Creamy Pistachio Chilli Dip

 

So it’s January 2nd 2017 and like many others I have a few thoughts and feelings on how I would like the new year to go. I don’t really do resolutions as such, I just try to focus my mind on a few intentions for the new year. So one of my intentions is to focus more time on my blog. I really enjoy sharing healthy and nutritious recipes with you guys but my life is quite hectic and busy at the moment (who’s isn’t) and all my sharing seems to focus on my Instagram page as it’s a bit more instantanious. The trouble is I’m not a photographer and I don’t have a decent camera and social media is filled with perfectly shot pictures of food that looks really tasty and appetising. I literally share what I’ve been cooking, baking, blending and eating day-to-day. So if you can forgive some rubbish photography I think I can dedicate more time to sharing more recipes with you lovely lot. This platform for sharing healthy, wholesome and tasty food really has changed my life. I love being inspired by others and hope I inspire a few others.

Any way, back to this dip I made for lunch today. So it’s post Christmas and New Year and somehow I managed to get my butt off the sofa and go for a run this morning. Which was actually really lovely, very cold,but lovely. I love running but anything can put me off. Cold, rain, too hot, anything! Feeling energised and productive post run I then went and did a fresh food shop and stocked up on lots of fruits and veggies. When it came to making the lunch I really fancied making my favourite dip as it’s so fresh and tangy and full of flavour. Stupidly I realised I didn’t actually buy all the ingredients I needed for it. D’oh. So I decided to improvise and this is what I concocted.

Ingredients

90-100g Unsalted deshelled pistachios (I had a 100g bag but accidentally ate a few)

5 heaped tablespoons of creme fraiche

1 garlic clove crushed or finely chopped

1 lemon (squeezed juice)

Half a red chilli finely chopped (if you like hot food add the whole thing, why not)

Handful of spinach

Salt and Pepper

Method

First, blend all the pistachios in a food processor. Then add the chilli along with the spinach, crushed garlic and squeeze half the lemon in to the processor and blitz. Once that is nicely combined add the creme fraiche and squeeze a little bit more lemon in to the mix with a dash of salt and pepper and blitz one final time. Pour the mixtire into a bowl and put in the fridge for at least 10 minutes to set. That is literally it. So simple. So tasty. I had mine with some spelt and sunflower seed bread and a side of cucumber, tomoatoes and celery in a little olive oil and squeeze of lemon and salt and pepper to taste.

This will last two days in an air tight container in the fridge. You could easily take this in a little tupperware pot and put in the fridge at work for lunchtime.

So I’ll save the original version of this dip for another blog post in the near future! In the meantime please let me know if there is anything else you would like me to blog about – food, health, exercise, lifestyle, children, advice and I’ll do my best to fulfill your request. If you do make this dip please tag me @naturallea on Instagram, Twitter (I am on Facebook but neglected for a while) and hastag #eatnaturallea. I would love to know how you found it and of course see your beautiful pics. And finally HAPPY NEW YEAR!! I really hope 2017 is filled with magic, adventure, love and laughter for each and every one of you đź’–

Love Lea xx

Pea, Mint and Avocado Pesto

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This pesto combination is so delicious and creamy it takes pesto to the next level. You can have this stirred in to warm pasta (brown rice pasta is gluten-free and my preference) or slathered on toast. I’m really happy with this combination and know that you’ll find it so tasty and extra bonus points for it being incredibly nutritious. I tried and tested this recipe on two toddlers, a four and 7 year old, a teenager, another Mummy and a fussy health fanatic (Oli, my partner). I can honestly say that they loved it, yay! The 7 year old took some coaxing in to initially trying it but she got there and loved it.

Ingredients

1/2 mug of Pinenuts
3 tablespoons of Olive Oil
1 Avocado
1 mug of Peas
3 sprigs of Mint
Juice of half a Lemon
A pinch of Salt and Pepper to taste

Method

Place the pinenuts into the food processor and blend, once blended add the rest of the ingredients. Once evenly combined you can either serve immediately or place in an airtight container and store in the fridge (up to 3 days).

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Important things to remember when making your own food from scratch is that you know exactly what is going in to your food. With this recipe the peas will be providing you with a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation throughout the body. Peas are a great source of fibre and protein helping you maintain a healthy digestive system. Avocado contains vitamin A, B, C, E, & K, copper, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium – just amazing! They have a rich supply of a type of fat called oleic acid, also found in olive oil, which helps the digestive tract’s ability to absorb nutrients, as well as lowering the risk of heart disease. It’s so worth investing in a little home cooking, your mind and body will thank you for it. Remember that your body needs to last you quite a while!!

Lea Xx

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Chickpea Curry Goodness

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Chickpea Curry

This really is a warming, hearty, colourful dish to get you through February. Full of goodness it will help keep those nasty winter colds at bay and the vibrant colours and fresh flavours reminds me that spring is just around the corner!

We all struggle with thinking of different things to make for dinner and tend to get stuck in a rut. Because I love good food, like to be inspired, and I’m nosey, I always ask people “what are you having for dinner tonight”. So – what are you having for dinner tonight?

Healthy food doesn’t have to be boring, if you’re struggling for something different, or just need some inspiration, try this recipe. It’s so easy and all the ingredients get thrown into one pot, which means less washing up!

I made this for just two people with a little left over, but Oli does tend to eat for five, so you could alter the quantities to suit whoever you’re cooking for.

– 150g fine beans
– 150g corn
– onion
-10 pomodorino (or cherry) tomatoes
– 1 red chilli
– 3 cloves of garlic
– lemon
– a big handful of coriander
– 2 teaspoons of turmeric
– 2 teaspoons of garam masala
– 1 tablespoon of natural yogurt per serving
– 2 teaspoons of coconut oil (or olive oil)
– 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
– 1 tin of chickpeas
– 2 cups of boiling water
– brown rice to serve

Start by chopping the fine beans, the corn and the tomatoes in half. Also chop up the onion, chilli and crush the garlic.

Melt your coconut oil (or olive oil) in a large saucepan then add the turmeric, garam masala, chilli & crushed garlic until they’re bubbling. Add the fine beans, corn, and onion and stir the ingredients well. After a few minutes add the tin tomatoes and also the chopped fresh tomatoes. Once it’s bubbling turn it right down to simmer for about 15 minutes.

Next you need to drain your chickpeas and add to your pot. Also chop up a handful of coriander and add to the mix. Leave to simmer for a further 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, get your rice ready. The amount of rice you use is dependent on how many are eating. For the two of us I use one cup of rice to two cups of boiling water. Place the rice and water over a medium heat. I literally do the absorption method as it’s the only way I don’t mess the rice up. Literally leave on the heat until the rice has absorbed the water.

Once everything is ready place the rice into bowls and the curry on top. On top of each curry serving I squeeze a little lemon over. Dollop a table spoon of natural yogurt on the top of your curry with a little more coriander sprinkled on top to serve.

Then get ready to tuck in to a healthy dinner bursting with flavour and goodness!