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Sweet Potatoes Stuffed with BBQ Lentils

During my Meatless Monday Challenge, I introduced this amazing recipe that everyone got really excited about! The beauty of this recipe is that it is super easy to make, it is very tasty and really nutritious. And I couldn’t ignore your requests and rushed to write the blog post with this recipe!

Why did I choose this combination? You may or may not know, but Lentils add essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber to the diet. They also provide protein and are an excellent replacement for meat in meals. Thumbs up, right?

Sweet potatoes, on the other hand, are a rich source of fiber as well as contain an array of vitamins and minerals including iron, calcium, selenium, therefore, they’re a good source of most of our B vitamins and vitamin C. And let’s not forget sweet potatoes are the queens of vitamin A 🙂

Sweet Potatoes Stuffed with BBQ Lentils

Servings:4 – 5lentils-
Level: Easy
Score: 10/10

INGREDIENTS
4 medium sweet potatoes
BBQ LENTILS
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup green lentils
1 cup pure tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
1 cup of water (I use ionized water)sweet_potatoes
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp yellow mustard
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp sriracha (Spicy sauce – optional)
olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS
ROASTED SWEET POTATOES

  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Soak potatoes in Strong alkaline water to clean off all the chemicals, and brush them, pat them dry with a dishtowel.
  3. Prick each potato a few times with a knife and cover them loosely with foil.
  4. Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 1 hour, or until the sweet potatoes are soft.

BBQ LENTILS

  1. Soak lentils in highly alkaline water for about 30min in order to clean off all the dirt as well as pesticides etc. Drain them, and rinse.
  2. In the meantime, heat two teaspoons of olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and garlic and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring from time to time to prevent the onions from burning.
  3. Add the tomato sauce, water, maple syrup, mustard, liquid smoke, smoked paprika, pink Himalayan salt, and lentils.
  4. Bring to a boil, cover and let simmer for about 25-30 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the sriracha (if using), to taste.
  5. Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven, and slice them lengthwise down the center. Expand the sides a little bit and top with about 1/3 cup of the bbq lentils.
  6. Drizzle with tahini sauce.
  7. Serve hot with a salad.

Give it a go and enjoy! sweet potatoes stuffed with BBQ lentils

Lots of love,

Agne Jonele

Why Do We Eat Broccoli…

Hey all broccoli lovers and haters!!!
Today I will reveal WHY we eat broccoli in our house and WHY should YOU!

Interestingly enough, these mini trees are notorious for being pushed off the plates of kids around the world, but broccoli’s reputation as one of the healthiest veggies still rings true. And here is why…

According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, one cup of chopped raw broccoli (approximately 91 grams) contains:

31 calories
0 grams of fat
6 grams of carbohydrate (including 2 grams of sugar and 2 grams of fiber)
3 grams of protein.

Just one cup of broccoli provides over 100% of your daily need for vitamin C and vitamin K and is also a good source of vitamin A, folate, and potassium! (Medical News Today)

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So gotta agree with me, that it’s worth giving broccoli a go!

I meet more and more people lately who are trying to eat healthier, make some dietary changes and do something to improve or sustain their good health. If this is you – broccoli should be on the top of your grocery list!

Broccoli belongs to the cruciferous vegetable family, which includes kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, cabbage, and turnips. These nutrition powerhouses supply loads of nutrients for a few calories! So why not enjoy the full plate of greens AND not overindulge on unnecessary calories! 

Not only does broccoli have great nutritional value, lost of vitamins and fiber, eating broccoli regularly offers many Possible Health Benefits :

  • Fights different types of cancer
    Eating a high amount of cruciferous vegetables has been associated with a lower risk of cancer; particularly lung and colon cancer. At the end of the day – our good (or bad) health starts from the colon…
    Broccoli also contains folate, which is another important vitamin that has been found to decrease the risk of breast cancer in women.
  • Improves bone health
    The bone fracture is linked with vitamin K deficit.

