Roasted tomato and fennel soup

Servings: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 plum tomatoes

  • 1 large fennel bulb

  • 1 small onion

  • 2 large rosemary springs, finely chopped

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • salt

  • 3 cups bone broth or veggie broth


DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 400℉ (200℃)

  2. Cut the tomatoes into quarters, the fennel bulb into slices and the onions into small wedges.

  3. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and spread the vegetables in an even layer across the tray.

  4. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and chopped rosemary. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to soften and brown.

  5. Carefully remove the tray from the oven, and transfer the vegetables to the jar of a high-speed blender.

  6. Add the broth, a cup at a time, and blend until you get the desired consistency.

  7. Transfer to a medium saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes. Let the soup rest for another 5 minutes covered, before serving.

What are the benefits of this dish?

Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a type of carotenoid that gives them their vibrant color. Carotenoids, are powerful “gut-healing” compounds needed to maintain the integrity of the intestinal barrier.

They also have important antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Eating tomatoes raw can provide us plenty of lycopene, but your body will be able to absorb more lycopene (or become more “bioavailable”) if the tomatoes are cooked. Adding fat will increase its bioavailability even further! So make sure to accompany tomatoes with olive oil, ghee, avocado, or your healthy fat of choice when you eat them.




 


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Roasted mushrooms with potatoes and green beans

Servings: 5-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 10-12 mushrooms, brushed clean

  • 10 small red potatoes

  • 1 small onion

  • 1/2 lb (250 g) green beans

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme

  • salt


DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 400℉ (200℃)

  2. Cut the ends of the green beans, place them in a steaming basket, and steam them for 2-3 minutes, no longer. Rinse them in cold water and set aside.

  3. Wash and scrub the potatoes and place them in a steaming basket. Steam them until they are easily pierced with a fork but not very soft. Let them cool and once they are cold enough to handle them, cut them in half. Set aside.

  4. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.

  5. Trim the ends of the mushroom stems and cut the mushrooms in half. Cut the onion into small wedges and combine with the mushrooms. Place them both on the lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt and 1 tbsp of thyme, and toss to coat evenly. Spread the vegetables in an even layer and bake for about 30 min, or until the vegetables begin to brown on the edges.

  6. Carefully remove the tray from the oven, add the potatoes, and carefully rearrange the veggies in a single layer.

  7. Continue to roast for about 7-8 minutes.

  8. Remove the tray from the oven again and add the green beans. Add the remaining fresh thyme and continue roasting for 7-8 minutes longer, or until the vegetables are brown and tender.

  9. Remove the tray from the oven and transfer the vegetables to a serving dish and enjoy.

What are the benefits of this dish?

Both PREbiotics and PRObiotics are essential for optimal gut health and gut healing.

Prebiotics, are types of dietary fiber that the healthy bacteria in our gut feast on. Humans can NOT digest these types of fiber, but some types of gut bacteria can. Prebiotics allow our healthy gut bacteria to grow and thrive to improve gastrointestinal health and other areas of our health. Prebiotics may help with conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, increase bone density and strength, and improve brain function. 

 Some of the commonly-known prebiotic foods include onions and mushrooms.

Mushrooms are considered a source of prebiotics because they contain different types of fiber, such as chitin, hemicellulose, mannans, α- and β-glucans, galactans, and xylans.

Green beans aren’t only crunchy, low in calories and rich in nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin K, folate and silicon, they are an essential addition to any table.

Alongside their chlorophyll content, green beans also contain other phytonutrients that function both as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents.

Green beans rightfully belong in the beans and legumes food group, and as such, they are rich in fiber. The fiber in green beans helps to maintain your digestive system in optimal health. Its high silicon content makes green beans your best allied if you are looking to achieve healthy and young bones, skin and hair.


 


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Coconut aminos Glazed Salmon

Servings: 3-4

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tbs coconut aminos (or tamari sauce)

  • 1 tsp sesame oil

  • 1 tsp maple syrup

  • 3 large salmon filets

  • olive oil for cooking

  • 1 garlic clove, mashed

  • 1 small red onion, sliced into thin strips

  • 2 carrots, cut into thin ribbons

  • 2 small zucchini (courgette), cut into thin ribbons

  • 1 bag baby spinach leaves (optional)


DIRECTIONS

  1. Mix together 2 tbs coconut aminos with the sesame oil and maple syrup, stir well. Place salmon fillets in a glass container, skin side up, and pour marinade over. Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to overnight.

  2. Preheat the oven to 400℉

  3. Heat a cast-iron pan over medium-high heat and add the salmon (skin-side up) and its marinade. Cook for 4 minutes and turn over.

  4. Place in the oven and cook for about 7 minutes or until done. You may turn the broiler on high and brown the fish for a minute or two.

  5. Heat another pan over medium heat, add olive oil, garlic, onion, and carrot and zucchini ribbons. Stir-fry for 2-3 min or until soft. Add baby spinach, if using, and the remaining tbs of coconut aminos.

  6. Split the veggies onto two plates, and serve fillets on top of them.

  7. You may serve it with white rice.

What are the benefits of this dish?

