Mung Daal (Moong Dahl)

I got tips for this recipe from a few Indian friends (everyone seems to make it slightly differently), then put my own stance on it, but only a little bit because why change something that works? So thanks to Deepa, Roshni and Abigail!

Mung beans have been part of traditional Ayurvedic diets for thousands of years and are used for their amazing nutritional values.

Not only are they absolutely packed full of nutrients (manganese, potassium, magnesium, folate, copper, zinc and various B vitamins), they are also very high in protein (a great option for a vegetarian diet) and fibre, and are a great anti-inflammatory food. When cooked with turmeric it is the perfect anti-inflammatory meal. They’re also great anti-oxidants.

One of the main reasons I made it this week is because more than anything, mung beans help digestion and after coming back from holiday and eating way too much, I needed something nutritious that aided digestion and was also filling and wholesome enough as a meal for Braxton.

It sounds like a lot of ingredients but just get all the spices out in front of you and add one by one. Just gives it the best flavour to have all the spices.

It’s such a delicious, wholesome, comforting meal and easy to make, which helps!

Ingredients – (NB: make sure to soak the beans at least overnight. You can soak them for days, changing the water each day.)

3/4 cup mung beans / moong beans
1 tsp turmeric
Choice of vegetables. I used: okra, baby corn, carrots, onion, courgette, sweet potato (could also add beetroot, pumpkin, peas, broccoli, green beans)
1 tbsp coconut oil (you can also use Ghee if not dairy free)
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 garlic cloves, crushed (optional)
1 inch ginger, crushed
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp saffron
1/2 tsp cumin
Black pepper and Himalayan salt to taste
Handful fresh coriander

Optional spices – use what you fancy:
Cardamom, chilli, hing, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, bay leaf

Method

Once the beans have soaked for long enough, cook them. If you have a pressure cooker use this, if not, cover with boiling water, turn down the heat and put on a lid, stirring often and adding more water if needed.

Add the turmeric to the beans as they cook.

Once 3/4 cooked, add all the vegetables and continue to cook.

Once nearly ready, get a small frying pan and heat the coconut oil (and add ghee if using). Turn down the heat and add the cumin seeds and stir continuously. Once cooked, turn off the heat and immediately add the garlic, ginger and the rest of the spices except for the salt and pepper and stir. If the heat disappears too much, turn it back on to a low heat then turn off again. You don’t want the spices to burn or the garlic to brown too much.

Once cooked, add this mix to the bean mix and stir, and add salt to taste, then stir in the coriander and serve with fresh coriander and brown rice..

Love & health,
Lauren

‘Cheesy’ Carrot & Potato Bake (Dairy-Free)

Real-life mum struggles here – don’t have time to write a huge post today! But wanted to upload this recipe that I made last week because Braxton loved it and it’s awesome for little ones. Nutritional yeast is a great vegan cheese substitute and makes it a bit ‘cheesy’. Sorry for the short post but hope you enjoy it!

Ingredients

6 carrots, peeled and diced into small pieces
2 white potatoes, peeled and diced
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 tbsp almond or oat milk
1 egg, beaten
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup brown rice breadcrumbs
4 tbsp nutritional yeast
Himalayan salt & black pepper

Method

Steam the carrots and potatoes until soft.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.
When the carrots and potatoes are ready, mash them and add the milk, egg, parsley, salt and pepper (to taste).
In a shallow baking dish, spread the mixture evenly.
Combine the breadcrumbs with the nutritional yeast and sprinkle over the mash.
Bake for half an hour.
It also freezes really well if you don’t finish it all.
Love & health,
Lauren

 

Beetroot Mash

beetroot-mash

How gorgeous and bright does this look for a dull winter’s day? I just love the colours of nature and colours are a great way to entice children to eat vegetables. Beetroots are full of nutrients and are such an important vegetable.

Beetroots are an excellent source of folte so a great food to eat when pregnant or trying to conceive. They are also high in iron, potassium and fibre and are great for the heart. Generally an all-round wonderful vegetable.

