Baked beans in tomato sauce on wholemeal/grain toast – an excellent wholesome meal.
Mix and match ingredients such as mustard and cress (grow your own on the window ledge), rocket, fennel, watercress, baby spinach leaves, radish, chicory, etc.
Grow your own for a cheap, highly nutritious addition to salads, sandwiches and stir fries. Easiest ones to sprout are aduki beans, mung and soya beans, alfalfa, sesame and fenugreek seed, barley, wheat grains, and chickpeas.
Sprouts are an excellent source of unpolluted vitamins, minerals, plant enzymes, and even a little protein. Use them to spruce up sandwich fillings, salads, stir-fries, or as a side dish. If you grow them yourself using organic produce you will have created “the most live, pure, nutritious foods available” – and it’s cheap and easy! Each type of sprout has its own distinct taste; experiment and find ones you like. The most easy to grow are alfalfa, sesame and fenugreek seed; aduki, mung and soya beans; chick peas; barley and wheat grains. To sprout, you can buy special sprouter kits, or use big jam jars with a piece of butter muslin tied over the top. Remove any damaged seeds, then soak in plenty of tepid water for up to 12 hours. Drain, put in the jar, and stand it in a warm dark place. Rinse 2 to 4 times a day, always draining them well. The sprouts will be ready in 3 to 6 days and can be stored afterwards in the fridge for about a week.
Veggie stir fries
Use sesame or olive oil, virgin if possible, and take care not to overheat. Cut veg into small cubes or slithers – onion, peppers, celery, carrots, cabbage, mushrooms, beansprouts, etc, and stir fry for about 5 minutes. A teaspoon of Chinese five spice, or fresh/ground ginger goes well as do nuts (e.g. cashew, peanuts) or tofu. Can add soy sauce and/or about a cup of vegetable stock. Hundreds of variations possible by different combinations of veg and using other spices (paprika, mustard seeds, cumin, fennel).
Wholemeal Pitta Pockets
Can be filled with all kinds of things including many different salads, fish fingers, tuna, stir fries, etc.
Italian tuna and bean salad – mix a tin of tuna and tin of haricot or cannelloni beans (drain both). Top with freshly sliced onion and fresh or dried parsley. Pour over a dressing made with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 teaspoons of lemon juice, and pepper.
Sesame broccoli – gently fry broccoli florets in a little oil (if you can use sesame oil, or olive oil with some sesame seeds or cashew nuts) with a dash of good quality soy sauce or balsamic vinegar. Very simple but tasty. Can include chopped spring onion, garlic and/or grated carrot.
Broccoli and almond risotto – gently fry a finely chopped onion in olive oil then stir in 175g of brown or wild rice. Add 750ml of vegetable stock, 2 tablespoons of chopped toasted almonds, and a little pepper. Simmer for 20 minutes, add 450g broccoli florets and cook for about 8 more minutes until the stock has been absorbed. You could stir in a little grate Parmesan cheese and top with toasted almonds.
Porridge – Scotland’s own, and one of the most healthy breakfasts you can have! Cranachan – try using (Greek) yoghurt or fromage frais instead of cream.
Crumble – replace half the amount of flour the oats for a delicious topping. Also try adding grounds or chopped nuts, coconut, cinnamon or ginger.
Cakes – replace half the amount of flour with oats. Give cakes a great texture although you might not want to do this with sponges!
Oatcakes – can be eaten with patés, dips, etc. For a dessert, top with a splodge of Greek yoghurt with lemon curd, fresh or stewed fruit, or high fruit content raspberry jam, etc.
Baked apples – quick, easy and scrummy. Core cooking apples and stuff with raisons and chopped nuts, and drizzle with honey and lemon juice and a splash of rum if desired. Bake for about half an hour at 180ºC. Good accompaniment: Greek yoghurt or vanilla soya dessert (e.g. by Provamel).
Banana, orange and almond truffles – mash 2 bananas with juice and rind of a small orange and mix in 100g of ground almonds and 2 tablespoons of chopped almonds. Chill then form into small balls and roll in chocolate vermicelli or grated high cocoa plain chocolate.
Crumbles – apple, rhubarb, or plum, etc. See ‘Oats’ section for topping ideas. Experiment with variations, e.g. add cranberries and/or fresh lemon juice to apples.
Drinks – buy cartons/bottles of fruit juice, there’s loads to choose from including cranberry and pineapple. Add water for a longer drink and/or to make juices go further. Add fizzy water to make extra special drinks (now available very cheaply in supermarkets).
Make your own refreshing, tasty drinks by freshly squeezing oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes etc. Can add hot or cold water as desired with perhaps a dash of blackcurrant cordial (high fruit content cordials are now widely available) etc to spice up.
Fruit salad – wide range of tasty tinned variations are now available. Easy to prepare your own using different varieties of fruit including apples, melon, banana, kiwi, oranges, strawberries and grapes.
Experiment making healthy sauces e.g. gently heat water, honey and lemon or orange juice, then cool. Just fruit – apples, bananas and oranges are great for a snack or dessert. For starters a slice of melon with a sprinkling of ground ginger, fruit juices, avocado, etc.
Reasypeasy – cook brown rice in a pan in boiling water for about 40 minutes. Five minutes before it’s ready, add frozen peas (usually about the same amount as you have rice). Makes rice into something special. Can add fried onions at end, pepper, parsley, paprika, a little oil, etc.
Lemon potatoes – gently heat a tablespoon of mustard seeds in olive oil until they turn grey or begin to pop. Throw in diced pre-boiled potatoes, a teaspoon turmeric and a juice of one lemon. Stir and heat through. Delicious hot of cold.
Super foods – raw veg
Concoct your own veg salad dishes using your imagination, what you have in the fridge, or the ideas below as a basis.
Coleslaw – shred or grate red, white, and/or green cabbage, carrots and a small onion. Mix in with low-fat mayonnaise and/or yoghurt, or yoghurt with a splash of extra-virgin olive oil. Can also add chopped apple, sultanas, sweetcorn, etc. Great accompaniment to many dishes (e.g. baked potatoes, pizzas, pies).
Tomato salad – sliced toms drizzled with olive oil and chopped basil (fresh or dried). Simple but delicious. Could add parsley, garlic, black pepper …
Carrot salad – grated carrot with juice and zest of an orange plus yoghurt or olive oil. Carrot and orange compliment each other wonderfully. Fresh dill seasons it well.
Beetroot salad – grated beetroot on its own or with a dressing.
Rice salads – wash and cook brown rice. Add a selection of raw chopped veg such as peppers, spring onions, mushrooms, celery, tomatoes and courgette. Add a little extra-virgin olive oil or other sauce/dressing.
Neeps and Tatties – boil turnip and potatoes cut into small cubes for about 15 minutes until soft. Mash and add a little butter or marg and pepper. Can be eaten hot or cold. Leftovers can be shaped and fried in a little oil (olive if possible).