Claud’s Cauliflower Couscous

It’s August and I am back in the Hamptons, living with my “second family” – a family whose 3 children I have tutored for the last 2 and a half years. Going away on a tutoring job abroad is always an odd experience. Even when tutoring at home, there is an odd dynamic – you are invited into a family’s home and become a fly on the wall; you are trusted and embraced, and yet you are still an employee and so there is a divide. When you go abroad on such a job, the lines are even more blurred – There are times when life is incredibly stressful, and times when I am insanely bored! Generally though, the trip is a wonderful experience and with a family like this one, who I care about so much, the pros definitely outway the cons.

One of the best things I remember from last summer, and which I anticipated with great relish in the lead-up to my trip this year, was the absolutely delicious food. Two chefs, Claudia and Jack, take over the kitchen for the duration of the summer and prepare all meals for the inhabitants of the house. These guys are seriously talented makers of scrumptious food and the quantities I consume can hit a rather extreme level, even for me.

So for the remainder of the month, my blog entries will be “guest recipes” of Claudia and Jack’s. They cook such a wonderful array of very fresh, healthy meals and I think they deserve to be shared with you. The recipe today reminded me of my Cauliflower Egg-Fried Rice, and is a great summer version of that. It’s a perfect side-dish for a bbq, and is astoundingly filling, despite being comprised of just raw vegetables!

 

20140811_123027

Claudia’s Cauliflower Couscous Salad

1 cauliflower head (grated)

Cherry tomatos

Red onion

Chick peas

Fresh coriander

Fresh mint

Olive Oil

Lemon

Cayenne pepper

Cumin powder

 

I haven’t added amounts to the above ingredients list, just because it’s up to you! Who am I to tell you how many cherry tomatoes are enough, or whether the salad is minty enough. Add or remove ingredients as you wish.

Firstly douse the chickpeas in olive oil, cumin powder and cayenne pepper and roast them until they are a nice brown colour. Then mix the grated cauliflower, chopped cherry toms, chopped red onion, chick-peas and chopped herbs in a big bowl. Dress it with olive oil and lemon (again adding sufficient amounts to please your palate).

Serve and enjoy. And think of us enjoying it over here!20140811_122957 20140811_123021

 

Thai Coleslaw

Apologies for the delay in getting a new recipe up here. I’ve started my own theatre company with 2 friends this year, and it is proving to take up a considerable amount of my life! Acting and food being my two main passions, I am loathe to complain though.

I’ve been getting really into my healthy “slaws” this summer, and wanted to share my favourite with you – it is, of course, spicy. If you have failed to notice my love of chilli over the swathe of recipes I have shared, take another look now. It will be like hearing a clock tick – once you notice it, you’ll never notice anything else.

20140426_171533This particular slaw is a thai coleslaw, which uses lots of lovely asian tastes, like sesame oil and coriander. It is the perfect fresh side dish to a big old BBQ!

Ingredients

1/2 white cabbage
2 large carrots
6 spring onions
sesame oil
1 lime
1 chilli pepper
large bunch of fresh coriander

Use a food processor to grate the cabbage and carrots down. Then add the chopped spring onions and the chilli pepper (of course add more or less, depending on your love of the spice). Finally pour over a generous amount of sesame oil and squeeze the juice of the lime over the top. Garnish heavily with coriander. I usually chop up a whole supermarket pack of the herb and stir it all in with the other ingredients.

Occasionally I add a red pepper, or some chopped cherry tomatoes for a little extra colour – it can’t hurt it!

20140426_17152620140426_171545

The Rainbow Salad

A couple of weeks ago I caught a virus. Let’s have some overshare time now – most viruses cause vomiting and diarrhea, but mine caused my whole body to just seize up. I had an appetite but anytime I ate anything my stomach would go into agonising cramps and swell up to pregnant size. It wasn’t a good look. Anyway, to cut a long story short, I spent 4 days solidly living off overcooked carrot and brocolli. That was all my body could handle. So now I’m out the other side, I’m craving that raw fibrous fruit and veg that I was deprived for that small period of time. 

