This week on Flexiladiesyoga

Sunday, 30 April 2017

According to Patanjali concentration is the 'binding thought in one place'. 
In this week's yoga video we practice balances in order to improve our concentration and still 'monkey mind'.
Please see my 'sister' blog-

Thinking of starting a yoga practice?
On my 'sister' blog you can see my beginners' guide to yoga styles-
This blog post was included in the paper 'Yoga Vitality Magazine'-

In this blog post we look at preventing back pain by strengthening and stretching the glutes and also correcting any asymmetries.
Please see my 'sister' blog-

Vegan chocolate orange mousse cake

It's bank holiday weekend so why not indulge in this decadent dessert - rich, creamy and chocolatey and yet no dairy or added sugar. The avocados are a source of healthy monosaturated fatty acids, vitamins A and E (which are antioxidants), and omega 9 so this dessert is healthy.  Eating avocados also helps keep your skin hydrated and antioxidants in avocados helps prevent damage that leads to wrinkles. Go on spoil yourself!

Vegan. chocolate orange mousse cake

Serves 4-6

You will need

For the base

150g cashews, soaked overnight or at least 4 hours then drained
1 tbsp cacao
120g Medjool dates, pitted

For the mousse topping

2 avocados, peeled and stone removed
2 large bananas, peeled, chopped and frozen overnight
4 Medjool dates, pitted
Juice 1 orange plus zest to top
4 tbsp cacao
3 tbsp stevia or to taste

To make the base place the ingredients in a blender and whiz up.  Spread over the base of a springform cake tin that has been lined with baking parchment.  Rinse the blender and whiz up the ingredients for the mousse.  Top the base, sprinkle on some orange zest then place in a freezer for around an hour until firm.  Transfer to a serving plate and serve immediately.

Happy Bank Holiday!

Reducing Your Risk of Dementia

Friday, 28 April 2017

It's one of our most feared diseases, even more so than heart disease or stroke.  The thought of losing your ability to think, reason, remember and undergo personality changes is terrifying not only for the sufferers but for the people who love them.  The fact is there are currently 850, 000 people in the UK with dementia and this is set to rise to over a million by 2025 (statistics from Alzheimer's research UK - The disease often starts slowly and gradually progresses. This doesn't mean you need to panic if you forget where you left your keys or go into a room and forget what you went in there for - we all do that sometimes!!

There are different types of dementia.  By far the most common is Alzheimer's which makes up around 80% of cases.  This is characterised by deposits of beta-amyloid (plaques), a protein and twisted strands of the protein tau (tangles) leading to death of brain cells.  

Around 10% of cases are vascular dementia.  It is caused by blood vessel problems in the brain and often follows a stroke.  There are other types too including Parkinson's disease which my dad started with at the age I am now. The disease was progressive, he struggled with movements, and became a different person - painful to watch.

So what can we do to help prevent dementia.  It is my firm belief that if you look after your cardiovascular health, you will also go a long way to preventing dementia. This keeps blood carrying oxygen and nutrients circulating to your brain.  Exercise is key to this - it lowers cholesterol which can block the arteries supplying the heart and the brain.  It also helps prevent obesity and diabetes which can affect cardiovascular health as well as helping to reduce inflammation and stress.  I believe inflammation underlies many diseases including Alzheimer's.  So try to incorporate some exercise into your day - walking, dare I say power walking or running, yoga, gardening etc.

Also key is a good diet.  Cut out foods that trigger inflammation such as processed food and sugar, and limit saturated fat.  Include plenty of good oils in your diet from nuts, seeds etc Please also see 'Where do vegans get their omega 3s from'-  Eat plenty of fruit, vegetables and wholegrains for fibre and antioxidants, both of which help reduce inflammation.  Studies show that people who eat plenty of fibre in their diet have lower levels of C reactive protein in their blood which is a marker of inflammation. 

Antioxidants neutralise free radicals which damage cells thereby setting up the inflammatory response. 

For other ways to look after your cardiovascular health please see 'Love your heart'-

You might also like  'Beating inflammation with serraenzyme' 

Picture credit-beckybeebooks-You can find her work on Instagram-

Stay sharp 

Meatless Monday: Swedish 'Meatballs'

Monday, 24 April 2017

Swedish meatballs are usually made with ground pork or beef but these vegan Swedish meatballs will be enjoyed by even non-vegan friends.  There are many variations including the herbs used in the recipe.  Some chopped chives are a good addition and half a teaspoon of allspice.  Other possibilities include dill, or flat leaf parsley. In this recipe I am using rosemary in the sauce.  Serve with mash (potato, celeriac or cauliflower), rice or pasta as I am doing in this recipe. I am using tripolini noodles which have little 'ruffles' that 'scoop' up the sauce.
Feeding a crowd? Simply scale up the quantities.

