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Alex Allan Nutrition
By Alex on 01/05/21 | Recipes


 

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 fillets cod or other white fish

  • 2 packets Merchant Gourmet pre-prepared Puy lentils

  • 1 large bulb fennel

  • 2 red peppers

  • 3 small leeks

  • 2 tbsp Rose Harissa paste

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 bag baby leaf spinach


Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

  2. Chop the vegetables into bite-sized chunks and scatter in an oven tray, drizzle with olive oil and season. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes or until starting to caramelise.

  3. Remove veg from oven, stir through the Puy lentils and the Harissa paste. Return to the oven.

  4. Now, pan fry the cod in olive oil for a couple of minutes each side until the fish is fully cooked through. The lentils and veg will now be ready too.

  5. Serve with the baby spinach at the bottom of the bowl, topped with the spicy lentils and veg, and top with the pan-fried cod. Dinner in less than 30 minutes!

By Alex on 01/04/21 | Recipes

Blood Orange and Almond Cake

This is a delicious, moist cake, which works perfectly as a dessert or treat for guests. Both gluten and dairy-free, but you would not notice! 

Blood oranges are rich in antioxidants, which help reduce the stress of oxidation and lower your risk of chronic health problems like cancerheart disease, and diabetes.  Due their fantastic pigment, they have 9 x the antioxidant capacity of Navel oranges, as well as 3 x the polyphenol content.

Oh, and they are really tasty!

Ingredients

3 medium blood oranges

6 eggs, separated

150g honey

265g ground almonds

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp ground cardamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

4-6 tbsp flaked almonds

Pinch salt

Serves 8-10

23cm springform tin, greased and lined

Method

  • Wash the oranges and put in a pan. Cover fully with water and bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 2 hours or until very soft. Watch the water level. Drain and leave to cool completely.

  • Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees fan / 180 degrees normal.

  • Chop up the oranges, remove any seeds, and put the rest into the blender (skin and all). Blitz to a puree and put to one side.

  • In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.

  • In another bowl, beat the egg yolks with the honey and vanilla essence until fully combined. Stir in the pureed oranges.

  • Fold in the ground almonds, ground cardamon, pinch of salt and baking powder.

  • Gently fold in a couple of spoonfuls of the egg whites, before then folding in the rest of the egg whites.

  • Pour the batter into the prepared tin. Sprinkle with the flaked almonds. Bake for 60 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. If the cake starts to brown too quickly then cover with foil for the remaining time.

  • Allow the cake to cool in the tin for at least 30 minutes as it will be too fragile to remove at this point.

  • Leave to cool completely on a wire rack. Serve in slices with whole Greek yoghurt.

By Alex on 20/03/21 | Recipes

INSTANT KIMCHI

This is a popular, spicy condiment that can be used in a variety of way – side dish to a curry, stir-fry or salad, as an element of a sandwich or wrap, or to spice up any dishes that need it.

It’s also a great way to get some of the delicious Hisby cabbage into your diet! Slightly sweeter than your traditional cabbage, it is sometimes known as sweetheart cabbage or pointed cabbage. Cabbage is part of the Brassica family and as such is a superhero in the nutrition world! Rich in vitamins K, C and folate, it also packs a fantastic fibre punch. Cabbage is excellent for gut health – the soluble fibre it contains make a great meal for the microbes in our gut, which in turn keep us healthy. And it is fantastic for hormone health.

Ingredients

1 Hisby or pointed cabbage

1 tbsp sea salt

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tbsp grated ginger (fresh or frozen)

2 tbsp chilli sauce (hot not sweet)

2 tbsp fish sauce or veggie fish sauce

1 tsp honey

3 tbsp rice wine vinegar (or white wine vinegar, if you don’t have this) 

2 carrots, grated

1 onion, finely sliced

Makes 1 x 1 litre jar

Method

  • Chop the cabbage into 1-inch slices, pop in a bowl and cover with 1 tbsp sea salt. Leave to sit for 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine the garlic, ginger, chilli sauce, fish sauce (if using), honey and vinegar into a bowl and whisk to mix thoroughly. Leave to stand for flavours to combine.
  • After an hour, transfer the cabbage to a colander and rinse thoroughly to remove the salty layer. Dry in a salad-stirrer or thoroughly with a clean tea-towel.
  • Tip the cabbage into the bowl with the sauce you made early and mix thoroughly, so all the leaves are covered in the paste.
  • Pop it into the jar. This can be used straight away as a side for a meal, or it will keep in the fridge for maximum a fortnight. The flavour will strengthen as time progresses.
  • Enjoy!

