recipes for a healthy life

Tag: vegetables

Simple Summer Veg

This is the 3rd year that I have harbored dreams of growing our own, of being able to say ‘These veg?, oh yes they came from garden, dreams sadly almost dead , dashed thanks to the army of slugs which attack my little patch every evening, multiplying themselves by factors beyond my mathematical ability and seemingly immune to the pots of beer and slug pellets I try dispel them with. I’m inundated with suggestions but I do draw the line at the person who suggested I go out each evening with a garden scissors and snip the buggers – even I couldn’t bring myself to do that.

So, instead I shop and bypass the more wintery vegetables in favour of lighter summer styles which are in abundance right now – (someone has solved the slug problem and I just need to know their secret). These recipes are full of summer flavours, light and easy to eat whether with fish or meat. Perfect outdoors eating and quick to prepare so you can get out in the garden after work. The spice butter and pomegranate molasses are staples in my house and they are great to add a little interest to salads and vegetables. And so, while I don’t have any produce from my own garden,I did at least get the chilli from my plant on the windowsill which the slugs haven’t worked out yet how to reach.

Griddled Bok Choi with Spiced Butter
Serves 2-3 people
2 Heads of Bok Choi – wash and keep root intact
2 oz butter
1 tbsp Ras El Hanout spice mix or any dried spice mix you like to use
Drizzle of olive oil
Salt and pepper

Trip the top leaves from the bok choi, roll up like a cigar and shred, then set aside
Cut the remaining bok choi into 1/4’s keeping root intact so it does not fall apart
Mix the butter, oil and spice until it is soft and spreadable
Season the cut sides of the bok choi then spread with the spice butter
Heat griddle pan until very hot (Open all the windows)
Place the bok choi cut side down on the pan and cook until lovely and golden, with griddle marks then flip over and continue to cook on the other side until almost tender with a little
bite. Remove from the pan to a service plate.
Add the shredded leaves with a drizzle of oil and flash for a minute on the pan then remove to the serving plate.
A final dash of seasoning and serve.

Tomato and Green Bean salad with Pomegranate dressing

4 ripe tomatoes deseeded and finely diced
1 red onion finely diced
1 red chilli deseeded (if you wish) and finely diced
2 handful of green beans, blanched for 3 minutes and chopped into small pieces

1 tsp sumac
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
Salt and Pepper

Combine all the dressing ingredients and mix well.
Add all the vegetables to a bowl and cover with the dressing and leave for about 15 minutes for the flavour to develop. Taste and adjust for seasoning then serve.

garden corner


Beans and Eggs with Tomato Toasts

Beans, eggs and tomatoes – on paper doesn’t sound too interesting but cook your own beans and add deliciously seasoned griddled tomatoes with eggs and you take this to a new level.. A great brunch option or quick supper. Keep tins of beans on standby in the press and you can whizz this up in less than 30 minutes. As a bonus, its a nutritional powerhouse full of protein from the eggs and beans as well as vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. Packed with B vitamins. – These incredible little compounds are essential in contributing to a healthy body, everything from liver, skin, hair and eyes. This little dish was the perfect filler when we got back from holidays – I still hadn’t done the shopping but there were beans in the press (and I had actually brought home black beans from holiday) and sure there is always eggs in our fridge, on that you can rely. There is nothing difficult about this recipe but it does taste extra special thanks to the tomato toasts. Season the tomatoes really well as I’m always amazing by how much salt they need to bring their flavour out and serve with more than 1 egg if you are feeding a hungry family!.

Serves 3-4


1 cup dried beans of choice soaked overnight or 2 tins of cooked beans
1 tsp Pimenton d’espelette or Smoky Paprika
1 medium onion diced
2 medium carrots diced
2 cloves garlic peeled chopped and mashed
2 tbsp rapeseed oil or olive oil
2 chopped cooked peppers
2 cups of stock
2 tbsp tomato passata
Salt and Pepper to season

Heat oil in a medium pan.
Add onion and garlic and cook over gently heat for a few minutes.
Add the carrot , toss well to combine.
Cover and sweat until all are nearly cooked.
Add the Pimenton or Smoky Paprika and stir to combine.
Add the passata and stir well for 2 minutes.
Add the stock and beans, bring to the boil.
Turn down and if using cooked beans, simmer for about 10 minutes until all the flavours are developed.
If using uncooked beans you will need to cook for 45 minutes at least until tender.
Season as needed.

