1 garlic clove, crushed
250g Spinach, roughly chopped
1 pinch grated nutmeg
1 pinch sea-salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp crème fraîche or greek yoghurt
Heat the olive oil with the garlic in a frying pan. Add the spinach and season with nutmeg, salt and freshly ground pepper.
Fry for 2-3 minutes, mixing well.
Place mixture into a small oven proof dish or individual ramekins and top with crème fraîche.
Crack eggs over the top and bake in oven at 180°C until eggs are set.
Makes 1 serving
Smoothies can be a good way to help you eat your daily vegetables and fruits. However if they are just made of fruit they can be high in sugar which can lead to weight gain. In a balanced breakfast smoothie you also need to include vegetables, protein and healthy fats.
Greens and Fruit:
One large handful of greens. If you’re not used to them, start small and build up to larger amounts. e.g. spinach, lettuce, chard or kale.
One portion of fruit e.g. 1 apple, 1 banana, a handful of berries or 1 orange etc.
You can freeze your fruit to stop it from going off, just remember to peel the bananas.
Healthy Fats & protein:
The fats help you absorb the vitamins from the fruit and vegetables. The fat and protein also make the smoothie more filling so you won’t want to snack an hour after eating the smoothie.
Add one of the following:
• 2 tablespoons of full fat probiotic yoghurt
• 1/3rd of an avocado
• 8 soaked (overnight in water) almonds
• 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed
• 1 tablespoon of unsweetened nut butter – check label that there is no added sugar. You can find peanut, almond and cashew butters in most supermarkets now
• 1/4 of a tin of full fat coconut milk. Check the brand does not have added preservative (E numbers) and has at least 50% coconut content
1 cup of water, 1 cup of milk or 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk.
You can also add a teaspoon of cinnamon, ginger or cocoa powder to give the smoothie a different flavour.
Put all your ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.
If eating everyday it is important to change the mix of ingredients as they will provided different nutrients.
125g plain flour
75g wholemeal self raising flour
200g rolled oats
35g brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
3 bananas, mashed
2 large eggs, separated
50g of butter
250ml whole milk
125g blueberries/ black berries
50g hazelnuts or other nuts chopped up small
In a large mixing bowl, combine the plain flour, wholemeal flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon.
Create a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the mashed bananas, egg , milk and melted butter. Mix together gently with a wooden spoon until a wet batter forms but do not over mix.
Gently fold the berries into the muffin batter along with the nuts or other additions you wish to include until everything is mixed through evenly.
Divide the muffin mixture between 12 individual muffin cases and place in a preheated oven at 200C/fan 180C/gas mark 6 for 25 minutes until well risen and golden brown on top.
The muffins will keep for up to 4-5 days in a sealed tin or plastic container but preferably eaten on the day or day after baking for a fresher muffin. The muffins can also be frozen in a zipped plastic bag, thaw for 1 hour or until defrosted then pop in the oven for 10 minutes to reheat.
Foods containing oats are a great food to eat for breakfast or as a snack as they are not only high in fibre, but they release energy slowly which means that you stay fuller for longer and will generally not feel as hungry during the day. The nuts and seeds are full of healthy fats, vitamins and minerals required by our body.
2 cups rolled oats, gluten free
½ cup almonds
½ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup desiccated coconut
½ cup walnuts
⅓ cup flaxseeds (linseed)
3 bananas, very spotted and ripe
3 tablespoons of maple syrup or honey
2 tablespoons of tahini or almond butter (optional)
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Mix all dry ingredients (except bananas, maple syrup, butter and tahini), into a large mixing bowl.
Combine wet ingredients bananas, maple syrup, butter, and tahini until smooth.
Pour the wet mixture into the large mixing bowl filled with dry ingredients. Stir until everything is well coated and spread evenly on a lined baking sheet.
Bake for 15 minutes, stir very well, and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
Let cool completely before you store the granola in an air tight container at room temperature (it will keep for weeks).
Makes 16 -20 meatballs.
