Garlic prawn/chicken salad

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I’m beginning to notice that lots of my recent recipes are fish-orientated – I just seem to be in the mood for fishy dishes right now. But this great lunchtime treat is just as delicious served with chicken, goats cheese, or avocado if you want a more meaty / vegetarian option.

Ingredients (to serve 2):
1/2 iceberg lettuce, shredded
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
2 rings of red onion finely chopped
2 tbsps coriander
Generous sprinkling of pumpkin seeds
Squeeze lemon juice, splash of hemp oil

2 tbsps Natural Yoghurt
1 clove garlic (or as I didn’t have any in stock, I used “Lazy Garlic”)

50g dry-weight quinoa, cooked as per instructions

Handful prawns / grilled chicken breast, sliced / goats cheese / 1/2 avocado

Method:
Divide the lettuce, tomatoes, onion, coriander, pumpkin seeds and cooked quinoa between 2 plates, and mix with lemon juice and hemp oil.

Mix the natural yoghurt with the garlic, then mix with your prawns, chicken or avocado. (The garlic yoghurt doesn’t go quite so well with goats cheese, so serve that naked).

Serve:
Top your salad mix with the yoghurt-covered prawns, chicken, or avocado, or goats cheese. Crack some black pepper on the top, and enjoy!

 

 

Easy tomato salsa

iStock_000014598298_ExtraSmallInspired by yesterday’s spicy bean burger, I decided to make some salsa using a classic recipe I picked up when I lived in Mexico for a few months in the late 90’s.

Salsas are a great way to bring many meals to life with masses of flavour – sometimes they’re great in a pile on top of a dish, sometimes on the side, or even sprinkled all over so that you taste it with every delicious mouthful. There are a million different salsas made and eaten in Mexico – this just one, and a very satisfying and easy to make one it is, too!

You can make this as spicy or mild as you like by varying the amount of chilli.

Ingredients:
4 tomatoes, skinned if you have time and finely chopped
small-medium red onion, finely chopped
3 tbsps fresh, chopped coriander
Chilli, finely chopped (about 1/4-1/3 chilli)- I tend to use habanero or scotch bonnets in my kitchen – and if I don’t have any in the fridge “Lazy Chilli” does the job
Juice of 1/2 lime

Method:
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and put in the fridge for an hour or two.

Serve:
Bring to room temperature before serving, and eat as much as you like – whilst being high on flavour, this is an accompaniement which is very low on fat! Great with burgers, salads, fish, and meats.

Spicy mexican red kidney bean burgers

Spicy Mexican Bean Burgers

Today, I’ve been trying to figure out a simple bean burger recipe without breadcrumbs, which maintains a nice firm texture, and all the magnificent flavours mexican cooking brings.

The recipe which follows hits the mark, I reckon!

I like my burgers pretty spicy, so you may like to reduce the amount of chilli to give just a hint of spice. And don’t hold back with the herbs and seasoning – it’s what brings the magic to these tasty burgers.

Ingredients (makes 4 burgers):

1 medium onion
Generous handful coriander
1 clove garlic
2 tsp lazy chilli (or fresh chilli to taste)
1/2 lime
Salt & pepper to season

1 egg, beaten

100g oatmeal (plus extra to roll burger in)
1 tin red kidney beans, rinsed

Baby spinach / lettuce, 1/2 avocado, 1 sliced tomato, coriander to serve.

Method:
Preheat your grill to a medium heat, and grease the tray / foil you’ll cook on.

In a food processor, mix up the onion, coriander, garlic, chilli and lime to a paste. Mash the kidney beans roughly with a potato masher.

Mix the onion, garlic, chilli and lime paste into the beans, along with 1 egg and the oatmeal thoroughly. At this point, the mixture will seem pretty gloopy, but don’t worry, cooking it firms it up beautifully.

On a separate plate, sprinkle a generous handful of oatmeal, evenly. Carefully take a burger-sized portion of the mix, and shape it into a burger shape then put it onto the oatmeal. Shape the mix into a pattie, then very carefully, turn it over so the entire pattie is covered with oatmeal.

Drizzle a little olive oil over the burger, then transfer to the grill and cook on one side until the topping is golden brown, carefully turning to finish the other side. All in all, around 10-15 minutes under a medium heat grill.

Serve:
On a bed of baby spinach or crispy lettuce, with sliced avocado and tomato and some fresh coriander.

If you feel the need to splurge a little, melt some goats cheese on top, or add spoon of natural yoghurt.

Store the mix in the fridge, and you can use it the following day. A delicious, sustaining lunch or dinner!

