Tag Archives: healthy

Two Pan Chicken with Harissa, Preserved Lemons + Green Olives

This is a recipe for my husband as I’m a pescatarian, here are his thoughts: I liked the taste of the harissa, the dressing was very good and overall it had a well balanced combination of flavours. You have to be organised to make this as you need to leave it to marinate, which is annoying. It was a laborious process and it didn’t taste amazing, so wasn’t worth the hard work so I probably wouldn’t make it again. The harissa sauce would also work well with fish. This recipe is dairy free, wheat free, gluten free and sugar free and is from Gwyneth Paltrow’s “It’s All Good”.

Serves 4

  • 1/4 cup harissa paste
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt
  • 1 deboned 3-4lb chicken with the skin intact.
  • 1 perserved lemon, sliced
  • A handful of pitted green olives (about 2/3 cup) roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano, finely chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons high quality raw honey (optional)

In a small bowl mix together the harissa with 1/4 cup of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of salt. Put the chicken in a baking dish or a large, shallow bowl. Use your fingers to gently make space between the chicken skin and the meat (including the legs). Rub half the harissa mixture underneath the skin on the entire bird. Do your best not to tear the skin. Rub the rest of the paste all over both sides of the chicken.

Cover the dish with plastic wrap and set the chicken in the fridge for a few hours, preferably overnight and even up to 2 days.

When you’re ready to cook, take the chicken out of the fridge and let it warm to room temperature. meanwhile preheat the oven to 200 C and put one cast-iron pan in the oven to get hot. Set the other pan over a high heat on the stovetop and add a few glugs of olive oil (about 1/4 cup). Carefully place the chicken, skin side down, in the hot pan. Let the chicken cook until the skin begins to brown (about 5 minutes). Carefully take the hot pan out of the oven and brush the bottom of it with a spoonful of olive oil or spray it with cooking spray. Set the hot oiled skilled on top of the chicken. Very carefully set the whole thing in the oven and roast for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile combine the preserved lemon with the olives and oregano in a small bowl. Stir in a hit of extra virgin olive oil (about 2 tablespoons). a large pinch of coarse salt and a few grinds of pepper. Set the mixture aside which the chicken is in the oven.

After 20 minutes, very carefully remove the chicken and the pans from the oven. Set the top pan aside, move the chicken to a board and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes to let the juices evenly distribute themselves. After it’s rested cut the chicken into pieces and serve immediately, topped with the preserved lemon mixture. If you’d like a sweet note serve it with a little raw honey too.

Sesame Seed Salmon Tahini Avocado & Shred Salad

I love that there are so many different components to this dish. The salmon is really smooth and the sesame seeds give it a nice fuller taste. The avocado and tahini is especially yummy, gold star! The noodles taste really good too. The beetroot is nice, the carrot tastes good, the cress is pretty standard, I wasn’t so keen on the cucumber but if you mix it with some the nicer stuff like the salmon, avocado or noodles it tastes a lot better. This dish is so healthy and fresh you feel like it’s cleaning and purifying you as you eat it. It tastes like it’s packed full of vitamins. This meal provides you with an amazing three of your 5 a day and the salmon is rich in vitamin D which we need for absorbing calcium, keeping our bones and teeth healthy. This recipe is wheat free, gluten free, sugar free and dairy free and is from  Jamie Oliver’s “Everyday Super Food”.

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves 2


  • 150g brown rice noodles
  • 2 limes
  • 2X 100g fillets of salmon, skin on, scaled and pin boned
  • 4 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 4 teaspoons of tahini
  • 8cm piece of cucumber
  • 2 small carrots
  • 2 raw baby beetroots
  • 1 punnet of cress
  • 1 avocado
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2-1 red chilli
  • 2 sprigs of fresh coriander

Cook the noodles according the the instructions on the packet, then drain and toss in a small squeeze of lime juice. Carefully slice each of the salmon fillets lengthways into three. Scatter the sesame seeds over a board and press one side of the salmon slices into the seeds to form a crust. Place a large dry non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and once hot add the salmon, sesame side down. Leave for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden flip over and cook for 1 more minute then remove from the heat.

