Radical Beauty and an Artichoke & Spring Green Pasta

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These days, it seems many of us are exposed to more images of unattainable beauty in one day, than women of previous generations were exposed to in a lifetime. An innocent scroll through social media alone can leave us feeling hopelessly defeated by countless stylised, perfected, photoshopped images of beauty. Then there’s the mainstream media, which has long upheld unquestionably high standards of beauty. And as the old saying goes, the nature of ‘comparison is the thief of all joy’.

So the question is, are we comparing ourselves to a misconstrued definition of beauty. What about the beauty that shines from within? The type of beauty we’ve all seen radiate out of certain women. If you’ve ever questioned superficial definitions of beauty, Deepak Chopra and Kimberly Snyder’s new book, Radical Beauty is a must read. Because as women, I think we all know in our heart of hearts, that beauty is too vast and far wide reaching to ever be confined to a single definition. The promise of true beauty can’t be achieved with the latest quick fix. True beauty is as much spiritual as it is physical. Here’s my version of one of the many beautifying recipes from Radical Beauty xx

Artichoke & Spring Greens Pasta
Written by Shelley Kamil Inspired by Radical Beauty 

Ingredients
(Serves 2)
Pasta of Choice, cooked as per pack (I recommend a blend of Brown Rice & Quinoa Pasta, available at Good Health Food Stores)
6-8 Store Bought Artichokes, marinated in Olive Oil, sliced
1tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 bunch asparagus, chopped
2 handfuls green beans, chopped
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
Juice of 1 lemon
Handful of Dill, Parsley or Basil

Directions
1. Cook Pasta as per pack. Drain and set aside.
2. Heat 1tbs Olive Oil in a large, deep non-stick pan over a low flame. Add the onions and sauté, stirring occasionally until translucent and slightly golden. Increase the flame ever so gently, add the artichokes and continue to sauté, stirring every so often. Add the asparagus and green beans, pan frying until just slightly charred. lastly add the thawed peas and a good  squeeze of lemon juice, continue to cook for a further minute or two.
3. Return the cooked pasta to the pan and mix to combine. Pour the remaining lemon juice over the pasta, season with Sea Salt & Pepper and a sprinkling of your preferred herbs.

Tempeh Toast

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As the end of the year approaches, one of the nicest things you can do for yourself, is to practice being kind and easy on yourself. Just last night, after finishing a rather complex and intricate meal which I had wiped up for my husband and I, we exchanged knowing glances and I turned to him and said, “let’s just make whatever tomorrow night.” For me, that means eggs on toast, or even better, Tempeh Toast. This is my go to meal whenever I’m after something as equally cosy and easy as it is healthy and nutritious. This recipe is adapted from the very clever Calgary Avansino. On a side note, finding inspiration from other healthy, super savvy mothers is my number one past time. Hope you find this recipe as inspiring as I did xx

Tempeh Toast
By Shelley Kamil, Adapted From Keep It Real

Ingredients
(Serves 2)
1 garlic clove, crushed
1tbs Sesame Oil
1 yellow onion, finely sliced
1 pack plain Tempeh (not marinated), sliced
1tbs Worcestershire Sauce
1-2tbs Tamari
Juice of 1 lemon

To Serve
Gluten Free / Wholegrain Toast (1-2slices per person)
Wholegrain Mustard (optional)
Loads of lettuce
Tomatoes, sliced
Avocado, sliced

Directions
1.To begin, heat 1tbs sesame oil in a non-stick pan. Over low heat, add the garlic, sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add the onions, sauté until slightly golden and translucent. Approximately 8-10 minutes.
2. Add the tempeh, Worcestershire Sauce, Tamari & Lemon, allowing everything to simmer until the tempeh is slightly golden and the sauce has dissolved into a thick paste.
3. To serve, toast the bread. To assemble your sandwich, begin with a thin spread of mustard, then by layering the lettuce, avocado and tomatoes, topped the Tempeh mixture. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and a dash of Tamari for good measure, and enjoy xx

 

 

Singapore Rice Noodles with Tamari Tofu & Greens

Singapore Rice Noodles

It’s Sunday night, you’re cold, he’s hungry and the call for takeaway is loud and clear. But, you’re trying to eat clean and healthy, and there’s this little voice inside your head whispering to you, telling you that some greasy takeaway just aint gonna cut it. Well, I have the perfect antidote for you. Inspired by Gwyneth Paltrow’s new cookbook, It’s All Easy, I came across this recipe for Singapore Rice Noodles. Now, I tweaked it a little, reducing the quantity of oil, adding some extra greens (of course), as well as some sweet and tangy pickled ginger. And, instead of using curry powder (which I’m sure works amazingly too), I marinated the tofu in my favourite combination of Worcestershire Sauce, Tamari and Sesame oil. The rice noodles in this dish are gluten free, yet hearty and satisfying, whilst the depth of sweet and salty flavours are (thank you pickled ginger), guarantee to satisfy. Definitely one to keep on the rotation for cold and cosy winter Sunday nights xx

Singapore Rice Noodles with Tofu & Greens

Inspired By It’s All Easy, Recipe by Shelley Kamil

Ingredients
(Serves 4)

