Basamic Braised Beets with Orange and Goat Cheese

Beetroot SaladI’ve written a few posts about health benefits of the beetroots and some recipes already. So I’m not going over again how good it is for you. I was so excited when I saw a bunch of little cute beetroots with the greens attached at the shops today. Do not throw away those greens ever! They are packed with nutrition and beautiful and sweet when wilted down. This salad is so fresh, delicious and addictive. It is a quite classic flavour combination – beetroot, citrus, goat cheese and nuts. You cannot go wrong! Earthy flavour from the beetroot, sweet and tender beet green leaves, acidity from balsamic and orange, rich creamy cheese and crunchy walnuts. Yummy salad like this really excites me, almost feel like dancing 🙂

Beetroot Salad3Ingredients

1 medium size beetroot
a bunch of beet greens
1 tbsp of coconut oil

For balsamic sauce
2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp of water
1 tsp of garlic
1 tsp of cayenne pepper
1 tsp of cumin seeds
1 tsp of honey
1 tsp of sea salt
pepper to taste

To serve
1 small orange
100g goat cheese
a handful of walnuts
more balsamic sauce

Wash the beet and beet greens thoroughly and roughly chop into bite sizes. Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add coconut oil, beet and balsamic sauce into a pan. It took me about 10 minutes to cook the beet. If you want to shorten the cooking time, cut it into little cubes. When the beet is caramelised outside and almost cooked, add beet greens and wilt down (don’t overcook!). When the balsamic sauce is evaporated and all ingredients are cooked, season, take off the heat and put on the serving plate. Arrange oranges, goat cheese and walnuts. Drizzle more balsamic sauce if you like before serve.

Raw Avocado Tartlets

Raw avo tartletsIt is my first time using soaked macadamia nuts in my raw dessert. Results? very happy. It has beautiful creamy texture and delicate, sweet, buttery taste. I cannot wait to use it for other desserts, too. As well as the taste, it is also nutritionally awesome.

Macadamias are a rich source of Vitamin A, iron, protein,  thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and folates. They also contain moderate amounts of zinc, copper, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium. It contains antioxidants like polyphenols, amino acids, flavones and selenium. It is also a good source of carbohydrates like sucrose, fructose, glucose, maltose and some starch based carbohydrates. Surprisingly, it has no cholesterol  and no trans fatty acids. The protein, fibre and good fats in macadamia nuts provide energy, promote satiety, stabilise blood sugar level, and actually help you lose weight (of course, when you eat in moderation). So don’t get stuck with certain types of nuts. All nuts are good for you and also different types of nuts contain different nutrition in them. So mix it up!

Raw avocado tartletsIngredients

For crust
50g macadamia nuts
50g raw almonds
1 tsp carob powder
5 dates
a pinch of Himalayan salt

For filling
1 ripe avocado
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 tbsp of coconut oil
50g of maple syrup or honey
a squeeze of lemon
a pinch of Himalayan salt
Raw avocado tartlet1For crust, soak the nuts at least 4 hours, best overnight, and blend with carob powder, dates and salt in your food processor until you get a dough. If too dry, add a bit of water or more dates. Take the dough out and set aside. Clean the food processor. For fillings, cut the avocado into small pieces. Put all filling ingredients in the food processor and process until smooth. Taste and adjust sweetness. Transfer to a bowl. To assemble, scoop the dough by a heaping tablespoon, and drop into the bottom of the baking cup liners. Use your fingers to press the crusts down firmly. Spoon the filling batter on each crust and set in the fridge or freezer a couple of hours before serve.

Lentil Loaf and Raw Red Salad

Lentil loafI cannot help myself when my laziness kicks in during the week. I don’t feel like cooking or don’t have much appetite for anything, then I easily grab a piece of muffin or raw desserts, instead of a proper meal, that I always keep in my fridge. Why is it so hard to cook for myself? >.< Then problem sorted! I made this lentil loaf and red salad on Monday which was perfect for my lunch for the rest of the week. I assure you it is super easy to prepare, cheap, healthy and flavoursome, too. It is in fact great for breakfast, lunch or dinner, any time of the day. Enjoy x

Ingredients (serves 4-6)

Lentil Loaf

200g mixed grains (I used French lentils, brown rice and quinoa)
6 eggs
1 cup of spinach, steamed and roughly chopped
1 tsp Himalayan salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp of minced garlic
50g toasted pepitas

Soak and rinse French lentils, brown rice and quinoa. Cook them in a pot for about 15 minutes over low heat until tender. Drain and set aside. In a large bowl, lightly beat eggs and add all other ingredients including cooked lentils. Combine well and transfer to a loaf tin, silicon or lined with a baking paper. Bake in the preheated oven (180) for about an hour or until cooked. Let it cool  for 10-15 minutes before cutting. Enjoy either warm or cold with a fresh salad.

