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Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

DSC_8292Simple, delicious and healthy, peanut butter cookies are a great source of protein and fiber – a perfect post-workout snack.

What you will need for 10-12 cookies

  • 1/2 Lb. (225 grams) of organic peanut butter
  • 0.25 lb. (110 grams) of icing sugar
  • 1 egg

Method

  • Preheat the your oven to 250 degrees Celsius. (480 F)
  • In a mixing bowl, mix organic peanut butter, sugar and egg. Mix until mixture forms a dough. Roll the dough into balls and place on cookie sheet and flatten.
  • Bake at 250 degrees Celsius for approximately 20 minutes until the cookies turn golden-brown

Cook like a Champion with Olympian Donna Fraser! Roasted Chicken Breast with Sweet Potato, Caramlised Red Onion Salad and Baba Ganoush

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What you will need: 

  • 2 sweet potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into thin wedges
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 4 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 bunch spinach, thick stems removed (about 4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 aubergine
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 Lemon
  • Parsley

Method: 

  • Heat oven to 425° F
  • On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the sweet potatoes, red onion, 2 tablespoons oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • Roast until tender, 20 to 25 minutes
  • Cut the aubergine in half, slice, season and rub with garlic clove, roast in the oven
  • Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium-high heat
  • Season the chicken with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook until browned and cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes per side
  • In a large bowl, toss the warm potato mixture with the spinach, lime juice, and ¼ teaspoon salt.
  • Scrape the aubergine flesh and mix in the bowl with some chopped parsley and lemon juice with salt
  • Serve with the sliced chicken breast

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Paprika Chicken with Quinoa Tabbouleh

What you will need

  • 1 cup (200g) quinoa
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped mint or coriander
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 3 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika, plus extra to sprinkle
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 100g low-fat thick Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 x 180g chicken breast fillets

Method

  • Place the quinoa and 600ml water in a small saucepan over medium heat, then bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain well and leave to cool.
  • Add herbs, tomato and onion to quinoa and toss to combine. Combine oil, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, cumin, cayenne and sugar, then season.
  • Place yoghurt in a bowl and drizzle over 2 teaspoons dressing, then sprinkle with some paprika. Toss salad in remaining dressing.
  • Preheat grill to medium-high. Mix oil and remaining paprika, season, then brush over chicken. Grill for 7-8 minutes each side until cooked through. Serve sliced with salad and yogurt.

chicken paprika tabbouleh

Kombucha: What is it and How to Make Your Own? Fermented Foods, Part 2

For Part 1, please click here. 

Kombucha has been around for a while but has only recently started to really gain popularity. Kombucha is a fermented beverage (tea) that as we mentioned in part 1, introduce helpful bacteria into your body. It does taste somewhat vinegary and may require you to acquire a taste, but it’s pretty easy to make your own.

The first thing that you will need to make a batch of Kombucha is something called a Scoby. You may also hear it referred to sometimes as the “mother.” Scoby stands for Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast. You can purchase these brown discs online or perhaps obtain one from a friend who is already making their own Kombucha.

Besides the scoby, all you will need to make your healthy fermented drink is sugar, two tea bags, and some already made unflavored kombucha tea that you can purchase in most health food stores and some grocery stores.

So how do I put this all together? It’s simple really. You combine the tea, already brewed kombucha, sugar, and scoby. That’s it! The fermentation process will usually take anywhere from 7-30 days. During this time your mixture may give birth to another scoby. It will layer on the top of the mixture. You can use this to create an additional batch or give to a friend to start their own.

 

Check out the recipe below to make 2 quarts of your very own kombucha!

  • 1 Scoby
  • 4 tea bags (black or oolong)
  • 1 cup already made unflavored kombucha tea
  • ½ cup cane sugar
  • 5 cups hot water

Directions:

  • If you purchased a dehydrated scoby it must be rehydrated. Follow the instructions.
  • Heat water (not boiling) and add sugar until dissolved.
  • Add tea bags and steep for 5-10 minutes.
  • Allow this mixture to cool completely to room temperature.
  • Pour mixture into the glass container/jar you will be using hold your fermented drink.
  • Add the already made unflavored kombucha tea
  • Add the scoby to the jar
  • Cover the container/jar with a coffee filter or towel with a rubber band placed around the top.
  • Let sit undisturbed for 7-30 days (Ideally around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The cooler the temperature the longer it will take to ferment.)
  • Enjoy!

