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Serves 4 (3 pancakes per person) | Gluten-free

We’ve added the mighty beetroot to our pancakes this Shrove Tuesday, giving them a pink hue and adding a host of health benefits. Beets are high in naturally occurring nitrates, which convert to nitric oxide in your body, this helps to relax and dilate blood vessels, improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure. Not only does this give your brain a boost it can also improve athletic performance and recovery!

Ingredients:

Pancake batter
  • 1 medium beetroot, peeled and using a grater, finely grate.
  • 1 banana
  • 250ml almond milk
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 200g self-raising gluten-free flour
Pancake toppings
  • maple syrup
  • coconut yoghurt
  • blueberries
  • pomegranate seeds

Method:

  1. In a bowl, mash the banana. Peel the beetroot and grate the beetroot finely using a grater.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and add the mashed banana, grated beetroot, the almond milk and 1 tbsp maple syrup, mix well.
  3. Place the flour in a large separate bowl with a pinch of sea salt and slowly pour the wet ingredients in, whisking as you go to make a smooth batter (there may be a few small lumps from the banana which is fine).
  4. Heat a large pan with 1 tbsp coconut oil and spoon 2 tbsp batter for each pancake, you want these to be about 1cm thick once cooked. Cook for 2-3 mins each side until cooked through. Remove from the pan and keep war, repeat until you’ve used all the batter.
  5. Top with a spoonful of coconut yoghurt, a drizzle of maple syrup and sprinkle over blueberries and pomegranate seeds.
Chef’s tip:

We’ve used eggs in this recipe but you can easily replace the eggs with 2 tbsp of chia seeds soaked in 5 tbsp of cold water to make suitable for vegans.

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Here at Mindful Chef we are firm believers in starting your day off on the right foot. Here are our four favourite gluten-free breakfast recipes, taken from our debut cookbook ‘Mindful Chef: Eat Well Live Better’.

Sweet potato & ginger rostis

Zingy fresh ginger and chilli give our sweet potato rostis a warming kick, which works beautifully well with the creamy crushed avocado and refreshing tomato and red onion salsa!  If you’re looking for a protein hit, top the rostis with two oozing poached eggs.

Recipe here.

Crunchy pecan, coconut & chia granola

Shop-bought granola is often loaded with sugar, that’s why we like to make our own from scratch! Serve our nutty granola with a dollop of creamy coconut yoghurt, fresh berries for an antioxidant boost and a sprinkle of cinnamon for speeding up the metabolism, to set you up for the day ahead.

Recipe here.

Blueberry & banana protein pancakes

These pancakes are not only a brunch and breakfast favourite, but make a delicious dessert too, keeping you full for hours afterwards thanks to the protein-packed ingredients.

Recipe here.

Mexican veggie breakfast

Start your day with our fiery Mexican breakfast, packed with fibre-rich black beans, spiced with smoky paprika and chilli flakes. We’ve topped this vegetarian breakfast with sliced avocado, fresh tomato salsa and soft poached eggs.

Recipe here.

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Serves 2 | Gluten-free

This is an incredibly tasty brunch but it’s so satisfying it can be enjoyed at lunch or dinner too! The zingy fresh ginger and heat of the chilli works beautifully well with the creamy crushed avocado and a refreshing ripe tomato and red onion salsa.

If you’re looking for a protein hit, top the rostis with two oozing poached eggs, it will taste amazing an will set you up for the rest of the day.

Ingredients:

      • 300g sweet potatoes
      • 1 red onion
      • 4cm fresh ginger
      • 1/2 fresh red chilli
      • handful of fresh coriander
      • coconut oil
      • 4 tbsp chickpea flour
      • 200g tenderstem broccoli
      • 1 avocado
      • 2 tomatoes
      • juice of 1 lime, plus extra wedges to serve
      • sea salt and black pepper

Method:

  1. Peel and grate the sweet potato and dice the red onion. Peel and finely chop the ginger and finely chop the red chilli and coriander.
  2. Heat 1 teaspoon of coconut oil in a large frying pan on a medium heat and fry the ginger, chilli, grated sweet potato and half the red onion for 5 minutes, until softened.
  3. Transfer the contents of the pan to a bowl, add the coriander and chickpea flour, mix well and season. Form into 6 round shapes 1cm thick.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the same frying pan on a medium-high heat and fry the rostis for 3-4 minutes each side, until golden brown.
  5. Meanwhile, trim the tenderstem broccoli. Place in a steamer over a saucepan of boiling water, cover and cook for 5-7 minutes until cooked, then set aside and keep warm.
  6. Peel and de-stone the avocado and crush it in a bowl with a fork, then season with salt and pepper. To make the salsa, finely chop the tomatoes and in a separate bowl mix them with the remaining red onion and half the lime juice.
  7. To serve, top each rosti with a spoonful of crushed avocado and a spoonful of salsa and drizzle over the rest of the lime juice. Serve the tenderstem and remaining salsa alongside.

