Tomato and Lentil Dhal with Toasted Almonds (serves 6)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 carrot, diced
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
1-inch piece fresh ginger root, grated
2 teaspoons ground tumeric
1 teaspoon mild chili powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 cup split red lentils
3 1/4 cups water
5 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
juice of 2 limes
4 tablespoons chopped cilantro
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted, to serve
2 cups fresh or frozen baby spinach

1. Heat the oil in a heavy pan. Saut the onion for 5 minutes, until softened, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, carrot, cumin and mustard seeds and ginger. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring, until the seeds pop and the carrot softens slightly.
2. Stir in the ground tumeric, chili powder and garam masala, and cook for 1 minute or until the flavors begin to mingle, stirring to prevent the spices from burning.
3. Add the lentils, water and chopped tomatoes, and season well with freshly ground black pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer covered for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Stir in the lime juice, spinach, and 3 tablespoons of the cilantro. Cook for another 15 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Sprinkle with the remaining cilantro and sliced almonds.

Spring Veggie Stir-fry (serves 4)
1 tablespoon rice bran or grapeseed oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 garlic clove, chopped
1-inch piece fresh ginger root, finely chopped
8 ounces baby carrots
1 medium size sweet potato, shredded
3 cups broccoli florets
1/3 cup asparagus tips
2 scallions, cut on the diagonal
1 1/2 cups Chinese cabbage, finely shredded
2 tablespoons Bragg`s Liquid Aminos
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed apple juice or xylitol
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
noodles or brown rice to serve with (optional)

1. Heat a frying pan or wok over high heat. Add the rice bran or grapeseed oil and sesame oil, and reduce the heat. Add the garlic and saut for 2 minutes.
2. Add the chopped ginger, baby carrots, sweet potato, broccoli and asparagus tips to the pan and stir-fry for about 4 minutes. Add the scallions and cabbage to the pan and stir-fry for another 2 minutes.
3. Add the Bragg`s Liquid Aminos and apple juice or xylitol and cook for 1-2 minutes, until the vegetables are tender, adding a little water if they appear dry.
4. Spoon the vegetables into four warmed bowls and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Serve with noodles or brown rice, if desired.

Spinach and Roasted Garlic Salad (serves 4)
12 garlic cloves, unpeeled
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pound baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
juice of 1/2 lemon
freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Place the unpeeled garlic cloves in a small roasting dish, drizzle 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over and toss to coat evenly.
2. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the garlic cloves become slightly charred around the edges.
3. While still warm, transfer the garlic cloves, still in their skins, to a salad bowl. Add the spinach, pine nuts, lemon juice, and remaining olive oil. Toss well and season with freshly ground black pepper to taste.
4. Serve immediately, squeezing the softened garlic pure out of the skins to eat.

North African Spiced Soup (serves 6)
1 large onion, chopped
5 cups vegetable stock
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground tumeric
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root
pinch cayenne pepper
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 cups winter squash, cubed into 1 pieces
14-ounce can chopped tomatoes
1 pound floury potatoes, diced
5 saffron threads
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon lemon juice
freshly ground black pepper
wedges of lemon, to serve

1. Place the onion in a large pot with 1 1/4 cups of the vegetable stock. Simmer gently for about 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, combine the cinnamon, turmeric, ginger and cayenne pepper. Add 2 tablespoons of the vegetable stock and combine to form a paste.
3. Stir the spicy paste into the onion mixture and add the chopped squash, carrots, celery and the remaining vegetable stock.
4. Bring the mixture back to a boil, stirring, and reduce the heat. Cover the saucepan with a lid and gently simmer for another 5 minutes.
5. Add the tomatoes and potatoes and simmer gently, covered, for 20 minutes. Add the saffron, chickpeas, cilantro and lemon juice. Add pepper to taste and, when piping hot, serve with wedges of lemon.

