oliveoilandlemon

recipes for a healthy life

Spelt and Oat Fruit Bars

Spelt & Oat Fruit Bars

These are a delicious easy option for a sweet treat based on good ingredients. Keeping all the ingredients natural and minimising the sugar makes these a sugar savvy sweet treat. Similar to my other half’s flapjacks but a bit more refined as I blend most of the oats to oat flour. I like to have a tray of these so that I can put one in my daughter’s lunchbox on a Friday. They are so easy to make and can be whipped up and in the oven in minutes.

Makes a tray of about 12
Spelt and Oat Fruit Bars
6oz butter
3oz honey
6oz mixed dried fruit
7oz oat flour (porridge oats blended to fine flour)
7oz spelt flour
1tsp mixed spice
2 handfuls jumbo oats
2 tbsp chia seed
2 eggs beaten

Oven at 170C
Line a flat baking tray with parchment
Over a medium heat, Gently melt the butter honey and syrup
Allow to cool slightly while you beat the eggs
Mix with melted honey butter mix
Add all dry ingredients, fruit seeds and spice to a bowl and make a well in the centre
Pour liquid in and mix well to combine
Pour onto the baking tray
Wet your clean hands and press down until flat and smooth and into the corners of your tray
Bake for 20 minutes until golden
Let cool and cut into squares.

Spiced Sweet Potato Lentils

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This lentil dish is delicious on its own or paired as I have done with some fish. Any firm white fish works really well with this dish and the gentle spicing gives delicious flavour, a nice subtle amount of heat as well as a great dose of antioxidants – just make sure you spices aren’t in the press for years… :-)

Serves 4
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
125 gr yellow lentils
1 sweet potato peeled and cubed
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp nigella seeds
1 tsp each fresh chopped garlic and ginger
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
5 small tomatoes chopped
1 tsp salt
600ml water
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
1/2 tsp garam masala

Wash the lentils well in a few changes of water
Heat oil in a pan over a medium heat and add the fennel mustard and nigella seeds and fry until they start to pop
Immediately add the garlic and ginger and fry for about a minute – watch it doesn’t catch, a drop of water will help if it starts.
Add the chilli, coriander, turmeric and fry for another minute then add the tomatoes, lentils, cover with the water, season with
a teaspoon of salt and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes until the lentils are almost cooked.
Add the cubed sweet potato, cover with some greaseproof paper and simmer over a low heat until the potatoes are tender about 15 minutes more.
Taste and adjust the seasoning – it may need more salt
Sprinkle over the coriander and garam masala just before serving – on its own or with a piece of fish, cooked on the pan in oil and butter until
golden and cooked through.

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Dark Chocolate Prune Tart

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I make lots of chocolate cakes & tarts and while there is no way to make them completely healthy and caloriefree (is that a word?) I try make sure I have done a workout first and also used really good quality ingredients. If you keep the cocoa solids content high then the resulting bitter chewy chocolaty tart will be worth it. Made with a mix of gluten free flour and almond or hazelnut flour gives a delicious pastry. This tart will feed quite a lot and a small piece is enough with a dollop of cream on the side..unless you are my other half and a small piece is not enough at all :-)

Pastry
200gr gluten free plain flour
100gr almond flour or ground hazlenuts
200gr butter
pinch of salt
3-4 tbsp cold water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Filling
600ml cream
300gr dark chocolate (at least 70%) use drops or chop a bar into small pieces
5 egg yolks
75gr butter
50gr coconut palm sugard or dark brown sugar
100gr prunes chopped and pitted
1 tbsp cocoa

Oven at 180C
Whizz flours and butter in a food processor
Add vanilla extract, water and whizz until it comes together – not too wet
Tip out, gently knead and wrap in cling and chill for at least 30 minutes
Roll out and line a 28cm tart tin. Prick the base and chill again before cooking
Line with greaseproof and fill with pastry beans and bake for about 20 minutes
Remove the beans and paper and bake for about 5 more minutes until golden brown and crisp
Melt the chocolate with the butter and sugar over a bain-marie
Stir until smooth and set aside to cool a bit
Whisk the eggs and add some of the cooled chocolate mixture and whisk to combine.
Then add remaining chocolate mixture and stir gently until incorporated.
Stir in the prunes and pour over the tart base
Bake for about 20 minutes until just set
Let cool and dust with the cocoa powder.