So I’ve been making a lot of rainbow salads. Here’s how to do it:

In short… Pile as many different raw, brightly coloured vegetables on your plate as possible.

Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

If the colours don’t make your eyes hurt, you’ve not done it right!Image

In this photo, the salad is made up of a bed of spinach and kale, topped with tomatoes, white onion (I’m brave), grated carrot, chopped beetroot, raisins and fresh basil. I also always tend to garnish anything I make with chilli, because if you can top anything with ginger, garlic or chlili, you’re doing your body and your metabolism a favour.

ImageImage

 

Now is the time to make a rainbow salad, while the sun is out and the heat is blazing. In winter, you won’t want this kind of thing, but right now it is easy to fill your body with this kind of goodness. So go raw, even just for a meal. “Thanks”, said your bod.

Roasted Red Pepper Houmous

I’ve been busy…

Last week it was my birthday, and on my birthday boxing-day I immediately jetted off to the Cannes Film Festival. This basically involves a long weekend of massive over-indulgence. The first glass of rose tends to come out at midday on the dot, and then the steak and wine keep flowing until the sun rises the next day. My poor body is in turmoil. On my last full day, I sought out a healthier option and found the most incredible quinoa salad at Mocca (a cafe opposite the Palais in the centre of Cannes). It was a delicious light option to counteract the abuse I’d been doing to my body until 5am the night before.

Image

Image

 

I returned to England on Monday, and by God have you guys had the weather! Cannes was alright, but London was steamy! I made my classic avocado-heaped wet salad for dinner and begun the slow process of returning to normality. After a whole day spent in bed yesterday (yes, it was completely necessary), I jumped up this morning in the mood for some home-cooking. 

I’ve been wanting to make my own houmous for some time now, inspired by one of my favourite health-food blogs, Deliciously Ella. She has a wonderful recipe for normal houmous, and for red pepper houmous, and I made a version of the latter today. It turned out absolutely spectacularly, and I would encourage everyone to get on and make it! Like with soups, things that involve blenders are much easier than we realise. Just get your hands on a blender and start puree-ing food. Make like a baby, and eat smush!

Here is my slightly adapted version of Ella’s Red Pepper houmous.          

Image

Ingredients

1 and 1/2 tins of chick-peas

2 long, sweet red peppers

1/2 a chilli pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon tahini

Juice from 2 lemons

2 teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 cup of water

a generous pinch of salt

Image

Image

Cut the red pepper into slices and roast for about 10 minutes at 180 degrees C. Meanwhile, add everything else to the blender and whir it all together. When the pepper is cooked, add it to the blender and blend it all together once more. You may need to switch the blender off and stir the mixture a couple of times; You may need to add a little more water – but always be careful with the latter, as too much water will destroy the mixture. Always add very little by very little.

Image

Image

Enjoy dipping healthy crudites in. “Thank you Lucy”, said my body, with a sigh.

 

Sweet Potato Fries

I have returned from the other side of the world!

Japan was absolutely amazing, and certainly changed my mind regarding Japanese cuisine – I used to think I wasn’t really a fan, but my mind has thoroughly been changed. I will definitely do a post on Japanese food and recommendations, but don’t want to delve into that until I’ve got all my photographs uploaded. So in the mean-time, I have a new healthy snack recipe: This is my method for making delicious but highly nutritious oven-baked sweet potato fries.

Image

Lucy’s Exotic Oven-baked Sweet Potato Fries

1 sweet potato (or more… depends how many fries you want)

Coconut Oil

Paprika

Salt

Pepper

1. Chop up your sweet potato into thin sticks. Leave the skin on - the skin adds a lovely texture to the fries and also includes wonderful fibre.

Image

2. Pre-heat the oven to about 200 degrees C. Pop a dollop of coconut oil onto a baking tray and place it into the oven while it pre-heats (this will melt the coconut oil, so it is liquid).

3. Once the oil is liquid, bring the baking tray out and lay the sweet potato sticks onto it. Using your hands, toss the sweet potato around in the oil and sprinkle a healthy amount of paprika, salt and pepper on top. Scoop the sticks around a bit more (your hands are going to get very greasy and salty doing this, but that’s all part of the fun!)