Adding in extra vegetables the sauce increases the vitamins, mineral and fibre content.
For the meatballs:
2 heaped teaspoons Dijon mustard
500 g quality minced beef
1 onion grated (or very finely chopped)
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 heaped tablespoon dried oregano
1 large free-range egg
1 cup of breadcrumbs
Freshly ground black pepper
For the sauce:
1 bunch fresh basil
1 medium onion
1 red pepper (diced)
1 carrot (grated)
2 cloves garlic
½ fresh or dried red chilli
2x400 g tinned chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Wholegrain pasta to serve
For the meatballs:
Combine all the beef ball ingredients, mix thoroughly.
Using your hands roll into about 16-20 small balls.
Heat some oil and fry until evenly brown all over. Don’t overcrowd them, so fry in batches if necessary. Remove them to a plate and set aside.
For the sauce:
Heat a little more oil in the same frying pan over a medium heat.
Add the garlic and onion and fry for a couple of minutes so it begins to brown. Add in the finely diced pepper and grated carrot, add the chilli and basil and stir. Allow to cook out for about 10 – 15 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and balsamic vinegar, season well. Stir, then lower the heat and gently simmer for about 15 minutes or until you have a thick, concentrated sauce. Blend the sauce until its smooth.
Once both the balls and sauce are cooked add the meatballs to the sauce. Serve with spaghetti and sprinkle with remaining basil leaves.
Makes 4 servings.
For the spice mix (garam masala):
1 ½ tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 ½ tsp black peppercorns
2 inch Cinnamon stick
5 Cardamom pods (seeds only)
Pinch of ground fenugreek
To make the chicken curry:
2 Onions (chopped)
8 Chicken thighs (skin removed)
1 inch Ginger (finely chopped)
4 Tomatoes or 12 cherry tomatoes (Chopped)
1 tin chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp yoghurt
Oil for frying
½ tsp ground tumeric
½ pint water
Firstly make the garam masala by lightly roasting the ingredients in a non stick pan over a low heat shaking it occasionally. Then allow the spices to cool before grinding them to a fine powder.
Lightly fry the onions in a large saucepan then set aside.
Brown off the chicken then add the garam masala powder, onion, tumeric, and ginger. Mix well.
Add the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for around 1 hour – or place in the oven in an oven proof dish for 1 hour on 180°C.
Jerk Chicken is packed with flavour - why not extend that to your vegetables too? Cooking the vegetables with the meat makes this one pot dish really easy, reducing washing up and increasing the nutrients in your meal.
8 chicken pieces, (legs, thigh or breast) (or fish or whole plantains)
2 red onions (quartered)
2 sweet peppers (cut into bite size pieces)
2 carrots (chopped into coins)
For the sauce:
2 onions (chopped) or bunch of spring onions
4 cloves garlic
1-1½ scotch bonnet chillies (halved and seeded)
3-4cm of root ginger (peeled and chopped)
1 tbs ground allspice
Small bunch fresh thyme (leaves only, no stalks)
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
120ml of white vinegar
4 tablespoons of soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
Preheat the oven to 200˚C/400˚F/Gas Mark 6.
Wash all the vegetables/ingredients for the Jerk Chicken Sauce and cut into small pieces. Place these in a large jug and blend until smooth.
If using chicken breast dice the chicken. If using drumsticks or meat on the bone, this can be left whole. Chop the other vegetables and place with the chicken in a large roasting tin and pour over the sauce. Cover using cling film and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes, turning the chicken once. Keep cooking until the chicken is cooked through – the juices should run clear.
10-12 sheets of lasagne (you could use wheat free)
1 tin chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
½ cup of lentils
1 onion (diced)
3 cloves garlic (diced)
1 carrot (diced)
1 courgette (diced)
1 yellow and 1 red pepper (diced)
1 tin plum tomatoes
4 tablespoons tomato puree
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon paprika
2 tbsp chopped basil
Black pepper to season
Mature cheddar cheese for the topping
For the béchamel sauce:
60g plain flour
1 bay leaf
½ red onion
Preheat the oven gas 6/200C. Place the lasagne sheets in a large oven dish and cover with cold water to soak.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan and sauté the onion and garlic until soft.
