Do you find you use the same vegetables every week, on repeat? I know I’m guilty…

Do you find you use the same vegetables every week, on repeat? I know I’m guilty of this too, but the advice for better gut health is to eat at least 30 plant varieties a week, and to make them as diverse as possible. This 30 does include fruit, pulses, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices and grains too, but a variety of veggies has to be top of the list to aim for. In my new book, Living Plantfully, I suggest lots of great ideas not only for packing extra veg into your diet without really noticing, but also share some healthy tips for making veggies taste even more delicious for those in the family who aren’t a big fan of eating their greens.

Fennel is one of those slightly ‘Marmite’ veg – not everyone loves the aniseed flavour and crunchy texture of these rather sculptural bulbs, but if you’ve only ever tried it raw, then give it a go roasted. It completely changes the texture to silky smooth (a bit like roasted peppers or onions) and the aniseed flavour becomes much milder and more aromatic. Our guinea pigs love it when we cook with fennel too – they can’t get enough of the feathery fennel tops! If you don’t have guinea pigs, you can use the feathery fennel herb to add extra flavour to your dish.

This simple and nutritious fennel, leek, bean and pesto traybake created by @doctors_kitchen is perfect for bringing out the best in fennel and is easy enough for a midweek meal. It also uses several storecupboard standbys such as pesto, tinned beans and nuts. Serve this with crusty bread or your favourite wholegrain.

Find the full recipe on the Living Plantfully website – simply click on the link in our bio.

Recipe from Doctor’s Kitchen 3-2-1 by Dr Rupy Aujla, published by @harpercollinsuk. Photograph by Andrew Burton.

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