Spiced Coconut Kale with Avocado

The key to making a proper kale salad taste good is to not cook the kale!  You just need to give it some love and soften it with an acidic ingredient or dressing. In my view this side is perfect for any main dish! Eating this dish regularly alongside your main meals also brings a nutrition boost to any meal. Kale is one of the healthiest leaves on the planet and can really help to reduce your LDL cholesterol levels. It has also been explored extensively for its potential cancer preventing abilities. It is believed to reduce the risk of developing at least five different cancers (bladder, colon, breast, ovary and prostate). With over 45 different flavonoids contained within, with both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, kale is an absolute winner for your the health of your body.

The addition of avocado and almonds to this recipe also ensures you are getting a good dose of good fat that is essential for many functions in the body. Getting an adequate amount of good fat through your foods can also help towards your weight loss goals. Both of these ingredients will also help to keep your cholesterol levels at an optimum level, and will also help to protect against heart disease!

 

kale avocado saladTo make a big bowl to divide between everyone at the dinner table, find the following ingredients:

For the salad:

 

A bunch of kale, torn into pieces and chunky stems removed

40g of coconut flakes
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
A large handful of almonds, toasted
 

For the dressing:

 

1 shallot, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp. of olive oil
1 Tbsp. of apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. of dried chilli flakes
1 tsp. of maple syrup
 

This is a really quick and easy one to make! First you have to do whisk the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Once it is combined, put the kale in a large serving bowl and pour half the dressing over the top.  You can then use your hands to massage the dressing into the kale for a few minutes in order to soften it.  Next, add the coconut flakes, avocado and toasted almonds and mix together well. Finally, pour in the rest of the dressing and serve.  YUM!

 

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Black Bean Spinach Salad with Red Pepper Dressing

There’s no end to the variety of delicious salads you can make for yourself at home and as winter sets in, it’s great to have a light dish that actually leaves you feeling full! My Black Bean Spinach Salad with Red Pepper Dressing does just that and also packs a strong nutritious punch at the same time. Making the salad is the quick and easy part whilst the dressing takes a little bit more preparation. However, it’s well worth the time it takes to get ready!

Using red peppers as the base for a salad dressing is an amazing way to take full advantage of their health promoting properties. Red peppers are packed full of vitamins and nutrients – especially vitamins C & A. As we know, vitamin C is great for the health of your skin and vitamin A is essential for the good health of your eyes. Red peppers are also a wealthy source of vitamin B6 and magnesium, a combination of which is thought to help decrease anxiety levels and the vitamin B6 half of this duo is also fantastic for preventing bloat and hypertension.

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

2 cups of cooked black beans

1 cup of spinach

1 small onion

A handful of black olives

A head of romaine lettuce

A whole carrot, shredded

A large handful of almonds, roughly chopped

And then for the dressing you’ll need:

2 red bell peppers

Coconut oil

2 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp of extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp of maple syrup

Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper

So to begin, preheat your oven to 400°F/200°C. You can then slice your peppers in half and remove all of the seeds you find inside. Take your coconut oil and massage it lightly all over the peppers. You must then put them into an oven-proof dish and then leave them in the oven for 45 minutes.

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Once this time is up, take the peppers from the oven and leave them to cool for ten minutes or so. After ten minutes, the skins should slide easily from them and you can then place them into your food processor with all of the other dressing ingredients. Give this a whiz until it is completely smooth and then it is ready for use.

Take your black beans and combine in a separate container with half of the salad dressing that you have just prepared. Give this a good stir and then add in the onion, spinach, almonds, lettuce, olives and carrot. This can then be served onto two plates and more dressing added if needed.

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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!

Artichoke and Lentil Salad with Raspberry Dressing

This dish is amazing for all round nutrition as it combines fruits, vegetables and legumes in one delicious creation. The inclusion of maple syrup in the dressing gives it an extra nourishing kick and because this meal doesn’t take long to make, it is the perfect choice after a tiring day at work! When I’ve had a long day teaching yoga and then running the kids around after school, this is one of my first choices as it means less time between getting in the door and filling everyone up! The raspberry dressing is a great fit for most salad dishes and if maple syrup isn’t to your tastes then it can be swapped out in equal measure with any other natural sweetener!

To feed two people you will need the following ingredients and just double up for a family of four!