Peel the garlic and pound into a paste with a pinch of sea salt in a pestle and mortar then muddle in the tahini, the remaining lime juice and a splash of water to make the dressing. Use a box grater to coarsely grate the cucumber, carrots and beetroot, keeping them in separate piles. Snip and divide up the cress, then divide up the noodles.

Halve, peel and destone the avocado then pour the dressing into the hole and add a few drips of oil. Lay the salmon alongside, then finely slice the chilli and scatter the coriander leaves over.

Crispy Sea Bass Pea Mint & Asparagus Mash

This is super delicious, the lemon zest on the sea bass makes it taste incredible and the skin is really nice and crispy & normally I hate the skin. The salad is delicious, the simplicity of it and the lemon makes it out of this world. The lash is lovely and comforting. This whole dish tastes better than restaurant food, feels like the meal is full of vegetables. I really like the combo of having raw and cooked food. This meal has two portions of your five a day, and the sea bass is super high in vitamin B12 which we need for making red blood cells. This recipe is from Jamie Oliver’s “Everyday Super Food” and is wheat free, gluten free and sugar free.

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves 2


  • 300g potatoes
  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 100g freshly podded peas
  • 1 bunch of fresh mint
  • 1 red chilli
  • 2 handfuls of baby spinach
  • 40g strong Cheddar cheese
  • 2X 120g sea bass fillets, skin on, scaled, scored and pin-boned
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 lemons

Wash the potatoes, chop into 3cm chunks and put into a medium pan of boiling salted water for 10 minutes. Meanwhile trim the woody ends off the asparagus. holding the stalk ends stead, speed-peel 4 asparagus spears into ribbons, then put into a bowl with a small handful of the peas. Pick in just the pretty baby mint leaves, finely slice and add the chilli then put aside.

Add the remaining asparagus spears and peas to the potato pan to cook for 3 minutes, then drain it all in a colander, steam dry for 1 minute and put into a food processor. Pick in the rest of the meat leaves and spinach. Grate the Cheddar then pulse to the consistency you like. Have a taste and then season.

Meanwhile sprinkle the skin of the fish with sea salt and rub all over with 1 teaspoon of oil. Place the fillets skin side down in a cold non-stick frying pan and turn the heat to medium-high. Finely grate over the lemon zest, cover with a scrunched sheet of wet greaseproof paper and cook for around 5 minutes.

Divide up the mash next to the crispy sea bass, skin side up. Toss the raw peas and asparagus ribbons with the juice from 1 lemon and 1 teaspoon of oil, then pile delicately on top. Serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over.

Vegeree Not Kedgeree

The tomatoes were my favourite part of this meal, the rest wasn’t amazing, although my husband enjoyed it. It wasn’t disgusting but I didn’t love it and I probably wouldn’t have it again. That being said it tasted really hearty and I’m sure it did me a world of good. This recipe contains 2 portions of vegetables and the egg provides a good source of protein. This recipe is from Jamie Oliver’s “Everyday Super Food” and is wheat free, gluten free, sugar free and dairy free if you omit the yoghurt and is suitable for vegetarians.

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves 2


  • 150g brown basmati rice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 chestnut mushrooms
  • 3cm piece of ginger
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh coriander
  • 2 spring onions
  • olive oil
  • medium curry powder (I used mild)
  • 100g ripe cherry tomatoes
  • 100g frozen peas
  • 100g baby spinach
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 heaped tablespoons fat free natural yoghurt (I cut this out)

Cook the rice in a pan of boiling salted water according to the packet instructions, then add the eggs to the pan to soft boil for the last 6 minutes. You can tell by the picture that I messed the eggs up).

Meanwhile place a large non stick frying pan on a medium-high heat. Quarter the mushrooms and put in the dry pan, stirring occasionally, while you peel the ginger and deseed the chilli. Saving a few slices of chilli for garnish, finely chop the rest with the ginger, half the coriander leaves and all the stalks. Trim and slice the spring onions. Push the mushrooms to one side of the pan then add 1 tablespoon of oil, the chopped ginger, chilli, coriander and spring onions and 1 1/2 heaped teaspoons of curry powder. Stir fry for 2 minutes, while you halve and add the tomatoes, followed by the peas and spinach. Drain and add the rice. Toss, stir regularly and fry for 4 minutes, then squeeze in half the lemon juice and season.

