Salads & Sides

Creamy Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

Creamy Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

This dairy-free recipe takes a little extra time, but is well worth it. Make a double batch and freeze in 1-cup portions for a quick dinner.

Exceptionally high in antioxidant, tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin K. Tomatoes are also considered one of best sources for the immune-boosting phytonutrient called lycopene.

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Ingredients

  • 1.2 kg roma tomatoes
  • 600 g grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 8 whole cloves garlic , peeled and smashed with the back of a knife
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, deseeded and diced
  • 1 medium potato (about 100 g) diced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups vegetable stock, low-sodium organic
  • 1 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves, roughly torn + 1 tablespoon for garnish

Note: If you don’t have fresh basil, use 2 teaspoons of dried basil and add to the tomatoes before roasting.

To Make

Preheat oven to 220C. Place all the tomatoes on a baking tray with the garlic cloves. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil, season with salt and pepper (add dried basil if using), and roast for about 25-30 minutes, or until soft and charred on the tops. Remove from oven and set aside.

While tomatoes are roasting, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, pepper and potato; cook while occasionally stirring, until the onion is translucent and the potato begins to crisp on the outer edges (about 6-7 minutes).

Stir the tomato paste into the potatoes and onion. Pour in the stock. Season with a little salt. Cover and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until potato is just tender when tested with a fork. Add the roasted tomatoes and garlic to the broth. Add 1 cup basil to the pot if using fresh. Continue to simmer until the basil is just soft (about 2 more minutes).

Remove soup from heat. Blend using an immersion blender, stand blender or food processor until smooth. This makes a chunky soup.

For a creamier, smoother soup pour mixture through a strainer or colander to remove any skins thicker pieces. Press down while straining to get as much soup out as possible.

To serve, sprinkle with extra basil and cracked black pepper.

Asparagus with Mushrooms and Hazelnuts

Asparagus with Mushrooms and Hazelnuts

A restaurant-worthy dish that’s easy to make at home.

Packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, asparagus are high in vitamin K, folic acid, potassium and fiber. Asparagus are also an excellent source of prebiotic, which is crucial for a healthy gut.

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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil + additional for sautéing
  • Salt & pepper
  • 500g fresh asparagus, washed, ends trimmed
  • 500g of mushrooms, washed and sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cup green onions, washed and sliced
  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted and finely chopped

Optional: Pea shoots or microgreens

To Make

Prepare a medium sized bowl of ice water and set aside.

Chop hazelnuts and toast them in a dry pan on the stove. Set aside to cool.

Mix together vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl and set aside.

Fill a medium sized pot with water and boil it. Once boiled, add the asparagus for approximately 3-4 minutes to blanch. You want them to turn bright green and be crisp, but not raw. Once they are bright green drain into a colander and pour the ice water over them immediately to stop the cooking process. Drain cold water from asparagus.

In large skillet heat 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium high heat. Add the mushrooms to the skillet and sauté until they are almost soft. Add the green onions to the skillet. Cook for about 3-4 minutes until mushrooms are soft. Turn the heat off and add the asparagus to the skillet. Slowly add the vinegar mixture and toss together gently in the warm skillet.

Put the vegetables on a platter and top with toasted hazelnuts and pea shoots if using. Add fresh ground black pepper to taste just before serving. Can be eaten warm or at room temperature.

Asparagus with Mushrooms and Hazelnuts
All Green Quinoa Salad

All Green Quinoa Salad

It’s no secret that quinoa is considered a super food for its array of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. This gluten-free seed is a delicious protein source and is low in carbs.

Makes 4 servings

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • ½ cup green peas, cooked (you can use salt-free, frozen peas)
  • 1 crown broccoli, cut into florets, slightly steamed, but still crunchy
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 2 tablespoons mint, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds

To Make

Toss quinoa, avocado, peas, broccoli, cucumber, and mint into a large bowl. Mix gently. Top with sunflower seeds and serve. Add squeeze of lemon or lime juice if you desire just before serving.

Simple Stovetop Veggies

Simple Stovetop Veggies

Tired of the same-old week night veggies? This quick side dish mixes it up a bit and works for any meal. Remember the more colorful the selection of veggies, the better.

Ingredients

  • 3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bulb garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, diced small
  • 1 broccoli crown, cut into small florets
  • 1 carrot, diced small
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced small
  • 4 mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup of chicken bone broth*
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • black pepper (freshly ground)
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To Make

Heat oil in a wok or large skillet with deep sides. Add onion and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant and starting to soften. Add vegetables and mix with aromatics. Carefully add ½ cup of water; it will splatter and steam. As water cooks off and veggies begin to soften add 1 cup of chicken broth and stir. Cook until vegetables are soft, but not mushy.

