Barbecue Turkey Skewers with Tahini Dip

These Middle Eastern inspired turkey skewers are ideal for a summer barbecue or picnic, and can be packed into lunch boxes for a work week lunch served with grilled pitta breads, fresh leafy greens and gut-loving kimchi (fermented vegetables). The recipe makes between two and four servings as a light lunch or larger meal. Serving suggestions are optional of course so free to improvise. A big green salad, fresh hummus, and a bowl of tabbouleh (a herby salad made with bulgur wheat, tomatoes, lots of fresh mint and parsley) are great healthy options for a summer feast!

Serves: 2-4 | Cooking Time: 15 minutes | Rating: Simple

Nutrition: High Protein, Low Fat, Low Saturated Fat

Free From: Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Refined Sugar

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled and crushed
  • Juice and rind of half a large lemon
  • 1 heaped teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of dried or finely chopped oregano
  • A good pinch of sea salt
  • 3 large skinless turkey breasts cut into strips
  • 6 wooden or metal skewers

Tahini Dip

  • 2 tbsp light tahini
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Juice of 1 whole lemon
  • A good pinch of sea salt
  • 1 garlic clove peeled

To Serve:

Rocket leaves, diced cucumber, kimchi, grilled pitta pockets or flatbreads.

Method:

  1. If using wooden skewers, soak them in cool water whilst marinading the turkey (about 20 mins).
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, lemon rind, cumin, oregano and sea salt. Add the turkey strips and mix to combine. Cover and leave to marinate for at least 20 minutes (or overnight in the fridge).
  3. Preheat the grill or barbecue to a medium temperature. Remove the turkey from the marinade and thread onto the six skewers (you can discard the marinade).
  4. Place the skewers directly onto the barbecue grill and cook for about 8-10 minutes until cooked and slightly charred.
  5. To make the dip, put the tahini, water, lemon juice, salt and garlic into a small blender and pulse until combined (or whisk together with a fork, making sure to chop and crush the garlic into a paste with the back of a knife first). The dip should have a yogurt-like consistency.
  6. Transfer the dip to a bowl. Remove the turkey skewers from the grill and transfer to a plate lined with parchment.
  7. Serve with grilled pitta pockets or flatbreads (if coeliac or gluten-intolerant you can buy gluten free pittas in most supermarkets), piles of fresh rocket leaves, some fermented vegetables like kimchi or finely diced cucumber.

Nutrition Information

Created by: Pamela Ryan Qualified Nutritionist

Website: www.thehealthonist.com

Instagram: @the_healthonist

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Beef + Mushroom Celeriac Lasagne – Main

The final recipe in the Lloyds Pharmacy Change Your Health Direction program is a vegetable and protein packed twist on a traditional lasagne. For lasagne sheets I use finely sliced rounds of celeriac.  It’s a little ugly….a bit knobbly and odd shaped but it’s what’s inside that counts…lots of fibre and antioxidant vitamins.  I’m using beef mince for the ragu sauce, but this can be replaced with lamb or 2 cans of puy lentils if you’re plant-based. Good quality beef is rich in protein, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A, niacin, Vitamin B6 and selenium. Even so, you won’t lose out if you use lentils as they are one of the best sources of plant-based protein, fiber, folate and iron.

Serves 6

Dairy Free | Gluten Free | Grain Free | Vegetarian Options

Ingredients

For the Ragu

  • 500g lean minced beef (for vegetarian option use 2 cups of cooked puy or beluga lentils)
  • 1 tbsp Optima raw organic coconut oil*
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 6 sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato passata
  • 250ml beef stock (or mushroom stock)

For the Creamed Mushrooms  

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil*
  • 250g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 200ml oat or almond cream

Celeriac ‘Lasagne’ Sheets

Celeriac x1 whole, peeled and sliced into very fine round pieces with a good knife of mandolin.

Spinach Layer: 300g spinach leaves (remove the stalks, chop finely and add them to your ragu… no waste!)

To Serve:  2-3 handfuls of rocket, 5-6 small vine tomatoes finely sliced

Instructions:

This is a lot easier than it might look. You can prepare and assemble this dish the night before and store in the fridge. It also freezes quite well and you can cook from frozen if time isn’t on your side.