I had a bunch of fresh beets in the fridge and juiced a few but wanted something warm so I decided to make this beetroot mash. It’s more like a beetroot puree really as I blended it. So creamy and soft and moreish.

I made something very similar a while back and added horseradish, so if you like a kick to your mash, try that one out!

Ingredients

2 beetroot
5 white potatoes
Quarter cup almond milk
Quarter cup vegetable stock
Himalayan salt & black pepper to taste

Method

Peel and chop the beetroots and potatoes.

Put the potatoes in a saucepan with boiling water and boil. If you have a steamer saucepan, put this over the top of the potatoes and put the lid on so they can steam and boil together. If you don’t, boil or steam the beets separately.

When they are both soft, mash the potatoes with a masher.

Add the beets to the blender and blend until smooth, then add the potatoes, stock, almond milk, salt and pepper and blend until puree-like.

Add more stock or almond milk if you need.

Love & health,
Lauren

Moroccan Brown Rice

moroccan-brown-rice

The best thing about being half Moroccan is, by far, the food. Who doesn’t like Moroccan food? Moroccan grandmothers are renowned for their cooking skills and my grandmother was one of the best.

My mum grew up in the East End of London – you literally couldn’t find a bigger disparity between my dad’s upbringing in Casablanca and my mum’s in the East End! Pie and mash versus apricot chicken tagine, fish and chips versus almond couscous, bacon butties versus cinnamon and turmeric spiced rice, and so on.

But luckily for me, my mum is an amazing cook and learnt all the dishes from my grandmother when she met my dad and so I’ve been fortunate enough to grow up eating the most beautifully tasting food, not just thanks to my mum but also all my dad’s sisters.

I have learnt a lot of the dishes myself and although some of them are very intricate, there are also ways of incorporating the flavours and spices into everyday dishes like rice. Rice is a really hard thing to get right so I hope this post helps you perfect it.

I made this for our dinner alongside some other bits and Daniel and Braxton both love it. I hope you do too.

Ingredients

1 cup brown basmati rice
Enough purified water to cover the rice
1 tsp bouillon
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cinnamon
Handful almond flakes
Handful sultanas
Himalayan salt and black pepper, to taste

Method

Put the rice in a saucepan and cover with water, but make sure the water comes up about an inch over the rice. I have a Brita kettle and usually boil the kettle first to pre-boil and purify the water, then pour it over once it’s boiled. Give it a mix and add the bouillon and wait until it starts bubbling. Once the bubbling starts, give it another mix, turn the heat down to low and put the lid on.

It will take about 20 minutes from here but you need to give it a stir every 5 minutes or so. If you see the water has gone down too much and the rice isn’t nearly ready, add some more water. The heat is down on low and the lid is on so the steam will cook it more than the water.

Once there is only a very tiny bit of water left at the bottom, after about 15 minutes, add the turmeric, cinnamon, salt and pepper and mix, then add the almond flakes and sultanas and give it another mix and leave the lid off until the water has disappeared but only just.

Serve straight away.

Love & health,
Lauren

Black Rice with Roasted Butternut, Spring Onion & Pumpkin Seeds

Black rice

In parts of Asia, black rice was given the name ‘forbidden rice’, as it was reserved only for royalty due to its health benefits. It is very high in fibre and antioxidants and is a super anti-inflammatory.

Add to that some butternut squash which is also an anti-inflammatory (and because the contrast of colours look so great!) and some spring onion and pumpkin seeds for calcium, and we have a winning dish.

I bought this black rice ages ago and only got round to cooking it now and this dish is really delicious and so easy to make.

Ingredients

125g organic black rice
2 spring onions, chopped finely
1 butternut squash, chopped in small squares
Handful of pumpkin seeds
Extra virgin olive oil
Organic, natural maple syrup
Balsamic vinegar
Himalayan salt

Method

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.

