12 Super Healthy Vegetarian Recipes

Updated: Nov 2

In this article you will discover 12 super healthy breakfast, lunch, dinner and soup recipes



“Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”

Albert Einstein


How food impacts on our health is now no longer a mystery. It’s common knowledge that the excessive consumption of certain nutrients – namely sugar, protein and saturated fat – increases our risk of illness and disease. The same can be said of refined and/or processed foods.


Over thirty years ago the relationship between health and diet was well understood. Yes! Even then in that intellectually impoverished bygone age scientists showed that ‘nutritional factors account for 60 per cent of all cancer in woman and 40 per cent of all cancer in men,’ (Curtis (2000) citing studies conducted in the 80s).


Things have moved on considerably in thirty years. The link between diet and disease is so strong that we can confidently say that ‘our diet is the number-one cause of premature death and the number-one cause of disability,’ (Greger 2017). And some nutritional scientists suggest that upwards of 90% of all disease and illness is the result of poor dietary choices.


So what active steps can we take to reform our diet so that it promotes and not degenerates our health? Dr Greger, author of How Not to Die (see link below), maintains that the single most important step we can take to improving our diet is to make plants our primary food source.


The health benefits associated with a vegetarian diet are many and varied. According to some of the leading nutritional scientists, by transitioning from an omnivorous diet to one that is all but plant based you can expect to decrease your susceptibility to many diseases. Studies abound supporting the contention that vegetarians suffer fewer incidences of:


- Cancer
- Heart disease
- Stroke
- Hypertension
- Type 2 diabetes
- Obesity


However, to enjoy the health benefits associated with vegetarianism it is important that we not only cut animal protein from our diet but also strive to reduce our consumption of processed foods and refined carbohydrate. That means little to no take-a-ways, no pre-packed consumables – such as sandwiches, crisps, chocolate, etc., etc. – and no microwaveable ready meals!


To help get you on your way to introducing more plants into your diet below I have included 10 super healthy vegetarian recipes. The recipes will provide you with a healthy, nutritious meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also, you will discover a range of healthy snack ideas so that you never again need to visit the work’s vending machine.



(Please note: the meals that feature in this article were prepared and cooked in a normal, run-of-the-mill kitchen. Also, the pictures of the meals were shot by the 'chef' and promptly uploaded. Thus the images have not in anyway been beautified. Basically, what you will see below are snapshots of culinary reality. Enjoy!)



1: 3 Berry Porridge – aka: the full works

The only breakfast you’ll ever need!



Ingredients (serves 4)

1 Cup of porridge oats (120g)
50g Strawberries
50g Black berries
50g Raspberry
20g Milled linseed
20g Milled hempseed
50g Assorted nuts (crushed)
2 Medulla dates
Natural honey


Method


Berry prep: so as to make life easier for yourself and to prevent eating all the berries before the end of the week, it is wise to spend a bit of time preparing them. On a Saturday, after shopping at the local market, I separate the berries across six containers so that, each morning when it comes to making breakfast, I have but to grab a pot, rinse and dry the fruit and serve. (A word of wisdom: don’t try and be too efficient by washing the berries at the start of the week. I can assure you that by Wednesday you’ll be throwing away mouldy fruit.)



Step 1: Pre-cook preparation: firstly thoroughly rinse the fruit; drain and dry. Hand-mill the linseed and hempseed in a pestle and mortar (or buy a packet or mixed milled seed and save yourself time and an arm ache). Chop and crush the nuts. Slice the dates.



Step 2: Add to a pan one cup of oats and two cups of water. Place on a high heat and continue to stir until the porridge is vigorously bubbling. Stir throughout. (Never microwave your porridge – that is sacrilegious!)



Step 3: Once the porridge has taken on your desired consistency remove from the heat and leave to rest for five minutes. Stir intermittently.



Step 4: To serve: spoon the porridge into bowls. Drizzle over natural honey then add the seeds, nuts, dates and fruit.


