This is a wonderfully simple and gorgeous marinara that I've made even better than normal with the addition of sweet red bell peppers. Keep a batch of this on hand for sauce-related emergencies! It's delicious with vegetable or legume pasta, spread onto Paleo bread to make a spicy bruschetta, added to butter beans for a hearty stew, or sautéed up with fresh spinach for a delicious vegetable dish. Tomatoes are a wonderful food full of cancer-fighting phytonutrients, and the combination with garlic, olive oil, chilis, and red pepper creates an anti-inflammatory wonder food.
Add 1 Tbsp olive oil to a sauce pan and heat over medium-low until hot. Add 4 cloves minced garlic and sauté for about 2 minutes until just before it starts to brown. To the pan, add 2 tins (2x 400g) chopped tomatoes, 1 diced red bell pepper. 1 tsp sea salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, and 1/4 tsp red chili flakes. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
serves 2 (multiply ingredients to serve more)
It's time to fall in love with pasta made from legumes. High protein, lower carbohydrate, gluten- and grain-free. My two favourites: chickpea fusilli and black bean spaghetti. My other favourite: puttanesca sauce. Spicy! Brimming with capers and olives and hiding a sneaky boost of omega-3 from a touch of anchovies. We all need oily fish for cellular and immune health, and depending on your genes, between 2 and 5 servings per week. Tomatoes are filled with potent phytonutrients, and olives are wonderful for feeding the friendly bacteria in the gut. This is a quick, gorgeous, and nutritious way to put pasta back into your life with a wonderful balance of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats.
Place 1 Tbsp olive oil into a saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add 2 minced anchovies and stir and press into the oil with a spoon or spatula for 2-3 minutes so the anchovies almost "melt". Add 1 minced clove garlic and 1 tsp minced fresh red chili and cook for 1 more more minute. Add 400g (one tin) chopped tomatoes, 30g chopped pitted green or black olives, and 1 Tbsp capers. While the sauce is coming to a simmer, add 50g chickpea fusilli (or other legume-based noodle) to plenty of boiling water and add a pinch of sea salt. Leave to simmer according to the time instructions on the pack, then drain the pasta and set aside. While the pasta is cooking, taste the sauce for spice level. If needed, add 1/2-1 tsp further minced fresh red chili along with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. The sauce is meant to be spicy, so don't skimp on the chili! Continue to cook the sauce for 8-10 minutes. The sauce and pasta should be ready at roughly the same time. Combine the sauce and drained noodles. Sprinkle with 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley. Enjoy!
serves 1 (multiple to serve more)
Boodles... otherwise known as butternut squash noodles. The most incredibly delicious and satisfying swap for the stodgy, carb-overkill noodles normally served with a dish like this. Seriously, do yourself a favour and don't eat boring, bland, nutrition-free rice noodles when you could enjoy an incredible butternut squash noodle with oodles of nutrients and just enough slow-release carbs to keep your body humming.
The easiest way to make boodles is to buy the fresh ready-made packs that the supermarkets now sell. But they are also very simple to make yourself if you have a spiraliser or a julienne peeler! First, peel the skin from a raw butternut and then cut into long 2-inch wide slices--discard the seeds and inner fibres. Then, using the spiraliser or julienne peeler, make 100g (a really big handful) of boodles. (You probably want to turn the whole squash into noodles and then store the extra in an air-tight container for up to 5 days in the fridge to use later.) Now set these to the side.
Next, you can also use one of the pre-cut packs of fresh stir fry vegetables that the supermarkets sell or prep your own. A nice combination is 1 thinly sliced celery stalk, 1 large handful chopped greens (spring greens, pak choi, or even spinach), 2 chopped spring green onions, 1 chopped medium carrot, 1/2 thinly sliced red pepper, 1 small handful chopped broccoli. In the end, you want about 250g vegetables or 3 large handfuls. Set the vegetables to the side.
Place a skillet over medium heat and add 1 tbsp coconut oil. When hot, add 100g sliced or chopped skinless chicken breast. Cook for about 6-7 minutes until the chicken is cooked through (when you cut open a piece, the flesh is white and the juices run clear). Add in the vegetables and boodles along with 3 Tbsp cashew pieces, 1 crushed or minced fresh garlic clove, 1/4 tsp ground ginger (or 1 Tbsp fresh minced ginger root), and 1 Tbsp liquid aminos, tamari, or soy sauce. If using spinach, wait and add this at the end with the lime juice. Stir all of the ingredients together and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables reach your desired tenderness. The boodles won't be soft like rice noodles, but rather tender-crisp the way vegetables should be cooked. Squeeze with 1/2 fresh lime over top, add more liquid aminos to taste, and serve. Optionally, add a bit of minced fresh red chili to spice things up.
