With the weather improving it’s time to eat a little lighter, and make use of all the delicious veggies that are now coming in season. If you want something healthy full of crunch and protein, then this is the perfect salad.
Ideal for lunch or as a side dish, this salad has lots of colour and fresh flavours (don’t skimp on the herbs). If you don’t already do it, window boxes full of herbs will transform how you cook and eat. The dressing has some Asian flavours for a little extra zing, but if it’s not your thing you can leave out the miso and ginger.
75 Grams Green lentils (dry weight, or use 1 Can of ready cooked lentils)
150 Grams Bulgar wheat, dry weight (you can also use cous cous, barley or whatever grain you prefer)
2-3 Scallions/spring onions (finely chopped)
1 Courgette /zucchini (grated)
75 Grams Cucumber (seeds removed, and chopped into 1 cm chunks)
1 Apple (chopped into 1 cm chunks and cover with some od the lemon juice for the dressing to stop it going brown)
1 Carrot (grated)
1 Handful Parsley or mint (chopped)
1 Handful Coriander (chopped)
I Tbsp Pumpkin seeds
Salt and pepper
1 Lemon (juiced)
2-3 Tbsp Oil
1 Tbsp Grated ginger
1 Tsp Miso paste
Cook the lentils and Bulgar wheat according to the instructions on he packaging, set aside and allow to cool. If you are using pre cooked lentil just drain them
Combine all the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, mix all the dressing ingredients together and drizzle over the salad ingredients
Mix well and add salt pepper if you think it needs it.
This pie is very satisfying but still quite light and a good way to get your daily dose of veggies.
I use frozen spinach, because it’s cheaper and a kilo of fresh spinach will take up half your kitchen, make sure to squeeze out as much water as possible so the pie won’t be soggy. Fresh herbs add flavour, and while dill is traditionally used, I used parsley and mint which are also used in some parts of Greece.
Filo pastry can be bought in most larger super markets. Make sure to cover the pastry with a slightly damp tea towel to stop it drying out when you are making the pie.
The pie can be eaten hot or cold and can live in your fridge for 2-3 days. It’s great as a lunch dish served with some salad or as a side dish.
1kg Frozen spinach (defrosted, and all excess liquid squeezed out)
Handful of finely chopped parsley and mint
250 Grams Filo pastry
200 Grams Feta style cheese (crumbled)
1 Leek or bunch of scallions/spring onions (finely chopped)
1 Tbsp Oil
25 Grams Butter (melted)
Salt and pepper (to taste)
2 Tbsp Sesame seeds (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (Celsius)
In a large pan, heat the oil over a medium heat and fry the leek until soft. Set to one side and allow to cool
Add the drained spinach to a large bowl and loosen up with a fork. Stir in the eggs, feta, herbs leeks and seasoning. Stir until combined
Grease a 6 x 9 in baking tin and line with sheets of filo pastry, brush each sheet lightly with butter before topping with another sheet (lay 5-6 sheets of filo pastry as a base)
When the tray is lined, spread the spinach mixture evenly across the base. Fold in any overlapping pastry and top the pie with the leftover sheets of pastry (brush each sheet lightly with butter before topping with the next.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds, and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until brown and crispy
I usually find sandwiches a bit meh!, but I love these. I make these as pinwheel sandwiches, which is basically a tortilla rolled up and cut into slices. They are nice for parties, or just because you want to fancy up your lunchbox.
The filling is packed full of flavours from America’s South West, black beans, corn, coriander (cilantro) etc. This makes it full of colour, crunch, fibre and flavour.
I used full fat sour cream and cream cheese, but you can use lower fat versions. This sandwich filling also makes an amazing topping for baked potatoes, or stirred into left over pasta to make a salad.
