Coming into spring we are looking forward to sharing with you some of our favourite salad recipes, and seeing as the weather is still a little cool, we thought to kick things off with a warm salad (can be served cold) featuring green lentils, roasted pumpkin, walnuts and pepitas – we do love our pepitas here.
This salad will also be featuring in the summer edition of Australia’s popular Home Grown Magazine highlighting just one of the ways you can incorporate pumpkin into a wholefoods diet.
We hope you enjoy this one as much as we did making and eating it.
Serving size: 4 persons
- 5-6 cups mixed lettuce leaves (loosely packed)
- 1 cup cooked French Puy lentils (see instructions for cooking below)
- 2 1/2 cups Baked Pumpkin (we like to use either Butternut or Jap varieties for this salad)
- 1/2 large avocado sliced
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1 Tablespoon pepitas
- 1 Tablespoon sunflower seeds
- 1/4 red onion sliced
- For 1 cup of cooked puy lentils, rinse 1/2 cup dried puy lentils and then put into a medium saucepan with 1 1/4 cups of water. Bring to the boil then simmer for 25 minutes until the water is absorbed and the lentils are tender.
- Toss the pumpkin in a very small amount of olive oil (just to coat – do not overdo it) and roast in a baking dish at 170’C for 20-25 minutes or until golden and cooked through.
- Whilst your lentils and pumpkin are cooking, prepare all your other ingredients and your dressing (see below).
- When the lentils and pumpkin have cooled slightly, toss all ingredients together in a bowl and serve whilst still warm with your freshly made salad dressing. Enjoy.
For ‘Our Favourite Salad Dressing’
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 clove crushed garlic
- Black pepper to taste
NOTE: Put all ingredients into a medium size jar and shake well (lasts in the fridge up to 3 days – shake before using).
This month we worked on a recipe collaboration with Janessa from @glutenfree_sugarfree. Janessa specialises in gluten & sugar free baking and made for us this tasty homemade granola with the star ingredient being peanut butter – one of this years (decades) biggest trending foods. Peanut butter has made a real come back of late, especially in foodie circles being a popular ingredient in sweet baking, smoothies and even raw food desserts.
Big thanks Janessa for sharing with the Affordable Wholefoods blog.
Preheat oven to 175c and line a baking tray with parchment.
In a food processor, blitz the peanuts, coconut and dates until they reach a crumb like consistency. Pour into a large bowl and add the quinoa puffs. Stir to combine.
In a small saucepan, add peanut butter, honey, coconut oil and vanilla extract. Stir over a low heat until all ingredients have incorporated. Allow to cool slightly then add into dry ingredients and stir to combine.
Spread mixture out onto baking tray to form an even layer. Place into over for 10 minutes then remove and flip all of the mixture (if there are bits browning quickly on the edges, move them into the centre, trying not to break up the clusters) place in oven for a further 5 minutes and gently move the browning edges into the centre again. Repeat this process in 2 minute intervals until all mixture is nicely browned. (Depending on your oven this could take 6-8 minutes)
Remove from oven and allow to cool, mixture will become crunchy on cooling. Try not to touch the mix until it has cooled so you don’t break up the yummy clusters!
Store in an airtight container in a cool place or the fridge for up to 3 months.
Growing your own herbs at home is a great way to save money and beautifully complement your wholefoods diet. Herbs are easy to grow, as they are generally very hardy and when used fresh will significantly increase the nutrient value of your food. There are many herbs to choose from but some of my personal favourites include mint, oregano, sage, parsley, dill, lemon balm, marjoram and thyme.
- Mint grows extremely well and will spread like wild fire wherever it can so is best kept contained. There are many edible varieties and two common ones are Peppermint and Vietnamese mint; both full of flavour with a bite, great in soups and other cooked dishes as they hold up to the heat. Softer flavoured mints go well in warm salads such cous cous with roasted onions and pecans or thrown into a smoothie. The menthol in mint is the reason for the unique taste as well as the medicinal effects. Mint can soothe the stomach, reduce bloating and gas as well as calm the digestive tract.
