Fabulous recipes to make life a lot easier and just that bit healthier…
DON’T MISS OUT Catch up with Fearne’s fabulous cakes, bakes, salads, roasts and family suppers from last week here.
Welcome to a second helping from Cook Happy, Cook Healthy, my new cookbook. It’s full of delicious, easy recipes with a healthy twist for any time of day, from breakfast on the go to special nights in and rowdy Sunday lunches with your nearest and dearest (getting the whole family involved will make dinner time more fun and give your kids an understanding of good food). I also suggest ways to ‘cook smart’, giving tips both for freezing and for leftovers. If you missed part one last week, check out the link above.
Spelt & goji berry loaf
This has to be the easiest loaf you’ll ever make. Don’t be scared if you haven’t made bread before as this recipe takes all the hassle out of the process but tastes incredible. I love to eat it in the morning, spread with nut butter, as in the picture opposite.
MAKES 8-10 SLICES
coconut oil, for greasing
480g wholegrain spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp sea salt
80g pumpkin seeds
40g dried apricots, finely chopped, or raisins
40g goji berries
1 tbsp honey
520ml tepid water
1 Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/400F/ gas 6. Lightly grease a 1kg loaf tin and line it with baking parchment.
2 Combine all the dry ingredients, including the seeds and fruit, in a bowl, then add the honey and water and mix again until just combined.
3 Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and bake in the oven for 50 minutes, then carefully remove the loaf from its tin and bake the loaf upside down directly on the oven rack for a further 10 minutes (this gives it a better crust).
4 Remove the loaf from the oven and leave it to cool completely before cutting (otherwise all the steam escapes, resulting in a drier loaf). Once cool, cut into slices and spread with your favourite topping. This will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
This is a protein-packed snack that always tastes better homemade. It’s perfect for spreading on toast and makes a wonderful addition to smoothies and breakfast bowls. Plain nut butter is lovely as it is, but you can play around, adding some extras. A pinch of salt helps to deepen the flavour, or you can sweeten it with a little maple syrup or honey. Cinnamon works nicely, too, and cocoa powder is heavenly with hazelnuts and honey. Simply add any extras to the processor after blitzing the nuts and mix to incorporate. See the book for my homemade seed butter.
250g raw unsalted almonds, cashews or hazelnuts
pinch of sea salt
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp honey
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp unsweetened
1 Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/350F/gas 4.
2 Spread out your chosen nuts on a baking tray and roast them in the oven for 6-7 minutes, or until they are a shade darker and aromatic. You can check them by cutting a nut in half: the centre should be golden in colour. Keep a close eye on them as they may need a minute or two more or less, depending on your oven. Once roasted, remove the nuts from the oven and leave them to cool completely. Add the cooled nuts to the bowl of a food processor and blitz for 3-6 minutes (depending on the strength of your processor) until the nuts transform into a creamy, smooth butter. As the natural oils in the nuts are gradually released, they will aid the process.
Pea, broad bean & mint soup
This is such a lovely dish: it’s fresh and light but comforting at the same time, so it works just as well on a cold winter’s afternoon as it does for an alfresco lunch in the sun. It’s super quick to make, so if guests arrive out of the blue or you are rushing around, this is perfect. It can be made the day before, too, and it will keep in the freezer for up to 1 month.
2 tbsp extra virgin
olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 litre vegetable stock (see my book for easy homemade) or make it with good-quality bouillon powder
400g fresh or frozen peas
100g fresh or frozen broad beans
5g fresh mint leaves, finely chopped, plus extra to garnish
5g fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp full-fat coconut milk, to serve (optional)
1 Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 10-15 minutes until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the stock, peas and broad beans, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat a little and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the chopped mint and parsley and simmer for a further. 2 minutes, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a blender and purée until smooth (or blend in the pan with a stick blender). Return the soup to the pan and heat through once again. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
2 To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and drizzle over a little extra virgin olive oil and coconut milk (if using). Scatter over the extra mint leaves and serve immediately.
