All posts filed under: Mains

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Bone Broth: A Pregnancy Friend (+ Video)

What’s the difference between bone broth and stock anyway?  And why has it suddenly become so popular? Food goes through trends just like fashion does, and bone broth is no exception. Fashionista foodies and health enthusiasts alike have taken to bone broth by storm; it’s the new in drink to have on hand. Coffee is so last year. Okay maybe not, I have to admit that I have yet to see it on the Starbucks menu. But bone broth has really taken off lately, to the point that you can now even buy powdered bone broth protein shakes. And yet, like the fashion world, bone broth has been around for a long time. Perhaps it’s only now that we are finding out the health benefits it can provide. But I think instinctively we’ve always known that it’s what our bodies were craving when out of balance. Can you think of what your mom or grandma might have made you when you were sick? Did anyone say chicken soup? All around the world we have different …

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Broccoli and Almond Soup with Mint & Crème Fraiche

When it comes to pureed soups, I think there are two types of people; those who love them and those who don’t. A bit like marmite some might say. So for those of you who already love pureed soup, you can skip this paragraph. After all, I’d be preaching to the converted! But for those of you who, like me avoid pureed soups at all costs, read on my friends. I admit that I definitely fall into the non-soup eating category and rarely make soups unless they have lots of chunky pieces of veg, meat, or noodles in them (like ramen- yum). BUT, this soup is an exception. Yes, it is pureed. And yes, I don’t just like it, I actually love it! And I’m not the only one; we used to make this broccoli soup at a cafe I worked at while I was a student in London, and it proved hugely popular. Even among the pureed soup avoiders like me. And believe me, when you realize how easy and quick this soup is …

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Chickpea and Spinach Stew

Did you know beans are in right now? No, I didn’t either, but a fellow foodie friend says they’re the new kale, alongside brussel sprouts and sauerkraut (in case you haven’t kept up with the latest food gossip, here you have it). Though I’m not one to follow food trends, this one is actually a thing, even the United Nations have caught up, dubbing 2016 as the year of the pulses to heighten awareness of their nutritional benefits. Beans beans the musical fruit… I have to admit, I had a little proud moment after hearing that, given that for the first time ever I had been way ahead of the trend on this one, as is never the case with fashion. But having grown up in Spain, I have a deep love for Mediterranean style food. I’ve always loved beans, though I realise it’s not a feeling shared by everyone. That little rhyme ‘beans beans the musical fruit, the more you eat the more you toot’ has given beans a bad press for a long …

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Salmon, Apple and Brassicas Melange

After all that talk about omega 3’s, I thought it was only right to give you a recipe to follow suit! This salmon melange is really a celebration of the late autumn bounty of brassicas, apples and kale, with some bay infused lentils and fresh mint. It’s very satisfying and is ideally eaten warm but can also be taken as an on-the-go lunch. If you read my previous post about omega 3’s, you’ll remember how important they are for pregnancy. Unless you’re vegetarian, it’s recommended that you have around 2 portions of oily fish per week. Not only does this help your baby’s development but also helps reduce the risk of complications such as pre-term labour and pre-eclampsia. Salmon, especially wild alaskan, is high in omega 3’s and lower on the mercury scale. Plus, it’s easy to find in most, if not all supermarkets! The brassicas family, also known as cruciferous vegetables, are those vegetables such as broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, kale, and spring greens that are nutritional powerhouses and very high in folate. You …

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Warm Squash and Dukkah Salad

Halloween might be over, but squash and pumpkin season is still in full swing! This autumnal warm salad really does bring out the best of this versatile vegetable, and it’s so delicious if I do say so myself! I think I could eat this salad every day, it’s warm, satisfying, so good, and of course, healthy. A great combination of iron rich cooked kale, sweet squash, bitter chicory (or endive in the US), salty feta cheese, and crunchy dukkah. YUM. Dukkah? If you haven’t caught onto this trendy aromatic Egyptian nut/seed/spice mix yet, you definitely should. You’ll realise you’ve been missing out all this time! It’s a wonderful combination of hazelnuts (healthy fats anyone?), sesame seeds (really high in calcium- and so necessary in pregnancy!), cumin and coriander seeds (great digestive seeds and warming during the cold months). I’ve added dukkah to this salad, but you can also use it to spice up lots of other dishes such as meat, fish, steamed veggies or even just add some olive oil to make a dip. You can …

