Beetroot and Goat’s Cheese Stacks with Hemp Pesto and Butterbean Mash

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (September 2017)

Psychologies Nutrition Editor Eve Kalinik has written Be Good to Your Gut: The ultimate guide to gut health – with 80 delicious recipes to feed your body and mind.

Unpasteurised goat’s cheese is packed with natural probiotics; it goes beautifully with the sweet taste of beetroot, which is a great source of fibre and antioxidants that support the beneficial bacteria in the gut.

Serves: 2 (with extra pesto)

Ingredients:

2 medium beetroots
50g unpasteurised soft goat’s cheese, cut into thin slices
Extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle
Herbs, to garnish

For the hemp pesto:

65g cashews, soaked for 2 hours
Handful of fresh basil leaves
25g shelled hemp seeds
50ml extra virgin olive oil
4 tblsp apple cider vinegar
1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
Pinch of mineral-rich salt and black pepper

For the Butterbean mash:

150g cooked butterbeans
1/4 tsp garlic powder (or 1/4 clove fresh garlic)
1/2 tsp onion powder (or 1 finely chopped spring onion)
4 tblsp chopped fresh tarragon
1 tblsp fresh lemon juice
2 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of mineral-rich salt

Step One:  Wash the beetroot and place in a steamer for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until cooked through.  Remove from the heat, leave to cool slightly, then peel away the skin.  Slice into 1cm slices (each beetroot should make around six slices) and put to one side.

Step Two:  While the beetroot is cooking, make the pesto and mash.  Drain the soaked nuts and rinse with filtered water, then place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until blended but not too smooth.  Put into a sealable glass or ceramic container.  Rinse the processor.

Step Three:  To make the butterbean mash, put all the ingredients in the food processor and blend until you have a mash-like texture.

Step Four:  To assemble, start with a beetroot slice, add a thin slice of goat’s cheese and a generous teaspoon of pesto; stack another beetroot slice on top and repeat the process, finishing with a slice of beetroot.  There you have your stack.  Repeat this process to make more stacks.  Serve a generous dollop of the butterbean mash alongside.  Finish each stack with a drizzle of olive oil and garnish with fresh herbs.

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Margherita Pizzas

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (February 2016) and taken from the book River Cottage Gluten Free written by Nutritionist, cook and River Cottage teacher Naomi Devlin.

This is a thin-based pizza, sparingly spread with a simple tomato sauce and baked until the base is invitingly crisp and the cheese is bubbling.

Margherita pizzaServes:  3-4

Ingredients for the Pizza Base:-

70g sorghum flour; 10g fresh yeast (or 3g quick dried)
140g potato starch
40g tapioca starch
25ml olive oil
1 large egg
1 scant tsp sea salt
1 tsp light Muscovado sugar
1 tsp xanthum gum or 2 tsp ground psyllium husk
1 tsp cider vinegar
Fine polenta or rice flour

Ingredients for the Topping:

400g tin plum tomatoes
2-3 fat garlic cloves, finely chopped
50ml olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Few drops wine vinegar (optional)
2-3 mozzarella balls, each about 125g
Thyme, or oregano leaves for sprinkling (optional)
Rocket leaves and Parmesan shavings

Step One: For the pizza base, mix the sorghum flour, yeast and 120g tepid water in a bowl until smooth, then cover.  Set aside at room temperature for an hour to ferment.

Step Two: For the tomato sauce, chop the tomatoes and put in a pan with the juice from the tin.  Add the garlic and cook, covered, over a medium heat, for 10 minutes.  Stir in the olive oil, a couple of pinches of salt, a few good grinds of pepper, a pinch of sugar and a little vinegar if you think the flavour needs lifting.  The oil will take a bit of stirring to get it to emulsify with the tomato.  If the sauce is too thin, cook uncovered for a few minutes.  Set aside to cool.

Step Three: When you are ready to make the dough, beat the remaining pizza base ingredients, except the polenta or rice flour, into the sorghum mixture, until smooth.

Step Four:  Sprinkle flat baking sheets and work-surface with fine polenta or rice flour.  Scoop up a quarter of the dough with floured fingers, roll into a ball, then roll out on your floured surface into a thin circle, about 5mm thick.  Pick up an edge gently and slide a floured rolling pin underneath to help you transfer the delicate dough to the baking sheet.  Repeat with the rest of the dough.

Step Five:  Spread the sauce between the pizzas using the back of a spoon.  Slice mozzarella and lay on top.  Sprinkle with thyme or oregano and drizzle any exposed dough with a little olive oil.  Leave to rise at room temperature for about 1 hour, until the dough looks puffy.  Preheat the oven to 250oC /Fan 230oC/Gas 10, or as high as it will go and bake for 6-8 minutes.  Add rocket and Parmesan, and serve.

