Thyme & Feta Falafel on Egg Noodle Pesto Salad

Excited to be featured in the latest e-mag and blog for Bump & Baby – a new magazine and website full of info on pregnancy and newborns.

I made a this super easy falafel with egg noodles.  Chickpeas are a great source of protein, and have high levels of iron which of course is great for pregnancy or lactating women.  They are also said to lower the risk of breast cancer and protect against osteoporosis.  Also great for weight loss, because of their high fiber content and low GI, they keep you full longer, controlling the appetite.

thyme feta falafel on pesto noodle salad recipe 2

Serves 2

Thyme & Feta Falafel

400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 Tbsp fresh thyme
1/4 cup feta, chopped into small cubes
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp olive oil
oil for frying

Place chickpeas, thyme, garlic and olive oil into blender and blend until smooth paste is formed. It doesn’t need to be completely smooth, can still have a few chucks in it.  Add flour and baking powder and keep blending.  Add chopped feta and mix well.  Mould into 6 – 8 balls and lightly press to form a patty shape. Heat some oil in a frying pan, enough to cover the entire bottom.  Once hot place    chickpea patties in the oil and cook until a crispy golden colour (about 5 minutes) then flip and repeat.

Egg Noodle and Pesto Salad

100g egg noodles, cooked to packet instructions
3 Tbsp basil pesto
2 grated carrots

While noodles are still warm, mix in the pesto.  Once the pesto is well mixed, add the grated carrots and mix well.  Distribute to two bowls and serve with falafel patties on top.

 

 

Oaty Choc Muffins – almost gluten free!

The kids love these muffins and I love that they have no flour in them!  They do have oats but, once thought of as a food containing gluten, recent studies have shown that oats may not have the same harmful amounts of gluten as wheat or barley. A moderate amount of oats, around 50g a day, is not harmful to people with coelic disease, although highly reactive people are still advised to avoid them.

Oatty Chocolate Muffins-6.jpg

Makes 12

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup greek yoghurt
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup chocolate chips (you could also use frozen berries if you prefer)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 180C and lightly grease a 12 cup muffin tray or line with paper liners
  2. Place all ingredients except for the chocolate chips (or berries) in a blender or food processor and process on high, stopping every now and then to scrape mixture from sides and mixing in. Process until batter is smooth and the oats have broken down completely.
  3. Stir in the chocolate chips of berries
  4. Divide the batter between the prepared muffin tins and bake for 30 mins or until golden brown on top

Overnight Oats for Tots to Teens Magazine

Oats are a high fibre food that packs plenty of nutritional value for our health. They have been proven to help people to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol and the also help stabilize blood sugar, which means you don’t get that mid morning ‘slump’ after having a bowl of oats for breakfast. Also, because oats take longer to digest it means you will feel fuller for longer, which is always a good thing – no mid morning snacking!

Oats are also loaded with a special antioxidant unique to them which fights free radicals – molecules in your body that cause cancer and aging.

Oats were once thought of as a food containing gluten and people with coelic disease were advised to avoid them. However studies have shown that oats many not have the same harmful amounts of gluten as wheat or rye. A moderate amount of oats, around 50g a day, is not harmful to people with coelic disease, although highly reactive people are still advised to avoid them.

*Soaking oats overnight breaks down their starch and makes them much easier for your body to digest and absorb all the good nutrients. It also saves time in the morning with breakfast already prepared!

Overnight Oats-5

Makes 1

Ingredients

  • ½ cup rolled oats (or less if prefer the fruit and nuts to take over – I use ¼ cup)
  • ½ cup milk (or almond milk, soy milk, whichever you prefer)
  • ¼ cup coconut yoghurt or greek yoghurt
  • ¼ cup raisins or sultanas
  • ½ cup frozen blueberries
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • Directions
  1. Layer all ingredients into a medium sized mason jar in the order above, pop the lid on the jar
  2. Leave in the fridge overnight
  3. In the morning pour the ingredients into a plate
  4. Eat is as it is, or heat in the microwave if you prefer a warmer porridge like breakfast

NOTE

  • You can add extra milk in the morning if it’s not milky enough
  • You can make all sorts of combinations – using different nuts, fruits, even grated carrot, choc chips, peanut butter, honey or cinnamon! The only limit is your imagination.
  • Overnight Oats-7.jpg

 

Chocolate Chia Pudding with Cashew Cream

This Chocolate Chia Pudding is so healthy – made with energy boosting chia seeds it actually makes more sense to be eaten as a breakfast rather than a dessert.  Not only do chia seeds provide sustainable energy, they are also full of antioxidants, high in fiber and quality protein, and they expand in the stomach which in turn increases fullness and slows absorption of food.

I’ve added some brown rice syrup for sweetness, you can use honey and add more or less depending on your kids or your own taste.  Mine seem to like it as is:

Chia Chocolate Pudding.jpg

  • 1 400g can coconut cream
  • 1/4 cup cocoa or raw cacao
  • 2 tablespoons brown rice syrup or runny honey
  • 1 small to medium banana
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 pinch of salt

Mix all ingredients together in a blender until well combined.  Leave overnight in the fridge or at least 3 hours to set.

