Food & Drink

Doctors Orders

Doctor and nutritionist Dr Michelle Braude shares a healthy meal packed full of autumnal flavours

Dr Michelle Braude qualified as a medical doctor from University College London (UCL). During her medical studies, she completed a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Nutrition from King’s College London as well as an elective in Gastroenterology at the Whittington Hospital. 

Being passionate about all things health, food, medicine and science, Michelle started her own nutrition practice, The Food Effect, in 2012, tapping into her desire to utilise her extensive knowledge in both medicine and nutrition to support and help clients improve their diet, lose weight and supercharge their overall health and wellbeing – in a way that would be sustainable for the rest of their lives. 

Michelle is the author of two successful books, that encapsulate the ethos of The Food Effect lifestyle, and is particularly keen to help those looking to make long-lasting, effective change to their health, weight and overall wellbeing. 

Here Michelle shares a healthy autumnal meal, packed full of warming flavours and nutrition to help you feel energised


Dr Michelle Braude

Roasted Butternut Squash & Apple Soup with Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Serves: 8

This vibrant soup is jam packed with goodness. The pumpkin seed topping adds a great source of plant based protein, and also make a delicious snack on their own.

Ingredients (soup):
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large white onion, diced
2 green apples, peeled and chopped
1 tsp xylitol sugar alternative (available in stores as Total Sweet) 
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp chilli powder
1 ½ tsp fine sea salt
2kg butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded and cut into cubes
2 litres of vegetable stock (made from vegetable stock powder)
Generous pinch of salt and black pepper

Spiced Pumpkin Seeds
140g pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp chilli powder


Heat the oil in a large pot over a medium heat.  Add the chopped onion, apple, cinnamon, ginger, chilli powder and salt.  Cook, whilst stirring occasionally, for around 5 minutes.  

Add the butternut squash to the pot, and stir to coat for another 5 minutes.  

Add the stock, bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer, with the pot covered, for around 40-50 minutes, until the squash is soft.  

Allow the soup to cool and blend in a blender or with a hand-held immersion blender until completely smooth.

To make the spiced pumpkin seeds – combine the oil, cinnamon, chilli powder, salt and pepper together in a small bowl.  Add the pumpkin seeds and stir to coat.  

Heat a pan over a medium heat. Add the pumpkin seeds, and allow to toast in the pan, whilst stirring to ensure they don’t burn, for around 3-5 minutes.  

Remove from heat and allow to cool fully. 

Serve the soup heated, with a generous sprinkling of spiced pumpkin seeds on top.

Flourless Carrot Cake (gluten-free, dairy-free)

Serves 10-12

Carrot cake must be one of the most popular cakes for tea-time, as well as a personal favourite. This healthier version is made without flour or refined sugar, but it definitely does not compromise on taste or flavour!

3 large eggs
200g xylitol sugar alternative
2 tsp vanilla essence
120ml melted coconut oil
200g ground almonds
100g desiccated coconut
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
50g grated carrot
100g pecan nuts or walnuts, roughly chopped

Dairy-free icing (optional)
150g unsalted cashew nuts, soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes, or overnight in cold water
60ml agave or maple syrup
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt


First make the cake. Preheat the oven to 160 °C/Gas 3. Beat the eggs, sugar, vanilla and oil until light and well combined. 

Add the ground almonds, coconut, cinnamon and nutmeg, and stir until just combined. Then add the grated carrot and chopped nuts, and mix until well combined. 

Line a 23cm spring-form tin with baking paper and spray the sides with non-stick baking spray or oil. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean. 

Allow the cake to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes, then loosen the edges with a knife and remove from the tin to cool. 

When totally cool, prepare the icing (see below) and spread thickly all over the cake.

To make the icing, drain and rinse the soaked cashew nuts. 

Combine all the ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor, and blend until smooth and creamy. You may need to scrape the mixture down and pulse a few times to achieve the desired consistency. Remove from the blender and set aside. Spread over the carrot cake once it has completely cooled.

Vegetable Bolognaise

Serves: 4

A healthy, delicious vegan version of the classic favourite, spaghetti bolognaise.

300g (uncooked weight) whole-wheat or brown rice spaghetti
1 tbsp olive oil 
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 sticks of celery, sliced
300g tin cut green beans in water, drained and chopped
400g tin chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
125g mushrooms, chopped
¼–½ tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper
10g fresh parsley, chopped

Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add a generous pinch of salt and stir. Add the spaghetti and cook according to the packet instructions.

In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the chopped onion and fry over a low heat for 3–5 minutes, until softened and translucent but not browned. 

Add the carrots, celery and green beans. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, mushrooms and cayenne pepper. Add a generous pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Stir through the fresh parsley.

Drain the spaghetti when cooked, and divide between serving plates. Top each serving with a quarter of the bolognaise sauce. Top with some freshly ground black pepper. Serve hot.

Michelle also shares daily nutrition tips, advice and delicious healthy recipes on her Instagram page: @thefoodeffectdr

Michelle’s two books, The Food Effect Diet and The Food Effect Diet Vegan are both packed full of advice and recipes to help you ‘eat more, weigh less, look & feel better’. Both are available from Amazon

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