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Healthy week recipes

Lunch and dinner

Winter beetroot, orange and watercress salad

This is a great salad for winter. The combination of beautiful burgundy beet, dark green velvet watercress and vivid orange make this a spectacular salad. It is easy to get these ingredients in the middle of winter when oranges are at their best. A light dressing is all that is needed. It just needs the piquancy of a little freshly ground pepper and sea salt and light olive oil. A little honey and mustard would intensify these flavours. Ideal served with a slice of home made focaccia for lunch or a risotto for a main meal.

Serves 4

200g raw beetroot
1 large orange, peeled and cut into segments
1 bunch watercress, rinsed

For the dressing

1 tabs olive oil
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ tsp French mustard (optional)
¼ tsp runny honey (optional)
freshly ground pepper and sea salt

Cover raw beetroot it with water and cook in a saucepan for 20 minutes. If you have a pressure cooker, cover the beetroot with water and cook on maximum pressure for 5 minutes. When beetroot is cooked, rinse in cold water. Cut each beetroot in half and then into slices, 1cm thick. Place watercress into a large salad bowl, place orange segments on top followed by the beetroot. Just before serving, sprinkle over salad dressing ingredients and toss all the ingredients together.

Baba ghanoush

1 aubergine
1 clove garlic, crushed
Juice of ½ lemon
1 dsp tahini
1 dsp olive oil (optional)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Serves 1-2

Char the aubergine over a flame or hot ring until it is really burnt and the inside of the aubergine is floppy. Leave to cool for a few minutes and then peel of the blackened skin. Place the flesh of the aubergine and any juices that have oozed from its cooked flesh in a bowl or liquidiser. Add the garlic, lemon juice, tahini and olive oil, if used, and mix together thoroughly. Season to taste. Delicious served with pita bread/chips.

Pak choi, prawn and mango salad

This meal is a beautifully light weight affair full of delicate textures and flavours.

Serves 4

1 pack of Pak Choi, cut into four length ways and then leaves separated
1 red pepper thinly sliced
Small bunch of spring onions, trimmed and sliced length ways
150g thinly sliced pineapple or mango
200g ready cooked king prawns 


2 tbs soy sauce
2 tbs fish sauce
juice of 1 2 limes
2 tbs fresh coriander, chopped finely
1tbs fresh mint, chopped finely (This can be optional)
½ red chilli, seeds removed and chopped finely

Combine the Pak choi leaves, red pepper and spring onions. Lay the pineapple or mango slices over the top of the leaves followed by the prawns

Mix the ingredients for the dressing together in a bowl. Add the juice of one lime first and then taste. Add more lime juice if required.

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss the ingredients of the salad lightly together.

This is good served with some lightly fried or boiled rice.

Orecchiette with cauliflower

Serves 4

Preparation time: 10 min
Cooking time: 30 min

500g cauliflower or broccoli
2tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely sliced
1 garlic clove, finely sliced
4 anchovy fillets
1 red chilli, finely sliced
400g tinned chopped tomatoes
2tbsp mild black olives, sliced
Sea salt and pepper
400g orecchiette or short tube pasta
2tbsp grated parmesan or pecorino
1tbsp freshly chopped parsley

Cut the cauliflower into small, tree-like florets and cook in salted, boiling water for three minutes. Drain and keep warm. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, add the onion and cook until soft but still pale. Add garlic, anchovies and chilli and cook for two minutes. Add the tomatoes, olives, salt and pepper and the cauliflower. Simmer gently for 10 to 15 minutes, adding 1tsp of sugar if the tomatoes are acidic.

Cook the pasta in boiling, salted water until tender but still firm to the bite (artisan-made orecchiette take longer than factory-made). Reserve a ladle of pasta water, drain the pasta well and combine with the sauce, adding some pasta water if needed. Serve, scattered with grated cheese and parsley, in warm pasta plates.

Page owner: | Updated: 29/01/07