400 Gram Can Sweet Corn (drained)
400 Gram Can Black Beans (drained and rinsed)
1 Large red pepper (chopped into 1cm cubes)
2-3 Scallions/spring onions (finely sliced)
2 Tbsp Coriander (Finely chopped)
150 Grams Cheddar Cheese (grated)
2 Tsp Smoked Paprika
1 Tsp Chilli Powder
1 Tsp Salt
200 Grams Sour Cream
200 Grams Cream Cheese
Add all the ingredients to a large bowl and stir until well combined
Spread 2 large spoonfuls of the filling on a tortilla, and roll the outside edge inwards tightly
My friend Mags has been raving about this recipe for ages. We both have a serious bread addiction and this recipe is from a slimming club site. So when she shared the recipe I had to make it. If you’ve ever had Irish wheaten bread this is similar in taste.
It takes two minutes to knock together, can be enjoyed by those who have issues with gluten and is pretty cheap to make. If you want something to keep kids busy this also something to do with them on a rainy afternoon and the will be super pleased with themselves.
It’s not the lightest fluffiest bread, but it is packed full of fibre and perfect served with cheese and chutney or buttered along side soup. I topped mine with some pumpkin seeds for a bit of crunch, but you can also sprinkle with porridge oats.
180 Grams Porridge oats
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Bicarbonate of Soda (baking soda)
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees (Celsius). Grease a load tin, you can also line it with baking parchment if want to (but I just greased the tin really well and it was fine)
Mix the yoghurt, salt and baking soda together, before stirring in the porridge oats
In a separate bowl, crack the egg and whisk with a fork until light and fluffy. Stir into the porridge mix and stir until we’ll combined
Transfer the mix into the loaf tin and bake for 50 minutes. Test with a tooth pick, when it comes out clean it’s ready.
Sometimes random things pop up on your social media feed and this was the “Friends” salad, apparently the female cast members all ate the same thing every day for lunch for 10 years.
I followed the recipe provided by icecreamandneondreams.com and I have to say it’s very tasty (maybe not eating it every day for 10 years), but definitely worth including in your salad or lunch dish rotation.
Needless to say its very healthy with plenty of fibre and protein and full of lovely flavours that compliment each other. Like any salad you can play with the ratio of ingredients depending on your taste
The original salad doesn’t have any dressing, but you can also add some olive oil and lemon juice if you think it needs it.
250 Grams Bulgar Wheat (dry weight cook according the instructions on the packet)
1 Large or 2 small Cucumbers
400 Gram Tin of Chick Peas
1 Small red onion (finely sliced)
200 Grams Feta Cheese (crumbled)
50 Grams Shelled Pistachios
2 Tbsp. Fresh mint (chopped), or 2 tsp dried mint
2 Tbsp. Parsley (chopped)
Cook the bulgar wheat according to the instructions on the packet and allow to cool
Cut the cucumber in half lengthways and scoop out and discard the watery seeds on the middle. Cut each half in half again and slice into 1 cm slices (you can make them chunkier if you prefer)
Drain the chick peas and add to a large bowl along with all the other ingredients and mix well. Have a taste and add some salt and pepper if you the salad needs it
Vegetarian main courses can be a bit Meh. This yummy mix of vegetables, lentils and creamy feta cheese wrapped up in delicious flaky pastry makes great quick weeknight dinner and packed with protein.
You can change up the vegetables you use depending on what you have (it’s a good way to use up left over veggies). You can also used canned lentils, and I always use shop bought flaky pastry (because who really ever makes it from scratch). You can also make the filling the day before, so all you have to do is assemble and bake if you’re short on time.
I made one large pastry parcel that can sliced up, but you could also make 4 individual ones if you prefer.