Baked Ricotta on Toast

Recipe courtesy of Easy Living Magazine

Baked ricotta on toastServes: 4  –  Prep time: 12 mins   –   Cook time: 10 mins
Cals per serving : 336   –   Fat: 20g

Ingredients:  175g (6oz) ricotta; 1 egg, beaten; 1 egg yolk; 4 tbsp cream; 50g (1 ¾ oz) Parmesan, freshly grated; 4 slices rustic white bread or ciabatta, split; 2 tbsp baby basil leaves; ready-prepared grilled peppers or sun-blush tomatoes, to serve.  Rocket leaves, to serve.

  1. Heat the oven to 190oC (gas mark 5). Combine the ricotta, egg, yolk, cream and Parmesan in a small bowl. Season with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  2. Spread this mixture on the slices of bread.
  3. Transfer to a baking tray and bake for 8-12 minutes, or until the cheese has puffed and is golden.
  4. Scatter with the basil and serve alongside the grilled peppers or tomatoes. Serve with rocket leaves.

Tip: The topping mixture can be made and chilled for up to 1 hour before cooking if desired.

Penne Baked with Chard

This recipe courtesy of Easy Living Magazine

Penne baked with chardComfort Food – Italian Style

Serves : 4  –  Prep time : 10 mins, plus standing time  –  Cook time : 50 mins  –  Cals per serving : 1099  – Fat : 48.4g

Ingredients:  1.5l (48 fl oz) milk; 1 bay leaf; 400g (13oz) penne; Olive oil; 2 cloves garlic, crushed; 8-10 leaves chopped chard or spinach; 60g (2oz) butter; 4 tblsp plain flour; 250g (8oz) grated cheddar; 50g (1 ¾oz) grated Parmesan; Salt and freshly ground black pepper; 60g (2oz) fresh breadcrumbs

  1. Heat the oven to 190oC (gas mark 5).  Place the milk and bay leaf in a large saucepan over a low heat and bring to just under the boil.  Remove and set aside for 10 minutes to infuse.  Discard the bay leaf.
  2. Cook the penne in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until it is al dente (check the cooking time on the packet).  Drain the pasta and place in a large bowl.
  3. Heat 2 tblsp olive oil in a large frying pan.  Add the garlic and chopped chard and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the chard or spinach has reduced in size and is soft. Squeeze out any moisture.
  4. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan, then sprinkle on the flour, stir with a wooden spoon and cook for 1-2 minutes until the flour has browned slightly.  Gradually pour in the milk, whisking constantly until there are no lumps.  Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring, for 3-4 minutes until thickened. Add the cheddar and half the Parmesan.  Pour the white sauce over the pasta.  Add the chard or spinach and stir until combined.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Spoon the mixture into a large, shallow, ovenproof dish and scatter with the remaining Parmesan and breadcrumbs.  Bake for 35-40 minutes or until heated through and the topping is golden.
Tip: Chop 4 rashers of streaky bacon, mix with the breadcrumbs and sprinkle over the top before baking for a finishing touch.

Baked Rice with Fontina and Pancetta

This recipe courtesy of Easy Living Magazine

baked rice with fontina and pancettaComfort Food – Italian Style

Serves : 4  –  Prep time : 20 mins  –  Cook time : 25 mins  –
Cals per serving : 901  – Fat : 45.8g

Ingredients:  400g (13oz) Arborio rice; 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest; 1 tblsp roughly chopped basil; 100ml (3 ½ fl oz) double cream; 100ml (3 ½ fl oz) boiling vegetable stock; 140g (4 ½ oz) pancetta, cubed; 250g (8oz) fontina cheese, thinly sliced; 125g (4oz) grated Parmesan; Butter; 1 tblsp chopped flat leaf parsley

  1. Heat the oven to 180oC (gas mark 4).
  2. Cook the rice in boiling salted water until just al dente. Drain well.  Stir the lemon zest, basil, cream and stock through the rice. Meanwhile, sauté the pancetta in a large frying pan over a medium heat until starting to crisp.
  3. Spread half the rice in a greased 1.5l (48 fl oz) baking dish.  Top with half the pancetta, half the fontina, half the Parmesan and a knob or two of butter.  Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Repeat and make another layer, finishing with the Parmesan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden.  Sprinkle with chopped parsley.
Tip: Be careful not to overcook the rice.  Give it just 11 minutes, as it cooks for a further 25 minutes in the oven.

Greek Salad Served on Skewers

Feta cheeseIdeal accompaniment to the Whole Barbecued Fish.

Cook Time: 10 mins

Ingredients: 8 cherry tomatoes; 6 whole black olives, stoned; 225g / 8oz feta cheese, cubed; 1-2 tblsp chopped, fresh oregano; a little extra virgin olive oil
To serve: shredded salad leaves and crusty French bread

  • Divide the tomatoes, olives and feta cheese between 8 small wooden skewers. If using metal skewers, you may need to heat them first or the cheese may crumble.
  • Place on a nest of salad leaves, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with chopped oregano. Serve with crusty French bread.
  • If liked, add chunks of cucumber and wedges of read onion to the skewers, too.

