Bring some sunshine to your lunch time

Whether the sun is shining or not, bring a little of the Tropics to your dinner table with these delicious, and healthy, summer dishes from award winning nutritionist Christine Bailey…

Mango Salad with Thai Dressing

This is an incredibly simple salad but is jazzed up with a delicious Thai style dressing. Lime and mango work so well together – that fruity and sour taste combined makes this salad really refreshing. You could toss in noodles and scatter with toasted cashew nuts for additional texture.

Why it’s good for you – 165 grams of mango, which is roughly one mango, provides nearly 70% of the RDI for vitamin C — a water-soluble vitamin that aids your immune system, helps your body absorb iron and promotes tissue growth and repair. Vitamin C is essential for collagen production making it valuable for skin and joint health.

Ingredients

Dressing:

  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1tbsp tamari soy sauce
  • 1tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1tbsp xylitol sugar alternative (available as Total Sweet)
  • 1tsp finely grated ginger

Salad:

  • Bag of mixed salad greens
  • 1/3 cucumber thinly sliced
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
  • Small handful of mint leaves chopped

Method

Time: 15 minutes preparation

Serves: 2

  1. Whisk all the ingredients for the dressing together in a small jug.
  2. Scatter the salad leaves on a platter. Top with the remaining ingredients.
  3. Drizzle with the dressing just before serving.

Note: Use this dressing over cooked noodles or wilted pak choy. It is also delicious used to make a Thai Style coleslaw.

Vegan Lemon Bars

Tangy and light, these vegan lemon bars make a delicious dessert particularly when served with coconut vegan ice cream. Using xylitol helps keep the overall sugar content down. These can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Why they’re good for you – using almonds and gluten free oats in the base keeps these bars gluten free and provides slow releasing carbs, healthy fats and protein to help balance blood sugar levels, keeping you energised.

Ingredients

Filling:

  • 125g cashew nuts soaked in warm water for 4 hours then drained
  • 225g coconut cream – the top of a can of full fat coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp cornflour
  • 125ml Lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 60g xylitol sugar alternative
  • 1tbsp maple syrup

Base:

  • 125g gluten-free oats
  • 125g ground almonds
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 3tbsp xylitol
  • 100g coconut oil, melted
  • 1tsp vanilla extract

Method

 Makes: 16 bars

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

  • Line a 20cm square baking tin with parchment paper.
  • Preheat the oven to 190oC, gas mark 5.
  • Add the oats, almonds, sea salt, xylitol to a food processor and blitz until fine. Add the remaining ingredients and blend briefly to form a soft dough. If too crumbly add a dash of water.
  • Spoon the mixture into the baking tin and press down firmly.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, then decrease the heat to 180C and bake for 10-15 minutes until lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven.
  • For the filling blend all the ingredients together in a high speed blender until smooth and creamy.
  • Pour the filling over the crust and spread into an even layer.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until just firm.
  • Allow the bar to cool completely then place in the fridge for 3-4 hours to firm up.
  • Cut into squares to serve

Note: You could swap the almonds in the base for another nut – walnuts and pecans are particularly good. Cut the bar into squares and open freeze. You could serve this as a frozen dessert if wished.

Matcha Coconut Ice Cream

Taken from my Brain Boost Diet Book, this is a really simple creamy ice cream and a delicious way to cram in anti-inflammatory matcha green tea. The addition of lemon juice helps balance the strong matcha flavour while using xylitol keeps the sugar content low.

Why it’s good for you – Matcha Green tea is packed with protective antioxidants and contains L Theanine which can help promote focus and concentration.

Ingredients

 1 x 400g can full fat coconut milk

  • 2 -3 tsp matcha green tea powder to taste
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • ¼ tsp xantham gum (optional)
  • 2tbsp coconut oil softened
  • 1tbsp MCT oil
    (optional)
  • 1tbsp lemon juice
  • 60g xylitol sugar alternative

Method

Serves: 6

Preparation time: 10 minutes plus freezing

  • Simply place all the ingredients in a high speed blender and process until smooth and creamy.
  • Using an ice cream maker churn the ice cream according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Either serve immediately or transfer to a freezer proof container and freeze until needed.
  • Alternatively you can pour the mixture into a shallow freezer proof container and freeze for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally during freezing until set.
  • The Ice cream can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Remove from the freezer 20 minutes before serving to allow it to soften slightly.

Note: Matcha is rich in catechins, a class of plant compounds in tea that act as antioxidants which can help protect against cell damage.

Christine Bailey is an award winning functional nutritionist, chef and author who has over 14 health and recipe books to her name. To discover more of her recipes and buy her books visit – https://www.christinebailey.co.uk/

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