recipes for healthy living

Tag: paleo

Halloumi Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette

I love the flavour from the saltiness of this cheese and the great thing about it is that it has a very high heat tolerance so it works really well fried or baked. This makes a delicious lunch for these early days of autumn when there are still a few summer days hanging round. Chargrilled broccoli works well here in this salad but equally some courgette or aubergine would be great.


Grilled Halloumi Salad
Serves 2
2 oz mixed nuts – I used pine nuts, walnuts pecans and hazlenuts would be great.
4 big handfuls prepared mixed salad mix
Small head of broccoli blanched and cooled
4oz Halloumi cut into about 1″ slices

Raspberry vinaigrette
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
pinch salt
Mix these ingredients together until emulsified and dress the salad with the vinaigrette.

Toast the nuts in a non-stick pan over a low heat, stirring frequently, for about 1 minute until golden – beware they burn really easily.
Heat griddle pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes
Oil the Halloumi and broccoli and place onto the griddle until the halloumi is getting browned on all sides and vegetables are getting nicely charred.
In the meantime, place salad leaves and pine nuts onto salad plate
Once Halloumi is browned evenly on all sides, add to salad.
Drizzle with Raspberry Vinaigrette and enjoy!

Raspberry Vinaigrette

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 Β 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.

Cauliflower Alla Primavera


Spring Vegetables full of colour make this dish a feast for the eyes and the taste-buds. Usually made with spaghetti but I fancied using some cauliflower instead just to keep it chock full of veggies. For the people in the house who don’t think they have been fed if there isn’t meat or fish then throw an oven baked salmon darne on top to keep them satisfied. I love this for all the goodness and flavour of the vegetables and its easy to prepare once you have your veg blanched.

Cauliflower Alla Primavera
Serves 3-4
1 head of cauliflower stalked and whizzed to ‘rice’
1 small head of broccoli cut into stalks and blanched and refreshed
1/2 courgette washed and cut into batons, blanched and refreshed
3 oz peas cooked and cooled
A handful of cherry tomatoes halved
1 oz toasted pine nuts
Herb oil to serve – see below
4 tbsp rape seed oil
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp dried oregano

Peel chop and mash the garlic.
Heat 3 tbsp oil and tip in the garlic and cook over a gentle heat until it softens then tip in the cauliflower and the oregano- keep it at a medium heat for about 10 minutes until it softens. Keep warm while you prepare the rest of the vegetables.
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan and tip in the broccoli and courgette , season and gently cook until it is warm – about 2 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and peas and cook for a further minute.
To serve, spoon some of the cauliflower rice into a bowl, spoon over a selection of the vegetables.
Sprinkle over the pine nuts and a few tbsp of herb oil.

Herb Oil (Perfect over salads, meat, quiches)
2 handfuls each of flat leaf parsley coriander and mint
Enough good olive oil to cover the herbs by at least an inch
Whizz in the blender and season with a drop of salt and a glug of apple cider vinegar.


Chipotle Sweet Potato and Butter Bean Casserole


This dish of chipotle beans and sweet potato make a delicious substantial meal, perfect for a mid week supper as is, or with a couple of eggs tucked into the dish as it finishes cooking amps it up for a very hungry gang. I love the smoky sweetness coupled by the heat which Chipotle brings to a dish and I usually have a jar of it on hand in the fridge.

Serves 2-3 people
1 large sweet potato (about 450gr) peeled and cubed
1 shallot sliced
1 clove garlic peeled mashed
2 tbsp rapeseed or coconut oil
1 tbsp tomato passata
1 tbsp chipotles in adobo or more if you like it with more heat
1 400gr tin butter beans, drained and rinsed
1 can whole tomatoes or 5 cherry tomatoes washed and halved
2-3 eggs if using (Turn oven on 180C if so)

Heat the oil over a medium heat in an oven proof frying pan.
Add the shallot and garlic and cook for a few minutes until both are softened.
Tip in the diced sweet potato, season well and toss to ensure it is covered with oil.
Put a lid on the pan or a sheet of greaseproof paper and cook over a low heat to soften for about 10 minutes.
Stir ever now and then to ensure it is not sticking.
Stir in the tomato passata and chipotle and ensure they both are well distributed, add the butter beans, stir gently to
mix together, followed by the can of tomatoes or cherry tomatoes if using and add a splash of water if it seems a bit dry.
At this point you can finish cooking on the hob for about 10 minutes more – check the sweet potatoes are tender. If you are adding the eggs, make 3 holes in the mix, add a little oil into each and crack the egg in. Season with some salt and pepper and into the
oven to cook the eggs – about 7 minutes to firm the white and leave the yolk a bit soft.
Sprinkle over some chopped fresh herbs and serve. This is delicious, filling and with the eggs makes a great brunch dish too.


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