Coriander chutney with courgette spaghetti

Coriander is one of the worlds oldest spices and its use can be traced back to 5000 BC. In some parts of Europe it is referred to as the 'anti-diabetic'  plant. This is due to its blood sugar lowering properties. It's also shown to be anti-inflammatory and helps lower cholesterol, so try get it into your diet more often to get some of these great benefits. You could start with this easy chutney.

INGREDIENTS: 

1 courgette  

Some roasted butternut squash and rocket leaves if you like

For the chutney: 

  • Large bunch of coriander, stems and leaves
  • 1 chilli, preferably green
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 heaped handful of walnuts
  • ½ tbsp maple syrup or raw cane sugar
  • 75ml white wine vinegar
  • pinch of salt

 HOW TO: 

  • Place all the chutney ingredients in a blender and whizz until smooth
  • I used a spiralizer for the courgette spaghetti but you can slice it thinly if you don't have one.
  • Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and serve
  • Add some extra chilli if you like it really hot

 

Layered vegetable bake

One important thing to remember when cooking lentils is to soak them overnight first. They are relatively high in phytates which are enzyme inhibitors. These can affect absorption of minerals in the body like calcium and zinc. If you soak them overnight, you remove most of the phytates improves your digestion and mineral absorption.

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 80g (1/2 cup) Puy Lentils
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 beef tomato, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 beetroot, cut into small dice
  • 1 tbsp tamari
  • 1 tbsp chopped chives
  • tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 400g butternut squash, thinly sliced lengthways
  • 300g courgette, thinly sliced lengthways

HOW TO: 

  • Preheat the oven to 170 or Gas mark between 3 ½
  • Place the lentils in a small pan, cover with water and bring to the boil then simmer for 10-15 minutes until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large pan and squash the tomato into the oil to make a base for the sauce. Add the garlic and beetroot with the tamari, chives and cumin. Add the water and cook over a medium heat for 15 minutes, or until reduced to a thick sauce. Add the lentils to the pan with a splash more water and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Season to taste.
  • Layer half the butternut squash and a third of the courgettes in an ovenproof dish and spread over half the lentil sauce. Repeat the layers, finishing with the remaining courgettes. Brush the courgettes generously with olive oil, then bake for 45 minutes, or until the vegetables are just tender.

 

Tomato and mushroom dhal

I don't normally cook lentils but this week I've been trying out lots of recipes from the Honestly Healthy cookbook for their alkaline plan. It's been an interesting food adventure to say the least and I've definitely spent more time in the kitchen than usual. This recipe was really tasty and definitely one of the more simple dishes in the book. The lentils are a great source of plant protein and iron but it's important to remember to soak them overnight before you use them to reduce the phytate content (phytates reduce the bio-availability of dietary minerals).

INGREDIENTS :  

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 200g baby vine tomatoes
  • 2 portobello mushrooms (or handful of button mushrooms)
  • 1.5 pints water
  • 400g split red lentils
  • 5cm piece of red chilli (or to taste)  
  • 100g fresh coriander
  • 30g fresh parsley
  • 70g spinach
  • salt to taste

HOW TO : 

  • Sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil for 2 mins.
  • Stir in the dried parsley, coriander, cumin seeds, tomatoes and mushrooms with a good splash of the water. Allow to sweat until the tomatoes start to split and the water is absorbed. 
  • Stir in the lentils, chilli and 400ml of the water and cook over a medium heat for 25-30 minutes, adding the remaining water a little at a time as necessary until the lentils are cooked and reduced to a mushy consistency but still hold their shape. 
  • Season to taste
  • To serve, stir in the fresh coriander, parsley and spinach.  

 

Pad Thai

I learned this recipe from the chef David Bailey in London. It's amazing! I think my boyfriend is addicted to it. Luckily it's got lots of goodness in the form of dates (potassium, iron, flavonoids) and almond butter (vit E, vit B2, phosphorus ).

INGREDIENTS :

  • 2 tbsp of date paste (or chopped dates)
  • 1/2 jar of almond butter
  • 5 sun dried tomatoes, soaked
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • knob of ginger
  • 80 ml maple syrup
  • 80 ml tamari
  • 125 ml olive oil
  • 2 long red chillis (adjust to how spicy you like it)
  • 50ml lemon juice
  • 50ml tamarind juice or tsp spoon of tamarind paste

HOW TO : 

  • Blend everything together in your food processor adding a little water to thin if necessary.
  • You can add it to selection of raw or cooked vegetables and some noodles. Works well with both. 

