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Posts Tagged ‘Healthy’

This is the kind of weeknight dish we love, quick and esay but no compromise on flavour.

Wine Suggestion: Try a fun Italian white like a Pecorino or Falanghina, you won’t go far wrong.

Courgette, butter & basil gnocchi – serves 2

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 courgette, trimmed and cubed (we used 2 small courgettes, a green and a yellow)
  • 250g pack of gnocchi from the fridge
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp capers, drained
  • a pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 2 tbsp salted butter
  • a small bunch of basil, leaves torn, plus a few extra to serve
  • pecorino, finely grated, to serve

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium-hight heat, then cook the courgettes until golden and soft.

Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salty water to the boil, add the gnnocchi and cook until it floats to the top. Remove the cooked gnocchi with a slotted spoon as they rise to the surface. Keep a cupful of the cooking water.

While the gnocchi is cooking, add the garlic, capers and chilli flakes to the courgettes and cook for a minute. Add the lemon juice and stir to scrape any bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the butter and sizzle for 30 seconds or until it smells nutty. Add the gnocchi and a splash of the reserved cooking liquid to make a glossy sauce that coats the gnocchi.

Stir in most of the basil, then serve in warm bowls, sprinkled with the pecorino and extra basil leaves.

(Original recipe by Anna Glover in Olive Magazine, August 2021.)

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A Moroccan-inspired fish dish for mid-week. Some couscous and yoghurt on the side are good additions.

Wine Suggestion: this works well with Grenache Blanc and we’ve fallen in love with one from Terra Alta in the south of Catalonia made by Edetaria. As it’s mid-week, the basic and joyful “via Terra” Garnatxa Blanca with its perfume and balance af fresh and ripe fruit flavours is perfect.

Fish Tagine with Saffron & Almonds – serves 4

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • a good pinch of saffron
  • 600ml hot fish stock or chicken stock
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • a thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • ½ a green chilli, thinly sliced (keep the other half to serve)
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tbsp ground almonds
  • zest of 1 orange, juice of ½
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 700g white fish, cut into large chunks, we used hake
  • a small bunch of coriander, chopped
  • a handful of flaked almonds, toasted
  • ½ green chilli, to serve

Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes to soften.

Meanwhile, put the saffron in the hot stock and leave to steep.

Add the garlic, ginger and chilli to the pan and cook for another few minutes. Add the spices and tomato purée, stir for a few minutes until fragrant, then add the tomatoes, ground almonds, orange zest and juice, honey and saffron-stock. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, until the tomatoes have broken down and the sauce has thickened slightly.

Add the fish and nestle it well down into the sauce. Cover with a lid and simmer on a low heat for 2-3 minutes or until just cooked. Season to taste, then add the coriander and scatter with the toasted almonds. Scatter with the extra green chilli to serve.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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We like to have soup for lunch but tend to get out of the habit in the summer months. This one is suitably summery and really captures the flavour of courgette.

Courgette and mint soup – serves 4

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 6 courgettes, halved lengthways and thinly sliced
  • 750ml veg stock
  • 150ml crème fraîche, plus a bit extra to serve
  • a small bunch of mint leaeves, chopped

Heat the oil in a large saucepan, then cook the onions withs ome salt for about 10 minutes or until soft but not browned. Add the garlic and cook gently for a few minutes, then add the courgettes and cook gently for 20 minutes.

Add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil for a few minutes. Whizz the soup until smooth, then stir in the crème fraîche and mint, then whizz again. Season.

Serve in warm bowls with some extra crème fraîche and mint leaves to garnish.

(Original recipe by Adam Bush in Olive Magazine, June 2020.)

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There should be some good value asparagus around by now and this is a very tasty way with sweet potatoes.

Roasted sesame sweet potatoes & asparagus – serves 3 as a side

  • 750g sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • a thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • ½ tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp Thai fish sauce
  • 1½ tbsp reduced-salt soy sauce
  • a bunch of asparagus, snap off the ends and cut in half
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds

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

Put the potatoes into a large roasting tin and toss with the garlic, ginger, sesame oil, fish sauce and 1 tbsp of the soy sauce. Roast for 20 minuts or until tender.

Add the asparagus, 3 tbsp of water and ½ tbsp of soy sauce. Roast for another 10 minutes. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over and serve.

(Original ricpe from BBC Good Food)

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This is much lighter than your average pasta bake and therefore perfect for midweek. It’s packed full of flavour and you can freeze the leftovers too. Serve with a salad.

