave but you can also heat in the pan).
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and serve up in a bowl with the grains.
  5. ENJOY!

 

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