4. Pop the tray back in the oven and cook for about 15-20 minutes (or as long as it takes for the fries cook all the way through – test by prodding with a fork and ensuring they are soft).

Image

I had my sweet potato fries with an epic Lucy Salad, whilst watching episodes and episodes of Revenge. A good evening was had by all.

ImageImageImage

Wet Salad

I’m off to Japan tomorrow morning! My family love travelling and this has been on our list for years, so we are so excited to finally be visiting. I’m quite overwhelmed by it all actually – I just can’t wait. I’m fascinated to see what it’s like, although a little nervous about the food, as I’m not a sushi fan…

I’m sure a post will follow. But for now I wanted to share my recipe for getting rid of all the leftovers in my fridge! A classic pre-holiday activity.

A few years ago an actor friend of mine came to crash with me for a few days. He was a very healthy man, in body and mind. He was very zen, and we had a lot of big deep and meaningful conversations while he was here. Of all my memories though, the residing image in my brain from his brief stay was the “wet salads” he always made, as he called them. These involved grating up very moist vegetables, to create a very soggy pile of raw goodness. Sound grim? It definitely isn’t.

Here is my Avocado and Chilli Wet Salad, as the beautiful and calm Vyelle would have called it. Enjoy your upcoming week, and I’ll see you all on the other side…


Image

Ingredients

1 large grated carrot

1/2 grated courgette

1 grated cooked beetroot

1 avocado

1/4 red chilli, chopped

Olive oil

Lemon juice

Black pepper

Mix it all together, and what have you got…? Delicious fridge-emptying goodness, that’s what. Happy holidays!

Image

 

 

3 Ways to Help Yourself Behave

I’ve recently been trying to slim down a tiny bit again. All the usual things: summer is round the corner, my birthday is next month, I’m going to a wedding on Saturday etc etc. Anyway, I’ve found a few things that have really helped me stay on track – steering me away from the chips and dips, and towards the home-made soups and kale!


 

1. Fit-spiration

Many of you may have heard of the evil twin sister to this motivational technique – “thin-spiration”. Thin-spiration is a hideous hideous thing. It’s a word generally used by people suffering from eating disorders to describe the reams of photographs they look at of un-naturally skinny other people, whether they be celebrities or just other fellow anorexics. It is a distinctly un-healthy idea, but the need for inspiration to achieve our goals is a common one. I recently heard someone talk about “fit-spiration” and thought that sounded wonderful. Find a picture of somebody who is in excellent shape – slim but healthy. Somebody who is fit and strong. Make that your goal. I stumbled across this picture when I was shopping online for a new sports bra, and it’s stayed on my laptop desktop ever since!

Image

 

2. Health food blogs

I’ve previously talked about my favourite food porn website: http://beautifulpicturesofhealthyfood.tumblr.com/

But I’ve now got a new favourite health-food blog, and it’s all vegan. Readers, meet Deliciously Ella. Deliciously Ella, meet my readers. Once you find a brilliant health food blog, it’s easy to stay healthy yourself, because you crave their recipes. You want to make what they make, you want to eat what they eat. Gone are the desires for a Dominos pizza with burgers in the crust, and here come the impulses to make a vat of quinoa every weekend, just to add to all my dishes during the week. I want to make this, and this… and most of all these. Get a healthy obsession, and suddenly being good isn’t a chore.

3. Fruit and Veg Challenge

Recent research has found that our ideas of 5-a-day are way under what we really should be consuming. Apparently it’s more like 7-a-day. But let’s be honest, we all knew that the more fruit and vegetables we ate, the healthier and happier we’d be; There isn’t a limit. I’ve recently set myself challenges – every now and then I say, “let’s eat solely fruit and veg today”. It’s easier than you think. I eat fruit all morning, have a salad dressed with lemon juice and plenty of herbs for lunch, more fruit in the afternoon and then a home-made soup for dinner, or a mound of all my favourite vegetables: Green beans, cauliflower, aspargaus, mushrooms. Challenge yourself to eat 7 portions of fruit and veg today, and just see how much the bad stuff you consume goes down.

ImageImage