Put the rice in a saucepan and cover generously with boiling water and put on a high heat. Once the water starts bubbling, stir, turn the heat down to low and put the lid on. Keep an eye on it. It should take around half an hour to cook.

Peel the butternut squash and cut into small squares. Place on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil and a bit of salt, mix well, and put it in the oven for half an hour.

Once the rice is ready, take it off the heat and put it in a bowl. Add the butternut, spring onion and pumpkin seeds.

Drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar, no more than a tablespoon, and drizzle with some maple syrup, then add a pinch of salt, stir, and serve. Can be eaten hot or cold.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Roasted Butternut Quinoa Salad

Butternut Quinoa Salad

When people ask me what my go-to gluten free, yet easy to make, lunch is, I tell them quinoa. It takes around 10 minutes to make and you can either make it that day or the day before and keep a tupperware full in the fridge for a few days. You can also add to it whatever you happen to have in the fridge at that time. In order to make it a bit more filling, I added butternut squash to it this time. You can add some grilled halloumi too, if you fancy, I just wanted to keep this one dairy-free. Quinoa is such an amazing source of protein that you don’t need to add any meat or fish (you can if you want to – if it’s organic of course 🙂 ) But you don’t have to all the same. This will give you all the protein you need.

Ingredients

Quinoa (add as much as is needed for the amount of people you want to feed)
1 butternut squash
Half a cucumber
3 spring onions
2 fresh beetroot, steamed and chopped
Generous handful of cherry tomatoes
2 carrots, shaved into ribbons through a potato peeler
Handful of pine nuts
1 tbsp lemon juice
Pinch salt (I used Oryx desert salt here)
Black pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

Cook the quinoa as per the packet instructions. When it is ready, transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool.

While this is happening, peel the butternut squash and chop into bite-size pieces. Transfer onto a prepared oven tray and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for around 40 minutes, stirring occasionally with a spoon to make sure all pieces are coated by the oil.

While it’s in the oven, chop up your vegetables and add them to the bowl with the quinoa.

Add the lemon juice, salt and pepper and stir well, then take the butternut out the oven and add to the top.

Serve straight away or wait until cooled and keep in the fridge.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Broccoli & Pea Buckwheat Pasta

Pasta

Easy dinners, easy dinners. It’s all about easy dinners that you can just throw together quickly. Usually the meals that are considered ‘easy’ or ‘convenient’ are not particularly healthy so I’m always trying to invent new ones to add to the website so I can go back to them when I am short of time.

I’m trying to keep my folate and calcium levels up during my pregnancy so broccoli is a must-have in my diet right now. Buckwheat also helps control blood sugars which is essential during pregnancy to prevent gestational diabetes, and avocados, well, you all know how I feel about this wonder-food!

Ingredients

Enough buckwheat pasta for two people – double up all ingredients if you need more. (you can also use brown rice pasta or quinoa pasta. Try and stay away from processed pastas, even if they’re gluten free.)
A head of organic broccoli
1 cup frozen peas
1 ripe avocado
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
5 tbsp lemon juice
5 Brazil nuts
Handful pine nuts
1 clove of garlic
Handful fresh mint
Pinch Himalayan salt

Method

Cut your broccoli into florettes and add to a pan of boiling water. Once it’s been in for five minutes, add the peas and leave for around three minutes until all the vegetables are ready but not too soft. Drain, and set to the side until you are ready to use them. Rinse the saucepan and add the pasta and boiling water and begin to cook as per packet instructions.

While this is cooking, make your vegan pesto sauce. Add the avocado, olive oil, lemon juice, Brazil nuts, pine nuts, garlic, mint and salt to the food processor and process until totally smooth. If it is too thick, add a little more oil and lemon juice. Taste to see if it needs more salt or lemon.

Drain the pasta once it is ready and return it to the pan, then add in the vegetables and pesto sauce and turn heat on low just to heat the vegetables and stir to heat it all through.

Serve once hot.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren