What I love about this time of the year is being able to make spectacular foods that are quick, healthy and delicious, without bloating you out. By mastering a few of my top secrets in the kitchen, you'll be able to get a delicious meal on the table in around 60 minutes.
1.FOCUS ON DELICOUS PLANT-BASED INGREDIENTS
I base my menu around fresh, plant-based ingredients that are full of fibre, antioxidants and vitamins your body will love!
I find myself relying heavily on produce that needs very little done to it so I create raw salads of fresh vegetables, leaves and herbs that only the need a generous drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon or balsamic vinegar.
Desserts at the Healthy Chef household rely mostly on fresh summer fruit that include piles of dark ruby cherries and mango cheeks carresed with a squeeze of lime. I also love making iced watermelon gelato that refreshes and cleanses the palate. You'll find the recipe for my watermelon gelato in my Healthy Baking Cookbook.
Green also tends to be a feature colour on my feative dining table. I make coolers from pineapple juice, matcha tea, lime juice, lemongrass and muddled mint. This is a spectacular drink which compliments my zucchini noodles scented with fresh basil pesto and macadamia parmesan.
Any healthy festive menu needs lots of fresh, plant-based ingredients which are full of fibre, antioxidants and vitamins. You can easily prepare a festive spread that will take 60 minutes from start to finish.
A favourite on my table is a classic caprese salad made wtih heirloom tomato and bufallo mozarella. Alternatively, my Pumpkin Salad with Tahini + Pomegranate, a popular recipe from The Healthy Chef Recipe App, is a showstopper. Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potatoes are magnificent served alonside a bowl of smashed avocados lightly spiced with green tabasco, sea salt and lime.
2. KEEP IT SIMPLE
Good fresh produce needs very little done to it, so don't overcomplicate things. I like to adopt the less is more principle as I don't want to denature the goodness and vitality from the ingredients I use. I also encourage the whole family to be invlolved in preparing the food - made with love and happiness.
Cooking comes from the heart... so pick your ingredients according to the season and prepare it simply. I encorage people to use my recipes as a base and then to add their own personal touch of inspiration.
3.REINVENT THE CLASSICS WITH A HEALTHY TWIST
In my cookbook Healthy Baking, I focus my recipes to be low in natural sugars to avoid all those blood sugar and insulin spikes that come with eating traditional desserts. My signature No-Bake Christmas Puddings served with Mango Custard is raw, which means you don’t have to bake it like a traditional Christmas pudding.
My Strawberry Crumble is spectacular served hot or cold and my Citrus Salad with pistachio, raw honey and fresh thyme, adds a refreshing and natural vitamin C boost.
4.FOR CHOCOLATE LOVERS
I have a whole chapter dedicated to chocolate in my cookbook Healthy Baking. Cocoa and good quality dark chocolate is high in antioxidants and has a rich luxurious flavor. I use Naked Chocolat Dark for recipes that require a smooth, rich and sophisticated flavour. For raw chocolate desserts I use Naked Chocolate Mylk which has a lighter flavour profile....you can also use a good quality raw cacao powder.
My Chocolate Gingerbread Men are always a big hit at the Christmas table and they are perfect dunked into icy cold Cinnamon Chai Cashew Mylk.