Spinach Blueberry and Feta Salad

Spinach Blueberry and Feta Salad

Seafood and Chorizo Paella

About this Recipe

This spinach, blueberry and feta salad is one of the most summery dishes I can think of! Bursting blueberries, crunchy apples and tangy cranberries offset the slightly bitter brussel sprouts and tangy feta.  It’s a salad packed with goodness as it provides 8 different whole-food fruit/veggies/nuts. It keeps well too – so make a double portion to enjoy for lunch the next day.

Spinach Feta and Blueberry Salad

Ingredients (4 portions)

  • 2 large handfuls of spinach leaves
  • 1 cup brussel sprouts
  • 2 large handfuls watercress
  • 1 apple
  • 2 small red onions
  • 1 block of feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup pecans
  • 1 punnet blueberries

Dress it up

To complement this fruity salad – make a delicious and creamy lemon dressing to dress the salad.  Blend together – 1 cup of olive oil, 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp honey, juice of one lemon, 1 tablespoon dijon mustard, 1 tsp salt, some ground black pepper. 

Thrive on 30  – this salad is perfect for thriving on 30! 

Eating 30 different plants a week can boost your gut health and have a whole range of health benefits.  30 may seem like a lot! But it includes fruits, veggies, salads, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices. Plants contain prebiotics which are a fuel source for our good gut bacteria. The Prebiotics in plants are also a great source of fiber, carbohydrates and polyphenols which provide colour in foods and can have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. 

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Wash all the fruit and vegetables ready to prep.

Blend together the dressing ingredients in a nutri bullet, or by hand and add to a glass jar or container.

 

Spinach salad ingredients
Onion and Feta

Step 2

Chop the red onion into small pieces and cut the feta in to small chunks.

Step 3

Slice the apple and mix a little dressing over the apple so that it doesn’t brown.

Apple slices
shredded Brussels

Step 4

Coarsely grate the brussel sprouts.

Step 5

Mix the brussel sprouts, spinach and watercress together in a bowl  – add a little dressing and mix together well. Then add the blueberries, apple slices, onion, cranberries and pecans and mix together.  Sprinkle the feta chunks on top and pour over a little more dressing to taste. .

Mixed ingredients
Spinach Feta and Blueberry Salad

Homemade Hummus

Homemade Hummus

Homemade Hummus

About this Recipe

This homemade hummus is a delicious veggie dip that goes so well with pitta, toast, and sliced vegetables. It’s surprisingly easy to make at home and uses store cupboard ingredients.  What a fantastic go-to lunch when you need something quick, and delicious but the fridge is a little empty!  Tailor the flavours as you like, make it smooth or crunchy and then store it for several days for lunches and snacks. 

Homemade Hummus

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups tinned chickpeas (1 can)
  • 1 garlic clove – peeled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon smoked salt (or regular)
  • 1/3 cup smooth tahini paste
  • 1/2  lemon (juiced)

Hummus health benefits

High in fibre, chickpeas can have a positive effect on our gut. Beans and pulses, like chickpeas, are protein-rich and high in resistant starch, slowing the speed at which we digest them. This means they release energy more steadily which may positively manage blood sugar levels.  Chickpeas, sesame seeds in the tahini paste and olive oil are valuable sources of heart-healthy mono-unsaturated fats. These ingredients also have beneficial properties including being anti-inflammatory.

Why is homemade better?  Some store-bought hummus brands use cheaper sunflower oil rather than healthier olive oil. Making your own hummus also allows you to control the levels of salt and cuts out the need for additives or preservatives.  

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Drain the chickpeas reserving the juice and a few chickpeas to top your dish. Then, to a food processor, add the chickpeas, olive oil, salt, peeled garlic, and tahini paste.  Mix well until you have roughly your preferred consistency – ultra smooth or crunchy.

Hummus ingredients
Whizzed chickpeas

Step 2

Add lemon juice a little at a time until you reach the right wetness and smoothness you desire.  If you need more moisture without the sourness of lemon juice, add some of the reserved chickpea juice.

Step 3

Serve the hummus in a pretty dish and top with the reserved chickpeas and a drizzle of olive oil. 

