Beauty bites

Recipes for the perfect complexion from make-up artist Wendy Rowe. Cue foods that nourish the skin and help you blossom from the inside out…

Food: beauty bites

Breakfast wraps

This is great for the morning as it gives you the protein you need to start the day. Like salmon, eggs are a good source of selenium and other skin-benefiting nutrients.

SERVES 1

260 CALS PER SERVING

Ingredients

3 eggs

1 tbsp almond milk

pinch of sea salt

pinch of cayenne pepper

½ tsp raw coconut oil

1-2 avocados, finely chopped

handful of rocket, chopped

3 slices of smoked salmon

1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

squeeze of lemon juice

Method

1 Whisk together the eggs, almond milk, salt and cayenne pepper.

2 Melt the oil in a frying pan set over a medium heat. Pour the egg mixture into the pan, tilting the pan to ensure it covers the base, and cook until golden brown on the bottom before flipping to cook the other side.

3 Transfer to a plate and add the avocado and rocket in a line in the middle. Top with the smoked salmon, parsley and lemon juice, then roll up and cut in half to serve.

Food: beauty bites

Guacamole

I always have an avocado at home after a long flight, simply sliced in half with a bit of smoked salmon. The fashion industry is wise to my love of avocados, too, making sure they are always available on shoots among the catering options – I’m clearly a notorious avo-addict! I spend half my time in the US and they do great guacamole there.

SERVES 4

AS A SIDE DISH 222 CALS PER SERVING

 

Ingredients

flesh of 2 large avocados

juice of ½ lemon

1-2 fresh red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped

pinch of paprika

small handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

sea salt and black pepper

Method

1 Place all the ingredients in a bowl, mash together with a fork until it reaches the desired consistency and season with salt and pepper to taste

ALSO TRY avocado spread on bread or crackers as a great dairy-free alternative to butter. I mash it on toast with cayenne pepper and pink Himalayan salt.

Food: beauty bites

 

Watermelon salad

I love this salad – sustaining and full of what your skin needs after a day in the sun. Watermelon is a great help in restoring the radiance to your skin. Eat organic whenever possible and keep the seeds in because they are high in iron, which will boost your blood circulation and rejuvenate your skin.

SERVES 2

382 CALS PER SERVING

 

Ingredients

500g watermelon flesh, cut into chunks

leaves from 1 bunch of mint, larger leaves torn

handful of watercress

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp flaxseeds

Method

1 Toss the watermelon, mint and watercress in a bowl. Serve drizzled with oil and sprinkled with flaxseeds.

 

SUNBURN TREATMENT Watermelon can be used direct on the skin to soothe sunburn – a great alternative to aloe vera.

MY PINE NUT PESTO Everyone loves pesto, and this is my version, full of flavour and so simple to make. I like to stir this through spelt pasta (allow 150g dried pasta for 2) for a quick and tasty meal, but it would be great as a side dish for fish or chicken for an added bit of skin-friendly nutrition. Simply place 3 handfuls of raw pine nuts in a food processor with a handful of rocket, 3 handfuls of fresh basil; a handful of fresh parsley, 1 garlic clove, the juice of ½ lemon, 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and 50g grated Parmesan cheese. Blend to the desired consistency, season to taste with salt and pepper and serve as you wish.

Food: beauty bites

Quinoa with pesto chicken

This was a recipe that I came up with on a day when I really needed comfort food but I didn’t want to succumb to temptation and order my drop-out favourite: pizza. This is a healthy, filling meal rather than a pure carbs-and-fat option, because that was what I really needed. Containing skin-benefiting chicken and alfalfa sprouts in addition to the quinoa, it’s rich in protein and in dietary fibre, helping to retain a feeling of fullness and control blood-sugar levels, and thereby avoiding energy slumps and sugar cravings.

SERVES 2

640 CALS PER SERVING

Ingredients

160g quinoa

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, cut into 2cm pieces

3 tbsp good-quality fresh pesto (either shop-bought or see my pine nut pesto above)

2 handfuls of rocket

50g buffalo mozzarella, torn into pieces

15g Parmesan cheese

2 tsp flaxseeds handful of alfalfa sprouts

1 tsp flaxseed oil, to serve

 

Method

1 Place the quinoa in a saucepan and pour in 320ml of water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until it is tender and all the water has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and set aside, covered with a lid to keep warm.

2 Heat the oil in a large, deep-sided saucepan and add the chicken. Cook over a medium heat for 12-15 minutes, stirring frequently, until golden in colour and cooked through. Add the pesto to the pan and stir in to coat the chicken pieces.

3 Add the pesto chicken to the cooked quinoa, followed by the rocket and mozzarella, and stir to combine. Grate over the Parmesan and scatter over the flaxseeds and alfalfa sprouts before drizzling with the flaxseed oil and serving.

Food: beauty bites

 

Kale soup

 

I’m not a huge fan of strict detox diets, but I do know when it’s time to rein in any bad behaviour or over-consumption and ‘eat clean’ – and this soup really helps me to do that. I always make it during such times and the nutrient boost gets me back on track. It tastes amazing, is filling and works to flush out the system, all the while feeding my skin and restoring glow. This is a really easy meal.

 

SERVES 2

185 CALS PER SERVING

 

Ingredients

1 large fennel bulb, roughly chopped

1 leek, roughly chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp raw coconut oil

1 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tbsp vegetable bouillon powder or

1 vegetable stock cube

10 kale leaves, large stems removed, roughly chopped

sea salt and black pepper

handful of spinach

1 tsp grated nutmeg, to serve

 

Method

1 Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Place the fennel and leek in a baking tray or roasting tin, add the olive oil and toss together. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

2 Melt the coconut oil in a large saucepan over a low heat. Tip in the onion and garlic, place a lid on the pan and sweat for about 5 minutes or until the onion is translucent and softened.

3 Pour 1.2 litres of water into the pan and add the vegetable bouillon powder or stock cube. Tip in the roasted fennel and the leek, along with half the chopped-up kale leaves. Season with salt and pepper and give everything a stir.

4 Bring to the boil and leave to bubble away for 20 minutes. Add the remaining kale and all the spinach, then simmer over a medium-low heat for another 10 minutes.

5 Allow to cool down slightly, then purée until smooth in a stand-alone blender or using a stick blender. Reheat as needed and sprinkle with nutmeg to serve.

Food: beauty bites

Courgette spaghetti

 

SERVES 2

469 CALORIES PER SERVING

Ingredients

3 tbsp olive oil

75g dried brown rice spaghetti

2 shallots, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 large courgette, spiralized

sea salt and black pepper

handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

finely grated zest of 1 lemon

1-2 fresh red chillis, deseeded and finely chopped

30g Parmesan cheese, grated, to serve

 

Method

1 Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the brown rice spaghetti to a pan of boiling water and cook according to the packet instructions (about 12 minutes) or until tender. Drain the spaghetti in a colander and leave to sit for 1-2 minutes.

2 Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large, deep-sided frying pan or wok and add the shallots and garlic. Cook over a medium heat for about 2 minutes or until soft.

3 Add the courgette noodles and season with a little salt and pepper, then cover the pan with a lid and steam for 5 minutes. Add the parsley, lemon zest and chilli, and remove from the heat.

4 Add the drained spaghetti to the saucepan and combine with the courgette. Divide between plates and serve sprinkled with grated Parmesan.

Courgettes are perfect for using with a spiralizer to create courgette spaghetti or ‘courgetti’. Unlike standard wheat pasta, you won’t be left feeling bloated and overly full, so you can indulge to your heart’s content! I first learned about courgetti from famous people that I’ve worked with who were trying to get in shape. I’ve actually added in a little cooked spaghetti to bulk out the dish, using brown rice spaghetti, which has the advantage of being gluten-free as well as a fantastic source of skin-boosting B vitamins. If you want to get skinny, simply omit the spaghetti; if you’re hungry, keep it in. You preferably need a spiralizer for this recipe. If you don’t have one, you can peel the courgette into strips with a julienne peeler.

Food: beauty bites

No-cook walnut brownies

Walnuts should really be combined with something that has a lot of water in it such as a salad, so including this recipe is a bit of a cheat. On the other hand, these brownies are outrageously delicious, plus they contain no gluten or refined sugars – just skin-friendly dates for a touch of natural sweetness – and they need no cooking. Take them with you to work, have as a snack, or invite some friends round to enjoy them – they’ll be clamouring for the recipe!

MAKES 16 BROWNIES

180 CALORIES PER BROWNIE

Ingredients

150g pitted dates

325g raw walnut pieces

65g raw cacao (or cocoa) powder

2 tsp vanilla extract

 

Method

1 Cover the dates in warm water and leave to soak for 10 minutes to soften.

2 In a food processor, blend the walnuts and cacao powder until the nuts are finely ground.

3 Drain the soaked dates, squeeze out any excess water and add to the food processor with the vanilla extract. Process until the mixture sticks together and forms a ball, adding up to 2 tablespoons of water, if desired, for moister brownies.

4 Line a 20cm square baking tin with baking parchment and press the brownie mixture into the prepared tin.

5 Cover the tin with clingfilm and place in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours or until set. Cut the mixture into 16 squares to serve.

