Recipe: ROASTED ORGANIC CHICKEN & VEGES (grain, gluten & dairy free)

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This is one of my favourite meals – super healthy, filling and so easy! Cooking chicken in its whole form i.e. with the skin and fat, not only helps you digest the muscle meat more efficiently but it is also full of collagen and gelatin which is excellent for skin, hair, nails and joints. As an added bonus it’s also way more delicious!

Ingredients (for 1 person)
1 organic grass fed chicken leg OR 2 thighs (with skin!)
1/2 medium sized butternut squash
2 carrots
1 clove of garlic
1 courgette or 5 stalks of long stem broccoli
1 handful of spinach
1 TBSP coconut oil
Salt
Pepper

Preparation
Preheat the oven to 190deg (180 if you have a fan oven)
Peel and cut the butternut squash and carrots into the varying sizes (that way you get big creamy pieces and small crunchy ones!)
Finely slice the garlic
Peel or finely slice the courgette and roughly chop the spinach

Directions
Melt half the coconut oil on the oven tray (I just pop it in the oven for a minute) then rub the chicken, squash and carrot into the melted oil and sprinkle with salt. Cook in the oven for 40-60 mins depending on the size of the chicken. When the juices run clear, the chicken is cooked.

About 10 minutes before the chicken is cooked add the rest of the oil to a hot pan and fry the garlic and courgette for 5 minutes on a med-high heat then add the spinach, salt and pepper for the last 5 mins.

I always serve my meals with a spoonful of sauerkraut for extra nutrition and digestibility! A dollop of good quality organic mayonnaise is another yummy addition!

Enjoy!

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Recipe: TOMATO DRESSING / DIP / SAUCE (gluten, grain & dairy-free)

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Ingredients:

5 medium sized tomatoes (or the equivalent in cherry tomatoes)

1  handful of sun-dried tomatoes

5 anchovies / dash of good quality fish sauce

1 bunch of fresh coriander

1 small clove of garlic (optional)

squeeze of lemon / splash of apple cider vinegar

black or cayenne pepper

Preparation:

Place all ingredients in a jug and use a hand blender until all is liquid! Serve and enjoy as any of the options below!

  • Pour over salad as a dressing
  • Add a couple of cucumbers to the mix to make a summery Gazpacho soup
  • Add your desired amount to roast sweet potato and blend together for a yummy dip with carrot and cucumber sticks
  • Soak grated carrots, sliced avocado and sprouts in the mix then roll up in Nori / seaweed wraps

Recipe: SQUASH, COURGETTE & CORIANDER MASH (gluten, dairy & grain-free, vegan)

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This mash is super delicious and a great healthy way to bring substance to your meals – perfect for breakfast lunch or dinner! You can serve with eggs, fish, meat or have it alone as a soup. Low glycemic index, low sugar, high fibre, real live ingredients and with the wonders of turmeric = perfect mash!

Ingredients (makes enough for 3-4 servings):

1 butternut squash

3 large or 5 small courgettes

1 big bunch of coriander/cilantro

1/2 – 1 tsp turmeric

Preparation:

Roast the whole squash (no need to peel) in the oven on 180deg for 40-60 minutes

Pan fry 3 grated courgettes in 1 TBSP coconut oil, half of the turmeric, salt and pepper – fry on a high heat for 3-5 mins covering with a lid, then turn the heat down and fry without a lid for another 10 mins – stir occasionally so it gets nice and sticky.

Peel and de-seed the cooked squash and using a hand blender blend it together with the courgette, coriander, remaining turmeric, salt and pepper

Serve and enjoy!

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The wonders of turmeric and its super ingredient curcumin!

  • aids memory function – is used to treat and prevent Alzheimer’s disease
  • aids the immune system – is used to disrupt cancer causing cells
  • relieves joint inflammation – is used to help arthritis
  • speeds up wound recovery and post work-out muscle soreness
  • aids digestion
  • promotes healthy glowing skin
  • incredible antioxidant properties – surpassing vit E and C

Recipe: SQUASH FRIES (vegan, gluten, grain & dairy-free)

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These homemade fries are not only delicious, but using butternut squash as opposed to sweet potato or potato brings a host of additional health benefits —  squash is loaded with vitamin C & A, and has a much smaller impact on your blood sugar. Baking the squash in stable fats means the already low starches and sugars are taken slowly into the bloodstream. Heating unstable vegetable oils – the absolute worst being corn, soy, safflower, sunflower and canola – will only cause havoc on your system, and increase the  likelihood of having fat stored on your body. And remember while olive oil is a brilliant vegetable oil is must also avoid being heated at high temperatures – stick with the suggestions I’ve listed below!

Ingredients:

1 butternut squash
1 TBSP melted coconut oil / butter / ghee / lard / goose fat
Pinch of salt

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 175 deg

Peel the squash then cut into thin strips, or you can go for wedges if you prefer! Smother in coconut oil (or your choice of fat) then bake for about 30-45 mins – flipping half way thru. Add salt / cayenne pepper / salsa / guacamole. Enjoy!

HEAL & SEAL ME: MEAT BROTH AND STOCK

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It might not sound massively appealing, but bone broth and meat stock really are where it’s at. Broths are yet another very nourishing tradition that are being revived and brought back to our kitchens. They’re undeniably one of the most healing things you can feed yourself and your loved ones, and so inexpensive and easy to make, it’s time to drink it up!

