Monday 17 December 2018

Eat well, stay well: nutritous recipes from Karl Henry


Chicken and red lentil curry from Karl Henry's Healthy Living Handbook. Photo: Paul McCarthy
Chicken and red lentil curry from Karl Henry's Healthy Living Handbook. Photo: Paul McCarthy
Moroccan chickpea and carrot salad. Photo: Paul McCarthy
Flapjacks from Karl Henry's Healthy Living Handbook. Photo: Paul McCarthy
Crispy chicken goujons
Karl Henry's Healthy Living Handbook, with photpgraphy by Paul McCarthy, published by Penguin Ireland at €18

Complement your fitness efforts with these nutritious recipes from Karl Henry's 'Healthy Living Handbook'.

Chicken and red lentil curry

Lentils are a fantastic ingredient, yet I used to fear them, as I wasn't sure how to cook them. However, they are an extremely cheap and easy-to-cook ingredient and full of nutrition. So if you've never cooked with lentils before, give this recipe a go and you will see what you have been missing!

Prep time: 5 minutes.

Cooking time: 30 minutes.

Serves 4


1 tsp rapeseed oil

1 small onion, peeled and finely diced

1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed

1 knuckle-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

4 chicken breasts (125g each), cut into 2cm pieces

1 tsp chopped coriander, plus extra leaves to garnish (optional)

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground turmeric

½ tsp chilli powder

1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes

300ml chicken stock

100g red lentils

200ml low-fat coconut milk

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

100g baby spinach leaves


1 Put the oil in a large non-stick frying pan or saucepan and heat on high until the oil is hot.

2 Add the onion, garlic and ginger, then reduce the heat to medium and fry until softened. Stir from time to time.

3 Add the chicken, coriander and spices, and cook for 5 minutes on a medium heat. Stir occasionally.

4 Add the tomatoes, stock, lentils and coconut milk. Season to taste, stir and then bring to the boil.

5 Reduce the heat to a light simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.

6 Lentils really soak up liquid so add a little more water or chicken stock if the sauce is thickening too much and the mix is starting to look heavy or dry.

7 Finally, stir in the spinach, which will wilt down quickly with the heat.

8 Garnish with a few fresh coriander leaves if you like and serve with basmati or brown rice.


Crispy chicken goujons

Crispy chicken goujons

A healthy take on the pub-grub classic. I love the goujons from An Súgán in Clonakilty in West Cork, so I thought I'd try to make my own version - perfect for a TV dinner! These are very moreish so are perfect for parties... adults' or children's.

Prep time: 5 minutes.

Cooking time: 15 minutes.

Serves 4


3 large chicken breasts (150g each )

1 large egg

1 tbsp honey

1 tsp Dijon or other mild mustard

2-3 small mugs of crushed cornflakes

Freshly ground black pepper

For the dip

4 tbsp Greek yoghurt

2 tsp mayonnaise

2 tbsp dried or fresh chives

Juice of 1 lemon


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.

2. Cut the chicken breasts lengthways into thin strips.

3. In a shallow dish, lightly beat the egg, honey and mustard together.

4. Crush the cornflakes in another dish and add a generous grinding of black pepper. Stir the pepper through the cornflake mix.

5. Dip the chicken strips into the egg mixture and then roll in the cornflake mixture to coat.

6. Arrange the chicken strips on a baking tray lined with baking parchment.

7. Put into the preheated oven and bake for 12 minutes. Check one of the goujons. If the chicken is still showing some pink flesh, continue to cook for another few minutes. The chicken flesh should all be white.

8. Mix together all the dip ingredients in a bowl with a fork.

9. Serve the goujons with the lemon and chive dip. You could add a side salad if you're having these as a lunch or light dinner.



Flapjacks from Karl Henry's Healthy Living Handbook. Photo: Paul McCarthy

These are a great snack when out for a hill walk or a cycle, or as a snack during the day.

Prep time: 5 minutes.

Cooking time: 20 minutes.

Makes 12 flapjacks.


100g jumbo porridge oats

100g nuts of your choice, roughly chopped

1 tbsp flaxseeds (or linseeds)

75g dates, roughly chopped (Medjool dates are nice if you can get them)

50g dried apricots, roughly chopped

1 tbsp rapeseed oil

100g honey


1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/gas mark 3.

2. Line a 20cm square baking tray with baking parchment.

3. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Then add the oil and honey, and mix thoroughly.

4. Transfer the mixture to the baking tray, spread evenly and flatten firmly using the back of a spoon.

5. Put into the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes.

6. Remove from the oven and mark out 12 rectangles before they cool down.

7. Allow to cool completely, then turn out of the tray and break into 12 individual flapjacks. Store in an airtight container in a cool place. They will keep for up to 10 days.


Moroccan chickpea and carrot salad

Moroccan chickpea and carrot salad. Photo: Paul McCarthy

A great salad, full of colour, that is quick to make and seriously filling, too!

Prep time: 10 minutes.

Serves 2


For the salad

1 x 200g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 carrots, peeled and chopped into matchstick pieces or shredded

A handful of fresh coriander or mint, finely chopped

1 tbsp flaked almonds, toasted

1 small head of baby gem lettuce, finely shredded

For the dressing

½ tsp ground cumin

Juice of ½ lemon

1 tbsp olive oil

½ clove of garlic, peeled and crushed

A dash of Tabasco (optional)


1. In a large bowl, mix the chickpeas, carrots, coriander or mint, flaked almonds and lettuce.

2. To make the dressing, mix the cumin, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic, and add the Tabasco if using.

3. Dress the salad and serve immediately.

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