recipes for healthy living

Tag: spiced

Chickpeas and Squash

Chickpeas with Butternut Squash

A great vegetarian option and could be combined with rice instead of the squash for a variation on another night.


1 butternut squash cut in half length ways
2 tins chickpeas drained
2tbsp rapeseed oil divided
1 medium white onion
1tbsp tomato puree
1tsp each nigella, cumin, coriander, turmeric, dried chilies
3 cardamom pods bruised to release their seeds
2 cloves of garlic peeled and mashed
4cm piece of ginger peeled and grated
1 tin coconut milk (you can use light if you like)
2 tbsp fresh herbs flat leaf parsley or coriander
A squeeze of lemon or lime

Oven at 180C
Sprinkle the squash with 1 tbsp of oil, season well and using a sharp knife, cut into it at intervals to ensure even cooking.
Bake for about 30 minutes until tender.
Meanwhile heat the oil over a medium heat, add the onion and cook until tender.
Add in the garlic, ginger and spices and cook for 5 minutes until the spices have lost that rawness.
If it seems to dry just add a splash of water.
Stir in the puree, the coconut milk and stir to combine.
Add the chickpeas and cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes until the chickpeas are warm and the flavours are well developed.
Stir in 1 tbsp fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon juice to finish.
Serve with the roasted butternut squash or with rice on its own if you prefer.

Spiced Leg of lamb & potatoes

Spiced Leg of Lamb with Potatoes Boulangere, Green Beans with Punchpooran

This is a very popular recipe in our house and one i love doing when we have people coming over. It is easy too, so I don’t have to be slaving away in the kitchen when people arrive.   This is family food at its best.-


Serves 5-6

1 leg or shoulder of lamb

2 cloves of garlic peeled and roughly chopped

1 shallot roughly shopped

2 tbsp of garam masala spice mix

2-3 tbsp coconut or olive oil

8 medium white potatoes or a mix of white and sweet potatoes

400ml vegetable stock

2tsp fresh thyme chopped


Oven at 200C

Peel the potatoes and thinly slice

Layer the potatoes, seasoning well as you go in a roasting tin big enough to hold the leg of lamb. Sprinkle over the chopped thyme.

Splash the stock over the potatoes.

Add the oil garlic shallot and spices to a blender and blend to a rough paste.

Pierce the lamb and lay out on a board and spread the paste over both sides.

Season well with salt and pepper.

Lay the lamb on top of the potatoes and cover the pan with foil and roast for 20 mins per lb and 20 minutes over for medium.  After about an hour, remove the oil and press the potatoes down to ensure they are still in the stock. Replace the foil lid and continue to cook.

If you want to slow roast it then turn the oven down to 150C and roast for about 4-4/12 hours until the lamb is falling off the bone.

Remove the lamb to a warm plate, cover and let rest. Keep the potatoes warm in the oven while you prepare the beans below.

Green Beans with punchpooran


This is a whole mixed spice blend of cumin fennel mustard nigella and fenugreek seeds. If you can’t get this, substitute with equal quantities (1/4 tsp) of each of the above.  It is delicious addition to the green beans.

500gr green beans, washed and trimmed

1 tbsp punchpooran

Zest and juice of ½ lemon

2 tbsp olive oil

Blanch the green beans for 3 minutes, plunge into ice cold water and drain then set aside.

Toast the punchpooran on a hot pan until the aromas release then tip into a bowl and let cool

Add the lemon zest, juice, olive oil and mix to combine

When ready to serve add 2 tbsp hot water to a frying pan and tip in the beans to reheat.

Add to your serving bowl and drizzle over the dressing

Indian Spiced Cauliflower Fritters



These are a great alternative to pancakes and make a delicious party platter food or light dinner if you don’t fancy eating meat.  Full of fresh vegetables and herbs, they are easy to prepare and are probably the only way I can get our daughter to eat Cauliflower….mind you I wasn’t much different when I was her age.

1 medium cauliflower trimmed into florets
100ml milk or water
4oz grated parmesan
1 red chilli deseeded and finely chopped
1 tbsp garam masala
4oz gf plain flower
3 tbsp fresh chopped herbs – flat leaf parsley, chives, coriander
Salt and Pepper to season
2 eggs – separated
4 tbsp coconut oil

Makes about 12
Add cauliflower to saucepan and add just enough milk (or water if you don’t do dairy) to cover the bottom of the pan. Bring to the boil, turn down and simmer gently covered until the cauliflower is tender.