As far as breakfast foods go porridge is arguable the healthiest – made even healthier with nuts, seeds and fruit! Because of its high-fibre / low fat content porridge has been shown to contain all manner of health promoting properties. Recently published studies have demonstrated that people who regularly consume porridge are less likely to develop serious conditions such as coronary heart disease and bowel cancer. It is for these reasons and many more besides why I recommend starting every day with a bowl of porridge.



2: Slow Roast Mediterranean Pasta Salad

A simple yet beautiful dish full of flavour, colour and – most importantly – health



Ingredients

Assortment of tomatoes – cherry/beef
Half a courgette, pepper and carrot
1 Red onion & 2 garlic cloves
Small pot of olives (green or black)
1 Avocado
Feta cheese (50g)
Basil, herbs, seasoning and olive oil
100gs whole wheat pasta


Method


Step 1: Preheat oven to 150°C.



Step 2: Thoroughly rinse the vegetables. After draining and drying cut, slice and dice then place into a large bowl. Give them a generous drizzle of olive oil including a couple of turns of salt, pepper and a dash of Italian mix herbs. Gently fold the vegetables so as to evenly distribute the oil and seasoning.



Step 3: Once the oven has reached temperature introduce the vegetables into a baking pot – they should sizzle a little. Place back into the oven.



Step 4: Bring a pan of water to the boil then add the pasta. Stir immediately to prevent the pasta from clumping together. Reduce temperature to a steady boil. When cooked drain, oil and season then place to one side.



Step 5: After 25 minutes check the vegetables – they should be softening and browning. Move them around the pot to prevent burning.



Step 6: Now introduce into the pot the pasta, olives and feta. Mix together. Pop the pot back in the oven for five minutes. (A word of caution: if left in the over for more than the suggested time the pasta will go dry and crispy which will mar the splendour of this dish.)



Step 7: Remove the pot from the oven and spoon the pasta salad into bowls. I like to include an avocado half, a slice of rustic bread (or focaccia) and a decadent drizzle of olive oil.


3: Slow Roasted Aubergine and Chickpea Curry


Healthy, simple and delicious



Ingredients (serves 4)

1 Large aubergine
2 Beef tomatoes
8 Cherry tomatoes
1 Red onion
2 Cloves of garlic
1 Nub of ginger
400g of Chickpeas
1 Tin of tomatoes
Spices: half a teaspoon of turmeric, cumin, garam masala
50 grams of skin-on almonds
150 grams of brown rice


Method


Step 1: Preheat oven to 150°C.



Step 2: Chop the aubergine into chunks or strips then oil and season. Place in the oven for 35 minutes. Check occasionally and ensure to shake the baking tray to prevent sticking.



Step 3: In a pan add olive oil and soften onions and garlic. Once softened add ginger and spices.



Step 4: Wash, slice and dice the beef and cherry tomatoes. Add to the pan along with the tin of tomatoes. Reduce the heat and leave to simmer for ten minutes before introducing the chickpeas. (At this stage you may want to add a bunch of fresh coriander.)



Step 5: Once the aubergine has softened introduce to the pan of tomatoes and chickpeas. Gently mix the vegetables together, cover and leave.



Step 6: Prepare the rice. Thoroughly rinse the rice in cold water. Add to a pan ensuring to stick to a ratio of 1 part rice to 2 parts water. (Optional: Pop into the pan two cracked cardamom pods and 1 star anise.) Cover, bring to the boil then simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.



Step 7: Chop the almonds lengthways and roast under a grill until brown. (Note of caution: stand vigil or you’ll be throwing away burnt almonds all day.)



Step 8: Once the rice has cooked remove cardamom pods and star anise then drain and fluff.



Step 9: To serve: place the rice in bowls ensuring to create a well in the centre. Spoon the aubergine and chickpea curry into the well. Sprinkle over almonds and add a light dusting of smoked paprika.

4: Roasted Butternut Squash (or sweet potato!), Avocado and Butterbean Salad

A light and tasty meal that’ll leave you feeling health from the inside out



Ingredients (serves 4)

2 Butternut squashes
2 Avocados
10 Cherry tomatoes
1 Sweet red pepper
50 grams of queen green olives
100 grams of feta cheese
230 grams of butter beans
A handful of spinach
Almonds and pine seeds


Method


Step 1: Preheat oven to 150°C.