How do I know when my kombucha is finished?

The most scientific way is to test the pH with strips you can buy at your local store. Aim for a pH of 2.7 -4. However, any time after 7 days should be sufficient to consume your newly created fermented drink. Keep in mind the longer you let the mixture sit the less sweet it will become as the sugar is being consumed by the scoby. This will leave a slightly more vinegar taste as time goes on. Thirty days is really about the maximum time you should wait to consume it because almost all of the sugar will have been used by the scoby.

Keep in mind there may be pieces of yeast floating around in your concoction. You can strain this out if you desire to do so but it will not hurt you. Just remove the scoby so you can start your next batch! Stay tuned for our next fermented food feature!

DSC_6868

Lemon Rose Cocktail and Lemongrass Shrimp Skewers

Lemon Rose Cocktail

Ingredients

  • 2 lemon grass stems (chopped)
  • 2 rosemary stems (chopped)
  • 2 lime wedges
  • ½ ounce ginger syrup (15ml)
  • 2 ½ ounce Gin (75ml)
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitter

Method
Add Lemon grass, rosemary, and lime to shaker then muddle for 10 seconds. Add ½ ounce ginger syrup 2½ ounce gin and 2 dashes of Angostura bitter then add ice, shake and strain in Martini glass. Garnish with lime.

 

Lemongrass Shrimp Skewers

Ingredients (serves 4-6 as an appetizer)

  • 1 stalk lemongrass, woody ends trimmed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chili paste
  • 1 teaspoon St.Lucian honey
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons EV coconut oil
  • 1 pound medium to large raw shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • Finely chopped scallions or mint
  • 100grms of desiccated coconut (toasted)
  • 4 tbsp of Coconut cream
  • 10 grms baby cilantro
  • Spiced St.Lucian fruit chutney

Method

  • In a blender or food processor, combine the shrimp, garlic, fish sauce, soy sauce, chili paste, honey, lime juice, coconut oil and black pepper until smooth
  • Transfer shrimp mixture to a medium bowl. Marinate for 15 minutes
  • Mold on to the end of your lemon grass skewers and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes
  • Remove from the fridge and roll the end of the skewers in the desiccated coconut
  • Toast the rest of the coconut
  • Preheat some coconut oil in a small deep pan and place the shrimp in side with the top of the lemongrass out of the oil for a couple of minutes, then remove and finish in a preheated oven for 3 minutes, until cooked through.
  • Serve with the toasted desiccated coconut and St.Lucian fruit chutney.

Scallop & Mahi Mahi Ceviche with Tomato and Avocado Salad and Spicy Tortilla Chips

For the Scallop & Mahi Mahi Ceviche, you will need:

  • 12 very fresh large scallops, sliced into 3 discs
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice (about 3 limes)
  • ½ cup of apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup oilive oil
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, finely diced
  • ¼ tsp salt

and for the Tomato and Avocado Salad…

  • 1 tomato, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 avocado, pitted and finely diced
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp marinade marinade from the ceviche, or to taste
  • ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp jalapeno or other hot pepper sauce
  • Grated zest of 1 lime
  • 3 small tortillas

 Method

Scallop Ceviche

  • In a bowl, combine all the ingredients for the marinate, put into a pan and bring to the boil. Cover and for 30 minutes.
  • Slice the Scallops thinly and the Mahi Mahi. Place alternetly on the plate.

Tomato and Avocado Salad

  • Cut the tomato into petals, deseed and keep. Chop the seeds separately, add a sprinkle of salt, sugar and pepper, and a touch of lime juice.
  • Puree the avocado and spread on the plate,
  • Serve with spicy tortilla chips.

For the spicy Tortilla Chips

  • With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  • In a bowl, combine the oil, hot pepper sauce and lime zest. Brush both sides of the tortillas with the mixture. Stack the tortillas and cut into 8 rounds.
  • Arrange the tortillas on a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Bake until crisp and golden, about 15 minutes. Let cool.

