The winter coats have been bought, the scarves are almost permanently attached to our necks and the shops are playing Christmas songs; winter really is here. What better way to make us feel all warm and cosy then than some winter warmer recipes? Whether you’re pre-toxing for the festive season, need something quick and easy or just want some good, wholesome food, I wrote some tasty suggestions for Girls Talk London, you can check them out by clicking on the picture below.
Fish Pie with Cauliflower Mash
Comfort food at its best, but lower in calories and with extra vegetables. When I made this for my family they didn’t even notice I’d made the swaps!
700g cauliflower, ½ a fish stock cube
500g cauliflower, 700ml fish stock
800g mixed sustainable fish (cod, haddock, salmon, prawns etc.)
200g Frozen peas
1 tsp. dill
1 tsp parsley
Preheat the oven to 180˚c.
Place the fish in a pan with the milk and herbs, and simmer until the fish is cooked through (about 7-10 minutes).
Meanwhile boil the cauliflower potions in two separate saucepans. In the one with 500g, use 700ml fish stock using one stock cube. Use water for the other pan.
To make the creamy sauce, blend the cooked cauliflower with the stock to make a smooth sauce. Add the reserved milk to the sauce then reduce down to a thicker consistency.
Strain the used milk into a jug (you’ll need this later), place the fish into an ovenproof dish, and scatter over the peas. Pour over the creamy cauliflower sauce.
Drain the other pan of cauliflower, crumble in half a stock cube, then mash as you would potatoes.
Spoon the mash over the top of the fish, pea and sauce mix.
Bake for 20-25 mins or until piping hot throughout.
Makes 4 small-med pasties or two large for extra hungry people.
I would call this a healthy Cornish Pasty but of course the name is protected. I don’t believe hearty indulgent food has to be unhealthy. So I reinvented the pasty to replace white flour in the pastry with nutritious ground nuts and flaxseeds, and made sure there were plenty of vegetables in the filling.
For the flax and almond shortcrust ‘pastry’:
200g ground almonds
100g ground flax seeds
1 egg (1/2 for pastry mix, ½ for glazing)
For the filling:
150g beef skirt or chuck steak, finely chopped
1/2 an onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled, and diced
75g swede, peeled, diced
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. rosemary
Salt & pepper
Preheat the oven 220˚c.
Rub the butter with the ground almonds & flax, plus half the egg to make dough, then wrap it in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Mix all the filling ingredients together in a bowl.
Divide the pastry into four balls.
Sprinkle flour on a sheet of baking paper, place a ball in the middle of it, place another sheet of paper on top, then using a rolling pin over the top sheet to roll the ball into an oval shape.
Remove the top sheet of paper, place ¼ filling mix onto half pastry, and use the underside sheet of paper to help fold pastry over, before pressing the pastry edges down to seal.
Repeat with the other 3 pasties, then place them on baking trays lined with greaseproof paper.
Brush the pasties with the remaining egg.
Bake for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 180˚c, then bake for a further 45 minutes.
Quinoa Mac n’ Cheese
Quick, tasty, filling, and more nutritious than using white pasta. Quinoa is a ‘complete’ protein which makes it great for vegetarians to make sure they’re meeting their protein requirements. You can’t argue with three ingredients!
120g uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
115g cheese of your choice (I used cheddar), plus extra for grilling
1/2 cup milk
Rinse the quinoa in a sieve as per packet instructions and put in a saucepan with 500ml water
Bring the water to boil & simmer until all the water absorbed and the quinoa is cooked
Grate the cheese. When the quinoa is cooked add the milk cheese to the saucepan and mix well.
Simmer for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thick & creamy. Meanwhile heat a grill to medium.
Pour the cheesy quinoa into an ovenproof dish, top with extra grated cheese, and grill for 3-4 minutes until melted and bubbly
Serve with frozen peas, or your choice of vegetables.