With beetroots in season at the moment, you’re probably seeing them pop up in shops and supermarkets everywhere. It’s like we’re experiencing a mass invasion of the little blighters. Beetroot juice, beetroot crisps, beetroot brownies, beetroot hummus… It’s like the world only recently (but very enthusiastically) just discovered the things. It was in response to this glut of beetroots spilling off the shelves of my local shop that I decided to bang together this soup. With beetroot being credited with lowering blood pressure, increasing stamina and improving blood flow, there’s never been a better reason to add them to your five a day! (Oh, and there’s also the fact they’re great for your liver if you need to detox, or even if you just want to help recover from a heavy weekend).
This soup looks smashing. Its bright, bloody pink colour adds a bit of “wow factor” to a lunch for friends or as a dinner party starter… If I do say so myself. The sour cream and chive garnish packs a serious punch and adds a nice smack of flavour. Beetroots taste quite earthy so the sharpness of the sour cream garnish really complements it… So don’t skip it! I added a few wild leek flowers to my garnish but you don’t have to, I just have them growing all around my house and so have been throwing them into everything! Try this recipe out to make the most of the current beetroot season, and if you have any ideas for other beetroot recipes let me know in the comment section below.
6 large raw beetroots
3 large carrots
1 large onion
2 Irish Apples
2 large cloves garlic
1 inch ginger grated
Chicken or Vegetable Stock
Salt & Pepper
Chop your beetroot into rough cubes and chop your carrots, add to a roasting dish with some oil & salt and roast until cooked through. Wear some gloves when chopping the beetroot unless you’re happy to have red nails for the next week.
In a large soup pot add the finely chopped garlic and grated ginger to some oil, gently fry for a minute or two.
Add the chopped onion and apple to the pot and cook for another few minutes before adding the roasted veggies.
Add in your stock and let the pot hum away for 20 minutes on a medium heat until all veggies are soft. Blitz with a hand blender (watch out for sprays of boiling soup… Never pleasant) until completely smooth. Have a taste and add salt and pepper (or even some apple cider vinegar) as needed.
Serve in warm bowl with a dollop of sour cream and a generous sprinkling of chives.
With the weather heating up recently all I’m craving are lighter and fresher meals (well, most of the time!). This poached salmon and rice noodle salad is so unbelievably tasty, yet still light and healthy.
I have pretty full on psoriasis and eczema on my hands, so I’m becoming much more conscious of what I eat at the moment and am trying to boost my Omega 3 intake by eating more oily fish. Thankfully this recipe can be whipped up in 10-15 minutes and is as nice cold as it is hot, so it makes eating more salmon very easy. So easy in fact, that I’ve been making this every week (when I fall for a new recipe, I fall hard!). The zingy lime, ginger, garlic and chilli gives it a nice kick, and despite being a nutritional powerhouse, this recipe really feels like a treat!
Ingredients (Serves One):
1 Fillet Salmon
1/2 Bunch of Spring Onions
1 Red Chilli (more or less depending how much heat you can handle)
1 Piece Fresh Ginger
1 Large Clove of Garlic
Toasted Sesame Oil
75g Rice Noodles
Half fill a pot with boiling water. Add in about 2 tbsp soy sauce, the juice of half a lime, 2 crushed garlic cloves and 3-4 slices of fresh ginger, let it boil away for a few minutes before adding your salmon fillet. The salmon will take between 10-15 minutes to cook so keep an eye on it.
Your rice noodles should only take about 5-10 minutes to cook, but check the packet instructions to be sure. You want them to be cooked just before your salmon.
Slice the spring onions and chilli diagonally, finely chop the ginger and finely dice a few slices of fresh ginger. All them all to a medium heat frying pan with a tablespoon of toasted sesame oil. The toasted sesame oil will give this a delicious, nutty tasty. Fry for about 2-3 minutes. You don’t want these to go totally soft.
When the rice noodles are cooked, drain them (reserving a few tablespoons of cooking water) and add them to the pan of veggies. Stir them in with a few tablespoons of soy sauce, a squeeze of lime juice, about a tablespoon of chopped coriander and some of the reserved cooking water if needed to loosen the mix out.
When the salmon is done, serve the noodles on a warm plate and place the salmon on top. Serve with a squeeze of lime juice over the salmon and another drizzle of the toasted sesame oil. Garnish with some fresh coriander
Despite being a meat lover, I find I feel a lot better after eating a plant based meal. Especially in the evenings, I find them lighter and easier to digest. I decided to try and make my first vegetarian curry last week, this is absolutely brimming with so much flavour, it will convert even the most loyal of carnivores.
