quinoa salad with asparagus and tomato recipe luk beautifood clean food

Quinoa Salad Recipe with Asparagus + Tomato

 With a beautiful light, nutty taste, this quinoa, asparagus and tomato salad is the perfect Spring salad for any occasion. 

Not only will this quinoa salad help to reduce bloating or sluggishness, it will also ease you into  the spring mindset, keeping you feeling positive as the sun begins to shine.  This simple salad helps to protect your skin from the suns UV rays while also working to reduce breakouts. What more could you need as spring begins to unfold?!


Asparagus allows your body to rid toxins from your cells while reducing that sluggish bloated feeling.  Aside from leaving your body feeling light, asparagine also works to reduce stress and anxiety for a positive, relaxed mind.

Tomatoes are full of lycopene which is a powerful antioxidant, which protect our skin from the suns UV rays to slow premature ageing while helping to keep skin toned and firm.  Its high fat solubility makes it especially effective in our skin as our skin cells are full of gorgeous fats to keep them plump while Vitamin A adds shine to your hair.

Quinoa is a warrior for bad skin! Its combination of zinc and fibre work to decrease inflammation and reduce oil production both of which create the perfect environment for breakouts.  Iron also enhances your skin by helping to provide oxygen for regeneration and repair.  Quinoa will help your skin to feel radiant and naturally gorgeous!


30 minutes wo to go. Serves 4


1 cup quinoa, rinsed

2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tablespoon oregano

1/4 cup olive oil

1 bunch asparagus, ends removed

1 cup chopped red cabbage

¼ cup fresh basil leaves

½ cup goats cheese, crumbled

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar



1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. In a bowl, mix tomatoes with garlic, oregano and olive oil. Roast tomatoes on a lined baking tray for 20 minutes, or until light brown.

2. Meanwhile cook quinoa in a rice cooker (see below) or  add quinoa and 3 cups of water to a medium saucepan, bringing to the boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer for about 10 minutes or until cooked.

3. Blanch asparagus in boiling water for about 30 seconds.  Transfer asparagus to a bowl of cold water or run under a cool tap for a further 30 seconds. Drain and roughly chop asparagus stems.

4. Drain quinoa and return to the saucepan, allowing it to sit covered for 10 minutes.

5. Fluff quinoa with a fork and place in a large bowl. Add asparagus and tomatoes and stir in vinegar.  Top with goats cheese basil and serve.

  • Left overs can be stored in an air tight container in the fridge and re-heated for tomorrow’s lunch.
  • You can mix up this quinoa salad by adding some snow peas or using a dash of tamari instead of vinegar.
  • I use a rice cooker to cook my quinoa as I can pop it on and walk away and on return it is perfect…even if it has been sitting there for 30+ mins. Use a ratio of 1 part quinoa to 1.5 of water.

quinoa salad with asparagus and tomato recipe luk beautifood clean food


quick soup recipe clean food luk beautifood

Quick Soup Recipe – Nourishing Lentil and Vegetable

Looking for winter warmers in less than an hour? Try this nourishing lentil and vegetable quick soup recipe to warm your soul and moisturise your skin at the same time!  

Cooler weather means dry skin and a craving for comfort food! However, comfort food doesn’t need to be tedious or time consuming …this quick soup recipe is easy to make on a busy weeknight leaving you free to worry about things other than what your eating.  Packed with vitamin A-rich veggies this quick soup recipet will  help nourish your complexion and ease dry skin to keep you looking your best!


Carrots and tomatoes contain a fab combination of vitamin A, beta carotene and lycopene to fight against wrinkle causing free radicals – those  pesky ‘oxidisers’ that can also cause early ageing. Without enough vitamin A your skin can become dry especially as wind and cool weather imbalance the surface.  Maintaining a sufficient level of this fat soluble vitamin is key to ensuring a smooth, glowing appearance. Tomatoes also contain vitamin K which works to brighten dark patches under the eyes and encourage a radiant complexion.  The mix of iron and vitamin C in broccoli aids your complexion by working to keep skin from sagging while assisting in the formation of collagen in cells. Turmeric helps to keep redness and puffiness under control with its anti-inflammatory properties while celery aids the body to remove toxins through its high fibre content.  This nourishing yet quick soup recipe is the perfect winters’ day skincare treatment to keep your complexion on track!


