recipes for a healthy life

Marinated Beef with Chimichurri dipping sauce

I’m not a huge red meat eater but do I make an exception for this cut of beef, cooked rare or at most medium rare and slathered with this dipping sauce from Argentina (another home of great beef) it is the perfect casual platter food when you don’t feel like doing too much. Pile a load of steamed broccoli on the side and you have a meal which will be demolished in no time. We had a weekend of beautiful sunshine so spent it outdoors on long family walks and this was really popular with everyone in the family.

Bavette with Chimichurri

Chimichurri Dipping Sauce

2 cups flat leaf parsley leaves chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and mashed
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tbsp capers
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Add everything except the oil to a blender and pulse until chopped uniformly
With the blender running , add the oil slowly until fully incorporated and well mixed
Transfer to a bowl, cover and leave aside for the flavours to develop
This sauce is delicious with any meat or chicken as well as drizzled on top of salads.

Marinated Bavette
1 piece of Bavette
2 cloves of garlic peeled chopped and mashed
salt and pepper
rapeseed oil
1 handful of fresh rosemary and thyme picked and chopped
Combine the herbs, garlic, add salt and pepper with few glugs of rapeseed oil
Cover the beef with the marinade and leave for a few hours for the flavour to develop
Wipe off the excess
Heat a griddle pan to high heat and turn your oven on to 180C
Sear the beef of all sides until golden brown about 2 minutes each side
Into the oven to finish the cooking for about 5 minutes for rare beef
Leave it to rest covered, for a few minutes
Slice on the grain and serve with the sauce and veg of choice.

Multi Grain Gluten Free Bread

Multi Grain Gluten Free Bread

I love bread, my other half calls it my drug of choice, the trouble is I don’t work well with Wheat. Coupled with the intense memories I have of baking bread with my mum means that I find it very hard not to bake and eat bread. Hence my search for the perfect gluten free home made loaf. This is a good gluten free recipe, it makes a nice bread and is even nicer toasted and piled with lots of butter makes a lovely start to the day coupled with a really good coffee!. Note the 2 Tsp of salt in the recipe as I find that shop bought gluten free bread tends to be low on flavour.

Multi Grain Gluten Free Bread
Makes 1 Loaf
Oven at 200C

1 tsp each Chia and Flaz Seeds
2fl oz boiling water
4oz oat flour (Ground oats)
4oz Ground almonds
21/2oz buckwheat flour
9oz Gluten free plain flour
1 tsp dried Milk powder
1 1/2 tsp dried Yeast
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
2 free range eggs
2 tbsp cider vinegar
8floz warm water

Stir the boiling water into the chia and flax seeds until they have formed a thick gel
Set aside
Add the flours, milk powder, sugar. salt. yeast into a bowl and whisk gently to aerate
Whisk the eggs with the vinegar gently
Pour the eggs into the flour, together with the seed gel, and the milk and stir to form a wet dough
pour into an oiled bowl, cover the bowl with cling and leave aside in a warm place to rise for 2 hours (it wont rise hugely so don’t be
Shape into a loaf and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Cover and leave for 30 minutes.
Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
This is delicious toasted and my favourite is with boiled eggs and Avocado.

Tex Mex Style Turkey and Pork Burgers with Barbeque Sauce

One of the best way to avoid dry burgers (aside from avoiding overcooking them) is to add some extra moisture in the form of this delicious secret sauce – I love to add some into the mix as well as baste some on top when I am cooking the burgers. It is also amazing with any slow cooked meats such as pork or lamb, it adds an amazing tangy flavour – just add a slaw for food heaven.
This sauce will keep for a few weeks in the fridge – I will be the first to point out that it is packed full of sugar in various forms so just remember it is a condiment not a main meal… :-)

Tex mex Turkey and Pork Burgers

Grainne's Barbeque sauce

Turkey and Pork Burgers (Can also be used to make Meat balls)
Makes 6

450gr each of minced pork and turkey
4 tbsp chopped coriander
4 tbsp barbeque sauce (below)
1 tsp each salt and pepper
3ox breadcrumbs (I use gluten free)
1/2 white onion peeled and diced

Oven at 180C
Mix all the ingredients well to combine
Shape into patties and chill well before cooking
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a a pan and sear on both sides
Top each with 1 spoon of barbeque sauce
Transfer to an oven proof dish and finish cooking for about
20 minutes. I use a meat thermometer to check.
Serve with choice of veg