A Little Indulgence: Meringues with Macha Ice Cream and Thyme Ganache


Thyme Ganache

  • 20g of Thyme
  • 50ml of port
  • 125ml of whipping cream
  • 140g of 70% bitter chocolate, chopped
  • 40g of butter, softened

Macha Ice Cream

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp of Macha (Japanesse Green Tea)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 50g Candied beetroot
  • Raspberry Espuma (fresh Raspberry Couli mixed with Cream)
  • Bluberries

Baby Macha Meringue’s

  • large organic egg whites, at room temperature
  • 115g caster sugar
  • 115g icing sugar
  • Crispy Seaweed
  • Chocolate soil –( Caramel sugar and chopped 70% chocolate )
  • Bread and cheese flowers

Method

Preheat the oven to fan 100C/ conventional 110C/gas 1⁄4.

Tip the 4 large egg whites into a large clean mixing bowl (not plastic). Beat them on medium speed with an electric hand whisk until the mixture resembles a fluffy cloud and stands up in stiff peaks when the blades are lifted.

Now turn the speed up and start to add 115g caster sugar, a dessertspoonful at a time. Continue beating for 3-4 seconds between each addition. It’s important to add the sugar slowly at this stage as it helps prevent the meringue from weeping later. However, don’t over-beat. When ready, the mixture should be thick and glossy.

Sift one third of the 115g icing sugar over the mixture, then gently fold it in with a big metal spoon or rubber spatula. Continue to sift and fold in the remaining icing sugar a third at a time. Again, don’t over-mix. The mixture should now look smooth and billowy, almost like a snow drift.

Add Scoop up a heaped dessertspoonful of the mixture. Using another dessertspoon, ease it on to the baking sheet and spread evenly over the silpat or grease proof papaer. Or just drop them in rough rounds, if you prefer. Bake for 1 1⁄2-1 3⁄4 hours in a fan oven, 1 1⁄4 hours in a conventional or gas oven, until the meringues sound crisp when tapped underneath and are a pale coffee colour. Leave to cool on the trays or a cooling rack. (The meringues will now keep in an airtight tin for up to 2 weeks, or frozen for a month.) Serve two meringues sandwiched together with a generous dollop of softly whipped double cream.

For the chocolate ganache, put the chopped chocolate in a bowl. Bring the port and cream to the boil. Add ½ of it to the chocolate, add the butter and beat until fully combined

Add the remaining cream to the chocolate mix and leave to cool. Chill to set

Ice cream:

Combine cream, milk, sugar and vanilla in a saucepan and heat until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and stir in to the cream mixture just before removing from the heat.

Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator or in an ice bath until completely cool.

Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions

Now the main components of the dish are made, simply get your serving plate, Drag the chocolate ganache across the plate, sprinkle chocolate soil around, place the fresh blueberries around the plate with the candied beetroots, drizzle the sauce of the beetroots around the plate. Break up the crispy seaweed and quinelle the ice cream onto the plate, add the flowers and serve…

 
Healthy Ingredients

Thyme – Found to stimulate the immune system and relax smooth muscles of the gastrointestinal tract.

Blueberries – Contain an abundance of anti-oxidants that fight free radicals in the body which cause cell abnormalities such as cancer.

Macha – Macha is rich in L-Theanine, an amino acid that effects the brain’s functioning to promote a state of well-being, alertness, and relaxation. L-Theanine is common in all tea, but macha has 5 times more than any other black or green tea.
 

Healthy Nutrition Tips for Eating Sushi

Sushi is an amazing food option that combines beautiful colors, designs, and patterns. Most sushi options with a combination of seafood, seaweed, rice, and vegetables are very nutritious, high in protein, and low in calories. However, you can still over do it if you’re not careful. So here are a few tips to keep you on the right track.