50 minutes wo to go. Serves 4


2-3 tablespoons olive oil

1 carrot, peeled and diced

2 medium ripe tomatoes, quartered

3/4 cup broccoli, diced

2 celery sticks, diced

1 red onion, finely diced

3 cloves garlic, crushed

2 cups vegetable stock

400g can brown lentils, rinsed and drained

250mL natural yoghurt

1/4 cup parsley, chopped

3/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

salt & pepper

fresh chives, snipped to garnish


1. Prepare ingredients.  Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add tomatoes, mushing and squashing with a wooden spoon.  Simmer, stirring regularly for 2 minutes.

2.  Add carrot, broccoli celery and onion and cook for 6-8 minutes or until soft.  Add garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes.

3.  Add stock and cover, bringing to the boil.  Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

4.  Add lentils and cook for 3 minutes or until warm.  Add yoghurt, parsley, turmeric and season, stir, simmer gently for a further 3 minutes.

5.  Serve warming lentil and vegetable soup immediately, topped with chives.

  • Spice up this quick soup recipe with some chilli, cumin or smokey paprika.
  • Save any left overs in an air tight container in the fridge and reheat for tomorrows lunch!
  • Cook once, eat twice: double the quick soup recipe batch and freeze for an extra quick and easy dinner.
  • Like your soup smooth and creamy…especially so little ones will eat it? Just blend before serving.
  • Oh an don’t forget to combat dry lips and use Lip Nourish daily to soothe redness and protect against cooling, drying weather!
Puree Soup to hide veggies for any fussy eaters!

Puree Soup to hide veggies for any fussy eaters!

Passata Making clean food luk beautifood

Homemade Tomato Passata

Treat your skin for the year with this delicious homemade Passata recipe – the perfect way to use the glut of tomatoes in late summer!

I am about a month late sharing this recipe as tomato season in Australia peaks at the end of summer in February, but there is no reason why you can’t slowly ripen egg tomatoes now and start a few passata making batches to keep over autumn and winter for when you feel like a little summer sunshine. I was introduced to the passata making ‘ritual’ by a good foodie friend when my kids were toddlers…it was a fun family passata making affair where thru trial and error we worked out how to bottle tomatoes.

Traditional passata is simply ‘pureed ripe tomatoes’. It’s skin delicious!


Packed full of lycopene, this homemade passata recipe is a savior for your skin. It’s high fat solubility makes it especially effective in your skin.  This provides us with a better protection against damaging UV rays and creates the ultimate protection against sagging and wrinkles. Vitamin A acts to add shine to your hair and keep it strong while also protect your eyes and maintain their brightness. The process of cooking the tomatoes in this passata allows more lycopene to released, providing you and your skin with the best possible beauty food. 


You need to have the right equipment – a food mill for separating the skin and seeds from the flesh, glass bottles and lids to bottle the sauce and a large sauce pan and strong gas burner to ‘boil’ the bottles are mandatory.


Box/es of ripe tomatoes – roma are best because of rich flavour and high level of solids which makes thicker more robust sauce.

  1. Wash the tomatoes and plunge them in hot water to loosen the skin.
  2. Pop into a colander to drain. You don’t want to dilute your sauce.
  3. Feed the tomato flesh through a food mill. This separates the skin and seeds from the pulp, unlike a food processor, which mangles them all up rather than making a fine flavoured sauce.
  4. The thicker the  liquid – the better the passata. If thin liquid runs – try to catch it separately and out aside.
  5. The passata is bottled, capped (tight), and placed in a large pot (lined with tea towels to prevent the jars cracking as they jostle). The bottles don’t need to be pre-heated to sterilised as the heating does that.
  6. Fill the large saucepan with warm water couple and boil for couple of hours to sterilise and preserve the passata. Make sure the whole of the bottle is covered.
  7. Take care when removing the jars (or leave them to cool in the water), and store in a cool, dark place.

