This one can be made in volume, and never disappoints. And did I mention how healthy it is?
Mix together in a good blender the following until pureed:
- around 600g large tomatoes
- 2 large teaspoons tomato paste
- 1 large cucumber
- 1 red or orange pepper (paprika)
- 1 onion
- 1 large clove garlic or two if you want it garlicky
- juice of 1 lime
- handful of fresh basil leaves
- around 400 ml water
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)
- 1 tablespoon good balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- Optional: you can add a small bunch of fresh mint to the blender and Worcestershire sauce to taste when serving.
A great variation for ginger lovers: reduce garlic and add two inches of fresh ginger, to taste.
Create a salad bed of hand cut lettuce, shredded beetroot, thinly sliced tomatoes and any other green salad you might have in your refrigerator. Cover with cooked bacon pieces (to taste) and a small tin of lentils – if you don’t want to cook lentils from scratch. Season with good quality bought or home made Ceaser salad dressing.
In the meantime wash and chop in 2 or 3 cm long pieces a bunch of green asparagus and stir fry for about 6 minutes with soya pieces and some sea salt to taste. When ready, arrange on the salad whilst still very warm. Sprinkle heavily with grated Grana Padano and ground pepper.
Mix the following in a blender, pour into paper cupcake cups and bake at 200oC for 40 mins or until beautifully golden brown. I thought this would make a great healthy and fun variation on the broccoli patties by baking rather than frying them.
- 2 boiled (or shh… microwaved) potatoes
- 300g steamed broccoli
- 100 g grated cheese of your choice
- 2 cloves chopped garlic
- 1.5 tsp sea salt
- fresh ground pepper to taste
- 2 beaten eggs
- 6 tbs ground flaxseed – for a great healthy twist
Serve with fresh green salad and a side mix of half ketchup, half mayo – although I found the muffins tasty enough not to require the latter.
Put in a blender, or just cut into small pieces and mix thoroughly, the following:
8 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1.5 tsp sea salt
1 bunch fresh mint
1 bunch fresh coriander (you can also use parsley if coriander is not your thing)
some flaxseed (optional)
3 or 4 spring onions
juice of one lemon
You can spread the above on a normal green salad, or delicious on a bed of grilled aubergines or courgettes.
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
Asparagus is healthy and easy to cook, but also easy to get wrong. The following takes literally 5 minutes to prepare and is ideal as a starter or even a snack.
You will need:
- 400-500g asparagus
- generous amount of olive oil
- 1 heaped tsp sea salt
- 2 gloves garlic, finely chopped
- bunch of fresh Melissa/lemon balm leaves
- ground black pepper
- balsamic vinegar
In a small bowl mix the oil, chopped Melissa, garlic, salt and black pepper. Arrange the asparagus on a sheet of baking paper on a tray and cover with the oil mixture. Spray or sprinkle some balsamic vinegar.
Bake at 220oC for around 20 minutes or until the asparagus is done and slightly golden.
If lemon balm is not available, use some lemon juice instead.
This is one of my favourites, easy to make, looks great and can be eaten cold, so excellent if you have friends over and juggling time with other dishes.
- packet of basil, lightly cut in pieces
- approx. one garlic clove (pressed)
- 8 tbls olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 6 tasty tomatoes cut in thin slices
- 2 mozzarellas, also in thin slices
- 1 packet lasagne pasta
- 1 pack rucola or any other fresh small salad
Mix the basil, garlic, olive oil, salt and tomatoes and allow to stand. Cook the pasta for around 8-9 mins in salty water.
Starting with a layer of pasta apply the basil mixture followed by the mozzarella and rucola. Apply another layer of pasta and do the same. Finish up with a pasta layer, seasoned and topped with cheese of your choice, preferably parmesan.
For those who are lactose intolerant, you can replace mozzarella with goat cheese and works just the same.
Serves 4, as a starter.
Pumpkin can be bought any season these days. I enjoy it in many ways, but the easiest tends to be also one of the tastiest: roasting. Cut into slices and then divide each in 3 pieces, sprinkle heavily with extra virgin olive oil and add some herbs of your choice; fresh rosemary, sage and melissa works great. Fried or roasted sage always adds that extra spark to many foods.
Sprinkle with lots of pepper and sea salt and let roast in a 230oC oven for 50 minutes or until the pumpkin softens as to your taste. Ten minutes or so before add some cherry tomatoes and black beans and serve on a bed of slightly wilted spinach. You can get this effect by microwaving for 60 seconds on 900.
I added some soya substitute chunks for a complete dish.
Tip: How to cut pumpkin into slices with little effort? Put the whole pumpkin in hot water for 10 mins to soften. In this case, reduce the oven cooking time.