recipes for healthy living

Tag: healthy

Vegetable and Salad Medley


I have been working on some salad and salad dressings lately because i have been craving really fresh food the last while. I felt compelled to include Apple Cider Vinegar in my dressings, because despite hearing lots about the benefits of glugging it straight first thing in the morning, I just can’t find the will power to do it like that. I have added cinnamon, turmeric, a splash of honey, I have watched my other half doing apple vinegar shots followed by a glass of green sludge but I just don’t have the constitution to follow suit. Worse still was the suggestion that I should just get over it and use it to take my (elephant suppository sized) fish oil and multi vit supplements…. That was never going to go well.
So I like to think that I am being the creative one coming up with some options to get the cider vinegar in and also come up with something which is an actual meal that I hope everyone will enjoy eating.

Celeriac Slaw with Buttermilk and Apple Cider Vinegar dressing

(This is delicious with pulled pork or a roast glazed ham)

Serves 2
Half medium celeriac, washed and peeled (Cover with a squeeze of lemon to prevent discolouring)
2 carrots washed and peeled
1 spring onion timed and chopped on the diagonal
2oz walnuts roasted and chopped

Trim and shred the celeriac and carrots either by hand, in a spiralizer or the food processor
Tip into a bowl
Coat the veg with the dressing (See below)
Season and toss through the spring onions and walnuts and serve.

Apple Cider and Buttermilk Dressing
2 tbsp buttermilk
100ml good quality mayo
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper

Whisk all to combine and season to taste

Marinated Tomato and Red Onion Salad with Apple Cider and Pomegranate Molasses Dressing and Crunchy Dukkah
Serves 2
10 cherry tomatoes washed quartered or if small, cut in half on the horizontal
Quarter a red onion thinly sliced
100ml Extra virgin Olive Oil
50ml Apple Cider Vinegar
2 sprigs thyme – leaves pinched off
Salt and Pepper
Good Splash of Pomegranate Molasses

Add the tomatoes and red onion to a bowl
Season well with salt and pepper
Toss over the thyme leaves
Combine the cider vinegar and Olive oil and shake well
Pour over the tomatoes and onions
Splash over the pomegranate molasses and set aside to marinate for a while
Just before serving, sprinkle over some Dukkah for crunch and interest.


150gr shelled pistachios
4 tbsp sesame seeds
2tbsp each coriander cumin and fennel seeds
1 tsp whole black peppercorns

Toast the pistachio until fragrant and tip out onto a plate
Add all else to the pan and toast until fragrant
Tip out on to the plate and let cool
Coarsely grind in a food processor with with 1 tsp salt – this will keep in an airtight jar for a week or 2. This is delicious on soups, salads and as a crust for fish.


Pomegranate and Honey Glazed Chicken – A perfect summer dish

large pomegranate honey glazed

The last days of summer are here and this is a dish full of summer flavours. I love the pomegranate molasses as it adds a lovely sherbert lemony flavour and It makes a delicious salad dressing or is lovely with roasted peaches or nectarines.
There is great nutrition in this dish with protein from the chicken the goodness of the nuts and the antioxidants from the spices. If you don’t think you will feel full enough you can serve some roasted sweet potato on the side also which works really well.

Serves 4

3 tbsp pomegranate molasses
150ml olive oil
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp each of cayenne , paprika and cumin

8 skinless boneless chicken thighs or a mix of breast and thighs
1/2 red onion sliced very thin
2 handfuls of coriander
2 handfuls of roughly chopped pistachios
2 tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Mix marinade ingredients together
Cut the chicken into 2″ chunks
Add to marinade and toss to coat
Cover with cling and place in fridge at least an hour – overnight even better
Thread chicken pieces onto skewers (soak wooden ones)
Heat griddle pan and cook on medium heat turning to cook on all sides

Toss the onion coriander and pistachios with lime and olive oil
Season and place on a large platter
Add the skewers and serve

Summer Fruit with Shortcake

This is such a simple summer dessert but really elegant and delicious. The shortcake works really well made with gluten free flour and is there anything simpler or more delicious than a bowl of summer fruit?. The red wine syrup is amazing with the flavours of star anise, clementine and vanilla and works really well with meringues or a fruit parfait.