Salmon, avocado & goats cheese salad

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If you’re after a light lunch in between a day of heavier festive fare, a starter, or snack, this fits the bill a treat and feels indulgent, even though it’s a great clean meal which delivers a whole host of nutrients – from vitamins, to omega 3’s and healthy fats.

Ingredients:

4oz smoked salmon
1/2 avocado, chopped
1/2 capricorn goats cheese
Generous portion baby spinach and rocket
Squeeze lime juice, splash olive oil
Generous handful of pumpkin and sunflower seeds

Method:

Mix the baby spinach, avocado, rocket & seeds in a a bowl with the lime juice and oil. Top with torn goats cheese and rolls of smoked salmon, arranged attractively on the plate.

Et voila! A quick, refreshing, yet festive, and deliciously healthy meal. Enjoy, taking time to savour the flavours.

Hearty clean minestrone soup

When the weather turns cold, sometimes there’s simply nothing better than a hearty soup to see you through the day. But rather than fill up with one containing pasta which may leave you feeling bloated, a couple of tweaks provides you with an equally delicious, clean version of it which you can turn to whenever you fancy a warm comforting meal!

Ingredients:

Dessert spoon coconut oil
1 medium red onion
1 clove garlic
1 medium carrot, diced in half cm-ish squares
2 sticks celery, finely chopped
1/2 red pepper, finely chopped
4 skinned, chopped tomatoes (to skin, cover in boiling water until skin ‘cracks’ & feels loose, then peel) 1/2 tin cannelini beans
1 bay leaf
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1/2 mug quinoa, rinsed
1.2L vegetable stock / bouillon

Salt & pepper to taste

Generous handful of spinach, finely chopped
1 level tbsp finely chopped fresh basil

Method: Soften the onions, garlic, carrot, pepper and celery, thyme and bay leaf. When the veg are tender, add the tomatoes, beans, rinsed quinoa and 1L stock and cook on a medium heat for around 15-20 mins (until the quinoa is tender, but not overdone). Add more stock if required.

When cooked, remove from the heat, and remove the bay leaf. To serve: Season with salt & pepper and stir in the spinach & fresh basil.

Add a few parmesan shavings if you fancy.

Parma-ham-wrapped salmon on lentils

I’m afraid I haven’t had a chance to photograph this one yet, but it is a very delicious, nutritious and sustaining meal, great eaten alone or with friends and family.

Ingredients to serve 2:

Salmon fillets x 2
Packet of Parma or serrano ham

200g puy lentils – either Merchand Gourmet pre-cooked, or use dried from health food shops / the supermarket – they usually need boiling for around 30 minutes, but sometimes need soaking, so do check the label first.
3 tbsp fresh parsley
3 tbsp fresh basil
Juice of 1 lemon
200g spinach, finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsps organic natural yoghurt

Method:

Salmon: Preheat the oven to 170degrees. Wrap the salmon in parma ham, and place on a baking tray. Bake for about 15 mins, until the flesh is cooked yet yielding inside.

Lentils: Chop the spinach, basil & parsley and set to one side. Cook dried lentils as per the instructions on the packet (sometimes they need soaking, sometimes it’s bringing to the boil, them simmering for around 30 mins). Or heat the Merchand Gourmet ones.

When cooked, keep on the heat and stir in the spinach, until it softens slightly. Then add the basil, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, salt & pepper until the mix glistens.

To serve:

Pop the lentil mix on a plate, the salmon on top, and serve with a dollop of organic natural yoghurt. Enjoy!

Nutrition info & shopping tips 

Salmon is packed full of Omega 3 fatty acids – which cannot be synthesised (made by the body), so need to be included in our diet for optimal body function. These gems may help lower the risk of coronary heart disease, cancer and arthritis, and can also aid brain function! Buy the best you can afford so that it contains the most nutrients,

Lentils are high in fibre and protein, low in fat, and are a cheap, filling, and sustaining food to keep in your store cupboard. For ultimate speedy dinners, you can buy them pre-prepared in the supermarket – Merchand Gourmet pre-cooked is the one to look out for. Alternatively, you can buy dried easily and online here: puy lentils. I buy in bulk, and if you’re looking to cut back on your weekly shopping budget, it’s a very effeficient way to shop!

Spinach (when steamed, or raw) is full of iron, antioxidants, and vitamins including b vitamins, which can be useful in preventing fatigue. Again, best bought locally when in season (it’s not currently). In November, you could replace the spinach with kale, heavenly kale for a very nutritious substitute which will also taste great.