Veggie Pasta In a Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Creamy Mushroom “Pasta” (low fat!)

POSTED ON  BY [email protected]

Mushroom Pasta 1

I’ve always loved pasta.  It’s one of those really filling meals and a great comfort food.  Only problem is that it’s usually made from wheat.  Even if you buy some of the wheat-free versions, like spelt, you still can’t avoid the gluten.

To be honest I’ve yet to come across any really decent gluten-free processed stuff.  It just doesn’t really hold up.  But if you know of anything really good out there, do let me know in the comments below.  It’s worth sharing with others!

But as so many of us are trying to avoid gluten as much as possible, for whatever reason, it’s always good to know there’s a super healthy alternative which tastes amazing and doesn’t leave you bloated and tired with brain fog!

Veggie pasta, or more specifically in this case, Courgette/Zucchini Pasta is light, low fat and full of nutrients that you just don’t get from conventional pasta.  I make spaghetti-style pasta with a spiralizer, which is a fantastic tool to have in ANY kitchen, but you can also make tagliatelle-style with a regular vegetable peeler.

This is great served with some lightly steams greens, such as french beans, asparagus or broccoli!  You can warm up the sauce gently if you don’t want to eat it cold.

Serves: 2

You will need: a Blender or hand-blender, Spiraliser or Vegetable Peeler, large mixing bowl.

Ingredients for the Pasta:

2 Courgettes

Ingredients for the Sauce: (makes 2 servings)

½  cup / 125 ml Water

1 Scallion / Spring Onion  (sliced)

2 cups of your favourite Mushrooms (roughly chopped)

½  ripe Avocado

1 clove Garlic

2 tbsp Bragg’s Aminos / Tamari / Soy Sauce

1 tbsp Dried Herbs de Provence

Pinch Himalayan Salt / Sea Salt

Handful of Mushrooms (thinly sliced)

Garnish: Chopped Green Herbs.

Method: Blend together all the sauce ingredients, leaving aside the thinly sliced Mushrooms.

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Wash, trim and spiralise the courgettes into noodles.  If you don’t have a spiraliser use a vegetable peeler to make “tagliatelle” style noodles by peeling the skin off and then using the peeler to peel off thin strips as you work your way around the courgette until you reach the seeded core.  Place in a large mixing bowl.

If you want to serve this warm, now’s the time to gently heat the sauce in a pan, stirring at you go and keeping it on a low heat.

Add the sauce to the noodles and toss gently to coat. Add in the extra sliced Mushrooms and some fresh chopped herbs and toss again.

Serve the Mushroom Pasta garnished with extra Mushrooms and fresh chopped herbs.

This is delicious with some lightly steamed greens, such as french beans or broccoli.

Mushroom Pasta 3

Cinnamon & Raisin Protein Balls

POSTED ON  BY [email protected]

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You know the story.  You’re in the health food section looking at all the high energy, raw protein bars and balls, trying to decide which one you like best, but most of all trying to weigh up which one is going to give you more mileage for your money.   It’s so hard to justify spending so much on such a little morsel, and you think to yourself “that’s never going to get me through the morning….”   So you head over to the coffee shop and purchase a massive blueberry muffin for the same price, feeling justified that you’ve done the right thing.

I know I’ve been there, and still do on the odd occasion.  That’s why I prefer to make my own energy balls, bars and treats so I don’t have to think about it. They are as fresh as you can get, taste amazingly good, will sustain me for hours and I can make up a large stash for the freezer.

These little balls are packed with protein and are perfect to eat before or after a workout, or to take with you on a hike or bike ride.  They are quite filling and will sustain you longer than a chocolate bar and you won’t have the quick sugar crash afterwards.   They are also really nice if you’re looking for an alternative to that mid-morning Cinnamon Bun!

Walnuts are super high in protein, and if you have a dehydrator you could use soaked and dehydrated Walnuts to get the best out of them.

Makes: 14-18 balls (depending on how generously you size them!)

You will need: A food Processor


1.5 cups / 150 g Walnuts

3/4 cup / 100 g Raisins

2 tbsp Chia Seeds

2 tbsp ground Flax/Linseeds

1 tbsp hulled Hemp Seeds

1/4 cup / 20 g Goji Berries

2 tbsp Coconut Oil

1 tsp Cinnamon

Pinch fine Himalayan or Sea Salt

Optional: 1 tbsp Protein Powder (eg, Sun Warrior, Pea Protein)


Melt the coconut oil over a bowl of hot water.  Place the Goji Berries into the oil for 10 minutes to soften while you get the other ingredients ready.

