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Mexi Bowl with Spirulina Black Rice

mexi bowl 1

There’s a Mexican place near where I live that sells burritos, bowls, tacos and the like, and they have on their menu spirulina black rice. At first I balked at this, dismissing it as a marketing ploy, but of course I ordered it anyway… I forgot about it by the end of the meal as I didn’t really taste it, but thought about it later and decided I should experiment with it one day.

Black rice is a variety of rice that is super high in antioxidants – particularly anthocyanin, which help to protect our cells and fight off disease. It has comparable levels to blueberries, but with more fibre – how cool is that?! Plus it’s sleek ebony appearance makes it a little bit mysterious and exciting.

Spirulina is a form of blue-green algae, that is packed with minerals (especially iron and magnesium), protein, antioxidants and chlorophyll. So why shouldn’t they pair up together?

Mexi bowl 2

I like to make versions of this Mexi Bowl quite a lot – I’m a major fan girl of Mexican flavours and spices, and jalepenos. This one has a simple black bean and veggie mix, some greens and then of course the compulsory toppings. Unfortunately my quest to replenish my jalepeno stocks failed miserable today, so I’m replacing with plain ol’ green chilli. It’s not the same 🙁

Also, I have given you the ingredients for much more of the black bean mix than you will need for this dish, but it is always good to have leftovers in the fridge for lunch, or to use in tortillas or tacos, to serve alongside any favourite grain, or with eggs, or you can freeze it too. It might seem like a long list of ingredients, but mostly it’s spices which there is a good chance you …

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Spiced Brown Rice Pudding

Brown rice pudding 2

My nana used to make me rice pudding when I would stay with her as a kid. I LOVED it. It is something that is automatically cozy and comforting, and it will always remind me of her. I’m not exactly sure of the ingredients she used, but I know there was rice and condensed milk. I was obsessing over this the other day, and I couldn’t take it anymore – I had to make my own version.

This rice pudding uses brown rice that I soaked overnight. This process improves the bioavailability of the rice, unlocking minerals that can be bound by anti-nutrients like phytic acid, and also makes the rice more digestible. Plus, I think it makes the pudding even creamier. If you don’t want to or don’t have the time to soak, it’s ok, you can still make it without soaking.

The addition of the almond butter adds protein, but feel free to swap it up with different nut butters – the smoother the better to maintain the gorgeous texture.

brown rice pudding 3

Spiced Brown Rice Pudding

1/2 cup short or medium grain brown rice (soaked overnight in water and 1 tsp lemon juice)

1 cup coconut milk, full fat

1 cup milk of your choice

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla

Pinch of cardamom and nutmeg

1 tsp maple syrup or brown rice syrup

Small pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

Almond butter for serving

Extra cinnamon and cacao nibs (optional) for sprinkling

If you have soaked your rice, drain, give it a good rinse.

If you haven’t soaked the rice, just proceed as below 🙂

Add the rice, milks, cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom, nutmeg and maple syrup to a small – medium sized saucepan, and place over a medium heat.

Bring to a simmer stirring every now and then, and …

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An interview with wholefood goddess Jude Blereau – and a giveaway

Jude pear lentil salad copy

Image from Wholefood from the ground up by Jude Blereau (Murdoch Books)

I’m absolutely, heart-burstingly excited to be able to share this interview with you today. This wonderful woman has been an inspiration and mentor to me with her expansive food knowledge and no-nonsense approach. Back when I had just started studying Naturopathy, my wonderful friend Suzie gave me a cookbook for my birthday – ‘Coming Home to Eat, Wholefood for the Family’ by Jude Blereau. I was immediately hooked, and have been a major Jude fan girl ever since. And lucky us, she has just released a new book – ‘Wholefood from the ground up’. It is her fifth masterpiece, and just quietly – it’s her favourite. To celebrate, you have the chance to win a copy of this beauty, but more on that later.

In this book, Jude talks about her nourishing wisdoms. She speaks about the importance of a whole, natural and unrefined diet, of eating proper meals over snacking, of sourcing quality ingredients, balancing cooked and raw, including quality sweetness, balancing nutrients throughout the day, and how to put all of this into the context of your life. She also proclaims deliciousness as an important nutrient in its own right – such a lovely way to illustrate the fact that food should be delicious and enjoyed with pleasure, and that this is an important part of our overall health. Oh and it is jam packed with delicious wholefood recipes, with useful and wise tips and notes sprinkled throughout.

Jude lemon cupcakes copy

Image from Wholefood from the ground up by Jude Blereau (Murdoch Books)

This book celebrates food, tradition, knowledge and respect, and is so much more than a cookbook. The recipes are, as is expected from Jude, thoughtful, educational and inspirational. The styling is gorgeous. The information is comprehensive …

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Gado Gado with Almond Butter Satay

Gado gado 1 copy

One of the best things about travelling is the inspiration that you get to bring home to your own kitchen. That, and the whole no getting up to an alarm and cocktails at lunch time thing 😉 I was lucky enough to spend some time in Bali recently, and visited some lovely places. One of my favourites involved a little trek through the rice paddies to get there, and they served the most fabulous Gado Gado.

A traditional Gado Gado is basically an Indonesian salad of slightly cooked veggies, boiled egg, tofu or tempeh and rice, served with a peanut satay sauce. Often traditional meals are well balanced nutritionally – and this is no exception, packed with complete protein, healthy fats, and loads of vitamins and minerals. The great thing about making your own is that you can customise it to suit your own likes, or what you have available at the time. Fantastic for an end of the week / clean out the fridge meal!

My Gado Gado is not exactly traditional, but delicious none the less. I’ve made the satay out of almonds rather than peanuts to bump up the nutritional value – extra calcium and magnesium for your lovely muscles – you’re welcome. If peanuts are your true love, can I suggest searching out the freshest organic peanuts you can source? The non-organic ones are often sprayed heavily to prevent the growth of mould and fungi. Not only are these particular moulds damaging to our health – our liver especially, the chemicals used are easily absorbed and stored in the peanuts due to their naturally high fat content and porous shells.

I served this with rice on the side, but you could easily do quinoa or another favourite cooked grain, chickpeas, roti or even a lovely sourdough. …

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Meg Thompson

Naturopath & Nutritionist
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