Wine Suggestion: Perfect with an easy, mid-weight red like the Umani Ronchi Rosso Conero Serrano, a joyful blend of Montepulciano and Sangiovese. Food friendly and also easy sipping on its own.

Spinach & Ricotta Pasta Bake – serves 6

  • 400g wholewheat penne pasta
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 250g roasted peppers from a jar, diced
  • 700g jar passata
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 100ml water
  • 200g ricotta cheese
  • a small handful of sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 150g baby spinach
  • a handful of basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 125g mozzarella ball, diced
  • 15g Parmesan, finely grated

Preheat the oven to 220C/Fan 200C/Gas 7.

Bring a large pan of salty water to the boil and cook the pasta for the shortest time indicated on the pack, then drain and run under cold water until completely cooled. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in another large saucepan, then cook the onion for about 5 minutes or until softened. Then add the garlic and continue cooking for another 2 minutes. Stir in the paprika and cook for a further minute.

Add the roasted peppers, passata, tomatoes and oregano. Pour the 100ml of water into the passata jar, give it a shake, then add this too. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix the ricotta and chopped sage together and season with salt and black pepper.

Stir the spinach and basil into the tomato sauce until wilted, then season the sauce with salt and black pepper. Add the pasta and stir to coat in the sauce, then tip it all into a large roasting tray or lasagne dish.

Scatter over the mozzarella, dot with the ricotta mixture and sprinkle with the Parmesan. Bake on a high shelf in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

(Original recipe from Lose Weight & Get Fit by Tom Kerridge, BLOOMSBURY ABSOLUTE, 2018.)

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This is so simple for mid-week and the colours are just fab! Healthy too and generous portions.

Roast onion, chickpea & halloumi salad – serves 2

  • 2 red onions, peeled and each cut into 8 wedges
  • 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tsp ras el hanout
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 250g cooked Puy lentils – we used a tin but you can of course cook them yourself or buy one of those pouches
  • 100g roasted red peppers, cut into strips
  • a large handful of mint leaves, finely chopped
  • a large handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp pomegranate molasses
  • 250g packet of halloumi, sliced
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate seeds

Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan/Gas 7.

Line a baking tray with baking paper. Spread the onion wedges and chickpeas over the tray, then sprinkle with the ras el hanout and some salt and rub gently to coat, then drizzle with oil. Cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the chickpeas or golden and crunchy.

Meanwhile, mix the lentils, roast peppers, mint and half the chopped parsley in a bowl. Drizzle over 1 tbsp of oil and the pomegranate molasses and season well with salt and pepper. Mix well and divide between serving plates.

Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat. When hot, add a little oil, then fry the halloumi slices for a couple of minutes on each side or until golden brown.

Spoon the onions and chickpeas over the lentils, then top with the halloumi and scatter over the pomegranate seeds and parsley to serve.

(Original recipe from Lose Weight & Get Fit by Tom Kerridge, Bloomsbury Absolute, 2019.)

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This will clear the sinuses and it’s delicious too. Nice and easy, tasty, and very handy for midweek.

Beef Phở – serves 2

  • 750ml strong beef stock
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and bashed
  • a thumb-sized piece of ginger, sliced
  • 2 red chillies, sliced
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • a bunch of scallions, sliced
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 100g flat rice noodles
  • 200g fillet steak, thinly sliced
  • a handful of beansprouts
  • coriander leaves
  • lime wedges
  • hoisin sauce
  • sriracha sauce

Bring the stock, garlic, ginger, half the chilli, star anise, cinnamon and half the scallions to the boil for 15 minutes. Strain and discard the solids, then bring back to the boil. Season with the fish sauce.

Meanwhile, pour a kettle of boiling water over the noodles and leave to soak for 10 minutes, then drain and rinse.

Divide the noodles between warm bowls. Add the steak and beansprouts to the simmering stock and remove from the heat, they will cook in the residual heat. Spoon over the noodles and add the rest of the scallions, chilli, some coriander and lime wedges. Serve with hoisin and sriracha.

(Original recipe by Anna Glover in Olive Magazine, Christmas 2015.)

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Baked Cod & Butter Beans

An easy, midweek fish dish that’s perfect for two.

Wine Suggestion: despite being a fish dish this works with red wine, though we’d suggest nothing too heavy or rich. Tonight Domaine Rochette’s Morgon Cote du Py added an earthy texture and density and is a good example of why we should be drinking more Beaujolais.