Certain nutrients are essential for health but are difficult to obtain from the diet (even if following a whole food, nutrient-dense diet). Vitamin D is one of them.

This fat-soluble vitamin can be synthesized in the skin, by activation of cholesterol by the UVB rays from the sun, and it can also be obtained from a few foods. Good sources of vitamin D include cold-water fish (mackerel, salmon, sardines, anchovies, and herring), trout, fish liver oils, beef liver, eggs, and mushrooms.  

Vitamin D is essential for bone maintenance and development, but it is also required for proper immune, endocrine, and cardiovascular function.

Proper levels of vitamin D are needed to maintain the gut microbiome in balance and are also needed to maintain the integrity of the intestinal lining. This is particularly important if you suffer from intestinal permeability (aka leaky gut).

Studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increase in the risk of developing heart disease, cancer, diabetes, asthma, and autoimmune diseases.

This makes it very important to make sure our intake of foods rich in this vital vitamin is good. You should aim to consume good food sources of vitamin D, 3-5 times per week. Salmon is a fantastic choice.



Carnitas

Servings: 5-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder roast, cut into 2-inch cubes

  • 2 tsp salt, more to taste

  • 2 tsp ground cumin

  • 1 tsp dried oregano

  • 1 medium orange

  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled

  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and quartered

  • 1 dried bay leaf

  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, minced

  • 2 Hass avocados, peeled and mashed

  • 1-2 radishes, sliced into matchsitcks

  • Salsa of choice

  • 3 limes quartered

  • Jícama tortillas (or any grain-free variety, such as those from Siete Foods)


DIRECTIONS

  1. Place pork shoulder roast in the Instant Pot insert or stovetop pressure cooker, and sprinkle on the salt, cumin and oregano. Toss well until all the pieces are coated with the seasoning.

  2. Remove thin slices of the peel of the orange with a vegetable peeler and add them to the Instant Pot, along with the garlic, onion, and bay leaf.

  3. Juice the orange and pour the juice over the meat.

  4. Place the insert into the Instant Pot and lock the lid. Cook under high pressure for 35 minutes (30 min if using stovetop cooker).

  5. Let the pressure release naturally, open the lid and remove the garlic, onion and bay leaf. Transfer the meat into a large container, and shred the pieces using two forks. Taste and add salt if needed.

  6. Heat up a large cast iron pan over medium heat, add a tbsp of ghee, and fry the shredded pork, stirring occasionally, until it is crispy.

  7. Assemble your tacos, by placing a tortilla on a plate, layering it with crispy carnitas, and topping it with mashed avocado, cilantro leaves, and radishes. Finally add a good squeeze of lime juice all over and your salsa of choice

What are the benefits of this dish?

Pork shoulder is an excellent source of protein, providing us with all the amino acids amino acids that our bodies need to make muscles, tissues, hormones, neurotransmitters and health-protective antibodies. Plus, it helps us have a better control of blood sugar levels.

Pork shoulder is a good source of the B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and B6), and is also a good source of the rarely found vitamin B12. It supplies us with selenium and zinc (vital antioxidants!), plus anti-inflammatory essential fatty acids such as DHA and EPA.

Remember to choose pork from pasture-raised pigs.

Source: This dish is modified from www.nomnompaleo.com. To see the original recipe click here.

Gut-healthy baked overnight oatmeal with peaches, blueberries and milk kefir sauce

Servings: 5-6

INGREDIENTS

Baked oats:

  • 2 cup (100g) gluten-free spouted rolled oats (old-fashioned rolled oats are ok too)

  • 2 tbs (~20g) flax seeds

  • 2 tbs (~20g) chia seeds

  • 2 large, firm peaches, pitted, and sliced into wedges

  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

  • 2 tbs (~30 ml) melted ghee

  • 1 cup (~500 ml) full-fat cow’s milk kefir

  • 2 tbs maple syrup

  • 1/2 tsp salt


DIRECTIONS

  1. Place the oats on a saucepan and add enough boiling water to cover them completely. Cover, set aside and leave to soak overnight.

  2. Next morning, preheat your oven to 375ºF and position a rack in the center of the oven.

  3. Melt the ghee in a 12-inch cast iron pan, making sure to coat all the sides of the pan. Pour into a bowl and set aside.

  4. Add half of the soaked oats to the pan, spreading them evenly until you cover the whole pan. Sprinkle 1 tbs of chia and flax seeds and a pinch of salt.

  5. Lay half of the peach wedges and blueberries on top of the oats, and repeat the layering process: soaked oats, peaches, berries, and salt.

  6. Mix the milk kefir and the maple syrup and drizzle half of this mixture over the oats.You may need to add less of this if the dish looks too wet. Add only enough to cover the mixture, making sure it all looks moistened enough.

  7. Drizzle with melted ghee and transfer the pan to the oven.

  8. Bake for 30-40 minutes, turning the pan around half-way through the time, to make sure it bakes evenly.

  9. Take the baked oatmeal out and let it cool slightly. Serve drizzled with more sweetened kefir if desired.

What are the benefits of this dish?