Step 2: Slice the squashes in half (or as near as possible) and boil for ten minutes. After ten minutes drain then oil and season the flesh (suggested seasonings: turmeric; mixed herbs; garam masala). Now place squashes in the over skin-side down and leave for 45 minutes.



Step 3: Once the squashes have cooked (they should be soft and buttery) remove from the oven and allow to rest.



Step 4: Whilst the squashes are resting prepare the salad. Begin by creating a leafy base then layer on the tomatoes, peppers and olives. At this stage you can drain and rinse the butter beans.



Step 5: To prepare the guacamole scrape the avocado into a bowl followed by a couple of finely diced tomatoes, seasoning and a drizzle of olive oil (you can also add diced coriander). Proceed to mash the ingredients together until pulped.



Step 6: To serve: place the squashes on the plates and spoon into the hollows the guacamole. Spoon over the butter beans. Garnish with feta and crushed nuts – almonds and pine seeds. And also a drizzle of olive oil!



5: Sweet Potato, Carrot and Chickpea Curry

A dish full of flavour and health



Ingredients (serves 4)

2 Sweet potatoes
2 Large carrots
4 Big beef tomatoes
8 Cherry tomatoes
1 Large red onion
2 Cloves of garlic
A nub of ginger
400gs Chickpeas
200gs Brown rice
Spices: garam masala (or curry powder), turmeric, cumin
Handful of almonds
A generous bunch of coriander


Method


Step 1: To make the curry sauce firstly slice and dice the onions and garlic then soften in a large pan – use olive oil. Once softened add the ginger (finely diced) and spices; a level teaspoon of each – and perhaps a pinch of salt.



Step 2: Whilst the spices are infusing begin to prepare the tomatoes; wash, dry, chop and add to the pan. Cover and leave on a medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes.



Step 3: Meanwhile, wash the sweet potatoes and carrots (peeling is optional) and cut into thumb nail-sized cubes. Once cut to size introduce into a pan of boiling water. After 5 minutes drain and air.



Step 4: The final stage in preparing the curry sauce: ladle the mix into a large glass jug and blend until the consistency is smooth.



Step 5: Re-oil the pan previously used for the sauce and place on a medium to high heat. Transfer the sweet potatoes and carrots. Fry for five minutes before spooning in the sauce. When mixed add the chickpeas and a generous bunch of finely diced coriander. Reduce the heat and cover ensuring to leave a gap.



Step 6: Prepare the rice. Thoroughly rinse the rice in cold water. Add to a pan ensuring to stick to a ratio of 1 part rice to 2 parts water. (Optional: Pop into the pan two cracked cardamom pods and 1 star anise.) Cover, bring to the boil then simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.



Step 7: Once the rice has cooked remove cardamom pods and star anise then drain and fluff.



Step 8: To serve: place the rice in bowls ensuring to create a well in the centre. Spoon the curry into the well. Garnish with roasted almonds and a sprig of coriander.


6: Vegetarian SpagBol

Too cliché to say a taste of Italy but, what the hell, this dish is exactly that!



Ingredients (serves 4)

1 Large courgette
1 Sweet red pepper
2 Large portabella mushrooms
4 Big beef tomatoes
10 Cherry tomato's
1 Large red onion
4 Cloves of garlic
400g Tin of tomatoes
200g Whole wheat pasta
Fresh Basil


Method


Step 1: Because the ingredients are introduce in stages it is advisable to spend time preparing before cooking. Firstly rinse the courgette, pepper, mushrooms and tomatoes. Cut, dice and slice and separate into individual bowls.



Step 2: Finely slice the onion and garlic. Soften in a pan ensuring to season well.



Step 3: Once softened introduce at five minute intervals the vegetables as follows: courgette, red pepper, tomatoes, mushrooms. With the mushrooms you can also include the tin tomatoes. Mix together, cover and leave on a medium heat for 20 minutes.



