Eat your greens 24/7

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We all know green vegetables are good for us! If you’re bored with salads and steamed vegetables on the side of your plate, these innovative recipes use green vegetables in ways you would never imagine!

Lemon, ginger and parsley smoothie:
​Serves 1, 8 Checks.

​Feel like you’re coming down with something? This smoothie is great for keeping colds at bay, and its a real zinger, with lots of tangy lemon, spicy ginger- and parsley too. One sip and you’ll see that parsley is a refreshing addition to smoothies.

1 orange
1/2 cucumber
1 tbsp. grated fresh ginger
250ml pineapple juice ]15g parsley leaves
Juice 1/2 lemon
3-4 ice cubes

Peel the orange and divide into segments, then chop the cucumber into chunks. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve immediately.

​Rocket and white bean hummus:
​Serves 4, 4 Checks

Rocket has got such a lovely bite to it that this hummus is perfectly tangy even without the addition of lemon juice. Homemade hummus is so much better than shop-bought and takes just 5 minutes.

360g canned white beans, drained
30g rocket
3 tbsp. tahini
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. water
1/2 tsp sea salt

Place all ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth. You can increase the water to achieve the desired consistency.

Secret ingredient brownies:
​Makes 16, 6 Checks per brownie

​Moist, dense, chewy brownies made with… spinach

90g spinach leaves
190ml milk
250g unrefined cane sugar
2 tbsp. coconut oil
165g whole wheat flour
60g cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
75g chocolate chips

Preheat he oven to 180C. Lightly grease a 20 X 20 cm cake tin. Combine the spinach and milk in a food processor and blend. Empty into a bowl and whisk in sugar and coconut oil.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Add to wet ingredients and stir. Add chocolate chips.
Spread batter into tin and bake for 35 minutes. Leave to cool then serve.

Courgette oatmeal cookies:
​Makes 20, 4 Checks per cookie

​These healthy cookies use Chia seeds which can be bought in most supermarkets.

​Chia seeds
4 tbsp. water
2 tbsp. butter
200g brown sugar
125 whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
120g rolled oats
120g grated courgette
40g raisins (optional)

Preheat the oven to 190C. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment.
In a bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix well. Stir in oats, courgette, chia seeds and raisin.
Drop 10 large spoonfuls onto the baking tray and flatten slightly. Bake for 16-18 minutes until cookies are browned on top.

Courgette noodle Bolognese:
​Serves 4, 2 Checks

​Try this take on the classic Italian dish that sees courgettes as the star of the show. The mushrooms take place of mince to provide extra vegetables, creating a healthier dish.

​5-6 small courgettes
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 sticks celery, chopped
8 mushrooms, chopped
60ml white wine
1 X 800g can chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Slice the courgettes into thin noodles. In a large pan, heat the oil, then add the onion and sautee until translucent. Add the carrots, celery and mushrooms and cook over a medium-high heat for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. The vegetables will cook down and soften.
Add the wine and stir for 3-4 minutes.
Puree the tomatoes and add them to the pan along with the oregano and basil. Simmer uncovered for 12-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, boil the courgette noodles for 30-60 seconds. Then divide between 4 plates and top with mushroom sauce.