Peaches, blueberries and oats, are all great sources of a type of soluble fiber called pectin. Soluble fiber absorbs water in the intestine forming a gel that slows digestion. This causes you to feel full longer and to slow the absorption of glucose, which affects blood sugar levels, an important factor in controlling diabetes.

Soluble fibers are also prebiotics, carbohydrate compounds that we cannot digest but the bacteria in our colon can.

Prebiotics are known to selectively affect the composition and/or activity of one or a limited number of bacteria in the colon, improving our health. [1]

Source: This dish is modified from www.bojongourmet.com. To see the original recipe, click here.

Green Cabbage/Kohlrabi Salad

INGREDIENTS

  •  1 small green cabbage, shredded

  •  1 kohlrabi, peeled and julienned

  •  ½ cup lemon juice

  •  Zest of 1 lemon

  •  1 garlic clove, mashed

  • ½ cup olive oil

  • ¼ dried tart (sour) cherries

  • Salt

  • ¼ cup fresh dill, finely chopped


DIRECTIONS

  1. Place the shredded cabbage in a large bowl and sprinkle with two large pinches of salt. Gently massage the cabbage with your hands until it begins to soften and releases its juices. Set aside.

  2. Add the kohlrabi, lemon zest, sour cherries and fresh dill, and toss thoroughly with your hands.

  3. Prepare the lemon vinaigrette by mixing together the mashed garlic and lemon juice, and little by little, add the oil.

  4. Pour over salad, and toss again.

  5. Serve immediately.

What are the benefits of this dish?

Is kohlrabi the unwanted child in the vegetable aisle?

It isn't very easy to find, I give you that. So when you do find it, make sure to buy it!

You may find it green or purple, and can be eaten raw or cooked. Once peeled, it may look like an apple or a jicama. The taste and texture of kohlrabi are similar to those of a broccoli stem, but milder and sweeter, with a higher ratio of flesh to skin. The young stem can be as crisp and juicy as an apple, although much less sweet.

Kohlrabi is prepared like a turnip or celeriac. I use it extensively in salads and soups, pickled, or juiced. But can also be roasted or baked.

Being part of the cruciferous family of vegetables (which includes broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collard greens, and Brussels sprouts), this vitamin C-rich, fresh-tasting beauty contains health-promoting phytochemicals such as indole-3-carbinol (I3C). I3C is supposed to protect against various kinds of cancer, including colon cancer.

Uncontrolled inflammation has been associated with several chronic diseases (IBS, obesity, diabetes, etc). I3C is capable of blocking the activity and production of pro-inflammatory compounds in the body, thus reducing inflammation.

Source: Modified from Ottolenghi’s Plenty

Zucchini Cake with Basil Sugar

INGREDIENTS

Basil Sugar:

  • 1/4 cup basil (packed)

  • 1/2 cup sugar (I used organic cane sugar)

  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest

Zucchini Bread

  • 1 egg (2 if small)

  • 1 1/2 cups grated zucchini

  • 1/3 cup sugar

  • 1/3 cup basil sugar

  • 1/3 cup melted ghee

  • 1/3 cup full-fat cow’s milk kefir

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

  • Zest from 1 large lemon or 2 small lemons (about 1 tbsp)

  • 1 3/4 cup buckwheat flour

  • 1 tbsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp salt

Macerated strawberries


DIRECTIONS

FOR THE BASIL SUGAR:

  1. Bring some water to boil in a small sauce pan. Prepare an ice bath in a small bowl and set aside.

  2. Blanch the basil leaves by placing the leaves in the boiling water for 10 seconds, then into the ice bath until the leaves are cool.

  3. Remove the leaves carefully from the ice bath and gently, dry the leaves by squeezing them between 2 paper towels. Dry them as mush as possible.

  4. Place the sugar, basil, and lemon zest in a food processor and process until all the ingredients are fully incorporated.

  5. Store basil sugar in a covered container in the refrigerator until ready to use (will keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks).

FOR THE ZUCCHINI BREAD:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Line an 8x4-inch loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.

  2. Mix all the wet ingredients in a large bowl (egg, melted ghee, milk kefir, vanilla extract & lemon juice). Add the sugars and lemon zest, and whisk until well combined.

  3. Add the grated zucchini to the above ingredients and mix until well incorporated.

  4. Mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl (flour, baking powder & baking soda, salt), and add to the wet ingredients, mixing until all ingredients are well combined.

  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan & bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes, turning the pan around half-way through the cooking time.

  6. Let the bread cool for 10 minutes, then take it out and place onto a wire rack to cool completely.

FOR THE MACERATED STRAWBERRIES:

  1. Cut strawberries into 4 pieces and place in a bowl.

  2. Add basil sugar and toss until well combined.

  3. Let sit for at least 30 min to overnight.

TO SERVE:

  • Serve at room temperature, spread with milk kefir cheese.

  • Top with macerated strawberries slices.

What are the benefits of this dish?

Zucchini (courgette) is a wonderful addition to any diet.

The water and fiber content of zucchini makes this hydrating vegetable a go-to option for natural constipation relief.

