food to glow

feel good food that's good for you

celeriac remouladeGah, I am feeling my age. Not because of the ‘ooft’ noise I make when attempting to sit in a low chair – I’ve been doing that for quite a while. Not because of the way I automatically cup my left ear in loud restaurants. No, it is because until today I had not heard of ‘Tanning Thursday’. Did you know that was a thing?

I’m assuming it is a thing because many people go out on Friday night (doh). And some of these people (who I refer to as whipper snappers) spend Thursday evening flapping about naked while covered in brown goo. Either that’s a fun time for them or it is so that come Friday night they can – in best Daily Mail-speak – proudly display their cleavage or legs, pretending they live in Miami.

Please, please not both. Unless that too is now a thing. Continue Reading

moroccan spaghetti squash with chickpeas and kale // food to glowI am not a gadget geek, but I do love my spiralizer. It is so loved that it has quickly earned its place on the countertop, along with my Froothie blender and juicer, my Magimix and of course my kettle (20 years and still going!). I have a small kitchen, so this is quite the honour.

Since this summer I have been spinning chunky lunks of courgettes, cucumbers and mooli to silky strands with just the twirl of a handle. I don’t kid myself that I am eating pasta, but I do find the resulting pliable, airy texture very pleasing, and even the flavour improved (courgette especially). This is my favourite ‘proper’ recipe using my spiralizer.

Well today I made vegetable spaghetti without my beloved spiralizer. Instead of gently turning out pale billows of pretty curls, I used an ordinary fork to tease diaphanous strands from the most surprisingly of squashes. Continue Reading

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cauliflower cheese cake // food to glowIn ‘real life’ I cook for others. Not usually for more than 20 at a time, but occasionally it will be a more heart-thumping 30, or even 50. By. My. Self.

I still get a little nervous when I accept the challenge of cooking for more than my comfort zone of 20 – which is my usual gig of catering for two groups at the cancer centre where I work. I do this weekly, with other groups sometimes added in. This is especially so at this time of year when groups who normally suffice with a cup of tea want to pull out the stops with a Christmas lunch. It is usually three courses, and as I have done it so often, I am completely comfortable with it. Continue Reading

rose harissaI don’t know about you, but my spice cupboard{s} runneth over. Like the hall closet we had growing up, when I open the doors to my spice stash something inevitably jumps out. But now, instead of a balled up and rarely used coat falling at my feet, a bottle or jar finds itself in something I am preparing, or manages to maliciously hit me on the head or foot.

Dangerous business being a keen cook. Continue Reading

raw red velvet brownies // food to glowRaw food seems a bit of a faff, doesn’t it? I mean, all that soaking, sprouting, chopping, dehydrating,…waiting. Not to mention a heck of a lot of shopping.

Don’t get me wrong, many of the raw recipes I see on Instagram, Pinterest and other blogs do look amazing. And, a quick eyeball of my occasionally filled in food diary would reveal that a goodly amount of what I eat is raw. You will see quite a few ‘accidentally raw’ recipes in my Index too. But I could never go the whole enchilada and forsake the comfort and ease of at least lightly cooked foods. Even for this raw enchilada, delicious as it sounds. Continue Reading

pomegranate and berry juice // food to glowThe biggest food holiday in the US has been and gone, bar the leftovers. Are you still full?

Even with the best will in the world, and the healthiest food on the table, most Americans will have overindulged. I think it is in the American psyche to over-do it at Thanksgiving. You might have popped kale in every dish, and cut back on the sugar in the pumpkin pie, but unless you served it on side plates, chances are the waistband is at least a little snug. Am I right?

As has become a tradition with me {er, the second time I’ve done this}, the day after the night before is all about juice. We won’t be celebrating in our house until Sunday, but you can bet I’ll be slugging this back come Monday morning.