Swedish 'meatballs'

Serves 2

You will need

For the 'meatballs'
120g dried soy mince
1 egg equivalent (1 tbsp rice flour, 1/2 tsp olive oil, 1 tbsp almond milk)
50g breadcrumbs
1 tbsp tamari

olive oil spray for greasing

For the sauce 
2 tbsp tamari
250ml water 
1 tbsp cornflour
1/2 tsp rosemary
50ml soy cream
2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)

Place the dried soy in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave  to stand for 10 minutes. To make the meatballs blend all the ingredients in a high speed blender, shape into bite size balls and place on a baking tray that has been sprayed with olive oil spray.  Bake for 20 minutes, turning once.  

To make the sauce blend the cornflour with a little water.  Place the water, rosemary and tamari in a saucepan and whisk in the cornflour.  Heat over a medium heat, whisking until thickened. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the nutritional yeast if using and soy cream. 

Serve with mash (potato, celeriac or cauliflower), rice, pasta or noodles.


This week on Flexiladiesyoga

Sunday, 23 April 2017

In our #yogavideo this week we cultivate physical strength and because of the mind/body connection this also cultivates the mental strength to persevere through delays and difficulties. Please see my 'sister' blog for the #blog post and yoga video-
This blog post was included in the online paper 'Yoga Vitality Magazine'-

In recognition of Earth Day on the 22nd April, in this blog post I offer my thoughts on how the yamas can give us guidelines for looking after the environment.

The #piriformis, one of the external hip rotators might be a small muscle but it can cause a whole lot of trouble if it gets overly tight. 
These #yoga poses on my 'sister' will help stretch the piriformis-

Bring the outside in - houseplants

Peace Lily

It's spring, and in the garden and countryside many flowers and blossoms are appearing.  The bluebells have arrived, blackthorn is blossoming, the apple blossom and even some May blossom is starting to appear ('O, to be in England now that April's here' Robert Browing).  It feels good to be out but having plants in the house and office has many benefits too.

First a bit of biology - people breathe in oxygen and breathe out waste carbon-dioxide but plants take in carbon-dioxide to make simple sugars in a process known as photosynthesis. The byproduct which they then give out is oxygen.  This means that having plants keeps the air in our house or office oxygen rich.  This usually only happens during the day because the process also requires light but some plants such as aloe vera, Mother-in-laws tongue (Snake plant) or orchids can also give off oxygen at night.  Aloe vera is especially good if you are away a lot because it can go a week or so without watering.  Mother-in-laws tongue is a good houseplant if you are not green fingered because it needs very little attention.  Another 'easy to care for' plant is the Spider plant.   

Plants do not only improve air quality by adding oxygen and removing carbon-dioxide - they can also remove toxins from the air from polishes, heating fuels, adhesives etc. They can even help reduce allergies by removing dust from the air. My favourite plant is the Peace lily which can remove several toxins including ammonia, trichloroethylene, benzene etc from the air. It has white flowers which turn green if you feed it!

The process of photosynthesis also produces water so that plants add moisture to the air helping keep your skin hydrated!

There are benefits to houseplants in the office or study too.  The colour green is soothing to the eye reducing office stress and studies have shown that the workers in offices with plants have better concentration and productivity and reduced fatigue.  

Just one thing - some plants are poisonous for cats and dogs so check before you buy.    

My thoughts - Earth Day 22nd April 2017

Thursday, 20 April 2017

In recognition of Earth Day which this year falls on 22nd April and which seeks to raise awareness of environmental issues, I would like to give you an update on the fracking situation in the UK.  The legal battle to stop fracking in Lancashire has been lost and it is looking as if nothing can stop fracking going ahead now.  But just why are we allowing this to happen when all the indicators are that it is detrimental to our environment and our wellbeing? In countries that have allowed fracking there  has been found that there is a risk to health from water contamination.  There has also been an increase in the incidences of asthma and other respiratory illness.