Make passata making into a day event  with lunch and get another family or 2 to come along. It will need a little organising -eg 4-6 boxes of tomatoes, large bowls, lots of jars, gas burner to set up outside to boil the jars, large mill to get the volume of sauce thru.  Lots of red wine, home made pasta, green salads…you get the idea!

Most importantly ensure the tomatoes are them at least 10 days before you make the passata to ensure they are deep red and ripe – this way the passata is sweeter, richer and more balanced.

I have lots of beautiful photos from the two times we have made passata but I can’t find them, one day I am sure they will turn up.


Freshly Bottled Tomato Passata

Tomatoes are rich in the fat soluble antioxidant lycopene which helps filter the suns UV rays from the inside out. Image source: Pinterest


Passata Making

Skinning the tomatoes in hot water for passata making. Image via Pinterest – City Hippy Farm Girl


Featured image on Pinterest via Vaniglia

dividers R1-beautifood left grey

beauty benefits of tomatoes beauty food tomatoes luk beautifood

beauty food | tomato


Tomatoes are a delicious skin food protecting skin from UV rays and free radicals for a smooth, even glowing appearance whilst helping to diminish lines.

Bright red and juicy, tomatoes are the world’s most popular fruit – and yes, we know what you’re thinking, they are technically a fruit.   Because there are so many ways you can prepare and eat tomatoes, there is no reason why can’t feed your skin this delicious fruit every day.


Antioxidants such as lycopene, vitamin A and vitamin C, fibre, vitamin K, copper and potassium.


Lycopene is twice as effective an antioxidant as vitamin A, making it a savior for your skin! It’s high fat solubility makes it especially effective in tissues which are full of fats and lipids such as our skin. This makes it perfect for UV protection as it is always ready to protect the skin from the suns rays. Vitamin A acts to add shine to your hair and keep it strong by protecting it from free radicals. It also works protect your eyes and maintain their brightness, vitamin K lessens darker patches which can form under the eyes, both working to refresh your complexion with an all natural glow.


Tomatoes can be eaten in so many ways such as raw, canned or cooked making it easy for you to protect your skin.


Cooking tomatoes allows more lycopene to be released providing a greater protection against free radicals.

dividers R1-beautifood middle yellow


PRINT this gorgeous 10x15cm beautifood skin food card to keep beauty inspiration at finger tips reach in your kitchen

Step 1. Simply click on the  skin food image .

Step 2. Then right click and choose †˜Save image as’ where it will be a JPEG in whichever folder you choose.

Step 3. Open the saved image and print on a postcard size (6†x4†/10cmx15cm) photo paper.

Step 4. Send to printer for your gorgeous skin food card!

Step 5. Display on your fridge file in a A-Z card box in your kitchen.

be delicious.... inside and out

Chicken Burrito Wraps

Chicken ‘Burrito’ Cone Wraps

END OF SCHOOL HOLIDAY FUN. Try this quick & healthy wrap for dinner!

A great time-saving and nutritious dinner is chicken cone wrap (burrito). The kids will love to assemble their own and it will save you doing all the work for dinner! There are so many healthy & nutritious ‘ wraps available now that it makes this dinner idea a win win.

Cut chicken breast/s into bite-size pieces and sprinkle with generous amounts of smokey paprika, ground cumin, fresh crushed garlic and a bit of chilli powder. Pan-fry the chicken until cooked and serve alongside little dishes filled with goodies: diced tomato, lettuce, sprouts, mashed avocado and sour cream or natural Greek yogurt and a hummus. Read more


Colour your day with Ratatouille

We know we should eat armfuls of coloured veggies – but how? 

This easy Ratatouille recipe is great to serve with quick cook BBQ lamb.For kids top some wholegrain spelt pasta (yes – w/m pasta tastes good in 2013!). This recipe is not a ‘slice thinly and bake’, rather the vegies are diced and quickly cooked on the stove top which saves you time with prep and cooking time! Read more

Minute Steak

Minute steak + balsamic glazed cherry tomatoes

Try this quick & easy steak for dinner

Pan fry minute grass fed steaks for a minute each side (or more depending on how you like it), then add cherry tomatoes to the pan with a dash of balsamic vinegar and allow to caramalise slightly. Serve with a fresh salad, quinoa or rice.


