Dauphinoise Potatoes with Crème Fraîche 

I made these dauphinoise potatoes last night but didn’t fancy using cream as I felt it would be too rich and heavy. Using crème fraîche and skimmed milk instead works really well. I slightly burnt the cheese on last night’s bake but it actually tastes quite nice a little crispy.

Ingredients

1 tsp olive oil

150ml skimmed milk

1 large garlic clove, peeled and halved

4 rosemary sprigs, plus extra for sprinkling

1 bay leaf

1 shallot, roughly chopped

5 medium sized potatoes, thinly sliced

300g full-fat crème fraîche

75ml vegetable stock

Grated mature cheddar cheese (enough to cover potatoes)

 

Method

  1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Brush the oil over the bottom and sides of a 20 x 30 x 5cm ovenproof dish. Put the milk, garlic, 4 rosemary sprigs, bay leaf and shallot into a saucepan. Bring just to the boil, then remove from the heat and add a little pepper. Set aside to infuse.

  2. Peel and then slice the potatoes very thinly. Layer the slices of potato on to the bottom of the dish, overlapping slightly, then season.

     

    Take the bay leaf and garlic out of the infused milk and pour into a jug. Put the crème fraîche into a bowl, then gradually pour in the milk, whisking gently until smooth. Then gently add the stock mixing as you go. Next using a ladel pour the mixture over the potatoes in the dish just covering them. Layer up the next layer of the potatoes, again cover the potatoes with your mixture. Note: you will need to keep enough of the mixture to cover the final layer of potatoes. Now layer up your final layer and cover with your remaining sauce. 

  3. Next cover the potatoes with the cheese and a grind of pepper. Place the dish in the oven and bake for 1¼-1½ hrs until golden and tender – test by inserting a sharp knife through the potatoes. Stand for 5 mins before serving.

    Enjoy guys, it’s really tasty and goes great with a salad.

    Love

    Lea

Tips and Tricks for Cheap and Healthy Family Meals

 

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Butter Bean Curry

Feeding the family healthy meals that don ‘t break the bank and don’t take hours to prepare and cook night after night can be challenging and stressful. When you throw in the idea of healthy eating people often feel that it’s an expensive challenge. Many patients/clients/friends/family that I see think eating healthily is expensive. Agreed, it can be expensive but it doesn’t have to be. Steer clear of gimmicky health kicks and tricks and stick to basics.

TOP TIPS

Fresh – Tinned – Frozen

We all know fruit and veg is good for us and will fuel our body with the vitamins and minerals our body needs to function. Yet we don’t seem to eat enough of them. Why? Buying fresh fruit and veg is great but there’s nothing wrong in using tinned or frozen too. If you’re worried you won’t use your fresh fruit and veg in time before they go off then buy some tinned and frozen options as well. Try to have a stash of fruit and veg in your cupboard and freezer so that you are able to add some plant power to every meal. On days when I’m working and don’t have time to sit and eat breakfast at home before dashing out the door with the toddler, I grab my overnight oats from the fridge and throw in a handful of frozen berries and eat when I get to work. That’s 1-2 portions of fruit before 9am. If life is hectic and there’s no time for meal planning, no time for food shopping you can easily add some frozen or tinned veg to a pasta bake. Just the other day I added some frozen peas and runner beans to a pasta bake. It helped to bulk out the dish with some extra green goodness.

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Meat-free Mixed Bean Lasagne

Pulses – lentils, peas and beans

Beans, peas and lentils whether they be dried or tinned are a great source of low-fat protein, are cheap and count towards your daily recommended portions of fruit and veg. Protein doesn’t just need to come from meat or fish, have you ever made a spag bol or chilli with beans rather than mince? It’s cheaper, tastes delicious and reducing your meat intake will aid to reduce your carbon footprint and won’t do your digestive system any harm either.

Bulk/Batch cooking

Making larger portions or extra portions on days when you have more time means you can then freeze and eat for lunches or dinners on days when you have less time. Having very little time to prepare and eat food is one of the most common complaints I hear from patients/clients/friends. Unfortunately, if we want to live long healthy lives we need to prioritize time for decent meals. Cooking from scratch is the best way to know that your food is decent and honest. Grabbing food from fast food chains or ordering a take away is not cost-effective (it’s really really expensive) and definitely not good for you. Making extra portions or batch cooking can be hard to get in the swing of as it takes a little forward planning but if you have young children this really will be a god send on those days you just run out of time!

