To me, cooking is about unwinding and getting creative with flavour combinations and ingredients. It’s about fuelling your body with delicious food that not only tastes good but does good. After trying restricted diets when in my first year of university, I found (like many others) it was hard to keep those cravings at bay. However by ditching the diets and realising that food is meant for enjoyment, I managed to turn my focus to creating food that I loved into healthier options packed with goodness….
Dial up the nutritious factor with these healthy lunch recipes. They’re guaranteed to be a more colourful option than any regular old sandwich you thought of whipping up!
Soups, salads and the most splendid pastas – what will you cook first?
Looking for an easy, filling, tasty make-ahead meal idea? This lentil and vegetable soup has been a go-to of mine for a few years now, and it’s a recipe I never tire of. It is wholesome, hearty and relies on easy-to-find fridge and pantry staples. It can be made ahead, frozen in portions and reheats perfectly. It’s a thrifty, budget-friendly meal (even if you opt to use exclusively organic ingredients) that’s suitable for those eating vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free. And, most importantly, it’s super-tasty!…
I don’t think I will ever grow out of the childish excitement for Christmas. There is just something magical about this time of the year, when the Scandinavian winter takes hold, and we curl up inside around the fireplace, put up Christmas decorations everywhere, cover our bushes in fairy lights, and enjoy the company of our family. Simply amazing….
With its earthy flavour and super food status, kale has become one of the most popular greens around. This nutrient rich plant is high in calcium, potassium, copper and iron as well as vitamins A, C and K and folic acid- which are essential for healthy bones, skin and eyes. Safe to say its achieved cult status as the trendy way to get your daily dose of green- the hippest cafés around the world, will always feature a kale-something-salad on their menu. And in my opinion, the praise is well deserved! Equal parts good for you and tasty, it’s a fresh new way to incorporate vibrant raw greens into any diet….
Admittedly, I’m not a fan of eating raw food all the time. My body wants warm, hearty meals to keep me properly fuelled when i’m training – especially in winter. However, I love this recipe because it’s so simple and easy to prepare, requires no cooking (huzzah!) and can be very easily paired with a chicken breast, white fish, tofu, or whatever protein takes your fancy. If you’re looking for something light, this is great just on it’s own with a few spiced nuts.
Red cabbage has a wide-range of health benefits, but notably for people who workout, it has a significant amount of potassium to help ease sore muscles and reduce cramping. In addition, it’s packed with antioxidants and cancer-fighting benefits: ‘In one recent study, short-cooked and raw cabbage were the only types of cabbage to show cancer-preventive benefits—long-cooked cabbage failed to demonstrate measurable benefits.’
The raw beetroot adds a sweet crunch, and can also offer greater stamina. Before your next workout, try beet powder in water for an energy boost. It’s a god idea when training to incorporate it on a regular basis to keep energy levels high, so this salad works wonders. Beets are also rich in available nutrients and fibre, which keep your digestive system happy. The vitamin C they offer is also an important boost for bodies in winter, helping to boost immunity and starve off any colds and flu that are in the air.
While this a super healthy dish, it’s also incredibly tasty. It can be paired with almost any of your favourite dishes – think homemade burgers, salads, seafood, wraps and more. Make it in a big batch and save it to use through the week…now that’s what I call clever (un)cooking.
- 1 small red cabbage, shredded or thinly sliced
- 4 semi-dried tomatos
- 1 small beetroot, grated
- 2 tablespoon sesame seeds
- ¼ cup spinach leaves
- For the dressing:
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 teaspoon stevia / rice malt syrup / honey
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive or walnut oil
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- In a bowl, add the salad ingredients (aside form the spinach) and toss.
- In a small jun, mix the dressing ingredients until well combined, and pour over salad.
- Massage for 5 minutes, then leave to marinate for 10 minutes. The cabbage will begin to soften a little.
- Before serving, add the spinach leave and toss again.
- For a raw, vegan slaw, enjoy on it’s own, or for a non vegetarian alternative, top with poached chicken and a sprinkling of spiced nuts.
This delicious dish was conceived on a day I was craving some oh-so-creamy sauce to accompany my zoodle (zucchini noodles) lunch. As fate would have it, sitting pretty on my refrigerator shelf was my freshly made batch of raw hazelnut butter. So the natural conclusion was of course, to create a rich and creamy hazelnut butter garlic Asian sauce with some ingredients available in hand. To me, the beauty of home cooking is that all of the ingredients can be customised to suit my personal preferences. With this delicious recipe, I just threw together things I had on hand to make a new dressing.
The greatest thing about a recipe like this is how versatile it is. For example, the hazelnut butter can be replaced with almond butter or any other unsweetened nut butter, and the coconut water replaced with almond mylk for an extra creamy texture. It’s flexible cooking at its best!…
Hummus is quickly gathering a cult following within health food circles, and it is not difficult to see why. It is such a versatile dip and is the perfect accompaniment to many dishes, as well as being suitable for most dietary requirements. This perfect hummus is my go-to afternoon snack when served with raw vegetables and a dish that I quickly whip up when I have unexpected guests as you only require a food processor and five minutes!
Usually I just make up the measurements as I go and adjust to taste (the best way to cook), so feel free to do the same with this basic recipe. I love the addition of all the spices here, as it just makes it a little more exciting than your regular hummus. I also do not add any oil in my recipe to make it much lighter and lower in fat, as well as no salt as I do not believe it is necessary….
As you may have guessed by now, a childhood favourite of mine was pasta- delicious, warming, creamy, decadent and not so healthy pasta. Pasta was the first meal I remember cooking on my own (if you count boiling pasta and heating up the pasta sauce with grated cheese as cooking), and I loved it. Mum would routinely make pasta for seven hungry mouths, her nightly task (and bane of her existence, so she tells me), and I can now appreciate what a task that was to feed all of us- which is where the pasta came in. Quick, affordable, easy and oh so delicious, those pasta ribbons have a sentimental place in my heart. These days. both my diet and, thankfully, my cooking abilities have improved drastically, which means that my recent pasta craving was able to be rekindled in a new and healthier incarnation….
This humble, hearty Sweet Potato & Kale Curry dish ticks all of my “ideal” boxes. Packed with nutrient-dense ingredients, it features some of my favourite vegetables including kale, aubergine and sweet potato. A pleasant kick of heat and fragrant spice combined with a vibrant assortment of plant-based goodies, makes for an exciting vegetarian dish, whether you pledge yourself to a strictly plant-powered way of eating or not….