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Fresh cucumbers with cumin tahini dressing, sprinkled with extra sesame seeds are crunchy, juicy and wonderfully refreshing.
Fresh cucumbers with feta cheese and honey are a minimalist version of Greek salad and all the better for skipping tomatoes – mainly for your digestion.
Cured salmon, homemade gravlax, flavoured with fennel, caraway and lemon zest. Three minutes work, four days wait and you have an astonishing party starter or a sandwich filling. Good value too, obviously.
Curried mussels with saffron and ginger, steamed in light creamy sauce. No, I still don’t like curries. One of the very few dishes that revolt me, out there with mushy peas, kale, barley and any veiny, tendony, gelatinous meat.
Fennel and orange salad. The best thing about raw fennel is that it’s really a wonderful and versatile background for endless variants. I’ve used orange but any other large citrus fruit will do nicely. Ah well, you can even skip the citrus and just dress it with lemon juice...
Fermented red cabbage with chillies and ginger, Europe’s answer to kimchi. Red cabbage sauerkraut is made exactly like the white but it’s vibrant and a bit more crunchy.
Feta cheese, roasted grapes and crunchy walnuts is a perfect combination of juicy, sweet, crunchy and salty. I roast grapes like I like to roast summer berries when so plentiful they get a little tired: sprinkled with very little sugar and blasted with big brief heat.
Five spice shrimp with greens and crispy noodles. This is different to your usual stir fry: it’s a warm stir fried salad. The crispy noodles are totally optional: you can do soft noodles or no noodles.
Flat iron mushrooms, a mix of cultivated mushrooms pressed flat whilst cooking, to concentrate and wonderfully enhance their flavour.
Fragrant fish stew with mixed fish chunks and seared scallops, crunchy vegetables and herbs. Easy, healthy and incredibly tasty.
Fresh, raw porcini salad with minimal seasoning is an epic treat. Sliced porcini, aka ceps or penny buns only need a sprinkling of salt and a drop of olive oil.
Homemade granola, easy and healthy with just the fruit and seed mix you like; only waiting for milk, yoghurt or fresh fruit. Take back control of your breakfast!
Galettes made with buckwheat flour (gluten-free), with a classic topping of ham, cheese and a few spinach leaves. Galettes are pancakes – only better. The hardcore version has them fried only on one side, toppings put on top (as you would with toppings), and the sides only nonchalantly folded over.
Giant (aka Israeli) couscous salad with tomatoes, roasted peppers and feta cheese. This is a great recipe for a vegetarian salad that can be eaten warm or cold.
Beans and tomatoes, blanched green beans served with sautéed tomatoes cooked with green chilies. A match made in heaven, green beans and tomatoes are for me the classic summery dish.
Green papaya salad with sweet and sour dressing is crunchy, juicy and incredibly full of goodness. Plus, it helps digest meat!
Grilled asparagus with flaked almonds and Parmesan, an exquisite side dish or starter ready in 10 minutes. It can be cooked in oven grill or on a barbecue.
Grilled sea bream with balsamic marinade. Whole fish is much more fun – you have to gut it (which smells) and scale it (which covers the WHOLE place in invisible crap), unless you’re boring and ask the fishmonger to do it for you.
Grilled chicken burgers, juicy, crispy and tasty thanks to two secret ingredients: Parmesan and a little pork. The healthier answer to your burger craving!
Grilled whole mackerel with spice crust: it’s healthy, it’s cheap and it takes fifteen minutes to prepare. With a squeeze of lemon and a simple salad, it’s an easy and delightful dish.
Grilled radicchio salad with Parmesan. Radicchio loses its bitterness when attacked with heat, salt and acid so that’s what I’ve done to make it collapse in a delicious heap.
Red mullet brushed with anchovy and coriander butter, grilled whole, is delightful little fish and gorgeously easy to cook. It is also, surprisingly, not as bony as small fish usually is!
Halibut fillet steamed atop braised leeks and carrots, the best cooking method for halibut. Healthy, tasty, and one pan dish to boot!
Raw beetroot salad with simple dressing; a healthy fresh salad with sliced chioggia beetroot, grated cheese and lots of fresh herbs. Easy side dish or healthy lunch.