Barbeque Sauce

300gr tomatoes chopped and drained free of water
1 white onion peeled and diced
2 cloves of garlic peeled and chopped
20gr spice mix from below
125ml apple juice
125ml cider vinegar
125ml maple syrup
125ml american mustard
125ml molasses
100ml chutney (I used ballymaloe)
250ml ketchup
1 tbsp chipotles in adobo
1 tsp smoked garlic or maldon sea salt

Heat 1 tbsp oil and cook the onion and garlic over a gentle heat until cooked
Add the tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes
Add the spice mix and cook out for a further 5 minutes
Add the apple juice and vinegar and simmer until reduced by about 1/3
Add everything else and bring to a oil, turn right down and simmer for 5 minutes
Blend and pour into sterilised bottles and store in the fridge until needed.

Spice Mix
5gr each of fennel, cumin, coriander, nigella, mustard seed and black peppercorns
Toast the spices and when cool grind to a rough powder

Gooey Brownies with White Chocolate Chunks

Brownies with White Chocolate

When you bake brownies, they should be intensely chocolatey, totally Gooey, bordering on under cooked when you take them out of the oven. The great thing about all brownie recipes is that you can change out the flour for gluten free flour and not have to worry about needing to add anything else to the recipe. These ones because they are made with cocoa powder also have a delicious crust on the top

i always keep a batch of these in the house for the weekend – adults and kids love them and when I promise to dish them up paired with vanilla ice cream, well the kids will do almost anything for you.. homework, housework, cleaning the bird cage… I even made some extra for my other half to bring to the gym but he had eaten them before he could get them there!… Don’t say I didn’t warn you – remember – Don’t eat them all, course now that I’m not in work I have no where to bring the extras :-)

Makes about 18 Browmies

Chocolate Brownies with White Chocolate Chunks
Oven at 170C

4oz butter
4 eggs
12 oz gluten free flour
3 oz cocoa powder (Please get the best quality you can – It’s worth it)
2 oz coconut palm sugar or caster sugar if you cant get it
2 oz white chocolate chopped

Sieve the flour and cocoa powder together
Cream the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy
Alternately beat in the eggs with the flour mixture until fully incorporated
Fold in the chocolate chunks
Pour into a greased parchment lined tin and smooth out
Bake for 20 minutes – turn them around half way through
Let cool and cut

Baked Rice with Lamb

I am feeling slightly surreal this week – I have stopped work after almost 28 years of very early starts, some long days, lots of fun, chaos, good clients, other types of clients and good friends. My mind is still in the office so I guess it will take some time to switch off and get used to the fact that my time is completely my own now. To my good friend in the office who shall remain nameless (you know who you are) who wondered out loud if I would be slobbing around in a tracksuit or still wearing high heels at home…… I’m still in the heels. :-)

The upside is lots of time for cooking and inspired by memories of great paella’s in spain and looking at some delicious Irish lamb this is what I came up with for dinner. It cooks really quickly in the oven so it works really well if you still are putting in hours at the office!.

lamp paella

Baked Rice with Lamb – Serves 4
Oven at 180C
8 lamb chops
500g sausages (Pork, Chorizo, Merguez works very well)
2 tbsp dried oregano
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion finely diced
2 garlic cloves peeled chopped and mashed
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 red peppers cooked and peeled, and sliced (I use the jarred variety, omit if you dont have)
1/4 tsp saffron strands added to 600ml hot chicken stock
200gr bomba calasparra or arborio rice for paella or risotto
1/2 glass white wine
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint

Season the chops, rub a little rape or olice oil and the oregano into each front and back and set aside for 30 minutes if you can.
Remove the skin from the sausages and divide into 12 pieces and roll into balls

Heat the oil and brown the lamb chops on both sides and remove to a tray
Brown the sausage balls on all sides and remove to a tray
Add a little more oil to the pan and add the garlic and onion and fry gently until soft
Add the sliced red peppers, tomato puree and cook out for a minute
add the rice and stir well to coat for cook gently for a minute
Add the wine if using and bubble off for 30 seconds then add the stock
Bring to the boil and reduce the heat and cook for 5 minutes
Stir in the mint
Pour into one large oven proof dish or divide into 4 oven proof dishes, press the lamb chops and sausage
balls into the rice and cook in the oven for about 18 minutes until the rice is cooked.
If you wish your lamb to be rarer then put into the oven for about 10 minutes without the lamb then
simply add the lamb for the last 8-10 minutes.
Top up with a little hot water if needed.
Serve as is – delicious,


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