Spiced Pumpkin, Turmeric and Coconut Soup

Time to spice things up, A twist on an old classic soup. If you like Thai flavours of ginger, coconut cream and coriander well this is a simple yet tasty dish to help change-up the everyday pumpkin soup recipe.

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Spiced Pumpkin, Turmeric and Coconut Soup

Ingredients

20g butter

1kg butternut pumpkin, peeled, seed removed and diced

1 potato, peeled and diced

1 leek white part sliced

1 tbsp ground turmeric

2 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp ground coriander

2 tsp cumin

2 tsp cinnamon

1 L  vegetable stock

1/2 cup coconut cream

salt and pepper

Fresh coriander to garnish

Directions

  1. In a large stock pot melt butter on medium/high heat, add leek and saute for 2-3 mins until softened.
  2. Add potato and pumpkin and spices, toss through vegetables
  3. Add stock and bring to the boil
  4. Turn heat to low and simmer for 20-30mins until pumpkin is soft
  5. Blitz soup with a stick blender or in a food processor to make a smooth puree
  6. Place back in the pot and add coconut cream and season with salt and pepper
  7. Reheat the soup then serve with some fresh coriander

 

 

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Golden Turmeric Latte

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“Golden Milk” is trending and for good reason..

I’m sure you have seen these around for a little while now, becoming on trend the last year or so. They are popping up on many trendy cafe menus as the healthy drink of choice and here’s why..

  • It’s an amazing anti inflammatory so great cure for aching bones, muscles, organ disorders
  • Helps build and support a healthy immune system perfect for fighting the winter colds
  • Full of antioxidants for healthy skin
  • Improves memory and brain functions for healthy minds

Try this little cup of sunshine instead of your usual cuppa on a cold Winters day and reap the many healthy benefits not just for the trend setters. 

I have shared a make your own recipe but there is some blends from health food store that you just add milk too which is also a convenient option.

Golden Turmeric latte

a warm golden milk drink boasting anti-inflammatory benefits

Ingredients

1 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp cinnamon or 1 stick

1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste

1 tsp honey

2 cups almond or coconut milk or milk of choice

Directions

  1. Combine turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, vanilla and honey in a pot on the stove add about 2 tablespoon of boiling water to make a paste.
  2. Add milk and heat on low till just warm.
  3. Set aside for 5 mins and discard cinnamon stick if using
  4. Pour milk into mugs and serve immediately

Note: If you have a milk frothier on a coffee machine you can use this to heat milk with a little froth, half the quantities and place into a mug prior to adding milk.

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Stuffed Baked Sweet Potatoes with Spicy Black Beans

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Ever wondered what the difference is between sweet potatoes and white potatoes? Which you should be eating?

Firstly the carbohydrate content let’s get this straight, sweet potatoes are lower than that of white potatoes but still high in carbohydrates the difference is that sweet potatoes are lower on the GI (glycemic index) which is a slower releasing energy making sweet potatoes are better choice for calorie content as it has more time to burn rather than turn to fat if unused. Unless you are extremely active and burn a lot of calories daily keep an eye on portion size.

In saying that white potatoes and sweet potatoes offer some different nutritional benefits both in which are good for us depending on what your body needs more of.  White potatoes are higher in protein and iron where as sweet potatoes have become a superfood lately purely for it’s high fibre and it’s extremely high Vitamin A content which is essential in maintaining an all round healthy body from our eyes, bones, reproduction, immune system and skin.

So which is better for us?

The answer is both are good for us in different ways. The difference is the way we cook/ prepare them and what we add to them after. Deep frying vs baking or boiling. Adding butter, sour cream, fatty bacon vs legumes, chilli, avocado and yoghurt. Keeping this in mind sweet potatoes do often satisfy sugar cravings, especially if they’re baked and caramelized as they contain a higher natural sugar content.

Both fills us up, give us energy, and leave us satisfied for a long time. Making it a perfect winter comfort food.

Hope this has shed a little light on the subject and gives you a better understanding of the ever popular spuds.

Stuffed Baked Sweet Potatoes with Spicy Black Beans

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 1hour +10 mins
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Ingredients

2 large or 4 small/medium size sweet potato

1 tbsp olive oil

1 small onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 red capsicum, sliced

1 carrot, peeled and finely diced

1 tbsp cumin

2 tsp sweet paprika

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (don’t like spicy leave this out)

400g tin crushed tomatoes

1 1/2 cups water

410g tin black beans, drained and rinsed

400g tin lentils, drained and rinsed

salt and pepper

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

1/2 avocado diced

2 tbsp pinenuts, toasted

2 green onions finely chopped

1/2 cup baby spinach

1/2 cup natural yoghurt (unsweetened)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 200’C
  2. line a baking tray with baking paper, prick sweet potatoes with fork all over set a side
  3. Heat a large frypan with oil on high heat, add onion and garlic cook to 2-3 mins until softened. Add capsicum, carrot, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper cook for 5-6mins.
  4. Add tin tomatoes, water, black beans and lentils to the pan and stir to combine.
  5. Bring to the boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for 45mins or until the sauce has reduced and thickened. Try not to let it dry out if needed add a little more water.
  6. Place  sweet potatoes in the oven and cook for 45-50 mins or until flesh is soft and tender
  7. Once the sweet potatoes are cooked cut a slit in them lengthways, add some of the bean mixture then the cheddar cheese and place back in the oven until melted (optional)
  8. Top potatoes with chopped avocado, green onions, pinenuts, baby spinach, and yoghurt and top with some extra paprika

Note: cooking time will vary depending on the size of the potatoes. Larger ones will take 60-70mins.