Step 4: After 20 minutes check that the sauce has reduced to a rich, thick consistency. If the consistency pleases remove pan from the heat and set to one side. At this stage you could add a generous drizzle of olive oil, a ruddy good seasoning and a handful of fresh basil.



Step 5: To prepare the pasta: firstly bring a pan of water to a rolling boil, add a pinch of salt and then the pasta. With a fork immediately move the pasta around the pan to prevent clumping. Quality fussily pasta should take between 8 to 10 minutes to cook. The pasta should not be soft to the bite. If it is you have over-cooked it. There should be ‘bite’ to the past. Having satisfied this particular requirement thoroughly drain then add olive oil, seasoning – preferably an Italian herb mix – and a grate of parmesan cheese (optional).



Step 6: To serve: Option one: pasta in the bowl followed by the source. Option two: introduce the pasta into the sauce prior to serving, mix and serve together as one.


A thick cut of rustic bread or focaccia slice is the perfect accompaniment to this dish.



7: Vegetable Paella

This dish will bring a ray of Mediterranean sunshine into your kitchen



Ingredients (serves 6)

A good glug of olive oil
1 Onion, chopped
1 Garlic clove, finely chopped
300g paella rice or short grain rice
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
2tsp smoked paprika
1 Vegetable stock cube, made up to 900ml
400g tin chopped tomatoes
150g runner beans, sliced on an angle
1 Red pepper, roughly chopped
1 Cup of fresh garden peas
1 x 210g tin chickpeas, drained
1 Lemon, juiced
Handful of coriander, chopped


Method


Step 1: Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large frying pan and cook the onion and garlic until softened.



Step 2: Next stir in the rice, chilli flakes and paprika, cook for a further minute, then add the stock and tomatoes. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Ensure to stir occasionally so as to stop the rice from clumping – shaking the pan is the traditional method.



Step 3: Add the runner beans, pepper and chickpeas and cook for another 10 minutes. Squeeze over the lemon juice and scatter with the coriander.



Step 4: To test if cooked create a divot in the middle of the pan, there should be no excess water. If all the water has been absorbed remove the pan from the heat cover with a clean tea towel and allow to rest for 20/30 minutes.



Step 5: Serve with lemon wedges on the side to squeeze over.

8: Vegetable, Kidney Bean and Turmeric Mash-topped Pie with Broccoli, Spinach and Walnut Salad

A hearty, health and wholesome meal



Ingredients (serves 4)

1 Sweet potato
1 Large carrot
4 Beef tomatoes
1 Sweet red pepper
1 Head of broccoli
100g Spinach
1 Large red onion
4 Cloves of garlic
200g Tin tomatoes
400g Tin of Red kidney beans
50g Crushed walnuts


Method


Step 1: Preheat oven to 150°C.



Step 2: After cutting the sweet potatoes and carrot into dice-size cubes boil for 5 minutes. Drain then transfer to a baking tray and place in the oven. Cook for 30 minutes.



Step 3: In a frying pan soften the onions and garlic – ensure to season and include a level teaspoon of cumin and turmeric. Once softened add the diced tomatoes and sweet pepper. After ten minutes pour in the tin of tomatoes and red kidney beans. Replace the lid and leave to simmer for a further twenty minutes.



Step 4: Once the sweet potatoes and carrots are cooked mix all ingredients together (preferable in the pan) and introduce into a large crockery pot and place back in the oven on a low heat.



Step 5: To prepare the turmeric mash potato topping: boil the potatoes until soft. Drain and mash with milk and butter. Season with salt, pepper, herbs and a heaped teaspoon of turmeric (of course you can leave it out if you think it would upset your pallet; but honestly, the turmeric does not flavour the mash, it adds colour and enhances the healthiness of an already healthy dish).



Step 6: Remove the crockery pot from the oven and apply the mash ensuring to evenly distribute over the surface of the pie filling. After giving the mash a good forking garnish with a generous grating of mature cheddar cheese and finely diced leek. Place back in the oven until the cheese has melted and the leek has crisped.



Step 7: The salad: blanch the broccoli florets. Drain well then include the spinach, walnuts, seasoning and olive oil.



