My favourite banana bread happens to be high protein and grain free. You’ll need a food processor or blender to grind the pecans into a flour-like consistency.
This bread can be toasted if preferred and is delicious with some St. Dalfour or Follain (sugar free) jam or a little coconut butter. It's also delicious on its own for a breakfast on the go! The recipe is adapted from a recipe by author and Nutritional Therapist, Christine Bailey.
What you'll need
How to make high protein banana bread
Meal Planning Tips
Once cooled you can cut it into slices and freeze individual slices for when you need them. Simply defrost in the toaster in a couple of minutes. This will also help prevent eating the entire loaf which is easily done, trust me!! Get my top 15 tips on successful meal planning here.
Let me know if you try it. Would love to hear from you in the comments below.
Find me on Instagram @stellar_health_mary for more meal ideas.
Porridge lover? Learn how to Pimp your Porridge
Are you a breakfast lover or a breakfast hater? Find out what I had to say to Kaye Adams on this very topic here
If you're really not a breakfast person find out what to do about it here
This is my absolute favourite dish when I'm tired and just want to sit and watch Netflix. It particularly thrives in lazy kitchens because zero effort is required; roughly chopping three vegetables is about as taxing as it gets.
You simply whack everything into a baking tray, toss in coconut oil and spices and 50 minutes later you are tucking into a delicious and nutritious healthy meal.
*Vegetarian/vegan options available
What you’ll need:
*To make this vegetarian or vegan omit the chicken and reduce the paprika and cumin seeds to 1.5 tbsp. of each.
How to make one tray roast
That’s it. Any leftovers make an amazing dining-al-desko lunch at the office the next day. No need to submit to bland petrol station ham sangers or high street pharmacy 'meal deals' ever again :)
Recipe adapted from an Udo's Choice recipe
So why the Excitement?
Benefits of Kale
Benefits of Red Onion
Read about the benefits of coconut oil in this blog post
Quinoa (pronounced “KEEN-wah”) really goes with everything; it is the perfect gluten free and wheat free substitute (good news for food intolerance/allergy sufferers) and has a delicious, slightly nutty flavour. It’s really satisfying, easy to digest and just so healthy! Give it centre stage on your shopping list!
In this recipe I’ve glossed up the quinoa with a splash of coconut milk. If you’re not a fan of coconut a general rule of thumb for perfectly cooked quinoa is simply add one part grain to two parts liquid in a saucepan.
Where will I find quinoa?
You will find quinoa in any health food store and larger supermarkets in various forms: whole seeds (to prepare like a grain), quinoa flour (in combination with other flours for gluten free baking) and quinoa flakes (to make into a gluten free porridge). You need the whole seeds for this recipe.
Want to know more about the health benefits of quinoa? Find out here>>
Cooking with Quinoa
Ingredients - What you need
300g raw quinoa grains (can be the white or multi coloured stuff)
1 can full fat coconut milk
1.5 stock cubes (refil the empty can of coconut milk with water to make up the stock)
1 clove garlic crushed and chopped (optional)
Instructions - How to make quinoa
It is best to remove any leftover saponin compounds (quinoa's natural insect repellent) before you start cooking. Give the quinoa a quick rinse (30 seconds) under the tap in a fine-meshed sieve, gently rubbing it.
If like me, you are usually tempted to skip this part (guilty-as when cooking brown rice), don’t! You will end up with a bitter and slightly soapy flavour and texture to this otherwise delicious food. Not to mention the many disappointed open mouths to feed at the dinner table!
Now plonk the damp quinoa into a saucepan and dry fry it for five minutes. I really find this brings out quinoa’s natural nutty flavour.
After dry frying it, add one can of full fat coconut milk. Refil this can with stock (using 1.5 stock cubes) and add this too. If using chopped garlic, add this now also. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for 15-20. Give it a stir occasionally or just leave it to do its thing.
