Powergreen Plum & Banana Smoothie

We are getting a lot of plums in our Abel & Cole organic veg box delivery at the moment, so some are going into smoothies. The one used was a little under ripe, so a date was added for a little sweetness.

29133056_UnknownPlums are a good source of minerals and Vitamins A, C and K, which is needed for good bone health and blood clotting. (See also Vegan, Gluten-Free Plum Crumble – Nice, But Not Too Naughty!)

Our neighbour’s plum tree is so heavily laden with fruit at the moment, the branches look like they are going to collapse under the weight of them all. Must be all the rain followed by such hot sun.

Chia seeds are little powerhouses, full of useful nutrients:


(See also Three Cheers for Chias! What Are Chia Seeds & How Do I Use Them? Recipes included)

Tahini is sesame seed paste, a vegan source of calcium, potassium, iron and magnesium.


1 Small Banana

1 Plum

3 Tbsp Oats

1 Tbsp Chia Seeds

1 Tbsp Tahini

1 Tbsp Juicemaster Powergreens

1 Medjool Date, pitted and chopped

Small to Medium Glass Coconut Water – more or less, depending how thick or thin you like your smoothie

Allow the oats and chia seeds to soak in the coconut water for 15 minutes to aid digestion, then blend with all the other ingredients.

Mine’s a thickie, so I ate it with a spoon!


Copyright: Chris McGowan

Silky Green Smoothie, Zinc-rich: One for the Men?

img_4148There is less fruit in this smoothie than normal, but don’t let that put you off. It still has a sweet flavour and smooth, creamy consistency. It is also chock full of nutrients: magnesium, potassium, protein (did you know Romaine lettuce is a good source of protein?), B vitamins, zinc, vitamin E, lots of other vitamins and minerals as well as healthy fats.

Pumpkin seeds are a good source of zinc and therefore often recommended for men to maintain a healthy prostate. We love them as a snack or on stirfries, lightly toasted with some Tamari whch gives them a salty soy sauce flavour.

Walnuts, too, are a good source of zinc, Vitamin E, B vitamins and healthy fats – swap for sunflower or other seeds if you have a nut allergy.

Zinc is also necessary for a healthy immune system, wound healing and to help breakdown carbohydrates. It is involved in our senses of taste and smell, in healthy cell division, fighting colds and cancer, so is a pretty important mineral.

Tahini is made from sesame seeds and a good source of calcium, potassium, magnesium and iron.

Potassium (from the banana too) is good for the heart while magnesium is needed to prevent muscle cramps, aid mental and physical relaxation (necessary for good sleep), good digestion and gut health.

Wheatgrass powder is full of useful nutrients including Vitamins A, C, E, and K, B Vitamins, Protein, Zinc and other minerals as well as dietary fibre.

All ingredients are organic (except the coconut water), vegan and gluten-free.


1 Small Banana, chilled

2 Tbsp Oats

1 Generous Tbsp Pumpkin Seeds

Small Handful Walnuts

1 Generous Tbsp Tahini

3 Romaine Leaves, washed and chopped

1 Tsp Wheatgrass Powder

Medium Glass Unsweetened Coconut Water

Blend in a high speed blender, add ice if you like it chilled or use frozen banana.

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Quick Vegan Open Toasted Sandwich

imageThis is a quick light lunch or afternoon vegan snack that came about when we wanted to use up some slices of home-made chickpea, tiger nut and cornflour bread from the freezer.


All ingredients are organic.


Lightly toast 2 slices home-made gluten-free bread, spread with tahini, top with romaine, cucumber, spring onion, organic green olives, black pepper and a drizzle of tahini/lemon dressing (which I forgot for the photo).


Tahini is made from sesame seeds, a good source of calcium and healthy oils. Chickpeas, too, are rich in calcium, iron and fibre. Spring onions and tiger nuts* are prebiotics, good for the gut. Romaine has protein and cucumber is hydrating, while olives have heart-healthy oil.

Overall, a very healthy snack and satisfying, too!


Organic Chickpea Flour & Cornflour from


Copyright: Chris McGowan

Lemon Tahini Pasta with Pine Kernels

imageA quick vegan and gluten-free pasta meal that’s ready in half an hour. You can use any easy-cook veg, we just used bits of veg that needed to be used up, and whichever is your favourite pasta.

Ingredients & Method

We used sliced spring onions, thinly sliced broccoli, sliced green beans, peas, mushrooms chopped into chunks, shaved carrot, courgette sticks.

These were all stir-fried in a little coconut oil while the pasta was cooking. We prefer Dove’s Farm Maize and Rice Gluten-Free fusilli, it cooks very quickly.


We lightly toasted some pine kernels while the veg and pasta were cooking – actually, the first time they went from white to black in the time it took to check on the pasta, so keep an eye on them!

Make some lemon tahini dressing by mixing tahini with some lemon juice, water, black pepper and pink Himalayan salt. Tahini is subtle and you don’t want to overwhelm it with lemon juice, just a small squeeze is enough. If you want to enhance the lemon flavour, add some lemon thyme.

When the veg is cooked, mix in the tahini dressing and add to the pasta on a hot plate.

We snipped some chives over it because they came free with our organic veg box and needed using – plus it was too wet to go out and cut some lemon thyme!

Top with a sprinkling of pine kernels, serve with a green salad and more tahini dressing.



Copyright: Chris McGowan

Mixed Leaf Avocado Salad with Walnut & Raisin Slaw & Lemon Tahini Dressing

image OK. So I reckon we’ve had enough smoothies and sweet treats for a while, time we had some more green stuff on our plates.

It was an unusually hot and sunny Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK – we’re used to it raining cats and dogs when you’ve got a family camping/bbq /diy weekend planned. My husband had been painting the garage all day and was all hot and bothered. At 6 pm he downed tools and announced he wanted takeaway pizza and salad for dinner! I forewent the pizza part, but here is this evening’s salad:

Mixed leaves – I had lollo rosso, rocket, lamb’s lettuce and cos – with cucumber and celery

Walnut and Raisin Slaw – Grated Cabbage and Carrot with chopped spring onions, walnuts and raisins in a Lemon Tahini Dressing, and black pepper

Sliced Avocado


Drizzled with more Lemon Tahini Dressing, Pink Himalayan Salt and Black Pepper.

All the colours of the rainbow. Simple as.

Copyright: Chris McGowan