Pesto and yoghurt dip

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OK, so calling this a ‘recipe’ is a little far-fetched as it contains precisely two ingredients and a teeny tiny amount of stirring but I make it a lot and it makes a great healthy dip.

Delicious as a traditional dip or on veggie burgers with tonnes of salad in a bun.

  • 2 small post of unsweetened soya yoghurt
  • 2 teaspoons of vegan pesto (you can make your own but I just used a ready-made one here)
  1. Mix ingredients and serve!

Spinach and rocket salad with oven-roasted tomatoes, avocado, capers, red onion and pan-fried gnocchi

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We eat so many salads in the summer and despite what some people think they really, really don’t have to be boring!  To be honest we rarely eat the same salad twice as it normally depends on what is in the fridge at the time…

I usually pop gnocchi in boiling water for a couple of minutes but this time I pan-fried it for a slightly different taste and texture.

(Serves 2)

  • 2 large handfuls of organic rocket
  • 2 large handfuls of organic spinach
  • Punnet of slow-roasted tomatoes (see previous recipe)
  • 1 bag of gnocchi
  • 1 ripe organic avocado – peeled, stoned and sliced
  • 1/2 red onion – finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of capers
  • Handful of toasted almond flakes and pumpkin seeds
  • Generous drizzle of olive oil
  • Tablespoon of vegan pesto (I often make my own but Zest do a great one)
  1. Pan-fry the gnocchi in a little olive oil allowing to lightly brown on the outside
  2. Assemble the rocket, spinach, tomatoes, gnocchi, avocado, onion, capers, almond flakes and pumpkin seeds in a bowl
  3. Mix the olive oil with the pesto and drizzle over the salad
  4. Toss and serve

If taking this on a picnic then just take the pesto and olive oil separately and drizzle over at the last minute to avoid the salad leaves going soggy

 

Slow-roasted tomatoes

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I adore these tomatoes.  They’re really easy to prepare, will keep for a few days in the fridge and are great added to salads, served on toast with a drizzle of olive oil or thrown into a pasta sauce.

  • Punnet of organic, on-the-vine cherry tomatoes – Halved
  • 1 garlic clove – sliced
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Sprinkle of seasalt
  1. Assemble all the ingredients in an ovenproof dish and pop in the oven at 100°C and bake for about an hour
  2. If not eating immediately then they can be stored in the fridge in an airtight jar for a few days

 

Vegan Spanish tortilla

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I’m always on the lookout for ways to “veganize” foods that I enjoyed before I stopped eating animal products.  This is a recent discovery and I love it!  Tortilla is often served in tapas bars around Spain in small cubes but this is equally delicious served hot or cold with a big green salad.  It keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days and frequently pops up in our picnic hamper over the summer.

I’ve substituted the eggs for silken tofu flavoured with kala namak and nutritional yeast for a subtle “eggy” taste.  Although I adore the taste of turmeric I initially added it to this recipe for the colour as much as anything else.

(Serves 4)

  • 2 packs of silken tofu
  • Olive oil
  • 2 large potatoes (thinly sliced)
  • 2 teaspoons of ground turmeric
  • 3 teaspoons of dill (dried or fresh)
  • 1 teaspoon of ground kala namak (black salt)
  • 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
  • Sea salt and pepper to season
  1. Blend the tofu, turmeric, kala namak, nutritional yeast, dill, smoked paprika, salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil to a smooth consistency.
  2. Add a drizzle of olive oil to a non-stick frying pan and heat it up
  3. Add a layer of the tofu mix followed by a thin layer of potato
  4. Continue this process until all the ingredients are used up.  Make sure you finish with a layer of the tofu mix
  5. Put on a low heat for 40 minutes to cook through
  6. Finish off with a few minutes under a hot grill to brown off

Moroccan-spiced cous cous and apricot salad

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This is a really tasty side-dish, which goes really well with either a Moroccan tagine or as part of a BBQ or picnic.  It keeps well in the fridge too so can be made in advance.

(Serves 4)

  • Large mug of cous cous
  • Olive oil
  • 1 red onion (chopped)
  • 2 teaspoonfuls of cumin
  • 2 teaspoonfuls of ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoonful of ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoonful of cinnamon
  • Generous drizzle of olive oil
  • Toasted pine nuts
  • Toasted almond flakes
  • Fresh mint (chopped)
  • Handful of dried apricots, chopped
  • Small cupful of orange juice
  1. Pop the chopped apricots in a cup with the orange juice to soak
  2. Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the spices, until they’re dissolved
  3. Add the red onion to the pan with the oil and spices and fry for a few minutes
  4. Add the apricots and orange juice to the pan and simmer
  5. Place the cous cous in a bowl and cover with boiling water, leave to stand for a few minutes
  6. Separate the cous cous with a fork and then add the contents of the pan
  7. Add the fresh mint, pine nuts and almond flakes and combine all the ingredients before serving

Warm new potato salad with mint and olive oil

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I absolutely love the taste of new potatoes.  The fresher and more locally grown, the better.  This makes a great side-dish for a BBQ or picnic (it’s delicious eaten cold too) and is really quick and simple to make and much lighter than the more traditional creamy potato salads.

(Serves 4)

  • Bag of new potatoes (organic)
  • Large handful of fresh mint
  • Generous drizzle of olive oil
  1. Boil the potatoes for around 10 minutes, until cooked
  2. Cool them under the cold water tap for a few moments (I tend to serve this dish warm, not hot to ensure that the mint stays crisp and doesn’t wilt)
  3. Serve with the olive oil, mint and salt and pepper
  • Sea salt and pepper to season