A collection of nourishing recipes and the latest Wholefood Warrior news. Eva Humphries, DipION, mBANT, CNHC Nutritional therapist Say no to dieting. She is Nottingham's leading registered nutritional therapist and the brains behind Wholefood Warrior.
A recent conversation around protein sustainability sparked an interesting realisation, which is that I only eat meat half of the week. The rest of the time is spent on vegetarian meals. There are several good reasons, one being that meat isn’t meant to be eaten every day. Sustainably farmed animal protein is expensive. It should be because it’s a long process.
This egg fried quinoa is a pretty typical vegetarian, high-protein, evening meal that is full of nutrients. It’s quick to make and is the kind of unfussy food that is a great everyday supper. Eggs are far more sustainable than meat and are complete nutrition powerhouses, just look for good quality ones.
Ingredients (feeds 2 generously) 150g of quinoa, cooked according to packet instructions 1” piece of ginger, peeled sliced then cut into matchsticks 6 chestnut mushrooms (190g), sliced 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves 2.5 tablespoons of tamari ( tamari is a gluten free soy sauce, soy sauce is also ok if you can’t find it) 2 large handfuls of spinach (100g approximately) 1 tablespoon of coconut oil 3 eggs, lightly beaten (I used Clarence Court Burford Brown eggs) 2 spring onions, sliced 1 chilli, sliced (optional) sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to season
Method: Cook the quinoa according to packet instructions. Heat the coconut oil in a frying pan on a medium-high heat, add the mushrooms and ginger, season with freshly ground black pepper and cook for a couple of minutes until the mushrooms are browned. Add the thyme and cook for a further minute. Stir in the cooked quinoa and spinach, reduce the heat to medium and cook for a minute until the spinach has wilted. Season well with freshly ground black pepper, add the tamari, stir well and cook for a further minute. Push the quinoa mix to one side of the pan. Pour the eggs into the other side and stir to scramble. It should be cooked in a minute. Merge the egg with the quinoa mix, check the seasoning, adding more black pepper and a pinch of sea salt if required. Top with sliced spring onions and chilli before serving.
If you’ve been following me on social media you’ll know that I’m not entirely a fan of snacking. The latest research is pointing to eating 3 or fewer, well balanced, meals a day and no snacks. Having said that, every now and then you just need something sweet, and for those times it’s nice to have something that’s sweet, satisfying and totally guilt-free. These lemon and cashew energy balls fit that bill so well. They are sweet, are made with only natural ingredients and the lemon adds nice acidity that provides a contrasting flavour.
Ingredients: 300g of cashews 10 medjool dates zest and juice of a lemon 40g of desiccated coconut plus extra for dusting (try and look for an unsweetened and preservative free variety, I used Crazy Jacks Organic, available from most supermarkets)
Method: Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and roast the cashews for 10-15 minutes until lightly browned. Transfer the cashews to a blender, add a pinch of sea salt and pulse until it turns into cashew butter. Add the dates, lemon juice and zest and pulse until well combined. Remove the mixture from the blender, mix in the coconut (kneading works best to do this). Take a teaspoon of the mixture and roll it into a ball. Roll into more coconut and set aside. Store in the fridge. It’ll keep for over a week.
This turkey and sweet potato chilli is economical, super tasty and is high in protein and nutrients. It is made with lesser used turkey thigh mince instead of the super low fat turkey breast. The small quantity of fat adds flavour so don’t be tempted to replace it with the 2% fat mince. For me, it’s a good make ahead meal. Some will make it into the freezer for weekdays when I don’t have time to cook and some will be eaten for lunch alongside extra greens like broccoli.
Ingredients (feeds 4) 500g 7% fat turkey thigh mince 2 medium sweet potatoes (500g), peeled and cubed 250g portobello mushrooms, halved and roughly sliced 100g of spinach 1 onion, finely chopped 2 cloves of garlic, crushed 2 tsp cumin seeds 2 tsp ground coriander 2 tsp smoked paprika pinch of chilli flakes a small tablespoon each of chopped rosemary and fresh thyme leaves 1 bay leaf 1 can of chopped tomatoes 500ml of chicken stock sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to season rapeseed oil to cook fresh parsley to garnish (optional)
Method: Heat two teaspoons of oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, out the lid on and cook for 5 minutes or until the onion has softened. Turn the heat up to medium high, add the turkey mince, season with sea salt and black pepper and cook until browned. Approximately another 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, coriander, paprika and chilli and cook for another minute. Add the herbs, mushrooms, season with sea salt and black pepper and cook for another minute. Add the chopped tomato, a third of a can of water and chicken stock, stir well, reduce the heat to low, pop a lid on the pan and cook for 30 minutes. Take the lid off, add the sweet potato, season again and cook for a further 30 minutes until the sweet potato is cooked. The sauce should thicken up during this last phase of cooking also. Stir in the spinach, allow it to wilt then check the seasoning. Ladle into bowls and garnish with parsley to serve.
