After the success of her first book WHOLE – Bowl Food for Balance, Melissa decided to dive deeper into health and look at why we make the food choices we do. HEAL – Begin with Food is about that journey and aims to share information on how to eat healthier, support the body’s various systems, heal ailments, and live a life of energy and abundance through beautiful whole food cooking. Try one of her recipes from the book below!
Find Melissa on social media: @melissa__delport
or visit her website: www.melissa-delport.com
VEGGIE CASSEROLE WITH SPINACH AND CASHEW CREAM
“I love veggie bakes, and I love using as many veggies together as possible in one dish. A veggie bake offers a vast array of nutrients that are not only good for your health, but also satiate you so that you aren’t opening your snacking cupboard looking for crisps half an hour after eating a meal. Variety is key in healthy eating as well as plant-based eating.” – Melissa Delport, author of Whole Bowl Food for Balance and her latest cookbook, Heal
PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOKING TIME: 1 hours 10 minutes
2 red onions, finely sliced
500g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 Tbsp melted coconut oil
1 tsp red chilli flakes
zest of 1 lemon
salt and pepper
600g baby potatoes, scrubbed
2 medium-sized aubergines, sliced into 5mm thick rounds
5 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp paprika
300g tender-stem broccoli, stalks trimmed off, halved crossways
2 handfuls kale, stalks removed and leaves finely chopped
½ cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
Spinach Cashew Cream
1 cup raw cashew nuts, soaked in warm water overnight, or for at least 4 hours
1 handful baby spinach
2 cloves garlic
juice of ½ lemon
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 Tbsp olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 200 °C.
2. Place the onions and tomatoes onto a large baking tray and toss them with the coconut oil. Sprinkle over the chilli flakes, add the lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Pop the tray into the oven and roast for 30 minutes until the tomatoes are golden and gooey. (Leave the oven on, to roast the potatoes a bit later.)
3. Meanwhile, add the potatoes to a large saucepan of salted boiling water and boil for 12 – 15 minutes until tender when pierced with a fork. You don’t want to overcook them so that they are too soft. Once cooked through, drain and set aside.
4. While the potatoes are cooking, heat a griddle pan over medium heat until hot and then add the aubergines. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes per side until charred. You’ll need to do this in batches. Once they are ready, pop them onto a plate, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
5. Place the boiled potatoes into a deep roasting dish and squash them flat with the back of a fork, forming a solid layer. Drizzle with the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, sprinkle with the oregano and paprika and season with salt and pepper. Pop the potatoes into the oven and roast for 15 minutes while you make the cashew cream.
6. For the cashew cream, add the cashew nuts and 3 tablespoons of the soaking water to a food processor and blend until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until you get a thick creamy sauce. You can add an extra tablespoon olive oil to help it along if need be.
7. Now you are ready to assemble your veggie bake. Remove the potatoes from the oven and add an even layer of the broccoli on top. Sprinkle the kale over the broccoli to create the next layer. Overlap the aubergines for the next layer. Add the tomatoes and onions and smooth them out with the back of a wooden spoon, making sure all the veggies are covered.
8. Pour the cashew cream over the tomato layer and spread out evenly. Season to taste with salt and pepper and pop the bake into the oven for 30 – 35 minutes until bubbling and golden on top.
9. Top with the toasted pumpkin seeds and a crack of black pepper and serve.
Recipe extracted from Heal - Begin With Food by Melissa Delport, out now.
by Melissa Delport