Zucchini also offers important anti-inflammatory protection - as you may know, inflammation is one of the primary drivers of IBS and intestinal permeability (aka leaky gut).
Eating an anti-inflammatory diet should be the first step towards lowering systemic inflammation in the body and gut-related conditions.

As a bonus, zucchini is pretty low in calories and sugar, making it a staple of low carb, keto & weight loss diets.

You can enjoy zucchini roasted, grilled, sauteed, steamed, baked, or even raw. And, of course, you can also enjoy it in a delicious sweet treat as the one above.

Source: This dish is modified from www.full-filled.com. To see the original recipe, click here.

Full-fat Cow's Milk Kefir Cheese

INGREDIENTS & EQUIPMENT

  •  1 qt/1 liter organic full-fat cow’s milk kefir

  •  Fine-mesh strainer

  •  Silicon/wooden spatula

  •  Cheese cloth

  •  Glass container for storing


DIRECTIONS

  1. Place the cheese cloth over the strainer and pour the milk kefir into it.

  2. Place the strainer over a bowl and let the whey drain off for 12-24 hours. One the kefir has stopped dripping, wrap the cheese in the cheese cloth hang it above a bowl or jar.

  3. Continue to hang until the cheese has the desired consistency.

  4. If you wish to have “hard cheese”, place the wrapped cheese between two plates, and place a heavy item on top (you may use a heavy can or a few books) . Start with a minimal amount of weight and continue to increase the weight every few hours until the dripping stops.

  5. Hard kefir cheese is generally crumbly and can be grated.

IMG_3168.JPG

What are the benefits of this dish?

Kefiran is an exo-polysaccharide produced by Lactobacillus kefiranofaciens, which is one of the dominant bacterial strains found in kefir. It contributes to the taste and texture of kefir, as well as the structure of the kefir grains themselves.

Milk kefir is a good source of probiotics, vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids that support healing and repair of the gut mucosa. Milk kefir is particularly rich in vitamins A, B1, D, K2, folate, B12, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.

Some of the health benefits attributed to kefir include, protection from gastrointestinal diseases, providing nutrients necessary for optimal bone health and regulating immune function.

Although not as widely popular as other fermented dairy products, such as yogurt and cheese, kefir has been consumed and associated with health benefits for 100s of years; originally by communities in the Caucasian mountains.

Kefir is traditionally made with cow’s milk but it can be made with milk from other sources such as goat, sheep, buffalo, or coconut milk.

Full-fat Cow's Milk Kefir

INGREDIENTS & EQUIPMENT

  •  1 qt/1 liter organic full fat cow´s milk

  •  1 large Fido jar (1.5 L capacity or larger)

  •  1 tbsp milk kefir grains

  •  Filtered water

  •  Plastic fine-mesh strainer

  •  Silicon/wooden spatula

  •  Sauce pan

  •  Thermometer

  •  Glass jar/pitcher for storing


DIRECTIONS

  1. Take your milk kefir grains out of the refrigerator, and let the warm up to room temperature.

  2. Heat the milk slowly and gently in a saucepan, and wait until it is about to boil (or until it reaches at least 180ºF/82ºC). Stir frequently to avoid scalding. Once the milk begins to “bubble” lower the heat further, and keep under low heat for 5-10 minutes.

  3. Set aside, and allow the milk cool to 104ºF (40ºC) or lower.

  4. Place your kefir grains in a fine-mesh strainer, and rinse thoroughly under fresh filtered water, while the milk is cooling. Set aside and let them drain.

  5. Pour the milk into a large Fido jar once it has cooled down to the right temperature, and add the rinsed and drained kefir grains. Stir the milk/kefir grains briefly.

  6. Cap the jar loosely and let the milk ferment for at least 24 hours, or up to 5 days (depending on how sour you like it to taste and/or if you want to make sure your kefir is lactose-free). Choose a place where the temperature is relatively warm but not excessively (best between 65ºF-80ºF).

  7. Stir the milk/kefir grains occasionally if you are fermenting for longer than 24 hours, to bring more of the milk in contact with the grains (helpful but not required). Loosen the cap after agitation.

  8. The process is complete when the milk thickens (it should be a pourable liquid rather than an “eat with a spoon” level of thickness). The milk will also have a distinctive sour smell.

  9. When you are ready to harvest, simply place a plastic strainer over a bowl and pour the finished kefir through the stainer. Use a plastic or wooden spatula to gently work the kefir through the strainer.

  10. Transfer the kefir to a glass container and store in the refrigerator immediately. Alternatively, if you want to carbonate your kefir, leave at room temperature for 12-24 hours. The fermentation continues even without the grains as all the organisms in them are now part of the kefir.

  11. The kefir grains that remained in the strainer need to be rinsed off with fresh filtered water and stored in the refrigerator with enough milk to cover them, until ready to start the next batch. Kefir works best as a continuous rhythm. Keep your batches small so you do not get overwhelmed.

  12. If you need to stop production rinse kefir grains, drain them, pat them dry, seal them in something airtight, and freeze them.

