10 ‘Real’ nourishing meals for under £1 per portion x
Get past the pain of change and magic awaits
As part of the ‘Release me’ Freedom from sugar cleanse I shared a week (plus) of meals in our closed facebook group, to hopefully inspire ideas and support our amazing participants in producing easy quick meals low in sugar and high in nutrients. This got me thinking! As I always say ‘preparation is key’, however, it does become a habit and these meals were just thought up spur of the moment, in January of all times, the long month! These were all prepared and cooked in under 30 minutes, with minimal shopping and budgeting, also after a full day of teaching. The more you do in terms of preparing and cooking from scratch, the quicker and easier it will become. Get past the pain of change and magic awaits! I hope you have fun experimenting.
In my book ‘Nourish your teens, mind, body and soul (you can purchase from amazon.co.uk) I have a foolproof planning for evening meal strategy, that once implemented makes it very difficult to not have a balanced healthy meal in front of you at the end of the day. Here are a few of the recipes I have shared recently. All can be mixed and adapted depending on veggies, and next week will be the return of my organic veggie box from the Clervaux trust biodynamic farm, and so I look forward to incorporating all my organic seasonal veggies.
After a work out session, I arrived home last week to a hungry family, and so it was a speed record in making dinner. Although I have to admit, it is never a slow process in our house.
250g Firm tofu diced
1 – 2 red onion – chop
1 red pepper – chop
2 – 4 cloves garlic – diced
tsp of turmeric, cumin and optional: chilli/paprika
tbsp of Tamari (always my magic ingredient)
A dash of cider vinegar (buy with ‘the mother’ – the fermented)
Pinch of Himalayan or sea salt plus optional black pepper
- Stir-fry the garlic, onion and pepper for a few minutes (either add a very small bit of water to stop sticking or avocado oil – most oils tend to be a low smoking point and the heat changes them to become unhealthy for the body)
- Add the spices and seasonings, then add the diced tofu – once all warmed through it is ready to serve – so easy and delicious!
- Sweet potato wedges – chop into wedges, place on greaseproof/baking paper, season as preferred, adding a sprinkle of Tamari and or spices is lovely.
- Broccoli is a great source of vitamins and minerals including calcium and iron – best steamed or blanched for a short time to keep as much of the vitamin C and chlorella as possible.
- A mixed salad or roasted veggies with brown or black rice
Split Mung bean stew and Roasted Kale
Varying plant-based sources of protein is the best way to get compliment your proteins and get a range of amino acids. Consuming beans on a regular basis is known to improve health and longevity around the world. Because beans are high in fibre they can cause digestive issues for some, having a small amount, cooking them well and regularly including them in your diet can help this. Also, Mung beans are suggested to be the most gentle bean on our digestive system according to Ayurveda (Ancient Indian medicine). I have purchased Mung beans in a variety of ways and have successfully sprouted them too. I am a fan of these delicious and nourishing, fibrous protein powerhouses.
First thing on entering the house I put the beans in water and boiled for 30 minutes as I pottered with other family priorities. Then I came to the kitchen to throw everything together!
200g Split mung dal yellow – boil as per packet instructions
2-4 cloves of garlic
your choice of veggies chopped small: broccoli, onions, mushrooms etc.
300-400 ml/g of Passata
optional: tsp Chipotle (for a smokey spicy flavour)/chilli/cayenne pepper (for a hot stew!)
Pinch of Himalayan/sea salt and black pepper
- After the beans have had their 30 minutes, drain, since and set aside
Start with garlic and the chosen veggies chopped small in the pan with a tiny bit of water for less than a minute, add the spices and seasoning
- Next, add the beans and pasta, bring to the boil then simmer for 8-10 minutes then serve
For the Kale: Simply wash, place on baking paper on a tray, sprinkle with Tamari and roast in the oven for a few minutes/less (this is so quick and so be careful, I have burnt kale so many times!!)
optional: Sprinkle over nutritional yeast – this is perfect for getting B vitamins for you and your children (nervous system, prevent anxiety and uplifting)
Hummus-stuffed mushrooms with roasted asparagus
This one was a Saturday lunch just for me, the girls were out and I was doing some writing, and I so love the combination of mushrooms and hummus, so delicious!
I bought the large flat mushrooms in a 4 pack from Aldi – bargain! Also, you can adapt the hummus in so many ways, don’t have chickpeas? Use butterbeans or any other type of soaked or ready to use beans.
4 mushrooms – wash, remove part of the stalk and roast (preheat oven at 200 degrees Celsius) on baking paper on oven tray for approximately 10 – 12 minutes
My hummus recipe:
1 tin of chickpeas – drain (you can keep the aquafaba to whisk up and make a mousse/ meringues)
2 cloves of garlic – peeled and roughly chopped
juice of 1 lemon
pinch of Himalayan or sea salt, optional black pepper
1 tbsp of tahini
approximately 100 ml of water – less or more to the consistency you prefer
Optional additional ingredients: Beetroot (fab for pink hummus and great for lowering blood pressure), chipotle, avocado, chilli, cumin, turmeric, mustard seeds, coriander, paprika, roasted peppers etc.
- Place all of the hummus ingredients in a food processor/blender and blitz until smooth.
