beta carotene cocktail

(makes 1 serving)

Ingredients

2 ice cubes

½ yellow or orange pepper, de-seeded and chopped

½ orange, peeled and chopped

¼ small cantaloupe melon, peeled and chopped

2 fresh apricots, cleaned, stoned and chopped

2 cos lettuce leaves, washed and torn

Fresh carrot juice

Method

  • Blitz the ice cubes, pepper, orange, melon, apricots and lettuce until smooth and add carrot juice until you achieve your desired consistency.

cherry berry booster

(makes 1serving)

Ingredients

100g fresh or frozen blueberries

30mls Cherry Active (or similar tart cherry concentrate)

120mls fresh apple juice

1 tablespoon natural live/bio yoghurt

1 tablespoon oats

Method

  • Place all the ingredients in a blender and whizz until smooth and frothy. If using fresh blueberries, add 3 ice cubes and blend until the ice is broken down before adding the rest of the ingredients and continuing.
  • If you prefer your juice even smoother, sieve it before serving.

pea mint and lettuce soup

(makes 3 small servings)

Ingredients

300mls frozen peas

300mls chicken or vegetable stock

½ old-fashioned round lettuce, cleaned and shredded

A small handful of fresh mint, chopped

Freshly ground black pepper

0% fat Greek yoghurt

Method

  • Put a handful of the peas in a bowl, pour over some boiling water and leave to plump up while you make the soup.
  • Put the stock in a soup pot and bring to the boil.
  • Reduce the heat, add the rest of the peas and simmer gently until tender.
  • Turn off the heat and stir in the lettuce and mint.
  • Whizz in a blender or food processor until smooth (or the texture you prefer) then return to a clean pot and reheat gently.
  • Add a few good grindings of pepper (you are unlikely to need salt but taste and check).
  • To serve: top with a generous teaspoon of yoghurt and quickly swirl with a skewer, drain the peas which have been soaking in the boiling water and scatter over.

carrot and saffron soup

(makes 3 small servings)

Ingredients

6-8 saffron threads soaked in a small cup of water

1 tablespoon light olive oil

275g carrots, peeled and diced

1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 small clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped

½ teaspoon ground cumin

1 level teaspoon ground coriander

500mls chicken or vegetable stock

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

A good squeeze of fresh orange juice

½ level teaspoon whole cumin seeds (optional)

2 tablespoons creme fraiche (optional)

Method

  • Dry-fry the cumin seeds briefly in a pan until they begin to pop and set aside.
  • Warm the oil in a soup pot, add the carrots, onion and garlic and saute gently until they begin to soften (donʼt let them brown).
  • Add the ground cumin and coriander and cook, stirring for a couple of minutes, add the strained saffron liquor and the stock and bring slowly to the boil.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered for 20-30 minutes or until the carrots are tender.
  • Transfer to a blender and blitz thoroughly until the soup is very smooth and frothy. Pass through a sieve before returning to a clean pot.
  • Heat through, check the seasoning and add the orange juice.
  • When serving, top with a good dollop of creme fraiche and scatter over some roasted cumin seeds (both are optional).

spinach and watercress soup

(makes 3 small servings)

Ingredients

1 tablespoon light olive oil

1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped

500mls chicken or vegetable stock

1 level tablespoon porridge oats

1 bag spinach leaves

½ bag watercress

Fresh lemon juice

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  • Warm the oil in a large soup pot and saute the onion gently until soft. 
  • Add the stock and the porridge oats, bring slowly to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Add the spinach and watercress and keep stirring whilst bringing the soup back to the boil then turn off the heat.
  • Liquidise the whole lot until you have a smooth, foamy soup then return to a clean pan.
  • Heat through gently, add a good squeeze of lemon juice and check the seasoning.
  • You can grate a little lemon zest on top of each bowl for added zing.

apple almond leek and celery soup

(makes 3 small servings)

