Pea, kale, fennel & smoky bacon soup

Posted in: DF, LF, S, SF, V, WF

If kale really isn’t your thing but you want some of its (biblically proportioned) health benefits, stick it in soup. While the freshness of the pea in this old classic is retained, the antioxidant, fibre and nutrient dense kale adds a meaty, heartiness which is perfect for fresh spring days and, should you so wish, summer slimming prep. Soup’s also surprisingly quick: this takes 15 mins.

Pea, kale, fennel & smokey bacon soup

Feeds 4-6

INGREDIENTS

1 tbsp coconut or olive oil
4 rashers smoked bacon – optional, the fennel seed gives this lots of flavour
1 onion, chopped
3 tsp ground fennel seeds
500g frozen peas
1 ltr Boullion or chicken stock
200g chopped curly kale, stalks retained
Sea salt and black pepper

METHOD

Set 1 dsp of the oil to heat, then fry bacon until it starts to brown. Remove and set aside. Add remaining oil, followed by onions once hot. After a couple of mins stir through ground fennel seeds.

Once onions have started to turn translucent, add in kale, then stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 mins. Add peas and chopped bacon and simmer for a further 5 mins.

Remove from the heat and blend. I use a hand blender for ease and minimal washing up.

Return to the heat, adding salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

 

Kale superfood salad. And Dolly.

Posted in: DF, LF, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Quick, packed with flavour, antioxidants, iron and filling energy, this is my year round Go-to recipe. When rubbed with olive oil, salt and lemon, raw kale breaks down into a super delicious (honestly) and meaty salad leaf; rocket now seems pretty insubstantial by comparison. Sesame & rosemary spice was made for this, the chilli meatiness sticks to the leaves and is seriously tasty. Use as a base for any of your favourite toppings for lunch, supper or take-away.

Superfood-salad

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS

Base

1 good handful kale, chopped
1 dsp olive oil
Squeeze lemon juice
Pinch Himalayan pink or sea salt
2 dsp Sesame, rosemary spice – optional but worth the effort!

Optional toppings

1 tbsp cooked quinoa = complete protein, fibre + all essential amino acids.
1/2 avocado, chopped = potassium + heart healthy unsaturated fats.
1 dsp feta, crumbled = calcium flavour kick with reduced lactose (I’m addicted).
1 cooked chicken breast, chopped = filling lean protein.
1 dsp hummus = great sub for meat protein or Middle Eastern deliciousness with chicken.

And some more

Goji berries = sweet tanginess + antioxidant and skin loving beta-carotene.
Rocket leaves = peppery green crunch.
Sticky sweet potato wedges, chopped = low GI filling sweetness
Poached egg = #addictedtoeggs
Balsamic vinegar = adds a tangy sweet contrast to the nutty and creamy salad.

Kale-&-Dolly

METHOD

Using a large bowl, rub the olive oil, salt and lemon into the kale. As you do so, the volume will reduce by half and the stalks pop to the surface – there’s no need to painstakingly remove beforehand.

It’s up to you if you want to include in the salad or discard; Dolly eats mine as I’m prepping. #wholesomeseductiondog

Top with the Sesame & rosemary spice, followed by any other ingredients from the list. The flavours all complement each other, so you can add as many or as few as you like. It goes without saying that you may want to reduce quantities if opting for all eight…

This recipe tastes even better on day two, so make a big batch for instant eating.

For something similar without lifting a finger, try The Good Life Eatery’s Good Life Bowl.

 

Sticky sweet potato wedges

Posted in: DF, LF, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Coconut oil seems to be the key that sets this recipe apart from the now ubiquitous orange wedge. It works much better than olive oil, resulting in a sticky, sweet and salty flavour. The good news: coconut oil’s so ridiculously healthy, fitness gurus are eating it by the desert spoon for breakfast. Literally. What’s more, sweet potatoes are low GI, packed with anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals and the recipe takes all of 5 mins to prep.

Sticky-sweet-potato-wedges,instag

INGREDIENTS

3 sweet potatoes
1 dsp coconut oil
2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric – for gut health
1 tsp sea salt
Good grind black pepper

METHOD

Pre-heat oven to 220C / 375F. Scrub sweet potatoes, removing any particularly scraggly bits, and retaining the skins. Cut lengthways into wedges  approx. 8 per potato.

Transfer the wedges to a baking tray, skin side down is ideal as you want them to char and blacken. Dot the coconut oil around the tray and sprinkle with spices and salt.

Bake for 35 mins, or until soft in the middle and charred on the outside. Turn the wedges half way through cooking to coat your wedges with the coconut oil and spices.

Serve with Broad bean & cashew pesto or hummus. I almost always have a tub in the fridge to chop into salads or to tide me through a yoga class.

 

Tortilla (Tor-tee-ya): Spanish omelette

Posted in: DF, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

I hounded Dad Garcia to make me this throughout my childhood, that and churros. And steak, egg and chips… Hmm… I’m not painting the healthiest picture here… Don’t worry, mum hid 10kg of mushy spinach in pancakes to make up for it. A bad day. Anyway, I maintain that Papi’s tortilla is the best, and after years of being his tattie sous chef, here it is. A perfect summer fridge staple for a snack or any meal of the day (seriously). For picnics in the park (maybe not this week), or to eat On the Go. ¡Aproveche!

