Louise’s Green Soup

Louise’s Green Soup

This delicious recipe comes from nutrition student Louise North.  It’s a simple, 5-ingredient soup, packed with Good Stuff including:

Broccoli and leek provide plenty of soluble fibre.  Gut bacteria ferment this fibre and produce short-chain fatty acids.  These fatty acids are vital fuel for cells lining the gut.  Clever, eh!

Broccoli (and other dark green veggies) contain quercetin, a powerful anti-inflammatory flavonoid.  Research shows quercetin to be useful in managing inflammation, particularly when associated with obesity, and allergic reactions.

Broccoli comes up trumps again with its high levels of glucosinolates – sulphur containing compounds found in cruciferous vegetables.  Glucosinolates are activated by an enzyme called myrosinase which converts them into isothiocyanates and indoles.  Both these compounds support hormone biotransformation pathways in the liver and can be helpful for managing oestrogen levels.


Quick tipChopped broccoli on a chopping board to make soup

The enzyme myrosinase is activated when cruciferous veggies like broccoli are chopped and diced.  Let the diced broccoli sit for 10-15mins before adding it to the soup to give the enzyme time to work more effectively.


Ingredients (makes 4 servings)

2 large leeks

1 large head of broccoli

1 large onion

25g butter OR 1 tablespoon olive oil

1 litre veg stock

Wash and chop the leeks and onion.  Chop the broccoli, including the stalk – no stalk wasting here!  In a large pan gently heat the butter/oil and sweat the leeks and onion until soft.  Add the stock and allow to simmer for ten minutes. Add the chopped broccoli and simmer until it’s al dente: cooked but not mushy.  Allow the soup to cool slightly then blend until smooth – or leave a few bits in, the choice is yours!

Autumn Glow Soup

Autumn Glow Soup


gluten-free, dairy-free option, vegan option, vegetarian

Perfect for fending off colds as the weather turns damp and cold.  Makes enough for 4-5 servings.


500g carrots, peeled and diced

500g butternut squash, peeled and diced

Generous size piece of root ginger (about the size of the end of your thumb) peeled and grated

1 large onion peeled and chopped

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Ground black pepper – to taste

1-2 teaspoons ghee / coconut oil

250ml passatta

1.5-2l vegetable stock

Optional: soya or cashew cream to drizzle

Melt the ghee or coconut oil in a large pan.  Once warmed, add the onion and cook gently for 5 minutes.  Add the spices and ginger and stir well.

Add all the vegetables and passatta, stir well, and cook for 2 minutes.  Add the stock, bring to the boil, then simmer until vegetables are soft.

Allow to cool, then blend till smooth.

Serve with an extra dash of black pepper and drizzle of soya or cashew cream.


How to make Ghee

How to make Ghee

Homemade ghee is low-cost, delicious, and super easy to make.

As a cooking fat it is stable at higher temperatures, and adds a unique flavour to curries and risottos, and pretty much any other dish requiring butter or oil!

Ghee is simply clarified butter: pure butter fat with virtually no protein residues left. This makes it tolerable for some people with mild dairy protein sensitivities – though I wouldn’t recommend ghee if you have a dairy allergy as it isn’t guaranteed to be 100% whey and casein-free.

Here’s a step by step guide to making rich, golden, more-ish ghee…

You will need:

250g block of organic unsalted butter



A couple of pieces of cheesecloth to line the sieve

Glass jug to strain the ghee into

Jar to store the ghee; this can be an old jam jar or mason jar – anything with a secure lid

Let’s get started…

Dice the butter into small cubes and heat gently in the pan.

Butter diced into cubes in a pan

The melted butter will start to bubble and foam.  After a few minutes the bubbles will go down, and then start up again.

Melted butter foaming in a pan

After this second round of bubbling and foaming, you will see a dark reddish coloured residue at the bottom of the pan.  The ghee is now done!

Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a couple of minutes, then strain through the sieve into the jug.

Jug with sieve lined with cheesecloth

Carefully pour the ghee into your storage jar, and allow to cool to room temperature.

A jar of ghee

By now, the ghee will be starting to set.  Fasten the lid securely and allow it to set completely.  Your ghee is complete -enjoy!


Elena’s Colourful Farinata

Elena’s Colourful Farinata

vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free

This recipe comes from Elena Holmes, a fellow nutrition consultant and superb vegan cook!  Based on a traditional dish from northern Italy, Elena has added more vegetables and spices to increase the taste, colour and nutritional quality.


200g Gram flour (also sold as chickpea flour)Veg_snip

approximately 400ml water

1 medium leek

1 red onion

1 red pepper

1 large courgette

4-5 medium tomatoes

1 bunch fresh (or dried) sage

Optional spices: crushed chillies, turmeric, curry, smoked paprika – select according to taste

Olive oil to grease the tray and drizzle over the farinata

Pinch of salt

Carefully mix the flour, water and salt until it has the consistency of cream or gravy – use a whisk to avoid lumps.  Leave this mixture to rest for 40-60mins.

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Dice the vegetables and sage.  Oil a standard sized baking tray and scatter the veg and sage evenly over it.  Add your chosen spices.  Pour the flour mixture over the vegetables, drizzle sparingly with olive oil and bake for 25-30mins until the vegetables are cooked andthe farinata has the consistency of soft flat bread.  Allow to cool for a few minutes then cut into pieces and serve.  Leftovers can be eaten cold the next day.

Elena can be contacted at www.elenahealthfood.com

8 Warming Breakfasts (that aren’t porridge!)

8 Warming Breakfasts (that aren’t porridge!)

Leaving the snug confines of the duvet is a little bit easier if you have a delicious breakfast to look forward to.  And at this time of year we need something warming to pull us out of that blanket nest.

Porridge is the obvious hot breakfast and this doesn’t have to be made with oats: quinoa flakes, buckwheat flakes, millet and polenta all make tasty porridge-like dishes.

But what if you can’t stand the texture of porridge? 

Try these tempting alternatives instead and enjoy a warming, porridge-free start to your day!

1.Buckwheat pancakesblog_Ggle

For the pancake mixture blend buckwheat flour with whichever milk you enjoy and either a mashed banana or an egg.  Serve with blueberries and yoghurt (natural, soya or coconut).


2. Poached eggs with spinach, grilled mushrooms & grilled tomatoes

Protein, greens and antioxidant nutrients are all packed together in this simple breakfast.


3. Warm Smoothies

Many people abandon smoothies once the weather turns cold but you can switch them round to suit the winter months.  Simply warm the milk and add 1/4 teaspoon each of cinnamon and turmeric before blending in your fruit and greens.


4. Stewed Fruit Crumble

Apple, pears and plums are perfect stewing fruit and plentiful at this time of year.  Top with homemade sugar-free granola, flaked almonds and seeds and a dollop of yoghurt (natural, soya or coconut).


5. Pumpkin & quinoa bowldreamstimefree_251099

Mix pre-roasted pumpkin (or butternut squash) with cooked quinoa, chopped walnuts and a sprinkle of cinnamon – add yoghurt too if you like!


6. Veggie omelette

Gently fry chopped peppers, mushrooms, spinach and a handful of cherry tomatoes in coconut / olive / avocado oil then add beaten egg to make a speedy, healthful breakfast omelette.
Or try Rainbow Egg Cups; these can be batch cooked and stored in the fridge or freezer to last all week.


7. Toasted rye bread with sliced avocado, pistachio nuts and chopped fresh figsblog2_Ggle

Use gluten-free bread or oatcakes for a G/F alternative to rye bread, and drizzle a little raw honey over the figs.


8. Tofu Scramble

Tofu is a great alternative to scrambled eggs and a rich source of calcium, magnesium and protein.  For full recipe details click through to www.thekitchn.com


Which foods tempt you from under the covers at this time of year?
Tell us more over in the Facebook group!

Shakela’s Turmeric Quinoa

Shakela’s Turmeric Quinoa

gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan  (Photo by Chinh Le Duc on Unsplash)

This beautiful golden spice is gaining widespread popularity for its amazing health benefits that include powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant actions. 

As well as being a staple ingredient in so many curry dishes it can be added to warm milk for a ‘turmeric latte’, mixed with hot water, ginger, raw honey and lemon for a soothing cold-fighting brew or simply blended in with other herbs and spices in casseroles and soups.turmeric_Ggle

Shakela Shan from www.nutrishan.com is a Nutritional Therapist with a special interest in weight management.  Her passion for creating new recipes really shines through and she has kindly shared this one for you!


1 cup quinoa

1.5 cup water

1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder

Salt and black pepper to taste

Dried cranberries

Chopped fresh coriander

Flaked almonds

Olive oil


1. In a pan add quinoa, water, salt, turmeric and black pepper and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on the pan. Turn the heat off and allow to stand for a further 10-15 minutes.

