Category Archives: anti-oxidants

Harissa Roasted Chicken with Quinoa Salad

Harissa Roasted Chicken with Quinoa Salad is another recipe from Total Greek Yoghurt , it is a very high protein dish with Chicken, Quinoa and Greek Yoghurt.  It uses a very simple marinade with just 3 ingredients and the great thing too is that you can marinate overnight saving time.  The marinated Chicken is roasted with baby peppers and a fresh lemon.  The peppers add a little sweetness to the dish and lemon and Chicken are so great together. 


As always you can adjust ingredients to suit your tastes, we don’t particularly like Fennel so left it out of the salad.


Quinoa is a particular favourite of mine, not technically a grain but a seed, it is amazingly high in protein, a complete protein which means it contains all 9 essential amino acids, so much power packed into this tiny seed!    



The heat from the Harissa and coolness of the Quinoa salad compliment each other really well.  The Pomegranate adds a lovely crunch, a refreshing addition.

 This is a perfect lunch recipe especially as the weather has been so mild and warm here, the sun is still gracing us with its favours, the heavier, warmer Autumn foods can wait a while. 

Pop over and find the recipe here.


Quick Nutritional Info:

Pomegranates:  Vitamin C, K, Iron, Folic Acid, Fibre.
Peppers: Vitamin A, C, K, B1, B3, B6, Folic Acid, Magnesium, Copper, Fibre, Potassium and Manganese.



Tasty Tuesdays on

Chia Seed Pudding

I first read about Chia seeds a couple of years ago and then about a year or so ago I found  some not really knowing what to do with them but reading about their nutritional benefits I was keen to try them and find out how to incorporate them into my diet.

Chia is a gluten-free wholegrain that comes from a desert plant in Mexico called Salvia hispanica. These tiny black and white seeds were used long ago by Mayan and Aztec cultures to boost energy.  Because they have a mild, nutty flavour, chia seeds are easy to add to a variety of foods and drinks.

There certainly is a nutritional powerhouse within these tiny, versatile seeds, they are said to have twice the protein of any other seed or grain, the protein is a complete protein with all 8 essential amino acids and 5 times the calcium of milk plus boron which is an important mineral that helps transfer calcium into your bones.  With more omega-3 fatty acids than salmon, a wealth of antioxidants – four times higher ORAC value than blueberries and 3 times more iron than spinach, chia’s nutritional benefits are extremely valuable.

The best way to use chia is to soak in water first (although Chia will absorb any liquid), the seeds will rapidly absorb the water to create a gel which can be used almost immediately although more of the nutrients will be released with a longer soak.  Unlike flaxseeds, there is no need to grind Chia first.  The seeds are easily digested and absorbed and the nutrients are quickly assimilated into the body. 

A recommended daily intake is one tablespoon of chia, but make sure you drink plenty of water as chia is very high in fibre.

How to eat:

For breakfast I’ve been adding a tablespoon to coconut milk and leaving to soak for a few minutes and then use the milk to cook oatmeal.  Chia combines well with yoghurt and fruit and can be added to smoothies, juice, puddings, sauces, soup, cereal, etc for an added boost of nutrition. 

Quick Chia Drink

1 tblspn Chia seeds
150-200ml of your favourite juice

Mix the juice and Chia together, pop in the fridge for 15-20 minutes for the seeds to absorb the liquid. Stir and drink!

Chia Seed Pudding – serves 2

This pudding is very reminiscent of the Tapioca pudding we ate as children.


1 cup of coconut milk or any milk of your choice, we like almond too.
⅓ cup Chia seeds (less if you prefer a less dense pudding)
¼ tsp vanilla extract (or to your own taste)
Sweetener of your choice – maple syrup, honey, stevia, etc

Stir the Chia seeds into the coconut milk, then add the vanilla.  Leave for 20 minutes to allow the seeds to absorb the milk, stirring after about 10 minutes to avoid clumps of seeds.  Add a sweetener of your choice to your own palate.  I don’t use any sweeteners – it tastes great without!  At this stage you can add anything you wish, cocoa nibs, cinnamon, dried fruit, nuts, etc.

For a chocolate variation:  add 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder to the milk and whisk together before adding the Chia seeds (if using raw cacao powder, you will need a touch of sweetness as it can be a little bitter for young tastes).

