recipes for healthy living

Month: March, 2012

Prawn & Peas Sambal Oelek Curry

Prawn and Peas hot and tasty! This is quick and easy recipe, great flavour, pretty hot I must admit but well balanced so it doesn’t feel like too much of an assault on the body.
If you can get Sambal Oelek (a chilli based paste) then use it, otherwise just finely chop some chillies with salt and a little oil.

Prawns are rich in zinc, iodine and protein and the greens are great too so tuck in and enjoy! 🙂

Serves 2

1 small onion finely chopped or 2 shallots
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp sambal oelek or 2 tsp red chilli paste
1 400gr can chopped tomatoes
Juice of half a lime
100gr each of blanched peas, mange tout and French beans
200gr tail on prawns (raw or cooked)
2 tsp palm sugar
2 tbsp chopped coriander
2 tbsp coconut cream
2 spring onions chopped
Heat oil to a medium heat and add shallot or onion, season and gently for about 5 minutes
Add the sambal oelek and cook it out for about 6 minutes
Tip in the can of tomatoes and stir and cook for 3 or 4 minutes
Add juice of half a lime and stir in 2 tbsp coconut cream
Tip in the blanched veggies and cook for a minutes or two
Then add  the prawns and continue to cook.
If using raw prawns cook for about 3-4 minutes, if cooked only about a minute is required.
Add chopped coriander and spring onion just before serving and then sprinkle over some more chopped coriander
Eat and enjoy – with rice if you need it but I find it delicious on its own.

Coriander Beef with Noodles

This is a quick and easy supper, great for mid week when in a hurry and really tasty. I have summer on the brain even though it is only March but this will be a great dish during the summer when nights are long and you just want to be out in the garden. Plus the lettus will be from my garden so that will be a bonus too.
The palm sugar comes in a hard crystalline form, make sure to take the wax seal off before you chip into it!.

Serves 4
Juice of 2 limes
2 tbsp palm sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
500gr ground beef
1 clove of garlic mashed and crushed
½ tsp ground coriander
2 tbsp chopped coriander
3 spring onions chopped
1inch piece of ginger finely chopped
1 red chilli deseeded and chopped
4 skeins of noodles softened and cut

Combine first 3 ingredients to make your dressing
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and add the garlic, ginger and ground coriander and cook for a few minutes.
Add beef and cook for about 8 minutes until brown and cooking
Add half the dressing, the spring onions, chopped coriander and the softened rice noodles
Continue to cook for a further 4 minutes until beef is fully cooked and onions have softened.
Top lettuce leaves (Gem or cos) with the meat mix, sprinkle some red chilli over and serve with the lime dressing.

2 Spring Salads

Carrot and Coriander Salad, & New Potato Salad – delicious now that Spring has officially sprung with a stretch in the evening and the hours going forward to give us even more lovely brightness at the end of the day. These 2 salads are a delicious duo, new waxy potatoes dressed with mint and natural yoghurt paired with carrot sesame seed salad with OJ, vinaigrette and some lovely coriander. Nothing like these 2 to make you feel light and airy and think of the summer days and heat to come…. (Hopefully, fingers and toes crossed, we must be due a good summer here in Ireland, we are still talking about the heat wave of ’95!)

Minted Potato Salad – Serves 6
500gr new waxy potatoes
1 big bunch mint
300ml natural yoghurt
100ml mayonnaise
2 tbsp French dressing if you have it
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Cook the potatoes until tender
Blitz all the dressing ingredients until smooth
Cut potatoes in half on the length
Let cool and dress with the mint dressing and season with salt and pepper

Carrot and Multiseed Salad – Serves 6
10 carrots washed peeled and coarsely grated
1 big bunch coriander finely chopped
4 tbsp French dressing
1 tbsp spoon toasted sunflower pumpkin and sesame seeds
The juice of 1 orange

Put carrots in bowl and mix with the coriander, French dressing seeds and oj
Toss to mix – serve and enjoy.

French Dressing
To make a basic French dressing place 100mls each of rape seed, olive, a mild nut oil and red wine vinegar with 1 garlic clove, 1 tbsp grainy mustard and 2 tbsp honey in a bowl and liquidize. This will keep in a fridge for several weeks – store in a bottle and shake before using.

Chocolate Palmiers

Classic Palmiers are delicious flaky sugary layered puff pastry sheets. Needless to say they are not everyday eating in our house but I was curious about making puff pastry and thought I would give these a go. Chocolate Palmiers are the classic taken up a level with my addition of a melted dark chocolate layer. A real sweet treat and if you buy ready made puff pastry an easy way to produce these melting moments in minutes! The origin of these palmiers or elephant ears is thought to be France where, lets face it all the best pastries seem to come from. Buy the best puff pastry you can, made only with real butter and roll it out as thin as you can. I did make my own but have filed the experience away under the ‘life is too short category’. While my palmiers weren’t the most beautiful looking they were really tasty with my favourite cup of Has Bean coffee… and remember – don’t eat them all!.. Im bringing these to my gymnastics class as a reward for all our hard work twirling around bars and leaping across floors!