2. Finally add the cranberries, coriander, flaked almonds and a drizzle of olive oil. Stir in all the ingredients with a fork.

Serve with chicken / fish / lentils, and a colourful salad for a nutrient-packed meal!

Mediaeval Spiced Almond Milk – from The Greedy Wordsmith’s kitchen

Here’s our next recipe from expert cook and food writer Claire Davies, aka The Greedy Wordsmith.

To discover more about Claire, her workshops, and her food and copy writing services hop on over to  www.greedywordsmith.com

 Claire says…

Almonds are a common ingredient in medieval cookery. With three days a week
classed as fast days, cooks needed a regular replacement for milk and cream. This
is one recipe where I am thankful for the use of a blender; the traditional process
was of course a longer and more physically demanding task.   almonds

All of the spices in this recipe were available to cooks in the medieval era. Within medicinal recipes we can find reference to ginger as an anti-emetic, useful for stomach and gout pains.

Of course many spices were only accessible to the very rich so they were also an excellent way of showing off ones wealth.

Cocoa didn’t arrive in England until the late 1600’s but the addition of raw cacao nibs offers a subtle, malty flavour and a beneficial hit of useful antioxidants. Please note – pure cacao is quite high in caffeine so feel free to leave them out if you are a
sensitive to the effects.


150g whole almonds

50g raw cacao nibs

400 ml of filtered water

1 tbsp of ground ginger

½ tsp of ground cinnamon

A pinch of ground mace

A pinch of ground clove (optional)

A pinch of salt

Cold pressed honey or agave syrup to taste


Place the almonds in a bowl and cover with cold water. Leave to soak for at least six

hours.  When you are ready to go, strain the almonds and rinse well.

Place the soaked almonds in your blender along with the cacao nibs and filtered

water. You may need to do this in two batches depending on the size of your


Line your sieve with a piece of muslin. Sit this over a saucepan before straining the

almond milk through the muslin. Press the nut pulp to remove as much of the liquid

as possible before setting it to one side.

Bring the almond milk to the boil before reducing to a gentle simmer. At this point

add the spices, salt, 2 tbsps of your chosen sweetener and a tablespoonful of the

leftover almond pulp. Simmer for a couple of minutes, stirring regularly.

Strain one last time and check for sweetness before serving. Keep any remaining

almond milk in the fridge for a day or two.

Salmon Paella – from the Greedy Wordsmith’s kitchen

Here we have the second in this series of recipes from expert cook and food writer Claire Davies, aka The Greedy Wordsmith.

To discover more about Claire, her workshops, and her food and copy writing services hop on over to  www.greedywordsmith.com

 Claire says…

As is often the case with modern favourites, the roots of Paella lie with farmers and workhands of the past. The name refers to the pan itself but has come to be known as a dish of rice flavoured with tomatoes, saffron and paprika. The addition of seafood, chicken or meat changes with each region of Spain so feel free to
experiment in your own kitchen. I also love mine topped with squid or mussels.

Soaking the saffron ahead of time allows for the true flavour of this luxurious spice to really shine. The resulting liquor always fills me with excitement and gives a beautiful ochre colour to the final dish. The stamens of the saffron crocus have a long culinary history due to the belief that they could imbue miraculous healing properties. In medieval England traders could be put to death if they were found doctoring their produce. Today the stamens are still picked carefully by hand and – weight for weight – demand a price more expensive than gold.


Pinch of good quality saffron
saffron stamens(1)
2 fillets of salmon (around 200g)

1 lemon, cut into quarters.

A large onion

1 medium carrot

2 cloves of garlic

200g of paella rice

1tsp of sweet paprika

½ tsp of smoked paprika

1 tbsp. of gluten-free vegetable bouillon powder

300ml of hot water

Half a can of chopped tomatoes

2 – 3 sprigs of fresh thyme

8 – 10 green Spanish olives

A handful of frozen peas

A handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped


You will need a large, deep frying pan for this dish.

Place the saffron in a bowl and cover with around 20ml of warm water. Leave to
infuse for at least 4 hours.  Squeeze a quarter of the lemon over each salmon fillet and wrap loosely in greaseproof paper. Set aside.

Peel and finely dice the onion and carrot. Peel and slice the garlic cloves. Fry these
gently with a little coconut oil or ghee until the vegetables are soft and translucent.

