Cannellini bean, celery and red onion salad

Low carb, delicious and made in less than 15 minutes, this is a really lovely fresh-tasting salad to serve as part of a cold table selection or, topped with some tuna, a hard-boiled egg or slices of avocado,  it’s a great base for lunch or supper all by itself. The soft texture of the beans balances perfectly with the crunchy texture of the onion and celery and the sharpness of the mustardy dressing – a winning ‘heathy eating’ combination.

canallini bean salad

  • 400g can of white cannellini beans, drained – I use  the Napolina brand as the beans tend to be better quality and with fewer broken ones than the budget brands
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large stick of celery, plus a little of the celery leaf, finely chopped (chopped fennel is good also)
  • 2 tbsp of chopped fresh coriander or fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt and black pepper

To make…

Dissolve the mustard in the vinegar, whisk in the oil and then carefully combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. You can eat it straight away or store it in the fridge to eat later, just allow it to come up to room temperature first.

Share, follow, like, enjoy!

  • To get the latest #TheFridayRecipe from the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen blog, just add your email address to the subscribe box at the top right-hand column of the website.
  • Follow me on twitter @pigeoncottage,  on Instagram at Pigeon Cottage Kitchen and the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen page on Facebook.
  • Click on the link to get your very own copy of my family recipe book, Whats4teaMum?
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Spicy cauliflower mejaderah

Mejaderah is a classic Middle-Eastern side dish usually made with basmati rice but I’ve adapted it to be made with cauliflower to suit my low-carb eating regime. Make it with either and you’ll find it totally delicious either on its own or served with roast lamb or chops.

mejeradah

Serves 6

  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 200g onions, finely sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of coriander seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 200ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 small or 1/2 a large cauliflower – coarsely grated
  • 50g brown lentils
  • Salt and black pepper
  • To garnish: 2 shallots, 2 tbsps fresh coriander, roughly chopped

To make…

  • Most of the steps run in parallel so you can have this ready in about 30 minutes provided you get all your ingredients together before you start.
  • Lightly dry toast the cinnamon stick, cumin and coriander seeds for a few minutes in a heavy-based pan.
  • Add the olive oil and butter to the pan over a medium heat, turn it down and then cook the sliced onions slowly for about 20 minutes until they are deep golden brown – this is where the deep savoury flavour will come from.
  • Meanwhile, cook the brown lentils in a saucepan with the stock for 10 minutes and then drain them but keep the stock to one side.
  • Make the crispy shallots for the garnish by frying the onions in a little oil – they will take about 15 minutes. Set them to one side.
  • Coarsely grate the cauliflower using a box grater or the coarsest blade of a food processor.
  • Add a generous pinch of salt and pepper to the onion mix and stir in the bay leaf, garlic, allspice, cumin, chilli and turmeric and then stir in the grated cauliflower.
  • Keep stirring for a few minutes so that the cauliflower is coated in the buttery onion and spice mix, add the lentils and then the cooking stock a little at a time and cook for just a few minutes until it softens but still has a little bite. It should have a dry, not a watery finish. Adjust the seasoning to your tastes – more salt, cumin etc.
  • Take the pan off the heat, transfer it to a warm serving dish and garnish with the crispy shallots and chopped coriander.

Share, follow, like, enjoy!

  • To get the latest #TheFridayRecipe from the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen blog, just add your email address to the subscribe box at the top right-hand column of the website.
  • Follow me on twitter @pigeoncottage,  on Instagram at Pigeon Cottage Kitchen and the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen page on Facebook.
  • Click on the link to get your very own copy of my family recipe book, Whats4teaMum?
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Eat to beat diabetes | Useful references

There’s quite a lot of conflicting info out there about diets and managing your blood glucose if you have metabolic syndrome/you’re pre-diabetic/have type 2 diabetes so here are a few websites and stats that you may find helpful. I’ll add new ones as I find them and feel free to send me any good ones you know of.

One of the terms you’ll come across regularly when reading about nutrition is Reference Intakes (RI), previously known as Guideline Daily Amounts (GDAs). These are the important ones you need to know about in respect to creating a healthy balanced diet.

  • RI calories = 2000/day
  • RI total fat = 70g/day
  • RI saturated fats = 20g/day
  • RI sugars = 90g/day
  • RI protein = 50g/day
  • RI salt = 6g/day
  • RI fibre = 30g/day
  • Reference Intake (RI) for an average adult for carbohydrate is 260g/day but this is not a target and many people who struggle with their weight exceed this amount daily; 130g is often quoted as the minimum daily amount as this what the brain requires. However, the body can adapt to a low carb approach by using ketones for brain energy and making the small amount of glucose it needs from protein and fat so there is actually no minimum amount.
    • Low carb food is defined as having less than 10g of carbohydrate/100g e.g. broccoli
    • Very high carb food is defined as more than 60g of carbohydrate/100g e.g. sugar
  • Red meat consumption guideline (pasture-raised) 500g or less/week
  • Vitamin D: 10mcg/day of the so-called ‘sunshine vitamin’ is recommended as a daily supplement between September and March
  • Alcohol consumption guidelines: 14 units/week or less with at least 1 to 2 alcohol-free days every week

Useful websites

NB: Always consult an appropriately qualified health professional before adopting a dramatic lifestyle change – we’re all different, what works for one person doesn’t work for everyone.
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