Some time ago I found myself at a bloggers networking event in Sydney listening to the inspirational Lee Holmes of Supercharged Food give a presentation. I was already a big fan, but after meeting with Lee, attending one of her book launches in Sydney and also using a lot of the healing recipes from Lee’s publications, especially the Heal Your Gut Book (which both myself and my husband have enjoyed lots of recipes from), my admiration for Lee has only grown.
Lee has just released another fantastic cookbook, Eat Clean Green and Vegetarian, and has been busy travelling around discussing her love of all things veggie. Any meal that primarily features fresh, seasonal vegetables gets a big thumbs up from me, and Lee’s book will definitely give you plenty of ideas for putting your veggie basket to good use.
I’m super thrilled that Lee will be gracing London with a talk at Planet Organic Westbourne Grove next week to discuss her favourite supercharged vegetables and how you can incorporate them into breakfast, lunch and dinner. I’m also thrilled that Lee has agreed to this little interview. Read on if you’d like to get to know more about the lady behind Supercharged Food (and get a tasty recipe, too).
1. Please tell us a little about yourself. Why did you decide to create Supercharged Food?
About five years ago I started Supercharged Food so people had a place to go online that provided them with great healthy recipes, that didn’t compromise on flavor, and were nurturing to one’s stomach. When I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and ended up in hospital I decided to embark on a food journey to treat my auto-immune issues rather than follow the prescriptive medicine path that all the doctors were telling me to go down. I changed my diet and once I had adopted a healthier, anti-inflammatory diet after the diagnosis my health improved dramatically. As I became more aware of the gut being a central point to health, I turned to foods which would cleanse and detox the gut and provide my body with key nutrients. From this I decided that my experience could potentially help someone else out there, knowing that if one person read my blog and it helped them in some way it would have all been worth it. Sometimes I can not believe the effect Supercharged Food has had on people and continues to have.
2. You’ve just released a new book, Eat Clean Green and Vegetarian. What are some of your favourite vegetables to cook with and why?
Eat, Clean Green and Vegetarian was really a book to show people you can live on a vegetarian diet and still get all the relevant nutrients needed to sustain a healthy lifestyle. The idea of this book is to make it more palatable for the everyday person, to decrease your reliance on meat and the idea that you can enjoy a fully satisfying meal without animal protein. Its so hard for me to pick even a few favourite vegetables because I believe people need to consume a range of vegetables to ensure they are meeting their nutritional requirements. I love using a range of vibrant coloured vegetables because visually a multitude of colours on your plate makes a meal far more appealing to the eye and I believe that the eyes are a window to the stomach and the stomach a window to your overall health. If I had to choose a couple I do love eggplant probably because you truly know when you have cooked it well- there is nothing quite as bad as biting into a piece of undercooked rubbery eggplant, but when you get it right… WOW!
3. Another part of your work which I really love is your Heal Your Gut Program (which my husband signed up for, and we really enjoyed making lots of the recommended soups and smoothies!). What are your top tips for gut health?
- Eat easily digestible foods
- Avoid too much raw food
- Look at stress and its impact on the gut
- Eat probiotic rich foods
4. What will we always find in your fridge (or pantry)?
Lots of seasonal fruit and vegetables. Eating with the seasons is vital to ensure you are getting the maximumnutrient potential from every bit of produce you are consuming. Produce that is artificially grown or stored for long periods of time definitely leads to decreased benefits from the product. In the summertime my fridge will be overflowing with leafy greens and in the winter filled with root vegetables so I can make a hearty soup at anytime. In the pantry you will always find some turmeric just in case I don’t have any fresh turmeric available. Turmeric does not only have a great flavor, the anti-inflammatory benefits from such a small amount are amazing and something that I could not live without!
5. Please share with us a favourite recipe of yours.
One of my favourite recipes at the moment is my Eggplant and Green Curry Recipe from my new book Eat Clean Green and Vegetarian. On cool nights the heat from the curry is sure to warm you up but on warm nights its just as delicious thanks to the crunch of the green beans, fresh coriander and a drizzle of lime juice to finish.
Eggplant and Green Bean Curry
WF DF GF SF VEG VG
There’s nothing quite as disappointing as an undercooked eggplant, but the soft creaminess of a perfectly cooked eggplant is the epitome of culinary perfection. Slowly simmered and intermingled with sizzling spices, this curry will whisk you away to eggplant heaven.
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
- 6 small eggplants (aubergines), cut into 6 cm (21/2 inch) wedges
- 300 ml (101/2 fl oz) tomato passata (puréed tomatoes)
- 270 ml (91/2 fl oz) additive-free coconut milk
- 300 g (101/2 oz) green beans
- celtic sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 80 g (23/4 oz/1/2 cup) activated almonds, roughly chopped, to serve
- handful of coriander (cilantro) leaves, chopped, to serve
- juice of 1 lime
- lime halves, to serve
And for the curry paste:
- 1 large brown onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 thumb-sized pieces of ginger, chopped
- 1 large red chilli, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- Place all the curry paste ingredients in a food processor with 2 tablespoons of filtered water and whizz together
for a few seconds.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the coconut oil in a large frying pan over medium–high heat and fry the eggplants until browned. Remove from the pan and set aside on paper towel to drain.
- Heat the remaining coconut oil in the pan and cook the curry paste ingredients for about 3 minutes. Add the eggplant and stir so it is well covered in the paste. Add the tomato passata and coconut milk and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes. Lastly, add the green beans and cook for a further 6 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper, add the almonds, coriander and lime juice and serve with the lime halves on the side.
Socialise with Lee:
If you’d like to purchase any of Lee’s publications you can do so by clicking here.
Lee will be speaking at Planet Organic, Westbourne Grove at 7pm on Thursday 5th March (the talk is free but you need to email to reserve a place). Full details are on the Planet Organic blog here.