Friday, 21 October 2011

Chorizo, squash and butterbean pie

It's getting cold outside and those comfort food cravings are hard to ignore, so don't deny yourself, try this hearty yet healthy pie. The filo pastry makes it lower in fat than an average puff- or shortcrust-topped pie. Butternut squash packs a really great vitamin A punch and tomatoes are a potent source of vitamin C.

Serves 4

100g Chorizo ring, sliced into rings
1 onion, sliced
1 butternut squash, chopped into chunks
800g tomatoes
400g butterbeans
Tomato puree
2 tsp sage
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp paprika
Glug of red wine
1 handful black olives
1 pack of filo pastry sheets
Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Fry the chorizo in a pan for a few minutes until the oil starts to run out. then remove it from the pan, place on a paper towel and put to one side.

Drain most of the oil from the pan and then add the onion and fry until soft and starting to brown. Then add the squash and stir well. Pour in the tomatoes, puree, herbs and paprika and give the sauce a good stir. Add a good glug of red wine, a cup of water and season well. Bring the sauce to the boil then simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the chorizo back to the pan with the butterbeans and olives stir and simmer for another 15 minutes, until the sauce has reduced and thickened.

Place in an oven proof pie dish. Dab a little oil on a filo pastry sheet then layer three sheets thick and scrunch the filo slightly and let it fall in folds on top of the sauce, repeat with more pastry until the pie top is covered.

Brush with a little more oil and then bake for 20 minutes until your pie is golden and magnificent!

Coconut, paneer and pea curry

Heat things up this autumn with some warming curries, but before you reach for the takeaway menu why not try making a delicious and healthy version yourself? This recipe only uses a little oil and paneer (Indian cheese) can be found in most large supermarkets or Asian food shops.

1/2 an onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
1 birds eye chilli, sliced
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1 pack of paneer, cubed
Frozen peas
100g creamed coconut block
2 limes
1 handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped

Fry onion, garlic and ginger in a pan with a little vegetable oil for a couple of minutes until browning. Add the tomatoes chilli and spices and stir. Fry until tomatoes have formed a sauce.

Meanwhile, fry the paneer in a separate pan in a little vegetable oil until the edges are browned. Remove from the pan and add to the sauce along with a cup full of frozen peas.

Add a cup of water to the sauce and grate in the creamed coconut block. stir until the coconut combines with the water. Bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer for five minutes.

Squeeze in the limes and sprinkle with coriander. Serve immediately with brown rice or naan.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Roasted pepper and red lentil soup

This soup is quick to make, super healthy and so, so tasty. Lentils have a fabulous creamy texture so you don't need to add any butter or cream.

3 red and yellow peppers
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
Olive oil
250g red lentils
1 pint stock
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano
Tomato puree
1 tbsp natural yoghurt
2 tsp Harissa

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Chop the pepper into chunks sprinkle with garlic and drizzle with olive oil. And place in the oven for around 25 minutes.

Place the lentils in a large bowl and add the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Then add the chopped tomatoes and a teaspoon of oregano and about a tbsp of tomato puree, season to taste.

Remove the peppers and garlic from the oven and add the saucepan. Using a blender pulse the soup until it is thick soupy consistency.

Place back on the hob and simmer until reduced slightly. Serve in bowls with a dollop of yoghurt and a tsp of Harissa and swirl it into the soup slightly.

Cherry and almond granola

Wake up to a fabulous healthy breakfast with homemade granola.

300g rolled oats
3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp whole almonds
50g dried cherries
1 tsp vanilla essence

preheat the oven to 150 C. Put honey and oil in a large mixing bowl and add the oats. Slightly bash the almonds with a rolling pin and add to the bowl.

Snip cherries in half and add to the bowl with the vanilla essence. Stir well with a spoon until completely combined. Spread oat mix on a baking tray and make sure that there is space between the oat clusters. Bake for 10-15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool. When cool scrap up oats and place in an airtight jar. It will keep for about a month.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Orange roasted butternut squash and crunchy cous cous

Serves 2-4

For the squash
1 butternut squash
1 onion, thickly sliced
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1/2 orange
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp coriander seeds, crushed
Olive oil
400g chick peas, drained

For the cous cous
250g wholewheat cous cous
1 large bunch parsley
3 tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
1/2 red onion
1 tsp bouillon powder
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp sliced almonds
1 lemon
Olive oil

Make cous cous according to the pack instructions and add a teaspoon of bouillon powder.

Preheat oven to 180C. Cut the squash in to inch long chunks and place in an ovenproof dish. Add the onion and garlic.

Sprinkle over the spices, add the cinnamon stick and squeeze over a little orange juice and leave the orange half in the dish. Pour over a generous glug of olive oil and stir well until the butternut squash is well coated. Then place in the oven for 45 mins, turning the squash occasionally.

Meanwhile add finely diced red onion, parsley and tomato to the cous cous, stir well, until combined.

Heat a frying pan over a high heat and add the pumpkin seeds and almond slices. Shake the pan every so often and remove when almond starts to brown and pumpkin seeds start to pop.

Cook chick peas in a pan of boiling water for a few minutes, then drain. Meanwhile, drizzle cous cous with olive oil and lemon juice and season to taste.

Remove butternut from the oven and squeeze the remaining juice from the orange with a oair of tongs. Add the chick peas and stir until they are completely covered with the spiced dressing.

Add the almonds and seeds to the cous cous and serve topped with butternut and chick peas and plenty of orange dressing and a dollop of 0% fat Greek yoghurt.

Leek and new potato soup

Serves 2

2 leeks, finely chopped
olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
250g new potatoes, quartered
1 pint vegetable stock
3 tsp dijon mustard
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
large handful flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the leeks and after a few minutes the garlic, and fry until softened.

Add the potatoes and stir. Pour the stock over the vegetables and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the mustard, lemon juice and 3/4 of the parsley and season well. Simmer for a further 5 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.

Serve sprinkled with parsley and freshly ground black pepper.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Harissa ling with lemon butter beans and cayenne wedges

3 sweet potatoes

1 tsp cayenne pepper

Olive oil

2 ling fillets

2 tsp Harissa

Handful of breadcrumbs

Handful fresh coriander

1 tsp coriander seeds, crushed

1 tsp cumin seeds, crushed

1 clove of garlic

1 lemon, zested

1 leek, finely sliced

Vegetable stock

Juice of 1 lemon

Handful fresh parsley

1. Preheat the oven to 180 C. Cut the sweet potatoes lengthways in to wedges. Sprinkle with cayenne, a pinch of salt and drizzle with olive oil. Toss the potatoes, making sure they are covered in oil and cayenne. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes turning occasionally.

2. Place the ling in an oven proof dish and spread with a teaspoon of harissa. Tear the bread into a food processor with the fresh coriander, lemon zest, garlic, coriander seed and cumin seed. Blitz to a fine crumb.

3. Top the ling with the crumbs and drizzle with oil. When the potatoes have been in the oven for half an hour put the ling in the oven and roast for 15 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, fry the leek in olive oil. When soft, add the butter beans and enough stock to cover them. Season to taste. Bring to the boil and simmer, cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.

5. When the water has reduced and thickened add the lemon juice and the fresh parsley. Serve the ling on top of the beans with a side of wedges.