Ingredients

1 tablespoon ground almonds

1 tablespoon light olive oil

2 small leeks, cleaned, trimmed and sliced

1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped

2 sticks celery, peeled and finely sliced

½ Granny Smith apple (or a similarly-tart eating apple), peeled, cored and diced

350mls chicken stock

2 tablespoons double/heavy cream

Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper

Freshly grated nutmeg

Apple Almond Leek and Celery.jpg

Method

  • Scatter the ground almonds on a baking sheet and toast in a medium oven until golden (warning - they go from white to burnt in seconds - keep an eagle eye on them!) Set aside to cool.
  • Warm the oil in a soup pot and very gently saute the onion, leeks and celery until soft (if you let them brown the soup wonʼt be the beautiful pale colour you want to achieve).
  • Add the apple and stock, bring to the boil, turn down the heat, cover and simmer very gently for 20-30 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked through then remove the pot from the heat.
  • Allow to cool slightly for around 5 minutes, stir in the cream then blend until you have a very smooth, velvety texture, pass through a fine sieve and return to a clean pot.
  • Stir in the ground almonds, keeping some aside for topping the soup if you wish, season to taste with salt, pepper and the merest hint of nutmeg.

energy salad

(makes 2 small servings)

Method

Place a selection of mixed salad leaves, finely sliced spring onions, grated courgette and apple, steamed green beans, avocado (cubed) and a handful of beansprouts in a bowl or container and top with cold, cooked chicken, turkey, duck or venison or sliced, grilled tofu or halloumi plus a good handful of toasted flaked almonds. Make a dressing with 2 tablespoons olive or avocado oil, 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1 teaspoon light soy sauce and a pinch of grated fresh ginger and mix well in a jar. Dress the salad just before eating.

omega 3 salad

(makes 2 small servings)

Method

Place a selection of green leaves, some lightly steamed broccoli and cauliflower florets, a handful of cooked kidney beans and a handful of both mixed seeds and walnut halves in a bowl/container and top with natural cottage cheese and an Omega 3-rich egg (boiled, cooled, shelled and quartered) plus either a good handful of cooked chickpeas or some cold, cooked mackerel, sardines, rainbow trout, prawns or crabmeat or strips of grass-fed beef, lightly sauteed or tofu, cubed, coated in olive oil and baked in the oven until crisp. Make a dressing with 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon grainy or smooth mustard, a drizzle of runny honey, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix well in a jar. Dress the salad just before eating.

'from the fridge' salad

(makes 2 small servings)

use whatever you have in the fridge/cupboard but here's one suggestion...

Ingredients

1 tablespoon toasted nuts

1 tablespoon olive or avocado oil

½ red pepper, de-seeded and finely sliced

4 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced

1 skinless chicken breast, carved into bite-sized slices

Crunchy lettuce leaves, torn into edible bites

½ cucumber, peeled, seeds removed and thinly sliced

½ courgette, wiped and grated

A handful of frozen peas, soaked in boiling water for 5-10 minutes

A handful of bean sprouts 

1 large tomato, sliced or quartered

½ avocado, stoned, peeled and sliced

For the dressing:

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

½ tablespoon white wine vinegar or lemon juice

1 teaspoon coarse grain or Dijon mustard

A pinch of sea salt

Freshly ground pepper

Method

  • Toast the pine nuts in a frying pan over a medium heat until golden  and set aside.
  • Saute the peppers and spring onions in the oil until soft and slightly caramelised around the edges then remove with a slotted spoon, cover and keep warm.
  • Add the chicken to the remaining oil and saute gently until cooked through but still juicy.
  • Meanwhile, mix all the dressing ingredients in a small pan or microwaveable dish and very gently heat through.
  • Load a good helping of the lettuce leaves into a wide serving bowl or transportable container, add the cucumber, grated courgette, peas and bean sprouts then top the salad with the hot spring onions and peppers followed by the hot chicken and finally the tomato, avocado and pine nuts.
  • Drizzle the warm dressing over the whole dish before digging in (if you are taking this salad to work, keep the dressing separate and warm through at the last minute if you have 'heat up' facilities available.