 The good news is that just one cup of chopped broccoli provides 92 micrograms of vitamin K 🙂

This is well over 100% of your daily needs. Consuming an adequate amount of vitamin K also improves the absorption of calcium. Win-win!

  • Healthier skin
    In order to have a healthy-looking, glowing skin we all need lots and lots of antioxidants. Broccoli is full of antioxidant vitamin C! (Are you doing a happy dance right now?) Antioxidants, when eaten in its natural form (in fresh produce as opposed to supplements), can help to fight skin damage caused by the sun and pollution, reduce wrinkles, and improve overall skin texture. Oh yeah, baby!

    Broccoli provides 81 milligrams of vitamin C in just one cup!  That is more than what you need in an entire day.

  • Improves digestion and natural detoxification
    Broccoli has lots of natural fiber and eating foods with natural fiber can prevent constipation as well as maintain a healthy digestive tract. Recent studies have shown that dietary fiber may also play a role in regulating the immune system and inflammation. 
  • Antioxidants and fiber may aid blood sugar control
    One human study showed significantly decreased insulin resistance in people with type 2 diabetes who consumed broccoli sprouts daily for one month (healthline.com)

Steamed-Broccoli

Quick tips to enjoy more broccoli:

  • Keep it simple and sauté chopped broccoli drizzled with coconut oil, cracked black pepper, and minced garlic.
  • Chop raw broccoli and add to your next wrap or salad.
  • Top your flatbread or pizza with chopped broccoli before roasting.
  • Make your own pesto or pasta sauce and add broccoli – you won’t even know the difference but you’ll get the benefits! 😉 

Different cooking methods:

  • boiling
  • roasting
  • stir-frying
  • steaming.

All these methods alter the vegetable’s nutrient composition, particularly reducing vitamin C, as well as soluble protein and sugar. Steaming appears to have the fewest negative effects. Of course, broccoli can be eaten cooked or raw — both are perfectly healthy but provide different nutrient profiles. 

And if I haven’t convinced you yet, maybe these 7 recipes will help you fall in love with broccoli:
1. Sautéed spiced broccoli
2. Oven Roasted broccoli with cheese
3. Broccoli Frittata with feta
4. Broccoli and Quinoa soup
5. Pesto broccoli and chicken pasta
6. Lasagne with broccoli and tuna
7. Broccoli snacks

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Broccoli is a nutrient-rich vegetable that may enhance your health in a variety of ways, such as by reducing inflammation, improving blood sugar control, boosting immunity and promoting heart health.

However, keep in mind that good health doesn’t come from any single food. Broccoli is merely one of the numerous healthy foods that can contribute to optimal health.

Love,

Agne Jonele

Tuna & Broccoli Lasagne by Agne

Time for the best lasagne! 🙂 I feel that lasagna is very same as crepes – you can be creative and try out different variations. Starting from traditional bolognese lasagne, to vegetarian, fish, chicken and mushrooms, seafood, cottage cheese and spinach AND, of course, – Tuna & Broccoli Lasagne by Agne 🙂 

And I can confidently say that my Tuna & Broccoli lasagne is the best recipe for homemade Italian-style lasagne. It is easy to make (much easier than traditional bolognese one), outrageously delicious, and so cozy and comforting.

If you haven’t cooked lasagne yet – that’s ok. There are only a few main things you need to know and then use imagination. What is very important to learn:

  • How to make white bechamel sauce;
  • How to prepare lasagne sheets
  • How to build lasagna 🙂

I have recently found out that you can buy fresh lasagne sheets instead of dried ones. This saves so much time, effort and energy!

lasagna sheets

Not sure about you, but I mainly use the dried sheets and it is so time-consuming to prepare them! (I always cook lasagne sheets 10 minutes before putting it all together as otherwise, lasagne is too dry for my liking). But never mind time, when I cook them, lasagne sheets tend to stick together after a few minutes in the boiling water… 😦 so much unnecessary upset… So yes – fresh lasagne sheets are super amazing! If you make them at home – fantastic! Otherwise, you can now buy fresh lasagne sheets in most grocery shops (Tesco, Aldi, Supervalu).