Baked salmon parcels with grilled lettuce and peas
This meal is nutrient-rich and makes a lovely light dinner. The sweet marinade works so well with the vegetables. Lettuce can be terribly boring but by frying it you add a whole new level to its flavour and texture.
2 tsp coconut oil, melted
2cm piece of root ginger, peeled and finely grated
cloves garlic, crushed
1½ tbsp tamari or soy sauce
2 tsp honey 2 boneless salmon fillets, skin on
200g frozen garden peas
extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
1 baby gem lettuce, halved
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/400F/ gas 6 and line a baking tray with a large piece of baking parchment.
2 Place a saucepan of salted water on to boil.
3 To make the sauce, combine the melted coconut oil, ginger, garlic, tamari or soy sauce, and honey in a bowl. Place the salmon skin-side down on the middle of the lined baking tray. Pour the sauce over the salmon and use your hands to coat evenly. Fold over the baking parchment and scrunch it together to create a parcel. Bake the salmon for 8–10 minutes, until cooked through.
4 Once the water has boiled, add the peas and cook for 3-4 minutes until tender. Drain, toss with 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil and season to taste.
5 Place a dry frying pan over a high heat. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of olive oil over the lettuce halves and season with salt and pepper. When the pan is hot, add the lettuce, cut-side down, and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side until softened and charred.
6 Divide the peas and lettuce between 2 plates, and top with the salmon. Drizzle over any remaining sauce from the salmon and serve.
Tamari chicken drumsticks with pomegranate seeds
We love to have a good old gathering at our house and a huge dish of these always goes down well. In fact, we always end up wishing we had made more as they disappear so quickly. Marinate overnight so on the day they’re full of flavour and ready to cook. I don’t eat chicken but love making these for other hungry faces. The pomegranate provides a sweet crunch and looks beautiful.
4 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp olive oil
6 cloves garlic, crushed
4cm piece of root ginger, peeled and finely grated
12 chicken drumsticks
small handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
3 tbsp pomegranate seeds
1 Combine the tamari or soy sauce, maple syrup, sesame oil, olive oil, garlic and ginger in a large bowl. Slash the skin of each drumstick three times, add them to the bowl, coat with the marinade, cover and chill for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
2 When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/400F/gas 6.
3 Transfer the marinated chicken and all the marinade to a large baking tray. Roast for 35-40 minutes, turning the drumsticks occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and the skin is slightly blistered and golden.
4 Transfer the drumsticks to a serving dish, scatter over the parsley and pomegranate seeds and serve immediately.
Cherry berry sponge cake
Making big, beautiful cakes is one of my favourite pastimes. Eating them is my ultimate favourite. I find the whole process cathartic, from the careful layering to the decorating. This cake is as pretty as a peach and you can really go to town on the decorations if it’s for a special occasion – edible glitter goes down a storm!
FOR THE ICING
2 x 400ml cans full-fat coconut milk, chilled
3½ tbsp set honey
1½ tbsp cornflour
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
pinch of sea salt
FOR THE SPONGE
225g coconut palm sugar
200g coconut oil, plus extra for greasing
4 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp almond milk (homemade from the book or shop-bought), rice milk or dairy milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
225g white spelt flour, sifted
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
¼ tsp fine sea salt
FOR THE TOPPING
150g cherries, strawberries and blueberries
edible glitter and fresh flowers, to decorate (optional)
1 Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/ 350F/gas 4. Grease two 18cm springform round cake tins with coconut oil and line the bases with baking parchment.
2 To make the icing, remove the cans of coconut milk from the fridge without shaking them. Remove the lids and carefully scoop out the very firm, set coconut cream at the top, leaving the coconut water in the cans (don’t throw the water away – use it to make soups, curries, porridge or smoothies). Add the thick coconut cream to the bowl of a food processor with the remaining icing ingredients and blitz until completely smooth. Transfer to a bowl, cover and chill for at least 1 hour to set.
