I’m a big fan of spiralising courgettes as a substitute for pasta. Its not for everyone and you can easily just use gluten free or wholewheat pasta in its place. Just please don’t use white pasta, it has no nutritional benefit. Read More »
Wow what a crazy busy weekend! Lots to share with you and my very first meal plan for you to gaze over and salivate 😉 Read More »
Yesterday we had a fab day celebrating the lovely Hishal’s 4th Birthday in East London, it was lovely to see D’s cousins and eat lots of lovely BBQ food by the lovely Yogesh and Veerusha and her cake baking skills are second to none!
I wanted to make something really light and meat-free for dinner, and after such a long drive it had to be quick! So I made myself a little apéritif of rose, soda and ice and got to work…
As you’ve probably seen from my recent posts, I’m a bit of a fan of my new spiraliser (Zoodle Chef, £15 on Amazon) and so I decided to make some ‘pasta’ otherwise known as courgetti. This is where you spiralise courgette and use it as a replacement for spaghetti. If you don’t have a sprialiser, you can just shave the courgette using a peeler and either have it as ‘papardelle’ or use a knife to slice it into thin, ‘pasta’ strips.
Once you’ve got the courgette ready this is a pretty fast recipe so get everything laid out and ready to go.
2 tins of crab meat
Handful parsley and basil
3-4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tbsp cold water
Juice of 1 lemon
400g tin of Cheery tomatoes (or normal tinned tomatoes + handful of fresh cherry tomatoes)
50g pine nuts
Rocket and mixed seeds to decorate
Spiralise your courgetti and put it in a bowl.
Make the pesto by adding the basil, pine nuts, parsley, water, oil and lemon juice to a blender and let it go for a minute or two
Add the pesto to a saucepan with the tinned cherry tomatoes – this will look a weird colour but don’t worry! Warm it through on quite a low to medium heat. You can add a small teaspoon of honey at this point to offset the acidity of the tomatoes but this isn’t vital.
In a separate pan with a lid, put as much of the courgette in as will fit and 2 tbsp of water. Put the lid on and warm it through for a couple of minutes, remove the lid – if it is soft enough, drain it and do the same again with the next batch of courgette – depending on the size of the pan, repeat as necessary until all of the courgette is cooked.
Add the crab to the pesto/tomato sauce mix and season and stir well. Then add the courgetti to the sauce mix and stir/toss and allow it to warm through for a minute or two.
Serve in warmed bowls with a drizzle of olive oil and a topping of lemon juice, rocket and mixed seeds.
Here’s another granola recipe that I made this morning, similar flavours but a couple of new additions, I wanted it to be more fruity and nutty et voila – dried apricots go amazingly chewy when they’re cooked and replacing flaked almonds with chopped mixed nuts gives a really nice crunch.
To make the compote I regularly have with it, I use half a tub of frozen mixed berries and 1-2 tablespoons of Agave with 1-2 tablespoons of water – all in a saucepan simmered for 5 minutes or so. Taste for tartness and pop in a tupperware container to go in the fridge once its cooled, it’ll keep for a week or so. If it is a little too sharp, add more agave.
2.5 cups oats
¼ cup flax seeds – I used Linwoods
¼ cup mixed seeds
¼ cup dried apricots chopped up small
¼ cup seedless raisins
¼ cup ground almonds
½ cup shredded coconut
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp nut butter
3 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp agave
3 tbsp maple syrup
Put all the dry ingredients in a big bowl and mix. Put the wet ingredients in a saucepan and heat until they all melt and mix together.
Pour the wet onto the dry ingredients and mix really well. Put it all on a lined baking sheet and into the oven at 180 for 10 minutes. Remove and turn it all over with a fork so other parts get a chance to get brown. Put it back in the oven for another 10 minutes then remove, stir and leave to cool. Pop your amazing cereal in an airtight container ready to use in the morning.
Summer is just around the corner, I can almost touch it! So I’m testing out lots of new salad ideas, packing as much nutritional punch as I possibly can. I try and add lots of additional beneficial extras – things like mixed seeds, nuts, bee pollen, flax seeds – you barely notice they’re there but they do heaps of good for your insides! You can easily omit the chicken in this recipe or replace it with rare cooked tune or steak or seafood – its really versatile.
I’ve used a spiraliser on my salad vegetables to get nice long thin curly pieces but you can easily just use a peeler to shave them into your salad bowl.
1/2 pack of bean sprouts
500g Chicken mini-fillets
Mixed seeds or nuts
2 spring onions, finely chopped
Finely chopped coriander, basil and mint – it doesn’t matter if you don’t have all of these
any or all of the following
for the dressing
2 tbsp Tahini
Juice of 1/2 a lime
1 tbsp Fish sauce
1-2 tbsp dark soy sauce or tamari
1 tsp chilli flakes or fresh chilli
1 tbsp honey or agave
You can also add a bit of fresh chopped ginger and garlic to the dressing, if you want/have it in
Ok a lot of this is going to be prep work for the vegetables and then pulling it all together at the end.