Fry 2 eggs per person and keep warm until ready to serve.

Tomato Toasts
2 cherry tomatoes per person, cut and seasoned with salt and a little sugar, brushed with olive oil.
Heat a skillet pan and cook the tomatoes cut side down until softened.
Set aside and keep warm.
Toast 1 piece of sourdough per person.
Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, top with the tomatoes and squash them slightly into the toast with the egg turner.
Serve alongside the eggs and beans.

2 Recipes for Eggs…. Sweet Potato Skillet Eggs & Eggs Piperade Syle

It's the final week before holidays so in between wrapping up at work and getting some practice packing in, it's been quick and nutritious meals to full us up. I'm in my element making lists and practically have a project plan done for the holiday, my other half who is the COMPLETE opposite and who's eyes glaze over at the word organised does not understand this at all. Mind you, I'm not the one who only booked a flight for 1 person, when we were going on our honeymoon :-)
.... a story for another day.



These are my current favourite egg recipes - the sweet potato one getting my current no 1 vote. Eggs are just amazing, the perfect fillers, so so good for you and did I say very tasty?. Grating the potato ensures it it cooks pretty quickly, season it really well, add some chopped herbs and cook almost fully before adding the eggs, such a winner of a recipe and all paleo fans such as my other half will love this..if he is still speaking to me after the honeymoon reveal!.

Sweet Potato Skillet Eggs
Serves 2
1 large sweet potato
2 oz butter
4 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
Salt and pepper
4 eggs
Variations to add to the sweet potato - 1 tsp Sweet Paprika or 2 tbsp dukkah
Peel and grate the sweet potato and tip into a mixing bowl
Add the herbs and season really well - add the paprika or dukkah if using
Melt the butter in a largee frying pan and tip all the sweet potato in
Stir to ensure it is well covered in the melted butter and cook on a medium heat stirring frequently with a wooden spoon
The Sweet potato will be almost cooked after about 10 minutes.
If your pan is big enough to cook 4 eggs in it then make 4 wells to crack eggs in, otherwise
Take half the potato out of the pan, make 2 wells and crack an egg into each well and season each;
Cover the pan with a lid or large plate if you don't have a lid, turn the heat down to low/medium and cook the eggs to your liking;
They will steam rather than fry and are lovely!
Serve warm. As a bonus, any left over sweet potato is delicious the next day as part of a salad.

Scrambled Eggs Piperade Style
Serves 2
1 small onion peeled and thinly sliced
2 cooked and peeled peppers sliced (from a Jar)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 large tomato de-seeded and chopped
A handful of stems of asparagus, steamed until almost tender and chopped into 2" pieces (if available)
6 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp piment D'Espelette or paprika if not available
Plenty of salt and pepper to season
2 tbsp rapeseed oil

Heat oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and fry gently until soft but not brown.
Add peppers, tomatoes and piment or paprika, and cook for about 5 minutes - if you were using raw peppers this would need about 12-15 minutes to soften them.
Add the asparagus, season well and then gently stir in eggs.
Stir from time to time to gently scramble.
Cook for about 3 minutes or until set.
Serve warm and enjoy.

There’s always Eggs…


When everything in the house has run out and the cupboard is almost bare, we always still have eggs in our house. This week has been a series of insanely early mornings, late nights and not having seen my little one since I put her to bed on Sunday night. Not good but not normal either, thankfully. Coming in late I resort to what is without question one of my favourite quick meals – eggs, scrambled, poached, boiled or in a quiche, I’m easy. They are one of my go to comfort foods, memories of staying home a little bit sick from school and when Mum asked what I would like to eat, it was always scrambled eggs, hers made with brown bread toasted on the side and real butter, always real butter. Heaven on a plate and being one of six, I sometimes pushed for the extra day in bed just o get a little bit more of the one on one attention.

I had a stash of gluten free pastry in the fridge and with some pantry staples was able to whisk up these quiches in no time, the goodness of the veggies combined with the protein, minerals and vitamins in the eggs mean a great filling health meal. The extras made lunch on the go easy today, I was able to avoid some of the less healthy options by being prepared.

