The classic chilli

I can’t tell you how many times batch cooking has saved the healthy eating day here! An hour spent over the weekend is pure gold when you come home frazzled after a super long day to find you have a delicious dinner already prepared 🙂

Having a few classic recipes in your healthy eating toolkit that you can make in bulk, means you will never be without a great meal. Keep in the fridge for a supper later in the week or simply portion up and freeze for another day.

This recipe is one of our absolute favourites and who doesn’t love Mexican? Its quick to put together and can be adapted for different meals during the week. The flavours only improve the next day – winning! Pack in as much veg as you fancy here and add more chilli if you can take the heat.

Classic Lentil Chilli

  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • 3 large carrots
  • 1 large courgette (optional)
  • 170g mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable stock powder
  • 300ml water
  • 180g green lentils
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 500g pack of passata
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 1 tin kidney beans
  • Salt and pepper

Serves at least six

Place the lentils in a bowl and cover with boiling water while you prepare the vegetables.

Chop all the vegetables and place in a large pan.

Strain the lentils. Add all the other ingredients except the salt, place on the heat and bring to the boil.

Lower the heat, cover and simmer for about 1 hour until everything is tender. Add more water if necessary. Taste and season before serving.

Try making this in the slow cooker and leave on low for at least six hours.

Try serving with brown rice, salad, plain tortilla chips and don’t forget the guacamole! Its a great way to pack extra flavour into the dish and those good fats from the avocado. Simply mash an avocado with the juice of half a lime and a little salt then throw in a finely chopped tomato, a couple of spring onions and a handful of fresh coriander. Mix well and then check the seasoning to taste. Easy and so much more fresh tasting than anything you can buy!

This is also fab with a baked potato or served solo with flatbreads. Pretty much however you like it!!

Weekend brunch…

There’s nothing more relaxing after a busy week than a super slow breakfast with good friends. Taking the time to linger over fantastic healthy food, good coffee and great conversation gets the weekend off to a chilled start. But what to serve to please everyone?

Keeping things simple but excellent quality never fails! Kick things off with a chilled glass of fresh juice, either classic orange or try this zesty green juice for an extra vitamin hit…

Simple Green Juice

  • 1 large cucumber
  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • 1 lime, peeled
  • 6 small apples

Wash everything and chop into suitable sized pieces for your juicer. Juice everything. Add half a teaspoon of vitamin c powder to a glass juice and pour in the fresh juice. Mix well and chill ready for serving.

Next move on to an abundant fruit platter, easy to prep in advance and it always impresses. Just grab any ripe fruit you find and aim for a variety of colours. Try adding some dried fruit such as dates, figs or apricots to mix it up. Arrange everything on a beautiful plate and you’re done! Place this in the centre of the table for everyone to pick at throughout the morning.

For crunch I always make my own granola. So simple to prepare and you can easily adapt this to include all of your favourite nuts and seeds. I always love to bake this just before everyone arrives as this winter spiced version makes the kitchen smell incredible! Sealed in an airtight container this will keep for ages so you can enjoy on even the busiest morning.

Winter Spiced Granola

  • 85g coconut oil
  • 100g honey
  • 250g oats
  • 100g nuts, roughly chopped
  • 50g seeds
  • 1 tsp mixed spice or cinnamon
  • 30g coconut chips

Preheat the oven to 150C.

Place the coconut oil and honey in a small pan and melt gently.

Mix together all the other ingredients until combined. Add the melted oil and honey mixture and combine until everything is well coated.

Spread out on a large tray and bake for about 40 minutes, stirring everything around about halfway through. Keep a close eye on it for the last 10 minutes to ensure the edges don’t burn at all.

Serve with cool and silky coconut yoghurt and you have everything set for a fantastic, delicious and super healthy breakfast. Then just put the coffee pot on…

Best most flexible minestrone soup

Welcome to New Year and I’m sure you’re keen to be doing something… well something better at least! We all know the feeling but are often so overwhelmed about where exactly to start.

These days we’re bombarded by so much conflicting and confusing health information, should I go vegan, paleo, keto… blah blah. No wonder we all get demotivated and end up running for the nearest plate of nachos.

A few years ago, I realized the only way I would be able to reclaim my health was to adopt a common sense approach focusing on whole real foods and no fads. I cut out all the weird stuff that my body couldn’t deal with and I couldn’t even pronounce. Then focused on proper real food that tasted fantastic and made me feel great!

In this space I will share all my best tips, cheats and recipes gathered over the last decade. I’ve tried everything – so now you don’t have to.

So, if you’re wondering where to begin, let’s start with one of my basics and a fantastic winter recipe.

I was always a pro at falling off the health wagon at lunchtime, getting too hungry and then tempted by whatever high fat, high sugar offering I could grab in town. Now having something home-made and ready to go at work is a lifesaver and produces an excellent smug feeling that you’re winning at lunch and healthy living!

A favourite go-to in winter is always soup – easy to make, portable and handy to have in the fridge if you’re back late. This Minestrone never fails – so give it a go.

Don’t worry too much about which vegetables you use here or if you don’t have them all. This is a super flexible recipe which will easily cope with more or less of anything!

My Minestrone Soup

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 medium leeks, halved lengthways and sliced
  • 3 sticks celery, halved lengthways and sliced
  • 1 large red pepper
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 500g pack passata
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1½ tsp mixed herbs
  • 1 tin haricot/cannellini beans (or whichever type you fancy)
  • 1 litre water
  • 4 tsp Marigold vegan stock power
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • ¼ medium savoy cabbage, shredded

Warm the olive oil in a large saucepan and add the onions, carrots, leeks, celery, pepper and garlic and cook gently for about 5 minutes until slightly softened.

Next add all the other ingredients except the savoy cabbage, bring to the boil and simmer for about 30 minutes until everything is tender.

Add the shredded cabbage and then cook for a further 10 mins. Add more water if the soup becomes too thick.

Taste, then season if needed.

If you have any fresh herbs on the windowsill, serve with some shredded fresh basil or parsley.

Pimp it up…

  • If you’re doing meat – try adding a few pieces of chopped bacon and chorizo with the olive oil.
  • If you’re doing grains – add some small pieces of pasta or micro pasta shapes – good crowd pleaser with the kids 😊
  • If you’re doing dairy – shave some parmesan over the top to serve.

Make it even easier…

If you have a slow-cooker kicking about at the back of the cupboard pop everything in and cook on high for 3/4 hours or low for 6/7.

Then sit back and enjoy…

Healthy food just got real

Being healthy and feeling fantastic, that’s what we all want right?

We all love those gorgeous Instagram photos of perfect dishes in immaculate kitchens with ingredients bought from the most unusual little specialty food stores.

We search around for great ideas to inspire us and watch people making delicious food in lovely sunny climates followed by two hours of yoga.

But… what if you’re not in California or any other glamorous location – its Tuesday – you’re late back from work – its freezing and throwing it down with rain, and the most inspiring veg you have in the fridge are a few dodgy carrots.

This is where we can help and nourish you in the real world – no complicated recipes – no expensive equipment – no ingredients you have no hope of finding in your local shop – just delicious simple food to make you feel better than ever before.

This is our journey to make it actually happen and make it real.