Lockdown life is hard, it impacts our physical, mental & social health.
Thanks to science, we now know there’s a real growing link between our gut and our brain – what we feed our bodies (aka our gut) can impact how we feel, and how we feel can impact our gut!
So, to take the load off this lockdown, we’ve prepared these dinners, snacks and mood boosting experiences to get you feeling good inside and out.
Salmon Nourish Bowl
Supported with Hunger-Fullness Check In
Baked Lamb & Oregano Meatballs
Paired with Italiano Playlist
Bean Loaded Nachos
Plus awakened eating affirmation
Hummus & Dippy Bits
Enhanced with a three-bite check in
Choc Banana Bread
Enjoy baking with a mindfulness meditation
Salmon Nourish Bowl (GF)
Serves 4, 30 mins
Salmon: omega-3 for your brain
Garlic, onion & sweet corn: prebiotics to feed your microbiome
For the salmon
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup chilli garlic sauce
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 tbsp honey
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 salmon fillets
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar or rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 3 cucumbers, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp Sriracha
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- Cooked brown rice (we use packet rice- 1 x large packet)
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1 medium carrot, grated
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 med tin corn (drained)
- ½ punnet cherry tomatoes (halved)
- Sesame seeds
- Coriander leaves, torn (optional)
- Make salmon: Preheat oven to 180° and line a large baking sheet with foil. In a medium bowl, whisk together soy sauce, olive oil, chilli garlic sauce, lime juice, honey, and garlic. Add salmon and gently toss to combine. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake until salmon is fork-tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make pickled cucumbers: In a microwave-safe bowl or jar, add vinegar, sugar, and salt and microwave until sugar and salt are dissolved, about 2 minutes. Stir in sesame oil, then add cucumbers and shake to combine. Cover with a tight-fitting lid or plastic wrap until ready to use.
- Make spicy mayo: In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, Sriracha, and sesame oil.
- Before plating up, check out our hunger-fullness check in clip below.
- Assemble bowls: Divide rice among 4 bowls. Top with salmon, pickled cucumbers, avocado, carrot, red onion, corn, cherry tom, cori, and sesame seeds. Drizzle mayo.
Hunger Fullness Check-In
Match what you plate up to your hunger, to feel satisfied after eating
Baked Lamb & Oregano Meatballs
Serves 4, 30 mins, warm, creamy, gooey, satisfying
Mediterranean style of eating is one of the most well researched
& has been shown to increase feelings of happiness*
- 400g spiral pasta
- 1kg lamb mince
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups oregano leaves, chopped
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon caster (superfine) sugar
- ⅓ cup (80ml) balsamic glaze
- sea salt and cracked black pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1½ tablespoons harissa paste
- 2¼ cups (700g) tomato purée (passata)
- 2 cups (200g) grated mozzarella
- ¼ cup (20g) finely grated pecorino
- ½ cup oregano leaves, extra
Serve with side salad
- 1 x large bag of rocket
- 1 x pear
- ½ cup walnuts
- ¼ cup parmesan shredded
- 1 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- Preheat oven to 250°C
- Add the mince, eggs, oregano, cumin, 2 teaspoons of the sugar, the balsamic glaze, salt and pepper and mix well to combine. Using wet hands, roll 2 tablespoons at a time into balls. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over high heat. Cook the meatballs, in batches, turning frequently, for 5–7 minutes or until browned. Place in a 2.5-litre ovenproof dish and set aside.
- Heat the remaining oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute or until lightly golden. Add the harissa, purée, remaining sugar, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Bring to the boil and cook for 5–7 minutes or until slightly reduced.
- Pour the sauce into the dish over the meatballs and top with the mozzarella and pecorino. Bake for 10–12 minutes, top with the extra oregano leaves and cook for a further 2–3 minutes or until golden.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water for 8 minutes or until al dente. Drain the pasta and serve with the meatballs, along with a rocket side salad.
Pasta Mama Playlist
Some studies show that listening to music can impact the way we taste. Enjoy this playlist curated for an Italian style dish.
Bean Loaded Nachos (VG, GF)
Serves 4, 30 mins, crunchy, vibrant, colourful, zesty
Corn, lentils & beans: prebiotics to feed your microbiome
Yoghurt: look for yoghurts with probiotics in the ingredients
- 1 cup of uncooked brown lentils
- 2 cups of vegetable stock
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 2 tsp chilli powder
- 2 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 x can of corn
- 1 x drained and rinsed can of black beans
- 1 x large bag of plain corn chips/tortilla strips
- ½ bag of tasty cheese grated
- 2 x ripe avocados
- 1 x lime
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- ½ red onion (diced finely)
- 2 tomatoes (diced finely)
- ¼ red cabbage (shredded finely)
- Coriander torn (optional)
- 200g of greek yoghurt (optional)
- 1 Jalapeño (finely sliced)
- Place brown lentils into a pot with 2 cups of vegetable stock, salt, pepper, chilli, cumin, garlic and oregano.
- Stir to combine and simmer on a low-med heat for 35 minutes
- Add corn and black beans and stir through.
- Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
- Place a layer of corn chips on oven dish and top with half the base mix, then half the cheese. Repeat finishing with the cheese layer.
- Place in oven for 8-10 minutes until cheese starts to brown.
- Meanwhile make guac by mashing avo with lime and salt
- Take the nachos out of the oven and top with your toppings!
Awakened Eating Affirmations
Being present during our meal, can help optimise digestion.
Credit for affirmations: Evelyn Tribole
Hummus & Dippy Bits (VG, GF, DF)
Serves 2-4, 15 mins
Chickpeas: prebiotics to feed your microbiome
Vegetables: fibre to keep you feeling fuller for longer
Hummus (or just buy a hummus dip!)
- 1 (400g) tin chickpeas, drain & keep liquid
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp tahini
- Juice from half a lemon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp olive oil (and additional for topping)
- 1 carrot
- 1 cucumber
- 1 red capsicum
- 1 celery stick
- 1 bag of mission corn tortilla crisps
- In a food processor combine chickpeas, garlic, tahini, lemon, salt and olive oil.
- Blend on low speed, gradually adding reserved chickpea liquid, until a smooth silky consistency is achieved (you don’t have to use all of the liquid).
- Top with olive oil drizzle
- Or just open up your hummus dip…
- Slice all your veggies into sticks for dipping (can store these in the fridge for a few days)
- Open the pack of corn tortilla crisps and start dippin’
Often we may eat snacks at our desks or watching TV, where distraction can impact digestion. Use this technique to help optimise your digestion.
Credit for meditation: Evelyn Tribole
Choc Banana Bread (VG)
Makes 1 loaF, 60 mins, soft, squishy, comforting.
Walnuts: plant source of omega 3 fats
Chocolate: polyphenols are linked with brain health
- 1 3/4 cup wholemeal flour
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 medium bananas, mashed
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup oats
- Topping: 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celcius & grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
- In a medium sized bowl, sift in the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
- In a large bowl, beat eggs, oil, honey, yoghurt and vanilla until well combined. Stir in the bananas, flour mixture, walnuts & oats.
- Pour into the greased pan, sprinkle with some chocolate chips and banana if you’re feelin’ fancy
- Bake for 50-55 mins or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Banana Bread Baking Mindfulness
Tune in before baking. Food is so much more than nutrition, baking is the ultimate joy giver. Including the reward of eating your creation afterwards!