Fracking is only a short term solution -  we will have to find renewable alternatives soon, so why not now?  We are custodians of this earth and it is our duty to look after it for future generations.  Most people do feel this way- the protests show that the people don't want fracking.  

What can we do?  I can only suggest that we continue with the fight.  A key measure you can take is to switch to a green energy supplier and find out if your bank funds fracking - if it does, switch banks.  You could also try to record sightings of wildlife and use this as evidence that fracking is not appropriate in your area.  Keep writing to your MP.

With the news of a forthcoming election there is also a chance to vote for a party opposed to fracking.

Please see my 'sister' blog my thoughts on 'Yoga and the environment'

Meatless Monday: Vegan smoky falafel burgers with tzatziki or spicy salsa

Monday, 17 April 2017

This recipe can easily be scaled up if you are feeding a crowd this Bank holiday Monday!  You can enjoy these burgers with tzatziki or spicy salsa or both and some warm pitta breads.  They are not only vegan but gluten free too - so let's cook!

Vegan smoky falafel with tzatziki or spicy salsa

You will need

Makes 4 Serves 2

For the tzatziki 

200g soy yogurt
1/2 large cucumber
1/2 clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp lemon juice

For the smoky falafel burgers

1 can chickpeas
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp olive oil 
juice lemon
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
pinch pink salt
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp gluten free flour
olive oil spray

For the salsa

2 tomatoes, chopped
1/4 red onion
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
splash cider vinegar
fresh coriander, finely chopped
pinch salt
Pittas to serve

To make the tzatziki line a sieve with a muslin square or if you do not have any with kitchen paper and add the yogurt.  Place the sieve over a bowl and place in the fridge to drain off some liquid and thicken the yogurt for around an hour.  After the yogurt has thickened add the remaining ingredients. 

Blend the ingredients for the smoky falafel in a high speed blender.  Spray a baking tray with the olive oil spray and form the mixture into 4 burgers.  Place the burgers on the tray and spray again.  Place in an oven at 180 degrees for around 20 minutes, turning once.  For the last few minutes place the pittas in the oven wrapped in kitchen foil.

Meanwhile make the salsa.  Combine the ingredients for the salsa in a bowl.

Serve and enjoy!

Have a great Bank holiday Monday!

This week on Flexiladiesyoga

Sunday, 16 April 2017

In our 'Qualities cultivated by yoga' series we are focusing on humility. We will practice our yoga with 'beginners' mind' to experience our yoga anew.
Blog post and yoga video on my 'sister' blog-

Healthy knee alignment depends on good alignment in the feet and stability in the hips. In this blog post we practice yoga poses which will help stabilise the hips by strengthening and stabilising the muscles of the core, hip abductors, and glutes.
Please see my 'sister' blog-

Easter to me marks the beginning of spring when we can begin planting for summer beauty and abundance. This yoga sequence helps us open up to the joys of the springtime season. 
Please see my 'sister' blog- This blog post was included in the online paper 'Yoga Vitality Magazine'-

I wish you all a very happy Easter! x

The spring planting begins!

Easter is the ideal time to get planting.  Here at 40plusandalliswell we reckon Easter marks potato planting time so we have planted the first and second earlies (Pentland javelin and Kestral varieties). Please see 'Organic gardening update: Spring planting four (guest post)' for how to go about this.

We are also planting some more basil. If you would like to grow this herb too, you can sow it in April in pots of moist compost - about 5 in a medium pot.  Cover lightly with compost and keep in a warm place (either on a sunny kitchen windowsill or in a greenhouse). Keep moist - if you have them on a kitchen windowsill you need to put a plastic saucer under the plant pot). We like to sow basil little and often because we love this versatile herb which can be uses in pesto and complements tomatoes beautifully. We want to grow more herbs this year so watch out for another post on this. 

Planting the basil seed

This way of sowing little and often is known as successional sowing. We are also doing this with the corn salad (Lamb's lettuce) that we are growing because if you were to sow all the seeds at once you would get more salad than you can eat - this way you can have fresh salad throughout the summer.  The method is suitable for all salad leaves. Quick growing crops such as French beans, peas, and spinach also can be grown in this way.  It is ideal too for plants that have a tendency to bolt (go to flower and seed) such as broccoli and coriander.  

