Smoked mackerel and rice noodles

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Serves 3    Preheat oven to 180c / gas mark 4

Ingredients:

1/2 butternut squash deseeded and chopped in to small chunks

plum / cherry tomatoes

3 smoked mackerel fillets torn into large pieces

300 g rice noodles

rocket

tamari (soy sauce if non gf)

Olive oil

Method:

Put butternut squash on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in oven for about 30 mins until cooked and edges crisping.

Put a drizzle of olive oil in a frying pan and, once hot, add the rice noodles. Stir for a minute. Add the tomatoes and fry for a further minute. Drizzle with tamari. Add the fish and heat through. Finally add the roasted squash, stir  and serve on a bed of rocket.

Wild keta salmon on courgetti, chickpeas and pine nuts

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Serves 2

Ingredients:

2 salmon fillets

2 courgettes – spiralised                     1/4 cup pine nuts

1 cup of chick peas (tinned)                1 tsp ground ginger

Tamari to flavour – 1 tbsp                  olive oil for cooking

Method:

Bake the salmon fillets in the oven in a tin foil parcel for 10-15 minutes – no additional flavours / oil added.

Whilst it is cooking, heat  the oil in a frying pan. Add the chick peas, pine nuts and ginger and cook for 1 minute. Add the courgetti and cook for a further minute. Add tamari  – heat through and serve.

Lemon and rosemary infused quinoa stuffed peppers

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Cup full of quinoa washed thoroughly and cooked. Whilst hot squeeze juice of 1 lemon into it and add 2 cubes of rosemary frozen in olive oil – or a sprig of fresh rosemary. and a dash of olive oil. (I put any leftover fresh herbs in to ice-cube trays and cover with olive / coconut oil and then freeze)

Cut the peppers in half and deseed. Roast for about 10 minutes and then stuff with the quinoa mixture and put back in the oven to roast until the peppers are cooked.

I served this dish with cayenne and olive oil roasted sweet potato and butternut squash chunks (neither peeled) and a chunk of corn on the cob.

 

Coconut and chocolate brownies

An afternoon of recipe testing resulted in these – passed the husband taste bud test!

20160522_200922Preheat the oven to 190c / Gas 5. Line a 20cm square brownie tin with baking paper

Ingredients:

115 g coconut oil                                                          1/2 tsp salt

2 large eggs                                                                   1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

150 g light muscovado sugar                                    60 g coconut flour

40 g buckwheat flour

100 g dark chocolate 85% chopped in to small pieces

Method:

If the coconut oil is not melted, place over a pan of simmering water to melt it.Put all ingredients (except chocolate) in to a bowl and mix thoroughly. Add the chocolate and gently stir in. Pour the mixture in to the tin. Bake for 20-25 mins, until risen and firm around the edges. cut when cold – if stored in the fridge the coconut oil will set into a truffle type consistency.

Superfood

I have been pondering a couple of thoughts this week and haven’t yet come up with an answer…any thoughts / ideas etc. gratefully received.

The first notion meandering about my brain is that of superfoods. I had just #superfood for one of my instagram postings and it got me thinking. The hashtag was for kale – the latest superfood. When does a food become a superfood? Who decides? What is the criteria. If I think about kale – I used to eat it all the time when I was little. Then, it wasn’t a superfood – just another vegetable on the plate eaten in the same way as Savoy cabbage. As far as I am aware it hasn’t been genetically modified in any way so why the relabelling? The same with avocados. In the 80’s trendy ‘hippie’ types, as my elderly aunt would call people who ate anything that wasn’t meat and two veg, ate the new fruit – avocado. I distinctly remember putting the ‘pear’ in a fruit salad and being deeply disappointed. I also remember the trend of suspending the stone in some water and growing an avocado plant – I grew several. It then went out of fashion for being too calorific.  and full of fat as the low-fat diets swept the country. Now of course we know that the fat within this food is good for us.  I adore avocado and eat/ drink it daily.

The other thought entwining my grey matter is that of recommended daily intake – food agencies determine using scientific evidence the recommended daily intake of various food stuffs. What I don’t understand is that the daily recommendations vary for different countries…but we are all people just living in different places. The UK recommends at least 5 portions of fruit/veg a day whereas the Australian Government guidelines are 5 portions of vegetables / legumes a day and no more than 2 portions of fruit. It’s different again in Japan – 5-6 portions of vegetable dishes and only 2 portions of fruit.

How can we mere mortals hope to keep up if the facts are always changing?

Asparagus, Asparagus, Asparagus

Such a delicious addition / focus of many a dish. I find the quickest and easiest way to cook it is to pan fry it – in coconut oil. Stir occasionally to ensure coated in the oil. It takes 5 – 10 mins on a high heat. 20160326_140310

Here are several different ways we eat it:

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With butter sautéed button mushrooms – sprinkled with parmesan – starter or main.

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Served with quail eggs and sprinkled with parmesan – a delicious combination of flavours. Perfect as a starter – 3 eggs and 5 stems or main dish.

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Served with quail eggs, roasted salmon, tomatoes and a Greek yoghurt and chilli flake dip.

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Cold in a salad – here with sprouted brown chick peas, tomatoes and mozzarella on a bed of watercress.

…and probably my favourite…

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Served on gluten-free muffins with poached free range eggs and serves with a generous dollop of hollandaise sauce.

Quinoa tabbouleh topped with free range eggs

A simple one pan dish

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Ingredients:

1 cup of quinoa well rinsed, cooked and drained

1 red onion – chopped

2 peppers – roughly chopped

Handful of kale

Tamari (soy sauce if not needing gf)

1 – 2 tsp Garam masala

Coconut oil

2 free range eggs per person

Method

In a large frying pan, saute the onions and peppers in coconut oil. Add Garam Masala and the kale. Cook until the veg is the desired crunch. Add the cooked quinoa and generous splash of Tamari. Once heated through, crack the eggs in to small wells and cook until desired consistency.

 

 

Turmeric milk

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A delicious drink that is packed full of goodness and very simple to make.

Ingredients:

Mug of full fat milk

1 1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp cinnamon / piece of cinnamon stick

1 tsp ground ginger / finely chopped cm piece of fresh ginger

Pinch of black pepper

Method:

Put all the ingredients in to a saucepan and heat gently bringing to the boil. Remove from  the heat and if you have used fresh ginger and cinnamon stick – strain the liquid.

Drink and enjoy – I often have this with a piece of 85% dark chocolate.