Smoked mackerel salad with orange

Smoked mackerel salad with orange

Have we seen the back of the ‘new year, new you’ salad drive yet? Apparently not. But this is a game changer, I promise.

Mackerel and orange are a seriously good duo. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it – I’ve been repeating versions of this all week. And with all the winter disease rife in any workplace, you’d be a fool to shun the vitamin C.

YOU WILL NEED:

1/2 an orange, sliced
2 x smoked mackerel fillets
Handful of chicory leaves or shredded iceberg (anything with some bite, basically)
Drizzle of olive oil

METHOD:

There isn’t one really. Shred your salad if you need to, and arrange on a plate with mackerel and orange slices. Drizzle with olive oil and season well!  If it’s not orangey enough for you, you can zest some of the skin. Whoever said salads were boring…

Mackerel salad with orange

 

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Banana and cinnamon buckwheat bread

Banana and cinnamon buckwheat bread

Buckwheat is a flavour that, in my experience, needs a little consideration. It’s a strong, unusual one that tends to dominate.

Buckwheat flour though, is one of the few grain-free flours that creates convincing baked goods I think. I’ve had great success with it in terms of consistency, just not that flavour…

So recently when subbing in buckwheat flour I’ve had a think about ways to fight back with flavours from other ingredients. The spotlight here is on cinnamon.

The trick to buckwheat bliss is to match its power with something that doesn’t just rival its strength, but rather provides a contradictory flavour e.g. something sweet, or spiced, or sour. The former is at work in these low FODMAP quinoa and courgette fritters.

So I give you this banana and cinnamon loaf, whose sweetness and spiced flavour doesn’t attempt to beat the buckwheat, but instead works with it, so that the best parts of both ingredients come through in every heavenly bite.

Banana and cinnamon buckwheat bread

you will need:

110g coconut oil / butter (melted)
160g brown sugar
4 x bananas, preferably ripe (but if not just mash with a fork until they change their minds)
4 x tbsp almond milk
1 x egg
1 x tsp vanilla paste
275g buckwheat flour (another grain-free flour would work)
1 x tbsp cinnamon
1 x tsp baking powder
1/2 x tsp bicarbonate of soda

METHOD:

Preheat your oven to 180C. This is going to be very easy.

Get that coconut oil / butter melting somewhere. Take one large bowl, and add all your dry ingredients to it. Once the fat has melted, add it along with all your other liquid ingredients to the bowl. Fold the mixture until combined.

If yours was anything like mine, the mixture is quite wet, so I didn’t need to grease or line my loaf tin. Take a call, and then pour! Pop into the oven for 50 minutes, checking after the first 15 that it isn’t catching. After 20 minutes I had to put some foil over to allow the rest to cook.

Take out, allow to cool and make sure you cut yourself a slice while it’s still warm. Delicious slathered in butter,  or with this raspberry chia jam.

Banana and cinnamon buckwheat bread with chia raspberry jam

Raspberry chia jam

raspberry chia jam

This is one of those ‘why-didn’t-I-make-this-BEFORE’ recipes (if like me you have chia seeds in the cupboard that you feel guilty about not using very much).

This jam has a fraction of the sugar content you’ll find in most jams – and because of this, it actually tastes like raspberry. It’s delicious, I’ve been finding excuses to incorporate it into my food all day.

Banana and cinnamon buckwheat bread with raspberry chia jam

Banana and cinnamon buckwheat bread with raspberry chia jam

you will need:

150g frozen raspberries / or any other low FODMAP berry (could use fresh)
1 x tbsp maple syrup
1 x tsp vanilla paste
2.5 x tbsp chia seeds

method:

If using frozen berries, pop in a bowl with a little boiling water and break up with a fork so that they’re a little bit mushy with some liquid in the bottom. Combine your berries, maple syrup and vanilla paste in a food processor or blender and whiz up into a fine, smoothie like texture.

Add your chia seeds, and stir through. Pop in the fridge, stirring every fifteen minutes or so. After about half an hour the jam will be set and you can enjoy it on this banana and cinnamon buckwheat bread, in your porridge, with your ice cream, your yoghurt… everywhere! Guilt free and gorgeous.

This will keep for 4 days in the fridge, so you have every excuse to have an extra spoonful!

 

Mediterranean style lemon chicken salad

Mediterranean style lemon chicken salad

Ask a British person what their favourite thing about the winter is and I guarantee you, Sunday roasts will rank highly on their list.

One of my favourite things about a Sunday roast is the mileage you can get out of one meal. You can’t beat a roast chicken for value. A lot of people complain about the price of a whole free range chicken these days, and it’s true that they’re not cheap, however by using all of the meat and then making chicken stock, one bird will provide you with many a meal.

This recipe from Madeleine Shaw is one that works particularly well. Fantastic on a Monday, it’s a refreshing, salty, zesty salad to cut through the richness of a roast and all the other weekend naughtiness.

you will need:

for the salad:
a good handful of cooked chicken breast
two handfuls of iceberg and any other lettuce – I really like the bitterness of chicory
2 x tbsp green olives
1 x tbsp pine nuts, toasted

for the dressing:
zest of half a lemon
garlic oil
2 x tbsp plain yoghurt (I use goat’s milk yoghurt as it doesn’t contain any lactose)

method:

Place your chicken and salad leaves onto a plate. While your pine nuts are toasting in a dry pan, make the yoghurt dressing. Mix together your yoghurt, lemon zest and garlic oil in a bowl. Stir well.

Add the olives and toasted pine nuts to the salad, followed by your dressing. I actually think the goat’s milk yoghurt works well with the lemon, but if it isn’t to your taste, 2 tablespoons of regular yoghurt is low FODMAP too.

Mediterranean style lemon chicken salad

Courgette and quinoa fritters

Quinoa courgette fritters

Crunchy, filling and a little bit naughty … find me somebody who doesn’t love a fritter.

These beauties, formed from courgette and quinoa, are all of the above, and require a lot less effort than you might think. If you remember to put your quinoa on to cook while you prep the rest of the ingredients, they’ll be ready in a flash.

you will need (makes 6 fritters):

125g quinoa
1 x courgette (grated)
3 x spring onions (finely sliced, green parts only)
2 x tbsp garlic oil
2 x eggs (beaten)
zest of 1 lime
30g buckwheat flour (or any other GF flour)
half a block of feta (chopped)

method:

First get your quinoa on to boil. You can cook it either in boiling water, or in some low FODMAP stock for a really delicious base.

While it’s bubbling away, throw your spring onions, eggs, feta, lime zest and flour into a bowl. On a plate, grate the courgette and then roll the gratings in some kitchen towel to blot away any water. This is important, as you want your fritters to hold their shape and that won’t happen if they get soggy.

When your quinoa is cooked, drain it, allow to cool and add to the mixture. If your mixture is too dry you can add another egg. If too wet, sieve in some more flour.

Pop a large pan on a high heat, and add your garlic oil:  it’s time to fry your fritters! Everyone has their own way of doing this part, but I think the easiest way is to scoop a good sized portion of the mix straight into the pan with a spoon, using a spatula immediately to flatten and shape it. I fry three at a time, for 3-4 minutes on each side. Once the first side is done, you might find they hold their shape really well and you can flip them without too much trouble. For me, my first batch was very co-operative, while the second had to be turned into (a very delicious) Plan B: a kind of quinoa bubble and squeak.

If you do manage to escape with fully formed fritters however, they are really tasty on their own, in a gluten free bun, or on a bed of fresh rocket. Definitely one to revisit come summer BBQ season too.

corguette and quinoa fritters