Quick Mini Quiches Perfect for the Lunchbox or a speedy supper

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My other half is not a great pastry fan especially if it’s not gluten free. These mini quiches are the perfect fast and easy way to a lovely supper and the leftovers are a great lunchbox option. Full of great flavours, loaded with great nutrition and cook in about 15 minutes so what’s not too like. You can use any ingredients you like – the 2 varieties below are my favourites.

Makes 12 (6 of each)

5 eggs beaten with 100ml milk
Grease a 12 muffin tin
Oven at 170C

Filling 1
1/2 small sweet potato peeled and sliced into tiny dice
1 small onion diced
2oz Pancetta
1 Roasted Pepper peeled and sliced
2 tbsp oil
1 knob of butter
1 sprig of thyme

Heat 1 tbs oil in a pan and add the onion and cook until soft and translucent
Remove from the pan and add the pancetta and cook until it is crisy
Remove from the pan, add some more oil if needed and add the sweet potato, with the butter and thyme, season and cook until soft and caramelised. Add everything into a bowl, take out the thyme,taste for seasoning and set aside.

Filling 2
1 small onion diced and cooked in a little oil until soft and translucent.
3 handfuls of Spinach washed and drained.
2 oz Goats Cheese in small cubes
1 tbsp Chopped Chives
Mix all the ingredients together and season well.

Divide the two fillings into the muffin tins – makes about 6 of each
Pour over the egg milk mixture and into the oven for about 12-15 minutes until puffed up
and cooked through. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly – remove from the tins and serve with some salad on the side. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Roasted Root Veggie Curry

Summer may be on the way but the days can still be chilly and for me a Thai curry is still one of my favourite meals, pretty quick to prepare and really delicious. Roasting the vegetables in advance adds a delicious caramelized flavour to the veg and the end result gives a great bang of antioxidants from the spices plus getting lots of your 5 a day in. This is a no brainer – make it a regular staple in your house. Up the heat with more chillis if you like it hotter, me-I like it hot but have to hold back as my other half and Eva don’t like having their heads boiled :-)

Roasted Vegetable Thai Green Curry
1 large Sweet potato or 1/2 a squash of choice
1 large potato
1 small Cauliflower
2 tbsp of Ketchup Manis or sweet soy sauce

200ml Coconut Milk
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 tbsp Turmeric
1″ piece of Ginger peeled and chopped
1 medium Onion
2 big cloves of Garlic, peeled chopped and mashed
3-4 Lime leaves
1 big tbsp Green Curry Paste

to Finish
Fish Sauce, Palm Sugar and Lime Juice to taste

Peel the root vegetables and cut into large bit size pieces and tip into a bowl
Wash and trim the cauliflower, reserve half if very large and cut the rest into large florets
Tip into the bowl, season, add 2 tbsp ketchup manis and 2 tbsp rapeseed oil and mix to coat the veg. Tip onto a roasting tray and roast at 180 for 20 minutes

Meanwhile, Heat 2 tbsp rapeseed oil in wide bottomed pot over a medium heat
Add onion and cook gently until softened
Add minced garlic and ginger and cook for a few minutes
Tip in the green curry paste and cook for about 5 minutes – add a tbsp or 2 of water if it gets a bit dry
Add the turmeric and stir and cook for another minute
Tip in the coconut milk and cook over a gentle heat for about 7 minutes
Add in the cooked vegetables, season with salt and cook until the sauce has thickened
Just before serving add fish sauce, palm sugar and lime juice to finally season.
This depends on your taste but I added about 2tbsp fish sauce, the juice of a full lime and 1 tbsp of palm sugar, gradually, stirring each time and tasting before I was happy with it.
Serve as is or with cooked basmati rice if preferred.

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