Here’s a simple yet wonderfully well balanced mid-weeker. Garlic, mushrooms, spinach and lentils make for such a warming bowl, but it’s the addition of tarragon that wakes up the flavour and makes this a complete dish.
Be brave with the garlic but be careful you get the right amount of tarragon. Just enough gives a hint of bittersweet, too much gives an aniseed flavour that overpowers the softer ingredients. The suggested measures below gives you leeway to add some more at the end if you want a bit more punch.
Things you might not know about tarragon…
- Most tarragon we eat is French, the alternative being Russian tarragon which is less flavoursome.
- Tarragon has a mild anesthetic property when used medicinally. It also has sedative properties and can be used in tea as an aid for insomnia.
- Herbalists sometimes use the herb as an digestive aid because of its ability to breakdown meat fats and proteins.
- Fresh tarragon is one of the highest antioxidant value food sources among the common herbs. It is packed with vitamins including vitamin C, vitamin A as well as B complex vitamins such as folates, pyridoxine, niacin and riboflavin.
- Tarragon is an excellent source of minerals like calcium, manganese, iron, magnesium, copper, potassium, and zinc.
I’ve served this one with red carmargue rice. It’s got a good nutty flavour that works well with the mushrooms. It’s also adds a bit of crunch to the dish.
To make enough for a hearty bowl for one or two small portions with rice you will need:
- 2 tsp coconut oil
- 1/2 red onion
- 2 fat garlic cloves or 3 regular – it’s good to go BIG on garlic with mushrooms
- 100g mushroom
- 100g spinach
- 100g cooked lentils
- 150ml veg stock (if using shop bought try the low salt Bouillon such as Marigold)
- Tablespoon tarragon – but potentially more at the end of the cooking, see below
Serve it with:
- 25g – 40g red rice – which doesn’t sound a lot, but the dish doesn’t need anymore or the rice will become the main event
- Generous spoonful of natural yoghurt
It’s a doddle to make, here’s how:
- Wash the rice thoroughly in cold water then cover with water. Bring to the boil and then reduce heat slightly for around 20 – 30 minutes till the grains are squeezable in your finger tips.
- While the rice is cooking, add your oil to a pan on a moderately high hob, add the onions and garlic. Give them a good five minutes to soften right down.
- Add the mushrooms and lentils and keep on a medium heat for around 5 minutes until the mushrooms start to soften.
- Add the stock and turn the heat down, allow the ingredients to cook for up to ten minutes.
- Put the spinach and tarragon on top and wait for it to wilt into the other ingredients, stirring gently once or twice to help the process.
- Make a final check on flavours and season, maybe adding some more chopped tarragon either now or to the end plate.
- Things should come together around the same time. Drain your rice and give yourself half with a generous measure of the mushrooms and sauce.
- Finish with a big spoonful of natural yoghurt.
(A serving with 25g rice and yoghurt contains approximately 220 calories)
Once made you can cover and keep this one overnight to reheat on the second day.
I hope you enjoy this simple and nourishing bowl of goodness.
If you have time, read more about clean eating or take a look at my lifestyle principles to see how clean eating can be part of your daily world.
God damn delicious.
Last week I posted the recipe for Apricot and Cashew raw food bars. They were really good, but I’m pretty sure that these ones are better.
To make 5 bars you’ll need:
55g cashew nuts
5g dried cranberries
Each bar contains around 125 calories (between 30 – 35g)
- Blend up the nuts in a processor until fine.
- Take them out and whizz up the fruit.
- Then mix them both together. You need to get your hands in and mix them up properly.
- Press into a loaf tin or just shape them on a board using a pallette knife. (I just shape them on a board).
- Refrigerate them for a couple of hours, then chop into 5 and wrap each individually in cling film. Pop back in the fridge.
Fab, I’ll get some more of these up next week.
Crisp and crunchy.
There’s no instruction required on this one really. I just wanted to post a fresh plate with the right mix of textures, that takes no time or effort, It is simply good in every way.
- Half a fillet of salmon (try sprinkling a little paprika and a squeeze of lime before wrapping loosely in foil and baking at 150 degrees c for 20 minutes)
- 1/5 – 1/4 avocado
- Pumpkin seeds
- Some lettuce leaves
- A few torn mint leaves
- A squeeze of lime
Avocados offer nearly 20 vitamins and minerals in every serving, including potassium (which helps control blood pressure), lutein (which is good for your eyes), and folate (which is crucial for cell repair).
Avocados are a good source of B vitamins, which help you fight off disease and infection. They also give you vitamins C and E, they’re low in sugar and they contain fibre, which helps you feel full longer.
Salmon is full of nutrients. It is an excellent source of high-quality protein, vitamins and minerals (including potassium, selenium and vitamin B12) plus high density of omega-3 fatty acids. (Good for brain, joints, heart and general well-being).
Soup glorious soup!
The beauty of soup is that you can use what you have. This soup was originally going to be a pea and mint one, but I ended up getting some gargantuan courgettes from the Spanish supermarket and needed to blitz them into something good.
To create 3/4 servings, you will need:
- 150 g onion
- 1 or 2 cloves of garlic (we are garlic monsters and always add plenty)
- 300g chopped courgette
- 500g frozen peas
- About 15 mint leaves
- 400ml – 500ml vegetable stock (add around 300ml then add more at the end if you like a thick soup)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Here’s how to do it:
- Simply soften the onions and garlic in the oil, then add the other vegetables and stock.
- Simmer for a good 15/20 minutes with the pan lid on until all the ingredients are soft.
- Blitz up with the handheld or food processor
- Season as you like it and enjoy really hot
- This one is great with some shaved parmesan and ripped mint leaves on top
A 300ml portion contains approximately 125 calories (before any parmesan or extras)
These clean-eat and gluten free bars are truly gorgeous. I eat these now instead of Nakd bars. The basic principle is to combine fruits and nuts that taste great together, meaning there are loads of variations you can try.
I’ll make a weekly batch to share some of the combinations we like most. Today is Fruity Friday at school so my son has one in his packed lunch. Both the children love these. I’ll be honest, I’d probably have to smear in melted chocolate to convince Alex.
To make 5 bars you’ll need:
75g cashew nuts
3 large dates
45g unsulphered dried apricots
20g unsulphered raisins
Each bar contains around 130 calories (between 30 – 35g)
Just blend up the nuts in a processor until fine. Take them out and whizz up the fruit. Then mix them both together. You need to get your hands in and mix them up properly. Then press into a loaf tin or just shape them on a board using a pallette knife. Cut into 5 bars then cover with cling film and refirgerate them for a couple of hours.
I then wrap each individually in cling film and pop back in the fridge.
They’ll keep for a few days without any problem. Sounds cheesy – but we’ve never had to wait that long to find out.