  1. Preheat your oven to 160C.
  2. Start with the Ragu.
  3. Season the beef mince. Melt the coconut oil in a heavy casserole or skillet. Add the beef and cook until brown all over. Transfer to a place and set aside.
  4. In the same pan, add the onion, celery and garlic. Sauté over a medium heat for about 10 minutes until soft.
  5. Return the beef to the pan. Add the sage and bay leaves and cook for a few minutes before adding the tomatoes and beef stock. Cook gently for 20 minutes. If the sauce gets too thick, add more water.
  6. In a separate pan melt a little coconut oil and tip the sliced mushrooms, crushed garlic and thyme into the pan.
  7. Sauté for 10 minutes and then add the oat cream. Simmer gently for 10 minutes and season with black pepper and a pinch of sea salt.
  8. Whilst the ragu and mushrooms are cooking. Prepare the lasagne sheets. Peel the celeriac and use a sharp knife to slice into very-fine circular ‘sheets’. Set aside.
  9. Wash and dry the spinach. Remove the stalks, chop finely and toss into the ragu.

Assembly:

  1. Melt some coconut oil and use a pastry brush to spread it onto an oven proof dish.
  2. Start by layering the celeriac sheets in one layer onto the base. Top with half the ragu mixture, then a layer of spinach and pour over half of the creamed mushrooms.
  3. Add another layer of celeriac, ragu, spinach and creamed mushrooms (in that order). Finish with sliced tomatoes (optional) and some freshly grated parmesan (or vegan alternative such as cashew cheese).
  4. Transfer to an oven and cook for about 45 minutes until bubbling.
  5. Remove from the oven and top with freshly ground black pepper and rocket leaves. Serve!
NUTRITION INFORMATION (approx. per serving)
Calories Fat Protein Carbs Sugars Fibre
351 20.5g 21.5g 19.4g 10.4g 6g

PAMELA RYAN | NUTRITIONIST | CORPORATE NUTRITION + YOGA

Website: www.thehealthonist.com

Instagram: @the_healthonist

*Available in LloydsPharmacy Stores

5 HEALTHY + PORTABLE SNACK IDEAS

Because this is my last week of recipes I’m a little spoilt for choice as regards what to share next. I couldn’t, and didn’t want to choose, so I’m sharing a medley of my favourite snacks, from simplest to some more interesting options.  There are five in total which I hope will provide something for everyone’s tastes. All are dairy, grain and gluten-free, some are entirely ‘plant-based’. The common denominator is that they are all made from very simple whole-foods.  If you’re having guests you could make a ‘snack platter’…..otherwise just prepare them all as you wish and squirrel them away in your car / handbag / desk drawer / goodie-drawer for those afternoons when you just need a little nibble!

CRUNCHY APPLE WITH CREAMY PB + CINNAMON  (serves 1)

  • 1 apple
  • 1-2 tbsp Meridian peanut or almond butter*
  • A good pinch of ground cinnamon

Instructions: I hardly need to provide instruction but here goes! Slice the apple, dip or spread with peanut butter and sprinkle over the cinnamon. Simple.

Good For: Peanut butter provides protein. Apple provides pectin (fibre) for gut health and cinnamon can help to balance blood sugar.

HARD BOILED EGGS, SUMAC + AVOCADO (serves 1)

  • 2 eggs, hard boiled
  • 1/3 tsp sumac (a citrus spice made from red berries of the sumac shrub)
  • 1 small (or 1/2 medium) avocado
  • Pinch of sea salt

Instructions: Boil eggs in a pan of water for 5-7 minutes. Allow to cool before peeling off the shell. Store in a small lunch box or lunch bag. To serve slice open, sprinkle with sumac. Half the avocado, sprinkle with sea salt and pile scoops onto your egg.

Good For: Low carbohydrate (sugar) option. High protein + fat keeps you full. Egg provides essential minerals and amino acids. Avocado is rich in fibre, folate, potassium and vitamin E.

TAMARI ROAST NUTS + SEEDS (makes 10-12 1oz servings)

  • 5 cups of mixed raw nuts (brazil, pecan, almond, walnut, macadamia)
  • 1/4 cup of seeds (sunflower / pumpkin)
  • 1 tbsp Optima raw virgin coconut oil*
  • 1 tbsp tamari (gluten free, GMO-free soy sauce)

Instructions: Preheat oven to 180C. Melt the coconut oil with the tamari in a saucepan over a medium heat. Dump in the nuts and seeds and combine well. Spread onto a roasting tray and place in the oven for 10 minutes. Leave to cool and crisp before decanting into a glass airtight jar.

Good For: Nuts and seeds are some of the most nutrient dense foods in existence. Low carbohydrate but high in essential fats, protein and antioxidant nutrients Vitamin E, selenium and zinc. Consuming a handful of nuts daily is associated with lower body fat and BMI.

