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Fearne & family

 

Fearne Cotton (7 million Twitter followers and counting) shares some favourite easy, healthy, family-friendly recipes for any day of the week. A delicious dip into her gorgeous new cookbook

 

Paradise chicken curry

 

 

Once while on holiday with one of my close friends I took an afternoon cooking course. The first dish we tackled was a chicken curry made with fresh local ingredients. Bliss! This curry is inspired by that cooking lesson many moons ago and has been enjoyed by many people, my stepchildren especially. They are chicken curry experts and are very honest, so I was chuffed when this dish got a firm thumbs up. It’s full of spice and exotic flavours and has a ton of health-boosting protein from the chicken. If, like me, you don’t eat chicken, substitute it with smoked tofu. The flavours and textures work just as well.

 

SERVES 4

 

30g coconut oil

2 onions, thinly sliced

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

10g root ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

2 tbsp red curry paste

1 tsp dried chilli flakes

1 tbsp ground turmeric

1 tsp ground cumin

10 cardamom pods, bruised with a rolling pin so the skin pops open

5 cloves

4 tbsp tomato purée

400g tin coconut milk

1kg skinless, boneless chicken thighs, chopped into bite-size chunks

150g spinach

cooked brown rice or quinoa, to serve

small handful of chives or fresh coriander leaves, to serve

sea salt

 

1 Put the coconut oil in a large high-sided pan and set over a medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for 8 minutes until slightly softened. Add the garlic and ginger and continue to sweat down for another 2 minutes until aromatic.

 

2 Add the curry paste, chilli flakes, turmeric, cumin, cardamom, cloves and tomato purée and fry for 2 minutes to release the flavour of the spices.

 

3 Stir the coconut milk into the spice paste until combined. Add the chicken, 200ml of water and a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Stir in the spinach and cook for a minute or two until it wilts. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

 

4 Serve in bowls with rice or quinoa, scattered with the chives or coriander.

 

FLEXI OPTION: If you’d like a veggie alternative for this meaty dish, just replace the chicken with cubes of smoked tofu and cook the same way.

 

Simple summer beetroot & orange salad

 

Fearne Cotton with a simple summer beetroot & orange salad

Fearne Cotton with a simple summer beetroot & orange salad


 

Having a very sweet tooth means I often subliminally make many of my savoury dishes lean strongly in this direction. This salad is so juicy and sweet as the oranges burst with flavour and colour, and the honey dressing delivers more wonderful sweetness. This is gorgeous as a quick lunch or a fresh side salad on a hot day.

 

SERVES 2

 

150g quinoa, rinsed

grated zest of 1 orange, with flesh separated into segments

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp honey

140g baby spinach leaves, rinsed and drained

1 raw beetroot, peeled and grated

handful of toasted flaked almonds

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

1 In a saucepan (with a lid) bring the quinoa to a boil in double its quantity of salted water. Once it has come to the boil, reduce the heat to low, keep the lid on and cook for about 12 minutes until all the water has been absorbed. ♥ Remove from the heat and leave to one side. In a bowl combine the orange zest, olive oil, lemon juice and honey and season with salt and pepper. Add this to the quinoa and stir to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

 

2 Layer the quinoa, spinach, orange segments and grated beetroot on a serving dish. Sprinkle over the flaked almonds and serve immediately.

 

Vegetable couscous with halloumi, mint & pomegranate

 

I adore the colours and flavours of this faux couscous, and I love to serve it with heaps of halloumi and dressing. It’s so easy to make and it means you’re getting lots of veg in your diet. The mint and pomegranate give this recipe so much flavour and an exotic taste that goes beautifully with the vegetables. This is such a fresh meal for a summer’s day.

 

SERVES 2

 

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

50g radishes

100g cauliflower florets

100g sweet potatoes, chopped (no need to peel)

2½ tbsp olive oil

1 tsp smoked paprika

120g halloumi, sliced

2 tbsp pomegranate seeds

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

FOR THE MINT YOGHURT

 

100ml Greek or soy yoghurt

handful of fresh mint leaves, finely chopped, plus extra to serve

1 clove garlic, crushed

pinch of sea salt and freshly

ground black pepper

 

1 To make the mint yoghurt, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

 

2 Put the carrots, radishes, cauliflower and sweet potatoes in the bowl of a food processor and pulse on and off until the vegetables are finely chopped and roughly the size of couscous. Alternatively, coarsely grate all the vegetables and finely chop.