Baked cod and butter beans – serves 2

  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds, crushed
  • 400g tin cherry tomatoes
  • 400g tin butter beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 chunky pieces of skinless cod loin
  • 35g breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp chopped rosemary
  • 25g grated Parmesan

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

Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in an ovenproof frying pan. Cook the onion and garlic until softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in the fennel seeds and cook for a minute. Add the cherry tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, until slightly thickened. Stir in the butter beans and season.

Sit the cod pieces in the beans. Mix the breadcrumbs with the rosemary, Parmesan, seasoning and a tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle the crumbs over the fish and bake for 15 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden and the fish cooked.

(Original recipe by Janine Ratcliffe in Olive Magazine, July 2019.)

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Paprika & Oregano marinated fish with Cherry Tomato Salsa

We made it too late to the fish shop to get mussels. I tried to sign through the window to get something for the barbecue instead and Oralith (age 6) opened the door and yelled – try and get a lobster! Entertained the fishmonger anyway and we had tuna steaks in the end. Little did he know that she wanted to bring the lobster home to keep as a pet.

Wine Suggestion: We never get over how the Rustenberg Chardonnay so completely over delivers for its price and perfectly works with food, but as we’d not had some for ages opened this on a whim and we weren’t disappointed. Another successful match for this wine.

Paprika- and oregano-marinated fish with cherry tomato salsa – serves 4

  • 4 tuna steaks
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp smoked Spanish paprika

FOR THE SALSA:

  • 250g cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 4 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 long red chilli, seeded and finely chopped (we only had a green one which worked fine too)
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar

Mix the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano, paprika and some seasoning together in a bowl. Put the tuna steaks into a ceramic dish and pour over the marinade. Cover the dish and leave in the fridge for half an hour.

To make the salsa, mix the tomatoes, scallions, oregano, chilli and vinegar in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Cook the tuna over a hot barbecue for a couple of minutes on each side.

Serve the tuna with some salsa spooned over and some lemon wedges to squeeze over.

(Original recipe from Holiday by Bill Granger, Murdoch Books, 2007.)

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Carrot & Ginger mash with pan fried codSo, this is a full-on diet dish, but the carrot and ginger mash is spectacular and we couldn’t recommend it highly enough for nights when you need some restraint. We are a greedy household and require restraint on a regular basis – no wine for us tonight!

Carrot & Ginger Mash with Pan-fried Cod – serves 2

  • 2 large carrots (about 300g), thickly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 15g fresh root ginger, peeled
  • 15g butter
  • ½ tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 thick, skinless cod fillets
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • dried chilli flakes

Put the carrots, garlic & ginger in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil then simmer for 15 minutes or until soft.

Take the pan off the heat, reserve a ladle of the cooking water, then drain. Return the carrot mixture to the pan and add 3 tbsp of the reserved cooking water, the butter, and the lemon juice. Whizz the carrots to a purée with a stick blender, adding a bit more of the water if needed. Season with salt and black pepper.

Season the cod with sea salt and black pepper. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the cod for about 4 minutes, then turn, sprinkle with a few chilli flakes, and cook on the other side for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on how thick they are.

Spoon the purée onto warm plates and serve with the fish on top and plenty of green veg.

(Original recipe from The Fast 800 Recipe Book by Dr Claire Bailey & Justine Pattison, Short Books, 2019.)

 

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Chicken with Mushrooms

This is a great one-pan dish for mid-week. Tasty, economical and good for you too. We’re all into healthy stuff now that we have a kitchen and no longer need to eat out so much. We served with buttery mash (not so healthy) but a salad or extra greens would also be appropriate.

Wine Suggestion: Given it’s mid-week, we’d suggest the Domaine Ventenac Cuvée Carole which is mostly Chardonnay, but has a touch of Gros Manseng to brilliant effect. Fresh and easy, and yet textured, savoury as well as full of joyful fruit.

Chicken with Mushrooms – serves 4

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 500g boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • flour, for dusting
  • 50g pancetta cubes
  • 300g small button mushrooms
  • 2 large shallots, chopped
  • 250ml chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 50g frozen peas
  • small handful of parsley, finely chopped

Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a frying pan. Season and dust the chicken with flour, then brown on all sides. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

Fry the pancetta and mushrooms in the same pan until softened, then remove.

