The aroma from the baby fennel coupled with the sweet acidity of the orange makes the perfect refreshing salad, a great accompaniment to fresh seafood. It is so elegant and fragrant yet you only need two main ingredients with a simple dressing to make. Feel free to use other wonderful variations like grapefruit, blood orange or tangerines. Or even add some toasted nuts or cheese would be nice. Not into raw fennel? Lightly grill or pan-fry them. It will cut down the aniseed flavour and enlighten the sweetness. Either raw, grilled, sauteed or braised, fennel is tasty and nutritious.
Fennel has a number of health benefits. It is an excellent source of vitamin C, which gives a strong antioxidant activity in your body. Iron and histidine found in fennel helps to relieve anemia. It is great for your indigestion and bad breath. Some of the components of the essential oils in fennel stimulate secretion of digestive and gastric juices, while reducing inflammation of the stomach and intestines and facilitating digestion. I like adding fennel seeds into my salads and having a fennel tea after dinner. Fibre in fennel helps to control your cholesterol level and blood pressure, help with constipation.
1 fennel bulb
1 tsp of e.v.o.o
1/2 tsp of Dijon mustard
1 tsp of apple cider vinegar
1 tsp of orange juice
salt and pepper to taste
Finely shave the fennel and squeeze over a bit of lemon to stop it going brown. Peel your orange and either cut into small bite size pieces or segment your orange. Put all dressing ingredients in a small jar and shake until combined. Mix together your fennel, orange and parsley with dressing and serve immediately.
How beautiful does this rainbow chard look? I’m in love with these bright yellow, red, orange and purple stalks in a bunch. The first time I used it was when mum and I were flying over to America for holiday. Since I don’t like any food from the plane, I packed raw chard wraps with some rice, veggies and chicken inside. She was surprised how it tasted so yummy and what a great idea of eating more greens in your diet. Because chard leaves are quite large and flat, it is perfect to make raw vegan wraps. They are also a great addition to your soup, stir-fry and salads.
Nutritionally, rainbow chard has an excellent source of dietary fibre, vitamin A and K, iron and phytochemicals. You can increase the amount of iron you absorb from rainbow chard by combining it with a rich source of vitamin C such as tomatoes, carrots and oranges. Chard is also a rich source of polyphenols, antioxidant compounds that may help lower your risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis and degenerative neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. It is also rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, sodium, potassium, manganese and phosphorus.
8 rainbow chard leaves, washed and trimmed
100g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
1/2 tsp minced garlic
zest and juice from one lemon
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup alfalfa sprouts
1 cup button mushrooms
2 tbsp coconut amino sauce or tamari
To make hummus, cook chickpeas in a boiling water for 20-30 minutes or until soft. Drain and put in your food processor along with garlic, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. Add a bit of water if too thick. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Marinade thinly sliced mushrooms in coconut amino sauce for 10-20 minutes. In the mean time, wash and trim the rainbow chard leaves. Remove tough stems by cutting reverse V-shape in the middle. To assemble, place the rainbow chard leave inside facing up, put a tablespoon of hummus, a couple of mushrooms and alfalfa sprouts on top. Tuck each side in and roll up to make a wrap. Repeat with the rest of the leaves.
Calcium is quite often lacking in my diet since I don’t have dairy products in my diet. The recommended daily intake of calcium is 1000mg for men and women aged 19-50. It’s also important to note that an adequate intake of vitamin D is essential for proper calcium absorption. So if you are on a plant-based diet, you need to pay extra-attention to a balanced diet to make sure you get a daily recommended calcium. Include foods naturally containing calcium such as kale (1/2cup : 90mg), chickpeas (1/2cup : 40mg), almonds (1/4cup : 79-115mg), figs (5figs : 88-137mg). orange (1 orange : 52mg), molasses (1tbsp : 176mg). Few foods naturally contain vitamin D. For sufficient vitamin D absorption, just 10-45 minutes of unprotected sun exposure to the face and arms can provide enough pre-vitamin D to be converted to vitamin D.
