Eating healthy, sustainable food with Detox Kitchen

Detox Kitchen have been championing eating whole foods for the past decade and have seen first hand the positive effects that real food has had. Everyone is now realising how they can really feel and be the best versions of themselves through eating a natural, predominantly plant based diet.

Food is medicine. The more fresh, whole ingredients we eat, the less likely we are to develop preventable illnesses. A good diet nourishes the body and supplies it with the essential nutrients required to function properly whilst also optimising energy levels. Try choosing well balanced meals made up of lean proteins, complex carbs (brown rice, rye bread, quinoa), healthy fats (nuts, seeds, avocado) and plenty of vegetables (more colourful the better). Detox's top tips are:

1) Eat as much fresh, raw veg (and some fruit) as you can, and consider supplementing with Vitamin C, Iodine, Zinc, Selenium and Vitamin D3.

2) Go easy on the sugar because infections thrive in a high-sugar environment.

3) Eat plenty of herbs and spices to support the immune system. Think echinacea as a tincture and ginger, thyme, turmeric, rosemary and raw garlic in food.

The link between gut health and stress is strong, with cortisol being one of the main stress hormones which can compromise the barrier functioning of the gut. This is especially true when it is persistently being pumped out, which can drive inflammation in the body overall and may also impact negatively on the composition of the bacteria in our gut. On the flip side if the gut is not functioning well it can send messages to the brain via various signals and communication channels that something isn’t quite right which can heighten stress and inflammation in the body including the brain.

Nourishment is more than just the food we consume. Make sure you’re also making the effort to be present at mealtimes, really tuning into your hunger levels. Certain hormones produced in our gut also help to manage switching our appetite on and off. So if you’re rushing through your meal, it may be the case that those hormones haven’t had enough time to switch on and off. We suggest pausing between mouthfuls and waiting ten minutes each time you finish a meal before deciding if you need more.

Diet can also be transformative in affecting our quality of sleep. Rob Hobson has explained to us that ‘what and when to eat will form a key part of your sleep ritual. Certain food and drinks have been shown to help induce sleep by way of their nutrient content. When planning what to eat, a combination of tryptophan-rich foods (such as seeds, nuts, oily fish & poultry) teamed with carbohydrates (rice, potato) may be the perfect option for an evening meal. Be sure to also include plenty of foods rich in vitamin B6 and magnesium in your diet, such as pulses, lentils & oily fish.’

All of Detox's Fridge Fill range are designed to ensure you are getting the right nutrients. Below are some of their recipes to help you to create a balanced and nutritious plate.

Squash, Chickpea and Caper Stew

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 1 onion
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 4 tomatoes, diced
  • 100g butternut squash or sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 300ml veg stock (or 300ml water with ½ tsp celery salt and ½ tsp steak seasoning)
  • 150g kale
  • 300g chickpeas
  • Zest 1 lemon

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees. Finely slice half the onions and place them on a baking tray with 4 cloves of garlic. Drizzle in oil and add salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 15-20 mins until golden.
  2. Meanwhile, finely chop the remaining onions and garlic, place in a large pan and sauté in olive oil until soft. Add in all the ingredients apart from the chickpeas and kale and simmer on a medium heat for 25 mins. Make sure to retain the chickpea water for another recipe in this series.
  3. Add the kale and chickpeas and cook for a further 10 minutes.
  4. Serve with the roasted onions and garlic, some extra capers and a few grates of lemon zest.

Beetroot, Lentil & Hummus Buddha Bowls

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 2 beetroots, cut into quarters
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Pinch salt & pepper
  • 100g savoy cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 100g red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 200g cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 6 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 100g cooked lentils
  • 400g cooked chickpeas
  • 200g hummus, homemade or shop bought
  • 20g sesame seeds

Tahini and lemon dressing

  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ½ tsp za’atar
  • Pinch salt & pepper

Method:

  1. Place the beetroot on a lined baking tray, drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt and grind over the pepper. Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes until soft throughout.
  2. While these are cooking, prepare all the raw ingredients as described in the ingredients list.
  3. To make the dressing, place all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until smooth, season to taste.
  4. Bring the dish together so you can see a bit of every ingredient, the more colourful the better. Pour over the dressing and top with sesame seeds.

Pumpkin Gnocchi

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 700g pumpkin/squash
  • 350g plain gluten-free flour, extra for dusting
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch salt & pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 100g peas, fresh or frozen
  • 200g cabbage, cavolo nero or savoy
  • 50g parmesan

Method:

  1. Cut the pumpkin into 2-3cm wedges, place on a lined baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle over the salt and a few grinds of pepper and roast in the oven for 35-45 minutes until completely soft. Once cooked, remove the seeds and discard. You can also remove the skin if it is particularly firm, I have kept the skin on mine as it is very soft and will blitz up fine.
  2. Place all the cooked pumpkin in a food processor and blitz until completely smooth. Tip into a bowl and add the flour, 1tbsp oil and salt. Combine with your hands to form a dough ball. Wrap in bees wax paper or cling film and place in the fridge for 20-30 minutes to chill.
  3. Lightly dust a surface with flour and place the dough onto it, kneading a few times if it needs bringing together. Cut the ball into 4 pieces and roll each piece into a long thin sausage around 10-15cm long and now more than 1 inch thick. Then cut the sausage into 1.5 inch pieces.
  4. Bring a pan of water to the boil and drop the gnocchi into the water, they will sink to the bottom, when they rise to the top they are cooked. Remove them from the water and place them on a kitchen towel to remove the excess moisture.
  5. Place a large frying pan on a medium heat, add 1tbsp olive oil, when the oil is hot place the gnocchi into the pan. Shake the pan often to ensure they don’t stick and are golden on all sides. Once they are golden add in the garlic and cook for a few minutes until golden. Then add the fresh or frozen peas and cabbage and saute for a few minutes until the cabbage has slightly wilted. Season with salt and pepper and serve straight into two bowls. Top with vegan or vegetarian parmesan.