Category Archives: Lunch

Broccoli Salad

With Summer on its way, it’s great to have lots of salad recipes on hand. This Broccoli salad is so colorful and fun to make, and obviously fantastic to eat. The great thing about this particular salad is that you can even make it a day in advance, it holds up really well, making it perfect for Bbq’s and Picnics.

It’s very simple to make, start by soaking the cranberries in warm water.
Then you caramelize the pecan nuts with the butter and sugar.
As these cool, you steam the broccoli florets for just 3 minutes in the microwave. You rinse them under cold water and drain.
The rest of the ingredients are then added and tossed with the delicious simple dressing.


⏰ Prep time : 15 minutes
🍝 Cooking time : 15 minutes
🍴 Serves : 4 as a side dish or 2 as a main course


INGREDIENTS:

• 1 large head of Broccoli, cut into florets
• 1/2 cup of pecans
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 tablespoon butter
• pinch of salt
• 1/3 cup dried cranberries
• 1/3 cup pomegranate arils, reserve some to scatter on top before serving
• 4 oz. chopped cooked ham
• 4 oz. grated aged cheddar, coarsely grated or finely chopped
• 2 tbsp. chopped chives
• 2 tbsp. chopped parsley, (1 tbsp. goes in and the other on top)
• 1/2 cup sour cream
• 1/2 cup mayonnaise
• a good squeeze of lime juice
• 2-3 tbsp. milk
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Start by soaking the cranberries in warm water.
2. Then heat a small pan on medium heat and melt the butter. Add the Pecans, salt and the tablespoon of sugar.
3. Keep stirring until sugar is caramelizing and the nuts are golden.
4. Transfer to a plate lined with a piece of parchment paper and make sure to separate the nuts or they will form clusters.
5. Steam the broccoli florets for three minutes, rinse under cold water and drain very well.
6. For the dressing mix the sour cream, mayonnaise, milk, lime juice, sugar and season with salt and pepper.
7. Drain the cranberries and pat dry with kitchen paper.
8. Toss all the remaining ingredients over the broccoli and mix carefully.
9. Add the dressing and toss again.
10. Place all on top of some salad leafs on a big platter to serve.
11. Sprinkle with the pomegranate arils and some parsley.

ENJOY!
MYRA

Detox tips for January plus Smoothie freezer packs.

Let’s get down to business.

If you are anything like me, you couldn’t wait to get back on track and start with nutritious healthy food now that we’ve started the new year.
I feel like I am in desperate need to replenish. How about you?

Although I had a great time during the whole month of December, enough is enough.
The first thing I do, is to clean out the fridge and check very well what you have, write it down if necessary. Plan meals to use up leftovers if you have any, and as far as I’m concerned throw out the fattening stuff. Get rid of chips and salty stuff too. We need to get rid of all that water retention, you may not notice it per se, but you’ve got excess water weight for sure, unless you only ate carrots and cucumbers in December.
Cleaning your fridge helps you to get the right mindset, it gets you in the mood to fill the fridge with vegetables and beautiful crunchy nutritious foods.

Clean the fridge as you normally would and then rinse with warm water and soda to get rid of any smells.
Then what I do is, I get lots of vegetables, wash them, prepare them and put them in containers in the fridge at eye level. So whenever I’m hungry I can pick a healthy snack, Other things I may have are a bowl of hard boiled eggs, fat free yoghurt and low carb fruits. Some nuts are ok too, unless you want to loose a lot of weight then you really need to watch your portions, no more than 1 tablespoon a day.

TIP No. 1:
First thing in the morning drink a glass of warm water with the juice of half a lemon.  It purifies and detoxes the body from toxins and also kick starts your metabolism. And I mean…..it does wonders.Wait for twenty minutes before consuming anything else.
Meanwhile make your detox water for the day.

TIP No. 2:
Make Detox water
Boil 2 liters of water ( about 0.5 gallon / 8 1/3 Cups) and let it sit for two minutes or so.
Pour in a large container or teapot over 2 tablespoons of Dandelion thee, the juice of half a lemon, a few slices of ginger and one bag of green tea. Leave to infuse and drink all of it during the day. If you must,  sweeten with little bit of Stevia.

Now let’s make some smoothie packs;

When you have smoothie packs ready in the freezer you will be less tempted to grab something else, and you might even feel a little guilty if you do because you really don’t have any excuses not to have a smoothie (wink).

The first thing you need to do, a day in advance, is to freeze coconut milk in an ice cube tray. It’s the best thing ever, great for smoothies and also for recipes that require just a bit of coconut milk.