Vegan: For vegan version leave out the cheese and yoghurt or use substitutes

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Sweet Potato & Cauliflower Turmeric Quinoa Curry

imageContinuing my love of Turmeric with this healthy vegan one pan vegetable curry.  I am always attracted to one pan dinners, when our weekdays are busy enough it makes meal time that much easier to know you can throw a few quality ingredients in a pan and let it cook away for half an hour giving us some free time to do other things. With three children all wanting my attention this is very handy let me tell you. Seems to be always when I am cooking dinner when they all want my undivided attention  for one thing or another.

My husband isn’t a big fan of curries so I don’t get to make them as much as I’d like to but today I had a craving for it so I made it for myself and the rest will go in the freezer for when I have another curry craving moment. Leftovers are good for work lunches too as this keeps well in the fridge for 3-4 days and the freezer 3-4 months.

Super healthy with added quinoa so no need for heavy rice. I do like something to soak up all the sauce though, I had some of my Homemade Naan Bread in the freezer. Quick heat up and it’s good to go!

Sweet Potato & Cauliflower Quinoa Turmeric Curry

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 35mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

250g sweet potato peeled and cubed (around one small)

250g cauliflower florets (about half a small cauliflower)

2 cloves garlic crushed

3 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp chilli powder (for a mild curry leave this out)

1 tsp ground ginger

400g can coconut milk

1 tbsp tomato paste

salt and pepper

1 cup white uncooked quinoa

1 cup water

400g can chickpeas

1-2 cups baby spinach

Directions

  1. In a large pan add garlic, turmeric, coriander, chilli, ginger, coconut milk and tomato paste stir all till well combined.
  2. Bring to the boil then add sweet potato, cauliflower, and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add quinoa and water to the pan and mix well. Reduce heat to a simmer and place the lid on.
  4. Cook for 25mins stirring occasionally making sure it doesn’t stick to the pan.
  5. Add the chickpeas and cook for a further 5-10 mins. It is ready once the quinoa has absorbed most of the liquid and quinoa is tender.
  6. Stir through baby spinach. Serve with Homemade Naan Bread

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Japanese Miso Soup With Vegetable Dumplings


Japanese food has come a long way in western countries with Japanese, sushi and teppanyaki restaurants popping up in nearly every neighbourhood. With sushi readily available makes a  quick grab and go lunch. Japanese ramen noodle bars are also becoming a popular pit stop for healthy lunches. Japanese food said to be one of the healthiest in the world  along with their healthy lifestyle, no wonder we are finally catching on to their secrets of longevity.

Miso is made from fermented soybeans, is low in fat and carries a long list of health benefits including:

  •  Aiding of digestion
  • Contains high levels of antioxidants
  • Strengthens blood quality
  • Lowers cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Strengthens immunity
  • Is a complete protein
  • Reduces the risks of some cancers such as breast, colon, prostate and lung

Miso soup is the most popular way in which it is used with miso paste as the main ingredient. You can buy white or red miso paste in your asian section of the supermarket. It is also very quick to make and  versatile, adding which ever asian vegetables, noodles, meats, dumplings you like.

I’ve shared my favourite recipe with vegetable dumplings which can also be bought frozen in the supermarket or asian grocers. You can always make your own which I like to do sometimes but other times if I am in a hurry I have some stocked in the freezer for super quick dinners. We often eat Japanese food at home as the kids also love it. This healthy soup makes for a happy mum and  family at meal time.

Miso Soup with Vegetable Dumplings

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 10-15mins
  • Print

Ingredients

2L water

3 tbsp white miso paste

1 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce

1-2 tsp grated fresh ginger

1-2 fresh long chillis sliced (optional)

1 cup sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms or dried

500g frozen vegetable dumplings (you can use pork if you prefer)

1 large bunch of Bok Choy (chinese greens)

2 green onions sliced diagonally

Black sesame seeds to top

Directions

  1. Place water, miso paste, soy sauce, ginger, chilli (leaving some to garnish), mushrooms in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil, then immediately turn to a simmer. Simmer  for 2-3 mins.
  2. Add dumplings and simmer for 5-6mins
  3. Add Bok choy cook for 2 mins
  4. Spoon into  bowls, top with sliced green onions, extra chilli and sesame seeds

Note: You can add some chopped Nori (seaweed) sheets and cubed tofu into the miso soup in step 3.

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