Skin friendly stuffed pepper boats with feta and chilli

It’s always sunny somewhere….

Today the sun is shining in London Town! I am Inspired by the warmth and the bright clothes that people are wearing today. And I had to get in that kitchen. I bring you Skin friend stuffed pepper boats. The recipe is full of ingredients that will have you glowing from the inside out. And it contains a good amount of low histamine foods. If you are  susceptible high histamine foods can cause havoc with the skin. If you think you may suffer from this there is some great reading here. 

Why I like them: Beauty products are a growing passion of mine and essential for good skin. Eating Skin Friendly foods will also help you get the skin you want.
What’s not in it: Soy, gluten, Coconut
Key Ingredients: Broccoli for Vitamin C to help with Collagen production: Spring onions for prebiotics which give an excellent environment for probiotics. Healthy stomach means healthy skin. Mushrooms containing Vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for skin regeneration. Mushrooms also include things like zinc which helps the skin against acne and Quinoa and watermelon which are low histamine foods. Some foods  are  rich in histamine or can block the process that breaks down histamine or can actively cause histamine to be released. If you do have a histamine intolerance then it is best to eat products which are low in histamine. Other Low histamine foods in this recipe include peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, beetroot and extra-virgin olive oil.
Skin type: Good for all skins
Vegan: No but Vegetarian

Skin Friendly Pepper Boats with feta and chilli

I bought the pepppers and then went to a salad bar and got all the veggie ingredients already prepared. This is an awesome shortcut when you want to throw this together. The important thing is to make it your own. Do use the veg that you and yours love to eat and then pull it all together with some olive oil. Ordinarily I would add some balsamic or citrus but in the interest of low histamine skin friend foods I am using just olive oil. However I have also included my recipe for a simple flavoursome dressing below if you are not bothered about the whole histamine thing. Almonds are both good and bad for your skin depending on who you are. Good as they contain Vitamin E which protects against environmental nasties like UV rays and oxidative stress. But if  according to the Whole30 diet, you have a histamine intolerance, then they are best avoided.

Ingredients

4 pointy red peppers, sliced in half from top to tail and seeds discarded

1 handful of cooked beetroot finely chopper or 1/2 a raw beetroot spiralised

1/2 tin of black beans, drained (not blacked eyed beans. Black beans have much more protein in)

100g of quinoa (cooked)

1 large handful of frozen peas, cooked

1 handful of sweetcorn

100g of shiitake (or any) mushrooms, cooked

1/2 broccoli floret, cooked

100g of feta crumbled (you can replace with Tofu or Seitan for your Veganista guests)

1/2 mango finely choppped (optional)

2 handfuls of watermelon finely chopped

3 spring onions finely chopped

1 handful of almonds

salt and pepper

Chilli flakes

Dressing

6 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp of of sherry vinegar

1 tsp of honey

1 tsp of mustard

salt and pepper

The peppers are great served raw if you like. If you fancy cooking them pop them in preheat oven at 200c and cook them for 5-10 minutes. Then leave them to cool. As they cook prepare the rest of your ingredients. Buy them ready prepared as much as possible. This way you can spend more time in the sun topping up that tan. And hanging out with guests. Scatter all of the ingredients on to the peppers. Then season with salt and pepper. Then drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Or you can put all the dressing ingredients together in a bowl. Then whisk everything up and serve with your peppers that way.

Do you follow a skin friendly diet? Or are you more focused on what you put on your face? Comment below or contact me on instagram @lorrainepascale.  And if you spot any typos let me know and I will correct them.

Lorraine x

 

This is the salad you be should be eating now

Summer is throwing us its best angles at the moment. The time has finally come to get your legs out, get that dress out and start on the Pimms. It is also salad season, and if you are fed up with the ones from Pret, then this is the salad you should be eating now.

I went for my annual medical check-up this week. The boob doctor gave me a sheet of paper with tips on for reducing breast cancer risk. On the list were the usual things about exercise, drinking no more than one glass of wine a day, (I may have failed on that one); Eating a Mediterranean diet, staying a healthy weight and getting some sunshine every day.

Vitamin D and Omega 3 were the recommended supplements. And specific nutrients such as Berberine which is, which is known for its anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, cholesterol-lowering effects; Polyphenols found in green tea and berry fruits and Genistein found in soybeans (which we should eat in moderation). Other things such as Reservatol, curcumin, Sulforaphane (found in cruciferous veg, but need mustard or radish to aid absorption), coffee and lactobacillus in low-fat yoghurt.

Rather than throw everything into a blender and make a smoothie, I thought it would be nice to make a salad which contained some of these health-promoting ingredients.  I hope you enjoy eating this as much I did. Let me know how you get on with it if you make it and enjoy the sun.

