HEALTHY TUNA MORNAY ALTERNATIVE

March 2, 2015

Nat has been nagging me for a tuna mornay for months but the thought of all that flour, cheddar cheese and bread crumbs was doing my head in.
So I came up with this variation to satisfy us both!   Even I was surprised!   I hope you like it.  Easy to make and very tasty!

Tuna, quinoa and spinach bake

  • ½ cup three colour quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups spinach
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, shredded
  • 150 grams canned tuna
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup spring onions
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh dill
  • ¼ cup crumbled Greek feta cheese
  • 35 grams chopped aged goat cheese
  • 4 eggs, (use only 2 yokes) lightly beaten
  1. Place quinoa in small saucepan, and toast over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes.  Add 1 cup water, and season with salt.  Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and transfer to large bowl.
  2. Heat half the olive oil in a large saucepan and add spinach, and cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until wilted, stirring frequently. Add romaine, and wilt 1 to 2 minutes more. Stir greens into quinoa.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat 1 Tbs. oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, and sauté 10 minutes, or until browned. Add cooked onions, green onions, dill, tuna, feta cheese, and goat cheese to quinoa mixture. Stir in eggs; season with salt and pepper, if desired.
  4. Pour the rest of the olive oil into a oven pan, and place in oven. Heat 5 minutes, or until oil is hot. Swirl oil to coat bottom of pan, then spread quinoa mixture in pan with spatula. Bake 20 minutes until golden brown.

HEALTHY TUNA MORNAY ALTERNATIVE

Detox Dinner Party

February 9, 2015

Many people think that detox food is boring and that you always end up hungry and not satisfied.

Not at our house!

Last weekend we decided to invite some of our dearest friends who are just a LITTLE skeptical about whether they could ever do a detox to a 4 course dinner (DETOX) party.

Our menu included:

  • vietnamese cold rolls
  • gingery noodle soup
  • pan fried lubina fish with mixed vegetables in coconut sauce and brown rice
  • apple crumble with goat’s milk yoghurt and organic honey

The fun thing was that we didn’t tell them that they were going to be eating the same food we had prepared on our detox!

And they LOVED it!

When we told them after the third course when they were asking for the recipes that this was the food we had been eating for the past month (minus the wine!) they were just a little impressed!

The food was nothing like they had imagined.  It was satisfying, tasted great and it was fresh.  Best of all it was healthy.

Well, really the best thing was that our friends realised that not all detoxes or healthy diets are about apples, carrots, drinking only juices and being deprived!

Why not try making your own Vietnamese cold rolls.

All you need is the rice paper which you can buy from any Asian grocer and your own choice of fillings.  The time is in the chopping!

We used shredded lettuce, thinly sliced carrots, capsicum and spring onion, some delicate japanese mushrooms and prawns.

Other ingredients you could use are vermicelli noodles, snow peas, cucumber, tofu….really anything that you can wrap!

To accompany our cold rolls we made a Thai corriander, garlic and chilli dipping sauce.  Sweet chilli sauce is also great if you have it in the cupboard.

A HINT…I put the soaked rice paper on a damp cloth napkin.  It stops it from sticking together.  It also makes it easier to roll once you have placed the ingredients.

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It’s all about kale.

February 4, 2015

Right now this humble vegetable that was popular about 2000 years ago until the middle ages is having it’s renaissance.

This superfood belongs to the same plant species as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.

Low in calories, it is high in vitamins A, C and K as well as minerals like copper, potassium, iron, manganese and phosphorus it has outstanding health benefits for the body including reduced risk of heart disease, fighting cancer, improved bone health,  healthy digestion and as a bonus healthy skin and hair.

One cup of kale has over 1000% more vitamin C than a cup of cooked spinach!

It has been a difficult to buy kale in Barcelona until recently.  Yesterday I went to a great place which sells the most beautiful, and reasonably priced I might add, organic seasonal fruit and vegetables.

The bunch in the photo below I bought for  2.50 euros.

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The shop is called The Farmers Shop and the address is C/ Valldonzella 39.  Just off of Joaquin Costa in the Raval.

Check out their Facebook page.

During my research to find some good recipes for kale I found this great video on YouTube that I thought I’d share.  It tells us a little more about this special vegetable and has some good recipes, including kale chips, that you can make.

References:

http://www.veraveg.org/Veg%20History/Veg%20History%20Kale.html

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270435.php

End of Nat’s January Detox

February 3, 2015

Well it’s over!

We did it!

How do you feel?