I am loving my new Optimum 600 Slow Juicer from Froothie, so even if Sunday was just an ordinary food day at food to glow  – e.g. something involving kimchi or cauliflower at the moment – I would be filling my machine up and pressing the on button.

pomegranate and berry juice // food to glowJuicing in some shape or fashion has been a part of my life for about 25 years. When I first moved to Britain one of the first ‘proper’ shops I visited was John Lewis. Always interested in cooking, and needing to furnish a flat, I headed to their glorious kitchen section. As I drifted among the clean and ordered aisles, I nearly gasped with excitement – a whole row of juicers! Amazing! I had always wanted a juicer. When I say always, I mean probably a couple of years, as before that juice would have always meant from a carton, or squeezed by hand with some difficulty. But a domestic machine!

Well, wasn’t I quite underwhelmed/dismayed/confused that these gleaming machines were in fact DEEP FAT FRYERS. I didn’t even know what these were at first. People, in their own home, had deep fat fryers? Why? I don’t mean to sound naive, but I really had never heard of such a thing. I figured oil hot enough to melt rocks was best left to experts at McDonalds.

Anyway, I still wanted a juicer but I had to get it mail order from Germany. It still works just fine and produces lovely clear juice, but today’s slower-juicing, screw-type juicers – like my new Froothie – give you so much more juice and nutrients than the more usual centrifugal ones, with their fast-spinning, shredding plates. I’ll post a proper review soon, but meantime here’s a beautifully nutritious and delicious juice to whet your appetite. Btw, the juice is completely smooth but looks frothy in the images – those aren’t pips!

PERF organic and vegan skincareBut before the recipe, can I introduce you to a fantastic new British skincare company? PERF is a 100% vegan and organic lifestyle brand, using fair-trade ingredients wherever possible. It is also a fab little company with big aspirations. They have recently launched with a sugar scrub, cleanser and a skin ‘milkshake’ – The Power of 3. Other products are debuting soon.

I ‘know’ Sophie, the founder of PERF,  through friendly chats on Instagram. Recently, when she offered the launch collection to me to try,  I of course jumped at the chance. My daughter Rachel also received the products and was quick off the mark to try them. She and I are so impressed with their 100%vegan and organic skin treats that I wanted to tell you about them while their launch products are still 33% off.

My favourite is the Rose and Lemongrass Milkshake. In its sleek metal bottle is a silky concoction of heady skin-calming and moisturising oils. My skin is quite dry, and a bit flaky at this time of year, so I wasn’t sure that something probably aimed at a slightly younger market would be up to the job. But the milkshake went on smoothly, soaked in not-too-quickly, and left my skin feeling extremely soothed and smoothed. You can apply make-up soon after – so it’s not just a night-time treat. Rachel – with her 18-year old skin – loves it too, but applies just a little less than her old mum!

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mint & lavender sugar scrub from PERF

Rachel’s favourite is the Chocolate-Orange Cleanser, and yes it is like a healthy Terry’s Chocolate Orange for your face. :-) The smell is absolutely incredible! In fact you could probably eat it as it contains olive oil, cocoa butter, poppy seeds, calendula petals, carob and maca powders – among other edible ingredients. And all the oils used at PERF are unfiltered and cold-pressed: essential, skin-boosting, nutrients are retained.

The last of the trio, Mint & Lavender Sugar Scrub, is a perfectly gentle way to buff the skin. I’m not much into skin care routines {er, not at all} but two scrubbing sessions a week leave my skin glowing. Which is just as well with a blog name like mine. ;-) Lavender and calendula petals, raw sugar, poppy seeds and heavenly oils certainly beat harsh commercial scrubs that I’ve used in the past – hands-down. Rachel and I are hooked. The 33% off lasts until Monday, 1 December but even if you miss this date, PERF’s pricing is very reasonable. I think the Power of 3 set would make a great gift for anyone interested in keeping things vegan, organic and fair-trade, and who don’t want to compromise on quality. But you have to not mind people telling you that you smell great. We have both had that happen!

And this juice smells pretty awesome, too.

pomegranate, pear and berry juice // food to glow

Pom-Berry Pear Juice

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

140g {1 cup} blueberries or raspberries

1 pear {or apple}

1 pomegranate, seeds only {about 1 cup}

1 lime, peeled

1 medium raw beetroot, trimmed and scrubbed

Equipment needed: Good quality juicer, capable of handling pomegranate arils/seeds.

