Meals under 400 calories

Try anyone of these delicious meals, all of which come in under 400 calories and are carb light.

Penne with lettuce, peas and ham

Serves 2

  1. 1 tbsp. olive oil
  2. 1 small onion, peeled and sliced
  3. 1 fat clove garlic, peeled and chopped
  4. 1 gem heart lettuces, trimmed and sliced
  5. 150g dried penne
  6. 100g pack shelled peas
  7. 2 tbsp. half fat creme fraiche
  8. 2 slices lean ham, shredded
  9. Large handful of basil, shredded
  10. Freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the onion for 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and the sliced lettuce to the pan and cook stirring for 2 minutes. At the same time, cook the pasta following pack instructions, adding the peas for the last 2 minutes of the cooking time. Drain the pasta and peas, return them to the pan with the crème fraiche, ham, basil and the lettuce mixture. Season well and stir everything together. To serve, sprinkle grated parmesan over each bowl.

Griddled chicken with mango and watercress

Serves 2

  1. 2 skinless chicken breasts
  2. 1 tsp. olive oil
  3. zest and juice of 1 limes
  4. 1 red chilli, finely sliced
  5. 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  6. 1 large mango, diced
  7. 1 small red onion, finely sliced
  8. 100g sugar snap peas
  9. 2 large handfuls of watercress
  10. Handful of fresh coriander

Mix the oil with the lime zest, half the juice, chilli and garlic. Place the chicken breasts in a dish, coat thoroughly with the chilli mixture and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes (preferably overnight). Place the mango pieces in a large bowl, add the remaining lime juice and red onion. Cook the chicken on a hot griddle pan for 5 minutes each side. Meanwhile, blanch the sugar snap peas for 1 minute in boiling water, drain, run under cold water and then add to the mango with the watercress and coriander. Toss together, season and serve with the chicken.

Chicken with green lentils

Serves 2

  1. 1 tsp olive oil
  2. 2 skinless chicken breasts, diced
  3. 1 onion, finely chopped
  4. 1 tsp thyme
  5. 2 tsp flour
  6. 2 tsp tomato puree
  7. 400ml chicken stock
  8. 50g green lentils (ready to eat)
  9. 100g mushrooms, chopped
  10. 100g broccoli, chopped

Heat the oil in a non-stick wide, shallow pan, add the onion, thyme and chicken pieces and cook for 5 mins until the onion is soft and the chicken is sealed. Stir in the flour and tomato purée, then stir over a low heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the stock, lentils, broccoli and mushrooms. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 25 minutes.

Oven baked tuna steak with watercress and avocado

  1. 90g tuna steak
  2. 50g watercress
  3. ½ avocado (remainder from salmon salad)
  4. ¼ cucumber
  5. 1 spring onion
  6. 6 cherry tomatoes
  7. Squeeze of lime juice
  8. Dash of balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 180C/GM 5. Place the tuna in a baking dish, season with a pinch of salt and plenty of black pepper. Squeeze the juice from half a lime and sprinkle over the tuna. Bake for 20 mins. Chop the watercress finely and mix with the salad.

Lemon sole

  1. 1 lemon sole fillet
  2. 1 small sweet potato
  3. 100g broccoli

Pierce the potato and place on a baking sheet. Place in the oven first and bake for 45 mins. After 20 mins bake the sole. Boil or steam the broccoli and serve together with a wedge of lemon.

Grilled steak with mange tout and sugar snap peas

  1. 1 lean sirloin or fillet steak (remove and visible fat)
  2. 50g mange tout
  3. 50g sugar snap peas
  4. Season the steak and add tenderiser, grill as desired. Serve with the steamed veg.

Chicken and butternut squash stir fry

Serves 1

  1. 1 tsp oil
  2. 1 chicken fillet, sliced
  3. 2 spring onions, sliced
  4. 50g butternut squash, peeled and sliced
  5. 1carrot (cut into strips),
  6. 1 red pepper (cut into strips),
  7. 1 tbsp soy sauce
  8. 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  9. Drizzle of honey
  10. 1 cloves of garlic, crushed
  11. Small piece of grated ginger

Heat the oil in a wok, add the chicken, garlic and ginger and cook for about 5 minutes. Then add the other vegetables and cook for a further 2 minutes. Finally add the soy sauce, vinegar and honey and cook for another 2 minutes.