Enjoy, it’s delicious and nutritious!

If you are allergic to sesame or mustard seeds you should not be consuming Chia seeds without consulting your health care provider first.

Review – Tea India Teas

I absolutely ♥ ♥ ♥ tea! It’s the second thing I drink (after my mega glass of water) every morning, then it’s tea all the way all day.  Apart from the wonderful taste of tea, it is also full of healthy antioxidants and polyphenols, the Tea Council has some great info here.

I have to admit I have a lot of tea in my kitchen cupboards, everything from herbal teas like green tea, dandelion, fruit teas, blends of turmeric, ginger, chamomile and even nettle! Mostly I favour Black teas, Earl Grey, etc and am always buying new teas from our local coffee bean/tea importer shop to try.

I was so pleased to receive a couple of beautifully packaged boxes of tea from Tea India to *sample, their Vanilla Chai and Black Tea. In their range also is Marsala Chai which I heard Lorraine Kelly effusing over on her show the other day and Cardamon Chai.

Inspired by the fusion of tradition with the vibrancy of modern India, Tea India have used 70 years of tea blending experience, picking only the two top leaves and the bud when the tea is at its freshest, to create a truly unique range of authentic Indian teas.
Tea India‘s blend of deliciously sweet, comforting spices and natural vanilla flavouring create their very special Vanilla Chai. The combination of traditional spices of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, black pepper and vanilla create the perfect blend of sweetness and spice. The aroma of cinnamon comes through for me first then vanilla and other spices.

I would usually drink a tea of this kind without milk, but couldn’t resist popping a dash of milk in to taste too. I was pleasantly surprised how good this tea tasted, lovely to try something new and enjoy.

Rich and robust,Tea India’s Black Tea blend is refreshing and full of flavour. It’s a perfect all round tea for drinking all day, everyday! The tea is from the Assam tea bush grown in North East India, the high rain fall during the monsoon period coupled with the scorching daytime temperatures create greenhouse-like conditions of extreme humidity and heat. This tropical climate is the ideal condition for growing tea and contributes to Assam’s unique malty taste which I can definitely pick up.

The Tea India range is available at Tesco.

Thank you Tea India, I do ♥ your tea.

*I was sent 2 boxes of tea for the purpose of review but my views are totally my own.

Carrot Cake

I overdid the carrot grating somewhat with my trusty food processor this week whilst making my veg-packed tomato sauce, so there was nothing for it but to bake a carrot cake! I do love carrot cake but am not always keen on eating cakes with buttercream on but I didn’t slather it all the way round the sides so a little concession, I think! I’m not a great fan of spices in cakes but have put a touch of cinnamon – nutmeg, ginger or mixed spice could also be used.  This recipe contains nuts, please omit if allergic.




150g unsalted butter, nicely softened
100g soft light brown sugar
3 organic free range eggs

200g Allinsons wholemeal self-raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ baking powder
½ tsp ground cinnamon
2 generous pinches of salt

Zest of 1 large orange plus 1 tblspn of the juice
200g grated carrots
80g walnuts, chopped
6-8 walnut halves to decorate
80g sultanas

Buttercream Icing

125g Cream cheese
50g unsalted butter
250g icing sugar


Pre-heat your oven to 180C or 160C fan, line the bases of 2 x 7″/18cm sandwich tins with parchment paper and grease the sides with butter.

1. In a large mixing bowl beat the softened butter & sugar together until pale and creamy.
2.  Add the eggs & beat until combined.
3. Mix together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt and fold gently into the wet ingredients.
4. Fold in the grated carrots, walnuts, sultanas, orange zest & juice.
5. Divide evenly between the 2 baking tins and bake for 25-30 minutes until a cocktail stick comes out cleanly.
6. Cool on a wire rack.
7. For the buttercream icing, beat the butter and cream cheese together, then add the icing sugar gradually and beat until combined. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
8. Once the cakes are cool enough, slather buttercream icing over one half and sandwich the other half on top, then cover the top of the cake with the remaining icing. Decorate with walnut halves.
9. Make a pot of tea, cut a slice and enjoy.

Nutritional Info:
Carrots Beta-carotene, Vitamin A, B-complex, E, K, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese and phosphorus.
Walnuts omega-3, B6, E, calcium, chromium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, vanadium and zinc, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, including phenolic acids, tannins especially ellagitannins and flavonoids.