Some skewers for the salad:

Black olives:

Bacon, Cheese and Onion Slice

Serves: 4

Ingredients: 1 tblsp cooking oil; 2 onions, finely chopped; 8oz (225g) puff pastry; English or Dijon mustard; 4oz (100g) smoked bacon, chopped; 4oz (100g) cheddar cheese, grated; sesame seeds, to garnish

  • This slice makes great canapés, finger snacks or an accompaniment to soup.
  • Most people buy ready-made puff pastry but if you want to make your own, here’s how. Melt 2oz (50g) butter, cool. Leave 5oz (150g) butter to soften. Sift 7oz (200g) plain flour and pinch of salt into a bowl. Make well in centre, pour in about 4 fl oz (120ml) cold water, a few drops lemon juice and the melt butter. Knead lightly, then leave to rest for 20 mins. On a floured board, roll pastry from 4 sides, leaving a lump in centre – dough should look like a crossroads. Sit remaining butter on the centre lump of the dough and fold over each pastry flap. Pat into a rectangle measuring about 6 x 12in (15 x 30cm), refrigerate for 10-15 mins. Roll pastry lengthways until double in length. Fold both ends into centre, then fold once more. This is called a double turn. Complete process a further 3 times. Always roll with folded edge on left and leave to rest for 20-30 mins in fridge before each turn. Leave pastry in fridge for a further 30 mins before using. This makes roughly 1 lb (450g) of pastry but you can freeze the excess.
  • In a large frying pan, heat oil and fry onions for a few minutes until softened. Make sure onions do not brown. Allow to cool.
  • Roll out puff pastry very thinly into a 12in (30cm) square. Cut square in half and on one half only, spread a little mustard, according to your taste. Then spread with the onions, bacon and cheese and cover with the remaining pastry half. Roll up pastry parcel like a Swiss roll, then leave to rest in fridge for 1-2 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 220oC/425oF/Gas Mark 7. Remove roll from fridge, cut into ¾ in (18mm) slices, place on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake for 12-15 mins until golden.

Asparagus, Red Pepper and Halloumi Salad

Serves: 4; Takes: 25 mins plus marinating; Calories/Fat: 304 cals /22g; Sodium/Added sugar: 1.2g/0.4g

Ingredients: 2 tblsp olive oil; 1 garlic clove, crushed; 2 sprigs of fresh thyme; 3 red peppers, deseeded and quartered; 400g (14oz) asparagus, trimmed; 1 x 250g Halloumi cheese, thickly sliced; 2 tblsp sweet chilli sauce; Salt

  • Mix the oil, garlic and thyme and marinade the veg and cheese, reserving a little, for at least 15 mins or in the fridge overnight.
  • Barbecue the peppers first (they can take up to 10 mins), turning occasionally. When the peppers are almost ready, add the asparagus for one min and then the Halloumi for 30 seconds on each side.
  • Skin the peppers and mix with the cheese and asparagus. Season with salt. Stir the chilli sauce into the remaining marinade and drizzle over the warm salad.

Would you like to try to make Halloumi?

An Asparagus cooker when not grilling as in this recipe.

Mozzarella and Tomato Bruschetta

Serves: 6; Prep: 10 mins; Cost: £5.35; Cals per portion: 250

Ingredients: 3 beef tomatoes, sliced; 3 x 100g pkts mozzarella di bufala; extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle over ingredients; salt and freshly ground black pepper; 18 fresh basil leaves; 6 slices olive Ciabatta bread; 2 cloves of garlic, peeled

  • Arrange the tomatoes and sliced mozzarella on a platter then drizzle with olive oil. Season and scatter over the basil leaves and olives. Set aside in a cool place until ready to serve.
  • Just before you are ready to eat, toast the slices of Ciabatta until golden, then rub the surface of each with the garlic. Drizzle a little olive oil over the bread and serve warm with the salad.

Menu idea: Chicken with sage and prosciutto; Garlic and herb roast potatoes; Peppers with fennel; Mascarpone and chocolate cassata

Do you have problems when slicing Mozzarella? Maybe this will help?

Brie with Redcurrant Sauce

Serves: 4; Cals per portion: 328; Prep time: 15 mins; Cook time: 10 mins

Ingredients: 8oz/225g Brie; 1 egg, size 3, beaten; 2oz/50g dried wholemeal breadcrumbs; 1oz/25g mixed chopped nuts; oil for deep frying; lambs lettuce to garnish.

For the sauce: 4 tblsp redcurrant jelly; 2 tblsp ruby port

  • Trim the brie into four equal triangles. Place the egg in a shallow dish and mix the breadcrumbs and nuts in another.
  • Dip the Brie into the egg to coat, then into crumb and nut mixture, making sure all the sides are well coated. Shake off any excess.
  • Heat the oil for deep-frying to 350oF / 180oC. Fry the Brie in two batches for 2-3 mins, or until the coating is golden. Drain well.
  • Meanwhile, make the sauce: Heat the redcurrant jelly and port in a pan until the jelly is melted.
  • Place the fried Brie on a serving plate, spoon a little sauce around it and garnish with lambs lettuce.
  • Serve with the remaining sauce.