Winter is here and warm comfort food is what many of us are craving.
I know that many of you have mentioned that you would like some healthy alternatives to some old family favourites so I decided to write today’s blog about this so you have some good healthy family favourites.
This is a classic family favourite, it’s delicious and full of good protein. This recipe uses butternut squash as an alternative to potatoes and coconut milk as an alternative to milk. I hope you like it!
2 white fish fillets 2 salmon fillets 2 smoked fish fillets (haddock or mackerel) 4 handfuls of prawns (about 150-200g)
4 eggs 450g spinach 1 can coconut milk 1 tsp coriander seeds 1 tsp cumin seeds 4 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped 1 butternut squash
- Peel, deseed and chop the butternut squash into small pieces. Place in a pan of boiling water and boil for 10 minutes until very soft.
- Steam the fish for 7-10 minutes whilst the butternut squash is cooking.
- Put the eggs in a pan and hard boil them for ten minutes. Leave them to cool.
- Once the squash is cooked drain it and mash thoroughly (with some butter).
- Place the mash over a very low heat to keep warm and evaporate some of the excess water in the mix (make sure you don’t burn the mash – stir regularly and if it starts to burn turn off the heat)
- Remove the fish from the steamer and break it up into flakes.
- Crush the coriander and cumin seeds and then place the spices in a dry pan with the spinach. Add a splash of water if the spinach leaves are dry (if the leaves are damp, this will already be enough liquid to get it to wilt).
- Gently heat the spinach over a low heat. Once the leaves are partly wilted, add the fish (including the prawns), remaining parsley and the coconut milk and mix together thoroughly.
- Leave the fish mix simmering over a very gentle heat while the coconut milk reduces. Make sure you move it around to stop the spinach from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Peel and chop the hard boiled eggs, add them to the mixture and stir well.
- Once the coconut milk is reduced and there is not too much running liquid in the pan (though you still want a little bit of liquid to keep everything moist) place the fish and spinach mix into an oven dish with any remaining sauce in the pan.
- Add the mashed squash to the top of the fish mix and smooth over to cover the whole of the top of the pie.
- Place the pie in the oven on 180-200C and bake for 10-20 minutes.
- Serve with fresh green veg such as broccoli and green beans
Lamb and Sweet Potato Shepherds Pie
Shepherds pie is another family favourite. This time I’m going to make it with a sweet potato topping!
4 tbsp olive oil 900g (2lb) minced lamb 2 onions, roughly chopped 1 large red pepper, or 2 small ones, deseeded and chopped 100g (3½oz) pumpkin/butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks
2 carrots, peeled and chopped 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped 2 tsp ground cumin 2 tsp ground allspice 2 tsp ground cinnamon 300ml water Grated zest and juice of 1 orange 6 tbsp tomato purée Juice of 1 lime 1kg (2lb 4oz) sweet potatoes 15g butter ½ tsp cinnamon ½ tsp ground cayenne 1 tbsp chopped coriander, for serving (optional)
- Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil and brown the lamb
- Transfer the browned lamb to a bowl.
- Remove all but 2 tbsp oil from the pan.
- Cook the onion, pepper, pumpkin and carrots until the pumpkin and onion are golden all over and the onions are soft, about 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic, chilli and spices and cook for a further minute.
- Put the lamb back into the pan, then add the water, orange zest and juice, tomato purée and season.
- Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cook for 45 minutes to one hour, partially covered. Stir occasionally.
- The liquid should reduce to a good, thick mixture (If it becomes too dry, add more water).
- Stir in the lime juice and check the seasoning.
- While the lamb is cooking, make the sweet-potato topping.
- Bake the sweet potatoes in their skins in an oven preheated to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5 for about 40 minutes.
- When they’re soft scoop the flesh into a bowl.
- Heat the butter in a pan and cook the spices in it for about a minute. Mash this into the potato, adding salt and pepper.
- Put the lamb into a pie dish and spread the sweet potato on top.
- Cook in the oven for 20 minutes or until the pie is golden.
I will post a photo of this when I next make this recipe!
Curly Kale Crisps!
Many people find it really difficult to give in to those pesky crisp cravings! I don’t know many people who don’t like crisps and they seem to follow us around, they are sold at the cafeteria in work and there are always large bowls of them at parties, just waiting to be eaten!
Crisps are REALLY bad for you! A recent study found that if you eat a packet of crisps a day that you may as well drink a bottle of vegetable oil – 365 packets of crisps = bottle of vegetable oil – now that’s BAD news.
The salt content in crisps is also really high, and we all know that too much salt in the diet can lead to health risks such as high blood pressure and strokes.
Crisps are also full of flavourings that offer absolutely no nutritional value at all!
If you are trying to lose weight then removing the daily packet of crisps from your diet would really help and may lead to losing up to a stone in weight over the year.
I have therefore been looking at an alternative and a way of satisfying your crisp cravings!
The answer is CURLY KALE CRISPS!
Kale is grown in Britain and is part of the cabbage family. Kale can be boiled, stir fried, steamed, and also added to soups and omelettes.
Kale is a super food, it is full of beta-carotene, folate and Vitamin C. It contains one of the richest vegetable sources of calcium as well as vital minerals such as iron, magnesium and potassium.
Making curly kale crisps is very simple, here is the recipe!
2 large bunches of curly kale
Seasoning of your choice – I would reccomend grated garlic and chilli flakes or grated garlic and lime juice
Tear the kale from the stem, wash and dry with kitchen towel (the kale needs to be very dry before putting it in the oven)
Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over the kale and add the seasoning of your choice.
Bake in a preheated oven at 160 degrees for 5-10 minutes or until you have reached the desired crispness.
They are best eaten straight from the oven!
I hope this gives you some ideas of how you can adapt some good old family favourites into some healthy family recipes. Please let me know as usual if you have any questions, I am always happy to help!
Bon Apettit! x