Pea, kale, fennel & smoky bacon soup

Posted in: DF, LF, S, SF, V, WF

If kale really isn’t your thing but you want some of its (biblically proportioned) health benefits, stick it in soup. While the freshness of the pea in this old classic is retained, the antioxidant, fibre and nutrient dense kale adds a meaty, heartiness which is perfect for fresh spring days and, should you so wish, summer slimming prep. Soup’s also surprisingly quick: this takes 15 mins.

Pea, kale, fennel & smokey bacon soup

Feeds 4-6

INGREDIENTS

1 tbsp coconut or olive oil
4 rashers smoked bacon – optional, the fennel seed gives this lots of flavour
1 onion, chopped
3 tsp ground fennel seeds
500g frozen peas
1 ltr Boullion or chicken stock
200g chopped curly kale, stalks retained
Sea salt and black pepper

METHOD

Set 1 dsp of the oil to heat, then fry bacon until it starts to brown. Remove and set aside. Add remaining oil, followed by onions once hot. After a couple of mins stir through ground fennel seeds.

Once onions have started to turn translucent, add in kale, then stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 mins. Add peas and chopped bacon and simmer for a further 5 mins.

Remove from the heat and blend. I use a hand blender for ease and minimal washing up.

Return to the heat, adding salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

 

Clare’s spicy nuts

Posted in: DF, N, S, V, WF

I’ve been a bit of a scrooge with this recipe – it took a lot (!!) of amends to get the sticky, chilli clusters just right. However, I shared with a colleague, then another, and now Clare’s Spicy Nuts feature in the Gather & Gather marketing pack with said secret recipe launching across 250 restaurants. Humph.

spicy-nuts

Filling and packed with protein and goodness, nuts are an ideal snack. Snack being the operative word; mini portions are key! Don’t be put off by the biblically proportioned ingredients; they’re largely spices and prep takes all of 10 mins.

Ingredients

200g almonds
100g cashews
100g pecans
200g sunflower seeds
150g pumpkin seeds
2 egg whites
4 tsp caraway seeds
2 tsp crushed chillies
1 tsp chipotle / smoked paprika
2 tsp cumin seeds
4 tsp sea salt
3 tbsp honey
1 tbsp brown sugar

Method

Pre-heat oven to 200°C / 390°F. Whisk egg whites to form soft peaks.

Stir through spices and nuts, followed by honey and brown sugar.

Transfer to a baking tray, or two (keeping to one layer of nuts for even toasting) and cook for 20 mins, or till the nuts have browned. Stir  half way through for even toasting.

I like to keep in a kilner jar to dip into mid-morning or as a pre dinner party snack.

Check out Storehouse Seducer Almonds for more reasons to snack on Spicy nuts – think anti-oxidants, vitamins, fibre, magnesium, cholesterol & GI lowering; the benefits are endless.

Seasonal Seducer: Aubergine

Posted in: DF, LF, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Most attractive features

This berry (yup) is a great source of fibre, B1 and B6. It’s an impressive antioxidant and, it’s purple. I quite like purple.

Aubergine-Seasonal-Seducer

Why I fell in love

First off, there’s the way it looks on our dishes. A splash of purple in a sea of green. But it has more to offer – dietary fibre, B1, B6, potassium, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, niacin, folic acid… and nasunin. Nasunin is one of the most potent antioxidants and free-radical scavengers out there. So we’re talking cancer fighting, cholesterol lowering and diabetes managing. And it’s purple. I really do like purple.

Storehouse Seducer: Almonds

Posted in: Uncategorized

Most attractive features

A natural anti-oxidant, storehouse staple, almonds are also richer in six key nutrients than any other nut: magnesium, Vitamin E, potassium, protein, fibre and copper.

Why we fell in love

Nuts in general get a bad rap in terms of our girths. However, a handful (approx. 23 almonds) of this super hero contains only 163 calories and will do a lot more to sustain you than half a bagel or a couple of slices of toast. Both are about the same in calories. Miraculously, almonds also help reduce our insulin and blood sugar levels after eating.

So, reduced risk of heart disease; cholesterol and GI lowering; anti-oxidant rich and skin nourishing. Need you ask why we’re in love?  Spread some Almond butter on your toast this instant!