Spicy quick chicken a’ l’arrabiata.

 

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Mix together:

  • 5 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs dried origano
  • 1 tsp hot paprika powder (to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp chicken spice (optional)
  • juice of one lemon
  • 150 ml white wine (optional)

pour the above over 4 chicken breasts or thighs and bake in a 230 oC oven for 45/50 mins.  Nothing could be easier or tastier!

Tip: serve with roasted pumpkin as in above.

 

Trouble free spelt lasagne

Lasagne

Lasagne does not need to mean unhealthy and lots of work.  Try this easy version:

Fry  2 red roughly chopped onions until soft in 2 tbs of olive/sunflower oil, then add the following and cook for around 6 mins, stirring often:

  • 400g lean mince meat – you can substitute with soya mince – follow the pack directions accordingly
  • one aubergines cut into small cubes
  • one courgette sliced in half and then 5 mm slices
  • 2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • some chilli to taste
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp cumin seed  and 1 heaped tsp coriander seed
  • 1 tbs dried mixed italian herbs
  • 1 tbs ground flaxseed (optional)

After the 6 mins, add:

  • 2 tinned tomato cubes
  • 500 ml beef stock (made from organic cubes)

and simmer for 35/40 mins.

Prepare and cook lasagne by following the instructions on the spelt lasagne packet (250g) – it usually does not require any pre-cooking and needs 35 mins at 200oC.  Top with a layer of grated cheese to taste before baking.

3-minute walnut pesto

This pesto is so tasty but easy to make you will wonder why you ever bought a ready made version.

Mix in a blender to a nice pesto paste:

  • 100g walnuts
  • 1 tbs ground flaxseed (optional)
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • juice of half a lemon
  • ground pepper to taste
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 60g rucola

Serve with your favourite pasta on a bed of rucola.  Here I have combined with wholemeal ravioli, alfalfa sprouts and sautéed mushrooms.

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Quick and tasty broccoli muffins

Broccoli muffin

Mix the following in a blender, pour into paper cupcake cups and bake at 200oC for 40 mins or until beautifully golden brown.  I thought this would make a great healthy and fun variation on the broccoli patties by baking rather than frying them.

  • 2 boiled (or shh… microwaved) potatoes
  • 300g steamed broccoli
  • 100 g grated cheese of your choice
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1.5 tsp sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 6 tbs ground flaxseed – for a great healthy twist

Serve with fresh green salad and a side mix of half ketchup, half mayo – although I found the muffins tasty enough not to require the latter.

Easy baked potato

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For a great tasty version of a baked potato, try this.

Mix together the following:

  • 6 tbs olive oil
  • 3 heaped tbs grated cheese
  • 2 large minced cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbs chives
  • fresh pepper
  • chopped bacon (optional)

Slice thinly 5 medium sized unpeeled potatoes making sure not to slice to the very bottom.

Gently insert the above mixture in between most of the slices.

Bake at 230oC for 45 minutes.

Serve with a simple fresh green salad.

Probably the easiest but tastiest salad dressing you could make

Put in a blender, or just cut into small pieces and mix thoroughly, the following:

8 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1.5 tsp sea salt

1 bunch fresh mint

1 bunch fresh coriander (you can also use parsley if coriander is not your thing)

some flaxseed (optional)

3 or 4 spring onions

juice of one lemon

You can spread the above on a normal green salad, or delicious on a bed of grilled aubergines or courgettes.

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Easy pesto, made even healthier with flaxseed

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Pesto is extremely easy to prepare, and I added ground flaxseed to this version for those extra health points.

Blend together in a food processor or a blender:

2 cloves garlic, peeled
50g ground (or let grind in the food processor with the rest) flaxseed
50g lightly roasted pine nuts
50g grated parmesan cheese
150ml extra virgin olive oil
3/4 tsp sea salt, to taste
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
large bunch fresh basil, leaves plucked
some lemon juice, optional and to taste

Easy summer quinoa and salmon salad

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Quinoa is all about what you mix it with, and this quick recipe blends the following healthy ingredients nicely.

You will need:

1 chopped cucumber

Half an iceberg lettuce, chopped

200g sugar snaps or any other similar crunchy vegetables, cooked 5 mins in lightly salty boiling water

150g quinoa – follow the pack for instructions on how to cook (I cooked for 8 mins and then added the sugar snaps and cooked for a further 5 mins, to save on time and effort)

300 g baked salmon at 210oC for 12 mins, sprinkled with ground sea salt and pepper

Mix the above, and sprinkle with some olive oil and serve with a side dressing very easily made from:

250g creme fraiche or yogurt

15g dill

 

 

 

Quick but delicious oven roasted asparagus

 

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Asparagus is healthy and easy to cook, but also easy to get wrong.  The following takes literally 5 minutes to prepare and is ideal as a starter or even a snack.

You will need:

  • 400-500g asparagus
  • generous amount of olive oil
  • 1 heaped tsp sea salt
  • 2 gloves garlic, finely chopped
  • bunch of fresh Melissa/lemon balm leaves
  • ground black pepper
  • balsamic vinegar

In a small bowl mix the oil, chopped Melissa, garlic, salt and black pepper.  Arrange the asparagus on a sheet of baking paper on a tray and cover with the oil mixture.  Spray or sprinkle some balsamic vinegar.

Bake at 220oC for around 20 minutes or until the asparagus is done and slightly golden.

If lemon balm is not available, use some lemon juice instead.

Delicious and quick onion soup

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I am not a big fan of onion soup, but his recipe did it for me.  The only work involved is peeling and slicing the onions in rough slices.

You will need:

  • 1 kg onions, peeled and slices
  • some olive oil and 30g butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 10g of fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1.5 litre boiling water and 2 vegetable cubes
  • 200g tortellini (not fresh)
  • ground pepper and salt

Fry until caramelised the onions, sugar and thyme in the oil and butter over medium heat.  After around 10-15 minutes the onions will start to caramelise and then add the water and cubes and cook for around half an hour.  Finally add the tortellini and cook for the amount of time indicated on packet.  Season with salt and pepper.

Makes around four servings, but will probably be enough for two if taken as a main.