Step 8: Serve!



The example is another variation where feta cheese has been used instead of cheddar. As they say, variation is the spice of life!






9: Some Ideas for Healthy Lunches


Few people take the trouble to prepare healthy, home-cooked food for lunch times. Instead they opt for something prepacked (such as an ultra-processed supermarket ‘meal’ deal) or fresh out the vending machine. Of course, any kind of processed food is detrimental to our health. Also, when it comes to prepacked sandwiches or canteen-prepared slop, we have no idea how the food was handled. This should be a deterrent in itself. As of this writing hundreds of thousands of sandwiches were recalled because they were infected with a particularly vicious bacteria (listeria monocytogenes).



Thus we should take the time to make our own lunches. Once you form the habit and organise a morning routine making a healthy meal for the day can be quick and easy. Furthermore, preparing healthy, nutritious meals for yourself and the family brings about a sense of satisfaction and pride which you’ll never get when tearing open plastic packaging.



Below, because the possible variation of lunch recipes is vast, I have provided you with a list of three ideas.

Leftovers for Lunch!

Many of the recipes that accompany this pack can double-up as lunch for the following day. For example, whenever I cook paella, or curry, or bolognaise, I always ensure to make that little bit extra so that I have enough fill my lunchbox with.



Bean Salad

Bean salads are a super healthy lunchtime meal. Not only are they effortless to prepare but they’re packed full of nutrients. To make your bean salad simply select a bean of your preference – butterbean, red kidney bean, pinto or a mixture – and after draining add olive oil and seasoning: pepper, herbs and/or turmeric, garam masala or cumin. Run the beans in a colander so the oil and seasoning are evenly distributed.



Moving on to the salad. Select a crispy variety such as iceberg or radicchio for your base. Wash, dry, slice and sprinkle into a Tupperware box. Now add a selection of salad items: cherry tomatoes, cucumber (if you’re into that), diced carrot, sliced pepper, olives, gherkins. Now add the beans another drizzle of olive oil and season. Lunch is done!



Quinoa (aka 'Grain of the Gods!') Salad

Quinoa, the grain of the Incas, has formed part of the human diet for over ten thousand years. The health benefits of quinoa have long been known; however, it is only today that we are for the first time able to understand just how healthy this food is. One cup (85gs) of quinoa contains (roughly):



  • Protein: 8 grams

  • Fiber: 5 grams

  • Manganese: 58% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA)

  • Magnesium: 30% of the RDA

  • Phosphorus: 28% of the RDA

  • Folate: 19% of the RDA

  • Copper: 18% of the RDA

  • Iron: 15% of the RDA

  • Zinc: 13% of the RDA

  • Potassium 9% of the RDA

  • Over 10% of the RDA for vitamins B1, B2 and B6

  • Small amounts of calcium, B3 (niacin) and vitamin E


In addition to this litany of essential minerals, vitamins and nutrients quinoa contains all 9 of the essential amino acids. It’s perhaps for this reason why the UN declared 2013 ‘The International Year of Quinoa’.



Ok, so now we have an idea of the health benefits of this seemingly ordinary grain, how can we use within our lunches? Well, quinoa is not only super healthy but it’s also super diverse. Once cooked it goes with pretty much anything. You could, for example, include it within a salad or use it as an accompaniment to the left-over curry from yesterday evening.



How to cook

1 cup of quinoa to two cups of water.
Bring to the boil and, once all the water has been absorbed, which usually takes 10 minutes, remove from the heat, cover and leave for a further five minutes.
Drain the quinoa and allow five minutes to rest.
Now you can add spices, seasoning, various diced salad ingredients, nuts, seeds, beans – basically whatever takes your fancy.

Due to the bewildering variation and different options of healthy lunchtime recipes this summative overview could go on for another five pages or more. But I think the ideas discussed above have given you, if you’ll excuse the phrase, plenty of food for thought. I will conclude, dear reader, with an impassioned appeal.



Do not settle for processed, plastic-wrapped mass-produced food. It is not only disgusting but, on account of being overladen with salt, sugar fat and chemical preservatives, also highly detrimental to your health. Instead cultivated healthy habits and begin preparing your own meals using fresh, raw ingredients. I can promise you will not regret it.


10: Snack the Healthy Way


Snacking is associate with weight gain, ill-health and a lack of self-discipline. This is perhaps all true if those snacks are of a plastic-wrapped, processed variety. However, not all snack are created equally and, depending on the snacks you consume, they can be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet.



Below you will discover 4 snacks that not only taste great but will support you in your quest for augmented health. Of course the list of examples is not exhaustive. It is supposed to serve as means of stimulating ideas around what constitutes as healthy snack. Enjoy!


Home Made Hummus

Homemade avocado guacamole or courgette guacamole or chickpea hummus with carrot or celery sticks.



To make avocado guacamole scrape the creamy flesh into a bowl and add a couple of finely diced cherry tomatoes, a dash of cumin, a quick crack of sea salt, black pepper and a generous drizzle of olive oil. Mash together until sufficiently pulped. Spoon into a container, cover and keep refrigerated until serving.



To make courgette guacamole firstly cut a large courgette into dice-sized chunks and, along with a clove (or two) of garlic, roast for 20 minutes on a low heat (150°C). Once cooked allow to cool. Transfer the courgette and garlic into a blender and, before blitzing, add a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice. Pour into a container, cover and place in the fridge.



To make the chickpea hummus soften a small red onion and clove of garlic in pan of olive oil. Add a crack of salt and turn of pepper and squeeze of lemon. Assuming that you’re using tinned chickpeas drain and add to the pan ensuring to stir. Add to the mix cold water (for 400gs of chickpeas use 600gs of water) and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer for 1 hour. Drain ensuring to save the stock. Blend the chickpeas adding, as you do so, small amounts of the stock. Once the hummus takes on a creamy consistency do not add anymore stock. Pour content into a bowl and allow to cool before serving. Garnish with turmeric, smoked paprika, chive, rosemary and a drizzly of olive oil.



Carrot/celery sticks: wash and slice lengthways. To prevent the sticks from drying out place into a container of cold water before covering. Keep the sticks in the water until you are ready to snack.



Fruit Salad

A fruit salad is a great pre/post lunch snack. Healthy, nutritious and tasty. The combination of fruits selected I will leave to you. However, one point of note. The nutrient quality of any fresh fruit or vegetable deteriorates once cut (if it is not cooked or preserved). Every hour the nutrient content falls by 50%. It is for this reason why the fruit should be kept in its whole state until snack time. If it has been pre-washed and dried all you’ll need to do is cut it up into a bowl and serve.



Mixed Nuts, Dates, Chocolate, Berries, Orange and Fig!

Mixed nuts, dates and dark chocolate (with a cup of fresh coffee on the side). This is a simple, zero-fuss snack which packs a nutritional punch. Why? Read on . . .



Nuts are bursting with high-quality protein as well as a plethora of vitamins and minerals.



Dates (medulla), as well as just being generally delicious, have been shown to protect against mouth and oesophageal cancer.



Dark chocolate (70+%) contains antioxidants which inhibit free radical proliferation (a free radical is an unstable molecule which can trigger chain reactions resulting in cellular damage). A recent study showed that people who regularly consume dark chocolate were of a healthy weight and tended to snack less on undesirables.



Fresh ground coffee (not crappy instant!) can reduce liver inflammation, aid digestion, enhance cognition (thanks caffeine) and encourage the metabolism of adipose – aka fat.

Who would have thought snacking could be so good for you?



The Buddha Bowl

Traditionally the Buddha bowl is an assortment of fresh vegetables accompanied with a healthy grain such as quinoa or couscous. However, I’ve created a variation comprised of banana, mixed berries, crushed nuts and medulla dates. Into a bowl chop one banana and add a cup of mixed berries (blackberry, raspberry, blue berry, strawberry in any combination you like – just ensure to rinse well before consuming). Sprinkle over 50 grams of crushed mixed nuts (and/or seeds) and top with a sliced date, drizzle of honey and a dash of sweet cinnamon.


