Spiced Cranberry & Oat Cookie

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These are made in the food processor and are a cinch to throw together. I use a homemade apple sauce as sweetener so there is no extra added sugar. They are still a biscuit though!

Oven at 170C

3 apples peeled cored and chopped

juice of 1/2 orange

175g oats blitzed to a flour

1 1/2 tsp mixed spice

80g butter

90g cranbererries

Cook the apple in the apple juice until it is soft, puree it and leave to cool

Add oat flour, spice, butter and apple sauce to a blender and blitz until it is like a thick dough. Add the cranberries and pulse a few times to combine.

Tip out on to a floured counter, roll out to 1 1/2cm thick and cut using a biscuit cutter.

Place on a lined baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes until golden.

Makes about 14

Spanish style beans and pilau rice

Spicy Beans and Pilau Rice

 The perfect plant based dinner full of flavour and easy to make.

Serves 4

½ tbsp rapeseed oil

2 red onions sliced finely

3 tins mixed cooked beans

1tsp sweet paprika

1tsp spicy paprika

½ tsp chilli flakes

1 tin chopped tomatoes

300ml passata

200ml hot vegetable stock or hot water

1 pinch saffron

3 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley

 Add the saffron to the water or stock and stir. Heat the oil and add the onions and all the spices plus a splash of water and cook lid on over a medium heat until the onion starts to soften. Add everything else and stir well to combine and cook for about 15 minutes on a medium heat (don’t boil) until the flavours have combined. Taste and season as needed and serve with the rice.

 Rice

2 mugs rice Plus 3 ½ mugs water

1 stick of celery finely diced

½ tbp oil

2 large handfuls of chopped parsley

Heat the oil, add in the celery and cook over a medium heat until starting to soften

Tip in the rice and cook, stirring until it starts to crisp a little – about 3 minutes

Add the water and 1tsp salt, bring to the boil and then turn down to the lowest heat, and cook lid until the rice is done. You will see little dimples in the rice and all the water will be absorbed. Fluff it a little with a fork and stir through the chopped herbs and serve.

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Sweet Potato Soup with Crunchy Peanut Topping

Smooth and creamy with a delicious crunchy topping . This soup ticks all the boxes and simple add some cooked shredded chicken to make it into a dinner.

Sweet Potato Soup with Crunchy Peanut Topping

 ½ tbsp  rapeseed or coconut oil

1 medium white onion

500g sweet potato peeled and chopped into chunks

2tbsp thai curry paste (you can use red or yellow)

1 tin coconut milk

450ml veg stock

 

Method

Heat the oil and sweat the onion and sweet potato for 5 mins. Add the paste and cook out stirring for 5 more minutes. Add the stock and coconut milk and cook for 15 mins until the sweet potato is tender. Blend, season as needed with salt and lime juice.

Make the topping and pour the soup into 4 bowls, top with the crunchy peanut and some chopped coriander and serve.

Topping

100g peanuts lightly toasted and cooled

1tsp fish sauce

1tsp soy sauce

Juice of 1 lime

1 spring onion chopped

1 clove garlic chopped

2cm piece of garlic chopped

1tbsp chopped red chilies

1tsp brown sugar

2 large handfuls of chopped mint coriander and thai basil.

(If you cant find thai basil, leave it out, don’t use regular)

Blend everything. Store in the fridge when not needed.

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Spicy Prawn Savoy Cabbage and Spring Onion Pancake

Quick to make and so delicious- almost like emptying the contents of your fridge into a pancake !

Serves 2

1 shallot sliced

1 red chili thinly sliced - omit seeds if you wish

6 large eggs

2tbsp flour

150gr cooked prawn tails, cut in half

5 inner leaves of savoy cabbage, destalked and julienned

3 thinly sliced spring onions

1tbsp soy sauce

salt and pepper

Turn the grill on to a high heat

Heat 1/2 tbsp oil and cook shallot and chili over a high heat until browning but not burnt

Meanwhile whisk eggs and flour together and stir in the cabbage, prawns, spring onion, soy and season

well. Pour over the shallot mix, turn down to medium heat, spread the prawns and veg so they are well distributed.

Cook until the bottom is set then transfer to the grill for another 3 minutes or so until the top is also cooked.

Lift out, cut in segments and serve with some sweet chili sauce

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Turkey steaks with Beetroot Wasabi Salad

Turkey coated in almonds and quick cooked on the pan paired with a delicious beetroot wasabi salad makes a delicious evening meal. Add some sweet potato oven cooked fries if you need to make it more substantial

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Beetroot salad

1 medium cooked beetroot cubed

2tbsp good quality mayonaise

1tsp wasabi or more if you prefer more of a hit

1tsp toasted cumin seed

1tbsp toasted almonds

Mix the beetroot mayo and wasabi until well combined, season to taste and set aside until needed. When you are ready to serve, sprinkle over the cumin seed and toasted almonds.

Turkey with Almond coating

2 quick cook Turkey steaks

2tbsp flour

1 egg beaten

50g slivered almonds

1/2 tbsp oil

Oven at 180 C

Season the turkey and dust in flour, dip in egg and press into the almonds each side to coat.

Heat the oil and brown on each side until golden. Remove to an oven proof dish and cook until cooked through. Serve with the beetroot salad.

