Healthy, low-cost dishes to make you smile

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Lentil Stuffed Peppers with a Lemon Crumb

Lentil Stuffed Peppers with a Lemon Crumb

Pepper season is almost upon us and soon gardeners and markets will be awash with these veggies which are certainly a staple in my home. There’s a special place in my heart for the long pointed variety which have a thinner skin and flesh, making […]

Healthy homemade ice pops

Healthy homemade ice pops

Homemade ice pops were pretty much the only way you were going to get an ice pop when I was a kid. There was a choc-ice and maybe a Mini Milk if you were lucky. But certainly not the crazy array on offer at supermarkets […]

Mexican Beans

Mexican Beans

Beans are such a gift to anyone looking to eat healthily but save cash. Whether you buy them ready-cooked in a tin or dried and boiled (which I do in bulk and freeze in portions) they are ones of the cheapest ways of getting protein in your diet. They also don’t have to be boring! These Mexican Beans are so tasty thanks to the smokiness of the smoked chilli and the cayenne pepper tang. Best of all they are easy to make, gluten-free, vegan and freeze brilliantly. Which makes them fabulous as a quick meal on toast, in a baked potato, with rice, in a burrito or with a side of quinoa and salad.

 

As well as containing a vegan source of protein, beans are also packed with fibre, good carbs, antioxidants to fight everything from aging to cancer and are wonderful for gut health – which impacts on the whole body. The cooked tomato and peppers are also bursting with goodness so you will feel nourished and fuller for longer if you make this dish the centre of your meal.

 

And while it looks and smells like it’s been stewed for ages on a campfire, these Mexican Beans will only take about 20mins from start to finish to make! If you want some extra spice then you can add a little tabasco or more cayenne. I buy my smoked chilli’s from the supermarket, not as amazing as those I brought back from Mexico but they taste great.

Mexican Beans

July 4, 2018
: 6
: 5 min
: 20 min
: Easy

By:

Ingredients
  • Splash of sunflower or coconut oil
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ yellow pepper, finely diced
  • ½ green pepper, finely diced
  • 600-650g cooked mixed beans of your choice, drained if using tinned
  • 1 large smoked chilli
  • 500g passata
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Directions
  • Step 1 Cook the onions with the lid on over a medium heat until soft, around 5mins should do it. Add a splash of water if they are catching.
  • Step 2 Add the chopped peppers and garlic, a splash of water and cook again with the lid on until the peppers are soft. This should take 5mins.
  • Step 3 Add the chilli and cayenne pepper, stir well and add the passata. Cook with the lid off for 5mins over a medium heat, the sauce should be gently bubbling.
  • Step 4 Add the cooked beans and combine well. Cook for another 5 to 10mins until the beans are heated through and the sauce thick.

Super Seed Crackers (gluten, sugar, fat free and vegan)

Super Seed Crackers (gluten, sugar, fat free and vegan)

These crackers have just the most unexpected texture, you think they will be rock hard but they are just so airy and light. They are simple to make and keep well so you can always make a double batch. Absolutely packed with omega 3, the […]

Easy Healthy Korma Sauce (gluten, dairy and sugar free)

Easy Healthy Korma Sauce (gluten, dairy and sugar free)

Korma is one of the favourite curry choices on takeaways across the UK. But it’s also one of the most calorific, commonly packed with cream. And some of the jar versions also pack a rather hefty sugar punch too. But this Easy Healthy Korma Sauce […]

Chocolate Caramel Fudge – vegan, sugar and gluten free

Chocolate Caramel Fudge – vegan, sugar and gluten free

This vegan, gluten free, sugar free ‘fudge’ is certainly high on taste and the special squidge which makes fudge well, fudge! It took a few attempts to get this Chocolate Caramel Fudge just right but each one was just as yummy so don’t worry if your quantities are a little out or you want to change the nut butter. I have put in peanut only because it’s the cheapest.