OO&L Mixed Berries and Shortcake

OO&L Mixed berries

Shortcake Rounds
100gr plain flour
50gr cornflour
100gr unsalted butter
50gr caster sugar
1oz flaked almonds

Oven at 160C
Mix flour and cornflour together.
Add the butter and sugar and rub together with your fingertips until the mixture is just beginning to come together.
Knead lightly until the mixture forms a smooth dough.
Press flat, wrap in cling and place into the freezer for about 30 minutes
Tip into blender and blend to breadcrumnbs
Tip into baking tin and press flat – cover with some cling film and use a rolling pin to really flatten
Chill until firm then bake in a preheated oven for about 20 minutes until a very pale golden colour. Mark into circles with a cutter then return to the oven for a final 8 minutes until golden brown
Leave to cool for a few minutes before carefully lifting off onto a wire rack to finish cooling.

Red Wine Syrup
.5 bottle full-bodied red wine (Malbec, Zinfandel, Barbera, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Rioja)
2/3 cup sugar
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick- broken
1/2 vanilla pod split and seeds and all put in with the wine
Few centimetres of orange or clementine peel

Add everything to a medium pan and heat over medium high. Stir from time to time until the sugar has dissolved then cook down the wine syrup, uncovered, until thick enough to lightly coat a spoon. Pour through a sieve into another container to cool and store in the fridge until needed.

To serve
Add some summer fruit of choice into a bowl and top with some of the syrup
Cover with circle of shortbread, top with some icing sugar and serve immediately

Spiced Sweet Potato Lentils


This lentil dish is delicious on its own or paired as I have done with some fish. Any firm white fish works really well with this dish and the gentle spicing gives delicious flavour, a nice subtle amount of heat as well as a great dose of antioxidants – just make sure you spices aren’t in the press for years… 🙂

Serves 4
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
125 gr yellow lentils
1 sweet potato peeled and cubed
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp nigella seeds
1 tsp each fresh chopped garlic and ginger
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
5 small tomatoes chopped
1 tsp salt
600ml water
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
1/2 tsp garam masala

Wash the lentils well in a few changes of water
Heat oil in a pan over a medium heat and add the fennel mustard and nigella seeds and fry until they start to pop
Immediately add the garlic and ginger and fry for about a minute – watch it doesn’t catch, a drop of water will help if it starts.
Add the chilli, coriander, turmeric and fry for another minute then add the tomatoes, lentils, cover with the water, season with
a teaspoon of salt and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes until the lentils are almost cooked.
Add the cubed sweet potato, cover with some greaseproof paper and simmer over a low heat until the potatoes are tender about 15 minutes more.
Taste and adjust the seasoning – it may need more salt
Sprinkle over the coriander and garam masala just before serving – on its own or with a piece of fish, cooked on the pan in oil and butter until
golden and cooked through.


Dark Chocolate Prune Tart


I make lots of chocolate cakes & tarts and while there is no way to make them completely healthy and caloriefree (is that a word?) I try make sure I have done a workout first and also used really good quality ingredients. If you keep the cocoa solids content high then the resulting chewy chocolaty tart will be worth it. Made with a mix of gluten free flour and almond or hazelnut flour gives a delicious pastry. This tart will feed quite a lot and a small piece is enough with a dollop of cream on the side..unless you are my other half and a small piece is not enough at all 🙂

200gr gluten free plain flour
100gr almond flour or ground hazlenuts
200gr butter
pinch of salt
3-4 tbsp cold water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

600ml cream
300gr dark chocolate (at least 70%) use drops or chop a bar into small pieces
5 egg yolks
75gr butter
50gr coconut palm sugar or dark brown sugar
100gr prunes chopped and pitted
1 tbsp cocoa

Oven at 180C
Whizz flours and butter in a food processor
Add vanilla extract, water and whizz until it comes together – not too wet
Tip out, gently knead and wrap in cling and chill for at least 30 minutes
Roll out and line a 28cm tart tin. Prick the base and chill again before cooking
Line with grease-proof and fill with pastry beans and bake for about 20 minutes
Remove the beans and paper and bake for about 5 more minutes until golden brown and crisp
Melt the chocolate with the butter and sugar over a bain-marie
Stir until smooth and set aside to cool a bit
Whisk the eggs and add some of the cooled chocolate mixture and whisk to combine.
Then add remaining chocolate mixture and stir gently until incorporated.
Stir in the prunes and pour over the tart base
Bake for about 20 minutes until just set
Let cool and dust with the cocoa powder.

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