Tuna & Broccoli Lasagne

Servings: 6 – 8IMG_4789

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Level: Medium
Score: 10/10
Ingredients
10-12 lasagne sheets
100g – 200g grated cheese

Bechamel sauce:
80g. butter
100g. flour
500ml milk
500ml water from boiled broccoli
1 tsp pink Himalayan salt
black pepper

Lasagna Filling
1 broccoli
2 tins of tuna
3 – 4 carrots
2 medium onions

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to160C, lightly oil an ovenproof dish.
  2. Prepare the filling. Peel the carrots. Cut broccoli in smaller florets. Soak vegetables in highly alkaline water pH11.5 to remove all chemicals.
  3. Peel the onion and dice it.
  4. Grate the carrots. Then melt some coconut oil in the pan over the medium heat, place the onions, grated carrots and sautè until tender (5-7min).
  5. Add tinned and drained tuna to the carrot and onion mixture. Mixed it well together. Season with pink Himalayan salt and black pepper.
  6. Place broccoli into the boiling and salted water, boil them for 1 minute. Drain the broccoli but keep 500ml of water for the sauce.

White bechamel sauce:

  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat.
  2. Stir in the flour. Whisk in the water kept from the boiled broccoli, stir continuously, then start adding the milk, stirring continuously until you have a smooth, slightly thick sauce.
  3. Remove from the heat; season with salt and pepper. Add a bay leaf for additional flavour.
  4. Leave it on a side.

Building lasagne

  1. To build lasagne, spoon over a third of the white sauce into a large deep ovenproof dish (roughly 25cm by 30cm) and spread it out evenly, then snap over some lasagne sheets, making sure they completely cover the sauce in one layer.
  2. Place half of the carrots with onions and tuna, then half broccoli, add another third of the white bechamel sauce. Repeat this the second time, finishing with a layer of white sauce.
  3. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese and bake the lasagne in the oven for 45 minutes or until golden and bubbling.
  4. Remove the lasagne from the oven and leave to sit for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting. Lasagne needs to settle before cutting as otherwise, it’ll fall apart.
  5. Delicious served with a fresh green salad.

Lasagna-di-Broccoli

Enjoy! And if you do decide to give it a go, let me know how did it work out for you.

Lots of love,

Agne Jonele

Best Breakfast Frittata by Agne

What is Frittata and Why should you try it out?

Well, because it’s AWESOME! 🙂 And… Frittatas are the ultimate clean-out-the-fridge weekend breakfast or weekend brunch recipe. Or for those times when you have visitors and need to cook breakfast for 10 people… This is a real life-saver!

Frittatas also transport well, so you can bring slices to picnics or pack for lunch. And what I love about it that there are no unnecessary carbs in it at all! And you can make it as healthy as you like! (I don’t think it’s possible to make it unhealthy 😀 )

Reasons to cook frittata:

  • fewer pans and pots
  • use any meat and veg leftovers from the fridge
  • time-saver – no need to stand by the stove
  • perfect for bigger family breakfast/brunch
  • healthy option

Frittatas can be intimidating at first, but they’re very easy to make if you know what you’re doing. So today, I’m sharing the recipe that has never disappointed me. Add or extract anything you like but the eggs (of course 🙂 ) and some cheese is always a good idea.

This recipe I will be cooking the vegetables in the pan but you can use leftover vegetables – simply warm them in the pan before adding the eggs. Also in this recipe, I will show you how to make baked frittatas (in a casserole dish or muffin tin), which are more hands-off. And the baked option is particularly great if you need a make Fritta for the bigger crowd.