Add the carrot, chopped peppers, mushroom and courgette and cook for 10 minutes until the vegetables soften.
Stir in the tomatoes, puree, fennel, balsamic vinegar, paprika, chickpeas, lentils, black pepper 100ml water and basil. Simmer for 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
To make the béchamel: Pour the milk into a saucepan and add the bay leaf, pepper corns, nutmeg and onion, gently heat without boiling. Strain through a sieve and return to the pan.
Melt the butter in a pan and stir in the flour to make a paste. Remove from the heat and stir in the milk. Return to the heat and stir until thickened.
In a deep oven dish layer the tomato sauce followed by lasagne sheets then béchamel sauce. Repeat a second layer and top with grated cheese. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes until golden.
This recipe uses rice flour so is suitable for those following a gluten free diet. By using sweet potato less butter is needed in the cake to keep it moist and sticky.
75g cocoa powder
125g plain flour or rice flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
175g sweet potato (boiled and mashed)
250g blended dates
120g melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 180c/350f/gas mark 4.
Chop the sweet potato into approximately 3cm cubes. Place in saucepan, cover with water and boil for 10mins or until fairly easy to poke with a knife (but not very easy, as they will absorb too much water and make the cake sloppy). Mash and weigh out.
Remove stones from dates place in a large jug add 3 tables spoons of warm water and blend with a stick blender to make a smooth puree.
Add the sweet potato mash, melted butter, eggs and vanilla extract to the date puree blend together well.
Sift the rice flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into a bowl. Then stir in the wet ingredients.
Pour mixture into a rectangular cake tin lined with baking parchment and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until set on top but gooey in the middle. Cut into ten pieces.
200g plain flour (½ plain ½ wholewheat)
30g cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
60g unsalted butter, diced
60g caster sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 tablespoons milk
150ml Greek yoghurt
Preheat the oven to 230°C/gas mark 8. Lightly grease a baking sheet with butter.
Sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder in to a bowl. Rub in the butter until the mix looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar.
Beat the egg and vanilla together and stir into the flour mix. Add enough milk to make soft (not sticky) dough. Gently knead until smooth.
Flatten the dough to 1cm thick. Cut out small circles and space out on the baking sheet.
Bake in the oven for 10 minutes until risen. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes.
Slice the shortcakes in half and fill with sliced strawberries and a little yoghurt. Decorate with strawberries and strawberry sauce.
Mixing mashed bananas into cakes and muffins is a great way to use up over ripe fruit. This is a good way of sweetening cakes allowing you to reduce the amount of sugar that you need to use. The added bananas are also a good source of potassium and help to count up your 5-a-day.
285g wholemeal plain flour
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
90g brown sugar
½ cup chopped dates
½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
2 medium eggs (beaten)
4 ripe bananas (mashed)
1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to gas 4/180C.
Pour the lemon juice into the milk and set aside to curdle.
Sift the flour bicarbonate of soda and baking powder in a bowl.
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, mashed banana, vanilla, lemon juice and milk and mix well.
Fold in the flour, dates and walnuts.
Pour into a greased 20cm x 12.5cm loaf tin and bake for 1 hour.
Cool before serving.
Makes 12 – 16 cookies.
Dates are a good source of fibre, which is important for the digestive system. Dates are also a good source of iron, which is important for the production of red blood cells in your body – which carry oxygen around. If you are low in iron you are said to be anaemic, which can make you feel tired and lethargic.
75g rice flour
½ tsp baking soda
Rub together the oats, flour, baking soda and butter until crumbly.
Beat the eggs and add to the dry ingredients.
Chop the dates and grate the apple and add to the dough. Mix well so that all the fruit is evenly distributed.
Place spoonfuls of the mixture onto an oven tray (squish down a little to make biscuit shapes) and bake for 15 minutes until slightly browned.