How I got onto broth

Having scarcely eaten meat in the last 10 years, it felt very odd, but gradually very right, to start reintroducing it slowly back into my diet. Tired of suffering from minor but persistent hormonal disturbances and other related issues, I finally took courage and reduced my beloved carbs and swapped them for more animal fats and proteins. It has been a year since this change and I can’t say enough just how much better I feel (and how amazingly little I miss grains/carbs). Clients and friends who follow a similar program have also experienced wonderful healing. Of course, not everyone believes in eating animal products which I absolutely respect. However, if you do eat meat products, I urge you to give this a try.

My research

I attribute a lot of my understanding and healing to the work of Dr Natasha Campbell McBride and her GAPS protocol. She is an incredible doctor who continues to cure thousands of children from a multitude of ailments such as autism, dyspraxia, dyslexia, allergies, A.D.D, and depression. This protocol is not exclusive to children, with people of all ages healing the likes of rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, auto-immune diseases such as Chron’s and Hashimoto’s, OCD, chronic fatigue and asthma. To briefly fill you in, the GAPS protocol follows the idea that all diseases (physical, mental and emotional) begin in the gut. Thankfully this understanding is becoming more and more mainstream. The gut serves as your second brain, it produces more serotonin (the feel-good neurotransmitter) than your brain and contains ten times more bacteria than there are cells in your body! So yes, we are in fact 90% bacteria. When you heal and seal your gut lining by balancing the bacteria in your gut you can heal your whole system. Bone broth and meat stock is hailed by Dr McBride and many other medical practitioners as providing your body with the necessary building blocks to provide wonderful healing.

So what is broth and meat stock?

They are mineral, amino acid, and vitamin rich clear soups. Broth is made by boiling raw or cooked bones of healthy animals, and meat stock is made by boiling the raw meat of healthy animals on a bone. Bones are so rich in nutrition as they are where the likes of iron rich red blood cells, immune support white blood cells and elastic collagen are produced. When you boil the bones these wonderful properties, undisturbed by heat, are drawn out.

Instantly recognised and effortlessly absorbed by our bodies these broths are bursting with the following benefits:

  • Calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sulfur, sodium and potassium – all essential for the daily functioning of our body and gut and also act as electrolytes – could broth be the new sports drink?!
  • Proteinaceous gelatin – aids digestion by attracting digestive juices. Brilliant for intestinal disorders and allows the body to fully utilize proteins that are taken in. Particularly useful for anemia, diabetes and muscular dystrophy.
  • Cartilage – incredibly healing in treating cancer and bone disorders.
  • Collagen, hyaluronic acid, chondrition sulfate – all support connective tissue elasticity such as joints, tendons, ligaments, skin, mucus membranes and bone. Very healing for rheumatoid arthritis and joint pain…..and yes helping with wrinkles, stretch marks and cellulite too!

RECIPES!

Lamb, pork, beef or game

  • STEP 1: Put the joints and bones (with or without meat) into a large pot, fill it up with water, add pepper and good quality salt.
  • STEP 2: Heat up to boiling point. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to a minimum. Simmer for at least 3 hours.
  • STEP 3: Turn off the heat, take out the bones (and meat) and pour stock through a sieve.

Chicken broth

  • STEP 1: Put a whole or half chicken (with or without meat) into a large pot, fill it up with water and add salt.
  • STEP 2: Simmer for 1.5 – 2 hours.
  • STEP 3: Take the bones (and meat) out and pour stock through a sieve.

Chicken broth/stock is particularly good for flu, colds and asthma as chicken contains a natural amino acid called cysteine, which thins the mucus in your lungs making it less sticky and easy to expel.

Fish broth

  • STEP 1: Add fish bones, fins, skins and heads (no meat) to a large pot with water and add pepper.
  • STEP 2:  Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to a minimum. Simmer for 1-1.5 hours.
  • STEP 3:  Add salt to taste. Take the fish out and sieve the stock.

Great for virility! Rich in iodine supplies, thyroid hormone and other substances that nourish the thyroid gland. Increases energy and restores mental abilities.

Other handy tips:

  • Ask your local butcher and ask for all the discarded bones and joints – they may even give them away to you!
  • Alternate between different meats to provide a whole spectrum of nourishment
  • The longer you cook the bones the more goodness will be drawn out and thus the more nourishing the broth will be.
  • The test to see if your broth contains enough gelatin is when you chill it – it should thicken even to the point of jelling completely.
  • You drink it plain as a digestive, or add it to soups, stews, gravy, sauces, stir-fries…
  • Stock can be made in bulk and stored until needed  – great to pour into ice cube trays and throw into meals adhock – especially if you’re trying to disguise it for the kids!
  • Keeps for 5 days in fridge and 3 months in freezer
  • One cup a day would be marvellous!

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DELICIOUSLY HEALTHY SALAD (vegan, gluten, dairy & grain-free)

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Ingredients:

4 stalks of celery

1/2 red pepper

1/2 yellow pepper

1 handful of baby spinach

1 handful of sun-dried tomatoes

1/2 cup sauerkraut

1/4 cup nori or toasted sunflower seeds/pumpkin seeds

1 TBSP capers and/or a handful of olives

1 mashed avocado

1 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice

pinch of cayenne pepper

Preparation:

Toast the nori or sunflower seeds in a pan on low heat for 2 – 3 minutes

Thinly slice celery, peppers, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, sauerkraut. Stir in capers/olives, mashed avocado, lemon juice, cayenne pepper. Sprinkle with nori or seeds to finish.

Variations:

Vegan/vegetarian more filling option –  add roast sweet potato, beetroot and butternut squash (cut into small cubes with 2 TBSP of coconut oil, 1tsp pink Himalayan salt/sea salt, bake at 180 deg for 40-60 minutes)

Paleo more filling option – add roast vegetables as above and/or fried salmon steak (fry salmon in a pan on medium heat with lid, cook for around 10 minutes. Add salt and fresh lemon juice).