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Fill up on vegetables… Whether you’re adopting a more plant-based diet or simply love them, easy ways to introduce veg

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Cauliflower, cashew and coriander soup

Cauliflower, cashew and coriander soup

Vegetable medley with chickpeas and almonds

Vegetable medley with chickpeas and almonds

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Cauliflower, cashew and coriander soup

Serves 6

Cauliflower, cashew and coriander soup

Vegan

Gluten free

What you’ll need

1 cauliflower head

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion (200g), chopped

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4 large cloves of garlic, chopped

100g cashews

1 tbsp ground turmeric

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

A few good pinches of salt

1.1 lt vegetable or chicken stock

2 tbsp lemon juice

4 tbsp chopped coriander (leaves and the fine stalks)

For the toasted cashews

20g cashews

Method

First, prepare the cauliflower. Remove and discard the outer green leaves, reserving any smaller ones close to the cauliflower, and cut off and discard the base of the stem. Cut the cauliflower into slices, then chop it all: florets, stalks and any remaining leaves.

Place the olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat and add the cauliflower, the chopped onion and garlic, the cashews and the turmeric. Season with the pepper and a few good pinches of salt (this soup needs careful seasoning, otherwise it can be bland).

Cover the vegetables with the saucepan lid, then turn the heat down to low and cook, stirring from time to time, for about 15–20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

While the vegetables are cooking, toast the cashews. Place them in a dry frying pan over a medium heat and toss them regularly for about 4 minutes, until golden. Roughly chop and set aside.

Add the stock to the vegetables and bring to the boil, then blend the soup well. Add the lemon juice, chopped coriander and more salt and pepper if necessary. The soup should be smooth, like velvet.

Serve the soup straight away or reheat, and scatter the toasted cashews over the top.

Recipe extracted from Soup Broth Bread by Rachel Allen, Michael Joseph, £22, and is available in shops and online now

Roast purple potato and baby corn with avocado and lime

This is such a fun-looking salad, with its pretty purple potatoes contrasting against the sunny corn and yellow peppers. The dressing is full of sunshine flavours too, with a little added heat from the green chilli. Purple potatoes don’t just look great: their distinctive colour comes from the same pigments found in berries. These pigments, called anthocyanins, are thought to be fantastic antioxidants which may also have anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties.

What you’ll need

1kg purple potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges

150g baby corn, halved lengthways

2 yellow peppers, deseeded and cut into thin strips

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Rapeseed oil

For the avocado-lime dressing

2 ripe avocados

Juice of 2 limes

1 small bunch coriander (25g)

1 green chilli

2 tablespoons apple concentrate (or agave syrup)

To garnish

2 heaped tablespoons pumpkin seeds, toasted in a dry pan

You will need

2 parchment-lined baking trays

High-speed blender or food processor

Method

Preheat the oven to 200ºC.

Scatter the potatoes evenly over one lined tray, coat with a little oil and a pinch of salt and bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until tender and crisping up a little around the edges.

Meanwhile, scatter the baby corn and yellow peppers over the other tray, drizzle with a little oil and salt and roast on a second shelf for around 15 minutes, until they also start to crisp up.

Once the vegetables are cooked, set both trays aside to cool while you make the dressing. Combine the avocado, lime juice, coriander, chilli and choice of sweetener with two tablespoons of water in the blender or food processor and purée until velvet smooth, adding another tablespoon of water to loosen, if needed.

Tip both sets of roasted veg into a large serving bowl, carefully fold the dressing through and season to taste. Serve garnished with the toasted pumpkin seeds.

Recipe extracted from Cornucopia: The Green Cookbook by Tony Keogh and Aoife Carrigy, Gill Books, £27.99

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Vegetable medley with chickpeas and almonds

Vegetable medley with chickpeas and almonds

Vegetable medley with chickpeas and almonds

Vegetable medley with chickpeas and almonds

What you’ll need

250 g washed and diced butternut squash

1 celery stick, chopped

1 small red pepper, chopped

1 medium-size courgette, sliced

1 tsp dried mixed herbs

Juice ½ orange

25 g flaked almonds

1x 200 g chickpeas, drained

Equipment

You will need a shallow microwaveable dish (about 1 ½ litre in capacity), a citrus

juicer, microwaveable dinner plate, chopping board and knife, spoon for stirring and microwaveable dinner plate

Nutritional note

Butternut squash is a good source of dietary fibre and contains 22 g carbohydrate per cupful. One cup also contains 457% of the RDI for vitamin A and 52% of the RDI for

vitamin C, as well as vitamins B1, B3, B6 and B9. It also makes a valuable contribution towards the RDI for the minerals calcium, iron, phosphorus and copper. The chickpeas provide 7.4 g fibre, 7.2 g protein and 15.7 g carbohydrate per 100 g

To serve

Dressed, mixed-leaf salad with chopped apple; wholemeal bread rolls.

Method

Put the prepared vegetables into the shallow dish, sprinkle with the herbs and then add the orange juice.

Cover the dish loosely with greaseproof paper, wrapping it under the dish to prevent it from blowing off.

Microwave on High for 5 minutes.

Remove the dish from microwave and carefully stir the vegetables, then recover and return to microwave for a further 3½ minutes on High.

Set aside to stand, covered.

Toast the almonds: arrange them around the outside edge of the dinner plate and then microwave on High for 5 minutes, opening the door and rearranging the nuts once during cooking. They will turn lightly golden.

Add the drained chickpeas to the vegetables and return to the microwave for 1 minute on High.

Serve the vegetables with their delicious juices, topped with the toasted almonds, accompanied by the bread rolls and salad.

Recipe extracted from Eat Well to Age Well: Recipes for Health and Happiness by Beverly Jarvis, Hammersmith Health Books, out January 20. Photo credit: David-James Selling


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