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Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Superfood Omelette

Sprouts

Sprout omelette

My birthday falls at the beginning of January, and I find that Christmas, New Year and my birthday tends to roll into one long celebratory period! We generally eat lots of chocolate from Santa, indulge in delicious, rich meals and, of course, eat our way through the ubiquitous Christmas and birthday cakes… It’s lovely to breathe a deep sigh of delight when the festivities are over, and then focus on cleaning up our diet a fair bit afterwards!

Omelettes make great healthy, fresh meals. They work brilliantly any time of the day, whether it’s breakfast time, lunchtime or even dinner time. And you can literally pack them with nutrient-dense ingredients. Here I’ve used red pepper, sprouted seeds and and alfalfa sprouts. Sprouted nuts and seeds are fantastic. The sprouting process increases digestibility and greatly enhances the nutritional content. They become powerhouses of vitamins, antioxidants and other nutrients, and packed with energizing and health-promoting enzymes. Besides this, alfalfa sprouts also contains amino acids and phytochemicals that can balance hormones and protect against disease.

Sprouts can be difficult to get, though, so you can make your own very easily. You can buy special seed sprouters, but a jam jar will do just as well. Simply take a small handful of seeds, wash them and place in the jar. Fill the jar with about three times the amount of water and soak for at least eight hours. Drain and rinse the seeds and leave in a warm, dark place. Rinse thoroughly every 12 hours for three days, then bring them out into sunlight and repeat the process for another two days until they’re ready to eat.

gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, soya-free, nut-free, citrus-free

Preparation time 5 minutes     Cooking time 5–6 minutes     Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ red pepper, deseeded and cut into strips
  • 50g/1¾oz sprouted seeds, such as mung bean, chickpea and lentil
  • 50g/1¾oz alfalfa sprouts
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Beat the eggs in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of water, then season lightly with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan over a medium-high heat, tilting the pan so that the base is covered with oil. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and sprinkle over the red pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes until the base of the omelette is golden and the egg is almost set, but still soft.
  2. Sprinkle the sprouted seeds and alfalfa sprouts over the top and serve immediately.

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Sushi from Renée Elliott’s Me, You & the Kids, Too

Zoe loves nori which is great because it’s amazingly good for you. Like other sea vegetables, it is high in B vitamins, beta-carotene, calcium, iron and zinc, so it is brilliant at boosting your immune system. And it’s particularly high in vitamin A which helps prevent colds and sore throats, as well as maintaining healthy skin. She’ll eat the sheets of nori by themselves (and I’m inwardly cheering as she nibbles all those fantastic nutrients!) and is particularly keen on having it as sushi, especially with this avocado/mayonnaise filling.

I used to make sushi the more standard way, by rolling the nori over the filling and then cutting each roll into pieces. But then Renée Elliott showed me how easy hand rolls are to make – in fact, you can put all the ingredients on the table and let everyone (kids included) make their own rolls. This recipe is adapted from Renée’s latest book, Me, You & the Kids, Too – you can use any combination of veggies – we used the cucumber and carrots we had in the fridge this time (and added extra avocado), instead of the asparagus, sprouts and beetroot in Renée’s recipe.

The additional bonus about this recipe (like all the recipes in Me, You & the Kids Too) is that you can also make nutrient-dense purées for your baby, from this recipe. There’s no need for additional ingredients, you just take from the main amount. And bingo – a meal that feeds all. However, as Zoe told me this morning (on her first day at nursery/school), she’s not my baby any longer. So no more purées for her… Sob!

gluten-free, wheat-free, yeast-free, dairy-free, soya-free, nut-free, seed-free

Makes: 20     Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus 40 minutes cooking the brown sushi rice     Cooking time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 10 asparagus, woody ends removed and halved
  • 40 green beans, trimmed
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 200g/7oz/1 cup brown sushi rice or brown short grain rice
  • 10 nori sheets, halved lengthways
  • 12 tbsp wasabi (optional)
  • 1 beetroot, grated
  • 50g/134oz sprouts such as alfalfa, broccoli or mung (optional)

For the sauce:

  • 2 avocados, peeled, pitted and mashed
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  1. Put the rice and 455ml/16fl oz/scant 2 cups water in a saucepan and bring to the boil over a high heat. Turn the heat down to low and simmer, covered, for 40 minutes until the rice is just cooked but still retains a slight bite.
  2. Put the asparagus and green beans in a steamer and steam, covered, for 5 minutes until the vegetables are cooked but still slightly crunchy. Add the salt to the cooked brown sushi rice and mix well.
  3. To make the sauce, mix together the avocados and mayonnaise in a bowl until smooth.
  4. To make a hand roll, spread 1 tablespoon of the sauce diagonally down the centre of one nori sheet, then add a little wasabi on top, if using. Put 1 tablespoon of the cooked brown sushi rice, 1 piece of asparagus, 2 green beans and 1 tablespoon each of the beetroot and sprouts, if using, on top of the sauce. Take the nori sheet in your hand and roll into a cone shape. Repeat with the remaining ingredients and serve.

Green bean, Avocado & Rice Purée for a 6–9 month old baby

  • Put 4 tablespoons of the cooked brown sushi rice and 135ml/4½fl oz/generous ½ cup boiling water in a saucepan and simmer, covered, over a low heat for 10 minutes. Add 4 green beans and cook, covered, for a further 10 minutes until completely soft. Transfer to a blender and add 2 tablespoons of the avocado and 3 tablespoons water. Blend for 30 seconds, adding extra water 1 teaspoon at a time, until smooth. Serve warm.

Vegetables, Avocado, Sprouts, Beetroot & Rice for a 6–9 month old baby

  • Put 4 tablespoons of the cooked brown sushi rice and 135ml/4½fl oz/generous ½ cup boiling water in a saucepan and simmer, covered, over a low heat for 10 minutes. Add 2 green beans and 1 asparagus piece and cook for a further 10 minutes until completely soft. Transfer to a blender and add 2 tablespoons of the avocado, 1 tablespoon each of the beetroot and sprouts, if using, and 3 tablespoons water. Pulse for 15 seconds, adding extra water 1 teaspoon at a time, until the mixture forms a lumpy purée. Serve warm.