recipes for healthy living

Spice Crust Prawns and Sweet Potato Soup

Sweet potato soup with Spice Crust Prawns


This delicious soup takes so little time to prepare and the flavours are just amazing with sweet spicy prawns and a kick of heat from the soup itself; This would make a delicious starter if you were having friends over or make it more substantial for dinner by simply adding more prawns. As well as tasting amazing this soup is a great source of protein, good fats, as well as anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals all great for optimal health.

Sweet potato soup with Spice Crust Prawns


250gr raw peeled, deveined prawns (medium or large)
1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp coriander
¼ tsp cayenne
½ tsp salt
½tsp fresh ground black pepper

Sweet Potato Soup
1.5ltr vegetable or chicken stock
4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 tsp salt
1 tsp hot chopped chilli (I use a jar of this in oil – use fresh if you like)
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp fresh chopped coriander

Mix spices in a small bowl then toss in the prawns and set aside while you prepare the soup.

Put the stock and sweet potatoes into a medium pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, for about 10 minutes, until potatoes are cooked through. Puree the soup and return to the pot. Add the salt, hot chilli, sweet chilli sauce, fish sauce and juice of ½ lime. Taste and adjust with a bit more heat or juice as you prefer and keep over a gentle heat while you fry the prawns.

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in large skillet until hot but not smoking. Cook prawns for about 1 minutes per side over medium-high heat, or until there’s a nice brown spice crust on the outside and they are just cooked through.

Ensure the soup is heated through then ladle into your bowls. Place 3 prawns in each bowl. Garnish with the fresh chopped coriander.

2 Great dips for Christmas get-togethers




This time of year is great for getting together with friends and family for food or drinks. I love these 2 dips instead of having packets of pringles and crisps at the ready, serve these with some crackers and fresh chopped veggies for a delicious and much healthier version of nibbles. Both these are gorgeous, and you know what you are getting when you make your own!

Caramelised Tikka Spice Onion Dip

3 large yellow onions peeled and thinly sliced
1oz butter and 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 tsp tikka spice mix
1 tsp each of salt and pepper
2 large tbsp sour cream – use low fat if preferred

Heat the butter and oil in a large pan on a medium heat
Toss in the onions, salt pepper and tikka spice and fry gently for 10 minutes stirring to ensure it doesn’t get caught on the bottom
Reduce the heat to low medium and cook for 20 more minutes. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to remove the caramelisation from the bottom of the pot so it incorporates into the mixture, by stirring occasionally.
Allow the onions to cool and mix the sour cream into them and stir well,
Taste for seasoning.
Store in the fridge but serve at room temperature.

Sun dried Tomato dip

1 tub of sun dried tomatoes approx 150gr, chopped
4oz cream cheese – use low fat if preferred
1 tsp salt and pepper
10 drops Tabasco – more if preferred
2 spring onions, trimmed and chopped finely (use white and green)

Puree everything bar the spring onions in a blender
Add the spring onions and pulse a few times to incorporate
Taste for seasoning.
Store in the fridge but serve at room temperature,

Breakfast Burrito with Eggs & Guacamole


This is such a delicious breakfast option and with the Christmas holidays approaching and more opportunities for lazing over breakfast I thought this would be a good recipe to post. Dare I say it, for any suffering from hangovers, it’s also a good option with protein from the beans and egg, good fats from the guacamole and a lovely tex mex flavour thanks to the spice mix used in the cooking. Bloody Mary on the side is optional 🙂

Breakfast Burrito with Eggs & Guacamole

Serves 3 but is easily doubled out and will reheat perfectly.
1 medium white onion diced finely
1 tbsp tex mex spice mix from here
1 tin black eyed beans, rinsed and drained
i tbsp tomato passata
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
Salt and pepper to taste

1 or 2 eggs per person as required
1/2 or 1 wrap per person.

Heat a pan over a medium heat
Add the diced onion and sweat until soft but not coloured
Add the passata and the spice mix and cook out for about 3 minutes. Add a splash of water if it looks like it is drying out.
Tip in the drained beans, season well, stir well and cook for about 5 minutes until hot.
Meanwhile dry fry the wraps on a pan until a little golden on each side,
Keep warm which you fry the eggs.
To serve place a wrap onto your plate, top with the bean mixture, followed by your egg and a tablespoon of guacamole.

3 ripe avocados
1 large handful of fresh coriander chopped
Juice of 2 limes
Salt and Pepper to taste

Tip everything into a blender and blend until smooth,
Taste and adjust seasoning as required,
Keep covered with clingfilm until required.

White Bean soup with Fresh Thyme & Rosemary



White Bean Soup with fresh thyme and Rosemary


This soup is really simple to make and so filling from the beans. Perfect for this time of year after winter walks or when you need a quick lunch. It’s a nutritional winner too being a source of protein, iron , vitamins and good old soluble fibre.  I use tinned beans in water if possible rather than brine so rinse well if that’s the case. This will freeze well too or just stick it in the fridge where it will sit happily for a few days.

Serves 6-8
3 tbsp rapeseed oil
3 onions sliced thinly
3 tins of beans of choice (broad beans, haricot, canellini)
2  cloves of garlic peeled mashed and chopped
2 stalks of fresh rosemary
3 large sprigs of thyme – picked and chopped finely
1.5 ltr veg or chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste

Heat 3 tbsp of oil in a large pot over a medium heat.
Tip in the onion and cook until soft but without colouring.
Add the garlic and cook over a low heat for about 2 minutes.
Add the beans the herbs and stock and cover and bring to a boil then
simmer for about 10 minutes.
Remove the rosemary stalk and then puree the mixture.
Return to the pot and taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary and serve hot
with some lovely oat bread.

Mexican style meatballs with bean stew


Meatballs are a family favourite, great because they are easy to cook, brilliant for freezing but can become a bit boring if you knock out the same flavours every time. This version is a bit different and is a super one pot meal as the bean stew provides everything else you need with a good meatball, perhaps just some crusty bread to mop up the sauce or a side of veg. I didn’t use very hot chillis in this recipe so feel free to up the heat with a different variety if you wish – I do love the ancho chilli for its warmth and flavour rather than in your face heat.

Mexican Style Meatballs with  Bean Stew – Serves 4-6

500g beef mince
1 dried Ancho Chilli
250ml Beef Stock
1 can each of kidney and cannellini beans (or what ever cans you have!)
70g breadcrumbs
80ml milk (non dairy if you wish)
1 egg
1 medium white onion chopped
2 cloves garlic peeled chopped and mashed
3 large handfuls fresh coriander chopped
1 tbsp sweet paprika
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp brown sugar

Place the ancho chilli into the warm stock to rehydrate
When done, remove chilli and take out the stalk and seeds and chop up quite finely.
Mix the beef , egg coriander breadcrumbs and season well
Form into meatballs (approx16)
Heat 1 tbsp oil and brown on all sides and move to a dish and set aside
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan add onion and cook over medium heat until light golden
Add garlic and cook for another minute or 2
Stir in the puree, sugar, vinegar and stir to incorporate and cook for a minute
Add the stock, the drained beans, the chopped chilli, paprika and season well.
Bring to the boil then tuck in the meatballs to the sauce and either pop into the oven (170C) for about 30 minutes to cook them or continue to cook on the hob, turning the meatballs from time to time. If in the oven then cover the pan with some foil for about 20 mintes then cook uncovered for the last 10.
Stir in a final handful of chopped coriander and if you wish a spoon of creme fraiche with some grated lime over the top before serving.



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