Tag Archives: pumpkin seeds

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Kale Salad with Toasted Seeds

Nourish Kale

In my role at the publishers DBP, I have been working on a book that has just come out – Nourish: The Cancer Care Cookbook. Written by the team at Penny Brohn Cancer Centre and nutritionist Christine Bailey, it shows you how to create delicious meals, snacks and drinks that are packed with nutrients to support your body if you have cancer.

The introduction to the book explains the role of nutrition in protecting against cancer, helping to alleviate some of the symptoms, and forming a crucial part of any cancer treatment programme. And then there are recipes for shakes, juices, smoothies and breakfasts, soups and light meals, main meals, desserts and baked treats. There are also recipes that are designed specifically to help with the common side effects of treatment. The recipes are easy and quick to prepare, and highly nutritious.

We tried this simple kale salad. I wanted to try it because I’m always looking for ways to make kale taste good. I find it unappetising and bitter, but I know that it’s supergood for you! (Kale is packed with flavonoids – antioxidants that help lower inflammation and protect against cell damage. This cruciferous super-food is also rich in glucosinolates, which can play a primary role in protection against many forms of cancer.) The combination of the tamari-toasted seeds with the avocado/lemon dressing sounded good. And it really was! I served this with steamed fish and it was a great success.  (And by the way, it’s worth making up a batch of the toasted seeds and keeping them for a snack.)

gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free

Serves 4
Preparation time 10 minutes
Cooking time 3 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 250g/9oz kale, large stems discarded, leaves roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic salt (optional)
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted and peeled
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or flaxseed oil
  • 2 tsp tamari
  • 200g/7oz/1⅓ cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 handful of alfalfa sprouts

Toasted seeds and nuts:

  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 6 tbsp mixed seeds, such as sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and hemp seeds
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  1. To make the toasted seeds and nuts, put them in a dry frying pan over medium heat and lightly toast for 1 minute, stirring. As they begin to colour, pour over the tamari and stir to combine. Stir for 1–2 minutes until crisp. Leave to cool.
  2. Put the kale into a large bowl and sprinkle over the garlic salt and yeast flakes, if using. Massage with your hands to allow the kale to soften. Put the avocado, lemon juice, cumin, oil and tamari into a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Mix into the kale so that it is thoroughly coated. Stir in the tomatoes and sprinkle over the alfalfa sprouts and toasted seeds and nuts, then serve. (Store in the fridge for up to 2 days.)

Nutritional Information per serving
Protein 9.8g, Carbohydrates 7.8g of which sugars 4.8g, Fat 24.3g of which saturates 3.1g, Kcals 289

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Kale Salad with Toasted Seeds

Nourish Kale

In my role at the publishers DBP, I have been working on a book that has just come out – Nourish: The Cancer Care Cookbook. Written by the team at Penny Brohn Cancer Centre and nutritionist Christine Bailey, it shows you how to create delicious meals, snacks and drinks that are packed with nutrients to support your body if you have cancer.

The introduction to the book explains the role of nutrition in protecting against cancer, helping to alleviate some of the symptoms, and forming a crucial part of any cancer treatment programme. And then there are recipes for shakes, juices, smoothies and breakfasts, soups and light meals, main meals, desserts and baked treats. There are also recipes that are designed specifically to help with the common side effects of treatment. The recipes are easy and quick to prepare, and highly nutritious.

We tried this simple kale salad. I wanted to try it because I’m always looking for ways to make kale taste good. I find it unappetising and bitter, but I know that it’s supergood for you! (Kale is packed with flavonoids – antioxidants that help lower inflammation and protect against cell damage. This cruciferous super-food is also rich in glucosinolates, which can play a primary role in protection against many forms of cancer.) The combination of the tamari-toasted seeds with the avocado/lemon dressing sounded good. And it really was! I served this with steamed fish and it was a great success.  (And by the way, it’s worth making up a batch of the toasted seeds and keeping them for a snack.)

gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free

Serves 4
Preparation time 10 minutes
Cooking time 3 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 250g/9oz kale, large stems discarded, leaves roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic salt (optional)
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted and peeled
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or flaxseed oil
  • 2 tsp tamari
  • 200g/7oz/1⅓ cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 handful of alfalfa sprouts

Toasted seeds and nuts:

  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 6 tbsp mixed seeds, such as sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and hemp seeds
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  1. To make the toasted seeds and nuts, put them in a dry frying pan over medium heat and lightly toast for 1 minute, stirring. As they begin to colour, pour over the tamari and stir to combine. Stir for 1–2 minutes until crisp. Leave to cool.
  2. Put the kale into a large bowl and sprinkle over the garlic salt and yeast flakes, if using. Massage with your hands to allow the kale to soften. Put the avocado, lemon juice, cumin, oil and tamari into a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Mix into the kale so that it is thoroughly coated. Stir in the tomatoes and sprinkle over the alfalfa sprouts and toasted seeds and nuts, then serve. (Store in the fridge for up to 2 days.)

Nutritional Information per serving
Protein 9.8g, Carbohydrates 7.8g of which sugars 4.8g, Fat 24.3g of which saturates 3.1g, Kcals 289

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Seedy Bread

Seedy-Loaf

Recently my publishers took some new photographs for the cover of the paperback version of Simply Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free. One of the recipes we tried was a bread recipe. I took the White Bread recipe that’s in the book and, in order to make it more visually punchy, added seeds to the recipe. This also adds crunchiness and an extra level of taste.