Stir-frys are such an easy and quick midweek supper option. It’s also a great way to add in lesser used vegetables such as cabbages or even use up those less than perfect leftover veg that are lurking in the fridge. Any combination of vegetables work. Pick 3 and you’ll be onto a good variety of nutrients. The only thing to watch out for is the sauce because conventional stir-fry sauces are loaded with sugar. This recipe uses a few stock cupboard ingredients to make a tasty sauce without the additional need for sweetness.
Ingredients (feeds 2-3) 2-3 turkey steaks, thinly sliced (350g approximately) 1/3 of a savoy cabbage (120g), thinly sliced half a head of broccoli (120g), sliced 4 spring onions, sliced 1” piece of ginger, peeled & thinly sliced then cut into matchsticks 250g of straight to wok udon or other noodles one tablespoon of coconut oil to cook black pepper to season
For the stir-fry sauce: 1 heaped teaspoon of cornflour 1 heaped tablespoon of almond butter 2 tablespoons of tamari or soy sauce 75ml of chicken stock juice of half a lime
Method: To make the sauce, mix the cornflour with a splash of chicken stock to form a liquid. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Set aside until you make the rest of the stir-fry. Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan on a medium-high heat. Throw in the turkey and cook for a couple of minutes until it’s starting to colour. Add in the broccoli, ginger and spring onion, season well with freshly ground black pepper and cook for another couple of minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the cabbage and cook for a further 2 minutes. Stir in the sauce, adding a splash or two of extra chicken stock if required. Finally stir in the noodles and cook for a minute to bring it up to temperature. Serve immediately.
Who doesn’t want dessert for breakfast? Overnight oats definitely blur the boundaries. They are super tasty, yet make a perfectly nutritious breakfast at the same time. The trick is to get some protein into them. Protein is needed for repair, repair takes place in the body every single day, but also protein is the very stuff that keeps you full. A mix of seeds, some greek (or coconut) yoghurt or even a high quality protein powder will do the trick. I’ve come up with 3 variations on overnight oats: raspberry cheesecake, apple pie and carrot cake. There is definitely more room for different flavour options so just take the base recipe and come up with your own take on it.
The base ingredients (enough for 1 average human) 50g oats 1 tablespoon each of chia, ground flax, pumpkin and sunflower seeds 2 tablespoons of desiccated coconut (look for the unsweetened, ideally organic version) 1/4 tsp cinnamon 1 teaspoon of honey or agave a few drops of vanilla extract unsweetened plant milk of your choice (I used oat milk)
Raspberry cheesecake: 100g of Greek or coconut yoghurt 100g of frozen raspberries
Apple pie: 1 apple, grated 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
Carrot cake: 1 small carrot (60g), peeled and grated 2 tablespoons of raisins or sultanas
Method: To make the base, mix all of the ingredients and add just enough plant milk to bring it to a loose porridge consistency (approximately 250ml). From here, the choice is your as to what you pimp your overnight oats with. Add the extra ingredients as listed above, stir well and leave in the fridge overnight in a tupperware pot. You will have amazing creamy oats with tonnes of flavour, ready to grab from the fridge as you dash out of the door.
Mushrooms have some serious health benefits but they are also one of my favourite ingredients to cook with. This beautiful mushroom soup is a combination of white mushrooms, shiitake and meaty mini portobellos. Blended cashews add creaminess without the need for dairy. The soup keeps well in the fridge for up to 4 days and freezes well, making it ideal for batch cooking.
Ingredients: 150g cashews 1 small onion, peeled & roughly chopped 350g of mushrooms (I used equal quantities of organic white mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms), roughly sliced Rapeseed oil for cooking 1 clove of garlic, roughly sliced 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves 1 bay leaf sea salt and black pepper to season 500ml veg stock
For the miso portobellos: 6 mini or 3 large portobello mushrooms, thickly sliced 1 teaspoon of miso 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
Method: Pop the cashews in a bowl, cover with cold water and soak until you cook the soup. This will soften the cashews slightly, making them easier to blend. Heat a pan on a medium heat. Add a splash of rapeseed oil and cook the onion with the lid on for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, garlic, thyme leaves, bay leaf, a couple of pinches of sea salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper, stir it well and continue cooking with the lid on for a couple more minutes. Pour in the vegetable stock, add a bit more black pepper and cook for 15 minutes on a low heat with the lid on. Set aside to cool slightly and remove the bay leaf. Drain the water from the cashews and transfer the cashews into a blender. Season with a pinch of sea salt and a small amount of black pepper. Pour in the soup and blend until completely smooth. Check the seasoning and adjust it by adding more salt & pepper if required. To make the miso portobellos, heat the oil in a small frying pan on a high heat. Throw in the sliced portobellos and cook for a couple of minutes until the slices start to colour on the outside. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the miso. Keep stirring until the miso has combined well (around 1-2 minutes). To serve, ladle the creamy mushroom soup into bowls and top with the miso portobellos.
Resistant starches are a direct fuel source for beneficial microbes that live in the gut. Yup, this is nerdy, so let me translate it. Our large intestine is full of bacteria. We need them. They are mostly beneficial microbes that convert all the fibre we can’t digest into nutrients for us. It’s a nice little partnership, we just have to do one thing: feed them. Luckily they love things like roasted veg, whole grains, nuts, seeds and veggies in general. This roasted carrot and cumin dip is a great source of food for beneficial bacteria owing to the fibre content. It’s delicious on bread or used as a dip for more veg. It’ll work wonders for your gut health.