We wanted to try growing squash this year - a first for 40plusandalliswell.  We have chosen Crown Prince squash for two reasons - we really like eating it (a good reason!! It has orange flesh and a sweet nutty flavour) and we know it grows well where we live because people bring it to the harvest service in autumn.  If you are unsure what to grow where you are, it is a good idea to check out what others are growing.  We have planted one seed in each small pot - plant the seed on its side.  The soil needs to be kept warm so start them off in a greenhouse ideally in peat pots for transplanting or wait a little while and sow directly outdoors.  

Planting the squash

Planting the squash

Last year we had sweet pea flowers all through the summer to brighten the house so we are keen to grow some more this year - we are growing varieties that will give us white, red and blue flowers so that we can have several colour combinations. We have started them off in the greenhouse in pots covered with cling film and already we are seeing shoots popping up. When they grow more we will transplant them around a wigwam which is made of canes tied together (more on this to come).

Happy Easter gardening!

Vegan alternative Easter main course

Friday, 14 April 2017

The great thing about turkey style tofu is that it takes a fraction of the time to cook compared to turkey and there is no risk of food poisoning.  

For the stuffing I used my 'Cheesy' leek bread which worked deliciously well but you can use plain breadcrumbs too.

Turkey style tofu with stuffing
Serves 2-3
You will need

400g tofu
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1- 2 tbsp tamari

For the stuffing
1-2 tbsp organic olive oil or rapeseed oil
1 small onion, finely chopped in blender
100g breadcrumbs (I used my 'Cheesy' leek bread)
1 tsp bouillon
2 tbsp dried sage
Olive oil spray

To serve
1 avocado, peeled and stone removed
Juice 1 lime

Sweet potato wedges

Blend the tofu, garlic and tamari.

Place the breadcrumbs in a bowl and stir in the onion, bouillon, oil and dried sage.  
To assemble, spray a 2lb loaf tin with olive oil spray and place half the tofu mixture at the base. Arrange the stuffing evenly over the tofu and press lightly down.
Arrange the rest of the tofu mixture over the stuffing. Spray with oilve oil spray.  
Place in an oven at 200 degrees for 20-30 minutes. If serving with sweet potato wedges, place these in at the same time.

Blend the avocado with the juice of a lime to serve on the side together with the sweet potato wedges.


🐣 Easter Crafting: Pom-Pom Easter Tree 🐣

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Easter trees have become really popular in recent years, and here's my take on the trend- it's a pom-pom tree!

It's super stylish and fun to make- you could even get older kids involved in the pom-pom making. It's also a cheap and cheerful craft, as all the materials are pretty inexpensive.

🐥 You will need 🐣

Large twigs (I used some fallen twigs that I found in a local wood)

White paint (either poster paint or leftover emulsion)

Wool in colours of your choice

Small pom-pom maker

Small craft scissors


Strong craft glue

A jug or vase to display the finished tree

Plastic sheeting/dust sheet to protect your floors

🐰 Instructions 🐣

The first thing to do is to paint your twigs. I only gave the twigs a couple of coats of paint as I wanted them to have a slightly 'distressed' look, but you could make sure that the paint job on yours was completely even by adding a third coat of paint. It's a good idea to put down some plastic sheeting (or a dust sheet) and wear some old clothes for this job- I found that the twigs were very good at flicking paint!

Next, make the pom-poms. I used a pom-pom maker, using nearly the same method as I used to make the pom-poms for the snowman which was featured on the blog last Christmas- the only difference was that I used the smallest pom-pom maker that I could find. Apart from that, they were made in exactly the same way. Full instructions for this method can be found by clicking here. How many pom-poms you need will depend on the size of the twigs you have used and the look you're after- I made ten of them, but it's really up to you how many you want to do.

The final stage is to stick the pom-poms to the twigs using strong craft glue, and then once dry, pop the arrangement into a vase or jug of your choice. And that's it- your Easter tree is finished (hooray)!

Happy Easter!

Meatless Monday : Low calorie vegan - Italian stuffed aubergine

Monday, 10 April 2017

Although it is low calorie, this main is a little special for an Easter lunch - delicious too!  At only around 375 calories a portion, what's not to like!

Low calorie vegan - Italian stuffed aubergine
Serves 2 

You will need

2 medium aubergines
olive oil spray
1 tbsp organic olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic 
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp pink salt
1 tsp cider vinegar
50g tomato puree
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
150g brown rice, cooked
4 tbsp sweetcorn
20g vegan cheese top (optional)

Cut the aubergine in two and cut round with a knife just inside the skin.  Scoop out the flesh and put to one side. Place the shells on a baking tray and spray with olive oil spray.  Bake at 180 degrees for around 20 minutes.

