Chilli, tamarind and parmesan courgetti

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

OK, so I’ve done something controversial. I’ve sat on the fence. While this recipe makes a feature of courgetti, it’s not paleo, or anti-carb. It’s here for it’s pure deliciousness, alongside faithful old spaghetti. Over the decades I’ve toyed with various iterations of my Go To telly comfort food, recently finding the 50/50 mix not only fills me more than the vegan version, it adds texture and a clean crunchiness to the sometimes heavy pasta only version. In fact, it got the thumbs up from several of my ‘it’s not a meal without 1kg of carbs’ male friends. For the record, a 70-80g pasta portion (as Italians take it, I’m told) appears to have none of the usual bloat infamy I’m prone to. If still unconvinced, though, there’s zero taste compromise with 100% courgetti; I do both. And left-overs as a salad the next day are incredible.

Chilli, tamarind and feta courgetti

Feeds 2

INGREDIENTS

1 courgette, grated or spiralled
140g spaghetti
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp sun dried tomatoes, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 dsp tamarind paste – I like the big tubs from Indian supermarkets
1 tsp dried crushed chillies
Feta, cheddar cheese or parmesan to taste.

Optional:

1 dsp sun dried tomato paste (or bought) – I do without if I don’t have in the fridge.
1/2 tsp turmeric – I add where I can due to its incredible health benefits.

METHOD

Prep the ingredients. Grate the courgette and cheese; chop the garlic and sun dried tomatoes.

Set the frying pan over a medium to low heat and add the oil. Put the spaghetti to boil – not the courgette!

Add the remaining ingredients (apart from the cheese) to the frying pan in the order listed above, cooking gently until they warm through and the garlic turns translucent. Be very careful not to burn the garlic or pesto (if using) here.

Remove from the heat and fold in the pasta, courgetti and half of the cheese. Transfer to heated bowls or plates and top with the rest of the cheese.

For me, this is comfort food absolute, hot or cold.

Bacalao ceviche (Punheta de bacalhau)

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

In honour of this weekend’s Lisbon trip, I thought it fitting to share a Portuguese salt cod ceviche classic. I claim no credit, this one comes direct from a local, my Lisboa love. Or more specifically, his mother; it’s the real deal. Super easy, tasty and healthy, it’s a busy food lover’s dream. And yes, it also ticks the paleo, clean eating, fit-fooder boxes. Thank you Portugal.

Easy Portuguese bacalao ceviche

Feeds: 4

INGREDIENTS

6 tbsp bacalao (salt cod), tuna or normal cod.
2 tomatoes
1 white medium – large onion, depending on your preference
1 green pepper or half red, half green (red adds a sweeter flavour)
1/2 cucumber
2 cloves of garlic
4 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp cider vinegar
Good grind black pepper

METHOD

Rinse bacalao in cold water, squeezing out with your hands (really) at the end. If using normal cod, simply chop and add salt at the end.

Chop all veg finely into 1-2 cm pieces and mix with bacalhau, oil, vinegar and pepper. Add in salt at this point if using cod as opposed to bacalhau.

You can eat right away but the flavours are best when left to develop for 15 – 20 mins or even overnight; perfect tupperware or advance prep supper fodder!

Delicious with a crusty white sourdough to dip into the juice.

The cooks, Wholesome Seduction

FYI: The literal (and more polite) translation for Punheta de bacalhau is ‘Tossed’ (ahem) salt cod. I kid you not.

 

Seared tuna with parsley pesto

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

Located between the Mediterranean and Atlantic, Tarifa, and indeed the Cadiz coast, is famous for its Atun Almadraba. Fished between April and June using the same method as the Phoenicians and later the Romans, it´s considered respectful of the species. A la plancha (seared), tartare or in a bun (The Reason for Bread), you’d be hard pressed to find a substandard tuna steak here. This recipe was inspired by my favourite Tarifa restaurant Bar El Frances; for me, the herb pesto addition raises the bar on the town´s ubiquitous tuna perfection. I´ve added minutes for a (hopefully) foolproof tuna steak en casa. Vegan’s, veggies, anti-fish people: I keep a jar of the dressing in the fridge to mash into avocado or stir through salad. Trust me.

Tuna-backup-shot

Feeds 2

INGREDIENTS

2 tuna steaks
30g / bunch parsley
30g / bunch basil or your choice
1 tbsp cashew nuts
1 clove garlic
200ml olive oil
Tsp sea or Himalayan pink salt
Tsp grind black pepper
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tsp Kema Kulo or sub for 1/2 green chilli – optional

METHOD

Start by making the dressing. Blitz all ingredients in a Magimix, Vitamix or blender until herbs finely chopped. You’ll need to stop to scrape down the sides midway, potentially more if using anything other than a Magimix.

Parsley-&-coriander-salsa

Transfer to a jar or sealed container and set aside. Make half quantities if you just want enough for the fish; you should still have a little left over.

To make the tuna: set a frying pan to heat on full power. When very hot, add a drizzle of olive oil, followed by the steaks. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

I like mine poco hecho (virtually raw), so 30 seconds on each side is perfect.

Tuna-30secs-each-side

For ‘en su punto’ (‘just right’ a little raw in the centre), fry for 1 min on the first side and 30 secs on the reverse.

Tuna-1min

Well done needs a minute on each side. Any more and it will turn chewy.

Transfer to a plate, drizzle with the pesto and serve with spring´s new potatoes crushed with salt and olive oil, or with salad. Aproveche!

Tuna-bun

For seriously delicious ‘El Frances Montaditos’, sandwich a piece of your tuna in a bun with a slice of tomato, a little lettuce and red onion and un poquito of herb dressing. Incredible.

Tuna-montadito

 

Avocado with feta and soft boiled egg

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

This is one of those dishes you have in mind and are pleasantly surprised to find surpasses even your own vastly optimistic imagination. In fact, so pleased was I with the result, I ate double that of my brunch party. Developed for impatient post workout fitness holiday groupies, a faff-free recipe was imperative. I find swapping for soft boiled eggs over poached so much easier and just as tasty. I’ve written quantities for 1 but this equally feeds 2, depending on your level of avocado gluttony. If doing for larger groups, drop to 1/2 avo per person with a little extra.

Avo,-feta-&-egg

Feeds 1

INGREDIENTS

2 eggs
1 avocado
25g feta
1 tbsp chopped coriander
1 dsp olive oil
Squeeze lime juice, 1/4 – 1/2 a lime
1/2 tsp Kema Kulo or 1/2 chopped chilli – optional

METHOD

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mashing roughly with a fork – you want to keep chunks of avo and feta as opposed to creating a pulp. Delicious with toasted rye or spelt and topped with a soft boiled egg.

For perfect, fail-safe boiled eggs (see above pic) courtesy of yoga guru Stewart Heffernan:

Set water to boil in a pan. When lightly boiling, add eggs for 5 mins.

Remove and eat immediately. If serving to a group in the middle of the table, crack the top of each egg to stop cooking.

 

Coconut & cumin mung bean thoran

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

Mung beans can have a bad rep, often associated with flower-powering, free-loving, sixties stoners. This is a little unfair, I feel. When cooked, mung beans are as versatile as a toddlers bowl of penne pasta, with enough bite to woo the most discerning Italian. They’re also insanely good for our digestion. In fact, this thoran (a traditional recipe wouldn’t have garlic) was developed specifically for my lethargic Indian stomach by Keralan (medicinal) chef, Raheem – Delhi belly’s just one Indian holiday affliction apparently. Packed with cleansing and anti-bloat ingredients, this is my go-to skinny stomach smoother. It’s also a supper club and yoga holiday favourite; I’m yet to feed it to anyone who doesn’t go back for seconds, hence blogging it here.

mung-bean-thoran

Feeds 4 – 6

Ingredients

200g mung beans
2 tbsp coconut oil
4 tsp mustard seeds
4 tsp cumin seeds
2 red onions, chopped
4 – 6 cloves garlic, chopped, depending on your taste
100g spinach, chopped
6 tbsp desiccated coconut
½ tsp turmeric
Salt to taste, I like Himalayan pink or sea salt

Method

Soak mung beans overnight. When ready to cook, set to boil until tender yet still with a bite. Add salt when water comes to boil, not before. Set aside.

In heated coconut oil, fry mustard seeds over a medium heat until begin to pop. Follow with cumin, garlic and onion, turn up the heat and sauté until onions turn translucent and start to brown.

Tip in desiccated coconut, followed by mung beans and turmeric. Fold through spinach, cook for a couple of mins and serve. I like this as a light supper or lunch, just as it is, or alongside other salads or my Prawn, coconut & tamarind curry.

Tip: It’s said that turmeric loses it’s medicinal powers (anti-bacterial) when burnt or overcooked, always add at the end of a recipe.

 

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.

 

Kale, ricotta & chorizo rosti

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

Kicking off the long promised Kale-fest (briefly interrupted by Valentine’s and Pancake Day) with a crowd pleasing brunch. Yes, healthy comfort food does exist. This recipe’s hearty and indulgent, yet packed with antioxidants, Vitamins C, A and K and cholesterol lowering goodness. Hail the Kale!

Crispy and robust, kale’s a natural bed fellow for rosti. Poached egg and avocado are a match made in heaven with the smokey chorizo, and the chickpea flour make these a gluten-free option packed with goodness. Veggies, you can drop the chorizo – the lemon ricotta and smokey paprika are already bursting with flavour. I also love these as a light supper with hung yoghurt and chimichurri. Note: you just use enough coconut oil to keep the rosti from sticking, no deep frying!