Then we are going to freeze two or three more trays with a mixture of yoghurt, flax and almond butter, like this;

32 oz. of high protein yoghurt (more protein will keep you full the longest, I like Skyr)

3 tablespoons flax seeds

6 tablespoons almond butter.

Mix this in a bowl and divide over the ice cube trays. Freeze. When ready divide over six zip lock bags. This is the base. Now add the remaining ingredients and store the bags in the freezer. I have given you a few examples of what to put in the zip lock bags, but you can add whatever you like.

       

Blueberry Acaï Spinach

1 cup spinach

1 cup blueberries

2 tsp. Acaï  powder or a frozen Acaï  pack

1/2 banana, sliced

Pineapple Goji

1 cup pineapple cut into chunks

1 tbsp. dried goji berries (I love these)

1 whole banana, sliced

5 frozen coconut milk cubes

Mango Passion Baobab

1 cup Mango chunks

pulp from 1 passion fruit

1 banana

1 tsp. Baobab powder (optional)

1 tangerine in segments

Green Detox

1 cup kale

1 apple or pear, peeled and core removed

1 kiwi

1 lemon segment

1/2 banana

Strawberry Fields

1 1/2 cups strawberries

1 orange, peeled and in segments

1/2 banana

Raspberry Delight

1 Cup raspberries

1/2 Cup strawberries

5 frozen coconut milk cubes

1/2 banana

Chocolate Moca Smoothie

1 banana

1/2 cup blueberries

1 tablespoon semi sweet chocolate chips

1/4 avocado

1 tsp. instant expresso powder

(no yogurt cubes in this one, replace with milk of choice)

When ready to use:

Place freezer bag ingredients in a blender and add 1/2 cup almond milk or soy. Blend until smooth. Add a little water if you like it a bit thinner. Enjoy and feel the goodness!

If you try this recipe let me know! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #thecookingspoonblog on instagram! You’ll make my day.

Spiced Pumpkin Soup with a twist…

 

Spiced Pumpkin Soup with a twist...This soup recipe will become one of your favorites, it's quick and easy to make. Smooth and comfort food at it's best.I thecookingspoon.org

…and with XXL Cheese Croutons and crunchy pumpkin seed topping!

I’ve been making this soup for at least ten years and it’s very very comforting and has a velvet like texture. When it’s raining outside this is the kind of soup you look forward to.

I was about to make it for lunch when I realized I didn’t have a enough onions. Yikes, that ment I had to go outside again and it was pouring with rain.

Thank goodness the supermarket is just across the street so I put on my raincoat and made a run for it! I came back a little soaked but hey, this soup’s worth it.

The soup only takes about 15 minutes to prepare at the most, plus 30 minutes of simmering.  During the simmering you can make the crunchy seed topping and prepare the croutons. It really is a meal in itself, but you could serve it as a first course too, just serve small portions since it is quite filling.

I’ve added a super delicious crunchy topping of spicey pumpkin seeds and some XXL cheesy croutons. YUM!

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Serves 6

Ingredients Soup:

  • 2 tbsp. Butter (use coconut oil for vegans)
  • 2 large onions, peeled and chopped fine
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled and chopped fine
  • 2 tsp. Coriander , ground
  • 1 tsp. Cumin, ground
  • 2 lbs. peeled and cubed pumpkin, fresh or frozen
  • 3 C. chicken stock made with 3 Bouillon Cubes (use vegetable stock for vegans/vegetarians)
  • 3/4 C. Apple Juice without added sugar
  • 1 ripe peeled banana, sliced
  • 3 tbsp. Almond Meal
  • 1 tsp. Sambal Oelek

Method;

In a large pan, melt the butter, add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes on medium low. Add the garlic, stir around and add the spices. Stir a couple of times. Add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to  medium simmer and leave to cook for thirty minutes until everything is very tender. Turn off the heat. Blend with a hand blender until completely smooth.

Ingredients Crispy Pumpkin Seeds:

  • 1/2 C. Pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. cajun seasoning
  • 1 tsp. honey (use coconut sugar for vegans)

Method;

Heat a small frying pan over medium high heat. Add the oil.  Add the seeds and toast tossing constantly for about three minutes. Add the remaining ingredients. Cook for an other minute. Transfer the seeds to a tray lined with baking parchment and let cool until ready to use.

 

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Ingredients for the XXL Croutons;

  • 1 baguette
  • 1 – 2 tbsp. butter softened  (use coconut oil for vegans/vegetarians)
  • 4 – 6  slices thick cheese (use vegan or omit)

Method;

Preheat the grill of your oven.

