Crunchy salad with creamy chilli and turmeric dressing

My lovely friend G always jokes about getting enough roughage from his diet – it’s a standing joke now. But the meaning of the word fibre has gone out of fashion in the healthy food narrative these days. What a shame! Fibre is key to lots of imortant functions in our bodies, like feeding our gut flora – our gut bacteria needs fuel, just like we do. Not eating enough fibre can lead to  chronic illness and obesity. But equally, eating a lot of the right sort of fibre can prevent it. Continue reading “Crunchy salad with creamy chilli and turmeric dressing”

Protein salad with tahini and mustard dressing

imageQuinoa is a hard grain to beat generally but especially if you are into vegan/vegetarian food. When you’ve eaten your body weight in brown rice and pasta no longer appeals (all that gluten, darling) quinoa is the logical next step. Versatile (it can be eaten hot or cold), inexpensive, filling and jam packed with nutrients, it should quite frankly take pride of place in everybody’s kitchen. Continue reading “Protein salad with tahini and mustard dressing”

Super quick Pesto ‘Pasta’

glutenfree pasta and pestoI used to be the world’s biggest pasta lover. Weren’t we all? Pasta was the staple, the go-to and the ultimate comfort food. A quick and easy friend who mixed well with anything.  It was a mutual love affair.  As with lots of yummy things there is an underbelly and the boring thing about refined carbs is that, unfortunately, the more you consume, the more you crave. It’s like a bad cycle that never ends.

These days I still crave the satisfying feeling that only a dish of pesto pasta and a salad can give you but I recreate it into my new vegan, gluten free version which is surprisingly tasty. It’s quicker than cooking regular pasta and the vegan pesto recipe uses nutritional yeast which is an excellent cheese substitute in savoury vegan dishes should you want to avoid dairy. I don’t rule out dairy completely myself but love to experiment with vegan substitute to see how it compares and nutritional yeast is a great way to include in your cheesy dishes if you have chosen the dairy free road. You can find it in most health food stores as well as online.

The good news is that you avoid the pasta pot belly by consuming only veg and grains that are actually good for you and your digestion.  Here is the low-down on the nutrients from my favourite menu items;

  • Courgettes – contain potassium (good for lowering blood pressure) and vitamin C which strengthen your immune system.
  • Basil – good source of magnesium, vitamin A (good for eyes) , anti-bacterial.
  • Pine nuts – vitamin A, C, Magnesium, iron, can aid weight loss due to feeling full faster.
  • Olive oil – great source of monounsaturated fats, anti-oxidants and vitamin E.

This lunch or dinner dish is simply jam packed with nutrients and healthy fats to re-charge your body and mind. Add veggies of your choice, such as steamed broccoli, tomatoes and peppers. It looks lovely and will add a crunch to your dish.

Quick and Easy Pesto ‘Pasta’ (serves 1)

Courgetti

1 large courgette, julienned or spiralized

Vegan Pesto

1 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

1/3 cup olive oil

1 cup pine nuts

4 cloves garlic

1/3 nutritional yeast

Salt + Pep

How to:

Stick all ingredients in your food processor or high speed blender. Be prepared to stop the machine occasionally to scrape the mixture off the sides until you have the consistency you like. I prefer a slight crunch to my pesto instead of a fine puree but that is entirely personal. You do what works for you.

Slightly wilt the courgetti in a pan of boiling water (but with heat turned off). No longer than 2 minutes, then drain, toss and pour the pesto over the warm vegetable noodles. Add your vegetables of choice (broccoli, tomatoes, peppers or spinach for example) once the noodles have been thoroughly coated in pesto. Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

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Party Hummus

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If you are hosting drinks and nibbles in these festive times it could be nice to know that you can be in charge of your party food. Hummus is one of those essentials that you can easily overlook. You assume it will be at your ready in the shop, only to find that the world was thinking the same thing. Don’t panic! Do a GIANT batch of home made hummus a few days before your event (hummus will last at least four days in the fridge) to ensure you have one less thing to worry about. I still find it amazing that a bag of dried chickpeas become something so delicious. Continue reading “Party Hummus”