This fresh crunchy salad, dressed in a spicy Asian peanut dressing and topped with toasted cashew nuts, has quickly become our favourite Saturday night dinner options. And it has replaced our tendency to order in and rivals take-out in both flavour and enjoyment! So since Autumn is fast approaching here, I thought it was about time to share, in efforts to try and hold on to colourful, summer-looking meals for just a liiittle longer. We love throwing this together and eating it out of cosy bowls in the couch while catching up or watching a movie. It’s healthy and simple, and the dressing is divine! However, if you’re not a fan of peanuts, the dressing can be made with almond or cashew butter instead too.
I love that this is such a light meal, but if you’re after more substance you can use the salad as filling for rice paper rolls to make your own summer rolls and the dressing as dipping sauce.. DIY take out?! Using the wraps is a great way to get raw veggies into kids too and makes for a fun (albeit messy) ‘self-assemble’ dinner option.
Homemade hummus is amazing, versatile, full of nutrition and can be used as a dip + spread + filling, or however you like it. Basically, it is something I make a lot, and while I love my classic hummus recipe, I have over the years experimented with many many different types of hummus to mix it up and keep and interesting. This recipe is one of those experiments, and one I keep coming back to. It is a little different from the classic hummus in that it’s made with green lentils and hemp seeds instead of chickpeas. This means it has a much higher protein content and makes it a great and easy way to add a healthy amount of plant based protein to your daily diet.
Hemp seeds are a nutritional powerhouse, and great for our skin and hormonal balance. This is primarily due to their beneficial composition of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), particularly omega 3 fatty acids, but also GLA, which is a necessary building block for some prostaglandins — hormone-like chemicals in the body that help maintain proper hormonal balance as well as control inflammation and support other vital body functions. Hemp seeds have also shown to be particularly beneficial for skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis, again due to their amazing fatty acids.
While hemp seeds contain 35 gm protein per 100 gm, green lentils packs more protein than most other legumes with 22 gm protein per can, making them another easy to come by, and cheap plant protein. All in all, a jar of this hummus contains upwards of 46 gm protein, making it a great and very healthy protein source to have on hand, ready in your fridge.
Some of my favourite serving suggestions…
Spread on top of a toasted piece of bread and topped with sliced cucumber (for a gluten free and very low grain bread, check out my buckwheat and seed bread)
As a dip for a colourful crudité platter
Served with my Chia Seed Crackers for a super nutritious and filling snack that is high in fibre, healthy fats + protein.
This salad is inspired by one of my amazing friends who always cooks the best aubergine dishes. Being from Morocco, she never fails to inspire me with her delicious and exotic combinations. And this one is no exception! The combination of grilled aubergine, mango + fresh coriander is wildly delicious and perfect for summer.
This recipe features soba noodles, which is one of my pantry staples. Originally from Japa, soba noodles are made from 100% buckwheat. Naturally gluten free, these noodles are earthy in taste and have a low GI (minimal impact on blood sugar), as well as a lower calorie and carbohydrate count compared to regular spaghetti, making it a delicious and healthy alternative to refined wheat varieties. They are rich in plant based protein, fibre, and amazing for the digestive system as they are full of prebiotic benefits, encouraging a healthy gut flora. Be mindful when purchasing buckwheat noodles though, and always read the ingredient list, as you’ll find that lots of brands claiming to be “buckwheat noodles” use primarily wheat (corn or rice) with only a small percentage of actual buckwheat! So look for soba noodles made from 100% buckwheat for the healthiest option.
Cut aubergine into medium sized pieces, brush with olive oil and place on a roasting tray. Bake until golden brown and soft (approximately 15 mins)
Rinse soba noodles infold water and place in a pot with boiling water. Boil for about 5 minutes until soft. (do not salt the water as this can make the noodles more sticky). Once done, rinse the noodles in cool water and set aside in s strainer.
Chop the herbs and mango and combine all the salad ingredients in a bowl.
Once the aubergines are done, leave to cool for a few minutes before adding. Add the buckwheat noodles and dress the finished salad with fresh lime juice and salt + pepper before serving.