An Apple a Day

Article taken from Psychologies Magazine (March 2019)

The latest National Diabetes Audit found that there are 7,000 Brits under the age of 25 being treated for type 2 diabetes.  These simple tips from medical doctor Sarah Brewer’ can help lower the risk dramatically.
an apple a day

  1. Replace some carbs in your diet with healthy monounsaturated fats (in olive oil, avocados, almonds and macadamia nuts) and omega-3 fatty acids (oily fish and walnuts).  This can significantly improve glucose control, triglyceride levels, blood pressure and cholesterol balance in people with type 2 diabetes.
  2. A study involving 38,000 women found that those eating at least one apple a day were 28 per cent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those eating no apples, while a recent analysis of five trials, involving a quarter of a million people, found that regular consumption of apples and pears is associated with an 18 per cent reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.
  3. Whether black, green or oolong, tea contains antioxidants that increase insulin sensitivity, supress appetite through the effects on hormones such as ghrelin and adiponectin and stimulate fat burning to generate heat and aid weight loss.  They also have beneficial effects on the liver to decrease glucose and fatty acid synthesis.
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Creamy Broccoli Soup

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine and taken from Danielle Walker’s Eat What You Love: 125 Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, and Paleo Recipes .

Eliminating Dairy and wheat doesn’t mean giving up luscious soups. Instead of a roux, or cream, white sweet potatoes add silky richness.

creamy brocolli soupServes: 4-6

Ingredients:
3 tblsp ghee or extra virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped leeks, white and tender green parts
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
450g broccoli, cut into florets, stems peeled and chopped
1 small Hannah sweet potato or other white-fleshed variety, peeled and cut into cubes
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups Chicken bone broth
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Step One : Melt the ghee in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the leeks and onion and saute for 3-4 minutes, stirring, until they are fragrant and softened. Add the broccoli, sweet potato, celery and garlic and continue to cook for 5 minutes more.

Step Two : Pour in the Chicken Bone Broth, add 1 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 8-10 minutes, until the vegetables are fork-tender and the broccoli is bright green.

Step Three : Using an immersion blender, or working in batches in a blender, blend the soup until smooth (if using a blender, remove the cap in the blender top and place a kitchen towel over the top to allow steam to release).

Step Four : Return the soup to the pan and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot, with a sprinkling of pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

Celeriac Soup with Hazelnut and Sage Pesto

Recipe taken from Clodagh’s Suppers: Suppers to celebrate the seasons by Clodagh McKenna and published in Psychologies Magazine (February 2019).

A great soup to make during the winter months.  The flavour of the celeriac has nutty undertones, and the consistency of the soup is so creamy.  The pesto adds a delicious crunchy texture and earthy flavour.  You can make it a few days ahead, and it freezes really well, so double the recipe when you are making it!

celeriac soup

Serves : 6

Ingredients :
50g butter
1 celeriac, peeled and chopped
1 celery stick, chopped
1 onion, chopped
75g blanched hazelnuts
1 ltr hot vegetable stock
100ml crème fraiche
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Hazelnut and Sage Pesto
75g blanched hazelnuts
2 tblsp finely chopped sage
2 tblsp extra virgin olive oil

Step One : Place a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat and add the butter.  Once the butter has melted, add the celeriac, celery, onion and whole hazelnuts, and season with salt and pepper.  Stir well, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pan with foil or your butter wrapper and pop the lid back on.  Leave the vegetables to sweat for 15 minutes.

Step Two : Next, make the hazelnut and sage pesto.  Place a frying pan over a high heat, add the hazelnuts and shake the pan frequently to toast the nuts evenly, for three minutes – this will release all the oils and the flavour.  Add the chopped sage to the extra virgin olive oil in a small bowl.

Step Three : Tip the toasted hazelnuts onto one half of a clean tea towel, then fold over the other half of the tea towel to cover and bash the nuts with a rolling pin until crushed.  Add the crushed nuts to the olive oil and sage, mix together well and set aside.

