Healthy Apple Crumble

I love Apple crumble but when I am out it’s hard to find a gluten free and not- too- sugary version, so in October when lovely apples are in season, I make my own.  For this recipe, try to find the sweetest apples you can find instead of tart cooking apples (Fuji’s are ideal but Gala and Braeburn apples would work as well) so you only need a little bit of maple syrup to add extra sweetness.

It’s so easy to make and it taste and smell delicious!

INGREDIENTS (Serves 4)

For the topping

75g oats

30g gluten free flour

25g unsalted butter, melted

25g chopped pecans

1 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tbsp pure maple syrup

 

For the filling

750g chopped red apples

2 tbsp cornflour

2 tsp ground cinnamon

⅛ tsp ground nutmeg

 

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C and grease an 8”-square pan.
  2. To make the topping, combine the oats, pecans, flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Add the maple syrup and melted butter and mix well.
  3. For the filling, mix the apples with the cornflour, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl until completely coated.
  4. Transfer the filling to the pan, and gently press down with a spatula. Sprinkle evenly with the topping and bake for 50-60 minutes or until the apple pieces are tender. Let it cool before serving.

Courgettes, Leeks and Pea Soup.

Courgette are in season now, and although I mainly make courgettis with them as a lighter alternative to pasta, blending courgettes in soups is a refreshing idea.

This is one is one of my favourite’s soups involving this versatile vegetable. Roasting the vegetables first brings out their sweetness and it enriches the final flavour.

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 950 g courgettes (about 3 large courgettes)
  • 2 leeks
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 750 ml vegetable stock
  • 200 g frozen peas
  • 20 g fresh basil
  • Grated parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180ºC / 350ºF.

Trim the ends off the courgettes and the leeks and slice them into rounds of about 1cm. Place on the baking tray along with the garlic cloves (still in their skin), then drizzle everything in the olive, seasons with salt/pepper, and toss everything together.

Roast in the oven for 40-45 minutes, turning occasionally, until soft and slightly brown.

Meanwhile, heat the vegetable stock, add the peas and let them thaw.

When the roasted vegetables are ready add them to the stock, but first squeeze the flesh out of the garlic cloves and discard the skins.

Pour everything into a blender or food processor (I use a hand-held blender for this because it makes the washing up easier!), along with the basil.  Blitz to a smooth purée then taste and add salt and black pepper as required.

Sprinkle some grated parmesan cheese on top just before serving if you like a richer taste.

Bon Appetit!

Quinoa with kale and purple sprouting broccoli.

March is the start of the purple sprouting broccoli season.

Almost all cruciferous foods are known for their important health benefits, and purple sprouting broccoli contains the phytochemical sulforaphane, thought to help prevent cancer and which may provide resistance against many diseases like osteoporosis, heart disease and diabetes.

This colourful vegetable is also packed with vitamin C and is a good source of carotenoids, iron, folic acid, calcium, and fibre. A true superfood!

This recipe is adapted from one of Jamie Oliver’s winter salads.

Ingredients:

100g quinoa

250g purple sprouting broccoli

200g kale

30g blanched hazelnuts

1 orange

1 tbsp tahini

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

Extra virgin olive oil

Cook the quinoa according to the packet instructions, then drain.

Trim the broccoli and cook on a large frying pan over a medium heat for 10 minutes.

To make the dressing, squeeze the juice of the orange into a small bowl. Mix in the tahini, red wine vinegar, 2 tbsp of oil and season to taste. Set aside.

Remove any hard stalks from the kale and place the leaves in a large bowl. With your hands, massage in a pinch of salt for 1 minute. Once the broccoli has charred, add to the kale and tip over half the dressing. Add the quinoa and toss together.

Put the hazelnuts on a baking tray and toast in the oven until golden, then roughly chop.

Add a little more dressing to the salad, toss again, then arrange on a large serving platter. Add the chopped toasted hazelnuts and serve straight away. Yummy!

Kale Chips!

You might have tried the kale chips in health food shops.  Well, if you fancy trying to make your own version, this recipe is for you.

 

You will need:

75g cashew nuts (ideally soaked for 2 hours)

1 shallot, chopped

2tbsp nutritional yeast flakes

½ tsp garlic salt

4 soft large dates, chopped

2tbsp lemon juice

2tbsp water

2tbsp apple cider vinegar

250g chopped kale

 

Blend all the ingredients except the kale until thick. Add a little more water if needed.

Remove the stems form the leaves. Place the leaves in a bowl and pour over the sauce. Massage thoroughly with your hands.

Preheat the oven to 150C. Spread the kale out in a single layer on a lined baking tray and bake for 15 minutes then rotate the tray and continue cooking for a further 10 minutes. You may need several baking sheets to avoid the kale overlapping.

Cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet. You can eat it right away or store it in an airtight container (it will keep for about 3-4 days).

Enjoy!

Celeriac ribbons tossed with chard, garlic and pumpkin seeds

I love celeriac and this one is one of my favourite recipes, courtesy of BBC Good Food. The original recipe has butter too, but I think it works just as well with only olive oil.

It’s easy and quick to make!

Ingredients: (serves two)

1 small celeriac, peeled

1 lemon

40g pumpkin seeds

2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil

4 thyme sprigs (leaves only)

2 chopped cloves of garlic

½ tsp dried chilli flakes

1 bunch chard, leaves shredded and stalks sliced.

20g grated pecorino cheese

 

Using a vegetable peeler, cut some long and wide strips of celeriac, into a bowl of water and lemon juice.

Dry-fry or roast the pumpkin seeds in the oven until they’ve puffed. Set aside.

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the celeriac for 1 minute, drain and reserve the water. In a non-stick pan, heat the oil and add the thyme, garlic, and chilli.

When the garlic starts to become golden, add the chard stalks, and stir for another couple of minutes. Add the pumpkin seeds, chard leaves, season and squeeze a little lemon juice. Turn up the heat and add the cheese. Add the celeriac with a slosh of cooking water, shaking the pan until the sauce looks glossy. Divide between plates, and Bon Appetit!

Brussels Sprouts Pad Thai

I am sure you’ve probably got plenty of recipes up your sleeves already for perking up the humble sprout for lunch on Christmas Day.

This recipe is perfect for using up leftovers on Boxing Day; but please do try and make it with fresh sprouts at other times!

 

Serves 4

You will need:

250g flat rice noodles

1tbsp soy sauce

Juice of 2 limes

2tbsp coconut oil

1 garlic clove, chopped

2 spring onions, finely diced

1 red chilli, sliced

200g cooked Brussels sprouts, sliced

100g beansprouts

30g peanuts, chopped (to serve)

Lime wedges (to serve, optional)

 

Method:

  • Put the noodles in a large heatproof bowl, cover in boiling water and leave for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water, then set aside.
  • Mix together the soy sauce, and lime juice.
  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok. Sautee’ the garlic, spring onions, chilli and the sprouts for around 2 minutes, then add the noodles and beansprouts and cook for another minute.
  • Pour over the sauce and toss well, working quickly to coat all the vegetables and noodles. Once everything is heated through, season and divide between four bowls.
  • Scatter with the peanuts and serve with the lime wedges to squeeze over.

 

A quick and easy way to make the best of your leftovers Christmas sprouts!

It’s pumpkin soup time!

pumpkins-nutrition-wimbledon

Autumn in Wimbledon has arrived and this means it is pumpkins season!  I am very excited because I simply love pumpkins! I love their smell, colour, flavour and because I like cooking with seasonal produce, I am going to share my delicious pumpkin soup recipe with you.

But first let me tell you something about pumpkins and their nutritional value.

Did you know that pumpkin is not a vegetable but a fruit? It belongs to the family Cucurbitaceae, which includes cucumbers, melons and squash.  In this soup I used both pumpkin and butternut squash. These are just variety of winter squash which come in many different shapes, colours and sizes but share similar nutrients.

Pumpkin is a great source of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant which is converted to vitamin A in the body. Consuming foods rich in beta-carotene helps to support our immune system (much needed as the colds season is also fast approaching!)  as well as delaying the aging process, keeping our skin glowing and our eyes healthy. Pumpkins are also rich in fibre and minerals like copper, calcium and potassium.  And do not forget the seeds, they are also packed with nutrients and a great, easy to carry, on-the-go snack!

So go on, don’t just carve this beautiful orange fruit for Halloween, cook it and eat it too! You can make pumpkin pies, mash, curries, risottos, biscuits, muffins, or simply roast it in the oven and enjoy it with a drizzle of olive oil. The choice is yours!

Now back to my warming and nutrients rich soup.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pumpkin
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tbsps coconut oil
  • Nutmeg and ground black pepper to taste
  • Pumpkin seeds and coconut cream (optional)
  • 1 litre of vegetable stock

Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Half the pumpkin and the squash remove the seeds then chop and place on a large baking tray in the oven.

Meanwhile, chop the onions, garlic, and carrot. Heat the coconut oil over a medium heat in a large saucepan then add the chopped vegetables and cook until soft.  When the pumpkin and squash are ready scoop out the flesh and add to the pan with the hot stock. Blend with a hand blender and your delicious soup is ready!

Ladle the soup into bowls and, if you like a richer flavour, you can add some coconut cream and some pumpkin seeds before serving. Here is a picture of one I made this morning.

Enjoy and Happy Halloween from Stella Nutrition!