  13. You can enjoy your milk kefir as an amazing probiotic beverage, or you can substitute for milk, yogurt, sour cream or buttermilk in your recipes. Salad dressings, soups, smoothies and baked goods are my favorites.

What are the benefits of this dish?

Kefiran is an exo-polysaccharide produced by Lactobacillus kefiranofaciens, which is one of the dominant bacterial strains found in kefir. It contributes to the taste and texture of kefir, as well as the structure of the kefir grains themselves.

Milk kefir is a good source of probiotics, vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids that support healing and repair of the gut mucosa. Milk kefir is particularly rich in vitamins A, B1, D, K2, folate, B12, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.

Some of the health benefits attributed to kefir include, protection from gastrointestinal diseases, providing nutrients necessary for optimal bone health and regulating immune function.

Although not as widely popular as other fermented dairy products, such as yogurt and cheese, kefir has been consumed and associated with health benefits for 100s of years; originally by communities in the Caucasian mountains.

Kefir is traditionally made with cow’s milk but it can be made with milk from other sources such as goat, sheep, buffalo, or coconut milk.

Milk Kefir Tzatziki with lamb burgers

INGREDIENTS

Tzatziki

  • 1 cup full-fat cow’s milk kefir

  • 2 Tbs lemon juice

  • 1 tsp lemon zest

  • 4 Tbs olive oil

  • 2 Tbs fresh mint, finely chopped

  • 2 Tbs fresh parsley, finely chopped

  • 1-2 small garlic clove, mashed

  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin (optional)

  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Lamb burgers

  • 1 1/2 lb (750 g) ground grass-fed lamb meat

  • 4 Tbs fresh mint, finely chopped

  • 4 Tbs fresh parsley, finely chopped

  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped

  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

  • Kosher salt

DIRECTIONS

Tzatziki

  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Lamb Burgers

  1. In a large bowl, place the meat, herbs, spices and salt, and mix thoroughly with your hands.

  2. Once all ingredients are evenly incorporated, make 4 large burgers or as many mini burgers as you can, until you have used all of the meat.

  3. Cook burgers in the grill or in a pan until done

  4. Serve immediately drizzled with the milk kefir tzatziki, and cucumber slices.

  5. Add additional tzatziki as desired.

Modifications

If you do not want to use lamb, you may use chicken, fish, cooked chickpeas or lentils.

You may also, substitute the parsley and mint for fresh dill (great with fish), and leave out the cumin.

What are the benefits of this dish?

Several studies show that the meat and milk of grass-fed lambs is significantly higher in omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) than the meat and milk of grain-fed lambs.

Increased intake of CLA is associated with improved immune and inflammatory function, improved bone mass, improved blood sugar regulation, reduced body fat, and better maintenance of lean body mass

Lamb is an great source of B12, and is also loaded with other essential B vitamins, including vitamins B6, B3, B2, and B5, all essential to support our nervous system.

Lamb is also a good source of protein.

Milk kefir is a good source of probiotics, vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids that support healing and repair of the gut mucosa. Milk kefir is particularly rich in vitamins A, B1, D, K2, folate, B12, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.

Some of the health benefits attributed to kefir include, protection from gastrointestinal diseases, providing nutrients necessary for optimal bone health and regulating immune function.

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Zucchini Noodles (Zoodles) with Avocado Sauce

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 zucchini (courgette)i, medium size, spiralized

  • 3 cups yellow and red cherry tomatoes

  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 tbsp avocado oil

  • Kosher salt to taste

  • 3 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped

    • Avocado Sauce

  • 2 avocados

  • 2-3 tbsp milk kefir

  • Kosher salt to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Make the avocado sauce by mashing the avocados with a fork, or by using a small food processor. Add milk kefir, one tbsp at a time, until you get the consistency of a thick sauce. Season with salt, transfer to a bowl, and set aside.

  2. Heat the oven to 375-400 °F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper

  3. Cut the cherrie tomatoes in half and place them in a large bowl. Add one tablespoon of olive oil and toss the tomatoes until completely covered in oil (if you need to add more oil, add more). Add some salt and toss again.

  4. Line up the tomatoes in a baking sheet. Roast for~20 min, or until the tomatoes are “blistered” and begin to burst, turning the baking sheet around half way through the cooking time. Set aside.

  5. Place zoodles in a large skilllet with 1 tbsp avocado oil and gently sauté for 1-2 min.

  6. Transfer the zoodles to a serving bowl and toss them with the avocado sauce until well combined.

  7. Add the roasted tomatoes, mix to combine, and top with shredded basil leaves.

What are the benefits of this dish?

Zucchini (courgette) is a wonderful addition to any diet.

The water and fiber content of zucchini makes this hydrating vegetable a go-to option for natural constipation relief.

Zucchini also offers important anti-inflammatory protection - as you may know, inflammation is one of the primary drivers of IBS and intestinal permeability (aka leaky gut).
Eating an anti-inflammatory diet should be the first step towards lowering systemic inflammation in the body and gut-related conditions.

As a bonus, zucchini is pretty low in calories and sugar, making it a staple of low carb, keto & weight loss diets.