Moroccan chicken

Serves 2

  1. 2 tsp olive oil
  2. 2 skinless chicken breasts
  3. 1 tsp cumin
  4. 1 tsp cinnamon
  5. 2 tbsp tomato puree
  6. 1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into strips
  7. 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  8. 200g cherry tomatoes, quartered
  9. 250ml chicken stock
  10. 30g pitted black olives, halved
  11. 50g dried apricot pieces
  12. Freshly ground black pepper
  13. Handful roughly chopped coriander

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the chicken fillets, browning on each side. Add the spices, garlic and pepper and cook for 3 minutes. Turn down the heat and add the tomato puree, stir well to coat the chicken and then add all the other ingredients, bring to the boil, turn down the heat, half cover the pan and allow to simmer for 15 mins or until the liquid has reduced.

Oven baked halibut

Serves 2

  1. 2 pieces skinless halibut fillet
  2. 2 tomatoes, chopped
  3. 4 spring onions, trimmed and cut on the diagonal
  4. 1 red chilli, deseeded and shredded
  5. 1 carrot, peeled and cut into julienne strips
  6. Juice of a lime
  7. 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  8. Few sprigs fresh coriander

Preheat the oven to 220C/Gas Mark 8. Place each fish fillet on a sheet of kitchen foil and put both on a large baking tray. In a bowl, mix the tomatoes, spring onions, chilli and carrot, then pile half on top of each fish fillet. Drizzle half the lime juice and soy sauce over each one and wrap each fish fillet in the foil to make a parcel. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Once ready to serve, scatter with the coriander and enjoy with green beans.

Honey and harissa lamb steaks with couscous

Serves 2

  1. 1 tbsp. honey
  2. 1 tsp. harissa
  3. 2 lamb steaks
  4. 100g couscous
  5. 175ml hot chicken or vegetable stock
  6. 2 tbsp. fresh mint
  7. Handful of fresh flat leaf parsley
  8. 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  9. 25g pistachios, chopped

Preheat the grill to a high setting. On a plate, mix the honey and harissa together then add the lamb steaks and rub them into the mixture to coat all over. Put the couscous in a bowl and pour over the hot stock. Stir together then cover with foil and set aside. Place the lamb on a baking sheet and grill for 2-3 minutes on each side. Finely chop the herbs and stir into the couscous with the olive oil, pistachios and season. Serve warm with the lamb and drizzle over the juices from the baking sheet.

Singapore Noodles

Serves 2

  1. 250 g Chinese egg thread noodles
  2. 1 spray of oil
  3. 1 bunch of spring onions –diagonally sliced
  4. 5 cm piece of root ginger – grated
  5. 1 tbsp medium curry paste
  6. 125 g frozen peas
  7. 250 g cooked peeled prawns
  8. Splash of soy sauce to serve

Break the noodles into a large bowl. Pour over enough boiling water to cover. Stir and toss the noodles in the water and then leave on one side for 6-8 minutes
Meanwhile, heat a wok and spray with oil. Stir-fry the onions and ginger until softened. Stir in the curry paste and stir-fry for a further 2 minutes. Stir in the peas and prawns. Reduce the heat, cover and cook for 3 minutes. Drain the noodles and add to the wok, toss well to coat. Serve with the soy sauce.

Chilli Con Carne

Serves 2

  1. 1 spray of oil
  2. 400g red kidney beans (in chilli sauce)
  3. 400g extra lean minced beef
  4. 1 onion, diced
  5. 1 green pepper, diced
  6. 1 green chilli
  7. 1 red chilli
  8. 1-2 tsp chilli powder
  9. 2 tsp paprika
  10. 2 tsp cumin
  11. 1 tbsp tomato puree
  12. 400g can of tomatoes

Dry fry the mince in non-stick frying pan until fully browned. Remove the mince. Heat the oil in the pan and add the onion, pepper and chilli, cook until soft. Add the tomatoes and the mince, stir thoroughly and keep over a medium heat for 20 minutes. Add the kidney beans and cook for a further 5-10 minutes. Serve with a green salad.