6 The brownies can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 2 weeks.

Food: beauty bites

Frozen banana lollies

If I’m in a rush in the morning and need something a little more substantial, I always reach for a banana – they’re great for kick-starting the system. I don’t eat them much otherwise, but if I’m hungry and can’t be bothered with cooking, a banana really does the trick. This frozen mixture of mashed-up banana, coconut cream and honey makes a gorgeously creamy treat during the summer months. It’s just as sweet as a commercial ice lolly but with a natural and interesting flavour, and a host of skin-feeding actives as well. The vanilla extract and coconut add sweetness, making a good alternative to sugar, which can affect the health of your skin if you consume too much. These are great for when you want to show off to your guests!

 

MAKES 6

102 CALORIES PER SERVING

Ingredients

400ml coconut or unsweetened almond milk

2 large bananas, peeled

2 tbsp runny honey

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp shredded coconut handful of ground hazelnuts (or extra shredded coconut), for dipping

Method

1 Pour half of the coconut milk into a food processor and add the bananas, honey and half the vanilla extract, then process until smooth.

2 In a bowl, whisk together the remaining coconut milk and vanilla extract, and the shredded coconut.

3 Divide the banana mixture among six lolly moulds.

4 Layer the coconut mixture on top of the banana mixture, then leave in the freezer for at least 6 hours or until completely frozen.

5 Remove the lollies from their moulds by dipping them in warm water for 10 seconds. Tip the ground hazelnuts (or extra shredded coconut) into a deep bowl, then dip the top 5cm-8cm of each lolly in the nuts to coat.

6 Place the lollies back in the freezer to set. They will be ready after 5 minutes, or for whenever you fancy one.

Food: beauty bites

Perfumed chocolates

These are a showstopper. They are quite rich and, I admit, time-consuming to prepare, but well worth all the effort as your friends will be impressed. Surprisingly, each chocolate provides ten per cent of your recommended daily allowance of iron and 20 per cent of your magnesium, as well as having mood- and skin-enhancing properties – a good example of how a treat can be healthy for you, too!

 

MAKES 20-24

180 CALS PER CHOCOLATE

Ingredients

FOR THE ALMOND PASTE FILLING

100g blanched

almonds

3 tbsp

unsweetened

desiccated

coconut

1 tbsp coconut oil

2 tbsp xylitol

FOR THE CHOCOLATE COATING

225g raw cocoa butter

12 tbsp raw cacao (or cocoa) powder

3 tbsp maple syrup

½ tsp lavender or rose essence

Method

1 First, make the almond paste filling. Place the nuts in a bowl, cover with water and leave to soak for 1 hour. Drain and then add to a food processor with the desiccated coconut, coconut oil and xylitol. Blend to a paste.

2 Use the paste to fill 20-24 holes of a silicone ice-cube tray, then place in the freezer to set for 1 hour.

3 Meanwhile, make the chocolate coating. Place the cocoa butter in a heatproof bowl and set over a saucepan of gently simmering water. (The base of the bowl shouldn’t touch the water in the pan.) When the cocoa butter has melted, remove from the heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes (still in the bowl over the pan), then mix in the cacao (or cocoa) powder, maple syrup and lavender or rose essence. Leave the mixture to cool down further until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

4 Remove the lumps of almond paste from the ice-cube tray and, using a spoon and fork, dip each into the perfumed chocolate, then carefully lift out and place on a tray lined with baking parchment. When all the fillings have been coated, place in the freezer to set for 15 minutes.

5 Repeat this process twice more, so that each filling is covered in three layers of chocolate (see tips below). Store in the freezer. When ready to serve, arrange on a pretty plate for sharing. TIPS Kept in the bowl over the saucepan, the chocolate should remain runny. If it does set, simply place back over the heat to melt again. Any leftover coating is divine drizzled over berries and ice cream and served with a sprig of fresh mint. To serve, I like to decorate the chocolates with edible flowers from the garden (as in the picture on page 61) or mint leaves as a finishing touch.

 

Food: beauty bites

Blueberry milkshake

For a great start to my morning, I like to throw a handful of blueberries in a blender with some almond milk, giving me a boost in energy and a hit of anti-ageing nutrients. This couldn’t be any quicker. To serve 1, place a handful of blueberries in a blender with 200ml unsweetened almond milk, 1 pitted date and 1 tbsp ground chia seeds. Whiz until smooth and serve topped with a sprig of mint. 178 cals per serving.

Food: beauty bites

GET 25 PER CENT OFF WENDY’S BOOK

Our recipes are from Eat Beautiful: Nourish Your Skin from the Inside Out by Wendy Rowe, which will be published on Thursday by Ebury Press, price £20. As well as Wendy’s introduction, chapters cover the four seasons with targeted recipes for each, plus Wendy’s beauty tips and guide to nutrients, healing herbs and spices, supplements and superfoods. To order a copy for £15 (a 25 per cent discount) until 3 July, visit you-bookshop.co.uk or call 0844 571 0640; p&p is free on orders over £15.

Recipes from Eat Beautiful by Wendy Rowe

Photographs David Loftus