Spicy Mexican Bean and Green Salad

Although this recipe is a little higher in carbs than I normally include  (containing roughly 10g carbs per 100g) a  small portion (c.150g) in an otherwise low carb meal should not threaten ketosis once you are keto-adapted.  It’s super quick and easy to make, and full of gut-flora-friendly fibre, healthy fats and packed with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. It’s a great addition to a salad buffet and hits the spot with vegetarians.

Ingredients

  • 400g tin red kidney beans
  • 400g haricot/pinto/borlotti/butter beans
  • 200g sweetcorn
  • 1 large red onion chopped into bean sized pieces
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 10 cherry tomatoes chopped in half
  • Whole chopped jalapeños chilli chopped small (fresh or pickled)
  • Generous slug of extra virgin olive oil (XVOO)
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar (or cider vinegar)
  • a twist of salt and pepper
  • Tabasco to taste
  • 1 large avocado chopped into bean sized pieces
  • Bunch of fresh coriander

Optional extras

  • half a cucumber chopped into bean sized pieces
  • steamed and blanched green beans shopped into bean sized pieces

Method

  1. Using a small sharp knife trim the broccoli head into tiny florets by passing the knife about 1cm below the broccoli head. Save the stalks for soup.
  2. Combine all the ingredients except the avocado and coriander in a large mixing bowl, tossing them all together with the olive oil and vinegar. You can do this the day before if you need to, though it’s a very quick recipe.
  3. Just before you want to serve, add the avocado and coriander (and cucumber and green beans if using).
  4. Pairs well with roast chicken or lamb, salmon or tuna – or simply add some slices of griddles halloumi.

 

Goat’s Cheese and Asparagus Crustless Quiche

To me, May is the most beautiful month; the garden is full of colour and life, summer is still waiting to happen. The new season’s asparagus is an added bonus. You can add it to soups and salads, or simply eat on it’s own with a little butter and black pepper, or a poached egg. Asparagus is a great source of dietary fibre and also sulphur, an important mineral for joints, skin, hair and nails, as well as for antioxidant status and liver function.

This year I decided to try cooking it in a different way. I’ve always loved the insides of quiches more than the pastry so I was really pleased when this crustless experiment turned out so well. I treated myself to a silicon pie mould because I’m not sure it would cut very well in a traditional quiche dish, and using a springform cake tin would probably result in egg mixture all over the floor.

I used quite a high cream to egg ratio and the result was curdy and creamy. You could increase the number of eggs or reduce the amount of cream if you wanted a firmer texture. You can also vary the amount or variety of cheese as you wish: blue cheese might work well, and Gruyere would also be delicious.

Ingredients

  • 12 asparagus stems
  • 80g hard goat’s cheese, grated (I used the Goat’s Cheese Gouda from Waitrose)
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 300ml single cream
  • twist of salt and pepper

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180’C
  2. Steam the asparagus for 5 minutes until still firm and bright green. Refresh with cold water.
  3. Whisk the eggs and cream together – I use a Nutribullet for this.
  4. Arrange the stems in the silicon pie mould as prettily as you want to. I tend to cut the stems in half, arranging the florets in a circle and then fitting the stems in between.
  5. Sprinkle the asparagus with the grated cheese, add a little salt and pepper, then pour the egg mixture on top.
  6. Bake in the oven for 30 – 40 minutes until the middle is still slightly soft but the sides are starting to brown.
  7. Serve with a beetroot, orange and watercress salad for a really delicious and nutritious meal.

 

Warm Salads: the easy way to ten-a-day

You can’t have missed last week’s headlines announcing that the five a day target needs to double. The New York Times led with ‘You’re going to need a bigger bowl‘.

The study found that up to 600g per person per day of vegetables leads to a reduced cancer risk and that 8oog reduced all cause mortality. Apples and pears, citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, cruciferous veg and salads were all found to be helpful, with a particular emphasis on green-yellow vegetables and crucifers for cancer risk.

I know many readers greeted the news with dismay. It can be hard to meet those targets.  Continue reading

Carrot, nut and yoghurt brunch bowl

I must confess, I find ‘during the day’ food a bit of a pain. I really love my evening cooking ritual but I’m too often tempted to cut myself a quick chunk of cheese at midday and carry on working. To cure myself of my bad habits I’ve been trying different brunch bowls. This one works well – and it was especially easy because I made my favourite rainbow room salad last night and simply processed a few extra carrots for later. Continue reading