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Big Batch Lasagne

I have plenty more tips and tricks like these so stay tuned for more by subscribing to my blog and you’ll get emailed them straight to your inbox. I think that’s how it works, ha, I’ve no idea. Just trying to sound like I know what I’m talking about when it comes to blogging ; )

Happy Thursday you lovely lot!

Love

Lea x x

Pea, Mint and Avocado Pesto

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This pesto combination is so delicious and creamy it takes pesto to the next level. You can have this stirred in to warm pasta (brown rice pasta is gluten-free and my preference) or slathered on toast. I’m really happy with this combination and know that you’ll find it so tasty and extra bonus points for it being incredibly nutritious. I tried and tested this recipe on two toddlers, a four and 7 year old, a teenager, another Mummy and a fussy health fanatic (Oli, my partner). I can honestly say that they loved it, yay! The 7 year old took some coaxing in to initially trying it but she got there and loved it.

Ingredients

1/2 mug of Pinenuts
3 tablespoons of Olive Oil
1 Avocado
1 mug of Peas
3 sprigs of Mint
Juice of half a Lemon
A pinch of Salt and Pepper to taste

Method

Place the pinenuts into the food processor and blend, once blended add the rest of the ingredients. Once evenly combined you can either serve immediately or place in an airtight container and store in the fridge (up to 3 days).

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Important things to remember when making your own food from scratch is that you know exactly what is going in to your food. With this recipe the peas will be providing you with a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation throughout the body. Peas are a great source of fibre and protein helping you maintain a healthy digestive system. Avocado contains vitamin A, B, C, E, & K, copper, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium – just amazing! They have a rich supply of a type of fat called oleic acid, also found in olive oil, which helps the digestive tract’s ability to absorb nutrients, as well as lowering the risk of heart disease. It’s so worth investing in a little home cooking, your mind and body will thank you for it. Remember that your body needs to last you quite a while!!

Lea Xx

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Chickpea Curry Goodness

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Chickpea Curry

This really is a warming, hearty, colourful dish to get you through February. Full of goodness it will help keep those nasty winter colds at bay and the vibrant colours and fresh flavours reminds me that spring is just around the corner!

We all struggle with thinking of different things to make for dinner and tend to get stuck in a rut. Because I love good food, like to be inspired, and I’m nosey, I always ask people “what are you having for dinner tonight”. So – what are you having for dinner tonight?

Healthy food doesn’t have to be boring, if you’re struggling for something different, or just need some inspiration, try this recipe. It’s so easy and all the ingredients get thrown into one pot, which means less washing up!

I made this for just two people with a little left over, but Oli does tend to eat for five, so you could alter the quantities to suit whoever you’re cooking for.

– 150g fine beans
– 150g corn
– onion
-10 pomodorino (or cherry) tomatoes
– 1 red chilli
– 3 cloves of garlic
– lemon
– a big handful of coriander
– 2 teaspoons of turmeric
– 2 teaspoons of garam masala
– 1 tablespoon of natural yogurt per serving
– 2 teaspoons of coconut oil (or olive oil)
– 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
– 1 tin of chickpeas
– 2 cups of boiling water
– brown rice to serve

Start by chopping the fine beans, the corn and the tomatoes in half. Also chop up the onion, chilli and crush the garlic.

Melt your coconut oil (or olive oil) in a large saucepan then add the turmeric, garam masala, chilli & crushed garlic until they’re bubbling. Add the fine beans, corn, and onion and stir the ingredients well. After a few minutes add the tin tomatoes and also the chopped fresh tomatoes. Once it’s bubbling turn it right down to simmer for about 15 minutes.

Next you need to drain your chickpeas and add to your pot. Also chop up a handful of coriander and add to the mix. Leave to simmer for a further 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, get your rice ready. The amount of rice you use is dependent on how many are eating. For the two of us I use one cup of rice to two cups of boiling water. Place the rice and water over a medium heat. I literally do the absorption method as it’s the only way I don’t mess the rice up. Literally leave on the heat until the rice has absorbed the water.

Once everything is ready place the rice into bowls and the curry on top. On top of each curry serving I squeeze a little lemon over. Dollop a table spoon of natural yogurt on the top of your curry with a little more coriander sprinkled on top to serve.

Then get ready to tuck in to a healthy dinner bursting with flavour and goodness!