Bowls Of Goodness

I've been a big fan of Nina Olssen on Instagram for a few years. She is the creator of Nourish Atelier, dedicated to creating and sharing divinely delicious plant based recipes and her buddha bowls (combinations of colourful and vibrant, healthy ingredients all in one bowl) are to die for. So, naturally, when her book of bowls was released this year, I was all over it. Luckily, I'm able to share two of my favourite recipes with you. Hope you love them and make them your own - perhaps you change one or two of the ingredients or you opt for a different condiment. Let me know how you modify these recipes and any of your favourite buddha bowl recipes are always welcome. Stay in touch via my Facebook page.

Recipes from Bowls of Goodness: Vibrant Vegetarian Recipes Full of Nourishment by Nina Olsson. Published by Kyle Books. RRP $39.99. Out now.


Rainbow Pad Thai
ALMOST RAW RAINBOW CARROT NOODLES, TOASTED CASHEWS AND SPICY TOFU

rainbow pad thai
My family loves noodles in all shapes and colours. Serving a rainbow Pad Thai pleases both small and grown up eaters. It’s a little juicier and fresher then regular rice or buckwheat noodles, so it complements the spicy tofu and peanut sauce beautifully. The avocado plays an important role here, adding a buttery creaminess that binds it all together. This noodle bowl is just as good as dinner as it is a side salad.
   
1 tablespoon coconut oil
3 handfuls of cashew nuts
6 rainbow carrots, spiralised
2 avocados, stoned, peeled and roughly chopped
1/4 head of a small red cabbage, shredded
handful of chopped coriander
6 spring onions, finely chopped
   
4 tablespoons coconut sugar
4 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tablespoon sriracha
2 tablespoons coconut oil
200g firm tofu, pressed
water, to thin
             
50ml peanut butter
1 garlic clove, finely chopped to a paste
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
30ml soy sauce
2 tablespoons agave syrup
2 tablespoons tamarind paste
juice of 1 lime
water, to thin

Mix the ingredients for the spicy peanut sauce and set aside. Mix the coconut sugar with soy, olive oil and sriracha for the tofu.
Heat up a frying pan over a medium– high heat and add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Fry the tofu for 2-3 minutes until golden, then pour over the soy mix and fry for another 2 minutes while stirring. Remove from the heat. Add another tablespoon of coconut oil and stir-fry the cashew nuts for 2-3 minutes over a medium-high heat, then remove from the heat. Mix the carrot noodles with the avocado, red cabbage, coriander, cashews, tofu and spring onions and serve with the spicy peanut sauce.


The Loyal Lentil Chilli
Lentil chilli with butternut squash, coconut milk, pepper and lime

Do you have a dish that never fails you, like a loyal friend, who keeps showing up and impresses you by always being top-notch? I have a few and this lentil chilli has been the star of my regular repertoire for years. This is also one of the most made and loved recipes from my blog. Lentils can come across as a bit dull sometimes, but this dish is nothing like it. With flavours that really sing together – earthy cumin and cinnamon, tangy lime and coriander, hot chilli and garlic – it harmonises perfectly with sweet butternut squash and chewy lentils. Instead of butternut squash you can use cooked pumpkin, aubergine or any other fleshy vegetable you have.

SERVES 4
250 puy or beluga lentils
1 tablespoon coconut or olive oil
5– 7 shallots, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped to a
paste with 1 teaspoon salt
1 + ½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 red pepper, halved, deseeded and finely chopped
1-2 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
400g butternut squash, cooked and chopped into small pieces
400ml coconut milk
1 tablespoon tahini
1 tablespoons honey or agave syrup
juice of 1 lime
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

SIMPLE YOGURT SAUCE
200g yogurt or vegan yogurt (soygurt or coconut yogurt)
1 teaspoon honey or agave syrup
drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

QUICKEST CUCUMBER SALAD
½ cucumber, shaved into ribbons
4 tablespoons rice vinegar
TO SERVE
fresh coriander
hot sauce, like sriracha
cooked brown rice or other whole grain
lime wedges

Cook the lentils according to the packet instructions, rinse, drain and set aside. Heat a frying pan over a medium– high heat. Add the oil and gently fry the shallots until transparent. Add the garlic, spices, pepper, chilli and tomatoes and fry for a few minutes over a medium– low heat. Stir in the lentils, squash, tahini and honey. Pour in the coconut milk and stir, then let the chilli simmer over a medium– low heat for 5 minutes, adding a little water if needed and stirring regularly. Add the lime juice and soy, then let it simmer for a further few minutes while stirring. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat. Mix the ingredients for the yogurt sauce. Make the cucumber salad by combining the shaved cucumber and rice vinegar. Drizzle the chilli with extra virgin olive oil, top with freshly chopped coriander and serve with the cool yogurt sauce and salad. Serve with a hot sauce, rice and lime as extras on the table. 