Step Four : Add the hot stock to the vegetables that have sweated down and bring to the boil, then leave to cook, uncovered, for about 15 minutes until the vegetables are tender.  Transfer the soup of a blender or food processor, or use a hand blender, and blend to a smooth consistency.  Return the soup to the saucepan, if necessary.  Stir in the crème fraiche, season and place over a medium heat to warm through.  Serve the soup in warmed bowls with the hazelnut and sage pesto drizzled on top.

Lemon Verbena Possets

Recipe taken from Clodagh’s Suppers: Suppers to celebrate the seasons by Clodagh McKenna published in Psychologies Magazine (February 2019).

lemon verbena possets

Serves : 4

Ingredients :
2 lemons
125g caster sugar
6 lemon verbena leaves
425ml double cream

Step One : Grate the zest of the lemons into a saucepan, then squeeze out and add the juice, followed by the sugar and lemon verbena leaves. Place the pan over a low heat and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Whisk in the cream and cook for three minutes.

Step Two : Divide the mixture between four small glasses or ramekins. Leave to cool, then chill in the fridge for two hours until set. Remove the possets from the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving.

Chocolate Beef Chilli with Jalapeno And Cheese Scones

Recipe taken from Clodagh’s Suppers: Suppers to celebrate the seasons by Clodagh McKenna published in Psychologies Magazine (February 2019)chocolate beef chilli with jalapeno and cheese scones

Ingredients for the Chilli :
50g salted butter
300g minced beef
1 small white onion or shallot, finely chopped
2.5cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 small dried chillies, chopped
100g smoked bacon lardons
100g fully cured, ready-to-eat chorizo, diced
150ml red wine
400g can cherry tomatoes
300ml water
1 tblsp brown sugar
2 tsp finely chopped fresh or dried oregano
2 bay leaves
1 tblsp tomato ketchup
50g dark chocolate, grated
400g can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

For the scones :
225g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tblsp baking powder
Pinch of fine sea salt
50g salted butter, chilled and cubed
125g Dubliner cheese, grated
2 jalapeno chillies, finely chopped
125-150ml milk or buttermilk

Serves : 6

Step One : Place a flameproof casserole dish over a medium heat and add half the butter. Once melted, add the minced beef and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until browned. Transfer to a plate.

Step Two : Add the remaining butter to the casserole dish, stir in the onion or shallot, ginger and garlic and cook for two minutes, then stir in the cumin, cinnamon and dried chillies and cook for a further minute. Add the bacon lardons and chorizo and cook, stirring for about three minutes until lovely and crispy.

Step Three : Return the beef to the pan and stir well. Pour in the red wine and cook for two minutes more. Then add the tomatoes, measured water, sugar, oregano, bay leaves and ketchup. Season with salt and pepper, stir well, then cover the pan with a lid and simmer over a low heat for two hours.

Step Four : While the chilli is cooking, make the jalapeno and cheese scones. Preheat the oven to 200oC , gas mark 6, and dust a baking tray with flour. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add the butter and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in half the grated cheese, followed by half the jalapenos, then gradually mix in enough milk with a fork to make a soft dough.

Step Five : Roll out the dough on a floured work surface into a round, 1 cm deep. Cut into six wedges, place on the floured baking tray and sprinkle the remaining cheese and jalapenos on top. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown. Transfer the scones to a wire rack and leave to cook for 10 minutes.

Step Six : Remove the lid of the casserole and stir in the chocolate and kidney beans, then simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Serve with the jalapeno and cheese scones.

Carrot and Poppy Seed Waffles

Recipe taken from The Good Stuff: Delicious recipes and tips for happier and healthier children by Lucinda Miller published in Psychologies Magazine February 2019.

Kids will love this healthy and tasty alternative to bland shop-bought waffles. Fussy eaters won’t spot the carrot and the poppy seeds boost calcium, iron and zinc levels.

carrot and poppy seed waffles

Ingredients:
200g porridge oats
1 tblsp Coconut sugar or light muscovado sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tblsp black or white poppy seeds
Pinch of fine sea salt
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
200ml whole milk
120ml plain Greek yogurt
3 free-range eggs
Coconut or olive oil, for greasing the waffle maker

Makes : 5-6 waffles

Step One : Preheat the oven to 180oC (160oC fan), gas mark 4 and lightly grease the waffle maker with a little coconut or olive oil, using a piece of kitchen paper.