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The Goddess of all Greek Salads

With the weather being so changeable these days it’s hard to decide whether we should still be eating summer-inspired or autumnal dishes. With that in mind, I thought a ‘autumnaly salad’ was probably the best way to go forward. Perhaps it’s the simplicity of a traditional Greek salad that I’ve always loved, but it doesn’t exactly feel like a meal, and rather more of an accompaniment. So this goddess of Greek salads was created to make a more substantial and wonderfully colourful lunch. You know you’re onto a nutrient packed meal when it’s colourful (naturally colourful, not E number colourful, that is) as well as fresh! VITAMIN A DID YOU SAY? So why enjoy this salad other than because it’s delicious and satisfying? Well it’ll be sure to give you a hit of vitamin C, fibre, lycopene, and carotenoids (from carrots and other orange and red coloured fruits & veggies); a form of pre-vitamin A. Wait, vitamin A did you say? I can almost sense your quizzical look appear with the mention it. That probably …

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Homemade frozen pesto

It’s been a little while since my last post, so I apologize to all of you for the long wait. I have actually been busy moving country, so I am now a proud resident of the Netherlands! The first thing I did when moving here was to scour out all the supermarkets in town. I was so excited to see all the new produce and products, but of course it has also meant not finding others. It hit home how challenging it can be to find certain products when you don’t live in such a metropolitan city such as London! So in honour of simple ingredients, I have made one of the simplest yet most satisfying sauces which you can combine with almost anything. Homemade pesto. Why frozen you might ask? Well, call me a snob but I really don’t like shop bought pesto. It looks like it has been in that jar way too long, loosing its vibrant green colour and fresh taste along with it. So whenever I have the chance during the …

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Fish and Leafy Greens Bake

This dish really is delicious, satisfying and super easy. You’ll find yourself making it again and again, and it may even become one of your go to dishes on a night your not sure what to cook. We’ve all heard about the health benefits of a mediterranean diet, and this dish epitomizes it . It is a heartwarming dish that is packed with handfuls of leafy greens such as kale, swiss chard and spinach, to ensure your daily intake of folate, fibre, protein and lots of other vitamins and minerals. You may have read the recent article in BBC news about the amazing significance of what a mum-to-be eats. It discusses the findings from data collected over 70 years in Kenaba, The Gambia, where a micro climate allows food and diet to be closely controlled according to what’s growing during that time of year. This research revealed the huge impact that diet has on a baby’s development and throughout its lifetime. Babies born to mothers that were conceived during the dry season, where they ate a more …

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Fresh Fig & Feta cheese salad

Every year I look forward to figs coming into season at the end of the summer. They are my absolute favorite, deliciously sweet and wonderful, and worth waiting for! They are a rather delicate fruit when ripe, but are very versatile and can be eaten with something savoury (as in this salad), made into jam, as a dessert, or simply on their own. They come in various different colours and sizes,  all delicious. When out of season, they can be very disappointing, so keep this salad in mind between July and September only. Dried figs however are available all year round, so you can still reap their health benefits and enjoy them as a sweet snack any time of year. Figs are well-known to help those suffering with constipation as they are full of fibre, which helps get things moving. For people who aren’t used to a fibre rich diet, figs can act as a bit of a laxative, so if you are one of those people, you may want to have a taster portion …

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Folate rich Quinoa Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh is a traditional middle-eastern salad, usually made with bulgur wheat. In this tabbouleh I’ve swapped the bulgur wheat for protein packed quinoa, due to its fabulous nutritional content. Quinoa is not a grain but a seed, rich in many minerals such as magnesium and zinc, as well as protein. Being wheat and gluten free, it is suitable for those with food intolerances. The star of the dish however is the parsley. Parsley is particularly rich in folate, the natural form of folic acid (which in turn is only found in supplements). Folate is a type of B vitamin that is well known to be necessary in early pregnancy to prevent neural tube defects in the baby. Folate is also necessary for the prevention of anaemia, whilst reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Parsley also happens to be a great source of vitamin K, which you may know about as it is usually given to babies to prevent Vitamin K deficiency in the newborn. Together with the tomatoes, cucumber, and radishes, this makes a satisfying …