Slice the baguette as diagonally as you can to get long slim pieces.

Butter the bottom of the slices and place on a lined baking tray. Cover with the cheese and grill in the middle rack of the oven until golden on top for about 5 minutes.

To serve, ladle some soup into a bowl or mug, sprinkle with the crispy pumpkin seeds a place a xxl crouton on top. Yum.

Enjoy!

Myra XO

alt="High fibre whole grain bread"

High Fibre Health Bread

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Here is my go to bread, for daily use. Very high in fibre and super healthy. It’s a small compact loaf,  but one slice is an equivalent to a normal sized slice of bread, only ten times healthier. Pure grains and goodness and very filling.

Makes 1 small loaf

Needed : 8 Inch x 4 Inch Loaf Pan

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 C. + 2 tbsp.  milk of choice, warm about at 100 ° F
  • 2 tsp. Yeast
  • 1 tbsp. Organic Coconut Sugar
  • 2 C. Dark Rye Flour
  • 1 C. Plain Spelt Flour
  • 1/4 C. Oat Fiber
  • 1/4 C. Ground Flaxseed
  • 1 tsp. Pink Himalayan Salt
  • 2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 C. Cooked Rye or Organic Spelt Berries

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INSTRUCTIONS:

In a bowl, mix the warm milk with the sugar, add the yeast and stir to dissolve. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes until frothy. Add the olive oil.

In the bowl of your mixer fitted with the hook attachment, place the flours, the fibre and flax. Stir to mix a little.

When the yeast mixture is ready pour is slowly into the bowl with the flour. With the machine running on low. Once the yeast liquid is mixed in add the salt.

Knead for ten minutes on medium. The last minute add the whole cooked grains and mix in gently with the machine on low.

Turn out the dough, Knead a little and form in to a ball. Place in an oiled bowl and cover with oiled cling film. Let rise for at least two hours. Although is doesn’t rise much leave for this amount of time.

After this time, place the dough into the oiled baking tin, sprinkle over some oat fibre if you like. Cover loosely with oiled cling film and leave to rise again for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile pre heat the oven to 375 ° F / 190 C

Place the tin in the middle of the oven on  a rack, bake for about 40 minutes. Tap to see if it sounds hollow after this time. Remove from oven and leave to cool completely before slicing.

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Endive Gratin with Baked Apples, Blue cheese and Thyme

Serves 4 as a side dish

Who disliked Endives as a kid?… raise your hands….

Well I don’t know about you, but I really really disliked Endives when I was a child. Always prepared so very over cooked. Boiled and then rolled in some cheap ham and covered in cheese. It was bitter and the consistency was just aweful.

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Thank goodness we have come a long way since then when it comes to being creative with endive. Really there is more than just Waldorf salad and the typical gratin.

I actually love this dish and some times I eat it with just some steamed new potatoes, it’s that satisfying. But I think it goes particularly well with white meats like  chicken or pork.

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Ingredients;

6 Large heads of Endive, about 1.5 lbs.

3 tbsp butter

2 tbsp. pine nuts

2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced thin.

1 tablespoon fresh Thyme leafs

1/4 C. white wine

5 oz. blue cheese, 2 medium apples, peeled, core removed, cut in wedges

2 tbsp. honey

2 – 3 tbsp. pine nuts

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Method;

In a large frying pan, melt one tablespoon of butter and when hot add the apples. Fry for about 5 minutes then add 1 tbsp. of  honey, cook for another 3 to 5 minutes until golden brown. Transfer the apple slices to a plate and reserve.

Cut the endive in half lengthwise and remove bruised outer leafs if necessary. Slice away a small bit from the bottom.

In the same pan, add the remaining two tablespoons of butter. Add the endive cut side down and sprinkle over the thyme, season with salt and pepper.Cook for about  5 minutes before adding the garlic and the remaining honey, and turn them once in a while.  Add the white wine. Depending on how thick they are, cook for about 10 to 15 minutes. Pierce with a knife to check if they are tender but still a little bit firm.

Turn on the grill.

Transfer the endive to a baking dish and gently place the baked apple wedges around the sides.

Cut the blue cheese in slices and divide over the endive. Sprinkle over the pine nuts.

Grill the endives for about 5 minutes until nice and melted and golden. Keep an eye on it!

Enjoy

Myra Xo

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Not quite what you were looking for? How about a  Beet Salad

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