DARK CHOCOLATE + CHILLI MANGO (makes 4-6 servings)

  • 50g 85% cacao dark chocolate, melted
  • 100g organic dried mango (no added sugars, sulphites, preservatives)
  • 1 tsp dried red chilli flakes
  • A pinch of sea salt flakes

Instructions: Dip the mango into the melted dark chocolate (half-way) and set each piece onto a tray lined with greaseproof paper. Sprinkle the chocolate end with chilli flakes and sea salt and allow to set. Transfer to a jar.

Good For:  A quick energy boost. Mango (especially dried variety) is higher in simple sugars that your body can absorb and utilise quickly. Good for athletes pre- and post-training (if post training, add a hard boiled egg or a protein shake to optimise tissue repair and muscle growth).

CHOCOLATE NUT + GOJI BERRY BRITTLE (makes about 10-12 cupped handfuls)

  • 100g mixed nuts
  • 1 heaping handful of Nua naturals goji berries*
  • 1 handful Nua naturals cacao nibs* (optional)
  • 80g dark chocolate (85% cacao content or above)
  • Pinch of sea salt flakes
  • 1 Tbsp Nua naturals raw cacao powder*

Instructions: Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, reduce the heat and place a pyrex bowl on top. Break the dark chocolate into chunks and melt. When the chocolate is melted tip the nuts, gogi berries, cacao nibs and sea salt into the bowl with the chocolate and mix well to combine. Spread onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes until almost set. Remove from the fridge and dust with cacao powder. Place back in the fridge for 10 minutes. Break up the chunks of brittle and transfer to a large glass container. Store in the fridge.

Good For: Premenstrual symptoms such as low mood, anxiety and sugar or chocolate cravings. Cacao is a natural mood elevator and is an excellent source of iron, magnesium, zinc and B vitamins which are all particularly important for menstrual health. Nuts provide satiating essential fats, antioxidant vitamin E and selenium and zinc which are essential for male and female reproductive health.

PAMELA RYAN | NUTRITIONIST | CORPORATE NUTRITION + YOGA

Website: www.thehealthonist.com

Instagram: @the_healthonist

*Available in LloydsPharmacy Stores

HAM & SPINACH TART – MAIN

Many people tell me one of the things they miss most about reducing refined carbohydrates in their diet is baked goods, especially pastry.  This versatile grain-free (or dare I say, ‘paleo’) tart crust is made using coconut flour, coconut oil, egg and a little salt. There are lots of variations on this recipe, and you could even add a little coconut sugar for a sweeter crust to use for a dessert filling. Speaking of which, the filling is wide open for experimentation (for this recipe, I squirrelled some of my father’s leftover Christmas ham while he wasn’t looking!)…you could try mushroom & kale, asparagus & white crab meat or even a rich chocolate filling using cacao powder and coconut cream.

This delicious tart takes a little effort but makes a great main meal served with a side of greens or for lunch with peppery rocket & watercress salad.

(gluten-free, grain-free, low sugar, source of vitamin A, C, calcium and iron)

(serves 4 generously)

Equipment: 8 1/2” or 9” tart tin

For the crust

  • 3/4 cup of coconut flour
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil (plus extra for greasing)*
  • 2 whole eggs
  • Pinch of sea salt

*Available in LloydsPharmacy Stores & Online

For the filling

  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (unsweetened)
  • 2 generous handfuls baby spinach
  • 85g cooked ham, shredded
  • 2 spring onions, sliced
  • Pinch of grated nutmeg
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme

Instructions

  1. Put the coconut flour, coconut oil, eggs and sea salt into the bowl of a food processor and mix until well combined. Remove from the bowl, press together into a ball and wrap in cling film. Chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  1. Grease the tart tin with coconut oil. Pre heat oven to 160 degrees celsius.
  1. Remove the pastry from the fridge, unwrap the clingfilm and place it into the tart tin. Its quite malleable so you can use the back of a spoon to spread and press it into the tart tin. Then use your fingers to lightly press it into the edges and work it up the sides of the tin (the smaller the tin, the higher your edge will be, but don’t worry if its only about 2 1/2 inches).
  1. To make the filling, beat the eggs, almond milk and grated nutmeg together. Arrange the ham, spinach leaves, spring onion and thyme onto the pastry and then pour the egg & almond milk mixture over the top.
  1. Put the tart into the oven and bake for about 40 minutes until the filling is just set. Leave to stand for a few minutes before removing from the tin. Delicious served warm, or cold for lunch with a peppery green salad.
NUTRITION INFORMATION PER ONE SERVING (1/4 Tart)
Calories Fat Carbs Protein Sugar Fibre
395 28g 15.1g 16.1g 4.4g 8.8