What To Do After A Binge

I occasionally still have an episode of binge eating when the perfect storm of situation, emotions, tiredness and opportunity come together. Thankfully it is rare but still devastating and emotionally and physically draining and stressful. I know I'm not alone though and that for many of us, the easiest response to anger or anxiety or sadness can be to seek comfort in food.

I struggled with this in my early twenties and while it is rare now, the guilt and shame is even worse than the physical effects of pain and exhaustion. My trigger is highly processed "diet" foods and I need to remind myself these are designed to be "nothing" foods that don't satisfy or nourish the body. They are a marketing gimmick.

Here's my advice if you have had a binge episode - either if it's the first time ever or something that happens regularly.

Don't get angry at yourself. Be proactive. Analyse what triggered the binge - how did you feel? What happened today or recently that might explain how you feel? And then, what else can you do if you feel this way or these events happen again?

Sometimes it's as simple as breaking the circuit or routine that might lead to a binge. Maybe you force yourself to take a walk. Maybe you open a game of Tetris on your phone. Maybe you start to write or draw.

In the following 24 hours, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and assist your poor digestive system to handle rebalancing.

Do NOT make plans to diet or detox or restrict. This only leads to a feeling of deprivation and self-punishment and the likelihood of bingeing.

If you are worried this is something you don't feel in control of, speak to a professional. There are phone lines for The Butterfly Foundation and National Eating Disorders Collaboration.

Take fish oil supplements and B vitamins to assist in supporting the immune system and hormones. A binge episode puts the organs and bodily systems under a lot of stress.

Don't do any excessive or exhausting exercise. Allow the body to recover. Walking, swimming, slow yoga are all good options.

Remember that even elite athletes, celebrities and models have written or spoken about coping with binges. They are not uncommon and yet they can be devastating at the time. Don't encourage a cycle. Identify the triggers and change the situation and your responses.

Maybe you quit your job.
Maybe you leave a relationship.
Maybe you need to re-evaluate the restrictive diet that isn't working out so well!
Maybe you need to work on sleep habits or asking for help with too many obligations.

Whatever else you do though, know that you are lucky enough to be able to make new and different choices every day. And you'll be ok.

Heal Your Gut with Supercharged Food

There has been much research into the mind-gut-hormones connection and the science is compelling and convincing. What, when and how you eat directly affects your hormones and your immune system. Constantly getting infections? Feeling lethargic? Rashes and allergic-type reactions?
There are so many ways that poor diet can manifest in your body. This doesn't just mean eating bags full of jelly snakes during the afternoon slump. This means restricting food groups, severe calorie restriction, binge eating, eating processed and packaged food as replacements for whole foods (vegetables, fruit, legumes, grains).

I am not perfect, just as you (probably) are not perfect. I don't allow myself to read the "latest celebrity diet tricks" in magazines. I don't subscribe to any particular dietary regimen, although I respect ELEMENTS of some! I am not paleo, or vegan, or pescatarian...
There are weeks I will not eat meat at all, or times when that's exactly what my body craves. One thing I can definitely say I'm guilty of is overdoing the caffeine. I know it is behind my poor sleep and ability to get anxious in a heartbeat! So I will aim to reduce my caffeine and heal my gut. What will you do in the aims of healing your gut?

I've got Lee Holmes' (Supercharged Food) Heal Your Gut for inspiration, information and recipes galore. It's not only super informative and well-researched, but gorgeous to look at. Definitely one for the kitchen AND the coffee table.

The book is designed to assist in restoring gut health with 90 anti-inflammatory recipes to heal and nourish. These include warming drinks with ingredients such as turmeric, chamomile and ginger, sustaining vegetable and meat broths & soups and deliciously delicate desserts like baked blueberry custard.
Heal Your Gut: Supercharged Food by Lee Holmes (Murdoch Books)

Just because I love your guts, I'm going to share some recipes with you. Enjoy.

CUMIN DIGESTIVE AID (JEERA VELLAM)

SERVES 4
Jeera is Hindi for ‘cumin’ and vellam in this context means ‘water’. Cumin is 
a powerful digestive aid and a detoxifier for the kidneys and bladder. Drink this shot after eating to improve digestion.
250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) filtered water
1 heaped teaspoon cumin seeds
2.5 cm (1 inch) piece of ginger, peeled and cut into thin sticks
Put all the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
Remove from the heat and set aside for 2 minutes before straining. Cool to room temperature and divide between four glasses to serve.