Briefly hold the eggs under old running water until cool enough to handle, then peel, halve and dote in around the vegeree. Spoon over the yoghurt, sprinkle with the reserved chilli and coriander leaves, add an extra pinch of curry powder and serve with lemon pieces for squeezing over.

Multi Vegetable Paella

This recipe is really tasty and filling, I especially love the olives. This meal is wheat free, gluten free and dairy free and is suitable for vegetarians or vegans and if you omit the sherry those following a detox. This is from Yotam Ottolenghi’s “Plenty”.

Makes 2 servings

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 Spanish onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small red and 1 small yellow pepper cut into strips
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 150g Calasparra rice
  • 100ml good quality medium sherry (I didn’t add this)
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 450ml boiling vegetable stock
  • 200g shelled broad beans
  • 12 mini plum tomatoes, halved
  • 5 small grilled artichokes in oil from a jar, drained and quartered
  • 15 pitted kalamata olives, crushed or halved
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped parsley
  • 4 lemon wedges
  • Salt

Heat up the olive oil in a paella pan, or a large shallow frying pan and gently fry the onion for 5 minutes. Add the peppers and fennel and continue to fry on a medium heat for about 6 minutes or until soft and golden. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.

Add the bay leaves, paprika, turmeric and cayenne to the vegetables and stir well. Then add the rice and stir thoroughly for 2 minutes before adding the sherry and saffron. Boil down for a minute then add the stock and 1/3 teaspoon salt. Reduce the heat to the minimum and simmer very gently for about 20 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. Do not cover the pan and don’t stir the rice during the cooking.

Meanwhile, pour plenty of boiling water over the broad beans in a bowl and leave for a minute, then drain well and leave to cook down. Now squeeze each bean gently to remove the skin and discard it.

Remove the paella pan from the heat. Taste and add more salt if needed but without stirring the rice and vegetables much. Scatter the tomatoes, artichokes and broad beans over the rice and cover the pan tightly with foil. Leave to rest for 10 minutes.

Take off the foil. Scatter the olives on top of the paella and sprinkle with parsley. Serve with wedges of lemon.

Gwyneth Paltrow It’s All Easy


This is the follow up to the best recipe book I’ve ever tried- It’s All Good, which follows similar principals in that it’s healthy but doesn’t stick as ridgedly to Dr Junger’s Clean programme as much as many of the recipes include sugar, dairy and wheat. The It’s All Easy element is that all these recipes can be made in under 30 minutes.

Here are the recipes including a review of each one I’ve tried. I’ll update this as and when I try more recipes from the book.

Favourite Recipes


Scrambled Eggs with Parmean and Rocket

Spring Veggie Avocado Toast


Pan Bagnat


Socca Pizzas

Za’atar Roasted Carrot and Avocado

Recipes that I wasn’t personally keen on

Singapore Rice Noodles

Mexican Bean Bake with Rye Crumb Topping

img_5933This tastes hugely healthy, I love the warm tomatoey taste and the bread crumbs make it extra delicious and moreish. The beans provide a good source of protein, carbohydrate, zinc, magnesium and iron. The peppers are rich in vitamin C, in fact one serving of this dish will meet your daily requirement for this and the passata is rich in lycopene. I don’t think it is an entire meal in itself, you’d need something else with it like a protein or grains or a sweet potato. This recipe is wheat free, gluten free, dairy free and sugar free and is suitable for vegetarians, vegans and those following a detox. This recipe is from Carol Vorderman’s “Detox Recipes

Makes 4 servings

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and diced
  • 1 green pepper, deseeded and diced
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 450ml passata
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 420g tinned red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 420g tinned pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 60g fresh rye bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 200C/ 400F/ Gas mark 6.

Heat the olive oil in a large pan, add the onion, garlic and peppers and cook over a moderate heat for 5 minutes.

Add the herbs, passata, stock cube and beans. Bring to the boil, stirring and then simmer for 10-15 minutes. Stir in the fresh parsley.

Spoon the bean mixture into a baking dish then sprinkle over the bread crumbs.

Bake uncovered for 15 minutes until the breadcrumbs are crispy and golden, or heat under a hot grill for 4-5 minutes.