Melissa Hemsley’s simple feel-good feasts take healthy to a delicious new level.
A must-make. Chickpea batter baked into a thin, crispy pancake, perfect for dipping into hummus or to have alongside soups or a hearty veg stew.
Baked feta and ras el hangout broccoli salad
A beautiful roasted broccoli and feta salad that would also be wonderful with cauliflower. The Moroccan spice mix ras el hanout can be swapped for baharat spice mix or harissa. Alternatively, make your own from 1⁄2 teaspoon each of ground cumin and coriander and 1⁄4 teaspoon each of smoked paprika, cinnamon, turmeric and cardamom or ginger. Don’t worry if you haven’t got them all – use what you have to make your own unique mix.
Trout, asparagus and potato traybake with garlic-mayo-saffron sauce
Saffron is expensive but the tiniest amount goes a long way. Alternatively, stir 1⁄8 teaspoon each of smoked paprika and ground turmeric into your garlic mayo to add a kick of flavour and colour. It’s fantastic with new potatoes but use any type you like.
Roasted white beans with caesar-style tahini dressing
I love this dressing so this recipe makes extra. Use it as a dip, in a lunch wrap, on roasted cauliflower and broccoli, drizzled over grilled sweet potatoes or tossed through a pasta salad.
One-tray chicken with ginger-spring-onion salsa
This salsa perks up so many dishes – it’s also delicious on noodles and leftover fried quinoa or rice. Mix up your veg by swapping in squash, pumpkin or celeriac, and substitute the broccoli with asparagus when in season.
Three-ingredients chocolate pots
So simple and delicious, plus they’re plant-based. Hazelnut milk works particularly well. If you want to make them in advance, they’ll keep for three days in the fridge. If you want to go to town, try extra toppings – whatever you have in your cupboard. You’ll need six ramekins or jars – tea cups would look lovely; just avoid delicate glasses that might crack under the hot mix.
Crab and courgette spaghetti
This reminds me of both Italy and Scilly (not Sicily!) – the beautiful Isles of Scilly, 27 miles off the coast of Cornwall, where I’ve eaten the tastiest seafood of my life. This dish is speedy but special. When I have friends coming over, it is a fail-safe meal that looks and tastes impressive but is ready in a flash, so I can relax and spend time with my loved ones. Good-quality crab meat is expensive but a little goes a long way. I find this combination of three parts white crab meat to one part brown goes down a treat.
Shiitake mushroom adobo
The key flavours of Filipino adobo are garlic, vinegar, black pepper, soy sauce and bay leaf. I grew up on chicken adobo. This mushroom version is super delicious and simple. Traditionally, adobo is served with white rice, which I’ve made extra delicious by cooking in coconut milk, but some of my Filipino aunties (my Titas) will tell you that they have adopted quinoa later in life and love it as much as rice (see variation)!
Buy the book
Our recipes are from Feel Good by Melissa Hemsley, to be published on 19 May by Ebury Press, price £22. To order a copy for £18.70 until 22 May go to mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3176 2937. Free p&p on orders over £20.