One cup of puy lentils

Pink Himalayan salt

Two cups of kale

50 grams of raspberries

One lemon

Apple cider vinegar

Maple syrup

Olive oil

One cup of pre-cooked artichoke

One red onion

Half a cup of sun-dried tomatoes

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It’s always best to soak puy lentils before you use them. Upwards of four hours will do the trick but if you want to leave them soaking in the fridge overnight then that’s great too. Once your lentils have been soaked, boil them in a pan with two cups of water and a dash of salt.

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As soon as this pan is heating up, chuck your kale into a separate pan with three cups of water and boil. Next, in a jug or mixing bowl take your raspberries and blend them with one teaspoon of lemon juice, two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar, two tablespoons of maple syrup, one tablespoon of olive oil and two tablespoons of water. Sieve this mixture and place in the fridge for now.

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After approximately 10 – 15 minutes your kale and lentils should be cooked. So the next step is to transfer the kale into cold water to cool down and then drain the lentils before returning to the pan (with the heat turned off). Finely dice your red onion and mix with half a cup of sun-dried tomatoes into the pan of lentils. Once the kale is cooled it can also be added into the pan with the lentils, onion and sun-dried tomatoes. Your meal is now ready to serve so spoon onto two plates, drain the artichokes before you add them and finally take your raspberry dressing from the fridge to drip on as required.

Green Bean and Tahini Salad

People always ask me where I get my protein from since I don’t eat meat. Well, here’s a salad that is jam packed full of it. Yes, if you weren’t already aware then legumes have protein and lots of it! I’m also going to show you how you can make a seriously delicious dressing that you can use in other recipes too!

greenbeanandtahinisalad grassrootsandgrains5Protein is essential for the body for repair and growth and it also regulates processes in the body such as transporting nutrients and water balancing. If you don’t get enough protein in your diet then the possibility of becoming ill is higher, especially if you are getting a seriously low amount. So to stay healthy, especially on a plant-based diet, it’s important that you make the effort to incorporate protein into your meals each day!

greenbeanandtahinisalad grassrootsandgrains2This salad is a tasty way to do just that and all you’ll need is the following ingredients:

400g of cooked mixed beans
100g of green beans
2 handfuls of shaved almonds, lightly toasted
1/2 a head of Bavarian lettuce (romaine good too!), chopped
1 large avocado
2 clementines
1 yellow pepper, chopped
A handful fresh coriander

Then to make the Tahini Dressing which is also super nutritious, you’ll need:

2 tbsp. of tahini
2 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp. of tamari
2 tbsp. of lemon juice
1 tbsp. of raw honey

greenbeanandtahinisalad grassrootsandgrains6To make the Green Bean Salad, you simply have to combine all of the ingredients together in a large bowl and then serve into separate dishes. The Tahini Dressing is similarly easy to make and just has to be whisked together in a mixing bowl before being poured over the top of your salad.

greenbeanandtahinisalad grassrootsandgrains7The legumes in this salad aren’t the only reason your bodies going to love it. Including clementines in the recipe is an effortless way to improve your well-being.  Clementines are zero cholesterol, zero fat and zero sodium but on the flip-side they contain an impressive amount of dietary fibre and vitamin C.

greenbeanandtahinisalad grassrootsandgrains4Adding shaved almonds into your salad is a delicious way to up the protein of your salad whilst also getting some healthy fats into your meal. Coriander is also full of a range of vitamins, minerals and other goodness as well as adding its distinctive flavour to the recipe.

greenbeanandtahinisalad grassrootsandgrains3As mentioned before, the dressing doesn’t have to be used specifically with this dish. It can make a great addition to practically any recipe and can be made fresh quickly in each instance. Tahini is a paste that is light in colour and made from crushed sesame seeds. It is crammed with good, essential fats and also contains vitamin B1, magnesium, copper, phosphorous and manganese.

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Green Goddess Salad Bowl

This is a dish that my husband and I have made nearly every day for lunch for almost a year now. It is so nutritious and so tasty that even after this much time, we still look forward to it! We attribute the fact this salad is so delicious to the yummy dressing that is drizzled over the top. All four of my children agree and are even happy to have it drizzled over any other meal, anytime! Because of the ingredients used to make the dressing, it is a perfectly effortless way to get your kids to eat their greens!

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This recipe will serve two for a main course or will even stretch to four if you’re using it as a meal accompaniment. To make the salad half of the meal you will need the following ingredients:

1 head of lettuce (the darker the better!)
1 small cucumber, chopped
A range of different tomatoes (even different colours too!), chopped
2 spring onions, chopped – use all of it!
A large handful of black kalamata olives
1 red onion, sliced
1/2 an avocado, diced
A large handful of toasted pinenuts

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Simply combine all of these ingredients in a dish and mix well together!