 

3 Put 2 tablespoons of the oil in a pan and set over a high heat. Once hot, add the vegetable couscous and the smoked paprika and fry for 6-8 minutes, stirring regularly, until the vegetables are slightly softened. Season with salt and pepper to taste and leave to one side.

 

4 Put the remaining half a tablespoon of oil in another pan and fry the halloumi for 2 minutes on each side until golden.

 

5 Plate up the vegetable couscous and top with the halloumi, pomegranate seeds, a scattering of mint leaves and some mint yoghurt. Serve immediately.

 

Asian fried rice with tiger prawns

 

We often have a lot of leftover rice in our house from the kids’ dinnertimes so I’ll store it in the fridge to use the following day in this dish. It holds together really well when the rice has been in the fridge overnight, but that’s by no means necessary, so cook from scratch there and then if you don’t have leftovers. My stepkids adore this dish as they’re big prawn fans, but it’s also glorious without if you want a veggie dish. The flavours are sensational and moreish and make this such a comforting dish. Get all the ingredients prepped before you start cooking, as you need to throw them all into the pan quite quickly.

 

SERVES 4

 

3 tbsp vegetable oil

350g tiger prawns, peeled

6 cloves garlic, crushed

2 eggs, beaten

4cm piece of root ginger, peeled and finely grated

2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce

½ tsp toasted sesame oil

2 tsp rice vinegar

1 tbsp lime juice

1 red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced

800g cooked jasmine rice (roughly 370g uncooked)

4 spring onions, finely sliced

1 red onion, halved and very thinly sliced

small handful of fresh Thai or regular basil leaves, to serve

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

1 Pour 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil into a large wok or pan and set over a high heat. When it is hot, add the prawns and stir-fry for 2 minutes, then add a quarter of the garlic and stir-fry for another minute, until the prawns are just cooked through. Season with salt and pepper and remove to a bowl.

 

2 Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan. Once hot, add the beaten eggs and scramble for 30 seconds until just cooked. Add the ginger, tamari or soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, lime juice, most of the chilli and the remaining garlic and stir-fry for another 30 seconds. Add the cooked rice and toss together, then spread the rice out over the base of the pan. Fry for 30 seconds then toss together. Repeat this process a few more times until the rice begins to crisp up. This may take a little longer with freshly cooked rice as it contains more moisture.

 

3 Add most of the spring onions and red onion and toss together. Adjust the seasoning to taste (don’t use soy sauce as this will make the rice soggy).

 

4 Serve immediately on a large plate with the cooked prawns, the basil and the remaining chilli, spring onion and red onion scattered over.

 

 

Vegetable couscous with halloumi, mint & pomegranate

 

I adore the colours and flavours of this faux couscous, and I love to serve it with heaps of halloumi and dressing. It’s so easy to make and it means you’re getting lots of veg in your diet. The mint and pomegranate give this recipe so much flavour and an exotic taste that goes beautifully with the vegetables. This is such a fresh meal for a summer’s day.

 

SERVES 2

 

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

50g radishes

100g cauliflower florets

100g sweet potatoes, chopped (no need to peel)

2½ tbsp olive oil

1 tsp smoked paprika

120g halloumi, sliced

2 tbsp pomegranate seeds

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

FOR THE MINT YOGHURT

 

100ml Greek or soy yoghurt

handful of fresh mint leaves, finely chopped, plus extra to serve

1 clove garlic, crushed

pinch of sea salt and freshly

ground black pepper

 

1 To make the mint yoghurt, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

 

2 Put the carrots, radishes, cauliflower and sweet potatoes in the bowl of a food processor and pulse on and off until the vegetables are finely chopped and roughly the size of couscous. Alternatively, coarsely grate all the vegetables and finely chop.

 

3 Put 2 tablespoons of the oil in a pan and set over a high heat. Once hot, add the vegetable couscous and the smoked paprika and fry for 6-8 minutes, stirring regularly, until the vegetables are slightly softened. Season with salt and pepper to taste and leave to one side.