Tortilla (Tor-tee-ya) - Spanish omelette

Makes 8 good sized trozos (slices)

INGREDIENTS

1.2 kg potatoes, peeled
1 large onion
3 tsp sea salt
300ml olive oil – 200ml will be drained off!
6 eggs

METHOD

Peel and chop potatoes to approx. 2” chunks. Peel and chop onion – quartered and halved is enough. Set oil to heat in heavy based frying pan on a high heat.

Tortilla (Spanish omelette). Wholesome Seduction

Mix potatoes, onion and salt in a bowl and add to boiling oil. Reduce to a medium to low flame (the potatoes need to simmer as opposed to steam), cover and cook for approx. 45 mins, gently stirring every 15 mins.

Meanwhile, whisk eggs with sea salt. Test to see if potatoes are soft, drain off oil and return to heat. Pour over eggs, shaking the pan to ensure all ingredients are mixed. Cook for 3 mins, pulling the edges away from the pan with the back of a wooden spoon.

Tortilla (Spanish omelette). Wholesome Seduction.

Shake to ensure base is loose, place a plate on top and flip. Transfer back to the frying pan for 1 – 2 mins and cook the reverse, again pulling down the sides to give your tortilla a curved edge.

Place a knife in the centre to test. I like the egg to still be slightly wet in the middle but you can also cook through, both are delicious.

Tortilla (Spanish omelette). Wholesome Seduction.

Transfer to a serving plate and allow to cool slightly before eating. Perfect hot or cold with salad. My preference has always been for the latter; I find the salty, waxy, olive oil potato and caramelised onion flavours come through more when at room temperature. But that’s just my opinion…

 

From the streets: Bounce Natural Energy Balls

Posted in: DF, N, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Bounce’s gluten, dairy and (refined) sugar free balls of protein and goodness have been kicking around in yoga centres, gyms and health shops for a while. But at nearly £2 a pop, I needed some convincing. Until I tasted the Coconut & Macadamia…

Bounce Energy Balls

Thanks to the lovely people at Bounce sending me a truck load of samples I’m now hooked.

A filling protein and energy hit for when you get caught out on the go surrounded only by crisps or Cadburys. This seems to happen to me a lot. On a recent cycle home I inhaled 1/2 kg of dry roasted peanuts. Bounce has since become a handbag staple.

Why I’m hooked:

  • 100% natural (not just a strap line) and made only with stuff that does us good
  • 42 filling grams of protein or fibre
  • Gluten, dairy and refined sugar free
  • No artificial preservatives
  • Under 200 calories
  • Winning flavours: Macadamia & Coconut; Spirulina & Ginseng; Peanut; Cashew & Pecan; Almond… I like them all!

£1.79 from Wholefoods, Holland & Barrett, Waitrose or health shops. Or you can buy boxes of 12 online at Bounce: £19.45.

 

Toolkit recipes

Posted in: LF, N, Nutrition Info, S, Uncategorized, V, WF

With a teeny tiny bit of prep, and some Tupperware, you can eat within five minutes of stepping in your kitchen. Literally. Leaving the evening free to do, well, whatever it is you like to do…

Toolkit recipes

Now, I enjoy cooking but the last thing I want to do when I get in late, so hungry I could eat a weathered donkey, is cook. And quite frankly, my creativity and patience by this point have entirely evaporated in the face of anything more challenging than a tub of hummus. So, what happens if one is equipped with enough toolkit tupperware for several days? Revolutionary.

You may have noticed I’m a bit of a salad groupie. None of the insubstantial, rabbit feed variety for me though. An ideal receptacle for accommodating almost the entire contents of the fridge and given the high male praise of being “like eating meat”, I’ve termed them Man Salads. The key is in the base, and in embracing accidental recipes; where my most treasured dishes are born.

Pick & Mix lunch

Salad base (for two):

1 handful salad leaves: rocket, watercress, spinach and / or herbs
2 dsp puy lentils – from the Larder page
2 tbsp qunioa – from the Larder page
2 tbsp peas, frozen (and defrosted!) fine
4 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp vinaigrette, or to taste
1 tbsp toasted seeds

See Qunioa, feta, rocket & toasted seed for rough nutritional data. Note: this recipe includes feta.

Quinoa, feta & toasted seed salad, wholesomeseduction

With a couple of additions, the options are endless. Click on the recipe links in the text:

Feta, butternut & hummus

Top with feta for one of my favourite, healthy suppers: Qunioa, feta, rocket & toasted seed. Or swap the quinoa for Roast butternut & fennel seed and a desert spoon of hummus. The saltiness of the feta against the sweet butternut squash and earthy, yet lemony hummus and nutty, crunchy seeds is happiness itself. In my opinion…

Garam masala chicken

Chuck in half a breast of Garam masala chicken and maybe a desert spoon of hummus for my take on Shawarma joy – a Middle eastern staple. This is also delicious in a wrap; chicken and hummus really are perfect partners. The chicken and feta route is a winner too.

I sometimes swap the quinoa, hummus and vinaigrette for Caesar salad dressing and toasted pine nuts with feta, goat’s cheese or Parmesan – an altogether meatier Chicken Caesar. And Goat’s cheese, apple and Caesar is pretty addictive.

Food to Go - salad

As you may have noticed, I have a tendency to throw all sorts of ingredients in together, even sometimes adding to shop bought salads if they err towards bland or insubstantial. Don’t be afraid to improvise; some concoctions work, some don’t. Making mistakes is the best way to learn and innovate.

In the interests of your sanity (and mine), I’ve stuck to bite sized tips: Salads this week, soups and stews next.