Add another tbsp of olive oil and cook the shallots for a few minutes until soft. Add the stock and vinegar then bubble for a couple of minutes before returning the chicken, pancetta and mushrooms to the pan. Cook for 15 minutes.

Add the peas and parsley and cook for 2 minutes more before serving with mash, salad or veg.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

 

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Chinese Meatball Stir-fry

This is a diet dish but is packed with flavour and you get a decent bowl full to really fill you up. The recipe is by Tom Kerridge and the ingredient list is long, but it’s easy to put together and other than the fresh veg you probably have most of the ingredients in the cupboard.

Chinese Meatball Stir-fry – serves 4

  • vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, very finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 750g lean beef mince
  • 1 ½ tsp Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1 ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 large red onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 200g carrots, thinly sliced on an angle
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2.5cm piece of ginger, finely grated
  • 1 large red pepper, diced
  • 1 large yellow pepper, diced
  • 300ml fresh beef stock
  • 120g Asian mushrooms or chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 ½ tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 ½ tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 80g mangetout
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced on an angle

Heat the vegetable oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the chopped onions and cook for 5 minutes or until softened. Remove the pan from the heat and add the soy sauce. Leave to cool.

Put the beef mince into a large bowl and add the cooled onions, Chinese five-spice, bicarbonate of soda and plenty of salt and pepper. Mix well with your hands, then divide into 16 equally sized meatballs. Chill in the fridge for 2 hours to firm up.

Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4.

Put a large non-stick wok/frying pan over a high heat. When hot, add a splash of vegetable oil. Add the meatballs and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until browned on all sides. Transfer to an oven tray and bake for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, return the wok/frying pan to a high heat. Add the sesame oil, red onion and carrots and cook for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 2 minutes stirring continually. Add the peppers and cook for 4 minutes, add a dash of the beef stock at any point if things start to stick.

Add the mushrooms, meatballs and half of the beef stock to the pan, then add the hoisin and oyster sauces and the rice wine vinegar. Stir well and bring to a simmer.

Mix the cornflour to a paste with 1 tbsp of the remaining beef stock and pout into the pan, along with the rest of the stock.

Add the mangetout and scallions and stir-fry for 4-5 minutes or until the mangetout are just cooked and the meatballs heated through.

(Original recipe from Lose Weight for Good by Tom Kerridge, Absolute Press, 2017.)

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Prawn Korma with coco cauli rice

This is absolutely a diet dish but for a diet dish it’s particularly tasty.  Low calories and low carbs but we guarantee it will fill you up so if you’re cutting down we highly recommend this. You can buy bags of cauliflower rice but it is literally just cauliflower whizzed until it resembles rice. A large cauliflower will be fresher and cheaper! We like Madras curry paste (Patak’s is our preference) but you could use something less spicy, like a Korma.

Prawn Curry with with Cauliflower Rice – serves 4

FOR THE RICE:

  • a large cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp desiccated coconut

FOR THE KORMA:

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2cm root ginger, peeled and diced
  • 3 tbsp curry paste
  • 400ml tin of coconut milk
  • 400g frozen tiger prawns, defrosted
  • large handful of spinach leaves
  • 2 tbsp full-fat Greek yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped

To make the rice, whizz the cauliflower in a food processor until it looks a similar texture to rice.

Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan and add the cauliflower and desiccated coconut.

Fry over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 12 minutes, or until tender.

For the curry, heat the coconut oil in a saucepan and sauté the onions, garlic & ginger for 8-10 minutes or until lightly coloured.

Add the curry paste and cook for a minute, before adding the coconut milk. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the sauce has reduced and thickened.

Add the prawns and simmer gently for 3-4 minutes, then stir in the spinach, yoghurt & some seasoning.

Serve the curry with the cauliflower rice and top with the coriander.

(Original recipe from The Fast 800 by Michael Mosley, Short Books, 2019.)

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Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower with Dhal

A vegan dish for mid-week that is not only super-healthy but very tasty too.

Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower with Dhal – serves 4

FOR THE CAULIFLOWER:

  • 1 large cauliflower, sliced into 1cm steaks (or you can break into florets but don’t waste the stalk)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced

FOR THE DHAL:

  • ½ tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely diced
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp medium curry powder
  • 250g red lentils
  • 400ml tin light coconut milk
  • 400ml vegetable stock
  • generous handful of spinach leaves
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • 2 tbsp flaked almonds, toasted

Preheat the oven to 200C/Fan 180C/Gas 6.