Sweet Potato and Leek Frittata

Serves 2

  1. 2 sprays of oil
  2. 800 g sweet potato
  3. 200 g leek, sliced
  4. 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  5. 1 tbsp chopped sage
  6. 3 eggs
  7. 3 egg whites
  8. 125 ml skimmed milk
  9. 30g low fat cheddar cheese, grated

Spray the oil on to a 25 cm round flan dish. Cut the sweet potato into thin slices and boil until tender. Heat a non-stick pan, spray with oil and cook the garlic and leek over a low heat until tender. Stir in half the sage.
Place half the sweet potato over the base of the prepared dish, top with the leek mixture, then the remaining sweet potato. Combine the eggs, egg whites, milk, cheese and parsley and pour over the potato, sprinkle with the remaining sage.
Bake in a preheated oven 180C Gas Mark 4, for 35 minutes.

Courgette and baked feta salad

  1. 150g feta cheese cut into 1.5cm cubes
  2. 2 medium courgettes
  3. 4 radishes, thinly sliced
  4. 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  5. Handful pea shoots
  6. 2 romaine lettuce, leaves separated
  7. 3 tbsp mint leaves
  8. Dressing
  9. 1 tbsp lemon juice
  10. 3 tbsp olive oil
  11. 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  12. 1 clove garlic, crushed

Preheat the oven to 180C. Place the feta on a baking sheet, drizzle with a little oil and bake for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, slice the courgettes into thin strips using a vegetable peeler. Combine the courgettes, radish, onion, pea shoots and lettuce leaves in a large bowl. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and lightly dress the salad. Transfer to a serving platter to 2 plates and top with mint and the feta. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serves 4

Stir fry chicken and chard

The secret to good stir frying is not to put too much in the wok at the one time, if you do, the vegetables will sweat instead of frying. This recipe’s for two people but if you’re cooking for four, don’t dump twice as much in, do it in two batches.

  1. 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  2. 200g diced chicken
  3. 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  4. 1 red chilli, thinly sliced
  5. 3 spring onions, thinly sliced
  6. 6 stems rainbow chard. Chopped
  7. a handful of mangetout, shredded
  8. a handful of green beans
  9. 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  10. 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  11. 1 tbsp chopped chives

Heat a wok or frying pan over a high heat. Add 1 tbsp oil and then add the chicken, allow to cook for 5 mins before adding the vegetables. Toss the vegetables in the wok with a wooden spoon, turning them over every few seconds for about 4- 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the soy sauce and sesame oil and stir in. Season to taste then tip onto a serving plate. Sprinkle with chopped chives. Serves 2

Mushroom chilli

Serves 2

  1. 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  2. 1 onion, diced
  3. 2 red chillis, finely chopped
  4. 1 tsp olive oil
  5. 2 tsp ground cumin
  6. Pinch of salt and black pepper
  7. Scant pinch of sugar
  8. 150g mushrooms, chopped
  9. 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  10. 1 tbsp tomato puree
  11. 1 tin red kidney beans
  12. 100 g green beans, blanched
  13. Handful coriander, chopped

Fry onion in olive oil for a few minutes till softened, then add garlic, chilli, cumin and seasoning. Add mushrooms, chopped tomatoes, kidney beans and tomato puree, stir and simmer for 10 minutes. Add green beans and serve with a scatter of coriander when heated through.
Serve in a corn taco shell (optional)

Roast duck with broccoli

Serves 1

  1. 1 skinless duck breast
  2. 100g broccoli florets
  3. 1 tsp chopped peanuts
  4. 2 tbsp fish sauce
  5. Pinch dried chilli flakes
  6. 1 clove garlic, chopped
  7. Pinch sugar
  8. Juice of 1 lime
  9. Splash soy sauce
  10. 2 tbsp water
  11. Little chopped coriander

Mix the all the ingredients together except the duck, chopped peanuts and the broccoli. Marinate the duck breast in half of this chilli sauce mixture and set aside for as long as possible. When ready to cook, roast the duck breast in a hot oven for 15-20 mins until thoroughly cooked without drying out. Steam the broccoli.  Slice the duck thinly and arrange on a plate with the broccoli and drizzle over the rest of the sauce. Add the chopped peanuts and serve.