Meanwhile cook the brown rice with the sweetcorn.  While the rice is cooking heat the oil and cook the onion until starting to soften then add the garlic,herbs and salt, continue cooking. When the rice is ready, drain and stir into the vegetables with the tomato puree and halved cherry tomatoes.

Remove the aubergine shells from the oven and fill with the vegetable and rice mixture. 

Return to the oven for a further 5-10 minutes with a sprinkling of vegan cheese if using.  

Enjoy with a side salad.

Note  - a woman needs to eat 1200-1500 calories per day to lose a pound a week, a man around 2000. 

This week on Flexiladiesyoga

Sunday, 9 April 2017

This week we start a NEW SERIES entitled 'Qualities cultivated by yoga'.
In this first yoga video we cultivate patience.
Blog post and yoga video on my 'sister' blog-

Cobra is a great back bend! In this blog post we go through Cobra variations from beginner to advanced.
Please see my 'sister' blog-
This blog post was included in Yoga Vitality magazine'-

In this blog post on my 'sister' blog we practice yoga poses for greater foot flexibility and find out how we can create greater stability in standing poses through our feet-

First harvest of the year-Chives

Chives are a member of the onion family and give a mild, oniony flavour to soups, stews, potato salads, vegan soft cheeses etc.

One of the great things about growing chives is that you can harvest them three or four times a year and already our patch of chives has provided us with a bounty.  The other great thing is that they are perennial - they come up year after year and require very little, if any attention once established.  You don't need much space for them either - in fact you can grow them on a pot on your kitchen windersill.  They flower in May and their pretty purple flowers look good in salads.

If you are growing chives from seeds in your garden choose a spot that is sunny.  They need to be kept moist but the spot should be well drained.  Enrich the area with organic compost at a depth of about 8 inches. Plant the seeds about 1/4 inch deep and about 4 inches apart. Planting at this time of year, you should get your first harvest in around 60 days.  Keep the soil moist and when the flowers do appear you might want to remove them unless you want a chive garden!!

If you are growing chives on your kitchen windowsill plant them in an organic potting compost that has been premoistened.  Fill your pot to within a couple of inches or so of the top, sprinkle with the seeds and cover so that the seeds are at 1/4 inch depth.  They should germinate within 2 weeks.  Fertilise with a natural fertiliser such as seaweed.  

Look out for a Meatless Monday using chives in a couple of weeks!

Double chocolate brownies with chocolate salted caramel topping

Thursday, 6 April 2017

These vegan brownies are rich, chocolaty, yummy and after all chocolate is part of Easter isn't it? 

The brownies have no added sugar, and are dairy, gluten and egg free. Please see 'Surprising superfood, chocolate' -  

The brownies are best served warm with the sauce poured over.  The brownies have a rich and dark and complemented perfectly by the sweetness of the topping.  Why salted caramel - I wondered this too but the salt brings out the sweetness of the topping.  The caramel flavour comes from lacuma, a powder made from a South American fruit which is bursting with anti-oxidants.

What are we waiting for - let's bake!

Double chocolate brownies with chocolate salted caramel topping

Makes 8-12 slices

You will need

300g gluten free SR flour
60g cacao powder
15g stevia
50g cacao nibs
10 tbsp coconut oil or sunflower oil plus extra for greasing
400ml unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp vanilla essence

Chocolate salted caramel topping

200g Medjool dates, pitted
4 tbsp coconut cream
2 tbsp lacuma
2 tbsp cacao

Sieve the flour and cacao into a bowl and stir in the stevia.  Add the oil, vanilla extract and unsweetened almond milk and mix to a batter.  Stir in the cacao nibs.  Pour into a lightly greased non-stick baking tray (12x7 inches). Bake at 180 degree fan 10-15 minutes (do not overcook, the brownie should be firm on the outside but a little gooey in the middle).  Turn out and top with the chocolate salted caramel.

To make the topping place the dates in a bowl and pour over boiling water to just cover. Allow to cool then whiz up in a high speed blender with the other ingredients.  Spread over the brownies.

For an even more indulgent treat serve with nice cream use 6 peeled and chopped frozen bananas blended with a cup of unsweetened almond milk in a high speed blender.  Serve immediately.

