Turmeric hummus is great dip to snack on, to have it on a slice of sourdough in the morning or even as a side with salad for lunch. You can add whatever flavours you want; adding turmeric is a great way to just have some anti inflammatory goodness.
As this is done in 10min you can easily do it a night before and take some into work to snack on. And with raw veggie sticks it’s a great way to get some extra vitamins and nutrients in the afternoon. Just remember to have it before 6 o’clock as raw food is quite difficult to digest.
Chickpeas – Good source of protein, folate iron and phosphorus;
Turmeric – Contains curcumin (an antioxidant) thought to help reduce inflammation;
Tahini – Made of sesame seeds, is a good source of protein, fat and carbohydrates and magnesium. The sesame seeds labelled as “natural” are unhulled and contain phytic acid. Therefore for good digestion best to be soaked;
Cumin – Good source of monounsaturated fats, vit B1, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, phosphorus and Zinc.
If you ever thought salad is just some boring leaves or pasta with some kind of filling than think again. This roast beetroot and lentil salad is a great way to have a spectrum of macro and micro nutrients, flavour and not feeling hungry.
You might object to the amount it takes to cook/make this salad but I am suggesting some shortcuts like buying already cooked ingredients from your store. So the 2 ingredients that will take some time to cook are beetroot and lentils. There is an ok option of already cooked vacuumed beetroot which means it does’t have any preservatives. In terms of lentils you can find pre-cooked lentils that again do not have added preservatives so they make a good choice. However, I will always encourage to try and cook everything from scratch because you can control the quality.
Chicory – Rich in mucilaginous fibre helping lubricate the intestines. Aids digestions through its bitterness. The same substance (lactucopirin) has a mild sedative effect;
Lentils – High in molybdenum and iron which help oxygenate the blood. High in insoluble fibres which keeps the cholesterol levels healthy;
Beetroot – has liver cleansing action by stimulating the production of glutathione;
Pomegranate – Contains polyphenols keep arteries elastic. Somestudies show that pomegranate extracts can block the production of an enzyme that destroys cartilage in the body. Seeds contain beneficial fats.
120 g chorizo (about half of a shop bought chorizo ring)
Wash the beetroot and put in a pan and cover with water. Simmer the beetroot gently (don’t boil) for about 40min or until you can run easily a knife throught it. If you a pressed by time you can use a shop bought vacuum packed as this one is cooked in it’s natural juices and vacuuming means that it will not have added preservatives. However, I will always prioritize cooking your own as you have control over the quality of beetroot and also tastes a lot nicer than pre-cooked. If you cook your own make sure from time to time you top up the pan with some boiling water (from the kettle) as the water will evaporate and you want to ensure the tops of beetroot are cooking the same as the rest.
At the same time put the green lentils to cook in a pan with simmering water. The water should be comfortably 10cm above the lentils. Put a cinnamon stick, a few star anise and a 1tbsp of salt in with the water. This will ensure your lentils will have nice flavour and will not taste bland. Simmer gently (again, don’t boil) as you want the lentils to still keep their shape. Again, if pressurized by time you can buy the pre-cooked puy lentils (puy, green, brown, French or dark varieties will be fine). Just make sure to check the back of pack and see they do not contain any of the added preservatives or ingredients. After cooked, cut the end where the leaves have been and then cut in quarters or large chunks like you would with an apple.
Remove the larger outerleaves of the radicchio (discard any that really damaged or cut from where they are damaged). Keep those to decorate the outer edge of a bowl or platter. Cut the rest in fine shreds. Cut the chorizo in cubes and put them in a pan (no oil required as sausage will release fat) and gently fry to get a bit of colour. Remove from the pan and put on one side. In the same pan where you still have a bit of oil from the chorizo add the pine nuts and put the pan back on the heat. Shake the pine nuts until they get some colour. Put these on the side as well.