This recipe is taken from p.46 of our cookbook Mindful Chef: Eat Well, Live Better.

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Serves 4 | Gluten-free

Chia seeds have become one of the most popular superfoods, as they are packed with fibre, protein, vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids, and are an excellent source of energy. We prefer to make homemade granola as shop-bought is usually loaded with sugar; it also means you can add any nuts or seeds you have left over in your kitchen.

This recipe makes 2-4 servings depending on how big you like your bowl. We like to serve ours with a dollop of creamy coconut yoghurt, fresh berries for antioxidants and a sprinkle of cinnamon for speeding up the metabolism.

Ingredients:

      • 100g gluten-free oats
      • 70g pecans
      • 30g flaked almonds
      • 20g sunflower seeds
      • 20g pumpkin seeds
      • 20g chia seeds
      • 20g desicated coconut
      • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
      • pinch of sea salt
      • 1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
      • 2 tbsp coconut oil (in liquid form – you may have to heat it gently until it turns liquid)
      • 20g raisins

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
  2. Place the oats, pecans, flaked almonds, seeds, desiccated coconut, cinnamon and salt in a bowl and stir to combine.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the maple syrup and coconut oil. Pour this into the dry ingredients and stir until fully combined.
  4. Place the mixture on a sheet of baking paper on a baking tray. Spread the granola mixture out evenly and bake for 20 minutes, giving the mixture a shake halfway through.
  5. Allow the granola to cool before stirring in the raisins and storing in an airtight container.

This recipe is taken from p.46 of our cookbook Mindful Chef: Eat Well, Live Better.

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We’ve asked our friend Charlotte, founder of Sole2Soul, for her top 5 tips to beating the January blues. Since studying Mental Health Nursing at university Charlotte has gone on to work as a senior nurse and manager within NHS inpatient and community mental health settings. Take a look at Charlotte’s top tips to stay happy and healthy this January.

1. Get Active

There are lots of reasons why exercise is good for us physically but it is also scientifically proven that exercise can help to manage mild to moderate depression and anxiety. Exercise, especially cardiovascular exercise, releases the feel-good chemicals in the brain – our endorphins. Dopamine and serotonin are also stimulated which help us to regulate and improve our mood and thoughts.

If you are new to exercise, set yourself small achievable goals; don’t think you have to get into lycra and sweat buckets. Simply going for a walk and increasing your steps, or doing a light spot of gardening (if it’s not too cold!) can be an easy way to start improving your activity levels. Whatever you choose, make it enjoyable and remember, energy fuels more energy, so stick at it and see what you notice!

2. Challenge negative thoughts and behaviours

Notice the impact your thoughts, feelings and behaviours have on one another. If your thoughts are negative, they are most likely making you behave in a negative way. Try challenging your negative thoughts by coming up with alternative and more balanced thoughts. Focus on making your behaviours positive and productive to encourage a better outcome. This will have a significant impact on your mood which will reinforce a more positive cycle in your thoughts and behaviour process.

If you find this a challenge, you can write down the situation you’re in, along with your thoughts, feelings and behaviours and try to reflect objectively on how they are all impacting one another. Then write down how you could make changes for a more positive outcome if a similar situation arose in the future.

3. Connect and spend time with others

Don’t underestimate the power of connecting with others! Building connections, sharing and talking with others can really help support you and can give you a sense of responsibility and identity. It also gives you a sense of pleasure and achievement when you give and share with others, helping to improve your mood.

Steps you can take here may be as simple as meeting with friends, but you can go further! Try joining a social group or sports team, or engaging with your local community by doing some volunteering. These are all simple things that can make a real difference, not only for you, but for others too!