Put some coconut oil in a pan and add your chicken mini fillets – I cook just a couple at a time on a high heat – this means that they will get super crispy on the outside which is lovely for some added texture to your salad – you can’t have a crowded pan to do this. Once it is all cooked, chop it up into bitesize pieces. Set the chicken aside to cool.
Prep all your vegetables, using a peeler or a spiraliser and set aside. This may take a while – play some music, dance around, get family to help.
Boil your noodles for 5 minutes, drain and run under a cold tap to cool quickly. Mix with your salad vegetables and bean sprouts.
Pop all the dressing ingredients into a saucepan and warm through gently until the sesame paste (tahini) has melted down. I add my spring onions to the dressing because I think warming them through takes away that sharp bite they can have when they’re completely raw.
Now just put it all together, its nice to put this on a big serving platter or a chopping board and everyone can get stuck in at the table. Lay out the veg, bean sprout and noodle mix first, then put the chicken over the top, drizzle over your dressing and then add seeds/nuts and your mixed herbs.
I really enjoy this salad, we’re having it once a week at the moment because everyone likes it so much. I think this would be lovely as a side salad for a BBQ – one for me to test further down the road.
Let me know what you think xxx Have a great weekend all xxx
Laura of London
I had a pretty full on day today at work – back to back meetings and then some crappy traffic to slow us down on the way home. I didn’t really have much patience for cooking so chose this quick Italian salad that’s ready in 10 minutes
- 3 slices of Prosciutto
- 1 beef tomato cut into slices
- 1-2 organic mozzarella balls
- 5-6 sprigs mint
- 10(ish) basil leaves
- Lambs lettuce or rocket
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 5tbp Extra Virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
I split the asparagus lengthways and put them under the grill for 3-4 minutes on high, turning them over half way through.
I finely chopped the mint and basil and put it into a bowl with extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and balsamic vinegar. Mix well.
Arrange your tomato, mozzarella and lettuce on a plate, drizzle over some of your dressing then add the prosciutto and the asparagus and add a final drizzle of the dressing.
Ok Sunday, finally the best day of the week arrives, we had the lovely and newly married Kavish and Keyasha round for lunch having just arrived from South Africa this morning. Obviously they need a good meal after such a long flight!
Cue clean cheating, clean eating with a couple of rogue additions to make life easier and to make it a little more palatable to people who are not yet initiated into the world of clean eating! Little do they know they’ll be my guinea pigs for the day 😜
We started off with some snacks, I baked some pittas in the oven for ten minutes sprinkled with cinnamon and made my sweet potato crisps, we also had some of those new Pringles nachos which were yummy with a dip made of spicy chilli sauce mixed with mayonnaise.
For main I roasted a leg of spring lamb. In a sauce pan, I melted coconut oil with cumin seeds, curry powder, chilli powder and salt. I sliced 4 garlic cloves lengthways and put them in slits I cut into the meat. Then poured the spice sauce over the top.
Then, I lined a roasting tin with foil and added sliced onion, carrots, parsnips and any other veggies I could lay my hands on! I poured in a glass of red wine and a glass of water added the leg of lamb and popped in my meat thermometer and off it went to oven heaven at 180 degrees.
I do not roast my meats in the oven based on time. I only ever use a thermometer, in my experience this provides a much more accurate result.
We only have one hob working at the moment so making a roast is an interesting challenge, I par boiled peeled potatoes for 10 minutes then did the same with peeled parsnips. I lined another tin with foil and added a tablespoon of coconut oil and melted it in the oven. Then I added some salt, drained the spuds and roughed them up a bit before adding them to the roasting tin for 1 hour, turning them every 20 minutes.
I put the parsnips in another roasting tin with 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and a tiny bit of coconut oil. I set aside to roast later.
I split Brussels Sprouts in half and lightly fried them on high in a little coconut oil to char them, then added a small amount of water and put the lid on to steam them through.
Then I boiled up some carrots and green beans and left them plain because of the flavours going on with the lamb and the to-be-gravy. I roasted the parsnips for about 20 minutes before everything else was ready.
I took the lamb out when my thermometer went off and left it wrapped up to rest, strained the liquid from theroastung tin into a saucepan and boiled it down to concentrate the flavours with a pinch of salt and pepper. Once the meat had rested, I sliced it up and poured any meat juices into the gravy. Everyone had seconds and thirds so I can only assume it was a good feed.
