Salmon fillets with ginger, chilli, lime and holy basil.
Put a tiny amount of sesame oil under each salmon fillet on the foil to stop sticking, then squeeze the limes over the salmon fillets. Add a tsp of amino acids, an inch of chopped ginger, the chopped chilli and the holy basil. Seal the foil over the salmon and cook in an oven at 180C for 10 minutes.
I had this with stir fried green vegetables but a green salad would also be delicious.
Courgette spaghetti with prawns in rich tomato sauce.
This is a completely delicious alternative to pasta and to be honest with so much else going on is just as tasty as satisfying as the real thing, if anything it is improved by guilt free second helpings.
Serves 3 Preparation time 30 minutes
4 normal sized courgettes
3 banana shallots finely chopped
1-2 red chillies depending on spice preference
2 garlic cloves crushed
2 anchovies (the tinned or jarred kind)
1 tbsp tomato puree
400g chopped tinned tomatoes
100g fresh cherry tomatoes
30g pine nuts
300g fresh raw tiger prawns
handful of torn fresh basil
Slice the courgettes into long strips and then slice again into long thin strands (like thick spaghetti) pop them into a steamer and put to one side until later.
In a large frying pan fry the shallots and chilli in about 2 tbsp of light olive oil, try not to heat too high as this spoils the oil. Once starting to soften and colour add the garlic, stir, then add the anchovies and tomato puree. Don’t worry about breaking up the anchovies as they disintegrate as they cook giving the base of the sauce a lovely rich and umami based flavour. Once all stirred through add the chopped tomatoes and the fresh tomatoes and simmer the sauce on a low heat for 20 minutes or so, if it starts to dry lower the heat and add a bit more oil.
While the sauce is cooking prepare the prawns. You could put these in whole but I like the texture and the way they curl when cooked when you split the prawns down their spines, so they are just joined at the bottom and butterfly them slightly. Don’t worry about being too precise with this as it is more for texture and consistency of cooking and so doesn’t matter if they are not all perfect. I also find this makes it feel like you have many more prawns in a dish as it makes them seem bigger, good cheat if cooking for more people!
Once the prawns are prepared make a space in the tomato sauce pan and put the pine nuts in it, fry off in the oil for a couple of minutes and then stir into the rest of the sauce. At this stage add the prawns and turn the heat right down (really low).
Then start cooking the courgette spaghetti in the steamer. Pour some boiling water over the top to get the cooking started. The spaghetti should take around 5 minutes, but do check as you want it a bit al dente and not soggy as this will make it watery. Once cooked remove from heat, drain and return the courgette spaghetti to the pan above which it was steamed.
At this point stir the prawns again and raise the heat until all the prawns are cooked, stir through the torn basil and season with salt and pepper. I stir half the sauce through the courgette spaghetti and then serve the other half on top so that people have lots of sauce, but this is purely personal preference. I would definitely advise stirring the sauce through to some extent though.
And voila perfect, super tasty, guilt free pasta!
Chicken tikka masala. Yum. This is one of my favourite things to eat on a Saturday night in, all the satisfaction of a take away but none of the guilt.
Serves 4 Time including marinating 2hr30 time for cooking 30mins
2 garlic cloves
Inch of ginger
2-3 roasted red peppers (the ones in a jar)
1 tbsp light olive oil
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 red chillies
Handful fresh coriander or more to taste
½ tsp Salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp paprika
¼ tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam massala
1 tsp curry leaves
8 chicken thighs de-boned (ask your butcher to do this or you can use chicken breast but I find the thigh meat tastier in this recipe)
1.2 tbsp coconut oil
1 large onion sliced
6 cardamom pods
2.5cm piece of ginger finely sliced
2 tsp tomato puree
5 chopped fresh plum tomatoes
Left over curry paste
200ml coconut milk
Fresh coriander for serving
Whizz all the ingredients for the curry paste in a blender, once smooth add the marinade to the chicken pieces in a large bowl, these should be cut quite chunky like kebab pieces. Leave for minimum 2 hours in the fridge…up to a day is great. For cooking take the chicken pieces out of the marinade one at a time and lay on a baking tray covered with foil with some space between each piece, keep the remaining marinade. Cook at 180C for 10-15 minutes, until cooked but not dry.
While the chicken is cooking put the cardamom pods in some coconut oil and after 30 seconds add the onion and ginger. Once the onion is slightly browned add the remaining curry paste (this should be left over after removing the chicken earlier), the fresh chopped tomatoes and the tomato puree. Cook for 3 minutes on medium heat, turn it down if spitting, then add the coconut milk and stir for a further 2 minutes. Check the chicken is cooked and then add to the sauce.
Now everything is ready for eating so turn the heat down really low to prevent your tender chicken toughening up and serve with rice and your favourite greens. I also sprinkle prigs of coriander over before serving as I love the taste and think it brightens up the dish!
Rich tomato and slow cooked lamb shank curry with spinach.
This doesn’t look like much but it is absolutely delicious, utterly rich and warming and such good comfort food as the Autumnal nights start to creep in on us. The preparation time takes about 20 minutes and cooking time is 10 hours.
2 lamb shanks
1 tbsp ghee
2 medium onions sliced
1/2 red chilli chopped
1 inch of fresh ginger chopped
2 garlic cloves crushed
6 curry leaves
1.5 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
7 cardamom seeds
1 tbsp tomato purée
2 tins of tomatoes (can be chopped or whole it doesn’t really matter)
1 tsp amino acids
Heat the oven to 120C.
Start by browning the lamb shanks in a casserole pot (one that has a lid for the cooking later) with the ghee, once browned on all sides remove from the pan and set to one side. Add the onions, chilli and ginger to the warmed ghee in the casserole pan. Cook until soft and starting to colour, add the garlic and all spices (garam masala, ground coriander, cinnamon, turmeric, cardamom and curry leaves), stir for 30 seconds and then add the tomato purée stir for another 30 seconds before adding the tinned tomatoes and amino acids.
At this stage bring to a simmer and add the browned lamb shanks. Put the lid on and transfer to the oven for 10 hours, the timing does not need to be too precise as at this low heat it won’t burn and with the lid on it won’t dry out, so don’t panic if it is a bit longer or shorter. I did mine overnight so it was in from roughly 9pm to 7am the next morning.
When you remove the dish from the oven take the lambs shanks out and remove the bones, they will literally fall out of the meat. Throw away the bones and replace the meat in the casserole dish. Please note there are two bones in the shanks (or at least there were in mine) one is the large long bone through the middle but the second is around the bottom of the shank and is more like a small disk…try to get this one as well to avoid broken teeth.
Don’t panic if the top of the curry is a bit browned/nearly blackened when you open the dish you can stir the darker crust back in no problem and this adds to the rich flavour. Obviously if anything is charcoal consistency or very burnt then try to remove it from the pan rather than stir it back in.
1 medium onion sliced
5 cardamom pods
1 inch of finely chopped fresh ginger
1 red chilli finely chopped
2 tsp ghee
400g frozen spinach
Fry all the ingredients other than the spinach in a sauce pan (one with a lid) with the ghee until the onions start to brown. Add the spinach and place the lid on. Leave on a simmering heat for 5-10 minutes or until the spinach is no longer frozen at all (this happens quicker with the lid on). Once all the spinach is defrosted remove the lid and stir until any excess water have been cooked off.