Healthy, low-cost dishes to make you smile

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Vegetable Laksa

Vegetable Laksa

There are certain dishes which really feel like they nourish your soul – and this Vegetable Laksa is one of them. The Malaysian spices and flavours take you to a warmer place and there is something comforting about the creamy but clean soup-sauce. Although this […]

Spicy Baked Fries

Spicy Baked Fries

Ok I know chips are not on a lot of people’s menus in January, but cooked sensibly they don’t have to be a ‘forbidden’ food. These super tasty fries are baked with a spicy coating to give you a flavour kick. My top tip with […]

Sweet Potato, Seed and Tahini Salad

Sweet Potato, Seed and Tahini Salad

Seeds are so often overlooked but are such an amazing source of B vitamins, omega fatty acids and trace minerals – including the immunity boosting zinc which is handy at this time of year. They also add a depth of flavour and delicious crunch to a multitude of dishes and I love using them in salads. Together with the vitamin C packed sweet potato, this Sweet Potato, Seed and Tahini Salad is a fabulous winter salad to help stave off coughs and colds while hearty enough to feel comforting and filling in the colder weather.

 

As seeds need to provide everything a new plant needs to grown and thrive, it’s no wonder they are such a complete food. Tahini is a paste made from sesame seeds so boosts the seed content and also brings another flavour to the mix. I like to roast up a load of sweet potatoes when this is in the oven to add to other dishes later such as stews, soups and curries. Sweet potatoes are classed as a vegetable rather than a starch so great to include in our diets as much as possible. As they are high in fibre they make a salad more filling and a ‘real’ meal.

 

You can eat this salad warm or cold, just use the sweet potato and shallot mix straight from the oven or allow it to cool. Feel free to change up the leaves too for your favourites. Watercress is a lovely seasonal change and baby spinach works well too. You can leave out the cheese and add another protein instead if you would prefer. Because of the creamy dressing, this salad looks best served on a platter with the dressing drizzled over.

Sweet Potato, Seed and Tahini Salad

January 14, 2018
: 4
: 15 min
: 30 min
: Easy

By:

Ingredients
  • 1 large sweet potato, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 5 shallots, peels and cut into quarters length ways
  • a little olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 70g rocket
  • 1 large handful of parsley, finely chopped
  • 120g soft but firm goats cheese (the one without rind which can be crumbled)
  • salt and pepper
  • Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 4 tablespoons natural yoghurt
  • 2 small cloves (or one large) garlic, crushed
  • juice of 1 small lemon
Directions
  • Step 1 Preheat the oven to 180°c fan / 200°c / 350°f / Gas 4. Place the cubed sweet potato and shallots on a baking tray so they are not on top of each other and drizzle with a little oil, mix together and bake in the oven for 25-30min until the vegetables are soft and starting to brown.
  • Step 2 While they are cooking prep the rest of the salad. Toast the seeds in a dry frying pan for a few minutes until they start to turn golden. Place to one side.
  • Step 3 Make the sauce by vigriously stirring together the tahini and yoghurt so it’s completely mixed, add the lemon a little at a time and the garlic. Add black pepper to taste.
  • Step 4 Lay the the rocket on a large platter, scatter over the sweet potato and shallots, the seeds, then crumble the goats cheese over, the parsley and finally drizzle with around half the dressing.
  • Step 5 Serve with extra dressing on the side for people to add.

Sugar-free Carrot Cake Breakfast Muffins

Sugar-free Carrot Cake Breakfast Muffins

If you can start the day right you are more likely to make good choices for the rest of it. But lots of people struggle with breakfast as they don’t like traditional breakfast foods or feel they don’t have time to make anything while rushing […]

In the News – Good Housekeeping

In the News – Good Housekeeping

I was happy to lend some tips to Good Housekeeping on how to pimp up your soup to make lunchtime more interesting in a flash. I am a big fan of sprinkling, topping and the brandishing of condiments over many basic dishes to both elevate […]

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

The world is split into two camps, those who love sprouts and those who are not cooking them in the best way!
These cheap, readily available and highly nutritious veggies are just delicious if they are cooked away from a pan of boiling water. Which is why I love Roasted Brussels Sprouts.  The delicious caramelized outer leaves and soft – but in no way soggy – centres are a complete delight. They can even be put in the oven with the rest of a roast dinner, saving time and effort. The only problem is you won’t have any leftover next day because they will have all been munched…

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

December 20, 2017
: 4

By:

Ingredients
  • 500g Brussels sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • fresh ground salt and pepper
Directions
  • Step 1 Preheat an oven to 220°c /200°c fan/ 400°F / Gas 7.
  • Step 2 Heat the oil on a baking tray as the oven heats up.
  • Step 3 Peel, trim and cut the sprouts in half so the hard stalk in the middle holds them together.
  • Step 4 When the oven comes up to temperature remove the tray and toss the sprouts in the oil, then grind over salt and pepper.
  • Step 5 Bake in the oven for 20mins, checking after ten and tossing if one side is browning more than the other.

 

Leek and Gruyere Quiche

Leek and Gruyere Quiche

There was a time when quiche was cool (believe it or not) then it went out of favour. t I think it’s high time to bring it back again especially at this time of year. This Leek and Gruyere Quiche is just perfect for catering […]

Cranberry and Almond Christmas Bun Tree

Cranberry and Almond Christmas Bun Tree

This is a fabulous show-stopper for Christmas breakfast or brunch. It can be made the day before so there is zero work in the morning – yet you can treat your guests to the most special start to the day. I personally love these Cranberry […]

Asian Slaw

Asian Slaw

I do love a slaw as it can make a simple dish really special – and bump up the vegetable content of your meal to boot. This Asian Slaw is fantastic for serving with a baked tofu burger, some marinated salmon or meats or as a side with some spring rolls. You can add cubes of tofu, prawns or cooked meats to it to eat it on it’s own and I also like to throw in some cooked black or wild rice for another texture and to make the meal more filling. It’s a fabulous ‘different’ edition to a buffet table too as it’s great for most diets.

The key to this slaw is the sauce, which needs time to mix before being added to the salad. So throw together the sauce earlier in the day or the night before – it only takes seconds to make – and dress just before serving. If you are happy to eat fish sauce then it adds another layer of flavour, but is equally good without it. To make this slaw a super-fast make I use a food processor to chop the veg using the attachment which makes it into little batons as I feel then you can taste the individual flavours more than when they are grated and it doesn’t get mushy at all. You can always shred by hand and course grate instead though if you would prefer.

Asian Slaw

December 16, 2017
: 6

By:

Ingredients
  • Dressing:
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons flavourless oil such as sunflower
  • 2 tablespoon rice vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced or finely chopped garlic
  • Slaw
  • 200g shredded red cabbage
  • 2 large carrots, grated or in fine sticks
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 150g Beansprouts
Directions
  • Step 1 Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a jar or lidded container at least an hour before you serve.
  • Step 2 Combine all the chopped vegetables in a large bowl and drizzle over the dressing before carefully tossing.
  • Step 3 Serve.

Split Pea and Vegetable Soup

Split Pea and Vegetable Soup

I live with such a soup lover and since making more of my own I’ve really gotten into it myself. It’s such a brilliant way of getting a big veggie fix quickly and easily as if you make a vat of soup and keep it […]