For dessert I made Deliciously Ella’s sweet potato brownies adding flaked almonds for texture and with melted 75% dark chocolate sauce and a little bit of shop bought vanilla ice cream. I wanted to see if serving a healthy/clean dessert with dinner guests would work. I think it did (you’ll have to ask the guests😜) but I definitely wouldn’t do it every time – every now and then we all need a little bit of naughty but I’m glad I tried it.
Having written this post, I’m not sure I agree with the title anymore, I don’t feel like I’ve really cheated because I don’t feel guilty and it’s not really a confession but you get my drift…
We’ve got family over for a roast dinner today so for breakfast I want something that’s going to be a good healthy boost and keep me going whilst I cook.
In my smoothie I’ve added one satsuma, one Granny Smith, two strawberries, a handful of frozen raspberries, bee pollen, milled flax seed and water.
It’s deliciously fresh and tasty, not to mention the health benefits, especially when adding things like bee pollen and flax seeds to really pump up the nutrients.
I’m a big fan of fast cooking during the weekday, I have a regimental order post-5.30pm that must be followed otherwise we’re heading for a meltdown (mine, not my son). I learned this Vietnamese salad as part of a cookery lesson at Recipease a couple of months back and realised its a great little ‘go to’ dish when you need something quick and super healthy to make you feel good. Most of it is just prep work with a final flourish at the end to pull it all together.
You can also prep the salad and wrap it in soaked rice paper and then use the dressing as a dipping sauce – Vietnamese Rolls – this is quite a nice ‘fancy’ starter when you have friends round.
If you’re not big on prawns, leave it out or replace with chicken, mackerel or beef strips just make sure they’re cool before you add to the salad/rolls.
Packet of cooked prawns
Vegetable stir fry packet including bean sprouts
10cm piece of Mooli (if you can get it)
10cm piece of cucumber
3 spring onions
Good handful of nuts – cashews or peanuts
For the salad dressing/dipping sauce
1/4 cup of Fish Sauce
1/3 cup of either Rice wine vinegar, red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar (I tend to use whatever I have in the cupboard)
Approx 4 tbsp Honey – depends on your taste
Juice of 1/2 a lime
2 cloves of garlic
2cm piece of ginger, cut into matchsticks
At least 2 fresh chillies split lengthways
Pack of Rice Paper Sheets
Extra chopped chillies in the salad
Put all the ingredients for the salad dressing (or dipping sauce) in a saucepan and heat gently for 5-6 minutes then take off the heat and leave to cool. Taste it with a bit of salad from your bowl – its meant to be quite strong – add more of the fish sauce, vinegar, lime or honey depending on what you think it needs. Go for less sweetness than you think it needs.
Put the stir fry packet in a large bowl. Peel the skin off the carrot and then proceed to use your peeler to peel the carrot into the salad bowl so you end up with nice thin ribbons of carrot. Do the same with the mooli and the cucumber. Alternatively you can cut them up into matchsticks if you prefer. Boil the soba/buckwheat noodles in water for 3-4 minutes and drain, leave to cool then add to your salad bowl.
Slice the prawns lengthways and slice the spring onions finely at an angle and add to the bowl. Chop up your nuts and leave to one side.
Once your dressing/sauce has cooled, pour 4-5 tablespoons of it over your salad, toss and taste to see if it needs more of anything. Add a final squeeze of lime juice then throw on your nuts and munch away!
If you’re turning these into rolls then just soak a paper sheet in warm water, as per packet instructions, put it on a clean kitchen towel and then put 1-2 tablespoons of the salad into the middle. Wrap it up and put any left over salad on the side or save it for lunch the next day. Keep the dipping sauce on the side otherwise the sheets will go too mushy.
Let me know how it goes!
By knowing you’ve got a great tasting, healthy cereal to look forward to!!
This is a versatile cereal you can adapt and refine depending on your tastes. It’s a good feeling knowing exactly what has gone into your cereal in the morning, you can pair it with yoghurt and fresh fruit or soak it in almond milk overnight with chia seeds, it’s also really good as a topping to stewed apples – a la ‘Apple-not-Crumble’ 😜
- 2.5 cups oats
- ¼ cup flax seeds – I used Linwoods flax, sunflower, pumpkin & sesame seeds with goji berry mix
- ¼ cup flaked almonds
- ¼ cup of pecans, cashews or walnuts
- 1tbsp bee pollen
- 1 tbsp hemp seeds
- ½ cup shredded coconut
- Small pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 1 tbsp honey
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
Put all the dry ingredients in a big bowl and mix them. Put the wet ingredients in a saucepan and heat until they all melt and mix together. Pour the wet onto the dry ingredients and mix really well. Put them on a lined baking sheet in the oven at 160 for 10 minutes. Remove and stir them. Put them back in the oven for another 10 minutes then remove, stir and leave to cool.
Pop your amazing cereal in an airtight container ready to use in the morning, go to bed feeling like a boss 👊😝☺️