Everyone who I have spoken to that finished their detox on the weekend and decided to indulge are all wanting to go back on it today! Including Natalia and I!

Which is the point of it all. It’s about changing habits and feeling the difference when you toxify your body. Doing a detox gives you the benchmarks.

Eating healthy is a life style and the more you learn about your body the easier it is to make these life choices.

Today we have gone back to a maintenance program of eating healthy during the week and will then will allow ourselves those little indulgences on the weekends!

When I was body building this was one of the ways I was able to maintain the grueling diet in preparation for competition. All week I had to be obsessed with my meals, even down to weighing everything I ate, but one day a week I could eat what ever I liked. It works. Your system burns the extra energy and calories you consume because your metabolism is working so well, your mind gets a break from the routine so you don’t go mad and the body gets some great ‘love’ endorphins from the joy of the indulgence. The trick is having the discipline to maintain your healthy eating lifestyle most of the time.

So don’t stop following us just because the detox is over! We will continue to post about all the wonderful food we love to eat and share with you how to enjoy a healthy lifestyle without feeling in the slightest bit deprived!

Let’s share this journey.

Nat’s first indulgence, apart for the few glasses of red wine for which she suffered, was quail with sweet chilli sauce. Here’s Saturday night’s dinner!

PS.

If you are going to eat meat then make it free range and ethically grown…please.

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Day 24 Nat’s January Detox!

January 28, 2015

Last week I was craving walnuts!

Do you know how many calories are in a 100 grams of walnuts?  The answer is 654!  Today we have attached a chart for you to check your nut intake in nutritional value and in calories!

Nuts are a great source of energy, especially when you are on a detox but if you are watching your waist line you need to restrict your intake to a small handful per day.

We recommend you eat 12 kernels per day which is 159 calories.  This is about equivalent to the 23 almonds (164 calories) we recommend as a snack in our detox.

Walnuts are especially know to be good for your cardiovascular system and your heart because of their effect on the circulatory system and healthy blood pressure due to the presence of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients and the minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium.

These nuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and is a good alternative plant source of the fat which is also found in sardines, salmon and tuna.

Omega-3 is known as the good fat.

Other health benefits of walnuts include support of bone health, anti cancer benefits due to their anti-inflammatory properties and is has been shown to be of benefit in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

Nutritional and Calorie Chart for Nuts

100 grams

calories %

calories

fat

carbs

fiber

sugar

protein

fat

carbs

protein

Chestnuts

213

2

46

8

11

2

10%

81%

4%

Cashews

553

44

33

3

6

18

67%

20%

12%

Pistachio

557

44

28

10

8

21

72%

11%

15%

Peanuts

567

49

16

8

4

26

76%

4%

18%

Almonds

575

49

22

12

4

21

78%

5%

15%

Hazelnuts

628

61

17

10

4

15

86%

3%

9%

Walnuts

654

65

14

7

3

15

87%

3%

9%

Brazil nuts

656

66

12

8

2

14

89%

1%

8%

Pine nuts

673

68

13

4

4

14

87%

5%

8%

Pecans

691

72

14

10

4

9

93%

1%

5%

Macadamia

718

76

14

9

5

8

93%

1%

4%

References:

http://www.builtlean.com/2013/07/31/calories-nuts-chart/

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=99

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Day 22 Nat’s January Detox!  Last week everyone!

January 26, 2015

We are both savoring the moment we can have that glass of red wine and going to our favorite Italian restaurant again!

Nat has on her TO EAT list:  gnocchi Sorrentina, the Crunchie bars our client just bought back from Australia and a gin and tonic!

But I have to say it has been such a great detox and we are feeling so good that we do not want to go back to all our regular habits of coffee, bread and the need for meat with every meal.

This week it is important to think about how you want to come off the detox and what you want to reintroduce back into your diet and what you want to leave out all together.

Detox or no detox we will continue to start our day with our warm glass of water and lemon, a heaped teaspoon of KIKI Nature’s Living Superfood dissolved in a glass of water – you can put it in with your smoothie but I like the extra fluid intake by taking it separately and our green smoothie.

It’s the perfect start to EVERY day!

Happy Australia Day!

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Day 18 of Nat’s January Detox.

January 22, 2015

Only 10 days to go!!!

Missing cheese?

Did you know that you can make vegan cheese from nuts and other ingredients?

In fact, in LA, someone has opened the first gourmet vegan cheese shop!

 

Why not try making your own parmesan at home?

