Vegetarian options are included here, and meat eaters’ options are also included for some of the vegetarian dishes. Generally speaking, the recipes are designed for easy adaptation, as far as protein is concerned. Some of these dishes can be prepared in advance and frozen.
Chia and cinnamon oat pancakes with blueberry compote
These little pancakes make an interesting alternative to a traditional pancake or drop scone (Scotch pancake), replacing processed white flour with milled oats and chia seeds. The texture is a little coarser, but they are just as moreish and much, much better for you, being wheat free, low GL and high in antioxidants. If you cannot get hold of chia seeds, you could substitute ground almonds or flax seeds or simply use double the quantity of oats instead.
Serves 4 (makes 8 pancakes, somewhere between the size of a drop scone and normal pancake).
For the blueberry compote: 2 cups of blueberries or mixed berries and a dash of water; 1 tsp ground mixed spice or cinnamon, or to taste
For the pancakes: 45g (just under 2oz) oats; 45g (just under 2oz) milled chia seeds; 35g (just over 1oz) xylitol (or sugar); 1 free range or organic egg; 225ml (about 7½fl.oz) milk or non dairy milk; Virgin rapeseed oil for frying.
- First lightly stew the berries by placing the fruit in a small sauce pan with a tiny dash of water and the spice. You can add other berries too. Bring to a simmer, cover and leave to cook for 3 minutes, or enough to just soften. Taste and add more spice if desired. You could sweeten the mixture with xylitol or brown sugar if you feel it needs it. Reserve, with lid on, whilst you make the pancakes.
- Grind the oats with the chia into as fine a flour as you can. If your food processor leaves the mixture coarse, try a hand blender to achieve a smoother finish.
- Mix the xylitol into the flour.
- Whisk the egg and milk together and stir into the flour mixture to form a smooth batter. The chia absorbs liquid so it will thicken more than a standard pancake batter.
- Heat 1-2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan then spoon in tablespoons of the batter, spreading each out into a rough circle and taking care not to let them touch. Do this in batches and cook each pancake for a minute or two per side to turn golden and firm up before turning. Press down in the pan to flatten and help them cook. Keep a dinner plate on hand to put the pancakes on as they cook, covered with a dish cloth to keep warm.
Serve with the stewed fruit.
Cook’s notes Allergy suitability: wheat/dairy/yeast free (if using non dairy milk)
Butternut Squash and Tenderstem Broccoli Salad
The bright colours of this salad are a good clue to its high ORAC content. Tenderstem is higher in antioxidants than broccoli and the orange butternut squash is an excellent source of carotenoids to help skin and eyes. This can be served whilst the squash is still warm or later, at room temperature.
Half a butternut squash, de-seeded and chopped into fairly thin slices (no need to peel unless you prefer to); 2 tsp dried oregano; 1-2 tbsp mild or medium (not extra virgin) olive oil, or virgin rapeseed oil, for drizzling; 200g (7oz) tenderstem; Around 100g (4oz) mixed leaves, like rocket, watercress, baby spinach and lamb’s lettuce; 2 tbsp roughly chopped sun dried or blush tomato pieces in oil, drained; 50g (1oz) walnut halves, roughly chopped Plus salad dressing - optional
- Preheat the oven to 225C/425F/Gas 7.
- Toss the squash in the oregano and a little oil to coat then place on a baking tray. Roast for around 25-30 minutes or until tender then set aside.
- Steam the tenderstem for around 3 minutes or until just tender then rinse in cold water to stop them cooking, and dry in a tea towel. Slice into sticks.
- Place the leaves in a salad bowl then add the squash and tenderstem. Throw in the tomato and walnut pieces then dress.
Cook’s notes Allergy suitability: gluten/wheat/dairy/yeast free (depending on any marinade oil for the sun dried tomatoes)
Raw Red Pepper and Tomato Soup
This soup is similar in concept to a traditional gazpacho, yet with the addition of peppers and cayenne pepper to add more antioxidants and flavour, as well as avocado, which is an impressive source of carotenoids. The fact that it undergoes no cooking or heating means that it also retains as many nutrients as possible.
1 red pepper, stalk, pith and seeds removed; 5 ripe tomatoes; ½ an average sized cucumber; 1 clove garlic crushed; Juice of a lemon; 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil; 2 handfuls fresh flat leaf parsley, de-stalked; Pinch cayenne pepper; 1 ripe avocado, diced; Freshly ground black pepper; A little sea or rock salt
- Place the pepper, tomatoes, cucumber, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, parsley and cayenne pepper in a food processor and blend until smooth or fairly smooth.
- Stir in the diced avocado.
- Season to taste – you can add more cayenne if you want it to pack more of a punch.
Cook’s notes Allergy suitability: gluten/wheat/dairy/yeast free
Pumpkin Seed Pesto - for Pasta and Soups
This keeps in the fridge for 2–3 days and can be stirred through soup or pasta (make sure it is wheat-, gluten-, and dairy-free), or added to bean salads. It makes a ......
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