Roasted Chickpea, Cucumber and Purple Sprouting Broccoli Salad

Salads aren’t dishes that are often associated with the winter weather, however, this one is not only incredibly filling but also full of the kind of goodness that helps to keep you healthy and smiling through the cold season. Sprouting broccoli is an ingredient that I have used once before on my blog but you may not be all that familiar with it. Growing during the winter and sprouting during the spring, this colourful vegetable is a great way to add nutrition and character to any meal. However, it is chickpeas that are the true nourishment bringer of this dish.

A cup of chickpeas only contains 4 grams of fat and absolutely none of it is the bad kind! Add to that, that they provide a decent dose of fibre and can help to lower bad cholesterol levels whilst improving digestive health. When you eat chickpeas your red blood cells benefit hugely as they are full of folate which is essential for the development of these cells.

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To make this salad for two people, you’ll need the following ingredients:

For the salad:

250g of purple sprouting broccoli
1 tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tsp of paprika
2 tsp of cumin
1 small cucumber
A handful of corianderFor the dressing:A handful of coriander
1/2 an avocado
A small handful of pitted olives
1 tbsp of tahini
1 clove of garlic, crushed
7 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
The juice of 1 lemon

Firstly, bring a pot of water to the boil and blanche the broccoli for 2-3 minutes. Whilst you’re doing so, pre-heat your oven to 180C and then spread your chickpeas out on a baking tray. Take the pre-measured paprika and cumin and sprinkle over the chickpeas. You can then place the baking tray into the oven for approximately 25 minutes. Remember to put the broccoli to one side on a large bowl once it is blanched.

Whilst you’re waiting for the chickpeas to cook, chop your cucumber into small chunks and add it into the bowl with the broccoli. As soon as the chickpeas are ready, you can add them into this bowl also.
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The dressing is equally as simple to make as all you have to do is chuck everything into your blender and blitz until you have a smooth mixture.

As soon as you have the broccoli, chickpeas and cucumber in the same bowl, you can serve onto two separate dishes and top with the salad dressing. Add a generous amount of coriander to the top of this and your salad is ready to eat!

Cinnamon Chocolate Cake with Goji Berries

As the Christmas season gets ever closer, the temptation of sweet treats becomes greater and we can often be easily persuaded to abandon our usual healthy diets with the justification of the festivities. However, Christmas doesn’t have to be a reason to over-indulge in sugary snacks and desserts as there is a massive variety of healthy treats available also. If you’re having guests over then serving up this chocolate cake will prove exactly that! Not only is it made with an abundance of natural ingredients but it also includes one of my all time health favourites – goji berries! These tiny berries are great for our bodies and also add an extra twist of flavour to an already delicious cake!

Cacao is another health weapon in this cake. As you may know, cacao is the natural unrefined compound that is used to make chocolate. This means it  has the mood enhancing properties of chocolate but is actually fantastic for health as the naturally occurring vitamins and minerals haven’t been lost to processing.

So to make this cake for yourself, grab the following ingredients:

chocolate_goji_cake1 and 1/4 cups of oat flour
1/2 cup of spelt flour
2 tsp of cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of baking soda
1/4 cup of almond butter
1 cup of almond milk
2 tsp of vanilla extract
1/4 cup of goji berries
1/2 cup of cacao powder
1/2 cup of honey
1/4 cup of coconut butter – softened
1/3 cup of coconut oil melted

chocolate_goji_cake2This is an incredibly quick and easy recipe to make once you have gathered the ingredients. To begin, pre-heat your oven to 180C / 350F and then mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl and stir until you have a smooth mixture. You can then pour the mixture into a greased 9 inch cake tin and place this in the oven for between 20 and 25 minutes.

After this time is up, remove from the oven and slide out of the cake tin. Leave for a few moments to cool and then enjoy!

Three Bean Chilli

With the cold weather setting in here in London, there’s no better way to warm yourself up at the end of the day than with a wholesome meal. Serving up a bowl of my chilli to your family as they come home from their days is a great way to get them smiling and nourished at the same time! To make enough for a family of four, find the following ingredients:

2 medium red onions, peeled and chopped
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 medium leek, chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
2 400g cans of chopped tomatoes
125g of green lentils
1 400g can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 400g can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 litre of veg stock
3 tablespoons of coconut oil
1 tablespoon of cumin
2 tablespoons of coriander
2 tablespoons of dried oregano
Himalayan sea salt

the_flexi_foodie1Before you get started, make sure you have peeled and chopped all of the ingredients as specified. Then take your coconut oil and heat it in a large pan for a few moments before you add in the onions, garlic, leek and chilli. Continue on a medium heat for approximately five minutes. After these five minutes you can add in the oregano, coriander and cumin. Fry for a further two minutes, adding in a few tablespoons of water if you feel it’s needed.

The next step is to add in the two cans of chopped tomatoes as well as the kidney beans, black beans and the lentils. Give this all a quick stir and then pour the litre of veg stock into the pan too. Bring your pan to the boil and then lower the heat to allow your chilli to simmer for approximately one hour. Be sure to remember to stir the pan every fifteen minutes. Once your hour is up, your chilli is ready to be served into four bowls. My kids love to have theirs with a chunk of wholemeal bread on top that soaks up the delicious juicy flavour as you eat! This chilli will last a few days in the fridge when kept in an airtight container so it’s a great dish to make a huge batch of for keeping for another day.

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