You can enjoy zucchini roasted, grilled, sauteed, steamed, baked, or even raw.

SEAWEED SALAD WITH VEGETABLES

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

  • 40g sea spaghetti (Altantic Kitchen)

  • 40 g fresh ginger root, peeled and cut into thin strips

  • 3 medium carrots (~200g), peeled and julienned

  • 80 ml rice wine vinegar

  • 1 tbsp sugar

  • Kelp Noodles

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

  • 1 large English cucumber (~275g), peeled, deseeded and julienned

  • 1 large mango (~260g), peeled and julienned

  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

  • 20g (~1 tbsp) cilantro (coriander), chopped

  • 20 g (~1 tbsp) mint, shredded

  • Salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. Rinse the sea spaghetti in cold water, drain and then cover generously with cold water. Set aside for 30 min.

  2. Transfer kelp noodles to a strainer and rinse thoroughly. Transfer to a bowl and cover with warm water. Add lemon juice and 1/2 tsp salt. Set aside for 30 min

  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drain the spaghetti and place it in the boiling water along with the ginger. Boil for 2 minutes and then add the carrots. Boil for another 2 minutes and drain.

  4. Pat dry and add to a a large bowl.

  5. While still hot, add the vinegar, sugar and 1 1/4 tsp salt. Mix well and set aside to cool.

  6. Drain the kelp noodles, thoroughly rinse and strain.

  7. Transfer seaweed spaghetti and kelp noodles to a large serving bowl.

  8. Add the remaining ingredients, mix well and serve.

What are the benefits of this dish?

Seaweed works as a dietary boost for our microbiome.

It is rich in prebiotics - those foods that the healthy bacteria in our gut feast on.

Seaweed contains a particular type of sugars called sulphated polysaccharides, which have been shown to specifically increase the growth of ‘good’ gut bacteria. These sugars also increase the production of a particular type of short-chain fatty acids that support and nourish the cells lining your gut.

Seaweed is higher in fiber and more nutrient dense than most fruits and vegetables. It is an excellent source of micronutrients including iodine, folate, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, and selenium.

If you are looking for yummy ways to have seaweed in your diet, this salad is a great place to start!

Source: this recipe has been adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s (Plenty More Cookbook ) by adding kelp noodles. These add an extra crunch and increase the nutrient content, without adding too many calories.

*Caution: while rich in beneficial minerals and fiber, seaweed may also contain toxic metals. Purchase it from reputable companies that test their products for contamination.

Salmon Cakes

Makes 12

 INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons melted ghee, divided

  • 10 ounces canned wild salmon

  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced (about ⅓ cup)

  • 2 tablespoons finely minced fresh cilantro

  • 1⅓ cup mashed baked sweet potato

  • finely grated zest from ½ medium lemon

  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeño pepper (optional)

  • 2 large eggs

  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 medium lemons, cut into wedges (optional)

 DIRECTIONS

1.     Preheat the oven to 350°F

2.     Use a brush to grease a 12-cup regular sized muffin tin with one tablespoon of melted ghee.

3.     In a large bowl, mix together the salmon, scallions, and cilantro. Add the mashed sweet potato to the mixture, and gently combine.

4.     Mix in the lemon zest, jalapeño (if using), the remaining two tablespoons of ghee, eggs, and red pepper flakes.

5.     Season with salt and pepper to taste.

6.     Use your hands to mix everything together.

7.     Scoop a quater cup of the mix and flatten with the back of a spoon.

8.     Bake the salmon cakes for 20-25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out cleanly.

9.     Transfer the cakes to a wire rack to cool.

10.  Serve with lime wedges, and kefir and avocado sauce

 

What are the benefits of this dish?

Cold water fish, such as salmon, are excellent sources of health-promoting omega-3 fatty acids, vital nutrients that make up the building blocks for healthy cell membranes. 

These fatty acids can help promote a healthy anti-inflammatory response making them beneficial for joint pain/inflammation. They are known to help with skin and brain health and they have been found to offer cardiovascular protection.

Salmon is also a very good source of protein which helps us have a better control of blood sugar levels and provides us with the amino acids that our bodies need to make muscles, tissues, hormones, neurotransmitters and health-protective antibodies.

Source: modified from Nom Nom Paleo

Superdetoxing Mediterranean Salad

Serves 4

 INGREDIENTS

  • 1-1½ cup dry chickpeas

  • ½ white onion

  • 1 carrot

  • 1 tin artichoke hearts

  • ½ red onion, sliced thinly

  • 3 plum tomatoes, quartered

  • 1 bunch watercress (or broccoli or cilantro sprouts)

  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped (plus a few springs to cook the chickpeas)

  • 1 handful fresh mint leaves (chopped)

  • 1 piece of seaweed - kombu

For the dressing

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed

  • 30 ml lemon/lime juice

  • 90 ml EVOO

  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard (gluten free)

 DIRECTIONS

1.   Rinse and drain the dry chickpeas, and let them soak overnight in a large bowl using enough water to cover them well (approximately twice their volume of water).