Homemade muesli with oat, wheat and barley flakes, nuts, seeds and fruit and a good pinch of cinnamon. That’s the way to start a day!
Honey millet porridge for breakfast provides a wonderful variety from oats. Hulled millet, tiny yellow beads toasted with cinnamon and cooked with honey is a lovely breakfast dish.
Frozen Greek yoghurt ice cream recipe with raisins and honey, low-calorie and sugar free. The best thing – you don’t need to churn it in the ice cream maker. Just scrape into a tub and enjoy it a few hours later.
Oven baked fresh sardine fillets with herbs, garlic and lemon, Italian style. Sandwiched in pairs, they only take 13 minutes to cook.
Two flavours of spiced kale crisps baked in the oven: garlic and chilli, and Middle Eastern coriander-cinnamon. Best for when you need a zero calorie snack.
Basic kimchi made with Chinese leaf cabbage and garlic, ginger and carrots. Kimchi is delicious with fried rice, adding a kick and a hit of sourness to the grain. You can also make kimchi pancakes, kimchijeon, which must be a lot like Japanese okonomiyaki. I haven’t tried the former, have the latter so can happily vouch for deliciousness.
Kohlrabi slaw, grated kohlrabi with creamy dressing is versatile and delicious. Try it instead of your regular slaw – this vegetable deserves more acclaim!
Crab salad two ways, white crab meat and sweetcorn layered with creamy brown crab meat salad base. Use fresh dressed crab meat and bake corn on the cob for the best crab salad ever.
Salmon and spinach baked in a parcel of lettuce leaves. I guess you could use cabbage leaves for this, or banana leaves, or those exotic ones they wrap stuff into in Thai restaurants (the latter two inedible though, just look pretty).
Leek slaw, a simple salad of raw leeks with cucumber and radish, seasoned with black pepper and honey. Leeks are incredibly healthy when eaten raw, did you know?
Creamy leeks sautéed with wild garlic. Wild garlic aka bear’s garlic or ramsons turns up in April in woody, wet, marshy lands and down in the overgrown part of my garden.
Lemon sole fillets cooked in creamy Parmesan sauce are an easy and elegant dish. Serve them with simple greens and new potatoes for an exquisite but quick supper.
Warm salad of poached fish and raw samphire with lemongrass dressing. Samphire, or sea asparagus, is the salty marshland grass and not actually seaweed as some may think.
Lentil and mushroom bake with red peppers and a little spinach for vibrant colour. Lentils are cooked from scratch but no soaking required for this recipe.
Lettuce and bacon salad with smoky dressing and crumbled blue cheese. To be honest, anything with blue cheese crumbled onto it has to be good, that’s the inherent quality of blue cheese.
Seeded light rye bread with linseed, sunflower and pumpkin. This light rye loaf is a little like a blonde pumpernickel, quite easy to bake and best sliced a day after baking.
Crusty and chewy French dimple rolls with whole grains and malted wheat flakes. A recently refreshed sourdough starter, malted flakes or powder, some whole grains and a dimple.
Maple and spice roasted nuts made with raw or blanched nut selection. Better than any you buy, and you can make them differently flavoured every time.
Thinly sliced fennel lightly wilted with salt and sugar is gorgeous, but the homemade ranch dressing with chives and dill is the star of the salad.
Mast o khiar is Persian yoghurt and cucumber dip with fresh herbs, walnuts and raisins. Samin Nosrat’s recipe suggests using labneh, strained yoghurt cheese, and that is a complete winner.
Miso marinated haddock seared and baked to a succulent, golden beauty. Inspired by Nobu black cod, it is truly an outstanding fish dish.
Pan fried monkfish tail in spicy coating, with mushroom sauce and chorizo slices. Monkfish with paprika and chorizo complemented by spiced mushroom sauce makes a super tasty and still a healthy dish.
Muhammara, roasted red pepper and walnut dip, flavoured with pomegranate molasses and Aleppo pepper flakes. This should be a firm fixture in your next meze!
Oatmeal biscuits, the healthiest cookies, sprinkled with pinhead oats. They are gluten-free and only contain three spoonfuls of sugar. Definitely good for your gut with all the fibre, but oatmeal apparently also lowers bad cholesterol levels while providing bags of nutrients.
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