Blackberry Yoghurt Muffins

Just when I thought I’d picked the last of the blackberries from the garden, another lot pops up all glossy, black and ripe waiting to be harvested.  The  birds don’t seem to want them, unlike my apples and cherries, maybe because of the thorny branches they grow on, I always seem to get a thorn or two attached to me when picking!


We’ve been having the blackberries with our breakfast and baked into the odd apple pie, but today I made a few, quick Blackberry Yoghurt Muffins, mostly for Toddler ND but also to satisfy my cakey cravings!  I do enjoy yoghurt in cakes for the moistness it brings and also the added protein to give it balance.  I’ve added orange and lemon juice and zests which give the cakes a lovely fruity tang.
Ingredients: *This recipe contains nuts*

120g Butter
90g Whitworths Golden Natural unrefined caster sugar
1 Organic free range egg
Zest of ½ lemon and orange
Juice of ½ lemon and orange
2 generous tablespoons of Total Greek Yoghurt
120g Self raising flour
½ Baking powder
60g Ground Almonds
100g Blackberries
Preheat your oven to 180°C. 
1.  Beat the butter and sugar together until lovely and smooth, I used my fabulous KitchenAid, so quick and easy to use.
2.  Add the egg, orange and lemon juices and zests plus the yoghurt and beat in.
3.  Stir in the flour, baking powder and ground almonds until well combined.  Stir in the blackberries carefully so as not to crush too much, some will break but you will get some lovely whole blackberries in each bite too.
4.  Dollop into a prepared 12 hole muffin tin lined with baking cases until ¾ full.  Bake for 20 minutes until risen and lightly golden.  Cool on a wire rack.  Makes 12 medium sized muffins.

Perfect tea-time treat for little fingers, full of fresh fruit goodness. 

Nuutritional Info:
Rich in antioxidants, high in fibre and flavonoids.  See: 

Refreshing Summer Berry Smoothie

It’s the hottest day of the year so far, summer is here!  Very often I don’t feel like eating too much, so a smoothie packed with summer berries for breakfast is a really delicious and nutritious start to the day.

I used blueberries, raspberries and strawberries, all of which are prolific in the shops right now.  Coconut water, avocado and a potassium rich banana. 

Coconut water has many essential vitamins, including vitamin C, B1, B2 and vitamin B6.  It also contains significant amounts of calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium.  More on coconut water and coconut oil in future posts.


1 cup blueberries, raspberries, strawberries (or more or less to suit your own taste)

½ banana

1 small avocado – cubed

100 ml  coconut water

juice of  ½  small lemon or lime

few cubes of ice, to your own taste, blend 3 or 4 with the above, then add a couple of cubes to your glass for a lovely cool, refreshing drink, full of antioxidants, vitamins and good fats from the avocado.

Blend, sip slowly and enjoy!


Chocolate and Avocado Dessert

My baby girl who is rising 2 years old has not tasted chocolate yet and I’m looking to find some super nutritious desserts with lots of beneficial ingredients that she will love just in case she gets the taste for chocolate like me!   I’ve been experimenting with hiding extra goodness into her food and also presenting the food to her, sometimes its a yum yum thanks mum and other times its a definite no-no-no.

Chocolate and Avocado dessert, made with raw cacao powder, which is packed with anti-oxidants, is also a very luxurious, seemingly naughty pud.   Avocado and chocolate??  I know, sounds crazy but once blended together you will never know there is actually avocado in it.

I’ve made a small taster amount to see what works and Mr J is standing by to taste test it without knowing about the avocados!

1 avocado (small – medium size)
1 heaped tablespoon raw cacao powder
(I got mine from the
Raw Chocolate Company)
1 tablespoon honey or other natural sweetener of your choice
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt

Blend all ingredients in a food processor, pop into fridge for a bit, then eat, easy as that!

This was delicious and Mr J could indeed not identify the mystery ingredient.  I shall be experimenting further with raw cacao, the aroma is divine and the health benefits make it a great addition to desserts.

Nutritional Info:

Raw Cacao Powder – rich in antioxidants, Sodium, Iron, Magnesium, Calcium

AvocadoVitamin A, Folic Acid, B2, B3, B5, B6, C, E, Potassium