Healthy Christmas

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CHICKEN BREASTS STUFFED WITH PESTO, SUN-DRIED TOMATOES & FETA CHEESE

Preparation time: 20 mins + 45 mins cooking time

Serves: 6

Ingredients

· 6 x 6oz. portions of skinless, boneless chicken fillets

· Olive oil and crushed garlic for marinating (or chicken spice if preferred)

· 250g Feta cheese, chopped

· 1 small jar basil pesto

· 6 sundried tomatoes, chopped

· ¼ teaspoon salt

· ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Preparation

1. Rub chicken breasts with olive oil and garlic and leave for 30 minutes, or overnight.

2. Preheat oven or grill to 450°F/220°C.

3. Cut a pocket into each chicken fillet.

4. Divide and spread filling evenly into chicken breasts.

5. Secure with toothpicks if necessary to hold the chicken closed.

6. Season with salt and pepper.

7. Place chicken in a baking dish.

8. Bake for 10 minutes, turn over and bake for 8-10 mins more, or until juices run clear when stabbed.

9. Or grill for about 5 minutes each side, until juices run clear and the chicken is no longer pink inside.

 

BURGERS WITH SUN-DRIED TOMATOES AND BLUE CHEESE, AND ZUCCHINI ROSTIS

Preparation time: 15 mins + 40 mins cooking time

Serves: 6

Ingredients

· 1lb/500g lean mince, e.g. chicken

· ¼ cup/62.5ml diced sun-dried tomatoes

· 2 oz/60g blue or feta cheese (optional)

· ¼ tsp/1ml Himalayan rock salt or sea salt

· Freshly ground black pepper

· 2 tsp/10ml chopped fresh herbs such as oreganum, marjoram, thyme or lemon thyme

· 4 large Portabello mushrooms OR

For the Rostis:

· 4 cups/1L grated zucchini

· 1 -2 eggs

· Salt & pepper to taste

· 4 oz/120g grated Cheddar cheese

For the Avocado topping:

· 1 large or 2 small avocadoes

· Salt & pepper to taste

Preparation

1. Mix all of the ingredients together.

2. Divide into palm-sized balls, flatten and refrigerate for 30 mins firm up.

3. Fry in 1-2 Tbsp olive or coconut oi, or grill at 400º/200ºC for 3-5 minutes on each side.

4. Grill Portobello mushrooms or make rostis to go under the burger patties.

5. Mash avo and season with salt and pepper to taste.

6. To make röstis: grate zucchini, sprinkle with salt and place in a sieve to drain some of the liquid. Mix with enough egg to bind, and cheese. Use mixture immediately or it becomes watery. Gently fry or grill for 2-3 mins and place under patties. They will break easily as there is no flour to bind them together.

7. Place a rösti on each plate and top with a patty.

8. Top patties with avo and cherry tomatoes if desired.

9. Serve immediately.

 

MARINATED GOATS’ CHEESE

Serves: 4

Ingredients

· 6 thick slices mild goats’ cheese

· ½ cup/125ml extra virgin olive oil

· ½ cup/125ml balsamic vinegar

· 1 large clove garlic, crushed

· To taste: honey, mustard, fresh herbs

Preparation

1. Combine ingredients for marinade and taste. Adjust if necessary.

2. Marinate goats’ cheese for at least 1 hour, or overnight, or the flavour when it is heated will be unpleasant.

3. Grill or roast until it just starts bubbling.

4. Serve with roasted veg or on a bed of rocket, with salad.

 

SWEET POTATOES STUFFED WITH CRANBERRY AND WALNUT QUINOA

Preparation time: 15 mins + 40 mins cooking time

Serves: 6

Ingredients

· 3 large sweet potatoes

· 1 cup/250ml dry quinoa

· 2-3 cups boiling water

· ¼ block vegetable stock cube

· ½ cup/125 ml coarsely chopped dried cranberries

· ½ cup/125ml coarsely chopped walnuts

· Fresh herbs to taste

Preparation

1. Heat oven to 350°F/180°C.

2. Scrub sweet potatoes and prick with a fork to prevent them exploding.

3. Bake sweet potatoes for 45-60 mins until soft.

4. Set aside until cool enough to handle.

5. Cook quinoa with water and stock cube, according to instructions on the packet. (Different brands need different amounts of water and different cooking times.)