You’ll know when it’s cooked because the grains become translucent and the white germ will partially detach itself, appearing like a spiralled tail. The coconut milk and stock get sucked up into the grains and you are left with this lovely, satisfying and moreish dish.
While your quinoa is cooking away, prep this simple salad to serve it with.
Mix everything in a bowl, squeeze over the lemon juice and drizzle with the oil. Crown with extra seeds.
Find out more about the health benefits of quinoa here>>
Why I recommend full fat coconut milk>>
If you like quinoa, tell me your favourite dishes to pair it with in the comments below. Maybe it’s with stew, soups, atop salads, or something else entirely! Let’s hear it!
Or, if you’ve got another delicious way to prepare quinoa, tell me about it. I really love hearing from you all.
Or come over to the Stellar Health Facebook page and join the conversation there. You'll also find more Stellar recipes and loads more tips on how to stay healthy throughout the week over on my Instagram page
Drip feed your energy cells and avoid 3pm vending machine benders with these yummy, nutritional hits. You'll get joint-loving omega oils, 'complete' protein hemp and immune boosting goji berries.
They are so so easy and literally ready in minutes. I like to keep mine in my gym bag and my locker at work so I know I won't go hungry. Perfect an hour or so before you hit the gym to keep your blood sugar and your energy levels balanced.
What you'll need:
2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter (sugar free, try Whole Earth)
1 tbsp hemp seed protein powder
1 tbsp ground pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp ground flaxseeds
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp goji berries (soaked in warm water for 5 minutes)
1 tbsp desiccated cocnut
1 tbsp honey
Mash everything in a bowl with a fork. Roll into spheres and hide them in your fridge. Job done. Optional: sprinkle extra coconut on the outside so they look even more beautiful.
Ditch those dodgy energy bars and make a big batch of these instead!!
You may think that bringing a vegetable to a dessert is a step too far but I promise this cake won’t taste of sweet potato! The mere whiff of the chocolaty gooiness will have your nostrils levitating and your pulse racing. Any hint of vegetable is instantly consigned to oblivion. Packed with beta-carotene, antioxidants and vitamin C, sweet potato rocks this dessert.
The coconut flour makes an ideal substitute for gluten or grain flours (hello Paleo, hello coeliac). And you won’t beat this flour’s fibre content; it contains four to six times the amount of fibre in oat bran and twice as much fibre as wheat bran. (Goodbye haemorrhoids).
What you’ll need:
How to make:
But wait! There’s more! 5 great reasons to ditch your dairy chocolate for the dark variety.
Islay, my friend's dog's reaction to the Sweet Potato Chocolate cake :)
I absolutely love hummus. It’s so versatile and a great little stand by snack to have in the fridge for when I’m peckish.
I love the creamy texture of shop bought hummus and I’ve finally mastered my technique at home to bring you the same deliciously smooth and creamy blend, spiked with a little garlic, cumin and lemony goodness. It’s hard not to eat this straight from the blender!
My hummus is slightly lighter than shop bought varieties because I’ve added yoghurt and a lot less oil to make it perfectly smooth. If you are dairy intolerant simply substitute the yoghurt for tahini and use a bit more lemon juice instead (a crunchier consistency but still deelish).
I’ve been enjoying it on oatcakes topped with salad and mackerel for lunch, as a dip for crudités and roasted veg as a snack and it also makes a creamy dressing for salad. I hope you love it as much as I do.
It’s super healthy too, especially as chickpeas are such a great source of plant protein and fibre. Garlic is antibacterial and helps the body fight infection and cumin has powerful anti-inflammatory properties; it's simply bursting with flavour and nutritious goodness.
1 tin of chickpeas drained
1 small clove of garlic crushed
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds, crushed
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon of lemon rind
4-6 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of plain natural yoghurt (use tahini instead if you are dairy intolerant)
Freshly ground black pepper
Whizz the chickpeas, garlic, cumin, lemon rind and juice in the blender. Slowly add the olive oil while the blender is operating. Then add the yoghurt to the blender and season with freshly ground black pepper. Adapt the flavour to your taste by adding more oil or lemon juice.