 

4 Put the remaining half a tablespoon of oil in another pan and fry the halloumi for 2 minutes on each side until golden.

 

5 Plate up the vegetable couscous and top with the halloumi, pomegranate seeds, a scattering of mint leaves and some mint yoghurt. Serve immediately.

 

Rosemary and date spelt loaf

 

The Spelt and Goji Berry Loaf in Cook Happy, Cook Healthy got a lot of love from quite a few of you, so I set to work finding another variation that would impress you just as much for the new book. The scent of rosemary works so well with the sweet dates. And this bake requires no kneading, so it’s quick and easy as well as delicious.

 

MAKES 1 LOAF

 

500g wholegrain spelt flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves

60g dates, pitted and chopped

1 tsp sea salt

1 tbsp maple syrup or honey

530ml 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 Thoroughly mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl, then add the honey and water and mix again until just combined.

 

3 Pour into the loaf tin and bake in the oven for 50 minutes, then carefully remove the loaf from its tin and continue to bake for a further 10 minutes (this gives it a better crust).

 

4 Remove the loaf from the oven and leave to cool completely before cutting, otherwise all the steam will escape, resulting in a drier loaf. Once cool, cut into slices and enjoy with a little butter or coconut oil.

 

Carrot cake tray bake

 

Another request from my husband Jesse and one that is much devoured by all of us in the Wood household. Who doesn’t love a carrot cake? This tray bake is an all-time classic to serve up to hungry visitors who pop over for tea, or to be selfishly eaten on your own with massive mugs of tea. It is again another wonderful way to get some veg in your diet in a really delicious way.

 

SERVES 10

 

225g white spelt flour

2 tsp baking powder

1½ tsp ground cinnamon, plus extra for sprinkling

½ tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp ground ginger

60g raisins

pinch of sea salt

3 eggs, beaten

180g coconut oil, melted

120g coconut palm sugar

360g carrots, peeled and coarsely grated

2 oranges, zest of 1 and peel of the other

 

FOR THE ICING

 

250g cream cheese, or dairy-free alternative

2 tbsp set honey

 

1 Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/400F/gas 6 and line a 28cm x 20cm tray bake tin with baking parchment.

 

2 In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, raisins and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, melted coconut oil, coconut palm sugar, carrots and grated zest.

 

3 Add the wet mixture to the dry flour mixture and thoroughly combine. Pour this into the cake tin and smooth out. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes until golden and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cover with foil if it is browning too quickly. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 20 minutes, then carefully remove the cake and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

 

4 Meanwhile, combine the cream cheese and honey. (If you are using dairy-free cream cheese that is quite runny, reduce the amount of honey so the mixture remains thick.) Once the cake is cool, spread the icing over the cake. Finely slice the orange peel and sprinkle over. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

 

Peach breakfast crumble

 

 

I clearly remember going to a mate’s house for dinner when I was about 18 and her mum serving up baked peaches and honey for dessert. Having only ever experienced the choc-ice post-dinner at home, this seemed novel and quite exotic. I now love to bake peaches whenever possible and breakfast seems like a pretty good place to start. Try this recipe at weekends – the crumble takes a while to bake, but boy is it worth the wait. It’s a great way to get some fruit, oats and seeds into your diet at the start of the day.

 

SERVES 4

 

60g extra virgin coconut oil

80g white spelt flour

70g rolled oats

60g coconut palm sugar

½ tsp ground cinnamon

2 tbsp chia seeds

2 tbsp pumpkin seeds

6 ripe peaches or nectarines, halved and stones removed

yoghurt (Greek, soy or coconut), to serve

1 tbsp fresh mint leaves, to serve

pinch of sea salt

 

1 Preheat the oven to 200C/ 180C fan/400F/gas 6. In a large bowl, rub the coconut oil into the flour until you have gravel-sized lumps. Mix in the oats, coconut palm sugar, cinnamon, chia and pumpkin seeds and a pinch of salt. Set aside.

 

2 Place the peach halves on a baking tray and top with the crumble mixture. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden and the peaches are soft. Serve with yoghurt and a few mint leaves.