It passed the main test; my Dad ate it without asking where the chicken was! I’ve cheated a little using a korma spice mix, I’m in love with the Green Saffron spice mixes. They import fresh spices from India and blend them into perfect little pouches, which make curries so much easier and hassle free to put together. This is filling, wholesome and incredibly tasty. Definitely something to make if you want to spice up your week!
1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed
3 onions, sliced
1 punnet of cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 bag spinach
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp honey
1 bunch fresh coriander
1 korma spice mix
1 inch fresh ginger, grated
1 can coconut milk
1 can tomatoes
1 can chickpeas
Brown rice to serve
Flaked almonds to serve
Slice the onions and sweat them down in a little coconut oil for about 5 minutes. Then add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute or two.
Add in the spice mix and cook for a further minute or two, the aromas will be amazing! Then add in the tomatoes and honey and allow to cook away for another five minutes.
Add in the tin of coconut milk and two cups of water along with the cubed squash. Allow the liquid mixture to reduce as the squash cooks, which should leave you with a nice thick sauce after an hour. Add in more water if you need to.
5 minutes before serving add in the cherry tomatoes, chopped coriander and spinach.
Serve in a bowl with brown rice and sprinkle with some of the reserved coriander and almonds.
Something I’ve wanted to make for ages has been turkey meatballs. Apart from roast turkey at Christmas dinner, it’s not something we ever really cooked at home. However, being on a huge health kick this January (such a cliche, I know), I decided to give them a go. Turkey is obviously a great source of protein, but it’s also an extremely lean meat so it’s often suggested to people who are trying to eat healthily.
These meatballs are jam packed with veggies for an extra nutritional hit and flavour, and I used almond flour instead of breadcrumbs for a change. They taste absolutely gorgeous and this recipe makes about 30-40 small meatballs, so I tend to make a big batch and freeze smaller portions of them to defrost throughout the week for a quick and easy meal.
These taste completely decadent and are so comforting despite being really healthy. So if you’re getting sick of eating chicken salads as you try and get healthy, these are just the thing for you.
2lb turkey mince
1 bunch basil
2 large carrots
2 sticks celery
1 large onion
1 – 2 eggs
50g ground almond
1kg vine tomatoes
6 large shallots
4 large cloves garlic
1 bunch basil
For the meatballs- grate the carrots and celery and very finely dice the onion. Finely slice the basil as fine as you can get it. Set it all aside in a bowl and add the mince. You may not need both eggs to bind the mix (depends on their size) so add one first and if it doesn’t hold together add the second egg. Add in the flour to help further bind the mix (again, if the mix is too wet, you can add more ground almond).
On a baking sheet lay out the washed tomatoes and the peeled onion and garlic cloves (just remove their outer skin). Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Throw into an oven preheated to 180C for 20-30 minutes.
Using your hand, roll your meatballs together into whatever size you please. I kept mine a bit smaller than a golf ball. This will make 30-40 meatballs so you can freeze the ones you won’t be cooking straight away. Fry the meatballs in some olive oil on a medium high heat until they’re golden all over. If they’re sticking to the pan you could add some stock instead of oil as they continue to cook. They’ll take about 10-15 minutes, depending on size. Add your spaghetti to a boiling pot of water when the meatballs are looking close to being ready.
When the vegetables are ready (the tomatoes will start to split and the shallots and onions will be soft), pop them all into a large bowl and blend with the other bunch of basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. It’s that easy!
Add some of the sauce to the pan and let the cooked meatballs stew away in the sauce until the pasta is ready.
Drain the pasta when cooked and serve on a plate with a heap of meatballs and grate some parmesan cheese on top!
Shepard’s Pie is one of my all-time favourite recipes. We used to have it all the time for dinner when I was younger, and there was nothing better than coming in the door from school and into a warm kitchen to a piping hot casserole dish of Shepard’s Pie. You don’t see people make it as much anymore as people are moving away from traditional food in favour of exotic foreign dishes, but I think that’s their loss. This is one of the best, comforting and wholesome dishes in existence.
The beans may sounds really weird if you haven’t already tried them. But trust me, adding baked beans to a Shepard’s Pie will be the best decision you ever make and you will never look back. My mum used always add a tin of beans to her Shepard’s Pie when we were small kids, but as we got older we wouldn’t let her make it without the layer of beans. As well as tasting delicious, they add more protein and fibre to your meal too.
7-8 large potatoes (local)
2 tbsp butter
1 tin canelli beans
1/2 tin chopped tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp honey
1lb mince lamb
2 sticks celery
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
1 beef stock cube
1 tbsp tomato paste
Boil the potatoes for about 15 to 20 minute, until cooked through and soft. Peel and mash with the butter and a little salt and pepper until all is soft and well combined. Don’t over mash or it will lose it’s fluffiness!