Raw Red Salad

1 beetroot, grated
1 carrot, grated
1/2 of green capsicum, chopped
1/2 cup of chopped fennel
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp honey
1 tbsp e.v.o.o
salt and pepper to taste

Mix vinegar, mustard, honey, olive oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add prepared vegetables in and combine well. Adjust seasoning and set aside for 30 minutes or so before serve.

Green Tea Crepe with Lemon-Rosemary Infused Maple Syrup

Kale CrepeIt must be a hormonal thing I’m getting a craving for something sweet this week. I cannot stop snacking on my muffins and power balls and still am not satisfied >.<

Sugar is so emotionally addictive. We crave for it when we are happy, sad, upset, bored…or is it just me?! However maybe I have a strong will power cause I never chew on chocolate bars or fudge or something like that out of packet. Evil sugar can modify your genes I reckon. If you grow up with it at earlier age, it is hard to kick the habit and you get withdrawal symptoms when stopped. I personally didn’t have much sweets when I grew up in Korea (thanks mum, love you loads!) but I’ve seen parents here giving kids sweet foods for either rewards or bribe. Not to mention, you often see huge cakes drenched in sugar and heaps of lollies in kid’s birthday parties. Kids do not need that much sugar, or anyone really! For us, grown-ups, not only your health but your beautiful skin gets compromised. Excess glucose from the sugar binds to the skin’s protein and turn them brittle and stiff and cause cell inflammation. So skin appears to be dull and aged. It is hard to live a sugar-free life though since sugar is all hidden these days (watch out for fat-free products!).

If you buy fresh fruits and vegetables and cook at home, you are pretty safe from these bad guys. When you feel like something sweet? it is okay, don’t be too harsh on yourself. Just make a healthy snack with natural sweetener such as maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar, stevia, molasses which are my favorites. Your body will appreciate it with more energy, slim waist line, healthy hair and skin, better sleep and just happiness. Well..just my thoughts on sugar anyway. Let’s move onto this amazing green tea crepe recipe, shall we?

Kale Crepe1
Ingredients (2 crepes)

20g flaxseed meal
50g buckwheat flour
1 tsp of macha powder
1/2 tsp of baking soda
50g water
1 tbsp of coconut oil
a pinch of sea salt
1 tbsp of cottage cheese

For Lemon-Rosemary Maple Syrup
half of a lemon
1 sprig of rosemary
100g of 100% Canadian maple syrup

For crepes, add flaxseed meal and water into a bowl and let it sit for 10-15 minutes until it becomes a gel form. Add other ingredients and whisk gently until you get a thin pancake consistency. Add more water if you need. Heat the non-stick pan over medium heat, add coconut oil, pour the half of the crepe mixture into the pan and swirl around so that the batter fully coats the pan in a thin layer. When the edges are crispy and lifted from the pan, it’s time to flip gently with a spatula. Crepe is really thin so it only takes a minute to cook. For the syrup, add sliced lemon, rosemary and a good quality maple syrup into a saucepan and warm it up for 10 minutes on low heat until it’s all infused. To assemble, spread cottage cheese on the crepe and fold twice. Drizzle the maple syrup and put a slice of lemon and rosemary for garnish. You can keep the leftover maple syrup in the sterilised jar in the fridge.

Balsamic Brussel Sprouts and Lentils

Brussel SproutsI’ve never eaten brussel sprouts when I was a kid. Did we have brussel sprouts back then? (makes me feel old now) So I don’t really understand why kids don’t love them, in fact loathe them. When I saw and tried them for the first time, I was amazed how sweet it was. Then I tried it raw because I like chewing on raw cabbage, not a good idea! Very spicy!

Brussel sprouts are loaded with vitamin A, folacin, potassium, calcium and fibre. It is also high in protein, but incomplete meaning they don’t provide all essential amino acids we need. So you need to pair with whole grains to make a complete meal. The best way of cooking brussel sprouts without losing nutrition is to saute them in a flash or roasting. Don’t boil them until they are dead >.< These little nutritious bombs like to go with something sweet like caramelised onions and fruits in this dish. Adding earthy lentils makes it more substantial good enough for a main dish. Plus I’m jazzing it up with balsamic reduction. I just love using balsamic vinegar! If you are not a fan of brussel sprouts, simply replace them with broccoli florets.

Brussel Sprouts1Ingredients

300g Brussel sprouts
50g French lentils
1 onion
1/2 tsp of minced garlic
1 tbsp of coconut oil
3 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp of water
1/2 tsp of chilli flakes
salt and pepper to taste
a handful of dried cranberries
a handful of almond slivers

Cook lentils in boiling water for 20-30 minutes. Drain and rinse. Wash brussel sprouts and cut them in half. Slice onion. Heat a pan over medium heat. Begin by caramelising brussel sprouts, garlic and onion with coconut oil. Then add cooked lentils, balsamic vinegar and water. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until cooked and the liquid is evaporated. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle pomegranate and roasted pine nuts on top. You can also use dried cranberries and almonds or pecans instead depending on what you have in your pantry.