Courgettes - contains vitamin A, magnesium, folate, potassium, copper, and phosphorus. Has high content of omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, niacin, and protein. Plus boasts a good level of, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, vitamin B2, and calcium.
Basil - high in antioxidants, contains antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that fight viruses and infections. Is anti-inflammatory and also combats stress by acting as an adaptogen.
This used to be my favourite dish as a student, but it wasn't as healthy as this slightly more refined version!
Blitz the basil + spinach leaves together in a blender until quite fine. Then add the garlic and cheese whilst slowly drizzling the olive oil in as it's whizzing. Add pink hymalayian salt and ground black pepper to taste.
Meanwhile chop the cherry toms and spiralise the courgettes to make your courgetti, then pop in saucepan to heat through.
You don't really want to 'cook' the courgettes as they'll go limp and watery, so just enough that they're hot, then mix the pesto through. Serve on a hot plate, top with some extra grated parmesan and a squeeze of lemon.
- 340g fresh basil leaves
- 340g fresh spinach leaves
- 170g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 6 oz extra virgin olive oil
- 100g pine nuts
- 3 garlic cloves, minced (about 3 teaspoons)
- 2 medium courgettes
- Cherry tomatoes
- Lemon juice
Spinach - is high in niacin and zinc, as well as protein, fiber, vitamins A, C, E and K, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and manganese.
Pinenuts - have a good source of magnesium, also protein and iron aiding in energy levels.
Garlic - combats heart disease, fights viruses and parasites including cancers. Is a natural antibiotic, helps to regulate blood pressure, improves cognitive health and helps to lower chloresterol.
Pretty in Peaches
If you're looking for a sweet treat, this delicious healthy desert is a winner for all the family.
Method (for 6 peaches)
Preheat the oven to 180 degs. Cut your peaches in half, destone (if you can - I couldn't as ours weren't very ripe) and place in a baking dish. Pour the orange juice over the top and place in the oven. Depending on how ripe your peaches are, will depend on how long they'll need. Ours were to 'ripen in the bowl' so they weren't very juicy, 6 took about 25 mins at 180 degs, otherwise just leave them in until they caramalise.
- Peaches - 6 (fresh - not tinned)
- Orange juice - 100ml (fresh - not from concentrate)
- Greek yogurt - good few spoonfuls once peaches are done
- Honey - drizzle as you desire (optional)
- Berries - ours were frozen (as you can see!) but the warm peaches melted them nicely
Peaches contain high levels of antioxidants, specifically caffeic acid which helps protect you against free radicals, cancers and heart disease. Caffeic acid destroys the carcinogenic mold aflatoxin often found in corn and peanut products, reducing it by 95%.
They're an excellent anti-inflammatory food, as they stop the production of cytokines and suppresses the release of histamines in the bloodstream which cause allergic reactions.
Use peaches to protect your eyes against macular degeneration and keep them healthy, as they contain a powerful antioxidant called lutein. Plenty of reasons to eat this healthy pud instead of a shop bought laiden dessert full of artifical sugars, sweeteners and flavourings.
Why this dish gives you energy, but also aids sleep!
It's actually a Mary Berry adaptation to suit what we had the fridge and what my body needed at that time of the month. I love it as it's super easy, but still packed of goodies.
Chicken, (all poultry) contains a very important amino acid, called Tryptophan and once digested your body uses it to rebuild proteins it needs. The biggest benefit you feel from Tryptophan is that it promotes sleep. As it supports the nervous system by building neurotrasmittors, serotonin specifically (commonly known as the 'happy hormone') regulating your mood and appetite, which then stimulates the production of Melatonin, aiding you to have a good night sleep. Tryptophan then turns into Niacin, a B vitamin that stimulates enzymes to create energy, plus B vitamins are also great at calming the nervous system, ie calming anxiety.
Green Beans, are a good source of calcium, silicon, iron, manganese, potassium, and copper. Vitamins A, C, K, B6, and folic acid.
Black Lentils, are a great slow burning fibre, giving you energy that lasts longer and because they have a fairly low Glycemic level they help stabilse your blood sugar levels making them a great option for diabetics. High in iron, to help with those unwanted tried slumps and a great source of protein ideal if you're vegetarian.
- 4 chicken breasts
- 25g soft cream cheese (I used full fat philidephia)
- 1 garlic clove
- olive oil
- half lemon zest grated
- 4 cherry toms
- 25g fresh bread crumbs (crisps if you're celiac)
- 1 sliced red pepper
- black lentils
Serve with Black Lentils
- Measure out what you need, rinse lentils through a sieve + pour into saucepan.
- Cover with boiled water, about 2 inches above the lentils, bring to the boil, then simmer with lid on until all lentils absorbed the water.
- Check every 5 mins to make sure water hasn't evaporated, if it has and they're not done (ie soft), then add more water, repeat until done.
- Once soft, drain and serve.
- Preheat oven to 200 degs.
- Lay the chicken breasts in an oven proof dish and coat with oilve oil and season.
- Weigh out the cream cheese, chop garlic, baby toms, lemon zest + black pepper and blitz in a ninja.
- Chop + weigh out the breadcrumbs and parmesan + place in a bowl.
- Spread the creamcheese mix over the chicken pieces and gently pat breadcrumbs over the top.
- Chop and scatter pepper wedges around the dish.
- Pop in the oven and cook for 25 mins or until chicken cooked through.
+ Green Beans
- Boil water as you prepare your beans, wash + chop ends off.
- Once water is boiling pop your beans in, add a pinch of salt and cook for about 15 mins (or to your desired crunch).
- Strain, serve and enjoy!
Spinach, is very high in Chlorophyll so a fabulous alkaliser. An acidic body is an incubator for disease, so go green! Chlorophyll is known for it's anti-inflammatory properies and also good for eye health.
Its high water content, high fibre, low carb ratio makes it's a great food to help you loose weight, or if you're aiming towards a detox or a fast as it helps you feel fuller for longer.
The misconception of spinach being high in iron isn't that accurate (see chart below), if it's iron you're looking for you want to aim for liver, kidneys, seafood or beans.
Our gorgeous green leaf is actually incredibly high in Vitamin K, which is great for the heart, preventing hardening of the arteries and prevents osteoporosis, as it acts like glue plugging calcium into the bones.
Spinach Nutrients (Cooked)
Recipe + Method
- 50g butter
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 medium potato, peeled and chopped into chunks
- 450ml chicken or vegetable stock
- 600ml coconut milk
- 450g fresh spinach, washed if necessary and roughly chopped finely grated zest of half a lemon
- freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
- 3 tbsp double cream, serve and enjoy on a wintery day!