Garden-fresh Asparagus Soup
serves 4
I just love the healthy snap of a bright-green new-season asparagus stalk. Enjoy their uniquely grassy, sweet flavour and their healthy-bacteria-boosting proteins in this fresh and uplifting soup.
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
2 spring onions (scallions), finely chopped, plus extra,
curled in cold water, to serve
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/4  teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 medium turnips, peeled and diced
750 ml (26 fl oz/3 cups) vegetable stock (see page 151)
270 ml (91/2 fl oz) tin additive-free coconut milk
175 g (6 oz/1 bunch) asparagus, cut into 1.5 cm (5/8 inch) pieces
1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Melt the butter with the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the spring onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft. Add the curry powder, ginger, turmeric, lemon zest, juice and turnip and cook, stirring frequently,
for 5 minutes.
Add the stock, coconut milk and asparagus, and simmer, partially covered,
for 15 minutes or until the turnip is tender, then add the salt.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly, then purée the mixture in batches in a food processor or blender until smooth. Reheat gently if necessary, then drizzle with olive oil, grind over black pepper and garnish
with curled spring onion.
Almond Milk Jelly Cup
makes 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup)

Gelatine is a good source of protein and contains eighteen protein-building amino acids. It’s a great ingredient to include in your gut-healing arsenal, as it seals the digestive tract to help boost nutrient absorption.
250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) almond milk (see page 123)
2 teaspoons powdered gelatine
1/4  teaspoon vanilla powder
1/2 teaspoon powdered stevia
Put half the almond milk and the gelatine in a small saucepan over low heat. Whisk briskly until the gelatine is dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the remaining almond milk along with the vanilla and stevia, and whisk to combine.

Pour into one or two glasses or jelly moulds and refrigerate until set. The jelly can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 1–2 weeks.

Yoga for Beautiful Skin, Great Digestion and Controlling Anxiety

Yoga alone won't give you glowing, unblemished skin but it definitely helps. A smooth, strong digestive system that is essential to your immune system and hormones working harmoniously is going to improve your overall energy, mood, health AND your skin, hair and nails.
Lastly, a healthy body and a body that is working to process nutrients, fight inflammation and infection, battle everyday environmental stress and enable great sleep and circulation is going to increase your ability to deal with psychological and emotional anxiety.

Here's what to do.


  • Eat moderately. Eat what you like, but also consider that you need a balance of healthy fats (avocado, salmon, walnuts, seeds, sardines), protein (lean meat, tofu, soy, fish) and carbohydrates (fruit, vegetables, wholegrain oats, breads, brown rice, gummy bears).
  • Eat slowly and chew thoroughly. This not only allows you to break down your food more thoroughly so that it can pass through the digestive system easily, but it also tells your brain that you are satisfying your appetite and gives you time to enjoy your food.
  • Wait half an hour to an hour prior and before eating to gulp water, tea or coffee. It interferes with digestion and the absorption of vitamins and minerals from your food.
  • Take a probiotic capsule daily. I prefer Naturopathica GastroHealth.
Yoga for Digestion
Yoga Twist for Digestion
Your yoga move for great digestion is any twisting move. This stimulates the gut, massaging the internal organs, and relieves some of the tension in your lower and mid-back, allowing you to breathe easier. Remember to extend up through the spine and don't slump while you twist!

Beautiful Skin needs cleansing, moisture, and most of all, exercise. This increases and improves circulation so that blood flows to the skin, renewing it with fresh blood flow, nutrients and increasing cell turnover so that dull skin can shed and refreshed, new skin cells can flourish.

  • Use a sunscreen. If you exercise outdoors, a hat and sunscreen are non-negotiable if you want beautiful skin. It will also protect you from the majority of skin cancers. 
  • Cleanse with gentle, targeted products. There are so many cruelty free, natural and gentle products on the market. I love Sanctum Organics - you'll find the details in the previous blog post!
  • Avoid touching your face too much. Your fingers will distribute oil and dirt so if you can avoid resting your chin in your palms, do.
Yoga move for great skin
Downward Dog for Great Skin
Your yoga move for fabulous skin AND battling anxiety is downward dog. Strongly pushing your heels down, your palms and the pads of your fingers gives you a powerful foundation. Allowing the blood flow to circulate to your head increases your energy and stamina. Remember to keep your abs braced, your shoulders broad and drawn back to your hips and away from your earlobes. 
Breathe deeply through your nose right down your spinal column.
Exhale slowly.
Hold as long as you can then gently bend your knees, pull your bum back to your heels and stretch forward along the ground.