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  • Susanne

New Year - healthy food?

Isn't it funny how we all think about eating less after having crammed a whole lot of good food into ourselves over the holidays? Well, you can combine taste and healthy food, so your taste buds don't have to suffer...

And, in my case, portion control and less sweets would already go a long way, do you know that problem, too?

So here three simple, yummy, filling recipes if you want to have some leaner food this month - one for meat-eaters, one veggie option and a fish dish:

Chicken Vegetable Tray Bake - gives you all your 5 a day in one go and tastes delicious and one portion only has 698 calories:

This enough for 4 adults:

  • 500g Butternut Squash

  • 3 medium sized shallots

  • 1 large leek

  • 4 medium sized carrots

  • 1 large or two medium sized courgettes

  • 1 whole garlic bulb

  • 6-8 chicken thighs

  • 200g curly kale

  • 1 garlic clove

  • 50g pistachio kernels

  • 25g Parmesan

  • juice from a lime

  • olive oil

How to make it:

Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees.

Peel and cut the squash, cut into thin slices, peel and halve the shallots, cut washed leeks into lengths and halve them, cut peeled carrots into long batons and do the same with the washed courgettes.

Please all the vegetables into a large roasting tin with a generous splash of olive oil and mix well so the veg gets a good coating.

Add the whole garlic bulb by breaking each clove off an cutting into half and then scattering them over the veg.

Add the chicken thighs, season well and place the dish in the oven for about 45 mins.

While the food is roasting make the pesto: chop the washed kale roughly and whizz it in your food blender with the crushed garlic clove and the pistachio kernels (I prefer them lightly toasted, but you can leave this off if it's too much hassle) until it's a smooth mix. Now add the parmesan, the lime juice and about 50-60ml olive oil and whizz again until it's a nice pesto.

Serve the chicken bake with the pesto liberally spooned over it and enjoy this hearty healthy meal.

Open Smoked Salmon and Potato Pie - lovely winter warmer with only 508 calories per portion:

This is enough for 4 people:

  • 375g pack of light short-crust pastry

  • 400g small spuds

  • 100ml crème fraîche

  • 150ml milk

  • 2 large eggs

  • bunch of spring onions

  • pack of smoked salmon (around 200g)

  • olive oil

  • salad to eat with it of your choice

How to make it:

Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees.

Roll out the pastry to fit your pie dish (should be around 20-25cm in diameter and at least 5 cm deep), line the oiled dish with the pastry and prick the base with a fork several times all over. Bake the base with baking beans (or another dish on top of the pastry fitting into your pie dish to keep it from rising) on baking parchment to prevent stuff sticking to it.

Meanwhile peel, slice and boil the potatoes for about 15 mins until nearly soft, drain and leave to cool.

In a bowl whisk together the eggs, the crème fraîche, the milk and the roughly chopped spring onions, season well.

Once the pastry base comes out of the oven, distribute the potato slices around the base, pour over the liquid and scatter torn pieces of the salmon evenly over the dish.

Bake it for about half an hour until the liquid is set, but not yet brown. Then take it out of the oven and leave to cool for 5-10 minutes while you're making your salad to go with it.

Now sit down with nice people, tuck in and enjoy this yummy dish.

And finally the veggie option for you:

Open Leek and Sweet Potato Pie - tasty comfort food at 523 per serving:

What you need for 6 adults:

  • Olive oil

  • 2 large leeks

  • 2 large sweet potatoes

  • 1 teaspoon of chilli flakes

  • 1 teaspoon of Nigella seeds

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 150g Ricotta

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 lemon

  • 100g curly kale/cavolo nero

  • 3 tablespoon of chopped parsley

  • 12 sheets of filo pastry

How to make it:

Use a large stainless steel frying pan that can go in the oven later and heat a few tablespoons of olive oil, in which you will fry the sliced leek with a pinch of salt until they start to wilt.

Add the peeled and chopped into small cubes sweet potato and cover to let the veg fry for around 10-15 mins till soft.

Add the chilli flakes, the Nigella seeds and the crushed garlic. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a separate bowl whisk together the Ricotta, the eggs, the zest of the lemon as well as the pasrley. Add the finely shredded greens and once coated carefully fold the sweet potato leek mix into it as well.

Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees and oil your pan again, then layer the 12 filo sheets in a floral pattern so that each sheet is at a slightly different angle and all of them cover the pan overhanging on the rim.

Brush the individual sheets with a bit of olive oil and then pour the veggie mixture into the centre, spread it out evenly and fold the pastry sheets over the stuffing leaving the centre 'open'.

Brush the sheets with oil and first cook the pie over a medium heat on the stove for 4/5 mins before transferring it to bake to the oven for another 15 mins until the top is golden and crisp.

Let the pie cool for about 5-10 mins before slicing it and serving it as a yummy meal.

Hope you'll enjoy one/all of these dishes! Happy January.

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