2.   Once you are ready to cook the chickpeas, drain and give them an extra rinse in cold water. Cook them following the next steps: bring water to a boil in a large pot and add the rinsed chickpeas. Let them boil for 15 min, removing any foam that forms on the surface. Once they’ve been boiling for 15 minutes, drain them, discard the water, return the chickpeas to the pot, and pour enough water to cover them completely (aobut 2 inches above the chickpeas). Bring the water to a Boil and add the white onion, carrot, parsley sprigs (stalks included and kombu. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook the chickpeas covered, until softened.

3.   When the chickpeas are ready, set them aside and let them cool for a few minutes. Drain them and let them cool to room temperature.

4.   Once cold, transfer them to a serving bowl and add the tomatoes, artichoke hearts, red onion slices, and watercress. Mix thoroughly with your hands.

5.   Add parsley and mint and mix everything again.

6.   Prepare the dressing in a separate bowl and pour it over the salad.

What are the benefits of this dish?

 Each and everyone of the ingredients on this dish have really powerful detoxifying and antioxidant properties. Tomatoes have lycopene, onions have quercetin and garlic has allicin.

Foods that have the ability to specifically increase the volume of bile produced by the liver are known as choleretics. Cholagogues are those foods that stimulate the gallbladder contraction to promote bile flow.

By stimulating the production and release of bile, the body it better able to release toxins.  The role of bile is primarily that of facilitating fat digestion, including assimilation of fat-soluble vitamins, but also being a natural laxative, and thus cleansing to the system, improves the detox capacity of cells and tissues.

Among the main choloretics/cholagogues we find artichoke, lemon and mustard. Entre los principales

Garlic and onion also contain sulfur compounds that are known to induce and promote liver detoxification.

Brocoli spouts contain another sulfur-containing compound known as indol-3-carbionol.  This important biological agent is known to speed up the detoxification of many potentially harmful chemicals (including carcinogens), provide antioxidant support, block the overproduction of certain hormones that are linked to increased risk of breast and prostate cancer, and act as a phytoestrogen (plant-based estrogen), which can bind to estrogen receptors on reproductive tissue and exert anti-cancer influences.

Magnesium Lift Smoothie

Serves 1

 INGREDIENTS

·       ½ banana, frozen

·       ¼ ripe avocado, peeled and chopped

·       1 small handful spinach (could be frozen)

·       1 handful frozen berries

·       1 ½ teaspoons shelled hemp seeds

·       ¼ cucumber, chopped

·       1 tbsp cacao nibs

·       1 cup coconut water or water, plus extra if needed

 DIRECTIONS

1.   Chop the banana and put into a freezer bag. Exclude all the air, then seal and freeze overnight or until solid.

2.   Put the banana into a blender or NutriBullet and add the remaining ingredients.

3.   Blend until smooth and creamy, adding a little more water, if needed.

4.   Serve immediately.

 What are the benefits of this dish? 

Although essential for energy production, magnesium is commonly low in people’s diets, specially athletes. This creamy and hydrating smoothie will help to improve magnesium levels and it is also rich in electrolytes, potassium and sodium.

The range of nutrients in raw cacao include exceptionally high levels of magnesium, iron, chromium and powerful antioxidants. Cacao nibs contain no sugar but provide a natural feel-good lift, thanks to the chemicals contain in them, including tryptophan and phenylethylamine (PEA). PEA is a chemical produced in the brain associated with feelings of being in love. It helps to stimulate alertness and focus, producing an overall sense of well-being.

Hemp seeds have a mild, creamy and nutty flavor, are packed with a complete blend of essential amino acids, and have a perfect ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids to help manage inflammation.


 

Asian Meatballs

Makes about 36 meatballs

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 medium fresh shiitake mushrooms, minced (or 8 dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated)

  • 1 medium shallot, minced

  • ¾ cup minced carrots (original recipe uses sweet potatoes)

  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro

  • 2 pounds ground beef

  • 1½ tablespoons fish sauce

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly-ground black pepper

 

 DIRECTIONS

 1.   Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper, and preheat the oven to 375°F.

2.   Finely mince the mushrooms, shallot, carrots, and cilantro.

3.   Combine the ground beef, fish sauce, tomato paste, and the minced veggies and herbs in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

4.   Thoroughly mix all the ingredients with your hands.

5.   Form uniform balls using your hands to roll out meatballs (~1½ inches in diameter).

6.   Line the meatballs onto the two lined baking sheets and bake each tray for 15-20 minutes, rotating the tray half way through to ensure even cooking.

What are the benefits of this dish?

 There are a number of factors to consider when it comes to grass-fed beef, but let us focus on why it is a healthy, nutrient-dense food choice.

Grass-fed red meat is considered a very good source of protein and contains a for of iron that is especially well absorbed by the body. In addition to iron, it also contains vitamin D and other minerals such a as zinc, important to support the immune system, and selenium, which provides antioxidant protection.

Red meat is also a rich source B vitamins and of hard-to-find vitamin B12, which is vital for proper function of almost every system in our body, including the nervous system and for cardiovascular health.