Wash and cut the bottom cm off the asparagus, then roast on baking paper (on oven tray) in the preheated oven for approximately 5 minutes
- Assemble by adding the hummus on the mushroom, and placing the asparagus on the top
Sprinkle over Tamari – my magic ingredient
Add a side of ripe avocado and a little sweetcorn
Serve with a salad or mixed veggies for a main meal
Warm Quinoa tabouleh and roasted aubergine
Quinoa tabouleh has been one of my signature summer dishes for years. The protein and the nourishing micronutrients in the quinoa makes it one of my favourite ingredients. Here is a warm version that is simple, delicious and quick for the family. Leftovers are perfect for next day lunches and it goes lovely with the hummus.
200g Quinoa – rinse in a sieve, add water in a pan and boil for 15 minutes (seeds will open), then drain and rinse and set aside
Stir fry your choice of veggies:
2-3 cloves of garlic, onions, leeks, broccoli (chop small), tomatoes etc.
- Add seasoning to the stir fried veggies, then add the ready boiled and rinsed quinoa and cook until warm
- For the aubergine:
Cut the bottom and bottom from the aubergine, wash and slice into rounds. Place on a baking tray (baking paper), sprinkle with your choice of seasoning and optional Tamari, roasting in a preheated oven (200 degrees celsius) for 5-8 minutes
Roasted beetroot is a lovely addition to this dish
Carroty ginger soup
It has been quite a while since I made this soup. It is an amazing immunity booster and perfect for cold days. I brought this out for a prevention strategy to ward off all the illnesses that seemed to be surrounding us from everywhere this winter, and it worked! This soup is so thick and nourishing, it is a filling meal in itself.
6-7 carrots – washed, peeled (unless organic) and chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic – peel and dice
a piece of fresh ginger – approximately the size of your thumb, chop small
a quarter of a chilli – I still have a stash of my dried chilli from summer
a thumb size piece of fresh turmeric or a heaped tsp of turmeric powder
2 tbsp of coconut cream – from the tin is fine
optional: tsp of miso paste
- Cook all of the ingredients apart from coconut in a pan of boiling water (enough to cover and a little more) for approximately 20 minutes or until the carrots are soft
- Then blend in a food processor with the coconut cream, and its ready!
Edamame stir fry and sweet potato wedges
I still have a few bags of these edamame beans I purchased in a bulk order from goodness direct for myself and a friend and so every few weeks I include them in a meal. Edamame beans are very tasty, and I love the texture, the colour also boosts the look of the dish, not to mention they are an amazing source of protein and micronutrients. At this point, it probably seems that I am obsessed with broccoli. I do vary vegetables usually quite a lot, however, my eldest daughter loves it and I haven’t had my organic boxes of veggies so far this month. This week I am excited to get them back!!
- Place the sweet potato wedges on baking tray (baking paper), sprinkle with optional spices/seasoning and Tamari, roast in a preheated oven (200 degrees Celsius) for approximately 20 minutes or until softened as you prefer
- Meanwhile, add all of the veggies to a pan and stir fry – add a tiny bit of water/avocado oil to stop sticking, add the Tamari and after a few minutes add the beans, cook until warmed and then serve!
Turmeric rice, hummus and greens
Turmeric is a healing ingredient known to be protective to optional health and our brain. Adding a little turmeric always adds a wonderful yellow colour naturally.
For this meal, I rinsed 150g of brown rice, placed in a pan with plenty of boiling water to cover and more, then added a few tsp of turmeric powder.
I also added turmeric root to the hummus (see recipe above).
Seasonal roasted squash is packed with vitamin A for healthy skin and support of healthy vision.
You can also use remove and roast the seeds for a boost of calming and balancing minerals.
- Chop your squash into quarters, large pieces and place onto a baking tray (baking paper) – season as preferred
- Scoop out/ chop small (you can eat the skin on most if cooked nicely) and serve with your choice of veggies
Plant-based mushroom carbonara
A lovely creamy sauce makes one of my favourite adolescent restaurant meals. When I was 17 and decided to stop eating meat, it was very difficult to find vegetarian options when dining out (after all it was 25 years ago!) Mushroom carbonara was my favourite, from a local restaurant in my town. Here is a vegan/dairy free version that is so delicious.
175g Spelt/brown rice spaghetti – boil as packet instructions
200-300g mushrooms – a variety of types is even better
3 cloves of garlic
1 small onion
optional: broccoli chopped small
a pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tbsp Tamari
optional: black pepper
squeeze of juice for top, from fresh lemon
150 ml soya cream
Whilst pasta is boiling, stir-fry garlic and onion, add broccoli and spices and seasoning after a few minutes add the mushrooms and cook for a further 5 minutes
add the boiled and drained pasta to the veggies and then the soya cream, mix and warm on low heat and then serve – add a squeeze of lemon juice on top of each dish for added flavour
Plant-based dessert options that are added sugar-free and ultimately delicious, switch your taste buds from copious quantities of sugar to these options and you will adjust and just love them. I always have a stash of frozen banana in a container in the freezer, simply peel, half and place in the container – freeze until required (for up to 3 months).
Banana nice cream
1 frozen banana
pinch of Himalayan or sea salt
half a tsp of vanilla extract
a dash of almond/coconut milk
palmful of walnuts/ tbsp sugar-free nut butter
optional additions: a quarter of an avocado, tsp of unsweetened coconut, berries, cocao nibs and or cocoa powder
Soya or coconut yoghurt dessert ideas:
These are good low sugar options that you can add berries and cinnamon to, or a little nut butter and or seeds/nuts.
I hope that there is plenty of variety and some tips here that inspire you to love your veggies and enjoy some nourishing meal free alternatives. Remember all can be adapted and at first, you will have to plan a little for the shopping, but pretty soon you will be the quickest cook!