I seem to have slipped into making pretty uninspired salads for work lunches recently, so this time I wanted something a little more coherent, with complementary flavours and textures.
Enter broccoli and basil!
I go through phases with broccoli, sometimes I can take it or leave it and other times I really crave it. It’s so nice in salads and paired with basil makes a lovely dish for the end of summer.
I’ve also added butterbeans for a creamy texture, olives and sun dried tomatoes to complement the basil, and cucumber for crunch. Lovely!
Broccoli, butterbean and basil salad
1 medium head of broccoli, cut into florets
1 400 g tin of butterbeans, drained
30 g fresh basil
3 tbsp water (save it from steaming the broccoli if possible)
1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
4 sun dried tomatoes from a jar, and 1 tbsp of the oil
20 small olives
about 6 cm cucumber, diced
salt and pepper
Steam the broccoli until just cooked. I did mine for 3 minutes in the microwave, with a little water.
Pick and separate about 1/3 of the basil leaves and set aside.
Blitz the rest with the oil from the tomato jar, vinegar, water, and salt and pepper.
Mix together the drained broccoli, butterbeans, olives and dressing. Leave to cool completely and then fold through the cucumber and basil leaves.
Doesn’t green soup always feel ever so nutritious?
And this one is, being full of spinach and kale 🙂
There are also apples for sweetness and acidity, sun dried tomatoes to add a little richness, and potato for a lovely texture.
All the flavours come together to make a very satisfying soup!
It’s so easy to make, everything just goes in the pot together. It could be cooked in the oven as most of our soups are but this time we used the hob. Add around 10 -15 minutes to the cooking time if you’re using the oven.
It’s pictured below with a sandwich made from our beetroot bread, which makes for a very pleasing colour palette!
Spinach, kale and apple soup
serves 2 to 4
100 g kale, shredded
100 g baby spinach
2 small apples, chopped. We used braeburn
2 large sun dried tomatoes
1 medium potato, chopped
1 heaped tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried thyme
600 ml hot water
salt and pepper
Put the spinach and kale into a large pot on a medium heat and pour over the hot water. This will start the spinach wilting and enable you to fit the rest of the ingredients in!
Add the apples, sun dried tomato, potato, oregano and thyme. Bring to a simmer, partially cover and cook with the heat on low for around 25 minutes until the potato is soft.
Blend the soup until smooth (we used an immersion blender), and season to taste with salt and pepper.
By A. and E.
The first time we made this recipe we wrote it up with the title ‘the best of biscuits’, and they really are the nicest we’ve made so far! And we’ve made a lot of biscuits…
The oat flour adds a gorgeous toasty flavour, and adding whole oats too gives them a great texture. They’re a cookie type of biscuit, so crisp round the edges and chewy in the middle, and they’re perfect for dunking in tea!
You could omit the peanuts if you like, but they’re so good with the chocolate that it would be a shame to leave them out 🙂
Chocolate chip and peanut oat flour biscuits
100 g gluten free oat flour
30 g cornflour (corn starch)
150 g vegan margarine
150 g dark brown sugar
40 g gluten free oats
1 tsp baking powder
large pinch salt
70 g small dark chocolate chips (we get them from Aldi)
30 g salted peanuts
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees c and line two trays with baking paper.
Sift together the oat flour, cornflour and baking powder and mix in the oats and salt.
Cream together the margarine and sugar. Add the flour and oat mixture and beat together until everything is well combined.
Lastly add the chocolate chips and peanuts and mix well to ensure they are evenly distributed. It should be a sticky dough.
Divide the mixture into 12 balls and lay 6 on each tray, with plenty of space around as they spread a lot while baking. Pat them down a little. You can do them in two batches if you only have one tray, the dough is fine to sit a while.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the edges are browned.
Cool completely before eating to let them set.
By A. and E.
We actually didn’t expect this beetroot bread to turn out such an amazing colour!
The crust stays a beautiful bright pink and the inside, due to the yellow corn meal, turns a lovely soft orange colour.
And as well as looking spectacular, it tastes good too! The beetroot powder adds a slight sweetness and earthy flavour which is really delicious.
This is a loaf that gets better as it keeps, the texture is nicest after a couple of days. But it’s hard to keep it that long, and thankfully it’s yummy freshly baked too!
Vegan gluten free beetroot bread
makes 1 small loaf
375 ml tepid water
7 g instant yeast
1 tsp sugar
65 ml oil, plus a tiny bit extra for the cling film which covers the dough while it’s proving
70 g tapioca flour
65 g millet flour
65 g rice flour
170 g fine corn meal
10 g beetroot powder
6 g xanthan gum
1 tsp salt
Whisk together the tepid water, yeast and sugar and leave for around 10 minutes until frothy.
Mix together the tapioca flour, millet flour, rice flour, corn meal, beetroot powder, xanthan gum and salt. Use a balloon whisk, it’s easier to get it all properly combined that way.
Tip the yeast mixture and oil into the flour and beat together until well combined. It should be a thick batter.
Tip into a non stick 750 ml loaf tin and smooth the top. Cover with oiled cling film and prove for around half an hour until the batter has risen just over the top of the tin. It’s important to oil the cling film or the batter will stick to it!
Beetroot bread batter ready to be baked
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees c.
When the batter has proved bake for 40 – 45 minutes until the loaf has risen, formed a nice crust, and feels hollow when the bottom is tapped.
Let the loaf cool completely before slicing.
Beetroot bread, the crust is such an amazing colour!
By A. and E.