recipes for a healthy life

Home Made Kit Kat – Gooey Chocolate Fingers

I wont lie about these – they are insanely nice and insanely loaded with calories but also the most popular pic I posted on Instagram and I have been pestered big time for the recipe so here goes….. Don’t say you haven’t been warned – every-time I look at Dom he has his hands in the fridge for one of these – course when you work out every day you can afford it. Me on the other hand, I’ve been trying to make sure I’ve earned having one:-)


Gooey Chocolate Fingers
Makes about 24

For the Base
2oz dark chocolate chopped or in drops
1oz butter
4oz cornflakes
2oz chopped mixed nuts (chop them quite fine)
4oz of nutella or you can use half and half nut butter and nutella

Melt the chocolate and butter over a bain marie
Stir in the nutella / nut butter and let cool a bit
Crush the cornflakes and mix with the nuts
Pour into the chocolate mix and mix well
Pour into tin (9 by 13″ lined with parchment)
Flatten down with a spoon and put into the fridge or freezer to firm

For the topping
13floz cream
13oz dark chocolate drops or bars chopped

Melt the chocolate and gently heat the cream
Remove the chocolate from the heat,
Pour the cream over the chocolate and stir really well until it is fully combined and you have lifted all the chocolate off the bottom of the bowl
Pour this gently over your base, tip to ensure it gets into each corner
and put into the fridge to set
When fully set cut into finger slices – store in the fridge until gone!

Mini Apple and Blueberry Galettes

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Apple tarts are a reminder of Sunday’s growing up – after dinner served with whipped cream and ice cream. Still my dad’s favourite dessert. I prefer these galettes – even easier to make as no crimping required. I especially like doing the mini ones – more elegant and you just need 1 or 2 per person. If you aren’t a fan of making pastry, there are plenty of good quality ready made ones available including Gluten Free if you need it.

Apple and Blueberry Galettes
This will make about 12 small galettes
Oven at 180C

For shortcrust Pastry
225gr plain flour GF if you prefer
100gr butter diced (cold from the fridge)
Pinch of salt
1 egg yolk
few tbsp cold water (according to what you need)

Apple Filling
6 eating apples
1 tbsp cornflour
30ml of lemon juice – about 1/2 lemon
200gr blueberries
1 tbsp coconut palm sugar or brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Place flour, butter and salt in the food processor and pulse a few times
until it resembles breadcrumbs.
Add the egg yolk and 2 tbsp cold water and pulse again and see does it come together into a ball.
If not add 1 more tbsp of water and pulse again, one more tbsp if needed.
Tip out and gently bring together, flatten and roll in cling and put into
the fridge, preferable for an hour but at least 30 minutes

Meanwhile, peel core and finely chop the apples, toss with the cornflour and lemon juice.

Lightly flour your counter top and roll out the pastry
Using a side plate or 5″ cutter cut out circles, place onto a flat tray
lined with parchment. If using all the pastry you will need 2 flat baking trays

Place 1 heaped tbsp of apple into the centre of the circle. Damped the edge with water and then gather the edge up . Start on one side, pull edge up onto the apple, move to the next side and gather it up, tuck it into a pleat as you go. Done worry it doesn’t have to look perfect, just gently press it together.
Stick a few blueberries into the apple, wet the edges of the outside of the pastry and sprinkle over some brown sugar and cinnamon if you like it.
Bake for 15 minutes approx until golden brown.
These are delicious warm as they are or you can go all out with cream and ice cream.

Salmon in Coconut& Turmeric Sauce



I’m a fan of a slow cooked dinner, seasoning, brining and into the oven for most of the day but the lack of practicality for an evening meal is not lost on me so I tend to try and have my recipes done and dusted in under 30 minutes…..

This one is even quicker and takes about 15 minutes to prepare and being able to get everything in the one pan has to be a real bonus for a mid week meal. This sauce is deliciously creamy, with some heat and flavour from Ginger, Turmeric and Garam masala. Lots of health giving properties and overall this is a such a tasty meal as well as so good for you. If you like heat in your sauce then add in some chili powder to give in some extra bang for your buck.

