By Liz Nolan
Broccoli and cauliflower salad with lemon and sunflower seed dressing
This is a super nutritious, liver-friendly salad. Broccoli and Cauliflower are members of the brassica family. They support the liver in its detoxification processes, and broccoli contains a substance called indol-3-carbinol which helps to prevent the formation of cancer cells, especially in breast cancer. Avocado is a wonderful source of protein, essential fats and the antioxidant glutathione, which also helps the liver.
The Sunflower seeds and Alfalfa offer the wonderful energy of sprouted seeds combined with live enzymes to enhance digestion, and contain a multitude of vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin K in Alfalfa, for healthy bones and Magnesium in Sunflower seeds.
Lemon zest contains the antioxidant Limonene, which also helps the liver in its detoxifying processes.
Parsley contains folic acid and iron for red blood cell formation.
Serve this salad alongside the Butterbean, Vegetable and Tomato Casserole with Quinoa.
1 medium head of broccoli, cut into small florets
1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 medium avocado, peeled and cut into bite size pieces
A handful of alfalfa sprouts
2 oz sunflower seeds, soaked overnight in filtered water
2 tbsp lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp salt
1 tsp honey
Steam the broccoli and cauliflower for 2 minutes only, so that they retain their colour and bite.
Rinse with cold water to stop cooking and drain.
Put the alfalfa into a flat dish and arrange the broccoli and cauliflower over it. Scatter over the avocado.
To make the dressing: put the soaked sunflower seeds with their water into a small bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and using a hand liquidiser to process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Spoon over the vegetables and scatter some freshly chopped parsley.
Butterbean, Vegetable and Tomato Casserole with Quinoa
This is a simple, tasty vegetarian dish, but it could also be a lovely side dish to have with salmon or lamb chops. Serving it with quinoa increases the protein content. Quinoa (a seed) is so nutritious – it contains all the essential amino acids and many vitamins and minerals and even some essential fatty acids.
1 tin of butterbeans – organic if possible and in unsalted water
1 medium red onion, sliced
1 red pepper, chopped into bite size pieces
1 large sweet potato, scrubbed and cut into bite size pieces
2 courgettes, sliced thickly
8 medium size mushrooms, sliced thinly
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp of herbs de Provence
2 tsp sea salt
1 tin of organic chopped tomatoes
1 jar of ‘Bunalun’ tomato puree
a few good grinds of black pepper
2 tsp brown sugar
2 oz coconut cream (optional), roughly chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
In a large pan with a lid, gently sauté the onions, mushrooms, garlic and herbs together for a few minutes in the olive oil.
Add the rest of the vegetables and cook with the lid on for a few minutes, stirring often. Add the tomatoes and tomato puree and the butterbeans, including the water from the tin. The vegetables need to be just covered.
Bring to the boil and then simmer for 30 minutes or until all the vegetables are soft.
Season with the salt and black pepper and add the coconut cream if using – this will melt into the casserole and add a lovely creamy richness to the dish. Serves 4 to 6.
8 oz red or white quinoa
16 fl oz water
Rinse the quinoa under a tap in a sieve. Put into a saucepan with a lid and pour on the water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave with the lid on for 5 more minutes. Then fluff up with a fork and serve with the casserole. Serves 4 to 6.
Gluten and Dairy Free Orange and Lemon cake
This gluten free, dairy free cake recipe came from Patrick Holford’s Low Glycaemic Cookery book ‘Food Glorious Food’. I have made a few changes, including using a different gluten-free flour and using fruit sugar – it is low GI and a cheaper alternative to Xylitol. I cooked it in a square tin instead of a round one so you can cut it into handy squares once it has cooled. I also added Xanthan Gum, a natural product which helps to create a spongy texture in gluten-free baking.
Even if you are not intolerant to wheat, it is no harm to give your system a rest from wheat now and again.
This cake has a close, moist texture but it isn’t heavy and it tastes delicious!
Zest and juice of 3 organic lemons
zest and juice of 2 orgnic oranges
6 fl oz light olive oil
7 oz fruit sugar (pure fructose) I used ‘Fruisana’
3 large free range organic eggs beaten
6 oz ‘Orgran’ Self Raising Flour (gluten free)
1 tsp ‘Royal’ baking powder (gluten free)
2 tsp xanthan gum
6 oz ground almonds
2 oz flaked almonds for sprinkling on top
Pre heat the oven on gas mark 3 or 160 electric. Line the bottom of a 10 inch square shallow tin and oil the inside.
In one bowl combine the zest, juice, oil, fruit sugar and eggs and beat together.
In another bowl combine the flour, ground almonds, xanthan gum and baking powder.
Make a well in the centre and pour or ladle in the egg mixture and combine well. The flour begins to absorb the liquid immediately so you have to work quickly. Mix well and spoon into the tin smoothing out with a knife. Sprinkle on the flaked almonds pressing down lightly and sprinkle lightly with fruit sugar.
Put into the oven for about 45 mins to 1 hour until the top is lightly browned and it is spongy to the touch.
Cool slightly and turn out onto a wire rack. To do this you really need 2 racks – turn it out onto the first one and remove the greaseproof paper and then use another to turn it the right way up.
Cut into squares when cold. Stores well in an airtight container for 3 days.
Liz Nolan is a Nutritional Therapist based in Moycullen and Health and Herbs Sea Rd, Galway. For more information on Vegetarian Wholefood Cookery Classes, Zest4life Nutrition and Weight Loss Programmes or Nutritional Consultations, please ring 0868099604 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or see the website www.wholefoodmatters.com