1 Sheet of shop bought puff pastry (pre-rolled)
1 Tbsp Olive oil
2 Leeks (sliced)
2 Peppers (sliced)
150 Grams Cooked green lentils
150 Grams Mushrooms (sliced)
200 Grams Feta cheese
1 Tsp Dried Thyme
2-3 Cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
Salt and pepper
1 Beaten Egg (for brushing)
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and cook the vegetables over a medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and continue to cook until the vegetables are soft
Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely, stir in the cooked lentils and feta cheese
Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees (Celsius)
Place your pastry on a sheet of baking parchment. Leaving a border of 2cm, place the vegetable mix on on half of the pastry sheet. I use a slotted spoon to drain off any excess liquid from the vegetable mix
Lightly brush the edges of pastry with beaten egg and fold the pastry over to cover the filling. Press the edges of the pastry together with a fork (or you can crimp it if you’re feeling fancy)
Brush the pastry with some beaten egg, if you want to make things look pretty you can lightly run a knife across the pastry in a criss Cross pattern (be careful not to go too deep and pierce the pastry)
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown
I visited Krakow recently, and loved everything about the place. What I really fell in love with were pierogis, served in pretty much every restaurant.
Our food guide told us the it’s really common in Polish homes for members of the family to get together and make huge batches of pierogis, especially at certain times of year, like Christmas.
This weekend I got together with my Krakow travel companions to drink maybe more than we should and make pierogis.
Pierogis are fairly easy to make and we worked in a kind of production line which made it even easier. I would definitely recommend getting your friends together and giving communal cooking a go. By the time you chat, laugh and have a few drinks you can make loads of them. I didn’t have a recipe for these so we used the BBC Good Food recipe and the dumplings tasted exactly like what he had in Poland.
Pierogis freeze well, double up on the recipe and you can pull them out of the freezer for a quick week night dinner. You can also make a sweet version by simply replacing the filling with raw blueberries and serve topped with sour cream.
For the dough
250 Grams Self Raising Flour (sifted)
1 Tsp Salt
3 Tbsp. Vegetable oil
250-300ml Warm Water
For the filling
250 Grams Mashed potatoes (this is a great way to use up left overs, make sure the mashed potatoes are cold before using)
50 Grams Butter
1 Onion (finely chopped)
250 Grams Cottage Cheese
Add the flour and salt to a bowl, add the oil and then gradually add water and mix until you have a soft dough. Gather into a ball, knead for 5 minutes, wrap in cling film. Chill for 30 minutes
While the dough is resting, melt the butter in a frying pan and cook the onions over a medium heat for 10-15 minutes until they are golden brown
Mix the potatoes and cottage cheese together and stir in two thirds of the fried onions. Mix until thoroughly combined
Roll the dough out as thinly as possible (nobody wants a thick doughy dumpling). Use a cookie cutter or class to cut 4-5 cm circles
Put a teaspoon of the filling in the centre of the circle and lightly wet the edges of of circle. Fold over to create a half moon and press the edges closed tightly
Heat a large pot of water to just before boiling, add the pierogi, about 6-7 at a time (depending on the size of your pot, just be careful not to overcrowd the pot)
When the pierogi start to float, lift out with a slotted spoon and drain in a colander. Keep cooking the pierogi until all the dumplings are cooked.
Serve on a large plate, and sprinkle the remaining fried onions over the top
Autumn is definitely here, and it’s time to break out the one pot comfort food recipes. I love recipes that I can make from what I usually have in a cupboard or the fridge and this one of them. Dried yellow split peas are really cheap, and packed full of protein and fibre. They also work brilliantly in Indian dishes like dhal.
This is a really rich satisfying, cheap and easy to make meal. Perfect for chilly days when you want something nutritious and satisfying. It’s also packed with lovely warming flavours like ginger, chilli and garlic.
This soup freezes well or can live in your fridge for 3-4 days.
1 Leek (finely sliced)
2 Carrots (grated)
250 Grams Yellow split peas
1 Litre Vegetarian stock (I used 2 stock cubes to make this)
Thumb sized piece of ginger (grated), or 1 Tsp of ground ginger if you don’t have the fresh stuff)
1 Tsp Tumeric
3-4 Cloves of garlic (minced)
1 Tsp Chilli powder
1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
Heat the oil in large pot over a medium heat, and add the leek and carrot. Cook for 5-10 minutes until soft
Add the rest of the ingredients and stir. Turn up the heat bring the soup up to just before the boil
Reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally
Serve topped with toasted hazel nuts or pumpkin seeds for a little extra crunch