1 sheet puff pastry
4oz granulated sugar for sprinkling
3 oz good quality dark chocolate melted

Sprinkle a thin layer of sugar on the counter top and roll out the pastry to a rectangle slightly less than 5mm thick using the sugar instead of flour to roll it on.
Fold one edge to reach the centre of the pastry sheet and repeat on the other side
Press lightly to seal, sprinkle with some more of the sugar and roll out the pastry once again to be the same size as previously
Using a palette knife and working quickly spread the melted chocolate over the pastry right to the edge
Once again fold one edge to reach the centre of the pastry sheet and repeat on the other side and press lightly using the rolling pin to seal.
To make the palmier shape you repeat the above folding but don’t use the rolling pin to seal, instead using a sharp knife cut into 1cm slices, Clean the knife between each cut.
Lay these on a baking sheet leaving room for them to spread.

ready for the oven
Chill for 15 minutes and then cook in hot oven (220C) cut side down for about 12 minutes until they are puffed and golden and all melted chocolatey. Watch them cos they are full of sugar and will burn easily – when they are ready, transfer to a wire rack to cool and enjoy!

Spice Crust Salmon on Red Pepper Escabache with Mint Chutney and Coriander Blinis… Whew

OK seems like quite a list of ingredients but worth doing for the lovely combination. Even if you just do the spice crusted fish and the mint chutney it is worth it. The chutney is amazing – great with a multitude of meat and fish dishes, just on the side ready to dip into. It can be combined also with some greek yoghurt for a different style dressing and is equally lovely. Do remember to add the ice cubes as per the recipe, the ice will set the chlorophyll in the herbs and ensures you retain the lovely green colour in the chutney. The Spice Crust Salmon is a bit hit with my little one and makes a great alternative to fish fingers from the box! (I know, shoot me now but I try buy good ones!) The picture of the dish assembled looks quite refined but if you can imagine on the left of the dish was another big plate loaded with salmon and blinis in order to ensure my other half had enough to eat. That little plate would have been a ‘girls’ portion in his eyes….

This heart protective dish is packed with antioxidants and vitamin C from the red peppers, Capsaicin in the chillies stimulates blood flow and the omega 3 fatty acids in the fish protects the heart and arteries…. Whats not to love!

Red Pepper Escabeche – This keeps, hence the quantity
5 red peppers – deseeded and finely sliced
1 star anise
1 tbsp fennel seeds
2oz castor sugar
4 tsp sherry vinegar – I use PX
Juice of 1 orange
2floz olive oil

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in large pan. Add peppers star anise and fennel and sauté quickly for 2-3 minute without colouring. Turn down the heat and simmer the peppers. Add sugar and when it begins to caramelise, add the vinegar and OJ. Cook for a further 5 minutes until the peppers are soft. Add the rest of the olive oil.

Coriander Blinis
2 eggs
120ml milk
2oz chopped coriander
150gr gluten free white flour
¼ tsp sea salt flakes

Whisk egg and milk together
Add to the white flour mixing thoroughly
Add salt, stir and set aside for 15 minutes
Heat oil in a large non stick frying pan over a high heat.
Reduce the heat to medium and cook 2 tbsp of the mixture in batches for 2-3 minutes a side each side until golden. Add a sprinkle of chopped coriander onto each pancake when you spoon the mixture onto the pan. Keep them warm while you cook the fish.
(This amount makes plenty for 4 people, half it if you just want 1 or 2 little ones each)

Spice Crust Salmon
4 fillets of fish approximately 5oz each
A few tbsp of Gluten free white flour for dipping
2 tbsp your favourite garam masala spice mix
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Donegal Rape Seed oil for frying

Mix flour and spice mix in a shallow bowl
Season fish and dip both sides into the spice mix
Heat the oil in the pan and when quite hot add the fish
Don’t overload the pan.
Regulating the temperature, cook for about 3-4 minutes a side

Mint Chutney
2oz each of Mint and Coriander
1 clove of garlic
Juice of a lime
1 green apple deseeded
3 green chillies
Thumb size piece of ginger
4 ice cubes
1 tbsp sugar to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste

Place everything in a blender and add a dash of water. Whizz until everything is blended to a puree. Taste and add some extra seasoning if necessary.

When everything is ready plate the dish with some pepper escabeche onto which you sit your salmon. Add mint chutney and dot some avocado for garnish. Accompany with the blinis topped with more chutney and some reserved salmon pieces. Enjoy! 🙂

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