 

Almond butter & banana soft serve with sticky toffee sauce

 


 

Give me a bucket of this and a spoon and I’m in heaven. I cannot think of an easier, yummier pudding for when you’re in need of comfort and energy. I make this for the kids all the time and they adore it. It’s a dream, as it’s refined-sugar-free, dairy-free and full of good protein from the nut butter. You could add some cocoa powder to make it chocolatey or cinnamon to give it spice. Feel free to make it even more creamy by adding a dollop of soya or coconut yoghurt before blending. It tastes so naughty but is so very nice!

 

SERVES 2

 

4 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp honey

2 ripe bananas, peeled and frozen

2 tbsp almond butter

handful of roasted pecan nuts, chopped

1 tbsp goji berries

 

1 Put the dates, coconut oil and honey in a saucepan and set over a medium heat. Simmer gently for a few minutes until the coconut oil has melted and the dates are soft and squishy. Transfer to the bowl of a food processor and blitz until smooth. Mix in 2-3 tablespoons of water to thin out the mixture. Transfer to a bowl and rinse out the bowl of the food processor.

 

2 Blitz the bananas and almond butter in the food processor until smooth. This may take a few minutes, scraping down the sides at intervals.

 

3 Scoop the banana ice cream into small glasses or bowls and dollop over the date sauce. Top with the pecans and goji berries and serve immediately.

 

Carrot cake tray bake

 

Another request from my husband Jesse and one that is much devoured by all of us in the Wood household. Who doesn’t love a carrot cake? This tray bake is an all-time classic to serve up to hungry visitors who pop over for tea, or to be selfishly eaten on your own with massive mugs of tea. It is again another wonderful way to get some veg in your diet in a really delicious way.

 

SERVES 10

 

225g white spelt flour

2 tsp baking powder

1½ tsp ground cinnamon, plus extra for sprinkling

½ tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp ground ginger

60g raisins

pinch of sea salt

3 eggs, beaten

180g coconut oil, melted

120g coconut palm sugar

360g carrots, peeled and coarsely grated

2 oranges, zest of 1 and peel of the other

 

FOR THE ICING

 

250g cream cheese, or dairy-free alternative

2 tbsp set honey

 

1 Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/400F/gas 6 and line a 28cm x 20cm tray bake tin with baking parchment.

 

2 In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, raisins and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, melted coconut oil, coconut palm sugar, carrots and grated zest.

 

3 Add the wet mixture to the dry flour mixture and thoroughly combine. Pour this into the cake tin and smooth out. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes until golden and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cover with foil if it is browning too quickly. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 20 minutes, then carefully remove the cake and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

 

4 Meanwhile, combine the cream cheese and honey. (If you are using dairy-free cream cheese that is quite runny, reduce the amount of honey so the mixture remains thick.) Once the cake is cool, spread the icing over the cake. Finely slice the orange peel and sprinkle over. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Rosemary and date spelt loaf

 

The Spelt and Goji Berry Loaf in Cook Happy, Cook Healthy got a lot of love from quite a few of you, so I set to work finding another variation that would impress you just as much for the new book. The scent of rosemary works so well with the sweet dates. And this bake requires no kneading, so it’s quick and easy as well as delicious.

 

MAKES 1 LOAF

 

500g wholegrain spelt flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves

60g dates, pitted and chopped

1 tsp sea salt

1 tbsp maple syrup or honey

530ml 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 Thoroughly mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl, then add the honey and water and mix again until just combined.

 

3 Pour into the loaf tin and bake in the oven for 50 minutes, then carefully remove the loaf from its tin and continue to bake for a further 10 minutes (this gives it a better crust).

 

4 Remove the loaf from the oven and leave to cool completely before cutting, otherwise all the steam will escape, resulting in a drier loaf. Once cool, cut into slices and enjoy with a little butter or coconut oil.

 


SAVE 20 PER CENT ON FEARNE’S NEW BOOK

 

 

Today’s recipes are from Cook Eat Love: Simple Nourishing Recipes for Health and Happiness by Fearne Cotton, published by Orion, price £20. 

 

As well as Fearne’s introduction, chapters cover breakfasts, elevenses, soups and salads, lunch on the run, afternoon treats, family favourites, food to share, desserts and baked goodies. 

 

To order a copy for £16 (a 20 per cent discount) until 20 August, visit you-bookshop.co.uk or call 0844 571 0640; p&p is free on orders over £15.

 

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