Juice reboot – 3 days in

  
Here I am with this morning’s breakfast – a  smoothie made with cucumber, apple, lettuce and kale. It actually tastes a lot better than it sounds or looks.

Three days in and the juice reboot is going well, it’s not only juices – it’s also “whole” versions of fruit and vegetables, but it’s nothing except fruit and vegetables so for 3 days now I haven’t had any meat, fish, bread, pasta, rice, nuts, or anything else you can think of that isn’t fruit or veg. I’ve surprised myself by not really missing these things much, apart from a handful of nuts for snacking on in the afternoons, and while I really wanted some toast yesterday morning, once I had the juice I was satisfied.

  
Place a big bowl of colourful salad in front of me and I’m happy, so there have been a lot of meals that I’ve loved. Also some of Joe’s recipes have been a revelation like his raw carrot & ginger soup, carrot apple and ginger juice and even green vegetable soup. 

That said, breakfast of cooked apples and berries tastes like it needed some sugar added, I’ve had to reduce the amount of celery in any of the juices, it’s too strong a flavour and makes them so hard to drink.

So do I feel energetic and healthy so far? I’m not sure… I’ve been pretty tired for the last couple of days, which may be because of work or possibly the long time it takes to prepare food for the next day! Make no mistake – prep is key and for this it needs proper time dedicated to it! Here’s what Rich (hubby) took to work the other day:

  
(Plenty of Tupperware is also needed).

I’ve also got some spots on my face – I was hoping for quite the opposite! So we’ll see what my complexion is like at the end this.

As far as working out, I haven’t held back because of the reboot and am about to go for a 20k run (I’m marathon training), which I’m a little anxious about but am sure will be fine.

Here are some of the recipes of things I’ve made over the last few days which I’ve loved (all thanks to Joe Cross – www.rebootwithjoe.com)

  
Carrot-Apple-Ginger Juice

Makes 2 servings. Nutrition per serving: 196 kCal; 819 kJ; 2 g protein; 46 g carbohydrates; 1 g fat; 0 g saturated fat; 3 g fiber; 31 g sugar; 85 mg salt

Ingredients:
6 carrots
4 apples
2 in (5 cm) piece of fresh root ginger

Celery-Pear-Cucumber (green juice)

Makes 2 servings. Nutrition per serving: 151 kCal; 631 kJ; 4 g protein; 33 g carbohydrates; 1 g fat; 0 g saturated fat; 2 g fiber; 16 g sugar; 91 mg salt

Ingredients:
10 kale leaves
2 cucumbers
2 celery sticks (modified from Joe’s 6)
2 pears

Raw Carrot and Ginger Soup

Makes 2 servings. Nutrition per serving: 559 kCal; 2337 kJ; 6 g protein; 62 g carbohydrates; 35 g fat; 10 g saturated fat; 12 g fiber; 33 g sugar; 246 mg salt

Ingredients:
3 cups (720 ml/24 oz) carrot juice (about 20 carrots)
1 avocado
1 cup (120 g/41⁄2 oz) fresh coconut meat (optional but recommended)
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh root ginger
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
sea salt
2 tbsp cold-pressed avocado or olive oil, to drizzle
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander, to garnish (optional)

Directions:

1. Put the carrot juice, avocado, coconut (if using), honey, ginger, chilli, and salt into a blender and whiz until completely smooth.

2. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

3. Before serving, garnish the soup with a drizzle of oil and some chopped coriander.

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Pumpkin Soup

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Another easy soup, which I’m a little obsessed with this year is pumpkin soup.

The ingredients you need are:
– fresh pumpkin (1kg gives you around 4 servings) – peeled and chopped into large cubes
– an onion – roughly chopped
– a stock cube (chicken or vegetable)
– hot water
– salt & pepper
– chilli flakes (optional)

And here’s how to make it:
– In a heavy based pan gently fry the roughly chopped onion in a little oil.
– Once the onion is soft, add the pumpkin – season with salt and plenty of pepper.
– Add boiling water until it covers the ingredients and throw in a stock cube.
– Boil for 30 minutes until the pumpkin is soft.
– Add a pinch of chilli flakes and liquidise the soup – it is now ready to eat!

This soup is lovely with some Parmesan cheese grated on top.

For a little extra spice, add a pinch of ground nutmeg.

Roasted Tomato Soup

roasted tomato soup

It’s cold and all I want to eat are warm things. Luckily, I’ve found out how easy it is to make this tomato soup.

Next time you have the oven on for whatever reason, put some tomatoes in a dish, season with salt and pepper, maybe a pinch of chilli flakes, throw in a peeled clove on garlic, add a little oil so they don’t stick to the dish and roast for around 45 minutes, until the tomatoes are bursting.

roasted tomatoes

Put everything in a pan and liquidise them with a hand blender (or put everything in your blender and liquidise). If you’ve got some herbs add them before blending – tomato and basil are always good, but mint, parsley or thyme would work too. If needed, add a little water – although I didn’t need to.

