Mushroom quinoa pilau

I recently reintroduced mushrooms after removing them for SIBO treatment and am so happy to have them back in my life! They have such an amazing flavour all of their own and are good sources of B vitamins, chromium and selenium and offer modest amounts of protein. I’ve used oyster, wood ear and shiitake mushrooms in this recipe, if you’re on a low FODMAP diet swap the shiitake for shimeji mushrooms, or just omit the shiitake mushrooms.

Quinoa is a seed that I love as an alternative to rice and other grains – it’s gluten free, a complete source of all amino acids (protein), it’s also rich in fibre, B vitamins, manganese, magnesium and other trace minerals. Quinoa doesn’t have a great flavour on it’s own, so it’s important to rinse it thoroughly before cooking and I also cook it in a broth or stock. I’ve used an amazing mushroom broth in this recipe by Nutra Organics. You don’t have to use this brand for the broth, but I’d highly recommend it for the flavour and the health benefits.

I’ve used goats cheese, but it’s also lovely with a fried egg on top. You could always replace the goats cheese with a vegan cheese (a nut based cheese) to make this vegan.Mushroom and quinoa pilaf 2

Serves 3-4

You’ll need:

  • 150g mushrooms sliced (I used oyster, wood ear and shiitake)
  • 1 cup quinoa washed
  • 4 teaspoons of Nutra Organics Immune Wellbeing vegetable broth combined with 2 cups of boiling water to make a broth / stock
  • 2 zucchinis chopped
  • 2 green onions sliced
  • 1/2 cup of goats feta to crumble on top OR a fried egg placed on each serve
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1 tbsp light olive oil

Method:

Place quinoa and broth in a saucepan, bring to the boil then turn down heat to a low simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside.

In a larger saucepan / frypan add the olive oil on a medium heat, add the zucchini, salt and pepper and saute for about 3 minutes, add the mushrooms and cook for 30 seconds, add the spring onion cook for a further 30 seconds, then add the quinoa and combine all ingredients, stirring for a further minute. Serve in bowls and top with crumbled feta or an egg.

Yours in health,

Meredith x

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Yellow vegetable curry

I shared a picture of a yellow veggie curry in my slow cooker on Instagram and had some requests for the recipe so here it is. It’s on repeat in my house!

This curry is low FODMAP, endo-diet friendly and vegan. It’s not a complicated recipe and can definitely be tweaked, so feel free to use whatever veggies are in season or add some chickpeas if your gut can tolerate them.

Yellow veggie curry

Serves 4-6,

Requires a slow cooker, or a setting on your stove top that allows you to cook at a very low temperature.

You’ll need:

  • A 400g tin of coconut milk (without additives)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tsp ginger finely grated
  • 1 tbsp turmeric ground
  • 2 tsp cumin ground
  • 1 tsp cardamom ground
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • A sprinkle of sea salt
  • 1 medium sweet potato chopped (or pumpkin)
  • 1 white potato chopped
  • 2 zucchini chopped
  • 1/4 cauliflower chopped into small florets (use broccoli for low FODMAP)
  • 150g of chopped mushrooms (use oyster mushrooms for low FODMAP)
  • A handful of fresh coriander leaves to serve
  • 1 lime to squeeze over when serving

If you’re not on a low FODMAP diet or don’t have IBS or SIBO, try adding some chopped onion and 1 minced garlic clove.

Method:

Take a slow cooker pan and add the coconut oil, heat it over the stove top on a medium heat, add the spices (including the fresh ginger) and when they are fragrant slowly add the vegetables and cook stirring for about 2 minutes. Next, add the coconut milk and heat through (but don’t let it boil).

Place the pan back into the slow cooker and cook on low for about 4 hours.

Yellow vegetable curry

I like to sprinkle hemp seeds, sunflower seeds and almond flakes on top when serving for added protein and healthy fats.

Serve with rice of your choice, I use jasmine but brown rice is best if you can tolerate it.

Meredith x

Cauliflower soup with coriander oil

Roast cauliflower in spices, potato for added creaminess and the coriander oil drizzled through adds depth of flavour and contrast to the warm spices.

I’ll start off by saying this may not be suited for those with IBS or SIBO. Everyone is different though and it might come down to portion size; if I ate a huge bowl of this it might trigger symptoms in me so I have this as a starter to a meal, not a meal on its own. If you don’t have gut issues (lucky you) then no problem! It’s definitely suitable for those with endometriosis and can also be made vegan.

Cauliflower soup with coriander oil

You’ll need:

Coriander oil

  • 1 bunch of coriander, washed and torn
  • 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil (I use garlic infused evoo)

Cauliflower soup

  • 1 litre of vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 head of cauliflower, chopped roughly into florets
  • 2 white potatoes (I used dutch cream), chopped in quarters
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp Ras el hanout*
  • 2 tbsp light olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

* Ras el hanout is a spice mix which can be bought from delicatessens, markets or speciality grocers, it’s definitely worth investing in a jar to keep in your pantry.

Method:

Preheat the oven to a moderate heat, about 175 degrees celsius (fan forced).

Combine the turmeric and ras el hanout. Coat the cauliflower in the light olive oil and spices.

Place the cauliflower on a baking tray and bake for 25 minutes.

