LUKE BAKER’S KITCHEN
Hey, it’s Luke here, the face behind Luke Baker’s Kitchen. I’m in the transition of building my own brand and bringing a dose of inspiration and playfulness back into our kitchens with sexy, healthy food. This brand represents my ethos on health and wellbeing and releasing the inner child we all have inside. Using the body in a way that we did as children like climbing, outdoor activities and working our body in different planes of motion is where I focus my training style and daily lifestyle activities.
A little background about me: I was lucky enough to be raised in a family culture that embodies a healthy lifestyle and keeping active. I was encouraged to try everything but one sport, in particular, I became very fond of was track and field. I competed at International level in the sprints (100m & 200m) alongside another particular activity I found great passion for: ballroom dancing. To maintain the balance between the two was difficult, but when you are passionate about something you love and intrinsically have motivation for, why not do both?
Alongside my competitive sport I studied at University a Bachelors of Sport Science and moved onto doing a funded research-based postgraduate degree looking at obesity and children. This covered many aspects of what I’m passionate about today and look to make a difference helping and inspiring others through health and wellbeing. My sheer love and passion for food and health has taken off and I love to make food FUN, SEXY and being playful in the kitchen. My mission is to change the stigma behind healthy eating that it’s boring, time consuming and to make it simple and delicious whilst creating food that delivers in nutritional value.
I have worked as a dancer in the theatre tour with The Dreamboys, touring theatres around the UK and outside of the UK. I have also been fortunate enough to have worked at some awesome events such as the 10x Growth Conference in Las Vegas, worked live on QVC as a fitness model and spokesperson for numerous fitness and health brands. I have delivered and worked on numerous projects in Austria and also in Dallas running nutrition workshops and live cooking demonstrations.
My focus more recently has been the transition to plant-based foods and achieving a solid body and physique good enough to compete at the highest level in fitness through the love of plant-based foods. My recipes I will be sharing will focus on clean, seasonal produce which are quick and simple to do yet deliver in visual stimulation and taste.
RAW PAD THAI
A delicious and very quick reinvented version of the Thai classic. No cooking is involved and it’s all about experimental and playing with flavours. This particular pad Thai used raw-some goodness using seasonal veggies kept in their optimal nutritional form and combined with a fragrant and creamy peanut sauce. Perfect with the spring season coming to us and requires very little culinary skill, just a little playfulness.
1 zucchini, grated
2 carrots, grated
30g shredded white cabbage
30g bean sprouts, trimmed
1/2 cup edamame beans, fresh or thawed from frozen
1 small handful of Thai basil leaves
2 spring onion, finely sliced
1 handful fresh coriander, plus extra for serving
2 lime wedges, for serving
FOR THE DRESSING
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp maple or raw honey (non-vegan)
½ cup peanut butter or almond butter
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp tamari or reduced sodium soy sauce
2 tsp grated ginger
1 tbsp crushed peanuts, for serving
For the dressing, place all ingredients in a blender with a little water and whizz together.
Combine the grated veggies, peas, chopped herbs, edamame beans and cabbage in a large bowl.
Add the dressing and combine everything together fully. Finish with crushed peanuts, wedges of lime and sprinkle of chopped coriander.
Optional – to increase the protein intake I would opt for the following
Drained tofu or tempeh
Medicinal mushrooms like shiitake are a great choice
Lean chicken or lean pork (for those meat eaters)
(without optional added protein)
CREAMY LEMON THYME MUSHROOMS
A firm favourite of mine combining simple ingredients that unite together so well providing a healthy dose of nutrients. Perfect served with a baked sweet potato or for a lower carb option served with an organic breast of chicken (for meat eaters) or a good helping of smashed avocado. Another option could be a breakfast option serving the mushrooms with a slice of toasted spelt or sourdough which is a perfect breakfast or brunch option.
Mushrooms pack a powerful dose of B vitamins, high in selenium which helps support the immune system. Combine that with magnesium-rich spinach and the healthy fats from the creamy coconut.