Ingredients: 500g carrots, peeled & sliced 1 teaspoon of cumin 2 cloves of garlic, left unpeeled sea salt and black pepper to season rapeseed oil for roasting 2 tablespoons of olive oil Juice of half a lemon
Method: Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Put the sliced carrot & cumin on a roasting tray. Season well with sea salt and black pepper and drizzle over some rapeseed oil. Roast for 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes, add the 2 garlic cloves to the same roasting tray and return to the oven for a further 30 minutes until the carrots are fully cooked. Transfer the carrots to a blender, peel the garlic and add that too, squeeze in the lemon juice, add a good pinch of sea salt, some more black pepper, the olive oil and a splash of water. Blend until completely smooth. Check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper if required. Spread on bread or use as a dip.
Chickpeas are a great filling, protein-rich base for salads that makes having a plate of green stuff much more satiating. Herbs provide flavour and adding some good quality olive ensures maximum nutrient absorption. If you aren’t familiar with this concept, in a nutshell, certain nutrients need fat for absorption. Vitamin K found in greens is one such nutrient as an example. Add olive oil to salads and more nutrients are absorbed
If you aren’t vegan, this salad works well topped with chicken or halloumi too.
Ingredients to feed two: 85g cashews 2x tins of chickpeas, drained Leaves from 3 sprigs of mint, roughly chopped Leaves from 3 sprigs of dill Leaves from a large handful of parsley Black pepper & sea salt to season 120g cucumber (1/2 cucumber approximately), quartered lengthways then roughly chopped 2 handfuls of rocket Juice of a lemon 2 tablespoons of good quality olive oil
Method: Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and roast the cashews until golden in colour. Throw the remaining ingredients in a large bowl, drizzle over the olive oil and squeeze in the lemon juice. Season well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, stir, divide between two plates, top with the cashews and serve.
There is something comforting about a big bowl of warming stew that’s completely irreplaceable. This delicious shredded chicken stew combines tasty veg, herbs and beans to create a high-protein, low-carb meal that’s full of nutrients and flavour. It’s a two hour “investment” of your time making it ideal as a weekend batch cook. By investment, I mean you can pretty much leave it alone to cook and do its thing, you just have to be around to take it off the hob.
Ingredients to feed 4 (or 2 plus 2 lunches) Tbsp rapeseed oil 1 onion, finely chopped 1 large or 2 small sticks of celery, finely chopped 2 cloves of garlic, crushed 2 medium carrots, peeled & sliced 250g (1 pack) of chestnut mushrooms, sliced leaves from 2 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped leaves from 2 sprigs of thyme 1 bay leaf (fresh or dried) 1 tsp cumin 2 tsp paprika 2 chicken breasts 500g passata (sieved tomato, find it next to chopped tomatoes) 250ml chicken stock 1 tin of butter beans, drained 1 tin of kidney beans, drained sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to season sour cream & fresh parsley to serve (optional)
Method: Heat the rapeseed oil in a casserole dish over a medium heat. Add the onion and celery, season with sea salt and black pepper and cook with the lid on for 5 minutes until the onion has softened. Add the garlic, carrot, mushrooms, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, cumin and paprika, season again with sea salt and black pepper and cook for a couple of minutes. Put the chicken breasts on top of the veg, stir in the passata and stock and season again, stirring well. Bring to the boil, turn the heat down to low and simmer for an hour with the lid on. Take the lid off the pan and cook for a further 30 minutes. Remove the chicken breasts and shred them with a fork. Return the shredded chicken to the pan alongside the beans. Cook for a couple of minutes to heat the beans through then ladle into bowls. Top with soured cream and fresh parsley to serve.
May was a particularly sunny and surprisingly warm month in the UK. To capitalise on the sunshine, I moved the “office” (basically just my laptop) to Devon for a long weekend, camping at a beautiful site near Hope Cove.
To save from eating out 3x a day, breakfast materials were sourced from a local store, the only shop for miles.
This high protein combination of eggs, mushrooms, spinach and tomato was really easy to cook in a single pan on a camping stove and was duly named “the camping breakfast”. It remains one of my favourite ways to start the day.
Ingredients for 2
a punnet of cherry tomatoes, halved
a punnet of chestnut mushrooms, sliced
Two handfuls of spinach
Sea salt and black pepper
Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk lightly.
Put the pan on a medium high heat and melt a good knob of butter. Throw in the mushrooms, season with sea salt and black pepper and cook for a couple of minutes.
Add the cherry tomatoes and spinach to the same pan, cook for another couple of minutes, season again with salt & pepper.
Push the veggies to one side of the pan, add a slice of butter to the empty side and pour in the eggs. Let it cook for a minute then scramble lightly. When the eggs are cooked to your liking, move some of the vegetables across so to mix the eggs and veg.
Divide between two plates, season with a pinch of sea salt and some black pepper and finish with a sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan cheese.