By Alex on 22/02/21 | Recipes

This is an easy recipe and can be made from store-cupboard items, so this is a great meal to have if you’re needing to go shopping. It also makes a regular appearance in our Friday night ‘fakeaways’ that we’ve been having – pairing this alongside a chickpea or prawn bhuna, plus some spiced quinoa and spinach makes a veritable feast. Plus, this is easy to freeze, so I often make a double batch and put some in the freezer for when I’m short on time at a later date. A winner on many levels!

If you’re new to legumes and pulses, red lentils are a good place to start. They’re quick and easy to cook, and they pack a nutritional punch.  Lentils are a great source of B vitamins, ironmagnesium, potassium and zinc. They're also full of fibre, which supports a healthy tum and provides food for our friendly bacteria. Eating lentils regularly has been seen to improve overall gut function. Plus, they’re delicious, and even the fussiest of eaters seems to get on well with their umami flavour.

Ingredients

1 tbsp ghee or 1 tbsp coconut oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 carrot, coarsely grated

3 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tsp cumin seeds

2 tsp black mustard seeds

1 level tbsp turmeric

250g split red lentils

350ml water

1 tin whole coconut milk

1 tin chopped tomatoes

2 tsp freshly grated ginger (or frozen grated ginger)

Seasoning

Chopped coriander to garnish (optional)

Serves 6

Method

  • In a large, deep pan heat the ghee or coconut oil and then gently sauté the onions until soft and golden
  • Add the grated carrot, crushed garlic and the whole spices. Stir and sauté until fragrant, approximately 5 mins on a gentle heat
  • Add the turmeric and stir to cover well, allowing to cook through for 1 min
  • Add in the lentils and stir to combine with the onion mix. Follow this with the water, coconut milk, chopped tomatoes and ginger. Stir well to combine. Season to taste
  • Bring to simmering point and then leave to cook on a gentle heat, uncovered for 30-40 mins until the lentils are soft and cooked. Note – this has a tendency to catch on the bottom, so stir frequently and add a little more water if required
  • When cooked test for seasoning. Serve with brown rice or quinoa, with a garnish of chopped coriander
  • Enjoy!

By Alex on 23/01/21 | Recipes

Rainbow Breakfast Smoothie

Following on from the newsletter this week, here’s a great way to incorporate rainbow foods into your day.

Ingredients

1 cup mixed frozen berries – raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, blackcurrants - Red Blue Purple

Couple handfuls of spinach - Green

1 satsuma, peeled - Orange 

1 inch ginger root, peeled and grated - Yellow 

200ml almond milk - White 

1 tbsp ground flaxseed - Tan Brown

1 tbsp chia seeds - Black

200ml filtered water (and more, if thinner consistency desired

Method

Put all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender and blitz until thick and smooth.

Pour into two glasses and add extra water until it’s the consistency you desire. Serve and enjoy!

By Alex on 19/12/20 | Recipes

This is a real family favourite, and one we come back to time and again. It's largely made from store cupboard items and common veg that I usually have in the fridge.  This is also a good recipe to make if you have veggie or vegan friends popping over, or to add in to your repertoire if you are thinking of trying out Veganuary.

Do have a look at my article 'Six Simple Steps for a Health Veganuary' if you are thinking of taking part next month.

You can adjust the spice level to whatever you prefer. My kids are just venturing in to more spicy foods, so we've moved to adding cayenne pepper.  But you can adjust as you see fit or leave it out entirely if you're not keen on hot foods - the cumin and paprika give it a lovely flavour.

Serves 4

2 onions, finely chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 stick celery, finely chopped

3 carrots, chopped

1 large courgette, chopped

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tbsp sweet smoked paprika

1 tsp chilli powder, whichever heat you prefer

2 tins chopped tomatoes

1 tin kidney beans, drained

1 tin black beans, drained

1 tin aduki beans, drained 

1 tbsp tomato puree

Seasoning to taste

  • Heat the oil gently in a large heavy based pan. Add the onions and sauté until soft.

  • Add the chopped carrots, courgette and celery. Stir to combine and cook gently.

  • Add the dried spices and crushed garlic, stir to combine well and heat until fragrant.

  • Add the chopped tomatoes and stir to combine. Add the drained beans and tomato puree, mix well.

  • Add seasoning to taste and let it simmer gently for 25-30 minutes. Keep stirring regularly so it doesn’t stick at the base.

  • Serve with wholegrain rice or quinoa.

 

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