Kale,-ricotta-&-chorizo-rosti

Makes 14 fritters

INGREDIENTS

150g chickpea flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp turmeric (for gut health)
1 good tsp smoked paprika
3 lemons, juice of all, zest of 1
150g curly kale
100g ricotta
80g chorizo – I like the thin ‘cooking chorizos’
150 ml water
1 tbsp coconut (or olive) oil, for frying

METHOD

Chop chorizo into mini pieces, approx. 1cm cubed. Pre-heat frying pan, drop in chorizo pieces and dry fry for a couple of minutes, or until crispy. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Mix ricotta with lemon zest and set aside. Sift flour, salt and spices into a large bowl. In stages, add juice of 2 lemons (retain the third for serving) and 150ml water. Beat into a thick batter, removing any lumps.

Add in the kale and mix with your hands – much quicker for breaking down the kale. You’ll also find the chunkier stalks pretty much pop out so you don’t need to painstakingly pick through removing them beforehand. I eat the smaller bits, Dolly (dog) eats the chunks. Really.

Heat a little coconut oil in a frying pan on a medium flame and dollop in 1 dsp of mix per fritter. You’ll need to press down lightly, ensuring there are no holes but don’t worry about a perfect edge; you’re going for rostis.

Fry for 2 mins on one side, or until reddish brown and 1 minute on the reverse. Don’t touch or move in between or they’ll mush as opposed to crisp.

Squeeze over the remaining lemon juice and eat right away. Ideal for instant suppers or snacks, you’re mix will keep in the fridge for up to a week.

 

Sesame & rosemary spice

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

Naming this recipe was particularly tricky: seasoning or flour-less breadcrumb? Is crunch or crumb too circa 1996? Either way, it’s a random experiment that quickly evolved into a storehouse staple. Seasoning on steroids, I sprinkle it on everything from mushrooms on toast to kale (trust me); soups to salads. Even the most pathetic emergency supper is instantly transformed into meaty, nutty, spicy, saltiness. And it’s carb-free, protein packed and ideal for reducing your salt intake. Now do you see why no name does it justice?

Sesame,-rosemary-&-chilli-spice

INGREDIENTS

200g sesame seeds
100g sunflower seeds
50g ground almonds
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp smoked paprika or chipotle – optional
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp turmeric
4 sprigs rosemary
50g parmesan – drop this for a vegan option which is just as tasty.

METHOD

Pre-heat oven to 200C. Line two baking trays with the seeds, ground almonds and spice. Keep to a thin layer or the edges and bottom will burn while half the seeds remain white.

Sesame-spice

Cook in oven 8-10 mins or until browned. Stir half way through, ensuring the bottom seeds don’t burn. Remove and leave to cool.

In a blender, blitz parmesan and rosemary. Add chilled seed mix and whizz till you have a fine bread crumb consistency with lots of sesame seeds still in tact for texture.

Store in an airtight container for up to 2 wks.

Sprinkle over roasted veggies, put 1 dsp onto soups with a dollop of Labneh, or my favourite, sprinkled onto Mushrooms & poached egg on rye.

Sesame-&-rosemary-spice

I’ve recently developed a (minor) addiction to this on tahini marinated kale, which I’ll share soon. Think meaty, nutty salad. Yes, such a thing exists.

Broad bean & cashew pesto

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

This is one of my favourite fridge staples; it tastes amazing and goes with just about just about anything. In theory you should hull broad beans. Every. Single. One. I did this once, turning grey in the process. According to several guinea pig friends, though, this tastes so good it’s worth the effort. Unfortunately, I don’t have the patience of Ghandi so threw caution to the wind and tested with skins on. The result: zesty, clean, creamy, bang on summer and ready in 10 minutes. A delicious alkaline and raw dip with this week’s Sticky sweet potato wedges, or unbeatable with courgette spaghetti. Alternatively, dollop on salads, rye, fritters or pasta.

Broad-bean-&-cashew-pesto

Makes 1 350ml jar

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup cashew nuts
1 1/2 cups broad beans or soya beans, steamed – I like 50/50.
1 dsp tahini
pinch sea salt
2 limes, juice of
1 tbsp cottage cheese or yoghurt – optional
50ml water or olive oil

METHOD

Blitz the cashew nuts in a Magimix or blender for 20 secs or until you get a breadcrumb texture. Chuck in your chosen beans and whiz briefly.

Add in the remaining ingredients, following with the water. You should have a hummus-like consistency.

Decant to jars in the fridge, eating within 3 days.

Bean-puree

Tip

I love this with a tablespoon of cottage cheese or yoghurt whizzed through at the end – more protein and a bolder, tangier flavour. In the interests of vegan / dairy free / paleo friendly options, I’ve omitted from the above.