1 block firm tofu, cut to cubes
1tbs Worcestershire sauce
1tbs tamari
1tsp sesame oil
1 packet gluten free Flat Rice Noodles
1tbs sesame oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 bunches broccolini, chopped
2 handfuls sugar snap peas, sliced
2 generous handfuls green beans, chopped
1 bunch bok choy finely sliced
2-4 spring onions, sliced
2 free range eggs
4-5tbs tamari
1tsp sesame oil
Juice of ½ lime (optional)
Pickled Ginger To Serve (available at Health Food Stores or Asian Food Stores)

Directions
1. Begin by marinating the tofu. In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together 1tbs Tamari, 1tbs Worcestershire Sauce and 1tsp sesame oil, add the tofu, mix well to combine and leave to marinate for at least 10 minutes.

2. Cook the rice noodles as per pack. Usually, in a medium sized pot, over medium heat, immersed in boiling water for 8-10 minutes.

3. Heat 1tbs sesame oil in a large, deep pan. Add the onions and sauté for 1 minute, or until slightly translucent. Next, add the tofu, cook for 3-4 minutes or until slightly golden. Add the greens to the pan, except for the bok choy and sauté over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Lastly, add the bok choy, cook for 1-2 minutes or until the leaves have wilted.

4. Add the cooked noodles to the pan (drained and dried), and mix to combine. Then make a whole in the centre of the pan and crack two eggs, mix vigorously to scramble the eggs, once the egg is cooked, mix back with the rest of the dish. Add 3-4tbs Tamari and a squeeze of lime and mix to combine. Divide evenly between serving plates and top with a little pickled ginger to taste.

 

How to Bring Leftovers Back to Life Plus a Roast Veggie, Tamari & Maple chickpea Salad

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One of the best ways to eat healthy is to envision food prep and cooking as one bug continuum. If pouring your heart and soul into a meal for loved ones at night, then forgetting all about yourself the following day sounds familiar, please read on. Granted, not all dishes will work as leftovers, but some are the perfect nourishing alternative to a store bought focaccia on the run. Below are my three top tips PLUS a Quinoa and Roast Veggie Salad with Tamari Roast Chickpeas that makes the for the quintessential leftovers xx

1. Buy Extra. When you’re contemplating whether or not to buy that little bit extra for dinner (like that fourth chicken fillet you’re doing your head in over at the butcher), think of me and if you can afford to, do so.

2. Store Condiments Separately. The recipe below would have been a soggy mess and much less appealing had I not stored key condiments in separate containers. Tamari and Maple Chickpeas last 2-3 days in the fridge and make wonderful additions to all kinds of salads. Roast veggies come up beautifully twice roasted. Refresh cooked quinoa by mixing it back with alkalising greens such as spinach leaves, celery and loads of lemon juice.

3. Revamp your leftovers with bursts of flavour. In this case, I kept some Maple Roasted Pecans on hand and added pomegranates, but herbs, spices, nuts or seeds can bring your salad back to life.

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Quinoa & Roast Veggie Salad with Tamari Roast Chickpeas & Maple Pecans
Original Recipe Inspired by Calgary Avansino, Adapted by Shelley Kamil

Ingredients
(Serves 4 as a side plus leftovers)

2 cans organic chickpeas
1tbs tamari
2tsp maple syrup
1/2 cup pecan, crushed
2tsp maple syrup
Sea Salt to taste
1/2 butternut pumpkin, peeled and chopped
6 baby beets, washed and chopped
2tbs olive oil
1/4 cup cranberries
1.25 cups quinoa
1tsp vegetable flavouring / stock
4 handfuls salad leaves
Dressing
Juice of half a lemon
Rind of half a lemon
1 heaped tsp dijon mustard
1-2tbs extra virgin olive oil
Sea Salt to taste
For the following day
2 handfuls spinach leaves
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
2 tbs pomegranate seeds
Juice of half a lemon

DIrections 
1. Drain and rinse quinoa. Cook as per instructions on pack. Add 1tsp vegetable stock to cooking process

2.
Drain and rinse chickpeas, dry thoroughly. Preheat oven to 180. Line a baking tray with baking paper. In a small mixing bowl combine chickpeas, 1tbs Tamari, 2tsp maple and some sea salt, mix together well. Lay out evenly on baking tray, bake for approx 10 minutes or until just golden. Remove from oven, place on plate and allow to cool. Store 1-2 handfuls for the following day.

3.
In a small mixing bowl, combine pecans, 2tsp maple plus sea salt and mix to combine. Lay out evenly on baking tray and transfer to oven for 5-7 minutes or until just slightly golden. Remove from the oven and set aside. Store 6-8 pecans for the following day.

4.
Place the beets and pumpkin pieces on the baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes or until slightly charred. I often find the beets are ready 10 minutes prior to the pumpkin. Once cooked remove and set aside. keep a small selection of veggies aside for the following day. Refrigerate and store in an air tight container.

5.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients, set aside.

