recipes for healthy living

Tag: snack

Bakewell Flapjacks


A delicious variation on our flapjack covered with a fruit compote and a sprinkle of almonds. These are really easy, nice and crunchy and very moreish so restraint is needed

For the Compote Topping

125gr each raspberries and blackberries
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp water

Add everything to a pot, bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer until the fruit is soft and some of the liquid has reduced. Set aside to cool.

For the Flapjacks
Oven at 180C

500g porridge oats
150gr butter
125gr honey
200ml water
100gr dried fruit of choice

35gr flaked almonds for top.

Melt the butter and honey together over a gentle heat. Mix the oats with the dried fruit.
Make a well in the middle, add the melted butter honey mix and the water and mix together until all the oats are incorporated. If it is a bit dry, don’t worry just add some more water until it is all mixed in.
Tip into a flat baking tray which has a lip all round, dampen your hands and press the mixture firmly flat, pressing into all the corners.
Top with the fruit compote and sprinkle over the almonds.
Bake for around 20 minutes until golden brown.
Leave to cool for about 5 minutes then cut and leave to cool completely.

Gluten Free Pesto and Parmesan Muffins

I’m still experimenting with flour mixes looking for success in the gluten free stakes. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve thrown a few hockey pucks in the bin since I started and that hasn’t changed…still trying though!. I’m amazed at the amount of recipes out there with a picture of the ‘result’ which does not match the ingredients at all… A lovely light risen cake with delicate crumb and the only ingredient is rice flour..don’t think so!. These work thought, the amount of eggs and liquid mean they stay pretty light. The milk powder adds texture, though I have left it out on occasion and only noticed a slight difference. These make a great lunch accompaniment, a plate of delicious meats and some good olive oil and you are good to go. Pop some into the much box for the next day,even better a decent lunch at the desk instead of over paying for a poor excuse of a sandwich…And much better nutrition too. I used tomato pesto, but regular will be lovely too, I’m thinking even tapenade and feta would make a lovely combination. Just sub out the Parmesan for feta and the tapenade instead of the pesto. Which ever you try, let me know if you have discovered any secrets to gluten free baking.

Makes about 15. Oven at 180C.
7oz Polenta
3 1/2 oz Rice flour
2oz Dried milk powder
2 tsp Xanthan gum
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Sugar
7gr pack dried instant Yeast
3 Eggs
3/4 pint tepid Water
1 tbsp chopped fresh Herbs or 1 tsp of your choice dried (I used herbs de Provence)
2 tbsp Pesto smoked tomato
2 oz Parmesan and a little over for sprinkling on top

Lightly oil the muffin tin
Sift the flours, milk powder and salt in a bowl and stir well to combine.
Add the yeast sugar and xanthan gum.
Lightly whisk the eggs, add the water and herbs and stir to combine.
Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the egg mix and combine until smooth.
Beat for about 5 minutes, stir in the Parmesan and pesto.
Spoon into the muffin tins and cover with a damp clean towel. Leave in a warm place until they have risen to the top
of the muffin tins.
Bake in the oven for about 18 minutes – check after 15. They are done when they are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the underneath.
Remove to a wire rack to cool.. they are delicious when still warm!.

Quick Salmon & Herb Dip

There is an ancient Irish legend about the Salmon of knowledge – Even in those days they must have known about the brain power of this great oily fish. This is really simple to make for a speedy lunch on the go and also works great as a pre-appetizer if having friends over – isn’t there nothing better than a good multitasking recipe. For my own lunch I have this with a pile of raw veggies and if having a pile of friends over I serve it with baguette brushed with olive oil, well seasoned and toasted in the oven. The horseradish gives this interest and distinguishes it from other run of the mill salmon dips.

4oz delicious Irish Smoked salmon
3oz cream cheese
3 tbsp organic creme fraiche – I always buy Glenisk
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp horseradish
Salt and pepper
Large handful of chopped dill and chives

Tip the cream cheese and creme fraiche into a food processor and blend until smooth
Add the salmon and pulse until incorporated but be careful as you still want texture
Stir in the lemon juice, horseradish and herbs.
Season and taste and adjust if necessary.
Delicious and very quick and easy.

Union Square Cafe Spicy Nuts

Anyone lucky enough to spend time in New York might have had a visit to Union Square Cafe. I’ve been lucky enough to be there a few times including an enforced 2 weeks stay during the Volcano episode two years ago. I was quite upset at being stuck there for so long but I hear that my friends and family were finding it hard to feel any sympathy for me – forced to spend time in New York on your own with the city at your disposal… understandable I suppose. This nut recipe is based on the nuts that Union square cafe serve if you are having a cocktail while waiting for a table. I recommend omitting the cocktail unless it’s a very special night!.. The original recipe uses quite a bit of sugar in place of the honey but the honey works just as well in my opinion. The nuts are great snack option with protein, good fats, minerals and vitamins. Low and slow is the best way to roast the nuts to preserve the best of them so not too hot.

Union Square Café Spicy Nuts
– This would serve a good few people as an appetizer with drinks or reduce the quantities and make for a delicious snack during the day.

500gr assorted unsalted nuts including cashews, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans and whole unpeeled almonds.
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons Maldon salt
1 tablespoon butter melted
1 tsp honey
2 heaped tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 150C
Toss the nuts and spread out on a baking sheet
Toast for about 15 – 20 minutes in the oven until they become light golden brown
In a large bowl combine the rosemary, cayenne, honey, salt and melted butter
Thoroughly toss the nuts in the spiced butter and serve warm.


Courgette and Herb Rosti with Coriander Yoghurt dip


I have memories of courgettes growing in our garden growing up. They were the first thing grown in my garden when we got our house, those alongside a great crop of peppers…. the peppers have never been repeated – beginners luck probably. This makes a simple but delicious lunch and lots of veggies work to make these little rostis but I think courgettes are one of my favourite.

2 Medium Courgettes or 1 large one
3 eggs
2big handfuls each of chopped parsley, coriander and mint
2 oz butter
Grate the courgette and if you have a potato ricer use this to squeeze all the liquid out of it. if not put it into a colander and sprinkle with salt and leave for about 20 minutes
Rinse the courgette well, Tip it into a square of muslin and twist and squeeze to get as much if the wet out as possible.
Chop your herbs and combine with grated courgette into a bowl
Beat eggs and tip into ingredients adding a good seasoning of salt and pepper
Melt the butter in a non stick pan
Add 2 tbsp of the mixture and flatten slightly to form a little pancake. You should be able to fit 2 or 3 pancake shapes at a time I the pan.
Let them cook over a moderate heat for 3 or 4 mins a side until underside is golden brown. flip over and cook the other side. Serve with coriander yoghurt dressing and a plate of lovely salad leaves dressed with your favourite olive oil.

Coriander Yoghurt Dip
This is gorgeous with a plate of your fave veggies and especially delicious with these little pancakes. it’s really simple but the delicious tartness from the dip combines perfectly with the rostis.

Combine 2 tbsp each of natural yoghurt, creme Fraiche, 2 cloves of garlic mashed and crushed, 1 tbsp of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, a hsndful of chopped coriander and some salt to season.


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