The base of this salad is kale and wild rice and I also included molasses in the dressing for extra calcium. It is such a beautiful salad – nuttiness of the wild rice, creamy avocado, yummy pesto, sweet goji berries and crunchy buckwheat groats. Maybe take this salad to the park and enjoy in the sun for vitamin D, as well 🙂
1 cup of cooked wild rice
2 tbsp of basil-pine nut pesto
1 bunch of chopped kale leaves
1 bunch of coriander
1 tsp goji berries
1 tsp buckwheat groats
1 tsp molasses
1 tsp of Himalayan salt
1 tsp of e.v.o.o
1 tsp of coconut vinegar
a squeeze of lemon
pepper to taste
Cook the wild rice and set aside to cool. Cut the avocado into little cubes. For basil pine nut pesto, blend 1 cup of basil leaves, 50g of toasted pine nuts, 1/2 tsp of minced garlic, 1/4 cup of olive oil and a pinch of salt in your food processor. When all ingredients are ready, mix wild rice, kale and pesto in a large bowl with half of the vinaigrette in a large bowl. Add avocados and gently toss to combine. Transfer to a serving plate and drizzle the rest of the vinaigrette. Garnish with goji berries and buckwheat groats.
There are so many ways to reduce the inflammation in your body through the foods that you eat. Remember that foods high in sugar and saturated fat are going to encourage inflammation because the balance between omega-6 from processed fast foods and omega-3 from fish, nuts and healthy oils becomes out of whack. In short, a diet high in omega-6s and low in omega-3s increases inflammation in the body. So try to eat fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains which are naturally low in fat. Eat a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish and nuts. Avoid refined foods and processed foods. Love your spices such as ginger, turmeric, cinnamon and curry. This gluten-free, dairy-free loaf contains three anti-inflammatory ingredients below- superb!
- Chia seeds: Chia is one of the most potent sources of plant based omega 3. Omega 3 is the ultimate anti-inflammatory food.
- Nuts: Almonds are possibly the strongest fighter of inflammation, but all nuts have essential fatty acids and Omega 3.
- Berries: Acai contains anthocyanin, a powerful antioxidant, which is also common in red and purple colour fruits such as grapes and blueberries. Blueberries are fantastic for preventing intestinal inflammation while raspberries can help with arthritis.
I love baking with flaxmeal, coconut flour and almond meal, which are essential in my pantry. Coconut flour is amazing! You get a nice coconut-y flavour and extra fibre which makes you full longer, but remember it absorbs a lot of liquid and the loaf gets quite crumbly and dense. Have fun baking x
20g flaxseed meal
75g coconut flour
35g almond meal
30g chia seeds
1 tbsp of Acai berry powder
1 tsp of vanilla bean powder
3 tbsp of maple syrup
1 tbsp of coconut oil
100g coconut milk
a pinch of salt
1 tsp of baking powder
goji berries, cacao nibs and buckwheat for garnish
Mix flaxseed meal with 100g water and set aside for 10 minutes to make flax “eggs”. Add maple syrup, coconut oil, coconut milk into a bowl and combine with flax “eggs”. Add other ingredients in and mix well. Pour the mixture into a loaf tin, sprinkle goji berries, cacao nibs and buckwheat on top and press gently into the batter. Bake in the preheated oven (180) for 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out dry.
I love the taste of parley – vibrant, clean and fresh! This green is highly nutritious, full of vitamin C and K. Vitamin K is often missing from conventional diet yet very important for normal blood clotting and healthy bones. Cruciferous vegetables like kale, broccoli, asparagus and spinach have a good amount of vitamin K as well as anticancer components. It is also an excellent source of iron. Iron deficiency is very common these days. It is actually quite hard to meet a daily dose if you don’t consciously eat the right food. Feeling dizzy, tired, short of breaths, leg pains and headaches are all the symptoms of anemia. Adults need 8gm/day for men and 18mg/day for women. For the best plant source of iron, parsley is on the top of the list. You can affect an absorb-ability of iron by combining foods. For example, meat/poultry/fish, fruits containing vitamin C (orange, strawberries, grapefruit), some veggies (broccoli, tomato, potato) and white wine enhances iron absorption. However, red wine, coffee, tea, some veggies (spinach, chard, beet greens, sweet potato – oxalic acids in these veggies bind with iron in our body), whole grains and bran, and soy products inhibits iron absorption. So try to pair iron-rich foods with iron-absorption enhancers, for example this parsley gremolata on a grilled fish and broccoli-orange salad on the side. Your energy will be supercharged.
What is the better way to use parsley. Gremolata is a mixture of mixed parsley, lemon zest, garlic and olive oil, very popular in the Mediterranean. It is beautiful as salad, on grilled protein or in your soup. It is so versatile to use and really brightens up the dish.
1 cup of flat leaf parsley
1 lemon zest and juice
1 tsp minced garlic
Combine all ingredients except oil in a food processor and turn on. Add the olive oil a little bit at a time until a thick paste is formed. The amount of oil depends on what consistency you like. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container for a week.