4. Take care and reward yourself

Simply giving yourself some all important down time is a good way to look after your mental wellbeing, but it is often the first thing we ignore when we feel busy, stressed or down. We all need a bit of TLC; this doesn’t have to be getting an hour long massage (as nice as that is!), it could just be putting the laptop down and getting an early night, allowing yourself to relax. Making sure you schedule in the time to be kind with yourself allows you to recharge and nourish your mental wellbeing. If you haven’t practiced mindfulness or deep breathing this could be a good way to give yourself that quiet time. ‘Headspace’ is a very popular mindfulness App and you can use it on the go. Just taking ten minutes a day can really help.

5. Set yourself realistic plans and goals

The new year is all about resolutions, helping to create the “new you”. When making plans and goals make sure they are achievable, rewarding and enjoyable. Do this by breaking goals down into bite-sized chunks and by making them SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time Bound). There is no point in setting yourself up to fail, or making a goal unrealistic or idealistic. It will not help your motivation or mindset. It is, however, important to acknowledge that setbacks are all part of personal growth, as I like to say, “giving up on your goal because of one setback is like slashing all your tyres because of one flat tyre”.

With any goal, it’s best to set milestones and once achieved, you could give yourself a reward; treating yourself to a new item of clothing, a night out to the cinema or getting a beauty treatment… whatever floats your boat! Just make the journey of change as positive and as enjoyable as possible.

Wishing you all a very happy and healthy new year!

Charlotte

If you would like any more information or would like to learn more about Sole2Soul you can have a look at their website here

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1. Root to Leaf

The New Year brings some exciting new food trends, our favourite the Root to Leaf (or root to shoot) – which minimises food waste by eating every edible part of the vegetable offering cooking techniques, as well as new textures and flavours.

This is our guide to show you which vegetables you can get more out of and which parts to save from going into the compost. 

  1. Vegetable peelings from potatoes, carrots and parsnips can be roasted to make vegetable crisps, just be sure to wash them before cooking. Carrot peelings can also be used to add flavour to a homemade vegetable stock.
  2. When using cauliflower, thinly slice the leaves and stir-fry or roasted, see our steak skewers with cauli mash recipe.
  3. Green carrot tops, radish leaves and celery leaves can be chopped and added to salads or blitzed in a blender to make a vitamin-packed tasty pesto. 
  4. Don’t let your stems from cauliflower or broccoli go to waste, simply dice, grate or blitz in the food processor and stir-fry for a few minutes to make a fibre-rich side to your meal or your could add to soups and stews.
  5. Use the flavour-packed stalks from fresh parsley and coriander, by finely chopping and cooking in a little oil for a minute or two to soften, for a punchy addition to soups, stews, curries and stir-fries. See our yellow thai tofu curry which uses coriander stalks, as well as the leaves, in this creamy aromatic plant-based curry.
  6. Reserve the seeds from your pumpkin or squash and make these into a tasty nutrient-rich snack. 

2. Seaweed

is being hailed as a remarkable superfood, and rightly so, as it contains the highest number of vitamins and minerals than any other food group. Certain types of seaweed can be used as thickeners in soups and stews as well as a very healthy replacement to spaghetti. The rich salty flavour of seaweed complements fish beautifully and we sprinkle a mix of dried seaweed including nori, dulse and sea greens as a garnish on baked salmon with asparagus and a poached egg in this recipe here.

We’ll be including more variety in our dishes this year, introducing our customers to the wide range of health benefits and flavours that seaweed has to offer. Here’s c0-founders Myles and Giles on a recent trip to visit our suppliers, The Cornish Seaweed Company.

Mindful Chef trip to Cornish Seaweed Company - YouTube

3.Vibrant colours and floral flavours

Adding in floral flavours such as rose and hibiscus are on the rise, but it’s not just sweet desserts and teas that these flavours work well in, dried hibiscus flowers can be fried with other vegetables and enjoyed in savoury Mexican tacos.

It’s also becoming very popular to add vibrancy to dishes in the form of natural colours and superfoods. In our cookbook, Mindful Chef; Eat Well, Live Better, we have a delicious cookie recipe using Matcha (made of finely ground green tea leaves) which adds a vibrant green colour, as well as a powerful boost of antioxidants to these sweet treats.

4.Plant-based eating

Finally, plant-based eating is unsurprisingly still on the rise, with many people taking part in Veganuary this month. We’re here to make cooking vegan delicious, easy and nutritious. We’re always trying to keep our recipes imaginative, introducing our customers to delicious plant-based alternatives to meat, such as coconut yoghurt, tempeh and jackfruit amongst many others. Try out some of our exciting vegan recipes here, or order a box from £4.50. 