Next, acquire the following ingredients to create the dressing:

The juice of 1/2 of a blood orange
7 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp. of tamari
1/2 an avocado
A fistful of coriander
A fistful of parsley
A fistful of mint
1 small garlic clove
1 tbsp. of agave nectar or 1 date, de-stoned
Sea salt and pepper to taste

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If you have a high-speed blender, such as a vitamix, then now is the time to get it out! Even if you don’t own a vitamix then a normal device will do the trick. Chuck all of the dressing ingredients into your blender and whizz together before pouring over your salad.

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This is such a gorgeous dish to make and takes next to no time to prepare once you have all of the ingredients. Salad is a lunch time favourite of many people and by including a healthy home-made dressing such as this one instead of heaps of pre-made supermarket stuff, you’re doing your body countless favours.

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The inclusion of an entire avocado in this meal, split between the salad and the dressing, is one aspect that is particularly good for you. Avacadoes are an amazing source of protein and carotenoids; despite often being associated with a high fat content, they are beneficial fats. These fats actually boost your HDL cholesterol count. As you may know, HDL is the good kind of cholesterol and is essential in the bodies fight against free radicals! The fat content is also good for the continued optimum health of your heart as it protects against a range of diseases.

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Blood oranges are fantastic for a variety of purposes, whether you’re eating them raw, squeezing the juice out of them or including in meals. They contain absolutely no cholesterol and an incredibly low amount of fat whilst also being rich in vitamin C, potassium and several other important vitamins and minerals. Consuming a portion of this fruit every day will do wonders for your health and they are also less acidic then usual types of orange.

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Beetroot, Celeriac & Orange Salad

When you’re craving something that’s healthy and light to satisfy your taste buds as well as filling you up, sometimes a simple salad just doesn’t cut it. Keeping things interesting in the kitchen is the key to sticking to a healthy diet and this Beetroot, Celeriac & Orange Salad will help you do just that. It will take you less than 40 minutes to create and will keep you full for much longer afterwards. To get going, first you need to make sure you have got the following ingredients:

2 french candy beetroots
1/2 a celeriac
1 big handful fresh parsley
1 big handful coriander
Juice and zest of 1 orange
1 inch of ginger, peeled and minced
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. orange blossom water
A pinch of sea salt and black pepper

To begin, take your two beetroots and firstly peel and then cube them. For extra variety in your meal you can use one yellow beetroot and one red one. Repeat this peeling and cubing with the celeriac and then you can start cooking the beetroot in a very small amount of water. When necessary you should continue to add water in moderation to ensure that it does not dry out. Approximately 20 minutes after the beetroot has begun cooking, you can then add the peeled and cubed celeriac to the pan and continue heating in the water.

Allow the beetroot and the celeriac to cook together for another 15 minutes before you remove from the heat, drain and leave to cool in a separate container. If you do choose to use two different coloured beetroots then you may find that the colours blend together, but don’t worry – it will still have the same great taste!

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Once the contents of your container have cooled, you can then add the generous handful of fresh parsley and the same amount of coriander. You can now take the juice and zest of the orange and whisk it together with the ginger, cumin, cinnamon, olive oil and apple cider vinegar as well as the orange blossom water. All of these ingredients combined together will create a delicious dressing which you can then drizzle over the vegetables.

This is an absolutely stunning salad, both in terms of appearance and flavour. It is also great for your body as all of the ingredients have health boosting properties. Beetroot is fantastic for increasing your stamina and helping your muscles work harder for longer. It is therefore something that you should seriously think about including in your diet frequently if you enjoy any kind of sport.

Beetroot is jam-packed full of potassium, iron, magnesium, folic acid and a selection of vitamins, carbohydrates and proteins. Also, as well as improving your energy, beetroot will help lower your cholesterol and stabilise your blood sugar levels. The best thing is, as it has so much goodness in such a little portion, you don’t have to try too hard to include an adequate amount in your diet.

Low in calories and high in fibre, celeriac is also a vegetable that your body will thank you for. Several studies have suggested that some compounds found in celeriac provide protection against certain forms of cancer. Additionally, if you have been looking for a simple way to increase your vitamin K intake, then this is the ingredient you’ve been searching for!

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