8 oz gluten free plain flour
2 tsp sea salt
4oz cold unsalted butter chopped into little cubes
3-4 tbsp ice water or more if needed

Tip flour and butter into a food processor and pulse until it is like sand.
Gradually add the water until the pastry comes together just.
Turn out onto lightly floured surface and bring together into a ball, flatten and wrap
Chill if you can for 30 minutes of preferably overnight.
This makes about 4 mini quiches – fill with parchment beans and blind bake for about 7 minutes.
fill with your chosen fulling below and finish baking for about 15 minutes.

3 eggs
2 tbsp creme fraiche
1 cups milk or half and half milk and cream,
Salt and pepper

Whisk eggs with the creme fraiche and gradually add your milk and or cream.
Fill the quiches with your fillings of choice from below.
You don’t have to be too fussy, any cooked meats,thinly sliced vegetables are really good,
chorizo, and if you place is anything like mine, there is usually a hunk of cheese lying in
the bottom of the fridge which also works well.
Ladle over some egg mixture, season and carefully transfer to the oven and finish cooking for about 15 minutes.

Chopped cherry tomatoes, roasted peppers from a jar, cooked chorizo
Steamed broccoli and feta
Chopped cherry tomatoes, fennel jam,
Broccoli, cherry tomatoes and grated parmesan.

Griddled Lemon Chicken, Pan Fried Brussel Sprouts with Chorizo and Crunchy Rosemary Potatoes

Griddled Lemon Chicken

Brussel Sprouts

Sunday lunch of Griddled Lemon Chicken, Pan Fried Brussel Sprouts with Chorizo and Crunchy Rosemary Potatoes was perfect for the day that was in it, easy to prepare so we could all watch the rugby :-( , very tasty and full of goodness, I marinated the chicken before we headed off to take Eva to the acquazone (it was too cold for the waterpark while on holidays and a hastily made promise to go when we got home was NOT FORGOTTEN – Note to self, Children never forget). The brussels sprouts are little powerhouses of goodness, full of cancer protecting components and vitamins. The quick light cooking method used here preserves the goodness and this much maligned veggie tastes absolutely delicious cooked this way. I have managed to even overcome Dom’s memories of overcooked balls of water from his childhood.

Pan Fried Brussels Sprouts with Chorizo
4 handfuls of brussels sprouts washed, outer leaves removed and finely sliced
1/2 red chilli seeds removed julienned
2″ piece chorizo diced
1 tbsp lemon zest
2 pinches of grated nutmeg
1/2 tbsp each of mashed garlic and ginger

Dry fry the chorizo until it releases its oil and becomes crispy.
Remove from pan and set aside until needed.
Clean pan with kitchen towel and put back over medium heat.
Add mashed garlic and ginger paste with a tbsp oil to the pan and fry gently until it sizzles and becomes aromatic.
Add chilli and gently cook over a low medium heat until it softens.
Turn up the heat and toss in the brussels sprouts and a tbsp of water if needed.
Cook gently for about 2 minutes.
Add back the chorizo, add the lemon zest, nutmeg, season well and stir.
Finish cooking for a final minute or 2 then remove to a serving plate and keep warm.

Lemon Chicken
3 chicken breasts, flattened to about 1/2 inch thick
100ml olive oil
2 cloves garlic mashed
juice and zest of a lemon
1 tbsp each of rosemary and thyme
1 lemon cut in half

Mix all the marinade ingredients, add the chicken and set aside for an hour or even over night.

To Cook the chicken, heat a griddle pan until just smoking. Open all the windows and add the chicken to the pan.
Turn over when golden on one side and and when both sides are coloured, I usually remove to a baking tray and finish in the oven, depending on thickness, about 6-10 minutes at 180.
Add the lemons cut side down to the griddle pan and griddle until lovely and soft with char marks on the top.

Crunchy Rosemary Potatoes
Everyone says their mum cooks the best roast potatoes, mine certainly did. This is a take on her recipe using what was a very exotic spice when I was growing up.

1 lb Waxy potatoes, washed and cut in half length wise
4 sprigs of Rosemary, sprigs removed
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp salt
Rapeseed oil – about 5 tbsp

Cover the roasting pan in a thin layer of oil
Sprinkle over the rosemary, salt and paprika
Place potatoes cut side down and season
Roast for about 30-40 minutes depending on the size
Remove to a serving platter and keep warm

To serve, place the chicken on top of the potatoes on the serving plate, drizzle over some olive oil and balsamic glaze if you have it, add the lemons and take to the table to serve with the sprouts.


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