1. Add the ingredients in the order listed, or as per your machine requirements. Drink immediately.

See my Recipe Index for more healthy juice and smoothie recipes, including this very seasonal and festive, Red Reviver.

Healthy Juice Recipes From Others:

Cucumber and Watermelon Refresher by Fuss Free Flavours

Lime, Grapefruit and Ginger Juice by 101 Cookbooks

Strawberry, Watermelon Mint Elixir by The Spicy RD

The 10 Best Things To Squish Into A Juicer {!} via Buzzfeed

 

cranberry and kale juice // food to glow

red reviver

Disclosure: I was given these products as gifts. I am under no obligation to mention them or review them. All opinions and recommendations are entirely my own. I only share what I really love and actually use.

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smoky Brussels sprouts with maple-Dijon vinaigretteIn my last post to you I said that I would be back with my favourite Brussels sprout recipe. Most of us have a favourite brownie recipe {here’s mine} a favourite soup recipe {this is my winter favourite}, and a favourite curry {here – omg it is so good!} but Brussels sprouts? Really?

If you are a Brussels sprouts hater – thinking them vile orbs of evil, smelling of gym bag-ripe socks and tasting of something unprintable – you may think this is a waste of my time and yours. Surely no recipe can transform something so memory-scarringly awful into something one might wish to put on the Thanksgiving or Christmas table. Unless you really don’t like your relatives. Continue Reading

sweet potato soufflé // food to glowIs it a soufflé? Is it a casserole? Who knows. Most recipes for sweet potato casserole/soufflé contain a couple of eggs, making it veer rather sharply into soufflé territory. Imho. But the name seems to be interchangeable. And it matters not a jot once you taste it.

If you have never experienced this Southern US delicacy, you are in for an unexpected treat: light, fluffy, warmly spiced whipped sweet potato topped with crunchy, sweet and very slightly salted topping. As a side dish. I know that it sounds odd to pop a {heaped} spoonful of something sweet onto your otherwise savoury dinner plate. But trust me, it works.

My food to glow version is not quite the Southern US specialty of my youth: loads less sugar and fat. And then there’s the little matter of a complete – and, for some, sacrilegious – lack of marshmallows. But it gets the job done – healthily, lightly, tastily. We love it.sweet potato soufflé // food to glow

To atone for the sin of binning most of the ooey gooey bits, there is a heavenly heap of warm and complementing spice, tangy-sweet orange and its zest, plus deepest, darkest blackstrap molasses – the latter in itself unaccountably flavoursome and complex for something so sweet. Although sweet potato casserole appears in some form or other on most Southern Thanksgiving tables, it is absolutely welcome at the table for any fall and winter meal. In fact, no self-respecting buffet family restaurant south of the Mason-Dixon Line would dare run out of it, whether November or July.

Sweet potato casserole {or soufflé, if you want to be fancy} is great with spicy-hot things, with other hot vegetable dishes, veggie sausages, as well as cold or hot meats – if you are that way inclined. I’ve seen it at barbeques in hottest, stickiest August, the pan scraped clean. Heck, if you top with marshmallows, it could be a fibre-packed dessert. Leftovers can be blended with some flour and made into sweet potato pancakes or muffins. Not that we have ever had to resort to that option, mind.

Next up, my favourite way with sprouts. Yes, one can have a favourite way with sprouts!

sweet potato soufflé // food to glow

Orange and Spice Sweet Potato Souffle {Casserole}

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A healthy, and even more awesomely delicious, tweak on a staple Southern US Thanksgiving side dish. Y’all are welcome. Now get peelin’.