Warm Cauliflower and Carrot Salad

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If there is one piece of advice I would give to anyone wanting to improve their health and wellbeing it would be to eat more vegetables. Most people I meet would struggle to meet the recommended 5 servings a day nevermind the now updated 7 servings. Vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals, fibre which is so essential for good gut health as well as keeping you feeling full at a relatively low caloric bang.

Serves 4-6 a a side

1 large head of cauliflower in small florets

2 large carrots peeled and cut into 4cm pieces

2tbsp oil

1tsp celery salt

Heat the oil gently, pour over the veg and season with the celery salt

Roast in a hot (180C) oven for 15 minutes

Scrape into your serving bowl and toss the dressing over, sprinkle with 2tbsp of the dukkah and serve.

Dressing

4tbsp natural yoghurt

zest and juice of half a lime

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

1tsp Dijon mustard

Mix everything together

Dukkah - This makes lots extra, store in an air tight tub and use for salads or soup toppings

2tbsp pecans

2tbsp cashews

2tbsp sesame seeds

1tbsp pine nuts

1tsp coriander seeds

1tsp cumin seeds

1tsp smoked paprika

Toast the nuts and seeds until golden - you can do the pecans and cashews on the same tray, Blend them until in small pieces, not obliterated

Toast the coriander and cumin seeds and grind in a pestle and mortar

Mix all the nuts seeds and spices together

Season with some salt to taste and store in an airtight container

Braised Chicken in a Chipotle Sauce

This is another delicious recipe for family friendly food which can be batch cooked ahead and frozen. The chipotle in adobo sauce is widely available in most supermarkets and has a delicious flavour without being too hot for anyone not too fond of spicy heat.

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Braised Chicken in a Chipotle Sauce

½ tbsp water

2 white onions sliced

3 cloves of garlic peeled and crushed

1 tsp celery salt

1tsp each ground cumin and sweet paprika

1tbsp tomato paste

2tbsp chipotle in adobo sauce

500ml tomato passata

100ml water

100ml cream

6 cubes of frozen spinach

6 chicken breasts skin off

 Heat the oil, add the onion and garlic and sweat until softened

Add the cumin, paprika celery salt and tomato paste and stir well to combine and cook out for a minute or 2 – add a splash of water if needed

Tip in the tomato passata, water and chipotle in adobo sauce and stir well.

Add the chicken breasts and ensure they are covered with enough liquid – top up with water or stock if needed.

Cook for 15 minutes over a medium heat then stir in the cream and the frozen spinach and continue to cook for 5-10 minutes more until the chicken is cooked and the spinach has defrosted and will stir through the sauce.

Serve a chicken breast and sauce with a sprinkle of chopped herbs and rice of choice.

Beef Goulash with Sour Cream

Beef Goulash with Sour Cream

This was a very popular dish in our house growing up, minus the sour cream. It can be made with braising steak, minced steak or the humble kidney bean. There is a delicious kick from the paprika which partners with the richness of the sour cream. Perfect winter warming family food and a versatile recipe too.

Serves 6

1tbsp oil

3oz chopped chorizo or streaky bacon

1 large white onion chopped

2 red peppers chopped and deseeded

4 carrots peeled and chopped

750g minced meat or braising steak

3 garlic cloves crushed

2tbsp tomato paste

1lr beef stock

100ml red wine

1heaped tsp each of sweet and hot paprika

2 bay leaves

1tbsp red wine vinegar

1tsp salt

1 large sweet potato peeled and cut into bite sized chunks

Fresh chopped parsley and sour cream to serve

 Heat the oil and brown the meat and then remove and set aside.

Add a little more oil and add the chorizo, onions, peppers, garlic, carrots and cook until softening – add a little water if needed.

Tip in the tomato paste, the paprika and salt and stir to combine. Add the red wine and cook for a few minutes over a high heat then add the stock and the vinegar. Return the beef to the pan and bring to a simmer then cook for about 45 minutes for mince or about 2hrs for braising steak. Add the sweet potato for the last 30 minutes and continue to cook until it is tender.

Ladle into bowls and sprinkle over the parsley and a dollop of sour cream and serve.

 

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Mexican Style Vegetarian Curry

This warming, spiced vegetarian lentil dish packs in goodness and is filling too. It can be topped with quacamole or a poached egg if you want to add more substance and the curry paste which I use as a base is quick to assemble and can be used for loads of other dishes.

Curry Paste

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2 dried chilies (Adobo and Guajillo are a nice combo and not too hot) reseeded and rehydrated in 100ml hot water

4 cloves of garlic

1tsp mixed herbs or epazote if you have it

1tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp salt

2tbsp tomato puree

When the chilies are rehydrated simple blend everything including the water. The paste is ready to use and can be stored in the fridge for about 2 weeks.

Mexican Style Vegetarian Curry

200g lentils of choice

3tbsp flat leaf parsley

Rinse the lentils then add to a pot, cover with water, add a tsp of salt and bring to the boil, skim off any scum which forms and then simmer gently until cooked. This varies from lentil to lentil but usually about 20 minutes. Reserving about 1/3 of the liquid, drain the lentils.

Tip the curry paste into a pan and heat gently, dont allow it to dry out. Add the lentils and reserved water into the paste, stir well to combine and then cook for about 7 minutes to cook out the paste and enable the lentils to take on all the flavours.

Stir in the chopped parsley and serve as is or with some quacamole or a poached egg.