Homemade hummus

Have fun with toppings and flavours

When I was on my charity trek in Jordan, hummus was a staple for lunch and breakfast.  Our local crew taught me to sprinkle Za’atar spice on my hummus to add a big flavour hit.   Other great toppings are pine nuts, sesame seeds, chilli flakes, or chopped herbs.  If you’d like to change the flavour and colour of the hummus, try blending in sundried tomatoes or fresh basil, coriander or parsley.  You could even make a fun hummus bar for lunch with choices of bread, vegetables, and an array of flavoursome toppings. It’s such a fun and versatile lunch!

Fresh Pineapple Salsa

Fresh Pineapple Salsa

Fresh Pineapple Salsa

About this Recipe

I love this fresh pineapple salsa because it’s so versatile.  My go-to fruit salsa is mango, but one day I didn’t have a mango and so I thought I’d see if I could make a pineapple version.  That night I served a freshly grilled tuna steak on top. It was a perfect and light summer supper.  The next day, the leftover salsa was a great side dish to BBQ meat with some potato wedges.

Fresh pineapple salsa

Ingredients

4 portions

  • Half a fresh pineapple
  • 1/4 cucumber
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1/2  juice of a fresh lime
  • 1 small red onion
  • Small bunch fresh coriander / cilantro
  • 1 fresh chilli
  • 1/2  teaspoon salt
  • 4-6 tomatoes 

No need to dress up!  One of the lovely things about salsa is that you don’t need to make a separate dressing.  Simply add some lime juice and salt and voila!  The lime juice also helps keep the salsa nice and fresh so it will keep in the fridge for several days.  In my recipe, I’ve given a range for the number of tomatoes.  Sometimes very juicy tomatoes will make the salsa a little sloppy. So I’ll leave you to decide how juicy you want your salsa!

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Prepare the pineapple by removing the skin, top and bottom.  Then halve the pineapple and remove the hard core.  Chop the pineapple into small pieces.  You can use the other half for smoothies or cut into snack size wedges.

Ingredients on board
Chopped up ingredients

Step 2

Deseed and dice the red pepper  (click on this link for my Easy way to deseed a pepper).  Dice the cucumber, red onion, tomatoes and cucumber.  Then chop the chilli into tiny pieces. Always taste the chilli to determine how much to add.  Better to leave extra chilli for everyone to add later if they like more of a kick.

Step 3

Juice the 1/2 lime and add to the salsa, sprinkle over the salt and add the chopped coriander/cilantro. Mix gently.  

Final fresh salsa

Smoky Peppers and Avocado Toast

Smoky Peppers and Avocado Toast

Smoky Peppers and Avocado Toast

About this Recipe

I usually love making meals – but sometimes I don’t enjoy making lunch – because I’m busy and don’t want to stop what I’m doing! This smoky peppers with avocado toast is one of my ‘go-to’ lunches when I need something speedy and nutritious.  It only has a few ingredients but packs a lot of flavour.  There are great textures too, from toasty bread to creamy avocado and soft peppers.

Smoky peppers and avocado

Ingredients:

Yields 2 portions
  • 2 large slices rye / wholemeal bread
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 peppers
  • 3 spring onions
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • Olive oil

A super nutritious lunch!  Peppers are full of vitamin C – especially the red and orange ones.  They also have a good helping of fibre, vit A and carotenoids.  Avocados are full of heart and cholesterol healthy fat, fibre and vitamins. Mashing the avocado straight onto the toast also means you won’t miss adding butter to the bread.

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Toast the bread.  Meanwhile, deseed the peppers and slice them into thin strips.  Top and tail the spring onion, then diagonally slice and halve the spring onions. (There’s a link here to my easy way to deseed a pepper).

Lunch ingredients

Step 2

Put the pepper and spring onion slices into a frying pan and add a drizzle of olive oil.  Add the salt, pepper and smoked paprika.  Fry until a little charred.

smoky peppers and avocado

Step 3

Halve and deseed the avocado. Mash half the avocado with a fork onto each slice of toast.

Step 4

Once the peppers are soft and slightly charred, top some on each of the avocado toasts.  (If you have too many – keep them aside for adding to another dish like a frittata or for adding to an omelet).  Drizzle with olive oil and enjoy!

Gut Healthy Kale Apple and Fig Salad

Gut Healthy Kale Apple and Fig Salad

Gut Healthy Kale Apple and Fig Salad

About this Recipe

I get so excited when fig season comes around and they appear in the grocery store. I loved it even more when I used to go to Costco in Colorado, when a whole tray of figs would be on offer to me! So when the first seasonal figs appeared recently, my mind started picturing a tasty, filling salad with a salty crispy touch of proscuitto ham and some gut healthy and fibrous seasonal kale. Add in apple, white cabbage and red onion and you have a colourful dinner, lunch or side salad. 