*Buy chicken broth made from real chicken bones (choose organic). Avoid using chicken stock cubes containing artificial chemicals.

Simple Stovetop Veggies
Summer Salad

Summer Salad

A light, lovely salad of unexpected flavors. This salad made me fall in love with kale!

Rich in vitamins K, A and C, along with other vital nutrients, there are a multitude of kale benefits for skin, heart health, inflammation and more.

Slice 250g mushrooms and sauté in a little olive oil. Cook and set aside.

Separate 1 bunch of kale leaves from stems. Slice thinly and place in a bowl. Squeeze a little lemon juice over and massage leaves to soften.

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Add to kale:

  • Mushrooms
  • 2-3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 6 small red radishes, thinly sliced
  • Seeds from half a pomegranate
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons thinly chopped spring onions, green parts only

Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, olive oil (EVOO) and season with salt and pepper. Toss well and serve.

A Side of Vitamin C

A Side of Vitamin C

Did you know that red bell peppers have about three times as much vitamin C than oranges? This lovely side dish works well with roasted chicken or poached fish.

Preheat oven to 180C.

Toss together in a bowl

  • 1 green and 3 red bell peppers, cut into cubes, seeds and stems removed
  • 10-12 whole cherry tomatoes
  • 1 large white onion cut into chunks
  • 1 head of garlic — cloves separated, peeled, and cut in half
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Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss gently. Place everything onto a large baking sheet with sides

Bake in oven 25 to 30 minutes until onions are golden, tomatoes begin to burst, and peppers are soft. Serve warm or at room temperature.

A Side of Vitamin C
Fresh Greek Salad (Dairy-Free)

Fresh Greek Salad (Dairy-Free)

A crunchy mix of raw vegetables ideal for summer, rich in antioxidants, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and fiber.

Ingredients

  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 small purple onion
  • 4 halved cherry tomatoes or 1 large diced tomato
  • ½ bell pepper diced
  • 1 handful of Kalamata olives (pits removed)
  • dried oregano
  • salt and black pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • squeeze of lemon
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To Make

Mix together in a bowl 1 cucumber diced into 1-inchu chunks, 1 small purple onion sliced, 4 halved cherry tomatoes or 1 large diced tomato, ½ bell pepper diced, and a handful of Kalamata olives (pits removed). Sprinkle with dried oregano, salt and black pepper to taste. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Finish off with a squeeze of lemon.

Immunity-Boosting Purple & Orange Stir Fry

Immunity-Boosting Purple & Orange Stir Fry

Deep color equals high in antioxidants. Combining high in vitamin A carrots with red cabbage, one of the top vitamin C-packed foods on the planet, this stir fry is a major immune system booster. High in fiber, it also promotes gut health.

Ingredients

  • 1 purple cabbage
  • 1 large purple onion
  • 3 large carrots
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or olive oil)
  • salt and black pepper
  • coriander leaves
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To Make

Slice 1 purple cabbage and 1 large purple onion. Cut 3 large carrots into thin sticks.
Slice 8 garlic cloves very thinly. Heat about 2 tablespoons coconut oil in wok or skillet. Add garlic cloves and sauté until just golden. Add vegetables and stir fry until soft. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Optional: garnish with a few chopped coriander leaves.

Immunity-Boosting Purple & Orange Stir Fry
My Favorite Hummus Recipe

My Favorite Hummus Recipe

I love chickpeas, but I am not a big lover of tahini and most hummus recipes contain a huge amount, so I created a simpler and lighter version adding lots of cumin to bump up the flavor.

Add the following to a blender: ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, 3 cups cooked chickpeas, 1-2 garlic cloves, 2-3 teaspoons of cumin in powder (adjust to your taste), ½ lemon (freshly squeezed), salt and freshly grounded black pepper. Add ¼ cup water and begin blending. As the mixture comes together, add more water depending on your texture preference— the less water, the thicker the mixture. Blend until smooth.

Garnish with fresh pomegranate arils and sprinkle with cumin powder.

Serve as a dip with sticks of cucumber, carrot and celery sticks or use as base for a wrap or toast. This would be delicious in wrap with roasted vegetables.

Sunshine on a Plate

Sunshine on a Plate

Bursting with vitamin A and antioxidants (lots of beta-carotene), high-in-fiber, sweet potatoes help stabilize blood sugar and strengthen your immune system. This makes a terrific, simple side dish.

Preheat oven to 200C. Line a baking tray with parchment or baking paper (don’t skip this step, or clean-up will be a chore.)

Thoroughly wash 3-4 orange sweet potatoes. Keep the skins on. Cut into slices. Drizzle with olive oil, make sure to rub outside of potatoes with a little oil so they crisp up. Sprinkle with rosemary, salt and pepper.

Bake until soft inside and crunchy outside about 20-30 minutes.

Sunshine on a Plate