PAMELA RYAN | NUTRITIONIST | CORPORATE NUTRITION + YOGA

Website: www.thehealthonist.com

Instagram: @the_healthonist

OVERNIGHT BUCKWHEAT WITH RASPBERRIES & COCONUT – BREAKFAST

We are super excited to announce that Nutritional Therapist Pamela Ryan is back with LloydsPharmacy for our FREE 8 week Change Your Health Direction Programme, which kicks off this January! ‘The Healthonist’ will be providing us with 3 deliciously nutritious recipes each week (breakfast, snack, lunch/dinner) to keep us on track and away from the temptations we got all too comfortable with in December…

Oh January! The Prosecco-fuelled breakfasts of the Christmas holidays by now seem like a distant memory as most of us look to the year ahead with new vigour and determination. One of the most positive things you can do for your health is to start each day with a balanced meal of protein, fats and carbohydrates but unfortunately most breakfasts are top-heavy when it comes to carbohydrates and sugar.

This recipe is a slight departure from ‘overnight oats’ or bircher muesli and is bursting with nutrient-rich seeds – buckwheat, flaxseed and chia seeds.  Whilst most people think of buckwheat as a grain, it is in fact a protein and fibre-rich seed that can help prevent diabetes and despite its name, buckwheat doesn’t contain any wheat or gluten.

Chia and flaxseeds provide an extra ‘hit’ of protein, fibre and essential fats which increase satiety between meals and stabilise blood sugar.  Soaking overnight in a combination of citrus (orange) and water helps to break the seeds down, so they’re easily digested nutrient absorption is maximised!

This recipe makes two servings. Sometimes I’ll double the recipe to last me a few days. If you use glass jars with an airtight lid you can store them in the fridge and grab them on your way out to work on busy mornings.

For the ‘Overnight Buckwheat’ you will need:

  • 3 heaped tablespoons of buckwheat flakes
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of milled flaxseeds
  • 1 tablespoon Chia Bia Whole Chia Seeds*
  • A pinch of Nua Naturals Vanilla Powder*
  • Juice of 1 whole orange
  • 3/4 cup water, almond or coconut milk (I used water)

For Serving you will need:

  • 125g fresh raspberries (blackberries will also work)
  • A pinch of Nua Naturals Vanilla Powder*
  • 125g Coconut yogurt or plain greek yogurt
  • Toasted coconut flakes (or flaked almonds)
  • Two small glasses or airlock jars

*Available in LloydsPharmacy Stores

STEP BY STEP

The night before:

  1. In a bowl combine the buckwheat, flaxseeds, chia seeds and vanilla powder. Stir in the orange juice and your choice of liquid (I used water).
  1. Cover and leave in fridge overnight.

In the morning:

  1. In a bowl mash the raspberries with a fork and stir in a pinch of vanilla powder. You should get a jam-like consistency.
  1. Spoon half of the raspberry mixture into the base of the two glasses, reserving the other half for topping.
  1. Spoon a tablespoon of yogurt into each glass.
  1. Remove the buckwheat from the fridge and give it a good stir. Then divide the mixture between the two glasses.
  1. To finish spoon the remaining raspberry mixture and yogurt on top of the buckwheat and sprinkle the top of each with a tablespoon of toasted coconut flakes.
Nutrition Facts (per 1 Serving)
Using Coconut Milk Yogurt (CoYo) Using Fage Total Greek Yogurt (full fat)
Calories 442 365
Fat (g) 27.4 17.4
Protein (g) 9 13
Carbohydrate (g) 45 46
Fibre (g) 9.3 9.3
Sugar (g) 15 16
Gluten-Free. Grain-Free. High Protein. High Fibre. Essential Fatty Acids.

PAMELA RYAN | NUTRITIONIST | CORPORATE NUTRITION + YOGA

Website: www.thehealthonist.com

Instagram: @the_healthonist

‘The Healthonist’ Recipes by Pamela Ryan – (Golden) Milk & Cookies!

How time flies when you’re having fun (and eating great food)… can you believe it’s our 12th and final week of recipes by nutritional therapist Pamela! We hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as we have. But fear not, you can still find more amazing recipes on Instagram @the_healthonist and at  www.thehealthonist.com

This weeks recipe is (Golden) Milk & Cookies, enjoy!

