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How to Cook Healthy

Madeleine Shaw recipe for healthy beetroot and mango summer salad bowl

Madeleine Shaw’s recipes for healthy eating have developed a following all their own thanks to the blogger’s powers for preparing nutritious food.  Vanessa Chalmers tests a recipe from Madeleine Shaw’s new cookbook A Year of Beautiful Eating for this week’s How to Cook Healthy Column

Love Madeleine Shaw’s recipes? So do I.  But while I am usually an avid follower of the now famous health-blogger, I haven’t been able to cook much lately as life has been rather chaotic for me recently. If you think you have no time, no inspiration or motivation to cook in the evenings, imagine not having a kitchen. For the past three weeks the kitchen at my family’s home has been torn out and refurbished. We have half moved into a relative’s home in the meantime, but being a two hour commute away, there really is no easier and quicker option than pasta (boringgggg).

I can’t wait to let rip in that new shiny kitchen

To rake back my free time, I am often staying at my kitchen-less home, eating cereal bars and peanut butter in my room whilst listening to the workmen singing along to the radio downstairs. And no – meal prep doesn’t come into this when you don’t have a fridge to store Tupperware in!

I currently have no kitchen at home…

Ok, I sound dramatic. It could be way, way worse. I have a roof over my head and food in my mouth and yes, I am very grateful! On the plus side, I cannot WAIT to let rip in that new shiny kitchen whilst saying ‘well it was bound to get messy anyway’ to my mother.

Let’s just say I am feeling a  little disheartened at how little time and resources I have to enjoy one of my biggest hobbies – cooking. One evening I sacrificed my Love Island watching time (that’s a biggie), to dirty the pots, pans and counter tops with a hefty and gorgeous recipe book in front of me.

Healthy beetroot and mango summer salad bowl with almond butter dressing, madeleine shaw, by healthista (1)
I met Madeleine last year and wasn’t surprised at how down to earth she was

That book was Madeleine Shaw’s latest A Year of Beautiful Eating: Eat fresh. Eat seasonal. Glow with health, all year round, which focuses on the importance of eating seasonally and how this benefits the body. Refreshing fruits salads to cool off in the summer and warming bowls of spiced porridge in the winter – I really like the idea of this book. I generally really like Maddie, too, as she is one of the first authors I started learning to cook from. Meeting her in person last year, I found her to be just as down to earth as I imagined, as we chatted about everything from our love of food to dating.

Going with the ideology of the book, I made the recipe Summer Lovin’ Bowl. It contains an abundance of wholesome foods and flavour, and takes 20 mins prep (35 mins total).

Madeleine Shaw’s recipe for summer salad bowl with beetroot, mango and almond butter dressing

Healthy beetroot and mango summer salad bowl with almond butter dressing, madeleine shaw, by healthista (4)

Serves 2


2 large beetroots

1 tbsp avocado oil or melted coconut oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

100g buckwheat (I used quinoa)

1 cucumber, chopped into 1cm chunks

1 mango, peeled, stoned and chopped into 1cm chunks

Juice of 1 lime

2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

1 jalapeño chilli, deseeded

4 tbsp hummus

1 tbsp chopped walnuts

For the dressing

2 tbsp almond butter

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp nutritional yeast (if you can find it)

1 tsp tamari

pinch of chilli powder

pinch of smoked paprika

1 tbsp cold water


  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.
  • Peel and cut the beetroots into 2½cm chunks. Put in a roasting tray and mix with the oil and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Roast for 30–40 minutes until cooked through.
  • While the beetroots are cooking, cook the buckwheat and make the dressing. First rinse the buckwheat in warm water, then place in a pot with 250ml of cold water and a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil and simmer for 12 minutes until cooked through and all the water has been absorbed. Whisk the dressing ingredients together.
  • Mix the cucumber, mango and lime juice together with the coriander and jalapeño. Plate up the roasted beets with the cooked buckwheat, hummus and walnuts, plus the cucumber and mango salad. Drizzle over the dressing.

Well let’s begin by saying anything meal that includes mango, walnuts, beetroot and houmous has already got my attention. These are some of my favourite ingredients and eating out of a bowl somehow makes everything better. Although the method may look different to what you are used to, such as whipping up your own dressing, I can reassure you its simple pimples. I used quinoa instead of buckwheat and you could use a different nut butter, such as cashew butter, if you’re not a fan of almond. I also admit my mango was extremely over-ripe. I ate one portion for a light dinner and split the rest into lunches for work – beats soggy lettuce (excuse the pun).

Three things I learnt this week:

We live in luxury – and I need to stop moaning about my somewhat privileged life in this world.

Beetroot dyes everything red – in all seriousness, beets can change the colour of your urine to a red or pink and this can be very alarming at first…not to mention the colour of your cutting board, so wash and scrub it down quickly after you prep the beets.

Dressings are fun to make – and really impact the taste of a meal. More experimentation needed!

Got an easy summer salad bowl recipe? Share with us on Facebook by posting on @Healthista

Vanessa Chalmers is a Food and Lifestyle Writer at Healthista, and enjoys finding new healthy living hacks, especially when it comes to her favourite thing – food. Her column How To Cook Healthy For Beginners is every Friday, for the busy everyday woman who is nothing more than an amateur chef, but loves food and to cook.

Follow on Instagram and Twitter to watch her healthy living journey.

More How To Cook Healthy for Beginners:

Salad recipe with a twist: Spicy ruby, blood and navel orange salad

Roasted peppers recipe with fennel for beginner cooks

5 easy grain bowl recipes for comfort food without guilt

How to Cook Healthy for Beginners: Coronation Potato Salad and Raw Slaw

a year of beautiful eating, Healthy beetroot and mango summer salad bowl with almond butter dressing, madeleine shaw, by healthistaA Year of Beautiful Eating: Eat fresh. Eat seasonal. Glow with health, all year round is nutritional health coach Madeleine Shaw’s third cookbook. Buy it now for £9.99 on Amazon.

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