Skewered Italian chicken

Serves 1
Flatten chicken breast by placing it between two sheets greaseproof paper and beating lightly with rolling pin. Top with 1 chopped ripe beef tomato, a few basil leaves and 2 tsps freshly grated Parmesan. Season, roll up, skewer with a toothpick and grill under a medium heat, turning once until done. Serve with a large helping of tenderstem broccoli and some grilled courgettes.

Chicken with peppers and spinach

Serves 1
Oven bake a season chicken breast. Slice an orange pepper and a red pepper, fry in 1 tsp olive oil, add a sprig of rosemary, the juice of half a lemon and a sliced garlic clove and sauté for a further 3 minutes. Add 100ml water and allow to reduce and become sticky. Add a handful of spinach leaves for the final two minutes of cooking, and serve with sliced chicken breast and a few sea salt flakes a grating of fresh lemon zest.

White fish stew with orange and fennel

Serves four

  1. 750g white fish fillet, such as pollack, monkfish, cod
  2. 8 tiger prawns, shell on
  3. 2 tbsp olive oil
  4. 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  5. 1 onion, thinly sliced
  6. 1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  7. 1 tsp coriander seeds
  8. 1 orange – juice and two strips of peel
  9. 150ml fish stock
  10. 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  11. 2 bay leaves
  12. ½ tsp mixed herb
  13. Pinch of salt and black pepper
  14. Fresh parsley

Heat oil in a large non-stick saucepan and gently fry the onion, fennel, garlic and coriander seeds for 15 minutes, until tender. Add fish stock, orange juice, orange peel and tomatoes, and add a tomato-tin of cold water. Add bay leaves and herbs. Season and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Add fish, monkfish first if using, prawns last. Cover and cook for a further 4 minutes until fish and prawns are cooked through. Serve piping hot and scattered with fresh parsley.

Leeky Prawns

Serves 1

  1. ½ tbsp olive oil
  2. 2cm fresh root ginger, grated
  3. ¼ red chilli
  4. 1 clove garlic, crushed
  5. Plenty of fresh parsley, chopped
  6. Juice of a lemon
  7. 100g prawns, raw or pre-cooked
  8. 2 leeks, washed and sliced into 3cm chunks
  9. Pinch of salt and black pepper

Place leeks in steamer and steam for 4-5 minutes till tender. Combine ginger, chilli and garlic in a mini blender (or chop finely by hand). Sauté the mix in olive oil for a couple of minutes before adding prawns. Heat through until prawns are cooked to your liking. Squeeze in lemon juice, add salt and pepper to taste, sprinkle in parsley. Add leeks to pan, mix through and serve.

Haddock with spinach and poached egg

Serves 1

  1. 100g baby spinach leaves, washed
  2. 75g skinless smoked haddock fillet
  3. 1 tbsp half fat crème fraiche,
  4. ½ spring onion, finely chopped
  5. 1 egg
  6. Squeeze of lemon
  7. Pinch of nutmeg

Wilt spinach leaves in a little salted boiling water and drain well, stir in a pinch of nutmeg and season with black pepper. Poach fish for 10 minutes in semi skimmed milk (or microwave for 3 minutes in a covered dish). Meanwhile, poach the egg. Serve fish topped with egg and crème fraiche mixed with spring onion and a squeeze of lemon.

Baked sardines

Serves 1

  1. 2 fresh sardines, washed and gutted
  2. 60g spinach leaves, washed, wilted and dried
  3. 15g pine nuts, dry fried till golden brown
  4. ½ tbsp. lemon juice
  5. ½ tbsp. chopped flat leaf parsley
  6. Pinch of salt and black pepper
  7. A little oil for cooking

Chop wilted spinach and add toasted pine nuts, parsley, lemon juice, S&P. Fill sardine cavities with the mix, adding a pinch of paprika, white pepper and sea salt. Grill for three minutes on each side, till skin is crisp. Serve with lemon wedges.