  • Try to avoid the tempura. Tempura is deep fried and battered which is going to have significantly more fat and calories.
  • Watch out for extra ingredients. Sometimes rolls will have added mayonnaise and cream cheese, which can again add some significant calories quickly.
  • Go with the veggie roll. You can’t go wrong with vegetables. Things like peppers, avocado, cucumber, and carrots. Don’t forget you can always add a bit more flavor with the wasabi and a dash of soy sauce.
  • Choose tuna, shrimp, and salmon rolls for a boost in your daily protein intake and a low calorie seafood/fish option.
  • Start with a salad or a bowl of miso soup to fill you up before the sushi arrives so that you don’t over eat. As a general guideline, 2 rolls should be a sufficient portion size for each person.

Enjoy your next sushi meal with these few guidelines in place and you’re sure to be eating a healthy and nutritious meal!

Fermented Foods: Why Should I Eat Them? Part 1

In part one of this short series we will discuss why fermented foods may be necessary to include in your diet and in the upcoming articles wewill talk specifically about different types of fermented foods and drinks.

You may have noticed that fermented foods are drawing much attention in the discussion of healthy nutrition lately. So what’s the deal? Is this just another fad that will come and go? Or is there really some substance behind the health benefits claimed about foods and drinks such as Kombucha, Sauerkraut, Kimchee, and Kefir?

should i eat fermented foods?

Recently you may have heard our gut referred to as our second brain. That is because it contains over 100 million neurons which outnumber those in the spinal cord and peripheral nervous system. Through research it has brought us to a point where we understand that our gut controls much more than just our digestion. In fact, a large part of our immune system is made up in the gut and if we have certain bacteria that outnumber the good bacteria we may end up with many troublesome health issues. Symptoms are often disguised and diagnosed as other conditions such as IBS and chronic fatigue, but may in fact originate from the gut.So why should we consume food items that are fermented? To keep the healthy bacteria thriving. By incorporating fermented food and drinks along with other probiotics we can keep our guts happy and healthy and avoid detrimental health conditions that originate from the gut.This is where fermented foods come into play. Fermented food and drink increase the healthy and beneficial bacteria in our gut. This is also why probiotics and prebiotics are increasingly used by those trying to maintain gut health. It is especially important in those who have compromised immune systems to keep healthy bacteria in place. It is also especially important for those who have consumed multiple rounds of antibiotics which kill ALLbacteria, good and bad in the gut.Hopefully this short intro explains why fermented foods may a beneficial addition to your diet. Stay tuned for the upcoming articles on some of the specific foods and drinks that you can look for and add to your nutrition.

Mahi Mahi wrapped in nori, wakami, edamame beans and fresh garden peas with mint, carrot spaghetti, chia seed, paprika and tomato oil

What you will need

  • 2 liter of fish stock
  • 1 x Bunch of dill
  • 50 g peppercorns
  • 3 x lemons
  • 4 limes
  • 100ml of olive oil
  • 2 x cucumbers
  • 450g Wakami
  • 4 x spring onions
  • 1 x bunch of fresh parsley
  • 1 x bunch of fresh mint
  • 2 x carrots
  • 200g sundried tomato
  • 35g Chia seed
  • 2 tbsp. of paprika
  • 200ml of vegetable oil
  • 5 x Mahi Mahi x 200 g pieces
  • Salt & Pepper

Method

Steam the mahi mahi in a court bouillon water bath very gently. Add the edamme beans for about 2/3 minutes and then depod.

Mix with the garden peas, chiffonade of mint and the fresh garden petit pois. Season, and mix with house dressing.

Keep the skin on the cucumber, deseed, and shave with a speed peeler.

Take the Japanese mandolin and insert the peeled carrot into this and continue to turn to make the vegetable spaghetti.

Quickly blanch the spaghetti in the court bouillon and and remove to add to the Wakami and beans.

Once the mahi mahi is cooked, remove and place on a plate, cover with Nori sheets and let cool slightly. The heat will make the Nori encase the fish.

Have some oil on the side, steeping near to the heat with some paprika, and mixed herbs in, blend with sundried tomato.

On a warm plate, arrange the cucumber, wakami & beans, spaghetti carrots. Place the Mahi Mahi on top and then cut some fresh coriander and arugula cress, sprinkle on top and drizzle with the dressing and sprinkle with Chia seeds.

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