Salmon in Coconut Turmeric Sauce
Serves 4
4 Salmon Darnes (Hake could be great in this too).
2 tbsp rapeseed coconut or olive oil
1 medium red onion finely diced
1 tbsp fresh ginger peeled and grated
2 cloves of garlic peeled chopped and mashed
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
1/2 can of chopped tomatoes (about 200gr)
4 tbsp coconut cream from the top of a can
4 fl oz water

Heat the oil and add the onion and sweat for about 2 minutes until it softens.
Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another 3 minutes.
Stir in the spices and salt then cook for a minute or 2 – add a splash of water if it seems too dry.
Add the tomatoes, water and coconut milk and stir to combine. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and add the salmon darnes
Cook in the sauce over a medium heat – splash the sauce over the fish occasionally.
Stir through some chopped coriander and serve with some wholegrain rice.

Thai beef with Nam Jim & pickled vegetables

IMG_1162February temperatures, hail sleet and morning frosts. It can only be April! Get some heat in with this delicious spicy beef with Nam Jim and pickled veg. These pickles work well with any hot Thai dish and will keep well in the fridge for a couple of weeks. The Nam Jim is great with lots of meat not just the beef as well as over a delicious raw veg salad.

Thai beef with Nam Jim and pickled vegetables
Serves 4
700g beef – sirloin, flank, flat iron or bavette all work well sliced into strips
Couple of handfuls of peanuts roasted
2 red chilies

Nam Jim Sauce
1 thumb sized piece of ginger peeled and chopped
3 cloves of garlic peeled chopped and mashed
4 chilies red preferably but not critical
juice of  3 limes
2-3 tbsp each of fish sauce and palm sugar or more to taste
1 bunch of coriander including root and stalk

To make nam jim, trim roots from coriander and rinse well. Pick leaves and reserve. (You can use a pestle and mortar if you want to do it the authentic Thai way but I usually throw everything into the processor when I am in a hurry).
Process coriander roots, ginger, garlic, the chillies, lime juice, fish sauce and brown sugar in the processor until well combined and finely chopped.
Combine half the nam jim with beef in a large bowl, cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to marinate.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large pan or wok over high heat. Add half the beef mixture and stir-fry for 3 minutes or until beef is browned and just cooked through. Remove from wok and repeat with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and beef mixture.
Mix remaining chilies, the leaves of the coriander, the cooked beef and remaining nam jim into a bowl and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper, put onto a serving platter, scatter with roasted peanuts and serve with rice or noodles, if using as well as a little bowl of the pickled vegetables. This is chock full of goodness with fresh raw veg and spices making up the dressings and if you want to keep the calories down you could simply toss the picked veg through the beef, add loads of fresh coriander and mint leaves and simply serve as is.

Pickled Veg
A selection of carrot batons, deseeded cucumber, spring onion, slices of cauliflower.
Pack into a jar for which you have a lid.
Pickling juice
Pour 100ml each of water and white wine vinegar into a pot
Add 1/2 tsp coriander seeds, few black pepper corns, some mustard and cumin seeds.
Add 3 tbsp sugar and then heat the mix gently to dissolve together
Take off the heat and let cool. Add your veggies and set aside in the fridge until needed.

Homemade Spicy Tomato Sauce

I still remember the surprise and joy on one of my first holidays abroad, when a plate of tomatoes covered in oregano was served up to me and I properly tasted a tomato for the first time – properly by which I mean the sweet and juicy flavour of a tomato what has grown on a vine smothered in sunshine as it develops. I love the idea of locally grown but I think a tomato which hasn’t grown outside in the sun is an insipid affair. Instead I tend to make sauces with them which I use on the side or as the base of some of my recipes. This little gem of a recipe is like a ketchup but so much more delicious in my opinion – use it for meat or chicken dishes, stir it into lentils beans or vegetables and store in the fridge and it even passes muster with Eva as ketchup for chips.

Homemade Spicy Tomato Sauce
250gr cherry tomatoes halved
1 tbsp olive oil
3 pinches of thyme leaves

1 tbsp seasame oil
1/2 onion finely chopped
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp celery salt
1 tsp cayenne
150 ml white wine vinegar
2 tbsp tomato passsata

Oven at 170
Place tomatoes on a tray, season, sprinkle over the olive oil and thyme leaves and roast for about 30 minutes until slightly charred. Let cool.
Tip into a blender, add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Add the glug of water if you need to thin out.
Pour into a kilner or other sealable jar and store in the fridge.


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