If you have not heard of lucuma powder it’s a great addition to your kitchen cupboard for giving a caramel flavour without using sugar. The powder, which is stocked in health food shops and many supermarkets now, is made from the lucuma fruit and is high in potassium, iron and zinc. It’s also high in fibre and a fab addition to green smoothies and milkshakes too. It might look a little pricey but actually you only use a little at a time so is reasonable in the long run.

You can sprinkle some cocoa nibs on top for extra chocolate flavour and crunch or some freeze dried raspberries, bee pollen, seeds – whatever takes your fancy. Or nothing at all!

Chocolate Caramel Fudge

June 19, 2018
: 12-16
: easy

By:

Ingredients
  • 50g coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons lucuma powder (or maple syrup)
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 60g peanut butter
  • 100ml dates
  • 100ml milk of your choice
  • A couple pinches of cocoa nibs, optional
Directions
  • Step 1 Soak the dates in the milk for 30mins.
  • Step 2 Blend together the dates, milk and all the other ingredients until it makes a thick paste.
  • Step 3 Line 2lb loaf tin with baking parchment or a silicone liner.
  • Step 4 Compact and smooth the fudge mixture into the tin and sprinkle and pat down the cocoa nibs if using.
  • Step 5 Chill for at least an hour before cutting into cubes. Store in the fridge.

Pea and Broad Bean Risotto

Pea and Broad Bean Risotto

I was lucky enough to pick up a massive bag of broad beans when I was visiting my parents recently. As a kid they were my favourite vegetable and I loved shelling them as much as I did eating them. The velvety pods, trying to […]

White Bean Pate

White Bean Pate

I’m not entirely sure what children ate in the world before houmous. Was there even a world before houmous?!?! Is there a single way of spelling it we can all agree on?!? It’s certainly one of those foods which ends up on the table or […]

Chickpea and Squash Tagine

Chickpea and Squash Tagine

This is such a classic in our house. You could call this ‘sleepwalking cooking’ as I make it as I go along with no recipe really. But I have paid attention and written down how to make this Squash and Chickpea Tagine because it’s such a brilliant, versatile dish.

Pretty much everyone loves this meal and it’s perfect for big groups as it goes with so many other things on a buffet table like salads, breads, couscous or grain salads. You can have it vegan as it is or serve as a side with some halloumi, roasted fish or chicken. If there’s a little bit left over I even mash it up, wrap in filo and bake for a tasty little pie! Or simpler still you could blitz ‘not quite a portion’ and combine with stock for a tasty soup. Either way this is a brilliant must have dish.

It’s really easy to make a double amount of this tagine and freeze it for meal prep dinners or lunches too, so don’t hold back on the quantities. And it’s one of those dishes which is almost better made in advance.

Chickpea and Squash Tagine

May 16, 2018
: 15 min
: 45 min
: Easy

By:

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons oil of your choice
  • 2 red onions, in thin semi-circular slices
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or minced
  • 2 heaped teaspoons harissa paste
  • 750g butternut squash or other tasty squash
  • 700ml passata, rinse out the bottle with another 200ml of water
  • 120g dried cranberries
  • 2 tins of chickpeas, drained
Directions
  • Step 1 Soften the onions in a large saucepan, lid on with the oil, this should take around 5mins. Add a splash of water if it’s looking dry and sticking.
  • Step 2 Remove the lid and add the garlic and harissa paste. Fry for a minute or two with the onions, stirring so everything is well combined.
  • Step 3 Add the squash, passata, water from the bottle and cranberries and stir well. Replace the lid and leave to cook on a medium heat for around 35mins, checking and stirring now and then.
  • Step 4 Add the chickpeas and combine well. Allow to cook for another 10mins with the lid off, stirring occasionally. If the sauce does start to stick add a splash of water.
  • Step 5 When all the vegetables are soft, but not breaking up, the tagine is ready!

Saffron Risotto

Saffron Risotto

One of the most modest yet delicious meals I ever ate was a Saffron Risotto as part of a set meal in Sorrento, Italy. That little plate of bight yellow rice was just exquisite. Packed with flavor, just creamy enough and with no song and […]