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Mindful Chef by Olivia Parker - 1M ago

Our ULTIMATE healthy, food swaps | Mindful Chef - YouTube

One of the most exciting things we do at Mindful Chef is get imaginative during recipe development, by replacing traditional foods, we don’t believe are very healthy for you, with their more nutritious, better halves. Whether that be pasta for courgetti or white rice for cauliflower, here’s 4 of our favourites below. These are all used regularly in Mindful Chef recipes and if you read on you will understand why.

1. Courgetti vs Spaghetti

White pasta is made up of simple carbohydrates and therefore quickly digested and excreted by the body. As a result you have to eat a lot to fill you up, often causing you to overeat; this is less than ideal if you are looking to maintain or lose weight. Simple carbohydrates also spike blood sugar levels, especially worse if you are a sedentary person or eating late at night. Most of the pasta we consume comes from supermarket shelves and is usually accompanied by sauces which themselves tend to be high in calories, salt and hidden sugars.

At Mindful Chef we replace pasta or spaghetti with courgettes which are relatively low in calories but have a high water content. Courgettes provide a good amount of immune boosting Vitamin C – great for this time of year as more people get the flu. They have a high level of potassium which is key to controlling our blood pressure. Courgette’s high levels of fibre contribute to good digestion and help to stabilise blood sugar levels (unlike white pasta).

2. White potato mash for butterbean mash

White potatoes have received a lot of bad press in recent years, despite having an array of health benefits and being used in some of our recipes. However, we also love using creamy mashed butterbeans, as they contain five times the amount of protein per 100g than white potatoes. This is especially great for vegans who naturally tend to have less protein in their diet. Butterbeans are also high in iron, potassium, copper and magnesium, whilst also being high in soluble fibre – all essential for a healthy cardiovascular system and digestive tract.

3. Sweet potato noodles vs white noodles

As with white pasta, white noodles similarly spike your blood sugar. Get creative with your spiralizer and try sweet potato noodles instead, especially delicious in healthy Asian cuisine.  Sweet potatoes are rich in nutrients, vitamins C and A and they also have a high level of slow-release carbohydrates, helping to maintain steady blood sugar levels. They can also help you recover from training, as a single sweet potato contains more than a day’s-worth of antioxidant beta-carotene, which helps with post workout stiffness.

4. Cauliflower vs white rice

White rice raises your blood sugar levels quickly. It also has a relatively low nutrient content (brown rice has a much higher content of Vitamin B and fibre than white rice). Having less nutrients than brown rice, research suggests that over consumption of white rice and eating too much could increase the rate at which one develops type 2 diabetes. In comparison, cauliflowers are amazing; they have an impressive array of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals, being an excellent source of Vitamins A, K & B6. They are also a powerhouse of dietary fibre and rich in omega 3 (something as a Western society we do not consume enough of). It is no surprise that we try to include cauliflower as much as possible in recipes and prefer to replace white rice with cauliflower wherever possible.

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Charlotte’s story

A friend recommended Mindful Chef to me a little over a year ago and what an amazing find it has been. My boyfriend and I both often work till late and don’t have the time or the motivation to cook every night. As a result we either grab food on the way home or rely on trusty Deliveroo to keep us fed (not great for the bank balance or very healthy either). Then my friend told me about Mindful Chef – a recipe box service that sends you all of the ingredients along with recipe cards to cook healthy meals each week. Since using it I’ve lost a stone without even feeling like I’m on a diet.

If you’re like us the weekends come and go very quickly, the last thing we want to think about is shopping for the week ahead. The great thing about Mindful Chef is they send you everything you need – removing the daily chore of shopping or thinking about what to eat. The box arrives as promised; packed beautifully, with top quality fresh local produce (better than the food I find in my shops). This was one of the main things that attracted us to recipe boxes – they’re perfect for when there is no time to shop. After a stressful day at work I don’t want to waste my time queuing and shopping for dinner on the way home when I can simply head straight home and cook a delicious, healthy meal from Mindful Chef.