Turmeric. The golden spice associated with Indian cuisine has been used for centuries, particularly in Ayurveda (the ancient healing system of India) for its powerful healing properties. It’s no surprise then, that scientists soon became interested in the seemingly magical medicinal properties of this golden root.

Curcumin – the main bioactive compound found in turmeric root is probably one of the most heavily researched compounds in the world in relation to its potent anti-inflammatory effects.  This compound has been proven effective in treating inflammation, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive decline and multiple sclerosis as well as being effective in preventing the progression of some cancers. I love when science and ancient wisdom agree!

As curcumin is not easily absorbed into cells on its own,  it is often taken with black pepper and coconut oil or milk to enhance absorption so the recipes here optimise the bioavailability of  curcumin. Whats more, golden milk is a particularly effective tonic for balancing female hormones and may be an effective in reducing the pain and inflammation associated with PMS, PCOS, Uterine Fibroids and Endometriosis and for balancing blood sugars.   This is my version of milk & cookies – no dairy, gluten or refined ingredients….

Turmeric & Ginger Cookies (Makes about 12)

  • 125g ground almonds
  • 100g organic gluten free oats, ground into a coarse flour using a food processor
  • 1/3 cup organic maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons organic ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon organic ground ginger
  1. Line a baking tray with parchment and pre-heat the oven the 180 degrees celsius.
  2. In a bowl combine all the ingredients to form a crumbly dough that sticks together easily when pressed.
  3. Take heaped tablespoons of mixture and shape it into balls using your hands. Place onto the baking tray and press down lightly with the base of a small glass.
  4. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes until the cookies are golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire wrack. As the cookies cool they will become more crunchy.
  5. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Golden Milk (Makes 1 cup)

  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 heaped teaspoon organic virgin coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup unsweetened nut milk (almond, coconut, hazelnut, hemp etc)
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic maple syrup, raw honey or coconut palm sugar.
  1. In a small bowl mix the turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper and coconut oil to make a paste.
  2. Transfer to a small saucepan and heat gently for a minute then pour in your chosen milk.
  3. Heat gently for about 5 minutes (do not boil).
  4. To serve, pour the golden milk into a cup and add a 1/2 teaspoon organic maple syrup, raw honey or coconut sugar to taste.

Change Your Health Direction: Week 5

We’re now over 5 weeks in to our Change Your Health Direction campaign. Delightfully, we can confirm that hundreds of you are still active in the programme, losing weight or quitting smoking with the support of our colleagues in pharmacy.   Well done for sticking with it!! Only 3 weeks left to reach your goals.

avrilOur resident CYHD expert, Avril Reilly, Pharmacist in our Governey Square branch, is back this week with an update, this time focused on a particular range of products that are making a significant difference to her CYHD participants…

‘I have mentioned on previous occasions that some of our CYHD participants are using two great Irish products from True-Life to help them along their weight loss journey – Heart Up and Shake Up. Heart Up is a low GI wholegrain barley which delivers high levels of fibre and beta-glucan and it has been scientifically proven to both lower cholesterol and reduce blood sugars and in doing so it helps to sustain energy, fill you up and prevent cravings. It comes in three varieties; blueberry, red berries and original and a scoop of the product can be conveniently added to porridge, soups, salads, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes etc. A very worthwhile product and we are receiving excellent feedback from those who are using it regularly. Definitely worth a try!!

During the first couple of weeks of the CYHD weight loss program I had been noticing that some of the participants were not eating regularly as they were on the go and found it difficult to bring snacks with them to keep them going in between their main meals. I recommended that they try True-life Shake up as it provides a balanced, convenient snack that they could take anywhere with them and as it contains protein it helps to sustain energy and maintain balanced blood sugars. This daily protein shake also helps to maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints. It comes in three delicious flavours; strawberry, chocolate and vanilla. As it is sweetened with the natural sweetener stevia it won’t upset blood sugar balance, and it is packed full of goodness – even the protein it contains is 100% Irish whey protein from outdoor grass fed cows! It is so much more than a protein shake as it is also high in calcium, low in fat, gluten free, high in fibre and contains 100% RDA vitamin D! The participants who have been using this product have been finding it excellent and even though it is not a weight loss product it has really helped them throughout the past number of weeks on the program and several of them have mentioned that they plan to stay on it long term as it is very affordable and the benefits are outstanding!!’

Fantastic advice as usual from Avril in Carlow; keep it up!!