As I’ve endeavoured to show here, there’s no reason to snack on unhealthy, processed foods. To prepare a healthy, hunger-quelling snack takes little to no time or effort. To the exclusion of the courgette guacamole and hummus, the examples discussed above require less than 10 minutes of preparation time. Thus all that stands between you and the vending machine is a pinch of forethought and a dash of discipline.


11: Sweetheart Cabbage and Kale

It doesn't get healthier than this!



Ingredients (serves 8)

One large sweetheart cabbage (about 500g)
One kale stick
4 Small potatoes
1 Large onion
3 Garlic cloves
Drizzle of olive oil
50g Almonds, split and roasted
A pinch of salt, pepper and mixed herbs
A couple of dollops of crème fraîche


Method


Step 1: In a large saucepan add a good glug of olive oil then place on a moderate heat.



Step 2: Whilst the oil is warming finely slice the garlic and onion. Once the pan has reached temperature introduce the garlic. After a couple of minutes add the onion and seasoning.



Step 3: Wash, slice and dice the potatoes. When the garlic and onions have softened somewhat pop the spuds into the pan. Ensure to mix the ingredients together. At this point you might want to add a little more olive oil.



Step 4: Place the lid on the pan and allow the potatoes to sweat for around 10 minutes.



Step 5: Bring to the boil 1litre of the wet stuff – aka water. Best just to boil the kettle.



Step 6: Whilst you’re waiting for the kettle to do its thing wash, slice and dice the sweetheart cabbage and kale stick.



Step 7: Once the water has reach boiling point pour it into the pan. (So as to avoid making the soup too watery I hold back about 200ml. Also: I never use stock cubes. Have you seen how much salt they put in those things? Enough to cause a stroke!)



Step 8: Now add the cabbage and kale, replace the lid and leave for between 20 to 30 minutes.



Step 9: After the suggested time has elapsed the cabbage and kale should have softened nicely and they should present a vibrant emerald green hue. It’s time to wizz!



Step 10: Using a hand blender give the soup a good blitzing. (Word of caution: don’t make the mistake I did and use a plastic blender when the soup is still very hot as you’ll probably have to donate your blender to landfill and your soup to the composter!)



Step 11: When the soup has reached a consistency compatible with your personal preference – I like my soup a little lumpy – give it a taste test. It’ll probably need touch more seasoning.



Step 12: Turn the heat off and leave the soup to cool a little before serving.


If you’re cooking to impress you might want to sauté the sweetheart spearhead, top the soup with a handful of roasted almonds, a drizzle of olive oil, a dash of smoked paprika and a generous scoop of crème fraîche.



We’ll work our way through that lot systematically starting from the top.



Sautéed spearhead: when cutting up the cabbage ensure to stop short leaving about 3 to 4 inches from the tip of the point. Slice the spearhead in half. When you come to sauté it you should only do so when the soup is cooked and cooling. Drizzle olive oil into a non-stick frying pan and place on a high heat. When the oil is hot place the spearhead halves in the pan flat side down; they should sizzle a little. Move them about a bit being careful not to break them up. If you’re heavy handed here the spearheads will unfurl like the petals of a wilting flow. Place the lid on the pan ensuring to leave a gap.



Whilst the spearhead halves are sautéing turn on the grill. If it’s anything like mine it’ll take a couple of minutes to warm up. This gives you time to cut the almonds into shards – don’t chop or dice them; they must be cut lengthways! (Why so pedantic? Not only do almond shards strike a more professional culinary appearance but, more importantly, they cook better and brown evenly.) Place them on a flat baking tray and roast. Warning: I strongly advise that you keep a keen eye riveted to those almonds because the moment you turn your back the buggers will burn!



Once they almonds are sufficiently browned – light golden with flecks of copper – remove from under the heat and leave to one side. By now the spearhead halves should also be nicely cooked. This is evidenced by their colour: they should be emerald green and along the cabbage leave contours signs of the sauté (see picture above).



