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Posts Tagged ‘Healthy’

Chicken with olives & tomatoes

This one-pot dish is full of Mediterranean flavours and reminiscent of summer sun. A tasty treat for mid-week and freezes well too.

Wine suggestion: try a glass of a good, dry Provençal Rosé. We had one made by Chateau Vignelaure which matched the sunny nature of this dish perfectly.

Chicken, red pepper & olive cacciatore – serves 6

  • 6 chicken thighs
  • 6 drumsticks
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 x 400g tin tomatoes
  • 2 red peppers, seeded and sliced
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary, needles chopped
  • 300ml red wine
  • 120g pitted black olives,  halved
  • a large handful of basil leaves

Heat the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5.

Season the chicken pieces well with salt & pepper. Heat a splash of oil in a large shallow casserole and fry the chicken until the skin is golden brown. This should take about 10 minutes and is easier to do in  a few batches. Remove the chicken onto a plate.

Pour most of the fat off the pan, then add the onions and garlic and fry for  over a low heat for about 8 minutes or until very soft.

Add the tomatoes, peppers and rosemary and simmer for another 10 minutes, breaking the tomatoes up with a wooden spoon. Add the wine and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the sauce is rich and thick.

Stir the olives into the sauce and nestle the chicken pieces back into the pan. If your pan is too small to take the chicken in a single layer you can transfer everything to a baking dish at this point. Cook in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and comes away easily from the bone.

(Original recipe from BBC Olive Magazine, July 2016.)

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Rainbow noodle salad

A healthy salad for lunchboxes and a good use for red cabbage which always seem impossible to get through. If you have a mandolin it will make short work of shredding the vegetables.

Rainbow Veg Noodle Salad – serves 2

  • 50g medium egg noodles
  • sesame oil
  • juice of ½ a lime
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 carrot, peeled and julienned
  • ½ a red pepper, thinly sliced
  • ¼ of a small red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 50g sugar snap peas
  • 1 scallion, sliced
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet, then rinse under cold water and drain well.

Whisk 2 tsp of the sesame oil, the lime juice, peanut butter and rice wine vinegar together in a large bowl. Add a splash of boiling water if the dressing appears too thick.

Add the noodles, carrot, pepper, cabbage and sugar snaps and toss to coat.

Divide between 2 containers and scatter with the scallion and sesame seeds.

(Original recipe from BBC Olive Magazine, February, 2014.)

 

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Turkey Chilli with jacket potatoes

This is a good chilli for mid-week. It uses turkey mince which is lean, and easy to pick up now in supermarkets. It’s not lacking in flavour and we will definitely be doing it again.

Wine Suggestion: a lighter Spanish red is the trick here; make sure it doesn’t have too many tannins. Our find of the moment is a rarity from Teruel, in Aragon which has a harsh climate of hot summers and very bitterly cold winters. From a resurrected-reinvented vineyard the Jesus Romero Rubus is an unoaked blend of Garnacha, Tempranillo and Syrah. The beauty of this wine is the purity of fruit that sings and layers itself across the palate and has a very long finish. Never heavy, yet full of life. That said, it’s mid-week, so go for it, have whatever is open and it’ll be grand!

Turkey Chilli Jacket Potatoes – serves 4

  • 4 large baking potato
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 300g turkey mince
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soft light brown sugar
  • 350ml passata
  • cheddar cheese, grated, to serve
  • 4 scallions, chopped, to serve

Heat oven to 220ºC.

Prick the potatoes all over with a fork. Rub with a little oil, and bake for 20 mins, then turn the oven down to 200ºC and cook for 45 mins-1 hour depending on the size of your spuds.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and some seasoning, and cook for 5 mins until soft. Add the turkey mince and season again, then increase the heat and break up the mince with the back of your spoon. When it’s cooked through, add the spices, vinegar, sugar and passata. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 mins or until the liquid has reduced.

Cut a cross in the potatoes and serve filled with the chilli, some chopped scallions and grated cheese.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Thai salmon cakes with carrot salad

We like to use the Thai curry pastes that come in plastic tubs, Mae Ploy is a good one. There’s always more in the tub than we need which forces us to search for lots of recipes to use it up. This is a bit different for a weeknight, tastes really good and is healthy too.

Wine Suggestion: a light aromatic white is what we’d suggest, like a QbA or Kabinett Riesling from the Mosel. They tend to have a welcome low alcohol (7 to 9 % abv), delicate and vibrant fruit and a refreshing zing to cut through the little bit of residual sugar. A dry Riesling doesn’t work as well; the touch of sweetness helps balance the chilli and curry paste perfectly.

Thai Salmon Steaks with Carrot Salad – serves 2

  • 2 skinless salmon fillets, about 300g in total, cut into large chunks
  • 2 tsp Thai red curry paste
  • small handful of coriander leaves
  • groundnut oil

CARROT SALAD:

  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp golden caster sugar
  • a small chunk of ginger, finely grated
  • 2 large carrots, grated
  • 3 scallions, shredded lengthways
  • 1 red chilli, shredded lengthways
  • handful of coriander leaves

Put the salmon, curry paste and coriander in a food processor. Pulse until roughly chopped, then form into 6 fishcakes and chill while you make the salad.