 

Summer Salad & Broad bean, pea and mint hummus

A tasty salad rich in folate and B vitamins (from broad beans) which are good for your energy, brain and blood. Peas are packed with vitamin C and the antioxidant lutein which is good for your eyesight. 

It’s broad bean season and a large bag of them arrived with my veg delivery today. I absolutely love them so look forward to this time of year when they are in season. Wanting to use them all up and make the most of them I made two things today. A summer salad of broad beans, peas and herbs and a broad bean, pea and mint hummus. Both recipes are below.

SUMMER SALAD 

INGREDIENTS :

  • Some baby carrots
  • Handful of broad beans
  • 1 bunch of radishes
  • handful of peas (fresh or frozen)
  • small handful of mint
  • small bunch of chives
  • small handful of parsley
  • few handfuls of rocket/rucula leaves

For the vinaigrette : 

  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 good tsp of dijon mustard
  • 1 heaped tsp of raw cane sugar
  • good pinch of sea salt
  • about 8 tablespoons of olive oil (judge this yourself as you mix it)
  • Whisk the ingredients together until smooth and emulsified 

HOW TO : 

Salad :

  • I roasted the carrots to get a caremalised taste from them
  • I boiled the peas and broad beans for a few minutes until tender
  • Chop and mix up a salad from the other ingredients then add the carrots and broad beans and peas to the plate. 

Broad bean and pea hummus 

Ingredients : 

  • 3 garlic cloves
  • large handful of cooked broad beans and 2 handfuls of cooked peas
  • Olive oil 
  • a few mint leaves
  • a few pinches of sea salt
  • lemon
  • tsp of tahini (optional) 

HOW TO : 

I didn’t really measure anything for this and just winged it so my best advice is to pop the dry ingredients and squeeze in the lemon in the mixer and slowly add olive oil whilst it’s mixing until you get a nice creamy smooth texture

 

Pesto and Goats cheese stuffed Aubergines

I'm always looking for any excuse to eat this delicious pesto. This is such a simple recipe to make too and something you could probably whip up for friends easily. They will love you for it! Even better you will be filling them with parsley which contains myristicin which studies have shown to inhibit tumour formation.

  • Roast thin slices of aubergine for about 15mins or until soft
  • Spread the pesto along the aubergine slices
  • Sprinkle on the cheese and roll, stick together with cocktail stick
  •  

    FOR THE PARSLEY PESTO:

    • Large handful of flat parsley leaves, i’d say easily 100/150 grams
    • 100/150g of hard cheese ( i used a mature hard goats cheese )
    • 150/200ml of olive oil (or you can use half olive half/ hemp oil) Adjust to how oily you want it by adding it slowly til you get your desired consistency 
    • 1 crushed clove of garlic
    • handful of sunflower seeds or pine nuts. 
    • salt and pepper to season

     

     

    Stuffed Butternut Squash

    This is real winter comfort food. It's bright orange colour brings with it lots of beta-carotene which is great for your skin. 

    INGREDIENTS : 

    • 1 large Butternut Squash
    • 200g of Blue cheese (or a dairy free alternative) 
    • 75g of walnuts chopped roughly
    • some sprigs of thyme
    • Garlic 
    • Couple of teaspoons of honey or maple syrup

    HOW TO :

    • Half and scoop out the seeds and soft flesh in the butternut squash and place in some chopped garlic and a knob of butter in each
    • rub some olive oil lightly over the squash and roast in the oven for about 45 mins til the flesh is soft
    • scoop out the inside leaving about 1 cm around the edge to keep its shape. 
    • Mix the flesh, butter, garlic, cheese, thyme and walnuts together and stuff back in the butternut squash and drizzle a small bit of maple syrup on top
    • Place back in the oven for about 15mins until the cheese has fully melted and is bubbling

    Roasted Purple Carrots with Orange and Thyme

    Purple carrots appeared in my veg box this week. I didn't even know they existed before that. They have a lovely deep flavour and contain anthocyanins (anti-ageing, anti-inflammatory and help prevent against cancer) 

    Carrots were originally purple like these ones and were later cultivated into the orange colour we know them as now. They started in the east in Asia and emerged as orange carrots in the Netherlands in the 17th century. Purple carrots get their colour from Anthocyanidins which are powerful antioxidants

    INGREDIENTS :

    • Purple Carrots
    • 1 orange
    • some sprigs of Thyme
    • a few whole garlic cloves (with skin still on)

    HOW TO :

    • scrub the stringy bits of, chop and place in an oven dish
    • Slice an orange and place in with the carrots
    • squeeze some of the orange juice over them all 
    • throw in some whole garlic cloves
    • add some sprigs of thyme
    • drizzle some oil over it all and place in the oven to roast