For the beans… Crush the garlic and fry for a minute in some oil in a saucepan, add the tomatoes, beans and honey and let simmer away for about 10-15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
For the meat.. Grate the carrots and celery. Finely chop the onion and garlic. Fry them all together in some olive oil for about 10-15 minutes until totally soft. Add the lamb mince and cook for another 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently to ensure it’s browned all over. Pop your stock cube into a mug of boiling water, when dissolved stir into your meat mix. Add in the tomato paste too. Season with salt and pepper.
Get your casserole dish out, line with a smear of butter. Layer in the cooked lamb mix, then layer in the beans then top with the mashed potato. Make a wave pattern with a fork on the potato, top with a little more butter. Cook in an oven preheated to 180C for about 40 minutes.
Serve with buttery peas and eat straight away!
This freezes perfectly, I often make a big dish of it and then portion up the pieces so I can have individual meals quickly during the week. You could add in herbs too, in fact I had parsley but forgot to add it in! Not necessary though.
This pasta looks the business doesn’t it? Well it tastes amazing too. In actual fact, it’s super quick and easy to make, and cheap as chips too. All you have to do really is cook the pasta and stir in everything else.
As this is a simple dish you’re relying on the lemon, basil, parmesan and black pepper to give it a bold kick of flavour, so be generous with each of them. Purple basil tastes the exact same as normal basil, so don’t despair if you can’t get your hands on it, this will turn out the exact same with the regular stuff. Whip this up for a fancy looking but super simple supper after work during the week to put a pep in your step!
Ingredients (serves 2):
2tbsp Grated Parmesan
Zest of 2 Lemons
Basil (purple if you can find it!)
Salt & Pepper
Boil the pasta in salted water according to the packet instructions. I take mine off a minute or two early so that it’s al dente. Reserve a little of the cooking water.
Roughly chop your basil and set aside. I use a good bit, about a handful.
Stir in the ricotta, parmesan, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Have a taste and adjust with more salt, pepper or cheese if needed. You may need to loosen it out with a little of the cooking water or even some olive oil for a silky finish.
Top with more grated parmesan and black pepper and an artistic sprig of basil! Enjoy.
I’ve had quite the month of indulgent food, and I really need to step away from the bread and the chocolate and eat healthily for a while to restore a bit of balance. But the problem is I just love good food, I can’t resist something comforting and delicious, and a miserable cucumber salad ain’t my kind of jam.
I had a total craving for quiche last weekend, I just wanted something rich and comforting with a crumbly, biscuity crust. I decided to put my mind to it and make the most health freaky quiche that still tastes incredible… Sounds too good to be true, I know.
This quiche is filling and rich, yet surprisingly light (I know that makes no sense). Packed with green goodness but with enough sharp feta it packs a nice punch. The crust was the experiment and thankfully worked out great, you could definitely use it for sweet tarts too. This is the perfect summer dish if you’re trying to be healthy, but like me are a bit of a glutton at heart.
1/2 mug oats
1/2 mug ground almond
3 tbsp melted coconut oil
1 head broccoli (or a packet of tender stem broccoli)
1 bunch spring onions
1/2 courgette (optional, I just had some leftover in the fridge so chucked it in)
1 packet feta cheese
Salt & Pepper
Blend the oats with a hand blender into a powder. Then throw in a mixing bowl with the ground almond, melted coconut oil and a pinch of salt, mix together with a spoon until it comes together. It will still be totally crumbly so don’t worry. Add in a few tablespoons of water and mix together more, this should help it come together so it’s combined.
This pastry is not like a normal pastry so don’t worry that it will keep falling apart. Roll out between two sheets of cling film and then squish it into a quiche tin. I say squish because it will for sure fall apart, but you just need to squish the bits in and patch it up. Throw it into the fridge for 30 mins and it will harden up nicely (at this point you will feel much more confident that it won’t be a total disaster)
Chop the head of broccoli into little florets and slice the courgette and spring onions finely. Throw them all into a large pot with a little coconut oil, salt, pepper and a splash of water with the lid on, stir occasionally. You basically just want to soften these for 10 minutes, the steam from the water should keep them moist and turn them a vibrant green, they shouldn’t catch on the base of the pan. When just slightly soft take out of the pan and drain any excess water if there is any.
Whisk the eggs in a bowl with a splash of milk and season with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle half your cheese on the base of the chilled quiche, then scatter your veggies and top up with the egg, sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Throw into an oven preheated to 180C for 40 minutes.
You can eat it hot from the oven with salad, or cold the next day for your lunch. Enjoy!