Add the paella rice and stir well.

Make a flavoured stock by combining the paprika, vegetable bouillon and hot water.
Pour this into your pan along with the chopped tomatoes and saffron liquor. Mix well before tucking the fresh thyme sprigs under the rice. Bring to the boil then reduce and simmer for fifteen minutes.  If the rice appears dry pour over another 100ml of hot water. Add the peas and  arrange the olives on the top of the rice. Cover with a lid or foil and cook for a further ten minutes. You are seeking sticky textured rice.

Towards the end place your salmon parcels in the microwave and cook for just a
couple of minutes. The salmon should still be slightly pink in the middle but not raw.
Leave to rest.

Taste your paella and season with salt and pepper accordingly. Stir through the chopped parsley before spooning a portion of the paella into a bowl, topped with one of the salmon fillets and a quarter of the lemon for squeezing.

Spiced Split Pea Dahl – from The Greedy Wordsmith’s kitchen

Expert cook and food writer Claire Davies, aka The Greedy Wordsmith, has been writing a few recipes to share with you all.  Claire is a whizz when it comes to food history and spends her time running cookery workshops (if you’ve ever wanted to learn how to make proper bread, go see Claire!) and writing blogs and copy for a wide range of food businesses.

Find out more over at her website www.greedywordsmith.com

Over to Claire…

Humanity has a long history with dried peas. For the Anglo Saxons, peas and beans acted as the main protein source between the rare occasions that meat was available. They still act as a vital food stuff on the Indian sub-continent where a large percentage of the population honour a vegetarian diet as part of their religious tenet.

The high levels of protein, dietary fibre and complex carbohydrates work hard to help you feel full for longer and ward off any snacking tendencies later in the day. Nutritional analysis also shows split peas to be a great source of thiamine (B1) and many of the minerals required for a healthy life.

This split pea dahl recipe makes a great lunch option with rice or flatbreads. It is a beautiful example of how we can create delicious meals with a few simple ingredients and only a little time.

Serves 3 (main) or 6 (side)


300g yellow split peasTurmeric photo

A bay leaf

2 brown onions

2-3 cloves of garlic

Inch long piece of fresh root ginger

1 green chilli

1 ½ tbsp. of cumin seeds

1 tsp of turmeric

1 tsp of garam masala

Organic ghee (dairy-free or vegan? Opt for cold pressed rapeseed oil)

Salt and pepper to taste



Before making the dahl – place the split peas in a bowl and cover with water. Soak overnight or at least four hours.

Drain and rinse the peas. Place them and the bay leaf in a pan with one litre of cold water. Bring to the boil, reduce and simmer gently for around 35 minutes or until the peas are cooked through and can be squashed with a wooden spoon.

Prepare the remaining ingredients. Peel and finely slice the onions, garlic and fresh ginger. Dice the green chilli.

With a little ghee / rapeseed oil – fry the onion and cumin seeds before adding the garlic and ginger. Fry for a further five minutes or until golden brown.

Take a wooden spoon or potato masher and break down the split peas. Add a little hot water until it reaches the desired consistency. Return your dahl back to a gentle heat and stir in the turmeric, garam masala and onion mixture. Taste. Season with salt and pepper if required and drizzle over a little cold pressed rapeseed before serving.



Menopause Cake

egg & dairy free

This is a time-honoured recipe I learned from working at Tullivers in York.  The ingredients of the menopause cake provide slow-releasing sugars, energy boosting B-vitamins and minerals, and natural phytoestrogens – plant compounds that have a balancing effect on female hormones.  Enjoy a slice a day!

Ingredients (makes 2 loaves)

200g wholemeal flour (gluten-free plain flour or buckwheat flour could be substituted for a gluten-free alternative)

100g porridge oats

100g golden flaxseeds

50g sunflower seeds

50g sesame seeds

50g flaked almonds

2 pieces chopped stem ginger

200g raisins

750ml organic soya milk or almond milk

1 tbspn malt extract

1/2 teaspoon each of nutmeng, cinnamon and ground ginger.

Stir together all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Add the milk and malt extract and leave to soak for 30mins.  If the mixture is very stiff, add more soya or almond milk.  Spoon the mixture into 2 lightly oiled and lined loaf tins and bake at 190*C/375F/gas mark 5 for about 75mins or until cooked through.  Turn out and leave to cool.