Gut Healthy Kale Salad

Ingredients for Lemon and Oregano Dressing

Yield: 1 small bottle – use half for the salad recipe

  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tsp honey
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • A clove of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon  dijon mustard
  • 1 Tsp salt
  • 1/2 Tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 Tsp dried oregano

The creamy lemon and oregano dressing coats the kale and grated cabbage and adds a zesty taste with a tang from the pepper and mustard. Easy to make, impressive enough for guests and delicious any time of day – this gut healthy kale, apple and fig salad is sure to please everyone. Your gut will love the fibrous green kale and your whole body will thank you for the variety of fruit and vegetables in one simple dish.

Step by Step Instructions for the dressing

Step 1

Add all the ingredients to a nutri bullet or blender and whizz up until it looks nice and creamy. You could mix all the ingredients up by hand, but just mince the garlic first.

Step 2

Once all mixed up, keep half the dressing for the salad and put the other half away in a glass bottle or lidded jar to use throughout the week as a ready made dressing!

Ingredients for kale, apple and fig salad

Yield: 2 Portions
  • 2 large handfuls of kale
  • 1 apple
  • Quarter of a white cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 4 small or 2 large figs
  • A few rashers of prosciutto or Parma ham
  • 1/2 red onion
Gut Healthy Kale apple and fig Salad Ingredients

Step by Step Instructions for the salad

Step 1

Place the washed and drained kale in a bowl and drizzle with a little olive oil. Rub the oil into the kale and leave to soften up while you prepare the rest of the salad.

Step 2

Chop the prosciutto or Parma ham into small pieces, add to a dry pan and fry until nice and crispy. Take off the heat and leave until you are ready to serve.

Step 3

Using a coarse food processor, grater or a box grater, grate the white cabbage. Add to a large mixing bowl.

Step 4

Finely slice the onion and apple either by hand or in the food processor and add to the mixing bowl.

Step 5

Add the sunflower seeds and softened kale. Drizzle over the half of your handmade lemon and oregano dressing and mix well.  Quarter the figs and lay them on top of the salad. Scatter the cooked proscuitto on top.

Mixed up gut healthy kale salad

Enjoy this delicious, nutritious and gut healthy, kale apple and fig salad.

The lemon and oregano dressing is fantastic to have in the kitchen all summer long – add it to any type of salad – you can even use it as a drizzle over cooked salmon, prawns or smoked salmon.

Ras-el-hanout Lemon and Oregano Chicken

Ras-el-hanout Lemon and Oregano Chicken

Ras-el-hanout lemon and oregano chicken

About this Recipe

This is a delicious way to use that warm, aromatic, but not very well known spice, Ras-el-hanout. This Ras-el-Hanout Lemon and Oregano Chicken is easy to prepare and is super tasty. Serve it alongside rice or my Ras-el-hanout roasted vegetable dish. It would be delicious cold as part of a picnic, or in a pitta bread with some hummus and salad leaves.

Ras el hanout lemon and oregano chicken

Ingredients for the marinade

Yields 2 portions

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon garlic granules
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon dried oregano
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ras-el-hanout spice
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

Other ingredients:

2 chicken breasts

The marinade could be used on pork, shrimp or salmon. For vegetarians, try adding the marinade to thick halloumi cheese slices

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Mix all the dry ingredients into the lemon juice and olive oil, combining together well.

Ras el hanout lemon and oregano chicken marinade

Step 2

Slice the 2 chicken breasts into 2 thinner pieces (to allow more marinade surface area). Rub the marinade all over the chicken and leave to infuse (even a few minutes will work great – but leave in the refrigerator for a few hours if you have time).

Step 3

Grill / BBQ / or oven cook the chicken breasts until fully cooked. (It usually takes about 20 minutes in the oven).

Side dishes for Ras-el-hanout Lemon and Oregano Chicken

This flavorsome chicken dish is so versatile. Serve it up with alongside my Ras-el-hanout Roasted Vegetable Traybake – find the recipe here – ras-el-hanout vegetables.  It would be delicious served cold in a picnic with salads or try it in a toasted pitta bread with hummus and salad leaves.

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