Spoon into a bowl and moisten the surface with a drizzle of olive oil. Lightly dust over some sweet paprika.
Get dipping! x
If it lasts long enough to have left-overs, store in an air-tight container in the fridge.
What you'll need
Mix the ingredients for the dressing together along with the chopped herbs.
Add the chicken to the marinade. Turn to coat the chicken.
Cook the chicken in batches on a heated grill until cooked through.
Serve the chicken sliced ontop of the chickpea salad and drizzle with lemon juice. Yummy, right?
If I'm feeling extra hungry or if I've run out of chicken, the salad tastes great on top of some hummus on an oatcake.
Are you tired of the same old salad? Or is salad just not your thing? This delish salad may just convert you! It's a tasty, tangy, mouth-watering bowl of yum! I even crave this salad from time to time.
A bit like a traditional Turkish Shepherd's salad my chickpea salad also uses lots of chopped up tomatoes, cucumber and fresh herbs as a base instead of the usual lettuce leaves. The great thing about this is you won't need to worry about your lunch going soggy as there are no leaves. The dressing is inspired by the traditional Moroccan chermoula dressing.
What you'll need (to make one big bowl for your refridgerator)
500g cherry tomatoes
1 tin of chickpeas
100g fresh coriander
100g fresh parsley
For the dressing
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (unfiltered, with 'the mother')
0.5 teaspoon of ground cumin
0.75 teaspoon of paprika
2 cloves garlic (Crush and dice)
Some of the benefits
Roll with it this easter with decadent chocolate truffles!
What you'll need:
1 tablespoon of raw cocoa powder or 85%+ cocoa powder (I used 97% Green and Black's organic cocoa powder)
A drop of water
80g of fine oats
1 heaped tablespoon of ground nuts or seeds (choose your favourites) I used ground hazelnuts and chia seeds in one batch and shelled ground hemp seeds in another. Both good.
2 tablespoons of coconut oil (gently melted in a pan)
4 teaspoons of xylitol
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and form into balls of chocolatey goodness. Place into truffle cases and let to set for at least 4 hours (or overnight in air tight container preferably).
6 chicken thighs (use breast if on weightloss)
350-500g okra (depends on size of your pan)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 onions sliced
2.5 teaspoons of whole coriander seeds
5 cloves of garlic crushed
1/2 teaspoon xylitol
1.5 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons of tomatoe puree
2 cartons/cans of tomatoes
juice of 1 lemon
To start, perpare the okra: wash, cut off the stalks, place in a bowl. Pour 2-3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and a spinkling of salt over them. Mix and leave to stand (this preserves their colour and prevents sliminess)
In a large tagine (or pan/casserole dish) gently heat the olive oil. Add the onions, coriander seeds (whole) and fry gently fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the crushed garlic, xylitol and oregano, tomato puree, tomatoes and water. Mix well and allow the sauce to bubble up. Once bubbling add the chicken. (if using chicken breast add them whole and slice up at the end). Cover and leave to cook for 25 minutes.
Rinse off the okra. Arrange them ontop of the chicken. Squeeze the lemon juice over them, replace the lid and leave for another 15-20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the okra should be a bit crunchy, not mushy.
Place the chicken in a serving dish and spoon over the sauce. Serve warm with couscous or brown rice (if wheat free). Et Voila!
Tips: Don't eat the chicken skin. This contains a lot of fat. If you can buy skinless chicken this would be preferred.
To speed up this recipe use chicken breast instead of thighs as they will cook faster. You could then add the okra in after 15 minutes instead of the 25.
I use an Emile Henry tagine as it can be used for many dishes and is oven proof. It also makes a cool centre piece when entertaining but really any tagine or casserole dish will work.
Hello! Welcome to Stellar Health
I hope you have fun exploring my recipes and feel inspired to experiment with them. Here you will see examples of how I cook with some of my recommended ingredients and experience the benefits for yourself.