Blackened chicken and vegetable skewers with Zuni Café zucchini pickles. I like to chop up whatever vegetables I have on hand (today it was eggplant, zucchini, red bell pepper, onion and cherry tomatoes), rub them with pesto, skewer them and pop them in the oven for an easy, healthy dinner. I added some chicken breast marinated in blackened chicken seasoning as well, but the beauty of this dish is that it’s endlessly versatile: anything goes. 249 calories for 3 skewers.
Spicy tomato and red pepper soup
Easy, healthy, fast and cheap: my favorite kind of food! Chop and sauté 2 onions, 2 red bell peppers and 4 cloves of garlic. Add 1 can of crushed tomato, 1 teaspoon of mixed (or black) pepper, 2 pepperoncino, 1 chicken/vegetable stock cube, a handful of fresh basil, a teaspoon each of dried rosemary and sugar, a tablespoon of red wine vinegar and allow to simmer for ten minutes. Blend with an immersion blender until slightly chunky. Makes 4 portions, 96 calories each.
Watermelon granita: so good that one is not enough. Fortunately they’re only 40 kcal per serving! To make 4: Blend 1/4 of a small watermelon with 1 teaspoon of honey. Pour into a shallow dish with a broad base (I use a large tupperware container) and freeze. Take out of the freezer approximately every 30 minutes and break up the ice crystals with the back of a spoon until fully frozen- you want a sorbet-like, slightly grainy consistency.
Egg muffin cups and fruit salad: my go-to breakfast when I’m out of ideas and want something gluten- and dairy free.
For the egg muffin cups: Chop and combine 1/2 an onion and red bell pepper, 100g of frozen spinach and 3 eggs. Season with chipotle and rosemary. Pour into muffin forms and bake at 200 C until the surface begins to turn golden. Makes 6, with 50 kcal per muffin cup.
For the fruit salad: chop a handful of watermelon, 1/2 a nectarine, and a handul of grapes. Finely chop a handful of mint leaves and combine in a bowl.
Warm french lentil salad with bacon and herbs, slightly modified from this recipe. I have an abundance of rosemary to work with right now, so it’s finding its way into everything I eat with some very delicious results. As usual, this recipe is gluten and dairy free.
Skye Gyngell’s chilled gazpacho soup: cucumber, tomato, red bell pepper, red onion, mint, basil and almonds combined to taste like summer in a bowl.
Home-made sesame molasses bars, makes 12. Delicious, easy and a great source of calcium!
Ingredients: 1 cup sesame seeds, 1/4 cup molasses, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tbsp coconut oil and 2 tsp of mixed dessert spice (or cinnamon).
Toast 1 cup of sesame seeds in coconut oil on a frying pan over medium heat until they turn slightly golden and begin to pop (not too long or they will turn bitter). Remove from the pan. Add 1/4 cup molasses and 1/4 brown sugar to the pan and wait for the sugar to melt. Pour in the mixed spice and toasted sesame seeds and stir.
Working quickly, transfer the hot mixture onto baking paper, and fold the paper over halfway so that it covers the mixture. Use a rolling pin to flatten the mixture. Using a greased knife, cut into bars: do this while the mixture is still hot as it will harden as the sugar cools. Allow to cool for 30 minutes and enjoy!
If I could have only one meal for the rest of my life, it would probably be this one. Spicy bean dip modified from this recipe by adding a tablespoonful of chopped sun dried tomatoes, salsa, red and yellow bell pepper, carrot and cucumber sticks and mini plum tomatoes.