On a platter or a large bowl place the large radicchio leaves on the outer edge. In the middle place the cooked lentils, shredded radicchio, the beetroot slices/chunks and chorizo. Half the pomegranate and use the juice of half of it to squeeze onto the lentil mixture (just press tightly – you will need a good grip but good exercise ) and the other half take the seeds out. The easiest way to do so is by holding the pomegranate in your palm, your fingers holding the edge and your palm naturally forming a sieve, cut side down and bashing the top with a spoon or a rolling pin. The seeds will come out fairly easily. Grate the orange zest on top of the lentils. After that, juice half of the lemon and pour the juice on top of lentils while the other half peel and cut in nice roundels. Pour about 4 tbsp of olive oil and add some salt onto the mixture. Gently fold the lentils with the juices and other ingredients and decorate with pomegranate seeds, orange roundels, pine nuts and some dill springs.
With the summer around the corner (ok, maybe not) you already start to sniff the smell of BBQ. So in celebration for a few rays of sunshine I came up with this summer salad that combines the flavour of BBQ from the grilled sweet potato but also the fresh taste of seasonal spring veg and a wonderful zingy dressing.
This grilled sweet potato and asparagus salad it’s great to enjoy by yourself, as a lunch option at work (as it works cold as well) but also to impress your friends over a lunch enjoyed al fresco.
Sweet potato – contains slow release carbohydrates and a hormone (adiponectin) helping to keep blood sugars level steady. High in beta carotene which is great for skin and immune system. The orange flesh ones have high levels of potassium which are great for stress and the yellow flesh/purple skin ones have the highest amount of antioxidants;
Asparagus – Contains inulin, a prebiotic which encourages healthy gut flora. Aspartic acid neutralizes excess ammonia which could otherwise result in feeling drained (boosts energy);
Put a griddle pan to heat. You want it to be really hot. Wash the potatoes and cut them lengthways in half cm slices. Without any oil, put the slices of the sweet potato on the griddle pan. Cook for about 1 min on each side. Don’t worry about the potatoes sticking to the pan. If the pan is really hot and after 1 min of cooking the potatoes will peal nicely from the pan and you will have the charred lines on each side which not only looks nice but gives a nice flavour. You might need to do this in a couple of batches. OK, what happens if you don’t have a griddle pan? This recipe works just as well and maybe quicker if you steam the sweet potato. You will have to cut the sweet potato in chunks (2cm aprox) and please don’t peal them (all the nutrients are just below the skin and also you save time).
While you wait for each batch of potatoes to cook on the griddle wash the asparagus and break the end (it should break at the point where it’s most fresh). Cut each spear at an angle to create beautiful shards. Put the steamer on (or a colander above a pan of simmering water)and pop the asparagus on to cook for about 1 min no more. You want it to still have a bit of crunch but also retain as many nutrients as possible.
Make the dressing. Pop all the ingredients of the dressing into a food processor with an S blade and blitz until smooth. Put the mint with storks and all as it will be blitzed and the storks still have flavour. If you don’t have a food processor just chop the mint really finely (you might need to remove some storks if very thick), grate the chilli and the garlic and then mix all together by hand.
Pour the dressing onto the mixed asparagus and sweet potato and voila!
If you don’t have a griddle pan, this recipe works just as well and maybe quicker if you steam the sweet potato. You will have to cut the sweet potato in chunks (2cm aprox) and please don’t peal them (all the nutrients are just below the skin and also you save time).
If you don't have a food processor you can make the dressing by chopping the mint very finely and mixed it with grated chilli, garlic and olive oil.
Aubergine or eggplant is not quite everyone’s favourite but I think this little purple gem looks so pretty no one should resit it:). And this aubergine dip recipe it’s a delicious way to get this introduced into your diet.
As the colour suggests they have beneficial amounts of antioxidants that protect the heart and blood vessels and help balance blood sugar levels. Some studies have shown that aubergines can help remove harmful toxins from the body as well as helping with bowel regularity and water balance. Continue Reading…