Chicken puttanesca

Serves 4

  1. 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  2. 4 anchovy fillets (oil drained away)
  3. 2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  4. 8 boned, skinned chicken thighs
  5. 600g cherry tomatoes
  6. 3 tablespoons good quality, mixed marinated olives (stoned)
  7. 2 tablespoons capers (rinse before using)
  8. Bunch of fresh basil (about 30g), stems removed
  9. Pinch of salt and black pepper

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based casserole dish (shallow works best for this). Add the anchovies and garlic and gently fry for 2-3 minutes, until the anchovies have melted, but the garlic has not browned. Add the cherry tomatoes, olives and capers, and turn down the heat to simmer gently. Add the chicken thighs to the tomato mixture and stir well to combine.  Place the lid on the casserole and position on a middle shelf in the oven. Cook for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven, give the chicken a good stir so it’s well coated in the putanesca juice. Put back into the oven without the lid and cook for a further 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes, before stirring in the basil leaves. Taste and season with a little salt and pepper if required and serve.

Beef stew

Serves four

  1. 1 tsp olive oil
  2. 1 onion, peeled and diceed
  3. 1 handful fresh sage leaves
  4. 600g good stewing steak or beef skirt, cut into chunks, fat removed
  5. Pinch of salt and black pepper
  6. 2 tsp plain flour
  7. 2 parsnips, peeled and quartered
  8. 4 carrots, peeled and halved
  9. ½ small butternut squash, deseeded and roughly chopped, no need to peel
  10. 2 tbsps tomato purée
  11. 1 bay leaf
  12. 250 ml red wine
  13. 285 ml vegetable stock
  14. Zest of a lemon, finely grated
  15. Rosemary leaves

Preheat the oven to 160ºC. Put oil in a casserole pan, add onion and sage leaves and fry for 3 minutes. Dust meat with seasoned flour and add to pan with the vegetables, tomato purée, bay leaf, wine and stock. Stir gently and season. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid, and cook in oven until the meat is tender and falls apart easily – about 3 hours. Garnish with lemon zest and rosemary leaves.

Cottage pie

Serves 4

  1. 250g extra lean minced beef
  2. 1 large onion, diced
  3. 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  4. 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
  5. 1 400g can chopped tomatoes
  6. 2 tbsp tomato puree
  7. 300ml boiling water
  8. 2 Oxo cubes
  9. 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  10. 1 bay leaf
  11. 1 tsp thyme leaves, chopped
  12. 500g celeriac, peeled and cubed
  13. 1 tsp groundnut oil
  14. 2 young leeks, trimmed and sliced (pound coin width)
  15. 100g half fat crème fraiche

Brown minced beef in a large pan, add diced onions, celery and carrot and allow to soften for 10 minutes. Stir in chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf, thyme, salt and pepper, water and Oxo cubes. Bring to boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Boil celeriac until very tender, drain and mash with crème fraiche until as smooth as you wish. Heat oil in a pan and gently saute leeks, adding them to the celeriac mash. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Pour beef into a shallow ovenproof dish and top with celeriac mixture. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until top is golden brown.

Roast chicken with fennel and lentils

Serves 4

  1. 4 skinless chicken breasts
  2. 1 tbsp. fennel seeds
  3. 2 tbsp. olive oil
  4. 4 sticks of celery, diagonally sliced
  5. 2 large red onions, cut into thin wedges
  6. 4 cloves of garlic
  7. Handful of fresh thyme
  8. 350 ml vegetable stock
  9. 350ml red wine
  10. 175g lentils
  11. Salt and freshly ground pepper

Method
Preheat the oven to 250C/Gas Mark 9. Using a pestle and mortar, crush the fennel seeds into the olive oil and smear over the chicken breasts. Place the celery, onion wedges, garlic and thyme in a roasting tin, drizzle with a little olive oil and place the chicken breasts on top. Roast for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and turn down the temperature to 150C/Gas Mark 2. Add the wine, stock and lentils to the tin and stir in around the chicken, season well and then return to the oven for 2-3 hours. Serve with green beans.