Basic Frittata Formula

  • 12 eggs, whisked just until the egg yolks and whites are blended
  • 3 tablespoons full-fat dairy
  • 200g – 440g cooked and seasoned vegetables, meat, etc.
  • 100g-200g grated or crumbled cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pink Himalayan salt

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Best Breakfast Frittata

Serves: 1 large frittata (approx. 8 servings) or 18 mini frittatas
Level: easy
Score: 10/10

Ingredients

  • 12 eggs, whisked just until the egg yolks and whites are blended
  • 3 tablespoons full-fat dairy
  • 300g vegetables: spinach, mushrooms, broccoli
  • 100g cooked chicken
  • 1 diced onion OR spring onions
  • 100g-200g grated or crumbled cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pink Himalayan salt
  • black pepper
  • Garnish (optional): Chopped fresh, leafy herbs (basil, parsley, cilantro, or dill)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C degrees.
  2. Grease the casserole and put it on the side.
  3. Soak your fresh vegetables (broccoli & spinach) in highly alkaline water pH11.5 to clean off all the pesticides and herbicides. Spray the mushrooms with highly alkaline water pH11.5 and clean them off with the kitchen towel.
  4. Drain the vegetables. Squeeze all the water out of spinach and place them in the greased casserole. Add spinach and spring onion (if you’re using the onion, sautè onion for a few minutes)
  5. Slice the mushrooms. Sautè them on the pan with a knob of butter. Add to the casserole dish.
  6. Sautè sliced broccoli with some butter or coconut oil (approx 5 minutes or until tender). Add to the casserole dish.
  7. Add slices of chicken.
  8. Crack the eggs into a medium mixing bowl. Add your dairy of choice and the salt. Whisk just until the egg yolks and whites are blended.
  9. Pour the eggs over the vegetables. Stir with a spatula briefly to combine and distribute the mixture evenly across the pan.
  10. Sprinkle the cheese
  11. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes (keep an eye on it – baking time depends on the thickness of your frittata), until the eggs are puffed and appear cooked, and the center of the frittata jiggles just a bit when you give it a gentle shimmy. Remove the frittata from the oven and place it on a cooling rack to cool. Garnish with herbs, slice with a sharp knife, and serve.
  12. Baked mini muffin frittata option: Bake for 13 to 17 minutes, until the eggs are puffed and appear cooked, and the center of the frittatas jiggle just a bit when you give the pan a gentle shimmy.

Enjoy frittata with some fresh salad, rashers or a slice of brown bread.
Let me know how did you get on!

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Lots of love,

Agne Jonele

Healthy Dark Chocolate & Coconut Balls

Who doesn’t like some good, rich and chocolaty treats?

This is actually melting in your mouth – that’s how good they are! During my last Kangen Cooking & Tasting event that I do in the house, this was the biggest hit! And the best news is – they are so easy and quick to make. And… they are good, healthy treats.

Dark chocolate is loaded with nutrients that can positively affect your health. Made from the seed of the cocoa tree, it is one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet. Studies show that dark chocolate (not the sugary crap) can improve your health and lower the risk of heart disease, – healthline.com

Coconut oil is high in healthy saturated fats that have different effects than most other fats in your diet. These fats can boost fat burning and provide your body and brain with quick energy. They also raise the good HDL cholesterol in your blood, which is linked to reduced heart disease risk, – healthline.com

But once again, keep it in mind – this is still a treat. Even though a healthy treat, don’t forget the main rule – all has to be in moderation. Don’t go overboard! 1 or 2 a day is just perfect 😉

Level: Easy
Score: 10/10
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Healthiest Cauliflower Rice by Agne

Have you heard about the cauliflower rice yet? Well, let me tell you this – someone has come up with a BRILLIANT idea when discovered this! I always knew potatoes, rice, pasta isn’t the best combination with meat or fish. But it is so deeply engraved in us that we have to have something more ‘filling’ with the main. Vegetables are not enough 🙂 In this case, you kinda trick your mind and can have a great healthier option! Cauliflower rice actually looks and even tastes a bit like rice, but the best part is – there is not one tiny grain in it!

Here is why cauliflower rice is good for you:

  • low in calories – only 25 calories per cup.
  • helps to maintain the weight
  • low-calorie substitute instead of rice, potato or flour
  • good source of fiber
  • low-carb alternative
  • cauliflower slows digestion and promotes a feeling of fullness

Here you are – give it a go!

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Healthiest Cauliflower Rice

Serves: 4-5 side portions

Level: Super Easy

Score: 10/10

Ingredients

1 medium/large head of cauliflower
1-2 handfuls of kale*
Brussels sprouts*
Frozen Peas*
Broccoli*
Himalayan pink salt
Black pepper
2-3 garlic cloves
Fresh parsley (optional)
Coconut Oil
Soy sauce to taste

Method

  1. Clean all vegetables well by soaking them in Strong Alkaline water pH11.5 to clean off all the chemicals off.
  2. Then soak the water off the vegetables. Cut the head of cauliflower into chunks, and discard the core. Place the cauliflower chunks to the food processor and pulse for 1-2 minutes until they’re broken into tiny pieces, just bigger than couscous.
  3. Place the saucepan to the heat and add the coconut oil and crushed garlic. Sautee garlic until it is fragrant, about 10 to 20 seconds.
  4. In the meantime prepare other vegetables (anything that you like and prefer, I recommend the ones that cook very quickly and take the same time to cook). Cut broccoli into small pieces. Cut Brussel sprouts into halves and quarters. Add frozen peas, kale to the saucepan with garlic, and cook for a few minutes.
  5. Add cut broccoli and brussel sprouts. Cook for another minute or 2 until all is mixed together.
  6. Finally, add the cauliflower rice to the vegetable mixture. Season with pink Himalayan salt and black pepper, stir to combine.
  7. Cook, stirring just every minute or so until the cauliflower rice is hot and turning golden in places, about 6 to 10 minutes.
  8. Remove the skillet from the heat. Stir in the parsley and serve warm.

*Substitute these vegetables to any of your preference (except potatoes).

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Have any questions or thoughts? Don’t hesitate to comment below 😉

Lots of love,

Agne Jonele

Spinach and Feta Puff Pastry Pies by Agne

Having a party? Or just a few visitors? Looking for something quick and healthy?

I have a solution for you! If you have some puff pastry in the fridge, you can make various arrangements but this one is REALLY good!

Spinach, feta & eggs! What’s not to like?!

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Spinach and Feta Puff Pastry Pies

Serves: 12-15 mini pies

Level: Easy

Score: 10/10

Ingredients

  • 150g spinach leaves, fresh or frozen
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 20g. butter or coconut oil
  • Pink Himalayan salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 100g feta
  • a squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1 large sheet of ready-rolled puff pastry (370g.)
  • 2 beaten eggs

 

Method

  1. Peel and crush the garlic. Chop the onion. Sauteè onion and garlic in a saucepan with small amount of butter or coconut oil.
  2. Prep the spinach. If you are using fresh spinach, clean them well by soaking them in Strong Alkaline water pH11.5 to clean off all the chemicals off the spinach, then use a salad spinner to remove as much water as possible.
  3. Add the spinach into a saucepan with sauteed onions and garlic, cook over medium-high heat for several minutes until the leaves start to wilt.
  4. If you are using frozen spinach leaves, place the frozen spinach into a large saucepan over low-medium heat. Cook until spinach is defrosted and tender.
  5. Press and squeeze out as much liquid from the cooked spinach as possible.
  6. Place the spinach onto a large plate and set aside to cool completely.
  7. In the meantime, place beaten eggs in the bow, add some Pink Himalayan salt and freshly ground pepper, crumble over the feta cheese, squeeze a bit of lemon juice and mix everything together.
  8. Add the spinach to the eggs and feta cheese mixture and mix everything very well.
  9. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  10. Cut puff pastry into squares and place them in the muffin tin moulds.
  11. Fill each pastry-lined mould with some of the spinach and feta filling.
  12. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the pies are lightly golden.
  13. Serve hot or warm.

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Best for the kids’ lunch boxes, as a snack or perfect for the party table!

Also, prepare them and freeze in the freezer for when unexpected guests arrive and you have nothing good in the fridge 😉

Lots of love,

Agne Jonele