A taste of Persia – Kabab Koobideh

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine and taken from Simply by Sabrina Ghayour.

Makes 5-6 large kebabs or 10-12 small patties

A signature Persian dish, the word kebab – or kabab, as the Persians call it – means ‘to grill’, usually over fire. Serve street food-style with flatbreads or as a satisfying dinner accompanied by grilled vegetables and flavourful saffron rice.

Ingredients :

1 kg minced lamb (30 per cent fat is essential)
2 large onions, minced in a food processor and drained of any liquid or very finely chopped
2 level tbsp ground turmeric
2 level tsp bicarbonate of soda
Maldon sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
6 tomatoes
Flatbreads, to serve

Method :

  1. Put all the main ingredients into a large mixing bowl and, using your hands, work them together well, pummelling the meat mixture for several minutes into a smooth paste.
  2. To make large kebabs, divide the mixture into 5-6 portions and form each portion around a flat sword skewer about 25cm long. Using your thumb and forefinger, pinch the meat widthways from one end of the kebab to the other to create the classic ridges.
  3. Cook the kebabs over a charcoal barbecue that has been burning for about 30 minutes, alongside the whole tomatoes. The trick is to cook them for about 10-15 minutes in total, until the meat is browned and cooked through, while turning them every 2 minutes to help the fat render and prevent the kebabs from burning.
  4. To make small kebabs, preheat your oven to its highest setting (with fan if it has one). Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Divide the mixture into 10-12 portions, form into sausages, then flatten and pinch to create ridges. Place on the baking tray with the tomatoes and bake for 10-12 minutes.
  5. Serve the kebabs and tomatoes immediately on the flatbreads so the bread absorbs the juices.

A taste of Persia – Kidney Bean and Sweet Potato Stew

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine and taken from Simply by Sabrina Ghayour.

Serves : 4-6

The yoghurt in this veggie stew cools the heat of the mint oil, a traditional addition called nana daagh. Serve with rice or bread.

Ingredients :

Vegetable oil, for frying
1 large onion, diced
4 fat garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp chilli flakes
690g (1 large jar) passata
500g sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1cm chunks
400g can kidney beans, drained
1 small packet (about 30g) flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 tbsp dried mint
150g Greek yoghurt
Maldon sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

Method :

  1. Place a large saucepan over a medium heat and pour in enough oil to coat the base of the pan. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes until the onion is translucent, then add the garlic, stirring to ensure it doesn’t burn. Continue cooking until both have softened without browning.
  2. Add the spices to coat the onion and cook, stirring, for a minute. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in the passata. Reduce the heat and simmer gently, uncovered, for 25 minutes.
  3. Stir in the sweet potato and cook for a further 20 minutes or until the potato is tender. Add the beans and most of the parsley to heat through.
  4. Place a separate pan over a medium heat, add the dried mint and 1 tablespoon of oil. Heat the mint for a few minutes, without letting it burn.
  5. Transfer the stew to bowls, add dollops of yoghurt and scatter over the remaining parsley, then pour over the hot mint oil and serve at once.

A taste of Persia – Yoghurt and Spice Roasted Salmon

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine and taken from Simply written by British-Iranian cook and author Sabrina Ghayour.

Serves : 4

These oven-baked salmon bites are roasted quickly for slight charring on the outside and delicate flesh on the inside. Pop leftovers into your lunch box for the following day.

Ingredients :

500g skinless salmon fillet, cut into 4cm cubes

For the marinade :

4 tbsp Greek yoghurt
1 tbsp garlic granules
1 heaped tbsp rose harissa
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp paprika
Grated zest of 1 lime and its juice
1 tsp olive oil
Maldon sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

To serve :

Tortilla wraps
Sliced tomatoes
Finely sliced onion
Coriander leaves
Greek yoghurt

Method :

  1. Preheat your oven to its highest setting (with fan if it has one). Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl. Add the salmon and turn until well coated in the marinade.
  3. Spread the salmon out on the prepared baking tray and roast for 10 minutes until cooked through.
  4. Remove from the oven and serve immediately with tortilla wraps, tomatoes, finely sliced onion, coriander leaves and Greek yoghurt.

Roasted Parsnip, Garlic and Haricot Bean Soup with Sage

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine and taken from Soup Broth Bread by Rachel Allen of Ballymaloe Cookery School.

Serves : 6

This is a supremely smooth and silky soup, topped with deliciously crisp fried sage leaves. The garlic cloves, when roasted in their skins, deliver a sweet but rounded depth of flavour. This is the perfect soup for a cold and blustery day.