6. Cut sweet potatoes in half and scoop out some of the flesh.

7. Toss all ingredients together and pile into sweet potato halves.

8. Top with a little grated cheese, blue cheese or goats’ cheese if desired.

9. Bake for 10-15 mins until heated through.

VEGETARIAN SPAGHETTI BOLOGNAISE

Serves 4

Ingredients

· 1 tbsp/15ml coconut or olive oil

· 1 large onion, finely chopped

· 1 large clove garlic, crushed

· 1 x 20 oz./570g (14 oz./400g drained weight) cooked lentils

· 1 x 14 oz./400g can chopped tomatoes

· 2 tbsp/30ml tomato paste

· 1 tsp/5ml Marmite or soy sauce

· 1 tbsp/15ml chopped fresh herbs, e.g. oregano, tarragon, thyme

· 4 large zucchini, spiralised

· Parmesan cheese for serving

Preparation

1. Heat the oil and fry the onion and garlic.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the herbs and zucchini.

3. Simmer slowly for 30 mins. Add herbs.

4. This sauce improves on standing, so make a day ahead and refrigerate.

5. Steam or microwave spiralised zucchini for 2-3 minutes. Serve with piping hot sauce and Parmesan cheese.

 

COBB SALAD

Serves 3-4

Ingredients

· Mixed salad greens

· 1 small zucchini or peeled cucumber, diced

· 3 large hard-boiled eggs, diced

· 2 medium ripe tomatoes, diced

· 4.4 oz/125g blue cheese, diced

· ¼ lb/125g smoked turkey or chicken breast, diced

· Herb vinaigrette: 3 parts olive oil to 1 part vinegar; chopped fresh herbs; salt & pepper to taste

Preparation

1. Place salad greens on one large plate or 4 smaller ones.

2. Combine all other ingredients and toss lightly.

3. Place on the salad greens and serve with herb vinaigrette.

 

WALDORF SALAD

Serves: 4

Ingredients

· 8 Tbsp/120ml Greek yoghurt

· Salt & pepper to taste

· 2 Granny Smith apples, cored and chopped

· 1 cup/250ml red seedless grapes, sliced in half (or ¼ cup/62.5ml raisins)

· 1 cup/250ml celery, thinly sliced

· 1 cup/250ml chopped walnuts

· 2 oz./50g mature Cheddar cheese

· Iceberg lettuce, torn

Preparation

1. Combine yoghurt with salt and pepper to taste.

2. Combine all the rest of the ingredients.

3. Toss with the dressing and serve immediately.

 

 

BABY SPINACH, GOATS’ CHEESE AND SUNDRIED TOMATO SALAD

Serves 4

Ingredients

· 1 packet baby spinach leaves

· 10 oz./250g goats’ cheese, thickly sliced

· 10 oz./250g lean ham, coarsely diced or sliced

· ½cup/125ml chopped sundried tomatoes

· 2 small green onions, thinly sliced

· 6 radishes, thinly sliced

· 8 olives (optional)

For the dressing:

· 6 tbsp/90ml extra-virgin olive oil

· 2 tbsp/30ml balsamic vinegar

· 2 tsp/10ml Dijon mustard

· Coarse salt and ground pepper to taste

Preparation

1. Place the spinach leaves on 4 plates.

2. Top with rounds of cheese.

3. Sprinkle with ham, tomatoes, onions, radishes and olives.

4. Combine the ingredients for the dressing and drizzle over the salad.

5. Serve.

VARIATIONS

o Blue or other strong cheese can replace the goats’ cheese.

o Diced green, red and yellow pepper can be added for colour.

 

 

LEMON-GARLIC BROCCOLI & CAULIFLOWER

Serves 6

Ingredients

· 1 head cauliflower, cut up

· 1 head broccoli, cut up

For the dressing:

· 6 tbsp/90ml extra-virgin olive oil

· 2 tbsp/30ml fresh lemon juice

· 1 large clove garlic, crushed (roast or fry it first if preferred)

· salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

1. Steam the cauliflower and broccoli.

2. Combine the ingredients for the dressing.

3. Toss dressing with the vegetables and serve immediately

BLUE CHEESE & BALSAMIC DIP

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

· 6 oz./170g blue cheese

· 1 cup/250ml extra-virgin olive oil

· ¼ cup/62.5ml balsamic vinegar (or more to taste)

· salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

1. Blend all ingredients well with an electric blender.

2. Adjust seasonings to taste.

3. Serve with crudités.

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