Adding seeds to bread is a brilliant way of introducing them into your daily diet. And, in doing so, you’re getting additional essential fatty acids, iron, zinc, B-vitamins, vitamin E, calcium and magnesium – helping you to enhance your immune system, combat energy and boost your brain power, amongst other things.

This bread really is delicious. It will keep well for a few days, and you can also freeze it. (I often cut it into slices, freeze it, and toast it straight from the freezer.) It didn’t make it to the cover shot, but it was lovely to eat at lunchtime on the shoot, anyway!

gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soya-free, nut-free, citrus-free

Makes 1 loaf (about 16 slices)     Preparation time 15 minutes     Cooking time 60 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 120g/4¼oz/⅔ cup potato flour (NB potato flour not potato starch)
  • 50g/1¾oz/scant ½ cup gram flour
  • 50g/1¾oz/⅓ cup maize flour
  • 150g/5½oz/heaped ¾ cup brown rice flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt, crushed
  • 1 tsp fruit sugar or caster sugar
  • 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tbsp dried active yeast
  • 75g/2½oz mixed seeds – pumpkin, sesame, sunflower and linseeds, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6 and lightly grease a 900g/2lb loaf tin with a little oil.
  2. Sift the flours, salt, sugar, gluten-free baking powder, xanthan gum, psyllium husks and yeast into a large mixing bowl and, using a metal whisk, mix thoroughly. Add the olive oil and mix in gently. Pour in 400ml/14fl oz/scant 1⅔ cups warm water and mix thoroughly with the whisk for at least a minute, to aerate the dough. Whisk until the dough holds some shape, but is still soft enough to fall from the whisk, adding 1 or 2 extra tablespoons of warm water if it feels too stiff. Add the mixed seeds and mix in gently. Alternatively, sift the flours, salt, sugar, gluten-free baking powder, xanthan gum, psyllium husks and yeast into the bowl of a food processor with the dough blade attached and blend to mix together. Add the olive oil and blend again, then add 400ml/14fl oz/scant 1⅔ cups warm water and process for 3–4 minutes to aerate the dough. It will be sticky. Remove the bowl of the food processor from the machine and mix the seeds into the dough mixture gently with a metal whisk.
  3. Spoon the dough into the tin. Dip a metal tablespoon in cold water and smooth the surface of the dough with the back of the spoon. Sprinkle some seeds over the top to cover.
  4. Bake for 55–60 minutes until the bread is golden brown. Turn out of the tin and tap the bottom. If it sounds hollow, it is done. If not, return the bread to the tin and bake for another 5 minutes, then test again to see whether it is done. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Great Taste Awards 2012

Another year, another trip to Wincanton a couple of months ago to join the judges for the Great Taste Awards judging… I really enjoyed going to the tastings the previous two years so I set off with high hopes. But this year it wasn’t nearly so much fun. In truth, during the day we tried a lot of entries that really didn’t taste great. It seems to me that this year, as the Awards have become recognised as the standard of authority both within the food industry and with consumers, more and more mass-produced products are being entered. But it’s very clear in the blind-tastings which foods are what the Great Taste Awards are all about – great quality, made with care, fine ingredients and excellent methods – and which ones are not!

We also noticed that a lot of the products seemed to have lovely descriptions, such as ‘finest quality natural ingredients’, ‘family recipe passed down through generations’ or even ‘secret bespoke’ recipe – but when we tasted the products, they didn’t live up to the marketing descriptions. And there were some lovely-sounding ingredients within some of the products, such as Madagascan vanilla or smokey charred peppers. But often these ingredients didn’t seem to be anything but a marketing ploy.

The thing that really annoyed me, though, was that we tasted various “gluten-free” products that are obviously marketing ploys as well. There was a soup that had no clear reason to be marketed as a gluten-free soup, with indistinct flavours and really nothing to commend it. (It would be lovely to get delicious gluten-free soups that are full of flavour, from the chiller cabinet, though.) And then we tasted some gluten-free chocolates that had seriously misleading descriptions – and really weren’t good. Some mass-produced chocolates do contain traces of gluten to help bind them but I’m feeling annoyed at how gluten-free people are being targeted so cynically. It would be great to get delicious gluten-free chocolate, but then the good stuff normally is. What would be better, though, is if we could get more dairy-free and gluten-free chocolates (like some of the delicious ones out there, including the awesome Booja Booja ones).

As a community of people (whether coeliac, intolerant, allergic or avoiding certain things out of a lifestyle choice) we need to make it clear to those in the food trade that we are a) not dumb b) want to buy delicious food c) also want to buy food that will help us nutritionally. I’m certainly not going to buy products that feel like they are arrogant marketing ploys.

Free-from products are judged along with all the other entries, so it’s pot luck how many turn up on the day I’m judging – and this year there were hardly any on my day. But suddenly, within the tastings, there was one very nice gluten-free product. One that is a lovely idea, tasted really good and would be a great ingredient to have in your storecupboard to use as you cook. It was the Linwood’s blend of sunflower and pumpkin seeds. What I loved about it was that the blend was very clever – pumpkin seeds can often taste too strong, but the overall taste of this blend was really good. And this is the sort of thing that you could use to add some excellent nutrients into your daily meals, such as into smoothies, soups, stir-frys, casseroles and stews, as well as in your baking. This was a wonderful product – and it definitely deserved the star it was given. Congratulations, Linwoods!