1 chicken fillet

1tbsp chia seeds

1 tbsp black sesame seeds

2 tsp turmeric

Extra virgin olive oil

Salt and black pepper

1 handful each of raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and raspberries

100g black grapes

5 handfuls is kale chopped

Dressing

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1tbsp balsamic

1 tsp English mustard

1 tsp honey

Serves one

Chop the chicken into bite sizes pieces. Toss with the chia, sesame, turmeric, salt and pepper. Cook for 3 or so minutes on each side. Once fully cooked, set Aside.

Put the kale in a bowl add some oil and massage the oil into the leaves. This helps tenderise the leaves. Add the berries and grapes. Add the chicken. Mix all the dressing ingredients together, pour over the dressing and serve.

Let me know if you spot any typos and I will correct them.

Death by chocolate

200g butter, softened (I use salted)

350g soft light brown sugar

seeds of ½ vanilla pod or ½ tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp Camp coffee essence (optional)

6 medium eggs (at room temperature)

280g wholemeal or regular self-raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

60g cocoa powder

210g crème fraîche (at room temperature)

FOR THE CHOCOLATE FROSTING

120g dark chocolate, melted

180g butter, softened

375g icing sugar

2 tbsp double cream

FOR THE CHOCOLATE GANACHE DRIZZLE

140ml double cream

140g dark chocolate, roughly chopped, plus extra for grating

EQUIPMENT

3 x 20cm round cake tins

stand mixer or hand-held electric whisk (optional)

1 Preheat the oven to 180C (fan 160C/350F/gas 4) and line the tins with baking parchment.

2 Put all the ingredients for the sponge in a bowl and whisk well until combined. You can do this in a stand mixer or using a hand-held electric whisk. You can also do this by hand, but it does take time and lots of elbow grease! Using a spatula, divide the mixture among the lined tins, smoothing down the tops.

3 Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the cakes are springy to the touch and a skewer inserted in the centre of each cake comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in the tins, then turn out on to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

4 When the cakes have cooled, mix together the chocolate frosting ingredients. I use my stand mixer with a paddle attachment and beat it for a good 5 minutes, until light and spreadable. You can do this by hand but it will take longer.

5 Smear a little of the frosting on your cake stand or plate – just a splodge to secure the first sponge. Place a cake layer on top and spread it with a little more frosting. Cover with another cake layer and more frosting.

6 Top with the remaining cake layer, flipping it over so that the flat side of the cake is now at the top (see tips below). Very lightly press all the cake layers together, then use a palette knife to spread the remaining frosting evenly over the top and sides of the cake so that the sides are nice and straight and the top is flat. I like to do a thin layer first for a crumb-coating and place the cake in the freezer for 10 minutes for this layer to firm up, then take the cake from the freezer and add another thicker layer of the chocolate frosting, having a good play around with the palette knife so that it is really smooth. Sometimes it helps to run the knife under warm water and then carry on smoothing the frosting. Leave it to set a little while you make the ganache drizzle.

7 Heat the cream in a pan until it is just steaming, but don’t boil it. Take the pan off the heat and add the chocolate, leaving it to melt for a few minutes, then stir the chocolate gently and let it cool down a little. Pour the chocolate ganache drizzle over the cake so that it forms a smooth layer all over the top and then drips nicely down the sides of the cake. Grate over the chocolate and serve.

TIPS I like to flip the top cake over, so that you end up with a good flat base for frosting the top. For a clean finish, don’t press down too much on the cakes as you’re frosting, as this can cause the filling to bulge out between each cake layer.

Lorraine xxx

All the Greens Vegan Pizza flat bread with avocado hummus

Quite possibly the easiest Vegan/Vegetarian pizza flatbread in the world. So this is a vegan pizza and a skin friendly one too. I have played around with some oatmeal flour and some buckwheat flour to make it gluten-free but you can also use a regular gluten-containing Strong white flour or just a gluten-free flour like Doves which would work well. If you do use different flour  you may have to adjust the water content a little bit, to give you a kneadable dough that is not to dry and that is not so wet that it sticks to the surface.

Brassicas like Kale, Cavolo Nero and Brocooli look and taste  good but they also have great benefits for health, and the skin. They have good anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial effects and contain things like antioxidants which can help againsts pre-mature aging. So get your fill of these green beauties to limit the free radical damage to your cells which can accelerate the aging process.

Vegan Pizza Base

200g of oat flour

100g of Buckwheat flour

1 sachet of fast action dried yeast

1 tsp of xantham gum (Not 100% necessary but it will make the dough a little more elastic and pliable.