The recipes importantly are quick and easy to follow. We’ve learned a whole new way of cooking, using ingredients we would never have used before. We know what we should be eating but always struggle to come up with food that tastes good and is actually healthy. Not anymore – all of the meals with Mindful Chef seem to be balanced and the flavours are great. Having eaten a lot of ready meals in the past (pasta or pizzas) we’ve really tried to reduce our carb intake and Mindful Chef are the only recipe box who cater for this. We’ve tried similar companies before but they really are the best and we like the fact they include more vegetables in their recipes.

Some people think the service is expensive but we find cutting out the mid-week shop has actually saved us money – now we only pay for the food we actually eat. There’s no waste and no need to buy lots of rarely used ingredients that go off before you finish the jar / packet. When you consider the quality of ingredients they use, where the food comes from and the fact everything is delivered we think it’s definitely worth it.

Mindful Chef have completely changed the way I eat and the way I shop. As a result of their boxes and training I now have more energy, feel healthier and have actually lost weight (over a stone in the first two months). I plan on getting these boxes for the foreseeable future. I cannot recommend Mindful Chef highly enough.

Charlotte

Note from Mindful Chef

We would really like to thank Charlotte for her lovely review! If you would like to give Mindful Chef a go just like Charlotte then use the following code LIFE10 for £10 off your first box and a free copy of our recipe book (rated the number 1 healthy recipe book by the Independent) worth £20. 

‘As a fairly new mindful chef customer I would like to applaud you for your service. My wife and I have really noticed the difference eating healthier and a surprising side effect is the savings we are making on our grocery shopping, especially helps being less wasteful.‘

Dan (Trustpilot)

‘I love Mindful Chef! One of the best discoveries I’ve made as a new, working mum. Let’s us continue to cook healthily during the week, but take the stress and thinking out of shopping / planning / prepping.

Emily (Trustpilot)

‘It’s absolutely brilliant. With mindful chef I feel like 3 star Michelin chef. Every meal is just like new adventure for my taste buds. And that’s not all, it’s guilt free meals, low carbs, and gluten free. Thank you mindful chef team, you are making my life much better.’

Dainora (Trustpilot)

‘Reasons this company is genius: 1. Creative and healthy recipes – I am trying foods I never thought I would 2. I’m excited to cook again 3. I already feel better by eating better. I’ve taken to this company so much, I’ve told everyone I know!’

Jayne (Trustpilot)

‘Excellent menu and reliable delivery. I’ve tried them all, but this is the first recipe box that really offers you healthy choices.’

Elize Van Heerden

‘There are a few recipe boxes out there but this is far and away the best of those I’ve tried. I’m a food writer so what I eat is really important. Mindful chef is brilliant at providing recipes that are exciting, healthy and packed with nutrition, colour and texture. Can’t recommend highly enough.’

Jo Lamiri

Delicious, healthy and quick. Just perfect for when there is no time for a weekly shop or planning meals.’

Jennifer Taylor

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Serves 16 | Gluten-free | Dairy free | Vegan

Chef Louisa has taken the classic Christmas treat and given them a Mindful twist, inspired by Amelia Freer. Enjoy our recipe for Gluten-free, dairy free, vegan mince pies!

Ingredients:

For the mince meat

  • 400g dried mixed fruit
  • 75g dried cranberries
  • Juice from 4 clementines
  • Juice and grated zest of 1 orange
  • 1 apple, grated
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil

For the pastry

  • 300g gluten-free plain flour
  • 200g coconut oil (at room temperature, rather than liquid)
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 150ml cold water

Method:

  1. To make the mincemeat, place all the ingredients into a saucepan and simmer on a low-medium heat for 20 mins until the mix is sticky and there is no liquid left. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C / gas mark 4. Place all pastry ingredients into a food processor, breaking up the coconut oil into small pieces before you add in and then pulse all until it begins to stick together and form a dough.
  3. Remove from the food processor and form into a big ball of dough. If you have time, place in the fridge for 20-30 mins before rolling.
  4. Place on a clean work surface and sprinkle over a little flour. Using a rolling pin, roll into 1/2 cm thick, and using a cutter (you can use the top of a glass or ramekin which is a similar size if you don’t have a cutter) make 16 rounds.
  5. Leave some leftover pastry to form the tops of the mince pies – you’re choice, you could do Merry Christmas like us!
  6. Lightly oil a 12 hole cake tin. Place the pastry rounds into the baking tin, gently push in. Spoon in 2 tsp of mince into each round, and top with the pastry decorations. Place in the oven for 20 mins until turning golden.
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