- Thyme grows all year round and is much stronger when used fresh, however it does hold its flavour when dried better than most other herbs. This highly aromatic herb has long been revered medicinally for its potent antiseptic and anti-fungal qualities, which makes it valuable in mouthwashes, wound dressings and to fight fungal infections. Thyme is also packed with immune boosting nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin A and magnesium.
- Sage has a long history of culinary as well as medicinal use. With a strong aromatic flavour, sage adds a punch to sauces and marinades. Use fresh for optimal flavour, this powerful herb will withstand cooking for a long period of time. Drinking the steeped leaves as a tea will help to soothe a sore throat, aid digestion and reduce muscle tension due to its anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic and anti-bacterial properties. To top it off, sage is also high in calcium and iron.
- Dill is a beautiful plant with vibrant green feathery leaves and bright yellow flowers that will attract beneficial insects to the garden. Containing iron and calcium, this herb is a fantastic addition to fish, simply sprinkle on or stir through mayonnaise with crushed garlic.
- Parsley is a household favourite due to its subtle, yet pleasantly fragrant flavour and its wonderful self-seeding nature, returning to your garden year after year with minimal effort. Parsley is also highly medicinal, containing a range of cell-protecting anti-oxidants as well as magnesium, potassium and iron.
- Lemon balm has a deliciously delicate lemon taste and is used to add a soft tang to sweet or savoury dishes. It can be added to salsas, sauces, casseroles or any dish that needs a subtle lemon flavour. This herb is best added at the end of cooking in order to benefit most from its gentle aroma. Lemon balm is great as a tea as it is known for its uplifting qualities and according to an old Arabian proverb, ”Balm makes the heart merry and joyful.”
Having herbs in your garden means there is a constant array of fresh flavour choices right at your finger tips, the perfect ingredients to add to your wholefood cooking.
Enjoy your week in the kitchen!
Naturopath, Affordable Wholefoods
In Casey-Lee’s words ‘A wholesome and nutritious swiss chard filling on top of a grain free almond crust’.
Made with wholefoods, this recipe is free from gluten, grains, dairy, soy, preservatives and sugar. Enjoy!
Prep: 15 mins Cooking time: 40 mins
- Pre-heat fan forced oven to 180’C.
- In a mixing bowl combine crust ingredients and shape to form a ball of dough. Slightly flatten and place between two pieces of greaseproof paper. Use a rolling pin to roll dough out to 1/2 cm thick.
- Remove top layer of paper. Carefully place crust (paper side up) on top of greased or lined pie dish. Mould dough into dish. Use a fork to prick holes in base (this stops the crust from puffing up) and bake in oven for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden. Set aside.
- In a deep frying pan sauté leek and garlic in olive oil for 1- 2 minutes. Add swiss chard and wilt down over medium heat for 3-5 minutes.
- In a mixing bowl whisk eggs with lemon juice, turmeric, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
- Spoon swiss chard mix on top of crust and pour over with your egg mix.
- Sprinkle with pine nuts and bake in oven for 30 – 35 minutes or until your egg iscooked through.
• *Swiss chard is a dark green leafy vegetable similar to silverbeet and has pink or yellow stems. (You can also use silverbeet for this recipe).
• The stems of chard take a little longer to cook (I use only a few) and recommend adding these in first for 1 – 2 minutes then follow with the leaves.
Making your own nut milk can be a lot of fun and is extremely nutritious, not to mention without the added preservatives that some store bought varieties put in for better shelf life. You can make nut milk out of just about any nut but there are a few varieties that are more popular owing to their flavour. It takes a little time and dedication in doing the ground work, but definitely worth it in the end.
In sharing with our readers a nut milk recipe we felt it a great opportunity to team up again with Emma Hindmarsh from @floraltable who is a natural when it comes to wholesome drinks and smoothies. Emma decided to go with almonds, being a nut many people are familiar with and also one that works well as a milk and is highly nutritious. So here it is: Nut Milk alla Almond….
1 cup organic Almonds
2 cup filtered water
Pinch of pink salt
Pinch of vanilla (optional)
- Soak almonds overnight.
- Drain and place in your blender with filtered water. Blend in high until smooth and creamy.
Strain through your nut milk bag and store in the fridge up to 3 days.
Don’t forget to keep the pulp from your almonds as they make delicious crackers! Enjoy!
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