Put the cauliflower into a large roasting tin and sprinkle with the olive oil.

Roast the cauliflower for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and scatter over the turmeric and garlic. Return to the oven for a further 15 minutes or until browned and tender.

Meanwhile, heat the coconut oil in a lidded saucepan and gently fry the onion and chilli for about 4 minutes.

Add the cumin, garlic and curry powder and cook for another couple of minutes before stirring in the lentils, coconut milk and stock. Bring to the boil then cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until the lentils are soft.

Add the spinach and stir until wilted. Stir in the coriander and season to taste.

Squeeze the lemon over the cauliflower and serve with the dhal and the toasted almonds.

(Original recipe from The Fast 800 by Michael Mosley, Short Books, 2019.)

 

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Duck Stir-Fry with Ginger & Greens

It’s not often you find a duck dish that is light and healthy. It pains us too to pull off and discard that duck skin but somedays it just has to be done. Can’t recommend this highly enough for a good food day. We served with some brown basmati.

Duck stir-fry with ginger and greens – serves 4

  • groundnut oil
  • 2 skinless duck breasts, cut into thin strips
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1 red chilli, sliced
  • 6 scallions, sliced
  • 500g pak choi, sliced
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp cornflour

Heat a wok until smoking hot, then add 2 tsp of oil. Add the duck and stir-fry for 2 minutes before removing with a slotted spoon. Add another teaspoon of oil and tip in the ginger, chilli, almost all the scallions and the pak choi. Cook until the pak choi is just wilted.

Add the soy, honey and oyster sauce to the wok and put the duck back in – bubble for a minute. Mix the cornflour with 2 tsp cold water and stir until smooth, add to the wok and cook until the sauce thickens and looks glossy. Garnish with the leftover scallions to serve.

(Original recipe by Jemma Morphet in Olive Magazine, February 2011.)

 

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Caponata Spaghetti

A really healthy mid-week pasta dish but with heaps of flavour. Don’t be tempted to use  more oil than specified, as you really don’t miss it in this dish.

Caponata Spaghetti – serves 4

  • 2 aubergines, cut into 3cm cubes
  • 4 tsp vegetable oil
  • ½ red onion, sliced
  • 2 sticks of celery, sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • a small handful of raisins
  • 1 tsp capers
  • a handful of kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 300g wholewheat spaghetti
  • a small bunch of parsley, chopped

Heat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7.

Toss the aubergine with 2tsp of oil and a little seasoning and tip into a large non-stick baking tray. Roast for 20 minutes or until charred and soft.

Meanwhile, heat the rest of the oil in a large pan and cook the red onion and celery with a large pinch of salt for 10 minutes or until softening and caramelised a little. Add the garlic and oregano, and cook for a minute before adding the tomatoes and 100ml water. Tip in the roasted aubergine and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the raisins, capers, olives and red wine vinegar, and season. Keep on a low heat while you cook the pasta.

Cook the pasta according to the time on the pack, then drain, reserving a mug of the water. Tip the pasta into the caponata with the parsley, add a splash of water to loosen if needed. Stir well and serve.

(Original recipe by Adam Bush in Olive Magazine, February 2019)

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Turmeric Broth

We try and cook healthy mid-week, with some weeks being more successful than others. That said, we rarely eat anything particularly unhealthy, so we don’t beat ourselves up too much. This dish is low fat and low calorie – but it tastes really full-flavoured and restorative, almost medicinal, and you can’t help but feel better for eating it.

Turmeric broth with chicken & ginger dumplings – serves 4

  • 50g ginger sliced
  • 1.5 litres light chicken stock
  • 3 scallions, green parts and white parts separated
  • 2 star anise
  • 2-3 tsp ground turmeric
  • 200g baby leaf greens, chopped – we used pak choi
  • 300g cooked egg noodles
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped

FOR THE DUMPLINGS:

  • 500g chicken mince or turkey mince
  • 1 tbsp finely grated ginger
  • ½ red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
  • a handful of coriander, finely chopped
  • sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 egg white
  • white pepper

Put the sliced ginger, chicken stock, scallion greens, star anise and turmeric in a large pot. Bring to a simmer and cook with a lid on for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, finely chop the scallion whites and put into a bowl with the mince, grated ginger, chilli, coriander, 1 tsp of sesame oil, the cornflour and egg white. Season with salt and white pepper then mix well and roll into balls.