Mix the rice wine vinegar and sugar until the sugar dissolves, then add the ginger. Toss all the other salad ingredients together with the dressing.

Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan. Cook the salmon cakes for 2-3 minutes per side until golden and cooked through. Serve with the salad.

(Original recipe from BBC Olive Magazine, April 2011.)

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Baked butternut squash, chickpeas, pepper & pomegranate

This was tasty for a mid-week veggie night. The pomegranate molasses add a pleasant sour note but if you don’t have any you can substitute a few tablespoons of lime juice and a teaspoon of soft brown sugar drizzled over the top.

Baked butternut squash, chickpeas & green chilli – serves 6

  • 1kg butternut squash, deseeded and cut into chunks
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • medium piece ginger, grated
  • 1 green chilli, finely diced
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 400g tin chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • chopped parsley, pomegranate seeds, mint & Greek yoghurt and couscous to serve

Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.

Put the squash onto a baking tray, drizzle with 2 tbsp of the oil, season and toss to coat evenly. Roast for 25 minutes or until soft.

Put half the squash into a medium casserole dish and set the rest aside. Heat a medium-sized frying pan and add the rest of the oil, then the onion, garlic, ginger, chilli and paprika. Cook for 5-8 minutes or until the onion is soft. Add the tomatoes, pomegranate molasses and chickpeas, then simmer for a minute before turning off the heat.

Pour half the tomato sauce over the squash in the casserole dish in an even layer. Arrange the rest of the squash on top then finish with the rest of the sauce. Cover with a lid, transfer to the oven and bake for 25 minutes.

Remove the casserole from the oven and serve hot or at room temperature, scattered with chopped parsley, pomegranate seeds, and mint, with the yoghurt on the side. Serve with couscous.

(Original recipe by Bill Granger in BBC Good Food Magazine, March 2011.)

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Chilli & Salt Squid

Inspired by Gok Wan, this works a treat. We always found that getting fresh squid was difficult until we found great frozen ones: flash frozen as soon as they’ve been caught. A spanish chef Jono knows swears by them and we do too! This is a healthier take on the deep-fried salt chilli squid you get in restaurants.

Wine Suggestion: A fresh, light to medium-bodied white with good fruit works a treat here, but just make sure it’s not bone dry as you need to balance the chilli. We’d suggest either a good Albariño / Alvarinho [we drank the Saolheiro Alvarinho from Portugal) which complements the saltiness or a dry German Riesling from a good producer like Leitz in the Rheingau or Dönnhoff in the Nahe which will carry a good level of fruit and taste dry. These really balance fruit with acidity for perception as opposed to an Australian Riesling which really is bone dry and will fight with the chilli.

Chilli & Salt Squid with Cucumber Salad – serves 2

  • 2 medium squid (tubes and tentacles), cleaned – we used 500g baby squid
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil
  • ½ a red chilli, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • salt and ground white pepper

For the cucumber salad: 

  • ½ a cucumber, deseeded and sliced into thin ribbons
  • 4 tbsp rice vinegar
  • a pinch of caster sugar

Put the cucumber into a serving dish. Pour over the vinegar and sugar and set aside.

Slice the squid tubes in half lengthways and lay out flat with the inside facing up. Score the tubes at an angle about 5mm apart but take care not to slice the whole way through. Turn the squid 45 degrees and score again at that angle. Once scored slice the squid into 2cm wide strips. Cut large tentacles in half and leave small ones whole.

Heat a wok over a medium to high heat and add the oil. Add the chilli, garlic and spring onions and fry for 4-5 minutes, or until starting to dry out – take care not to burn the garlic. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper.

Put the wok back on the heat and, when hot, add a splash of oil. Wait for the oil to smoke, then add the squid and stir-fry for a minute, or until half cooked and starting to char at the edges. Put the garlic/chilli/spring onion mix back into the pan and stir through, tossing over the heat until cooked through. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Serve with the cucumber.

(Original recipe from Gok Cooks Chinese by Gok Wan, Penguin Books, 2012.)

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Salmon with Pak choi

Light yet tasty and full of flavour. Makes you feel healthy eating it.

Wine Suggestion: Some lighter styles of white wine can be overpowered by salmon. We went for an Italian grape variety called Pecorino which has a bit more body and a nice lemony flavour to complement the sauce.

Citrusy Salmon with Garlic Pak Choi – serves 4

  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • juice of 3 oranges
  • juice of 1 lime, and 2 tsp grated zest
  • 4 salmon fillets
  • 500g pak choi, stems quartered
  • 4 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp honey

Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

Line a baking tray with kitchen foil.

Heat a little olive oil in a small pan, add the onion and one of the garlic cloves, and cook for about 5 minutes or until soft.

Add the orange and lime juice and the lime zest, then simmer gently until reduced by half. Season.

Meanwhile, put the salmon fillets on the baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes or until just cooked trough.

Heat a splash of olive oil in another pan, add the pak choi and stir-fry for a couple of minutes. Add the remaining garlic, the soy sauce and honey, and keep cooking for another couple of minutes.

Serve the salmon with the pak choi and the sauce drizzled over.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food Magazine, April 2014.)

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