Is it difficult to keep up with a healthy diet over the festive period? Well, I certainly wouldnâ€™t recommend starting any restrictive diet like anti-candida during this period. But if youâ€™re in the swing of it already, like I am, then with a little bit of planning and some experiments in kitchen, youâ€™ll be surprised how many festive and yummy dishes you can create.
This weekend, our local farmersâ€™ market was exceptionally colourful and merry. Here come the green, round Brussels sprouts on a stalk. Next to them a heap of purple-white swedes and ruby-red, ripe pomegranates. What a lovely colourful Christmassy combo! Letâ€™s just grab a bunch of fresh parsley and some crunchy sprouting sunflowers.
– Anything else, my dear?
– Thatâ€™s it, thank you. Weâ€™re done for today. But Iâ€™ll come back soon!
A packet of barley found in the cupboard, conveniently next to some chopped walnuts.
I think weâ€™ve got a fab salad in the making. Letâ€™s get cooking!
500g Brussels sprouts
2 small swedes (approx. 500g)
4 tbsp olive oil for roasting
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tbsp dried basil
180g barley, rinsed (replace with buckwheat for a gluten-free option)
100g of sunflower sprouts
75g walnuts, chopped
Grains of 1 pomegranate
Small bunch of fresh parsley leaves, chopped
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 200 C / gas mark 6.
In a large pot bring salted water to a boil. Add the barley grains and cook for about 40 minutes until tender. (if youâ€™re using pearl barley, 25 minutes of cooking will be enough). Cooked barley should have doubled its volume, but be still a little chewy. Once cooked, rinse well under running water and drain.
Peel and cut the swede into 2cm cubes. Toss with 2 tbsp of olive oil, sprinkle with some dried thyme and basil and spread out on a baking sheet.
Trim the Brussels sprouts, remove any damaged outer leaves and cut into quarters. Toss with 2 tbsp of olive oil, sprinkle with some dried thyme and basil and spread out on a baking sheet.
Roast the swede and the sprouts until tender, for about 25-35 minutes (the swedes will need a few minutes longer in the oven that the sprouts, and I recommend placing them on the upper level). Once ready, take out of the oven and leave to cool.
In a large bowl, toss together the sprouts, swede, cooked barley, sunflower sprouts, chopped walnuts, pomegranate grains and chopped parsley leaves.
In a small bowl, mix together the extra virgin olive oil and garlic and season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour over the salad and gently toss to mix.