Your body will love…

1. Go for grass fed over grain fed beef to keep saturated fat levels lower, omega 3 higher, to increase your micro nutrients intake and to keep your food ‘clean’.

2. Red meat is a rich source of  iron. Iron carries oxygen thru the body to stimulate healthy circulation, resulting in gorgeous glowing skin, boosts your energy and immunity levels whilst encouraging restful sleep. (bonus!)

3. Smaller serve size – think like French woman!


 Image: for inspiration only as we added garlic & organo!


slow roasted cherry tomatoes with oregano

QUICK ROAST MINI TOMATOES | brimming with beauty

[recipe] Serves 4 | 10 or 60mins go-to-wo

What makes this recipe so fabulous is that you don’t have to do a thing and it looks and taste beautiful…..not to mention tomatoes skin-loving beauty. Simply toss a punnet of tomatoes in olive oil, fresh herbs, season and bake! So, so pretty. Serve with a ‘grilled’ piece of fish or meat or eggy tart.

BEAUTY BOOST: Tomatoes contain Lycopene, a powerful anti-oxidant.  This free radical scavenger is particularly effective in skin-tissue because it is fat-soluble –  reducing skin cell damage means preventing wrinkles. Adding olive oil to is a great way to increase lycopene’s absorption as it is bound to the dietary fibre and what’s more it’s made more bio-available if cooked! Needless to say tomatoes containVitamin C  – another fabulous antioxidant that is essential for the production of collagen – think of it as glue to keep your skin from collapsing and forming wrinkles and sagging. And Lycopene has been found to block UV light that causes your skin to produce free radicals, eating them won’t protect you from direct light as it only has a SPF of 3 but it’s enough to reduce the effects of indirect sunlight. Start adding tomatoes to your daily eating routing for a more youthful, radiant complexion! 

Read more

Tomato Salad

TOMATO SALAD | french women know best?

[recipe] Serves 4 | 5mins wo-to-go

A Classic French Summer recipe that I make time and time again because it is so easy and brimming with skin-loving anti-oxidants. We lived on an old barge in France for 18 mths with our 10 mth and 2 year old and it was here I experienced a simplicity to cooking that I fell in love with. We’d wander the local markets, buy what was in season and well …do not much with it!  We were invited into homes of people we met barging along (kids | playground – you know!) and time and time again we’d be served ripe ‘ancienne’ tomatoes with a vinaigrette and a single ‘surprise’ herb. The most memorable being tarragon. I am not a big fan of uncooked tomatoes so this is really saying something!

BEAUTY BOOST: This salad offers you 2 key wrinkle-curing nutrients to look radiant. Tomatoes contain Lycopene, a powerful anti-oxidant twice as effective at fighting wrinkles than vitamin A (beta carotene). This free radical scavenger is particularly effective in skin-tissue because it is fat-soluble –  reducing skin cell damage means preventing wrinkles. Adding a healthy fat such Read more

Lima beans, baby roma tomato & basil salad + red wine vinaigrette

SUMMER LIMA SALAD | beans means beauty

[recipe] Serves 4-6 | 3+ hrs wo-to-go dried beans or 10mins wo-to-go canned beans 

A simple & beautiful salad of lima beans (often called butter beans because of their creamy texture and colour), ripe tomatoes and fresh basil leaves.

I am not sure why I don’t use ‘pulses’ more in my cooking, but I suspect it revolves around forming habits!  I am making a concerted effort to include pulses like lima beans and chickpeas in my weekly repertoire because they are packed with beauty-boosting goodness.

BEAUTY BOOST: Lima beans contain the lesser know trace mineral molybdenum, essential for synthesizing DNA – your cells genetic makeup, play a key role in enzymatic de-toxifying of cells and is a good source of B vitamins thiamin and folate which help cells make energy.  Their iron content (25% RDI in one cup) helps transfer oxygen into your cells & their high fibre content helps absorbs and facilitate quick removal of waste, both contributing to a brighter complexion. They contain trace mineral & antioxidant manganese which helps fight free radicals that can damage the skin, trigger inflammation and affect your complexion – and not in a good way!

Read more