To serve: ladle the soup into a bowl. Next, place the spearhead halves in the middle. Drizzle a curly whirly nautilus shape of olive oil over the soup. Now scatter the almond shards. Scoop in a generous dollop of crème fraiche. Lightly dust with smoked paprika, pepper and mixed herbs.



12: Roasted Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup

Sweet and super nutritious



Ingredients (serves 8)

A substantial butternut squash
A large sweet potato
A large carrot
One red onion
4 garlic cloves
A good nub of ginger
Bunch of coriander
Spices – all half teaspoon measurements: turmeric, garam masala, cumin
A pinch of mixed herbs, salt, pepper and smoked paprika . . . oh, I nearly forgot, and sweet cinnamon
Half a cup of red split lentils (optional)


Method


Preparing the stock



Step 1: Firstly, you need a big pan – preferably a bucket or trough. Remember: whenever cooking up soup make a sizable batch so that it lasts over the following week. Don’t forget that soup is a great freezable food.



Ok, enough prattle, on with the cooking!



Step 2: Drizzle into the pan a good glug of quality olive oil. Place the pan on a medium heat.



Step 3: Finely dice, slice and chop the onion, garlic cloves and ginger nub. When the pan’s reached temperature toss ‘em in.



Step 4: Once the onions and company have softened somewhat add the spices. Stir together, turn the heat down a touch and replace the lid and allow the flavour to infuse.



Step 5: Boil up a litre of the wet stuff. Once boiled add to the pan (including a handful of finely chopped coriander and lentils – if you’re using them), replace the lid and turn the heat right down.


Preparing the veg


Step 1: After peeling the butternut squash (don’t peel the sweet potato or carrot: there’s a lot of nutrients in that ruffage!) cut into thumbnail-sized cubes, including the sweet potato and carrot.



Step 2: Par-boil for no longer than 5 minutes.



Step 3: Pre-heat oven to 150°.



Step 4: After 5 minutes drain the veg well. To prevent from sticking and clumping you might want to add a drizzle of olive oil. Once prepare place in the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes (±5). Occasionally turn the veg over so as to prevent burning the corners.



Step 5: Once cooked – to check pierce with a knife, they should be soft – add veg to the stock.



Step 6: Mix ingredients together and turn the heat off. Leave to cool before blending.



Step 7: When you’ve blended the soup to your preferred consistency, ladle however much you plan to eat into a separate pan and gently reheat. As you do so consider including a glug of oat milk; this will reduce the thickness and add a creamy taste.



Step 8: To serve add a drizzle of olive oil, a light dusting of smoked paprika, half a handful of roasted almonds and a generous scoop of full-fat (real) Greek yogurt – and, of course, a sizable wedge of proper bakery sourdough bread (not that faux bread from the supermarket!).



Suggested Reading



How Not To Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease


How Not To Die gives effective, scientifically-proven nutritional advice to prevent our biggest killers - including heart disease, breast cancer, prostate cancer, high blood pressure and diabetes - and reveals the astounding health benefits that simple dietary choices can provide.








China Study

The updated and expanded edition of the bestseller that changed millions of lives The science is clear. The results are unmistakable. You can dramatically reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes just by changing your diet.









Forks Over Knives - The Cookbook: Over 300 Recipes for Plant-Based Eating All Through the Year


Forks Over Knives--the book, the film, the movement--is back again in a cookbook. The secret is out: If you want to lose weight, lower your cholesterol, avoid cancer, and prevent (or even reverse) type 2 diabetes and heart disease, the right food is your best medicine. Thousands of people have cut out meat, dairy, and oils and seen amazing results. If you're among them--or you'd like to be--you need this cookbook.






(As we are very interested in user feedback at Hungry4Fitness, I would be very grateful if you could take a few seconds out of your day to leave a comment. Thanks in advance!)

Blog Author

Adam Priest is a former Royal Marines Commando, professional personal trainer, lecturer, boxing and Thai boxing enthusiast.


References



Curtis, A. (2000) Healthy Psychology. London. Routledge.



Greger, M. Stone, G (2017) How Not to Die. USA. Macmillan.