Spanish chicken with olives

Serves 4-6

  1. 900g chicken pieces
  2. 450g small potatoes
  3. 100g mixed black and green olives
  4. 400g can of chopped tomatoes
  5. 2 tbsp. tomato puree
  6. 1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced
  7. 1 tbsp. olive oil
  8. 2 red onions, peeled and sliced into half moon shapes
  9. 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  10. Few sprigs of thyme
  11. 275ml red wine
  12. 1 bay leaf
  13. Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 140C/Gas Mark 1. Heat the oil in a casserole dish over a high heat, add the chicken and brown them on all sides, about 6-8 pieces at a time, removing them to a plate as they’re browned. Then add the the onions and pepper, and brown them a little at the edges –takes about 6 minutes.

Add the garlic, stir for about 1 minute, then return the browned meat to the casserole and add all the thyme, tomatoes, tomato puree, red wine, olives and bay leaves. Bring everything up to a gentle simmer, seasoning well, then put the lid on and transfer the casserole to the the oven for 1¼ hours. After that, add the potatoes, cover the pan again and cook for a further 45 minutes.

Stir-fry chicken with lime and coconut milk

Serves 2

  1. 2 skinless chicken pieces
  2. Juice of 1 lime
  3. 150ml can of low fat coconut milk
  4. 2 tsp. olive oil
  5. 1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  6. 1 tbsp. Thai fish sauce
  7. 4 spring onions
  8. Bunch of coriander

Heat the oil in a wok over a high heat, add the chicken pieces and stir-fry for 4 minutes, until they’re golden. Add the chilli, stir-fry for 1 minute, and add the coconut milk, fish sauce, the coriander and spring onions. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, then serve with Thai fragrant rice or fresh noodles.

Creamy pork and mushrooms

Serves 2

  1. 1 tsp. olive oil
  2. 1 onion, peeled, halved and sliced
  3. 275g pork fillet
  4. 250g chestnut mushrooms, halved
  5. Pinch caraway seeds
  6. 100ml chicken stock
  7. 2 tbsp. half fat crème fraiche
  8. Pinch hot smoked paprika

Method:
In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil then cook the onion for about 5 minutes so it starts to soften. Slice the pork into pieces about 1cm thick and add to the pan. Brown all over then stir in the mushrooms and caraway seeds. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring now and again, until the mushrooms start to release their juices. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, until the pork is cooked through. Remove from the heat and stir in the crème fraiche and season. Sprinkle with paprika and serve with a baked potato and green beans.

Lamb shanks with pearl barley

Serves 4
Ingredients:

  1. 4 lean lamb shanks
  2. 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  3. 6 large carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks
  4. 6 shallots, peeled and quartered
  5. 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  6. Handful of fresh thyme
  7. 1 tbsp. tomato puree
  8. 1 tbsp. plain flour
  9. 1 litre of chicken stock
  10. 400g can of plum tomatoes
  11. 60g pearl barley

Method:
Preheat the oven to 170C/gas mark 3. Heat the oil in a large casserole and add the lamb. Allow to cook for 10 minutes while it browns all over and then remove and set to one side. Add the carrot, onions, garlic and thyme and cook for 10 minutes. Then add the tomato puree, flour, stock and tomatoes, stir well and bring to the boil. Simmer for a few minutes and then add the lamb and pearl barley. Cover with a lid and transfer to the oven for 3 hours.

South African chicken with spicy apricot sauce

Serves 2

  1. 2 tbsp. olive oil
  2. 2 skinless chicken breast
  3. 1 onion, finely chopped
  4. Half a red pepper, deseeded and finely sliced
  5. 1 stick of celery, finely sliced
  6. 1 tsp. of hot curry paste
  7. 2 heaped tbsp. of tomato puree
  8. 200g canned apricot haves, drained and sliced
  9. 100ml white wine or chicken stock

Heat the oil in a pan and when it gets hot, lay the chicken breasts in the pan and brown for 3 minutes each side. Turn the heat down and cook for 5 minutes each side making sure they are thoroughly cooked through. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the onion, celery and pepper and cook for 5 minutes until softened. Stir in the curry paste, tomato puree, apricots and wine or stock and bring to the boil, and then simmer for 5 minutes. Return the chicken breasts to the pan to heat through and then serve with rice.

