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

Cauliflower ‘Couscous’ with Sesame, Sweet Potato & Asparagus

Cauliflower Couscous

Who would have thought you could take a vegetable and turn it into a carb substitute? Sometimes we just fancy a bit of stodge for dinner, right?? Cauliflower is such a versatile vegetable and by blitzing it in the Vitamix, we can turn it into a couscous-like consistency. You can pretty much add anything you like to it and, as usual, I’ve added whatever I already had in my fridge. This entire meal is plant-based and super healthy.

Ingredients

1 large cauliflower
2 sweet potatoes
Tsp coconut oil
A bunch of asparagus
About 8 chestnut mushrooms, chopped (or any mushrooms will do)
5th of a cup of water
Handful coriander
1 tbsp sesame seeds
Some sesame oil
1/2 tsp paprika
Handful sundried tomatoes
Himalayan salt & ground black pepper

Optional:
1/4 cucumber, diced
1/4 red onion, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
Gluten free tacos
Halloumi – if not vegan

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Peel and dice the sweet potato then put them on a baking tray with a tsp coconut oil and some Himalayan salt. Once the oven heats up the coconut oil will be melted and you can pull out the tray and mix it around to make sure it covers all the pieces of the potato. Cook for around 20 minutes, or until soft.

Cut the cauliflower into florets and put them in the blender and blitz until a couscous-like consistency is formed. Leave to the side.

Heat some sesame oil in a pan and add the asparagus and mushrooms. Mix around then add about a 5th of a cup of water and add this so the steam will cook the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper and once cooked, remove from pan and set aside.

In the same pan, add a tiny bit more sesame oil then once hot, add the cauliflower couscous to the pan and turn the heat to medium. Mix around for 1-2 minutes then add the sesame seeds and let it all heat through. Add the coriander, paprika some salt and pepper and mix for another minute, then re add the asparagus and mushrooms and mix.

Once heated through, put it on a plate or bowl, remove the sweet potato from the oven and add it to the top.

At this point you can add all the optional extras to the top or put it all inside a gluten free taco or wrap and devour!

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Mixed Roasted Beets

Mixed Roast Beets

Excuse the quality of this picture. I made these at night so it was quite dark but they still look delicious – and they tasted delicious! This is such a simple side dish to make and so nutritious.

Beetroot are great antioxidants and help detox the liver and the blood, they are also high in many vitamins, including folate, so a great vegetable to eat when pregnant.

Ingredients

2 red beets
2 golden beets
2 chioggia beets
Drizzle of olive oil
Handful of thyme
Salt & pepper

Method

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees and prepare an oven tray with baking paper or silver foil.

Peel your beets and slice them thinly. Put them all in a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients and mix until covered.

Place on the baking tray and roast for around half an hour.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Carrot & Coriander Soup

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Autumn is now upon us in London, and I’m feeling the drop in temperature instantly. I tend to make heaps of soups during the winter months. They are great for lunch as they fill you up but are super nutritious also, if you use the right ingredients. Carrots are a great source of fibre and are also high in vitamins C & K, and once again, here I am trying to increase my vitamin K levels in the lead up to my birth. They are also a good natural source of iron and folate, important not just during pregnancy.

Ingredients

Drizzle of coconut oil
About 8 large carrots
2 potatoes
1 onion
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp organic vegetable stock in 1.5 Litres boiling water
Salt & Pepper
Large handful fresh coriander

Method

Peel and chop all the veg then heat the oil in a large saucepan. Once hot, add the onion and cook for a minute, then add the potato, cook for a further minute, stirring a lot. Finally add the carrots, followed by the ground coriander, then add your stock and mix well.

Add a little pepper, wait until it just starts to boil then turn down, put the lid on and leave it to simmer for about half an hour.

Once all the veg is soft, either use a handheld blender if you have one, or put it all in a food processor, along with the fresh coriander, and blend. Taste to see if it needs any salt and as add required.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Lunchtime Quinoa Salad (in preparation for the week)

Quinoa salad

Stuck on what to make as a healthy lunch? I also find quinoa salad to be such a good, easy and healthy option and today I made a HUGE batch of it which means it will last me until at least Wednesday. Cooking healthy food does take time and preparation, but this took me ten minutes to make and I’ve now got lunch for a few days. You can add homemade tahini with it or have it with other hot, steamed veg on top, on its own, or with any meat or fish-based protein if you like, although quinoa is a complete protein so you don’t actually need it if you don’t want it.

I always use whatever vegetables I have to hand so just use whatever you have in the fridge!

Ingredients

1 cup organic quinoa
1 red or orange pepper
1 red onion
1 fennel
7 chestnut mushrooms
1 tin organic sweetcorn
1 courgette (zucchini), spiralized
1 lemon
Himalayan salt and black pepper

Method

Make the quinoa as per the packet instructions.

While it’s cooking, chop all your veg up into small pieces.

Once the quinoa is ready, let it cool a bit before adding it to the bowl of veg, mix well with lemon juice, salt and pepper.

TIP: if you want more flavour add a tsp Bouillon to the quinoa while it’s cooking.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Potato & Spinach Frittata

Frittata

Healthy yet easy to make dinner ideas – it’s a constant battle right?? We’re trying to add as many of our lunch and dinner recipes to the site as possible to help you all out with easy dinner ideas for the whole family. This one was a winner and I served it with a fresh salad of lettuce, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, radish, carrot and spring onion.

Ingredients

6 organic free-range eggs
2 potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly
Half a bag of spinach
About 8 cherry tomatoes
Handful of parsley
Splash of almond milk
Salt & pepper (I used Oryx desert salt)
Coconut oil or spread of choice for the pan

Method

Boil your potatoes (already sliced) for no more than 5 minutes. Drain and set aside. Cut up the tomatoes into quarters, roughly chop the parsley and wash and drain the spinach.

Beat the eggs in a bowl, then add the almond milk, salt and pepper.

Melt the oil or vegan butter in a large frying pan. Once hot, add the egg mix, then add the potatoes, pushing them down so they are semi-covered by the eggs. Then add the rest of the veg and do the same thing.

Turn the heat to medium-high and let it cook for around 5 minutes. While it’s doing this, turn on your grill.

Once the frittata has cooked on the bottom, put the pan under the grill for a further few minutes, until you can see it has cooked through.

Serve with a crisp, fresh salad.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Grilled Halloumi Tacos

Grilled Halloumi Tacos

How perfect is this for a vegetarian summer meal al fresco!

Ingredients

1 pack organic halloumi, cut into slices
2 avocados
1 red onion, chopped in small pieces
Juice of half a lemon
Extra virgin olive oil
Cherry tomatoes
Baby gem lettuce
Tin of sweetcorn
Tin of organic black beans
Half tsp cumin
Half tsp paprika
Enough taco shells for however many people you are feeding

Optional Salsa:
200g drained weight jar roasted red peppers
100g baby plum tomatoes
1 Red onion finely diced
1 green chilli deseeded and diced
Handful fresh coriander

Method

First make the guacamole by mashing the avocado in a bowl then adding half the red onion, the lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper. Set the bowl aside.

Cut up the tomato and lettuce and put on a plate, set aside.

Put the sweetcorn in a bowl and set aside.

Make the black beans by adding some olive oil to a saucepan, then heat the remainder of the red onion. Once it’s sizzling, add the black beans, followed by the cumin and paprika. Leave on a low heat and stir often while you prepare the halloumi.

Heat a griddle pan and once it’s very hot, add the halloumi slices for a maximum of 2 minutes on each side.

Heat the tacos in the oven for 2-3 minutes then put all the dishes on the table so people can help themselves.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren