Messy Mince Lettuce Cups

Lettuce Cups make for THE BEST delicious plate of goodness. They use basic ingredients and don’t take too much effort. You can use chicken, fish, mushrooms, falafel… whatever you like, but these ones use the humble beef mince. The result is a scrumptious hand-eaten real-food feast that dribbles from your hands right down to your elbows by the time you reach your last bite!

Ingredients: 1 head of lettuce, a little dollop of butter, 1 chopped onion, 1 chopped fresh garlic clove, 500g beef mince, ½ teaspoon of salt (I use salt with seaweed ground into it for some extra nutrients) a sprinkle each of cumin, turmeric, paprika and ground ginger, 2 chopped tomatoes, a few leaves of leafy greens like silver-beet all chopped up into little bits, 1 carrot, 1 beetroot, a handful of finely chopped baby spinach, some fresh parsley ripped up into small pieces, and if you like a bit of garnish then have some greek yoghurt, grated cheese and sauerkraut on hand.

Steps: Wash your lettuce to get all the bug-poo and dirt off… especially when pulling straight from the garden like me! Don’t be too pedantic, a little dirt never hurt. Heat butter in a good pan to a medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring, until it has softened a little. Add the mince and break it up with your wooden spoon, continuing to cook until browned. Add your spices to taste, salt, 1 of the chopped tomatoes and finely chopped leafy greens. Continue to cook and stir until any liquid has reduced and it smells and tastes yummy. While it is cooking away, grate your carrot and beetroot, chop your baby spinach, toss the three together in a bowl with the chopped tomatoes and parsley.

Spoon some mince, then grated salad onto a couple of lettuce leaves, and add grated cheese, a dollop of Greek yoghurt and sauerkraut if using. Grind some salt and pepper on top. Om nom nom, feast away!             

By Jasmine at Franklee Healthy

Chicken and Veggie Mungbean Pasta

Serves: 4  Time: Let it go… not long though.

Ingredients: A dollop of butter, 2 finely sliced garlic cloves, 2 sliced shallots, 1 finely chopped fresh chilli, 4 chicken thigh fillets chopped into small cubes, chopped veggies (broccoli, zucchini, eggplant, silverbeet), 1 packet of mungbean pasta, 1 egg, half a cup of cheese, salt and pepper, drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, 1 cup of microgreens.

Steps: Heat the butter in a pan to a low-medium heat. Add finely sliced fresh garlic, shallots and chilli. Stir for about 3 minutes until it softens and smells so good. Add chicken and stir occasionally until almost cooked through. Add broccoli, zucchini, eggplant, silverbeet and any other greens that need to be used up. Continue to cook without increasing the heat, until the veggies have softened a bit, or to your own desired crunchiness. Cook mungbean noodles as per instructions and drain. Whisk an egg and cheese with a fork in a small bowl. Throw the noodles into the pan with the chicken and veggies and stir to combine. Stir through the egg and cheese mixture, salt and pepper to taste and a drizzle of olive oil.  

By Jasmine at Franklee Healthy

5 Dangers of Eating Real Food

More and more people are starting to eat food in its real form as it comes from Mother Earth. Are you just going to sit back and watch this happen? Something must be done. Eating real food is dangerous! Here’s why:

  1. It can give you NUTRIENTS. This affects all of the cells. ALL of the systems in your body could become more efficient. Body and mind inclusive.
  2. May cause increased energy levels, concentration and motivation. Watch out.
  3. Can lead to higher self-esteem.
  4. Studies have shown that a real-food diet can increase school achievement levels in children.
  5. It can lead to a gentler footprint on our environment.

Sorry. I’m being a bit silly. I did have a list of sarcastic ways you can stop the real-food movement but I’ve changed it now. My morning writing voice was a little too silly and sarcastic for my evening reading one. But I just wanted to pause and have a think about why some people seem adamant that leading and encouraging real-food lifestyles is somehow irresponsible. I notice comments online and also in real life. An attitude that we must not venture into real-food lifestyles until thorough research has been done. It could be dangerous! It could leave us feeling deprived! It is an act of self loathing! We won’t get all the nutrients we need! And on another level, that people who eat unprocessed food are somehow oddballs with a snobby, stuck up attitude!

Why is this? Money? Fear of change? Addiction to processed food? Envy? Body image? Self-worth? Varying educational schools of thought? Conflicting interests? Prior experience? Fear? Different values? I’m not sure.

I think that everyone should be free to express an opinion, and that nobody is right, so that’s cool. But I totally disagree with the cautionary approach to whole food. And most people I know who follow this kind of lifestyle are actually some of the most empathetic and compassionate ethical thinkers that I know. Because they give a shit about how our food consumption affects themselves and the world.

Research around nutrition will never be conclusive. Like, never ever. Too many variables. Too much stuff we don’t know about our bodies. Surely the only side effect of eating unprocessed food is to get healthier. Isn’t this what we want for ourselves and each other? If it’s what we want to do then can’t we just do it, and without judgement? And help others to do so too when they ask for encouragement too?

Everyone is doing the best they can do with the knowledge and resources that they have. So just let them do that. And if they reach out for support to eat healthier, give it to them. It will not cause harm.

Comments and ideas below are very encouraged. It is a conversation I think is important.

By Jasmine at Franklee Healthy

For examples of recipes these real-food eaters might cook, click here.