recipes for healthy living

Tag: meal

Raw Broccoli Salad and a Whipped Goats Cheese Salad

The garden and my efforts to grow our own food was a bit of a disaster this year, the huge ginormous slugs won the fight and managed to chew their way through a large proportion of my salad leaves, peas beans and even the hydrangea nearby. The rain was its ally and as it fell for days and days on end, they (the slugs and snails) even climbed up my back doors as if taunting me!… I’m over it now though.
Despite my great visions of having salads from the garden all summer, my home grown haul amounted to a meager serving of peas and beans, some strawberries, a few spring onions and while the crop of tomatoes are still on their vines, they have had so little sun, I’m not holding out for too much flavour. The chillies have done really well though which excites me no end and I’m looking forward to a nice supply through to the end of the year.

So in the end, my local shops got most of my business and it’s not that I mind, it’s just that i did have higher hopes for the summer salads we could enjoy. Oh well there is always next year. In the meantime read on for some delicious filling salads which are great on their own or served with some grilled fish or meat.

Whipped Goats Cheese and Pear Salad with Walnuts
Serves 2
100gr of Water cress and Lambs lettuce or your other favourite leaves
1/2 ripe pear sliced lengthways (peel and poach in some acidulated water if not ripe)
30gr walnuts toasted
1 oz goats cheese mashed with a tbsp of mixed chopped herbs (Chives, Basil, Flat Leaf Parsley)and a tbsp of olive oil
Assemble leaves on the plates, tuck the pear slices among and sprinkle over the walnuts. Place small spoons of the goats cheese onto the plate and top with I tbsp of olive oil and 1 tsp of honey drizzled over the salad.
Easy peasy but so delicious and full of goodness of good fats, omegas, vitamins and minerals.

Raw Broccoli Salad with Toasted Hazlenuts and Oil Vinaigrette
1 Head of Broccoli cleaned and but into small bit sized pieces
4 oz hazlennuts toasted and skinned
2 carrots grated
2 Tbsp each of flat leaf parsley, basil, mint
4 oz cherry tomatoes cut on their equator
Oil Vinaigrette
100 ml rapeseed oil
Olive oil
Walnut Oil
1 tbsp Whole Grain mustard
Blend all the ingredients in a blender until you have a nice emulsified mix. (This will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks if you don’t use it all in the one go)
Toss the broccoli in the vinaigrette and leave to rest for about 30 minutes to infuse the flavours and tenderise the stems.
Just before serving add the hazlenuts, tomatoes, carrots, herbs, toss and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve and enjoy.

Dinner in a hurry – Vegetable Frittata

When you think there is nothing in the house to eat, there is usually enough to make a delicious frittata. The beauty of these is that you can literally put anything you like into them. Grating root vegetables into the mix also works really well and you wont be waiting too long for them to cook. I got home from work very late the other night and I still had this ready to eat about 20 minutes later, and I had enough to bring in for lunch the next day… Its really filling, full of great flavours and for those of you who wonder why it’s called a frittata and not an omelette – apparently adding these ingredients into the raw eggs is the key differentiator. I don’t worry too much about it tho’ – it tastes great no matter what it’s called.

This Serves 2-3 as a main meal or 4 for a light lunch

6 eggs
2 tbsp each of flat leaf parsley, coriander
1 red chilli de-seeded and chopped
14oz can of cannelloni beans rinsed and drained
2 oz butter
I also had some smoked tomato pesto which I stirred into the mixture too and it was delicious – not to worry if you dont have it as it will still taste great.

Break eggs into a bowl and beat really well.
Season with salt and pepper. Fold in chilli and beans.
Gently stir in the chopped herbs.
Melt 2 oz butter in a pan.
Tip in mixture to the pan and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes. Using a plate, flip the frittata over and cook on the other side until cooked through – about 7 minutes more.
Cut into wedges and serve with a delicious green salad and drizzle over some extra virgin olive oil

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.

%d bloggers like this: