Thursday 13 December 2018

Try health coach Robyn Youkilis' digestion-friendly summer salad recipes to banish the bloat


Smoked trout and lentil salad
Smoked trout and lentil salad
Blueberry and rocket salad
Crunchy Vietnamese salad
Smoked trout and lentil salad
Cauliflower salad
Reset your gut

Try health coach Robyn Youkilis' digestion-friendly summer salad recipes to banish the bloat


My secret to the best salads ever? Add blueberries. Seriously, I could eat this salad every day of the summer and not get sick of it - it's that good! Also, I find that when I add some naturally sweet fruits and veggies to my meals, I'm much less likely to crave that 'something sweet' afterwards.

Serves 1


90g-180g cooked quinoa

150g rocket

2 carrots, peeled into ribbons or grated

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

50g fresh blueberries

40g roasted unsalted hazelnuts, sliced, or flaked almonds

25g goat's cheese, crumbled (optional)

For the homemade honey mustard:

120g plain yogurt (thick Greek-style works best)

3 Dijon mustard

2 tbsp raw honey

3 tbsp lemon juice

60ml extra-virgin olive oil

Sea salt and black pepper, to taste


1 In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, rocket and carrots.

2 Dress with the lemon juice and olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

3 Top with the blueberries and nuts and the crumbled goat's cheese, if using.

4 Alternatively, you can dress the salad with the homemade honey mustard: combine the yogurt, mustard, honey and lemon juice in a medium bowl.

5 Slowly add the oil, whisking constantly until well blended. Add the salt and pepper. (You won't need all of it to dress this salad; save the rest in an airtight container in the fridge, where it will keep for up to one week).



Crunchy Vietnamese salad

The unusual star ingredient of this salad is pak choi. Pak choi is chock-full of vitamins (A, C, and K) and minerals (calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese and iron), and I'm always trying to eat more of this super veggie. This salad is crisp and flavourful, bursting with fresh herbs and lime. Pair it with grilled prawns, tofu or fish f or a light dinner. You can also add rice or quinoa for a heartier meal.

Serves 8


1 large pak choi, thinly sliced

½ small head of Chinese leaf, shredded

1 carrot, thinly sliced

1 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced (if you're using a smaller, Persian-style cucumber, you can leave the skin on)

½ bunch of coriander, chopped

3 tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves

3 spring onions, thinly sliced

35g peanuts, crushed, for garnish (optional)

For the dressing:

Juice of 3 limes

1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

1½ tbsp rice vinegar

3 tbsp tamari or coconut aminos

1-2 tsp crushed chillies

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


1 Make the dressing. In small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, sesame oil, vinegar, tamari, crushed chillies and salt and black pepper to taste.

2 In a large salad bowl, combine the pak choi, Chinese leaf, carrot, cucumber, coriander, mint and spring onions and toss to combine.

3 Add the dressing and toss gently to coat the salad. Garnish with the peanuts, if wished, and serve.

Tip: If you have trouble digesting raw veggies, you can toss this salad in a frying pan for a few minutes with the dressing. It tastes great either way.



Cauliflower salad

From the perspective of the ancient medical tradition, ayurveda, raw foods are cold, dry, light and rough. Consuming too much of these foods can strain digestion, which can lead to poor absorption of nutrients, bloating and other discomfort. Enter the warm salad. I created this salad for those who have trouble digesting raw greens, but ended up loving it so much that it's now a winter lunchtime classic. Warming a salad is also a great way to make a plate of veggies feel more like a full meal.

Serves 4.


For the spiced chickpeas:

2 tbsp olive or avocado oil

1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed

½ tsp ground cumin

¼ tsp paprika

¼ tsp crushed chillies

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salad: 2 tbsp olive or avocado oil

½ cauliflower, sliced

150g fresh spinach

Lemon wedges, for serving


1 To make the spiced chickpeas, in a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chickpeas, cumin, paprika, crushed chillies and salt and black pepper to taste. Cook the chickpeas, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 12-15 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

2 In the same pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the cauliflower and cook, stirring, until browned on both sides. Add the spinach, return the chickpeas to the pan and cook, stirring, until the spinach is slightly wilted. Serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over the top.

Inspired by one of my favourite restaurants in New York City, Café Gitane, this salad is exactly the sort of thing you want to be eating while sitting on a café terrace and sipping rosé. The lentils fill you up, keep you energised and ensure your digestion is moving along, while smoked trout is full of omega oils that are great for healthy skin. If you prefer, you can substitute sardines or smoked mussels.


Smoked trout and lentil salad

Serves 4


200g beluga lentils

1 avocado

70g cherry tomatoes, halved

50g goat's cheese, crumbled

40g walnuts, coarsely chopped

50g raisins or dried cranberries

80g rocket

2 smoked trout fillets, skins removed if possible, cut into pieces

For the roasted shallot vinaigrette: 2 medium shallots, halved

3 garlic cloves

120ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

60ml apple cider vinegar

Small handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 tsp Dijon mustard

½ tsp sea salt

Pinch of freshly ground black pepper


1 Put the lentils and 500ml of water in a pan over a medium-high heat and bring to the boil. Cover the pan, reduce the heat and simmer for about 20-30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Drain any excess water.

2 To make the vinaigrette, preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Place the shallots and garlic on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Roast until just lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Leave to cool slightly.

3 Transfer the garlic and shallots to a blender. Add the olive oil, vinegar, parsley, mustard, salt and pepper and blend until smooth. Add a little more olive oil to thin it out, if needed.

4 Dice the flesh of the avocado and put in a large bowl, together with the lentils, tomatoes, goat's cheese, walnuts and raisins or cranberries. Pour over vinaigrette to taste and toss gently to combine. 5 Divide the rocket among four plates and top with a generous scoop of the lentil salad and the trout.


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