This is pasta done decadently! (Minus the wheat.) It pairs beautifully with a chicken breast or a generous serving of chickpeas. Try this dish raw for a fresh, vibrant version or lightly heat before serving to enjoy warm. Best thing about it? Red peppers are one of THE best sources of vitamin C--every little cell in your body will be smiling after you eat!
To create your zoodles, julienne, grate, or spiralise a medium courgette (about 200g). I used a julienne peeler, which is a cool little tool available for around £5. Place into a serving dish. For the sauce, add to a blender one chopped ramiro red pepper, 4 sun dried tomatoes, juice of 1/2 lemon, 1/2 an avocado, and two big glugs of olive oil. Blend on medium, slowly adding water until it is a creamy texture, not to thick, not too thin. Add sea salt and black pepper to taste. Transfer the sauce to the noodles and mix to combine. For a spicy kick, sprinkle with a pinch or red chili flakes (optional).
Cheat your way to fresh pesto! This recipe is so versatile--cooked, raw, with chicken, with tempeh, without.... And it tastes incredible no matter what you do.
For the fresh, raw version: combine in a bowl, 1 grated courgette, a handful of chopped cherry tomatoes, a very big handful of chopped fresh basil, a couple big glugs olive oil, 1 minced clove garlic (optional), and sea salt and pepper to taste. Add in your favourite protein source, like grilled chicken, tempeh or a big handful of chopped walnuts. Toss to combine.
For the warm, cooked version: in a saucepan, briefly sautée the courgettes til they release a bit of their liquid and are tender crisp. Remove from the heat and add the remaining ingredients above. Toss to combine.
Think you don't have time for healthy? 2-minute lunch inspiration!
A big bowl of fresh courgette noodles (grated!) for 3 servings veg, large handful of walnuts and hemp seeds for protein, a couple generous glugs of raw olive oil for super-healthy fats, all tossed with capers, olives, garlic, sea salt, and black pepper for the perfect energy-packed midday 'pasta' without the post-lunch carb coma.
It's time, Pasta. It's time to convince the world that you don't need to be made from wheat to be called a noodle. No more excuses, little man.
I don't know why Pasta is male, but hey, so many people are addicted to it that it might as well be a disastrous love story. Because our relationship with pasta is toxic!
No longer, however. This recipe is a-ma-zing. So freakin' tasty. Totally versatile. And it's lickety-split quick to make.
I take every opportunity to sneak in as many vegetables as possible, which--bonus--gives extra depth of flavour. However, don't feel like you need anything other than tomatoes for the sauce. If that's all you have on hand, no need to make an emergency trip to the supermarket.
I also love this in its vegetarian form--just ditch the meat and add in a dash of olive oil at the end, which I explain below in the recipe. The chunky veggies in the sauce are plenty "meaty" all on their own, truth be told! And the noodles themselves can also be used with whatever sauce or toppings you love. Maybe some olive oil, garlic, and sea salt? Cheese (not too much!)? Do it. No need to stick to the traditional tomato sauce recipe here.
This also goes beautifully with my Meatballs and Granary Bread. (In the case of the meatballs, you'll want to leave out the meat in this recipe, then.) Seriously, we are in heaven here.
Just a final note that you do need a piece of specialist equipment. It's called julienne peeler, and it rocks. You can pick one up for £5-£10. I have the one from OXO and pretty much adore it.
Pasta forms such a core staple of the average Western diet that people often experience real and true terror at the thought of giving it up. But fear not! This reinvented tagliatelle is utterly gorgeous. The humble celeriac root transforms itself into pasta perfection, and the zesty freshness of lemons pairs up with a savoury depth from walnuts and mushrooms. There is much to be thankful for in this recipe, which has become my new personal favourite. The sort of dish you can serve at a dinner party and then watch in glee as people's eyes role back in pleasure. Seriously, it's that good. Then, just think about the wonderful omega-3s in the walnuts and selenium and B12 in the mushrooms all boosting your immune and brain function and lowering inflammation. Even better.
I'd also like to gratefully thank Abel & Cole for inspiring this recipe with a similar one of their own; but I couldn't resist tweaking to make it even more nutritious, quicker, and easier. That said, their photography is better than mine, so take a look there for the visual appeal!