6. To assemble the salad, in a large serving bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, chickpeas, and leaves, mix gently to combine. Add the dressing and mix together once more. Top the salad with roast veggies plus a sprinkling of pecans and cranberries.

7. The Following Day:
In a mixing bowl, combine spinach leaves, 1 cup cooked quinoa, sliced celery and a generous squeeze of lemon juice, mix together thoroughly. If possible re heat veggies in the oven for 10-15 minutes careful not to burn. Transfer quinoa mixture to a serving bowl, top with chickpeas, pecans, pomegranates and a side of avocado, an extra drizzle of lemon juice and a sprinkle of sea salt xx

 

Sugar Free Sushi, Coconut Eggs & Contingent Communication

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I wrote this article for the wonderful website www.kidshealth.com.au and as I stand here in my little kitchen falling back on the same recipes, turning to the very same advice when it comes to understanding kids, I figured it was only fitting to repost, so if you have a couple of minutes up your sleeve and a couple of fussy eaters, please read on xx

Working as a Health and Wellness Coach, one of the greatest lessons I’ve learnt is how to listen. I’m not talking about the type of listening where you’re busting out of your seat, desperate for a chance to respond. I’m talking, mindfully, truly taking in what is being said. The verbal and the non-verbal signs, and then, responding accordingly.

In the world of parenting, this idea is known as Contingent Communication. It stems form the idea that as babies we do a delicate dance with our parents / primary care givers, that according to D.Siegel and M.Hertzell goes a little something like this, “I see you and I’m listening to you and I’ll give to you a reflection of yourself that is valued so you can see and value yourself too. I like you just the way you are.” In essence doesn’t the child in all of us just want to be heard, understood and treated with compassion?

As parents there’s always a risk of doing just the opposite. Especially when the pressure is on. Case in point, dinner the other night, as I proudly presented an infallible kids dinner only to have it completely rejected. Amidst the protests, crossed arms and shaking heads it would have been all too easy to push my own agenda. To insist dinner be eaten or off to bed hungry. But we all know hungry kids equal sleepless nights for children and parents alike.

In that fleeting moment was a chance to respond with grace. To truly hear what my children were saying. Little people are much more in touch with their bodies then often given credit for. And in this case, no one felt like meat. As a mainly plant based, occasional meat eating pescatarian, I’m conscious of ensuring the kids meet their protein needs. I risked pushing my own agenda. “Her reaction is dependent on what was actually communicated, not on a predetermined and rigid mental model of what was expected”. There lied an opportunity.

It was simple, I offered up two options that in our house result in jumps for joy. The little people felt understood. Here are two fail-safe options (at least in our house), Coconut Folded Eggs and Nori Wraps. The merits are as follows; Eggs are an inexpensive and relatively rich source of protein. Eaten whole they contain vitamins, minerals and nutrients. The rainbow of veggie sticks mean all bases are covered nutritionally.  As for the Nori, there’s no risk of it growing in mineral depleted soil, bursting with sea minerals it’s a pleasure to watch kids gobble it up. Lastly, in contrast to the amount of sugar usually present in sushi rolls, I’ve replaced it with coconut milk, keeps the rice nice and sticky, yet sugar free. The good fats in coconut milk and the anti-inflammatory properties in coconut oil. The lauric acid helps lower levels of harmful bacteria and boost immunity. All up, optimal nutrition to satisfy mamma and children who feel they are being heard xx

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Coconut Folded Eggs
Recipe By Shelley Kamil

Ingredients
(Serves 2 small children)
3 organic / free range eggs
¼ cup coconut (light) coconut milk
1tsp coconut oil
Sprinkle Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
Buckwheat & Sourdough toast to serve
Extra coconut oil for spreading.

Direction
1.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut milk and a pinch of sea salt
2. In a medium sized skillet, heat 1tsp coconut oil over low-medium heat. Add the coconut and egg mixture and allow to set, approx. 2 minutes.
3. Using a non-stick spatula gently fold the eggs inward, turning them from the edge of the pan. Continue to cook for a couple more minutes or until cooked to your liking.
4. Serve along side toasted Buckwheat & Sourdough bread (Mattisse does an amazing loaf) with a scraping of coconut oil.

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Nori Wraps
Recipe by Shelley Kamil

Ingredients
(Serves two kids and a couple of peckish adults)
2 small carrots, julienned
1 red pepper, finely sliced
Handful green beans, blanched
1 bunch skinny asparagus, blanched and chopped
1tbs sesame seeds
1tsp black sesame seeds
1/2 cup basmati rice
1/3 cup coconut milk
3-4 sheets Nori

Directions
1. Begin by cooking rice. Boil 1.5 cups of water, or as per instructions on pack. Gently simmer and just prior to removing from heat add the coconut milk, continue to simmer until absorbed. Remove from the heat, cover and set aside.
2. Arrange veggie sticks in a serving bowl, sprinkle with sesame seeds and a little sea salt if using.
3. Transfer coconut rice to a serving bowl, sprinkle with black sesame seeds. Serve along side veggies, sheets of Nori and either soy or tamari. I love to say, let the kids roll their own, but they tend to need a little help from us xx

 

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