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snHi there, it’s Sheryl from the huia tree, I’m guest blogging today for Janine of Bestow Beauty. Janine and I work together to bring you recipes and the Bestow Within natural food journals. My journey towards better health and lifestyle started three years ago when I was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, it knocked the stuffing out of me! Here I was early forties and thinking I could box along at a frantic pace for years to come, surely it wasn’t over yet?

Thankfully it wasn’t, I have learnt more in three years about myself and good health than I have learnt in my 40+ years prior.

I have always loved creating meals, it’s my downtime or de-stress time. I guess that means I get to de-stress alot these days 🙂

I am happiest creating vibrant food that not is not only healthy but of course also looks great when photographed. As I am also a mother of three and work full time, I try to keep it real – recipes that are easy to create and photographs that tell it like it is. Sometimes that doesn’t happen and there are a few disasters – still edible though.

So together with all of that and Janine’s incredible nutritional, wellness and skincare knowledge I think we make a pretty good team! So on that note, this week’s recipe seems fitting – The goddess bowl, full of healing goodness and vibrancy.

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Makes two bowls

Gorgeous green dressing:
1 avocado
1/2 cup spinach leaves
1/2 basil leaves
Juice of one lemon
1 tablespoon of Bestow Beauty Oil
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Blend all together with a stick blender, sweeten a little to taste (optional) with honey, maple, agave syrup or a couple of drops of stevia.

Goddess bowl ingredients:
1/2 buttercup pumpkin
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of cumin powder
1 teaspoon of fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 cup of black rice, cooked according to packet directions
1 cup of spinach leaves
1 cup of rocket
1/2 cup of fresh sprouts
1/4 red cabbage, shredded
2 tomatoes, cut in wedges
1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds (toasted if preferred)
Microgreens (optional)
Salt and pepper

Method:
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
Cut your pumpkin into wedges and remove seeds, pulp and skin. Chop into cubes, toss with the olive oil, cumin, cinnamon, fennel and season with salt and pepper. Place in a baking dish lined with baking paper and bake until soft (15 to 20 mins). While that is cooking make up your two goddess bowls with all the other ingredients. Add the pumpkin when it is cooked, scatter with microgreens (optional), serve with your gorgeous green dressing.

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Where possible we choose organic ingredients, these lovely ones above are from Wild Earth Organics in Tauranga, Bay of Plenty.

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Nourishing Notes from Janine:
The Bestow Goddess Bowls are so full of ‘health protecting’ vegetables that it’s hard to know where to start. They are just SO good for you and your skin that I have decided to focus on the avocados, the hero ingredient found in the dressing.

Avocados are not only rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, they are also a great source of both insoluble and soluble fibre, keeping you regular and ensuring your skin remains fresh and clear.

Avocados are a great source of antioxidant carotenoids like beta carotene, zeaxathin and lutein as well as vitamin E. These compounds soak up free radicals before they have time to harm your cells and keep you protected against environmental damage that leads to fine lines and wrinkles.

Many people are surprised to learn that avocado’s contain good levels of vitamin C too. Vitamin C is another important antioxidant that helps your skin make collagen, your anti-wrinkle fibre.

Lastly, avocados contain Omega 9 and monounsaturated oils (oleic acid) to help soften and moisturise your skin from the inside.

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You will see more of this style of eating in the next BESTOW WITHIN journal coming out in early August! With the right ingredients on hand you can have a fresh, healthy meal in no time at all. Janine and I will show you how 🙂

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With Bestow oil and ginger dressing

A handful of each of the following greens:
Baby spinach
Watercress
Bok choy, sliced
Silver beet
Savoy cabbage, shredded

Wilt your greens in a saucepan with a little water by bringing to the boil.

Dressing:
50mls Bestow Beauty Oil
10mls sesame oil
5gms crushed ginger
10mls soy sauce
Juice of half a lime
10gms sesame seeds
Salt
Pepper

Combine together all dressing ingredients, season and mix through warm wilted greens. Please note to watch the amount of salt used as soy sauce is slightly salty.

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Ingredients*
2 cups green herbs – basil, parsley, kawakawa or coriander
1/3 cup brazil nuts
4 cloves garlic
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
2/3 cup Bestow Beauty Oil
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons kelp flakes

Pan fry nuts and seeds lightly, remove from the heat before they get brown. Place green herbs and oil in a blender. Add garlic, nuts, salt, kelp flakes and lemon juice. Blend together. This recipe can be made with various combinations of ingredients to target different therapeutic properties. For example, using coriander and Bestow Beauty Oil makes this blend particularly beneficial for heavy metal detoxification.
Use as a dip for vegetable sticks or to spread over your favourite healthy bread or cracker.
* Organic produce is preferable but not essential.