Healthy, low-cost dishes to make you smile

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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 […]

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 full profile of amino acids needed to form complete and digestible protein, plus vitamins A, B, C and E and the minerals calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, selenium and manganese, they certainly beat a traditional cream cracker!

These are also gluten and dairy free and taste amazing on their own or with my Creamy Beetroot Pate or White Bean Pate.

You can adapt the seed mix to suit what you have as long as you make sure you include the full ½ cup of chia as it’s these which bind the crackers together in the absence of any egg or flour.

Super Seed Crackers

June 28, 2018
: Makes around 16
: 1 hr
: Easy

By:

Ingredients
  • ½ cup of chia seeds
  • ½ cup of sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup of pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup of sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup of poppy seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup of water
Directions
  • Step 1 Place all the seeds and the salt in a bowl, pour in water and mix well to combine. Place to one side for an hour so the chia seeds work their binding magic.
  • Step 2 Heat oven to 170C / 325F / Gas Mark 3.
  • Step 3 Line a baking sheet with a silicone liner or baking parchment. Pour over the seed mix and spread out so it’s even over the whole sheet – if some bits are thinner they could burn while thick bits might not be cooked through.
  • Step 4 Bake for 30mins then remove from the oven and slice into crackers of your desired size and shape with a sharp knife. Return the crackers to the oven and cook for another 20-30mins. The crackers should feel dry and crisp.
  • Step 5 Place the crackers, which should come away in their pieces easily, on a cooking rack and when completely cold store in an airtight container.

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 […]

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 guess how many would be inside and how big they would be, it was like an edible treasure hunt. Now my children are getting to experience the same joy which is just so wonderful. Aside from eating some quickly blanched or raw we have been enjoying the beans in some fresh, seasonal dishes too.

This risotto can be enjoyed with or without the creamy goats cheese, you can also swap the butter for several tablespoons of olive oil although I prefer the flavour the butter gives the dish.

Pea and Broad Bean Risotto

June 4, 2018
: 4
: 5 min
: 25 min
: Easy

By:

Ingredients
  • 150g podded broad beans
  • 150g frozen peas or podded fresh peas
  • 50g butter
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 300g risotto rice
  • 900ml hot vegetable stock
  • 75g soft, cream cheese like goats cheese
Directions
  • Step 1 In a medium pan of boiling water blanch the beans and peas for 3 minutes. Remove from the hot water and place to one side. I use the water from the pan to make the stock up from a powder form.
  • Step 2 In the now empty pan melt the butter over a medium heat.
  • Step 3 Add the shallots and cook until soft, about 5 mins. Stir in the risotto rice and cook for a couple more minutes until the rice is starting to look translucent.
  • Step 4 Begin adding the hot stock, a ¼ of the amount at a time, over a medium heat. You need to allow every addition of stock to be almost completely absorbed before you add the next. Keep stirring it now and then so you can keep an eye on whether it’s sticking before adding the next.
  • Step 5 After around 20mins your rice should be cooked with a little bite and most of the liquid gone. Add the peas and beans to the rice, cook for a couple minutes and then stir in the goats cheese.
  • Step 6 Season and serve.

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 […]

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 dance made about how incredible the first mouthful would taste, I’ve been a fan ever since.

Now I feel I don’t make it often enough as when we have it, it’s delicious. I usually serve this risotto with steamed seasonal green veggies or a salad on the side. It’s a fab light summer dinner or easy lunch for friends. It’s also a brilliant dish for kids to make as it’s happy with plenty of fussing and interaction! Mine are always keen to stir a risotto and watch for it needing more water while it’s cooking.

Saffron Risotto

May 9, 2018
: 4
: 5 min
: 30 min
: Easy

By:

Ingredients
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 300g Arborio risotto rice
  • 130ml dry white wine or Prosecco
  • Large pinch of saffron, about half a teaspoons worth
  • 50g Parmesan, or vegetarian alternative, finely grated
  • more Parmesan for garnish
Directions
  • Step 1 Make up the stock from a stock cube or warm through if you are using ready-made stock.
  • Step 2 Add the saffron to the hot stock.
  • Step 3 Melt the butter in a large pan then stir in the shallots. Cook on a low heat for around 5mins until they are soft but not browning.
  • Step 4 Stir in the rice so it’s well coated in the butter. Cook for around 3mins until the grains are slightly translucent.
  • Step 5 Add the wine and stir in, cook on a medium low heat until all the wine is absorbed, this should take a few minutes.
  • Step 6 Add ¼ of the stock, stir through and cook on a medium to low heat. When it looks like the stock has almost all been absorbed add another ¼ of the stock. Keep repeating and stirring the rice intermittently so it doesn’t stick.
  • Step 7 After around 20 to 25min all the stock should be added (be sure to scrape out any of the saffron from the bottom of your jug or pan) and the grains should be plump and cooked through but with a little bite in the middle.
  • Step 8 Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese so it melts.
  • Step 9 Serve with a garnish of freshly grated Parmesan.
Chocolate and Raspberry Cake (gluten-free)

Chocolate and Raspberry Cake (gluten-free)

Do you ever find that you go through stages of cooking certain things? Like you will always make that particular salad or pie when people are over for lunch? When you have to think of a dessert to make, one will always be front and […]