Mostly healthy eating!

Green Lentil

Green Lentil

Fast, fresh and fabulous

Recent Posts

Griddled peaches and Earl Grey ice cream

Griddled peaches and Earl Grey ice cream

This dish was inspired by last years Masterchef Australia, where I believe it featured in one of the invention tests. I liked the idea of combining sweet, warm toasted peaches with the subtle flavour of the Earl Grey ice cream. Granola provides some crunch to […]

Roasted butternut squash and blue cheese quiche

Roasted butternut squash and blue cheese quiche

It’s pastry week on The Great British Bake Off and the contestants have really been put through their paces baking samosas, tackling  a particularly challenging technical bake and topping it all off with a show-stopping hand crafted pie. So have we all got our aprons […]

Chicken tagine with lemon, olives and pomegranates

Chicken tagine with lemon, olives and pomegranates

I love trying out new ideas and recipes and really look forward to my BBC Good Food magazine popping through my letterbox each month. I pick it up from my doormat and I am full of anticipation of the new tastes and flavours ahead.

This month the enticing cover recipe caught my eye with it’s promise of Moroccan flavours. Looking at the ingredient list I had everything required except the preserved lemons, which I managed to source at my local middle eastern supermarket.

To start I needed to make my Moroccan spice mix, toasting and grinding coriander, cumin and fennel seeds and combining them with black pepper, ground ginger, cinnamon and saffron.

 

 

Next I quickly sealed some chicken thighs. Once brown they were removed from the pan and set aside. Onions were then added to the pan and gently fried before adding the spice mix and garlic.

 

This mixture was cooked gently for a for a couple of minutes before adding preserved lemon skin, tomatoes, stock, honey and red wine vinegar. Once this had been brought up to the boil, the chicken thighs were added, the pan covered and placed in the oven to cook.

 

After cooikng for an hour the pan was uncovered and olives and lemon slices added. This was then left to cook for a further 20 minutes, until the sauce had started to reduce.

 

After checking and tweaking the seasoning, the tagine was served with couscous and garnished with pomegranate seeds, feta cheese and mint leaves.

The Verdict – to be completely honest this didn’t pack as much flavour as I had been expecting. It definitely needed all the accompaniments to bring the dish alive. If I was to make this again I would add more of the spice mix. I would also use less stock as the resulting sauce was a little on the ‘thin’ side.

 

Chorizo and manchego cheese scones

Chorizo and manchego cheese scones

Everyone loves a cheesey scone and these have been taken to a whole new level with the addition of chorizo. They are best eaten warm from the oven and it’s hard to resist going in for second helpings. Enjoy x   Chorizo and Manchego Cheese […]

Spiced Carrot Traybake

Spiced Carrot Traybake

Bake Off has returned to our screens and this recipe is our contribution to cake week, which saw the contestants creating their own signature tray bakes. This is based on a Mary Berry recipe and although not as elaborate as those in the Bake Off […]

Italian Bean Soup

Italian Bean Soup

We are sadly approaching the end of summer with the evenings starting to draw in, and there is certainly a hint of autumn in the morning air. I have started to crave more than just a light salad for lunch and have started revisiting my soup recipes.

Beans are always a staple in my food cupboard and this quick and easy soup makes full use of them. Perfect for a lightish lunch but just serve with a good rustic bread to turn it into a main meal.

Enjoy x

 

Italian Bean Soup

 

Ingredients

 

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 50g Pancetta cubes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 celery stick, trimmed and diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • ½ teasp dried sage
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 400g can borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
  • 400g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 100g french beans, cut into 4cm lengths
  • 75g spaghetti, broken into small pieces
  • 1 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the Pancetta and fry gently for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the onion, celery, carrot, garlic, sage and bay leaf and cook gently for a further 4-5 minutes to soften the vegetables.

Stir in the tomatoes and vegetable stock. Bring up to the boil then reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Add the borlotti and cannellini beans and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaf.

Ladle half the soup into a blender and blitz until smooth. Return to the pan with the French beans and spaghetti pieces. Cook for 7-8 minutes until the spaghetti is al dente and the French beans just tender.

Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped parsley. Check the seasoning and serve.

 

Serves 6

 

 

Healthy(ish) Cranberry, Apple and Oat Muffins

Healthy(ish) Cranberry, Apple and Oat Muffins

There’s no such thing as a healthy muffin I hear you say. Well, probably not, but this is pretty darn close. Using olive oil instead of melted butter in this recipe means that the saturated fat is greatly reduced. Sugar is kept at a minimum […]

Raspberry and Apple cake

Raspberry and Apple cake

I love using fruit in cakes and this one is packed with apples and raspberries. It’s not too sweet with the raspberries giving a slight tartness to it. Frozen raspberries can be used instead of fresh, add while still frozen. Served with yoghurt, cream or […]

Spicy bean tacos with tomato salsa

Spicy bean tacos with tomato salsa

These zingy, zesty, black bean wraps are a firm family favourite. Quick and easy to make, and any leftovers are great for lunch the following day.

Enjoy x

 

Spicy bean tacos with tomato salsa

 

Ingredients

 

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 x 400g cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin

 

For the salsa

 

  • 6 ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch coriander, finely chopped including stalks, reserving a small handful for garnish
  • 1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely grated
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

To serve

 

  • 8-12 soft corn tortillas
  •  1 avocado, peeled, destoned and sliced
  • greek yoghurt
  • feta cheese
  • small handful of coriander leaves

 

 

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the garlic. Fry until golden then add the beans. Pour in the cider vinegar, honey and spices along with a teasp of salt, to taste. Cook until warmed through, crushing gently with the back of a spoon. Set aside.

Mix the salsa ingredients together in a medium bowl.

Heat the tortillas in a griddle pan or microwave.

To serve, put 1-2 heaped tablespoons of beans on a tortilla. Top with a generous helping of salsa, yogurt and avocado, then crumble over some feta cheese. Garnish with the remaining coriander.

 

Serves 4

Spaghetti with king prawns, garlic and chilli

Spaghetti with king prawns, garlic and chilli

This is another fast supper dish using only a few ingredients which come together to pack a real punch of flavour. Perfect for a weekday meal when time is precious. Enjoy x   Spaghetti with King Prawns, garlic and Chilli   Ingredients   200g spaghetti […]