Cashew Cream

  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup water

Soak the cashews for about 3 hours, or overnight.  Tip cashews and water into a high speed blender and blend until you have the desired consistency, adding more water if you need to – the more water you add the runnier it becomes.

You can either spoon the cashew cream over the top of the Chia Pudding, or if you have a small ziplock bag you may want to spoon the Cashew Cream into the bag, cut a small corner off the bottom and squeeze the Cashew Cream out.

 

The Herbal Dispensary, Raglan

I feel so lucky to live in Raglan, and one of the reasons is having the Herbal Dispensary Shop & Clinic on my doorstep.  Not only do they stock a load of organic food items, including fruit and veges, organic dry goods, baking flours, pasta flour, spices, spreads, organic olive oils, delicious cheeses, yogurts, tofu and tempeh they also have a range of natural skincare and haircare, herbal tea blends, green teas, organic vegetable and herb seeds and seedlings and a unique giftware range.

Their amazing on site clinic with qualified naturopaths is there to help out with any ailment, they can prescribe practitioner only products from their Dispensary or should a more extensive intervention be necessary they can also see you for a private consultation.

Also out the back of their shop is a beautiful herb garden where you can go and relax with one of their delicious juices or smoothies.

They’re also available online, which is handy if you’re after one of their specialised organic items but Raglan’s a bit far to travel to:

www.theherbaldispensaryraglan.co.nz

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Onions – the new Superfood!

Spring Onions

Spring Onions (otherwise known as Green Onions, or Scallions) are the new Superfood on the block – full of Phytonutrients – a plant compound that, when eaten, protects us from those nasties like cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and obesity.

I found this interesting interview on Jo Robinson, author of Eating on the Wild Side – Apparently ever since farmers first planted seeds 10,000 years ago, humans have been destroying the nutritional value of their fruits and vegetables. Unwittingly, we’ve been selecting plants that are high in starch and sugar and low in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants for more than 400 generations.  Eating on the Wild Side teaches us how to select fruits and vegetables and reclaim the flavour and nutrients we’ve lost.

Jo says “You can just go to a grocery store and if you were to buy green onions, they have 100 times more phytonutrients than other onions in the store. They’re inexpensive, they’re common and they’re unheralded super foods. It’s the green portions that are the best for you; when you’re chopping them up, make sure you chop up all the green portions too. Kale; black, red and dark red grapes; artichokes; parsley; all of the herbs — they’re just like eating wild plants.”

Also, according to Jo, not every apple is created equal – “Just as important in every kind of fruit and vegetable, there are some that are much more nutritious than others. Let’s talk about apples. The Golden Delicious is at the bottom of the ranking and Granny Smith is at the top. There are other nutritious ones like Fujis, the old Red Delicious, Braeburns and Galas. They’re much more nutritious than Golden Delicious, Elstar, Empire or Pink Lady. If you know which ones to choose, an apple a day can keep the doctor away.”

 

Radishes!

Radishes

Radishes

Radishes are one of the most ignored vegetables on your local produce aisle and they shouldn’t be! Radishes are extremely low in calories, naturally fat-free and carry a low glycemic load.  Chock full of nutrients including:

  • Fiber
  • Vitamin C
  • Folate
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Copper
  • Calcium
  • Manganese
  • B vitamins

Here are some more health benefits of radishes:

Naturally cooling

Radishes are a naturally cooling food and their pungent flavor is highly regarded in eastern medicine for the ability to decrease excess heat in the body that can build up during the warmer months.

Sooth sore throats

Their pungent flavor and natural spice can help eliminate excess mucus in the body and can be especially helpful when fighting a cold. Radishes can help clear the sinuses and soothe soar throats too.

Aids digestion

Radishes are a natural cleansing agent for the digestive system, helping to break down and eliminate stagnant food and toxins built up over time.

Eliminates toxins and protects against cancer

In Eastern and Ayurvedic healing practices radishes are said to have effective toxin-purging effects, helping break down and eliminate toxins and cancer-causing free radicals in the body.

Researchers at India’s Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University found that radishes induce apoptosis – meaning they kill cancer cells.
As a member of the cruciferous vegetable family (same family as broccoli and cabbage) radishes contain phytonutrients, fiber, vitamins and minerals that are cancer protecting.

Low in calories, high in nutrients

With a very low calorie count, less than 20 calories in an entire cup, radishes are a great way to add nutrients, fiber and tons of flavor to your meals without compromising your health.

Keeps you hydrated

With a high water content and lots of vitamin C as well as phosphorus and zinc, radishes are a nourishing food for the tissues and can help keep your body hydrated and your skin looking fresh and healthy all summer long!

A yummy additive to any salad, here are a few radish recipes to get you started:

Martha Stewart