Tuesday 6 December 2016

Quick, easy & honestly healthy - recipes for busy people

Published 29/05/2016 | 02:30

Natasha Corrett with her oven baked tacos.
Natasha Corrett with her oven baked tacos.
Tacos
Bruschetta
Beetroot stew
Honestly Healthy in a Hurry by Natasha Corrett.

Three deliciously simple recipes for very busy people, by Natasha Corrett.

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OVEN-BAKED GLUTEN-FREE TACOS AND WRAPS 

Crunchy and tasting just like the real deal, this tacos recipe is one not to miss. The tacos have become a staple in our home now and we bake them to order or in advance and have them all the time. The batter is so quick to make and you can also use it for a gluten-free wrap for the kids and for big kids to take to work. In this case, don't put the tacos in the oven - simply wrap around a salad for a healthy home-made lunch.

Makes 4-5 tacos

Ingredients

200g gluten-free plain flour

¼ tsp Himalayan pink salt

1 egg

Sunflower oil, for frying

For the salsa 345g vine tomatoes

15g coriander

Juice of 1 lime

Himalayan pink salt

For the peppers

1 tsp sunflower oil

1 red pepper, sliced

1 tbsp pomegranate molasses

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

A pinch of cayenne pepper

For the black beans

1 tbsp sunflower oil

¼ tsp ground cumin

240g black beans

A pinch of paprika

Avocado slices, for serving

Method

Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/gas mark 3. Remove one of the wire shelves as you will need it to drape your tacos over the bars so they dry into that classic U-shape.

Put the flour and salt into a bowl. Make a well in the middle, pour in 250ml water and mix together. Beat the egg in a separate bowl and then add to the flour and water until you have a thick batter.

Heat a good non-stick pan (mine is 30cm) and heat a small amount of sunflower oil spreading it over the surface. Ladle some batter into the pan and very quickly spread it out thinly to the edges by tilting the pan. Leave to cook, and as soon as it starts to bubble, lift around the edges and is golden underneath, flip it over and cook the other side. This should take 2 minutes on each side. Repeat until you have used up all the batter.

Put the wire shelf back into the preheated oven so it is sticking out of the door. Hang each taco over two wires next to each other. Once they are all hanging, push them down on the top so that they form a nice fat edge and straighten the sides so they are not too wide apart.

Carefully push the shelf into the oven and bake the tacos for 20 minutes until crisp. Meanwhile, make your fillings.

To make the salsa, whizz the tomatoes and coriander in a food processor, or chop finely by hand. Mix in the lime juice and salt. Transfer to a serving bowl.

For the peppers, put the sunflower oil into a pan with the sliced red pepper, pomegranate molasses, apple cider vinegar and cayenne pepper and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add 60ml water and leave to be absorbed for another 2 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl.

For the black beans, put the sunflower oil and cumin into a pan and leave on the heat for 1-2 minutes until the oil starts to sizzle. Add the beans and their liquid, then the paprika and stir for 2-3 minutes on a high heat until the liquid is reduced by half. Transfer to a serving bowl.

Carefully lift the tacos off the oven shelf and place on a platter on the table. Take care, as the tacos are crisp and crack easily.

To assemble, spoon a little of all the different accompaniments into your taco and top with the avocado slices. Enjoy with a napkin to hand!

BRUSCHETTE THREE WAYS

Bruschette remind me of being on holiday in the summer in Europe. Here I have added a few new tweaks to make them a little more zesty and interesting.

Serves 3

Ingredients

Soda bread

1½ tbsp olive oil

For the tapenade topping 170g olives, pitted

1 tbsp olive oil

½ tsp apple cider vinegar

5g parsley

Juice of ½ lemon

5g basil

¼ clove garlic

Watercress, to garnish

Himalayan pink salt

For the tomato, broad bean and mint topping

2 large tomatoes

1 clove garlic, roughly chopped

2½ tbsp olive oil

180g broad beans

75g peas

Juice of ½ large lemon

15g mint, roughly chopped

5g dill, roughly chopped

Freshly ground black pepper

Himalayan pink salt

For the goat's cheese and radish topping

Soft goat's cheese

3 radishes, finely sliced

Zest and juice of ¼ lime

2-3 large mint leaves, roughly chopped

3-4 drops of brown rice or apple cider vinegar

Method

Take three slices of the soda bread and generously brush both sides with the olive oil. Heat a griddle pan until hot, then griddle each slice on both sides until nicely charred. Top each slice with one or all of the below options.

For the tapenade topping, place all of the ingredients in a blender and gently pulse to a rough paste. Taste and add a little more salt or lemon juice if needed. Spread on the bruschette and garnish with sprigs of watercress.

For the tomato and broad bean topping, preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4. Roughly chop the tomatoes and place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Sprinkle with the garlic, a pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and roast in the oven for 10-12 minutes until soft.

Place the broad beans in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Add the peas, bring back to the boil, then drain and cool under the cold tap.

Transfer three-quarters of the pea and bean mixture to a blender, add the remaining olive oil and the lemon juice and blitz to a rough texture. Scrape into a bowl and stir through the remaining peas and beans, the mint, dill and salt and pepper. Taste and add more lemon juice or salt if needs be.

Spread the broad bean dip evenly over the bruschette and spoon the roasted tomatoes on top.

For the goat's cheese and radish topping, spread the cheese evenly over the toasted bread. Put all the remaining ingredients into a bowl, reserving a little of the lime zest, and toss well. Carefully pile the radishes over the goats' cheese and sprinkle the top with black pepper and the extra lime zest.

BEETROOT AND ROSEMARY STEW

Stews are so comforting and this is a great one you can put together and then leave simmering away while you put your feet up or put the kids to bed. You can add different root vegetables from those listed, and if you have pre-roasted beetroot and celeriac, you can use them and the dish will take literally 10 minutes!

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 red onion, sliced

2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

35g celery, roughly chopped

2 tsp sunflower oil

¼ tsp Himalayan pink salt

A generous pinch of freshly ground black pepper

330g beetroot, peeled and chopped into 3cm chunks, or 250g cooked beetroot

250g celeriac, peeled and chopped into 3cm chunks, or 175g cooked celeriac

1 large sprig of rosemary

1 tsp vegetable bouillon powder

100g spinach

15g parsley, roughly chopped

15g dill, roughly chopped

Juice of ½ lemon

Method

Sauté the onion, garlic and celery in the sunflower oil in a pan over a medium heat for 2 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon water, the salt and pepper and continue to sauté until the water has evaporated.

Next add the beetroot, celeriac, rosemary and bouillon powder and stir until coated. Add another 1 tablespoon water and continue to sauté for another 2 minutes.

Add 500ml water to the pan (250ml if using cooked beetroot and celeriac) and leave to simmer over a gentle heat for 30-35 minutes or until the beetroot is soft and the liquid has reduced to a nice thick sauce. If the beetroot and celeriac are already cooked, you can reduce the cooking time to 10 minutes.

Stir through the spinach until wilted, then stir in the parsley, dill and lemon juice. Remove the sprig of rosemary and enjoy!

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