250g chestnut mushrooms, chopped (1 cup)
1 small shallot, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 good handful fresh spinach
A few sprigs of fresh lemon thyme or regular thyme
Juice of half a lemon
1 tablespoon coconut yoghurt or dairy-free yoghurt (soya, oat, almond milk base)
Olive oil or a little water (for cooking)
Using a non-stick pan add the water or olive oil (1 tablespoon) adding the chopped shallot and garlic, cook for 5 minutes over a medium heat until soft.
Once cooked, add in the mushrooms and give it a good stir, leave to cook for 5-7 minutes until soft. Add the coconut yoghurt, a good pinch of good quality salt (pink Himalayan salt) and stir in the spinach. Squeeze in the lemon juice and thyme.
CHILLI CHOCOLATE BRITTLE
A delicious and one of my simple ways of incorporating the health benefits of raw nuts and seeds and combining them with the mood-boosting benefits of dark chocolate. A healthier cheat – healthy alternative to your normal chocolate snack which combines both healthy fats and protein without the nasties found in shop bought snacks and confectionary. This very simple snack and cheat-healthy treat provides you with mood-boosting properties present in the dark chocolate such as serotonin and l-tryptophan which elevate mood, boost happy hormones present in the body combined with the powerful micronutrients such as copper, iron and magnesium. The combination of raw nuts and seeds in the form of almond and pumpkin seeds provide the body with essential fatty acids (EFA’S) which help lower bad cholesterol levels, stimulate satiety levels and provide our bodies a good dose of plant protein. The use of a good quality sea salt like pink Himalayan provides not only a delicious twist on the chocolate bark but provides our body with a good source of magnesium, essential minerals required by the human body and helpful in regulating healthy blood sugar.
140g dark chocolate (70% or more)
½ cup of organic almonds
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
2 heaped tablespoons crushed pistachios
A good pinch of good quality sea salt
A good pinch of chilli powder or flakes
Using a baking tray lined with parchment paper add the almonds and season with sea salt, chilli and 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil. Bake for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the chocolate until smooth
Crush the almonds, adding in both the pistachios and pumpkin seeds
Pour the chocolate over the nuts and seeds and evenly spread the mixture
Freeze between 45-60 minutes
LUKE’S ULTIMATE BLUE SHAKE
Sometimes a smoothie is all I fancy at lunchtimes so here’s one of my all-time favourite smoothie recipes which will keep you fuller for longer and combines so many delicious flavours. It packs the powerful superfood blue algae, natural sweetness from both the date and Madagascan vanilla along with the creaminess almond and banana. An added boost of plant-based protein is also included in this recipe, but you can use an alternative protein boost.
1 Tsp blue spirulina powder
1 medium ripe banana / frozen banana
2 soaked dates, pitted
1 scoop Hemp protein or pea protein (bioavailable and easily digested)
250ml almond milk (coconut, cashew, oat, hemp, or brown rice milk are other options)
Madagascan Bourbon vanilla, ½ Tsp
Few Ice cubes
Simply blend all ingredients together until smooth. You can decorate as you wish with an extra sprinkle of blue algae or some coconut chips if you wish.
AVOCADO & AROMATIC HERB SALAD
A very quick and simple small plate combining medicinal herbs and one my favourite foods “the avocado.” A perfect way to serve this dish would be a using some wild caught salmon or bulk out with a vibrant green salad adding some dark leafy greens such as kale, chard or raw spinach and some plant protein in the form of black beans or cannellini beans to name a few of my favourites.
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
5 fresh oregano leaves, minced
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp olive oil
20g fresh basil, minced
2 avocados, sliced
In a small bowl, combine the garlic, oregano, lime juice, pepper, sea salt and olive oil. Let sit for 10 minutes to infuse.
Add the fresh basil and mint
Arrange the avocados on a serving plate and dress with the vinaigrette