recipes for healthy living

Tag: side

Sunny Peach & Mango Salsa

I go on a lot about the weather – part of being Irish I suppose, but also because it has been really awful… So to add sunshine in the absence of the real thing, try this peach and mango salsa. Lots of lovely colour as well as all the health benefits of these delicious ingredients. Serve it with fish, fish cakes, any barbq’d meat or on the side on an antipasti plate for a different garnish to your meats and cheeses. The flat leaf parsley and mint in this are different to the usual coriander but I think they work really well and the peach and mango are a great combination.

2 Alphonso mango’s – ripe but not too soft
2 peaches
about a 2″ piece of red chilli,  deseeded and finely diced
about 12 tiny cherry tomatoes – halved or quartered quite big
juice of a lime
2 tbsp each of chopped fresh mint and flat leaf parsley
salt to season

Peel, slice and dice the mango – not too fine
Slice and dice the peach about the same size pieces, no need to peel
Combine with the other ingredients, season and adjust if necessary.
This will keep a couple of days in the fridge but is best on the day it is made.

I also managed to sort out my cookery books finally and get them in order on to new shelves. I went from a big unsorted pile to 2 lovely stacks of books and the rest have been into put into the bag for the local recycle book store…. Now I have room for some more new ones!…

from this to …

Spiced Aubergine Salad with Cuimin and Lime

Aubergine is one of those vegetables I have a funny relationship with. Some days when I taste a well made Parmigiana, I think it is one of the nicest vegetables ever and then some days when it ends up tasting a bit like a wet sponge then I’m a bit more ho hum about it… actually a bit Oh Yuck sometimes. I think it responds better to being thought of as a base to which flavour can be added to transform it to higher levels of tastiness, rather than having any particular innate lovely flavour.
This recipe though really transforms the humble, spongy (ahem) aubergine. It is based on an ottolenghi recipe and is a great marriage of flavours, perfect on the side of a Thai or Indian curry or just something different to accompany a selection of meats, say. It is worth including in the diet as it does contain good amounts of many essential B-complex groups vitamins, as well as being a minerals, and I like to keep the skin on always as it as significant amounts of phyto-chemicals showing potential health effects against cancer, aging, inflammation, and neurological diseases.

It is really easy to prepare and this makes a big dish enough for 6 sides.

2 red onions very finely sliced
zest and juice of 3 limes
2 aubergine cut into 2cm dice
1 tsp cuimin seeds
a good pinch of chilli flakes
1 garlic clove thinly sliced
Handful of flat leaf parsley chopped
2 sping onions thinly sliced
Bunch of coriander chopped

Place sliced onions in bowl with lime zest and juice and mix well
Cover and chill for about an hour
Shallow fry the aubergine in batches, in coconut oil until golden – place on kitchen paper to drain
Fry cuimin seeds chilli and garlic until golden, Add to lime and onion mix with parsley and spring onion
Tip in the aubergine and mix gently so you dont squash the aubergine
Top with the chopped coriander and serve
Simple but delicious…

2 Potato Vindaloo – Ottolenghi Style

2 Veg Vindaloo

Im not vegetarian but I do eat meat free a day or 2 every week. I love finding new recipes for vegetables and it is to other cuisines I like to look for inspiration. This recipe is from Ottolenghi’s book Plenty and we make it pretty often here. The recipe has potatoe in it – I often substitute Butternut Squash which works just as well and better for you. It seems like it takes a while but actually it just bubbles away once you have in it the pot. Its full of good stuff and I particulary like the circulatory benefits from the ginger, paprika, and chilli. It has an extraordinary flavour- sweet, sour, warming and a nice hit of heat from the spices too..Next time I’m in London I swear I’m going to get to one of the branches to enjoy their version, as well as some of the delicious tray bakes they are famous for.

Serves 4
8 cardamom pods
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp oil
12 shallots (300g in total)
1/2 tsp brown mustard seeds
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
25 curry leaves – (From the Asia market and can be frozen if you buy extra)
2 tbsp chopped fresh root ginger
1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped
3 ripe tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
50ml good quality cider vinegar
400ml water
1 tbsp caster sugar
400g peeled potatoes or butternut squash cut into 2.5cm dice
2 small red peppers, cut into 2cm dice (I didnt have, make it anyway!)
400g peeled sweet potatoes, cut into 2.5cm dice
salt mint or coriander leaves to serve

Start by making a spice mix. Dry-roast the cardamom pods and cumin and coriander seeds in a small frying pan until they begin to pop. Transfer to a pestle and mortar and add the cloves. Work to a fine powder, removing and discarding the cardamom pods once the seeds are released. Add the turmeric, paprika and cinnamon and set aside. Heat up the oil in a large heavy-based pot. Add the shallots with the mustard and fenugreek seeds, and sauté on a medium low heat for 8 minutes, or until the shallots brown. Stir in the spice mix, curry leaves, ginger and chilli and cook for a further 3 minutes. Next, add the tomatoes, vinegar, water, sugar and some salt. Bring to the boil, then leave to simmer, covered for 20 minutes.
Add the potatoes and red peppers and simmer for another 20 minutes. For the last stage, add the sweet potatoes. Make sure all the vegetables are just immersed in the sauce (add more water if needed) and continue cooking until the potatoes are tender.
Remove the lid and leave to bubble away for about 10 minutes to reduce and thicken the sauce. Serve hot, some plain yoghurt on the side is good with it.
This dish can be made ahead of time and kept for a few days – It actually gets better!

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