Step Two : Measure the oats into a food processor and blitz for about 1 minute, or until they reach a flour-like consistency.

Step Three : Transfer the oats to a large bowl and stir in the coconut, or muscovado sugar, baking powder, poppy seeds and salt, before adding the grated carrot, along with the milk and yogurt.

Step Four : Add one egg at a time, beating well after each addition until all the ingredients are combined.

Step Five : Turn your waffle maker to the highest setting and pour a ladleful of the mixture into the lower plate. Be careful not to overfill it or the mixture will pour out of the sides. Close the lid and let the waffle cook until it is golden brown on both sides – about 2 minutes.

Step Six : Remove from the waffle maker and place on a baking tray. At this stage, the waffle will be quite soft, so pop it into the oven for 5 minutes to crisp up. Repeat until you have 5-6 waffles.

Banana Praline Pavlova

Courtesy of Prima Magazine

A spectacular but simple-to-prepare dessert that is sure to impress your guests.

Banana Praline Pavlova.jpgIngredients

Pavlova:
3oz (75g)soft light brown sugar
3oz (75g) caster sugar
3 egg whites
1/2 tsp (2.5ml) ground cinnamon

Topping:
1pt (568ml) double cream
1 lemon
3 bananas
6oz (175g) caster sugar
1oz (25g) flaked almonds

Step One : Draw a 9in (23cm) circle on a piece of baking parchment and place upside down on a baking sheet. Preheat the oven to Mark 1/2 (250oF / 130oC).

Step Two : Sieve brown sugar to remove any lumps and mix with caster sugar. Place egg whites in a clean, dry bowl and whisk until stiff but not dry. Begin adding half the sugar 1oz (25g) at a time, whisking well between each addition. Fold in remainder with the cinnamon using a large metal spoon. Spoon into the circle leaving the surface quite rough. Bake for 1 1/2 – 2 hours or until crisp and dry. Cool.

Step Three : Whisk cream with grated lemon rind and 1 tblsp (15ml) juice until it forms soft peaks. Place in fridge until needed. Roughly chop bananas and place in the remaining lemon juice.

Step Four : Pile cream on the meringue. Drain bananas and place on cream. Refrigerate for up to 20 minutes while preparing the praline.

Step Five : Place sugar and almonds in a heavy-based saucepan. Heat very gently until sugar melts and turns a golden caramel. Do not stir but shake the pan as sugar melts. Spoon praline over bananas. Refrigerate for up to 20 minutes before serving.

Tip: You can prepare the praline in advance, then pour it on to an oiled baking sheet and cool. When ready to serve, break into chunks and scatter over meringue.

Recipes for other Meringue ideas can be found here …

Thai-Steamed Snapper

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (Dec 2015) and taken from At Home with Umami: Home-cooked recipes unlocking the magic of super-savory deliciousness by Laura Santtini.

Umami translates from the Japanese to mean ‘savoury deliciousness.’  Santtini says umami is, ‘the ultimate expression of flavour; the extra mouthful-ness that makes us say “mmmmm”, the taste that keeps on giving long after its fellow basic tastes – sweet, salty, sour and bitter – are spent.’

Brilliant for a dinner party, you can also use this versatile marinade for fish fillets.  This fish is ideal served with sticky Thai-style rice and a crisp green salad.

Serves : 4

Ingredients:

red snapper11 whole red snapper or other whole sustainable white fish (about 2kg), descaled, gutted and cleaned
4 limes (1 sliced)
1 bunch fresh coriander
1 bunch of spring onions, topped and sliced (reserve tops for stuffing fish)
1 sweet potato, diced into thumbnail-sized pieces
2.5cm (1 in) piece of fresh ginger, sliced
5 garlic cloves, peeled
3 lemongrass stalks, outer skin removed and roughly chopped
2 red chillies, deseeded (keep the seeds of half a chilli only)
3 tblsp toasted sesame oil
4 tblsp fish sauce
3 tblsp soy sauce
1 tblsp brown sugar or palm sugar

Step One : Preheat the oven to 200oC (400oF) Gas 6.  Cut a piece of wide baking parchment twice the length of your fish.  Fold the parchment in half and then open it, placing one half on a baking tray.  Put the fish on the diagonal on the piece of parchment on the baking tray.

