recipes for a healthy life

Tag: paleo

Spice Roasted Butternut Squash

Autumn walk

spice onion butternut squsash

It’s the time of year for long walks and food which warms the body and soul. I have switched from salads to roasted vegetables and love adding spices as seasonings. Root veggies are probably my favourite and stand up so well to some gentle spicing. I have taken a leaf from Rick Stein’s book and have been adding red onion to my vegetable tray just before bunging in the oven – they caramelise beautifully and add a delicious kick.

Spice Roasted Squash
Serves 4-6
Oven at 180C
2 Red onions sliced finely
2 tbsp Tomato puree
1 tbsp spice mix from here or your favourite bought spice mix
1 butternut squash peeled, deseeded and sliced

Add the onions to a bowl with the puree and mix well to rub it into the onion
Sprinkle over the spice mix and set aside while you peel and deseed the squash
Lay the squash slices on a flat baking tray and pour over 3 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
Cover with the onion mix and roast in a hot oven for about 20 minutes until the squash is cooked through
Serve immediately.

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.

Bistro Style Marinated Goats Cheese Salad with Green Beans

Having just come back from a weekend in Paris and eaten so well, I was inspired by the simplicity of the food we ate, great ingredients, simply presented and well dressed. I could have spent the day (if I had the budget) in Astier de Villatte, home of the most out of this world pottery and painted plates. Also home to typical Parisian Hauteur…..

So inspired by our trip, this is a take on a goats cheese salad with more substance with the addition of croutons made from toasted home made gluten free bread. I spotted loads of beautiful looking salads when we had lunch at Relais Sant-Germaine on our last day which was great food and the dessert was one of the most beautiful plates of food I have ever seen.

Marinated Goats Cheese Salad
Serves 4
2 100gr goat’s cheese logs
100ml extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp walnut oil
1 shallot chopped very finely
1 garlic clove chopped and mashed
1 tsp fresh thyme picked and chopped
1 tsp sweet paprika

4 large handfuls of mixed leaves
250 gr green beans washed, topped & tailed
2 slices rustic bread preferably gluten free
Olive oil and raspberry vinaigrette

Combine the olive oil, walnut oil,shallot, garlic and thyme, season well.
Cut the goats cheese into slices and lay on a flat plate and pour over the marinade.
Cover and place in the fridge – preferably overnight but at least for a few hours.
when ready to assemble, blanch the beans in boiling water for 3 minutes and drain.
Toast the bread and cut into croutons.
Dress the salad leaves with some olive oil and a splash of raspberry vinaigrette.
Drain some of the marinade onto the beans.
Arrange the leaves and beans across 4 plates.
Place the goats cheese onto a foil lined baking tray and place under the grill for about 2 minutes until
just melting. Arrange on top of the salad, top with the croutons and spoon over any remaining marinade.


Greek Style Lamb with Redcurrant glaze

I have piles and piles of cook books as well as notebooks filled with written recipes or ones I have cut out from newspapers over the years. I usually write notes in the margins about when I first cooked it, for who and occasionally the date. This means I usually get immersed in my note books on trips down memory lane as I remember what the occasion was and totally forget the time. This lamb recipe has a note in the margin that I first cooked this for my dad and that he loved it. So I can assure you it has been road tested by someone with quite high standards (read fussy) :-)

Greek Style Lamb with Redcurrant Glaze
Serves 4

8 lamb chops (2 per person, more if you have hungry males!)
few sprigs of fresh rosemary and thyme
2 lemons sliced
2 cloves garlic chopped and mashed

Season the lamb chops and brown well on both sides
Line an oven proof dish with sliced lemons, herbs, and chopped garlic
Lie lamb chops on top and into the oven at 180C until done to choice (about 10 minutes for medium)

Meanwhile make redcurrant glaze
150ml red wine
125gr red currant jelly
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
150 ml water
2 tsp cornflour

Add everything bar cornflour and water to a pot and heat gently until the jelly has melted and is smooth
Blend the corn flour and water and add to the pot, bring to the boil and stir and simmer until thickened

Serve the lamb with the redcurrant glaze with tossed salad and some roasted or new potatoes if in season.

Pomegranate and Honey Glazed Chicken – A perfect summer dish

large pomegranate honey glazed

The last days of summer are here and this is a dish full of summer flavours. I love the pomegranate molasses as it adds a lovely sherbert lemony flavour and It makes a delicious salad dressing or is lovely with roasted peaches or nectarines.
There is great nutrition in this dish with protein from the chicken the goodness of the nuts and the antioxidants from the spices. If you don’t think you will feel full enough you can serve some roasted sweet potato on the side also which works really well.

Serves 4

3 tbsp pomegranate molasses
150ml olive oil
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp each of cayenne , paprika and cumin

8 skinless boneless chicken thighs or a mix of breast and thighs
1/2 red onion sliced very thin
2 handfuls of coriander
2 handfuls of roughly chopped pistachios
2 tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Mix marinade ingredients together
Cut the chicken into 2″ chunks
Add to marinade and toss to coat
Cover with cling and place in fridge at least an hour – overnight even better
Thread chicken pieces onto skewers (soak wooden ones)
Heat griddle pan and cook on medium heat turning to cook on all sides

Toss the onion coriander and pistachios with lime and olive oil
Season and place on a large platter
Add the skewers and serve


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