Ingredients :

3 medium or 2 large parsnips, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
1 large onion, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
6 very large, whole unpeeled garlic cloves
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 x 400g tin haricot beans
1 litre vegetable or chicken stock
1 tbsp chopped sage

To serve :

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Handful sage leaves

Method :

  1. Preheat the oven to 200oC, 180oC fan, gas mark 6. Place the parsnip and onion chunks in a roasting tray with the whole unpeeled cloves of garlic. Drizzle over the olive oil and toss the vegetables, seasoning with salt and pepper. Spread them out to cover the base of the roasting tray and place in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and a little golden around the edges.
  2. Drain the tin of beans and tip all but a generous tablespoon of beans into the vegetables. Return to the oven for 5 minutes more.
  3. Take the tray out of the oven and tip the beans and vegetables and any juices into a saucepan with the hot stock. Add the chopped sage and blend until smooth. Season to taste.
  4. To serve, pour the hot soup into warm bowls. Put the olive oil into a small frying pan and allow to get hot. Add the sage leaves and fry for 10-15 seconds, until they turn a couple of shades darker and become fragrant. Spoon the sage-flavoured oil and the crispy sage leaves over the soup with the reserved beans, and enjoy.

Cauliflower, Cashew and Coriander Soup

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine and taken from Soup Broth Bread by Rachel Allen of Ballymaloe Cookery School.

Soul food – A humble bowl of soup is always a comfort, whether nursing a cold or a broken heart.

Serves : 6

This smooth and creamy golden bowl of goodness gets its silky texture from cashew nuts and its soothing anti-inflammatory qualities from the yellow turmeric. Serve on its own, or with toasted cashews scattered over the top.

Ingredients :

1 cauliflower head
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
100g cashews
1 tbsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
A few good pinches salt
1.1 litre vegetable or chicken stock
2 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp chopped coriander (leaves and fine stalks)

To serve :

20g cashews

Method :

  1. First, prepare the cauliflower. Remove and discard the outer green leaves, reserving any smaller ones close to the cauliflower, and cut off and discard the base of the stem. Cut the cauliflower into slices, then chop it all: florets, stalks and any remaining leaves.
  2. Place the olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat and add the cauliflower, the chopped onion and garlic, the cashews and the turmeric. Season with the pepper and a few good pinches of salt (this soup needs careful seasoning, otherwise it can be bland).
  3. Cover the vegetables with the saucepan lid, then turn the heat down to low and cook, stirring from time to time, for 15-20 minutes, until the veggies are tender.
  4. While the vegetables are cooking, toast the cashews. Place them in a dry frying pan over a medium heat and toss them regularly for about 4 minutes, until golden. Roughly chop and set aside.
  5. Add the stock to the vegetables and bring to the boil, then blend well. Add the lemon juice, chopped coriander and more salt and pepper, if necessary. The soup should be smooth like velvet.
  6. Serve straight away or reheat, and scatter the toasted cashews on top.

Lunch box salmon couscous

Recipe taken from Balance Magazine, published by Diabetes.org

On the pulse – Pulses contain protein and fibre and, compared to other carb-containing foods, don’t give sharp rises to blood glucose levels. So if you have diabetes, there’s never ‘bean’ a better time to cook with them …

Serves: 2 Prep time: 10 mins Cook time: 30 mins

Per Serving 567g:

Carbs: 56.2g Cals: 663 Sugars: 21.8g Fat: 28.4g Sat Fat: 5.7g Salt: 0.41g
Protein: 40.1g Fibre: 11.1g

2 portions of fruit and veg

Ingredients:
80g wholewheat gian couscous
400ml low-salt vegetable stock
1 small red onion, roughly chopped
100g frozen edamame or peas
30g dried apricots, chopped
75g grated carrot
2 x 125g skinless salmon fillets
1 tsp runny honey
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp sesame seeds
15g chopped pistachios
2 spring onions, finely sliced, or a little coriander

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 190C/Gas 6. In a small roasting tin, stir the couscous, veg stock, red onion, edamame or peas, and apricots. Bake for 18 mins.
  2. Stir in the carrot, sit the salmon on top, drizzle the fish with the honey and sesame oil, sprinkle over the seeds and roast for 12 mins.
  3. Scatter with pistachios and spring onions. Enjoy hot or chilled.

Merguez Turkey Meatballs with lentils and beetroot

Recipe taken from Balance Magazine, published by Diabetes.org

On the pulse – Pulses contain protein and fibre and, compared to other carb-containing foods, don’t give sharp rises to blood glucose levels. So if you have diabetes, there’s never ‘bean’ a better time to cook with them …

Serves: 2 Prep time: 20 mins Cook time: 26 mins

Per Serving 584g:

Carbs: 39.9g Cals: 457 Sugars: 14.6g Fat: 7.5g Sat Fat: 1.6g Salt: 0.66g
Protein: 49.7g Fibre: 15.7g

3 portions of fruit and veg

Ingredients:
1 tsp whole cumin
1 tsp whole coriander
1 tsp whole fennel seeds
2 tsp paprika
3 garlic cloves, crushed
50g carrot, finely chopped
200g lean turkey mince
1 tsp rapeseed oil
1 stick celery, chopped
200g cooked plain beetroot, diced
1 orange – grated rind of half and remainder sliced
200g cooked Puy lentils
350ml low-salt vegetable stock
1 tblsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

Method:

  1. Oil a medium roasting tin. Dry-fry the cumin, coriander and fennel on a medium heat until fragrant. Grind to a fine powder.
  2. Stir the powder, paprika, 2 cloves garlic, carrot and 1tsp onion into the mince and season. Divide and roll into 10 balls.
  3. Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the remaining onion until softened. Add the celery and remaining garlic and cook for 1-2 mins. Add the beetroot and orange rind and cook for 3-4 mins.
  4. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, add the meatballs, cover and cook for 5 mins, turning occasionally. Meanwhile, fry the orange slices with 2 pumps of 1kcal spray until browning on each side. Set aside.
  5. Add the lentils to the sauce and simmer for 5-10 mins until thickened, and the meatballs are cooked. Serve with green vegetables and the glazed orange.