Strain the broth and return to the pot. Add the chicken dumplings and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until cooked through. Add the greens and noodles for the last 2 minutes. Finish with the chilli and a drizzle of sesame oil.

(Original recipe by Janine Ratcliffe in Olive Magazine, January 2017.)

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Chickpea and spinach curry

We don’t know about you lot but our bellies are crying out for a rest and we haven’t even got to New Year’s yet. This is a lightweight curry suitable for veggies and vegans (if you don’t serve with yoghurt) and it’s also substantial enough to serve as it is without any rice. The spices are very gentle as confirmed by our 5 year old who has developed a recent aversion to anything ‘too spicy!!’.

Chickpea & spinach curry – serves 4

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 6cm piece of ginger, finely grated
  • 2 long green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 400ml vegetable stock
  • 2 x 400g tins chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 150g baby spinach
  • 4 tbsp natural yoghurt (optional to serve)
  • Sprigs of coriander (to serve)

Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan over a high heat. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes or until starting to brown, add a splash of water if they stick.

Add the garlic, ginger and chillies and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the spices and salt and stir for a minute, then add the tomato purée and cook for another minute.

Add the tinned tomatoes, stock and chickpeas, then bring to a simmer and cook for 20-30 minutes or until the sauce thickens.

When ready to serve, stir through the spinach and cook briefly until just wilted.

Divide between bowls (on top of some steamed rice if you like) and top with a spoon of yoghurt and some coriander.

(Original recipe from Lose Weight for Good by Tom Kerridge, Absolute Press, 2017.)

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Chicken with an agrodulce sauce

A quick and healthy Italian-style sweet & sour dish for midweek. We weren’t completely sure about the celery but it smells amazing in the pan with the red onions and tastes perfect in the finished dish. Serve with new potatoes and a green salad or steamed tenderstem broccoli.

Wine Suggestion: We served this with a fuller Italian white, the l’Insolito by Michele Biancardi from Puglia. This is made from Minitolo which used to be thought of as a sub-variety of Fiano. Honeysuckle and white flower aromatics are tempered by a good citrus twist … sort of like the agrodulce.

Chicken with Agrodolce Sauce – serves 2

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp flour, well-seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 100g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • a small handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Slice the chicken breasts in half horizontally. Cover the 4 pieces of chicken with baking paper and flatten gently with a rolling pin. Dust the chicken pieces with the seasoned flour shaking off any excess.

Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a non-stick frying pan and brown the chicken really well, then remove from the pan. Throw the onion and celery into the pan now and cook for about 3 minutes, then season. Add the tomatoes and cook for another few minutes or until they start to break down, then add the vinegar and sugar.

Return the chicken to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes or until cooked through, then stir in the parsley.

Serve with green salad or steamed broccoli and some new potatoes if you like.

(Original recipe by Jennifer Joyce IN: BBC Olive Magazine, April 2009.)

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Grilled chilli & coriander salmon w. ginger rice

This is a bit of a fall back recipe for us on weeknights. It’s super simple and pretty healthy but there’s also something really nice and tasty about it. We think you should try this one! We grill an extra salmon fillet for our 3 year old (without the chillies) and she loves it with the ginger rice.

Wine Suggestion: Riesling, pure and simple. Try the vibrant Weingut Korrell “Slice of Paradise” dry Riesling from the Nahe in Germany, or if you want to push the boat out their Kreuznach Paradies Riesling, a full-throttle, powerful and dry Riesling with delicacy and a light touch despite the power and body. Even better if you can hang on to it for a few years and get the benefit of development in the bottle.

Grilled Chilli & Coriander with Ginger Rice – serves 2

  • 2 skinless salmon fillets, about 140g each
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • small bunch coriander, chopped
  • 1 lime, halved

FOR THE RICE:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • small piece fresh root ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 100g basmati rice

Heat a tbsp of the oil in a pan and fry the onion for a few mins until lightly browned. Stir in the ginger and garlic, fry for another minute, then stir in the rice. Add 300ml boiling water and a little salt, then bring to the boil. Cover and cook for 10-12 mins or until the rice is tender.

Meanwhile, heat the grill to medium. Brush a baking tray with a little oil and place the salmon fillets on top. Grill for about 4 minutes, then scatter with the chilli, coriander, the other tbsp of olive oil and some seasoning. Return to the grill for another 4 minutes or until the salmon is cooked through.

Serve the salmon on top of the rice with a piece of lime to squeeze over.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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