Put all ingredients into the food processor, adding the Goji Berries from the Oil – but don’t add all of the oil, use about half.

Process all the ingredients together until they form a soft dough that sticks together when pressed between your fingers.  Roll the dough into individual balls, place on a plate and chill in the fridge for at least an hour.

These will keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for at least a week, or freeze for up to one month…or so.  Defrost in the fridge before eating.

Raw Protein Ball Tips:  Use any nuts, seeds and dried fruit that you like to make these.  Grind up a mixture of seeds such as Pumpkin, Sunflower and Sesame.  Add in some Raw Cacao to make them chocolaty!


Maca & Vanilla Incan Trail Porridge

POSTED ON  BY [email protected]

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I have to confess to being a little obsessed with breakfast smoothie bowls at the moment.  After my morning green juice has gone down I start thinking about what deliciousness I can conjure up in the blender in case I’m still hungry. You must understand this is a healthy obsession, and with my new box of Iswari breakfast superfood goodies to hand it does make breakfast time a whole lot more interesting.

So this morning I was feeling the cold after my run with the dog.  The wind was pretty cutting for the 1st April! And when I got back I really fancied something comforting like porridge, but didn’t want to start messing around with saucepans and cookers.

Although I do occasionally cook gluten-free porridge oats, I personally prefer them raw.  If you have trouble digesting oats I’d suggest you would benefit from soaking them overnight first.  However, because this recipe is blended they are broken down very well so you may find them easier to tolerate.

You can also get raw sprouted oats which is even better.  Irish company Iswari do them and they are very nice I have to say.

I’m using the Incan Trail Mix this morning to top my porridge.  Incan Golden berries are high in super anti-oxidants and have a rich, tangy taste which is just amazing with the crunchy activated almonds of the mix.  They are also good for the liver and kidneys and can help to lower blood sugar.  Maca is an amazing superfood and fantastic for balancing the hormones and moods, so a big plus for us women!

I simply whipped this up in a blender and served in a bowl.   I served it at room temperature and have to say it really hit the spot because it was so filling!

You will need: A blender, bowl for serving

1 cup Gluten-free Organic Oats (or raw sprouted oats)
Half cup Brazil Nut Milk (or other non-dairy milk)
2 tbsp Iswari’s Buddha’s Awakening Maca & Vanilla Instant Raw Superfood Breakfast Mix
1 tbsp Almond Butter
1 tbsp Maple Syrup or Honey (or as required)

Handful of Iswari’s Incan Trail Mix
Fresh Blueberries

Blend everything together in a blender until smooth and creamy, garnish with a handful of Iswari’s Incan Trail Mix and some fresh Blueberries. Serve with extra milk if required!

A little tip: I always rinse my blender out straight away after use with warm water, and give it a thorough wash with soapy water every few days.  If you are blending something thick like this, it’s a great idea to rinse the pitcher out then fill it one third with warm water and a little washing up liquid.  Then blend on high speed for several seconds to clean off the sticky bits.  Works a treat.  Any remaining bits can be easily cleaned off with a brush or sponge.


Raw Kitchen Essentials Series: #5 The Spiral Slicer

We know that our eyes can be the first sense that we “eat” with, and being able to make a dish look more appealing from an aesthetic point of view can be just as important as nutritional value.  So, if want to make dishes that look beautiful, and impress your friends with some cool chefy skills, why not invest in a spiral slicer? 


A spiral slicer is a fabulously simple piece of kitchen equipment that will help to transform hard fruits and vegetables into beautiful “pasta” and noodle-like strips.

They are relatively in-expensive to buy, easy to use and clean up is quick and easy.  A great investment if you are trying to avoid wheat pasta, as vegetable noodles are a much lighter and healthier alternative.

Very simply remove ends from carrots, courgettes, sweet potatoes, small marrows, cucumber etc, and secure them on the spikes in the machine.  Then manually turn the handle and your vegetables will be cut into decorative noodles right before your eyes.  Make a simple pesto or marinara sauce and gently toss into the noodles for a stunning main course!

There are several models on the market such as the Lurch Spiralizer (featured above) the Lurch Spiralo, the Saladacco and also a small hand-held spiral cutter by Gefu.


I bought the Saladacco a couple of years ago because it was smaller than the Lurch and I wanted to save some space in the kitchen.  It’s a great little machine, however, I do now have the Lurch-type model on my wish-list due to the fact that you can make a thicker and more stable noodle with it.  It is also more versatile than the Saladacco and comes with a range of accessories for making different garnishes, ribbons and shapes.

With the Saladacco I found that the courgette noodles would be a little too watery, but it’s great for making garnishes out of drier veggies like carrots.

You can buy a spiral slicer for between €30-40 online.  They are not so easy to find in the high street yet, though I’m sure some department stores would now stock some models.  Check out sites like Amazon, Ebay and Done Deal for a great selection and really competitive prices.


How I Healed my Thyroid with Raw Foods

by Andrea Baines

At the age of 35, I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism, an auto-immune disease of the thyroid gland.  This came somewhat of a shock to me because I had always considered myself to be pretty healthy and had enjoyed a healthy vegetarian diet for over ten years.  But everything changed when I discovered raw and living foods.

The diagnosis came about after a series of blood tests that my GP undertook after I told him I had been falling asleep during the day for some time, had mad sugar cravings in the middle of the night, had put on a stone in weight and had become irritable and irrational!  He checked me out for diabetes at the time, but found it was the Thyroid gland that was the culprit.  He solemnly informed me that this was a serious condition that does not usually heal and, because the gland (situated in the throat area) had begun to deteriorate, I would have to take medication for the rest of my life to help balance the TSH levels in my blood that my thyroid gland was no longer producing enough of.

It was a scary prospect.  I wanted to find a natural alternative but at the time, probably due to my hormone levels being off balance, I was feeling quite “out of sorts” emotionally and lacking in mental clarity.  I found it hard to concentrate on anything and felt a sense of apathy about life in general.  Taking the medication was the easiest option for me. Things did begin to improve, but I never felt right in myself and the tablets made my head feel a bit fuzzy.

I had been to see an amazing Iridologist in England who suggested I try the Blood Type Diet.  This was another challenge as it meant, being an O-type, I would have to go back to eating meat – and lots of it!  I bit the bullet and decided to give it a go for the sake of my health.   I do have to admit to feeling much better on this diet, better than before anyway. My energy levels improved somewhat and I stopped craving sugar so much.  I managed to stay on fairly low doses of meds, to which I do attribute to the new diet.  I also learned a lot about how I had been damaging myself so much from all the years of eating lots of soya, wheat, dairy and highly processed vegetable protein products that pass themselves off as meat alternatives.  Not good for anyone by the way!

After nearly 4 years being on the medication, I came across a raw food stand at a health fair and tried the most delicious chocolate dessert I had ever tasted!  I nearly fell over when told what it was made of – nothing but whole foods, fruit and natural sweeteners!  This immediately inspired me to find out all I could about raw foods.  The whole concept was just so intriguing and it made complete sense to me that when vegetables were cooked they were left with little or no nutritional value.

I went out and brought a cheap blender and started making green smoothies every day, eating lots more green salads and introducing raw vegetables into my diet in interesting and delicious ways.  I learned about some of the super foods, and about how sea vegetables can help support the thyroid due to their iodine and high mineral content.

Within less than 3 months of starting to follow a raw food diet (and believe me when I tell you I was only doing it about 50-70% back then) my energy levels shot right up, my acne rosacea was gone and I was suddenly no longer experiencing the painful menstural symptoms that I had since a teenager!

I lost the extra stone in weight that I had not been able to shed, I felt much better than I had done in years, my mental clarity and emotional stability had returned, I felt calmer and more alive than ever and started exercising again.  I decided to stop taking my medication and see how it goes. (This is NOT something I advocate anyone doing without a doctor’s support by the way – it just felt right for me).

But here’s the biggie.  I returned to my GP to tell him I had not taken my medication for a few months.  I told him what I had been doing with my diet and that I felt so much better without the pills.  He smiled, rather wryly, and sent me off for blood tests.  They came back ok!

He continued to monitor me for a while and told me that he didn’t feel I needed the medication anymore, but that if my symptoms returned I should return to him for further tests.  That was nearly 4 years ago and to this day I have not had to return for ANY reason.

I can whole-heartedly recommend eating a high raw food diet to anyone to help improve any health problem, but make sure you do some research and concentrate on eating the foods that support YOU and YOUR health issues.  This is so important.  For me it means sticking to about 80% whole raw foods and making sure that I eat raw sea veggies a couple of times each week and take kelp as a supplement.  Up until several months ago I was still occasionally eating meat, perhaps about once a month, if I felt I needed it.  But I am now experimenting with not eating it at all.

I have learned to love nori rolls and dulse flakes on my salad!