Veg Casserole with three beans

Recipe taken from Balance Magazine, published by Diabetes.org

On the pulse – Pulses contain protein and fibre and, compared to other carb-containing foods, don’t give sharp rises to blood glucose levels. So if you have diabetes, there’s never ‘bean’ a better time to cook with them …

Veg casserole with three beans

Serves: 2 Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 30 mins

Per Serving 586g:

Carbs: 64.2g Cals: 379 Sugars: 13.3g Fat: 4.4g Sat Fat: 1.1g Salt: 0.33g
Protein: 13.1g Fibre: 15.3g

4 portions of fruit and veg

Ingredients:
1 tsp rapeseed oil
1 onion, finely chopped (150g)
2 sticks celery, finely chopped (80g)
1 tsp roasted garlic puree or 1 clove grated garlic
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks (approx. 200g)
300ml low-salt vegetable stock
150ml dry cider
1 leek, cut into 1cm slices (150g)
2 tsp Italian seasoning
50g pearl barley
400g can mixed beans, drained and rinsed (235g drained weight)
1 tablespoon chopped parsley (optional)

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Add the onion and celery, cover and cook for 5 mins until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1 min.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients except the fresh herbs. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 mins or until the desired consistency.
  3. Season with fresh ground black pepper. Scatter with the parsley and serve.

Harissa Chicken Traybake

Recipe taken from Balance Magazine, published by Diabetes.org

On the pulse – Pulses contain protein and fibre and, compared to other carb-containing foods, don’t give sharp rises to blood glucose levels. So if you have diabetes, there’s never ‘bean’ a better time to cook with them …

Serves: 2 Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 35 mins

Per Serving 704g:

Carbs: 42.2g Cals: 537 Sugars: 16.3g Fat: 18.6g Sat Fat: 3.7g Salt: 0.81g
Protein: 45g Fibre: 10.7g

5 portions of fruit and veg

Ingredients:
4 small chicken thighs
1 tablespoon harissa paste
1 aubergine, cut in 2 cm cubes (approx. 280g)
1 large parsnip, peeled, cut into small batons (approx. 200g)
1 red onion, peeled and cut into wedges
150g canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 kcal spray oil
4 vine tomatoes (80g) each)
4 whole garlic cloves, unpeeled
1/2 lemon
Handful of rocket
15g pine nuts, chopped walnuts or pistachios

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5. Trim any excess fat from the thighs and score the skin, spreading each with a little harissa.
  2. Put the aubergine, parsnip, onion and chickpeas in a bowl, give them 10 pumps of the spray oil, tossing them together to coat.
  3. Arrange on a greased baking tray, add the tomatoes and garlic and sit the chicken on top. Squeeze the lemon over and roast for 35 mins until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are browning around the edges.
  4. Serve scattered with the rocket and nuts.

Baked Veggie Breakfast

Recipe taken from Balance Magazine, published by Diabetes.org

On the pulse – Pulses contain protein and fibre and, compared to other carb-containing foods, don’t give sharp rises to blood glucose levels. So if you have diabetes, there’s never ‘bean’ a better time to cook with them …

Baked Veggie Breakfast

Serves: 2 Prep time: 10 mins Cook time: 25 mins

Per Serving 368g:

Carbs: 10.7g Cals: 259 Sugars: 4.0g Fat: 18.4g Sat Fat: 5.4g Salt: 0.25g
Protein: 9.9g Fibre: 5.5g

4 portions of fruit and veg

Ingredients:
4 x 1kcal spray
2 large Portobello mushrooms, stalks removed (80g each)
50g canned chickpeas, drained
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
200g bag washed baby spinach
2 tablespoon herby low-fat soft cheese
1 small beef tomato (130g)
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 small avocado (140g, prepared weight)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200C/gas 6. Spray the baking sheet and mushrooms with 1 kcal spray. Stand mushrooms in the middle. Toss the chickpeas in the paprika and scatter on the baking sheet. Cook for 5 mins.
  2. Snip the corner of the bag of spinach and microwave on full for 2 mins. Shake and cook for a further 1 min until wilted. Leave to cool, then squeeze the spinach juices out of the snipped corner. Tip the spinach into a bowl and stir in the soft cheese. Season with black pepper.
  3. Place a slice of tomato on top of each mushroom, drizzle with balsamic, then top with the spinach.
  4. Slice the avocado, criss-cross over the spinach and lightly spray with oil
  5. Cook for 12-15 mins until the avocado is softening. Divide between serving plates. Scatter the chickpeas over and serve with extra balsamic drizzle.