4 small-medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped – approximately 1.13 – 1.36kg {2 ½ – 3 lbs}

Juice and zest of one small orange or 2 small clementines

2 tbsp butter {vegan or dairy} or coconut oil

1-3 tbsp maple syrup, date syrup or blackstrap molasses {I tend to use the latter} – the amount depends on the sweetness of your potatoes and your personal taste

1 tsp best quality vanilla extract

1 large egg – very much optional, but helps make it light and fluffy

½ tsp fine salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg, slightly mounded

¼ tsp ground cardamom or finely crushed seeds from 3-4 green cardamom pods

½ tsp turmeric

¼ tsp black pepper

 

Topping

2 tbsp butter {vegan or dairy} or coconut oil

30g {1/3 cup} oats, blitzed in a mini food processor to make a rough flour {or use actual flour or almond meal}

35g {1/4 cup} raw sugar, such as sucanat, coconut blossom or muscovado {I use the former – delicious!}

½ tsp cinnamon

80g {2/3 cup}, chopped pecans – half of which to blitz until ‘nubbly’ {like fine pebbles}

good pinch fine saltsweet potato soufflé // food to glow

Special equipment needed: electric whisk/beaters; oven dish about 13 x 9 inches, oiled.

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

2. First of all steam the chopped sweet potatoes for eight minutes, or until soft. You could also boil/simmer the potatoes for 15 minutes, but steaming is quicker and keeps more nutrients. Allow the potatoes to cool for a short while in a colander, then pop into a large mixing bowl and mash with a potato masher, or push through a potato ricer. The ricer gives the finest results. Set aside.

3. Melt the butter/oil and pour over the mashed sweet potatoes, along with the orange juice, syrup, egg {if using} and vanilla. Beat with the electric whisk until fluffy and smooth. Whisk in the spices. Spread the sweet potato into the oiled dish.

3. For the topping, melt the oil/butter and add to a small bowl along with the rest of the topping ingredients, except the chunkier pecan pieces. Stir until blended and dot over the sweet potato. Sprinkle over the remaining nuts. Place the dish into the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. Serve warm.sweet potato soufflé // food to glow

Soft Food/Easy To Chew Version: Blitz the topping ingredients to a sandy texture and use 1/4 cup of maple syrup or other preferred liquid natural sweetener. Or just don’t add the topping as the sweet potato mixture is delicious on its own.

Need more Thanksgiving or Christmas food inspo, or just some awesome autumn meal ideas? Here you go:  Fennel and Maple Roasted Carrots + Creamed Kale Two Ways, Squash and Kale Dressing {Stuffing} with Sour Cherries and PecansSouthern Cornbread StuffingButternut Squash Stuffing StacksSauteed Brussels Sprouts with Crispy Sage CrumbsCranberry and Apple Sauce + Fresh Cranberry and Pomegranate RelishPear and Cranberry SlawWinter Slaw with Pears and Cranberries {these two are different!}. And a couple of desserts: Chocolate-Chestnut Truffle CakeChocolate-Walnut Pumpkin PieSticky Three-Ginger Gingerbread with Vanilla-Apple Compote

 

squash and kale stuffing // food to glowLong time no see! Sorry for the tardiness in posting. In the three-and-a-bit years I have been writing Food to Glow I don’t think I have ever gone this long without committing food and thought to paper.

I’ve missed you!

And I feel a bit on the back foot with Thanksgiving. It is next week. Next week!

As an ex-pat American living in Britain, it is easily done. My fellow ex-pats and I don’t have calendars, grocery store displays, adverts, themed cooking shows and relatives angling for invites to remind us of this quintessential all-American holiday.

Yes, we have calendars. Of course we have calendars. But they don’t have Thanksgiving on them. Which, as all Americans know {but don’t necessarily remember}, is always the last Thursday in November. And most of us will be working. :-( Continue Reading

squash gnocchiGnocchi are ridiculously easy to make. Time-consuming, yes, but easy.

To be honest I like a good-quality bought potato gnocchi. Every once in awhile I sling a pack or two in the shopping trolley, knowing I am halfway to a quick meal. Maybe heating up a homemade sauce I have pulled from the freezer to ease my conscience. Or even just tarting up these usually blandly inoffensive little orbs with some butter, sage and chilli. Continue Reading

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