Instead of looking at food in terms of “good” and “bad” which I think is a dangerously judgemental way to categorize what we’re eating, I like to say “yes” to certain things, and the others fall into the “not-right-now” basket. For instance, I love brown rice to the ends of the earth and back, but I’m not eating it right now since it doesn’t make me feel all that great. And just because I’m not eating brown rice these days doesn’t mean I’ll never eat it again! This leaves room for flexibility and creates a far more sustainable way to look at one’s diet. Isn’t it a relief to know that if you are out for dinner and there’s only rice for example, that you could potentially eat it and not beat yourself up? Ahhhh…did you feel that?! What a relief, eh? Tomorrow you’ll get back on the horse, no big deal at all. Making changes should be fun, and keep those labels for tin cans! You’re a fluid being, ever-changing, so make space for that in your meal planning too.
I used to see self-care as something that only “people with time” have. Well, after totally hitting the wall a while ago, I realized that it just has to be a priority, respected as a part of a holistic approach to health, and something to actually schedule in the calendar. Staying active, sleeping, and treating myself to some yummy stress-reducing activities like spending time in nature, bodywork, and cooking (go figure) keeps me feeling happy and relaxed. Squelching stress doesn’t happen by accident: it is truly a daily practice and something to be mindful of. Listen to yourself. How can this moment be juicier and more relaxing? It’s fun to love yourself!
Rainbow Hummus Bowl
Serves 1 as a main
- 75 ml hummus of your choice
- Fresh greens (such as spinach, rocket and romaine)
- Handful of cooked beans or lentils
- Handful of sprouts
- Mix of chopped veggies (such as steamed green beans; roasted beetroot; raw pepper, carrots and/or avocado; and olives)
- Cold-pressed olive oil
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Sea salt flakes
- Smear the hummus around the inside of a salad bowl.
- Add the greens, beans, sprouts and veggies and toss. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice and season with salt. Toss to coat
Coconut-Quinoa Coleslaw With Minty Tahini Dressing
Serves 6 as a main, 8 as a side
- 85 g quinoa, soaked if possible
- 250 ml water
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
Minty Tahini Dressing
- 125 ml tahini
- 4 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 tbsp cold-pressed olive oil
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 185 ml water
- Pinch of sea salt, plus extra as needed
- 25 g fresh mint leaves
- Make the quinoa: rinse the quinoa well. In a small saucepan, combine the quinoa, water and salt. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, for about 20 minutes until all the water has been absorbed and the quinoa grains are tender. Fluff with a fork.
- Meanwhile, make the dressing: in a blender, combine the tahini, lime juice, olive oil, maple syrup, water, salt and mint leaves; blend on high until smooth and creamy. Season with more salt as needed. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the cabbages, kale, carrots and pepper.
Quinoa Corn Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
- 250 g polenta
- 75 g cornflour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 140 g cooked quinoa (from about 55 g 2 oz dry)
- 250 ml plant-based milk of your choice
- 3 large eggs
- 5 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp pure maple syrup
- 15 g chopped fresh coriander leaves and tender stems
- 1 small red chilli (stem and seeds removed), very finely chopped (Serrano is a good choice)
- 3 tbsp raw pumpkin seeds
- Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / Gas mark 6. Line a cupcake tin with 12 muffin cases.
- In a large bowl, sift together the polenta, cornflour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Add the cooked quinoa.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, coconut oil and maple syrup.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and combine in as few strokes as possible. Fold in the coriander and very finely chopped chilli.
- Spoon the batter into the muffin cases until they are three-quarters full and sprin-kle evenly with the pumpkin seeds. Bake for about 25 minutes until the edges are golden brown and a cocktail stick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of a muffin. The muffins are best enjoyed fresh but will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 3–4 days.
Double Chocolate Sunbutter Cookies
Makes 20 cookies
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 250 g sunbutter (see below)
- 125 ml pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- 45 g cocoa powder
- 100 g dark chocolate (70% or higher), roughly chopped
- 170 g raw, unsalted, shelled sunflower seeds
- Preheat the oven to 160°C / 325°F / Gas mark 3. Line a rimmed baking sheet with baking paper.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla. Add the sunbutter and mix thoroughly. Add the maple syrup, bicarbonate of soda and salt and fold together. Sift in the cocoa powder and stir to incorporate. Fold in the chopped chocolate.
- Place the sunflower seeds in a separate bowl. Wet your hands slightly with water. Divide the dough into about 20 portions and roll each into a rough ball (the dough will be very wet, but this is normal!).
- Drop the dough balls into the bowl of seeds and roll to coat them in the seeds. Flatten the balls out slightly and place them on the prepared baking sheet about 5 cm / 2 in apart.
- Bake the cookies for 10–13 minutes until they have risen and expanded. Leave them to cool slightly before serving. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
- 400 g raw, unsalted, shelled sunflower seeds
- Cold-pressed olive oil (optional)
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas mark 4.
- Place the sunflower seeds in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for 10–15 minutes until golden and fragrant. Remove them from the oven and leave to cool.
- Place the cooled sunflower seeds in a food processor and pulse, occasionally scraping down the sides, until smooth and creamy (this process can take 10 minutes or more, so be patient). If the seeds are not releasing their oil, add a little olive oil to help the process along. Once the mixture is creamy, add the cinnamon and sea salt, if using, and blend to incorporate. Store the sunbutter in an airtight glass jar in the fridge for up to 1 month.
READ Naturally Nourished by Sarah Britton, £20 Jacqui Small
DISCOVER A wealth of recipes on Sarah’s blog at mynewroots.org.