recipes for healthy living

Tag: vegetable

Summer Veg Carbonara

We are just back from a visit to Lake Garda, stunning scenery, amazing food and 12 days of work free bliss. I have a dream that some day I might spend more of my days enjoying La Dolce Far niente but in the meantime the memories of stunning scenery, delicious food, local markets as well as the extra few pounds and 23 mossie bites I brought home with me, live on.

The markets in Verona were full of courgettes and various other squash which inspired this recipe for a summer time carbonara. Use a gluten free pasta if you can as the flavour of the vegetables and the carbonara sauce more then mask the slightly sluggish taste of the pasta.


Summer vegetable carbonara
Serves 4-6
6 slices of pancetta cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 tbasp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp finely chopped shallot
1 clove of garlic peeled chopped and mashed
8 oz courgette or other squash of choice cut into long slices about 2″ each
1 large red pepper deseeded and cut into long strips
4 oz mascarpone whipped and loosened with a further 4 tbsp olive oil
1oz Parmesan grated
1 lb Spaghetti or Linguine – preferable gluten free

Bring a large pan of well salted water to the boil.
Cook the pancetta over a medium heat until crisp about 5 minutes.
Pour off most of the fat which renders, add 2 tbsp oil and cook shallot and garlic until they soften about 5 minutes.
Add the peppers and courgette and cook, stirring occasionally until tender.
Season well, remove from the heat and keep warm.
Cook the pasta according to instructions until al dente.
Drain reserving some of the pasta water and put the pasta back into the pasta pot.
Add the peppers and courgette and gently mix toegher.
Add the mascarpone mix and using 2 large forks bring the pasta and veg through the mixture.
Add some of the reserved pasta water to loosen, add the grated Parmesan and bring to the table to serve.

Butternut squash and tomato gratin with Coconut Milk

A gratin based on coconut milk adds a difference to this dish. Perfect for most root vegetables such as pumpkin, celeriac, or sweet potato instead of butternut squash if you prefer. The coconut milk in the mix adds a delicious creamy but less indulgent hit. Try with a sprinkle of toasted cuimin seeds for an extra hit of flavour.


Butternut squash & Tomato gratin
Serves 4-6
1 large butternut squash
1lb plum tomatoes, halved
3 medium red onions sliced finely
4 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
A little soft light brown sugar (optional)
150ml double cream
400 ml tin coconut milk
30g grated Parmesan

Oven at 190°C
Peel and de-seed the squash and cut it into slices.
Put into a large roasting tin along with the halved plum tomatoes.
Tip over the olive oil and season well.
If the tomatoes are a bit tart, sprinkle a small amount of light brown sugar on them.
Roast for about 10 minutes then add the red onion
Continue to roast for a further 10 minutes, then transfer the vegetables to a gratin dish.
Season, then pour over the coconut milk and cream mixture and sprinkle on the cheese.
Put the dish back in the oven for another 40 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked and the gratin is bubbling and golden. Periodically during the cooking, use a fish slice to press down the vegetables under the cream mixture.
This is delicious as a side with Chicken or topped with a few eggs for a delicious supper.

butter nut squash and tomato gratin

squash & tomato gratin IV

Savoury Flapjacks

OO&L Grana Padana Ii

Savoury Flapjacks III

My other half’s flapjacks are well known in fitness circles and include honey nuts and spices to flavour them. I have been experimenting with a savoury variety. These are perfect lunchbox fillers instead of bread and are great with eggs, beans or as a side with a salad . They are our go to snack or brunch food in our house. Full of vegetables made with oats and eggs they are a delicious easy way to fill up and get some of those 5 a day.

Make 12 small / medium flapjacks in a 11″ by 9″ tin
Oven at 180C

150gr Parmesan, Pecorino or grana padana finely grated
4 tbsp chopped herbs (parsley, basil or a mix)
1 medium onion grated
1 red pepper deseeded and finely diced
200gr each of courgettes and carrots, washed peeled and finely grated
200gr oats – blend finer if using jumbo oats
2 eggs
2 handfuls of poppy seeds for topping

Tip all the herbs ,cheese and vegetables into a bowl and mix well.
Season well with salt and pepper.
Add the oats and beaten eggs and mix well.
tin into a tin which has been lined with parchment paper
Sprinkle over the seeds
Bake at 180 for 25 – 30 minutes until golden and cooked
Cut while warm but leave to cool ip for a few minutes before lifting onto cooling rack to cool completely
Store in the fridge as contain eggs and cheese.

Savoury Flapjacks

Quick Cauliflower Soup Moroccan Style

For me roasted cauliflower is probably one of my favourite veggies, I love the taste of it straight out of the oven and could eat plates of it. So when I found a recipe for Cauliflower soup in Red Magazine, I starting thinking about how I could spice it up a bit to add a hit of heat and combine some of it roasted into the recipe. The result is this which I hope you enjoy, as well as the lovely flavor, you also get Vitamins C and B6, some Fibre, Folic acid as well as cancer protecting substances and anti bacterial compounds. Watch out for the cooking time as I think the trick with cauliflower is to make sure its not overcooked, apart from the impact on the vitamins & minerals, the flavour tends to dissipate and become a bit bland.

I made this on what turned out to be a really hot day – I had no idea the weather was going to be so nice, it is Ireland after all. It was still great despite the heat, I’m thinking about making more soups if I can put the mockers on soup weather and guarantee a bit more sun!.

Serves 4
1 large cauliflower cut into small florets (reserve 3 florets to one side)
1 tsp each of cinnamon, ground cumin and coriander
1 tbsp harissa paste and more to serve
1 litre of vegetable stock
50 gr flaked almonds

Thinly slice the reserved florets and place them on a tray and into the oven to roast for about 8 minutes until golden brown. Set aside until you are serving the soup.
Toast the flaked almonds for about 5 minutes until golden and reserve 4 tsps for serving.
Heat a tbsp of oil in a saucepan and fry the spices and harissa paste for about 2 minutes until the flavour is released and the paste is cooked.
Add the cauliflower florets and toss to coat.
Add the stock and flaked almonds, bring to the boil and turn down to a gentle simmer until the cauliflower is just cooked – about 15 minutes.
Blend until smooth and serve with a topping of the roasted cauliflower florets, some extra almonds and a drizzle of harissa paste if you want even more heat.

Sweet Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes and Paprika, the sweet kind, delicious sweet smokey condiment to spice up this already delicious vegetable. Simplicity itself to prepare and difficult to stop eating once done. This isn’t even worth calling a recipe but definitely worth posting. I always cut them skinny and leave some skin on, after a good scrub. I just add a teaspoon or 2 of sweet paprika with some roasting oil in a bowl and throw in the cut potatoe and give it a good mix and then season.
Tip onto a tray and into the oven at 200C for about 20 minutes. Don’t have too many of them on the tray otherwise they will steam not roast. They should be lovely and crispy, sweet smokey and very moreish!

%d bloggers like this: