Shamelessly pilfered from my friend Vikki (do visit her site Get Fitter for more tips or sign up to her fab newsletter)…
Scrummy Salad Dressing
Whisk some olive oil, lemon juice, soy or Tamari sauce (go organic to ensure there are no nasties or MSG lurking), a little freshly grated ginger, garlic and possibly finely chopped fresh chilli; drizzle lovingly over absolutely anything. Lip-smackingly scrummy!
Quick Bean and Tuna Salad
Lightly steam some green beans and possibly frozen Soya peas which are now available in supermarkets. Add to bowl with some roughly chopped raw sugar snap peas or mange tout. Add some baby spinach leaves and/or lambs lettuce, coriander leaves and possibly a can of drained tuna. Dress with scrummy salad dressing.
Tart it up; cook some fresh tuna in tamari sauce, and add to the salad when cool.
Cheap as Chips: grow your own veg! Sprout some snow peas or other sprouting seeds to have a constant supply of salad ingredients. You can buy a special sprouter, or just use your own container. www.allotment.org.uk/greenhouse/seeds/sprouting-seed.php
Red Cabbage Chick Pea and Carrot Salad
Grate carrots, thinly slice red cabbage, and tip in some chick peas, dress with lemon juice.
Tart it up: add some toasted sesame seeds and smoked tofu.
No Mayo Coleslaw
Place thinly sliced red cabbage, white cabbage (or Savoy), red onion, grated carrot and chunks of chopped apple into a bowl and season with a scrummy dressing and some chopped chilli.
Tart it up: for the fuss-pot in your life add organic mayonnaise (made with free range eggs). I also like to add avocado (to everything!).
Lightly steam a head of broccoli so that it is still a little crunchy, cut into smaller pieces and add to bowl with avocado, red onion, tomato, coloured peppers, some rocket or other salad leaves. Dress, and serve.
Top Tip: When cooking broccoli, slice into the stalk to let the steam cook the stalk and the head evenly: avoiding the crunchy stalk and disintegrating broccoli problem.
Tart it up: Add cubes of firm smoked tofu (such as Demeter) or marinade some tofu in soy or Tamari sauce and fry, then cut into cubes when cool. Fry some sesame, pumpkin and sunflower seeds in a little olive oil for a couple of minutes, at the last moment add some good quality organic soy or tamari sauce to the seeds, and take them off the heat as they start to look caramelised. Sprinkle over the salad and scoff.
Cheap as Chips: Grow your own Purple Sprouting Broccoli; it is expensive in the shops, but easy to grow. Avoid the bags of broccoli florets; come on, how hard is it to cut it up your self? Also the stalk is good for you, and when vegetables are processed (peeled, sliced and generally messed with in a factory) you will lose some of the nutritional value.
Easy Peasy Hummus; you’ll never buy it again
Take a couple of tins of chickpeas and drain, place them into a blender with a three table spoons of tahini paste (available in health and organic stores), add raw chopped garlic depending on your romantic inclinations, drizzle five or six tablespoons of olive oil, juice of a lemon, and blend to required consistency. Eat with salads, or in a pitta, or use as a dip; great last minute thing to make in large quantities for parties.
Tart it up: by adding chopped coriander or lemon zest towards the end of the blending, and sprinkle with paprika to serve.
Cheap as chips; buy your own chick peas, soak over night, and cook according to instructions.
Spanish Butter Bean Stew
Gently cook some onions and garlic in a little olive oil, and add some chopped celery. Add a large jar of passata, chopped parsley and a little vegetable stock such as organic Swiss bouillon powder. Throw in a couple of tins of butter beans and place everything into a shallow oven dish. Place in the oven around gas mark 5 for 20 minutes. Serve with a salad of green leaves, and a mountain of lightly steamed broccoli or other veggies.
Tart it up: finely grate yesterday’s bread and some fresh parmesan cheese, and sprinkle over the top to make a lovely topping. Serve with garlic bread and baked potatoes.
Cheat: by using a jar of pasta sauce and tinned butter beans.
Cheap as chips: use dried beans and use according to instructions.
3 lentil dishes: Use puy or Black Beluga Lentils and cook until al dente. These lentils have a lovely firm texture and nutty taste, and can be cooked in bulk then refrigerated and used to prepare several small meals.
Lentil and Roast Veg salad
Bake a tray of peppers, tomatoes, leeks, celery, fennel, aubergine, or what ever you have handy in a little olive oil and lemon juice. Stir in some chopped garlic after about 20 minutes, and any fresh herbs and return to the oven until cooked. Ensure that you cook too much for one meal, so that you can use the leftovers to make other salads and snacks; add to pasta, lasagne, pita, sandwiches, and bruchetta. When cool, add to the lentils and dress with some balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Roughly chop some rocket and baby spinach leaves and mix in. Perfect as a light meal, to serve with some fish or meat, or to take to work in a pot.
Tart it up: by breaking goats’ cheese or feta into the salad.
Lentil and rocket salad
Instant lunch: roughly chop the rocket and add the lentils. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with some crumbly sea salt. Simple but delicious.
Possibly the easiest dish to prepare when faced with unexpected visits from vegetarian folk. Place large flat mushrooms into a dish, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil, and possibly good soy sauce. Bake in the oven on about gas mark 6 for 20-30 minutes. Surprisingly meaty and satisfying.
Tart it up: before baking top each mushroom with a tea spoon of pesto and top with a circle of goats’ cheese, add black pepper and some shavings of parmesan.
Onion and Cannelini bean soup
Take a good amount of chopped onions and gently cook in olive oil, when softening add plenty of chopped garlic. Prepare some vegetable stock (I use Marigold Organic Swiss Bouillon if no fresh stock handy). Add stock to pan, and one or two tins of soft white beans such as cannelini, flageolet or haricot. Simmer for 20 minutes, and serve, store, or blend for a smoother soup.
Tart it up: Melt a large knob of butter in a pan or use olive oil, add some mixed herbs, salt and pepper, and fry small cubes of bread to make croutons. Serve on the top of the soup with grated fresh parmesan, gruyere or a blue cheese.
Berry Nice Pudding
For a yummy pudding or breakfast, tip as many different berries as you can into a bowl and top with low-fat natural yoghurt.
Tart it up: drizzle with honey and top with chopped nuts