Pork and apple meatballs

Serves 4

  1. 1 wholemeal slice bread, torn
  2. 1 large shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
  3. 1 apple, cored and roughly chopped
  4. 1 tbsp. chopped fresh lemon thyme leaves
  5. 500g lean pork mince
  6. 2 tsp. olive oil
  7. 4 tbsp. apple sauce
  8. 4 tbsp. half-fat crème fraîche
  9. Seasoning

Method:
Place the bread, shallot, apple and lemon thyme in a food processor and whiz until finely chopped. Mix with the pork mince and seasoning, then shape into 28 small meatballs, using damp hands so that the mixture doesn’t stick. Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan, add the meatballs and fry for 12-15 minutes over a medium heat until cooked through, turning occasionally to colour evenly. Mix the apple sauce and crème fraîche together to make the sauce, and serve with the hot meatballs.

Crab cakes

Serves 4

  1. 125g fresh breadcrumbs
  2. 400g crabmeat
  3. Pinch of cayenne pepper
  4. 1 tbsp. wholegrain mustard
  5. Splash of Worcestershire sauce
  6. 2 tbsp. reduced fat mayonnaise
  7. 4 spring onions, chopped
  8. Handful of parsley, chopped
  9. Juice of half a lemon
  10. Freshly ground black pepper
  11. Flour for dusting

Method:
Mix together in a bowl the breadcrumbs, crabmeat, cayenne pepper, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, spring onions, mayonnaise and parsley. Season and stir in the lemon juice. Place the bowl in the fridge for a few hours. Sprinkle some flour on a clean surface and on your hands and shape the mixture into 8 patties. Heat a little oil in a non-stick frying pan and when hot fry the crab cakes for 3 minutes on each side.

Seafood and fennel stew

Serves 2

  1. 1 tbsp olive oil
  2. 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
  3. 1 bulb fennel, finely chopped
  4. 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  5. Splash of vermouth or dry white wine
  6. 300ml chicken stock
  7. 230g can of chopped tomatoes
  8. 250g mixed seafood
  9. 150g baby leaf spinach

Method:
Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion, fennel and garlic and cook for 5 minutes until softened. Add the vermouth and let bubble for a minute. Pour in the chicken stock and tomatoes and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 minutes, and then stir in the seafood and spinach to heat through. Season to taste.

Mahi Mahi with saffron, pine nuts and raisins

Serves 6

  1. 2 tbsp olive oil
  2. 2 onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  3. 3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  4. Pinch of saffron threads, soaked in 3 tablespoons hot water (optional)
  5. 100ml white wine vinegar
  6. 300ml fish stock
  7. 2 tbsp raisins
  8. 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
  9. 6 skinless, boneless mahi mahi fillets,
  10. 20 vine cherry tomatoes, halved
  11. Handful of fresh coriander, coarsely chopped, to garnish

Method:
Heat half the olive oil in a frying pan, add the onions and garlic and cook for 10 minutes until caramelised. Add the saffron liquid and threads to the pan with the vinegar and fish stock and simmer for 5 minutes, then add the raisins and toasted pine nuts. Remove from the heat and set aside. Heat the remaining olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the fish for 2-3 minutes on one side until just golden brown. Turn the fish, add the tomatoes and pour the onion mixture over the top. Simmer for 2 minutes until the fish is cooked through. Season to taste and garnish with the coriander.

Cumin-scented turkey burgers with sweet potato mash and spinach

Serves 1

  1. 125g turkey mince
  2. 1 spring onion
  3. 1 beaten egg
  4. ½ red chili
  5. 1 clove garlic, crushed
  6. ½ tsp cumin
  7. ½ tsp ground coriander

Combine ingredients and leave to marinade for half an hour in the fridge. Shape into patties and grill for 5-7 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Meanwhile, peel and chop the potato, add to a pan of boiling water and simmer for 10 mins. Drain and mash with the Greek yogurt and season with salt and pepper. Place the spinach in a microwave dish and add about 1cm deep of water. Cook for 1 min. Drain, season with salt pepper and a pinch of nutmeg and stir through the pine nuts.