Vegan-Parmesan-Cheese-_-minimalistbaker.com_

Vegan Parmesan Cheese

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor and mix/pulse until a fine meal is achieved. Store in the refrigerator to keep fresh. Lasts for several weeks.

This recipe makes 1 cup.
Try it on your zucchini and fresh tomato pasta to add some extra flavor!

Reference:  http://minimalistbaker.com/how-to-make-vegan-parmesan-cheese/

The health benefits of RAW COCAO

January 19, 2015

Missing your tea, wine and coffee?

Here is alternative that might fill the gap while you are detoxing:  RAW COCAO or CHOCOLATE.

Try 100mls of hot organic rice milk (be sure to read the package to make sure that it is 100% natural with no added sugar, you want to buy rice milk not a rice drink) with a tablespoon  of organic 100% raw cocao.  It tastes SO good when you are on the detox and only has 62 calories.

According to a study by Harvard researchers cocao can decrease blood pressure, improve blood vessel health and make an improvement in cholesterol levels.

The apparent health benefits come from polyphenolic flavonoids in cocoa.  Flavonoids are antioxidants and are generally found in tea, wine, coffee, fruits and vegetables.  They are believed to help prevent heart disease, fight cancer, act as a natural antidepressant and reduce ageing due to it’s antioxidant boosting effect.

Cocao does contain very small amounts of caffeine but not enough to elevate blood sugar the same as other foods or beverages that contain caffeine.  In fact has less than 1/20th the amount of caffeine found in coffee.

Raw cocao is low in calories, low in fat, high in fibre, and contains essential minerals such as calcium, zinc, magnesium and potassium.

A perfectly healthy chocolate treat!

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Day 15 of Nat’s Detox

January 19, 2015

Whoo-Hoo!  We are over half way through Nat’s January Detox!  Day 15.

We are feeling great.  No more headaches since the colon hydrotherapy on Friday.

Now that you have reached this point you should be feeling the benefits of your commitment to detox.

Your energy levels should be good, your skin should be glowing and your eyes should be bright…and you should be feeling trim!

What we have noticed quite profoundly is the change of our habits.  We are looking forward to eating the fresh, clean and mostly vegetarian food, not drinking alcohol and being a lot more productive with our time each day.

For the next 13 days we all need to meditate on this experience and entrench these habits into our lifestyles so that we can continue to enjoy the rewards post detox when we return to the temptations of our regular lifestyle choices.

To give you some food inspiration for this week here is a very simple, quick and easy to make Thai vegetarian dish we created on the weekend.  It is delicious!

Tomorrow:  Nat’s Week 2 Photos!

mixed veggies and wild rice

Mixed vegetables in coconut sauce and wild rice

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon organic honey
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 Kaffir lime leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 small onion sliced
  • 1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 cup peas
  • 12 – 20 snow peas
  • 3 mushrooms cut into quarters
  • 1/2 medium eggplant cut into cubes
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 2 cups Chinese cabbage shredded

In a saucepan bring the coconut milk, fish sauce, honey, lime
leaves and pepper to the boil.

Reduce heat. Add onion and simmer for 2 minutes. Taste to see
if more honey or fish sauce is needed.

Add all the vegetables except spinach and cabbage and simmer
until they are just cooked. Add the leafier vegetables and toss
through the sauce until they are just cooked too.

Serve with brown or wild rice.

Serves: 2

Nat’s Pumpkin Curry

Needing something to look forward to cooking this weekend on your detox?
Why not try this Pumpkin Curry!

NAT’s PUMPKIN CURRY

  • 2 cups butternut pumpkin chopped into cubes
  • 1 cup sweet potato chopped into cubes
  • 1 cup peas
  • 8 pieces of okra
  • 8 snow peas
  • 1 can organic coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1/2 lime’s juice
  • 2 tablespoons coriander root – keep the leaves for garnish.
  • organic honey to taste

Heat olive oil in wok.  Once hot introduce the red curry paste and coriander root and stir until you can smell the paste starting to cook.

Now add the coconut milk, lime juice, kaffir lime leaves.

Bring to the boil and immediately turn down to simmer.

Add the pumpkin, sweet potato and okra and allow the vegetables to cook – (about 30 minutes) continue to stir every 5-10 minutes to make sure it cooks evenly.

After 20 minutes taste the sauce.  If it needs sweetening add a tea spoon of honey.  Add the snow peas for the last 10 minutes.

Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve as a side dish or a main with brown basmati rice.  Note:  This rice takes 45 minutes to cook so you need to put it on as you prepare the dish so it will be ready at the same time.

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