SOURCE: Nom Nom Paleo

Blueberry Almond Muffins

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups almond flour

  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom

  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 2 large organic eggs

  • 1/4 cup melted ghee

  • 1/3 cup raw honey

  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 1/4 cup fresh blueberries

  • Handful pumpkin seeds and extra fresh blueberries to sprinkle on top

 

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350 F and line a muffin pan with baking cups

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, taking care to break up any large clumps of flour

3. In a medium size bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients, then gently but thoroughly combine the wet ingredients into the dry. Fold in the blueberries

4. Divide the batter between the 12 muffin molds, filling each three quarters of the way. Sprinkle additional pumpkin seeds and a couple of extra blueberries on top

5. Bake for 25-30 min, or until tops are a deep golden brown

 

Source: Thrive Market

Salmon Burger with Olive Tapenade

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 kg wild salmon fillet

  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard

  • 1 egg

  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon

  • Zest of 1 lime

  • Juice of 1/2 lime

  • 1 shallot, minced

  • 1-2 tbsp quinoa flakes (or bread crumbs)

For the Olive tapenade

  • 1/2 cup (~75 g) kalamata olives, stones removed

  • 1 small garlic clove

  • 1/2 anchovy fillet (1 if small)

  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (could use olive oil from anchovies)

  • 2 tsp lime juice

  • 1/2 tsp orange zest

  • 2 basil leaves (optional)

DIRECTIONS

1. Remove skin and bones from salmon and cut into 1-inch pieces. Place in a blender/food processor and blend until finely chopped.

 2. Transfer into a bowl and add mustard, tarragon, shallot, lime zest and egg, and mix until all ingredients are well incorporated into the salmon meat.

 3. Add quinoa flakes, 1 tbsp at a time, to help the mixture to stick together properly. If the mixture is a bit 'sloopy', chilling the mixture for 1 hour helps to hold it together nicely.

4. Divide the mixture into quarters and shape each portion into a patty.

5. Heat 1 tbsp coconut oil. Add salmon burgers and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides and opaque in center (~8 minutes total).

6. To make the tapenade place all ingredients into a blender/food processor and puree until well blended.

7. Serve burgers on a bed of greens and top with tapenade.

 

What are the benefits of this dish?

Salmon and anchovies are excellent sources of health-promoting omega-3 fatty acids, vital nutrients that make up the building blocks for healthy cell membranes. 

These fatty acids can help promote a healthy anti-inflammatory response making them beneficial for joint pain/inflammation. They are known to help with skin and brain health and they have been found to offer cardiovascular protection.

Salmon is also a very good source of protein which helps us have a better control of blood sugar levels and provides us with the amino acids that our bodies need to make muscles, tissues, hormones, neurotransmitters and health-protective antibodies.

Carrot Soup with Ginger, Turmeric and Orange

INGREDIENTS

  •  2 tbsp coconut oil

  • 1-2 leek, including its tender green parts, sliced

  • 6 carrots, cut in small pieces

  • 1 tsp grated ginger

  • 1-2 tsp grated turmeric

  • 6 cups (~ 1500ml) chicken bone broth

  • 1/2-3/4 cup fresh orange juice

  • 2 tsp orange zest plus extra for garnishing

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Optional: fresh mint leaves for garnishing.

DIRECTIONS

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and sauté the leeks for about 3 minutes, until soften.

2. Add carrots, ginger and turmeric and sauté for 5 minutes until the carrot pieces begin to soften.

3. Pour in the bone broth and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, or until the carrots are tender on the outside but slightly firm on the inside.

4. Place into a blender, in batches if necessary, and blend until creamy or until it reaches the desired consistency.

5. Return to the saucepan and add the orange juice and zest. Warm the soup through and season to taste with salt and pepper.

6. Serve into bowls and garnish with orange zest and mint leaves.

 

What are the benefits of this dish?

Carrots are one of the richest sources of carotenoids, which can be converted into the fat-soluble vitamin A, an important nutrient that helps support vision health and boost the immune system. Carotenoids can also act as antioxidants that help protect against cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Gazpacho

INGREDIENTS

Serves 6

  • 7-8 ripe tomatoes

  • 1 green pepper (red pepper will change the taste!)

  • 1 medium cucumber

  • 1 small garlic

  • 250 ml extra-virgin olive oil

  • 50 ml sherry vinegar

  • 250 ml cold water

  • pinch cumin (optional)

  • 1/4 onion (optional)

  • Salt to taste

 DIRECTIONS

1. Chop all ingredients and place in a blender. Process until smooth.

2. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve, then cover and refrigerate until well chilled (2 hours to overnight).

3. Serve. Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with diced cucumber, green pepper and tomato.

 

What are the benefits of this dish?

Tomatoes are rich in health-promoting phytonutrients, lycopene, beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, which offer antioxidant protection. Lycopene, has been shown to offer protection form prostate cancer in men, while increased beta-carotene, lutein and  zeaxanthin intake decreases the risk for eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and cataract development. 

Tomatoes are also excellent sources of vitamin C  and the mineral potassium.