recipes for healthy living

Tag: healthy choice

Smoked Fish and Artichoke Gratin

This is not a hugely well known vegetable, when I bought it the girl in the shop had to examine it as she had never seen it before in her life! Her words! Coming into the end of their season but should be around for another few weeks to try this recipe. The sweet earthy flavour of the artichoke pairs beautifully with the smoked fish – I used Coley and was delighted to be able to get a huge piece for less than €5!. You can use any smoked fish you like and the dish is so full of flavour that a little goes a long way. The goodness of the fish combined with lots of Thiamin, useful amounts of niacin and iron in the ‘choke make this a good little dish to have on standby.

Oven at 200C
1lb of Jerusalem artichokes
1lb of potatoes – I used a lovely French variety Franceline which make delicious salads or gratins
150gr frozen peas
400ml cream
200mls milk
1 bay leaf
1 big clove garlic
1lb smoked fish, skinned, boned and cut into 2cm cubes
Optional 2oz breadcrumbs for the top

Peel the artichokes and pop them into a bowl of water with some lemon juice to prevent discolouring
Peel the potatoes
Slice both finely using a mandolin if you have one (Be careful and use the guard!)
Put milk and cream into a large pot, add the bay leaf, the peeled clove of garlic and tip in the potatoes and artichoke
Bring to the boil and reduce the heat and cover so that they cook gently for about 15 minutes. Take lid off and cook until they are tender and the milk cream has reduced a little
Season well with salt and pepper, remove the bay leaf and garlic clove.
Lighly butter your gratin dish(es)
Lay a layer of the fish cubes
Pour over a layer of the frozen peas
Pour over the artichoke and potato mixture spreading out evenly.
Tip in enough liquid to come of the even with the layer of veg
Sprinkle over the breadcrumbs if using and top with some pats of butter
Place on a baking sheet to catch any leakage and into the oven for about 30 minutes until golden brown and bubbling

I serve this with a simple salad dressed with olive oil and lots of salt and pepper and it is the perfect mid week supper or casual weekend meal.

Mixed Bean Soup with Chorizo and Kale

Healthy bowl of soup
When you think you have nothing in the house to eat, you usually still have enough to make soup. Stock, tins of beans and some greens – this must be the easiest soup in the world. It took me about 15 minutes from preparation to in the pot ready to serve. Lovely and filling from the beans, goodness from the kale and parsley. We’re talking Betacarotene, calcium, cancer fighting phytochemicals, folic acid, iron, vitamins A & C…….  lots of goodness in those greens!

Serves 4

2oz chorizo chopped (If you are adverse to chorizo, omit but add 1/4 tsp sweet paprika to onions and garlic with a tbsp of olive oil to cook)
4oz chopped onion
3 garlic cloves finely mashed
500ml good quality vegetable or chicken stock
2 x 400gr cans of beans – I used 1 Cannellini and 1 mixed beans
2oz chopped washed Kale
3tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Salt and Pepper

Heat pot over medium heat and fry chorizo gently until it releases its lovely oils
Add onion and garlic and fry for about 5 minutes until it is tender
Add hot stock and drained beans, season and bring to the boil
Using a potato masher gently mash some of the beans… not too much as you don’t want mush
If you are serving immediately, add the chopped kale and stir for a minute.
Stir in the parsley and serve
Dont overcook as you want the kale and parsley to retain its delicious green colour and not wilt to nothing.
If you are pre making, don’t add the kale or parsley until you have reheated the soup and are ready to serve
If you looking for a bit of heat a drizzle of chilli oil on the soup after serving adds a nice kick.

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