Add a little light olive oil to a pot and heat the stove top to a medium heat, add the potatoes, salt and pepper. Cook and continue turn the potatoes for about 2 minutes, add the cauliflower, garlic and stock. Bring to the boil then turn the heat down, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

While the soup is cooking, make the coriander oil by combining the extra virgin olive oil and the coriander in a food processor until it reaches the desired consistency. I don’t process it much but it’s purely a personal choice.

When the soup is ready, allow to cool slightly then blend, ladle into bowls, then add some coriander oil to each bowl and serve.

Enjoy!

Meredith x

 

Healthy lunchbox ideas

For me, eating well means preparing most of my meals, that includes lunch. Taking home made lunches to work or school doesn’t mean boring and tasteless. It doesn’t mean you have to spend ages preparing your lunches either.

Usually on Sunday I will prepare a few dishes that I know will last a few days that I can take as leftovers. I also buy items that can keep in the fridge (or cupboard) for up to a week such as smoked salmon, cheese, salad ingredients, nuts and crackers.

I recently bought a bento box style of lunch box which I love as it has compartments that can be used for different foods.

healthy bento box
healthy lunch ideas

Here are some items I like to pack in my lunches:

  • Frittata
  • Boiled eggs
  • Smoked salmon
  • Flaked tuna
  • Leftover roast or poached chicken
  • Leftover slow cooked, shredded lamb
  • Leftover lasagne (I make a paleo style, as pictured)
  • Soup, depending on the recipe it can be a complete meal on it’s own if it has sufficient protein, fat and carbohydrates
  • Leftover stir-fry
  • Rice paper rolls or home-made sushi rolls (wrap tightly though as any air makes the rice tough)

To serve with:

  • Leftover roast veggies such as baked pumpkin (as pictured) or cauliflower
  • Chopped fresh veggies such as celery, carrot or cucumber
  • Roast vegetable salad
  • Steamed/blanched green beans or broccoli
  • Kaleslaw (shredded kale, cabbage, carrot, spring onions as pictured) with avocado, lemon and olive oil dressing (keep the dressing separate to avoid a soggy salad)
  • Chopped garden salad or Greek style salad
  • Zaalouk a delicious slow cooked vegetable dish that is almost a dip
  • Olives
  • Nuts or nut butter
  • Rice crackers (jasmine rice crackers are best with no additives)
  • A small amount of fruit such as melon or strawberries
  • Homemade dips
  • Organic goats cheese or yoghurt
  • Protein balls
  • Gummies (as pictured)
  • A small amount of chopped fruit such as melon or strawberries

Everyone’s needs for protein, fats and carbohydrates are slightly different; if you have SIBO you will probably tend to be lower carb than others, but I try to aim for my meals to be around 25% protein, 25% fats and get my carbohydrates by filling my plate with 50% of veggies.

If you’re vegan make sure you consume a combination of grains, legumes, seeds and nuts to ensure you’re getting sufficient protein and fats.

Health and healing,

Meredith x

Layered vegetable bake

So this is sort of a lasagna…but there’s no pasta or meat and the white sauce isn’t really the traditional kind, I think it’s delicious though and a healthy alternative to lasagna, it’s also great to keep in the fridge for mid-week meals.

This recipe is mostly low FODMAP depending on how you react to cashew nuts, but as the cashews are soaked and blended into a sauce I find it’s tummy friendly, if you react to mushrooms then just leave them out. Like all my recipes, this is endo diet friendly and if you prefer, you can use chopped tomatoes instead of tinned for a fresher take on the recipe. This dish is vegan if you omit the Parmesan cheese.

IMG_6753
Layered vegetable bake

You’ll Need:

White sauce

  • 1 cup of raw cashew nuts soaked for at least 30 minutes in cold water
  • 2 tbsp almond milk
  • 1/3 cup garlic infused olive oil (plus some extra for drizzling over the dish once it comes out of the oven), try adding a bit less oil to start and add more as you need to.
  • Sea salt and pepper

Tomato sauce

  • 2 tins of tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • Some slow roasted tomatoes for extra flavour (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • A handful of fresh basil leaves chopped finely
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • Chilli flakes
  • 2 tbsp garlic infused olive oil
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 250g fresh mushrooms diced

Vegetable layers

  • 1 eggplant, sliced thinly length ways
  • 3 medium zucchinis, sliced thinly length ways
  • Sea salt
  • 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese (optional)

Method:

Firstly sprinkle a generous amount of sea salt all over the eggplant and zucchini layers and allow to sit for at least 30 minutes. Then rinse and pat dry and remove as much excess moisture as possible.

Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees fan forced, then prepare the tomato sauce. In a large frypan heat the olive oil, then add the dried herbs and mushrooms, gently cook the mushrooms on a medium heat until they start to collapse a little, then add the tomato paste and tomatoes, stir through some garlic infused olive oil and allow to simmer on a low heat and reduce for at least 25 minutes. Then stir through the basil, chilli flakes and some salt and pepper to taste.

While you are making the tomato sauce, prepare the white sauce. Blend all ingredients in a food processor until it forms a paste, if it’s too thick just add some more almond milk or olive oil.

Start assembling the layers, place eggplant layers at the bottom of a large lasagna dish then top with white sauce then tomato sauce, then add a layer of zucchini and top with white sauce then more tomato sauce and repeat. Once you’ve completed the layers top with grated parmesan cheese, cover with foil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the foil and bake for a further 20 minutes. After this time the top should be golden, remove from the oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes and drizzle with garlic infused olive oil. Serve warm.

Yours in health,

Meredith x