1 tsp of salt

1 tsp of nutritional yeast (optional) This give the dough a cheesy taste

175ml approx of warm water

Topping

1 bunch of Cavolo Nero, woody stems removed and very finely sliced (or just use Kale)

1 handful of frozen peas, cooked

1 large handful of edamame, shelled

1 bunch of purple sprouting broccoli, lightly cooked

1 large handful of pumpkin seeds

1 large  handful of baby kale (or you can just use Rocket)

1 avocado

1 tub of ready-made hummus

1/4 of a lemon

salt and pepper

extra virgin olive oil

Basil (optional) to serve

Method

Oven on to 220c.

Tip the oat flour and buckwheat flour into a bowl. Add the yeast, xantham gum, nutritional yeast and mix together. Then add the water and stir together with a spoon.

Get your hands in the bowl and the start squeezing the mixture. It will start to come together in to a ball. You are looking for a soft dough which is not too sticky or dry. If you feel it needs more water, then add a couple of tablespoons. If you feel it is a little too damp and is sticking to your hands alot then add a tablespoon or two of flour.

Put some flour on to the work surface and then roll out the dough to an oval about 1cm thick. Place the pizza base on to a baking tray and then pop it into the oven for about 10-15 minutes or until the base is going crispy and golden brown. The cooking time will vary depending on the type of flours that you have used.

As this cooks prepare and cook all your veggies. Mix the avocado with the hummus and add a little lemon juice on top so that it does not go brown. Put the Cavolo nero into a bowl and drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil, season with salt and pepper and massage the oil in to the leaves a little.

I saw this technique used in a kitchen when I was on a job in Atlanta eating at his fabulous restaurant. They are in several locations over the U.S. so if you get the chance, do give one a try. Massaging oil in to the leaves this way makes the Cavolo Nero (or Kale) easier to eat and less tough. Feel free to make your own toppings and whatever you have to hand to make it your own signature veggie pizza! If you are looking for a meat containing pizza, how about this recipe here. 

Once your Vegan pizza base is cooked remove it from the oven and leave it to cool a little. Then spread the avocado hummus over the base of it. Pile on the veggies and seeds and then drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Season, add the basil if using and then serve.

Lorraine x

 

Ps. If you spot any typos let me know and I will correct them.

 

Vegan lasagne with Shiitake and Chestnut mushroom, hazelnuts and thyme

Vegan lasagne with Shiitake and chestnut mushrooms,  hazelnuts and thyme

The holidays are just around the corner and you are perhaps getting your food ready for the weekend. You have all of the usual suspects but you have vegan/vegetarian coming around and you really want to do something extra special. Here is the answer. A delicious Vegan lasagne to wow your non-meat eating friends. I hope you find that it tastes so good for you that your meat eating guests can’t get enough of it too!

I large onion, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic finely chopped

1 large handful of thyme leaves

450g of chestnut mushrooms, blitzed in a food processor

200g of shiitake mushrooms blitzed in a food processor

300g of kale, woody stems removed, blitzed in a food processor

salt and pepper

extra virgin olive oil

2 knobs of butter

Cheesy sauce

2 tbsp of butter (regular of vegan

2 tbsp of gluten-free (or regular) flour

500ml of almond milk (or regular milk)

150g of vegan cheddar or regular cheddar grated

2 tsp of of paprika

3tsp nutritional yeast (optional, gives a cheesy taste if you’re going for the vegan option)

3 tsp of English Mustard

pinch of nutmeg

200g of gluten-free or regular lasagne sheets (the type which do not need to be precooked)

1 handful of toasted hazelnuts, blitzed a little in a food processor (not to a powder)

small lasagne dish

Oven on to 200c.

Put the onion in a pan  with some oil and cook until tender, stirring from time to time. Once the onion is soft, add the garlic and thyme and cook for another minute. Add the mushrooms and turn up the heat and cook until they just start to realise their liquid. Add  2 knobs of butter and some salt and pepper, stir and set aside.

Put the kale in a bowl and drizzle over some oil add some salt and pepper, stir and set aside.

Put the butter in a small pan over a medium heat, Once it has melted add the flour and stir well. Remove the pan from the heat and add the almond milk gradually stirring well between each addition. Then return the pan to the heat and bring the mixture to a rolling boil. Boil for a minute or two until the mixture thickens. Then remove it from the heat and add the paprika, nutritional tests if using, mustard and nutmeg and most of the cheese. (reserve a little for later for the top).

Now time to layer up. Put a third of the mushroom mixture on the bottom of the dish. Then add a third of the kale followed by a layer of the lasagne sheets and then a third of the cheese sauce. Repeat this two more times so you have 3 of each layer. Then sprinkle over the remaining cheese and add the hazelnuts on top.

Place in the oven and cook for 45 minutes or until the top is bubbling and going brown and the pasta sheets are cooked,

Serve with a crispy green salad.