3 To make the sponge, place the coconut palm sugar and coconut oil in a bowl and cream together until light and well incorporated. Beat in the eggs a little at a time, followed by the milk and vanilla, then fold in the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt until well combined. Divide the mixture between the prepared cake tins and bake in the oven for about 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted at the centre of the cakes comes out fairly clean. Remove the cakes from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes, then carefully turn them out on to a wire rack to cool.
4 Once the cakes are completely cool, spread one cake with half of the icing, then place the second cake on top of the first and ice again. Decorate the top of the cake with the cherries, berries, edible glitter and flowers, if you like.
Mini carrot, spelt & spice scones
I love scones and the ritual of afternoon tea. I wish there was a law that meant we all had to stop each afternoon for this old-school observance. These scones are packed with carrot and spelt and are just sweet enough. I love getting more veggies in my diet in any way I can, so incorporating them into bakes makes me very happy.
MAKES 8-10 MINI SCONES
220g white spelt flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting
2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground or freshly grated nutmeg
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp fine sea salt
200g carrots, coarsely grated
30g coconut oil, melted, plus extra to serve
2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
1 egg, beaten, for brushing
almond butter (homemade from the book or shop-bought) and jam, to serve
1 Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/ 350F/gas 4 and line a baking tray with baking parchment.
2 Place the flour, spices, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a bowl and stir to combine.
3 Roughly chop the grated carrot to get rid of any long strands, then add it to the flour mixture together with the coconut oil, honey or maple syrup, and sultanas. Combine with a spoon, then use your hands to bring the mixture together to form a ball. It may seem a little dry at first, but keep on compressing the mixture with your hands and it will form a dough. Try to work quickly and not over-work the dough, as this will result in tough scones.
4 Lightly dust the work surface with flour and roll out the dough to a thickness of about 3cm. Use a 5cm clean-edged round cutter to cut 8-10 scones, dipping the cutter in flour as you go before cutting to prevent it sticking to the dough. Use up all the leftover scraps of dough, rolling it out again and punching out scones as before.
5 Place the scones on the lined baking tray and brush with a little beaten egg. Bake in the oven for 13-15 minutes, or until they have risen and are golden brown.
6 Remove from the oven and serve warm, spread with your favourite jam, almond butter and some coconut oil. They will keep for up to 2 days in an airtight container – reheat before serving.
Frozen banana & raspberry ice cream
This is the easiest ice cream in the world to make and it’s so delicious, you’ll never want the shop-bought variety again. I love making this for the kids as I know exactly what’s in it and there are no nasties – just fruity goodness and protein from the almonds.
3 ripe bananas
150g frozen raspberries, or buy fresh and freeze them yourself
2 tbsp almond milk (homemade from the book or shop-bought)
1 tbsp almond butter (homemade as above or shop-bought)
granola (homemade from the book or shop-bought)
chia, sunflower or pumpkin seeds
toasted flaked almonds
a few fresh raspberries
1 The day before you want to make the ice cream, peel the bananas, cut them into chunks, place the chunks in a freezer bag and freeze. If you have fresh raspberries, pop them in the freezer, too.
2 When you are ready to make the ice cream, remove the bananas and raspberries from the freezer and leave to thaw for 5 minutes. Place them in the bowl of a food processor or a blender and blitz for 1 minute, until they are finely ground. Add the almond milk and nut butter and blitz for a further minute, or until it is smooth and creamy.
3 Transfer to bowls and serve immediately with whatever toppings you like.
Photographs Tamin Jones
Extracted from Cook Happy, Cook Healthy by Fearne Cotton
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Our recipes are from Cook Happy, Cook Healthy by Fearne Cotton, to be published on Thursday by Orion, price £20. As well as Fearne’s introduction and storecupboard know-how, chapters cover breakfast, drinks, lunches, snacks, dinner in a dash, nights in, weekend classics, baking, and desserts and treats. To pre-order a copy for £16 (a 20 per cent discount) until 12 June, visit you-bookshop.co.uk or call 0844 571 0640; p&p is free on orders over £15.