Running out of kid-friendly healthy dinner ideas? Join the club! Nutritional guru, Lucinda Miller at the NatureDoc Clinic, has rustled up these three deliciously healthy recipes to keep us on track. They’re also full to the brim with immunity-boosting ingredients to arm you and the kids against colds and other wintery bugs.
Almond Pesto Broccoli Salad
This salad is probably the most addictive thing I’ve made in a long time and oh, how I need it after the Christmas feasting! Big on garlic, to keep those winter bugs in check. With calcium-rich and hormone-friendly broccoli, which is also great for the liver and gut. Also with protein-packed chickpeas, this is a meat-free meal in itself. Kids love the garlicky pesto sauce and may even win over the most reluctant broccoli eaters!
Serves: 5 Prep Time: 15
- 30 g Basil
- 50 g Parmesan (grated)
- 1 clove Garlic
- 30 g Almonds (whole)
- 60 ml Olive oil
- 450 g Broccoli ( cut into bite-sized florets & blanched)
- 1.5 tsp Red Wine Vinegar
- 0.5 tsp Salt
- 100 ml Olive oil
- 4 cloves Garlic (minced)
- 60 g Sun-dried tomatoes
- 400 g Chickpeas (tinned)
- 30 g Almonds (flaked or whole blanched)
- Place all the pesto ingredients into a small blender and whiz up.
- In a large bowl, mix up the red wine vinegar and salt before adding the blanched broccoli florets.
- In a small saucepan heat the oil until it begins to bubble then add the minced garlic and cook for a minute until the garlic begins to brown, then remove from heat. Option here to add a pinch of red chilli flakes if you want some extra kick.
- Pour ¾ of the oil over the broccoli, mix and then cover with a tea towel and leave for 30-40 minutes to infuse.
- Chop the sun dried tomatoes roughly and drain the chickpeas. If the pesto is looking a little thick you can add the remaining oil in the saucepan to it and whiz it again. If it looks good enough, reserve the oil for the broccoli.
- In a dry frying pan, toast the almonds until light brown and fragrant.
- After 30-40 minutes, give the broccoli a stir adding the pesto and oil if not already used, coating it all.
- Add the sun-dried tomatoes and chickpeas to the bowl, and mix well.
- Sprinkle over the toasted almonds and serve.
- For dairy-free, substitute the parmesan for 3 tbsp of nutritional yeast.
- For nut-free, substitute almonds for sunflower seeds
Squash & Sage Crunchy Gnocchi
This is a perfect family autumn recipe for chilly evenings to use up a glut of squash or pumpkin. The taste of sage and squash marry so perfectly together and make such a homely and yummy combination with the crunchy gnocchi. Roast the squash the night before or earlier in the day, and you can whip this up in around 15 minutes.
The butterbeans and cashew nut butter add some important protein, fibre and healthy fat to make it a balanced meal. This recipe is also a brilliant way to get your kids to eat some sneaky greens. Suitable for babies from 6 months. Can easily be made 100% plant based.
Serves: 4 Prep Time: 10
- 1 Squash (small, deseeded, winter, acorn, butternut or pumpkin)
- 3 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 tbsp Fennel seeds
- 1 tbsp Paprika
- Salt & Pepper (to season)
- 1 tbsp Butter
- 1 Red onion (small)
- 1 clove Garlic
- 2 leaves Cavolo nero (or equivalent of kale)
- 400 g Tinned Butterbeans
- 2 tbsp Cashew nut butter
- 6 leaves Sage (roughly chopped)
- 500 ml Chicken stock (or veg stock)
- Salt & Pepper (to season)
- 60 g Parmesan (or any other hard cheese, plus extra for grating on top)
- 700 g Gnocchi
- Slice up the squash into 3-4 inch chunks, sprinkle on some fennel seeds and paprika, as well as salt, pepper a then drizzle on the olive oil. Pop in a 200 centigrade oven to roast for 45 minutes, shaking half way through. Leave to cool and peel off the skin.
- Whilst the squash is cooking, finely slice up the onion, crush the garlic and roughly chop the cavolo nero.
- Heat the butter in a medium saucepan and add the onion and then a minute later add the garlic and cook gently for about 5 minutes until soft. Then add the cavolo nero, butter beans, cashew nut butter, sage leaves and stock. Add in the squash and cook for about 7 minutes or until the cavolo nero is soft.
- With a slotted spoon, remove about half of the squash, cavolo nero and butterbeans and set aside in a bowl and keep warm.
Grate the cheese into the remaining liquid and vegetables, season with salt and pepper and then blend up with a stick blender to make a lovely thick sauce.
- Then it’s time to cook the gnocchi. Pop the gnocchi in a saucepan of boiling water for 1 minute and then drain the water.
- Whist the gnocchi is cooking in the boiling water, heat a large frying pan with the olive oil to a high heat.
- Then add the drained gnocchi to the frying pan and cook for 4-5 minutes until crispy and slightly brown.
- Pop the crispy gnocchi on a plate and pour over the sauce and then sprinkle over the chunks of squash, butterbeans and kale.
- Grate more cheese on top and serve.
- Nut-free: swap cashew butter to tahini sesame paste or sunflower butter or leave out.
- Gluten free: buy gluten-free gnocchi
- Dairy-free/vegan: use olive oil instead of butter, and use 1 heaped tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes instead of the cheese
Rainbow Persian Coleslaw
A tangy brightly coloured plant-based coleslaw with a gorgeous sumac and tahini Persian dressing. This salad is totally moreish and is perfect to serve at a BBQ or with a simple roast chicken, poached salmon, lamb or falafel. Enjoy eating at all the colours of the rainbow in one meal, and let all those glorious polyphenols boost up your gut microbiome. The tahini and pumpkin seeds also add lots of lovely calcium and zinc for strong bones and robust immunity. The ginger is antimicrobial and good for settling the tummy. Suitable for all ages from 3 years plus.
Serves: 8 Prep Time: 15
- 0.5 Red Cabbage
- 4 Carrots
- 4 Mini Peppers ( or 2 full size, mixed colours)
- 100 g Sugar Snap Peas
- 5 thumbs Freshh Ginger
- 4 tbsp Pumpkin seeds
- 4 tbsp Light Tahini
- 2 Limes (or lemons)
- 2 tbsp Sesame oil
- 3 tsp Sumac powder
- 2 tsp Maple syrup
- 1 pinch Sea salt
- 125 ml Water
- Take off the outer leaves of the cabbage and finely slice the inner leaves.
- Then top and tail, peel and grate the carrots using a course holed grater.
- Slice the snap peas length ways.
- De-seed and slice the peppers finely.
- Peel the ginger with the back of a teaspoon and finely dice and add the pumpkin seeds.
- Peel the ginger with the back of a teaspoon and finely dice and add the pumpkin seeds
- Use a stick blender or mini food processor to make the dressing. Place all the ingredients into the mini food processor except for the water and whizz up for 30 seconds.
- Then slowly add in the water one tablespoon at a time, until it is a lovely creamy consistency.
- Then pour the dressing onto the salad and stir through gently until the vegetables are covered evenly in the dressing.
- Stores in the fridge for 48 hours, but better eaten fresh.
- Sesame free – swap tahini for cashew nut butter or sunflower seed butter and sesame oil for light olive oil.