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.

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.

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.

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.

Asparagus Frittata

Recipe taken from Balance Magazine published by diabetes.org.

4-Ingredient Lunches – Simple, delicious meals you can throw together in minutes …

Asparagus Frittata

Per Serving 237g

Carbs: 3.2g Cals: 176 Sugars: 2.8g Fat: 9.8g Sat Fat: 2.8g Salt: 0.05g Protein: 17g Fibre: 3.5g

2 portions of oily fruit and veg

Serves: 2 Prep time: 4 mins Cook time: 7 mins

Ingredients:
1 cal oil spray
250g bunch fresh asparagus, cut into chunks and ends removed
1/2 bunch (60g) spring onion, finely chopped
3 medium eggs, beaten and seasoned with black pepper
1/2 medium bag (150g) fresh spinach leaves

Method:
1. Spray a small frying pan with the 1 cal oil and fry the spring onion and asparagus for a few minutes, over a medium heat, until softened.

2. Add the spinach and cook until it has wilted.

3. Pour the eggs into the pan, spread the asparagus through the mixture and cook until the edges are starting to brown.

4. Remove from the hob and place under a hot grill until browned.

Spiced Roasted Vegetables with Lime Raita

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine and taken from The Right Carb by Nicola Graimes.

This fibre-rich, nutritious one-pan meal is loaded with veg and doesn’t need any extras. If you’d like to top up the protein content, add cubes of smoked tofu, paneer or halloumi at the same time as the cauliflower.

Serves : 4

Ingredients :

1 small butternut squash, about 650g, peeled, deseeded and cut into 2.5cm chunks
3 parsnips, cut into batons
2 red onions, each cut into 6 wedges
400g chickpeas, drained
5 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tblsp cumin seeds
1 tblsp coriander seeds, crushed
1 tblsp garam masala
300g cauliflower, broken into small florets
250g brussels sprouts, peeled
Sea salt and black pepper
1 handful toasted, flaked almonds and coriander leaves, to serve

For the Lime Raita
250g plus 2 1/2 tblsp plain yoghurt
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Finely grated zest of 1 and juice of 2 unwaxed limes

  1. Preheat the oven to 180oC Fan / 200oC / Gas Mark 6. Put the squash, parsnips, onions and chickpeas in a large bowl. Pour over 3 tablespoons of the oil and turn the vegetables with your hands until coated. Tip into a large roasting tin, or use 2 smaller ones, and roast for 20 minutes, turning once.
  2. Meanwhile, mix the remaining oil with the spices and season well with salt and pepper.
  3. After 20 minutes, add the cauliflower and sprouts to the tin or tins. Spoon over the spiced oil, add a splash of water and turn until everything is combined. Return to the oven for a further 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and starting to caramelise.
  4. Meanwhile, make the lime raita. Mix together the yoghurt, garlic and lime juice and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Before serving, top the roasted vegetables with the lime zest, almonds and coriander leaves and serve with raita on the side.

Zingy Greens Tortilla

Recipe taken from the Lidl Easter brochure – April 2021.

Serves : 4; Preparation time : 10 mins; Cook time : 30 mins

Ingredients :

500g new potatoes, large ones, halved
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely sliced
1 garlic clove, finely sliced
200g baby spinach
8 eggs
Small bunch of mint, leaves picked and finely chopped
2 courgettes, peeled into ribbons
30g parmesan, finely grated
1 pot of red pepper hummus
100g mixed salad leaves
1/2 lemon, juice only
Salt and pepper

  1. Cook the potatoes in salted boiling water for 15 minutes, or until easily pierced with the tip of a knife. Drain, cool slightly, then chop into thick slices to add bulk to the tortilla.
  2. Heat the olive oil in an ovenproof, non-stick frying pan and fry the onion for 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Preheat the grill to high.
  3. Add the spinach to the pan and allow to wilt for a few minutes, stirring regularly. Beat the eggs in a jug and plenty of seasoning, stirring in most of the shredded mint for extra zing.
  4. Scatter the potato slices into the pan and pour over the eggs, swirling the pan so the mixture reaches the edges. Shred the courgettes into ribbons for bite and lay in the pan in loose swirls. Cook for a little longer, just 3-4 minutes, then sprinkle over the grated cheese and slide the pan under the grill for five minutes.
  5. Allow the tortilla to cool then spread the top with the red pepper houmous to bring a smokiness to the dish. Toss the salad leaves and remaining mint with the zesty lemon juice and some seasoning and scatter over to serve.

Tangy Feta and Spring Vegetable Tart

Recipe taken from the Lidl Easter brochure – April 2021.

Serves : 4; Preparation time : 15 mins Cook time : 40 mins

Ingredients :

125g feta
100g Greek-style yogurt
1 garlic clove, finely grated
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 sheet ready rolled puff pastry
200g asparagus
200g radishes, halved
5 spring onions, cut into thirds
1 tbsp olive oil
100g frozen peas
80g pomegranate seeds
240g mixed salad leaves
Salt and pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 C / 180 C Fan / Gas Mark 6.
  2. To make your creamy base even more flavourful, use feta for Tang and crush 100g of it in a bowl with a fork. Stir in the yogurt, garlic, lemon zest and half the juice, seasoning with plenty of black pepper.
  3. Unroll the pastry and score a border 1 cm from the edges. Spread the feta mix over the pastry to cover up to the score line.
  4. For the spring veg, use asparagus for earthiness and combine with crunch radishes and sweet spring onions. Toss together in a bowl with the olive oil and some seasoning, then scatter over the top of the tart. Transfer to a lined tray and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, toss the frozen peas in the leftover oil in the bowl and scatter them over the tart for the final 5 minutes of cooking time.
  6. Bring an extra hit of fresh flavours before serving by crumbling over the remaining feta along with pomegranate seeds for fruitiness and a squeeze of lemon to add zing. Dress the salad leaves with another good squeeze of lemon and plenty of seasoning.

Aubergine Parmigiana

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (Spring 2021) and taken from The Shortcut Cook by Rosie Reynolds.

This easy recipe uses a combination of oil and butter, along with a Parmesan and breadcrumb topping for a quick and delicious meal. Serve with a green salad.

Serves : 4

Ingredients :

4 medium aubergines
Olive oil, for brushing and cooking
Large knob of butter, softened
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 tsp dried oregano
2 x 125g balls mozzarella, cubed
30g Parmesan, finely grated
Large handful fresh breadcrumbs
Handful basil leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Preheat the oven to 200 C / 180 C fan / gas mark 6. Make deep slits, 1 cm apart, across the aubergines. Don’t cut all the way through. Use a pastry brush to coat the inside of the cuts with oil. Dot the butter over each of the aubergines and season inside and out.
  • Mix together the tomatoes, garlic, oregano and some seasoning – this can be done in the tomato tins. Pour the mixture into a 20 x 30 cm baking dish and sit the aubergines on top. Cover with foil and cook in the oven for 50 minutes, or until the aubergines start to get soft.
  • Remove the dish from the oven and remove the foil. Use the back of a spoon to open up the aubergine cuts and stuff with cubes of mozzarella and some of the tomato sauce.
  • Sprinkle over the Parmesan and breadcrumbs, then return the dish to the oven and cook, uncovered, for a final 10 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are golden. Leave to stand for 5 minutes, then scatter with basil leaves before serving.

Make ahead : Prepare the whole dish in advance and reheat in a hot oven until piping hot.

The shortcut : This meal has all the textural expectations of parmigiana, with none of the factory line-style crumbing – no salting, no dipping in egg, no frying in oil. This is one-pan, no-hassle cooking.

Sweet Potato Ravioli with Sage and Brown Butter

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (Spring 2021) and taken from The Shortcut Cook by Rosie Reynolds.

This is a great shortcut for making your own pasta. Boiled lasagne sheets form ravioli with a rich sweet potato filling.

Serves : 2

Ingredients :

1-2 sweet potatoes, about 500g, cut into 1 cm cubes
50g Parmesan, finely grated
Fresh nutmeg, for grating
Pinch of ground cinnamon
6 dried pre-cooked lasagne sheets
Olive oil, for cooking and drizzling
4 tblsp butter
24 sage leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Put the sweet potato into a bowl with 1 tablespoon of water, cover with cling film and cook in the microwave on high for 3-5 minutes until tender. Drain and mash.
  • Add two thirds of the Parmesan to the bowl, along with a generous grating of nutmeg and cinnamon. Season to taste.
  • Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta and a drizzle of oil to stop the sheets sticking. Cook for 12 minutes, or for 2 minutes longer than the packet instructions. Drain and separate the sheets, then allow to cool.
  • Cut each lasagne sheet in half with kitchen scissors, so you have 12 square. Dollop 1 tablespoon of the potato mix into the middle of each square and top with a sage leaf. Fold the pasta over the filling to form a triangle and press to seal the edges. Leave to cool on a lightly oiled tray.
  • Dry the pan and return it to a high heat, adding the butter and a splash of oil. Add the remaining sage and cook until crisp. Remove and set aside.
  • Add the cooled ravioli to the pan and cook for 2 minutes on each side until golden. Divide between 2 plates and serve with the Parmesan, sage leaves and a drizzle of olive oil.

Make ahead : The filling can be made 2 days in advance and chilled. The assembled ravioli will sit happily in the fridge on a lightly oiled tray for 2 days.

The shortcut : These ravioli can be whipped up speedily in advance, while the filling is made in minutes in the microwave.