Spicy Pumpkin Soup (serves 4)
2-pound pumpkin, peeled and seeds removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 leeks, trimmed and sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 3/4 cups vegetable stock
freshly ground black pepper
cilantro leaves, to garnish
4 tablespoons plain soy yogurt, to serve

1. Cut the peeled pumpkin into chunks. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the sliced leeks and garlic. Cook gently over low heat until the vegetables are softened.
2. Stir in the ginger and cumin and cook, stirring, for another minute. Add the pumpkin and the vegetable stock and season with freshly ground black pepper.
3. Bring the soup to a boil and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the pumpkin is tender.
Process in batches, if necessary, in a blender or food processor.
4. Warm the soup through again, being careful not to bring to a boiling point, and serve in warmed individual bowls, with a swirl of yogurt. Garnish with cilantro leaves.

Japanese Salad (serves 4)
1/2 cup hijiki
1 1/4 cup radishes, sliced into very thin rounds
1 small cucumber, cut into thin sticks
1/2 cup bean sprouts
1/2 cup shredded carrots

for the dressing:
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon reduced-salt soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon mirin

1. Place the hijiki in a large bowl and cover with cold water for about 15 minutes until it is rehydrated- it should almost triple in volume when fully rehydrated. Drain, rinse under cold running water and drain again.
2. Place the soaked hijiki in a large saucepan of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes or until tender.
3. Meanwhile, make the dressing. Place the sunflower and sesame oils, soy sauce, vinegar and mirin in a bowl or screw-top jar. Stir or shake thoroughly to combine.
4. Arrange the hijiki in a shallow bowl or platter with the radishes, cucumber, bean sprouts and carrots. Pour on the dressing and toss lightly.

Pea Guacamole with Crudits (serves 4)
3 cups frozen peas, completely defrosted
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 scallions, trimmed and chopped
1 teaspoon finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
dash of Tabasco sauce
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
freshly ground black pepper
pinch of cayenne and lime slices, for garnish

for the crudits:
6 baby carrots
2 celery stalks
1 red apple
1 pear
1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
6 ears baby corn

1. Put the peas, garlic, scallions, lime zests and juice, cumin, Tabasco sauce, olive oil and freshly ground black pepper into a food processor or a blender and process for a few minutes until smooth.
2. Add the chopped cilantro and process for a few more seconds. Spoon into a serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes, to let the flavors develop.
3. To make the crudits, trim and peel the carrots and quarter lengthwise. Halve the celery lengthwise and trim to the same length as the carrots. Quarter, core and thickly slice the apple and pear, then dip into the lemon or lime juice. Arrange with the baby corn in a bowl or on a platter.
4. Sprinkle the cayenne on the guacamole and garnish with the lime slices.

Grapes with Mint Sauce (serves 4)
1-pound seedless grapes
juice of 3 limes
1-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and finely grated
1 tablespoon maple syrup or xylitol
5 fresh mint leaves, cut into thin strips, plus extra whole leaves, to decorate

1. Cut the grapes into halves.
2. In a bowl, combine the lime juice, ginger, maple syrup or xylitol and shredded mint leaves.
3. Add the grapes and toss well. Set in a cool place to marinate for 1 hour.
4. Serve in a large dish or individual stemmed glasses, garnished with whole fresh mint leaves.

Apricot and Ginger Compote (serves 4)
1 1/2 cups dried apricots, preferably unsulfured
1 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger root, finely chopped
scant 1 cup soy yogurt

1. Cover the dried apricots with boiling water and let them soak overnight.
2. Place the apricots and their soaking water in a saucepan, add the ginger and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer for 10 minutes, until the fruit is soft and plump and the water becomes syrupy. Strain the cooked apricots, reserving the syrup, and discard the ginger.
3. Serve the apricots warm with the reserved syrup and a spoonful or two of the yogurt.

Orange Granita with Strawberries (serves 4)
6 large juicy oranges
12 ounces ripe strawberries
finely pared strips of orange zest, to decorate

1. Juice the oranges and pour into a shallow freezer-proof bowl.
2. Place the bowl in the freezer. Remove after 30 minutes and beat the semi-frozen juice thoroughly with a wooden spoon. Repeat this process at 30-minute intervals over a 4-hour period. This will break the ice crystals down into small particles and prevent the granita from freezing solid.
3. Halve the strawberries and arrange them on a serving plate. Scoop the granita into serving glasses, decorate with strips of orange zest and serve immediately with strawberries.