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Nutrient-dense recipes to try this week

mushroom

Want to cut the calories and raise the fibre in potatoes and still have identical flavour? Get supermarket blueberries with loads more antioxidants that cost virtually half the price? Cook up carrots that are twice as phytonutrient dense and yet taste sweeter? All for less effort? A little kitchen science can do that!

Between the rush to keep up with the latest miracle ingredient, anxiety about E-numbers, and demonisation of gluten/dairy/sugar, many of us are left in a virtual panic in the supermarket aisle.

Botanist and broadcaster James Wong brings us some of his best recipes using commonly found ingredients from the supermarket from his new book How to Eat Better: How to Shop, Store & Cook to Make Any Food a Superfood.

SHIITAKE NO-MEATBALLS

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  • Place the following ingredients in a food processor and blitz:
  • 1 x quantity Roast Shiitake mushrooms
  • Olives & Caramelised Onions
  • 200g drained and rinsed canned black beans
  • 2 slices of wholemeal bread, torn into chunks
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried garlic
  • 1 tsp grated Parmesan cheese in a food processor.
  1. Shape the mixture into balls and space evenly on a baking sheet.
  2. Drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and roast in a preheated oven, 200°C/Gas Mark 6, for 20 minutes.
  3. Serve with Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce in 4 wholemeal sub rolls with mozzarella cheese and a bunch of watercress.
  4. These balls are also pretty spectacular atop spaghetti, simmered in creamy curries or paired with old-school mash, gravy and sautéed greens.

DOUBLE SWEET POTATO PIE

sweet_potato_pie

Sticky sweet, an amazing colour and made with over 50 per cent fruit, veg and nuts, this is my nutrient-dense, no-added-sugar take on the soul-food classic. I am way too lazy to spend hours rolling out pastry, so I have concocted a super-easy crust using little more than sweet potatoes, coconut and almonds that takes 5 minutes to make.

Crust

  • 100g orange sweet potato, grated
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 50g desiccated coconut
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tbsp granulated stevia (baking blend)

Filling

  • 2 eggs
  • 100g granulated stevia (baking blend)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 500g cooked purple sweet potato

Decorate

  • Blackberries
  • Mint leaves
  • Shredded coconut
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6, and line a 25cm flan tin with baking paper. FIRST, make the crust. Squeeze the grated sweet potato over the sink to extract as much liquid as possible, then transfer to a bowl and combine with the remaining crust ingredients to form a dough. Press the mixture firmly into the base and sides of the prepared tin.
  2. Bake for 15–20 minutes, or until golden. Use a spoon to further compact the crust into the sides and base of the tin, then leave to cool slightly. Reduce the oven temperature to 150°C/Gas Mark 2.
  3. Meanwhile, make the filling. Blitz all the ingredients together in a food processor until you have a smooth, velvety mixture.
  4. Pour the filling over the crust and bake for 1 hour, or until the filling is set with a very slight wobble in the centre. Leave the pie to cool completely.
  5. Decorate the pie with blackberries, mint leaves and grated coconut.
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