You might want to hold one of the tomatoes back and chop it up to add after everything has been liquidised for a little texture in your soup.

That’s it, your soup is ready! Heat it up to eat whenever you like.

(Also, pat yourself on the back for efficiently using the oven to make not 1 but 2 dishes)

Chorizo and butterbean soup

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What do you think of these cute soup bowls I got for Christmas?

I used them to serve up one of my favourite soups – chorizo and butterbean. If you’d like to make it, here’s the recipe, it uses very little ingredients and will make 4 starter portions of 2 main portions – the butterbeans make it a filling lunch.

Ingredients
1 chorizo cooking sausage, cut into cubes
1/2 glass white wine
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tin of butterbeans
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp tomato puree
salt & pepper
chilli flakes

Method
– Fry the chorizo on a medium to low heat for 5 minutes, so the oils ooze out

– Add the glass of white wine, leaving to sizzle for a minute, then adding the drained butterbeans and cooking for 2 minutes

– Pour in the tin of chopped tomatoes, the tbsp tomato puree, add the bay leaf for depth of flavour, season with salt & pepper and put in some dried chilli flakes (to taste)

– bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes – as with any soup the longer you cook it for the tastier it is, but after 10 minutes this is ready to serve

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Greedy Italians’ fish soup-stew

fish soup-stew

You can rely on Antonio Carluccio and Gennaro Contaldo for a hearty recipe, and this fish soup-stew is no different.

Just in case one day the above link stops working, here’s how I cooked it (looking at the recipe again I just spotted I missed out the red wine when adding the tomatoes – whoops):

– Fry 1 chopped onion, 2 minced garlic cloves in a heavy based pan
– Add a handful of chopped cherry tomatoes, a chopped red chilli, a handful of chopped parsley, 1/2 tsp of mustard seeds

frying tomatoes, parsley, onion and garlic

– Pour in a tin of chopped tomatoes and season with salt and pepper, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes
– Add your fish – I had a fish pie mix which was nice, although this would be a lot nicer with a white fish and mussels
– Dish up and serve with a squeeze of lemon juice

fish stew

mediterranean vegetable soup

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This is a really quick soup to make, its quite thick and chunky, and with a little less water could even make a pasta sauce.

Its basically a few things thrown together, so I the amount of water added is a little vague, but here’s how I made it:
– put some oil in a pan with a pinch of cumin seeds (I love the smell of cooking cumin seeds)
– add an aubergine chopped into cubes (to me, no dish Mediterranean without including aubergines)
– add a courgette, also chopped into cubes
– season with salt and pepper and pour a couple of mm of water in the pan to help cook the veg quicker and stir until getting soft
– add one diced chorizo sausage(the cooking chorizo you can buy from supermarkets, if you buy already diced chorizo its probably around 1/3 of the pack)
– also add around 10 halved cherry tomatoes, or 2 normal tomatoes
– when the tomatoes go a bit mushy, add water until it just covers the vegetables, and a good squeeze of tomato puree and a bay leaf
– season again, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes

If you’ve read this blog before you may already know that I like a bit of spice in my food, so a added a couple of teaspoons of a chilli dipping sauce that my father in law recently brought us from Mexico – I think its made up of olive oil and dried smoky chilli flakes , so gave the soup a really nice heat.

Eat when you are ready!

onion soup

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Taken from Jamie at Home this onion soup (which he makes with British onions, but I don’t discriminate, or grow my own like him) is a really warming and comforting meal for the winter months.

Its made of all different types of onions – basically whatever you’ve got although the more mixed the tastier – ideally red onions, white onions, shallots and leeks.

Put a knob or butter in a large heavy based pan on medium heat and throw in a handful of fresh sage leaves and 4 cloves of minced/grated garlic. While that begins to warm slice up all your onions and put in the pan, along with a healthy seasoning of salt and pepper.

The trick to this soup is to let your onions cook for a long time on a low heat. Once they are all in the pan turn the heat down low, put the lid on with a slight gap and cook for around an hour, stirring every now and again to ensure it doesn’t stick.

After an hour add a litre of chicken or vegetable stock (you may need to add a bit more/less depending on how many onions you used), season again adding a good dash or worchester sauce, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.

Onions are naturally sweet and I consistently don’t add enough salt to the soup, in order for you not to make the same mistake I recommend you now taste your soup to check the seasoning.

Your soup is then ready to serve, which is extra tasty with some cheese on toast to dip in. (In a moment of patriotism I used a tasty smoked applewood).