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Quick lunch: Warm Kale and Quinoa Salad

You all know that I love a salad but at this time of year I sometimes fancy something a bit more warming at lunchtime. This warm kale and quinoa salad does just the trick and takes less than 15 minutes to make. If you want to be super lazy, you can even use ready cooked quinoa which is a great staple to have in the food cupboard.

When I’m feeling the need for some vegan or vegetarian inspiration I always turn to Kris Carr, author of Crazy Sexy Kitchen. Her book is packed full of incredible plant-based recipes and tons of advice on following a really clean vegan lifestyle. Not that veganism is for everyone, and nor should it be, but it’s an extremely healthy way of eating so even if you only incorporate one vegan meal into your life every few days, your body will thank you for it.

Quinoa is such a versatile ingredient and can be used in place of rice, couscous or pasta and adapted to any flavour. Just make sure you rinse it before cooking it. The best nutritional...

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Spectacular Salads

I do love a salad. And I don’t mean a hamster’s plate of food. Oh no. You’ll never catch me nibbling on a lettuce leaf the size of a postage stamp and a bit of curly cucumber. Salads for me are about fitting as many different ingredients, colours and nutrients as I can into one bowl, coating them in a zingy dressing and making an infinite number of mini-meals with each forkful.

They key to making a sumptuous salad that can be assembled in minutes (I don’t have time to stand there slicing, chopping and grating!) is to have a good selection of both fresh and store-cupboard ingredients, and leftovers. Here are my super secret mix ‘n match salad-making tips (obviously they are not a secret anymore):

1) With my weekly shop I always, ALWAYS, make sure I buy a bag of mixed leaves – I like to vary my selection, this week it’s rocket, spinach & watercress, last week it was just rocket, – some cherry tomatoes, avocados and limes (for...

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Simply heavenly almond butter dressing

I am currently a little bit obsessed with the incredible and inspirational Kris Carr and her Crazy Sexy movement. I am devouring her lifestyle book Crazy Sexy Diet and and the accompanying cookbook Crazy Sexy Kitchen at every opportunity and trying her sensational plant-empowered recipes and enjoying the side effects of a much greener diet – I am sleeping better, have more energy, clearer skin and may even have lost a couple of pounds! Veggies Rock!

So my latest discovery from her cookbook had my tastebuds in a tailspin this afternoon and turned a simple salad into a flavour sensation. I followed the recipe in her book and used the dressing on a salad of shredded kale (run the kale leaves through the slicer attachment of your food processor), celery and carrot, but I think it would go on almost any salad. I have converted the measurements from American cups. I urge you to give this dressing a try – you may never go back to bog-standard olive oil and vinegar!


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Delicious and beautiful detox salad with Dijon dressing

So, as everyone’s still in detox mode, I wanted to create a beautiful and delicious detox salad, packed full of ingredients which encourage detoxification but which won’t leave you hankering for something else when you’ve finished eating it. The key to this is to include plenty of good fats and protein, and this dish provides these in abundance. But hey, guess what? It’s not fattening! The ingredients that I used for the salad, and their health properties, are as follows:

Watercress – classed as a ‘bitter’ vegetable, it stimulates the production of digestive secretions in the stomach, and also supports the liver. It is also packed full of Vitamin C and beta-carotene, which are important anti-oxidants.

Grated carrot – another great source of the anti-oxidant beta-carotene, of course, as well being cleansing for the liver.

Grated beetroot – just the deep colour of this vegetable raw tells you it’s packed full of goodness!...

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It’s ‘Empty the fridge of random vegetables night!’

I’ve mentioned on here before that we get a box of organic vegetables delivered every Friday. It’s fab, I love it and it makes me feel good on many different levels. Well I have this thing about not having any vegetables leftover from the old box when the new box arrives. I just don’t like it, it makes me twitch. Because, invariably last week’s veggies are going to get shoved to the back of drawer by the shiny new gorgeous ones that are fresh out of the box, and then by Tuesday, they’ll end up in the bin. So, on Thursday nights I make something out of every half-eaten, slightly on-the-turn vegetable that is left in the fridge. Tonight, I opened the fridge and stared at the following:

  • 1/2 a fennel
  • 2 beetroots
  • 1/2 a bag of green salady leaves
  • 4 radishes
  • A tiny, quite bendy carrot
  • 1/4 of a broccoli head

So we made an enormous salad and did a couple of funky things with the raw veggies to jazz it up. Here are some ideas for things you can do with slightly...

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