Drain. Transfer to a board and roughly chop or pulse not to mush in a food processor. Place in a bowl. Set aside to cool.

Sift the flour and spice over cooled cauliflower. Add chopped herbs and Parmesan. Stir to combine. Beat the egg yolks and stir into the mixture until well combined.Season well.

Whisk the egg whites until soft and glossy. Gently fold into the cauliflower mixture until a thick batter forms.

Add just enough coconut oil to a large, non-stick frying pan to cover base. Heat over medium heat until oil is hot. Using a ladle, ladle out fritter mixture about 4 to a pan, and cook for about 3 minutes per side. Turn over gently when you see that the centre is holding and not still runny. I tip them into the oven to keep them warm while making the rest. Serve warm with chutney of choice.


Vegetable & Red Lentil Soup with Parsley Pesto

It’s raining, there is a nip in the air, dammit I have coldsores but if anything works it’s a bowl of this soup. Comfort in a bowl, filling and delicious, this cures everything!. I won’t mention I’m off to sunny Miami for work, not gloating, I swear), so to compensate try this, It might almost make up for the Rainy day.
It’s full of nutritious vegetables and the protein power of the lentils as well as the great health benefits of the herbs and spices. The parsley pesto adds an extra dimension to the soup and really enhances the flavour of the spices and lentils. A tiny drop of spiced oil on top might be a nice option to add an extra kick of heat.

Spiced Vegetable & Lentil Soup
5 large carrots
2 leeks
1 white onions
1 red chilli (optional if small children don’t like!)
5 oz red lentils
1 tbsp coriander and cumin seed
4 cardamom pods
2 ltrs good quality vegetable stock
1 tsp turmeric

Roughly chop all the vegetables.
Heat 2 tbsp rape seed oil in the bottom of a large pot, add all the vegetables, stir to coat and sweat under a low heat for about 15 minutes.
Add the dried spices and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the stock and the lentils, stir to ensure nothing catches.
Cover, reduce to a low heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until the vegetables are soft and the lentils have turned yellow.
Allow the soup to cool a little and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

For the parsley pesto , chop 2oz parsley and 4 cloves of garlic really finely and stir in the zest of a lemon.
To serve place a large spoon of pesto on top of each portion of soup.

Spiced Tomato and Pepper Salad

This salad ticks all the flavour boxes and with all the goodness from the tomatoes, peppers and olive oil as well as the Omega 3 and Vitamins with the addition of the tuna and egg makes this a perfect dish to serve all through the summer.

We had this for lunch yesterday – it was a sunny day and the flavours and colours seemed like a perfect match for the weather – it was beautiful. This works as a side too without the tuna and egg or as a main, accompanied by a green salad and perhaps some flat bread to pile it onto. Serve it warm rather than chilled so that the lovely flavours can be at their best.

Spiced Roast Tomato and Pepper Salad
Serves 3-4
500gr ripe tomatoes
3 red peppers
2 medium chillies or a half tsp of dried chilli flakes
2 garlic cloves peeled and crushed
1 tsp cuimin seeds toasted and roughly crushed
Juice of half a lemon
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
4 hard boiled eggs quartered
200gr tin tuna drained

Put peppers and fresh chillies onto tray and into a hot oven or under a hot grill until skins are blackened and blistered.
Tip into a bowl, cover with cling and leave to cool.
When cool, remove skin and seeds, keeping flesh and saving as much of juice as you can
Meanwhile make cross in skin on bottom of tomatoes and put into a pot with boiling water. Leave for a few minutes until the skins are easy to peel off.
Skin and de-seed, keep flesh.
Tip peppers, chillies and tomatoes onto board and roughly chop and tip into a bowl including all the juices.
Stir in the garlic, parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, cuimin and the chilli flakes if you did not use fresh chillies.
Taste and season, adding a pinch of sugar if necessary.
Pile onto a serving bowl, top with the tuna, quartered eggs and an extra sprinkle of the chopped parsley.

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