Broccoli pesto

Not your typical pesto as you can eat lots and lots of it on its own and you will be healthier for that, however it is also great as a side.

Blend the following in a blender/food processor:

  • 1 broccoli head (circa 550g) cut in small florets, cooked/steamed and drained.
  • 50 g roasted pine nuts
  • 7 tbs olive oil
  • juice from lemon and some of its zest
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbs linseed (optional)
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves, to taste

Serve lots with chicken or fish or serve as a healthy dip.

For the roasted vegetables cut 4 chicory sprouts lengthwise into quarters, sprinkle with olive oil, sea-salt and pepper and fresh thyme.  Half an aubergine, cut small squares in it without cutting the skin, drizzle with olive oil, sea-salt and pepper and oregano.  Roast all at 200oC for 40 mins or until done.

 

3-minute walnut pesto

This pesto is so tasty but easy to make you will wonder why you ever bought a ready made version.

Mix in a blender to a nice pesto paste:

  • 100g walnuts
  • 1 tbs ground flaxseed (optional)
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • juice of half a lemon
  • ground pepper to taste
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 60g rucola

Serve with your favourite pasta on a bed of rucola.  Here I have combined with wholemeal ravioli, alfalfa sprouts and sautéed mushrooms.

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Easy pesto, made even healthier with flaxseed

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Pesto is extremely easy to prepare, and I added ground flaxseed to this version for those extra health points.

Blend together in a food processor or a blender:

2 cloves garlic, peeled
50g ground (or let grind in the food processor with the rest) flaxseed
50g lightly roasted pine nuts
50g grated parmesan cheese
150ml extra virgin olive oil
3/4 tsp sea salt, to taste
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
large bunch fresh basil, leaves plucked
some lemon juice, optional and to taste

Easy summer quinoa and salmon salad

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Quinoa is all about what you mix it with, and this quick recipe blends the following healthy ingredients nicely.

You will need:

1 chopped cucumber

Half an iceberg lettuce, chopped

200g sugar snaps or any other similar crunchy vegetables, cooked 5 mins in lightly salty boiling water

150g quinoa – follow the pack for instructions on how to cook (I cooked for 8 mins and then added the sugar snaps and cooked for a further 5 mins, to save on time and effort)

300 g baked salmon at 210oC for 12 mins, sprinkled with ground sea salt and pepper

Mix the above, and sprinkle with some olive oil and serve with a side dressing very easily made from:

250g creme fraiche or yogurt

15g dill

 

 

 

Quick and tasty broad bean dip

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Broad beans can be bought for next to nothing in a dry form, soaked overnight and cooked slowly for 1 and a half hours on medium heat in lots of slightly salted water.  There is no need to peel the beans but just just quickly pure’ with a hand blender together with the following:

  • 3 cloves garlic,
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 80 ml lemon juice
  • 2 tsps sea salt
  • 2 tsps ground cumin
  • 2 tsps paprika powder

Add some of the cooking liquid to taste (and consistency).

The recipe is for 300g beans in dry form.

The cooking of the beans takes more than an hour, but the rest cannot be easier or quicker.  Makes loads, so again great if you have friends over.

Delicious and easy hummus

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Hummus is so delicious and easy to make that I often wonder why I ever buy it ready made.  Here goes:

  • 700 ml drained tinned or bottled chick peas
  • 2 level tsps sea salt or lo-salt, to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 300 ml tahini – use less first and then add according to taste
  • 80 ml lemon juice – use a bit more according to taste
  • cayenne pepper and olive oil for garnish

Blend, using a hand blender, the chick peas, salt and garlic.  Once it is a smooth paste add the tahini and lemon juice and extra water to get the right consistency.  Adjust the tahini, lemon juice and salt to taste.

Serve sprinkled with cayenne pepper and olive oil.  This recipe makes loads, so perfect if you have friends over.

Tip: an alternative to tahini is ground cumin.