Step Two : Make slashes in the fish on the diagonal through the skin down to the bone on both sides.  Stuff the cavity with a few slices of lime, half the coriander and the tops of the spring onions.  Scatter sweet potato cubes and spring onion chunks around the fish.

Step Three : In a food processor, combine the rest of the coriander, ginger, garlic, lemongrass and chilli and blitz into a paste.  Add the sesame oil, fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar and the juice of the remaining 3 limes and blitz again.

Step Four : Rub this marinade all over the fish and fold the other half of the parchment over the fish, wrapping the edges over to close tightly.

Step Five : Cook in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes.  To test if the fish is cooked, remove from the oven and take a peek inside a corner of the parcel, but be careful because the steam will escape.  If the eye of the fish has turned white, this means your fish is cooked.

Step Six : Open the parcel and serve large chunks of fish on sticky Thai rice topped with a large spoonful of the cooking juices – that is where move of the umami is.

Roast Chicken with Pomegranate, Pancetta and Brandy

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (Dec 2015) and taken from At Home with Umami: Home-cooked recipes unlocking the magic of super-savory deliciousness by Laura Santtini.

This is a real showstopper, especially if you are generous with the brandy.  Serve with basmati rice steamed with cardamom pods to make the rice extra fragrant.

Chicken and pomegranate

Serves : 4

Ingredients:
3 tblsp olive oil
1 medium chicken, jointed into 8 pieces by a butcher
3 shallots (2 quartered, 1 chopped finely)
1 bunch fresh sage
4 garlic cloves
30g dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 250ml boiling water, drained and chopped
4 medium pomegranates
25g butter
100g pancetta
generous splash of brandy
250ml double cream
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
basmati rice, to serve

Step One : Preheat the oven to 180oC (350oF) Gas 4. Heat the oil in a cast-iron casserole dish over a medium-high heat. Add the chicken and brown on all sides. Season.

Step Two : Once browned, remove from the heat. Add the quartered shallots, half the sage, garlic and the liquid from the mushrooms. Replace the chicken, cover with a tight-fitting lid and roast in a preheated oven for 1 hour.

Step Three : Meanwhile, deseed the pomegranates by slicing them in half and bashing them with a wooden spoon over a bowl so that the seeds fall out. Crush the seeds slightly with a potato masher to release their juices.

Step Four : Take out the chicken and pour the pomegranate juices into the pan, reserving the seeds for later. Pop the chicken back into the oven.

Step Five : Make the sauce. Heat the butter in a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Once it has melted, add the chopped shallot and cook until translucent. Add the mushrooms, the rest of the sage and pancetta, and cook until the pancetta begins to crisp and the fat melts. Once the chicken is cooked, pour off its sauce into the mushrooms pan. Cover the chicken with foil to keep it warm.

Step Six : Add the brandy and the double cream to the sauce. Simmer until the sauce has reduced enough to coat the back of a spoon, then pour it back over the chicken, sprinkle with the reserved pomegranate seeds, and serve immediately with bowls of hot basmati rice.

Turkey Rice Salad

Recipe taken from The Ultimate Christmas Cookbook

A delicious crunchy salad to use up leftover turkey during the holiday festivities.

Turkey rice salad
Ingredients:-
225g (8oz) brown rice
50g (2oz) wild rice
2 red dessert apples, quartered, cored and chopped
2 celery sticks, coarsely sliced
115 (4oz) seedless grapes
45ml (3 tblsp) lemon or orange juice
150ml (1/4 pint) this mayonnaise
350g (12oz) cooked turkey, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Frilly lettuce leaves, to serve

Serves: 8

Step One : Cook the brown and wild rice in boiling salted water for 25 minutes or until tender. Rinse under cold running water and drain.

Step Two : Turn the well-drained rice into a large bowl and add the apples, celery and grapes. Beat the lemon or orange juice into the mayonnaise, season with salt and pepper and pour over the rice.

Step Three : Add the turkey and mix well to coat with the lemon or orange mayonnaise.

Step Four : Arrange the frilly lettuce leaves over the base and around the sides of a warmed serving dish and spoon the rice on top.

Christmassy salad servers …