You might also enjoy:-

'Vegan Black forest trifle- noadded sugar and gluten free'
'Vegan chocolate avocado mousse with variations'

Meatless Monday : Easy vegan Thai red curry

Monday, 3 April 2017

This week's Meatless Monday is an easy version of a Thai red curry because it uses a ready made Thai red curry paste which is suitable for vegans.  I have used a tablespoon in my recipe but feel free to add more if you like your Thai red curry hot.  Don't feel you have to add the same veggies as I have either. I am no calorie expert but I reckon that this is around 380 calories if you use light coconut milk- not bad for such a satisfying main meal.

Spicy and creamy - let's get cooking!

Easy vegan Thai red curry

Serves 2

You will need

Pack firm tofu (450g)
1 red chilli sliced (option - reserve a few slices for garnish)
2 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp lime juice
Olive oil spray
1 tbsp organic olive oil
1 tbsp Thai red curry paste
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1/2 aubergine, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
200ml coconut milk (If you are watching your calories, choose a light coconut milk.) 
Coriander for garnish (optional)
Lime wedges to serve (optional)

Dice the tofu into small squares and marinate with the chilli slices, lime juice and tamari in the fridge for at least an hour.  Transfer to a baking tray that has been sprayed with the olive oil spray and cook at 180 degrees in a preheated oven while you get on with the sauce (about 10 minutes).

Heat the oil in a wok and cook the onion until starting to go transparent then add the garlic and cook for a further minute.  Stir in the curry paste with 1 tbsp of the coconut milk.  Heat to release the aromas then add the remaining veggies.  Cook until the veggies are tender then stir in the remaining coconut milk.  Add the tofu with the red chilli that was part of the marinade and heat through.  Serve with 150g brown rice, a garnish of coriander, if using and lime wedges, if using.

Note  - a woman needs to eat 1200-1500 calories per day to lose a pound a week, a man around 2000.


This week on Flexiladiesyoga

Sunday, 2 April 2017

In our video this week we are looking to bring balance to the crown chakra in order to bring acceptance to what is- whether that be happiness or sadness.

In our kids yoga practice today we are really going to embrace all that is good about the springtime!

Join me and have fun!
Please see my 'sister' blog- 
This blog post was included in the online paper 'Yoga Vitality Magazine'.

In order to avoid injury hamstring strength, as well as flexibility is important. In this short yoga sequence we work on hamstring strength.
Please see my 'sister' blog-

Eat a rainbow - greens

We are always being told to 'eat a rainbow', that is different coloured fruit and vegetables and there is a good reason for this.  Different coloured fruit and vegetables have different antioxidants, vitamins and minerals so by eating a variety, you are taking steps to boost your wellbeing. Today we have reached the colour green.

Spring greens are the first cabbage to appear in spring and unlike the cabbage that grow later do not have a heart. Like all cabbage they belong to the brassica family.  After the stodgier roots of the winter, low calorie spring greens can help us lose any winter pounds that linger. Enjoy them steamed, blanched or shredded in stir fries. Don't overcook though to help maintain its nutrients and flavour.

Hipsi (sweetheart) cabbage are also starting to appear at our local garden centre. 

The fields (and gardens!!!) are starting to fill with dandelions. Dandelion leaves are bitter and make a good addition to salads. A benefit of dandelion leaves is that they cleanse the liver which is really beneficial  at this time of year. 
A word of warning dandelions have potentially toxic lookalikes in nature and can be laden with pesticides so get them from a farmers market for safety. Also wild greens are not suitable if you are taking blood thinning medication.

Leafy greens are rich in vitamin A for mucus membrane health,  vitamin C, an antioxidant which helps boost immunity and keep your skin and hair healthy.  Also they are a source of vitamin K, essential for bone health. Further, leafy greens contain sulforophane and indoles which have anti-cancer properties, and its anti-inflammatory properties mean they help keep the heart healthy and prevent strokes.  Added to that leafy greens are a great source of fibre with all the benefits that has for preventing constipation.  

Even more excitingly leafy green vegetables are a source of a type of natural sugar called sulfoquinovose which can help improve the diversity of the gut biome. 

You might also want to see the following recipes:-
'Meatless Monday-Potato, cabbage and chickpea curry' and 'Harvesting the organic cabbage (or not!!)'- which has a recipe for 'Stuffed cabbage leaves'.

You may also like:-

'Eat a rainbow-Red cabbage'

'Eat a rainbow-Sweet potato

'Eat a rainbow-Grapefruit'